Category: Gifts

You Becherovka!

When we asked the proprietor of Cairo Liquor in Dupont Circle if he carried this herbal liqueur, he asked if we were Czech. Not a lot of requests for the highly alcoholic anise/cinnamon flavored Becherovka from Bohemia. But there’s one …

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For the Eater Who Has Everything

It’s ironic that I’m about to recommend you buy a cheese board. On countless occasions I’ve wondered how it is that I own so many. I mean you only really need one, right? But they are popular gifts, so if …

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Everyone’s a Critic

I’ve been reading all the recent food magazines and the fish wraps, but nothing has been making much of an impact. Could it be that making my way through Calvin Trillin’s The Tummy Trilogy has set the bar a bit higher?

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Herbals That Perk You Up

After limping along with caffein-free Twinings for the past months, I decided to invest in some herbal teas from Harney & Sons. There were many new additions to their offerings and now they are brightening up my daily sacraments. Sure …

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Eat This Cheese: Port Salut

If you are like me, you find a stocked cheese case intimidating. I usually glide past it at Whole Foods and hit up my stand-bys: smoked mozzarella or a hunk of Muenster. These are also cheeses that lend themselves well to devouring in the kitchen while unpacking the other groceries. For dinner parties, I will linger by the full cheese case sniffing plastic-wrapped options that are unrevealing about their nature. Eventually I ask someone for help, but the fact that they never suggested Port Salut is evidence that I was being steered to their personal favorites or worse the blocks they want to move.

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How Bitters Saved Cocktail Hour

The primary thing I learned about navigating an abstemious 5PM is that there are scant non-sweet options. I didn’t drink juice or soda before I went on the wagon, and I wasn’t about to start. I was grateful when I could find a non-alcoholic beer, but the majority of places don’t offer any. Servers are, of course, happy to ask the bartender to whip up something, but then we are back to juice.

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Making Potato Salad with Ferran Adria

I think I would have been intimidated by any cookbook by Ferran Adria of the experimental mecca (lately shuttered) elBulli in Spain. And now after reading through much of his new book, The Family Meal, I wonder if there exists a more accessible one out there. I’m also left feeling that Adria really is a teacher first–it makes perfect sense that he’s replacing his restaurant with a cooking school.

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Give the SuperGift of SuperFoods

I recently discovered that the Westin chain of hotels has based some of its menus on the 2004 book SuperFoods RX. It was a bestseller at the time, and I’ve certainly heard the term bandied about, but I’m not sure how deeply this diet penetrated. It’s certainly no South Beach. Also, I mean diet simply as a way of eating, not as a way to lose weight. That too probably retards the brand’s momentum. But I’ve long meant to plug this book as it has had a huge impact on the way I’ve eaten in the past decade (and my doc gives me an A for health).

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Soaked in Gin for the Holidays

Slim pickings in the food mags this months—December issues are always all roasts, cookies, and gifts to buy. Both Bon Appetit and Martha Stewart Living boast something “magical” within, but I had trouble finding those sections. Both did offer the …

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What Was Your Favorite Dish of 2011?

Every month I flip through the pages of the food mags, taking in images of fantasy kitchens I’ll never have, complicated recipes I’ll never attempt, and exotic locales I’ll never visit. What a pleasure then to read December’s Food & Wine (already?!) about an outpost of Fatty Crab now open on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a place I just booked a little holiday travel. Sign me up for the butter-poached lobster with kimchi butter sauce and a couple of those wine “spritzahs.”

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