Spring Orzo Salad with Fennel and Asparagus

Spring Orzo Salad with Fennel and Asparagus

Here in Utah, when people learn I’m from Boston, they often ask me why I don’t have a Boston accent. The truth is that neither of my parents grew up in New England, so the chances of me developing a Boston accent were pretty slim. Nate likes to tell me that my accent comes out after a few beers (bee-ahs!), but I say, psh. It’s probably just a mirroring thing. These days I probably have more of a Utah accent than anything – no big dill. (And for those of you wondering what a Utah accent is, that’s it right there.)

Well, I learned on Friday that I do have an accent, and it’s, um, not what I thought. My co-worker informed me, after much prefacing about how he liked the way I spoke, that my accent is Harvard valley girl. Oh, and that he’s mentioned this to other people we work with and they’ve confirmed it. What!

Well, I did not go to Harvard, nor did I grow up in any valley. I’m not exactly legally blond over here. I am forced to interpret the Harvard valley girl thing as something along the lines of “well brought-up but dumb” or “you say smart things but sound dumb saying them.” And they let me talk to clients… why? My mom was kind enough to offer her take as “smart but unpretentious.” But now I’m realizing “pretentious and dumb” is probably closer to a direct translation. Groan. Suffice it to say I will be speaking in a monotone at work for a few days! Like, totally.

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Chipotle Chocolate Chili with Baked Polenta

Chipotle Chocolate Chili with Baked Polenta

So much for seasonally-appropriate meals.

Maybe I should be posting light dishes filled with tender spring vegetables, but this right here is called a chili craving that doesn’t care about the temperature. And I have to share it with you because it’s just so tasty! Plus I’m sure there’s still a spring chill in the air for some of you out there.

For some reason, I had the intense desire to make chili last week. Or maybe it was the intense desire to eat chocolate for dinner? Either way, this chili was born. And as luck would have it, the skies really clouded up before I had the chance to take these pictures. Sigh. Well, I guess you weren’t going to eat chili on a sunny day anyway, were you?

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Muhammara Pita Flatbread

Muhammara Flatbread Pizza

So I have kind of been holding onto this recipe for a while. Well, “recipe” is maybe a bit of a stretch – this is really just another of my favorite ways to serve that delicious muhammara. But you see, I didn’t want to overwhelm you with muhammara recipes, so I paced myself. Kinda.

In case you missed it a few weeks ago, muhammara is a Syrian red pepper and walnut dip. It’s super flavorful and guaranteed to jazz up anything you use it in. This flatbread is a prime example!

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