Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Big Update on 30 under 30

1. Never stop playing soccer.
2. Get my PhD.
3. Have a baby, or at least try to have a baby.
4. Go to Hawaii.
5. Pay off credit card debt.
6. Go to France.
7. Find at least two life long friends in California.
8. Maintain my vegetable garden for at least one year.
9. Buy new dining room chairs.
10. Surprise myself with my grades.
11. Keep my current best friends.
12. Restore the ugly orange chair.
13. Do something I always say I'll never do ever.
14. Get an article published that is not my dissertation.
15. Drive the California coast.
16. Host a great weekend or Holiday here with my family.
17. Be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding.
18. Organize my computer files (music, photos, and school stuff).
19. Take a vacation (even just an overnight trip) with just the girls.
20. Learn more about wine.
21. Figure out how to tell a chicken/roast beef/fish/etc. is done cooking just by looking at it.
22. See Radiohead live.
23. Learn how to fancy dance (ie. waltz, salsa, etc.) with my husband.
24. Start saving for a house.
25. Make an Italian meal for my husband's Italian family.
26. Work at least one job that is completely frivolous and fun (ie. not a resume booster).
27. Get into at least 5 new bands every year. 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
28. Read for pleasure more.
29. Finish my old diary.
30. Start a massive project, and actually finish it.

And here's the progress:

4. Go to Hawaii. - We've been super lazy about this and even though we said we were going to book the tickets soon we didn't. Although, we have changed our minds about when we're going to go. We may go in October or December of this year instead of January of next.
5. Pay off credit card debt. - DONE!!!!!!
14. Get an article published that is not my dissertation. - Emailed my co-author a ton of stuff that I had written and asked her to start writing her part. Very exciting to move to the next level.
15. Drive the California coast. - I think we want to do this when school lets out for the summer. We're thinking about taking a long weekend to drive down to LA to visit some friends there. This will be the perfect time to do that.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Baked Brie Three Ways

I absolutely love brie. It's so versatile. You can have it on its on own, with something sweet, or something savory. For an appetizer, as part of your meal, or wih dessert. Hot or cold. What more could you ask of as a food? Here's four of my favorite ways to eat it when you heat it.

Baked Brie wrapped in Crescent Rolls

Baked Brie in a Mini Loaf Pan - Cut up brie to fit in your loaf pans (depending on the size of the block you bought, it could be 1 or 2). Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put toppings on top of brie. Cook until brie is completely melted. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Baked Brie on crostinis - Toast bread (or buy bread that's already toasted) in toaster oven for 5-7 minutes. Pieces should be decent sized. Spread toppings on taost, then cut blocks of brie and place on top, heat for 4-5 minutes (cheeseshould be soft, but not runny).

For each of these three ways to eat it, you have a multitude of topping options. Here's a few ideas:

- Brown sugar and nuts (walnuts and almonds are our favorites)
- Raspberries and black berries (this is also good with the brown sugar and nuts)
- Pesto
- Chutney, Jams, or cranberry sauce
- Sundried Tomatoes
- Sauted veggies like peppers, onions, or mushrooms
- Smoked Salmon
- Honey
- Dried fruit (also good with nuts)
- Apples or pears (again good with the brown sugar and nuts)

And don't be chintzy with those toppings!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What did I wear today?

Dress: Christmas present from Nick, Modcloth (last year)--wow that looked way less wrinkly in real life.
Leggings: H&M
Shoes: Birthday present from my aunt, Michael Khors (circa 2008)
Necklace: H&M (circa 2007)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Product Rave - Smooth my Sole

My mom has a good friend who works for a magazine company and routinely brings home bags and bags of free items from her. I get to pick at the leftovers and sometimes my mom will set aside specific stuff she thinks I'll really like. When I went home this past Spring Break I had a goodie bag waiting for me. Included in it was a Smooth my Sole scrubber from Dr. Scholls.

I've gotten so many manicure/pedicure/beauty kit/etc. things over the years. 90% of the time the things get used once, or not at all, and tossed aside. At this point, I own nail filers, clippers, etc. and yet people always think you need 5 of them. So that's exactly what I did with this defoliator at first. Then it got warm in California and I had to wear sandals for the first time and I looked at my feet. Not completely gross, but not so great looking either. Dry cracked feet at not attractive, and definitely age you.

So one day when I actually had 10 minutes to pry open the package, look it over, and try to use it, I sat down on my bathroom mat after a shower and began to work. And holy crap. Was I surprised at the amount of dead skin that came off and I wasn't even trying that hard. After one usage, I removed so much stuff my feet felt markedly improved. Because I tend to forget to use these things after a shower (which is when they work the best because you've softened everything up), I now use it in the shower. It also makes cleaning up easier. I've been scrubbing away every other day for a week and am a complete convert. I don't think I'll ever live without a Smooth my Sole again. I actually want to touch my feet that weird? I swear I don't have a foot fetish.

Now if I really wanted to make my feel feel soft as silk I'd probably start using my Bliss Spa socks with some foot cream again. But I'm not sure if my exhausted grad school student brain can remember to add that many steps into my beauty routine every week.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Movie Review: The Other Guys

Is it just me, or is Will Ferrell decidedly less funny as of the last 5 or so years? For the first half of his career he made a name playing awkward idiotic characters we could laugh at, but after you've seen the same character in 10 different movies, it gets old and you wonder if he can come up with anything new. Maybe his character, Allen, in the movie The Other Guys resembles that as well, but the spin on it (and all the other characters around him) make me think that maybe Ferrell has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

The movie opens with the two famous hero-cops of the department succeeding at yet another bust, and then shortly thereafter dying while failing in another attempt. Through both of the scenarios you get the idea that a lot of the cops don't necessarily have that much respect for each other and just want to climb to the top of the office ladder. Allen doesn't buy into that and is happy to work behind his desk and do paperwork, but his partner Terry (played by Mark Wahlberg), wants desperately to get out from behind the desk and back into the field after an embarrassing incident which cost him his reputation. Needless to say, Terry hates Allen for holding him back.

Eventually Terry gets Allen to start investigating a robbery, and through their misadventures discover that more might be going on than they originally thought. The two bond (although in a very strained and awkward way) and do their best to solve the crime before the other detectives on the force do, and before they are silenced by the criminals.

Set up to be a typical buddy-cop/whodunnit film, The Other Guys veers to the left to infuse Ferrell's brand of comedy into it. The awkward guy might just actually have a hidden (and hilarious) past, the cool guy acts just as awkwardly and might be a little nuts, and the hot girl (Allen's wife played by a spot on Eva Mendes) is guessed it, a little awkward too. Even the chief (played by Michael Keaton in possibly his best role since Batman--think a comeback a la Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder, but more subtle), is off beat with his constant TLC references.
But for all this awkwardness you'd think you'd be feeling a little uneasy watching the movie and just wishing the characters of the screen, but that's not the case. Each character highlights the aspects of comedy the actor who plays them is good at. And you end up laughing hysterically and just thinking, "What the..." and wonder what weird thing is going to happen next. It's the same kind of comedy that made Ferrell famous, but taken up a level for those of us who've grown bored. Definitely worth the rental fee and then some.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! Hope the Easter Bunny treats you well. Originally our plans were to have my Aunt over from Chicago, but then she canceled on us. As I'm a planner who tends to plan way in advance, I had bought a lot of the nonperishable food I needed already. So rather than let a good meal go to waste we're having a few friends over to gorge ourselves. Not going to go too crazy (well, for me), but we'll definitely have some yummy things to eat.

Here's what my menu looks like...

- Roast Beef with potatoes and pearl onions (and maybe Bearnaise sauce)
- Sauted Asparagus
- Green Bean Casserole
- Quiche with peas, mushrooms, sausage (maybe?), and goat cheese
- Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese

- Banana Cream Pie
- Ice Cream
- Baked Brie

Friday, April 22, 2011

Northern Spy Food Co.

I love New York City. Bottom line, it is my favorite place on Earth. But, as much as I hate to admit this, I am really not that big of a fan of the Lower East Side. It's hard to get to by subway (and what subway stops are there smell horrendous), the sidewalks are a mess (try walking on those in heels!), and I always manage to have to go there on the most humid hot days so by the time I get there my hair looks a mess, I'm sweaty, and all around gross. These days it takes a really special occasion (or a really special person) to get me to go there. And when I was home for Spring Break, a combination of the two got me out there to have dinner with one of my best friends, Jen, at Northern Spy Food Co.

Jen teased me before hand saying how it was a big deal that I agreed to step foot in that area (and believe me, I crossed many many feet as I walked A LOT of blocks). When I finally did arrive at my destination (which I'll admit was not as far into the LES as I was expecting), I was welcomed by a warm and cozy room that was exactly what I needed after a brisk trek on a cold late winter's night.

Next up I perused the menu. Much to my delight, everything on it was locally sourced and sustainably farm. That, as you know, is always a huge score in my book. It means I can order whatever I want off the menu and not feel guilty. But, as is normally the case, I'm so used to not eating meat that I opted for a vegetarian option anyway. Well, semi vegetarian anyway. I got an appetizer of the crispy gnocchi (made with a butternut squash puree) and duck fat fries (french fries, fried in duck fat). Both were amazing. The gnocchi was really light and fluffy (hard to imagine for something that is normally sits like a rock in your stomach) and the fries were big, crispy, and flavorful. The perfect proportions with a little bit left over to share. Jen got one of the soups and her favorite, a side of the meatballs (which were also fantastic).

When dessert came around we were both really stuffed, but since we were sort of celebrating I pushed Jen into order something. We went back and forth about a lot of things (there were so many yummy options, like cookies, tarts, and cheese), but we ended up compromising and each getting a small scoop of house made ice cream to share. I opted for vanilla honey, and it was so rich and delicious, as good as it was, it actually made me wish we had ordered another dessert. If the ice cream was THAT GOOD another dessert (especially one that comes with ice cream on the side) would have been that much better.

All in all, it was well worth the trip into my least favorite part of NYC, and I have to admit, I'd do it again. No complaints (well, maybe a little bit).

And now for some pictures of the food!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What did I wear today? Formal Edition

A few weeks ago my school had their version of the Spring Formal (a fancy dress up casino night). Very excited to dress up (because it's so rare these days that there's a party to dress up for) I dressed to the nines. Here's the outfit I came up with, we decided to throw a little Mad Men flair into our looks (and yeah, I am totally wearing a bump-it).

Jacket: Alice and Olivia, Ridiculously reduced on clearance, circa 2006
Dress: BCBG, circa 2008
Shoes: Rocket Dog circa 2009 (although I still continue to see them in different colors at DSW)
Bracelet: Lia Sophia

Nick commented about Charlie's red eye in the picture and how people would find it weird that he was in it. But really, have I ever taken a WDIWT picture without Charlie trying to get in the middle of it and be the star?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Potato Bacon and Blue Cheese Quiche

I recently decided to do a different take on the Spanish tortilla style quiche and it was really really good. My friend, Brooke, would make fun of me if she saw this because it has bacon in it. According to her, everything I make has bacon in it. I guess just call me baby Paula Dean.

Here's the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Basic Quiche (like the one from this entry)
- 5-6 eggs
- 1 pie crust (I like Pillsbury the best)
- 1/2-3/4 cup of cream (or milk) (the more you add the fluffier the quiche will be)

In addition:
- 2-3 small Yukon potatoes peeled
- 3-4 slices of bacon
- 3/4 cup blue cheese
- 3/4 cup gruyere cheese
- 1 small onion
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray some nonstick cooking spray on your baking dish. This is especially important on the bottom edges as your pie crust there will stick the most. Cook pie crust for 5 minutes then take out and let cool (keep it in the dish).
2. Boil salted water with potatoes. Cook until soft when pricked with a fork, but not as soft as you would need them for mashed potatoes. When they are done, cut them into bite sized chunks.
3. While potatoes are cooking, chop up bacon and cook with onion in the butter and olive oil until the onion is cooked.
4. Whisk eggs and cream together. You can either do this with a hand mixer or by hand. Whisking adds air to the eggs, and the more you whisk, the fluffier the quiche will be. Just don't whisk so much that the cream whips.
5. Add in the cheeses and your other ingredients. Mix a little bit, then dump into your pie dish. Make sure the ingredients are spread out evenly in the dish and bake until the top is just starting to brown.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top 5 rules for Bathing Suits, and some cute ones to boot.

Almost time for the beach! Or if you're a California girl, that time is pretty much here (yeah, I know, just rubbing that one in). And can someone please tell me why it is the clothes that require the least amount of fabric that are the most expensive? I have not bought a new bathing suit in over 4 years (the one I wear the most is from high school) and I am in desperate need of a new one, but who has the money to spend $100+ on those cute little one piece suits? Ridiculous. And for those of us with a sizable bust, finding something that is both supportive and cute is a nightmare. Ok, so maybe this isn't turning out as happy and positive as it started out, but I think we all know how hard this season can be for many people. So I guess we'll just shop and margarita the pain away?

Before we start, some rules:

1. Have at least 2, one for when you're tan and one for when you're not.
2. If you need it, please wear underwire. (I love the bandeau look, but not with my chest, unless that has some serious support you will not see me sporting that look.)
3. Make sure you feel comfortable, don't just get it because it's stylish or someone told you to.
4. Keep the lawn mowed.
5. Be age appropriate (and this floats both ways, tankinis can age you, low rise bottoms are not for your grandma).
5a. You may not think this, but be aware of your legs. Women generally just think about their behinds, but certain bottoms will either do harm or wonders for your legs. So make sure you pay attention to all your curves and your suit hugs in all the right places, not chops and dices you up.

From Modcloth: (these come in plus sizes too)

From Old Navy:

Itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini?

From Lord and Taylor:

From Urban Outfitter:

From Macy's:

And just two cover-ups to show you how versatile they can be! I admit, even I have a terrycloth robe dress that I've used for a few years as my cover-up, but I think it's time to grow out of the high-school style offerings and into some glamorous ones. Sporty? Chic? There's some for every style.

From Lord and Taylor:

Isn't that second one fabulous?

Still stuck? Check out this link and this link for some tips about how to pick out the right suit for your shape.

PS. H&M really has the best deals for stylish bikinis around, but unfortunately they don't have an online store.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Follow on Bloglovin!

Now YBM is officially on there too! If you're on there...

Follow my blog with bloglovin!

Winner of the Birthday Gift Basket!

First off I'd like to say thank you to all those who entered the contest! It's always really nice seeing what everyone has enjoyed reading, and getting some happy birthday wishes was nice too! Secondly, I want to apologize for getting this entry up way later than I was originally planning to. The life of a graduate student is not glamorous and with all the happenings going on last week, this weekend, and this coming week I had to buckle down and do some reading and studying. So I know you guys were all waiting and I didn't deliver.

But you don't have to wait any longer!

The winner of the second gift-bag giveaway is...

Alana! And here is her comment that she left:

Happy Birthday!

I love your grilled cheese post:
for obvious reasons :)

I love that one too. I have so much cheese at home right now and we're getting close to lunch so I just might make myself some kind of fancy grilled cheese sandwich.

Congrats Alana!

I'm trying to dream up another contest so look out for that! And if anyone ever wants to collaborate and offer a contest with me (could be anything, a free book, art, photography services, gift certificates, etc.), let me know and we can work it out.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What did I wear today? All about Spring!

Wow, this outfit has three stories to it, and all are so not related!

1. After weeks of rain and dreary weather, it seems like Spring has finally Sprung! I know I have been celebrating this fact for a few entries now, but I wanted to tie it all in with an outfit perfect for Spring!

2. We all have those favorite articles of clothing that seem to find their way into every outfit we wear, a go to piece that seems to reflect who you are. Well about 5 years ago I bought myself a cardigan from Urban Outfitters. Very plain, nothing too crazy, in a dark green. Fitted, v-neck, thin. I LOVED that sweater and probably wore it upwards of 2 times a week for two years. Then one day, it was gone. I lost it at my old grad school somewhere. Ran all over campus trying to find it, but nothing. I have searched for years to replace that cardigan, about a month ago I found this one which is almost an exact match. And it cost me around $9 full price!

3. Birthdays past and'll see what I mean

Sunglasses: H&M (this year) (cream floral print)
Dress: A present from my Mommy, Urban Outfitters (this year)
Cardigan: Forever 21 (this year)
Tights: Part of my birthday present from a few years ago from my parents from Paris
Shoes: Urban Outfitters $40 (over 50% off), Happy Birthday to me!
Ring: Part of last year's birthday present from Nick, Banana Republic (white flower)
Necklace: Forever 21 (this year)
Bag: H&M circa 2006
Belt: Thrifted for $1!

When I took this Charlie was being such a little attention whore! I couldn't get him to get out of the way of the shoes. Those are a favorite right now and I really wanted to show them off. I subscribe to the idea that animals are like people, so when I asked him if he wanted his picture taken this was his response:

After that he sit down and got out of the way. So silly.

PS. Note: This picture is a few weeks old already. You see that Modcloth box? It contained the gift basket I mailed out to Kaye when she won the first gift basket giveaway. The paper wrapped parcel was an item bought from the garage sale.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Il Fresco: Their Home is Your Home

When we were in New York, Nick and I had a Valentine's Day tradition to go to one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Il Fresco. I mainly wanted to go because I liked the food and martinis, but we kept going back because the atmosphere of the restaurant was so warm and inviting (and they would always give me a long stem rose to boot). Their motto "our home is your home" really rings true. The restaurant itself is an old colonial house and is decorated to feel like you're sitting at someone's dining room table, regardless of the room you're in.

The restaurant is about 2 miles away from my parent's house, so I've been to Il Fresco a lot for different occasions. Obviously date nights, but also large family dinners, small family dinners, my parents hosted their anniversary party there one year. I've been here so many times I feel as if I've tasted half the menu. Calamari, crab cakes, eggplant, pasta 1,000 different ways, chicken, steak, fish. You name it. Everything was savory and delicious. Not too heavy, but still filling. Just the way good Italian food should taste.

The menu is traditional, although not the usual spaghetti with meatballs, eggplant parmesean, etc. This is not your cafeteria style Italian food (which I actually am sick of eating at restaurants. My aunt taught me how to cook Italian food, if I can make it at home, I do not want to eat it at your restaurant). This is Italian food with thought. You won't find trendy items on the main menu with the latest American flavor crazes, but you will find things like "Boneless chicken breast stuffed with spinach and prosciutto, dipped in egg and sautéed in olive oil and served with a marsala wine and mushroom sauce" or "Sweet Italian sausage, broccoli rapa and sundried tomato sautéed in garlic and olive oil." Again, traditional Italian food with more thought put into it.

And did I mention the martinis? The moment I turned 21 and could legally order them, my heart rejoiced. I do not like the taste of alcohol, but who doesn't like to feel euphorically happy once in awhile after you have a glass of something? Il Fresco has everything my girly palate desires. From fruity drinks like Lemon Drops and Bananatinis to chocolatey and creamy ones like the Milky Way and Tiramisu-tini. One time I even convinced my mom to order one with me. Needless to say after our seconds we were giggling like crazy and my dad was pretty embarrassed by the two drunkies at the table with him.

Ok, but enough of talking about food, let me show you some pictures.

Drool. Why do I always write these food reviews around meal time?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Time and Lookin' Fine...

Wherever you are, it seems like the Spring is really starting to peek it's head around the corner. When I went to school and worked in NYC nothing made me happier than a sunny Spring morning (or afternoon) and walking around with some kickass tunes on my Ipod. It became a tradition of sorts to make a new mix every Spring with whatever music put me in as good of a mood as the weather did. I came up with the lamest of names for them too. "Spring has Sprung," "Spring into Summer," and the one where the title of this entry comes from, "Spring Time and Lookin' Fine in NYC." I know, like I said, they were lame. But I was the only one who saw them and it was all about making me smile, so I'm ok with however embarrassing you may think that is. Here's a sample of what one of the mixes has included in the past:

Breakin' Up - Rilo Kiley
Always Where I Need to Be - The Kooks
I want you back - Jackson
When You Were Young - The Killers
Take What You Take - Lily Allen
Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye
Tears Dry On Their Own - Amy Winehouse
The Tears Of A Clown - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Dancing In the Streets - Martha and the Vandellas
Sweet Darlin' - She & Him
The View - Modest Mouse
Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
I Predict A Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
Kids - MGMT
The Step And The Walk - The Duke Spirit
Uptight (Everythings Alright) - Stevie Wonder
Turn a Square - Shins
Ticket To Ride - The Beatles
Straight Lines - Silverchair
Keep The Car Running - Arcade Fire
Meantime - The Futureheads
Objects Of My Affection - Peter Bjorn and John

What's on there this year? Still a work in progress and the music I've been listening to lately doesn't gel very well together, but here's what I have so far:

Dog Days Are Over - Florence & The Machine
Monster - Lady Gaga
Can't Stop Feeling - Franz Ferdinand
Rolling In the Deep - Adele
Baby You're a Rich Man - The Beatles
West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys
Bang Bang Bang - Mark Ronson And The Business Intl Featuring Q-Tip, MNDR
That's What You Get - Paramore
He's A Rebel - The Crystals
Baby, I Love You - The Ronettes
Big Wave - Jenny & Johnny
Keep The Car Running - Arcade Fire
She's A Rainbow - The Rolling Stones
You Make Loving Fun - Fleetwood Mac

Don't forget about the gift bag giveaway! I'm going to close entries tomorrow at noon. Winner will be announced tomorrow night some time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What did I wear today? Vintage Edition

I tried to experiment with the self-timer on my camera. Considering Charlie kept running all over the place and I failed at my attempt to get him to sit in one place, after about 15 shots I gave up. Here's a few just to show off the dress, and a silly pup.

Dress: Vintage 60s from Salvation Army for $3!!
Tights: The Gap
Shoes: Gift from my mom's boss. Vintage Yves Saint Lauren via Ebay. 50s? 80s? Not sure.

Don't forget about the online garage sale. New items were posted recently. Now two pages worth of stuff!

And don't forget about the contest for the second gift basket! It will be ending soon! Click here for more details.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Max Brenner

Since we are on a big dessert kick, I decided to write about one of my favorite places to get dessert at EVER. Max Brenner, which has locations all over the world, has by far, the best chocolate desserts I've ever eaten in my life. My first year of graduate school, a friend who got a job working as a barrista turned me on to the restaurant and I was hooked. Some of my friends and I would go once a week to get hot chocolate, chocolate martinis, crepes, fondu, ice cream sundaes, chocolate soup, truffles, molten lava cake, and anything else you think chocolate could come on. The food menu (which has some great items and some rather lack luster ones) has changed a lot over the years, but the 20 page dessert menu has generally stayed the same. But you're not really into for lunch or dinner are you? You just want the chocolate.

The restaurant plays up on that chocolate desire too. Everything is decorated in chocolate inspired colors. Warm rich tones of brown, red, and orange. Words like addiction, hug, and love are used in the custom made mugs and other decor. And the smell infects every inch of the restaurants. Everything is about a lifestyle. When you walk in, you really feel like you're being transported into a chocolate factory (or heaven).

Every dessert I've tried has been so rich and delicious, even that chocolate soup which seems really weird was very good. A lot of the options are offered in white, milk, or dark chocolate or a combination of two which makes everyone's taste buds happy. Some of them, if you don't have the appetite, will have to be split, like the peanut butter crepe, because they are that rich. Smores, waffles, cookies, milk shakes, have I made you want to go yet?

Many of the restaurants also have shops where you can buy some of the amazing chocolates and other kitch. I've always wanted to buy their liquid chocolate (which is used in many many of their desserts) but never got around to it. So many other things are sold in the online shop, but considering the liquid stuff is fresh and must be sold by a certain date, I could understand why it wouldn't be available online.

A great place for a date, a girls night out, or a birthday party, Max Brenner is a multi-occasion restaurant (although last I knew, the one in NYC did not take reservations unless you had a very large group, and the larger your group and the later you want dinner the longer you have to wait).


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bouchon Bakery

Nothing thrills me more than a good quiche and a sweet treat after wards. When I worked in New York City, my office was very close to Columbus Circle at Central Park South. I liked to take solo-lunches and walk there, either window shopping at the shops or stroll through Central Park. The Columbus Circle shops definitely cater to a rich crowd with higher end designer stores (like Stuart Weitzman) and the cheapest places being J-Crew and Sephora. Even the restaurants were expensive. On my salary there was no way I could get a nice lunch for $30 a plate. But, there was one place I could afford (and routinely went to) that was never a disappointment, Bouchon Bakery.

The owner/creator/chef has several other restaurants (including one at Columbus Circle), but Bouchon Bakery is the only one I have ever gone to. I have gotten to go food (like some of the sandwiches, quiche, salads, and croissants) and had several sit down meals too. I absolutely love the quiche, which regardless of the kind, always had fluffy eggs that were buttery and a vinaigrette on the accompanying salad that was to die for. My two favorite sandwhiches are a toss up (depending on whether I want something sweet or something savory) between the cashew butter and jelly (apricot) and the roasted vegetable which has eggplant, zucchini, and red peppers with tons of cheese and comes on an AMAZING multi-grain bread.

And the cookies! Oh God. Between the award winning nutter butters and TKO (Thomas Keller Oreo with seasonal icing offerings), you'd already be set if not for the rest of the display case of goodies.

The one thing I was ever disappointed in was the bread they give with a sit down meal. Very small, all crust, and so crunchy. It's hard to chew, I could imagine someone with no teeth, or very bad teeth having a lot of issues. But it's such a small part of the meal considering how great everything else is. Just look at the pictures I took from their website. I think that says it all:

PS. The website does not do their selection of food justice you must go (in California, Nevada, or New York) to see for yourself! And bring the pup, there's lots of treats for him too!
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