Springtime Risotto, Saratoga Springs

Springtime Risotto

I think it’s FINALLY technically springtime. Although the weather in New York doesn’t really give it away, it’s official and I’m certainly excited to move past the gloomy grays and frigid winds of winter. This is a risotto the president of SNAC (Skidmore Nutrition Action Council) made for our club as our sort of last-meal before graduation last spring. I guess it’s not really “spring” risotto since it doesn’t include asparagus or peas or any other seasonally appropriate ingredients (in fact, it’s made with lots of broth and zucchini) but it reminds me of spring so I’m going to call it that. I’m not usually a fan of zucchini but this risotto was super flavorful and topped off with salty parmesan, it was delicious. Here’s to warmer weather coming up! It can’t get here soon enough.

Strange Food Saturday: Austin

Honey Boo Boo Pizza

We found this sign in the University of Texas at Austin’s student center. Either Honey Boo Boo is wildly popular in Austin or the people behind this concept weren’t feeling particularly creative. Can you imagine the brainstorming session?

“Well, people seem to like that Honey Boo Boo show. Honey Boo Boo, honey, honey mustard, honey-mustard chicken,  honey-mustard chicken pizza! Honey Boo Boo chicken pizza! ‘Starring honey-mustard!’ People will totally be all over that.”

I would, but only because coming from New York City, paying less than $5 for a full lunch seems even more ludicrous than the name of this pizza.

L’Aperitif at Halekulani, Honolulu

My dad worked closely this past year with Colin Field, head bartender at the Ritz in Paris (which is currently undergoing a major renovation) to envision and create a new bar at Halekulani’s most acclaimed restaurant, La Mer. They (along with a few other people who were invaluable to the process) came up with L’Aperitif at La Mer, and I had the chance to visit in January.

Since Colin was still there, after perusing the wonderfully designed menu I decided to let him create something unique for me. How could I resist, when he promised to make me a cocktail that would taste “like biting into a crisp pear that is just on the brink of ripeness”? I don’t remember now (unfortunately) what he put into the cocktail, but it fully delivered his promise (and the full-size red rose was a beautiful, fragrant touch). Colin also poured me a taste of their homemade raspberry infused vodka, which made the flavored main-stream versions of fruity vodka of my past seem pathetic and artificial in comparison.

Having the opportunity to chat with Colin, who was called by Forbes “The World’s Greatest Bartender,” was really fun and educational. He is funny and has a great wit yet maintains his elegant composure at all times, and his passion for his art is apparent always. I went to bartending school a few summers ago, and even though I cannot remember all 300+ drinks I had to memorize to pass the test, I’m still very interested in the world of bartending. Colin gave me a list of bars to check out back in New York City, which I still need to get around to. One of the things Colin said that I remember exactly was, “I like cocktails that speak. Cognac over ice can be like looking at Saturn in the galaxy.”

My cocktail was accompanied by foie gras, rose petal marmalade, and a brioche chip. This was my first taste of foie gras and to be honest, I did not particularly enjoy it. The texture was similar to a soft cheese, and the flavor was unlike anything else I’ve had. The marmalade was delicious and I could taste how it complemented the foie gras well, but I think I will need to develop a taste for it before I am able to eat more than one bite in a sitting.

Right after cocktails, my dad I rushed to the airport so that I could board a plane back to New York for my final Spring semester of college in Saratoga Springs. It was a lovely evening to end my last college vacation back home!

La Mer 

Location: 2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu HI 96815 Phone: (808) 923-2311

La Mer (Halekulani Hotel) on Urbanspoon

Wafflefest, Saratoga Springs

This is the longest I have ever gone without posting on eyechow, and the reason for that is: I graduated college on Saturday!!! So between finishing my last essays and take-home exams, figuring out summer plans, partying with Skidmore friends for the last time until who-knows-when, and hosting four family members (not to mention meeting all the other families) there was just no time to tend to eyechow!

In honor of leaving Skidmore College, I decided to come back to the blog with a post about my penultimate meal at the school’s dining hall. The dining hall along with the student government hosts an annual event called Wafflefest that is free for all students, and since my friends and I are all cheapskates who live off-campus (and therefore do not have a meal plan) it’s a must-go event.

Wafflefest is all about the waffles of course, but really it just means they serve breakfast for dinner. The place is always packed for the event and lines are long, so once you throw down your purse to save a table, you have to wait in more lines and so you end up getting greedy once you finally reach the food. My friend Maggie and I overloaded on waffles, strawberries, whipped cream, syrup, sausage patties, hash browns, and what we thought were corn dogs (hence the ketchup and mustard) but turned out to be sausages dipped in pancake batter!

After all of that indulgence, we decided we should look for something that had at least a little bit of nutrition, so we found the fruit salad (which included fresh blueberries just for the event, yum!). They had also apparently recently replaced their usual overly-sweet fruity yogurt with thick (yet low-fat) Cabot vanilla Greek yogurt, so I had to try it and it was wonderful.

I can’t honestly say that I’ll miss eating in a dining hall (after all, I’ve really been avoiding it ever since I moved out of the dorms!) since it provides limited choices and virtually no control for the diners; but since I’m now really never coming back, I must say, thank you Skidmore Dining Hall, I admit that you did a really good job.

Gluten-Free Cupcakes, Saratoga Springs

My friend D’Andrea and I made these for Chelsea for her birthday last year, and they are gluten-free because she has Celiac disease; but they were just as delicious as regular cupcakes, especially with homemade butter cream frosting and lots of decorations!