7.23.2010

Blogger's Favorites -- Alice of Alice Q. Foodie


images via alice q. foodie

It's safe to say I'm pretty smitten with Alice...

I spend a lot of time living vicariously through her food adventures on her must-read blog, Alice Q. Foodie. And on many occasions, midway through reading one of her genius posts about say, how to conquer pie crust or cook perfect bacon (I've tried her method, and it makes some pretty rockin bacon), I've thought it would be awfully fun to have an actual meal with Alice. Because there's really nothing better than eating with someone that loves food as much as you do...

But my fondness for Alice goes beyond meal sharing fantasies, I'm also a little bit in awe of the fantastic Food 4 Kids Backpack Program Fundraiser that she started last year with a friend.

So of course I'm thrilled to have Alice here this week sharing her favorites with us, as they are as lovely (Big Sur!, her nieces!, her garden!) as she is...

Without further ado, herewith Alice's list. Enjoy and have a splendid weekend!


The Zuni Cafe Cookbook - It's no secret that I love to eat and I love to cook, and for me, the Zuni Cafe Cookbook combines these two things in the best possible way. The recipes are specific and refined but not too technical, and the food is simple but flavorful and - almost without fail - makes the most of the ingredients. I have a huge cookbook collection but this is the one I reach for the most when I need inspiration. (I love the restaurant too, not surprisingly!) (photo from Seasonal Chef )


Tiny Cars - I have a fetish for tiny cars - stemming from the day I first spotted one of these BMW Isettas parked on the street in Paris. There was a pair of classic black and white Chanel pumps lying akimbo on the floor, and I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. I wanted to be the owner of that car when I grew up, and I still do!


japanese ofuro tub 1.

Japanese Hot Baths - one of my very favorite things to do is soak in hot water. It's so relaxing and invigorating at the same time. The best places I've found are Esalen in Big Sur, and the 10,000 Waves spa outside of Albequerque New Mexico. (At Esalen, a little old Japanese man and I were the only people sitting in the trough where the water comes directly out of the spring into the cliffside baths.) At home, I make do with my vintage blue bathtub while I dream about one day installing a Japanese style garden and soaking tub in our yard. (photo via Dufarelli)


Croissants - hands down, my biggest weakness is a good croissant. I'm pretty much a sucker for all breakfast pastries, now that I think about it - but the right combination of fluff, crunch and stretch in a plain croissant is just the best.


Handmade Clothes - I have always loved clothes (a vexing combination with food - let me tell you!) and I always fantasized about being a fashion designer when I was younger. I usually know exactly what I want and need, and I always think it would be so much more fun to make it rather than have to buy it. That being said, I'm no seamstress and have no time for yet another hobby at this point, so I am making do with admiring the handmade fashions on Etsy, especially Emily Ryan - a Portland designer who makes artful jersey dresses, and Nadinoo, who makes ladylike blouses and dresses with Liberty fabrics. (photos from Nadinoo and Emily Ryan.)


Copper Cookware - I have a strange magnetic attraction to high maintenance, impractical things, but since I've learned the hard way that I'm generally too lazy to properly care for them, I haven't let myself buy a set of this cookware yet. I suspect if I ever did get my hands on one, I would look at it far more than I would cook with it. That just might be good enough if I had a peg wall - a la Julia Child - to display it on.
(photo via Smithsonian Magazine)


Big Sur - A few years ago, my husband James and I downscaled plans to travel to Spain, and drove up the coast to Big Sur instead. Though I still want to go to Spain, I can't say I'm sorry we made the change. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth and has a fantastic feel and energy to it. There's little to buy and not much to do - except relax among the redwoods, hike, eat, and take in the breathtaking views. We stayed at Deetjen's for 2 nights, a nice compromise between the luxury of the resorts and the campgrounds/cabins. We were also lucky enough to reserve a one night "retreat" stay at Esalen - the new agey campus there with natural hot springs that have been turned into the most amazing cliffside baths - see above.


The Delano - So often, places that are supposed to be super cool don't quite live up to the hype. This hotel in Miami Beach is the rare exception. I've never see anything quite like the lobby - which flows from a veranda through a long high-ceilinged lobby with huge pillars - out to a concrete patio and wide set of stairs leading to a giant lawn, then to the pool and beach. It's a non-stop promenade with amazing people-watching and great whimsical, grandiose style. I would love to recreate those Alice in Wonderland light fixtures and furniture on the lawn in my own back yard. (photo via The Delano Hotel)


Having a Garden - We started a garden at our house last fall, and I knew I would like it, but I wasn't prepared for how much I absolutely love harvesting ingredients & preparing them fresh. We've had particularly good luck with lettuces, tomatoes, eggplants, sage, artichokes, strawberries, chard, carrots and fennel, and not so good luck with some other things - but that's just the way it goes I guess. I've learned a lot, and it's motivated me to try some new recipes for jam and pickles to use up the bounty!


Hog Island Oyster Co. at the Ferry Building in San Francisco - When we go to San Francisco to eat and visit friends (which I probably shouldn't say in that order!) our first order of business is almost always a stop at Hog Island Oyster Co. at the Ferry Building. We love to split a dozen oysters and their amazing grilled cheese sandwich with house made pickles, and wash it down with a bottle of champagne. It's supremely casual yet incredibly decadent, and I just love everything about it - from the rough wood tables and views of the Bay to the Heath ceramic dishes and impeccable service.


Ice Cream - I love everything about ice cream - making it, eating it, serving it, choosing flavors - it's just so much fun. Last summer I made this Doughnut ice cream for my nieces and my friends' kids, and it was a huge hit. (I know this because one of my nieces was still talking about it last weekend!) I also make a mean vanilla, strawberry, mint chip, and salted caramel - and a killer chocolate gelato made with cornstarch and milk instead of cream. True story.


The Children's Museum - SD

My nieces - we don't have kids ourselves - and while I absolutely love my life with my husband, I really love it when my two gorgeous, funny and incredibly bright nieces come to stay with us. Emma is 7 and a complete girly girl, while Caelan is 10 and more independent. Their personalities are so very different, and yet they're absolute best friends. I love watching (and listening to) them play, run, skip, jump and enjoy life with abandon. We get to spoil them since they're just visiting (and they're already fantastically well behaved) which makes it that much more fun!

25 comments:

Meghan said...

Love the list in its entirety, however, needed to see the jersey dress. The link posted didn't work, but this http://www.etsy.com/shop/emilyryan
did.

Erika ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

ur nieces are ADORABLE - i want that tub and car!!!

*kiss kiss* & Happy Weekend!!!
Erika
~Tiptoe Butterfly~

Joslyn said...

Thanks Megan! fixed the link ;-)

Mary said...

Beautiful list - love it all!!

Alice Q. Foodie said...

Thanks Joslyn, the feeling is mutual! xoxo

and flowers pick themselves said...

fabulous post! you have me craving some time in big sur. it's been far too long since i've been there. beautiful!

xo Alsion

Joanna said...

Caelan and I have the same taste in clothes! And there is a 18-year difference between us. :-)

Joslyn said...

Joanna -- I know, i would totally wear caelen's outfit!

Whitney Smurr said...

Love all of this! The high school I attended recently started a similar backpack program called Boomerang Backpacks, which feeds hundreds of local kids on the weekends. It's pretty inspiring!

rikshaw design said...

wonderful list!

Miranda said...

I think Alice and I would get along quite well, many of my favorites are listed here! I too LOVE Big Sur - we named our daughter Pfeiffer after Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, my favorite spot.
10,000 waves is such a peaceful and lovely spot too.
Thanks for sharing - so fun!

Julie R said...

I am equally in love with Alice, she is the coolest! And I absolutely adore her lists.

Heidi said...

Congratulations, Alice! It must have been hard for you to pick your favorites since you put so much thought into everything you do. But this list is impeccable! I recognize that bridge your beautiful nieces are on. They're so lucky to have James and you to dote on them. See you soon! xoxo

style'n said...

Nieces are so cute and I love this list. Have a great weekend,
Naina

Torrie said...

Hi there!

Just a quick comment to say hello, since I returned from vacation (and just finished getting caught up on your posts!).

I have read Alice's blog before and I love it also, being slightly addicted to good food myself:). It was a great list of favorites; thanks for sharing!

Nicki said...

I love your blogs Alice and I think Caelan and Emma are very blessed to have you for their Auntie! (from their Mema)

Staci Edwards Design said...

Great post!

PearlsAndGreenTea said...

A fantastic list! Especially agree with the Delano, handmade clothes, croissants and Hog Island. You managed to make me want to eat, shop and travel in 1 post. Thanks for that.:)

http://pearlsandgreentea.blogspot.com/

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Henna @ AboutDivorce Blog said...

its true that things that bring you most happiness are little things that hold little value but more importance, your blog is a very interesting one, i really like coming here and seeing things

Nancy-Chicago said...

Will you please give us your ice cream recipes?? Especially the salted caramel and the chco gelato!!

Alice Q. Foodie said...

Hello! Thanks for all the nice comments! Here are the ice cream recipes!

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/04/salted_butter_c.html

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chocolate-Gelato-108521

enjoy!

Barchbo said...

I love the Delano! It's my fave place for drinks in Miami Beach - there is something sort of seductive about it. I always feel like I am in a movie.

Am going to SF in March and am already comtemplating how many visits to Hog Island in the Ferry Building I can fit in - yum! I like to go as early in the day as possible!

180|360 said...

Love the list and Alice, too. Living vicariously through her food and travels over the past year has been quite fun. She has fabulous taste!

PS. That Isetta is the funkiest car ever. And I thought I liked vintage Fiats!

kate said...

Gilt/Jetsetter is having an exclusive sale right now on rooms at the Delano, it looks like they're about 30% off! My husband and I went to Miami on a business trip last year so we probably won't be back there for a while, but it's truly one of my favorite places to visit. I'll have to keep the Delano in mind for next time...

http://www.gilt.com/invite/kjohnson789