I hate coconut but I love the idea of those vanilla cakes showered with coconut and in the shape of little lambs for Easter. You know what I'm talking about, right? My grandmother had these molds that turned plain vanilla cake into a farm scene. The lamb shaped cake was then slathered in frosting and fistfuls of shredded coconut.
I hate when bookstores close. I'm a devoted Barnes & Noble shopper, but when the Borders on Broad Street was closing I went every day for a week looking for a deal. I'd take the escalator to the second floor and roam the aisles while mindlessly picking up cheesy books about 5 minutes desserts and vegetables that looked like still life paintings. Nothing seemed to catch my eye until I picked up Elizabeth Bard's Lunch in Paris. The paperback cover with a breezy woman carrying a bag full of baguette screamed Chick Lit, a category I am happy to read. As I stood over a pile of books thumbing through the first few pages I fell for Elizabeth's Paris in the same way she fell for her French husband. I quickly demolished the book and kept turning to it, making Elizabeth my imaginary fairy godmother. When I had 17 part-time jobs but nothing full-time I'd remind myself that Elizabeth up and moved to another country with only a few part-time gigs to her name. So if she can [Read more...]
What do you bring to a job interview? When I was trying to get a job at a radio station in Delaware I arrived at my interview with a folder full of college newspaper clippings and a story I specifically did for the interview about a mushroom festival. Then when I went on the job interview from hell in Johnstown, Pennsylvania I shot a news piece about the local economy. When I broke up with news and got myself a regular job, I brought this cannoli tart to a second interview.
If I made you dinner in 2010 there is a 70% chance you came over and ate ravioli. Not just any ravioli, homemade shrimp ravioli. Since I was barely employed and had a lot of free time on my hands, I'd spend the day wandering from Reading Terminal Market for shrimp and to the Italian Market for cheese and canned tomatoes. The long walk helped counteract the copious amount of wine I'd serve with dinner. After hunting for ingredients I'd cover every inch of the kitchen counter with flour to make fresh pasta and fold chopped cooked shrimp into fluffy ricotta for ravioli filling. It was amazing, and time consuming. But I didn't really have anything else going on, so why not. I'd usually follow this decadent dinner up with a boozy dessert drink. Dirty Girl Scouts are supposed to be taken in shot form but in college my roommates and I drank them in larger quantities. It took me a while to shake that habit. So not only were you coming over for a heavy homemade meal but you'd be [Read more...]
There is one question you need to ask yourself at brunch. Ok, maybe two if you need to pick Bloody Mary or Mimosa, but I don't like Bloody Mary's. The important question is: How much of a food coma can I be in after brunch? This is especially important when brunching at Morning Glory in Philly. The line for a table is always long and the space inside is never enough for the amount of people eating, but the food. Oh the food. It is exactly what you need after a night out. But you need to decide if this a breakfast that will restore you and jumpstart a day of virtuous activity or if you will shuffle back to your bed and watch episodes of Sex and the City with the commentary while sipping a mimosa. If sloth status is in your future and the specials menu has it, order the biscuits and gravy. The gravy is a creamy blanket of love studded with sausage, and it keeps fluffy biscuits warm with its porky love. It is a brick that your stomach needs to have. It is the [Read more...]
We need more food trucks in the world, right? Well that's what Maria and I thought after college. We had a great concept: cute girls serving pie. "Peddling Pies," as I dubbed it, would serve sweet and savory pies to the hipster masses. I even had a logo all thought up, a cat riding a bike, and the wheels of the bike would be pies. Where is my venture capital money? If any of you steal this idea from me, I will cut you.
I've been on a popcorn binge lately. It started with an unassuming lunch at the Waterfront Hotel in Fell's Point, which is not actually a hotel but a restaurant. I love their "Build-Your-Own" burgers and was ready to blurt out my order when the waitress sidled up to the table and listed the specials for the day. "It's lunch so it's 20% off the bill and we have a great butternut squash soup with a side of popcorn."
"Come to Chicago," Marc's family said. "We're going to a wedding in Chicago," they said. But as the rental car pulled out of the parking lot at O'hare and the Chicago skyline shrunk in the rearview window, I realized I was not going to Chicago. A far-flung suburb of the Windy City was a better description for where I ended up that weekend in March. But no matter my destination and the freezing temperatures, my eating tour of Illinois could not be stopped.