A week before Christmas we had spent a quiet (and slushy) afternoon at Dinosaur Barbecue, and then like we always do we walked over to Whole Foods in order to get some food to make for a relatively light dinner given that we had just eaten some wings and sliders. I’m not sure what came over me while we were shopping, but I saw that they had bags of fresh chestnuts and I decided then and there I’d make something with them for Christmas dinner. (I partially blame the addition of the Silver Spoon’s Tuscany cookbook for this inclination.) After doing a little research I decided that I could fold in chopped up chestnuts into my favorite ricotta dumpling recipe, and the only question remained was how to cook them. Read More
Over the years I’ve acquired many, many Spanish cookbooks but one of my eternal favorites was one I bought way back in the day on a whim at Crate and Barrel: Spanish Country Cooking. (Yes, I paid retail for it.) I’ve written about it here before in singing its praises for inspiring one of my favorite soups and a fantastic bass recipe fried in pancetta, but probably my favorite recipe to cook from it is a simple garlic chicken number that I’ve loved for years but never shared with you. Well, that stops today, because it’s too good not to enjoy, and when paired with a side salad you won’t feel like you’ve abandoned your resolve to eat a little lighter if you so choose. Read More
One thing I’ve been dying to do once the tomatoes started coming in and really taste good was to walk over to the big Baltimore Farmer’s Market on a Sunday morning and get some heirlooms or other interesting-looking ones to take home. Unfortunately, either to us traveling or Michael going to the gym late, that didn’t happen until one of the last Sundays when tomatoes would be good, and even then we were walking in there at 11:57 when the market technically ended at noon. Thankfully I was still able to get some tomatoes along with some Kirby cucumbers and four fantastic orange peppers before all of the vendors were gone, and I was able to get a good deal on the peppers to boot: 2 for a buck. Read More
So how are you all doing? Last week was incredibly rough (if you follow me on Instagram you know who I voted for), and it’s taken me some days to process it all. I’ve been writing every day, but I couldn’t bring myself to write about food until the weekend. Instead, I’ve been writing to my congresspeople begging them to publicly and loudly denounce all of the hate speech and hate crimes that have been unleashed in the last few days (and blaming a certain person for it) as well as to continue to fight for the causes I voted for, and writing a thank-you note to my preferred candidate for taking on this shit-storm of a campaign cycle. Read More
One of my favorite blogs to get lost in is Scouting New York, a blog devoted to the five boroughs and beyond framed in the context of a film scout who used to work in New York but has since relocated to LA. Thankfully the archives provide hours of reading on their own, and some of my favorites include a look at the various filming locations of both The Godfather and Taxi Driver then and now, as well as the tale of the two tiny townhouses flanking 30 Rock on 6th Avenue. There’s also a fun story on eight fake store facades, and a walk down one of the few curved streets in Manhattan. During one such internet k-hole session of my own I read about this abandoned building right by City Hall down in the Financial District called 5 Beekman. About six years ago now Scout has been given the chance to enter the building and was completely blown away by what he found inside, including a glorious atrium more than nine stories high. Built in the late 1880s, much of the building has been closed off since 1940 and was completely abandoned from 2000 through 2010, and then a few years ago a couple of hotel developers got their hands on it and decided to bring it back to its former glory. That hotel is now called The Beekman, and I had the great privilege to go there on our second night in New York to meet a good friend for drinks at the lobby bar and eventually have dinner in the then-four-day-old restaurant, Fowler & Wells. Read More
Is there anything better than coming home and making something tasty for dinner after a few days on the road for work? I had a whirlwind two-city trip over three days last week, going to focus groups in Atlanta and Chicago with barely any time to realize where I was each day since I was sequestered in the dark back rooms of each facility. I was able to get out and about a bit during a three-hour break in the afternoon while in Chicago, giving me enough time to run a few errands and get some fresh air and sunshine before going back into the darkness for the rest of the day and evening. Read More
During a trip to Philadelphia a few months ago we were staying at a hotel in Chinatown that was right by the convention center, giving us access to some pretty awesome food (including the Reading Terminal Market) and karaoke. Not two blocks away was a dim-sum spot that I had heard nothing but raves over, and so the morning following a fun night at a fairly famous drag show I took Michael over there for some delicious brunch before we were to head off to the Art Museum. It worked out kind of perfectly because we were a.) hungry, and b.) needed fuel to power us through all of the walking we’d end up doing that day.
We ended up getting lots of different dishes, from cucumber salad to scallion pancakes (SO GOOD), but my absolute favorite were the trays of Shanghai-style soup dumplings. Having only been introduced to them a few months prior at a place near my office, I was eager to show Michael the delights of them and he was in full agreement that they were pretty damn delicious. My only regret of the meal was not ordering more of them, but by then we were stuffed and ready to get on with our day. Read More