My burning desire to cook...without burning down the house

To Love With Rome

Ciao! Been collecting a little bit of life in Italy and will have a full update soon! xxAlyssa

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost.

imageYou know how I always say, I’m a writer, not a blogger? Yeah, it just makes me feel better about my infrequent posts on this site, because I do have guilt about this Apron Anxiety universe which I love, which I consider the core of all good things, which I should be more affectionate, or at least flirtatious, towards…

In my defense (haha), I haven’t exactly been living under a rock — just a hut in Sri Lanka, a ranch in Malibu, and an 8th floor walk-up in Paris w/ two Tunisian strangers and their cigs & couscous. Point is, I’m around! And hell yes, I feel crazy lucky making a living listening/writing the true stories of chefs, shamans, nymphos and heroes all over the world .  .  .  Like. Whoah.

For New York Mag, there was the amazing tale of Maggie Todd, who lost her hand in a jet-ski accident then found her inner-spirit at Per Se. Plus two sorority sisters in love, a Financial Dominatrix named Goddess Nia (READ IT everyone), a bunch of brutal breakup sagas, and some sweet food diaries.

For Bon Appétit magazine, I interviewed an Olsen, Seth Meyers, Kate & Andy Spade, a mystery champion athlete, and of course, Kelly Wearstler. I’ll let you google that one. On the record - my feeling about the outrage, or whatever, is (as always) LIVE & LET LIVE! Jesus!

In runaway news:  Over the next few weeks I’m heading to Zurich, Gstaad, London (Paris for a night - if Ikbal ‘n Muhammad will have me back), Chile, then….I don’t know!! I don’t even want to know! Life will surprise me with something.

My week at the Malibu Ranch was extraordinary. It’s not at all the la-la-la luxe retreat you might think. Can’t say much until the story is published, but gotta say, those long, killer hikes, hours and hours alone in the woods with your true self, it changes you. Three words: Recovering Your Innocence.

Andddd less intense…I’m currently making almond brown rice pudding! Might bake a lemon marshmallow pie… classy riff on Fluff. BTW I wanted to call the second book Fluff (everyone said to forget it - i.e. no fun!). Anyway, need a break from my usual eats, as my blood-type is officially: Kale.

I’ll end here. Life is pretty good. My family is happy and healthy; my friends still love me even though I keep leaving the country on their kids’ birthdays. I’m dating, spinning, sleeping in peace. If someone stresses me out, I practice my mantra from Malibu, “Love them, love them, love them — then send them back on their journey.” Ahhh, so good! 

My second book, not called Fluff, is all I can think about, yet there’s barely one word written. Well, maybe one word, and it’s a dirty, delicious swear made for downtown girls not Downton Abbey (another obsession, for another time).

Love you guys.

My Next Big Thing.

Details are not my style. And I’ve been so preoccupied with my Financial Dominatrix and Both Sides of the Breakup and New York Diet stories that …being blunt… it’s hard to find time to blog at all. SORRY! That’s why I was reluctant to participate in this perky blog-it-forward Q/A sent to me by the talented and delightful Amy Thomas of God, I Love Paris and the book Paris, My Sweet. It all seemed too…mechanical for me. That said, how dysfunctional could I possibly be?! All I had to do was answer the questions below, and tag a couple writer-friends to take the torch next. Easy enough. And by the way, despite my April Ludgate kind-of mood, I’m honored you asked, Amy. I liked doing this a lot. Please & thank you…

Where did the idea come from for the book? I guess this means the post Apron Anxiety book? That one — which I have the title for but am too scared to say — is fiction. It’s dark. Smart. Sensual. It came from this idea that we all have these secrets and urges running through our veins — some more than others — and wouldn’t it be fun to explore that under the costume of a completely fictional character.

What genre does your book fall under? Fiction. My imagination is going fucking nuts.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? For AA, I keep envisioning Lake Bell as the star. I love the way she looks, but she’s also got this cool, Brooklyn spirit, as does the book. For the next one? Let’s bring back Winona Ryder. 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A writer’s downward spiral.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?I’d love my Apron Anxiety editor, Emily Takoudes, at Random House, to take it on, but that’s only a dream so far.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? For AA, it took about eight months for an entire draft, a little over a year with edits. For the next one, I’d assume the same.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Never compare.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I’m very proud of Apron Anxiety. It has heart and humor, and it’s very me. BUT there’s a lot left inside….words and thoughts that were just too harsh, too much. As a writer, I still need to go there. A whole new book, within the safety of fictional characters, is what I need to examine some of the sinister stuff. Which, for people like me, is actually the drug of it all.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Well, I’m planning to write part of it while living in Europe. Where no one is watching.

Will let you know the authors up next ASAP….

To Rome With Love, and Not Enough Time.

I have resurfaced from the land of leaving my job and escaping to Europe. Physically at least. Mentally, I’m still somewhere in Italy with blistered feet, sun-kissed cheeks, liquirizia gelato, paprika Pringles and bummed puffs of cigarettes. I wasn’t ready to come home to New York where life is grand yet my silent partner is restlessness. I was having way too much fun with olive-skinned men crying “Alessia!” and a stomach warm with deep purple wine. Yet I had work to do — a whole life to rearrange, now that I’m free again, me again, unbound to any book tour, food blog or boyfriend. But I have to be honest. I feel a big change coming. Another book is pouring out of me, while I explore how and where to write it. It felt incredible to wake up excited every day in Rome, and I want that back. No. I need that back. Meanwhile, the book is doing so well. I can’t thank you enough for all the reviews, interviews, articles, tweets, recs to friends. Grazie mille.

Photo Cred: Lolita

Thirty Five.

Life works itself out. You just have to believe that, don’t you? The world would be way too scary otherwise. Although some days, if I’m being perfectly honest, for no real reason whatsoever, I start to wonder: But will it really? I turned 35 yesterday. Birthdays always fuck with me. It’s not really about the aging. Although, this year, it’s kind of about the aging. The real issue is examining the year behind and preparing for the year ahead. I am not melodramatic and I am not a worrier. But I do think life is ours to own, manage, set in motion…and it’s important to take inventory, to figure out what we want and how we’re going to get it. That, I guess, is where I’m at. WHAT’S NEXT? Seriously. In which direction do I move? I’m allowed to ask. What the hell comes next? 35 is a funny age, especially when 34 ended on such a high. The book, the romance, the overwhelming sense that this is my moment. Apron Anxiety is on the fast track to success; but then again, what is success? I’m supposed to be coasting, but it feels more like crashing. Tried to cook through my confusion. Made a giant pot of kale and quinoa salad w/ chickpeas and chicken sausage, and a platter of summertime chicken breasts roasted w/ cherry tomatoes and white and green asparagus. Felt better imagining my guy coming home to good food, brain food, girlfriend food. Then bought ripped jeans and cucumber serum. That helped too. Now I’m eating leftover birthday cake. Not quite spirited, not exactly sad. Just reminding myself that everything is alright. And it is. It totally is.

Forgive Me While I Slack For a Second

Justifying this outrageous blog’bandonment by telling myself that you’d rather me focus on serious bookstuff than some stream of consciousness ‘bout cold sesame noodles and salted caramel gelato. Just fake agree with me. Please? I feel bad. Here’s everything: Life has been unimaginably delicious. I’m hearing from people deep from my past and thrillingly in the future. Love and warmth is radiating from all directions. Extremely touching stuff, let me tell you. Anyway, I turn 35 next month, and while I’m definitely enjoying the moment, I can’t help but wonder…what’s next?

Can’t wait 4 Breaking Bad; converting from red to white; unapologetically into Joe Gorga; grilling lamb chops via Nineteen Charles; smitten by chickpeas @ La Vara; craving Kin Shop’s goat fried rice; very lovestruck; a little fat; eternally emulating Lake Bell’s breasts; unsure of my feelings for Girls; proud of our Grub Street Diet; turned off the instant-comment-option bc of some crazies - sux and sorry. Favorite press this week was the Bon App story, Elle, USA Today review, and a personal interview with a young-hearted blog called Small Chick Big Dreams Deals. I pasted it after the jump. Enjoy. All my gratitude, Alyssa….

Read more …

Security Tag.

Apron Anxiety has been fluttering between #1 and #3 on Amazon (in “Gastronomy”) since Tuesday … omfg, insane, nuts, can’t believe it, YAY, crazy, pinch me, kiss me, what?!!$@$!@$!!

Off to refuel in Nantucket before my book party in Boston on Thursday. Although I just discovered some high-level-dress-prison-security-tag situation on the left hip of the brilliant, little black number I’m supposed to wear that night. From knockout to stress-out … Sigh.

Ohhh, those who say that I sound “entitled” in the book will just love this post! That’s okay. Reminds me of this paragraph in AA:

As I walk away, through the streets of the Village, looking for fresh air and maybe a falafel, I am oddly unfazed by the experience of being ignored or insulted by the foodie mafia. I will always meet people who don’t like me, or don’t get me, who think I’m dressed like a high-class hooker or raised by wolves. But as all the women I’ve ever admired would say, “At least you’re interesting enough that someone gives a shit.” Which reminds me: There will always be people who think I’m not interesting enough at all.

I’ll sort out the dress jail.

Yesterday, while searching for said silhouette, I saw an old pal walking towards me on Prince. I was wiped, without a speck of makeup, and the last thing I could handle was smalltalk. He’s going to ask me to sign a book…or for my agent’s info…or some idiotic literary advice … Great, I groaned, feeling super-bitchy with low blood sugar.

So I stopped, and smiled, extending my arms for a fake hug, forcing out a phony “Hey you!” And then prepared to be examined, encouraged, applauded … 

"Yo, Lys, sorry, can’t talk!" he snapped, brushing right past me. "My wife is giving labor and you, sweetheart, are in my way!!!"

And so it goes. It’s just a book. And it’s all good.


Last Night’s Apron Anxiety Book Launch With Author Alyssa Shelasky 


Last Night’s Apron Anxiety Book Launch With Author Alyssa Shelasky


Holy incredible time at my book party. Was SO nervous and somehow let it all go and actually enjoyed myself. I’m in the "Fuck it" stage, as one Berkeley writer recently taught me, and guess what, it feels really good! So much to write and tell and sort out inside myself, but for now, here’s a link to a wild Entertainment Weekly story about my life. And I have to share this email from a sweet, new friend. This whole week has been surreal and magical and her story captures that. With all my love and thanks to all, I’m heading out for the biggest breakfast of my life, Alyssa

Here’s what happened: This morning I was down at the Union Square farmers’ market hunting down green tomatoes and stocking up on goat cheese for Tom with only 10 pages to go in the book. About halfway back to the office I realized I left my copy on top of some heirlooms at the tomato stand. I took the subway back downtown and found the young vendor sitting in the truck, already finished with chapter 1. She said she loved the story and needed to know where I bought it—I asked her to hang on 20 mins, grabbed a coffee and quickly finished the final pages so I could give it back to her. (My apologies for getting in the way of a sale!) I could tell she had already connected with you/the book. I’ve never experienced that reaction from someone when I actually knew the person behind the words. Such a cool moment. I had to share :)