Spring meditation exercise: Close your eyes. Picture yourself clothed in billowing white linen, ocean waves spanning before you, skin kissed by rays of golden sunlight. One hand holds a frosty piña colada, the other a frivolous periodical. You gently rake your outstretched toes through the warm, white sand. Ahhhhhhh, Key West. Wish you were here, my friends… SMACK! Yeah, I slapped you. Snap out of it! A) You’re still in freezing-cold New York and B) since you’re still in the city, I’m guessing you don’t have time to meditate. But one lucky Greenpointer, Yana Gilbuena, of the Salo Project, has escaped frigid NYC and is in that crazy city of Key West, kicking off her 50 states/50 dinners series tonight! In celebration, she shares with us her recipe for sinuglaw–a spicy ceviche of pork belly, cucumber, fresh tuna, and spices– a dish native to Davao, Philippines. Continue reading
What’s more warming and comforting than a pup snoozing beside you on the couch? Trick question…nothing! But I can tell you what comes close. A big bowl of roasted sweet potatoes fresh out of the oven. This week’s recipe comes from local food writer and cook, Julia Turshen, who shares with us one of her favorite ways to prepare this tasty orange tuber—with pancetta and soft, melty red onions. Continue reading
Have you heard about this big sports game thingy tomorrow? As you can see by my drawing, I’m not much of a football fan. I thought a bronco was a bull. It’s actually a HORSE! Oops. I still don’t know what the activity of tailgating involves, but, as I’ve mentioned before, I am a definite fan of sporty snacks. Buffalo wings, nachos, queso, tater skins, fiery hot Cheetos, the obligatory platter of baby carrots and onion dip– I welcome it all. But Greenpointer’s own Jen G recently introduced me to a new addition to the world of finger foods. Do you remember the Bloomin’ Onion, made famous by Outback Steakhouse? Well its time you meet its distant cousin: Bloomin’ Bread. No deep-fryer required, it’s essentially a loaf of bread sliced so that it opens up like a chrysanthemum made of carbohydrates and cheese. You might say it’s a real game changer, a tasty touch down, perhaps even this years snack MVP? Enough already…let’s do this!
Phew! I thought the weekend might never come, but it’s officially almost here, bringing with it the things that make all that hard work worthwhile. Time for cooking real dinners (as opposed to opening a can of hominy and digging in with a spoon), time for fresh pretzels at the beer store, time to sleep in and go to the gym, time to just…enjoy. You see, life’s short. Keep your chin up! Have a mimosa! Eat a grilled cheese! And whenever I see that grilled cheese social pop-up sandwich board magically appear in our neighborhood, I’m happily reminded to do just that. I asked the lovely MacKenzie Smith of Grilled Cheese Social to share with me one of her very special sandwich recipes this week, and she answered the call with a list of ingredients that harkens back to my midwestern roots… it’s the Gouda Times: a Wisconsin-themed brat-and-gouda grilled cheese on a pretzel roll with spicy mustard. I can hear my “a”s getting more nasal-y just reading the recipe. Oh ya, you betcha! She also identified her power animal as a dachshund. A fierce breed! I was actually bitten on the face by a dachshund at the age of five. Now let’s grill some cheese.
Hey– is anyone else feeling lately that they’ve really gotta squeeze back into their pre-December clothes? Ahhh, January. The new year, the new resolve to be healthy. This time of year presents the perfect opportunity to get back into the kitchen and make some healthy food, and nothing satisfies in this cold weather like a big bowl of soup. It’s warming, hyrdrating, comforting, and, generally speaking, a really nutritious option for those wanting to detox a little after weeks of nog sluggin’ and beer chuggin’. Holed up in my apartment, hiding from this week’s bracing cold winds, I searched for a soup recipe that would utilize the pantry staples I had on hand…which wasn’t much really, and an odd mix of things to boot. I came across the following recipe for MisoTahini Soup on 101cookbooks.com, and thought Huh, now there’s a couple of delicious flavors that I wouldn’t have thought to combine. And how delicious a combination it turned out to be! Continue reading
Happy snow day! Correction: If I was a school kid I’d be having a happy snow day. Then things would be different. I’d still be in my pajamas, burning my mouth on Poptart no. 2 while watching unusually extroverted adults talk about their weird problems on daytime television. Or I’d be buckled into a snow suit, arms capped by giant mittens smelling of wet leather, in search of something icy and steep to hurl myself down. With a red nose and frozen toes, my next mission would be to find a hot, sugary beverage. When I was a kid, we always had a box of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa in the pantry, the variety with the freeze-dried marshmallows in it–mighty tasty as I recall. But these days I like to make hot cocoa from scratch. It’s a little less sweet (depending on your recipe of course) and, in my opinion, even more tasty than Swiss Miss. But you don’t have to be totally gourmet or sophisticated about home-made cocoa. You can doctor it up in a myriad of fun ways (e.g. mexican spices, pumpkin pie spice, peppermint, et al.), but my current fave is this: S’mores Campfire Cocoa. Nothing conjurs up fireside fun like a blazing-hot s’more, right? So put on your Woolrich socks, slide into the kitchen, and get that broiler crankin’.
Christmas 2013 came and went, leaving in its wake a half-dead potted conifer, a low-level hangover (or maybe it’s a cold?), a deep appreciation for stretchy pants, and a half-full jar of duck fat, reaped from the preparation of one fantastic Christmas meal. Our day of feasting culminated in a dinner of Muscovy duck breasts, seared first to extrude some of the fat, and finished quickly in the oven, then topped with a drizzle of balsamic-fig sauce, and served with a parsnip purée and crispy, roasted brussels sprouts. It was one of the best meals I can remember. And now I’m left with the task of putting all of that luxurious, gamey duck fat to good use. I racked my brain, and cupboard, for an inspiring ingredient, when lo– from the pantry shelf glowed a jar of golden kernels. And that’s how I came around to duck fat popcorn– like ordinary popcorn but with a luxurious secret. So light, so airy, but satiating enough to be eaten for dinner, if you’re one of those people, like myself, that sometimes wants to eat popcorn for dinner. Continue reading
When a friend invites you to a party and you ask, “Can I bring anything?” be prepared for “How about dessert?” And if you don’t want to take the easiest route and go to the bakery, try this incredibly simple and festive macaroon recipe.
Aside from how tasty they are, there are two things I love about this recipe: 1. most of the ingredients (aside from coconuts) are in my cabinets and 2. I can easily remember all the ingredients. They also survived despite our wonky oven temperature fluctuations. Continue reading
When I was a kid my Titi Pat, whom my Dad called “the Irish woman,” (her real name was Patria) would drop off a big bottle of Coquito during Christmas. My parents don’t know it but I took swigs of the stuff. It was like coconut vanilla ice cream and made me feel so – funny.
Coquito is Puerto Rican, coconut flavored, rum laced eggnog. It is creamy, tropical and still promises that happy rum feeling.
It takes about 10 minutes to make and it’s the perfect drink to bring to any holiday party – especially when it’s presented in a mason jar with sharpie scribbled on it. Thats the good stuff, your alcoholic friends will think. Warn the fearful ones, it’s just rum but take small sips. Continue reading
Staying warm can be ruff. Err, rough…rough! May I suggest not leaving the house this weekend, save for going to the store to get some hibernation provisions? Isn’t there a football sporting game or something on the tv? I might not be one for sports-watching, but sign me up for crashing on the couch with sporty snacks anyday. You want to get cozy, don’t you? Pick out a movie, put on your slippers and your warmest sweater, and while you’re at it, put your dog in a sweater too. No, not Mr. Fuzzy Buttons. I’m talking about your hot dog! Continue reading