posted by on Baking, Chocolate, Comfort Food, Cookies

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In the age of e-cards, text messages and Twitter, how often do we get something personal from a friend? Over the last year, I started mailing my friends baked goods on their birthdays, only later realizing that it’s just not the kind of thing our generation does much. Believe me, “things” are great, but I’ve happily been on the receiving end of wonderful homemade gifts, and there’s something really lovely about opening a package from a friend.

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posted by on Bread, Le Pain Quotidien, Sandwiches, Soup, Vegging Out

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{Avocado tartine topped with chick peas, tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts}

I’ve had some hits and some misses at Le Pain Quotidien, but on a recent cold winter night, it was a hit all the way.

I’m a huge fan of LPQ’s seasonality, and much like their summertime tofu and pineapple tartin, I loved the avocado version with tahin, whichi felt just right for winter—smooth, creamy and ultimately filling. I paired it with their spinach soup of the day and a vegetable juice, which was a little too bitter for my taste.

{Spinach soup and vegetable juice}

But most of all, I loved the colors! Red juice, green soup, red tomatoes, magenta radishes—so much for winter blues!

posted by on Comfort Food, Dinner, Eggs, Quiche, Sides, Vegetarian, Vegging In

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After a totally disastrous preparation for my high school French class years ago, I’ve stayed away from quiche for quite some time. We had a soggy, runny cake. But you may remember that not too long ago my friend Shyema and I made this decadent quiche, and I became a total convert. That version was as rich and delicious as two food-loving girls could ask for on a night in, but I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to my indulgent food choices, so I came across this recipe from Health magazine that used more egg whites than yolks and no heavy cream.

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posted by on Breakfast, Brunch, Eggs, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Vegging Out

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I used to be the kind of person who’d wait 1.5 hours for brunch in the city, but as time goes on, my patience is waning and I.want.it.now! So when the brunch line at Clinton Street Baking Company was 2 hours (!) Thanksgiving weekend, my boyfriend and I instead went to Balaboosta, whose Mediterranean brunch menu I’ve been lusting over for about a month now.

What’s in it for you: Green eggs, scrambled and served with potato-yam rusti and feta, tomato and arugula salad; mozzarella, tomato, pesto and balsamic panini with mixed green salad; housemade granola served with seasonal fruit and Greek yogurt

What’s in it for them: Grilled spice rubbed skirt steak with patatas bravas and green salad; Tunisian sandwich made of tuna, hard boiled egg, pickled carrots, potato, olives, harissa, mixed green salad; grilled breakfast pizza with chorizo, fresh spinach, two sunny side eggs, piave cheese

{Earl grey tea to combat a blustery cold morning}

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posted by on Dessert, Gingerbread, Holidays

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I always felt like the holidays of my childhood were missing a little something having never made a gingerbread house. Sure we had the tree and presents and the lights on the house, but with me and my sweet tooth, how could I have never made a gingerbread house? It’s right up there with sugar cookies during the holidays.

So last weekend my boyfriend and I got to working on the ready-made gingerbread set we got at Bed, Bath & Beyond ($10!). Putting it together was a cinch (duh), but decorating it? That was another story. Either the frosting was totally whack or no one talks about how it’s near impossible to make it look as it does on the box:

{Before}

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posted by on Breakfast, Cookware, Gifts, Holidays, Olive oil

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1. Gumball bookends – Angelo & Lorenzo, 212-288-1920; $95
2. Bodum Bistro Juicer; $70
3. Jonathan Adler Fondue Set; $98
4. Le Petit Dej’ Breakfast Tray; $92
5. Nostalgia Retro Hit Air Popper; $100
6. Manni White Truffle Extra Virgin Oil; $89.50
7. All-in-One Cook Prep Set; $54.50