Sunday, June 27, 2010

Notes on my Favorite Food Magazines

In light of some awesome June and July issues that are out on the stands now and this digital revival of Gourmet magazine it seems a good time to share with you my favorite magazines and why I love them.
Here are the food magazines I subscribe to and suggest that you should, too! 
If you like magazines but hesitate to make a commitment, remember it is always saves to subscribe!:
Okay I'm going to come right out there and declare Saveur my *favorite* food magazine! 
I didn't really know about it before I started watching Top Chef masters last year (Hi, James Oseland!) and I had not noticed it on newsstands until I moved to Manhattan and started shopping at Whole Foods. I bought my first issue this year and subscribed right away from one of the insert cards and have been salivating and learning every month since. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Brave New Kitchen

So after a bit of a whirlwind week of moving to my new apartment and travel to Vegas for business I am finally back in New York! 

Unfortunately I wasn't able to explore Vegas' culinary side due to long tiring days and a cold/sore throat that required nursing and created a limited appetite. I did have a crêpe at Paris Las Vegas-- the "Île Saint-Louis" (of course): ham, mozzarella and basil topped (not sure why..) with béchamel. Tasty, but not the best crêpe ever!

Tonight I enjoyed some simple but real cooking in my new kitchen. I've been hungry for a full-on breakfast and the baguette I bought yesterday was already stale -- voila! French toast! I like to have a little bit of everything especially if I do breakfast at dinnertime, so I also made scrambled eggs with a little colby jack cheese and some fresh red and green grapes on the side. 

My new kitchen presents some challenges and some definite benefits. The space is much smaller than my former kitchen and the my new counter is also the dining table. This will be the most challenging change for me. The oven is full size with a gas powered range, but one of the pilot on the front corner burner is out and is therefore unusable (for now)-- no biggie. My roommates provide great pots & pans at my disposal. Also, my mom got me two great all metal all-clad pans so now I can finally sear my meat and cook it off in the oven in the same pan retaining all those luscious drippings! 

Fortunately with the small kitchen my new roommates do not tend to cook! One of the many ways the three of us are a good fit. I hope they will enjoy my cooking! 

Back to work tomorrow and planning to hit the Union Square market on Saturday to get some good veggies. Any cooking suggestions for the coming week and weekend? 

I'm going to watch the True Blood premiere on Sunday evening and would love to bring something fun and vampire-y to share with my friends. Any ideas good enough to sink our fangs into? 

Also, who is enjoying the new Cooking Channel? I haven't watched it much yet (ridiculously limited channels at the hotel in LV!) but will start DVRing some shows. Open to suggestions! 

Glad to be back!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Longer You've Been Away, The More You Cry-- Reading Kat Flinn & Crying my eyes out

I just finished Kathleen Flinn's "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry". Nothing I have read in the past year and a half since returning from studying abroad in Paris has conjured up so many memories of the City of Light or so many tears from my eyes.

It always seemed to me that people went abroad to their country of choice and had the time of their life-- making new friends from across the globe, travelling all around the region they are staying in, in Europe hoping from country to country every weekend, etc. Of course I figured it would be no different for me. I don't know if I had been more excited for anything as I was to leave for Paris. I decided I would go abroad late in the game, bored with my school and seeing the same people everyday on our campus of about 5,000. I was ready to change it up for my senior year so I didn't leave Geneseo bored and bitter. Plus I knew it was the best time to get away without being weighed down my bills, loans, rent, a job etc (all of which I have to deal with now!) and didn't want to let to opportunity pass. I applied in winter for the program, was accepted in early spring and had a long summer to work and prepare to leave in late September.

All summer long everything I said and did was about Paris. Paris came up to everyone who asked me about school; once I knew some of the people in my program we started e-mailing/IMing/facebooking; every other sentence from my mouth seemed to have Paris in it. I couldn't wait.

My trip really started with packing... packing too much! I worked at New York & Company the whole summer before leaving, so with my employee discount and their constant sales I amassed a whole new wardrobe which of course I felt I needed to bring with me! Bad idea.. should have saved my euros to get new clothes in Paris. So I set out to the airport with my parents and 3 ridiculously heavy suitcases which I think will be no problem because I am meeting our program director at the airport and we are being brought into the city on a tour bus.

We come into the city and I am eager to get to my foyer where I will be living for the next four months which is located on Ile St-Louis-- the smaller of the two Parisian islands located in the Seine. Unfortunately my quaint little island does not allow tour buses on it! This news is not good due to my heavy load to carry. I struggle across Pont de la Tournelle then a nice man offers to help me and I accept immediatement. I am surprised and delighted. I'm a little anxious so I don't let him walk all the way to Foyer la Vigie with me-- just in case.

The courtyard to the foyer is charming. The next challenge is getting my luggage up 6 flights of a worn down slippery spiral staircase up to my room. It works out well enough that I leave my open suitcase on the bottom and bring my things up seprately. Though I packed too much, I still packed smartly and used the large ziploc bags to put all my things in so this was easy.

By the time I'm done I try to set up the internet only to find there is no internet in my room (some say its because the buildings are too old and the walls to thick, i think its just because la vigie like to keep somethings un peu ancien). This led me, my overtired, hungry, jetlagged self to start the fountain of what would unfortunately be many tears falling Paris. 

So I was home sick nearly the whole first month of my stay; thought about seriously leaving within the first week. It was all ridiculous but I certainly grew (up) from it and do not regret how I spent Paris at all. It all boiled down to loneliness and fear which eased each day I was there. I got a good sense of a handful of areas in the city and cannot WAIT! to get back with my loved ones and be able to play tour guide. 

Paris continued and I began to see her beauties daily. In the patisseries the beauty came in the form of sugary confections and fresh baguettes and pain au chocolat; on the streets the beauty was in the old buildings, the street performers, school children running wild, and of course the lovers kissing on every bridges; indoors were the greatest beauties passed through the ages at the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, and even within each peek into Paris' many courtyards hidden by large metal doors which open up to reveal little oasis' at the center of apartment buildings. Paris is a place that has not left me and is forever in my heart. Flinn's wonderful descriptions rekindled many memories for me that I had nearly forgotten; for this I am very grateful. 

Reading "The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry" had me tearing up every couple pages and longing for Paris worse than before I left for the first time. Merci Meeze Fleen!