Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dear Adam Rapoport...

From Bon Appetit, June 2011:
"No one is going to improve upon the tomato sandwich.  No one--not Alice Waters, not that Danish guy whose place was voted Best Restaurant in the World, maybe not even God.  Put a few slices of the juiciest tomato you can find on your favorite toasted bread with mayo, a sprinkle of sea salt and a couple grinds of pepper.  Eat open-face."

Well said, but I have have one word for you, Bon Appetit: Basil.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

the list.

These four little corners of cyberspace are just too good, I have to share...

By far, the best edited blog about art and design.  Jeanie finds the most interesting things from the most diverse places.

Not only are they super cute, these two guys tell it like it is!  I have a huge amount of respect for Stang and Steinthal because they lay their reputations on the line and are not afraid to give a bad review when deserved.   It's everything that you want in a where-to-dine website.  From categories like "classic NYC establishments" to "drunk hook-ups", they really are catering to everyone.

Real and irreverent.  If Tina Fey were a Swedish mother of three, this would be her.


You heard it here first, this girl is going to blow up.  Just watch.  I've predicted these things before....
OK, just checked the blogospher...looks like she's already blwon up, but I knew this a year ago!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Julienned Kale salad

Kale is the popular kid these days.  Rightly so, it's a superfood full of full of vitamins A, and C, dietary fiber, calcium, antioxidants, the list goes on.  Have you met people who eat lots of kale?  My friend Jill does, and she glows like a rainbow. 

I love this kale salad because:
1.) It's pretty darn easy.  For the dressing, you have to soak dried currents overnight, but that little extra effort is worth it.   And it keeps for weeks refrigerated.
2.) Raw superfood.  Shall I list the nutritional profile again?
3.) Kale is pretty hearty so the suggestion of slicing thin strips a.k.a chiffonade (stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then cutting across the rolled leaves with a sharp knife, producing fine ribbons.) is brilliant, and makes for a hearty yet refined salad.  Oh the paradoxes of the kitchen.
4.) I've always had a crush on Dan Barber.  He's a nerdfox who can cook. Word. 

Kale Salad with Pine nuts, Currants and Parmesan.
By Dan Barber, From Bon Appetit Feb. 2009

*Lacinato , Dinosaur, Tuscan, or cavolo nero kale recommended.
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
  • 7 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, divided (I used Bragg's apple cider vinegar.  I think any light vinegar will do)
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 1 pound), center ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted  (I used toasted walnuts and they were great in there)
  • Parmesan cheese shavings
Place currants in small bowl; add 5 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar. Let soak overnight. Drain currants.
Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, honey, oil, and salt in large bowl. Add kale, currants, and pine nuts; toss to coat. Let marinate 20 minutes at room temperature, tossing occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese shavings over salad and serve.

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Pumpkin Week Day 7!

    Pumpkin Week Day 7- How to make Squash Dumplings from LD1 on Vimeo.

    Ugh... day 7. 
    I don't get it, who are these constantly happy bloggers out there, steadfastly doing good work, managing to get their posts in every week without fail, reminiscing about what a good year it's been, perpetually positive.  I mean, really?  Can your lives really be that great and organized?  I'm not buying it for one minute.  Am I just a ball of negativity or what?  Don't hate... I think the subtext here is that I'm on my own case for taking 2 months to finish pumpkin week.  And so... the pumpkin finale: a little dumpling making video!  We filled the dumplings with--what do you think--squash!  Western flavors, eastern technique.  Enjoy.

    Special thanks to my friend, Supi for giving up here time and lending here video directing skillz!  Here's a look at her site, you can see more cool videos there too.

    Music:  Melting Pot by Booker T. and the MG's.  How is it that we didn't know about these guys until now?  Shame shame!  You can just hear how they've influenced so many (listen to this fav. don't tell me you don't hear it).  For some reason I can't figure out how to link to itunes, if you just go to itunes and type in Melting pot, you'll get a wonderful review of the album.  Better said in the review, but here's a synapse: Booker T. Jones was not happy working at his label around the time this album was recorded. He felt that changes needed to be made in the "groups formula".  Coincidentally, other circumstances brought other members of the band to record outside their usual studio and the result was a more "well-realized" album..."built on the groups (and Jones') best impulses".

    I can relate to this more than ever today.  It makes me think about life and the courage to trust in your own impulses and do something that you think you can never do.  Get rid of all the superfluous stuff and get back to basics, and realize that the ladder might not point up, it might point sideways for a while.   Everything seems so foreign to me right now, I'm the middle of realizing that I'm out of my comfort zone.  Feeling like I'm caught in the middle of a rocky stream and I can't go back.  I keep slipping on wet rocks, and won't be able to get to dry land on the other side without some substantial bruises, cuts and broken bones.  But I'm determined to get there, injuries and all.  Thank you Mr. Jones giving us a glimpse into your creative process and letting us know that even the great ones go through periods of doubt and grim.  Only then, can we evolve and make strides.

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    the players

    In my job, strategic planning and ceaseless re confirming are a must.  I don't trust a manifest for a signed package, I need to see it in my hands. Unfortunately, that trickles into a personal life that has left me with a symptom called "hostess anxiety".  Last night I met up with long lost friends, no concrete plans, no concrete time or place. We just knew that we would meet at some point, at some spot, on the island.  Maybe its knowing the players, maybe its knowing that we could have pizza as back up, I, uncharacteristically, did not worry.  

    A text comes through from Gil an hour before the unsaid meeting time that she already has the makings for crab cakes at her crib and if someone could just pick up scallions and cilantro on the way in.  Just then, Inez texts that she's got the wine and chocolate.  I grab the requested scallions and cilantro, and another bottle... and end up getting home at 2am.  Take that, Kinfolk!

    2012-lesson #1.  Forget about the menu, forget about the place settings and only choose the kindest, coolest, most caring, most capable players for your life.  Don't even bother with the rest.  And know that you can always order pizza as back up.

    Making sure your friends are well quenched while cooking...that is love.

    I added my own touch to the crab cake recipe by coating it with Panko!  I Highly recommend this extra step(s)by dipping the cakes in the batters below before they go in the hot skillet :
    1.) flour
    2.) equal parts water and flour to make a thick paste, plus one egg yolk (saved from when you mixed the crab)
    3.) Panko (Panko is just a brand name so any kind of Japanese style bread crumbs will work)

    left to right: flour, water/yolk mixture, panko


    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    Pumpkin Week: Day 6

    After my happy accident and healthy divergence in day four,  I decided to do the Soup in a Pumpkin recipe again with a more healthy twist.  Maybe the recipe wasn't thought out enough, maybe it was the pumpkin, whatever it was, it was not great.

    I used the Jarrahdale variety and I have to say I'm not a fan of them for cooking.  Next year it's staying on the stoop, looking pretty.  First of all, it took too long to cook, I think I roasted it for over four hours, and was starting to worry about my gas bill.  Second, before blaming the pumpkin, I thought I might do a little more research about it before giving it a thumbs down.  I couldn't find many recipes. 

    This one says that it cuts easily.  What are they talking about?  Did they use a chain saw?

    I really like this site for its chart of pumps and squashes, but they say to heat the Jarrahdale for 25min in a 250 degree oven.  That's got to be a misprint.  And in the actual recipe, the Jarradale is discbibed more of a flavor carrier, not the thing with the flavor itself. 

    I was really really rooting for this beauty, but I'm not including a recipe for day 6.  Sorry Jarrahdale.