The O-So-Versatile Cucumber Soup
I’m a member in good standing of the Cucumber Fan Club, especially during warm weather. Last summer, I spent weeks eating them dipped in an Asian marinade of soy sauce, hot sauce, and rice vinegar. Like air conditioning for the mouth. This summer, though, I’ve got a blender. And cucumber soup might be the easiest, most refreshing, healthy, and inherently versatile soup I’ve...
My Aunt Martha knows all sorts of cool culinary stuff—like when to use metal plates (to keep food hot or cold!). A few weeks ago, my family was wowed by this simple asparagus preparation. Asparagus, a little bit of olive oil and salt, grill until slightly soft, done. I started by sneaking one… then we ate the whole platter before dinner was served. They’re that addicting.
PeopleBeat and Kiwi Chronicles
What’s a PeopleBeat, you ask? This morning, I got up at 5am to run. It was already 80 degrees, and getting light, but I thought, “There won’t be very many people in the park…maybe I should wait a while.” I finally headed out at 5:45, through completely quiet streets. I ran up the hill and around the curve, until I saw the Loop Road, and stopped: had I missed the party...
Running when it’s hot hot hot out is pretty low on my ‘best part of the day list.’ Therefore, the 1.9 miles I ran this morning. and the single mile I ran yesterday. I’m going to have to go back to the 5:30am runs. So something more fun: cookies! From a while ago, back when I could still turn on my oven. After spending a good hour looking for oatmeal cookies without too...
(This is When the Running Part Starts)
Remember, way back in January, when I said this was also going to be about running? Well, I’ve been running, but not writing about my favorite thing to do in the morning: now, those days have arrived. Two weeks ago, I started training for my fall marathons: Columbus in October, NYC in November. I’m using a training plan adapted from a number of sources (and still in constant...
Check it out, y'all!
I’m in my very first bake-off ever this Wednesday. Come out and support! (The blog is being weird, so here’s a normal link: http://www.fireislandbeer.com/sweepstakes/index.htm)
The best summer work lunch
This is one thing I make, again and again and again: Cauliflower-Chickpea Curry. It’s meant to be eaten hot, straight out of the oven. And it’s fabulous like that. But then I divide up the leftovers (about 4 lunch-size servings) into plastic containers, and take them to work each day (you can freeze them, too… they should defrost after about 5 hours). Then I pop the cold...
Herring, horseradish, dill, herring, Anna cookies, rye crisps, herring…must be Sweden. When I wasn’t pretending to be a scientist and dancing to an Abba cover band, I walked around and…ate. This is an indoor food market (the stall is Melanders). Seedy bread and some type of fish+mayo thing. (Mayo is a bit of a big deal.) Another afternoon on the hotel balcony, with...
What do all of these have in common? They all started from the same meal! First came butternut squash, red cabbage, and tofu stir fry on a Sunday. Then the chopped butternut squash debuted as fries on a Monday, the red cabbage was seared on a Tuesday, and the leftover red cabbage was turned into purple eggs on Saturday. Magic! Butternut Squash Fries: Toss chunks of peeled, chopped...
Why I Love Polenta
Polenta is one of those foodie things that I’m supposed to be in love with. The creamy Italian corn dish is cheap, versatile, and wholesome. Except in my mind, polenta was just a fancy word for “cornmeal mush,” a log of, you guessed it, cornmeal mush. My dad and brother would fry up slices on Saturday mornings, always trying to lure the rest of the family to the table with the...
A Crostini Before Supper
Last fall, Mariko and I took a cooking class one night after work. As the instructor made introductions and described what we would be making, her hands were casually moving, slicing simple Granny Smith apples and red onions. It was past 7pm, and I was completely ready for food, so my eyes rarely left her smooth motions. I wasn’t going to let this hope out of my sight. But onions and apples?...
Of Gales, Greeks, and "Barnyard"
Saturday, one could say, was a little rainy. It was perfect rain, the kind that is only possible on a Saturday when there are no plans, except, perhaps, that one must find sustenance at some point. And I had a sick roommate, a “maybe-coming-down-with-something” boyfriend, and an 846-page novel. All was quiet, sleepy, and well, until my thoughts drifted to the cabbage in the crisper. ...
I really love salt. I tell myself that it’s because I run a lot, so I need to replenish my body’s supply. Then Leslie Bonci, a nutritionist for Runner’s World, told me that I need salt. So I believe it! Anyway, more good news in the NYT this week. Salt on, my friends!
Out and About
I like to cook (a lot) and honestly, often prefer to stay in and make dinner for friends then head out to NYC’s fantastic (but expensive! and rushed!) restaurant world. But here are a few thing I loved recently. Xi’an Famous Foods Hot Oil Noodles First I saw them in NYmag. Then Sam Sifton got in on the game. Serious Eats, Time Out New York, everyone was heading downtown for true...
World's Healthiest Dessert?
I think we’ve got a contender here: the “pretend it’s just a bowl of fruit and oatmeal,” crisp, which, in a way, it is. But it still tastes like dessert! So-Healthy-It’s-Almost-Oatmeal Crisp 1 bag of mixed frozen berries (the Whole Foods assortment includes blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) 3 Tbsp. sugar 1/4 to 1/2 cup old fashioned oats 1 Tbsp. of...
Long Run Breakfast
This is my absolute favorite breakfast after a long run (note the all-important NYT in the background). Around these parts, we call them veggie crepe-eggs, but really, you can call them whatever you want. There are two best parts: you don’t feel like you’re eating vegetables for breakfast, but really there’s only one egg in this whole heaping plate. And the crepe consistency...
A few weeks ago, I took at food photography and styling course at the Institute of Culinary Education. We got to play with brightly colored dishes and backgrounds, along with a whole kitchen full of food. I learned that lots of food styling is, well, a bit un-edible: Elmer’s glue stands in for milk, for example. But these first glamour shots are just a few I took where food gets all the...
A Wee Bit of a Brussels Sprouts Obsession
Did I mention that I’d had Brussels Sprouts maybe only once or twice, until I fell head over heels for them last fall? I tried Mollie Katzen’s technique and couldn’t stop making (and eating) them. And when mine turned out well, I got a bit addicted and had to try them everywhere. Locanda Verde (good, but the least-impressive of everything we ordered there). Covo Trattoria (oily,...
Garden 2010, Start Your Engine!
The weather report here in NYC is ‘wintery mix,’ aka, I wish I could wear both my Uggs and my Hunter boots at the same time. But spring is coming, and Lorne and I (with lots of tie-breaker help from Tammy) just picked out our summer 2010 garden lineup. I love the Fedco seed catalog. There are rambling old-time descriptions starting with hooks like, “This zucchini will make you...
Pizza from the West Coast
There’s a pizza place in Berkeley, CA that (I hear) has the best pizza. Ever. I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard about this pizza, a lot. From my boyfriend Lorne, who really really really likes Zachary’s Pizza. His parents would buy pies whenever they were in the area, take them home to Boise, Idaho, and freeze them until Lorne came home from New York. So whenever...
A Red Cabbage Obsession
Good food karma just paid out, big time. I had half a red cabbage in the fridge, left-over from some recipe testing last week. I’d never cooked it before, and was just starting to think about doing something, anything, with the bright purple behemoth. And then my favorite Martha Rose Shulman, who writes the Recipes for Health over at NYT.com, started a whole week on red cabbage. I had the...
Party in the Oven
Sometimes, I like to have a little get-together in my oven. The white sweet potato flirts with the orange sweet potato. The brussels sprouts mingle with slices of eggplant. Everything that looked good at the market gets chopped, oiled, and ready for fun, then into the oven they go. It’s easy, eco-friendly, and my apartment only gets all hot and sweaty once. Today’s party in the oven...
Rice to (Liberian) Riches
Or, the day in which we ‘dozenized’ a recipe. And made enough food to feed 50 people for a night… and 4 kids in Liberia for a year! “4 tablespoons, times 12, equals… 48 tablespoons, equals what?” “…3 cups!” Ah, the glories of google. Without it, we’d never be able to take a recipe and multiply it by 12. Which is pretty helpful if...
Cooking with the Cool Kids: Rainbow Swiss Chard
Everything I need to know about cooking, I learned in kindergarten (let’s be honest- probably pre-school)—color is good. Lots of color=a good picture, one that might, if you’re lucky, get covered with contact paper. And that, my friends, was pretty much my highest aim in life. A plasticized version of my work, immortalized and turned into a kiddie placemat. Color is still one...
Kale Chips, A Love Story
I really really like kale. The very first time I ever made it, August 27th, 2007 (I know this thanks to the joys of gmail archiving), I emailed my mom a single-liner, “i’m in the kitchen making sauteed kale from the greenmarket! i’m happy!” To which she responded that maybe, just maybe, I should get out more. But although sauteed kale and I have become good friends over the...
Humans live approximately 650,000 hours. So it doesn’t sound so bad to...– Bill Bryson in A Brief History of Nearly Everything. The exercise conclusion is my own.
I like pineapple, but it’s not one of my top 10 favorite fruits (which include superfoods like blueberries and smooth, luscious mangos). Plus, they’ve always seemed a bit..impossible to cut up. But Whole Foods had a display of whole ones, $4 each, and they just looked so bright, cheery, festive for the new year. So I brought one home and found a guy, I’ll call him Pineapple Bob...
On the Run
Sammy and I, we’re runners. Sometimes we get out there when it’s dark and rainy and congratulate ourselves for being HARD-CORE, BABY!; sometimes we groggily (and guiltily) text each other that maybe we should skip today’s run. Sometimes we gab our way around struggles and triumphs in our lives; sometimes there’s just the sound of breathing as we pull away and push to keep...
Healthy Cookies (Exclamation Mark!)
Sunday was coooold (I ran for a total of 11 minutes before I was convinced my face was going to become a victim of frostbite!) and snowy… the perfect type of afternoon for baking. I found these cookies on Heidi Swanson’s wonderful site, 101 Cookbooks, and decided to go vegan-style. These use bananas, almond meal, oats, and coconut oil for the base—no eggs, butter, flour, or...
Mozzarella Take One: Eggs and Harissa
I felt like I had to do something with the fresh mozzarella besides continually pulling off strands to eat plain. So I made this variation on an egg sandwich from Bon Appetit (via Epicurious) for dinner. No hot pepper relish (I didn’t have any), but everything else came together quickly with a grand reward: sophisticated taste and excellent use of the mozz. The lemon juice and olive oil made...
Things to Love on Arthur Ave
Our favorite thing about Arthur Ave? The holiday music that’s piped over the public speakers, making the streets feel like the set of a musical (yes, there was some singing. and dancing. by yours truly). But we also loved the triple-size cans of tomatoes: The raw bars set up in the street (too cold to try!): Walnut cookies at Madonia Brothers Bakery: And pizza at Full Moon-this is...
Miracle on 187th Street
“When I was 26 years old,” writes Michelle Wildgen in O, the Oprah Magazine, “I got married, moved to Yonkers, New York, and tasted devastatingly fresh mozzarella for the first time. The cheese remains the most vivid memory of the three.” I was sold. My life was ready for devastatingly fresh mozzarella. On, to Arthur Avenue! After visiting the Holiday train show at The...
Have Fun Now! (Gosh darn it!)
John Tierney says studies prove it’s good for you. So don’t save the pleasure for the future… have fun now!
7 Minutes in (Yoga) Heaven
My favorite thing from all of the New Year’s resolution brouhaha on the web: Dr. Oz’s idea to do seven minutes of yoga a day. An hour long class sounds like too (too!) much, but seven minutes? My crazy-tight hamstrings and hip-flexors could get used to that.
Sweet Potato "Fries"
I adore this incredibly easy (and healthy!) version by the bowl-ful. It goes particularly well with an episode of Mad Men. 1 sweet potato 1 tablespoon (ish) of canola oil Sea Salt Preheat oven to 350. Peel off strips of the sweet potato skin (I leave some on for fiber, but take some off for taste). Slice into thin rounds, about 1/8th of an inch thick, then slice the stack of circles in half....
And we thought we were cool
João Correia is cooler. After a decade of working in publishing (Esquire, Bicycling) and doing the whole haute dining thing, he’s now a pro bicycler. Let me add that to my list of goals for my 30s.
Do not hurry. Do not rest.– Goethe