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photos by glutonforlife

3.11.15 Blini Meenie Miney Mo

Many great Russian writers, including Chekhov, Pushkin and Gogol, have dedicated plenty of ink to blini. These sturdy yet tender pancakes—originally made from oats but now also from wheat, rye, buckwheat and barley—were made for the pagan festival Maslenitsa, a celebration of the sun that heralded the coming of spring. The blini, round and golden like little suns, were eaten by the dozen in hopes of ensuring a rich harvest. Today, they are made for occasions both celebratory and pedestrian, topped with (or rolled around) a great many fillings, from mushrooms, potatoes and fish to fruit, cheese and honey. Blini are incredibly versatile, as welcome at the breakfast table as they are at the most sophisticated cocktail party. I think it's time to add them to your repertoire.

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photos by gluttonforlife

2.6.15 Rock Your Guac (& a giveaway that's The Shizzle!)

You may remember that I was lucky enough to have spice wizard Lior Lev Sercarz create a custom blend for Glutton for Life and that it was duly dubbed "The Shizzle." And you may have entered last year's holiday giveaway to win a jar. And you may still be pining to try this deliciously piquant mix that is poised in flavor somewhere between Mexico and Thailand. I'm happy to be offering another 2 jars of this spectacular seasoned salt to my readers, so please leave a comment below by midnight on Friday 2/13 to be eligible to win. And to those of you who recently won a jar on Glutton for Life's Facebook page, read on for a recipe that makes great use of The Shizzle!

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photos by gluttonforlife

1.27.15 Squash Your Cravings

I turned 52 last week. It seems like only yesterday I was confronting the milestone that is turning 50. As much as I believe that age is just a number—as opposed to something that defines us, inside or out—it can feel a bit alarming when the clichés become increasingly relevant. When I texted a friend recently to ask him how his photo shoot was going and he wrote back complaining about "the concrete floors," I had to chuckle. Until being out snowshoeing for hours in the freezing cold resulted in my knee suffering from what I think might be a little bursitis. Tell me that word doesn't conjure up your grandmother. How do I weather the changes? With a sense of humor, a healthy dose of denial and a stockpile of resilience. Which is not to say I don't occasionally stare aghast at the loosening skin on my neck. But I think Nora Ephron covered all that more than adequately and so I'd rather talk to you about another thing I stockpile: winter squash.

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photo by Christopher Hirsheimer (remaining photos by gluttonforlife)

11.20.14 Yes, I Can, Bacon Jam & a Giveaway

Cathy Barrow is a "can do" sort of person. I first crossed paths with her online in the early days of Food52, where she has lately been featured sharing recipes from her recently published cookbook, Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving. She's been a landscape designer, a retailer, a marketing consultant and the founder of Charcutepalooza—and I'm positive she's brought to each role the enthusiasm, creativity and competence that characterizes her every move. But I think she's going to be wearing this current hat—should I say toque?—from here on out, because if ever anyone had a calling for the kitchen, it's Cathy. We're all really lucky that she decided to create this preserving bible, because it's loaded with ancient ways and modern techniques for putting food up, plus wonderful ideas for using what's in your stocked pantry. Her recipes don't shy away from plenty of salt, fat and sugar, but she'll also teach you to can your own stock, make pickles of all kinds and even get started making cheese at home. Speaking of salt, fat and sugar, I made her bacon jam. Yes, I said "bacon jam."
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photos by gluttonforlife

11.14.14 November Hot Links & Thanksgiving Recipes

Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a sheet pan full of scarlet cranberries, richly spiced and roasted to caramelized perfection. Unless perhaps it's that tidal wave of panic that starts to consume you when you realize hordes of relatives will be descending on your home with all their neuroses and dysfunctions fully primed. I'd be curious to know how many of you are cooking the feast this year and how many will be dining elsewhere. Leave a comment below and let me know, and you just may get a jar of my favorite St. John chutney in time to slather on your slice of (hideously dried-out) turkey breast. For now, I've compiled some tried-&-true recipes to get you started thinking about a menu. As I think you know, I am a steadfast advocate of planning ahead. It decreases stress exponentially and helps you budget your time and energy so you're not utterly depleted when the day is over (or just beginning).

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photos by george billard

10.7.14 Fall Back, October Hot Links & Cider Syrup

I wish I had time to write in this space more often. There is so much to share with you that sometimes I am bursting at the seams with little anecdotes and kitchen discoveries and amazing new ideas I have come across. Then I sit down and inevitably feel overwhelmed at the thought of organizing it all into something coherent, meaningful and useful. But I am seizing a few moments today to get lots of it down here with little regard for rhyme or reason. The organizing principle is essentially "things I am thinking about and loving right now." These include some beautiful photos my husband took on a walk in the woods last week; a bunch of links I have been hoarding for you; and a recipe for cider syrup, a thick, sweetly complex elixir made by simply boiling down apple cider. I'm already enjoying mine immensely mixed with Dickel whiskey, apple cider vinegar and cardamom-fennel bitters for a cocktail I call the All Fall Down (after what happens when you drink too many...not that I would know about that).
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photos by gluttonforlife

9.8.14 All Juiced Up

It's been a strange season in the garden. Unusually cool temperatures have resulted in a glut of cucumbers, thriving greens and herbs, and not a single summer squash. A year without an onslaught of zucchini just feels unnatural! The tomatoes have been a mixed bag: lots of Green Zebras and Brandywines, other varieties decimated by blight, and many falling off the vine green. I see green tomato-lemon marmalade in my future, not to mention green tomato chutney and plenty of fried green tomatoes. But with what's left of the ripe ones, I envision perhaps one more gazpacho, one last tomato sandwich and definitely some fresh tomato juice. Nothing else comes close to capturing the essence of the season. (Except perhaps a perfect peach. Or buttered corn. Or blackberries.) I make it with my Hurom juicer that has become a staple of my kitchen. It's a slow-masticating design that first crushes food and then presses it to extract maximum yield with minimum oxidation, meaning you get the most nutrition from juice produced this way. The smell and taste of fresh tomato juice is one of the great pleasures of late summer.
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the living is easy

8.1.14 Leisure Time

I'll be back after Labor Day! Though I don't have the luxury of taking the month off work, August is a time when I try to live a bit easier and more carefree. This means no blogging and no Facebook, though you'll probably still find me posting pictures on Instagram (@laurasilverman). I really want to finish my book proposal, but I'll also be going on some long hikes, puttering in the garden, eating lots of corn and tomatoes, swimming across the lake and, hopefully, catching forty winks in the hammock with popsicle juice still clinging to my lips. I may take in a couple of State Fairs and I'll definitely bake at least one pie.

Before I go, I want to leave you with a bunch of links—to recipes perfect for this time of year, and to other resources and inspirations you can return to when you need a little shot of GFL. See you in September, dear friends!
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photos by gluttonforlife

7.9.14 Herbiage

First order of business: the winner of my summer giveaway! The lucky recipient, chosen via Randomizer, is CHRISTA! Christa, come on down! Please send your mailing adress to me at and I will get your box of treats out to you very soon. The rest of you, thanks for your wonderfully evocative comments and stay tuned for future giveaways. Summer's bounty always inspires me to share.

You may have noticed that I am not posting quite as regularly as usual. I'm still hard at work on my book proposal and it's taking up all my free time and a lot of my creative energy. But it's also been really satisfying to see how much writing and photgraphy I have stockpiled since I launched this blog in 2010. What began as a way to share the beauty of my new life upstate turned into something more. In the 4-plus years I have been showing up here and trying to stay honest I have learned a great deal about myself, about finding balance, and about cooking, gardening, making a beautiful home, foraging in the wild and communing with nature. All this will be in the book, which I envision as a colorful, richly textured collage of photography, illustration and words.

And now, a bit more about herbs...
Tagged —
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photos by gluttonforlife

5.21.14 Char Woman

This is going to be short and sweet because I'm about to head out to hunt for morels with my mushroom club. I sound like I should have grey hair and wear those polyester khakis from Patagonia. Oh wait! I do have grey hair and I am wearing those Patagonia pants. Whatever, if I come home with freshly picked morels, who's going to notice anything else? In the meantime, let me distract you with this easy and indispensable recipe for grilled pineapple salsa. It's perfect to slather on everything this summer—a season which officially starts prematurely on Memorial Day weekend! The pineapple is actually charred in a hot skillet, but you could make it on the grill, of course. It's delicious on fish tacos and pork kebabs, scooped up with chips, and stirred into a simple bowl of brown rice, especially if it's drizzled with a little crema.