easy recipe

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I don’t remember the point at which the simple days of working on a wishlist of gifts in the days leading up the the holidays were over. All I know is this time of year hasn’t exactly been a time to kick back and relax for a long time. As much as I love shopping for gifts and the festivities surrounding it, it’s time consuming and takes a lot of work. Add to it, work on putting together a massive market, and you are going to want to look for some short cuts. But since we’ve set a high bar on creative seasonal cocktails that are served at the markets, we didn’t want to dilute quality either. Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: TKO ‘Buttermilk’ Salad Dressing

Illustrations by Libby VanderPloeg

I’ve had buttermilk on my mind ever since my friend sent me this clip of the now semi-famous rambunctious ruminant–‘Buttermilk‘, a Nigerian dwarf goat playing with her friends. ‘Buttermilk’ plays by her own rules, sure, but what was foremost on my mind as I thought about her was where does she get that energy!? Oh, to have the where-with-all to bounce about with carefree abandon like a tiny, short-legged goat on a Maine dairy farm. What would it take? Hard drugs? I say hard to get!

Perhaps something as easy as a summer salad with homemade dressing can give me “the Buttermilk bounce.” So I mixed up this spicy buttermilk dressing, covered my salad with it, and went on a rampage. I ran out the door and down to Transmitter Park where I chased a flock of pigeons around for ten to fifteen minutes (with zero fatigue, mind you), then zipped up to the corner, stole a frozen Snickers from the deli just for the thrill of it (I don’t even LIKE snickers), then bought all my Christmas gifts for 2013 (I could no longer pass up those beckoning summer sales on Franklin St). Finally, I ran over to the basketball court, “buttermilked” my way into a game, slam-dunked the rock, ran home, and reorganized my cutlery.

Knockout Buttermilk Dressing. Go on. Try it. I dare you.

At a glance: Buttermilk is a good source of protein, calcium, potassium, and B12. It’s actually fermented milk, usually made by adding lactic acid to regular milk, so you’ll be getting some healthy probiotics with every serving, which can aid with digestion.

⅔ cup non-fat cultured buttermilk
½ avocado
½ cup fresh basil leaves
2-3 tbsp. fresh jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. sea salt

With an immersion blender or in a food processor, combine all ingredients until mixture reaches a smooth consistency. Add more salt to taste or jalapeño for kick.

Makes 8-10 oz. Keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge.

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Recipe: Bacon Pasta Bitches!

I am sorry but bitches just looks so good after Bacon Pasta. Let me tell you, hipsters aren’t the only nationality in Brooklyn that likes bacon! My Sicilian family goes crazy over this dish.

After Jon got out of the hospital, the doctors recommended no fatty food. The first meal my Dad Rocco made for him when they met for the first time was Pasta with Bacon. I was like, “Are you trying to kill my boyfriend, Dad?!”

He survived and loved it!

In Sicily, it’s called Pasta alla Matriciana (mah – truh- cha – nah). And it’s another easy half hour dinner. In Italy, they use Pancetta, which is Italian Bacon.

The pasta is a Spinach Parpardelle from Cayuga Pure Organics, which sells flours and beans on Saturdays in McGolrick Park. We picked up some delicious bacon from Brooklyn Cured who sells at the McGolrick Park Famers Market on Sundays. The fresh tomatoes are paste tomatoes, good for sauce, a special breed Sam from Great Road Farm is cultivating, but I can’t remember the name! Kewalo? Roma tomatoes will do. We are saving the seeds for next year. He told us they need to ferment a little before drying, so if they get moldy and stink, then it’s happening.

Pasta with Bacon

Cut up a package of bacon into chunks and fry it until crisp but still fatty. Remove the bacon. If there is a lot of fat, drain it so the bottom is just covered with grease. Fry one whole chopped onion with hot pepper flakes in the oil. After about 5 minutes add 4-5 chopped tomatoes. A can of chopped tomatoes will do. Salt and pepper. After about 10 minutes, add the bacon back into the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes. Use the sauce on top of pasta and top with fresh parsley and grated cheese.

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