New York Minute: Classic Coney Island

I know, I know: another post about the beach?! But who can resist quirky Coney Island?

In August, the Coney Island History Project held a ceremony to celebrate the return of the Astroland rocket to Coney. The rocket was once a main attraction at Astroland, a futuristic theme park that opened in 1962. At the time, the rocket was unusual and exciting ride. Visitors took their seats inside the rocket before it began to shake roughly; at the same time, a television screen inside the rocket played a film about space travel.

The ceremony smacked of the same restless hope that helped to shape the 1960s in America. In a way, that’s what is so wonderful about Coney Island. Visiting Coney Island’s boardwalk feels a little like taking a trip back in time. Luna Park, Astroland’s successor, may be updating the rides (check out that slick orange roller coaster in the slideshow), but nostalgia prevails in this zip code. Decades-old traditions, like riding the rickety Cyclone roller coaster or having lunch at Nathan’s, are still alive and well. Even the gastronomically-questionable Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, which dates back to 1972, remains a American tradition.

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Teatime Kisses

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Who doesn’t love meringue, the light, sweet result of whipping air into egg whites? Meringue is fantastic atop cupcakes, in pies and even by the spoonful. But baking meringue elevates it to another level. Sweet, airy meringue cookies are an elegant afternoon snack perfect for an afternoon tea. Since experiencing my first afternoon tea in London last year, I have been fascinated by the tradition, and I would proudly serve my meringues at any afternoon tea in the British capital.

Inspired by British company Meringue Girls, I decided to create my own flavor of meringues, one that I had not yet seen: Earl Grey.

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New York Minute: Big Apple Bakeries

The cupcake craze is finally over (well, mostly) and I think it’s safe to say that doughnuts have a firm hold on New York. That said, New York pastry chefs are coming up with a variety of creative desserts and snacks. Here’s a review of some of the sweet treats I tried during my summer in the city. Beware, New York prices ahead…

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New York Minute: Rainy Day at Rockaway

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For me, summer has never meant sand and sun and postcard memories at some exotic shoreline. I grew up on the coast of the Southeastern United States, where swimming in October is not uncommon. Summer sun and the sweaty bodies it brings have driven me indoors in past summers, where cool air envelops me and sweat is a distant threat.

But this summer, the sea called to me. The beach offered respite from New York’s skyscrapers and the constant buzz of traffic. It doesn’t hurt that the city’s beaches have a lot of personality. From Coney to Brighton to Rockaway, New York’s beaches are distinctly different.

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New York Minute: Beach Bites

“Jell-O shots, ice cold Jell-O shots!”

It’s a warm summer Saturday on Coney Island. Men and women weave between sunbathing beach goers, attempting to sell food, drinks and beach gear. They carry coolers, plastic bags, and sagging purses full of inventory.

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Blueberry Bonanza

A few years ago, I made a small batch of blueberry preserves for my Super Bowl-themed cupcakes. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with preserving. Preserving is so easy. Now that I’ve done it a few times, I wonder why anyone bothers to buy preserves.

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Tasty Travels: Nice, France

From September to December 2013, I lived and studied in Paris, France, which is one of my favorite cities in the world. This post is the first in a series about the foods I tasted during my four months in Europe.

Perhaps what I love most about the French is their love of food. My host mom, who I called my “Madame”, once told me that the French never stop thinking about food. Before, during and after a meal, French people are thinking about their next meal. One night, my Madame and her daughter spent the entirety of our main course and dessert interrogating my Swiss housemate about her favorite brands of chocolate.

During my time abroad, I traveled to Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland, and various places in France. This post is about my weekend trip to Nice, France, a seaside city in the South of France with a food culture that mixes French and Italian traditions.

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