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macarons on madison

Laduree, the iconic Parisienne tea house and patisserie opened its first US location on Madison Avenue in New York yesterday.

Laduree first opened in 1862 at 16 rue Royale in Paris as a bakery and patisserie. Over the years its acclaim grew, not only for the fantastic creations within, but as the hub for fashionable and modern Parisiennes. At the beginning of the last century, Laduree created the first tea house – catering not only to society’s gustatory desires but also to their cerebral and social. Women, embracing their newfound freedom and modernism flocked to the tea house to be seen and heard… and maybe for a little something sweet.

In addition to creating the tea house Laduree is also famed with creating the French macaron. These small round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle were created by Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée. They are a mixture of almonds, eggs, sugar, and magic.

The flavors are chosen each season not only for taste, but for color – ensuring that the collection is as visually appealing as it is delicious. Amazing. Seasonal offerings include Mint & Strawberry, Lily of the Valley, Almond Morello Cherry, and Madagascar Chocolate, to name a few.

Located at 864 Madison, between 70th and 71st, it is definitely worth the visit. For more information call 646-558-3157 or visit www.laduree.fr.

Images courtesy of nomnomnom and Rue Spontini.




give it a go – Brooklyn Brew Shop

Over the past year I have been avidly and, bordering on obsessively, baking bread and making cheese (yogurt and ice cream included) and it has been a fabulous and fastidious time. So I was really excited when I saw the truly inspired beer making kits from the Brooklyn Brew Shop, started by Stephen Valand and Erica Shea after finding an old fermenter in her parents’ basement. The duo decided to open Brooklyn Brew Shop to bring small-batch, craft brewing to, well, you and me.

And they do it in such an easy, appealing, and manageable way. After the ingredients are cooked the beer needs to ferment (become beer) for a few weeks, which means that it needs to sit around the house. You’d think this would be problematic for those short on space or with a certain aesthetic – but not with these kits. They are offered in one and five gallon sizes which can easily and attractively fit into the corner of a tiny apartment. And as far as the contraption… this is pretty much what you’re looking at.

Besides the fact that it looks cool and you can make your own beer in a matter of weeks (did you catch that part?) the mixes which they offer are truly inspired and quite exploratory – with unique pairings and intriguing flavor profiles.

Their mixes include:

Everyday IPA
A Well Made Tripel
Chocolate Maple Porter
Grapefruit Honey Ale
Rose-cheeked Blonde (yes, with roses)
Tea & Toast
Peanut Butter Porter
Mustard Brown Ale
Honey Sage Seasonal

…and seasonal offerings are added all the time! I kinda want to try each one… Thank you Brooklyn Brew Shop for dispelling the mystique of brewing (see below) and for giving us our next great project! To learn more about Brooklyn Brew Shop and to buy their wares visit them here. A few of their kits are also available at your local Williams-Sonoma store. And if you find yourself in Brooklyn they are at the Brooklyn Flea on the weekends.

How to Brew Beer from Brooklyn Brew Shop on Vimeo.




a fabulous tart

The Jewels of New York Spring Breakfast Tart
Spring Breakfast Tart

Um, yes please. This simply is perfection. First, it is a tart, and I love tarts. Second, it’s a breakfast tart which takes breakfast to a whole ‘nother level. Third, not only is it a breakfast tart, but it is a breakfast tart that has whole, sunnyside up eggs in it. Amazing not only for the visual appeal, but also for the consumption, which will no doubt have a lot of running and oozing, mixing, and mopping up…
Fourth, if you’re not already hooked, it also has bacon, asparagus, gruyère, crème fraîche, thyme, and is sprinkled with arugula blossoms, love that. And fifthly and finally, I love how it is assembled in a perfectly imperfect painterly way.

This stunningly fabulous Spring Tart was created by the talented and creative duo behind The Jewels of New York, the Brooklyn-based catering and food-styling company. They have a truly discerning eye and an inspiring palate which they share through their online collection of seasonal recipes, see them here. To see their catering capabilities look here, I love their brown bag lunch!

To see the recipe for the Spring Breakfast Tart look here, seems like a perfect weekend for it!




J’aime Jme

As many of you know, I have a soft spot in my heart for mayo. Maybe that was the wrong way to phrase that. I have been know to say that if mayonnaise didn’t exist, the world would be a terrible place to live. Okay, well sandwiches would be no fun at all, and say farewell to tuna and egg salad, artichoke dip, deviled eggs, and pretty much any creamy salad dressing.

So, while I tend to bring out the Hellman’s, I was very pleased to find this mayo from Jamie Oliver’s new pantry collection, Jme, at Williams-Sonoma. I love the line, not only because it includes some fab condiments, but because the labels are awesome (as I referred to in my previous blog post.) I love the handwritten graphics. If you want to add some style to your fridge, and deliciousness to, well, in your belly, look for them here. I hear the raspberry jam is amazing!




yes please – Salt Plates and Bricks

How cool… mined from ancient salt deposits buried beneath the Himalayas for millions of years. The plates make a great presentation when serving. The food, if moist, takes on the enhanced salt and mineral flavoring of the Himalayan salt. The bricks can be heated to high temperatures and brought to the table to dramatically sear and sauté in front of your guests… and I love how they look! From Dean & Deluca.

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