During the time just after 9/11, September 2001, there was a woman who was trying to keep her life together and figure things out, while living and working in New York City. It was the blog that she wrote, talking about her everyday challenges, how she decided that cooking her way through a Julia Child cookbook, would somehow help her figure things out, that got the attention of the world.

The author was Julia Powell. Yes, she was from Texas, and moved to New York with her husband, first New York City, then upstate (Ulster County NY) to Olivebridge. Yes, there was a stop or two in between, she passed away this week at her home at the age of 49. It was reported by several news outlets, that it was cardiac arrest.

What was the book that she wrote that got the worlds, and Hollywood's attention?

"Julie And Julia" Screening At The Paley Center For Media
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The blog that she wrote, did become a book, a New York Times bestseller, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, in it, she delved into how her everyday life (and job and marriage) along with her challenges in her blog posts 9-11 New York City. The book got the attention of movie writer and director Nora Ephron. 

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Was the movie true to the book?

Premiere Of "Julie & Julia" - Inside Arrivals
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I read Ms. Powells first book before I saw the movie and would say that there is the version that she wrote and the version that Hollywood put up on the big screen. In my opinion, both the book and the movie are worth your time. Ms. Powell also wrote a second book, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, which came out, just around the same time the movie hit the big screen. In it, she documents her time at a then local Hudson Valley butcher, Fleisher's, where she learned how to butcher all sorts of meat.

I believe I had a conversation with her one day while she was working at the (now closed) Fleisher's Butcher in Rhinebeck. She was helpful, knowledgeable about the meat I was asking for, even making suggestions of a few items to get to complement them. It is sad to hear that any person passes at a young age. I hope her family can take comfort in the fact that she really did positively affect so many people through her writing. In her honor tonight, I will make sure to cook dinner for myself and some friends, and I will make them do the dishes.

Looking for one of the Best Restaurants in New York for Pasta? These are the best in the US!

Food Network recently published a list of the "98 Best Pastas In The United States" and honored New York State with 13 shout outs. Even within that shoutouts, Syracuse and Upstate New York had 2 slots.

They broke the list down to specific dishes you can enjoy at these restaurants. Here's those restaurants on the list:

Are these just odd food combinations or would you try them?

You just never know what two foods will go together for a delicious meal. Check out some of Western New York's favorite weird food combos.

Here is some favorite NY Foods that you can only get in Upstate New York!

Upstate New York is the home to many fantastic food favorites. Mention sponge candy to somebody 100 miles outside Buffalo and you are probably going to get a blank stare. Mention a Michigan hot dog to anybody not from around Plattsburgh. Same stare. So here is a list of 13 regional food icons that you cannot buy outside of the empire State.

I will add this asterisk. You certainly can buy some of these items online, like the Saratoga Peppermint Pigs. Perhaps the Stix and Sauce item is known by another name somewhere in the country. Salt potatoes may have gravitated elsewhere but if so nobody knows where they started. And Grandma Brown. Well, you can buy that sweet lady's baked beans on eBay. But for the most part you would have to walk into a store or restaurant in Upstate New York to enjoy these "regional" fan favorite foods.

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