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November 2010
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Posts from December 2010

Out With the Old

. . . and in with the new.  Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year and hoping that 2011 brings you happiness.  For all those who had kind of a crummy 2010, this one's for you, courtesy of Hugh at Gaping Void.  Always remember what's important in life.


Scenes from a Blizzardy Birthday

I was looking forward to this all year! The seafood tower at Blue Ribbon, complete with lobster, scallops, oysters, clams, crab, shrimp, caviar, and two shots of Stoli.


And the view of my backyard on the way home.  Many many thanks to Noel, Sarah, Arlan, Rachel, Kim and Katie for trekking across states and boroughs through the insanity to help me celebrate what might have very well been my most memorable birthday of all time.  Love you all.

I May Be Older . . .

and the wiser part is certainly debatable, but I am certainly the luckiest girl in all the land.  10:30 a.m. and already feeling the birthday love, big time.  I can't even put into words how grateful I am to have such amazing friends and family.  Off the the gym to kick some ass, then celebrating with friends, oysters & champagne later.  Odds are I'll probably end up at the 8th St. Winecellar if you're around late night and don't have to work tomorrow.

Sweet Blog o' Mine Holiday Gift Guide!

I've already done my holiday shopping, but if you're looking for some ideas, here's a list of books, food, and drinks that have crossed my path this year that would be suitable for any bon vivant in your life.

Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl -- this definitive book by cocktail historian David Wondrich details the history of punch and includes recipes that will keep you and your friends full of cheer at any party.

Left-coast-libationsLeft Coast Libations -- this book from our friends on the West coast contains 100 delicious looking cocktail recipes and drink porn galore.

Salt to Taste -- although technically this crossed my path last year, I've turned to it repeatedly since then for cooking guidance from Hearth's Marco Canora. 

Class at Pizza a Casa -- Mark Bello will teach you how to make kick-ass pizza (and now pasta, too), at home.  That said, even if you don't take up pizza making in your spare time, going to Mark's class is worth it just to share in his passion and enthusiasm.  Plus, there's lots of pizza!

Karlsson's Gold Vodka -- For all those vodka naysayers out there who whine about vodka having no flavor, you may want to check out this potato vodka.  I had the opportunity to go to a tasting where the Karlsson's team had us taste several of their vodkas, each made with a different type of potato, which had a huge impact on the flavor profile of each.  Karlsson's Gold is lovely on the rocks with a hit of freshly ground black pepper.

Flying Pigs Farm -- This may seem like an odd gift, but every time I try a new product from Flying Pigs Farm I am less likely to buy my pork from anyone else.  Chorizo, bacon, pork rillettes, chicharrones, Canadian Bacon -- pick some up at the Union Square Greenmarket and get cooking.

Beefeater Winter -- Beefeater's latest limited seasonal launch has notes of orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and pine, making it ideal for winter cocktails.  I used it in a negroni last week and it married beautifully with the Campari and sweet vermouth.

Cutbklyn Cut Brooklyn -- Want a gift that will last a lifetime? Check out these beauties.  Hand crafted knives made from all-American materials by artisan Joel Bukiewicz.

Firelit Coffee Liqueur -- Made with Blue Bottle Coffee, this small-batch liqueur from California was handed to me with a warning about its caffeine level and raves about its deep coffee flavor.  Since I just got it last night, I haven't tasted it yet, but I'm pretty excited to try it.  Maybe tonight -- hoping it doesn't keep me up!

Bacon Marmalade -- run, do not walk, to Whisk to buy this addictive condiment.  You'll mix it into eggs, slather it on a grilled cheese, or maybe just eat it with a spoon to savor its smoky, sweet and tangy goodness.

Weekend Wrapup

Can be summed up thusly: Holiday. Cheer. Overdose.  Colin & Jen's Festivus party on Friday (with my first eggnog of the season, spiked with Sombra Mezcal -- yum!), brunch with the girls on Saturday, and Tara, Neil & Lauren's party Saturday night.  Other than that, errands, holiday shopping, napping, and quality time on the couch.  Four more days and then vacation from Xmas eve through New Years.  Can't wait!

Thanks again to the party hosts!

Cooking from the Shelf: Al's Seafood Bisque

I have a wonderful cookbook collection.  For a while now, I have wanted to do a blogging project where I select one of my cookbooks, make a recipe from it that I've been wanting to make, and document it for all of you fabulous readers out there (some of whom may actually help eat it as well).  A while back, I selected my first recipe:  Al Yeganeh's Seafood Bisque from the New York Cookbook.  The first time I visted the "Soup Nazi," pre-franchise, of course, I got the bisque and was wowed by the rich, flavorful stock with heaps of seafood.  I literally bought the cookbook in order to get the recipe and knew that, although it seemed a bit time consuming, the end result would be well worth it.  I was right. 

Each of the individual seafood components are steamed individually, and then the steaming liquid and shells become the base for the stock.  You can find a link to the recipe here and the full photo gallery here.  Stay tuned for more throughout the winter!




mussels, lookin' good


and it all goes into the pot for stock


the end result -- delicious.

Booze You Can Use

- Lani Kai is starting brunch service this weekend and man, it looks good!!  I particularly like the one-egg option for some of the dishes.

- There's spirits shopping galore on Saturday between the Astor Center Holiday Gift Bazaar and the Dizzy Fizz Holiday Bazaar, which also benefits the Museum of the American Cocktail

- Finally, if you haven't been there yet, head over to Carmine Club Cafe, which recently opened in the West Village.  Find out more about the team behind it on my latest post on Serious Eats New York, go get some prosecco on tap, and tell them Laren sent you!

Feel Free to Call Me a Wimp, But . . .

as the weather gets colder, I'm realizing that the odds of my running that 15k I mentioned are somewhat slim.  I've been staying indoors for my runs since the temperature has been hovering in the 30's -- not sure I can hack it.  I'm trying to amp up the exercise regardless, but mostly at the gym and not in the cold.  Also, there are at least two holiday parties on my agenda the night before . . .

Weekend Wrapup

It was brought to my attention recently that my weekend wrapups sound exhausting.  Let me point out that this Saturday I spent an enormous portion of my day on my couch reading and watching Harry Potter movies.  So there.  As for the rest of the weekend: volunteering at Classic Cocktails, Classic Film at Astor Center, Lani Kai, Carmine Club Cafe, Terroir, Ssam Bar, New Nice Green Bo, Death & Company.  And one workout.