Friday, July 4, 2008

Mad treats!

I slept pretty horribly last night, but it was still better than the 4 hours or less I've been averaging for a few weeks. For some reason tho, I woke up this morning and I just felt like cooking. When you open yr eyes and you see yr son smiling at you and slapping yr face, and yr cat contemplating biting you, and yr husband happy to see you awake because he knows breakfast is kinda know it's gonna be a good day. I brushed my teeth, kissed my boys and off to the kitchen I went.

I'm still on a mission to make the perfect omelet. I'm pretty good. But I wanna make eggs like they make them at Dumont. How the fuck do they get them so light and fluffy and perfectly baby yellow and NO BROWN MARKS? HOW??? If you know, please share with me, because it's killing me. I made chipotle eggs with a chipotle butter sauce. Sounds fancy, but basically I just used the miracle chipotle seasoning that Becca gave me, and beat it in with my eggs, and when they were done, melted some butter and put more of the miracle chipotle in and lightly beat it before pouring it all over the eggs. Gerald declared these "best eggs ever." I don't believe him anymore because he seems to say that a lot lately. I think it's because for a few days I was treating him to chipotle fried eggs with soppy yolks. Blech. I hate soppy yokes, but he's into it, so I give the man what he likes. Whattayagonnado?

I had an idea of what I wanted to cook, but needed more supplies, and it's the fucking Fourth of July! Time to play! Gerald saw a cartoon hot dog on the telly before we left and he had that "must have hot dog" look on his face. So, off we went to hunt for hot dogs and fireworks. Luckily, whilst walking, I managed to convince him to go to Nita Nita because I saw a sandwich board stating that they had an outside bbq going on.

Can I just say that it was so good? I got scared that we were going to be eating grilled shit on a stick when I saw the prices, cos they were really cheap, but then again, for the price how could we not try it? So we ordered two $3 portobello burgers in herb aioli, 2 corns with honey butter and 1 coleslaw with mustard seeds. Oh, and two bloody marys. Everything was fanfuckingtastic, except the bloody marys. Gerald got another portoburger. But when it came to round deux of drinks, we thought it best to hit somewhere else because they weren't rocking my world. We did a quick drive by the park on the water on N 8th and then cut thru McCarren on our way to Lokal. We don't know why we like that place, but we do. It has a Florida feeling to it, and they play awful music, but we once had a fab cucumber soup there and the drinks are hella cheap. When we got there, they were out of BM mix, so G had a mimosa and I had a bad ass Cava. An excellent choice.

Feeling lovely, we hit Urban Rustic for dinner supplies. I bought: garlic scapes, basil, an Amy's baguette, 3 plums, an avocado, and a tomato. The guy behind the counter caught me looking up to the ceiling and muttering to myself, and then stopping, and then looking to the other side and muttering again. "Counting?" he asked. "No," I said, "trying to think of ingredients while slightly buzzing. It's not working out so well." He laughed and shook his head. What? It's true. I was building flavors in my brain and they were getting distracted.

The end result: garlic scape and basil pesto that I blended into some quinoa, garlic sauteed in my Rancho Gordo vaquero beans, chopped cukes and maters in salt, oil and lime, and cut pieces of baguette to sop it all around. But, my piece de resistance....dessert! I'm not one for making desserts usually, but when I saw the plums at Urban Rustic, I had to. I melted some butter and put in the chopped plums and bananas. I grated some cinammon and added a healthy splash of prosecco and let it cook down for a few moments. It literally took me about all of 10 minutes to make this, and the results were fucking awesome. Next time, I'll probably not put the bananas in with the plums immediately because they did disintegrate a little too quick, but they gave the sauce a nice flavor. Also, the garlic scape pesto in the quinoa was pretty rad, although I feel like it needed one extra thing in it that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I'll definitely make it again.

Happy 4th of July everyone! All 3 people that read this blog! :D

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I haven't talked about him lately. I swear, I still have a kid. But sometimes, as a mom, it's nice to have something else to talk about. As people who know me can attest to, I'm always talking about Auden because basically, he's amazing, and far superior of a human being than I can ever strive to be. However, sometimes a topic change is necessary.

My Midge has hit some milestones in this, his eighth month of life, that I would like to share with you. (Holy fuck, I can't believe he's so old already. Almost a year! Egads!)

1. He's officially crawling. Everywhere. Unfortunately, I've been slack on the sweeping scene. It shows on his onesie. You don't know how tempted I am to wrap him in Swiffers and let him go at it. That's not child abuse right? That's multitasking!

2. He's on the verge of his 2nd set of teeth. He is NOT happy about them at all. It's been a rough couple of nights. Mummy and Daddy aren't sleeping too well.

3. He has several words now! He says: mamamamama (usually when he's mad, or hungry, or sad, but also when he sees me!) Also, he says: babababa, dadadada, and yayayaya. Oh, and he sings.

4. He loves paper. I mean loves it. Often times, you can find him reading take out menus upside down, ripping pages off of my Domino magazines on the rack and perusing the bits before he tries to eat it, and wiping tables off with napkins.

5. He likes to slam his hands on tables and call order in the court.

6. He "pets" Baxter. Sometimes, he's sweet. Othertimes, not so much. Poor Bax is patient, however, Mr Midge has been swatted a few times by the behemoth cat, and he has gotten a few scratches. Somehow, Auden found this amusing. Lordy.

He has a doctor's appointment on Tuesday. I think they're gonna expand his menu. He's already eating chicken and turkey....maybe soon he eats fish?

How come they grow up so fast? Why can't he just stay little and perfect? I am formally protesting him growing anymore. I want him little and mine forever! :/

Monday, June 30, 2008

Cooking with beer and more Iron Cheffery

In today's edition of Why the L Train is the Bane of My Existence: We had to be at the Chelsea Market by 9 am. We left the house at 8.30. Plenty of time to get to 8th Avenue and walk one block, right? Right. The L train is Murphy's Law as a locomotive. Anytime you really need to get somewhere on time, you won't. Because the L train hates you. We ended up getting off at 3rd Ave at 8.54 and tried to hail a cab. Ha. I don't know which one of us brainiacs thought that we could hail a cab on 14th street and 3rd Ave at 8.54 am with ease. Miraculously, somehow, we got to the Chelsea Market and the Food Network studios at 9.04. Whew.

Gerald's friend Andy, who works for Iron Chef and got us the tickets, met us downstairs, and whisked us up the elevator after we signed our life away onto some non disclosure agreements. I still don't know what I signed off on. We waited for a bit outside whilst they did some preliminary filming, and then we were in.

Since I don't know what I signed, and I don't know if Food Network has Google alerts, I won't tell you too much. Well, I really can't tell you too much because we left before Iron Chef Cat Cora's judging and the final decision. It was 12.30 and that shit was still filming. Meanwhile, we'd been sitting in kitchen stadium for over 3 hours with the amazing smell of a billion butters (the secret ingredient! shhh), and all I had was a small bowl of Muesli before I left and we needed to eat. Stat. The whole time I was sitting there, I was daydreaming of Amy's Bread and the Italian market. I was really excited to see that one of the butters they had was actually the one that I'm currently using! Hooray for Vermont Butter and Cheese!

Anyhoo, during breaks, we got to talk to one of the sous chefs, Michael, who was really really cool, and got to say a few words to ALTON BROWN (!!!!) and the Chairman. Did I mention Isaac Mizrahi was there? He was so wonderfully queeny and great.

We left the Chelsea Market after I bought Janine some Italian cherry tree honey, and got us some black peppercorns and roasted fava beans. Omg they're so good. Highly recommend.

So how do I not cook an interesting, okay maybe not super interesting, but jazzy nonetheless dinner, after watching some of the most amazing meals I've seen cooked earlier in the day? I can't. So I did. I was really inspired by Mary's use of Guinness in her mustard sauce. There was leftover beer in the fridge. And I had some Russian fingerling potatoes. And parsley. And fresh mozz. Something good can come of this.

I roughly chopped some spring garlic, including the stems, and did a quick saute in some olive oil. Threw in the fingerling potatoes and some salt and let it get a little brown. Then came the Czech beer I found in my fridge. Was that yrs Mikey? Let it sit, covered. Once it absorbed most of the beer, I threw a smidge more in there. Once it was totally absorbed, I added some fresh pepper (after a comedic interlude with peppercorns and my food processor, which I do NOT recommend doing) and finished off with my Iron Chef butter and some parsley. Then I sliced the last of the fresh mozz and put it in the pan for a super quick fry.

I suppose I should start taking pics of the food. But I'm a lazy uploader, as I've mentioned, and I forget that I have a camera as well. I've commissioned husband to be official photographer due to my shortcomings. Maybe that'll make this shit hella less wordy and have actual pics. We'll see how that all works out.

In closing, props to me for 2 blog posts in a row, and cook with beer, it's actually good. If you know me, you know that's a bold statement because I hate beer. No, don't even try to talk me out of it...I've tried to like beer for the past ten years, it just doesn't work with my palate.

What should I experiment with next?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Iron Chef Brooklyn

Yah, so I've been Slackass McGee lately. My bad. I'll get better again, I promise. Here are my excuses:

I was doing inventory.
I was tired.
I got sick.
I was planning things.....


Yeay it was so fun! Our secret ingredient was heirloom tomatoes. Mary, Susan (my Iron Chef co-hosts) Gerald, Midget and I hit the greenmarket yesterday morning in search of maters. We did a full lap and there were none. Zip. Zero. This was a problem. But we bought some other lovely things. I visited my farmer crush Keith, author of It's a Long Road to a Tomato. I'm still too scared to talk to him, but from him I purchased some really fragrant basil, some garlic scapes, spring garlic, and Italian parsley. Then, visiting other booths, I bought some corn shoots to snack on during our walk (if you've never had them, you totally need to because they're truly fantastic), some delicious wild cherries, and sunflower millet from Our Daily Bread. Still, no heirlooms. We hit Whole Foods across the street. Nope. Went back to the greenmarket and bought some regular tomatoes and vowed we would all lie and swear that we used heirloom tomatoes. Whattayagonnado?

As our cheftestants started arriving with food and booze, a truly wonderful spread was growing on our table. Without a hint of shyness, everyone dove in. There was much eating, and finger sucking, eye rolling ecstasy, recipe sharing and drinking to be had. It was food nirvana. Oh, and Chairman Mikey bit the pepper. What's Iron Chef without pepper biting??

Here's the full menu:
Marie: Seafood dip (crab, shrimp, tomato sauce, and 4 cheeses) served w a baguette
Tim: Gazpacho! (we added the exclamation point to make sure it was said with feeling)
Janine: Tomato quiche with peppers and pecorino romano
Joey: Pasta with tomatoes, black olives and mozzarella
Deanna: Pasta with tomatoes, onions, peppers, pine nuts, arugula and gorgonzola cheese
Mary: Crostini with tomatoes, bacon and mustard Guinness sauce (a vegetarian version too!)
Susan: Fried green tomatoes with chipotle mayonnaise and tomato salsa
Tony: Tomato tart with creme fraishe, potatoes, and gruyere

What did I make, you ask? Well! I made a quinoa croquette topped with roasted fennel and marinated tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. They was good. Real good. But then again, so was everything else.

The winner? Susan, with her fried green tomatoes!!!! She deserved the win. They were motherfucking awesome.

I think we're all hungover today. There were several wine runs. The plan was to go to the Unfancy Food Show today, however, mama didn't get out of bed until 1 pm.

As an excellent plan B, we spent most of the day in bed, eating leftovers, reading and watching the Euro Cup final. QUE VIIIIIVA ESPANAAAAAA! I called my dad and he was stoked. I texted Bert and so was he. I wish I would have watched more than 3 games than I did, but in good news, the Euro Cup being over means....two years until World Cup! I will consider taking the summer off just to watch it. No, I'm not kidding. I did that the summer of 98. My dad was recovering from having a tumor removed, and I had just moved back from Tampa and was unemployed. We spent all of June and some of July watching almost every WC game. It was great. Even better for me that I was stoned the whole time, even tho my dad didn't know. Ahhh, youth.

Tomorrow, my darling husband and I are going to see the actual taping of Iron Chef America at Chelsea Market! Hooray!!!!!!!! It's full circle Iron Chef all up in this bitch.

Anyhoo. Pics soon. More consistent blogging too. Also, commenting is highly encouraged. :D It gets exciting.