My past few weeks have been spent mainly in the kitchen, almost always forgetting to use my camera (bad blogger!!). But cooking for pleasure, with no distractions, led to some discoveries. 1. Fresh shelling beans are most certainly not overrated. All of my favorite cookbooks gush about the amazingness of summer cranberry, limas & cannellinis when sourced right from the market. I’ve never gotten the big deal. But with a little shallot & thyme, I tasted the special creaminess that comes from these lightly cooked beans. I’m already looking forward to them next summer. 2. Greg is wrong! Homemade ice cream sandwiches are totally worth it!! I can drive him crazy with my messes and big projects, so he officially banned me from ever making these time consuming labors of love. But, in a moment of complete obsessiveness, I broke the rule and made nine varieties of ice cream sandwiches for a huge party (sugar cookies with vanilla bean, peanut butter with chocolate, malt chocolate with coffee, chocolate chip with cookie dough, and more). Each round of baking cookies, and each sampling of the finished product, made me so, so happy. In the end, even Greg agreed: worth it. 3. Everyone loves hamburgers and hot dogs! For Labor Day, we did a super traditional bbq and it was just right. You’re not always going to reinvent the wheel with a meal. That’s not the point. The point is to make tasty food that people will enjoy eating. Which brings me to last night’s dinner. I’ve prepared this exact same menu before but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s delicious. Traditional is good. It can be just perfect.