Posts by Cara and Phoebe

The 7 Best Ways to Ingest Food Virtually

It would be impossible for our bodies to keep up with our minds when it comes to ingesting food. As hungry kids by nature and profession, we find that food occupies a permanent track in our brains. Whether we’re brainstorming new ways to use pumpkin, daydreaming about crazy combinations for never-been-seen-before pasta dishes, or wondering what new guides our readers would find useful, we’re constantly thinking about food. Still, three meals a day tends to be enough for our stomachs, and the foods we end up consuming in real life are often closer to this kale salad than the glazed donuts of our imaginations.

When we need more–that’s when we go online and turn to virtual food, both for inspiration and for vicarious satisfaction. There is no shortage of “food porn” on this fine Internet, and we profit from what everyone in the world is cooking and sharing. Of course “food porn” has connotations of, er, indulgence that we’d like to ignore. When it comes to virtual eating, gorgeous pictures and brilliant ideas are highly prized. Sometimes, you’ve just got to turn off your oven and turn on your laptop. Here’s how to get your fill–virtually! (Serving size: unlimited.)

**The 7 Best Ways to Ingest Food Virtually**

1. Pinterest. Ever made an inspiration board? No? Us neither. Until this gorgeous, useful site came along, our bookmarks were disorderly, and, truth be told, we rarely went back and clicked on pages we marked. Not so since the advent of Pinterest. Pin delicious-looking breakfasts, lunches, appetizers, drinks, dinners, and desserts as you go about your everyday browsing. Then, go back to your boards when you’re hungry for grilled cheese or fall favorites or want inspiration for the age-old problem of packing a creative brown bag lunch.

2. FoodGawker and TasteSpotting. This pair of ready-to-eat image collections posts user submissions of their most beautifully prepared and shot foods. Plating is perfect, exposure is excellent, and hunger naturally abounds. Jealousy, too–“How do all these bloggers take such perfect photos?” you’ll wonder…

3. Food photographers’ portfolios. A lesser-known resource, since foodie photogs are not necessarily as involved in social media or blogging as us amateurs, and much of what they take is proprietary–meant for cookbooks and commercial use. But they sure can take great pictures! Check out the food portfolios on Very Natural Photo (which includes the photography from In the Small Kitchen) and delicious scenes from the talented Michael Harlan Turkell, whose photos grace the New Brooklyn Cookbook and both Edible Manahattan and Edible Brooklyn magazines. Quentin Bacon, Ina Garten’s (and others’) photographer also has quite the drool-worthy selection on his site.

4. Search-by-craving sites. Sometimes it’s not enough to hungrily browse what bloggers just happen to be making. Foodily, Gojee, and Punchfork all let you search by what you’re craving–and you can even exclude foods from your search that you’re 100% absolutely not in the mood to ingest, even virtually.

5. FoodSpotting. While many of the above sources come from home cooks, FoodSpotting highlights mouthwatering dishes from restaurants. Use it at home or on the go to find out not just where to eat, but exactly what to order when you arrive.

6. YouTube food fun. You don’t need cable to enjoy amazingly entertaining cooking shows. If it can be cooked, YouTube has got it. Economy Bites is fabulous for quarter life-friendly comfort food. My Drunk Kitchen is full of tipsy, do-not-try-this-at-home kitchen hilarity. Vegan Black Metal Chef is weird, angry, and incredibly funny. (In case you’ve missed it, BGSK also happens to have an informative, entertaining YouTube channel!)

7. There’s a blog for that. The Internet runs on enthusiasm (OK…let’s call it what it is: obsession). If you’re imagining an awesome food niche, chances are some obsessive soul has created it. Want breakfast all day long? BKFST is the tumblr for you. How about healthful, mainly gluten-free, vegetarian food? The beautiful, thoughtful Green Kitchen Stories will float your boat. F*** Yeah Pho is your 24/7 source of pho noodle bowls. Scanwiches is an old meme but a goodie–delicious sandwiches are scanned instead of photographed! If a search doesn’t unearth the foodie trope you’re looking for, there’s another solution: start that site yourself.

This post was brought to you in partnership with Intel® who are all about making our lives better (and faster) with technology – today and tomorrow. Since we’re co-dependent with our laptops at every waking moment –that’s how we keep up to date on our food writing, photography, twitter streams, and facebook posts – we appreciate what Intel is doing.



How To Keep Yourself Entertained in the Kitchen

When you’re a working stiff, sometimes it just makes sense to get all your cooking done during one long haul, usually on a Sunday when you have plenty of time. But if you don’t have that perfect suburban set-up when you can watch the Food Network while actually cooking, things can get a little boring. While our stews simmer and our onions slowly caramelize, we rely on our laptops to keep us entertained. Here are some of our favorite things to “do” while our hands are busy chopping celery.

How do you pass the time while cooking? Let us know in the comments section, or join the conversation on twitter, @BGSK #IntelEMP.

From our kitchen, albeit small, to yours,

Cara and Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOKS

This post was brought to you in partnership with Intel® who are all about making our lives better (and faster) with technology – today and tomorrow. Since we’re co-dependent with our laptops at every waking moment –that’s how we keep up to date on our food writing, photography, twitter streams, and facebook posts – we appreciate what Intel is doing.



Baking For Others: Peanut Butter Pie

IMG_4068-1

This is a gooey, delicious pie, but we made it for a sad reason. As some of you may already know, a fellow foodie suffered the worst possible moment last weekend: Jennifer Perillo’s husband passed away suddenly. He had a heart attack though he was too young to have one. Twitter exploded with support as the news spread, and several bloggers wrote posts so expressive they brought tears to the rest of our eyes.

We first got to know Jennie soon after Food52’s launch, and before long we were trading anecdotes, food tips, and funny stories on twitter and in comments. Jennie blogs about food and family at In Jennie’s Kitchen; she’s a fabulous cook, an upbeat person, and also a career and life inspiration to those of us on the food path.

It is always humbling to be on the sideline of someone else’s pain. You feel deeply for them, you send thoughts and condolences, but you’re also rendered helpless. We are grateful to know there are close friends and family there for Jennie in person; all we can do is keep her present in our thoughts. But, amazingly, Jennie gave us all another way to react–she’s letting us go where we’re comfortable, the kitchen, and use what we create there to tell her know we’re around and that we care. How strong and selfless a thing that is to do!

So here’s our Peanut Butter Pie, full of sweet strength for Jennie. We’ll be indulging in it with our own loved ones, treasuring that we have them in our lives, as Jennie has asked us to do. Visit In Jennie’s Kitchen for the recipe, and leave her a few crumbs there of love and support. Food52 will be creating an index of everyone’s pie posts, and Gluten Free Girl is organizing more concrete ways to be there for Jennie and her girls.

From our kitchen, sending love to Jennie’s,

Cara and Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOKS

Big Girls, Global Kitchen: The Book Tour

Thursday 232

Not long after January 2011 reared its cold wintry head, the two of us made a decision: when our book came out on sunny May 24th, we were going on a book tour. Book tours for first-time authors are largely unheard of. But we were determined. We spent long hours catering, saving up money for our trip. We reached out to friends in faraway states. And we bugged our dear PR gal, Megan, who managed to stay in good spirits despite all of that bugging, to keep contacting book stores to host us. In late April, we finally settled on a tour: events in NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. (If you don’t happen to live in any of these areas, fear not! We’re hoping to do a bit more touring in the late summer, early fall; leave a comment with where you’d love to have us go!).

Here are the pictures from our trip so you can pretend you were there, right along with us. In addition to the events we organized, we left some time to see the cities: to drive through fierce traffic in LA, to eat fried fish by the Bay in Sausalito, to brunch in DC and go to the market with some of our blogger friends.

You can link to all the fantastic press we’ve received on this page. Now: scroll down to see the slideshow of our trip! (Book Party photos are by Sunny Norton through Guest of a Guest. The rest are by us and friends.)

From our kitchen, back home in NY, to yours,

Cara and Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOKS

***

On book pub night, we taught a brunch class at the beautiful Brooklyn Kitchen, featuring Baked French Toast and Creamy Mushroom Tartines with Chive Scrambled Eggs.

What a great group!

We dorkily obsessed over seeing our book on shelves and tables at local bookstores.

On May 26th, we threw a fabulous party at The Wooly (organized by the Small Girls PR team who did our blog relaunch party). There were sprinkle-covered BGSK cookies, Onion Dip with Chips in Brown Paper Bags, Mini PB&J Cakewiches, and Rice Krispie Balls!

 

We had a photobooth for guests to post with kitchen props. That’s us with Katie and Megan of Harper Collins/William Morrow–our publishers.

We partied, danced, and signed books. See the full party album here!

After Memorial Day weekend, we flew to LA. We fell immediately in love with the West Coast food scene. Here, Phoebe snacking on Vietnamese tacos from the Nom Nom Truck outside of Vromans in Pasadena.

Cara really loves Nom Nom!

Our very first book reading! Though we’d been up for nearly 24 hours, the audience said we sounded like pros. At Vromans in Pasadena.

In our host Sam’s kitchen, we baked dozens of gingersnaps for Thursday evening’s book party.

In LA, we hosted a book party at the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills filled with new friends and old. Here, we pose with fellow Morrow author, Lulu Powers and lifestyle expert Sally Horchow.

In San Francisco, we headed straight for the Mission. Cara’s burrito at Papalote, loaded to the brim with Cali-Mex goodness.

Cookies and books at our reading, San Francisco’s Books, Inc in the Marina.

On our last day in San Fran, we cooked brunch for a group of 30 women entrepreneurs, organized by the supper club start-up, Grubly.

Our Grubly menu was our favorite brunch from the book: Assorted Quickbreads…

…Creamy Mushroom Tartines with Chive Scrambled Eggs…

…and Baked French Toast with Berry Compote. The compote was made from cherries fresh from the Ferry Building farmers’ market.

Question of the day: should we use a Barbie platter?

With our Grubly hosts, Desiree and Cameron.

Even in the rain, California farmers’ markets are killer.

We met up with our friend Casey to eat our last meal at Fish., in Sausalito. It consisted of barbecue oysters…

…and amazing fish & chips, to sustain us on the red eye back home.

Back in New York, we were guests on Michael Harlan-Turkell’s radio show, The Food Seen (Listen to us here).

Cara’s mom threw us a party too! Besides the food (meatball sliders & onion dip), and the signed poster board, the best part was these Baking For Good BGSK Book Cover Cookies!

The Top 5 Dad’s Day Food


The title of our blog, which includes the word “girls,” sometimes seems to isolate those of you readers of the opposite gender. Fear not, guys, we’re thinking of your appetites too. There’s plenty on our site to please dad on Father’s Day, from meat and potatoes to a more healthful surprise–oatmeal.

**Tips & Tricks**


1. Meat. Probably the easiest answer to the “what should I make for father’s day?” question. This time of year, go for burgers or a steak, possibly on the grill (see #3). Broiled Flank Steak with Sautéed Wild Mushrooms and Chive-Parley Butter is an elevated, nuanced choice for a restaurant-style meal, and if it’s not crazy hot outdoors, Mustard-y Midwestern Meatloaf with Potato Puree is a meal to be drooled over. Delicious Ginger-Honey Chicken Wings fit the bill too.

2. Closet healthful. Many dads are more weight- and health-conscious than we’d imagine. Instead of just piling on the bacon, balance it out. Start the day with City Oatmeal with Blueberries and Dried Cherries or homemade Olive Oil-Maple Granola. Spicy Thai Beef Salad with Mizuma is a meaty yet light main course salad. Arugula Pesto Potato Salad is a hearty side and yet contains quality green veggies.

3. On the grill. Guiness-Marinated Flank Steak is the obvious choice here. Try making regular burgers, too, or Pork Burgers, which are a nice change of pace–pair ’em with non-grilled French FriesGrilled Salmon Sandwiches are top-notch for dads who don’t eat meat at all.


4. Best Ever. In our experience, guys tend to obsess over food perfection more even than food-blogging women. Take a tried-and-true favorite, and find a way to make it the best-ever. Our photographer Josh’s Giant Salty Chicken was finessed, over time, to have the crispiest skin and the most flavorful and juicy meat. Likewise, Evan’s Mini Crabcakes with Chipotle Mayo and Corn-Pepper Relish are time-tested and absolutely delectable. Phoebe’s Fried Tomato BLTs are a sandwich that’s died and gone to food perfection heaven.

5. Food Gifts. If dad is a cook, make him something he can use beyond the father’s day meal. A jar of homemade salsa, ketchup, or barbecue sauce keeps for a while in the fridge and will make future meals spectacular. Pancake mix is a good option for breakfast lovers, and snacks like Peanut Butter Granola Bars or more Cinnamon-Coated Nuts are awesome gifts as well.

Book Prep: How To Melt Chocolate

Chocolate2

Our book may be out, but we still have many great techniques to show you as part of our “book prep” video series!

We’ve given you How To Devein Shrimp, Brown Meat, and Make a Vinaigrette. Today, even more basic and essential: how to melt chocolate, two ways!

It may sound simple, but if you make a ton of chocolate bark like we do, you’ll need to make sure you melt your chocolate properly. Burnt chocolate is one of the many kitchen disasters you want to avoid–it isn’t pretty, and certainly isn’t tasty.

Stay tuned for more prep videos to come over the next few weeks–consider it a little bit of summer school!

From our kitchen, getting prepped, to yours,

Cara and Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOKS