Archive for February, 2010

Never Really Been So I Don’t Really Know

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

me, fairway

I have run an informal, not- for -profit concierge service for years.  I field calls weekly from various friends asking what restaurant to go to for certain occasions.  I like giving this advice, I love sharing information.  From very early on in life I have loved connecting people.

If I’m in a hotel, no matter where or when, I’m often found deep in conversation, in a hot tub, probably about food with strangers.  I once belonged to the Loews Hotel fitness club which was, and is, not terribly expensive and comes with the use of their pool, hot tub, steam room.  It was a great deal and I really love to swim and didn’t have a pool of my own at the time.  Most nights I could be found in the hot tub with random people telling them where to eat while they were in L.A. on vacation.  Great for THEM.

Years ago,  I remember sitting in a hot tub in the Berkshires, at a hotel I recommend by the way,  called Porches.  I told some of my new -found “friends for the next 20 minutes “that I would be spending a lot of time on the upper west side of New York.  They were my east coast counterparts.  They told me all these places I needed to go.  Did I listen? Well, I never forgot but I never really tried all, no make that any of their suggestions.  I am set in my ways and love my Magnolia cupcakes so much that I totally disregarded their recommendation of the “real” best cupcakes in the city.  They had said the name Mitchell London and it sounded like a salon and not a food place so I just ignored it.  The mental note was still there and sometimes I would pass a Mitchell London store as I was headed to a museum or somewhere to eat on the upper east side.  But I just kept ignorant.  And, it was maybe better that way. (more…)

Valentines Day and Gourmet Grandma’s Salmon

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

forkI fantasized that I could cook meals long before I made it a reality.  Refer to my “About” page.  I never observed my own mothers amazing cooking and had little interest.  She was a true caretaker or maybe I was a hysteric with little interest. I ate her delicious meals and it didn’t matter to me how it ended up on my plate.

I was,  however, a hopeless romantic.  And as each Valentines Day approached even as a teenager I PLANNED to make a heart shaped cake or something special for a boy I loved.  I’m sorry for them that it never happened and if any of them find their way to this blog, I invite those boys/now men to take me up on the offer.  You know who you are and I will make you a damned good cake-come and get it!

The first meal I made of any substance was at the age of 32.  It is Gourmet Grandma’s secret and easy way to cook salmon.  For me, part of the beauty is the little preparation involved- and I almost feel like that little girl waiting for my mothers meal to magically arrive; that’s how easy it is.

Stop fantasizing and start doing, it doesn’t matter at what age you start.  I’m being forced into that as my new motto.

Gourmet Grandma’s salmon recipe

I use two, but fine, take one, I don’t care…sheet of aluminum foil

place the salmon fillet on the sheet of foil

I drizzle good olive oil,  just a touch and only a touch of salt and pepper

Gourmet Grandma used to add julienned carrots, carrots sliced thinly

very thin sliced onion

thin slices of lemon and some dill

you can add any vegetables, I only cook the salmon, no vegetables, onions, dill or lemon

fold the foil into a pouch, nothing genius about this….play with it and figure it out, if I can do it, you can

cook the salmon in the pouch of foil in a 400 oven for 15 minutes

if it’s very thick, you might have to go a few more minutes

Sisterhood of the Katsu-Ya

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

It was an evening rich in layers.  NO, not the food, us.  The women with history, betrayal, loyalty, honesty, beauty, humor, love–you get the idea.  Some of us met in grammar school, a few not until high school.  We connect the dots at the Fries family.  At least Debi, Madeline and Janet do.  Cristi and I, well, more through the Cahill family.

We ate most of the “signature” dishes like the tuna tartare on crispy rice.  But I was too busy reading subtext to remember scarfing down the tasty morsels.  We revealed things, yes, but the bubbles above our heads were saying so much more.  We need a month in a rented house in the south of France to unfold all  the stories of our lives for the past, can I say it? Thirty-something years.  When I started to write a shorthand version, it was reading like Peyton Place or perhaps Greek mythology.

Sorry it took me so long to post this piece.  Thank you Madeline for including me in your birthday celebration, it was an honor.

Katsu-Ya has a few locations.  We went to the Brentwood restaurant.  Order all the signature dishes.  My favorite is the baked hand crab roll.