I guess I sort of remember what it was like to travel before the internet. I definitely remember having to buy a phone card for long road trips, and carrying around a sheet of paper with important names and numbers on it. Once when I was about 19 I landed my mom, my sister and me in a weird industrial neighborhood in a rental car in Chicago. Folding paper maps have never been my jam.
I admit it -- I'm super happy to have a smart phone, and to be able to research destinations online. It's awesome. So as mon petit ami and I prepare for a spring adventure to Paris, I am reflecting on just how heavily I rely on the web for my travel plans. There’s some great stuff out there, for sure. I do a lot of research before I go anywhere. It helps me relax and alleviate anxieties I might have about going somewhere new. I thought it might be useful for me to divulge some of the travel planning tools I use.
While television food competitions like Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen, and Chopped can be fun to watch, the most prestigious food competition is widely believed to be the Bocuse d'Or, held every other year in Lyon, France.
The 2013 contest was held just this week, and the team from the United States finished a respectable 7th in the field of teams from all over the world. Check out the NPR story on this year's U.S. team and how they trained here.
Whether you aspire to participate in such a competition someday, or just like to read about how cooking contests work, the library has some items to get you started.
Eating well can be as fun and diverse (and delicious) as ever with cookbooks and recipes created to promote health and wellness.
The great divide for many of us is the chasm between good tasting, satisfying foods and healthy, nutrient-dense fare. But the library shelves are groaning with great cookbooks that will help you bridge the perceived gap between delicious and nutritious. Here are a couple suggestions:
Are you settling in to 2013? Ready to get the most out of the new year? Let Fresh City Life My Branch help!
If you've resolved to cook more interesting meals, you've come to the right place! On Saturday, January 12 at 2 p.m. at the Smiley Branch, join Monica Kadillak for Great Finds at International Markets. Denver has many specialty markets to help you explore international cuisine! You'll learn where to go, what to look for, and of course, what to do with those new ingredients when you get home! Recipes and samples included.
Look, when you are on a road trip and you see a sign that says, “Two-headed Squirrel -- Turn Rght at the Next Exit” – you turn right at the next exit! If someone is making turducken and you're invited -- go!
This book was recommended to me when I wrote about chef memoirs earlier this year, and I really enjoyed it. A combination of history--Shopsin's evolution from grocer to restaurant owner; food and customer service philosophy, and recipes, with pictures and art and a reproduction of the 300+ item menu...
The July/August issue of Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine led me to this recipe for fudge bars, and a summer long obsession with creating fun, refreshing, and tasty ice pops! (the lemon ice recipe in that issue was a hit, too!).
While it seems that summer will soon be over, with school starting up soon and the weather cooling down a bit, it's still warm enough to crave an ice pop after work or school on a hot day! They can be as simple as blending together fruit, water, sugar, and lemon juice and freezing it or as creative as strawberry basil or any other combination that sounds good to you! They can be healthy or decadent, or even just for grown ups!
Today, Trish and I -- and a couple helpers -- put together our Fresh City Life booth for the Denver County Fair. We had a great time, a lot of laughs and built something that will make fair-goers smile.
And the process, since we really only had a general idea of how it would come together, reminded me of the Stephen Sondheim classic, Putting It Together:
Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art
Every moment makes a contribution
Every little detail plays a part
Having just a vision's no solution
Everything depends on execution
Putting it together (That's what counts)
Fresh City Life is taking a break from making events for you at the Central Library -- and taking the show on the road for a weekend. Get your spurs on, cowboys and cowgirls, and giddyup to the Denver County Fair.
Our craft queen, Trish Tilly, has been hunched over yards of fabric, a sewing machine, hot glue guns, pots of paint and tubs of prizes for a couple weeks. We both decided that if we were going to represent Fresh City Life with a fair booth, it was going to be so flashy, over-the-top and just plain wrong, that it was oh-so-right. The only missing ingredient is you.
Marcus Samuelsson chronicles his odyssey from his birth in Ethiopia, being orphaned at age 3, being adopted (along with his sister) by a couple in Sweden, and eventually becoming one of the world's most renowned chefs. His story is well written, emotional, and doesn't gloss over mistakes and poor choices.