I have not been into cooking recently — not sure what it is, but I just don’t feel like being in the kitchen and cooking. I have been tired from marathon training (and here I go with another marathon next month), the start and craze of school, and September life is just busy…..I guess I don’t even feel that into food these days — I just want to consume some calories and then be done. But that doesn’t stop me from buying new cookbooks. Here are my current three favorite new ones!
Cookbooks might be retro and outdated, but they are almost like coffee table books — just beautiful and easy to flip through.
Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year (Shana Tova!) Since I have the tendency to be bad at holidays (across all of our religions), this year, I decided I want to be more festive, and threw together a last minute holiday dinner with friends (4 Jewish-Catholic/Christian families… go figure!). One of the main traditional Jewish dishes is Noodle Kugel, something that is very Jewish but not something I ever grew up eating. I was looking for recipes on the internet when I decided to contact one of my old-time friends who I met when we were on a Teen Tour of Israel together. And sure enough, Heidi-ho got in contact with her mother (who just happens to be a chef!) and immediately sent over her go-to Sweet Noodle Kugel. Although it has been decades since I last saw Patty Padawer (can we talk about the awesomeness of her name), I remember her delicious food fondly. Talk about helpful — she saved the day — thank you SO much, Patty!
Not just any kugel, special and easy sweet kugel.
Like most Oregonians, my parents are constantly (and thankfully) looking for ways to create less garbage and be more environmentally conscious. In their attempt to eliminate saran wrap and aluminum foil, they use reusable bowl covers. It is a simple switch that reduces waste and takes little effort. Plus, the various patterned tops make your fridge look hip! I ordered some for NYC and can’t wait to use them.
How cool? And cute? And practical?
As many of you know, I love butter. Not just ‘like’ butter, but LOVE butter. It is actually my go-to snack. I smother it on bread, croissants, rice cakes, anything… And because of this, I am a butter snob. And here in Oregon, the land of hand batched, artisan everything, there is GREAT butter. Thanks to Butter Culture, I am now eating more butter than ever.
Butter Culture. Not only does it taste great, but the packaging is spot on.
So here we are in April. It snowed here in NYC on Monday. I thought April was SPRING for GOD SAKES? In any case, need to stay positive, so here is what I am currently loving for April 2018! Take a look.
1. Amy’s Andy Dandy Candy
It is made with organic chocolate, so it’s healthy, right???? Yeah right, but somehow, it makes it taste better, like the organic chocolate is better for your body and your body knows that. And if you are going to indulge, then might as well indulge in some organic chocolate (or that is my rationale….)
Creamy or Crunchy? OR BOTH?
With a snap of a finger, lightning speed, here we are in December. Mid December, in fact. Not sure how time flies as fast as it does, but, it does. So without further ado, here is what I am currently loving this month! Enjoy!
Holiday Card Display
I like how it is mid December, and we have already received 100 cards. Mind you, I also sent out my cards on the 1st of December, so just like me, most of our friends like to be early….. This holiday card ring hack has changed my life — it literally makes me so happy every day to have the cards OUT, without cluttering up the house!
One of my favorite neighborhood go-to’s is Le Botaniste. It is perfect for days when you want to be uber healthy and are looking for a quiet place to eat and relax. Le Botaniste was concepted by the creative force behind Le Pain Quotidien (more here) and serves healthy, organic, vegan, and gluten-free meals. Although I have been over two dozen times, I always get the SAME thing — I make my own bowl.
This meal is a rainbow.
And just like that….here we are in October! Nothing says fall more than pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, woodfires, foliage, and scarves. And spending more time in the kitchen and becoming more of a homebody! Since I love food, here are four food products that I am currently loving — all so different, but all so delicious.
The current four favorite.
Hands down my favorite food product is “butter.” YUP, butta. Love it. LOOOVE it. Like an unusual amount — I can actually eat it by the spoonful if it is good butter. Sounds gross, but good butter is better than anything. European butter is my favorite, but in the USA, I used to settle for Kerry Gold Butter. That is, until I discovered Ronnybrook Butter, and it is to die for.
Heaven. Sweet and salty. The perfect combination.
Happy September, happy back to real life! I hope everyone settles in to the fall with ease and peace despite the craze and chaos it tends to bring. I know that I am trying to take one day at a time; better yet, hour to hour. I am not sure how summer disappeared as fast as it did, but I’m happy we created fond and wonderful memories that will forever be in our hearts! That said, here is what I am currently loving!
1. Slides. Yes, I know, shower slides from the 1990s are finally back in. I have been a fan of them the past two summers and have worn them non-stop. I love that they are easy, and go with everything. Although not practical for urban daily city life, I plan on wearing them once again NEXT summer, too. Thank god they are finally in fashion — last year I got a lot of weird looks.
Shower slides. With no shower.
Although the US has great healthy options (salads, smoothies, greens, etc…), Paris ultimately has my favorite food, which we enjoyed last week at the Paris Marathon. We had great luck with the restaurants we chose and couldn’t have been happier (well, our stomachs are a little bigger, but C’EST LA VIE!).
Sunday Brunch: Our favorite, Cafe Charlot. Not many restaurants are open on Sundays (and Mondays), but this is a classic French bistro where all the cool kids go to brunch for seven hours. We ate and drank for hours on end. The food is delicious, the sun was shining, life was (is) good.
This burger was the best thing I have ever eaten. And this was AFTER my huge caesar salad with smoked salmon. The waiter looked at me crazy when I ordered two main courses, but hey, you only run a marathon every so often.
I just returned from a quick trip to Paris where I completed by 4th Paris Marathon (7th marathon total). It was great fun — both the trip itself and the run, and now I am looking forward to not traveling, not doing long runs, and staying put….. at least for the next couple of months (I have already planned my next two marathons…). Here are pictures of the weekend! (And what day is it today?)
We landed at 2 pm on Saturday, 16 hours before race time. So the only thing we could do that day was go to the Expo to pick up our bibs and get settled for the race next morning. YUP. The race at 8:20 am the next morning! Here is our feast pre-race.
Currently on Spring Break…. loving the weather, lack of responsibilities, and sunshine. Also, currently loving….
1. Kerrygold Butter
I mean, I can eat this stick all at once. It is creamy, salty, and oh so perfect. By far the best butter (in the states) that I have eaten.
I love dessert. Almost as much as I love my family. But I don’t like to eat too much sugar because I get jittery, emotional, and always have a sugar crash. So, when I don’t have time to bake my own health(ier) dessert, than I go to my local stores to purchase healthy-ish desserts. Here they are:
Yes, they are packaged food and store bought. But I like to think that they are healthier than a snickers bar, and made with higher quality ingredients in a more thoughtful process. But yes, you are so right, it is always HEALTHIER and better to make your own food at home, where you know exactly what is going into the food. But, YOLO (you only live once), so sometimes it is nice to just grab and go.
My sister got married this weekend in an amazing wedding in Portland, OR (yes, we just relocated the family back from the West Coast the weekend prior… lots of travel!) It was beautiful, heart warming, emotional, and fun. I am so #blessed (#sorrynotsorry) that I love my family as much as I do — my sisters, brother, and parents (obviously, my husband and kids too)– so much that I just want to be with them all the time (which makes my re-entry to NYC all that much more difficult). Outside of the event and family, the highlight of the wedding was my sister’s WEDDING FOOD! BEST WEDDING FOOD EVER EVER EVER. And not just any food, it was FOOD TRUCKS. Yep, food trucks at a wedding. And it was AWESOME. There were three food trucks for the main meal, and one food truck for dessert #Winning.
Hawaiian Cuisine? Yes please! This truck was from 808 Grinds and served an assortment of meats, rices, and sides. My favorite dish was the Fried Chicken.
With a flat of blueberries in our house from our local CSA, I went on a hunt to find the best blueberry pie recipe. That said, searching “best blueberry pie” on the internet does not necessarily lead to the best blueberry pie, especially when I add words such as “low sugar” or “healthy.” So instead, I went the old fashioned route and asked a friend for a recipe. Needless to say, this much more experienced baker (read ‘older’) instantly emailed me her go-to-blueberry crisp recipe. So I made it (but of course, with some minor adjustments) and IT IS SO DELICIOUS.
Ingredients for Crumb Crust and Topping:
The new Russ and Daughters inside The Jewish Museum is a must eat and must see destination! This past Sunday, when my father was in town, we had the chance to go to Brunch with the family and celebrate my side of the family’s heritage.
Located in the basement of the museum, it is in fact sub-terranean, but still a great location to visit even with no windows.
It’s the last week of April, so here is what I am loving April 2016.
1. Hamilton celebrating Prince.
Two weeks later and I am still beyond obsessed. And now THIS. I mean, come on! Lin Manuel is a genius and my future friend (#goal)
Last week when I was in Mexico (actually we left this morning at 4 am, #triste), I discovered Tajin and instantly became hooked. It tasted so good; that I had to put it on anything and everything. Truth be told, I was a little scared of looking at the ingredients because it was so addictive and good that I was convinced it had MSG. Reluctantly, I checked, and NO MSG, and instead, all natural ingredients (big sigh of relief).
Tajin. Vive la Mexico.
My mother is one of those people that always knows the bohemian cool, beautifully crafted, hip food products, way before anyone else. I am not saying she is a New Yorker fashionista (she is not), but she is very much in the know with all things West Coast cool and East Coast significant. When she visited us two weeks ago for Ken’s 40th birthday party, she gifted me a cookbook (she has more than 300 cookbooks at home — no joke) which is sooooooooo cool that I can’t stop reading it! Mark Bittman was a New York Times food columnist who created a book with a matrix of possibilities. It is unbelievable — everyone must have it for their kitchen! It also makes a perfect hostess gift for a friend. Take a look!
Kitchen matrix. How clever, imaginative, and smart.
After our big celebration this past Saturday night, we went out to cure our hangover / adrenaline / socialization with a big brunch. My brother, Giora, who lives in Seattle and is always up to speed with pop culture and what is cool (way more than any other New Yorker I know) told me about a restaurant that he wanted to go to — Llama Inn, a new Peruvian restaurant in Williamsburg that has a lot of buzz about it.
Here we are with Winter Break around the corner (SAY WHHHHHAAAT!!!??) and so here is a round-up of what currently makes me smile, laugh, and blush with love and affection. Like a cuddle or a kiss, this is what I am currently loving (almost as much as a big smooch and embrace from my loved ones)! Enjoy!
2015 Pop Music Mash-up
On repeat. On you-tube. On my computer. Not the best sound system, but this hit will make you dance and dance and DANCE!
Although it currently feels like Spring in New York, Christmastime is in the air!; bells, fir trees, red, green, tourists, presents, ribbons, gingerbread, candy canes. We had a terrific Sunday morning last weekend, and I highly recommend recreating it for some family fun.
Anything with these two is fun and festive….except when they are poking each other’s faces, whining, complaining, crying, and hitting. #TheJoy
Although I am not currently training for a marathon, I still indulge in nut butter like it is my job; a spoonful in the morning, a slather on toast mid-afternoon, and a cup for dessert. I just can’t get enough. Always on the lookout, I recently came across NuttZo, a nut butter made up of 7 nuts and seeds (a nut-allergy person’s nightmare!), and it instantly became a favorite.
Nutz about NuttZo.
I love my friends, and I love my friends’ friends! So it is no surprise that I now have a crush on chef / author / food expert / culinary entrepreneur, Kenny Lao, who I met through a mutual good friend, Lynn. I had the opportunity to interview Kenny, and hear more about his book Hey There, Dumpling! Take a look.
Confession: I was scared to buy this book as making dumplings seem a little “advanced” and “sophisticated,” But as soon as I opened the cookbook, I couldn’t put it down. Every page of the book was fascinating and interesting. RUN AND BUY IT. AND COOK THESE DUMPLINGS.