Eating Out in Marrakesh Part I: The Good, the So-So, and the Sheep’s Head

posted in: Eating Excursions | 19

After much jetlag, dilly-dally, and time spent getting my head back on straight and my body back into the habit of working, cooking and such and such, I’m pleased to share with you my extraordinary culinary adventures in Morocco. Many thanks to all those who offered great suggestions on my previous posts about the trip. I would never have guessed on my own that the cinnamon and powdered sugar-dusted pastries bastilla actually had meat inside them (but would have been … Read More

Winter in Morocco

posted in: Ruminations | 3

Off and away. For the next ten days I’ll be traveling Morocco by foot, bus and camel, drinking mint iced tea and engaging in lots of sinful eating out. In the meantime, if you’ve a hankering for intimate, expert coverage of all things Marrakech, I encourage you to check out a blog that I’ve been loving lately: My Marrakech. Sadly, I won’t be able to meet Maryam “of Morocco,” as she is traveling outside of the country the exact same … Read More

Reason for Not Eating Out #17: Because You Can Salt to Your Taste

There’s a beautifully vague term found frequently in recipes: “Add salt to taste.” Or perhaps, “Salt and pepper to taste.” Usually hidden at the end of a recipe like an unwelcome guest, these tiny words go against the grain of everything that a recipe is — suggesting freedom, not followership, discernment, not exactitude, you, not them. But who could deny its importance to cooking?

Should we do as China?

posted in: Ruminations | 26

And South Africa, Ireland, Taiwan, Bangladesh, San Francisco and parts of Alaska and Australia? Should we ban free plastic shopping bags, that is? Because that’s what they do. Or in some cases, apply taxes or extra charges for them — as Ireland did, cutting plastic bag use by 90 percent. And by “we” I mean New Yorkers in particular, because if we look around us for an instant, we’d be hard pressed not to see a plastic bag on any … Read More

Beef with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

posted in: Meat & Poultry, Recipes | 9

You can probably guess where I gathered the ingredients for this savory winter stir-fry from the post preceding this one. Think of it as a twist on beef stew — but one that takes a fraction of the cooking time. Served with rice and perhaps a simple, stir-fried green on the side, it’s the perfect cold weather meal to really fill up on, and look forward to having again the next day. What? It hasn’t actually been cold in New … Read More

Watching the Markets: Dynasty Supermarket

posted in: Markets | 14

Just a few blocks south of where the hip boutiques of Nolita give way to the small produce stands and herbal medicine shops of Chinatown lies the comparatively mammoth Elizabeth Street supermarket, Dynasty. Here’s where the bulk of one’s Asian food shopping can be done in one stop. It’s such a popular destination for this — and its prices so reasonable — that on weekends you’ll often see shuttle vans waiting outside, transporting zealous shoppers from surrounding areas as they … Read More

Thanks for Donating

posted in: Ruminations | 3

Congratulations, Christine! You won my apron, thanks to your charitable donation to Menu for Hope. And thanks so much to everyone else who voted but unfortunately did not win the raffle. (I didn’t win anything either, though I had my heart pretty set on the “fully-loaded shelf” of books from Serious Eats.) I am so glad to discover that food blog readers are such a generous, caring, noble bunch. Chez Pim raised $91,188 for The World Food Programme, 50% more … Read More

One Week Before Morocco

posted in: Ruminations | 51

Despite hopping to or from three different apartments, four different employers, and countless grocery stores and markets, my last three years have seen such an unhealthy dearth of completely pointless, privileged third-world globe-trotting. You know the kind I’m talking about. The before-you-hit-thirty-or-oh-my-god-enter-your-late-twenties global spin. Or in my case, just a diminutive version of it. I won’t be gone for very long (10 days), but in a week I’ll be headed for Marrakesh with my well-traveled pal Jordan. For no reason.

Green Apple and Brie Risotto

I know what you’re thinking. Your mouth is slightly agape. You read Brie and apples and your brain is skipping along at a jovial clip, then comes “risotto” and everything comes to a crashing halt against a tangled mental wire fence. Does that go? Apples in risotto? Remember, this is coming from a person who recently tried to put beets in pudding.

Bellyache Blues

posted in: Ruminations | 3

I’ve been eating a lot of strange post-holiday snacks this week. After the festivities were over, I found myself in an apartment full of ribboned and confettied food products, like cookies, chocolate, and this giant tub of stuff from the Popcorn Factory. At first I was excited about the prospect of finding inside different varieties of gourmet kernels, but no such luck; instead it was filled with bags of neon-colored prepopped corn and other odds and ends. Disgusted as I … Read More

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