getting ready.

i am teaching THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA to my advanced economics students this semester. it's so very frightening and exciting. i have designed the syllabus to be the economics course i should have been teaching all along. updates to follow.


with love.

tracy and i are in love with prime meats. (yes, i am in love with the meatiest restaurant/bar ever). and our favorite bartender, damon, wrote the recipe for the punch we made last week. how awesome is that? we didn't even know when we made it. but it's the rockest.

up to date.

the last time i went to the farmers' market, i was too late to get a growler of my favorite yogurt from milk thistle. it was sold out. my yogurt was sold out! like a hannah montana concert.

so, i am eating butterworks farm yogurt, which isn't bad, but does not compare in creaminess to milk thistle or ronnybrook. it's more like conventional american yogurt: gelatinous in texture and not very sour. i ate it this morning with some blackberry jam and a slice of john walker's banana bread.

speaking of growlers, the nytimes published this article today about their popularity. i am obviously WAY ahead of the curve. years ahead.

political salad.

my weekly political discussion with my father last sunday included the texas governor's race, the lost kennedy seat in massachusetts, healthcare, and the first year of president obama. we agreed so much it was frightening. the world might be ending based on this alone.

he knew i was cooking while we spoke, as he asked what i was making. i told him that i had so much decadence left in my fridge (still!) from the party and that this included mayonnaise. and, therefore, i was making egg salad. i had no bread and had yet to go to the grocery store or farmers' market, so i ate it on rice crackers with tomatoes. yum.

food rut, continued.

didn't i *just* write about peanut sauce? in a moment void of creativity, i made more rice noodles with peanut sauce, with broccoli and carrots.

and now! with matching chop sticks.

wait. what?

i think i accidentally made the same breakfast twice last week. i love a spicy breakfast. you know, a breakfast that includes hot peppers of some sort and/or salsa.

so. january 18th: PERFECTLY fried egg (it was so beautiful i didn't want to flip it), black beans with onions and garlic and cayenne, goat cheese, carrots, chips and salsa.

and. january 22: fried egg (broken. ugh.), black beans with onions and cayenne, tomatoes, rice (leftover), sour cream, chips and salsa.

obviously, a food rut. even when i think i am doing something super tasty, it's really just the same breakfast. luckily, these are pretty awesome breakfasts.


and so.

what i have been eating in 2010 is not great. my farmers' market is hibernating for the winter, and it's really a pain and a half to trek to union square or grand army plaza and bring the goods on the train or bus. maybe i am getting lazy, as i did this all of the time when i lived in harlem. anyhow, new semester starts february 1st, and as soon as i finish these report cards, i will be back in action. really. i am lacking.


la bonne année.

most people celebrate the new year on january 1st. but not everyone. while they celebrate the regular new year as well, the russians also celebrate old new year on january 13th and the jewish people celebrate yom kippur in the fall.

well, we sort of moved it, too. tracy and keith and i wanted to throw a party, but we were all traveling throughout the holiday season, and so we decided it would be a post-new years new years party of sorts. so, i made some treats. obviously. hummus and carrots and peppers, to start.
vegetarian sushi with carrots, peppers, chives, and cucumbers .
two of my favorite dips, recipes from ina garten: pan-fried onion dip and sun-dried tomato dip. they are both full of fatty awesomeness that i cannot describe here because then my friends will no longer eat them.
finger foods. tomato+basil+mozzarella.
fancy olives and sesame-crusted almonds.
and punch! in my new punch bowl. yes, i realize the bowl itself is ugly. it's vintage. be nice.

this was the harvest moon punch, created by a bartender at prime meats, with the recipe found on the internet. it was a hit. a smash, if you will.

additionally, tracy and i made some fancy-schmancy margaritas with those infused tequilas: blood orange margarita with the cinnamon tequila AND red chile guava margarita with the pepper one. so very awesome, these cocktails. and we have so many good liquors left to drink. with fancy bitters. we have a coveted bottle of angostura bitters, as well as 2 types of fee brothers: cherry and rhubarb.

the nytimes was right when they said it was a good cocktail decade. an evolving. we learned that the drinks of our grandparents are the best ones. my own grandfather likes whiskey; maybe that's why i am so into the old-fashioned these days.

bonne année. let's make it a good one.

sugar soda.

pepsi will issue "pepsi throwback" and "mountain dew throwback" from april 20th to june 13th. MADE WITH REAL SUGAR. regular price. thanks, serious eats, for letting us know.

maybe it will continue forever and ever, and all sodas will follow suit. big wishes.

monsanto is killing us.

and has been for years: Agent Orange, saccharin, bovine growth horomone, DDT, aspartame, Roundup. THE MANHATTAN PROJECT. it's insane that this corporation continues to exist, that there are no laws against their products.

it's been a crazy couple of weeks for monsanto. let's recap.
  1. its gmo corn was linked to organ failure.
  2. small victory for monsanto on friday. federal court said "rival Dupont had violated the terms of a contract in combining Monsanto technology with its own in producing genetically modified seeds." there will be a second round.
  3. antitrust probe into monsanto and its roundup soybean technology.
  4. supreme court to hear case on monsanto's alfalfa. justice breyer will not be participating due a conflict of interest; his brother, also a judge, issued the initial ruling.
  5. monsanto was also forbes's company of the year. see the full article here.
in case you are not into monsanto's practices, there's an interest group. i always tell my government students that there's an interest group for everything. it's so true.

this company is killing us. and the planet. save yourself. buy organic. and local, while you're at it.

quick and easy.

keith and tracy were gobbling up all the treats from momofuku the other night, but it's super meaty, which is why i haven't been there yet, nor did i taste anything from the piles of food in my house.

so, i am made something quick and easy. tracy and i had plans to go back to prime meats (my fave these days) to sample their punch once again, as i have a new punch bowl (more on that later). i made a quick broth with a veggie bouillon, sauteed some collard greens with scallion and garlic, and tossed it with firm tofu and vermicelli noodles (i had some leftover from an earlier recipe, so they were ready already).

i ate it too fast. that's a good sign.

p.s. and that drink? grapefruit-sage gin punch. those moustached kids at prime meats really know how to make a knockout punch. and an old-fashioned. much love.


breakfast for dinner.

yesterday, i baked bread: molasses-wheat. the recipe was probably too easy; there was no yeast, no pounding, no use of the dough hook on the stand mixer. it's not the best bread i've ever made, but i am not discouraged. i will be trying a new recipe next week, after i finish eating this loaf.

tonight's dinner: egg salad with tomatoes on the molasses-wheat, toasted, open-faced. i don't know why really, but i always eat egg salad this way: open-faced. purple potatoes in olive oil with sea salt. collard greens with onions and garlic. coffee.

breakfast for dinner is one my favorite meals. you know, besides breakfast for breakfast.

to die for.

i found the recipe in a box of recipes--tons of pieces of paper clipped from magazines, sent to me by tina and lindsey, a disorganized mess of potentially great meals.

orrechiette with pecorino, peas, and leeks
1. cook 1 pound of orrechiette (those are the ones that are shaped like ears, but obviously you can use whatever shape you like).
2. slice 2 leeks thinly. the light parts. saute in 2 tbsp of olive oil, with salt and pepper.
3. add approximately 10 oz. of frozen peas, defrosted. cook for 5 more minutes or so.
4. add in 3/4 cup of cream (yes, i said it: cream!) and 1 cup of grated pecorino (or parmesan). cook for another few minutes.
5. salt and pepper to taste.
6. mix the sauce with the pasta. top with a little chopped parsley and more pecorino.

kids, it's good. really good. and serves 5. i don't cook with leeks enough. they rock.


the love continued.

sunday, january 3rd. i fried the most perfect egg, put it in between two toasted slices of the sunflower-wheat with some havarti, and ate it with yellow carrots and hummus. 2010, you taste so good.


i guess we all have different versions of comfort food. my incarnation usually includes cheese or noodles or something savory and fried or all of the above. this week of below-freezing temperatures had me eating pasta on more than one evening. twice, i made pasta with tomatoes, garlic, onion, and collard greens, with slices of fresh mozzarella.

but, i also did some food shopping in chinatown. it's been a long time coming, but it finally happened. purchased: rice noodles, vermicelli, dried mango, panko, coconut milk, spring roll papers, soba noodles, and some spicy, savory snacks.

wednesday, i made rice noodles with peanut sauce, loaded with tofu, onion, and collard greens. the collard greens were an experiment, as i had never added them to this particular recipe before. it was excellent. healthier, maybe. and i ate a mound of it, as you can see.

and yesterday, in a hungover fog, i made spring rolls for myself and tracy. full of carrots and vermicelli and fried tofu and cucumber, with more peanut sauce. it's been a fatty week. so good.

recipe for peanut sauce and spring rolls here. (yes, i am linking to myself.)

end of the decade.

there are resolutions. but i want to talk about what i ate.

this sandwich was the perfect end-of-decade breakfast. fried egg with caraway havarti on organic sunflower-wheat. and garlicky potatoes with broccoli and onion. and coffee in my new cup. the one with the A on it.
and then, dinner at walter foods. thanks, y + d. your home away from home was the best idea: cauliflower soup, fancy greens salad, mushroom risotto, profiteroles. and champagne. yes.



marion nestle lays out her “Hot food issues ready to boil over this year.” she wrote all of the words i wanted to say in this new, bleary-eyed decade. (blaming the champagne. and the vodka.)

but. i have a plan for all those collard greens i bought. thank you, nytimes. steamed and stuffed and rolled. i continue to love food i can eat with my hands. i am thinking sunday.

and, one bleak news topic i should have kept in the last decade: beef injected with ammonia! purposefully. you could not pay me to eat ground beef. it's always recalled and, apparently, filled with poison.

bahama mama.

the bahamas. mangrove cay, andros: home of rustic beauty, blue holes, and THE nicest people. and lots of conch. LOTS of it. we kayaked, snorkeled, beached, drank kalik. you know, vacation.

during a stopover in nassau, brett and i ventured out into town, as they say, and ate some bahamian snacks. the locals call everything a "snack," even when it's a meal, it seems. i ate plantains and rice & peas and macaroni.
and conch fritters, which mostly tasted like fried. fried anything.
we tried this goombay punch, which was like a fizzy red bull. yelena seemed to enjoy it, but i thought it was pretty gross. otis taylor was, by far, the awesomest person on the island. he's the owner of da pond, a café of sorts, accompanied by a shop that sells notions. there were lots of drugs and notions spots, but few cafés. we hung out with him quite a bit, and even let him convince us to dance at the junkanoo.

and! his mother made us bennycakes. they are sweet, cookie-like treats made with lots of sugar and sesame seeds, which the bahamians call "bennies." she sent them to us hot from the oven. i was still eating the remnants of the batch as we boarded our return flight. we also had the opportunity to taste mrs. taylor's homemade macaroni, with spicy peppers in it. i could have just stayed at her house for the vacation...
brett and i rode our bikes to boston's hot spot, owned and operated by boston himself. he specializes in conch salad, which is like a fresh, orangey salsa with conch throughout it. this conch was potentially not cooked, and is a little gummy like calamari. but this would have been THE best salsa. and, some of you know i had a cane practically tossed at my head on the outbound flight. it's gross, so i am not going to get into it, but brett animated the experience for you all to see.


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