- Cowgirl Chef - http://cowgirlchef.com -

Stuff I'm Crazy About Right Now

It’s been awhile, I know. I’m sorry about that. I’m still trying to find some kind of balance between writing and testing recipes, and some days are better than others. There have been complete, absolute FAILS with recipes that I was 100 percent sure about. Surprises with new recipes that I can’t wait to share with all of you. And of course, the daily effort to get it all down on the page.

See those little Frenchy biscotti up there? That’s a new recipe and it’s a secret, so I’m not going to say anything more, but you’re gonna love them.

Now, onto business.

I wanted to share a few things that I’ve discovered recently that I’m just loving.

First, that coffee that you see up there isn’t just coffee, oh no. It’s not even a cappucino, as it appears. Well, it is – but it’s a COLD cappucino, and I made this myself, with my new, lovely and most wonderful magic milk frothing machine, Aerocino, the sleek, chic plug-in milk foamer that gets you from the carton to barista-perfect foam in just 70 seconds for hot; 60 for cold. Believe it or not, I found this at the Nespresso store down the street, which never had much to offer, as far as I was concerned, save for the George Clooney “What Else?” ads in the window. Anyway, I’m in love with this little thing, and it’s the best 70 euros I’ve spent in a long time.

Of course, I needed new glasses to drink my summer-perfect cappucinos in, and it was my lucky day again – because I wandered into the Conran Shop and found my favorite Duralex glasses – the iconic bistro glass, the Picardie, first made in 1927 — in the perfect 10 1/2 ounce size (see below) – good for everything from coffee, vin rouge, and Dr. Pepper to margaritas, and, well, you get the idea. I actually bought some just like these years ago back in Dallas at Sur la Table, and left them with my mom, thinking, “They’re French, I’ll be able to get some in Paris. I don’t need to pack these!”

But a shaky financial foundation in the last few years meant that Duralex had to cut back on production, and these glasses were apparently some of the first to get the ax.

The good news is the company’s gotten an infusion of cash, and appears to be back on its feet, and I’m happy to report that I’m now drinking out of my favorite glasses again, and with a set of tall 16 1/2 ones, too, just for cappucinos. Well, not just for cappucinos – I found recently that this larger size actually works better than the small one for margaritas.

In other news, I took a walk a few weekends ago in the forest at Rambouillet with X and Rose and found the cutest little fraises des bois (strawberries of the woods). Cute, but still on the sour side. It was too early, I think.

But not for cherries, like these lovely sweet dark ones that I’ve now already bought three times in the last two weeks at the President Wilson market. So far, I’ve made a lime-cherry croustade, two different cherry compotes and cherry sablés with Parmesan. I’m working on recipes for an upcoming story on cherries for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and for my book.

Speaking of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, I also hopped on this silly old bike named “Road Runner” and toured around Paris with Fat Tire Bike Tours a few weeks ago, and wrote about it here.

In other news, it was 98 degrees last week, which is fine if you’ve got air conditioning, and not so fine if you don’t. Good thing I’d recently picked up a few a-line t-shirt dresses at American Vintage on sale, which got me through our two-day heat wave.

To hold on to my last shreds of sanity, I’m still going to yoga every morning at the crack of dawn, and I’m treating myself on the 20-minute ride to and fro with a good book, many of which I’m reading on my handy-dandy new Kindle. Some that have inspired me, made me think, and made me laugh:

Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Made for You and Me by Caitlin Shetterly
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo
A Tiger in the Kitchen by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

I enjoyed them all, and wrote about why I loved “Day of Honey” and “A Tiger in the Kitchen” in a recent story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Great reads for the summer or anytime, but especially wonderful on the metro at 6:15 a.m.

Back to work…