Thursday, March 20, 2014
The lovely ladies of bonberi, Nicole Berrie and Vanessa Packer, came over to my apartment, photographer Libby Gray in tow, a few weeks ago for dinner and a little chat about everything from my borderline abnormal love for homemade popcorn, to what I cook for my boyfriend, to why I refuse to deprive myself for vanity. It was such a fun evening, and HERE are the results. xo
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
One of the best reasons to roast a bird, in my opinion, is for the sake of the heavenly leftovers you'll have hanging out in your fridge for the better part of a week. Oh, the things you can do. There's a chicken and potato hash topped with a runny/crisp fried egg for Sunday brunch, a classic chicken salad to bring on a picnic during the warmer days ahead, a healthy chicken and quinoa stir fry, the list goes on, my friends. But my latest favorite way to pick a chicken clean, vulture-style, is with this deceptively simple chicken and avocado sandwich.
It all started at a little cafe called Caprices by Sophie in my Williamsburg neighborhood. Caprices was opened by a French woman with a lilting accent and a serious propensity for baking. From what I hear, she's done a lot of things in her life including law and finance, before picking up and moving to Brooklyn from Paris to open a cafe/bakery/lunch spot on North 6th Street. Huh? I know. But lucky us, because the woman can turn out a home-cooked meal like no other. She bakes a display case worth of sweets herself every single morning, along with the daily breads (including the divine little baguette pictured here, which, as far as I can tell, could give Balthazar a run for its money), one big pot of soup, and one quiche. When her goods run out (as they usually do by day's end), that's all she wrote. I've gotten into the dangerous, gluten-laden habit of stopping in on my way home from work and casually picking up one of everything that's left.
One night, she had thrown together a sandwich made of some leftover chicken breast she had laying around and half an avocado, drizzled with a vinaigrette of some sort. Doesn't sound exactly thrilling, I know, but the quality of the four simple ingredients (including the aforementioned excellent baguette) made it a knock-out. I changed it up slightly when I made my version, by substituting the vinaigrette for a thin swipe of Vegenaise. I also roasted my chicken with little nuggets of white truffle butter nestled securely between the skin and the flesh, so the whole affair turned out a bit fancier than it would normally be, but it would be just as good with the standard olive oil/lemon/thyme/coarse salt combo.
So there you have it--sandwich nirvana. xo
P.S. If you're in the market for a new roast chicken recipe, THIS is one of my go-tos, just in time for spring (i.e. ramps!).
Monday, March 10, 2014
Just got back from the most amazing trip to Mexico City and Cuernavaca where a couple of dear friends were getting married. We spent our first six days in Mexico City where we ran rampant eating every street taco/flauta/gordita we could get our hands on (don't listen to the people who tell you to avoid the street food--it's crazy good). We then made our way to a resort town called Cuernavaca for the wedding where everyone stayed in a gorgeous, sprawling hacienda from the 1500s. Here are some of my favorite moments (besides the actual wedding, wherein I apparently forgot how to focus a camera), and a short list of must-go places. xo
1. Mercado San Juan: big outdoor street market open on the weekends where the food options are seemingly endless. So, so good.
2. Quintonil: really good higher-end Mexican restaurant by a chef who did time at Pujol and NOMA
3. Azul Condesa: had the best chilaquiles here
4. San Angel Inn: in the neighborhood of San Angel in a very beautiful, old hacienda with great food
5. El Bajio: Yummy traditional Mexican breakfasts. The owner is famous for being one of Mexico's most-loved female chefs.
6. Contramar: The best shrimp tacos I've ever had.
7. Dulce Patria: Delicious, sophisticated Mexican food by award-winning chef Martha Ortiz
8. Museo Soumaya: A stunning modern masterpiece of a museum built just two years ago. Home to a fabulous Impressionist collection as well as one of the largest Rodin collections in the world.
9. Museo de Arte Popular: Comprehensive look at Mexican art and craft housed in a pretty building with an indoor courtyard. Also, a really great gift shop where you can pick up some cool Mexican day of the dead skulls, dolls, and Talavera ceramics.
10. Museo Nacional de Antropología: One of the best anthropology museums in the world, and it's all open-air. This is a must.
11. Las Luchas: Totally campy and ridiculous and hysterically funny. It's like a theatrical, more limber version of WWE.
12. Common People: Called Mexico City's answer to Colette, this special boutique is housed in a 4-story 1940s colonial mansion, which is reason enough to pass through. Lots of Comme de Garcon and Vivienne Westwood, along with wares by local designers. Cool little antiques loft upstairs.
13. Fonart: Authentic Mexican arts and crafts pieces handmade by artisans across Mexico. Many beautiful things to see here.
14. Teotihuacan pyramids: Worth the hour-long day trip outside of DF. You can climb the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. Very cool.
15. All the beautiful parks around Condesa, Roma, and Polanco
Side note: I would make it a point to check out Pujol as well, which is supposed to be one of the best restaurants in the area, and one of the first to put Mexico City on the map when it comes to food.