Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson's Lemon Blueberry Buckle
Charles Phan's Glass Noodles with Crab

Happy Birthday, Little Blog!

This weekend marked this blog's 4-year birthday, which just tickles me to no end. Four years! Holy cats. Happy birthday, little blog. You complete me.

I, of course, didn't realize it until this morning, so there was no birthday cake or candles or anything of the sort. I had a visitor in from out of town this weekend and was too busy showing off this beautiful city to raise a cupcake to the blog. Besides, it was way too hot for cupcakes. (Though we did have an entirely unexpected, truly delicious and completely random buffet lunch at Indus Express on 48th Street for the grand total of $9.95 each - not including the celebratory Taj Mahal beer! So I guess that kind of counts.)

Instead of letting the blog blow out candles to itself this year, I'm going to list a few sites I've discovered over the past year which have made me rather hungry indeed:

Slow Like Honey

Bread Baby

Not Without Salt

The Catskill Kiwi

Rachel Eats

Bread & Honey

Here's to you guys!

And then I'm going to tell you something thrilling. I'm leaving for Italy in a few days, for my annual trip, and this year, for the first time ever, there will be a grill at the house. I don't know what exactly it will look like (though I'm gunning for something rather crude and rustic, like a steel grate over a pile of coals piled into a hole dug in the ground. Wouldn't that be scenic? My mother, I think, might currently be in the process of a dramatic eyeroll, as we speak!), but I'm getting awfully excited about cooking with it. You see, I've pretty much mastered the stovetop, and the oven, and even the broiler, too. Now, after too many meals at other people's houses where the tables sat groaning under the weight of grilled tomatoes, salsiccie, bruschetta and whole ears of corn, I've decided we don't have to live like this anymore: we, too, can grill! And grill we will.

I'm bringing two recipes with me from the New York Times (one for a whole fish grilled in and on fresh fennel, and a recipe from Paula Wolfert for something called Roman steak), but seeing as I am a neophyte and it's my blog birthday, won't you guys inspire me with some of your grilling recipes, tips, secrets? I - and my co-eaters in Italy - thank you in advance.