Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

New York

The ultimate New York playlist. Pretty cool.

February is Ending

Tuesday night: Happened to have all of the ingredients to whip up this unexpected dinner. Thyme-roasted scallops over with sweet corn risotto topped with a bit of truffle oil. Adapted from this. And then I watched Lost!

Wednesday: My dear friend Maggie works at SoHo's premiere chocolate shop, Vosges and she was hosting a chocolate tasting party there for their new coquette collection of chocolates. H'or doeurves were served and truffles were paired with rose champagne, mezcal, sake, and rum. One of the truffles had oyster in it! I was very adventurous and I tried it--turned out I liked it... I had two or three. Although not my favorite of the truffles, I adored the presentation of the absinthe truffe paired with a fennel-mint-grapefruit "salad". Beautiful.

Weds continued: Jessica and I, decided to continue on to dinner despite having had our dessert first and being massively full. We went Sel de Mer in Williamsburg for some well-priced lobster, mussels, fries, and white wine. We cleared our plates!

Thursday: My evening class was cancelled because of the weather! Snuck home before the worsening of the winter storm. Made my favorite Sedona White Corn Tortilla soup, which I grew up on at CPK and then they took it off the menu! Adapted from here. Served with Monterey Jack cheese, homemade tortilla chips, and chives. Watched McCabe and Mrs. Miller--loved it!

Friday: Snow day. Watched Paper Heart. Meh. Recorded ADR at a fancy Manhattan studio for a project I was in. Went to a book release party at the beloved Gowanus Studio Space for How to Doodle, a book about doodling.

Saturday: Utilizing my new French Press this morning. Yearning for my NY Times. It never comes on time. Working at the restaurant later.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our Sunday Supper

This weekend, I tried my hand at Suzanne Goin's actually famous braised beef short ribs recipe from my favorite cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques. As expected, the ribs turned out splendidly, and the rest of the meal was a success as well. I was having my boyfriend's family over for dinner at my apartment for the first time, including his parents, his sister, and her fiance. I was prepping for the occasion all week, pouring over cookbooks, scribbling menus and grocery lists, and rotating between the kitchen for work and the couch for napping. I was very excited about my menu and thrilled to be cooking from Goin's book again, which I had previously taken out from the library and had a tough time returning it, even three months late. Anyway, I am still reeling off my exhaustion and am not keen on typing out the recipes here. However, I will gladly give them to anyone by request and can suggest you look at the re-typed recipes I found via google, although be warned that they are mainly adapted versions of the original.

The menu:

Wild Mushroom, Young Onion, Gruyere, and Applewood Smoked Bacon Tart (adapted from Goin's tart)
Mozzarella topped with Olive Oil and Sea Salt, served with warm, crusty bread (This was intended to be burrata, but it turned out that the cheese I had purchased was already spoiled! Boo!)
Homemade Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage-Hazelnut Butter
Braised Beef Short Ribs with Swiss Chard
Served with Root Vegetable Mash & Horseradish Cream

Billy's mom brought an amazing Coconut Cake with Chocolate Chunks

Quick roasting cippolini onions with salt and thyme.

Seasoning the thyme-marinated short ribs with salt and pepper.

Browning the meat.

Caramelizing the mirepoix -- the base of the braising liquid.

Adding balsamic vinegar, red wine, and port to reduce, then adding beef stock.

Covering the meat in the braising liquids. Now it goes in the oven for 3 hours!

Wilting swiss chard with the cippolini onions.

Mashing the orange zest-flavored root vegetables.

The Italian diligently making pasta sheets after a failed attempt the day prior.

Breaking out the ravioli attachment for the first time! Pumpkin, parmesan, ricotta, and nutmeg filling.


The most delectable and surprising tart. Puff pastry topped with a ricotta-creme fraiche base, topped with sliced gruyere, then sauteed wild mushrooms, green onions, and thick-cut bacon.

Pumpkin ravioli topped with browned butter, crispy sage, hazelnuts, and parmesan.

Platter of ribs, sitting atop the chard and topped with the braising liquid.


The End.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Docu Fortnight

I really want to find time to make it to MoMA's Documentary Fortnight. Some synopses I've seen have peaked my interest. Check out this trailer:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Exploding Girl

Valentine's Day

This Valentine's day:

+I received the most beautiful flowers to this date in my life next to an old-fashioned looking love letter.

+Ate a crowded brunch at Diner.
+Played with puppies. Lots of expensive puppies.

+Strolled through a wintry Central Park and drank hot chocolate.

+Braved ice skates under the city lights.

+Ate the most marvelous dinner at Roberta's in Bushwick, aided by our waitress and dearest friend, Meryl. Spicy mixed olives, Italian meat plate, Pork Chop with guanciale and farro with winter greens, pizza with guanciale again and cheese and egg, and apple cobbler.

Valentine's Red

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sent Home

I was just sent home from work for not wearing the right shoes. Why, you ask? Let me recap for you.

I'm standing behind the bar, greeting the bartenders, getting organized, lighting candles, etc... Suddenly, the frenetic maitre d runs up to me like a psychopath, grabs my wrists, and says, "I need you to wear different shoes!"
I look at her calmly and said, "OK, I don't have other shoes now. I just told the manager. I can bring new ones tomorrow."
She stutters, then says, "And your hair..."
OK. Bring it.
She stares at my hair and starts inspecting my pony tail with her hand, as if she could magically fix it.
"What's wrong with my hair?" Straight-faced. Not amused. Business.
"Nothing!" she said. "Nothing is wrong with your hair. Ha ha. It's just that...the chef is just so particular. Can you...just...just put it in a bun."
"Ok." I put it in a bun in front of her.
She laughs. "Great!" She walks away and before she leaves, she turns back and gives me a wink and a double thumbs up, at the same time. It was retarded.
I turn around and everyone is looking at me.

Five minutes later, I'm looking over the wine list, memorizing this and that.
A manager comes up to me, says "Can I speak to you privately?"
She pulls me aside, to the middle of the service floor. "The owner is going to flip if all the waitresses aren't wearing high heels tonight."
"Do you have any sort of...other shoes with you?"
"No." I don't carry a pair of heels around in my bag for shits and giggles.
"Can you maybe go buy some now?"
"Now? Really? Where?"
"Hmm...well, we're all the way on the west side, so how about Times Square?"
"How about Macy's?"
"Are you serious? I have black heels at home."
"OK, well I'd really like you to be here tonight. But, I don't want to make you feel cornered."
"I feel cornered, you're asking me to leave and go buy new shoes and come back. To work."
"OK, well I can give you some money..."
"I have other shoes at home."
"OK, well how about you come back tomorrow with new shoes?"
"Thank you so much."
I turn around to get my belongings. It wouldn't have been so humiliating if I didn't turn around to see 2 bartenders, 2 cocktail servers, 5 hosts, 6 waiters, 4 busboys, and 3 other directors looking at me. Yup.

Mind you, I sent the same manager an e-mail exactly a week ago saying the following:

Hi Blablabla,

Hope you're somewhat well-rested today despite your early morning. Last night went well, was getting to know the ropes.

Blablablalbalbalbalblablablablablala, and also, is there a certain shoe I need to buy? Blablabla was saying something about a mary jane with a heel... If you have a name/model, specific style, or photo, I'll go out and get them!
To no response.

Now I have a Friday night ahead of me and a bottle of tequila. I'm going to the gym to blow of steam.

Long Island Does Lost

I think I love this.


A friend of mine did this, cool! Good job Mackenzie!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Toys!

I cannot wait!

Boeuf Bourguignon

As promised, I finally made a version of Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon last night. In truth, I was afraid that I would not like it, having been averse to stews as a child and only recently coming to accept the texture of braised meats. This fear was particular striking since I was looking forward to this meal since seeing the film nearly five months ago. Plus, I had to set aside an entire evening to look after it. Fortunately, it was absolutely delicious and the most perfect, hearty blizzard meal a girl could think of. The best part about it? I decided to double the recipe to ensure left-overs!

The recipe I followed appeared in the NY Times Sunday Magazine a few months ago. It is from Judith Jones, who was Child's publisher. What follows is a pictoral retelling:

Cooking up the bacon.

Cutting up the boneless chuck pieces and rubbing with salt & pepper.

Browning the meat. (Made sure the oil was hot and the meat had been patted dry to get a good sear!)

Sauteing the onions and carrots until golden brown.

Making the herb packet. (My favorite part so triple pictures!)

A bay leaf, dried thyme, a few peppercorns, some fresh sprigs of parsley and thyme.

It looked so rugged and rustic!

Adding 2 cups of veal & beef stock (I used a glace de viande gold for this) and 2 cups of red wine. I chose a $14 red Burgundy from UVA to complement the dish made from pinot noir grapes, which are my favorite variety. The wine was called Mommessin, Bourgogne "Le Cle Saint-Pierre" 2006. We drank the rest of the bottle with out meal and it was lovely. You can't see it in the photo, but at the point I've also tucked the herb packet in.

Chopped up some fingerling potatoes, leeks, and whole baby carrots. I set these aside while the stew cooked.

And added them in after 2 hours.

And there you have it. Classic boeuf bourguignon, served with crusty French bread to mop up the sauce. Bon appetit!

P.S. My boyfriend was the sous chef. He did a good job.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day!

It's the first official snow day! Everyone's work was cancelled for today, including mine!

Look at the beautiful globe light addition to my bedroom. Dreamy, right? I've been eagerly awaiting their arrival and jumped at the chance to set them up despite coming home after a long day.

Anyway, I expected to lounge around in front of the computer and TV and stove today, but, alas, no real snow day for us adults. I have to go to two meetings and do some secretive shopping for my Valentine while I'm in the city. But, then I'm going to make Boeuf Bourguignon! Finally! And I'll tell you all about it. And, I'll also tell you a bit about fried chicken night at Momofuku Noodle Bar...that's right! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Sweet living room, Ali McGraw.