Please Note: Today, I’m starting a new feature on my Snacktime Blog called “SnackFind Friday”. Every Friday, I will share with readers a new “SnackFnd” that I’ve recently discovered. I’ll also tweet my Friday “Snackfinds” so follow me @pretzelgirl to keep up with all of my tasty treats.
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with yogurt. I’m not a big fan of sour cream and HATE mayonaise on anything, but yogurt is another story. (Yes, I have food issues) I’ve been through the Dannon’s and Columbo and even Whitney’s (remember them?). Most American yogurt’s were either too sweet, too runny or to fattening for my tastes.
But a few years ago, after a trip through Spain and Italy where I devoured all of the fresh yogurt from Europe, I discovered that I actually like plain yogurt. Since then, I’ve been hooked on plain “Greek” yogurt, I guess as is the whole country, hence the rise and success of Fage, Stonyfield’s Oikos and Chobani of course.
Last week in New York, I attended Techmunch, a traveling Food Blogger conference put on by Babette Pepaj from the fabulous foodie social network, Bakespace, that Chobani co-sponsored. How lucky were we to be able to sample all of the flavors. The Chobani people were extremely creative and generous, as they shared the 6 oz cups, yogurt shakes and some delectable dips.
Like I said, I’ve become a plain yogurt eater, so I can control which fruit and how much sugar I like. However, I absolutely flipped over the newest flavors, Lemon and Black Cherry. OMG, they really are “to die for”. Not too sweet. Chunks of fruit. Just the right blend and consistency.
Every day this week I’ve created a new fruit and yogurt combination — lemon yogurt and blueberries, blackcherry yogurt and bananas, lemon yogurt, blackberries and Grapenuts. The combinations are endless and delicious.
I’m searching for Mango, one of Chobani’s other newest flavors. It seems the best flavors are flying off of the shelves, so I’ll let you know when I score one. In the meantime, let me know which flavor is your fave!!!
When my June 2011 issue of Bon Appetit arrived last week, I have to say, I was shocked and saddened to see Gwyneth Paltrow paraded on the cover just like on any other fashion or entertainment magazine. “This is a “food” magazine”, I thought. “Why is there a person on the cover? Has Bon Appetit gone all Hollywood?” Not that I have anything against Gwyneth Paltrow (I love her work as an actress), it’s just that every month I look forward to getting my Bon Appetit and seeing what the creative editors, chefs and food stylists have selected to grace the cover of my sacred food bible.
I started to write this blog post immediately to voice my disapproval. However, since I have yet to use this blog to complain, write anything negative or even diss a product, I sat on it for a week. All week, I was annoyed. I did not even crack open the magazine to read the cover article to find out why Ms. Paltrow replaced the seasonal vegetable or fruit desserts that usually get their day on the June cover. I am aware that she has a new cookbook out, and recently traveled to Spain with Mario Batali, however, she is not a famous chef or owns a fantastic NYC restaurant, or hosts a food TV show. I’ve actually never seen any personality, living or dead, not even Julia Child, on the cover of Bon Appetit. So, why Gywneth?
But then I read new editor-in-chief, Adam Rapoport’s editors letter, somewhat defending his atypical choice of putting an actress on this month’s cover. To be fare, perhaps I had over reacted a bit. She does have a strong food connection with her new book etc. So yesterday on a long train ride, I stopped my private Bon Appetit boycott and devoured the rest of the June issue.
I can’t say I found the article about Gwyneth Paltrow, THE GIRL CAN COOK, incredibly interesting however, due to her new book and celebrity status, I can understand why people might be interested in reading about her. I was more interested in the gorgeous photos in the article, FREEZE! RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE…of ice pops, granita and frozen creations that I expect from Bon Appetit and THE TOAST WITH THE MOST, how to make crostini like a pro. And don’t get me wrong. I love to read about people doing creative and interesting things with food, like in the article THE FANTASTIC MR. AND MRS. HENDERSON, featuring Fergus Henderson who recently opened London’s new St. John Hotel.
The article itself featured mostly a photo shoot with beauty shots of the actress rather than of her recipes. But to make matters worse, the recipes themselves were relatively bland, like the article. Perhaps she was just the wrong cover choice, not because she is a Hollywood celebrity, but because she is not really doing anything new or innovative with food. So, I wish her luck on her new book and am curious to see if this cover helped sales of the magazine. As evidenced by the negative comments on the Bon Appetit site, I highly doubt this will help.
So to my friends at Bon Appetit, I don’t mind an occasional celeb gracing the cover, but to satisfy those who frequent your establishment, make it a person that’s more of an “main course” than a “starter”.
Now that the hoopla surrounding the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has died down, Londoners will resume their normal day to day activities such as working, shopping and eating out in fabulous restaurants. Yes, you read me correctly. London has fabulous restaurants….. now!
On a recent trip to London a few weeks ago, I came across some fabulous food shops and ate in amazing restaurants that rival anything in NY, SF or LA. The reaction to the statement “London has excellent food these days”, has caught many of my American friends, who have not visited London in the past 5-8 years, by surprise .
I’ve been fortunate to visit this new culinary hotspot several times over the past few years and have experienced a whole new culinary world of delightful specialty food shops and spectacular restaurants with creative and delicious cuisine.
On my recent trip, I spent a fair amount of time browsing in the Nottinghill and Westbourne Grove neighborhoods which are speckled with gourmet shops offering everything from cheeses to chocolates to homemade pasta. London’s gone “Green” too with sustainable restaurants and products while others shops have tapped into the American trends, (i.e. cupcakes), that are almost over here in the “States”.
So here are a few of my new favorites in Notting Hill.
This trip I branched out from my usual stop to Clarkes (122-124 Kensington Church Street) and headed straight to The Hummingbird Bakery on Portobello Road. They are known for selling “American cakes and cupcakes”. Visiting Hummingbird is reminiscent of the adorable retro bakeshop decor we find at places like the original Magnolia Bakery in NYC.
Hummingbird is known for their red velvet cake which rivals any others I’ve tasted. Moist, dense cake with a not too sweet creamcheese icing. Their cupcakes especially pretty and not overly iced like many of the typical American cupcakes I’ve tasted. One taste and you’ll be hooked. London has jumped on the “cupcake bandwagon”, and Hummingbird Bakery rivals the best in America.
I’ve recently started making chocolates so I know how difficult and time consuming it is. So, when I happened upon MELT (59 Ledbury Road) in Notting Hill just before Easter,
MELT features and “in-store” chocolate kitchen where the chocolatiers create and decorate their lovely and colorful truffles daily as well as the seasonal chocolate eggs. This way you can ensure that you are getting fresh every day.