Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vienna Dispatch: A Tale of Tiny Sandwiches (A Love Story)

Leave it to the Viennese to take the sometimes unweildy and occasionally messy sandwich and turn it into something logical, neat, and elegant. Behold the tiny topless sandwich:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Austrian Dispatch: Classic Viennese Fare, with a Twist

Viennese cafe culture in action at the Cafe West End in the Mariahilf district:

Grüß Gott from Osterreiche! After three-and-a-half days of eating, drinking, taking in the beautiful architecture, gawking at the incredible Egon Shiele paintings at the Leopold Museum, strolling around the grounds of the Hofburg Palace and trying - with some  modest success, if I do say so myself  - to communicate in monosyllabic German, I have finally found some time to sit back, relax, and share a tiny slice of Vienna as I've experienced it so far. (And of course I am sipping some Austrian wine as I type this!)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Bon Voyage Cocktail: So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodnight!

I realize that this cocktail evokes visions of remote island getaways, surf and sand, and lazy afternoons spent basking in the sun. But the truth is, I'm not much of a beach holiday kind of girl. (Not that I would turn down a free trip!)  I've made this lovely electric blue drink to toast a different sort of trip:  Poppa Trix and I are off to Vienna for two pastry-filled weeks, with a side trip to Budapest. We plan to look at tons of art, visit more palaces than you can shake a stick at, and of course - eat!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eureka! Beet Salad: Spicy, Tangy, Hot & Sweet

Confession: I haven't been very inspired lately when it comes to cooking.  I go to the market - something I normally love to do - and I just wander around the produce aisles, mentally shrugging my shoulders and seeing  nothing that excites me. Being stuck in a rut is no fun, and I realize I've let several things drag me down into the doldrums:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Guest Post by Poppa Trix: New York I Love You, But You're Making Me Fat

In which Poppa Trix goes to New York and eats and eats and eats while I have to stay home and work and work and work. 
When I told Trix that I had to go to New York for a few days of family business she went through a brief period of jealousy before settling on the kind of statement that gets made all the time around here: "You know you're going to have to write a blog post about this, right?" She had a point. I already had a list of old favorite food joints I wanted to check in on and her challenge gave me the perfect opportunity to try some new places as well, meticulously documenting every dish in photos and notes along the way. If she wasn't going to get to join in on any of the actual eating at least she was gonna get a nice trip report out of it. And in an effort to keep things cheap I decided to hold all meals to $10 or less (not including alcohol, of course!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

What Makes Trix Tick?

I am super-excited (not to mention extremely flattered) to be this week's subject for Refrigerator Soup's "20 Questions With Our Favorite Food Bloggers" feature. After all these years as a writer/journalist, it was definitely a new experience to be the one answering, rather than asking, the questions. Here's a tiny little taste of the interview:

Refrigerator Soup: Do you watch a lot of cooking shows on TV?

Trix:  ... because I love nothing more than a hot mess, I do like to catch re-runs of Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee. The food is just so appalling and hilarious, I can’t get enough – I especially love how excited she gets for cocktail time.

That's all you get! If you want to read the rest, please head on over to Refrigerator Soup and check it out. You'll learn the answers to such burning questions as: If I were a food, what would I be? Who are my culinary heroes? What superpower would I most like to have?

... And much, much, more!

Thanks so much to the crew at Refrigerator Soup - I had a great time doing it.  I hope you all enjoy reading it, and if you get a chance stop back and let me know what you think.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sticky Buns, Challah Bread, Dinner Rolls & Doughs: Culinary School is Back in Session

After two snowstorms closed everything down and put the kibosh on my baking & pastry classes, we are finally back to cooking it up. And boy, are we making up for lost time. In one session we produced country bread, a preferment,  and enough dinner rolls (pictured above) to feed an army, and the next week we made copious amounts of sticky buns and  challah bread:

In that session, we also made Danish and puff pastry doughs to freeze and use the following week. Now, you may be thinking, "So what? She's making rolls and bread. I can do that. Who goes to school for this?" I totally understand. These are not complicated or exotic recipes to be sure, and, except for the Danish and puff pastry doughs, they require very little in the way of finesse. But I am learning that culinary school is about more than cooking and baking - at least at this early stage.