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We've been living as dictated by our calendar lately.

Of course, food writers tend to live by the calendar, but in a fast-forward kind of way. We have to start thinking about Christmas and Hanukkah in October, and we do our Fourth of July grilling in May. From what I understand, food writers for magazines think even further in advance.

So, I've been sucked into Instagram against my will. I'm going to do you the favor of NOT talking about how awesome it is for the remainder of the post, but I will say that I find the visuals much more appealing and interesting than Twitter, which I have been struggling with for 2 years.

Perhaps the title doesn't inspire rapturous visions of breakfast for you. Grain-free, you're thinking. Hmmm...

Perhaps the open-minded among you will say, "Well, it's healthy, so you have to give it a pass." And I know some of you, those a bit more protective of your mealtimes, will shrug it off as yet another blogging phenomenon destined to be lost to the annals of internet flotsam.

I would be lying if I said I loved carrots.

They seem like the perfect snack--crunchy, healthy, bright and cheerful. But I've just never loved them. I have a suspicion that this is because the ones at the supermarket are big and kind of woody, and perhaps if I could find some little tender ones I'd be in business.

What does spring mean to you? Wildflowers, chirping birds, bumble bees ponderously levitating from one bloom to the next like drunks on a bar crawl? Come good weather, these things occur to me and brighten my temperament… but the seasonal change doesn’t really hit home for me until I light the chimney starter and cook something over an open flame.

I'm going to have to start this post with a disclaimer. I know almost nothing about making cocktails.

I like cocktails, you understand, but they always seem to require a cabinet full of various liquors, liqueurs, bitters, mixers, and special ice cube trays. It would be great to have all that, of course, but we're just not there yet. And really, we don't necessarily want to be.

When you do a lot of baking, you learn to balance sweetness. Sugar is a tremendous blessing--we crave it, we love it, it heightens flavors, and it makes baked goods tender and moist. There are all kinds of sugar substitutes out there, some better than others, but we all know they're not fooling anyone. You can tell when it's not sugar.

Judging from the salad dressing aisle in the supermarket, you might imagine that dressings are difficult to make. Why else, after all, would there be such a plethora of bottled concoctions in all hues of the rainbow? But as is the case with many popular foodstuffs, it's all just marketing.

We've been relieved to see the spring landscape unfold this year. For some reason, winter felt particularly long and insipid, and just seeing the forest blush with tender green punctuated by the festive purple of the redbuds is like seeing a dear friend for the first time in months. An awakening of the best sort.


Joy of Cooking App for iPad and iPhone

After three years of collaborative effort with our friends at Culinate and Scribner, it is our pleasure to introduce the Joy of Cooking for iPad and iPhone! Please check out this full-featured, digital version of the 2006 edition. In addition to the recipes and indispensable reference information our readers know and love, the app has many features that are brand new to JOY:

  • Built-in recipe timers (you can have multiple timers going simultaneously)
  • Search for and filter recipes by key word, ingredient, cuisine, season, technique, diet, and more
  • Create shopping lists from within the app
  • Convert any recipe to metric automatically
  • Give voice commands or have recipe steps spoken to you
  • Create menus in the app
  • Share recipes from within the app
  • Color photography

Truly a JOY for the 21st century! Download by directing your browser to Don't forget to review the app!