Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Emmi, my love…

I have a raging obsession with grapefruit.  I cannot get enough of it.  I peel it like an orange and end up with a mix of pith and sting under my nails from digging too hard. I order the juice in my cocktails, and then I drink it the next morning to quell my hangovers.  Earlier this month on my flight back from Vancouver, I watched Paula Deen bake a grapefruit cake on the tiny screen in front of me, and I made a mental note to Google the recipe as soon as we landed.  And last week, I tried Emmi’s Pink Grapefruit yogurt for the first time and simply could not believe that I’ve been missing out on this for what appears to be at least 5 years (I found a thread on the Chowhound discussion board about it, dated 2006).  Where have I been?

I’ll admit that the idea of grapefruit and yogurt initially seemed bizarre.  The thought of combining two such distinctly sour flavors made me cringe.  Well, it turns out that’s what sugar is for.  27 grams of it, to be exact, and what you end up with in this little container is a magical mix of silky milk, tiny flecks of pink pulp that burst in your mouth, and an uncanny blend of tangy, sweet, tart, and just the tiniest whisper of bitter (to remind you that this is, after all, grapefruit).  My probiotic intake is about to skyrocket.

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Better Tuesdays

I’m worried.  Some dangerously delicious places are popping up along my path to work.  The new Donut Plant looks to be opening any day now, and Financier just set up shop about 50 feet from the Van Leeuwen coffee truck that I’ve been known to spend $6 at, for a 12 oz. double latte (partially due to the adorable barista).  I cringe.

This morning I bypassed the truck and popped into Financier.  I was in the mood for something indulgent.  Maybe a pain au chocolat.  Or maybe.. almond brioche? I’d never seen this before…a thick slice of bread, smattered with almond slices and dusted with powdered sugar.  Yet still seemingly light, somehow.

Well, I was smitten with my choice.  It was like an unbattered slice of french toast.  The crust was sugar-crystallized and crunchy, while the bread itself had a very subtle custard-like consistency that still retained the characteristic open, airy texture of brioche.  The almonds were perceptibly toasted, and really added an elegance to the flavor.

I nibbled on this thing for over an hour, alternating with sips of coffee.  It was all quite lovely, and perhaps enhanced by the fact that I was also wearing my favorite Lanvin scarf today– watery blues, soft corals and silvery grays.

Ah, the French…they really know how to elevate a cold winter Tuesday.

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In the spirit of preserving the remainder of the season, I’d like to tell you about a sexy little summer pie I had back in June that made me want to kick off my platform boots, vacuum pack my sweaters, grab my Ray-Bans and slither into a  bikini, New York Times tucked under arm.  The key lime pie from Billy’s Bakery is an edible sliver of sunshine that makes me wonder why I ever overlook citrus based desserts.

The custard is a gleaming shade of butter-blond, adorned with a punchy green slice of lime.  It has a satiny mouth feel that coats your tongue with a tart bite and melts into a smooth finish.  I like to start by gliding a fork straight down the tip of the pie, leaving a slick track that leads straight to the cookie crust.  This is not your traditional graham cracker crust – it’s made with peppery gingersnaps that give the pie an attitude more akin to Alexader Wang than Ralph Lauren.  It starts out firm and then crumbles into a sweet, spicy sand  in your mouth.

And after that, it’s really all just cookie sand, lime silk and eventually, an empty box.  Get it while you can – as you may have guessed, it’s a seasonal item.

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Crayola’s newest

When my sister and I were little, we’d play a game where we’d come up with crayon color names.  Mom would be in the sale section of Macy’s Home and we’d traipse off to the bedding department and weave our way through the displays, combing our fingers across satin duvets and 800 thread-count pillow cases.  A sheeny, silvery-purple set of Calvin Klein sheets became Lavendar Mist, just as Mom paid for her purchase and waved us over.  It was enough to make me want to run home and melt down my purple and silver Crayolas in the same dish to see what would happen.

Last Saturday I played a  version of this game by myself when I bit into what seemed to be a bad pistachio; when I discarded the questionable substance into my napkin, I was taken aback by the intense green bits that had burst from its ordinary, papery beige skin.  It was a totally delightful moment (though admittedly not my classiest.  I hope it goes without saying that the above picture is a recreation of said event).

Regardless, the moment warranted the christening of an imaginary crayon: Crushed Pistachio.  Crushed Pistachio is marvelous.  It reminds me that nature produces unadulterated beauty.  Crushed Pistachio belongs on a scarf… a smattering of crushed pistachios on a whisper-thin sheet of gray silk.  Or as a gauzy tie-dyed tank top, with bursts of pistachio and lavendar under a crisp, white blazer.  Crushed Pistachio is my new favorite crayon, and it makes me want to take my very best Barbie coloring book off the bookshelf, turn to my favorite uncolored page of Barbie in an ball gown, and ever so carefully fill the lines in with my very best work.   And after that, I would of course, pass the crayon over to my sister.

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My summer’s shoe

My Chelsea Crew Holly oxfords.

I love them with the silliest, most frivolous, child-like enthusiasm – when I have them on, they make me stretch out my leg and point my toe and giggle.  They are girlish, boyish, nerdy, and cool, all rolled into one.  The cut-outs keep your look open and airy for the summer, and the tan color extends your leg for miles.  And, they’re flat!– so you can prance around the streets of NYC with freedom and abandon, and make-believe you’re 8 years old again.

Currently, I wear them with any combination of the following:

  • Menswear button shirts (tucked into whatever I’m wearing on the bottom)
  • Silk tanks
  • White linen
  • Jean cut-offs
  • White shorts
  • My amber ring (see header)

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I am famous for my indecisiveness.  The non weakness-of-character kind, that is.  You know, the kind that comes from a place of deep, contemplative respect for all things, and the belief that one shouldn’t have to choose when there is so much to be enjoyed.

Like at City Bakery last week, when warm, salty, flaky, crispy Pretzel Croissant was calling out my name at the same time as rich, chocolate and butter-laden Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I said to them, “Hey Sweet and Salty – you two are not mutually exclusive.  You guys can co-exist, and quite peacefully, I might add.”

But wait, I suddenly thought…two solid-form baked goods at the same time…would that be overkill?  Like, whose crisp would be louder? Whose butter would satisfy more deeply? Would they try to out do each other with their respective richness and heft? Yes, I realized – they just might.  But what could I do? I wanted them both, Sweet and Salty.

Suddenly, I heard a whisper from the far end of the marble countertop…”Hey, it’s me, Hot Chocolate.  I’m smooth and creamy and warm and viscous.  I’m sweet, but I’m also a liquid, so solids don’t feel threatened by me.  In fact, we’re good friends, Pretzel Croissant and me.”

Turns out they were best friends.

So you see, I quite proudly wear may badge of indecisiveness.  It’s a happy ending like this that makes me perfectly at ease with my perfectly reasonable approach to non-choice.  I always manage to find a win-win somewhere.

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I am a chocolate lover,  I really am.  Dark/semi-sweet/milk/caramel-laced/cookie-embedded…even the non-technical variety of white.  It’s simple, really – a melty nub of silky smooth chocolate on your tongue can satiate to your very core.  And when I close my eyes and imagine this, I see milky brown hues, fluid, organic ripples, and soft, muted, neutral shades.

What I don’t see is green and black, and when I see Green & Black’s written on the wrapper of a fine bar of chocolate, my brain starts to cramp from the disconnect.  “Green” and “black” are rigid.  They’re harsh and sharp.  There are no shared tones across green and black and chocolate.  It’s an uncomfortable thought and it makes me enjoy the chocolate less.

I read the story on the website…I get it.  Appreciate the thinking, even.  But I don’t like it- chocolate is such an experiential food, and you don’t want to tamper with that by throwing in seemingly random words of a clashing color palate.  That’s like hanging up a Jackson Pollack next to a Monet.  Or wearing a mink coat over a Gore-Tex sweatshirt.  Wrong, just wrong.

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