Friday flyby of links

It’s the best day of the week, and it’s also time for some link lovin’. I was excited to include the Independent Weekly‘s special 2013-2014 Eats guide to the Triangle, but it appears to only reside in the real, non-virtual world. If you’re a Triangle resident/transient/hungry passerby, try to snag a copy.

I’m off to DC tomorrow to celebrate my cousin’s college graduation (woo!) It’s the first time I will have visited since the exodus in March. At the very least, it should have warmed up.

Find a hardcopy of this dining guide, which includes new restaurants and fun articles like "Dining for Introverts"

Find a hardcopy of this guide, which includes the newest eateries, hilarious food pyramids for the different Triangle cities, and the lighthearted “Dining for Introverts”

  • Take me away from my computer [Condé Nast Traveler]: While this Grand Tour of Asia is not gastronomic per se, the details of sipping coconuts on the beaches of Sri Lanka to perusing the food stalls in Singapore whet the appetite for adventure.
  • Half say “Ew” and half say “Ooo” [That Winsome Girl]: I stumbled upon this recipe for coffee Jell-o after my wisdom teeth extraction. It sounds like a java version of panna cotta, leading me to feel more intrigued than squeamish.
  • Grill, baby, grill [Apartment Therapy]: The Internet is abuzz with grilling recipes, tricks, and tips, but what if you don’t have space for wardrobe-sized machinery? The Weber Smokey Joe Grill would be my top choice, but sadly the apple green hue is no more.
  • Colonel Sanders’s contraband [NY Times]: If you were on a desert island/in the Gaza strip, what would you pay to have smuggled through tunnels for you? Ice cream sundaes? Fresh sushi? KFC?
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Dining in Durham, Pt. 1

After three days of chipmunk cheeks followed by a Sunday spent pampering my mom, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. The dreary weather has finally receded and with any luck, we’ll enjoy a spring respite before things heat up too much.

The temp job I have is in Durham near Duke’s east campus. As a bleeding-blue Tar Heel, I rarely explored this nearby city during my undergrad years in Chapel Hill. Known historically for industry tobacco and more recently as the home of an iconic baseball flick, the Bull City was strapped with an unsavory reputation until recently. Urban revitalization is in full swing downtown, including the converted American Tobacco Campus, which borders the new performing arts center and the Bulls baseball park. Even the office where I work was once a mill.

I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of all that Durham has to offer, but here’s the first installation of my eating and drinking recommendations:

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The lovely American Tobacco Campus houses many restaurants including my favorite location of Tyler’s Taproom— perfect for a pint and a burger

Geer Street Garden offers a healthy(ish) take on Southern staples, including gluten-free options and a bright bar

Geer Street Garden offers a healthy(ish) take on Southern staples including gluten-free options, plus al fresco dining and a sunny bar [photo courtesy of Durham Magazine]

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Across the street from Geer Street, you’ll find connoisseur-quality coffee at Cocoa Cinnamon

Besides java, this garage-hipster-hangout has the most luscious hot chocolate -- made with almond milk no less

Besides java, this garage-turned-hipster-hangout has the most luscious hot chocolate — made with almond milk no less

Located a little south of downtown, Nantaco is worth the trek for fresh, inventive Mexican fare -- not to mention $5 margaritas

Nantaco is worth the trek for fresh, inventive Mexican fare — not to mention the expansive salsa bar and $5 margaritas [photo courtesy of Nanataco]

Bring on the breakfasts

I’m under an eight-hour food and drink fast before the wisdom teeth come out. Unfortunately, that means missing favorite meal of the day.

As a kid (and extremely picky eater), I detested breakfast: Cereal always got soggy in the milk; eggs were icky; oatmeal was boring; yogurt was weird; and pancakes held little appeal. The breakfasts of my formative years were cheese toast, Pillsbury Toaster Strudels, and Pillsbury cinnamon rolls on the weekend. It was hardly the diet of champions, but thankfully my tastes have matured considerably since then.

I may miss out on this great start-of-the-day, but that doesn’t mean I won’t drool over my favorites. I imagine there will be much drooling for other reasons anyway.

Ooey gooey Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal— recipe courtesy of Fannetastic Food

Ooey gooey Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal— recipe courtesy of Fannetastic Food

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Another Fannetastic Food find: I like topping these protein-packed pancakes with sliced apples and Greek yogurt

These flour-less pancakes are equally tasty topped with slivered almonds and raspberries

These flour-less pancakes are equally tasty topped with slivered almonds and raspberries

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Multigrain bread with almond butter and flax seeds and Greek yogurt with chopped pineapple, coconut flakes, and more flax seeds

Over-easy egg atop multigrain toast and garlic-sautéed spinach

Over-easy egg atop multigrain toast and garlic-sautéed spinach

Friday flyby of links

It’s been a rough week for many in light of the tragedies in Boston and Waco, Texas. Besides bringing people closer, these events also make us stop and appreciate all the good thing in our life. This week, I got to see a good friend who was visiting from Austin, explore new restaurants in Durham (more to come on those) and start running again after sustaining a minor injury two weeks ago. I hope that the clouds will soon part for those who have not been as fortunate as I have.

Time for an HBO documentary [Policy Mic]

The  next HBO documentary [Policy Mic]

Without further ado, some reading to brighten (or lighten) your day:

  • The Cupcake Crash of 2013 [Grub Street]: Here’s a tongue-in-cheek rundown of why the iconic sweet’s reign of sugar is coming to an end. Hint: Mitt Romney and Two Broke Girls may be implicated.
  • Great Balls of Goodness [My Whole Food Life]: I may have finally found a recipe to replicate Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food. Oh, happy day!
  • Earth, pans and fire [NY Times]: Michael Pollan’s latest book Cooked will hit shelves Tuesday, and his new mandate — Eat whatever you want as long as you cook it — is already stirring the pot.
  • Beantown establishments give back [Eater]: In case you’re in the Boston area, here’s a list of restaurants that are pooling their resources to help the local community and visitors, as well.

Best of Boston

It’s a sad day when an iconic race that brings people together from across the country and even the world warps into something so scary and so sad.

Many people have pointed out that the single malicious act was overpowered by the goodwill and bravery of countless people in Boston and beyond.  In the end, the good will always outnumber the bad.

Along that same vein, I wanted to post a quick visual feast of the best of Boston. I went once (literally 20 years ago) as a kid but remember it as a vibrant, walkable city filled with a perfect mix of historic and new; city and town; down-to-earth and extraordinary. Let’s send them all some lovin, even if we’re far away.

Start the day with a hearty Irish breakfast via Flickr

Start the day with a hearty Irish breakfast [Flickr]

A lunch of Boston chowda via TasteBook

Warm up to a cup of  ‘chowda’ [TasteBook]

Stop for a drink where everybody knows your name

Drink where everybody knows your name

Finish with lighter-than-air Boston Cream Pie

Finish with lighter-than-air Boston Cream Pie [America’s Test Kitchen]

CCC: Celebri-chef crush

A few Sundays back, I spent a couple of hours browsing Southern Season, which is a massive gourmet food store/cafe/restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC. Think a giant Fresh Market or more epicurean and less organic Whole Foods. It has a deli, a fresh pasty section, a wine emporium and a wall of chocolate. The saying goes “it’s like a kid in a candy shop,” and in this case, it’s quite literal.

Every time I visit, I discover some new tool or tasty goodie that threatens either my wallet, my waistline or both. This time, I was already committed to a shopping list (pure anise oil and anise seeds for this recipe), but that didn’t stop me from ogling the  oolong, rooibos and sencha. My eye was quickly drawn to the colorful Ambessa tins — a collaboration between tea powerhouse Harney & Sons and one of my celebri-chef crushes: Marcus Samuelsson.

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Ever since I caught this Today Show feature on Samuelsson and his global approach to cuisine, I was smitten by the soft-spoken Ethiopian who was raised in Sweden, became the youngest chef to receive a three-star review from The New York Times and now owns a number of inventive restaurants. I’m eagerly awaiting a paperback version of his memoir, Yes, Chef and plan to hit up the affordable Red Rooster Harlem the next time I’m in NYC. I know: culinary stalker.

I’m more of a java girl than a tea-totaler, but my caffeine sensitivity and months-long coffee cleanses have helped me develop a palate for the leaves. And now, that these Ambessa teas with playful names like “Earl of Harlem” and “Lingonberry Green” have graced the shelves of Southern Season, I’ve got even more reason to brew a pot.

Friday flyby of links

It’s not my intention to only post on Fridays, but between beach trips, starting a temporary assignment and seeing Jurassic Park in IMAX 3D (highly recommend!), the days keep slipping away. Since my temp position is a “hurry up and wait” type of gig, I have had time to catch up on plenty of online articles and blogs.

Bountiful and beautiful harvest. Photo courtesy of tavorminaphotography.com

Bountiful and beautiful harvest. Photo courtesy of tavorminaphotography.com

Here’s some food for thought (har har) to make those last few cubicle-tethered hours fly:

Happy weekend!