Welcome to NYC, Trader Joes!

The home of Two Buck Chuck and amazing Tiramasu is finally here, but they aren't selling either yet :-( I've never been to Trader Joe's, but am planning to go there tonight.

Gawker: "critical tiramisu shortages"
Apartment Therapy: "Mob. Scene." plus "photos from the inside"
Tracking Trader Joes: Yes, there really is a fanblog just for Trader Joes
Gothamist: "People really love their organic pre-packaged, pre-washed greens, don't they?"

And . . . Happy St. Patrick's Day.


Girl Scout cookies . . . sexy desserts

Heidi from 101Cookbooks.com posted a recipe for Thin Mints, just like the Girl Scout cookies only minus the transfats. Baking is not my strong point, but I'll have to give these a try.

Top Chef, Bravo's latest reality show, challenged contestants to make sexy desserts. This episode was much better than the premiere. Click here for this week's winning recipe, a dessert called The Total Orgasm.


One liner recipes from LA

I'm a loyal reader of the New York times Wednesday Dining In section, but it isn't doing much for me lately. The Times is stuck under a snow bank somewhere going on and on about winter squash and I need a change. Inspired by The Wednesday Chef, I wandered West to the LA Times food section and found a story that captures just the kind of cooking and recipe sharing I like best.

Amy Scattergun's story titled "Ridiculously simple and crazy good" talks about "one liner cooking." She explains that these are "Not a recipe at all so much as a little story, passed from one person to the next, about a few ingredients and what to do with them."

She offers these "one liners" for wine braised short ribs, sweet pea soup and more. Check it out.


Martha's Cooking School opens

Yesterday, Martha launched the "cooking school" segement of her daily talk show with two important lessons: essential knives and how to pick a cookbook.

The knife advice was helpful and nicely delivered by John from the PBS cooking show Everyday Food, but I am sad to admit I still don't think I know how to cut an onion properly. I cut onions three or more times a week and I still don't know how to do it. Is it the onion, the knife, is it me? R* sweetly said he noticed that he has better knife skills than me and I agree with him. In the blood orange beet salad and minestrone soup I made for dinner this weekend and I was frustrated with how 'butchered' the vegetables looked. Still tasted great, but it could of looked better.

Martha's lesson on cookbooks was much more successful. It was exciting to see Martha talk about something with such passion. She tries to seem excited talking about soap operas and propogating begonias, but when she started talking about cookbooks, it was clear that this was where her passion was.

Martha gave a surprisingly heart-felt tribute to Julia Child and her two volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She also recommended Marcella Hazen's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. All of these books had been recommended to me before and I had read a bit about them on 101Cookbooks.com. She went on to recommend two soft-cover cookbooks by Elizabeth David (Italian Food, French Cooking). I'll have to look for them. Maybe I'll try to teach myself a more disciplined approach to Italian cooking through Marcella Hazen's book and the Italian Food book by Elizabeth David.

Martha also put one of her own cookbooks on her list of favorites. I was happy to see tat she didn't use this as one more opportunity to flog her new baking book. Instead, she said she "worked very hard" on one of the first books she published: Quick Cooks from 1992. I saw this in a used book store when I was in San Francisco and I passed it up in favor of her appetizers book. Half.com has copies in good condition for 75 cents plus shipping.