Friday, March 04, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Volume 32

The idea of 7 Quick Takes Friday comes from blogger Jennifer Fulwiler, who hosts it weekly at her site, Conversion Diary.

ATTENTION: Important news about Les Misérables contained in take #7!

Today, apparently, we're mostly talking about food. Enjoy, and Happy Friday!


So last week, I talked at length mentioned our trip to Chicago.

Before we left the city, we stopped in at Au Bon Pain for coffee and sandwiches to take on the train. And I know you don't read this blog to hear what I had for dinner on a given evening, but let me just say: snow peas on a sandwich are a revelation.

Farmers' market season cannot come soon enough.


One funny thing about Au Bon Pain: they have several southwestern-sounding menu items (I'm an Arizonan — I notice these things), but no locations in the southwest. Hm.

They also have no locations in my area — but then the menu didn't include any sandwiches called The Grand Rapidian or The Amway or even La Grande Vitesse.


I've just discovered food columnist Mark Bittman. His work is a rare combination of social awareness and culinary goodness. How have I missed him all this time?

Here are a couple of video posts from his blog where he's cooking on the Today show:

He's also authored several cookbooks, which would look even better to me if I used cookbooks.


Speaking of cookbooks... this book recently came to my attention via my Biola Alumni magazine:

Don't worry, friends — it's completely tongue-in-cheek.
No imaginary animals were harmed in the writing of this cookbook.


This video will make you want to bake bread (or take up the accordion):

In fact, Mark Bittman wrote an article that talks about the same slow-rise process as is featured in the above video.


Can you handle one more recipe site in this post? Smitten Kitchen is another new discovery. I haven't tried any of her recipes yet, but the writing is fun and the photography is beautiful. The site's tagline is Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City, but it's so much more.


Now, if my incessant blathering about Les Misérables has worked its magic (by which I mean, has made you want to see the musical), but your circumstances (by which I mean, location and/or budget) have conspired to keep you from the show, I have great news: PBS is airing the Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert this Sunday!

What a perfect way to cap off the weekend!



  1. I'm glad to know about Les Mis--not sure if we have the station or not, but I'll check. :) Thanks!

  2. Love Mark Bittman. His cookbooks, "How to Cook Everything" and "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" are fabulous. I highly recommend them. Also, I really enjoyed his book "Food Matters".

    His list, "Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals to Make in 10 Minutes or Less" is my go to summer foods list

  3. R, your blog was actually the way I connected to Mark Bittman's stuff -- as well as Smitten Kitchen! So, thank you!

  4. Oh my gosh! I just read Mark Bittman's blog this week, and baked the slow-rise bread yesterday. Wasn't great, but I blame that on a 25 hour first rise, and no second rise. Among other circumstances (like my kittens getting into the dough).

    But what a coincidence! And I'm thrilled with the recipe - got another batch rising...gonna do it right this time!

  5. Janelle, that IS a weird coincidence! I'm tempted to make a very dark joke about kittens in the bread dough, but I'll restrain myself.

    Let me know how the bread turns out!


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