Archive | September, 2011

Ten Artists, Artworks, Etc.

30 Sep

In a series of Thursday night posts beginning next Thursday, let’s talk about:

10. Love Story

9. Rothko

8. Drive

7. Modern Dance

6. Paloma Picasso

5. The Sopranos

4. The Beatles

3. Alinea

2. Jeff Buckley

1. The David


Simple Radish Salad

29 Sep

Have I mentioned my new obsession with radishes?  Seriously they are so good.  I had no idea.  I bought a bag of radishes for some reason I cannot recall, but I’ve been forced to use them now and have come around on their deliciousness.  They’re so pretty, too.  And crunchy.  Perfect with salads or plain with some olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

This simple radish salad is my favorite of the various radish recipes I’ve concocted in the last week or so.  It’s the best of substantial and light; lots of flavor and texture (the crunchy radish is nice with the soft mozzarella).  And it represents summer turning into fall nicely.

Radish & Fresh Mozzarella Salad


5-6 medium-sized radishes, quartered and sliced thinly

1/2 cup of fresh mozzarella, diced

3-4 leaves of fresh basil, chiffonade (cut into ribbon-like strips)

Good quality olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper


Combine radishes, mozzarella, and basil in a bowl.  Dress with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, to taste.  Toss.


Julius Meinl Love

28 Sep

Julius Meinl is one of my favorite places in Chicago.  This is in part because of the nostalgic value (it is one of the first coffee/specialty shops I discovered when I moved here in 2002 and I have been going here ever since) and in part because of the quality of the food and pastries and coffees and other treats they offer.

Everything about Julius Meinl is special.  The pastries are small and lovely; the breakfast, lunch and dinner items, as well as the decor, are Austrian-chic (!).  Julius Meinl is hyper-European but not in a pretentious way.  In an actual way.  The company is based in Vienna, Austria and the only two American locations are in Chicago.  The website recounts the origin of JM as follows: “[Julius Meinl] was founded in Vienna in 1862 by a boy from the country who came to Imperial Vienna looking for work. He opened a small store and started selling green coffee. In those days coffee beans were roasted at home on kitchen stoves. This process required a lot of care as there was a considerable risk of burning the beans. It was young Julius Meinl who had the ingenious idea of selling fresh roasted coffee.”  Since then, the Meinl family has been roasting and selling coffee throughout Europe and the United States.

The coffees and teas are delicious; and even more so because of how they are served (with a glass of water – no ice, of course and a little tea biscuit).  Little details.For a light lunch, the frittaten soup (light, beef based broth with crepe noodles) and half sandwich is a JM favorite.  Fresh ingredients and nice toasted bread.    Though a light lunch is not necessarily recommended when you can choose from crepes and spatzle and other delicious things.Truthfully, the service could be better, but that’s the only negative.

Lots of love for Julius Meinl.  And very likely more about Julius Meinl to come in an upcoming post . . . .

PS: Tomorrow is National Coffee Day!

And L’shana tova!


27 Sep

This place is the cutest.  A lunch place that is meant to be like a school cafeteria.  I have been to Lemonade several times but for some reason it resonated with me this time.  The grass on the walls and everything.Choose one, two, or four portions of quirky salad-type items.  Divide the portions in half so you can try more items without eating more food, necessarily.  The salad options change regularly.  My favorites this time were the heirloom carrots with herbs and the kale salad with tangerines and mushrooms.In addition to salad, there are soup, stew, and mac-n-cheese options,and an array of desserts on trays (these epitomize the cafeteria thing).And of course, a long list of creative lemonades.What I love about Lemonade is that it can be healthful or indulgent depending on the user.  And it’s fairly inexpensive and they weirdly kind of accomplish their goal of a creating a retro-but-new atmosphere (whatever that means).  Los Angeles, this is clever.  You should open Lemonade in other places, too.

Sodastream Reprise

26 Sep

OK I don’t think I did the Sodastream justice with this rave review (I’ve had some good follow up questions) so let me try again (with action shots this time).

Screw the bottle onto the Sodastream pump.

Pull the lever to create the bubbles.  You can tailor the amount of bubbles each time.  The more pumps, the more bubbly it is (one pump – very light; three pumps – fairly strong).

And yes you can make soda, too.  In fact, the soda stream comes with three different flavors (lemon-lime, raspberry, and orange).  All natural flavors.  No sugar or sweetener added.There are environmental incentives, too.  You will no longer have to buy glass or plastic bottles of sparkling water.  Just reuse the durable plastic bottle that comes with the Sodastream again and again.  San Francisco would approve.

Finally, beyond the one time purchase, you will save money as you never have to buy sparkling water again!

R.I.P. R.E.M.

25 Sep

I’m not obsessed with R.E.M. but I like them, and did so especially in junior high/high school/college.  And it’s relevant enough and the tone is right for a Sunday night.  This is a beautiful performance, anyway.

Also, we were at Babbo in New York a few years ago and as we were walking out I stopped to thank Mario Batali for the meal.  I realized I had interrupted a conversation he was having so I turned to apologize to the person he was talking to and it was Michael Stipe.  Sorry again!

[Video Credit: Betarugo01]

[Title of this post credit: Sunil]


24 Sep

Sodastream is a dream come true for sparkling water fanatics like me (are there any others?).  Anyway, Abe surprised me with this amazing machine that turns regular water into sparkling water with just a tilt of the little white air pressure thing.

We no longer need to buy Perrier in bulk (ha – need) – we can have our own homemade version any time, day or night.  Fancy. 


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