With Warmth and Cheer
A warm, healthy and happy holiday season to you from moi and Nourish. I'm taking a mini-break this week to wrap the year and spend some time with loved ones...with one of my favorite holiday treats in hand. These olive oil orange-fennel shortbread featured last year, have quickly become a holiday tradition (also adorning the plate: German spice cookies with meyer lemon icing and tried and true peppermint chocolate bark) . Here are a few other treats, with health in mind, to usher in the new year. Until 2013...(don't worry, the third annual Bon Appetit Food Lover's Cleanse, devised by Sara Dickerman and I, will be coming on strong as of Jan. 1!).
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The Gift Guide :: For Your Favorite Foodie
December never ceases to be all out craziness. The month seems to speed by like lightening each year, and inevitably I'm caught shopping...well, not totally last minute, but certainly not ahead of the game. That said, if you're scouting out the perfect gift for your favorite foodie or cocktail connoisseur this holiday, take a peek at some of my picks (my own personal lil wishlist), as recently seen on George PR's trusty blog. I will admit, a good few of these picks already adorn my kitchen and coffee table...and they make my cooking and eating experience that much more delightful each and every time.
1. The Edible Selby. Mouthwatering food photos and recipes, perfect addition to my coffee table.
2. Wolfum Coasters. Just cause they’re fun (and an easy stocking stuffer).
3. The Breville Juicer. The perfect detoxifying remedy after a long evening of holiday cheer.
4. Because you can be fashionable in the kitchen too. Birdkage St. Marks Studded Apron
5. Need I say more? Noble Bourbon Maple Syrup
6. Teroforma Whiskey Stones and Glasses. Nothing like sipping around a roaring fire.
7. For my dream kitchen….Brooklyn Copper Cookware's Hammersmith Saute Pan
Lucky you, you'll be able to find many of these items at my soon-to-be cafe and food shop, Nourish Kitchen + Table at 95 Greenwich Avenue (opening this coming spring, and with gifts galore come holiday season 2013!).
Image via: George PR
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Sandy's Aftermath :: Regrouping, Relief and a Bit of Reading
I am finally back in front of my laptop this week, in my office that has heat and power, aiming to return to a semi-normal schedule after Sandy's wrath tore through NYC and surrounding areas. Honestly, I don't think things will really return to "normal" for quite sometime. My neighborhood, the East Village/Alphabet City, was hit hard -- businesses are slowly regrouping and rebuilding, friends are picking pieces up of flooded apartments. Only through images and blog posts can I even begin to contemplate the damage incurred and lives displaced in areas like Staten Island, Red Hook, the Rockaways and Long Beach, LI. A friend's restaurant in Dumbo, Governor, was completely washed out by Sandy, but I have no doubt will return and reopen stronger than ever. A family member's medical practice gone, at least in the brick and mortar sense. There are thousands of examples, and there are 40,000 New Yorkers without homes as the temperatures continue to drop. And there are endless ways to give back and donate and volunteer, see below. I've never seen New Yorkers as resilient and resourceful as I have in the past week. It's heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once, but this city has insane heart and I'm grateful to call it home. All this said, the past week has got me thinking how food keeps us connected. Sharing a meal is such a basic way of showing love, care and communicating. Hot meals are an indulgence for many right now, and it makes me appreciate the act of cooking and eating together around a table, or a makeshift one, that much more.
With that said, I turned to the Edible Selby, another Fall 2012 cookbook/food photography book I've been meaning to feature. Now seems, in an odd way, the perfect time. Flip through the gorgeously photographed and brightly illustrated pages and you'll see the life and atmosphere that food can create - it comes streaming through. The book provides a beautiful sense of warmth and inspiration and intrigue in each subject/restaurant/shop that Todd Selby features. I've been lucky enough to taste the craft of many of the subjects (like Occhipinti wine and Mast Brothers chocolate), and eat at a handful of the restaurants highlighted (like Ralae in Copenhagen and Le Chauteaubriand in Paris). All of them remind me of a special place in time with friends -- old and new -- that are part of my extended family. And if there's one positive that came out of Sandy, it's the reminder that there's few things more meaningful than sharing a meal with friends and family.
My good friend and colleague Allison and I are in the process of organizing a fundraiser, DRINK.DONATE.HELP BLACK OUT SANDY, next Thursday 11/15 to raise donations for food-related causes and those impacted by Sandy. More info to come...keep an eye on our Twitter feed as well: @DrinkDonate
In the meantime, here are just a few ways to help relief efforts:
Occupy Sandy via Amazon
GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side)