29 February 2012

What Happens on Leap Day Stays On Leap Day

Merry Leap Day to us all!

30 Rock essentially invented a Leap Day holiday for all of us.  If you don't want to watch it here, you can read about it here.  I was already going to invite friends over so why not follow the lead of a great tv show.

Everyone was told to wear yellow and blue.

And bring round food to represent the earth's rotation around the sun (the true celebration of leap day).

Other round foods - Patsy's Pizza, cupcakes and apples.

We ate, talked and hopefully people took some chances on the way home because it's the Las Vegas of days.  Jess and Laurie talking on the couch.  I like to see the Upper West Side and Brooklyn mingling.

Brooklyn continued to be represented by Jeff, Chaunte and Ben.

Evan and Claire.  I like this couple.

Lara and Micah.  Micah wants people to know that he's always aware of when a picture is being taken of him.

And many congratulations to the just engaged couple - Suvi and Paul.  So very excited for them.

28 February 2012

Present Music Obsession

You know when everyone, including critics, are going crazy for a band and you think sure, I'll buy it just to see what it's like (Spotify has forever cured this thought).  I bought St. Vincent's Marry Me when it came out and thought this is good but not something I have on repeat.  And then Strange Mercy came out and people went crazy over this album.  Again I thought "ok, sure I'll buy it."  I owned it for a few months before I finally listened to it.  Now I can't stop listening to it.  It's in my head but in a good way.

Jess, Jendar and I saw Annie Clark (St. Vincent) at the Pitchfork Music Festival in 2010.  We didn't just see her perform but we recognized her strolling through the booths and asked if we could take a picture of her with Jendar.  She is beautiful and very nice.  I like it when I catch someone on a good day and they are kind.  Everyone is allowed a bad day, even famous people.

Please check out the following songs -

Dilettante  - not a real video but it's my favorite song.

While reading Wikipedia about St. Vincent, I learned she was a member of The Polyphonic Spree and a part of Sufjan Stevens' touring band.  Of course I like her.

27 February 2012

If It Is Pancake Month, We Eat Pancakes

I never knew that February is National Pancake Month but thank goodness Clinton Street Baking Co. celebrates it by featuring different flavors throughout the month.  In honor of last month's pancakes that made Trish cry and the fact that pancakes are delicious, we decided to go to CSBC three times in February.

An adorable Trish expressing the excitement we were all feeling.  Our first trip was 13 February (the real Galentine's Day) spent with Suvi and Jess but no picture of them so you'll have to believe they were with us.  The wait was barely anytime at all.  It was exciting to grab the booth as soon as all of us arrived.  The flavor was Japanese Pumpkin Pancake with pumpkin seed streusel and warm maple butter.  It was the most delicious food we ate that night.  After having eaten at CSBC for dinner three times this month, I now know they cook breakfast much better than dinner here.

Japanese pumpkin is just the normal pumpkin that we know and love.

Our second trip was on 20 February after the ice skating trip.  Mer joined us for this session to eat Crunchy Bananas Pancakes with cinnamon-chili-chocolate sauce.  The wait was over an hour which is hard to manage when you're hungry but we were on a mission.  Unfortunately, these pancakes were cold and not very fresh.  The crunchy bananas just meant they were fried and there was barely any sauce on the pancakes.  It was a disappointment.

But Trish and I knew the best was yet to come.  Tonight we ate Pancakes with chocolate chunks, fresh raspberries and raspberry-caramel sauce and it was hands down the winner of Pancake Month.  This variety is on the menu until 29 February and I recommend eating them as soon as possible.

26 February 2012

James Murphy Always Does Right

LCD Soundsystem is one of my top 5 bands easy.  And because they broke up and we have all of the music that they will ever create, I know that it is all very good.

I know today is Oscar Day but the films are kind of boring so no comment. 

I first saw LCD at the Virgin Festival in Baltimore 2007.  I saw them on the side stage and thought they were the best band at the festival.  I didn't own any of their music at this point but that was soon corrected.  My first taste had also been seeing them live and that is the best way to see them.

Next show May 21, 2010 at Terminal 5 which is my least favorite venue in the city.  But Brigham got there early and secured us a great area where we got to see things like -

Until Casey moves back to NYC, probably the only time he'll show up in the blog and that is Brigham.

I'm pretty sure Brig was holding up all 10 fingers to show that the concert was a 10.  You can see his thoughts on the show here.  It remains to be one of my favorite concerts.

Just a few months later and now in Chicago at the Pitchfork Music Festival Jess, Jendar and I danced for a few hours to LCD.  We could not but dance.

One of my favorite scenes ever.  The pink is a give away it's a girl.

We were far from the stage but the volume was way up.

And the last time I saw LCD was at MSG on April 2, 2011. This was also LCD's final concert as they broke up at the end of the show. Thank goodness Phor was able to get us tickets.

I promise that is James Murphy on the stage.

So I am waiting in anticipation for Shut Up and Play the Hits the documentary made about the last concert.  See the trailer here.  It played at Sundance to a good reception but journalists commented that people did not dance during the movie.  I will be dancing when I see it in the theater.  There is no way not to dance to this music.

Some of my favorite songs -

Disco Infiltrator 
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
Dance Yrself Clean (with the Muppets)

25 February 2012

Galentine's Day

Happy Galentine's Day!  According to Parks and Recreation the day should really be celebrated the day before Valentine's Day but I begin my own traditions.  I also think Easter candy is much better than Valentine's candy so I'm happy that it's celebrated later in February.

How do I celebrate Galentine's Day?  I invite amazing women over for brunch.  We eat delicious food, talk for hours, listen to Etta James and Sam Cooke, and discuss the amazing state of Indiana.

I had fun deciding what to serve for brunch and at first it was a menu of far too much food.  My mom reminded me that girls don't eat that much.  I'm glad I listened to her.  

I baked a Sour Cream Coffee Cake from a Barefoot Contessa cookbook.   I've made this recipe a few times and each time it's an absolute success.  I also baked Date Scones from the Rose Bakery cookbook (my favorite cafe in Paris and I can't believe I forgot to mention it in my Food in Paris post).  It's the first restaurant I loved so much that I bought the cookbook. 

Trish brought the bagels and cream cheese.  It's kind of a law that bagels must be at every New York City brunch.  They are right next to powdered donut holes I couldn't resist from Trader Joe's.

A close up of the Sour Cream Coffee Cake.   I like how the right bundt pan can make a cake look extra fancy.

The best kind of fruit salad with pineapple and berries from Carly.

And the main dish was a Potato Frittata with Prosciutto and Gruyere that I found in the Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2008.  It had the perfect combination of Gruyere and prosciutto containing the best parts of brunch - cheese and pork.

It was a cold day but the sun was shining and it's unusual to hold day light parties in my apartment.

Sara and Carly after being told to ignore the camera.

Whit and Mer who did not want to ignore the camera.

And lots of eating - Mer, Abby and Claire's hair.

Trish and Carly laughing at a joke probably about Indiana.

A wider shot of that end of the table - Di's hair, Sam, Mer, Susie and Abby.  I loved the colors on the table with the orange drinks, Orla Kiely tablecloth and roses.

This brunch was brought to you by the following books - 

24 February 2012

Ladies Who Lunch

In the continuing quest to eat at all of the best of NYC restaurants, Mer and I ate at Le Bernardin.  It was delicious except for the dessert but more on that later.

We ate there for lunch and it was fun to look around at the other customers in the restaurant.  We opted for the City Harvest Menu which is only three courses but a portion of the money is donated to City Harvest.  Neither of us like fish enough to eat six courses of it.

Mer in the bar area.  I did not feel comfortable taking too many pictures in this setting but I sneaked a few shots of the food.  The presentation is just beautiful.

 This was my favorite course - Hamachi Tartare; Marinated Cucumber, Aged Citrus Vinegar.  It was probably the best raw fish dish I've ever eaten.  The citrus was perfect with the fish.

Our main dish was Sauteed Cod; Green Papaya, Lime, Coriander, Sambal Sauce.  The sauce smelled delicious and I loved the Asian influence.  

This was the disappointing dessert - Maralumi Milk Chocolate Parfait; Pear Sphere, Ginger Caramel.  The pear tasted like canned fruit.  It made me sad how unexciting this was after the fish courses were so delicious.

23 February 2012

Why I Love Paris - Food

There are so many reasons why I love Paris and the food there is in the top 10.  My last trip to Paris was September 2010 with incredible friends and that is a very good way to eat your way through the city.

One of the first things I bought in Paris was LadurĂ©e macaroons to confirm that they are still delicious and they are.  But I like Pierre Herme even more.

This is the only picture I took of one of the best meals we ate in Paris at Cocottes.  Ty, Jo and I went after we were evacuated off of the Eiffel Tower due to a bomb scare.  The food is served in little Staub cocottes (dutch ovens) and it was amazing.  Apparently the dessert was the only thing I felt needed to be documented.  It was a waffle with chocolate sauce and cream.  We ate it all.

Another meal was at Brasserie Lipp on Boulevard Saint-Germain.  The waiters were kind, funny and very tolerant of our lack of French.  The food is very French.

We should have gone to Berthillon every day.  The ice cream was a dream.  We went enough times to get a good sample of the flavors.

Trish eating the best falafel at L'as Du Falafel in the Marais.

Waffles with chocolate sauce from the Latin Quarter. 

We drank a lot of hot chocolate and some of it was at Angelina's - a must go in Paris.  Actually all of these places must be visited.  I should have an entire post on pain au chocolat alone because they really are the best in the world.  Other bests in the world - baguettes, butter, nutella (it's made differently for each country) and chocolate from Jean Paul Hevin.