literary food blog, for readers with good taste.

The TBR List: Twenty-Seven

Amina Elahi PAPER/PLATES birthday

As I turned 27 yesterday, I thought a lot about hype. Birthdays come laden with it and in recent years I haven't given in. But this year was different. I let myself give into the joy that comes with celebrating yourself — and what a difference it made.

Humility is a trait that matures with a person, I think. Mostly it's good, as it keeps people from boasting and showing off, but many times it goes too far. I think I'm guilty of this. So my goal for this year is to work on being humble, but to balance that with appreciating and acknowledging the good in my life that comes from others and from myself.

I am a very lucky person and I don't take it for granted one bit.

Here's a small sampling of things that reminded me of that in the past couple days: a surprise flower delivery at work that benefited local charities, homemade macarons from a dear friend, a set of cake decorating tools so my next #cakelapse can be even better, the chance to speak to all three of my living grandparents and bask in their love, and dinner at Girl & The Goat, a local restaurant that really lived up to the hype (everything was excellent but the country fried loup de mer in tamarind sweet and sour sauce was incredible) and produced this timeless quote from Shiraaz:

"They're Instagramming their food! That's why we're not getting our table!"

Don't worry — the restaurant rewarded our patience with a free dish. What makes you feel lucky?


- Free online knife skills class.

- Classic books get the clickbait treatment.

- Voting for the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards is OPEN.

- DIY entertaining items. Those napkins are calling my name.

Out of Print has donated 1 million books to Books for Africa.

- A new app that lets you pay your restaurant bill via smartphone.

- Similarly, Argo Tea's new app lets you pre-order and skip the line.

Chicago's Bib Gourmand recipients (AKA good restaurants + good value for money).

- "How could gluten, present in a staple food that has sustained humanity for thousands of years, have suddenly become so threatening?"

"A Constellation of Vital Phenomena" by Anthony Marra & Beef Manti (Dumplings)

At The Table With...Amina Elahi of PAPER/PLATES