Thursday, July 14, 2011

UnCookish: Eating Out

Next food place review: Blue Dot Donuts. Blue Dot is located on Canal St in Mid-City in New Orleans. I have been to Blue Dot twice now, and I have not been disappointed. My overall favorite may be the red velvet doughnut, which is only available sometimes, but is supremely delicious. I have also had the Dulce de Leche, which was good, but was really too rich for my taste. I've had the chocolate frosted cake doughnut topped with coconut, which is supremely tasty, as well as the chocolate-frosted cake doughnut with sprinkles, which was very good, though I prefer the chocolate-frosted yeast doughnut with sprinkles. I just prefer yeast doughnuts to cake. I had two others today, which were really awesome. First the PB&J doughnut. See below for close-up. Mmmmm. You need some milk with this one. I also had a chocolate-frosted buttermilk doughnut, which was great. (That's the one on the bottom left in the top picture.) Blue Dot is owned by some NOPD officers--how awesome is that? It has not been open long, but has been getting great coverage, both locally and with upcoming features in Martha Stewart magazine and on the Food Network. The doughnuts really are great. You can also get a doughnut ice-cream sandwich--I haven't had one yet, but they sound awesome. I usually go by after yoga at Balance Yoga & Wellness, which is right nearby. I recommend going to yoga there (the Anusara class is great--Laura is phenomenal), and then stopping by Blue Dot for a chocolate milk (the ultimate after-workout drink) and a doughnut. That's the way to start your day off right!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cookish: Snacktime


Hummus is really easy to make and the last
time I did it, I think I perfected it! Here's what you need:

3 cloves of garlic
1 can of chickpeas
1 lemon
3 tbs tahini (sesame paste)
olive oil
salt & pepper

I make my hummus in a food processor. First, chop up the garlic finely. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. You don't have to drain them all that well--a little water will help. put the chickpeas in the food processor with the juice from half the lemon and the tahini, and blend well. Add some olive oil until you get a thick, smooth paste. Add salt and pepper. Taste. At this point, I added the juice from the other half of the lemon and then enough olive oil to get the consistency I like--not too thick, and not too thin. It was awesome.

I think one of the important things for this hummus was that I bought a new brand of tahini at a local Middle Eastern market. It's made in Lebanon, and the s
tore carries several brands, but they recommended this one called Al Nakhil. It was easy to shake up (tahini tends to separate) and really made a delicious hummus. I recommend it!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cookish: Side Dish!


'Tis the season, folks. Let's not get into how corn is in nearly EVERY SINGLE THING we eat and is kind of evil...fresh corn on the cob is still delish.

My new favorite way to cook it? Courtesy of Tyler Florence.

You just stick the cobs in their husks in the oven and roast away. That's it. No boiling a pot of water. You don't even need a pan, people. It's a beautiful thing.

It comes out so delicious. You can make yourself a fancy compound butter, or use some lime and chile, or just slap some butter on there and eat it. Use the husk as the holder once you peel it back.

That, my friends, is the taste of summer.

Monday, July 4, 2011

UnCookish: Eating Out

Welcome to a new feature of Bookish & Cookish: Restaurant Reviews!
First up: Patois, a restaurant in uptown New Orleans. Someone was kind enough to give me a gift certificate as a show of appreciation (a habit I'd like to encourage). So I decided to have a girls' night with my good friend J. We managed to snag a 9 pm reservation on a Saturday (I felt very European). I do encourage you to get a reservation; the restaurant is small--a converted house, which is not uncommon uptown--and it is popular.

We started with the gnocchi and the moules frites. Both were delish, but I have a weakness for mussels, so I give them the edge. The fries were insanely tasty. Oh, I should also mention the bread they serve is buttery brioche, which is tasty, but if you are getting either of the apps I mentioned, I recommend saving it until your appetizers arrive because both have very tasty sauces and you might like the bread for soppage. I ate mine as soon as it arrived, unfortunately. Buttery as it is, I would have spread some butter on it, given the opportunity, which I was not because they don't bring you any butter. Probably a good thing for my arteries!

Next, I had the almond crusted Gulf fish, which was not your typical trout amandine, but was insanely good. They go heavy on the black pepper, which I found delicious, but not everyone is as fond of pepper, so be aware. J had the seared scallops, which is slightly different on the menu now than is described on the website. It's served with cold glass noodles, and the sauce on them was a little odd, but overall the dish was delicious. The scallops were huge and perfectly cooked.

Finally, we had dessert. J ordered the Almond bread pudding (the dessert menu on the website does not match what they were serving when we were there), which was like a cupcake on a pool of creme anglaise and a scoop of ice cream on top. Tasty, but no match for what I ordered.

I had the "Snickers." O.M.G.
I would come to Patois just for this. It's a layer of cake, topped by chocolate mousse, a triangle of toffee, and a scoop of dark chocolate ice cream. On the plate is chocolate sauce, salted caramel, and peanuts. Insane.

J had a cappuccino, which came with a tiny biscotti, and I had a cup of coffee. The perfect end to a truly excellent meal.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a collaborative book by John Green and David Levithan. The authors write alternating chapters, each narrated by a different Will Grayson. I am a big John Green fan (Google Vlog Brothers if you want to know why), so I was excited about reading this book.

I enjoyed it from the beginning, but it definitely gets stronger as the book goes on, particularly after the two Wills meet. The chapters have distinct voices (surprise, surprise, given they are written by different authors), and I laughed out loud a few times. My favorite part wasn't the humor, or even the vocabulary (though weltschmerz is my new favorite word)--my favorite part was the truth, the angst, the authentic voices, and the fact that I think this book could have a positive impact on the life of every teen, everyone who has been a teen, and especially every gay teen, or friend or family member of a gay teen. It's such a positive look at gay life--the characters definitely have issues and problems and depression--but it's not because they are gay or their friends are gay, and that was a wonderful thing. I liked this better that John's Paper Towns, though I liked that, too. I highly recommend it--it fully deserves the kudos it has received.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Bookish Review: Dominance

Dominance is a literary mystery. A class of college students uncovers a murderer by discovering the true identity of a reclusive writer, but years later, the murders start happening again. Is it a copycat, or did they get the wrong man the first time around?

I enjoyed this book--I had a inkling about the ending, but I didn't completely figure it out. Nice twist at the end, too. The book also goes into literary criticism to an extent and what happens when you really tear apart a book and what happens when you lose yourself in it too completely. The class gets involved in the Procedure--a "game" that involves reenacting the book. Interesting concept, but I felt like it wasn't explained quite fully enough. Interesting book, though. Bibliophiles should enjoy

Disclaimer: I received an advance electronic copy of this book from the publisher for the purposes of review. Free access to the book did not affect my opinion. For more information on Simon & Schuster's eGalley program, please visit