still cookin'

food, nutrition, and health news



A Secret Too Good To Keep

Running errands this morning, I stumbled upon a new coffee shop on Thayer Street! While Blue State Coffee very stealthily opened last week, I suspect that Brown students will soon flock to this liberal, eco-friendly coffeeshop. The comfy chairs and big tables provide the perfect environment for chatting with a friend while the free Wi-Fi is sure to entice students. With Democratic ideals in mind, Blue State Coffee donates 10% of their sales to Democratic causes – and each cup of coffee buys you a vote for allocating those funds (Check out the causes they support on the website). Environmentalists will appreciate their 100% compost-able cups and their organic, Fair Trade coffee. To top it all off, their coffee is the best I’ve had in Providence (since Ocean Coffee closed…and sorry, Coffee Exchange) and they stock biscotti and other pastries from Seven Stars Bakery. How convenient for them that Starbucks is currently closed for renovations…

I have a feeling I’ll be spending lots of time here over the next semester.

Now THIS is worthy of a post…


You can imagine my excitement while reading the Brown Daily Herald this morning in class…My stomach started growling right then. Chipotle is planning to build two new locations – one in Warwick, and one in Providence (hopefully on Thayer St?!). Now, if you’ve never had Chipotle before, you’re in for a treat…humongous, 5 pound, 1,000+ calorie burritos – heaven in a tortilla.

See the BDH article and check out the Chipotle website:
OR the Chipotlefan website.

Cheese, Glorious Cheese!

If you weren’t at the Ratty last night, you missed an awesome dinner full of CHEESE! A couple times every semester, Brown Dining Services throws a great themed dinner. This semester, we had “Fright Night” on Halloween and last semester, we had a Southwestern-themed night. Well, last night takes the (cheese)cake for my personal favorite: “Just Say Cheese!” Not only did every dish contain cheese in some form, but there was fondue, a cheese-making demonstration, and picture-taking with a cardboard dairy cow! Many cheeses were represented, including Cheddar, Stilton, Romano, Feta, Gruyere, Pecorino, and Fontina.

A sampling of the menu:
Chili Cheese Soup
Both Cheddar and Gruyere Fondues
Tropical Fruit & Feta Salad
Roasted Asparagus with Romano
Macaroni and Cheese with Avocado and Sundried Tomatoes
Zucchini and Feta Calzone
Chicken Stuffed with Prosciutto and Fontina
Rib Eye with Stilton Sauce
Oreo, Brownie, or Orange Dream Cheesecake

Oh, don’t worry, I brought plenty of Lactaid with me!

“Home Recipes are on the menu in many campus dining halls”

It’s a pretty cute idea. Have parents submit their favorite homecooked recipes to university chefs and what do you get? The ultimate comfort food for students, parents actively involved in their students’ university, and new recipes for the chefs to play with.

Hey, Brown students- what do you say? Want Mom’s famous mac n’ cheese or Dad’s BBQ chicken on the menu?


…to the Thayer Street Food Drive, now through December 24th. If you live in the Providence area, please donate canned foods and other nonperishables to the food drive! This food will be donated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

Drop off donations at:
Brown Bookstore (lobby)
either Brown dining hall
Mail Office
Metcalf Copy Center
Brown Office Building (lobby)

Farmer’s Market @ Brown

Brown is so fabulous that we have a Farmer’s Market on campus! The Community Harvest program, managed by Louella Hill, coordinates with local Rhode Island Farmers to get locally grown foods into the Brown dining halls. Every Wednesday from 11a-2pm, the farmers have tables set up on Wriston Quad, located in front of the Ratty. Right now, they have apples, end of season peaches, corn, fresh goat cheese, end of season tomatoes (including zebra tomatoes!), and lots more. Last week, I got a bag of apples and some peaches- there really is nothing like an apple in September!….Alot of students volunteer at the farms and the market, helping the farmers set up tables and sell their produce. So I volunteered myself, of course! I’ll be starting next week!

Back to School!

As I write, Brown’s campus is overrun with hoards of clueless, awkward freshmen. It’s great. Especially when one wants to eat at the Ratty but the frosh are messing up the lines.

In light of this lovely time of year, I found an appropriate article in the NYT this morning:
“15 Pounds: Part of Freshman Meal Plan?”

The ‘Freshman 15’ is partly myth and partly truth, in my opinion. I think most people gain a few pounds their freshman year, though not necessarily 15 (but in some cases, more). The problem seems to be, in my own experience, that most new students are not used to being able to decide where, when, and what they eat without a parent or school lunch schedule to help them. Freedom, baby! And it gets out of control, especially when students are stressed. But as long as you eat healthily and avoid developing a beer gut, you should be fine.

Coming out September 6th, is “The Dorm Room Diet” by Daphne Oz, a junior at Princeton. She wrote this guide to keep the pounds off based on her own experiences in college eating.

I <3 Brown alums

Guess who I met today?! Dana Cowin ’82, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, who was conducting an interview with Warren Brown. I recognized her face, but not her name and then I realized that she had been a judge on a few episodes of Iron Chef…hehe good ol’ Iron Chef! Skipped class to see the interview, which was entertaining but a little long. I went up to Dana after the interview, who is very nice and approachable. I was like “Ummm I’m a major foodie…Do you need an intern??” but she said the Food & Wine itself does not offer an internship program. DAMN. However, she did say that I should definitely try to get an ASME internship (American Society of Magazine Editors). The deadline has already passed for this summer and, besides that, I’m not qualified. So next fall I plan on taking a journalism class and joining the paper (um, maybe), so I will become eligible and then work my way into some food magazine. And Dana likes to hire Brown alums- so that’s one point for me!

Brown alum, Warren Brown ’93!!

Had a super fantabulous day because I met WARREN BROWN!! For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, well, you should! Warren Brown is the star of the Food Network show, Sugar Rush, and, more importantly, is founder and owner of the very successful and delicious CakeLove cafe in Washington DC (with a 2nd location now in Maryland). He specializes in cakes and other fine baked goods at CakeLove and travels around the country discovering awesome bakeries on his show. Mr. Brown– ok, I really want to call him Warren now that I’ve met him– is an alum of Brown (class of 1993) and is here at the university for a couple of days as part of the new Alumni Spotlight program. Today we had “Cake Break with Warren,” and lemme tell ya, the cake was awesome.

Now that you know who he is, I can tell you how awesome of a person he is! Here’s a guy who graduated from Brown as a history concentrator and went on to become a successful D.C. lawyer in Public Health. But, one day, he woke up and realized he just wasn’t happy enough. So he decided to get into baking– and is now a huge success and loves the direction his life is taking at the moment! So I’m listening to Warren tell us all of this, and it just gives me hope for my own future…he has truly inspired me. I thought my career plans were borderline ridiculous- and then I realized that here’s this guy who has done exactly what he wanted to with his life, and maybe he took a roundabout way of getting there, but at the end of the day he’s so happy with how everything has turned out. And I thought to myself, why can’t I decide today that this is the path I want to take with my own life? I know I want to work in the food industry in some capacity, so why not start now? I was tempted to ask if he needed an intern, but I restrained myself. Anyways, I will hopefully be arranging an interview with him via email. He gave me his business card, so I will probably be emailing him this weekend.

Another thing to love about Warren and his cakes is that he uses all natural ingredients and is a really healthy person. I know that you’re thinking “Umm cake is not healthy…” but in everything he said today, he emphasized the importance of being and feeling healthy every day through a healthy diet, exercise, and by knowing how your body works. Sure, he told us to have a slice of cake once in awhile– but all things in moderation. He believes that you can’t deprive yourself of something your body really wants, like fat. I think that’s just great! I work in a bakery and, yes, people come in for a sweet treat every day and that’s not so healthy, but a cupcake once in awhile won’t kill you. I’m planning on studying nutrition, but I’m all for some cupcakes!

Aaaand speaking of cupcakes, “Cupcakes on the Green with Warren” will be on the Main Green tomorrow from 4-5pm. Before that, I am skipping class to go see Warren being interviewed ala Inside the Actor’s Studio by Dana Cowen ’82, editor in chief of Food & Wine magazine (I plan to ask her for an internship too…). In the meantime, check out his CakeLove blog and all the good stuff going on with Sugar Rush and CakeLove.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: