Around Town: Zazie – San Francisco

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When visiting my friend in San Francisco, we explored the city and kept our eyes open for a good brunch place. Then we discovered it: Zazie. The menu is incredible, and they let you order single items, such as one or two pancakes along with another item. I wish everyone would just do this because when it comes to brunch, I tend to crave every flavor – potatoes, eggs, meat of some kind, pancakes, waffles, French Toast, you name it. We started off with a sparkling champagne cocktail (naturally), and moved onto our main meals. The highlight: pumpkin spice pancakes with pumpkin topping. With a charming atmosphere and delicious food, Zazie is a must if you’re in SF.

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{Photos by Lauren}

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Classic Challah

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Hanukkah begins tonight at sunset, and in honor of the holiday, what better way to celebrate than to make classic challah? It took two attempts to make this braided bread, but I finally got it right on the second try. What resulted was a deliciously fluffy pull-apart bread that will be perfect for French Toast. Because the dough has to rise for at about 2.5 hours, definitely plan ahead. I used this recipe, but ended up only needing about 6.5 cups of flour. Also, make sure that the water is lukewarm. For braiding, I watched this video – it was so helpful! I can’t wait to try out variations of challah – including ones with cinnamon, poppy seeds, and ham and cheese.

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{Photos by Lauren}

 

Winter 2014 Must-See Movies

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We have reached the final week of fall (winter officially begins on Sunday, December 21). When the temperatures are below zero and the snow is falling, spending the day watching movies at your local cinema can’t be beat. There were some great movies this fall, and there are still many more to come. I fell in love with the book Unbrokenso I’m eager to see how the movie plays out. Louis Zamperini’s life story is nothing short of incredible, and if you haven’t read the book yet, I highly encourage you to do so. This American Sniper trailer really got me, and I will undoubtedly be seeing it as soon as it comes out. I love watching movies this time of year because we’re getting into Awards Season, and many of these movies will be in the running for top awards.

1. Unbroken – December 25, 2014

2. Into the Woods – December 25, 2014

3. A Most Violent Year – December 31, 2014

4. Selma – January 9, 2015

5. American Sniper – January 16, 2015

What movies are you looking forward to this winter?

{Image via Laura Ashley}

RIP Mike Nichols

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Mike Nichols was one of my favorite directors. In college, I wrote several term papers about him and his films. He was incredibly talented, told fantastic stories, and he’s responsible for a few of my favorite movies of all time.

As a film major, I watched movies constantly for class and for fun (sometimes movies you have to watch for class are definitely not ones you would watch on your own time). Mike Nichols’ films stand out above them all, and there are two in particular that I think of often: Working Girl and The Birdcage. And then as most people know, he directed The Graduate, a classic that hugely impacted filmmaking in both its content and filming techniques.

Most recently I saw the play he directed, Death of a Salesman, which of course was intense and powerful and stunning. His talents are obvious, as he is one of the few people to earn an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy. I could go on and on and on about how much this director had an impact on film and my own film interests.

To learn more about Nichols, here’s a great piece from the New York Times about him. As his comic partner Elaine May said best, “So he’s witty, he’s brilliant, he’s articulate, he’s on time, he’s prepared, and he writes. But is he perfect? He knows you can’t really be liked or loved if you’re perfect. You have to have just enough flaws. And he does. Just the right, perfect flaws to be absolutely endearing.”

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Burt’s Buzz: He’s the Balm

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The weekend I watched Burt’s Buzz on Netflix, and it was a great way to spend 1.5 hours. Burt Shavitz, the face and co-founder of Burt’s Bees, is an eccentric and simple man, and I became an immediate fan when he said: “A good day is when no one shows up and you don’t have to go anywhere.” That accurately sums up life. The documentary itself moves at a slow pace, but the visuals are stunning and you’ll get a good sense of Burt and how the company started.

I love how Burt lives simply and doesn’t rely on material goods. He’s also incredibly straightforward about what he’s thinking. There was a sad and sweet moment when Burt was talking about his dog Rufus, his constant companion who died in his arms. His love for his dogs is obvious, and you can’t help but laugh when he Skypes his other dog, Pasha, and they howl together. Burt’s story is incredible not just because of Burt’s Bees, but also because he unapologetically lives the life he wants to live. It’s rare, refreshing, and inspiring.

Check out the documentary, now streaming on Netflix!

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Image: Burt’s Buzz

Film History: Movie Theater Etiquette

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These movie theater etiquette lantern slides from 1912 are fantastic. All the same rules apply today, with the addition of no talking or texting on cell phones. Also, you’re unlikely to see someone wearing a large hat at the movie theater, but doesn’t that make you just a bit sad that dressing up for a night on the town to see a ‘picture’ no longer exists?

These slides were shown during what are now previews, trailers for upcoming movies, and trivia quizzes. They were also sometimes used during intermission. Multiple films used to be shown at one time since they were much shorter than movies are now. To read more about these cool pieces of film history, here are two great articles: Etiquette Lessons for the Annoying Moviegoers of Early Cinema and Lantern Slides That Advertised Coming Attractions in the Silent Film Era.

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Images via SlateBack Story Radio

That’s a Wrap!

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Last week my sister and I had breakfast at Lafayette, and it was the best way to start the day. So many great flavors in our dishes, and the restaurant is charming. This was the bakery’s autumn set-up (above) – could it look any more autumn? Insert hearty-eyed emoji. I still need to see Birdman, and haven’t really been catching up on all of my favorite shows. Once Upon a Time and Revenge are becoming priorities since the storylines have gotten very tangled and unpredictable. I can’t believe Halloween is in a week. While I love the holidays and autumn, I weirdly don’t actually do much to celebrate Halloween. This might have to change next year. Now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* Excited to read this book. Also, what an amazing cover.

* The temperature dropped suddenly, so this recipe has my name all over it.

* These salty oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies look like perfection. Ina Garten can do no wrong.

* Maybe this is why I developed a serious love for food at such an early age.

* Tom Hanks wrote a story for The New Yorker.

* Behind-the-scenes of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

* The glamorous gowns and women of Oscar de la Renta.

* Dexter becomes Hedwig. Amazing.

* I can’t get over how delicious these look.

Have a fun weekend!

{photo by lauren}