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Showing posts from June, 2011

Another Inagural Voyage

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With our wedding done, the time has come to make more things with our wedding gifts. Tonight, this involved making a beef, vegetable and barley soup in our new Dutch oven, and then after dinner fixing the first cocktail with new new martini glasses and cocktail shaker. (Actually, we got two cocktail shakers -- any capital regionites want our old one?) I thought an appropriate choice was the king of cocktails, the Manhattan. In this case, made with Sazerac Rye.* Delicious!

*In Manhattans, my position is that rye is better than bourbon -- the hint of sourness and spice works well.

French Macarons

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I absolutely love French Macarons. I would like to make the argument that they are one of the most ideal desserts for the following reasons:

They are the perfect size. I will never understand the idea of massive desserts. Nothing is that great after a few bites anyway, and if you are sitting down with the whole pint of the Ben & Jerry's I might ask did you actually even eat dinner? I think for dessert all you really need is one and a half or two bites. It is about cleaning your palate and lightening your mood. It is not a second meal.The combination of textures is sublime. The outside is ideally crunchy like an eggshell. The cookie part is ideally a bit chewy. And the filling should be soft and creamy. Perfection! Crunch-chew-lick up creamy filling, what could be better?They look very beautiful. No one would expect anything less from the whoopie pie's little sophisticated cousin. I especially love when they are all different colors, like at Jean-Georges where they serve lav…

Poetry and Food

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Our friend read this poem at our wedding ceremony last week. I love it so much.

LIII from One Hundred Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda:

"Here are the bread-the wine-the table-the house:
a man's needs, and a woman's, and a life's.
Peace whirled through and settled in this place:
the common fire burned, to make this light.

Hail to your two hands, which fly and make
their white creations, the singing and the food:
salve! the wholesomeness of your busy feet;
viva! the ballerina who dances with the broom.

Those rugged rivers of water and of threat,
torturous pavilions of the foam,
incendiary hives and reefs: today

they are this respite, your blood in mine,
this path, starry and blue as the night,
this never-ending simple tenderness."

Our wedding was a blast. We've socialized more and eaten out a lot since then. We took some friends and family on a culinary tour of Albany afterward (Ala Shanghai, lunch at Provence, Forbidden Pleasures appetizers and the new summer men…

Tips for Planning a Successful Wedding

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We got married over the weekend, and it was pretty much the best thing ever. Here are some tips I can offer to other engaged couples so that they can also have an enjoyable big day.


Don't take yourself too seriously. If you want to do goofy dances with the 7 year old flower girl all night, it is your event and you are allowed. Eat. After hearing from too many people that I would not get to eat anything at my own wedding, I made sure to have lunch catered. I compared the menus from a few places. I thought about Bountiful Bread, but it seemed expensive for what it was. I figured if it wasn't going to be cheap I might as well get something I really love. The New World Bistro catering menu was great. They were exactly on time, and they were super nice. We got the Hudson Valley salad, jerk chicken salad wraps, goat cheese, red pepper, and pesto wraps and lime phyllo tarts. I think everyone who got their hair and makeup done appreciated it. Also, if people eat they are less likely to…

Out of Town Edition: Le Colonial

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We went down to NYC yesterday to meet Scott's parents for dinner for his mother's birthday. I spent the day at a craft fair which was very interesting, and I had a fabulous time. Not having lived in NYC for a while now, I noticed a lot of differences between there and Albany I may not have noticed before. First of all, this whole Williamsburg hipster look I don't think I have seen in 2 years. I can say with certainty I have never seen that look on anyone in Albany. Somehow fashion in Albany is more earnest and less likely to be put together in the spirit of irony.
Also, I feel that it is a lifestyle difference that in Albany people have to stop drinking at some point in the night because they usually have to drive home. At the craft fair it seemed like every other person was telling a story about being really drunk or hungover, and I know we had the whole Kegs and Eggs scandal, but overall people seem more responsible about drinking here. I was in a neighborhood known for …

The Ginger Man

The Ginger Man is a cool place to meet people. Unlike some restaurants that have mostly booths, the Ginger Man has many tables that can seat 6 people or more. It is spacious and has a fun vibe. Their wines and cocktails are all really tasty, and (something I didn't know until very recently) they have a good amount of dedicated parking in behind the restaurant. I've shared some small plates with people before, and they were all had really interesting flavors and not too big of portions.

Which leaves us to the main attraction: Lamb Burger - Fresh ground and seasoned lamb on toasted brioche with radish-cucumber tzatziki, feta cheese and sweet potato fries. Mmmmmmmmm. If someone suggests going to the Ginger Man all I do is think about the lamb burger for like 3 days in advance. It is juicy, flavorful, it has cucumbers, and also the bread is light and airy. I will say I am not really a fan of sweet potato fries. I think that trend will die out in the coming years frankly. So I can&…

Modern Housewifery

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When I first started cooking I was friends with a woman who did not have very much of an interest in food. She was very skinny, and in the NYC style suppressed her appetite with huge amounts of coffee and cigarettes. I mentioned that I was going home to make dinner one day, and she made a comment like "How oppressive! What is this, 1950?"

While planning a wedding, I can't help but think about what it means to be a "wife" in these modern times. All the imagery of a traditional wedding creates a story very different to what our marriage will actually be like. We're grown ups and have been for quite some time. We both have graduate degrees. We both have jobs. In fact, he mostly taught me how to cook. Yes, things are different now than they were in 1950, but my friend's reactionary viewpoint doesn't do anyone any good. The thing about spending all day Sunday cooking something is that you get to eat the leftovers for lunch at work all week. The thing ab…

Girl in House

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I'm not a "Sex and the City" fan, but everyone remembers Carrie Bradshaw in her ridiculously short shorts standing on one leg in the kitchen eating jam off of crackers (if I recall that correctly). Well, I think everyone has their "single behavior" (things they do when no one is looking). When I have the house to myself it quickly becomes a party - party of one that is. And what this party of one usually consists of is some combination of champagne, "Murder She Wrote", Hawaiian Pizza, French macarons, and three hour long conversations about my friends' relationships. Scott hates Hawaiian Pizza, so this seems like a good choice. Also when I am alone I seem to lose all track of time and make a batch of lime sherbert, and just eat that all weekend not realizing meal time came and went. It is all very hilarious.

So I came home from work today and Scott had gone to San Francisco for a conference. There was a piece of pizza from Smith's Tavern (Hawa…