31 August 2011

probars follow up

They sent me these as a thank you for the shout out.

This was fun because I got to try a bunch of new flavors-- but my favorites are still Art's Original, and Superfood Slam, I also now add Whole Berry Blast to that list. Apple Cinnamon Crunch and Cran Lemon Twister are pretty good too.

I love those ProBar people.

25 August 2011

shrink wrapped vegetables

This is a common practice at delis and bodgeas across New York. I see it all the time and I try to laugh while I reason out the logic. I just do not understand*.

In the end I do laugh about it, even though it breaks my heart a little.

*No, I "get it"-- it's "sanitary" and maybe someone feels this keeps these items "fresh", but I don't understand why this is a common practice. It's just so wrong.

23 August 2011

today's lunch bento

Local romaine and purslane salad with dill, black beans, sungold cherry tomatoes, kirby cucumber, toasted pecans, hemp seeds, and Andrew's bee pollen.

22 August 2011

bike riding!

I've tried a lot of new things this year-- many of which took overcoming a certain fear or apprehension. I took an urban beekeeping class, I've been attempting to learn Italian via podcast, I'm training for my first marathon, I tried out a "grown up job", and I got a bike!

I've been nervous for a long while about having a bike in the city, and have also resisted because I truly do like walking around, but when I got a steady job in my neighborhood, the mile walk wasn't bad, but sometimes after 10-12 hours in the kitchen I just wanted to be home already. A few years back I did make a shallow attempt to get a bike, but had a hard time finding a used one that fit my small just-shy-of-5-feet self and wasn't really interested in spending much money to get one built for me.

I love my bike! After contacting John, the guy behind GreatUsedBikes.com, he set me up with an awesome vintage cruiser and even put the baskets on the back per my request. The bike has given me a sense of freedom and opportunity I haven't felt in a long while, and I've even hooked up with other bike-having friends for exploratory bike rides around Brooklyn and Queens (I haven't ventured into Manhattan yet), and even did a [slightly spirit-crushing] ride to the Rockaways (36 miles round trip on not-entirely-safe roadways). Even being able to get around my own and neighboring 'hoods has been a wonderful asset-- I like how small and accessible it can make this city feel.

It's been an entirely liberating experience, and such a joy to recapture the freedom I had as a kid riding around my neighborhood. I'm still get a little jittery every time I go out, but I have my helmet, my bell, and my lights, so most importantly, I'm also having fun every time.

16 August 2011

new job. over.

So the ones of people who make up my avid readers may have noticed my absence from about April until about now. My last words were about this new job I got as the chef at a new restaurant/cafe in my neighborhood, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 

The Modca Cobb -- one of my favorite menu items!
After working doctor-type hours (10-14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week), the project is over. In mid-July, the owners made a decision to close the kitchen (not at all to do with the food) and that was that. I created a delicious menu of healthy, organic, and locally sourced foods and between that, hiring and training staff, and just trying to create a flow I indeed wore myself out.

It was an exhausting few months, and I'm happy to have had this experience and consider the whole thing an experiment in having a truly full-time job for kind of the first time. And now I'm looking forward to moving on to something new. Maybe something entirely new-- as that just seems to be what I'm up to this year. I wasn't always working in food, you know? It might be nice to see what other of my talents and skills have been laying in wait... 

11 August 2011

recipe: slow roasted tomatillo poblano salsa

This salsa uses fresh, in-season ingredients and is quite simple to make, though you will need a food processor or blender. This also freezes well so you can heat things up well into the winter. Tomatillos have a nice tart, citrusy taste reminiscent of lime.

Slow Roasted Tomatillo Poblano Salsa
Makes 2-3 cups

1lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 lb. poblano peppers (add a couple of jalepenos or a serrano if you want it spicier)
peeled cloves from 2 heads of garlic
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 425ยบ and prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment or non-stick spray. Wrap the garlic cloves in a piece of foil and place in the corner of the baking sheet. Spread the whole peppers on the rest of the tray and roast for about 30-40 minutes or until the peppers are browned and tender-- you may turn them over once during the roasting time. Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough so that you can handle them.

In the meantime, bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add in the tomatillos, return to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 7-10 minutes, or just until the tomatillos begin to split their skins. Drain and set aside to cool.

Remove the stems from the peppers-- you should be able to pull them straight out, some of the seeds will come out as well. Leaving the rest of the seeds is fine. Combine the tomatillos, garlic, de-stemmed peppers, and salt into the blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add water to preferred consistency. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Use as a sauce for enchiladas, taco sauce,  for dipping, or anything you like salsa on.

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