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Archive for August, 2007

Paella Party: Foodie Porn

Mon Aug 27, 2007

Ever since I visited Spain seven years ago, I’ve often felt like a Spanish girl trapped in a white Jewish girl’s body. So what if I’m only five-foot-two and blond instead of lean, leggy and dark? I found my home in saffron-scented rice, fresh shellfish, still briny and sweet from the sea, and the garlic, olives, tomatoes and other deliciousness that abound in Spain. I chased different incarnations of tapas, Spanish small plates perfect for sharing with friends over afternoon sangria. And I fell in love with paella, the Valencian classic named for the Catalan word for frying pan. Continue reading

Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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Handmade Goat Cheese Ravioli

Tue Aug 21, 2007

My ravioli fell apart. And when my ravioli fell apart, little bits of herbed Laura Chenel goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano and mascarpone slipped out, clouding the salted water I was boiling them in and coating the inner-edges of the pot with tufts of cheese that looked like dirty snow.I’m going to blame it on the wonton wrappers, but in all likelihood it was just me. I’d never made ravioli by hand before I taking on the Goat Cheese Ravioli with Bell Peppers and Brown Butter recipe from Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Restaurant Bonne Soirée, featured in the September 2007 issue of Bon Appétit. Continue reading

Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Categories: Pasta, Recipe
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Little Chefs

Sat Aug 18, 2007

No, I’m not talking about a cartoon rats in toques, scurrying around Paris and chasing truffles and I’m not referring to knife-juggling midgets. I’m thinking of tykes. Kids. Those moldable balls of dough whose eating habits are still pliable—who eat olives and slices of lemon and sushi when given the chance.On a recent trip to Las Vegas to visit my brother, sister-in-law and nephew, we made a rare trip to the Strip for dinner. At Enoteca San Marco in the Venetian, one of Mario’s new Vegas Ventures, my nephew nibbled on prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella, then blew me away when he started telling me about pizza dough— how it’s thin and crisp toward the middle and how the edges bubble up with air and crunch. I thought about how lucky we were when one of the manager’s took us back into the kitchen for housemade gelato, straight from the case. And then my nephew joyfully finished two bowls full of bright ruby raspberries, smiling like you’d just given him a new toy. Did I mention he’s four? Continue reading

Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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Too Hot To Cook?

Wed Aug 15, 2007

Wednesday. It might just be the hardest weekday to muster the energy to cook. Especially in the summer. Especially on a hot, sticky day when you’d much prefer to sit be sitting on the edge of a pool, your toes grazing refreshingly cool water, an ice cold coconut laced drink in hand. But if your local community pool, with its screaming children and noxious chlorine aroma is a far cry from your fantasy and you’ve used up all of your “honey can we order in credits” for the week, you’ll probably have to suck it up and make dinner.Sticking with the coconut motif, last Wednesday I made Chicken and Basil in Coconut Broth from Donna Hay’s “Flavors” cookbook. It was simple, fast and tasty with a few tweaks and tasted fantastic as Thursday’s lunch. Continue reading

Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Categories: Chicken, Easy, Recipe, Thai
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Whirlwind Wino

Sat Aug 11, 2007

Have you ever heard of the book Who Moved My Cheese? It’s about two mice in a maze that discover, long after mastering the maze, that the cheese at the end is gone. One mouse sits and laments its misfortune, slowly wasting away while wondering where the cheese has gone, waiting for it to come back. The other mouse, the mouse we assume that we should all endeavor to be more like, goes back out into the maze to seek new cheese, then, upon finding it, goes back and retrieves the other mouse and drags his reluctant tail into the future. (This is an amazing oversimplification, culled from what I took away from a book I read about seven years ago and may not be entirely accurate—but you get the point.)What the author fails to mention is that there’s another kind of mouse. The kind of mouse that, upon finding the cheese in the first place, sniffs, takes a bite, expounds on the aromas, flavor profiles and texture, declares its love of cheese and then takes off, back into the maze, in search of newer, stinkier cheeses.I’m that mouse.When I last wrote I was “Making the Mozza Life,” but frankly it wasn’t much of a life. Fourteen-hour workdays and an hour-long commute got old, quick. As much as I loved being part of L.A.’s hottest restaurant and enjoying pillowy pies and prosciutto six days a week, I decided to move on. With a brief detour into public relations, which wasn’t my slice of cheese, I’ve changed course again and am finally doing what I love, writing about wine.Which means…Brix is back (with a couple of changes).In addition to writing up the amazing wines I taste (for work and play) and occasional forays out into the world to dine and imbibe, I’m going to be writing a lot more about cooking at home—the search for recipes, the successes, the failures and the people I force to eat what I make. I’ll post recipes or links if they’re from sites like Epicurious or Food Network, pics if I’ve got them and recommendations for simple, budget-conscious wine pairings for everyday living. From you, my reader, I ask for feedback: Did you try the wine? The recipe? Do you have something you’d like me to try to make, a new pasta maker you’d like me to try or a recommendation on a place to shop? Brix was designed to be about food, wine, travel and community. I’d like to spend a bit more time on community.Are you in?Dinner Party

A Brix Dinner Party Preview

Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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About Leah



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