Now, after taking a break to be with family and friends, I’m back with two tips for January 3rd, the first Tuesday of 2012!
Tip Number One:
The Sodastream counter-top carbonation machines.
They’ve been around for a while, but if you still don’t have one, get one as part of your New Year’s resolutions to drink more water and to be more Earth-friendly. Your skin will look better and you won’t be adding to the collection of plastic water bottles floating around in our oceans! Plus, your back will be happy: no more lugging in those cases of Pelligrino or Trader Joe’s seltzer every week.
There are various models, so poke around to find the right one for you. (We like our Penguin model with the glass carafes but we wish the bottles held more.) Though Sodastream makes flavored syrups to add to the carbonated water, we usually drink our bubbly plain. When we’re in the mood for a little something extra, though, we add a splash of Monin lemon syrup from France. (That’s a half-tip. Bay Cities in Santa Monica and Surfas in Culver City carry Monin syrups in all sorts of flavors.)
Tip Number Two:
One of my all-time favorite cookbooks, “Parisian Home Cooking” by Michael Roberts.
Roberts was the chef-owner of Trumps, the fabulous West Hollywood restaurant that epitomized the ’80s with food like brie-and-grape quesadillas. But this book is classic French, filled with recipes like endive and ham gratin (yum!!), chicken roasted with peas and bacon and the pound cake the French call a “quatre-quarts.” His daube has become the centerpiece of our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Here’s a photo of it:
And I even brought his gougeres to a small dinner party on New Year’s Eve. See?
The book is out of print but you can buy it used through Amazon. (That’s actually another little half-tip. Buy used cookbooks!)