My love for doughy things knows no bounds. In fact, my all-time favorite food is bread - and pizza, gnocchi, and dim sum (or any kind of stuffed dumplings) are not far behind. When I was a child growing up in Ukraine, every morning would start with a walk to the local bakery to pick up the day's bread with my mom. The crusty-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside, still-warm loaf would be eaten with butter for breakfast, with kielbasa for lunch, and always alongside dinner, no matter what we were eating on any given night. To me, bread symbolizes warmth and comfort, . . .
One of the reservations I made right after booking our flight to Paris last winter was for Champeaux, a new-ish brasserie from Alain Ducasse in the revamped Les Halles market. When we got there two months later, the restaurant was gorgeous. Sprawling, with floor to ceiling windows, a wrap-around marble bar, and these sexy, black leather booths with Mad Men-era chairs opposite them. As we walked inside from the freezing cold, we were greeted by a friendly host, who quickly offered to converse in English. “No way, Jose,” I thought - I was fresh out of a French class . . .
When I still lived in Ditmas Park, one of my favorite Friday night activities was to order a giant burrito from one of the awesome Mexican places nearby (Cinco de Mayo and Los Mariachis, if you must know). I would devour it on my bed, in my 'jammies, while sipping on a Sixpoint Sweet Action, and watching Netflix. I realize it's not the most glamorous activity for a gal to engage in on a Friday night, but after an exhausting week of work, rubbing shoulders with strangers at some crowded bar is no longer my idea of a good time. Can I get a "hell yeah!" from my fellow . . .
It's been over one week of my new life in Syracuse, and if you get my newsletter, you already know that I survived the move and things are going a-okay so far. First off, we love our new house, which has a backyard and a washer-drier (luxuries for city folk like us); we've already planted a small vegetable garden - and done several loads of free laundry, in case you were wondering. Turns out, it's pretty nice to be away from city stresses like crowds and noise, and to be surrounded by trees and greenery on a daily basis. Touché, Central New York. One of the best . . .
Rene and I had just spent a gorgeous day at the beach - complete with fried calamari and ice cream at our favorite ocean-view shack - and were driving back to the campground to start prepping a communal dinner with 20 or so of his closest Polish family friends. We stopped at a little farm-stand on the road to pick up some produce. I wasn't sure what I wanted to contribute to the meal, but seeing as it's been bright hot all day, we were in the mood for a salad. On the shelves, I saw some plump orange tomatoes, ripe peaches and fresh corn, side by side. I . . .
There is a Russian potato salad called Olivye that is the single most commonly found food on any Russian celebration table. I am willing to bet there is not one living person of Russian or Ukrainian origin that can't name all the ingredients that go into this salad. They are: boiled potatoes and carrots, hard-boiled eggs, pickles, canned peas, and sometimes kielbasa or poached chicken. Everything is finely chopped into about quarter-inch cubes and dressed generously with mayo - the Russian answer to basically any kitchen conundrum. Salat Olivye (the . . .
This past Monday I spent roughly four hours writing, cooking and photographing this recipe. Well, not exactly this recipe. I’ve been intrigued by savory pancakes lately and had a really specific version in mind. This fantasy pancake was sweet from sweet potatoes, funky from kimchi, and spiced with some of my favorite things, like garlic, ginger, scallions and soy sauce. It was ultimately topped with a runny egg and eaten with abandon. Mmm, food fantasies… anyone else have those? When I actually got to writing the recipe, I talked myself out of using sweet potatoes in . . .