Introvert’s Rigatoni with Sausage and Broccolini

People who meet me are often surprised when I describe myself as an introvert. On the surface, I come across as outgoing, exuberant even, but secretly I find human interaction to be very exhausting. Craig, on the other hand, finds human interaction to be incredibly stimulating. Not a surprise, then, that he describes himself as an extrovert. (We once read an article that said that introverts lose energy when they’re around people and that extroverts gain energy when they’re around people, and that made total sense to us.)

And yet, nothing is ever so completely black and white. Despite being mostly introverted, I still enjoy going out (especially to restaurants, surprise surprise) and despite being mostly extroverted, Craig can really enjoy a night in. Which is why, last Saturday when he flew back from New York, we had to have a discussion about our evening. A group of friends were going out and we were invited. I bought ingredients to make a delicious dinner. Craig’s ideal evening was for me to make the dinner and then for us to go out with these friends. My ideal evening was to make the dinner and to lay on the couch watching Project Runway. Ultimately, I gave Craig a choice: (1) we could go out and meet these friends, but if we did that, I’d want to go out to dinner first so I wouldn’t be smelly and also so I’d be motivated to go out; or (2) I could make this delicious dinner, but then we’d have to stay in. Craig puzzled it over for a second and then chose the only acceptable option considering that I’d gone shopping and that I’m his husband and really he’d been away for a week so of course he’d want to stay in, Option 2.

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A Week in New York with Meals at Pearl Oyster Bar, Mimi, Flora Bar, Daniel, Bar Bolonat, Union Square Cafe, Cafe Altro Paradiso, Hearth, and King

Craig’s in the middle of editing his new movie ALEX STRANGELOVE for Netflix (can’t wait for you to see it) in New York and though I planned to just stay in L.A. for the duration of the edit, two things did occur to me when he asked me to come out for a week: (1) it’d be good for our marriage for me to support and nurture Craig through the difficulties of the editing process; (2) I COULD EAT AT A BUNCH OF NEW YORK CITY RESTAURANTS!

I won’t tell you which was the more compelling factor, but there I was, last Monday, arriving at JFK and taking a cab into the city.

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We Got Married (The Wedding Post)

I was never a wedding person. Growing up, I’d watch the wedding scene in The Sound of Music and fantasize about writing a great musical someday. The idea of walking down an aisle held very little appeal for me (even if there’d be nuns singing a slowed-down version of “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?”) So when Craig and I got engaged almost two years ago at Rustic Canyon, I imagined us having a simple wedding at a nice restaurant somewhere. Maybe just our families and a few close friends at Blue Hill Stone Barns or The French Laundry; 12 to 15 people max. The only problem? My betrothed had a very different idea of what our wedding would be. “I want a big party,” he informed me soon after we told our families that we were getting married. “A big party with lots and lots of people!”

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Craig’s Birthday Dinner at Mori Sushi

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It’s a bit of a struggle for me to spend a fortune on sushi. Don’t get me wrong; I really like sushi, but I’m perfectly happy eating the $12 sushi sampler at Jinpachi for lunch in West Hollywood. Craig, on the other hand, is a major sushi enthusiast. He loves the stuff and, if given a choice between an elegant eight-course meal at a palace of fine dining like Le Bernardin or Jean-George vs. an omakase dinner at a well-regarded sushi restaurant, he’d pick the sushi every time.

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The Best Apple Pie I’ve Ever Made

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Memorize this fact about apple pie making, and you’ll be set for life: it’s not about the recipe, it’s about your state of mind.

That nugget comes from Craig’s dad, the master of apple pie (see here), who’s said to me, in the past: “I think you’re overthinking it.” And in the past I had overthought it over and over again. But the truth is once you understand the WHY of everything, the rest takes care of itself. And that’s what helped me produce the best apple pie I’ve ever made, the one you see above.

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Go See The Skeleton Twins!

Friends, Romans, Countrymen: the time is now! If you live in New York, L.A., D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, I need you to do me a favor right now: open a new window in your browser, go to one of those movie ticket sites–Fandango, for example–and load up The Skeleton Twins and then get your tickets to see it this weekend. Yes, it has to be this weekend. Opening weekend is so important for an independent film like this and it’s not like I’m forcing you to do something unpleasant: the movie is getting rave reviews. The L.A. Times calls it “one of the better movies to come along this year”; it’s a New York Times critics pick and Stephen Holden calls it, “a well-written and acted movie about contemporary life that doesn’t strain for melodrama and is largely devoid of weepy soap opera theatrics.” So what are you waiting for? Plus, you guys know the director personally: he’s on my blog all the time. He went with me to El Bulli, he ate that disgusting curry I once made, and oh yeah we got engaged last year. So be part of our lives this weekend–Craig’s been working on this movie since I met him over eight years ago–and it’d mean so much to us if you went. In fact, if you do go, feel free to come back here and leave questions for Craig; I’ll be sure to get the answers from him. How’s that for an offer? And everyone else: if the movie’s not playing in your city this weekend, be sure to find out when it’s playing next week and get your tickets ASAP. Thank you all so much…we’re so excited for you to see it!

Craig on Charlie Rose

The big day is here: THE SKELETON TWINS premieres tonight at the ArcLight Hollywood and our families are all in town for the big event. I have to say, this all feels super surreal and exciting and wonderful, but also–as far as Craig is concerned–well-deserved. He’s been working on this movie since I laid eyes on him over eight years ago at Joe, my favorite coffee shop on Waverly Street in New York. I’ll make sure to take lots of pictures from the premiere tonight, but in the meantime, check out the video above of Craig on Charlie Rose with Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig talking all about the movie. Oh, and wouldn’t this be a good time to buy your tickets for the weekend? Opens in New York and L.A. this Friday then expands to 50 more cities next week!

Quick-Brined Pork Chops with Pan-Fried Cauliflower

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For the past few months, I’ve been buying kosher chicken breasts from Trader Joe’s not because I prefer kosher chicken breasts but because Trader Joe’s is underneath my gym and it’s way easier to grab chicken there than to make an extra stop on my way home. The problem with this is that kosher chicken breasts are brined in salt water and, as a result, they’ve spoiled Craig for more ethical, more sustainable chicken from our local butchers. I know this because I recently bought chicken from one of them, sprinkled it with salt, and cooked it and though Craig enjoyed it–he enjoys all of my cooking–he didn’t like it as much as the brined stuff I get much more cheaply after jogging for 60 minutes to the Footloose soundtrack. Brining, it turns out, is a powerful technique.

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