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 #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 #24: January 12, 2014


Eat: Not very French, but sausages, egg and bacon tart, salad, and chocolate mousse at that place Le Bloc that I’ve been walking by nearly every day. I was a little concerned about all the Yelp reviews I saw complaining about really gruff service, but everyone seemed nice to me.

Drink: Espresso. It was okay, but not great. I’ll definitely be returning to Le Bal if I want a proper espresso. (more…)

Place Settings #17: November 10, 2013


In lieu of food: a scene from the run we all did Saturday morning before the wedding

Eat: Oops, no food photo this week. Please insert yet another hotel breakfast picture, this time from the the lovely and delicious Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware, where one of my very good college friends got married this weekend (Congrats again, Christina and Sean!). Not pictured: eggs, bacon, strawberries, and a leftover slice of wedding cake.

Drink: Also not pictured: about four cups of coffee. Those sneaky breakfast waiters creep up and refill your cup when you’re not looking and it makes me keep drinking it.

Read Reminisce: No reading materials at the table this weekend because I was with a large section of my college social circle. The whole morning reminded me of a Sunday morning at our eating club in college, where the entire cast of characters from the night before would straggle in gradually in various states of grogginess to eat eggs and compare social notes. The whole thing felt incredibly familiar and happy, and now I’m in a post-wedding depression that we don’t all still live in the same one square mile and get brunch together every weekend.

I imagine next week’s Place Settings will be a little different too, because I’ll be in Philadelphia running a half marathon (eek!), but after that we’ll be back to regular Sunday programming. What did you guys get up to this weekend?

PS Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! You have until 11:50pm on Wednesday.

Edibles: Sunday Brunch

It’s Sunday, and in New York, that means brunch. A few weekends ago I had some friends over to my apartment for for the ritual, and as expected, this morphed into a lazy, mimosa-infused Sunday Funday that ended late into the evening with a large order of take-out Thai food and the Grammys. Before the many orders of drunken noodles, however, I made some food for everyone. Here’s what we ate:


I made two loaves of chocolate chip banana bread the night before to free up the over for other tasty brunch foods that are better served hot. That chocolate chips should be used instead of nuts in all loaves of banana bread is a cornerstone of my life philosophy, so naturally I relied on my favorite chocolate chip banana bread recipe to make these. I got a big bunch of bananas at the beginning of the week and let them become brown and spotty on my kitchen table so they would be a nice texture for the bread. This has got to be the world’s easiest baking recipe, as you essentially just mix everything in a big bowl, pour it into loaf pans, and pop it in the oven. Works like a charm, every time.

Sorry for the bad photograph.... This is what I get for trying to iPhotograph while pouring mimosas.

Sorry for the bad photograph…. This is what I get for trying to iPhotograph while pouring mimosas.

I also made an onion frittata that morning. As it turns out, this frittata recipe also relies on the simple mix-pour-oven strategy, and this was an easy thing to whip up as I waited for guests to arrive. My only regret is that I should have scaled the recipe up to fit my giant cast-iron skillet. It was a little bit thinner than I would have liked, but it still tasted great.

Finally, I made my favorite variation on pigs in a blanket (which I find easier and faster than individually rolling a bunch of tiny hot dogs anyway): puff pastry wrapped around sausage. I got big frozen sheets of puff pastry from my local grocery store (sorry, didn’t make it from scratch this time), and then headed to Butcher Block, the local Irish butcher, which happens to be two blocks away and one of the best butchers in New York (confession: also picked up some Hob Nobs from their selection of Irish and UK treats; the chocolate ones, of course). I got ten links of their house sausage, rolled them in puff pastry, and sliced it into ~1″ slices. I’ve done this several times, and I have to admit that I’ve never timed it. 350F, for 20 minutes, I think. Maybe check them at 15 minutes, just to be safe.

Next time I’ll try to be more diligent about taking photographs. Hope all of you have been having a nice weekend and eating lots of tasty things!