Cherry Blossom Pre-Bloom

While Sophie was hot-tubbing it up with her friends, Maddy, Ian and I got a sneak preview of the cherry blossoms.  Most trees were just shy of blooming, but it was worth a trip because we saw: a cat on a leash, a Japanese woman in traditional kimono, and a park ranger yelling, "GET OUT OF THE TREE NOW."

Banana, banana, banana.

Banana, banana, banana.

Post cherry blossom, we headed to two of our favorite Asian groceries to stock up Maddy's larder.  She got a copy of Pok Pok for Christmas and despite forgetting her green papaya will forge ahead with some Thai cookery.  For dinner, we went straight up spring.  Sophie hates mushrooms and I don't have an unlimited fungi budget so we omitted the morels from this gnocchi recipe.  This recipe made a ton of food.  We had grilled pork chops, but the remainder of the gnocchi fed me lunch for several days.  I haven't made potato gnocchi before, and I don't know if I ever will at this point.  The ricotta gnocchi seemed less tempermental without the potential for becoming leaden like potato gnocchi.  Maddy wished for a sturdier gnocchi so we could have gotten some color on it during the saute. 

For dessert we enjoyed Valerie Gordon's Durango cookies.  We substituted smoked almonds--not sure if they were appreciably more smoky.   They were accompanied by banana ice cream with Maddy's most excellent salted caramel.  I have a feeling these cookies will make many more appearances in the Lee house because they are easier than Momofuku's compost cookie and have that salty-sweet thing going on that hip people like us adopted ages ago.

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