That’s a Wrap!

popbar

For the most part, the temperature has significantly cooled. Last weekend, however, was so warm that it warranted indulging in a strawberry sorbet popsicle from Popbar. I am eager for the holidays, which in my mind officially begins on Halloween. From then on it’s a whirlwind of excitement, holiday lights, hot chocolate, and festive activities. Oh, and there’s also this. It’s not a truly fulfilled holiday season unless Bill Murray’s in it. Until then, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

RUN THE SHOW: Hollywood’s top showrunners.

MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING: Is being turned into a TV comedy series.

CAT CORA: And how she overcame sexism in the kitchen.

LOBSTER LOVE: Behind Maine’s mysterious lobster bonanza.

MAKEOVER: Written recipes get a new look.

SELF-PUBLISHING: Why Hollywood keeps turning to it.

SMARTIES: The retro candy is thriving.

POTAYTO, POTAHTO: How to make potatoes.

SUCCESS: How to succeed in Shondaland.

Have an enjoyable weekend!

Image by Lauren Jessen

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The Best of Billy Wilder

billy

There are few movies that make me repeatedly cry-laugh. The Birdcage is one of those movies. Some Like It Hot is another. The director of Some Like It Hot, Billy Wilder, is one of American cinema’s premiere writer-directors. With gorgeous films such as Sabrina, The Apartment, and The Seven Year Itch, to name a few, Wilder has demonstrated his talent for writing and directing time and time again.

Billy Wilder was born in Austria in 1906 and became a screenwriter in the 1920s. He originally studied law, but shortly after he obtained a newspaper writing job where he conducted interviews and covered stories on crime and personal profiles. Wilder eventually made his way to the United States, and ultimately to Hollywood, after escaping the rise of the Nazis in Germany. This fantastic interview in The Paris Review gives a thorough look at Wilder’s background and provides insight into his life and work.

Whether you are a big Billy Wilder fan, have seen one of his movies, or are just starting to learn about his work (if you’re new to Wilder’s films, Sabrina is a great starting point), these films are absolutely must-see.

Best of Billy WilderWhat are your favorite Billy Wilder movies?

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That’s a Wrap!

heart pizza

This week was all about homemade meals. From clam linguine to an improvised Farmers Market meal to a heart pizza, there was no shortage of trying new recipes and experimenting with fresh ingredients. On my radar movie theater-wise: Trainwreck and Irrational Man. After being on the verge of a cold for more than half the week, I’m looking forward to getting some extra sleep this weekend. For now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

GET INVITED BACK: A variety of gifts to bring every type of host/hostess.

CROSSING AMERICA: Routes from some of the greatest literary road trips.

PART II: Oh, the good ol’ Hollywood sequel.

DON’T WASTE: Use this handy chart to avoid food waste.

PARTY TIME: Throw an oyster bash.

THIRD PLACE: Jurassic World is now the third highest-grossing film in history, behind Titanic and Avatar. 

TERMS TO KNOW: A useful glossary of wine-tasting terms.

PRO TIPS: Baking tips from pastry chefs around the country.

Have a great weekend!

Image by Lauren

That’s a Wrap!

It’s always nice to have productive weeks – this was one of them. It was also filled with lots of good food, mainly ice cream (and banana splits from Oddfellows). Maybe it was the long holiday weekend that kick-started a week of focus and inspiration. If only every other work week could be four days long. I’m looking forward to an eventful weekend, starting with the Taylor Swift concert. Until then, though, lets wrap up the week with a recap…

BEHIND THE SCENES: I love glimpses into people’s days, and Gayle King’s hustle is inspiring.

GIADA: Giada de Laurentiis has a restaurant in Vegas with the best chocolate lava cake I’ve ever had. This is a great inside look at the restaurant.

FOOD PROPS: The food stylist from The Astronaut Wives Club tells all.

STEP ASIDE, WAFFLE CONES: There’s a new cone in town.

FEMALE FILMMAKERS: And how Hollywood discriminates against them.

FAST FOOD: How McDonalds started in China.

ASIAN IMMIGRANTS: Starting to (very slowly) get some respect on TV?

MARIE CURIE: Production has started on a movie about this two-time Nobel prize winning scientist. Can’t wait to see the final feature!

MOVIES TO ADD TO YOUR LIST: The best films of 2015 so far.

DRINK UP: Tea may be strengthening your bones. Cheers to that!

VERY CREATIVE: A cake with wallpaper print. How cool.

LOCATION SCOUT: Secret filming locations in Paris.

Image by Lauren

8 Books for Spring 2015

books spring 2015

My reading list for spring has grown significantly in the past couple of weeks. I thought I was set, but then a few more stood out to me when browsing the bookstore. These are the food and film books I can’t wait to read this season.

1. Lesser Beasts by Mark Essig – As valuable as they may be for food, pigs are also intelligent and self-sufficient. Essig’s book explores the history of a creature we typically think of as dirty and lazy. A fascinating read!

2. Missing Reels by Farran Smith Nehme – Young love and old movies? Sold! A young woman moves to NYC and discovers that her neighbor may have starred in a forgotten silent film. As she tracks down the film, her life changes. I’m looking forward to being charmed with this read.

3. How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics by Eugenia Cheng – If you’re not a math person, maybe this book will change your mind. There’s food involved, after all. Cheng offers a new way of looking at math – I’m very interested to know why “making a good custard proves that math is easy but life is hard.”

4. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman – Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer and business journalist Charles Fishman wrote this book about “curiosity conversations” that have inspired Grazer to create some of the beloved television shows and movies in history (24! Apollo 13! Arrested Development!). Grazer has had weekly “curiosity conversations” with accomplished strangers for decades, and in this book the power of inquisitiveness is explored. As a curious being, this sounds right up my alley.

5. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe: A Novel with Recipes by Jenny Colgan – A sweet novel about a woman who opens her own cafe when she’s laid off from her desk job. Challenges and adventures await, but when there are cupcakes involved, it might not be so bad after all. Colgan has several books like this, including The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, The Little Beach Street Bakery, and Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe.

6. Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage by Molly Wizenberg – When Molly Wizenberg’s husband Brandon decides to open a pizza restaurant, their young marriage changed. This book recounts their adventures.

7. Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl – A young woman takes a job at an iconic food magazine in New York. When the magazine is shut down, she discovers letters written to the legendary chef James Beard. I’ve heard great things about this book.

8. Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann – A true Hollywood tale of ambition, scandal, and murder. Recreated with the suspense of a novel, this story sounds like a thrilling bedtime read.

What books are you reading this spring?

That’s a Wrap!

brownstones

The weather has officially turned and it’s so enjoyable walking around the city. There’s no better time to walk around New York City than when the skies are blue and the air is crisp. This weekend I’ll be heading to a friend’s house for Passover – I’m excited to learn about new cultures, eat new food, and make new friends. Whether you’re celebrating Passover or Easter or something completely unrelated, have a happy weekend. For now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* These crepe cakes are beautiful. I’m going to have to work on my crepe-making skills.

* An interesting read about Hollywood food stylists and their work. Movie magic at its finest.

* Why vending machines are so popular in Japan.

* 20 recipes to get you excited for spring.

* How adorable are these robin’s egg blue mini cakes?

* This food hall in Midtown is going to be fantastic. Open now, please.

Winnie the Pooh as a live-action movie? My inner child is jumping up and down with joy.

* Looking forward to watching this new Netflix series.

{Photos by Lauren}

RIP Mike Nichols

mike nichols

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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