Sunday, November 3, 2013
Because there's not always time for a full meal...
1. The recipe I'm dying to make – Sweet Butternut Squash and Coconut Jam via TheKitchn. Is this the reason toast was invented? I don't know, but I will endeavor to find out. Even if I do have to eat an entire loaf of bread to do so. (Life is hard, guys.)
2. My new favorite nonessential essential – Lékué Decomax Decorating Pen – This silicon bowl-bag hybrid frosting kit is pretty much the best thing that was ever invented for people who break out in hives every time they see a frosting bag, because…frustrated noises. I found mine at Sur La Table for $25, and it's basically the reason my Guinness Stout Ginger Cupcakes look far cuter than any cupcake that has ever emerged from my kitchen before. Frosting bowl-bags = winning.
3. My new edible obsession – Perugina's Baci Bar – a thick slab of dark chocolate filled with chopped hazelnuts and, according to the website, "luscious chocolate." Apparently this whole "Baci flavor" is "world famous" and only recently available in bar form, so obviously I've been living under a rock and, yes, I did have the Motorola Razr until 2010. A word of warning – eating six squares in a single sitting is maybe too much. As in, you might get a stomachache and need to drink three cups of tea and then still decide it's worth it, because it's luscious chocolate, yo, and you have to make up for all the time you were eating non-world famous candy.
4. Where I've been eating – Cook's County. I've always wanted to have a neighborhood spot where I could go and get those nods of recognition from the staff like I'm "one of them," even if those nods are all in my head. While I've now reached a point where I've been to this literal farm-to-table restaurant enough times to warrant a hug from a server on my last visit (it helps when you begin the relationship by ordering the entire dessert menu), what keeps me coming back is the food. Chef Daniel Mattern and Pastry Chef Roxana Jullapat take seasonality seriously, changing the menu nearly daily to reflect their latest bounty from the farmers market whether it be persimmons and squash in the fall, or ramps and peas in the spring. My current obsession is the BLT with a fried egg and avocado at brunch (pictured above), but regardless of the meal or occasion, I don't dare leave without ordering at least one of Jullapat's pastries or desserts.
5. What I've been reading – Humans of New York. I discovered this blog/Facebook page during my post-NYC vacation depression and have become completely hooked. It's like an edgy, real-to-life version of all those Hallmark commercials that make you (okay, me) cry, captured through arresting photos that reflect the diversity and beauty of the humans that make up New York City. Grab a box of Kleenex before looking at this one. (P.S. The photographer/creator Brandon Stanton just published a book version too!)