Fran Lebowitz —
A salad is not a meal. It is a style.
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photos by gluttonforlife

4.14.15 Salad Days

I cut my thumb last week. Quite badly, actually. With a mandoline. Of course. Not the fancy French mandoline that I retired 20 years ago after I sliced into all of my right fingertips. (Legendary pain.) A new lightweight, handheld variety that was a gift. My friend raved about its user-friendly qualities. So, for the second time in 20 years, I tried a mandoline. This time, for no reason that is clear to me, I didn't employ the little hand guard that comes with it. I'll be super careful, I said to myself. Talk about being green in judgment. Just three slices of radish later, and part of my thumb lay on the cutting board. The rest was all blood. There were no stitches involved because there was nothing to stitch together; it was a clean slice. And that radish salad? Never mind. Try this one instead. Just when you thought you were done with kale salads, it will make you think again.

 

And I've also got the three randomly chosen winners of the Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook (my bandaged thumb looked so chic as I signed books at the launch party): CHRISTINE, LICIA and IAN! I'll email you to get your info. Congrats and I hope you have fun with this little book.


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Yves Saint Laurent —
Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.
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all photos courtesy of Harper Collins

4.3.15 The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook, a Perfect Celebratory Dessert & a Giveaway

Last year, I had the pleasure of penning a little cookbook for Bergdorf Goodman. I was approached in my capacity as a freelance writer, but the offer had a special symmetry, given that I was the copy director in the store's advertising department more than 20 years ago. It was a wonderful immersion into the world of high fashion, the very epicenter of all that was chic at that time. (Some people even referred to the store as "church.") Perhaps my favorite achievement was creating a tagline that appeared for several years on all of BG's communications: The only city in the world. The only store in the city. It really seemed to sum it all up. Which is why I was surprised and delighted to discover, when I received my advance copy, that a version of this appears on the cookbook's back cover: One City. One Store. One Restaurant. Plus ça change, and all that...


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Ecclesiastes/Pete Seeger —
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
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3.30.15 Ice Ice Baby

Our tiny cottage has been caught in the frigid grasp of Old Man Winter for months now. His icy breath penetrates every nook and cranny, seeping into our very bones. The spring equinox arrived without much fanfare, just an incipient thaw that seems to have frozen mid-trickle. But change is coming. The light is different, quicker and clearer, and the cold air is scented with a damp optimism. Anticipication mounts, becoming almost unbearable. Before we surrender entirely to the frenzied bacchanal of spring, let's take a moment to give the Old Man his due.


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Anton Chekhov —
Watching a woman make Russian pancakes, you might think that she was calling on the spirits or extracting from the batter the philosopher’s stone.
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photos by gluttonforlife

3.17.15 Dosa Do

Yes, it's another pancake. I'm on a (gluten-free) roll. The dosa is not dissimilar to the blini in that it's also made from a batter that sits around and gets bubbly, but it's got no yeast. Its gentle loft and tang come from a process of natural fermentation. If you live in the city, you might never think about making your own dosas. You're much more likely to head to little India—or to that award-winning dosa cart in Washington Square—and simply indulge your craving without much ado. But those of us out in the sticks have to get creative. We've got to psych ourselves up to scale these culinary walls. Ignorance and inexperience cannot stand in our way. Gotta scratch that dosa itch.


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Farmer's Digest —
A wish is a desire without an attempt.
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photos by glutonforlife

3.11.15 Blini Meenie Miney Mo

Many great Russian writers, including Chekhov, Pushkin and Gogol, have dedicated plenty of ink to blini. These sturdy yet tender pancakes—originally made from oats but now also from wheat, rye, buckwheat and barley—were made for the pagan festival Maslenitsa, a celebration of the sun that heralded the coming of spring. The blini, round and golden like little suns, were eaten by the dozen in hopes of ensuring a rich harvest. Today, they are made for occasions both celebratory and pedestrian, topped with (or rolled around) a great many fillings, from mushrooms, potatoes and fish to fruit, cheese and honey. Blini are incredibly versatile, as welcome at the breakfast table as they are at the most sophisticated cocktail party. I think it's time to add them to your repertoire.


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