Coming Soon

15 Jan

Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce: All it’s cracked up to be?

Damaris Phillips: Ridiculous show opener, surprisingly good food

Things that are green: Dinner parties by color

New (to me) Cookbooks: Reviews and highlights

Literary cookbooks and cocktails: Review

Cauliflower Challenge: Results!

Cast Iron Skillet revelation: Not just for life on the prairie!

Food by Mail: Wolferman’s English Muffins; Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream



Passive Aggression

15 Jan

The pop-up windows on some food magazine sites are throwing some serious shade on me. For instance,

“Sign up for our newsletter”: Choice #1: “Sign up for Free”; Choice #2: “No thanks. I’ll stay out of the loop.”

And another elsewhere: Choice #1: “Sign me up!”; Choice #2: “No thanks. I don’t want to hear about delicious recipes.”

Ann Taylor pulls this shit, too: “No thanks. I prefer to pay full price.”

Reader(s?), submit your best stink-eye pop-up window! I’ll be keeping a list.

Mad Men Throwback: Bert Cooper Cocktail

15 Jan

This site, Kindred Cocktails, has stolen my heart. It’s going to be a sparkly cocktail/hard liquor kind of January around these parts, me thinks.

Image result for Bert Cooper

Bert Cooper

1 14 oz Gin, Tanqueray
14 oz Meyer lemon juice
14 oz Maraschino Liqueur, Luxardo
3 oz Champagne
14 oz Crème Yvette (float)
2 twst Meyer lemon zest (one shaken, one as garnish)
Shake gin, Meyer lemon juice, Meyer lemon zest, and Maraschino with ice; strain into a chilled Champagne flute with a Meyer lemon spiral at the bottom. Pour Champagne. Float Crème Yvette.
Green Chartreuse makes a good float too, if you’d like it to be more of a Royal Word than a high-flying Aviation. Regular old lemon would probably work well for those who don’t like the thyme-y herbaceousness of Meyer zest. More austere and funky than a French 75; good for those who want something festive and effervescent but a bit more challenging.

Battle of the Cauliflower Soups

15 Jan

So, a friend tells me that this version (with leeks and sherry vinegar) from America’s Test Kitchen is the one to beat. I can’t believe I am committing to making TWO of these. (Photo via America’s Test Kitchen.)

Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen

Is this how you roll in Flavor Town?

14 Jan

Thank you, Pete Wells, for writing one of my very favorite restaurant reviews of all time (of Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant). There was a wonderful article in this week about Wells as a populist hero standing up for the little guy: “Why shouldn’t a food critic care whether middle-class out-of-towners enjoy themselves?” Excellent restaurants are destination sites for many, including myself, and food tourism is one of the great pleasures of my life. I had my most delightful meal ever at The Bazaar, which, in the swank Beverly Hills, I was afraid might be an intimidatingly snobbish establishment. It was not. It was lovely. Get there if you can. This meal was a big deal for us, and very expensive, and we were there after my husband had been a contestant on Jeopardy! (and won a game!). It was such a fun day being on the Sony studio lot and watching my brilliant husband tear it up, and our meal at the Bazaar was so special and fun and perfect. We were obviously from out of town, but we were treated beautifully. The food was perfect, with the philly cheese steak with “air bread” being maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Yay Pete Wells! I heart you.


Cauliflower, don’t waste my time

14 Jan

Today I was reading this this post on the Kitchn, in which a reader asks, “My Cauliflower Pizza Crust Was Awful. Did I Do Something Wrong?” Are you fucking kidding me? What you did wrong was cauliflower and pizza. Does a food site need to spell this out for you? Cauliflower is like the really boring friend I don’t like very much, but I really like her other friends so I just deal with it.

Occasionally I hear people say that cauliflower can actually be very good if you “cook it the right way” or “know what to do with it,” etc., but after I tried cauliflower mashed potatoes after reading things like “Made this tonight and everyone loved it!” (not even close), I felt like people were fucking with me. And doesn’t this sound repulsive, a dish with cauliflower AND raisins? Let’s just add licorice and liver, bake it, and turn it into the worst day of my life.

And in so many recipes people say things like, “You can’t even taste the cauliflower!” Right, but you could not taste cauliflower by not cooking it, too, and eliminate the middle man.

I’m now ready to rumble. Although I have no readers, lol, if anyone has a good cauliflower recipe, now is the time to speak up. Over the next few weeks I’m planning to take the Cauliflower Challenge and try to find something good. Because I love Yotam Ottolenghi, I might just try a CAULIFLOWER CAKE recipe (Do I dare?). Mostly because it seems a lot like a quiche. (Image below from The Kitchn.)

I am very much a fan of Food52’s cookbook Genius Recipes, which includes recipes for cauliflower steaks (nope), whole roasted cauliflower with whipped goat cheese (highly unlikely, since goat cheese is only about 5% of the package deal), and cauliflower soup, and so I think I might start with the soup, which can be easily tossed in the trash if repulsive.

Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup

They write, “Even if you’re not a fan of cauliflower…make an exception for this soup.” Game on. But fool me once….

Well, well, well, look what I just encountered:


The Last Word

14 Jan

How did I just discover this drink, right in time for my 40th birthday?

The Last Word Cocktail