Friday, October 31, 2008
Once again, Happy Halloween to all!
This week was quite busy here at eatmywords, at I'm proud to say that we reached some important milestones here on the blog, such as exceeding 1,000 hits in a single month!
The support thus far has been incredible, so thank you all for reading and leaving your love :)
This week, Red...
...introduced a new feature to eatmywords--recipes that are "good enough to eat... again!"
...spotted an eco- and wallet-friendly trend regarding cardboard and non-Ikea furniture!
...swooned over perfectly carved pumpkins
...reviewed a fantastic Turkish restaurant with very happy prices
and found many other ways to engage in Halloween food and decor festivities.
Join back next week for more tasty words!
Halloween canvas by etsy seller dreaminggiggles.
I can't imagine having a spread like this at a birthday party. It's almost too pretty to eat, but how delicious do all those homemade confections look?
These scarecrow cones could transition perfectly into wintertime snowmen, and with cupcakes at the base, they're unfairly tempting.
I would have never thought to accompany a wedding cake with an additional spread, but doesn't this look stunning?
Now if only she'd invite us to Trick or Treat... *sigh*
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The decor is Middle Eastern chic, with lucky eyes, arch-framed mirrors, and mosaic work transforming a small, long space into an inviting and intimate one. The food speaks for itself. We started with a hummus and falafel appetizer which we shared. Having spent 2 summers living in Israel myself, I have a fairly discriminate palette when it comes to such dishes. But I was more than pleased with the freshness and vibrancy of the hummus; the falafel was perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft inside. A wonderful start to the meal, indeed! But what came next--the lamb special--was the true highlight.
The menu claimed that our grilled lamb would come with a special sauce and fresh pita--but where was the pita? Ahh, the secret--the pita had been cut into cubes and mixed into the sauce, creating a whole new dimension of flavor that I'd never seen before. Soggy with the sauce, each piece of pita was a cloud of deliciousness that just evaporated upon consumption. And the sauce, which I can only guess had a light tomato base mixed with tzatziki, had a divinely smooth texture--I could have had some with basil as soup!
With just one appetizer and one entree, my friend and I were happily full. Could we have kept eating? Sure. Were we more than happy to stop where we did? Definitely. And did the check reflect our ordering style? You betcha.
928 Second Ave., New York, NY 10022
nr. 49th St.
But about a year ago, I realized that this time of year brings lots of fun little decor opportunities, and that's one aspect of the holiday that I'm happy to highlight. Martha (we're on a first-name basis now) has this great project for carving pumpkins or squash to look like lace. I don't think I'd have quite enough patience for this (nor the ability to carve in a straight line), but I can't believe that this is actually possible. More pictures and full instructions here.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Another thing that makes me happy is the interplay between food and decor--the way that food can be styled in the same way that an apartment can be, and the endless aesthetic choices that can be made when it comes to proper dishes and serveware. Hence, this little sauce pot, a perfect Muji find. Use it for its intended purpose of soy sauce, or change it up fill it with chocolate-raspberry sauce to drizzle over individual portions of dessert.
You can't deny that these little pots are simply adorable--they'd add something really special to any dish they were accenting. And best of all, they're less than 10 bucks apiece right here.
With that, I introduce you to... the gastrowall!
...isn't it beautiful?
"Gastrotypographicalassemblage," by Lou Dorfsman (year unknown)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Look, I know that if furniture was free, everyone would have it already. But then, why don't you have it already? You see, this site right here called FoldSchool gives you free instructions on how to make your own furniture out of cardboard. Perplexed? So was I. But it really is exactly what it sounds like--free furniture!
Just by following the free step-by-step instructions on the site, you'll find out how to make your own chairs, stools, and even rockers! And they have 3D-visualizations of the stuff as well as stability ratings so you know what you're getting yourself into. It's a really interesting concept.
But FoldSchool isn't the only one making cardboard furniture. A quick search on "cardboard furniture" yeilds tons of results these days.
In a recent NYTimes article in the On The Cheap section, Joyce Walder interviewed a college student at a design school who had made a bedframe out of stacked honeycomb cardboard. Do I sense a mini-trend in the making?
For more inspiration, look here, and godspeed on your cardboard furniture adventures--wherever they may take you!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Good Enough to Eat... Again! is a new recipe feature that will appear every other Monday. The inspiration? It's been a huge adjustment to cook for just myself, being used to living with someone else throughout college. One of the ways that I've learned to adjust is to simply continue cooking for two whenever I make dinner... and eating the second portion the next day. With Good Enough to Eat... Again!, you'll get some of my easy, fast, and affordable recipes that won't be a pain to eat two nights in a row. Promise.
So, with that... here's my super simple recipe for Green Curry Chicken.
3/4 lb. chicken, preferably pre-cut into strips... $3.00
1 can coconut milk... $2.50
Green Curry Paste (this will make many, many portions of the dish)... $3.50
1/2 cup jasmine rice... $1.00
A few leaves of basil (optional)... $1.00
total cost... $10.50
total cost per meal (with some ingredients left over for next time)... $5.25
once you have the curry paste, the cost is reduced to... $3.75!
What You Do...
1. Set rice to cook as normal.
2. Combine coconut milk and 2 teaspoons of curry paste in a large pan over medium-high heat. Allow the paste to dissolve completely and mixture to come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium.
3. Optional: throw in any vegetables that might be sitting in your fridge already. Bell peppers work particularly nicely with curry!
4. Add the chicken to the sauce, allow to simmer until cooked through.
5. Julienne strips of basil (or simply chop to desired thickness) and add to the mixture just before taking it off the heat.
5. Two ways to serve:
option a) Serve by spooning chicken and sauce over bed of rice; garnish with basil leaves for a little extra oomph.
option b) pour all that extra sauce into a bowl with your chicken, then serve rice on the side.
Friday, October 24, 2008
This week, Red...
...had a second bout of punctuational dysfunction, which quickly became a battle of temperaments rather than technicalities
...was treated to a meal by a master sushi chef, who trained Morimoto and brought sushi to the states almost 30 years ago
...filled you in on caffeine-related trivia
...preached the glory of the Dead Sea skin laboratories.
See you all on Monday--have a great weekend!
PS. What y'all didn't see was that this week, Red broke a total of 1500 readers over the span of 3 months of blogging! Thanks for reading so far, and please keep spreading the word!
First, Central Park will be home to this year's annual Pumpkin Festival, with a pumpkin patch setting up on Cherry Hill. The Parks and Recreation committee are running a ridiculous amount of events for the festival, including a scarecrow design competition, a 20-ft tall jack-o-lantern tower, hayrides, and a haunted house.
If that sounds far too wholesome for your weekend needs, Jimmy's No. 43 in the East Village is having a beer and chili benefit for New Orleans. I've never been, but apparently this place has been named the "best bar with good food," and for $20, you'll get all the chili you can eat and beer you can drink.
Lastly, Zaha Hadid has created a "mobile museum" which may as well be a huge ode to Chanel. The pod-looking structure that contains a Chanel-lover's dream exhibition has landed in Central Park--and the term isn't lightly used. The "building" looks more like a spaceship than anything else, but at least it's furnished with products that are fully familiar to New Yorkers far and wide. Whether you give a damn about Karl Lagerfeld or not, the architectural merit of this project might make the trip worthwhile. And, at worst, it'll just bring you a bit closer to those pumpkins.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Every time a friend goes to Israel, I ask for a tube back. It's a precious commodity, after all! And each year, I do go through the whole tube. I'm always very careful, because I'd hate to be caught without my treasure lotion... and I've always thought that the stuff is uber-expensive here in the States, having seen it retail for up to $80 a pop at various boutiques.
Not anymore, my friends.
Ahava is now selling their products on an Ahava US website--and my favorite product is but $17 a tube. Looks like I won't have to shell out cash for an airline ticket to Tel Aviv after all!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Not too long ago, a friend posted this nifty little image--and it makes a perfect link of the day for a morning like this.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
So onto that meal...
Chef Suzuki is a real pioneer when it comes to Japanese food in the States. He opened his restaurant in 1984, back when the thought of eating raw fish was downright disgusting. He invented the inside-out roll as a way of disguising seaweed and making sushi more palatable to Americans; he created "State" rolls such as the California Roll, the Philadelphia Roll, and others; and he came up with the idea of sprinkling sesame seeds on the outside of those rolls after eating enough burgers and staring at their buns (true story!).
Now that Americans have warmed up to true Japanese food, he's gone back to the real thing, and the omakase (or, in English, the tasting menu) that I had tonight is proof of what a genius he is. Oh, and did I mention that he trained Masaharu Morimoto?
What I found most interesting about the restaurant is the deep philosophy behind it. After tasting more kinds of fish prepared in more diverse ways than I've likely ever had before, I realized the truth behind something that Chef Suzuki told me: like human beings, each fish has its own character, and it must be prepared accordingly. Even two blue fin tunas that I was served tonight (and both in the form of sushi/sashimi) were totally different, in part because the little touches that Chef Suzuki makes are done with a thorough understanding of each fish's character. Different rice vinegars, styles of ginger, varietals of soy sauce, slicing techniques, or amounts of wasabi should be used on each kind of fish depending on its inherent chemical properties and individual makeup, and I've never seen someone take such an intellectual approach to sushi before.
Low and behold, the food was spectacular. Word to the wise--this isn't your restaurant if you don't like fish, nor is it for you if you're looking for a surf and turf after your sushi course. But nonetheless, Chef Suzuki is onto something huge, and I'm so excited to have him as a client. Feel free to check out his website here.
PS. For some strange reason, my keyboard seems to be working now! Finally (I hope), my keyboard woes are behind us all.
PPS. Apologies for the crappy images, but never would I have dreamed that I'd be writing about this man... hence my lack of a camera at tonight's dinner. Please, just use your imaginations :)
Monday, October 20, 2008
finally, finally--the periods are fixed. after a long week without my favorite kind of dot, the handy-dandy sony man came and replaced my keyboard with one that is far whiter--and less lacking in essential punctuation--than my old one. but, alas, all is not yet well with red's computer.
oh, no, no, no.
after getting back from a weekend with the girls in the countryside--also known as new jersey--i discovered the newest plague to affect my keyboard. perhaps you can guess so far. no, you say. ok, fine, i'll spill the news. the shift keys--the keys that trigger question marks, exclamation points, parentheses, and colons, not to mention capital letters--are the latest to fail.
ah, but the sony man insists--it must've been a glitch with the installation. someone will be there soon.
and eatmywords is on hold, once again, due to the unfavorable fortune bestowed by the punctuation gods.
Friday, October 17, 2008
This week, Red...
...had technical issues concerning essential punctuation marks
...savored the bounties of fall with an apple picking extravagaza
...gave you two different ways of using this season's apples
...had a great laugh about political fundraisers that mock Sarah Palin
...gave you her prized recipe for TWB's signature apple pie.
Photo courtesy of http://www.herdaily.com
This is one kind of latte art:
And the other is a whole lot more conceptual: finding non-coffee substances that make creative spins on the latte (and that still taste good!).
Flour bakery, a gem in the South End of Boston, is pioneering a new kind of latte beverage that's gaining quick popularity: the Rooibos Latte. Rooibos is an African Red Tea famous for its antioxidants and healing properties. It's a miracle for an upset stomach, and any health-freak's best friend. But in latte form, it's a whole other ballgame. I don't like my tea sweetened or with milk usually, but this was a great change of pace for even my traditional tastes.
At Flour, they don't use coarse Rooibos, which normally looks like this:
Instead, they have the coarse Rooibs finely ground so that the texture of the latte is perfectly smooth and just right.
So next time you find yourself wanting a little pick-me-up, see if your nearest cafe has caught on the trend--I hear it's spreading quite quickly!
PS. The laptop technician is coming today! The period will finally return to eatmywords on Monday morning! Be excited!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
TWB's Perfectly Simple, Perfectly Delicious Apple Pie
For the Crust:
2 Cups flour
1 3/4 sticks butter
1 tbsp margarine
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup ice water
For the Filling:
6-8 apples, depending on size, cored, peeled, and sliced
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon (optional)
1 egg (also optional, for egg wash)
Combine all the dry ingredients for the crust in a bowl (that's really just the flour and salt, unless you're compelled to add sugar to the crust)
Cream in the butter, add margarine and cold water, and mix together (you can do this by hand; no fancy tools necessary!)
Knead dough until it comes together nicely, then separate into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other
Wrap each piece in clip wrap and refrigerate for an hour
In a large mixing bowl, toss the apples with the sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and zest until the apples are nicely coated
Roll out the larger piece of dough and carefully place it into a pie pan, allowing extra dough to flop over the edges (this helps when you're going to seal the pie)
Pour in your apple filling
Roll out the smaller piece of dough and carefully cover the pie, using and excess dough to make pretty shapes and cutouts for decoration
Make sure to properly seal the pie by pinching together the sides, and then poke some small holes into the pie so that it can vent while cooking (you really don't want to deal with the mess in your oven otherwise!)
If you want your pie to be pretty and shiny, brush an egg wash (that's just some egg white for you beginners) over the top of the pie
Bake at 375 for about 45 min to an hour, or until crust is golden
Let cool (but only a little bit so that you don't burn yourself!) and enjoy!
Want to look like Sarah Palin? Fine by them, but your $75 haircut will pay for a $75 donation to Obama. Oh, and there's also something about donating to pro-choice group Planned Parenthood in there. Too funny! It's great to see people using such a great sense of humor to advocate good causes...
PS. Don't be too excited about the reappearance of periods... Red is just taking advantage of a fully-functioning office keyboard! More to come tonight, with more grammatically incorrect punctuation marks.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Look at those amazing pictures! They're so nice, I just have to post them below*
Now don't they look divine?
There are always those things you never knew you needed--that is, until you saw that they existed and then you wonder why you've been living without it for so long*
Enter King Arthur Flour's silicone egg poachers, which look shockingly like some cute mise en place prep dishes I saw at Food Emporium last night***
Personally, I've always been really skeptical about different egg poaching methods* Some say you can add white vinegar to boiling water, swish it around into a vortex, and just drop the egg in, but that just seems messy and unreliable to me* Have I tried it? No, perhaps not--instead, I have a plastic ziplock bag method that tends to work just fine* But even still, the aesthetic of perfectly poached eggs is compromised, and this makes it difficult for me to pretend I can make restaurant-quality Eggs Benedict at home*
OK, OK, maybe this is just a big rant about my undying need for eggs benedict, but nonetheless, here are the silicone egg poachers that will rectify all my brunch issues (and perhaps yours, too?) with one quick spin* As the website says, you just grease, crack, drop, and float on top of some boiling water for perfect poached eggs every time*
$11*95 for two, right here! (See how ubiquitous damn periods are? This fiasco is really buggin' me!)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
And so the post begins_ _ _
Where I grew up, the only indicator of fall was the start of the school year_ The leaves didn't change colors, the weather didn't cool, and the supermarkets never made a big deal out of squash_ Seasons are one of the reasons why I love living in the Northeast, and apples are one of the reasons why I love the fall_ This past weekend, I had the wonderful pleasure of going apple picking with TWB and a bunch of his new friends from med school_
We bonded, we ate, we climbed, and occasionally came close to losing our shoes in the mud (OK, maybe that was only me)_ But the best part was coming home with a huge bag of apples waiting to be turned into pie_ _ _
If you're lucky, TWB's famously perfected recipe for apple pie will grace the pages of this blog sometime very soon! (wink, wink!)
But before I head out for the evening, I wanted to share the coolest kitchen gadget that I've seen in a while--I'm calling it the Apple WIZARD!
This guy cores, peels, and slices apples in one swift go_ And, as TWB noted, it's pretty impressive how little resistance you're met with when the apple meets the blade_
The Apple Wizard, also known as the Apple Peeler-Corer in Boring-Name-Land, is available right here at Williams Sonoma_
Stay tuned for more on apples, including the perfect pie recipe and a link of the day for tomorrow that'll help you use up the rest of your apples (post-pie, of course)!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Red is having major technology issues today! Among other things, her period key on her keyboard does not work! Hence many exclamation points! Please bear with her while she figures out what has happened in the very strange land of Technology Mishaps!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Though his traditional bright-colored, vibrant compositions are always entrancing to look at, I'm loving the way that he's begun to play with monochromatic palettes and the various possibilities of one single food product. These two below, with cabbage and prosciutto taking center stage, are brilliant expression of the gorgeous textures that Mother Nature feeds us!
Photos courtesy of Carl Warner. Check out all his work on his super cool website right here!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
This one is from Roboboy's shop--and it's made by the slightly older sister to 8-year-old owner Roboboy, who draws and designs all the cards! The outside says "I'm sorry," but the cutest thing is the inside, which reads, "Don't I look it?"
A less 8-year-old appropriate version, I think this one is just hysterical. There's no better way to break the ice of an apology than through laughter. Plus, the letterpress technique and the super cool vintage-feeling font and graphic give these cards a fun 1950's feeling that I just love. Available at PressaRussa's etsy store right here.
Finally, this is the definite cutie of the bunch. I love the childishness of the expression paired with the seriously sad face on the little bird. By Smitten Invitations--quite possibly one of my favorite etsy shops. Check it out!
And to my dear readers, if I have faulted you at all over the course of the last year, please take this as my formal apology!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Anthropologie has these awesome wooden letters on sale right now for $3.95 a piece. I'm just brimming with ideas of how to use them... please feel free to share yours!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
To go along with today's sweet theme, check out this piece on NYC's best brownie.
Super Simple Noodle Kugel
adapted from Bon Appetit
8 ounces wide egg noodles
1 cup dark raisins
5 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups whole milk
3 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
Cinnamon to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread uncooked noodles over bottom of prepared dish and sprinkle with raisins. Whisk eggs, sour cream, butter, cinnamon and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Whisk in milk and pour mixture over noodles. Let kugel stand 5 minutes.
2. Mix cornflakes and brown sugar in bowl; sprinkle evenly over kugel.
3. Bake kugel until set in center, about 1 hour. Cut kugel into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Enter Maryam of MyMarrakesh, a blog I've loved for a long time and mentioned on here before. She's been spending some time away from her idyllic Moroccan home to report back on one of the darkest and scariest places on earth: Rwanda. The genocide there has been going on for so long that our own media outlets have simply deemed it "old news" at this point. But for cruelty this intense, there needs to be a voice of reason and a beacon of light.
I have never been so moved by blog-writing as I was when I read this post by Maryam last Friday, so now I'm urging you all to read it too. At worst, it's gorgeous writing. At best, it's a rousing call to action for those who need it most.
Please, please, please read Maryam's stories and, if you can, find the generosity in your hearts to do something. If you can donate, Maryam has specified how to do so on her page. If you, like me, have been far too beaten by this economy to donate before the holiday season, spread awareness on your own blogs in hopes that some of your readers can help as well. If our current presidential candidates are as in touch with grassroots efforts as they claim to be, maybe we can spread the word far enough to make this issue rise back to the top of the priority list. Really, this is the kind of change that we can all get behind.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Let's keep politics out of it and turn to the next most important issue--style on the campaign trail. This new blog is documenting the Obamas--particularly their leading lady Michelle--and her awesome style. Did you know that she's been working with Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue, to look as great as she does? Check it out and grab some inspiration--at least maybe we'll get a "change" from those nasty leggings that won't go away.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Do you ever wake up in the morning and look out the window, unsure of what the skies hold in store for you? Do you constantly question the accuracy of Weather.com and know that Murphy's Law will work against you no matter what decision you make?
Fret no longer--tell Umbrella Today what time you're heading out the door and where you live, and it'll remind you when you need an umbrella based on your local forecast. Or if you feel really reluctant about handing out your phone number (or, like me, worry about being woken up on weekends), bookmark the site and a big YES or NO will show up each morning when you inquire about your umbrella needs.
Certainly came in handy for my first day of work today! That's right... first day of work! Woohoo!