Personal History

Want to Meet Your Neighbors? Plant a Mango Tree — Best of Summer

Here in tropical South Florida we have two seasons: the tourist season and the rainy season. Our summers are stormy. Showers every afternoon are the norm, and in the daily deluges our backyard gardens wither as mosquitoes whine, and hurricanes churn out in the Gulf. I often joke that I get reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder living here between May and September because the weather's so glum. It's not all bad, though! The absence of tourists means traffic jams are nearly non-existent, as are the waiting lines at our favorite restaurants. But the real bright side of South Florida summers is that it's finally mango season again.

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The Best Meals I Ate All Summer Happened with One Skillet and a Kitchen with No Sink — Best of Summer

When I agreed to spend a summer caretaking a ranch in Colorado, I never thought to ask about the kitchen. I knew that my family (my partner, Kellie, and our 6-month-old and 2-year-old sons) would be living in a cabin on an 800-acre ranch nestled in the Rocky Mountains, but for some reason, as I packed a box of favorite pans and dishes, I had pictured a full-sized stove, an ample table, and a countertop.

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My Saddest Wastes of Money in 2017 So Far, Ranked — The Financial Diet

Welcome to a column from The Financial Diet, one of our very favorite sites, dedicated to money and everything it touches. One of the best ways to take charge of your financial life is through food and cooking. This column from TFD founders Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage will help you be better with money, thanks to the kitchen. A version of this post originally appeared on The Financial Diet.

I've spent a lot of this week taking care of finance-related things in my life. I can generally say I'm proud of where I am with money, especially compared to this time a few years ago. But I still find budgeting on a day-to-day basis to be a challenge — so much so that, when I comb through my spending every few weeks or so, there are always things I regret spending money on.

It is wild to me that, no matter how many times I tell myself not to spend in these areas — heck, no matter how many times I write about it — I still fall into the trap. Every single thing I list here is spending I could have avoided, had I just chosen to be less lazy.

So here are all of my incredibly lame wastes of money from 2017 so far, ranked. They are not all big, necessarily, but as we all know, small purchases can add up, until you realize that your expensive pastry habit is the reason you can't meet your savings goal this month (just me?).

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Julia Child’s Roast Chicken Fixed My Broken Heart — Cooking with Julia Child

Vadim rolled his own cigarettes. He had broad shoulders, six-pack abs, and a chest tattoo that read "Rock & Roll." He was the lead singer in a rockabilly band and had a hot rod he planned to fix up. I met him when I took a part-time job as a cashier at Savenor's Market, a specialty foods shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was the head butcher.

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What Julia Child’s Soup Taught Me About Being an Expat in Paris — Cooking with Julia Child

My first stop at the Place Monge market in Paris is always the smallest booth on the corner, next to the Metro escalator. The stand is filled with fresh dill, basil, rosemary, and thyme waiting to be wrapped in brown paper, and rows of fresh eggs waiting to be sold, with the largest boxes boasting seasonal French produce, from fresh garlic to radishes to beets.

The line grows quickly — this is the first stop for all my neighbors, too — but it's worth the wait.

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3 Ridiculous Rules for Eating Tomatoes — Strong Opinions

Tomatoes are disgusting — except for when they're not. Yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but I stand by these statements. There's a reason kids tend to love pizza but hate tomato sauce on pasta: Because kids are smarter than we give them credit for and onto the sneaky games tomatoes like to play with our tastebuds!

Here are my most ridiculous rules for eating tomatoes. You should adopt them for yourself. Or add your own tomato rules at the bottom of this post — c'mon, you know you have some!

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