Place Settings #45: February 1, 2015


Eat | Definitely a what’s-left-in-my-refrigerator kind of breakfast. Egg-in-a-hole, avocado, and bacon.


Drink | It looks like a beer, but it’s not. It’s a can of Guayaki yerba mate in a pretty glass. Yerba mate is a plant in the holly family that can be brewed like tea to make a tasty beverage. I wasn’t really familiar with it until I spent a month in Berlin and was converted into a Club Mate addict. Club Mate is head and shoulders and torso above any other yerba mate drink I’ve ever encountered and it’s very difficult to find in the US, a fact that makes me cry every so often. (more…)


Place Settings #44: January 25, 2015

IMG_4289Eat | These are bacon pancakes with a blob of avocado mash. They were delicious and super easy to make: I just chopped up some bacon, cooked it, and added it to the pancake mix.

Drink | More Baruir’s coffee.

Read | Still going strong with Moby Dick. As I read, this book keeps getting higher on my list of favorite books. Whales are constantly on my mind — I went on an extended YouTube deep dive of whale documentaries — and the infamous whale chapters are actually the best ones. (more…)

Place Settings #40: May 11, 2014

Place Settings #40

Eat: A kiwi, some sliced mango, and spicy mashed avocado on Krisprolls. A very satisfying breakfast after doing one of Tone It Up‘s HIIT workouts. My friend Dani (check out her great health and fitness blog Eat, Sweat, Smile) has been a big fan of Tone It Up for years and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon since a knee injury has been keeping me from running.

Drink: Red Rose tea, almond milk, honey. I actually don’t even have any coffee in the apartment right now, can you believe it? I have, however, been frequenting KB Cafeshop the past few weeks for my fix of filter coffee, reclaimed wood tables, and bespectacled, Macbook-toting café-mates.

Read: I started French classes on Monday, so I’ve been devoting a lot of my reading time to studying. It might seem strange that I’m only just starting French classes after four months of living here, but it’s because I spent the first several months learning a lot just by listing and running errands (I started from basically zero French). To study, I’ve been reviewing our textbook and making flashcards on these handy Muji Key Ring Memo Blocks.

I’ve also been reading about Berlin because I’m going for three days next weekend. Do any of you have Berlin recommendations? So far my schedule includes a bunch of museums and as many coffee shops as possible (The Barn — I’m coming for you).

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

PS Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Place Settings #34: March 23, 2014

Place Settings #34

Eat: Toasted pita, hummus, avocado, red pepper flakes.

Drink: Nespresso. I am counting down the days until I am reunited with my full coffee set-up.

Read: I have a confession to make. I’ve been hopelessly sucked into the original Law & Order, all of which is available on Netflix. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was my original police procedural love; I’d only seen random episodes of the original series. One day about two weeks ago I was bored and browsing through Netflix for something to watch and thought I’d just watch an episode or two. I’m now in season six, so you do the math (but don’t tell me; I don’t want to know). (more…)

Place Settings #31: March 2, 2014


Eat: This is yet another installment of I-need-to-go-grocery-shopping cooking. I scrambled some eggs, finished off some sad lettuce, and topped a baguette with goat cheese and avocado. I ran 16 miles this morning as part of my marathon training, which means I’ll be spending the rest of the day eating and napping.

Drink: Nespresso, or I would have fallen asleep immediately after my post-run shower. (more…)

Place Settings #29: February 16, 2014

Place Settings #29

Eat: Avocado mash on a slice of the first non-baguette bread I’ve bought here. I took half of a ripe avocado and smushed it up with some diced onion and topped with salt and red pepper flakes. And an apple.

Drink: Back on the Nespresso train.

Read: This is the penultimate Place Settings post that will feature Infinite Jest, I promise. I’ve been sticking like glue to my 31-pages-a-day schedule, so we’re right on track for a February 28 end date. Like I mentioned last week, all the big themes of the book are coming together in a nice way. It’s not an overt convergence, but it is surprisingly tight and neat for such a huge, sprawling volume. (more…)

Place Settings #5: August 11, 2013

Place Settings 8-11-13

Eat: Avocado toast. I was browsing Instagram last week and stumbled upon Bluestone Lane’s picture of avocado toast, and have been craving it ever since. I mashed up an avocado with some diced red onion and lemon juice, heaped in on some thick-sliced toast, and finished with red pepper flakes. Yum.

Drink: New Orleans Iced Coffee Batch #3! Keep an eye out for a post on how to make it this week.

Read: To be honest with you, I was barely aware of David Rakoff until he passed away last August and an impressive quantity and quality of people shared their grief publicly, in print, on the internet, and on the radio.  Shortly afterward, one of my favorite people in the whole world played me This American Life’s tribute episode, and when one of your best friends plays you fifty-eight minutes of Ira Glass and other intellectual luminaries talking about how amazing someone was, you start to pay attention. A few weeks ago I was sitting in a coffee shop being depressed (I know I sound about ten years retarded, a black eye-linered, brow-pierced teenager, but I promise that I was merely a bare-faced twenty-something contemplating the meaning of life and  her place in it) and the Sunday Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times, covered with David Rakoff’s photograph, happened to land on the table next to me. Joel Lovell’s piece completely changed my outlook that day. Reading about Rakoff makes it difficult to be depressed because he engaged with life so robustly and enthusiastically. Even when he knew his days were numbered he approached life not with despair, but with determination, wanting to experience and share as much as he possibly could. So of course I trotted out to the bookstore the day that Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, A Novel ByDavid Rakoff’s last and posthumous work, came out. It’s written in verse and spans the country and the 20th century. It’s beautiful and moving and even my cat likes it when I read it out loud to him.