Monday, August 15, 2011


1. Brown Sugar Ice Cream with Butterscotch Chips. The cooled custard tastes like chocolate chip cookie dough (minus the chocolate chips).

2. Jeni Britton Bauer's ice cream book.  She will teach you what I can't. All kinds of tricks about preventing iciness (corn starch) and enhancing creaminess (cream cheese).

3. Poetry about onions.

4. Learning how to balance.

5. Eating savory galettes. This one with asparagus, potatoes, and cherry tomatoes was hella coveted. I do like the messy look. 

6. Patti Smith's Just Kids. Magical. Hearbreaking.

7. Photographing a bleeding Apricot, Blueberry and Almond Galette.

8. J.J. Sullivan's New York Times Magazine article about pot, Walt Disney World, and parenting. Hilarious. And here's some more of his (Pushcart Prize-winning) writing in case you like it as much as I do.

9. Oven-Dried Tomato Jam + Kefir Labneh cheese = one kick ass tart. (I'm still working on the recipe for the Peach and Almond Tart on the right. It was pretty but boring.)

10. Anthony Bourdain's episode of No Reservations all about Ferran Adrià and El Bulli's final week. Oh, the cocktails alone. Chef Adrià giggles and charms his way through a discussion with Bourdain about the connection between food and emotion. And despite the through-the-roof intensity of his molecular gastronomy, he still manages to stay connected to Spanish comfort food.

11. Ernie and Bert cheese cutters from CB2. Functional and beautiful. Medieval weapons or tart cutters? You choose.

12. Jeff Gordinier's X Saves the World. Couldn't put it down. It's beyond me how he masterfully weaves together athazagoraphobia, Molly Ringwald, YouTube, The Yuppie Handbook, Lauryn Hill's meltdown, Henry James, Nirvana, and Matthew Zapruder. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. And in the final few pages he busts out a conclusive mantra about being brave enough not to suck that made me cheer out loud and laugh (and maybe cry just a little).

13. Blogging. Two years since my first post.

14. My village. It takes one and I've got one.


  1. This is a great post. Thank you for the tip about the icecream book - I've just bought it for my husband for his first ever Fathers Day next month. He's been trying to perfect icecream at home and hasn't had much luck so far.

  2. And what about your obsession & love for garlic and pesto hey? Not a mention. Should I be a little worried? ha.

  3. #6 I'm with you 100%. Isn't Patti just delightful? And thank you for #3 too! Beautiful.

  4. jane: that ice cream book is the perfect gift.
    zita: yes. the garlic and the pesto. you know me well. i almost listed them but i worry that people are sick of hearing about them!
    jen: thank you.
    GreenSug: yes. isn't that onion poem tremendous? i just saw that you posted it on your blog. love that.

  5. love your blog. i'm continuously inspired. congrats on 2 years of blogging!

  6. Happy Blogaversary, Phyllis! You totally rock!

  7. I've been lurking on your blog for ages, since Danielle M here in NY suggested I would enjoy it. She was right, of course. I made a version of your galette today, only substituting sauteed swiss chard for asparagus, since that's what I had. Total deliciousness. I was actually happy my kids didn't love it, because there was more for me. :-)

  8. Thank you so much for writing hella. I'm a Berkeley alum. Bay area all day, every day.

  9. anonymous: i hella hear you. go berkeley.

  10. I'm reading through some of your older work and I just clicked through to "Mister Lytle." Damn, that was excellent. A little like Salinger without all the affectation, maybe? These were my three favorite sentences:

    "I remember sitting on the floor one night with my freshman-year suitemate, a ninety-five-pound blond boy from Atlanta called Smitty who’d just spent a miserable four years at some private academy trying to convince the drama teacher to let them do a Beckett play."


    "The way it happened was so odd as to suggest either the involvement or the nonexistence of fate."

    And this, which just kills me because it perfectly encapsulates the wonder and excitement of being young:

    "I was twenty and believed that nothing as strange was liable to happen to me again."

    Anyway, that's just to say thanks, I was so glad to discover the guy beyond the NYT article.

  11. My favorite dessert is cheesecake. Seems to me, it's the best what human can make. Last summer when I report about job search tips in New York I visited a Cheesecake Factory. Desserts here are the most delicious in the world.