A passion for food + fashion

Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

Mozza Meatballs

In Food on March 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm

There are plenty of things I covet in this world—Charlotte Gainsbourg’s effortless ability to wear Balenciaga, a Chelsea townhouse in London, the ability to endure a musical—but when it comes to my friends, I envy no one else. Two weeks ago we brought our second son home from the hospital, and I’ve never been happier. Looking at my two beautiful boys, I just don’t know that it gets any better than this. But as much as I love the mornings with both my boys snuggled up in bed, when dinner time rolls around I’m at a total loss. Fortunately, I have the most generous friends in the world! You should see the basket full of delicious goodies from Joans on Third, pastries from Huckleberry, pizza and budino from Pizzeria Mozza delivered by Lizzie and Matt, the Moroccan braised chicken from my friend Vanessa or the Italian Wedding Soup that Carrie dropped off (a soup so delicious that I fear my husband might leave me for Carrie and her soup). My friend Hugh knowingly brought by a bottle of gin and several limes. And then there were the meatballs.

Last Friday, the enchanting Carolynn Carreño dropped off three containers of large meatballs swimming in sauce, along with some semolina toasts and garlic butter. If these meatballs look suspiciously and deliciously similar to those served at Mozza, there’s a reason. Carolynn cowrote The Mozza Cookbook with Nancy Silverton and worked tirelessly testing and retesting recipes so that they would translate to the home cook. (If you don’t already have the book, you need it if only for the meatball recipe alone.) Made with pork, veal and ground pancetta, these meatballs are pure love.

Next to family, there is nothing better in this world than a good friend. Especially if that friend makes meatballs.

 

 

Tomboy Style

In Fashion, Media on March 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Seriously, you guys. Please watch this great promo video with my friend Lizzie about her new book Tomboy Style (due out from Rizzoli on April 3) with background music from our friends Zinzi and Jesse of KISSES. Love everything about this. Lizzie, you rock!

Do You Take Your Coffee Wet or Dry?

In Drink on March 12, 2012 at 9:12 am

Earlier this year, I ordered a cup of single-origin Verve Ethiopian Worka to-go and grabbed a bag of the same beans from SO (which stands for Single Origin) in the Original Farmers Market. Despite my protest that I don’t like super fruity coffees, the barista assured me it was “amazing.” And amazing it was. But not in a good way. At first I thought the fancy pour-over technique must be to blame for the drink’s curiously familiar nuances, but when I got the beans home and brewed a pot myself, my 3 year old confirmed what I was already thinking. “Mommy, I smell poop.” More specifically, it smelled like a dirty diaper, a sentiment I uncharitably tweeted later that day.

But I’d had enough. Single Origin. Coffee Cupping. Pour Over. Cold brew. Coffee culture was, to my mind, spiraling out of control—and this coming from a wine writer! Don’t get me wrong. I love coffee, and I love GOOD coffee. But I hate that at the serious coffee joints in San Francisco and New York that a cup of joe is accompanied by a condescending sigh when I ask to add a splash of milk to a sludgy cup. So it was with great surprise that I opened a friendly email from Colby Barr, owner of Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz, in response to my unfriendly words about his elite beans.

“Sooooooo, you didn’t like the Ethiopia Worka. Cool,” he wrote in an email entitled “Worka no Workie.” And thus began my education. The Worka, he explained, is what’s known as a “dry-processed” coffee. Dry processed coffee beans, or cherries, are dried with their skins on, which leads to an influx of sugars and fruit compounds into the coffee. “Wet-processed” coffees are stripped of their skin and fruit (i.e. pulp) before the beans are dried, yielding cleaner, crisper coffees—the kind of coffee I like to drink. He sent me these photos to illustrate:

Wet-processed coffee beans

Dry-processed coffee beans

“I think it’s safe to say that you do not like dry-processed coffee,” Colby concluded. “They can be love/hate for sure.” So I decided to give one of Verve’s wet-processed coffees a try and got a pound of Don Mayo from Costa Rica, which I served at brunch that weekend to a bunch of neighborhood girls. Everyone—myself included—loved it. Creamy and smooth with honeyed notes, it was perfection. And I’ve tried several more of Verve’s wet-processed coffees and am one smitten customer. And for those of you who like fruit bombs (and, I’m sure, all sorts of nuanced molasses complexity that is lost on me), do give the dry-processed beans a try. Thank you, Colby!


Roasted Curried Cauliflower

In Food, Recipes on March 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

This past month, I’ve only been able to handle cooking if it is super-duper easy. My current go-to side dish is this roasted curried cauliflower, a riff on a favorite from A.O.C. restaurant in Los Angeles. I serve this alongside brown rice and chicken cooked in an Indian Life Tikka Masala simmer sauce from Whole Foods. (I prefer the Indian Life brand to Seeds of Change.)

The simmer sauce is a far cry from the sublime (and involved) Chicken Tikka Masala I loved making pre-pregnancy, and someday I’ll hopefully have enough energy to return to cooking good Indian, but in the meantime, at 9 months pregnant, opening a jar is fine by me.

But back to the cauliflower. I promise you this dish will be a grand slam at the dinner table. There is so much flavor and comfort, which seems particularly surprising given how easy it is to make. Let me know what you think!

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower florets (preferably orange cauliflower if you can find it)

1 medium yellow onion, quartered

3 teaspoons curry powder

3 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cauliflower florets and onion in large roasting pan. In a bowl, whisk together spices, salt, oil and vinegar. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in single layer in pan.

Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Serve.

She’s Having a Baby, Beauty Edition

In Baby Love, Fashion, Media on March 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

If you’re wondering why I’ve slowed down on posting, it’s because I’ve slowed way down on cooking to a near halt. And the reason I’ve slowed way down on cooking is because two weeks from today—beware the Ides!—I’m due with bambino #2. The nursery is ready, I have a few make-ahead dishes waiting in the freezer—all that’s left is to pack a hospital bag. Here are a few favorites for looking your best, even from a hospital bed:

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk ($16/3.2 ounces): This dry shampoo was my secret weapon for fresh-looking hair in the hospital after Tiny G was born. I love that it’s nontoxic. It is also a lifesaver for overnight flights and long travel days.

Malin+Goetz Lip Moisturizer

Malin+Goetz Lip Moisturizer ($12/.35 ounces): This super-intensive lip moisturizer is a must-have for restoring and repairing dry lips. I love how it goes on. You can find it at Barneys or look for the new Malin+Goetz boutique opening soon on Larchmont Blvd. in Los Angeles.

Yves Saint Laurent Crème de Blush

Yves Saint Laurente Crème de Blush in Velvety Peach ($38): A creamy blush that goes on sheer and adds just the right amount of natural-looking glow to cheeks or under eyebrows. Perfect for creating the illusion of being bright-eyed after a sleepless night.

Deborah Lippmann "Happy Birthday" Nail Varnish via atthetreehouse.tumblr.com

Deborah Lippmann “Happy Birthday” Nail Lacquer ($18/.50 fluid ounces). When I saw this glittering spectacle on the nails of friend and rock star Zinzi Edmundson (Zinzi is one half of the very awesome band Kisses), I knew it would be the perfect polish for welcoming our Ides of March birthday baby into the world. In the infamous words of Neely O’Hara, when you have to get up at five in the morning…

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