Tag Archives: food

Best way to host a dinner party? Like a Parisian

Paris food
The wise David Lebovitz has great tips on how to host a dinner party in the manner that  Parisians do. If that sounds daunting to you, it shouldn’t. It’s filled with such smart advice such as “Keep it Simple” and “Finish with chocolates”. If you have a dinner party hosting coming up, drop everything  and read and follow this: How to Entertain Like a Parisian Tips – David Lebovitz. . From the good people at Food52.com.

(Photo from here)

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Some recipes for late summer, early autumn, and more

Chicken Bulgogi
Mostly good recipes, but some pieces lower down on food

  1. Sauces made simple: The Five Mother Sauces Every Cook Should Know, Five Sauces Everyone Should Know How to Make for Endless Meal Options,  and 5 Sauces You Can Use on Everything – Cook Smarts.
  2. Good for fall:
  3. An Authentic, Maritime Fish Chowder | Laura Calder
  4. Lots of summer dishes here: Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less – NYTimes.com, here Caribbean Herb Grilled Fish and here 27 Summer Pasta Recipes
  5. Easy but great: Skillet roast chicken with veggies – The Globe and Mail
  6. A classic pasta recipe:  Sicilian pasta – Chatelaine
  7. These look yummyBaked Vegetable Chips – Hither & Thither
  8. From David Lebovitz, Chicken bulgogi
  9. For vegetarian or those that want to be: 21 Vegetarian Burgers, Wraps, and Sandwiches to Make for Meatless Monday | Kitchn
  10. More cool weather food: Classic French Cassoulet Recipe – Bacon is Magic – The Best Food Around the World
  11. More soups! Sweet Potato Minestrone | A Cup of Jo
  12. These look fantastic: belgian brownie cakelets – smitten kitchen
  13. More D.L.: Tangerine Sorbet Recipe
  14. Easy but looks professional. Also tasty: Stacey Snacks: Healthy & Delicious: Cod Provencal
  15. For fall and winter too: Easy French Hot Chocolate | Chocolate & Zucchini
  16. Eat more greens with better vingaigrettes:  An Easy Template for Citrus Vinaigrette, 5 Ways | Kitchn
  17. More Caribbean food from Chris: Roasted Tomato And Bacon Soup Recipe.
  18. Eat more grains: Apple Cider–Cooked Farro Recipe | Bon Appetit
  19. Make those herbs last: Why Freezing Is the Best Way to Preserve Cilantro | Kitchn

And now for some non-recipe related food links:

  1. What I learned not drinking for two years – Medium
  2. I hate food: For some of us, eating is just about sustenance – The Globe and Mail
  3. How to Start Cooking (Even If You Feel Doomed)

I have been fascinated by the idea of povera cucina. Here’s too links on it.

  1. POVERA CUCINA
  2. La Cucina Povera or the Kitchen of the Poor

(Image linked to is of chicken bulgogi from David Lebovitz.)

Low cost meals from Budget Bytes

Mac n cheese
If you are looking for a variety of low cost meals online that are straightforward to make — I am looking at you, college students — then I recommend the site BudgetBytes.com. Each of the recipes has a breakdown of the expected cost, how long it takes to make, as well as the typical information you will find in a recipe. Here’s a few I highlighted recently, in no particular order.

They have a wide range of recipes, and categories (e.g. chicken, vegetarian). The recipes are simple, the ingredients easy to find, and generally they look good. Give it a try.

Save money, eat better.

(Image from here.)

If you ever fantasized about owning a restaurant, especially one in New York…

Prune

Then you need to read this: The Thrill of Losing Money by Investing in a Manhattan Restaurant | The New Yorker

It is a wonderful read of a terrible experience.

Besides that, though, it is an entertaining but damning analysis of the restaurant business in cities like New York. (I imagine it is the same for most cities.)  I think at some point there will be fewer and fewer fine dining experiences in cities, and the best food will come from places that are small and have very low overhead. And all those large spaces that were once filled with large restaurants will close.

If you still want to own a restaurant after all that, don’t say you weren’t warned! 🙂

(Image is of Prune, one of my favourite NYC restaurants. If fine dining is to have a model in the future, it is likely to come more from places like this, imho.)

 

Foodism and the problem with home-cooked meals

I was prepared to argue with this article in Vox from some time ago: The problem with home-cooked meals , because I am a big proponent of such meals.  However, the closer I read it, I think the main issue I have with it is the title. If it was titled “The difficulties in preparing home-cooked meals”, I would have been more receptive. Read the article. If you are a foodist like myself, it might seem hard to understand at first that people have difficulties with home-cooked meals, but like many things, the difficulties arise from lack of time, knowledge, and resources (money but also access to good food, even if you have money).

I believe that there are a number of ways to address those difficulties. First, I think city governments need to treat access to food the same way they treat access to other things such as transportation, water, parks and even sunlight. If housing doesn’t have access to water or electricity or transportation, then developers shouldn’t be allowed to build it and people should not be expected to move there. Access to good food should be part of that set of restrictions.

Second, we need to better educate people on how to prepare food.  Too much of our education system is spent on academic topics. Kids should be taught a wide range of subjects, and one of those should be how to prepare food no matter how much time or a budget you have. (They should also be taught how to manage finances, how to do basic home repairs, and how to deal with personal difficulties, among other topics.) There is a wealth of information available on food preparation, but often to me it seems aimed at foodists and is aspirational. There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to make good food. In addition, though, people should learn how to make straightforward nutritious food, with anything from 2 ingredients on up, with or without a recipe, in 2 minutes or over 2 days.

Third, we need to change our emphasis on a form of eating. There is a belief that some North Americans have that home cooked meals should be prepared and eaten a certain way. Often this certain way involves 30 minutes to an hour of food preparation followed by an equal amount of time eating it. Culturally that may have been the way it was done, but there is nothing that says we must continue to eat that way. You should be able to prepare and eat good meals with the resources you have.  If that means a 5 minute preparation and a 5 minute stand up meal, so be it. Better that than 30 minutes spent eating over processed food in a chain restaurant.

Finally, we need a more expansive and less snobby approach to what constitutes good food. If you are a foodist and you want to cook with homemade stock, fresh herbs, wine and hard to source ingredients, and that works for you, that’s great. For most people, if you have limited access to good food, then you can still make good meals with what you have available, and there is no shame in that.  Besides, the social status of ingredients come and go: eat the best you can with what you have, be that a roasted chicken and a salad or a bowl of chunky vegetable soup.

For many people, food is a means to an end: I’m hungry, I eat food, I’m no longer hungry. For others, their life revolves around food. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, having an open mind about how others eat and being open to alternative ways to dealing with food will benefit everyone, including yourself.

(Image is of a ham, painted by Manet.)

P.S. In case you don’t think it is a word, here is the definition of definition of foodism, from the Oxford English Dictionary:  “A keen or exaggerated interest in food, especially in the minute details of the preparation, presentation, and consumption of food.” Therefore people who have foodism are foodists.

 

 

12 Cafés Every History Buff Needs to Visit (a great list)

Cafe Central
If you like cafes, coffee and travelling, then this link is for you: 12 Cafés Every History Buff Needs to Visit | Travel | Smithsonian. Of the places in the article, I’ve only been to Cafe Central in Vienna and it is great. (In truth, Vienna has many great cafes. I went there years ago and enjoyed many of them. Cafe Central was one of the highlights.)

As far as bucket lists go, you could do worse than making it your aim to visit all the places listed here. 🙂

(Hat tip to @candicewalsh on twitter for sharing this link originally, and who also has a great travel blog.)

 

New recipe and food links. Because we all need more of that. :)

I clearly collect too many food links. 🙂 These are some of the better ones I have found and think worth sharing.

Image from: Slow Cooker Bread Recipe | Baked by an Introvert