Beef & Guinness Stew for St. Patrick’s Day

Beef and Guinness stew, plated with mashed potatoes
Hearty beef & Guinness stew with carrots and mushrooms, over mashed potatoes

My mother is born-and-raised solid country stock from County Westmeath, Ireland. She remembers St. Patrick’s Day celebrations as chiefly religious, with the country going to mass with freshly-picked clovers pinned to buttonholes to honor their patron saint. Then there would be a shared family meal with special-occasion ingredients like beef or lamb, usually presented in roasts or stews.

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (or whether you want to avoid all related shenanigans entirely), this traditional Irish dish is straight-forward, nourishing, rich, and perfect for spooning out among any group of friends and family (though with all due respect to my grandmother and her preferred method of just dumping everything in a big pot and leaving it, I’ve added and tweaked some steps to improve texture and flavor).

Recipe after the jump!

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Cure Your Winter Blues– Ask a Therapist!

We've been feeling a lot like this lately. Photo via @troutfishininamerica

Dear Daniel,

Can you offer some tips for folks who are feeling perpetually ‘down in the dumps’ due to winter weather/lack of sunlight/freezing cold temps? I do my best to exercise regularly, eat well, and sleep enough, but sometimes those tactics just aren’t enough to beat seasonal blues.

Dear Winter Blues,

This winter has been particularly challenging for all of us. Grey, freezing cold days and endless snow, ice, and dirty frozen Brooklyn streets are certainly not a recipe for igniting a joyful spirit. Continue reading

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01.02.14 Mixtape // The Antlers

Whoa. It’s 2014, Greenpointers. How did we make it? Well, sometimes it’s best not to ask so many questions. Instead, let’s focus on the newly-fallen snow glittering around our sweet ‘hood. After all, it is the soft theme of this week’s mix. Chamber pop group The Antlers‘ mainstay Peter Silberman curates the sedating set.

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Jerk The Winter Out Of Your System at Battery Harris (+ Recipes!)


Battery Harris Jerk Chicken, Permanent Summer Salad, Coconut Rice & Ocho Rios Cocktail

If this weather is leaving you longing for warmer days or perhaps a tropical vacation, save the airfare and head over to Battery Harris (64 Frost St) where you can enjoy a spicy meal and exotic cocktails that will shake off those winter shivers.

Chicha Morada Cocktail

We were invited for a taste and chat with Head Chef Zachary Frankel who shared some recipes and told us why spice is perfect during the cold months.

Spicy food is really satisfying in the winter because it warms you up from the inside. Spice makes your metabolism fire. I also think having island treats reminds people of the summer to come.

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Bring Your Moves Greenpoint! McCarren Rink Opens Today! (11/15)

Doing an image search for “ice dancing” or “figure skating” makes me realize what honey badgers these people are. I won’t even mention the obvious. Sure they defy gravity and death with their moves, but those outfits make me wonder whether they would actually eat a cobra, fall asleep from the venom, then wake up and continue eating. They clearly don’t give a fuck.

Alls I am saying Greenpoint, is when you practice your camel spin you better be wearing some sequins…

And now you don’t need to go all the way to wherever there is an ice skating rink outside of Brooklyn because McCarren Park Rink opens today!

It will will be open through January, seven days per week from 11am-10pm. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors/student and $4 for kids. Skate rentals are $5

Ice dance or die.

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Milton St Homeless Respite Meeting Recap

On Thursday 1/24, a crowd of nearly forty Greenpointers gathered at Greenpoint Church to discuss the recently opened Homeless Respite. Pastor Ann asked that all press and bloggers reveal the publication and keep off the record comments off the record. It was a neighborly forum and while the night had some very difficult and uncomfortable moments, important progress was made.

(For the record, no one spoke off the record, but I did not directly quote or identify residents.)

First and most importantly, ten homeless men, our neighbors, would sleep in warm beds on an 18 degree night without the risk of freezing to death. This is a good thing.

Second, issues of communication, a big concern for Milton St residents, was discussed (loudly, with some yelling) and promises were made for improvement. More open meetings to discuss the impact of the church’s services on the residents of Milton St will be scheduled.

When it was my turn to introduce myself, I said, “I am in attendance first as a member of the church and next representing Greenpointers.” I write this blog post from the same position. I am not an unbiased reporter. I openly support the efforts the church makes to care for those who would otherwise be left to go hungry or sleep in the cold. That being said I will do my best to be sympathetic to the residents of Milton St who are opposed to the shelter and share the burden as well. Continue reading

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10 Ways To Help Prevent Getting & Giving The Flu

Good Morning Flu York. Have you already gotten it? (Share in the comments.) Or are you paralyzed with the fear of getting it? It’s bad out there and everyone is sick. According to Huff Post’s, Dr. Katz, “the virus and the outbreak pattern at this point seem to resemble those of the 2003-2004 flu season, in which nearly 50,000 Americans died.” This is a serious bug. So what can you do?

flu mask cute10. Pimp A Mask; It Might Work And You Will Look Insane (Win Win)

This isn’t Asia, so when you wear a mask on the subway, unless you are Asian you look bonkers, but it’s NY so no one really gives a shit.

You can get creative here, plus “it can’t hurt and it might help … wearing a surgical mask and using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer helped reduce the number of influenza-like illnesses in a group of students living in a college dormitory,” reports James M. Steckelberg, M.D. (Note: Students in dorms should be required to wear hazmat suits at all times.)

Christine Handler on Etsy (above) makes them in every color and pattern.

Hand sanitizer wrestling anyone? Did you know that tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus oil are naturally microbial?

9. Date Online Literally; Mouth Condoms Do Not Exist

Wait until spring for offline make out sessions with random people you meet online. You know who you are and we aren’t judging. There is no work around for this. Stick your tongue in someone’s mouth and put yourself at risk. The more mouths, the more risk. If you’ve been on OkCupid for more than a month you have made out with everyone who has made out with everyone, so giving it a rest until some new blood signs-up might be a good look anyway.

Or you can wear a mask (see above.) Or body condom (Naked Gun.)

8. “Down With OPP?” Wash Your Paws You Filthy Animal!

With soap and often! “A quick rinse won’t do the trick. To kill germs… washing with soap for 15 to 30 seconds-about as long as it takes to hum a rollicking verse of “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” recommends Discovery Health.

Here are the lyrics & remarkably extensive history of  Yankee Doodle Dandy. Or try the chorus to OPP by Naughty Nature.

7. If You Are Ill, Remember: You Suck And Everyone Hates You

This is simple logic. If you are sick you are going to get everyone else sick. Do your coworkers and fellow commuters a favor and stay home. No one thinks you are a hero to brave the cold and sit uselessly at your desk hallucinating on Dayquil. In fact, when you ride the train sniveling, everyone thinks you’re an asshole. And when you are coughing in your cubicle, your coworkers hate you.  Continue reading

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Winter Squash Varieties With Recipes

There were so many kinds of beautiful winter squash at the farmer’s markets this week. Here is a visual guide plus some recipes for just some of the many varieties you can buy locally this fall and winter. Winter squash is packed with beta carotene, which is good for your eyes and immune system – so stock up and keep it interesting.

I snuck is some pumpkins at the end. After all, Halloween is coming up and someone will be demanding pumpkin pie.

What’s the difference between a squash and a pumpkin? Not much. A better answer is the difference between gourds and pumpkins or squash. The gourd you just look at, while you can eat squash and pumpkins. And isn’t that all we care about? Eating.

Australians use the terms squash and pumpkin interchangeably and most people think of squash as those soft summery zucchini-like vegetables with edible soft flesh, and pumpkins as the winter squashes, with harder flesh that is available in the colder months.

Genetically they all belong to the Curcubita family and some believe the tell-tale sign has to do with the stems.

Delicata Squash belongs to the summer variety of squashes, like zucchini. It is not too sweet and the skin is super thin so you don’t have to peel it. Since it is small it’s great for a couples dinner or as a side if you’re having guests. The seeds are pretty tasty for roasting, too.

Chili Brown Sugar Delicata Squash With Pears

Kale and Sausage Stuffed Delicata Squash

Acorn Squash – Good old acorn squash actually belongs to the summer squashes, too. It’s the perfect size to serve as a bowl for soup. It isn’t as rich in beta carotene as other squashes but is high in fiber and potassium. It can be stored for several months in a cool dry place.

Penne with Acorn Squash and Pancetta

Acorn Squash and Honey Pies Continue reading

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