Do you have at least a few cookbooks that are actually quite good but you don’t turn to often enough, and for no good reason at that? I realized this was the case on Saturday while flipping through our copy of Gordan Ramsay’s Fast Food in search of an easy recipe for the week: it’s been ages since I cracked it open and looked through it, and I couldn’t tell you why that was the case. The layout is kind of strange–meal menus are interspersed with five recipes that fit within arbitrary categories–and some of the photos aren’t as gorgeous as one expects with food photography these days, but it hardly matters because the recipes are good and incredibly adaptable. Two are already in our regular rotation, and when the weekend rolls around and I’m planning for another Tuesday dinner, I’m going to make sure that more are at least given a proper tryout in the future. Read More
So how ’bout that earthquake on Tuesday, East Coast?
I’ll be honest–it freaked me out. I was on a call in my office and suddenly the building was moving, and we all emerged from cubes and offices to verify with each other that we didn’t all have massive cases of vertigo at exactly the same time. What freaked me out the most, though, was that it brought me back to a Friday morning two weeks ago: we had made the rather catastrophic mistake of betting on the George Washington Bridge to get us to New Jersey instead of our normal Tappen Zee–having had a few easy GWB crossings lately, surely trying to go over after rush hour on a Friday morning in the summer would be nothing simpler.
Oh, no. Not even a little bit. We were stuck on the Cross Bronx for two hours. That’s two-thirds of the time it should take to get to Pennsylvania from Stamford. To make matters worse, we were completely without recourse–it’s not like we know the major highways around the city all that well, because usually I do everything I can to avoid the highways around the city. So as we sat trapped on an overpass, Michael started losing his mind and then a kid in the car ahead of us started jumping up and down so violently that he made the entire overpass shake, which proceeded to make me a little panicky. The moment the car crossed the bridge and got on the New Jersey Turnpike was finally when I could breathe a sigh of relief. Read More
Last week the Mrs. was outta town for work, leaving me to my own devices. Said devices were less than thrilling, as E left me for the beginning of the work week only and save for some serendipitous short-notice primo sport seats, not much can go down without the wife in town on a Tuesday. Maybe it’s a lack of imagination on my part. Read More
[Ed.--So Michael has been getting used to his new job and our new routine and therefore hasn't been contributing anything here aside from cooking. Let's welcome him back today!]
Yes, I have a new job. It’s accompanied by an hour drive in either direction and while the trip itself is by no means awful, it does take a healthy bite out of my day. Long past seem the days of sauntering home in the time it took my ipod to play a single song, now it’s more like an entire CD or so. I’m certainly not complaining, [Ed.--he SO is!] but everything’s definitely different now.
I certainly have become aware of that certain sensation that I’ve read about over the years, where you get home and you don’t feel like cooking. Perish the thought, of course, but still, my brain’s cooking center hasn’t been firing quite has hot as I’m used to, but where there’s a will, there’s a way and when the going gets hungry, the hungry get going. Read More
One of my fondest memories of swag (aka Stuff We All Get) from my job is the seafood salad I enjoyed during my lab’s 2009 Christmas party. Every year we go to the Faculty House dining room and my very generous Boss buys us all a wonderful (buffet-style) lunch. That year on the salad table they were serving an amazing ceviche-style seafood salad and my friend and I totally OD-ed on it that year. No regrets. Read More
It started out so well: despite being stuck in traffic as we edged out of New York on Thursday morning on the Bolt Bus, we arrived in Boston only an hour late, and we knocked out most of our shopping for Friday night’s dinner at the Trader Joe’s in Cambridge. The plan was to then go out for dinner that night and then meet up with some of our hosts’ friends at a speakeasy (i.e. a lounge without a sign in which we had to wait 15 minutes to enter that’s become a thing in Boston). Everything was seemingly going to plan: dinner was great, the drinks were delicious–Drink is one of those places where you sip on drinks gingerly and slowly–and we went back to Somerville/Medford in good spirits. There may have been a little late-night snacking, but nothing too out of the ordinary.
[E here! As a bit of a preface, this trip came about because the truly lovely Kitchen Witch happened to be in town for BlogHer '10 a few months ago and I sent her a list of some of my favorite places to go in the city. Originally it was only meant to be a restaurant list, but as the months leading up to the event went by our ventures to restaurants were few and far between, and many were a hike from Midtown. So I also gave her a bunch of our favorite stores that would be within a reasonable subway/taxi ride for her, and she suggested meeting up on that Saturday at the Chelsea Market to wander around. We took her shopping at Buon Italia and the Manhattan Fruit Exchange; above is the result of that shopping trip. I know it seems wholly unseasonal to write about this now, but we wanted to give you guys a break from braises and stews and think happier, warmer thoughts of summertime--I know I can use them. Carry on!]
The summer is a great time to enter the Manhattan Fruit Exchange with an open mind and a pure heart and wait for the store to speak to you. The selection is constantly impressive and the prices are some of the best on the island. On a Saturday, I have no problem going there and just filling my basket with stuff until it gets too problematic to lug around. Cash only, so be prepared.
There are days when I really, really miss New Haven. Up until we found an amazing fish shop in Hell’s Kitchen I fiercely lamented not having a shop like #1 Fish Market in North Haven, and of course I longed for a nice glass of wine and some tapas at Barcelona. But Barcelona was not the only place that I missed; you see, New Haven is a little treasure trove of culinary delights, boasting more quality restaurants in its tiny footprint than one would ever expect. You want Cuban, Japanese, New American, French, Italian or Spanish food? New Haven got you. Want pizza? You better believe that New Haven got you. Want decadent, delicious, and gut-busting brunches? Well, do we see a pattern forming here? Read More
Life is like the surf, so give yourself away like the sea.
–Luisa, Y tu mamá también
Y tu mamá también, on the surface, is a road trip film: two teenage boys tempt an older cousin (by marriage) to a beach known as La Boca del Cielo (Heaven’s Mouth); problem is, they are pretty sure such a place doesn’t exist. But they go anyway, and as we travel with them from Mexico City to the rural coastline we learn about the code of the charloastro, empathize with the feelings of inadequacy that stem from being on display, and laugh when the inevitable happens and it’s not altogether satisfying. It’s also a coming of age film, both with regard to the two male leads (played brilliantly by real-life friends Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Benal) and to the country of Mexico itself; set right before the 2000 elections that saw the dominating party unseated after a 71-year run, we get glimpses of life in the country as it was then: random car stops, lavish parties, and the slow decimation of once-preserved natural coves. A balance of rich, poor, and those who fall somewhere in between–and a Spaniard who, like us, can’t always understand her companions and their youthful exuberance.
Sometimes I wonder if our readers take note of single commentary words in the title of the posts. Ceviche “finally emerges”? I have made this a few times now, and each time the wife dutifully photographs it and waits for me to wax philosophical on the majesty of macerated fish. The problem is that I was never fully taken with the picture, or the meal I made… something was always just not quite right.