Dis-Moi Ce Que Tu Manges

“Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai qui tu es.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

To ring in Bastille Day, the FIAF (of which I have recently grown so fond) put on a street fair, which brought out French guests like Payard, Cognac, Maille and more.

Cognac's pasteries | netflix & nutella

Cognac’s pasteries | netflix & nutella

Also visiting were restaurants in the city that are of North African influenced, like the tajine restaurant where I got this delicious truffled mac and cheese.

Truffled mac & cheese | netflix & nutella

Truffled mac & cheese | netflix & nutella

I visited with my mom, and we – of course- couldn’t leave without grabbing a crêpe. On the busy, gray streets of New York, it was so special for me to share my passion for France and French culture with the woman who instilled it in my years ago.

My mom - always the Jackie O enthusiast | netflix & nutella

My mom – always the Jackie O enthusiast | netflix & nutella

La Belle Crêpe | netflix & nutella

La Belle Crêpe | netflix & nutella

Her simple but delicious lemon and sugar crêpe in the making | netflix & nutella

Her simple but delicious lemon and sugar crêpe in the making | netflix & nutella

The delicious-looking crêpe display | netflix & nutella

The delicious-looking crêpe display | netflix & nutella

And you always need a French-themed animal balloon. Pourquoi pas?

French balloons in the making | netflix & nutella

French balloons in the making | netflix & nutella

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Weekly Roundup: July 7

With limited funds from an unpaid internship and a hungry appetite, I’ve found that most of my outings of consisted of food. Shocker. Here are my favorite moments from recent adventures:

Bar Primi | netflix & nutella

Bar Primi, from left to right:
Ricotta and spinach ravioli with lemon and asparagus
Lamb amatriciana
Spaghetti pomodoro

Central Park | netflix & nutella

Central Park never gets old

Meatball parm on a roll | netflix & nutella

Meatball parm on a roll at Parm

In-stagram-spiration | netflix & nutella

One of my favorite Parisian instagrams giving my travel inspiration

Dad-spiration | netflux & nutella

My dad’s newest painting, still in the works, which gives me inspiration to follow my passions at any time in my life

Levain Bakery

Going to Levain on the Upper West Side has been on my to-do list ever since I read about the amazing cookies on Serious Eats. A friend came to town this weekend and was practically forced by her former boss to visit the popular bakery, so it became the perfect opportunity to see what all of the fuss was about.

Levain bakery | netflix & nutella

I opted for the classic chocolate chip walnut cookie, while my friend got double chocolate chip. Though we each shelled out $4 per cookie, the result was truly the best cookie I’ve ever tasted.

Chocolate chip walnut cookie, Levain bakery | netflix & nutella

The outside is crunchy enough to hold in the gooey dough on the inside. But barely. The amount of chocolate and nut in each cookie was perfect, and I have to admit, I was pretty much licking off melted chocolate from the inside of the bag.

Chocolate chip walnut cookie, Levain bakery | netflix & nutella

My suggestion is to head to the deli around the corner on Amsterdam for a $2 individual serving of Horizon milk with a straw. You’ll need it, and you won’t be able to wait til you get home to dig into these amazing cookies.

Chocolate chip walnut cookie, Levain bakery | netflix & nutella

Still held together

Chocolate chip walnut cookie, Levain bakery | netflix & nutella

A look past the crust

Weekly Roundup: June 22

Not only did I walk across the Brooklyn Bridge this weekend, but I saw and tasted a number of amazing things. Here were some of my favorite moments:

Brooklyn Bridge | netflix & nutella

View from the Brooklyn Bridge promenade

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory | netflix & nutella

The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, the cutest spot at the base of the bridge

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk ice cream | netflix & nutella

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk ice cream, my light at the end of the promenade tunnel

Yankee peanuts | netflix & nutella

Peanuts taste better out of a brown paper bag at a baseball game

John's of Bleecker | netflix & nutella

My #2 favorite pizza in New York at John’s of Bleecker

Icey | netflix & nutella

“Icies,” as we called them, bring me right back to being a kid. And it’s the only thing in my neighborhood that’s still $1

 

Summer in the City: NYC To-Eat List

I’m a list-maker, so in order to make the most of my summer – potentially the last I have in NYC if I move come graduation – I’m going to make a number of lists that I’ll share with you via my “Summer in the City” series.

This first list is one of my favorites: my “to-eat” list. I have bookmarked and taken photos of things I need to try in NYC this summer. For those of you looking to make lists in your own cities, Serious Eats is one of my favorite sources of inspiration, but Pinterest is always a reliable one, too.

ricotta gnudiThe Spotted Pig, $18 – I think Serious Eats will make you understand if the photo below doesn’t already: “the warm, tender, sheep’s milk ricotta burst out of its paper-thin pasta shell, a drizzle of browned butter, sage, and mounted butter the only other ingredients that share the plate.” I mean… that’s all.

Ricotta Gnudi | netflix & nutella

The Fat Radish – I tried to find plates to mention in this post, but as I looked at each the brunch, lunch and dinner menus, I really couldn’t decide. All the more reason to go to The Fat Radish, a farm to table restaurant, with a group of friends so I can try more than one thing on the menu. Here’s what I THINK I’d try:

Spring pot pie, The Fat Radish | netflix & nutella
Brunch
Spring pea pot pie ($16)
Asparagus Frittata, lively run goat feta, sunflower sprouts ($16)
House made donuts with seasonal jam ($9)
Charred spring garlic & sheep milk yogurt with naan and breadcrumbs, the fat radish | netflix & nutella
Lunch
Charred spring garlic & sheep milk yogurt with naan and breadcrumbs ($12)
Warm roasted vegetables & quinoa salad ($12)
BLT Sandwich, avocado, farm poached egg ($15)
N.C. Shrimp & Grits, the fat radish | netflix & nutella
Dinner
*Special: NC Shrimp and Grits
*Special: Poached egg & farro, charred greens, dashi broth

rigatoni with eggplant, ricotta salata and basil, Bar Primi, $16 – This new homestyle Italian food joint on Bowery is going to be the talk of the town. With homemade pastas and dishes to match its classic Italian decor, this is one I’ll stop by for a delicious taste of familiarity.

Rigatoni from Bar Primi | netflix & nutella

patty melt, Court Street Grocers, $12 – I read about this sandwich in Bon Appetit, and now that I’ve read that it’s served on Orwasher’s rye, home to one of the best baguettes in NY (which I can tell you from experience is absolutely true), this sandwich became even more necessary. The magazine described it as “one hot mess” with “tender meat with sweet caramelized onions and melty cheddar on buttery rye.”

pancakes, Clinton Street Baking, $14 – These are some of the most famous pancakes in NYC right now, and as per my sister, it’s for good reason. They’re fluffy, and with a choice of blueberry, banana walnut and chocolate chunk and served with warm maple butter, can it get any better? Oh, and did I mention the spot serves breakfast for dinner?

Blueberry pancakes from Clinton baki

Baked Zucchini Fries

The possibilities are endless with the vat of tomato sauce I brought back to school after Easter. After a few rounds of pasta with tomato sauce, I was ready to switch it up. My obsession with zucchini is pretty obvious (see here and here), and when I saw delicious-looking ones at the grocery store, I knew they’d go well with my mom’s sauce.

Baked Zucchini Fries | netflix & nutella

 

P.S. I painted that plate, and it’s one of my craftier accomplishments.

Recipe via The Girl Who Ate Everything (I found that mine needed a little longer to cook to get crispy, and I turned them over after about 15 minutes on the first side. I took them out 5-7 minutes later.)

Baked Zucchini Fries | netflix & nutella

Monday Mélange: Tastes of Home

I’m convinced that I have heightened senses. Walking down the streets of Paris, I always knew when a bakery was nearby due to the indescribably intoxicating smell of butter. Smells bring back memories for me; whether it’s the chalky smell of fresh paint that reminds me of the number of apartments my family moved to in Manhattan or the sweet musky smell of the Redwoods we would visit in San Francisco, smells bring me right back to places and moments.

I surprised my family this past weekend for Easter. My mom made all of my favorites (some of which I shamefully requested). These tastes – along with many others – bring me right back to being a carefree kid again, something that grows more and more comforting as I grow up.

P.S. PLEASE excuse the poor photo quality. I barely had time to pull out my iPhone for these photos before I dug in!

1. Tiramisu – Ahhhh. Little pillows of lady fingers that have absorbed coffee liqueur. Clouds of mascarpone and whipped cream. Chunks of chocolate on top. Bliss? Bliss.

Tiramisu | netflix & nutella

2. My Mom’s Hash Browns – I added these to my blog about a year ago, but nothing can compare to the ones made by the creator herself. They’re slightly crispy, still tender, oniony, paprika-y…you get the picture. They’re delish.

Hash browns | netflix & nutella

3. Cheese Soufflé – Cheese. Goat, cheddar, brie, Boursin, parmesan. If it’s cheese, it makes me happy. That’s all there is to it.

Cheese soufflé | netflix & nutella

4. Anything from Corner BakeryThis spot has been a favorite of ours since the beginning of time. The chocolate chip scones and brioche are to die for (as is the raspberry almond bar below). So is the corn and barley salad I get every time I come home. It has a little bit of a bite to it and has a scallion vinaigrette that’s so light and perfect for summery days.

Corner Bakery | netflix & nutella     Corn and barley salad | netflix & nutella

5. Gigi Salad – This delicious mix of shrimp, onion, string beans, bacon and roasted red pepper brings joy to my mouth in every bite. The name maybe reminds you of the Leslie Caron character, but to me, it’s the salad my mom makes every spring and summer that I can’t get enough of.

Gigi Salad | netflix & nutella

*The blood in my veins: My Mom’s Tomato Sauce. Something that – if there’s any justice in the world – should be jarred and on shelves one day. (I’ll work on it.) Since I was driving and not flying this time, she gave me a vat to bring home. I (not so willingly) shared with my friends in a first-night-back-chicken parm dinner to show them how spoiled I was growing up.

Chicken parm | netflix and nutella

Monday Mélange: Plain Jane

Growing up, my dad used to call me Plain Jane. It was 100% true when we went out to eat; at any restaurant, it was pretty much plain pasta or roasted chicken for me. But when my mom cooked, I would eat pretty much anything: broccoli, pork, lamb, seafood and more. I can still hear her saying “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” As I’ve grown up and travelled more, I realize I like things I thought I didn’t like, and then I go into binges of not being able to have enough. Here are some of my favorite dislikes-turned-likes.

P.S. You can expect to never see mayonnaise or blue cheese on this list.

1. Brussels sprouts  – Roasted, crispy or shredded in salads, I can’t get enough of Brussels sprouts. I first warmed up to them when my mom served them topped with bacon on Thanksgiving. In the words of Ina, “How bad could that be?”

roasted Brussels sprouts

roasted Brussels sprouts

2. Chickpeas – This is still a recent development, but in curries, hummus or fried like in this salad, chickpeas are becoming one of my new favorite things.

The Root Trackside salad with crispy chickpeas

The Root Trackside salad with crispy chickpeas

3. Pineapple – I used to think pineapple was too sweet, but after my trip to Nicaragua, I realized it’s the perfect mix of filling and hydrating. Ree Drummond’s guide to cutting a pineapple on Pioneer Woman helped me more than she knows.

Ree Drummond's guide to cutting pineapple

Ree Drummond’s guide to cutting pineapple

4. Walnuts – I used to hate when desserts had walnuts in them, but they’re so perfectly buttery and crunchy, I was really missing out. I also love them in salads or to snack on for some protein.

Chocolate tort with walnuts that I need to try soon

Chocolate tort with walnuts that I need to try soon

5. Truffles – I first had truffles on my dad’s pizza and pasta, and they were definitely a taste I acquired with time. Now, I can’t get enough of the parmesan truffle fries at a restaurant near my school. I love the idea of bundling them together with prosciutto like this.

prosciutto-wrapped truffle fries

prosciutto-wrapped truffle fries

Monday Mélange: Everyday Vices

Rainy Mondays are just cruel. I woke up this morning to my alarm and could have sworn it was 5 a.m because it was that dark outside. But no – just a downpour. It’s days like this – and weeks like these – that make it really hard to stay focused and driven. With only about a month and a half of school left, I indulge in a few of my daily vices to keep me going:

1) Cupcakes. They’re pretty, always delicious, and make me smile. This past weekend, I was visiting friends from Paris in D.C. We stopped by Baked and Wired for one of D.C.’s most famous cupcakes. The long line moved pretty quickly, and even the memory of this strawberry cupcake is brightening my day.

Strawberry cupcake, Baked and Wired | netflix & nutella

2) Friday Night Lights. I fell in love with this show my senior year of high school, and rewatching it from the beginning is the perfect distraction. Riggins is so damaged but lovable, and I find myself easily falling in love with him again every episode. All the seasons are available on Netflix.

Friday Night Lights | netflix & nutella

3) New York State of Mind. I’m using one of my favorite websites, Serious Eats, to make a list of bakeries, restaurants, and bars I have to try this summer when I’m back in NY. I’m having serious cabin fever, so daydreaming of pizza, great baguette, and Shake Shack will do for now.

Serious Eats, NY | netflix & nutella

4) The Notebook. This soundtrack always puts me at ease and helps me focus on work.

5) Shopping. I can’t help it. After doing some spring cleaning, I’m realizing that having that same blouse from the 9th grade probably means it’s ok for me to do a little upgrading. Instead of splurging on 10 items at Forever 21, I’m trying to me more aware of the fact that being in my 20’s means investing in some essentials. So even though I get less bang for my buck, these classic pieces will last. P.S. Macy’s is having an awesome shoe sale… don’t mind if I do!

Steve Madden sandals | netflix & nutella

*The Food Network. It’s supplementary to the top 5 because – who am I kidding – nothing can compare. Even as background music to doing laundry, the Food Network makes me smile. What better vice is there?

Pioneer Woman | netflix & nutella

Multigrain Bread

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the differences between whole wheat and multigrain bread. Is one actually better for you? How can you tell? Apparently, some bread companies assume that using just white flour and rice flour makes its bread multigrain. Though technically correct, two wheat flours is not exactly the “multi” that customer is looking for.

Multigrain bread from the Burlington Co-op | netflix & nutella

One of my indulgences in my small town crowded with fast food restaurants is the Co-op. Not only does it allow me to join humanity for weekend brunch, but it also provides me with fresh and often organic options that I can’t find at the more local and less expensive supermarket. The multigrain bread I bought there lists its ingredients on the front: white flour, whole wheat flour, oats, barley, millet, corn, rye chops, sunflower seeds, flax, honey, and sea salt.

Eggs in Tomato Sauce on Multigrain Toast | netflix & nutella

Truly “multigrain,” I’ve felt a bit more comfortable indulging on carby snacks like open-faced peanut butter sandwiches or this, one of my favorites: a spin on eggs in purgatory. I loosely followed Mario Batali’s recipe, simmering some jarred tomato sauce in a saucepan, adding in 2 eggs, and cooking for 3-5 minutes. Plopped on top of some toasted multigrain bread, this was the perfect hearty brunch.

Eggs in Tomato Sauce on Multigrain Toast | netflix & nutella