Not really a food post today, but certainly one full of appreciation. I think that no matter how old I get, there will always be a soft, squishy place in my heart for Play Doh. All those bright colors, the accessories, and especially  that unmistakable Play Doh scent!

Now, I grew up in a house empty of those happy little yellow cups. I had no idea that one could own more than a a couple colors at a time, and I was completely in the dark about the way commercial Doh smelled. My mom, supremely crafty as well as thrifty, made batch after batch of homemade play dough until I was at least seven. She consulted with me only when it came to color preference, which usually meant that the majority of her blue food coloring was about to be used. It almost always smelled of vanilla, though sometimes she would surprise me with a squirt of almond or orange extract instead.

If you love the texture of play dough being rolled out and squished in your hands, I highly recommend making a batch. Warm out of the pot, you will have a hard time ever putting it down!

That said, I do not have a recipe per se, but rather a link to one of my absolute favorite sites, which has the recipe and instructions for this most brilliant invention:

It is the best recipe I know, and I cannot think of a way to improve on it!


Autumn is without a doubt my favorite time of year. The weather is the most temperate it will be all year- not too hot or cold, gray skies in the morning with sunshine by noon. Comfy.

Though apples are flooding the markets, one is just as likely to pick up some of the most delectable tomatoes to be found all season, just as they make their way out for the year. Over here in my corner, we are still picking some very fine raspberries from the bushes, but the fig tree is beckoning us over for some more attention.

Those tomatoes, though.  It has been a great summer, and this month I have been enjoying them with particular gusto. And I’m not quite willing to give them up quite yet.

Today is National Linguine Day, and I am dressing mine with almond pesto. This is one of my favorite recipes. Almond pesto integrates late Summer’s robust flavors with Autumn’s meatier, softer palette. A little bit of pinenuts are replaced with a larger amount of toasted almonds. I keep the bunch of basil, but add in a bit of Italian parsley too. I blend in a good amount tomatoes, but leave out the cheese (it would be too heavy, so I put it on top instead).


Linguine with Almond Pesto


3/4 cup blanched almonds

3 garlic cloves

1 bunch basil

1 handful of flat leaf parsley

12 oz. heirloom tomatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

pinch of red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste


Pulse the almonds until in a food processor until it looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the garlic, basil and parsley and process until the well combined. Add the tomatoes. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes and process just until combined.

Cook the linguine to al dente and drain, reserving a little pasta water for later.