Monday, March 31, 2008

Just another manic Monday

Well dear readers, tonight I arrived home after 8pm, hungry and tired, with a similarly minded person who just wanted to eat dinner (that's my way of explaining why there aren't many pictures tonight. There is still a recipe for you, so I think that's perfectly good for an average Monday night).

This is an old standard of mine that I played with a bit tonight, because we didn't have a lot of the normal ingredients that I would use to make it. But it was still good!

Chicken 'n Tomatoes over cheesy polenta (the 'n proves how down-homey I am. Or just tired)

3 cups chicken stock (or veggie/beef stock or water - tonight I used half beef stock and half water, because that's what was in my fridge)
1 cup cornmeal (or instant polenta. I was out of that too)
about 1/2 cup of cheese (I used fat free mozzarella again, but I used to use a mix of mascarpone and Parmesan, back before I was watching my weight.......oh that was good)
1 pound or so thin cut chicken (I like those thin sliced ones from Perdue - but we had chicken "tenders" and that's what I used)
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes
1 onion (I usually use red in this recipe, but I only had yellow. Are you sensing a theme?)
at least 3 cloves of garlic
Tomatoes (usually cherry tomatoes, but I only had whole peeled canned ones, so I just chopped them up a bit)
1 cup deglazing liquid (usually chicken stock, but I used a secret kind tonight - I'll get to that later)
Fresh Basil (if your boyfriend doesn't have a weird aversion to fresh herbs like mine does)

1. Put 3 cups stock/water in a pot over high heat. (go to the next step while you wait for it to boil) When it boils, mix in 1 cup of cornmeal, a little bit at a time. I like to measure it out by 1/4 cup and shake it in. Whisk it really fast. Nobody likes lumps in polenta. If you want to see a nice picture of me cooking polenta, click here. Once it's all whisked up good, turn the heat way down and let it sit, but stir it sometimes to make sure it doesn't burn.

2. Put a pan over medium heat and add some olive oil. Chop up your onion and garlic and throw it in the pan to let soften.

3. Season your chicken with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if you're a wimp, don't add too many. But if you're cool like me, throw on a bunch!).

4. Push the onions and garlic over to one side of the pan and turn up the heat a little. Add your chicken to the pan and let it brown on both sides.

5. Your polenta is probably done by now. Make sure you didn't burn it, then add some salt and pepper to taste and stir in your cheese. Oh cheese-y goodness. Love it. Turn off the heat and cover the pot so it stays warm.

6. Once your chicken has brown, add your deglazing liquid! Tonight I was out of chicken stock (which is why I used beef stock in the polenta) and the only wine I had was probably vinegar at this point, so I threw that out, opened up a bottle of beer, poured in half and gave the other half to Miriam to drink. For anyone who is wondering, deglazing is when you pour in a liquid (usually alcohol) and scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan and let the liquid reduce and taste yummy. It rocks.

7. Once your liquid has reduced by about half, add your tomatoes (add them whole if they're cherry tomatoes and chopped if otherwise). Let them get hot and break up a little. If they're cherry tomatoes, they should start to burst. Otherwise, your guess is as good as mine.

That's it! Put some polenta in a bowl, throw the chicken and tomatoes (get some liquid in there too, that's good stuff) and rip up some fresh basil to put on top if you're into that kind of thing. This dish is great for leftovers at work the next day. Everyone will smell it and be jealous and say "something smells good," and you can say "of course it is. I made it!"


Sunday, March 30, 2008

A birthday dinner

Last night, Elana, Sofia, various friends and I all went to The Bar Room at The Modern to celebrate Sofia's 21st birthday (observed). For those of you who don't know, the "Modern" refers to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Yes, museums in New York have three star restaurants (is that weird? I think maybe it is. But delicious).

I've been to the Bar Room before (for Meredith's birthday this past year) and it seemed like the perfect place for a fun, semi-fancy girl's night out. And it almost was. Except for.....

The service! The service was terrible. We had a confirmed 9:30pm reservation (which seemed a little late for dinner, but it was a Saturday, and we only called a week in advance, so we figured we'd take what we could get). We all arrived at 9:28, checked in, and were ushered to the bar where we............waited........and waited.......and noticed it was 9:45 and checked again to make sure they hadn't forgotten us........and waited some more. We didn't get seated until just after 10pm! Unacceptable. They didn't even send us free drinks or appetizers to make our wait better. We did buy some fun girly drinks. Here's Sofia (on the right) and her friend drinking cocktails:

Sofia is having "Coming Up Roses," a champagne and rose drink that was really good (I had one too). See how pretty the rose petals are? It was nice.

They finally gave us our table and left without giving us menus. Five minutes later, we got our menus, but no wine list. But we picked some great plates (some of my favorites being the Slow Poached Farm Egg "in a jar" with Maine lobster, crosnes and sea urchin froth and Roasted Long Island Duck Breast with peppercorn crusted apples) and flagged down a wine list in time for the meal (although the popular vote went for white wine - which is not my favorite. I haven't ordered white wine since I was nervous about mispronouncing the different names - I knew I could always say "chardonnay" correctly. But it wasn't my birthday, so I didn't push it).

One thing I really like about the food here is the portion size. Everything is fairly small, so you can try a lot of different things and share with your friends a lot. It's not a great place to go if you're super starving and are jonesing for a big plate of food - but there's a time and place for everything.

I didn't take pictures of the food because the service was bad enough already, I didn't want to push it by making them think we were 19 year old tourists from New Jersey or something, so you'll just have to take my word that the food was great (and pretty). I would definitely go there again - but maybe not in a group of six girls all under the age of 25. There are places where the servers will fall all over themselves trying to serve a group of young pretty girls - but the Modern is not one of those places.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The best assignment ever (thanks Rita!)

This week, at my boring paralegal job, which mostly consists of me calling people and asking them if they've ever been discriminated against and having them answer that "Spanish" is a gender, I got the best assignment EVER. Apparently, the firm is thinking about suing a restaurant (whose name I must not disclose) and they thought that it might be featured an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. So they needed someone to watch it and write down if the restaurant's name was ever mentioned. Needless to say, I enthusiastically volunteered for the job (which, let me tell you, does not happen very often at my job). I LOVE Anthony Bourdain. I have ever since I read A Cook's Tour a few years back. Basically, the premise is that this foul mouthed 50 year old ex-chef travels all around the world looking for "the perfect meal" and complains about The Food Network, because hey, they're filming this as a tv show (and he is not happy about that). Then I read his most famous book, Kitchen Confidential, which is also great. I find it a little disturbing that I'm so amused by a foul mouthed organ eating misanthrope, but what can you do?

Below is an excerpt of his show "A Cook's Tour" because I couldn't find a clip that I liked of "No Reservations." They were all too long and I didn't think you all would suffer through a clip that was longer than a minute or so. If you watch below, he eats a fetal duck egg. Yes, an egg that has a partially formed fetal duck inside. Crazy! Fascinating! Amazing.

Friday, March 28, 2008

'Twas strange, 'twas passing strange

Last night, Jamie and I braved the maddening throng of Times Square, pushing our way through slow tourists and guys asking "you like comedy?" all to try and see Passing Strange. Was it worth it? Sadly, no.

I wanted to like this play a lot. It's gotten great reviews, been heralded as "wonderful, and a welcome anomaly on Broadway" by the New York Times' Charles Isherwood. Plus it started out at the Berkeley Rep, which is very near and dear to my heart and hometown. But you know the problem when you go into something with high expectations - um.........I'm sure there's a clever saying for it, but I don't know what it is. They get crushed! (or something)

The thing that really REALLY annoyed me about this production has nothing to do with the artistic merits of the show - the problem was the sound mixing. The band was so much louder than the vocals that I couldn't understand what the actors were saying most of the time. In a show that's about 80% music, that's a big problem (plus, it was just so loud! I know, I'm a young person, I should like loud music. But I don't. I'm secretly a 90 year old woman. So there). But the point is, I couldn't understand what they were saying, so I don't know if I liked the show or not. Sometimes there were quiet moments where I could understand what was going on and mostly, I liked those parts.

I think maybe I should go again and try to get better seats (I blamed some of the sound problems on the fact that I was in the balcony - who cares if the cheap seats can hear?). Zack has to see this show anyways - the lights were really cool (there was an entire wall of lights! Awesome). So perhaps my opinion will change once I know what's going on.

But maybe not. I'm not really the target demographic for this show. I'm not cool and alternative and I like traditional musicals (I like other things too! But I really like musicals. I blame my dad for renting them for me when I was a kid).

If you like loud music, I think it's probably worth seeing. But if the idea of a rock concert/show really makes your nose crinkle, then this is not the show for you.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I didn't know I liked couscous

Today I had the most amazing lunch at Kalustyan's. What is Kalustyan's, you may ask? It's a Lebanese grocery store with a dingy take out/deli counter upstairs. You want to buy 28 kinds of ghee? Canned truffles? 187 varieties of rice? Kaylustyan's is the place.

I got the deluxe lunch special for $9.99. Most specials were much cheaper, but I just had to have four different options on one plate. I can not tell you what I ate, other than it was the best couscous I'd ever had and some things that had chickpeas in them (there were no labels). You know how when you think of couscous, you think of this:

Well, this couscous looked like this:

Those white pearly things in the middle of the bottom half? That's couscous. Amazing. You all should go there. Unless you don't live in NY. But then you should order things off their website. 27 kinds of know you want it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Buy local food, it's good for you

Today I brought my camera to the Union Square Farmer's Market and promptly forgot to take any pictures. I'm still getting used to this camera thing. I love the Farmer's market! There's a great one in Oakland (where I grew up), which has really blown up over the years. They have live music and prepared food and local merchants who sell crazy things like vegan soul food and earrings. But the one in Union Square is good too! I bought these things:

Some of you are probably thinking, tomatoes in March? That's crazy. But, aha. These are amazing hydroponic tomatoes. That means they grow them in water instead of soil. Mine come from the Shushan Valley Hydro-Farms. I like them a lot.

I didn't feel like cooking, but I did want food, so I decided to make a "raw" pasta sauce. I chopped up two tomatoes and a clove of garlic.

Then I added some olive oil, salt and pepper and mixed it all up.

Then I threw in some whole wheat pasta (yes, the pasta I bought fresh at the farmer's market - yes, I cooked it first).

Then on top, I just ripped up a few leaves of basil and put them on top. It was a nice healthy easy delicious lunch. I love the Farmer's Market.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pink is not just for girls

Tonight I got home at 10pm and ate half a box of Annie's Mac and Cheese (the whole wheat kind). I love Annie's, but it's not as good when you don't add butter. Or extra cheese. So it was not that productive a day, cooking or theatre-wise.

However, today I did buy this:

That's right, a new camera. No more blurry cell phone pictures any more! So you all should look forward to nice pretty pictures of yummy food.

Monday, March 24, 2008

It may have choked Artie, but it's not gonna get me!

Tonight I came home kinda late and was really hungry. I peered through my fridge and decided to make the "Broiled Chicken and Artichokes" recipe from April's issue of Gourmet. It was a "ten minute main" (which is totally a lie, it just means 10 minutes of "active" time - but it was still pretty quick). It was really easy! All you need is:

Chicken thighs (I had five)
Artichoke hearts (the recipe called for jarred, but I only had frozen, so I defrosted them and they were great)
Olive oil
Romano cheese (it called for Parmesan, but I like Romano better - plus I had some)

Here's a nice picture of all these ingredients:

You put everything in a pan:

And stick it in the broiler for about 10 minutes (the chicken wasn't done after 10 minutes, so I left it in for another five). Then you put some cheese on top and you're done! (the recipe calls for parsley too, but Zack doesn't like it and I didn't have any)

It's pretty right? It was really good. I put it on top of my Titi Ana's arroz y gandules (rice and pigeon peas). Her rice is sooooo amazing. Some day she says she'll teach me how to make it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The following picture is sure to enrage some of you

Tonight I spent some time (well, computer time) with one of my favorite women in the public eye - a woman who is loved and hated with equal ferocity across the country (no, not Hilary Clinton)......Rachael Ray.

People really hate her! I'm not sure why. I think she's great. Plus, her food is yummy. I have made many a meal for folks who have loved the food, but as soon as I tell them it's a Rachael Ray recipe, they say "Oh god, I hate her." How does one woman inspire such vitriol in people? It's a little weird.

I made Cauliflower Sauce with Whole Wheat Penne for me, Zack, Elana and Miriam tonight. Everybody loved it. Everybody complained about Rachael Ray anyways. Why complain when the food looks like this?

It was great. And easy! You could make it at home. You know you want to.

I would have gone through showing you every step, but to tell you the truth, my cell phone camera is starting to bug me. I must buy a real camera. And then take lots of pictures and post them. Hopefully, I will accomplish this soon (within the week)!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

There is no chocolate at The Chocolate Factory

Last night, Zack took me to see The Chocolate Factory to see The National Theater of the United States production of Don Juan. This was not a play that I was really looking forward to, mostly because Zack was really excited about it (this may sound mean, but mostly, we don't like the same things. He likes shows with incomprehensible meanings and weird dancing and I like broad comedy and musicals. Sometimes those things overlap. Sometimes they don't).

But I loved this show! It was hilarious. First of all, for those of you who've never been to The Chocolate Factory, it's basically a basement in Long Island City. The show was set up in "360 degree panoramic view," which meant that there were stools in the center of the room and the play happened in a narrow space around us. There were a small number of actors playing many parts (my favorite kind of play) and they constantly raced around, causing us to turn around in our seats.

I wish I could have secretly taken pictures throughout the show for all of you to see, but that's illegal and distracting and rude. I did take this one picture after the show as we were leaving:

That's from the end where Don Juan pretends to repent and makes his house into a monastery like setting. It's funnier than it looks, I swear (c'mon, Jesus made out of paper mache! That's funny).

If only I had pictures of the crossing dressing. Or actors dancing with gold dildos. Or putting powder in their underwear. Or dueling with plastic swords. But alas, I do not.

If you live in New York, go see it! This is the last night, so go quickly. Several people got in off the waiting list last night, so don't let the lack of tickets deter you.

Friday, March 21, 2008

South Pacific

I remember the first time I saw South Pacific. My dad and I were in a phase where we were watching a lot classic movie musicals, either at home on our VCR or at the Paramount Movie Theatre in Oakland. Since I enjoyed Carousel so much, he figured that another Rogers and Hammerstein classic would be a good choice. We hunkered down on the couch to start the movie. About twenty minutes in, we were pretty bored already. So we started fast forwarding through the dialogue and skipping straight to the musical numbers. But then we hit "Happy Talk" (which if you're not familiar with, there's really no explaining) and gave up. I never tried watching it again until I was in a production of it - a production that shaved 45 minutes off the original run time, leaving me with very little idea of what actually happens in Act Two (something to do with the army? I mean, navy? who knows).

So as I sat down in the theatre last night, all of this suddenly came rushing back to me. This realization coupled with the projected three hour run time left me questioning why I'd bought this ticket in the first place.

But then the stage pulled back and revealed a full orchestra and the familiar strains of "Bali Hai" came into the theatre and I smiled. When a show has a really good orchestra, right away, I feel better. After too many years of suffering through community theatre orchestras, real musicians playing a classic score really makes my day.

Here are some of my thoughts on the show. I'm numbering them because I like structure. And numbers.

1. Kelli O'hara - I was all prepared to hate her. She's always bothered me (because she's young and blond and thin and successful and gets all these classic alto roles, even though she's a soprano. Talk about God giving with both hands....and not to me). But as I was watching, I realized that the only thing I'd ever seen her in was The Light in the Piazza where she played a "mentally slow" soprano who was pretty annoying (which maybe isn't a fair judge of her entire body of work). She actually made a fairly pleasing army nurse. She has a nice voice (although it's more legit than my taste) and she really played up the "girl from Arkansas" thing, which was good. So I didn't hate her, much to my surprise.

2. The story - Since I'd never actually seen South Pacific all the way through (when I was in it, most of my time was spent dancing around my dressing room and jumping up and down on the Equity cot), I got very caught up in the story in a way I wasn't expecting. Even though I had a vague idea of all the big plot moments, I still found them very affecting. It was actually interesting (although a little dated - more on that in the next number).

3. The racial stuff - South Pacific deals a lot with race. I'm sure that the racial stuff was very groundbreaking in 1949, but in 2008, it seems a little pointless. There's a line where Lt. Cable is imagining what it would be like if he married a Tonkinese girl and brought here back to the US - "Mr. and Mrs. Cable gave an open house last Thursday. Nobody came." While there are still problems facing interracial marriages today, the idea that no one would come to an open house is laughable (maybe it's just weird to me since most of my family is joined in interracial marriage - in fact, I'm not sure if we have any family members who aren't). Also, another line was so off putting to me. A pretty Asian girl walks by and a sailor says something like "ooh, I wish I could tap that" and the other sailor says something like, "No way, she's Asian." What? That's really not the way it is any more. If anything, it's the complete opposite. There are a lot of things that you could say about race that would be relevant to today's culture (read Barack Obama's Speech on race or watch The Wire. But it's hard to see South Pacific as relevant in the same way.

4. The mandatory hotness of Lt. Cable - As I watched Matthew Morrison strut around the stage, I couldn't help thinking, man, he's really hot (hey, Zack wasn't there). Here's a picture so that you know what I'm talking about:

Then I remembered the production I was in a few years ago. The guy playing Lt. Cable was really hot there too. I wondered, is this some sort of role requirement? And then we got to the scene where Bloody Mary brings her scared underage daughter out for Lt. Cable to have sex with and I thought, yes, it is a role requirement. If the Lt. Cable is not really really hot, when he starts to have sex with this girl, your mind immediately screams out "Rape! Underage hookers! Weird geisha/slave situation!" But if he's hot, all your brain is thinking is "Man, he's pretty. This is nice." (This clearly only applies to women/gay men. But hey, Liat is usually pretty hot too. So maybe it's the same).

5. Overall - I enjoyed the show for the most part. But I like classic musicals. And Lincoln Center (I'm weirdly obsessed with Lincoln Center. I wrote a paper on the Chagall at the Met Opera House just so I could stand there and stare at them a lot). But if you don't like classic musicals very much, well then, don't see this show.

Tonight I'm seeing NTUSA's Don Juan at The Chocolate Factory, so that should appeal to those of you who don't like musicals. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another Theatre Post (sort of)

There will be no cooking tonight, because I have tickets to see South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theatre. I have a special attachment to this show because it is the first show that I ever performed in an Equity house (ah, my first show as an Equity Membership that has helped my career.....remain in a permanent fledgling middle ground). But I have some great memories from that show - I don't think I'll ever be able to wear a seaweed bra with a pineapple hat ever again.

Sadly, I could not find any video or pictures from that show (they must be in a box in CA somewhere), so I leave you with this somewhat related Muppet show clip. Enjoy! I'll post my thoughts tomorrow.

Ground Turkey, take two

Ground turkey was great in the Pumpkin Pasta I made the other night, but I decided to return to a classic and finish up the leftovers in some classic red meat sauce. It's quick, yummy and easy to make. Here's my version:

Quick and Easy Meat Sauce!

1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
ground turkey (about half a pack)
1 large or 2 small onions
5 cloves garlic (or less if you don't like garlic)
Olive oil
Basil (fresh or dried)
Oregano (fresh or dried)
Lawry's Seasoning Salt
Cooked pasta - whatever kind you like

1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add some olive oil (not too much). Let it heat up a minute until it's hot but not smoking.

2. Chop up your onion and garlic and add to the pan. Let soften until opaque (about five minutes). Then turn up the heat a little.

3. Add the ground turkey. Break it up with a wooden spoon or your hands as you drop it in the pan. Hit it with some Lawry's Seasoning Salt. It looks like this:

Some people have very strong feelings about this. I'm not sure why.

4. Take your can of tomatoes. I use this kind:

For a more "classic" (ie store bought) taste, puree the tomatoes (juice and all) in your blender or food processor. For a chunkier taste, just squish the tomatoes with a spoon (or your hands! That's what I do when I'm too lazy to wash the food processor. Plus, it's fun).

5. Season your sauce with these seasonings:

If you can't see, it's salt, pepper, dried oregano and basil. I like fresh basil, but Zack doesn't and since I didn't have any on hand, I decided to humor him for tonight. He appreciated it very much.

6. Simmer your sauce until it's warm and bubbly.

7. Add the cooked pasta. I used quinoa pasta.

It's healthier and tastes more like regular pasta than whole wheat does. Mine looked like this:

8. Add cheese and eat it! Yay!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What can you make with a fully stocked pantry?

I suppose you could make anything you set your mind to - I decided to pull out some random ingredients and see what came to me. Here are my ingredients:

Hmm.....I probably can't make fudge with these......Pumpkin pasta it is!

Pumpkin Pasta:
1 box whole wheat penne
1/2 can cooked pumpkin (not pie filling - ick)
1/2 can evaporated milk (or 3/4 cup regular milk)
1 cup chicken stock
1 yellow onion
3/4 pound ground turkey
fresh sage
Parmesan cheese (for the table)

First cook a box of pasta according to the directions on the box. I used whole wheat penne, but feel free to use your favorite kind. While it cooked, I put my skillet over medium heat, added a little olive oil and when it got hot, added my chopped onion. Here it is now:

Once the onion softened, I turned up the heat a big and threw in half a pack of ground turkey.

I stirred it up and waited for the turkey to turn brown (pink = raw meat = death. brown = cooked meat = yum).

Then I threw in half a can of pumpkin.....

And mixed it up.

Then in went about a cup of chicken broth:

And half a can of evaporated milk (cream would be better - but I didn't have any. Regular milk would be good too).

Then I ripped up some sage and threw it in (this made Zack complain. He hates big pieces of herbs. But I'm the cook and I'm too lazy to chop them, so he can just pick them out if he wants. And he does).

(I also threw in some nutmeg. You can kind of tell in the picture above. If I was Rachael Ray, this is where I would say, nutmeg is the thing that makes people go, "ooh, what IS that?" But I'm not Rachael Ray. She's a millionaire with four television shows. I'm just a poor scrub with wireless internet and an iBook). The pasta was done now, so I threw it in the pan.

Then I mixed it all up and tasted it. It needed more salt, so I added some and put it in my pretty pasta bowl from Target.

All ready to eat! All it needs is Parmesan cheese. Lots of it. Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For those of you who don't know, I love making themed meals (probably because I think I'm a messier, more-Jewish Martha Stewart who secretly dreams of having her own Food Network show). So for St. Patrick's Day, I decided to make what seemed like the ultimate Irish meal - Corned Beef and Cabbage. In previous years, my aunts have made this on St. Patrick's Day, so I decided, if they could do it, so could I. It actually was surprisingly easy. I used this recipe. I omitted the beets, because I'm lazy, but I put them elsewhere in my dinner (you'll see). Here's the beef all ready to go in the pot:

You can't quite tell from the picture, but it's an almost absurdly fatty cut. Which made it super delicious - but not that health-conscious. Oh well. So, I added 6 cups of beef stock to the pot, and let it simmer for 2.5 hours. Then I added these veggies:

I added way more onions than this. I really like onions. I would recommend just getting a large white or yellow onion instead of these pearl onion though. They all fell apart in the dish and turned to mush (really yummy mush - but mush that made me feel silly for taking the time to parboil and peel them). Anyways, I let the veggies simmer for another 45 minutes and then it was done.

While these things were cooking, I made a carrot beet salad that you can read about here. First you just peel some raw carrots and beets. Here are mine:

I cut my finger peeling the beets. Plus, they dyed my hand a silly shade of red. Oh well. Next you grate them up. I got to use my amazing KitchenAide Food Processor which I'm totally obsessed with, like an out of date hipster with a trucker hat (I can't come up with any better similes than that - how sad).

Then I just tossed it with some things I found in my pantry - White balsamic vinegar from Meredith, some olive oil, hot sauce, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Here it is all finished and blurry from my low quality camera:

It was really good. I also made cornbread to go with it (which I know, isn't Irish Soda Bread, but Zack doesn't like caraway seeds and Miriam doesn't like raisins and I was really tired of waiting for sourdough bread to rise). I got the recipe from The New Moosewood Cookbook again, which I'm rapidly falling in love with (Sorry, Zack).

I have leftovers for lunch today, which I'm excited about. Happy St. Patrick's Day! Go out, drink some beers and pinch anyone who's not wearing green.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


So last night, I finally saw some theatre. Zack and I went to see CATCH!, mostly because the Red Terror Squad was premiering a piece there and, hey, we like them (you should too - if you don't know who they are, check out their website). The new piece featured many interesting things (like stuffed cats and cornbread), but my favorite thing was Chris and Laryssa singing the song from A League of their Own (not the Madonna song, but the "batter up.....hear our call...anyone? Just me?). Amazing. There was also a cool piece from Witness Relocation. I love things that have really clear rules that I don't understand. Maybe because I like following rules. This probably reveals something about my personality, but chances are, you knew that already.

I'm going to take one short paragraph to include one pet peeve about the evening (and really, any show that does this). If your audience has been sitting in a cramped room with no real chairs for the past two and a half hours and they've seen all the pieces that they paid to see, do NOT tell them that the show is over and then trick them into sitting through a 20 minutes extra piece with yelling and fake blood and an upright bass. Chances are, the audience will get tired. And grumpy. And wonder why it is that they're out so late because they are secretly old women who sleep a lot.

But anyways.

I think half the fun of CATCH! is being in a room full of people you've known for the past two/four/seven years. It's nice to CATCH! up (I know, worst pun ever. I had to do it. I'm sorry). I've been searching for some sort of old ETW picture to post with this entry and.......I don't think I have any. Whoops. Send me old pics if you've got any.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Brunch at The Spotted Pig

This morning, my friend Josh and I went to brunch at The Spotted Pig. I've tried to go there before (stupidly, on a Friday night) and been scared away by the two hour wait. But today I figured, if we got there at 11am (which Elana informs me is "old lady brunch"), we should be fine. Here's the picture I took of the hanging pig outside the restaurant while I waited for Josh for 20 minutes.

We went inside, got seated right away and were immediately helped by one of the cutest waiters I'd ever seen. Not only was he adorable, he had a British accent. Josh wanted me to take a picture of him to show you, but I refrained. I took pictures of our food instead. I had the special brisket hash with poached eggs:

And Josh had pumpkin pancakes with chili maple syrup:

Both excellent. Then we splurged and got dessert - Banoffe Pie, which I thought would be bananas and coffee, but instead, was bananas and toffee. Yum!

All in all, a lovely experience. I've been going out a lot these past two days, but tomorrow it's back to cooking! And I might even see some theatre tonight.....who knows.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sweet and Savory Baked Goods

Hello again. Tonight I decided to make two recipes out of The New Moosewood Cookbook. This was one of the only cookbooks that my mother used when I was a kid, and recently, I've been on a veggie kick and decided to check it out of the library. It's a great old hippie cookbook, vegetarian, handwritten (or at least, made to look handwritten) and delicious. The two recipes that I decided to make were Polenta Pie and Old Fashioned Bread Pudding (since I've still got leftover sourdough).

First I made some polenta, which is just fancy grits, essentially. Here it is below:

Then you bake it in a pie plate for about 45 minutes. While the crust bakes, you saute some vegetables. I used green bell pepper, onion, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, and mushrooms. (I don't have any pictures of these parts....use your imagination.) Then you take the crust, spread some mozzarella over it, top it with the veggies, and then more cheese. I used fat free cheese which was a mistake. Fat free cheese? Not good. But the rest was good. Plus, I got to imagine what it would have tasted like with Bufalo Mozzarella. Amazing. It looked like this:

I took a piece out before I took the picture. Whoops.

Then I made bread pudding. Super simple! I cut up the leftover bread (the original flat loaf), and put it in a pan with some bittersweet chocolate chips. I mixed together 2 eggs, some milk, a little bit of sugar, salt and vanilla, then poured it over the bread and chocolate and baked it until it set. Here it is:

Miriam (she's my roommate) and I ate some of it before I took the picture. I got way too excited eating tonight and forgot that I had this blog which would work better with pictures of uneaten food. C'est la vie.