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Hello everyone,

Clearly The Infinite Table has been taking a little break from life. It’s coming back soon though, so stay tuned for posts summer staples like salmon sandwiches, portobello burgers, and refreshing gin-gin mules. We’re also freshly infatuated with making our own condiments and ingredients: mayo, creme fraiche, vanilla extract, ketchup, etc., so recipes for those will be on the way as well.

So, sorry for the silence, but now we’re back!

Very belatedly, here is my New Years post, as promised. As I mentioned in December, there are some new features at The Infinite Table. So without further ado or procrastination, here they are:

1. The Infinite Kitchen. In my food and eating explorations, both on the internet and in real life, I frequently come across kitchens and dining rooms that I love. I feel guilty piling too many of these pictures on The Infinite Table because they are so tangentially related to food. So I have set up The Infinite Kitchen Tumblr to post all these pretty pictures. So whether you can’t get enough food and your passion spills over into kitchen design, or you are just an interior design nut, go check it out for some eye candy. I’ll also be taking submissions for posts, so if you have some sweet pictures of your kitchen, send them to me!

2. As I keep posting and keep adding links to recipes, it occurs to me that it might become increasingly difficult to go back and find that recipe you wanted to try. So for your convenience, I decided to add a recipe index. Every time I write about a recipe, I’ll post the link there.

3. This year I have also decided to start accepting reader requests. While my roommates and I have gluttonous habits and rarely have to search long to find something we’d like to cook (and more importantly, eat), I am always open to trying new techniques, new cuisines, and new flavor combinations. So if you see a recipe and need a guinea pig or hear of a restaurant but don’t live in New York, let me know!

So those are my exciting new plans for this blog. There are now links to the recipe index and reader request pages at the top of this website and a link to The Infinite Kitchen in the “Find Me” section at the bottom of the page. Please enjoy and let me know if there are other things you want to see! Last weekend I had the good fortune to enjoy a three-cheese fondue and a giant pot of shepherd’s pie while in the middle of completely rearranging my living room and kitchen, so I’ll be posting about those tomorrow!

Sadly we did not have any dinner parties this week, but I did have a couple of weekend food adventures. On Saturday I met several friends and went over to the Mulberry Street pop up Big Social Holiday Market. I found this pop up on Grub Street, but when I arrived I was kind of disappointed by the small number of food stalls. That being said, some I loved pretty much every food vendor who was there, so in the end it wasn’t that bad.

1. Macaroons I love French macaroons, otherwise known as macarons. I know it is cliche and they are “the next cupcake,” but whatever. They are sweet and delicious and come in pretty colors. The lovely Macaron Parlour was therefore my first food stop at the market and I got four: earl gray, ginger, red velvet, and caramel fleur de sel. All four flavors were delicious, but my favorite was hands down earl gray. I could eat forty of those in a sitting. Unfortunately they do not have a shop yet, but they are available for online orders and events, so be sure to check them out.

2. SkimKim The Skim Kim stall had a number of cute products, many based on various kim chi flavors, but my favorite was Green Goddess (soybean oil, water, garlic, ginger, chives, kiwi, black sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, lime, agave, salt). The tasting samples were served on little bits of bread, but it would work as a dressing, a dip, a spread, or a pasta sauce. The woman working the stall also suggesting throwing it in dumpling mix, which I would never have thought of, but which I’m sure would taste delicious. I ate so many samples that I eventually felt guilty and purchased a bottle, so I will be sure to let you know how it tastes in different contexts.

3. Faux Gras I do not generally get very excited about vegan food products. I completely respect other people’s dietary decisions, but vegetarianism in general and especially veganism has never appealed to me personally. So I had serious reservations tasting The Regal Vegan‘s “Faux Gras,” a vegan foie gras substitute. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. I wouldn’t say that it does a particularly good job approximating the taste of foie gras, but it was a very delicious spread and I would happily eat again or purchase in-store. I couldn’t find a complete list of ingredients, but I do know that it includes lentils, walnuts, and caramelized onions. If you ever encounter it, it’s definitely worth a try, but expect something that tastes like lentils, walnuts, and caramelized onions instead of bloated duck or goose liver.

Sadly I did not sample of offerings of the following two vendors, but they are New York favorites and therefore worth a mention.

4. Luke’s Lobster I have only ever had one thing from Luke’s Lobster: the lobster roll. I cannot foresee myself ever ordering anything else because it is so good. I’m not sure what else to tell you; you just have to go eat one. They have locations in the East Village, Upper East Side, and Upper West Side. And at $16 for a lobster roll, Maine Root Soda, Miss Vickie’s chips, and pickle, you really have no excuse not to try it.

5. Pies ‘n’ Thighs I am embarrassed to admit that I have never been here. I am always on the hunt for proper Southern food in New York (so expect a recap of a visit to Red Rooster soon), so I feel like I should have been here already. I could invent some snide comment about how it is in Brooklyn and that is why I haven’t been, but that would be a lie because I eat in Brooklyn pretty frequently. So really it just comes down to laziness.

That’s it from the Big Social Holiday Market! I am now at home in North Carolina until the 30th. Watch out for a holiday post tomorrow, and then I’m signing off for a few days. I’ll be back to regular posting before the year ends and then look out for some exciting new features on The Infinite Table!

This is the lovely tree living outside my window in the South Street Seaport. I LOVE Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year. I love the sparkles and the excitement and the food. I don’t care if it’s generated completely by the advertising and greeting card industries; everyone gets whipped into a frenzy of happy anticipation and blind optimism, into a big blur of candy canes and gingerbread houses and tinsel. I love every glittering, stupid moment of it.

This weekend we’re getting a Christmas tree, hosting a dinner party, cooking the first Sunday family dinner in weeks, and starting the Christmas cookie baking spree, so get ready for lots of seasonal posts next week. In the mean time, curl up with a mug of salted hot chocolate, nibble on a peppermint macaron, and start enjoying the holiday season. Have a great weekend and I’ll be back on Monday!

Labor Day Weekend always marks the official end of Summer, and this year New Yorkers got the first fantastic hints of fall weather over the long weekend. With the changing of the seasons comes a flurry of upcoming book releases, and Eater has kindly assembled a list of some of the most anticipated food-related titles. Check out the link at the bottom for the full list, but here are my picks from their list:

1. Keys To Good Cooking ~ Harold McGee; October 28

This book offers home cooks advice about various techniques, tools, and ingredients. For the devoted dilettante, this volume seems like an indispensable handbook to supplement other recipes.

2. As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto ~ Joan Reardon, Ed.; December 1

We read about their epistolary relationship in My Life In France, and then we saw Meryl Streep and Deborah Rush act it out in Julie and Julia. Now we can dig into their actual letters in this compilation from Joan Reardon. I can’t wait to snuggle up with this book and a bottle of red wine.

3. Avec Eric ~ Eric Ripert; November 1

I love anything from my favorite silver-haired Frenchman. I’m assuming this book will be every bit as charming as the man himself.

4. The City Cook ~ Kate McDonough; November 16

This book comes from the lovely website The City Cook and offers insights, advice, and anecdotes from the life of the urban cook. As a food-obsessed city girl, I feel like this is happily required reading.

5. Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking ~ Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet; December 1

This $625 tome is going to be the ultimate coffee table trophy for any self-respecting foodie. A team of twenty people has been working on this project for years, and the result is a 2,400-page, 6 volume journey through the world of molecular gastronomy. I’ll have to save up for this one, and probably for a larger, reinforced coffee table on which I can display it.

6. Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral ~ Mark Bitterman; October 12

I love salt. It is second only, perhaps, to butter in my list of favorite ingredients (I know this is not exactly discerning, but I am always attracted to recipes that are heavy-handed on both salt and butter). My relocated roommate recently left me with two bags of mysterious salts that I want to try soon; one is supposedly used only in cooking and never on the table. So this one will be a page-turner for me, as I snack on pretzels, popcorn, and any other consumable that will function as a conveyor of the “world’s most essential mineral.”

{from Eater}