31 January 2007


oh SNAP.

Marcel pees on his hand. Ilan wears zero watches. This is TV to watch. As we sit here with ten minutes to go--I'm going to guess Marcel. I heart Ilan--well, before the last 4 episodes when he turned into "bummer chef".

According to "America" (which happens to be 15 year old teens with unlimited texting) Ilan wins with 56% of the vote.

And btw if you had been in my living room listening to my pretentious remarks, you would have heard; "Isomalt will not work in Hawaii--too humid" and "You CANNOT EAT bay leaves--it is the number one killer in restaurants". You should have listended to me--both of you.

And the winner is...

well did you really think they would choose MARCEL?

Marcel with his salad and chops? I think not. Salad and chops make for bad TV.

America voted--America could not get behind Marcel.


NOT "dubya" btw.


Good job winning Ilan. Apparently you are the most attractive, nicest, and you deserve the KENMORE kitchen more.

And to Padma and her safari gear, Rachel has some words for you; Hawaii is not in AFRICA. Africa is in Africa.

Do you feel like you wasted your life?

I suggest you get up out of your chair and roast some garlic--get back to cooking. Stop watching others do it.

Maybe I'll go on Top Chef...


Dave...I need you.


Super Bowl

I'm not really a Super Bowl fan. Actually the only sports I like are the ones I can play: tennis, softball, basketball, soccer, fox hunting, shot put, and wheel barrow racing. So when I think of Super Bowl Sunday, I think of beer and food. This is what I do on Super Bowl Sunday:

Roasted Lemon Dip
2 large lemons
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup snipped chives
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Roast the lemons: Heat the oven to 425° F. Rub the
lemons with the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Pierce
the lemons and their flesh using a wooden skewer. Place the lemons in a baking
dish and roast until skin is golden brown and very soft -- about 25

2. Prepare the sauce: Use a sharp knife to cut the skins
from each roasted lemon. Remove all the white pith and finely chop the remaining
yellow peel. Transfer the chopped lemon to a large bowl. Halve the skinned
lemons and squeeze their juice through a strainer into the bowl; add the sour
cream, mayonnaise, chives, cayenne, and remaining salt and pepper, and stir to
combine. Dip may be made a day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.

via: Country Living Magazine

Emeri's Jalapeno Crab Dip
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
1/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeños, grated
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Mayonaise
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Toasted Croutons

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the crabmeat, garlic,
jalapeños, Monterey Jack, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt, and mayonnaise in a
medium-size mixing bowl. Toss gently to mix. Spoon the mixture into a
medium-size shallow baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on the top of the
crabmeat mixture. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Remove
from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving with the

via: Emerils.com

Pommes Frites with Bleu Cheese Aioli

6 large Russet potatoes (NO IDAHO-click here to see why)

Oil for deep frying (Vegetable or Peanut)Ice water (optional)

Spray bottle with demi glace (thinned with water so that you can spray)


Salt (to taste=tt henceforth)


Bleu Cheese Crumbles (tt)

You can peel the potatoes, if you like, but it's not
necessary. C
ut the potatoes into fries about 3/8"
thick. (Thin fries soak up too much oil.) Soak the cut fries in ice water for
about 30 minutes. Again, this step is optional but it does remove a lot of the
starch, making them less sticky when frying. Pat the soaked fries dry with a
paper towel before frying.
In a frying pan or deep fryer, heat the oil to
325°. Fry small batches of the fries for about 3 minutes; they will be softened
but not browned. Remove them from the oil and let them rest, or sweat, on paper
towels for at least half an hour, up to 2 hours. (A great make-ahead step.)
When you're ready, reheat the oil to 375°. Cook the fries a second time
until golden brown, 4-6 minutes. Drain again on paper towels, transfer to a
serving bowl. Spray with demi glace for flavor. Sprinkle with
parsley and salt.

Make aioli and add bleu cheese until you've had

via: My Brain

Warm Apple Crisp

3 pounds green apples (Granny Smith), peeled and sliced

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup flour 1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 cube unsalted butter, cold, cut into slices

1) Place sliced apples in a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish. Set
2) To make crisp topping: In a bowl, stir together all remaining
ingredients, except butter.
3) Add butter and with your fingers, rub
together with the dry ingredients until butter pieces are the size of peas
4) Cover apples with crisp topping. Bake 350, 45-50 minutes or until mixture
is bubbling and browned on top. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or heavy cream
poured on each serving.
Serves 6-8

via: Culinary Muse


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Not sure why this is better than a jar of spices and seasonings--but I guess it could be.

via: Thrillist

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30 January 2007


okay. okay. OKAY.

I would like to think that the judges are really judging the food. But there is little evidence of that considering the commentary as to why they picked one chef over another.

First let me say that because Sam did not cook his food is the worst reason for kicking someone off of the show I've ever heard.

Next, Elia did venture quite far away from the region of Hawaii--so did Ilan ( He did make his own chorizo).

I get they have to pick two. They should have said, "This dish was more_____(inventive, flavorful, tasty, etc)". Not "This dish was not_____ (cooked, Hawaiian)". I mean, these are clearly talented people. They could cook for me anytime (who wants to? come on...). Obviously they are all good cooks--so there really is no reason to kick someone off because they did something wrong (esp if they DIDN'T) it's just as plausable that they would keep two because they did something RIGHT.

Clearly this was about good TV. Good TV means the rivals get to make it to the end--Marcel and Ilan played the game well--both are talented and both make for good TV. The end. Well not quite...

Betting had begun. I'm in for Ilan--but that's because he's cuter than Marcel. That seems as good as a reason as any.



29 January 2007

New Year's Resolutions--Er, Acquisitions

At the beginning of this month, I did a little online scrolling through my Bank of America account history, and decided that it was really time to tighten the purse strings. No big clothing purchases! I told myself. You don't need anything right now. Sample-sale scouring has left your closet bursting with things you've barely gotten a chance to take off the hanger yet. Really, Rachy, try to channel an Amish mentality. Just for a month.
When I made this sensible, forward-thinking resolution, however, I forgot one essential thing:
JANUARY IS SALE MONTH. Retailers have to sell off as much of their last year's merch as possible before the start of the fiscal year on Feb. 1. Jesus H. Way for me to pick the very most enticing month for a sale-lover to be all budget-conscious.

Well, I've tried. I didn't buy anything (though I did score a delectable pair of Sigerson Morrisons--thanks Mama).

But then came my downfall: the
Satine 90% off sale. NINETY PERCENT! That's seriously like almost equal to free. Almost. I finally caved, and picked up a rad knee-length egg-shaped wool skirt with a leather waistband and silk lining by Senada Theory*, as well as a perfectly cut Mayle tank with buttons down the scoop back (a chic alternative to the omnipresent Party Top).

*Senada Theory is a really cool up-n-coming Thai designer. I love when designers get really high-concept with their names or mission statements/mantras/whatever; it's so charming how important the Meaning Of It All is to them. In this case, the name refers to Senada's "Theory of Obscurity," which states that an artist can only produce pure art when the expectations and influences of the outside world are not taken into consideration. Nice. Interesting, considering that this designer purposely uses materials from all over the world...whatevs, though, their stuff is purty.

I'm going to try the resolution again in February. I'll let you know when I break it.

> r r <


21 January 2007

Sunday Book-Larnin'

You know Babyshambles? That shambles of a band with Pete Dougherty as its lead singer, the one who looks not badass but simply like he'd smell real bad if you got too close? [Who also, I learned recently, is a huge soccer nut and used to run a team fansite? Ahahaha. Imagine straggly-haired Petey, sitting at his laptop with a used syringe dangling from his arm, furiously typing heartfelt rants about the virtues of his chosen team and the genius plays they'd used in their last match.] The one who only makes Kate Moss look even more radiant and insanely cool in comparison to him? Right, that Babyshambles:

I thought the name was just some weird amalgam of words hoping to imply shattered youth or, like, rebellious children (as if the photo didn't do the job). Not. I was lying in bed a few minutes ago finishing off "Toast" at long last, and I learned that there is, in fact, a "sweet, sparkling alcoholic beverage" called "Babycham." OH! Well, I'll be. Those unwashed bandmates were just makin' a little pun. You learn something every day. Even on Sunday.

Note: this post may seem irrelevant but is, in fact, remarkably relevant, as it deals with both food (Babycham) and with a band (Babyshambles) that includes a guy (Soccer Nut Petey) who dates a model (Kate Moss) who, currently, pretty much IS fashion among a certain set (i.e. anyone with taste).

> r r <

18 January 2007

How To Order in Strange Places or They Ran Out of Things to Write About

This made me shake my head.

Who said "regional cusine" is the best?

I'm just not sure what I think of this idea.

Scallops in St. Louis?

For shame.


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Dinner Party

Tonight I am cooking for a dinner party. I often cook dinner parties as a chef, rather than large affairs. They are what keep me in the game, otherwise, I might have quit cooking all together.

Tonight I shall cook:

De Puy Lentil Soup with Preserved Lemon

Roast Leg of Lamb in Red Wine Vinegar and Garlic
Potato and Artichoke Gratin
Harcots Vert with Herbes De Provence

Yogurt Cheese Cake with Pine Nuts and Blood Orange Sauce

I am using a new syrup from Robert Lambert, because of the limited citrus crop this year, I got to the store and found that my blood oranges were out of stock! Robert makes everything with his hands. He squeezes the juice, peels the rind, and mashes the fruit in the artisnal manner.

The curious thing about salt preserved lemons is that there is so much flavor so I mustn't add in much salt, keeping the beans from getting tough and my ankles from retaining water!

If you would like any of the recipes, email me and I will be happy to forward the recipes.


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Title as simple as subject.

Got one.


Here it is:

Here is the book I am going to get:


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10 January 2007

Zen Hole in the Wall

I went to a new restaurant today that I wanna gush about. Maybe it was the air, maybe it was the company, but the food was fantastic.

It’s a restaurant that can’t be any larger than a taco stand—but with a counter inside, one table, and two seats outside.

Are you intrigued?

Well, I don’t know the name!

I don’t think it has a name. It’s that small—no room for a sign.

Let me Google it, brb.

Vietnamese Soy Café, on Hyperion in Silverlake. I could walk to it from my house, and we should have as the road is torn up right there and traffic is dumb.

We both enjoyed the white fish sandwich with turmeric and pickled vegetables and a Vietnamese coffee. They both come highly recommended from yours truly.

We hung around after and spoke with a man who is, presumably, the owner. He learned to cook in Vietnam, and is very interested in holistic health.

There are several things on the menu that I want to try, concoctions, potions, and other food items. He has a “master cleanse” shot, for those of you not in the know, that is lemon juice, cayenne, and maple syrup. He has an apple juice and Pennywort drink that is for cleansing the blood. He is working on a few more — that he might let you sample if you ask really nicely.

He has an “A” rating.

It’s cheap.

It’s good.

Spread the word—cuz I want this place to stick around.

★ ★ ★ ★



09 January 2007

Top Chef, Espisode...oh, Whatever

What? No “welcome back” party?

I know, I know, I’ve been absent (minded). I haven’t meant to ignore you (yes I did). I just was so busy (drinking champagne). So here I am, at last, ready to get this party started.

Happy new year, by the way. In this new year, 2007, let’s start off with the last episode of Top Chef. I had a Top Chef marathon today, and as I’ve just finished the last one—I’m starting there (episode 7, 7 contestants left, 7 deadly sins, lucky number sleven).

Let me start with this:


I was nervous. That dessert was a bummer. He should stick with selling watches if he is going to cook like that. It’s hard to screw up a chocolate cake.

To make a mistake like he did with the funnel cake, he should have thought on the fly—throw that item away and think of the components of a dessert:

a) chocolate b) crunch c) cream d) fruit e) garnish

These are necessary components for a plated dessert. All are self explanatory, but in case, I’ll explain.

Chocolate is, well…chocolate. It can be in various forms, but to have a perfectly plated dessert, chocolate should be included on the plate.

Crunch is something like a nut, a candy, a cookie, etc. Ilan carried this off by adding a nut brittle…a nice choice.

Cream is dairy in some form. Any dairy.

Fruit? Well…fruit.

The garnish should follow the dessert—it should either be a more attractive version of what is in the meal (strawberry shortcake should have a beautifully sliced strawberry on top) or it should accent the dish (think nuts on a banana split).

Speaking of banana split, according to the rule, a banana split is the perfect dish—even without the cherry on top.

Okay, so enough about Ilan. Let’s talk about Marcel.

Holy…holy…holy. How does he not get it? He’s really annoying! His presentations are beautiful. That is part of his artistry, but he might need to hold back on some of that genius and try to use it for his relationships. He sucks. I can’t stand him and I can turn him off—and often do!

Those boys ganging up on him are acting a little…oh, I dunno—frat house? I think everyone needs to get laid, personally. They all have a lot of pent up energy that could use some expelling. Anyone willing to volunteer? (Pick me! Pick me!)

Beyond the caveman urge to take out the weakest Neanderthal (has no one noticed the brow bone on Marcel?) I think everyone seems to be doing fine. A little too fine. Just fine.

This is a rather boring season. The way the show is shot makes me feel like everything is staged. In my opinion, it seems impossible to give a contest of creating a drink and a dish and then executing it in twenty minutes. Seems like they do some nice cut and paste work over there at Bravo studios.

And Marcel must be even worse in person than on TV because those, once, grown up chefs, have been reduced to silly little name callers—and I’m most certain that they are much more elegant men than that. (That’s what is called a “not” joke. Look it up.)

The only other real quibble I have with the show are the grounds for execution of characters. It seems to me that the team leader ALWAYS wins or gets eliminated—but sometimes, even the best leader can’t win when there is a wolf amongst the sheep, just ask George Bush (…yeah—NOW you are catching on…all together…”NOOOOOOOOOTTTT”).

Tomorrow: Anthony Bourdain—cook or asshole or cooker of assholes?

Tune in to find out.


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04 January 2007

How Hollywood Gets Down--Or, Rather, Spirals Downward

OK, this post is both entirely unrelated to either fashion or food and also entirely stolen from The Superficial, but I just thought that y'all should know, and maybe feel even gladder than you already did that your forsook absurd clubs and didn't party like a star on New Year's.

Because if you had, you probably would've ended up all over the internet, and I'd be laughing at you. Like Tara Reid did. She apparently made the supremely unwise decision to count down to midnight starting not from 10,but from 60...and then found she'd given herself a challenge far too great to conquer. I wish I had the mad tech skillz to post the video here, but I'd recommend taking a moment to witness for yourself how she starts at 10, gets to fifty, magically skips from 30 to 20, and has to do some emergency number repairs along the way. I just watched this and I really, really want to watch it again. Dear god. I'm glad that she's fixed up her bungled boobies, but it seems she might have put off her tutoring in the meantime. Jesus it's funny. Though still not as funny as "America's Funniest Home Videos." Or maybe as funny as one of the less funny ones, like a dog jumping up and knocking over a baby, which is still pretty funny.

On the other hand, Britney Spears did surprisingly well, hosting the New Year's party at Pure and managing a vague resemblance to her formerly smokin' self. I even am proud enough of her to have put this nice photo up, rather than one of the goofy ones where she's shrieking and stuff. Still, she did end up collapsing and having to be carried out at the end of night. Oopsy! But "her rep is playing it off like she got tired, not drunk. Her rep says: 'By about one o'clock, she was just done, so we took her out. She was not drunk. She was just tired and falling asleep. There is nothing out of the ordinary here.'" I'd have to agree.

And I'm so glad to see that we can still count on good ol' Paris to get ice cubes thrown at her face after singing at Pure.

Happy Friday! My new classes are starting, so soon I'll have more fashion-school nonsense stories (hurrah!).

> r r <


02 January 2007

Reading for Pleasure

Well, dear readers, a very happy '07 to you all (which, by the by, reminds me that I think Daniel Craig did an excellent job as the new 007 in "Casino Royale." I took my little sister to see it at the Mann Chinese Theater when she visited this fair city a few days ago, and boy howdy, I was captivated. I wanted to be the next Bond girl just so I could hang out with Bond.). I had an unexpectedly great holiday, realized that there's a reason people drink champagne out of narrow flutes instead of large, capacious mugs, and (thanks to Santa) acquired a whole stack of glorious things to read. They include:

"In Vogue."I was thrilled to tear the wrapping paper off and discover this gorgeous, exhaustive tome. Not only is it chock full of eye candy (reprints of early issues, beautiful fashion spreads, fashion icons galore), but it's a great history of the magazine since its start 100 years ago as a little society rag. It really has been an incredibly influential publication since the 1930s, not only reporting on but also determining style and social trends, and I think the book will be awesome to both dip into and read straight through.

"Shoes: A History..." This book is really much more historical than it looks. Why do they always put the punky, ridiculous garments on the cover of these things? Anyway, it starts hundreds of years back and is fun to flip through (no shortage of eye candy here either).

I'm thrilled that one of my hard-working parents tracked down the out-of-print Are Clothes Modern? by Bernard Rudofsky. It's "an essay on contemporary apparel," and is considered a classic in sociology.

I also have on the top of my stack "Toast," a book that I inteded to give as a gift, but ended up keeping when the recipient had it already. Usually that would be annoying, but in this case it works out perfectly: after I bought it, I started reading and immediately wished for my own copy. Now I'm a few chapters in and his writing--about the associations he has with foods from his childhood--is marvelous. It's neat to see the foods he had as a little boy growing up in England--all so different from typical American stuff--and I'm waiting eagerly for the more "dark" sections of the story to come.

Okay, I'm audi (time for some more "Toast"), but before I go: may the new year bring about fabulous fashion and food for you and your loved ones (or flings), and may it bring about new resolutions that benefit us all (e.g., "Wear a bra" for Britney, "Say no to Uggs" for all girls in Southern California, "I'm so over the popped collar thing" for all those foolish frat dudes, and "Wear panties, ALWAYS" for, well, everyone).

> r r <

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