Summertime Vacay

Hey folks, taking a little time off for summer vacation, but I’ll be back after Labor Day to entertain you with more stories, recipes, and amateur gourmet antics. In the meantime, here’s my take on Gershwin’s “Summertime” on piano and harmonica. Enjoy the rest of your August!

How Would You Spend 24 Hours in Paris?

You all have been so helpful so far planning my European trip (I can’t believe we leave in two weeks!) and now I have a new challenge for you. My good friends Mark and Diana will be in Paris while I’m in London and I’ve decided to take that chummy old Chunnel to visit them for 24 hours before continuing on to meet Craig in Munich. This begs the question: WHAT TO DO IN PARIS FOR 24 HOURS? Or, more importantly, WHAT TO EAT IN PARIS FOR 24 HOURS? Don’t forget, I’ve been there once before, so this trip it would be nice to try some new things (though returning to Pierre Herme is definitely on my agenda). Also, looking for a dinner spot that’s super special but not insanely pricey (current thoughts: Restaurant Le Chateaubriand or Frenchie). Have at it, smart people! Merci beaucoup.

Your Edinburgh, London, Munich, and Berlin Tips

Wild news: Craig’s movie is screening at the Edinburgh Film Festival in three weeks, then he goes to the Nantucket film festival, and back to Europe for the Munich film festival. The best part? Edinburgh is flying me out too, so I can join him in Munich as long as I make my way back to Edinburgh to fly back. So here’s the plan: four days in Edinburgh, then when Craig goes to Nantucket, I’ll make my way to London where I’ll lay low for a week until it’s time to go to Munich. After that, we’ll tack on three days in Berlin because how can you go to Munich and not go to Berlin? (Also: I want to see a certain someone’s Berlin kitchen.) Now I need your advice. Where should we eat in Edinburgh? Where should I stay in London? Where should I eat there? (I feel like I have to go to the River Cafe; I’d also like to try St. John and a Heston Blumenthal spot, but that may be unrealistic $$-wise.) Where do we eat in Munich? And where do we stay in Berlin? Oh and where do we eat there too? Also, if there are any books you can recommend about any of these places (fiction or non-fiction) I’d love to load up for the flight. Thanks for all of your help and I’ll be sure to share the whole adventure with you here on the blog, as I always do. I’m pretty nice that way.

Sauce Week: What’s Your Favorite Sauce Recipe?

Hey folks! Are you having a good Sauce Week? There are still plenty of posts coming–two pesto posts, two hot sauce posts, two more chef posts and a post about Jean-Georges’ caper raisin sauce (which I served on top of scallops and cauliflower, yum)–but in the meantime, I’d like to know: What’s YOUR favorite sauce recipe? Share it in the comments and, who knows, maybe I’ll make one of them for next year’s Sauce Week. Stay saucy.

Welcome To Sauce Week

A few months ago, I had an idea. “What if I devoted a whole week on my blog to sauces? Just posts about all different kinds of sauces and I enlisted my friends to make some sauces and I also made some sauces and, you know, it was just a whole week of sauces.” So I e-mailed my friends and some of them were like “you’re weird” but others were like, “Oooh, sign me up!” I also e-mailed a few chefs too, to ask for their favorite sauce recipes. And that’s how Sauce Week came together, a week that’s all about that most fundamental, classical part of cooking: sauce. So get your sauce-scraping spoons ready, it’s going to get saucy! Welcome to Sauce Week.