Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Glorious Day for a Picnic

This past Memorial WAS an absolutely glorious day for a picnic! Here's a glance at the spread I created for my dear GF and our friend Jill.

-Cucumber Sandwiches--with cream cheese, not mayonnaise.
-Herbed Parmesan Crisps--These little crackers (shredded parm, a little flour, and fresh rosemary, and nothing else) are the absolute last word in cheesy goodness. I found the recipe in Ted Allen's What You Want to Eat cookbook. I love that book.
-Edamame (thoughtfully cooked by by darling GF)
-Grapes, baby carrots, and a marvelously juicy D'Anjou pear.
-Handmade Chianti salami, from Trader Joe's.
-Laura Chenel's Chevre and Robusto, an aged cow's milk cheese, similar to Parrano but stronger, served with TJ's Hot and Sweet mustard for spreading purposes.
-Mini Toasts from Whole Foods.
-Blue Moon, my current favorite beer (this is one that recurs rather often).

Now that I have a cold, my current favorite drink is hot water with honey and lemon.

Stay Tuned for June--French Cooking month!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Well, at least I’m trying, right? As the title says, this will be an eclectic post. I’ve found my interest in food and cooking picking back up—as I figured it would—with the advent of my darling GF into my apartment for the summer. She’s living with me in my tiny studio and we already have more food than ever in my apartment! We got things that I usually think about getting, but then don’t out of some misguided notion that I don’t need them. Things like Trader Joe’s dill pickles (“super dillish”, as the GF said), salad dressing, mango mochi, and macaroni and cheese. How have I lived without these things for so long?!

In the meantime, I’ve been preparing for first cuisine month—I think that it will be French, but I’m not sure yet. I hope that it will be a success! I’ve also been going out to sundry places in Philadelphia and gathering tidbits, both edible and inedible, for all to enjoy.

Last week was my 23rd birthday week. I decided that this meant that I got to go out a lot, stay up late, drink pleasant things, and then drag myself through my work days. Not the best plan, I admit, but it turned out pretty well in the end. I began the week with a Sunday night trip to Yakitori Boy, on 11th Street between Vine and Race (right near Vietnam, a very popular Asian restaurant here in Philadelphia). A Japanese restaurant, Yakitori Boy also advertises “Japas” or Japanese inspired tapas. They also have sushi, of course, as well as a wide range of sake and other cocktails. I ate a salad and a bowl of chicken ramen—so warm and filling, and nothing at all like it’s cheap, dried counterpart—but I’d really like to mention their sake mojito. Mojitos are definitely turning into my summer drink. And this one—made with sake instead of rum, was delicious. It was light and refreshing and not quite as potent as a mojito can sometimes be. I can’t wait to go drink one to cool off from the hot Philly summer.

I celebrated my actual birthday with karaoke at Bump, a gay bar in Philly’s celebrated gayboorhood. It’s a spacious and classy place; with good food and amazing Happy Hour offers (martinis for $3! Be still my beating heart!). I had an array of drinks, starting with a mojtio and moving from there. Bump has a really fascinating drink list—a lot of creative twists on champagne cocktails, as well as fruit-influenced cocktail variations (such as a blackberry mojito). I had something called a mexican peach martini, which had tequila, peach schnapps, simple syrup, and something else peachy in it. It was a fascinating drink—peachy and almost bellini-like in the beginning, and then finishing with the fiery taste of tequila. Not my favorite alcoholic peach drink—it certainly didn’t hold a candle to the peach cosmo I had in NYC in March—but something interesting to sip on, nonetheless.

While this seems like a rather booze-heavy post, I have something seemingly innocent to finish it off with: apriums. Apriums are a hybrid between plums and apricots and, unlike pluots, favor their apricot heritage. They are small, definitely apricot sized, and they look like apricots, but their taste. Oh my, their taste! They have the sweetness and softness of apricots with the tart and exciting bite of a plum. They truly are the best of both worlds. The darling GF and I picked up a box of them at Trader Joe’s on Sunday and have been hard put to limit ourselves to eating just two at a time. I do rather worry that our first bone of contention will be the last aprium. Apriums are a delightful spring snack. They would also make delicious preserves, crumble, or cobbler. They make me wish that I had a pressure cooker or an affinity to baking!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Well, it has been just under a month since I last posted. Two jobs and life got in the way a bit. Now, I'm back to one job and turning my attention to other things...such as this blog.

I started this blog for a couple of reasons. One, I enjoyed eating and talking about food with my friend Perrin (my other counterpart who mostly dropped out of this blog). Two, I had been wishing to write more for some time. Most of my writing in the past years has been academic, and I have no hand for fiction. So I thought I'd try this as a different medium. Finally, I wanted to use this blog as a source of motivation and inspiration for my cooking and other culinary adventures.

Thus far, I'm not sure it is working. I have mostly ignored the restaurants that I've been eating at recently, and also the assorted Philadelphia foods that I enjoy. I've been writing a lot, but actually not cooking as much as I'd like.

I have some plans rolling around my head, though, to remedy this. I think I have taken a very haphazard approach to teaching myself how to cook. I think I might try for a more balanced and logical approach--I think I might start centering more on cuisines and styles than on random recipes that have caught my eye (though a fair amount of that will probably remain). I also want to push myself to research more--use this brain and college degree for good. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime, I greatly appreciate your patience and kindness and attention. I'll be back with a post soon :)