Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Impress Yourself.


I was supposed to have spent this evening drinking copious amounts of Champagne and prosecco in celebration of the fact that I have finally turned in my application to the Food Studies Doctoral Program! But sadly, winter is here and therefore I have a cold and the only liquids I'm ingesting right now are emergen-c and TheraFlu. Mmmmmmmm.

I have, however, found a way to enjoy these longed for beverages vicariously, thanks to the wonders of YouTube!

This first gem came into my life courtesy of the Star Wars Christmas Special, which David subjected me to last night. STAY AWAY FROM IT - IT IS HORRIBLE AND IT IS TWO HOURS LONG. But this ad is quite worthwhile. In the 1970's, it seems, they really
knew how to sell wine.

I'm pretty sure there's a dissertation here...

And here's one for bubbly, featuring none other than Orson Welles!

And here's a treat from Gallo's early days... (a ring-a-ding-ding)

(p.s. the "here"s in the above three sentences are links to three superduper wine commercials - I don't think you're dumb, I just thought I would clarify as David claimed that it was unclear.)

(pardon my language, as most of you know, I would never say this. However it's sort of funny and quite topical so I just couldn't resist.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Another festive cocktail!

I can't get enough of Christmas this year! I mean, I love Christmas, but for some reason this year I feel like Mrs. Claus! I have been playing Christmas music almost non-stop and I have been eating candy canes like they will never come into my life ever again. Tonight, after a long day filled with Dolly Parton's Christmas Album, Emmylou Harris' Christmas Album, "These are the Special Times" with Celine Dion, and of course Elvis, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald and plenty of Bing I was really in the mood to hit up a Christmas cocktail party or two. Sadly, David is sick and no one is having one tonight anyway so I had to make my own! That's what Bing would do, or Elvis, or Dolly!

I heated up the old curling iron and gave my new do (short! crazy!) a little ringlet-a-ding-ding and mixed myself my first ever Vodka Stinger!

Oh, a word of warning - don't go google image-searching 'vodka stinger' because here's a taste of what you'll get :

Apparently his/her name is Vodka Stinger. I sort of love it. Anyway, I digress. Inspired by my love of the fabulous Candy Cane Cocktail that I shared with you a few days ago, I started looking around for other things to do with this Creme de Menthe stuff that I now have lying around and lo and behold I bump into the Vodka Stinger.

I first became aquainted with the Stinger family of cocktails about two years ago when David and I made the mistake of watching a Cary Grant movie called "Kiss Them For Me". I love Cary Grant, but this movie really stinks. Its one redeeming quality is that it makes the viewer really want to go out and have a drink - namely a Stinger! All throughout the film, Grant orders Stingers. First he's just ordering them for himself, and by the end he's ordering them by the pitcher, and saying things like "Stingers for everyone!" although, because he's Cary Grant and he's wonderful, it sounds more like "Stingaahhs for everyone!" Turns out, a Stinger is usually made with Brandy and Creme de Menthe (the green kind) and in spite of the fact that David and I spent a wonderfully fun and green-lipped evening sipping Stingers late into the night, it's honestly not a cocktail I would recommend. However, this recent discovery of the Vodka Stinger (and thus rediscovery of Stingers in general) is something worth sharing.

So here's the disclaimer - THIS. DRINK. IS. ULTRA. PEPPERMINTYLICIOUS. You must like peppermint A LOT to like this bevvy. I do, so I love this drink. It's a breeze to make! Just vodka and Creme de Menthe, like so.

I used the white kind because it's what I had around and because it looks way prettier.

Candy Cane rim doesn't hurt.

Equal parts of each! Shake it up!

It sort of tastes like being Mrs. Claus on a ski holiday in the Swiss Alps, if you see what I mean. I highly recommend it. Happy Festive Cocktailing!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Liquid Candy Cane

and Boozy to Boot!

I found the recipe on Martha Stewart.com - a great place to find cocktail recipes, by the by - and made one last year. Why didn't I make more? I haven't a clue. The Candy Cane is a simple simple simple drink that tastes like this :

And turns out like this - all dressed up for a Christmas music filled, tinsel-y, pine scented cocktail party!

(photo courtesy of MarthaStewart.com but mine looked like that too! until I drank it up of course...)

Her recipe calls for store bought Strawberry Vodka which I find to be frankly shocking. I just infused some vodka that we had in our freezer (cheap cheap cheap bottom shelf stuff left over from a party) and let it sit with some sliced up strawberries for a couple of days. Much more cost-effective, and probably tastier, too. I also didn't have cranberry juice lying around so I just thinned some ginger-orange cranberry sauce left over from Thanksgiving! Yum. You could just use cranberry juice, though, I'm sure it'd still be super delish!

1 shot strawberry vodka
1/2 shot white creme de menthe (or peppermint schnapps)
1 tsp ish cranberry sauce thinned with just a tinge of water

Give it a good shake with lots of ice (I let mine sit with the ice a bit to get a little watered down and nice and icy). Pour into a cocktail glass, ideally with a candy cane-ed rim. Best enjoyed at a fancy Christmas party, or watching a super duper Christmas-y movie like my personal faves "Elf" and "White Christmas".

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Counter Culture: Design and the Modern Kitchen at MoMA

A super cool, inspiring exhibit. Mom was in town, and we spent a good amount of her last day in New York soaking this stuff up. Built around a newly acquired "Frankfurt Kitchen", MoMA ran wild with the general concept of kitchen design in the 20th century and the result is a fun, funny, poignant and whimsical. The kitchen evokes thoughts of home, of holidays, cooking, heat, isolation, all the ups and downs of domesticity, and sensual pleasures of all sorts. The images and design pieces in the show does a lovely job capturing all of these things.
Here are a few of our favorites!

World War II era food posters encourage rationing and gardening. Other neato ones featured rabbits as the perfect war-time meat! Mom really loved the goat/sheep one made out of vegetables - "vegetabull".


A captivating photograph by Cindy Sherman. I couldn't take my eyes off it, but I'm not sure why.

Dramatic and somehow so relatable. It looks like a stressful moment, but she's still so glamorous.

For a total contrast, this next one is super sweet and domestic. At one point or another, we all are/have been/will be one or both of the people in this picture.

Crazy cool 3D "Still Life #30" by Tom Wesselmann.

The spread close-up. Mom said she used to eat 'Lite Diet' bread.

The show was educational too. For example, I learned that a toaster can be one sexy appliance.

Ex. A

Ex. B

Note the progression of the toast from ex. a to ex. b. Hot, literally.

Too totally awesome. Have I mentioned I love New York City?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


This past weekend, David and I got out of town! Already we're off to a good start. DC isn't my favorite place, I'll be honest, it's a little small-feeling for my taste. That said, it has a certain classic elegance that I can appreciate. We were drawn there by a couple of varying forces. Firstly, my dearest dear friends from forever, Cali and Mike, both live in/around DC and I have been meaning to visit them both for a while now. Secondly, there was a very cool sounding conference at the National Museum of American History called "Food for Tomorrow" that I wanted to go to. Finally, there was an Arcimboldo exhibit at the National Gallery and because I'm taking a class on Food in Fine Art right now, I actually know who he is and was pretty excited to see his work.

I arrived in DC Friday night and jumped right into the conference with a very cool kick-off event featuring a sneak peek at the new movie from the boys who made King Corn called Truck Farm. They only showed 45 minutes of it because that's all that is done so far, but it is completely inspiring and whimsical and wonderful.

Cali and her lovely manfriend Dan joined me for both the preview and the tasty tasty cocktails and snacks following. It was just looovely! Then over to Mike's place, where we watched Rocky Horror and stayed up until 6 am talking which sounds like a successful sleepover to me. Brunch the next day, and David's arrival (yay!) and then...

Future of Food Panel!

I took a picture to prove that I really did do serious stuff like listen intently at panels. This panel featured three very different experts ; Amy Bentley, a Professor in my dept at NYU and who spoke about the meaning of meals, Janet Poppendieck who is a Professor of Sociology and has written a book about food in schools, and finally Vickie Kloeris who is the subsystem manager for the International Space Station and Shuttle Food Systems for NASA. Ms. Kloeris' discussion was perhaps the most fascinating to me, because I really know nothing about space food and because space food is AWESOME. A little scary - the current big NASA food project involves figuring out to make a variety of foods that can last 5+ years for the mission to Mars - but really fascinating. In Food Studies, we shun all things processed, freeze dried, vacuum sealed, and certainly irradiated. Space Food, on the other hand, depends on all of these things. Curious? Here's some more about Astronaut Vittles here!

Next! East Coast winemakers tasting with David! Apparently New York follows only California, Oregon and Washington in terms of winemaking, so I've been curious to try some of these local wines. Most everything we tasted was delicious; wines from Boxwood Winery in Virginia, and Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland most especially, sadly no particular stand outs from New York.

David hadn't eaten all day, so he was quick to find the circulating snackies. Tuna tartare in a cone thing! Yum.

And the best thing at the end of a long day, dinner with friends!

Calzone for David...

Kabocha Gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce pour moi! Mmmmmm... so simple and so belly warming.

A full, happy crowd!

The next day, David and I were greeted by a crystal clear sky and blazing fall sunshine. It said "go to Dupont Circle, sit outside, eat brunch, be happy, drink Bloody Marys, linger", so we did just that. A Benedict and a few Bloody Marys later, we made out way to the National Gallery.

We're greeted by a HUGE arcimboldo-inspired sculpture! It was captivating and surprisingly thrilling. I couldn't stop taking pictures of it, and I loved watching everyone stop and stare as they wandered between exhibits. Very cool. Especially after a couple bfast bevvies.

My favorite painting of the show! Four Seasons in One Head - apparently a new acquisition!

And on that cultured and inspiring note, we bid adieu to our Nations' Capital. Ta ta DC, until next time!

Friday, October 29, 2010

David Made Lasagna

Sure, he's cute. We all know that. But HOLY GUACAMOLE CAN THE BOY COOK!

Behold the Lasagna.

The beast in all its fresh-out-of-the-oven soon-to-be-devastated glory.

And I ate.
And ate.
And drank wine.
And ate some more.

And in a few hours, I will probably have to have a little bit more. I have been out-cooked, and I don't care one bit. I'd happily give away the recipe, but I don't have it. All I've got is the lovely lovely man who cooked this for me and I won't be letting him go anytime soon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Indian Food. Attempt #2

Lemon Rice! Cook some rice. Then warm up some butter (mmmm butter!). Add some mustard seeds, turmeric, chile flakes.

Toss with the hot rice.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Indian Cuisine. Attempt #1

My favorite class this semester is easily my Wednesday evening class. It is the class with a million names: Comparative Cuisines, International Cuisine, Indian Cuisine. It is sort of a catch-all name, the idea being that Professors teach their specialty, and we zero in on a culture and cuisine. The 'comparative' part comes from us - our interpretation of the cuisine is inherently a comparative experience because that is of course a way of understanding and a natural instinct. We draw lines of connection and disconnection and thus we see.

My favorite Professor is teaching this favorite class, and he is originally from India so we are diving into the vast and multi-faceted world of Indian cuisine. And of course, because it's grad school, we are also wrestling with the concept of national cuisine and its overall validity/applicability. I love all that crazy theory stuff, where you get to talk in circles and say stuff like 'the thingness of stuff' and nobody laughs (too hard), but sometimes you really just need to remember that you're in food studies and maybe the best way to puzzle this out is to just cook.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Home Food.

10 days in Portland. This is the story of What I Ate.

Breakfast at Podnah's Pit BBQ. The Best in the Whole Wide World. Seriously. This unassuming plate of buiscuts and sausage gravy is the ONE AND ONLY food that David and I drool over, dream of, long for, would cut off our pinky fingers to get it shipped to us out here in New York. It was the ONE AND ONLY meal out that I just had to have. It was perfection as always.


Oooooooohhhhhhhh good gracious graaaaaaaaaaavvy!

Mom and I cooked a lot together while I was home, which was just the dreamiest thing. We would sleep in, work out , have coffee at Dragonfly, shop (hi mom!)

and then cook a feast for lovely and various collections of our nearests and dearests! Mild scallop and shrimp curry, fried red plantains courtesy of Kuaku the kool, and of course greens.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

When your Dad turns 60...

Throw a great party! With a lot of help from Rodney and his superfantastic crew at my favorite restaurant in Portland, the glamorously titled Podnah's Pit BBQ, I was able to plan a little b-day soirée for my Papa's big 6-0 all the way from New York.

Monday, August 23, 2010

a delicious late summer weekend

A highly refreshing Friday night cocktail at Franny's in Park Slope to welcome the weekend. Mmmm the Spicy Genevieve indeed!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lobster Gorge 2010 also known as ...

...Our Fantastic Trip to Martha's Vineyard.

For our 5 year anniversary, David planned a *surprise!* trip for us! 4 days 3 nights on gloriously WASPfab Martha's Vineyard! We stayed here, and we played on the beach and ate our body weight in seafood, mainly- as you'll see - that king of crustacean kind, the LOBSTER. As a West Coaster, the Lobster represents complete, total, borderline ridiculous luxury. It is something I love to pieces and vividly remember the few times in my life I've eaten it. My first time was perfect and unforgettable- I was 17 years old and my mother and I were meeting her college roommate and her husband for dinner at the boathouse in Central Park. I was full of New York City excitement, high on all its shimmering glamour and I was told to "order anything I wanted, anything at all". My whole lobster came with a bibb and everything, and I felt like a Queen.

But I digress. What I'm saying is lobster is heaven to me, and every bite on this trip seemed to contain lobster, and I was in heaven. Oh, plus we were at the beach. And I was with David. And we were far away from New York. And I drank the fanciest bottle of Champagne I have ever tasted. It was heaven times infinity.

The very first thing we ate after checking in to our hotel was a light snack of this:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Summery feast and a Picnicalicious Recipe Classic

Just for the sake of pure indulgence, allow me to present a recent meal. When the true heat of summer in NYC first set in, I was convinced I wouldn't be eating a real meal again until September.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Recent Events

(old magazine page on display at Magnolia)

We just waved farewell to David's parents, who spent this past week visiting us here in our fair city! It was their first trip, and I made the itinerary of a LIFETIME (read: it is possible I will never physically be able to do this again) which can be summed up by the following :

Eat. Walk walk walk. Eat. Drink. walk walk walk. EAT. Walk walk look point walk. Sleep.

repeat. x7.

PHEW! It was a lovely visit but I think it's fair to say we wore each other out!

A pictorial summary:

Tiffanys - all four floors of it - was a must do for the ladies, naturally.

Magnolia is a very good place to have a snack. Further evidence:

Nothing says "we're MEN" like eating cupcakes.

Us ladies have more delicate tastes, like these caviar-topped lobster salad bites we enjoyed during high tea at the Plaza.

Oh, and we stopped at Momofuku Ssam bar, which is basically a must. It was alright I guess....

Oysters - small and perfect. Oceany depths.

Uni in oyster crema. If the oysters were the briny deep, this was sea foam.

Buttermilk panna cotta. Tangy and savory, almost cheese-like. In a dreamy fuji apple dashi with pine nuts.

Chantrelles and pickled quail eggs with shavings of bone marrow- it may look ugly here, but believe me it was anything but.

We also hit up: ABC kitchen, Les Halles, Shake Shack, Chelsea Market, 53rd and 6th, Barrio, JoeDoe, Tom's in Brooklyn, Balthazar, etc etc. And that's just the food. We ate Nathan's on Coney Island, and burgers at the Statue of Liberty. We just about melted in the sun at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. We didn't see one single celebrity, in spite of my best efforts. We ate Persian food at David's boss's house. We drove each other nuts and laughed really hard all the time. We shopped, played, walked, walked more, drank and then we really laughed hard.

We had a blast.