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June 2015: The Month in Tom and Holly

Life in Philly

At the beginning of the month, Tom was off work for a week between jobs, so I took one day off as well so we could hang out. We walked all the way down to South Bowl, with stops at Royal TavernMoonshine Philly, and the S.S. United States along the way.

S.S. United States

It’s hard to believe it’s already summer. As usual, spring went by too quickly. Despite the heat, it doesn’t quite feel like summer yet. I’m waiting for local tomatoes at the farmers’ market (there have been a few, but not many). We did, however, pick up literally the very last bunch of asparagus at the market until next year. We are also enjoying cherry season.

Frecon Farms cherries

There have been a lot of summer thunderstorms, but some very nice days as well.

View from the Walnut Street Bridge


I took a quick trip to Washington, DC for business. I ate at a delightful Turkish restaurant, Ezmè, where I got a 5 course meal for $35, with some excellent selections of Turkish wine.

Ezmè Washington DC

Dining Out

We’ve revived a Friday night tradition of going out for “date night.” This month we went to Caffe Casta Diva, Audrey Claire, Zavino, and Abe Fisher. This was our second time at Audrey Claire recently, and we continue to really enjoy it. It was our first time at Abe Fisher, and wow, what a treat. The service was excellent, the food was delicious, and the drinks were incredible. We will definitely be returning.

Abe Fisher

We also went to brunch at Amis one weekend, which was a treat. It wasn’t crowded, and all the food and drinks were fantastic.

Baked pecorino with honey at Amis

Dining In

I made several good pappardelle recipes this month, including pappardelle with broccolini and crunchy gremolata, and creamy leek and pancetta pappardelle for two.

pappardelle with broccolini and crunchy gremolata

Inspired by a dish I used to have at La Parolaccia, I bought some cuttlefish-ink pasta, whipped up a simple lemon-cream sauce, and served it with seared scallops.

For awhile now I’ve had a growing list of ingredients I wanted to get next time I was at an Asian market, but one night I ended up just ordering them online. I used these newly acquired ingredients to make Spring Pad Thai with Asparagus and Peas, Sichuan Dry Fried Green BeansRed Curry Chicken with Snow Peas (pictured below), Kaitlin’s Special Noodles, and Kung Pao Fish. Several of the recipes use Szechuan peppercorns, so I’ve also been trying to get a feel for what my tolerance level is for those (the proportions in Kaitlin’s Special Noodles were just about right for me).

Red Curry Chicken with Snow Peas

I didn’t take a picture, but I also tried a great recipe for a Korean spinach side dish. I actually made it with kale, not spinach, but I think the recipe would work for any similar leafy green. I love gochujang with pretty much anything, and this recipe is really simple with great flavors.


In my ongoing read of Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Malazan Empire series, I read Orb Sceptre Throne. It was my favorite Esslemont book so far. Though it’s still no Erikson, I thought it very much captured the same tone and feel of the city of Darujistan and its characters from Erikson’s Dust of Dreams. It helped that there were some familiar characters from Erikson’s series, but in this book I actually liked some of Esslemont’s new characters, especially the Seguleh.

I also read The Three Body Problem, which is book one of a Chinese science fiction series by Cixin Liu. The science of it is engaging and interesting, as is the setting, alternating between the Cultural Revolution and present day China. I will definitely be reading the other two books in the series when they become available in English.

On SuperPlus Eats

On Tom’s Blogs

Last Month’s Update