Rainbow Cookie Cake

July 21, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 18 Comments

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My mom knows the key to my heart and every time I come home to visit her in Boca it’s waiting there in the refrigerator; a plastic container of my favorite cookies of all time, rainbow cookies, purchased from Bagels With just down the street. They’re not really cookies, more like squares of almond-flavored sheet cake with multi-colored layers, slathered with jam, the whole thing covered in chocolate. I’ve blogged about rainbow cookies before (here and here) but weirdly, I’d never made them. Then, this past weekend, I was having some friends over for their birthdays (four friends, three birthdays) and figured it was a perfect opportunity to try my hand at rainbow confectionary. Only, instead of cakey cookies, I made a cakey cake.

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Recent Posts You Might Have Missed

Clams with White Wine, Sweet Corn, and Basil

July 18, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 4 Comments

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If you were to do a graph–and I’m not a graph person, so you’d have to help me out here–measuring the effort you put into a dinner vs. the pleasure you get from eating it, chances are there’d be a real corollary between the work put it in and the pleasure received (see, for example, lamb merguez with eggplant jam). Every so often, though, there’s an outlier: a recipe that’s so incredibly easy, so simple to put together, it doesn’t make sense that the results should taste as good as they do, but they do. And I’d wager that of all the recipes that fit into this tiny category, the ones at the very apex of “easy to do” and “good to eat” are recipes involving mussels and clams.

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Quick-Brined Pork Chops with Pan-Fried Cauliflower

July 16, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 12 Comments

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For the past few months, I’ve been buying kosher chicken breasts from Trader Joe’s not because I prefer kosher chicken breasts but because Trader Joe’s is underneath my gym and it’s way easier to grab chicken there than to make an extra stop on my way home. The problem with this is that kosher chicken breasts are brined in salt water and, as a result, they’ve spoiled Craig for more ethical, more sustainable chicken from our local butchers. I know this because I recently bought chicken from one of them, sprinkled it with salt, and cooked it and though Craig enjoyed it–he enjoys all of my cooking–he didn’t like it as much as the brined stuff I get much more cheaply after jogging for 60 minutes to the Footloose soundtrack. Brining, it turns out, is a powerful technique.

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Ten Lessons American Restaurants Can Learn From European Restaurants (And Vice-Versa)

July 14, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 107 Comments

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Now that I’m back from my Europe trip, I’ve had some time to synthesize my experiences eating at nice restaurants in four different countries (Scotland, England, France, and Germany). Coming from Los Angeles, where the restaurant scene is as vital as anywhere else in the U.S. right now (possibly the world), it felt a bit like stepping into a history book; or, to put it another way, like watching a bunch of classic movies after a Quentin Tarantino marathon. There’s no question that America is setting the trends these days; the hottest restaurants in Paris are all popular because they’re considered “Très Brooklyn.” What, then, might a modern American restaurant have to learn from a modern European restaurant? Here’s my attempt to answer that question with a list.

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Sponsored Post: An Avocado Horchata Smoothie

July 9, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 33 Comments

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What is the most refreshing summer drink? Some might argue lemonade. With its puckery punch and bright yellow color, it’s a tough drink to beat in the summer months. And yet, ever since moving to L.A., I find myself gravitating towards another drink when I’m hot and want something a little less tart, a little more smooth. That drink, as you can tell from the title of this post, is horchata. It’s a drink that’s naturally thickened from the starch in white rice and heavily spiced with cinnamon. I’d never made it before (I usually get it from one of the plentiful Mexican restaurants here in my neighborhood), but making it just by itself seemed a little boring. Which is why I had the idea to incorporate another ingredient, something to give the drink more body and also to make it more healthful; that ingredient, as you can also tell from the title of this post, is an avocado–rich with Omega-3 fatty acids. Together, horchata and avoado might make a killer smoothie. Only way to find out was to try.

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Let’s Go To A British Supermarket! Then Let’s Go To A German Supermarket!

July 8, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 64 Comments

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It’s that time again! The time to overuse exclamation points and to visit a supermarket in a foreign country! The last time we did this, it was in Australia and you all enjoyed yourselves so much I knew I had to do it again. This time, you’re getting two for the price of one: a visit to a British supermarket, then a visit to a German supermarket. Alas, I didn’t have a chance to go to a French supermarket, so we’ll have to save that for my next trip to Europe. Now, without further ado, let’s hop on over to the Notting Hill neighborhood of London and see what kind of food they’re selling to the locals.

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Reflections on a Week in Germany (Munich and Berlin)

July 7, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 61 Comments

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When I was a teenager in Florida, on a Jewish Community Center trip to EPCOT, I remember running past Germany as fast as we could. “Germany, ahhhh!” we yelled, racing past the Bavarian buildings over to the Norway ride with the trolls and the waterfall. As naive as we were, there was something instinctual about our resistance to Germany. We were Jews growing up in a generation where the Holocaust was hammered into us daily; in Hebrew school, in history class, on TV, in movies, everywhere we went, we were reminded that 6 million Jews were killed by Nazis in Germany. “Never forget” we were told again and again. No wonder we ran so fast.

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One Night in Strasbourg (Lunch at Chez Yvonne–Featuring Choucroute Garnie–and An Epic Michelin-Starred Dinner at Buerehiesel)

July 3, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 15 Comments

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Once I made up my mind that I would travel to Paris from London by train, I looked at a map and realized it would be silly to return to London to fly to Munich (where I’d be meeting Craig for the Munich Film Festival two days later); a far more sane idea would be to keep moving east, via train, stopping over somewhere along the way. When I put the question to Twitter, a follower (I forget who; sorry follower!) mentioned Strasbourg. Before I knew it, I was reading about one of the great world’s food cities–on the border of France and Germany–in the Alsace-Lorraine region where we get Riesling, Alsatian pizza (aka: tart flambée), and a dish Jeffrey Steingarten celebrates in one of his books called Choucroute Garnie. Needless to say, I booked a EuroRail ticket, booked a hotel (the Hotel Rohan, nice and reasonable), and after kissing Paris goodbye on a Friday morning, boarded the train to Strasbourg.

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