Thursday, September 20, 2007

photoshoppers: a call to arms!

it seems my blog traffic has been sadly lacking as of late. i'm sure it has nothing to do with me abandoning this place for weeks at a time, or heaven forbid, the idea of this blog getting old. no, i'm positive it's because i'm missing the one thing essential to every great blogger - an eye catching banner.

here's where you photoshoppers come in. i challenge you to create a banner for my blog. only the cream of the crop may apply, as it clearly must be something worthy of representing my eloquent writing and exquisite recipes. if you need inspiration, i suggest checking out carrie's cooking adventures.

upload your submissions and post them in the comments for me to see. the winner of this challenge receives the greatest honor of all - having his/her banner seen at the top of my blog every single day. and of course, if someone wants to go above and beyond and work some html magic to help me get the overall design of this place out of standard blogger template mode i would be extremely grateful. normally i'd do it myself, but i think we all know my skills are best saved for the kitchen.

okay kids, get crackin and let me see what you've got!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


well, laura's guest blog managed to both cure me of my writer's block as well as tempt me to venture into the world of sushi. it really does feel great to be blogging again, plus, i'd hate for anyone to think that i'm not on top of the latest food trends.

like laura, i went straight to the experts and decided to order in from friend house. unfortunately, as a vegetarian who doesn't eat fish, i found my menu options quite limited. then i stumbled across a dish called asparagus rolls. i thought this would be a great way to sneak in a serving of veggies inside of some warm doughy carbtastic goodness. i got my tub of butter and spreading knife ready and waited for the delivery man to arrive.

well, you can imagine my surprise when a bunch of actual mini asparagus stalks showed up wrapped in rice and some sort of mystery black stuff. what kind of a roll was this?? where was the bread? luckily though, they had provided me with plenty of soy sauce to cover up the flavor of those pesky vegetables. also, based on laura's experience with the boat, i was worried that someone would come back to my apartment to collect the plastic container my "rolls" were served in, so i quickly hid it in a safe place as soon as i was finished.

the verdict: be sure to ask many questions when ordering from a sushi restaurant as their menus are obviously quite misleading. still i suppose, it's a trend that everyone should try at least once.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

message to farmers: NIMBY!

nowadays there's one more thing to add to the list of power plants, trash dumps, and prisons that elicit the cry of "not in my backyard!": farmers. it's bad enough that i've had to put up with a slew of dirty hippy farmers invading union square three times a week under the family friendly guise of the greenmarket. but since moving, i'm now expected to tolerate this neighborhood nuisance just one mere block from my apartment every single sunday.

ladies and gentleman, these farmers have no business in tompkins square park. this is historically a place for drug dealers, homeless people, and riots. not small business owners peddling organic and affordable produce. i decided to pay them a visit last sunday and one vendor even had the nerve to sell me eight ripe and delicious plums for only three dollars.

look, all i'm saying is, we didn't suffer through an industrial revolution just so we could abandon factory farming. do we really want our future generations knowing where their food actually comes from?? i admit, there's probably no stopping those those liberal pinko nutjobs from advocating fair and healthy options for our planet, our workers, and our bodies. but at least let them do it out on some commune or kibbutz somewhere - not in the middle of my urban metropolis.

if you, like me, want to boycott these farmers' markets altogether, i suggest using local harvest to plug in your zip code and find the locations nearest you. this tool for avoiding local family farmers is certainly invaluable.

still don't believe what a crisis this really is?? just check out what happens to the poor twinkie (at a farmers' market!) in this video and learn more about the left wing attempts to undermine the farm bill here.

you hear that farmers? it's on!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

alternate kitchen uses

okay kids, this might just blow your mind... but the kitchen isn't just for cooking anymore. i know many of you out there will never develop the keen culinary skills that i have no matter how hard you try... but now you don't have to let your food preparation area go to waste!

my friends sean and amy have turned their kitchen into a state of the art dance studio & performance space:

so talk to me people - what else do you use your kitchen for? whoever has the most innovative response (with appropriate documentation, preferably in youtube form) might just get a prize from me.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

i <3 salad

well it's time for me give a shout out to my favorite fellow blogger again. i'd been waiting for a special occasion to make this awesome recipe, but finally i decided i would just treat myself!

in this sweet summer treat you take something plain and simple like this:

and mix it with other fun ingredients containing things like high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and modified food starch to make something like this:

pretty great, huh?

snickers salad
(by carrie's dad's girlfriend kelly)
  • 6 chilled snickers candy bars
  • 6 apples (granny smith and/or red delicious)
  • 1 container cool whip
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding

mix cool whip and pudding mix together (i substituted lite cool whip and sugar/fat free pudding for a healthier option). core and chop apples and snickers into bite size pieces. even though i substituted individually wrapped snickers minis (all that packaging makes me feel safe from food contamination... and terrorists) , i still halved or quartered each one. combine apples and snickers with cool whip / pudding mix. drizzle with caramel and chocolate and chill for at least an hour.

this is quite possibly the sweetest thing i've ever ingested (and this is coming from me - the girl who eats ice cream by the tub and donuts by the dozen). i actually wound up using only half the apples called for because there simply wasn't any more room in my bowl to mix up more salad - so perhaps more fruit would have offset the cloying flavor a bit. but as we all know, the more saccharine the better when it comes to desserts - which means the snicker salad is pretty much perfect!

bean harmony

sorry for the lack of updates this past week, but i've been busy checking in on my competition. you may not have realized it, but i'm actually not the only food blogger on the interweb. keeping tabs on what everyone else is up to helps me keep my little mental kitchen to do (and not to do) list fresh.

one great source of inspiration is the cook and author of the smitten kitchen. she and i have so much in common it's downright scary. for starters we're both from new york and we're both named deb(bie). and then of course there's the obvious - that we're both amazingly talented behind the camera and in the kitchen... and not to mention witty as fuck.

i figured it was about time i share one of her recipes (along with some much needed improvements) with all of you. deb certainly had the right idea but it just lacked that special something. luckily i've come along and tweaked the recipe to perfection.

mixed bean salad with tomato and lemon (by smitten kitchen)
  • 2 medium tomatoes 1
  • ½ pound yellow wax beans, ends trimmed and beans halved crosswise 2
  • ½ pound haricot vert, or slim green beans, ends trimmed and beans halved crosswise 3
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil 4
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 5
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • glug of white wine 6
  • salt and pepper 7
  • juice of one lemon 8
1 substituted half a can of whole peeled stewed tomatoes
2 omitted
3 substituted one can of cut green beans
4 omitted
5 substituted jarred minced garlic in olive oil
6 substituted red wine
7 omitted
8 used only half a lemon

microwave green beans for two minutes and set aside. heat garlic and red pepper in a large pan. add tomatoes and simmer for a couple minutes. add a splash of red wine and continue to simmer. lower heat and toss in green beans, coating evenly with tomato and garlic. squeeze the juice of half a lemon over everything and serve.

as you can see there was none of that slotted spoon, ice bath, or colander nonsense that deb seemed so fond of. and yet the end result is still a perfectly light summery meal. nice try deb, but next time you might want to check with the expert first.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

do real people eat this? (part one: cottage cheese & banana)

welcome to the first installment of my new series entitled "do real people east this?" in these posts i'll examine food combinations that are (or were) staples for me, and ask if any other human beings out there actually eat them. then it's up to you, my faithful readers, to reply and tell me just how much of a freak i am. i'm kicking things off with a childhood favorite that i still eat today: cottage cheese & banana.

my mother got me hooked on this one early on. i did some snooping on the internets and all i seemed to turn up was a baby food recipe (that seems to use "cottage" and "cream" as synonyms) and some misguided fitness enthusiasts.

so tell me blogosphere, does anyone else out there eat this? and if not, would you all be willing to try, because i'm telling you - it's delish!