Snapshot of Saturday Night

22 Mar

Maison Premiere. Bar / Oysters.

Bedford Avenue Brooklyn.


A Day in the Life (of my grocery cart)

28 Feb

Peeking into other people’s refrigerators or the contents of their grocery cart is always so interesting. And yes, I also watch people’s food at restaurants as it’s brought to their table. What can I say? I’m curious about other people’s eating habits. That’s why I figured I’d let you have a peek into mine this week. I planned a week’s worth of recipes, that would a) feed my family of four b) provide dinner/lunch during work or class c) focus on a vegetarian diet.

Last night I sat down and figured out what recipes I wanted to make (while watching the Oscars) and this morning I went shopping.

First Stop: Trader Joes

Grapeseed Oil

2 cans of diced, no salt added tomatoes

TJ Rustic Pomodoro Sauce

Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

Low Sodium Organic Chicken Broth

Frozen Peas

TJ Veggie Burgers

2 packages cremini mushrooms

Red and Green Artisan Lettuce

Romaine Hearts



2 packages of organic green peppers

1 red, 1 orange pepper


Country Loaf of Seven Grain Bread

Applegate sliced turkey meat

TJ Natural Chicken breast, individually packaged

Pesto Chicken & Turkey Sausage

Chevre goat cheese

Parmigiano Reggiano

Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Dried tropical fruit mix

Whole wheat pizza dough

Total $ = $80.48

Stop 2: King Kullen ( Because TJ’s produce section was lacking today)

3 Pink Lady Apples

Package Baby Arugula

2 Parsnips

3 Eggplants

3 Beets

2 Jalapeno Peppers

1 Red onion

2 Butternut Squash

2 packages multigrain Eggo waffles

1 package grapenuts cereal

Bob’s Red mill thick rolled oats

1 can of cannellini beans

2 cans of black eyed peas

1 bag of dried chickpeas

I can of crushed tomatoes

1 can of pineapple juice

Pack of multivitamins

Pack of razors

Total $= 78.06

Our house’s staples of milk, eggs, baby spinach and bananas had been purchased the day before.  For my purchases, the most expensive items were the vitamins, razors, and chicken breasts.

Recipes planned are:

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata; Vegetarian Moussaka; Pizza Supreme; Chickpea Chili; Oh So Good Granola Bars; Creole Stuffed Peppers; Bulgur, Arugula and Cannellini Bean Salad; Shredded Parsnip and Beet Salad.


A Riddle

15 Feb

A riddle for you on this Tuesday afternoon: what do a 17th century troubadour, a man in a banana suit and cookie monster all have in common?

The answer is they are all subway musicians! Over the past two weeks I saw the my 17th century friend uptown on the downtown one platform, strumming a guitar with a mead tankard hanging from his belt. The banana and cookie monster actually played a duet together in Penn station. In case you were curious, Cookie monster plays the xylophone and banana’s are fond of the stand up bass. (Actually, they were really good).


Just a day in the life of a commuting grad student. Another normal day? Doing lots of reading while your muffins bake in the oven.


These muffins are lightly adapted from The New American Plate’s Flaxseed Raisin muffins. I subbed in whole wheat flour, raw turbinado sugar, and added a 1/2 tsp of all spice. I also used plain yogurt instead of buttermilk. These will be my go to breakfast (or snack) for the next few days,  as I finish reading about cognitive flexibility in the drawings of bilingual children.

Back to Florence

2 Feb

A break from regularly scheduled posting to bring you the amazingness that is the Google Art Project. Visit a museum anywhere in the world, zoom in on works of art. I’m not saying that looking at art through a computer is at all the same but this is pretty damn awesome.

See you Monday, I’m at the Uffizi!

Winter Doldrums

1 Feb

The amount of snow still on the ground is ridiculous, there isn’t any space to put the results of the next impending storm. I decided to spare you a photograph of the piled up mounds of snow because it just bums me out. The accumulated snow and the reading I have to do for grad school has me hibernating inside my home like my dog, Riley. Without fail, every morning Riley curls up on the chair in our family’s living room with his tail touching his nose.

How long til I can have days with views like this again?

In art news, I have 20 days to check out the exhibit Glorious Sky: Herbert Katzman’s New York. To be followed up with a viewing of this show at the Met. Finally, I found this article discussing how the current situation in Egypt may impact their cultural treasures.

I also have less than a week to figure out a delicious, veggie inspired party food for Superbowl Sunday.

Any suggestions?



7 Facts

24 Jan

Courtney over at Pancakes and Postcards bestowed upon me this award (Thanks Courtney!):

As a recipient, I’m to share seven facts about myself and tag 15 bloggers. I don’t think I have 15 new and upcoming blogs that I read (something I should probably work on), so I’ll just list the facts:

1. I was rather obsessed with the Lord of the Rings when the movies came out while I was in high school.  My cousin and I even met some hobbits on two separate occasions: Sean Astin at a book signing and Billy Boyd with his band Beecake.

2. While working as a tour guide on campus, I got locked in a stairwell (not with a tour group thankfully) with my coworker. We left frantic voicemails on our boss’ phone, only to discover that actually we were not locked in at all. oops! Our boss thought it was hilarious.This was not the first exploit to occur while touring; our year’s tourguides ended up compiling a book of ridiculous tour stories.

3. My 21st birthday had a pirate theme.This is my cousin and I modeling our hats, she’s the one with the eyepatch, I”m the one pretending to have a hook for a hand.

4.  My cousin and I also went in the shark tank at the Riverhead Aquarium, it was pretty awesome even though we originally put our wetsuits on backwards.(If my boyfriend reads this, I’m sure he’ll find that information hilarious since he bought me a wetsuit for my birthday last year).

5. I ate my way through Florence in the summer of 2007. Prior to this trip, I never cooked, never ate anything besides plain bagels and ravioli, and never drank wine. Now is a completely different story.












6.My favorite movie is You’ve Got Mail. I now work and go to school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and every time I walk the streets I like to pretend I’m Kathleen Kelly.

7. I really miss my studio from senior year of college. In this photo, not only can you see a painting but if you look closely you can see the inspirational quotes my professor used to leave, an it’s okay from Glamour magazine that my friend Ness left, and a collage of a creepy yoga dude made of photocopies of said yoga dude that my friend plastered all over my studio. This was after I had covered her studio wall with giant photographs of actor Lee Pace.

Travels in the Boroughs

18 Jan

During the last few days, I’ve ventured to certain areas in the boroughs that I’ve previously never been to: Williamsburg and Flushing.

Thursday night, I accompanied my friend to her work dinner party at the restaurant Cubana Socíal in Williamsburg. As soon as I crossed the threshold, I fell in love with the ambiance of the place. I felt like I was in 1930’s Havana due to the dark wood contrasting with cream walls, dim lighting and the talented guitarists playing in the middle of the space.  I really enjoy the feeling of being transported to another place in time, especially when it coincides with delicious food.

We sampled almost everything on the menu, but the standout for me was the kale and avocado salad. When I’ve made kale at home, I’ve never really loved the taste of it but this salad is converting me. I have plans to go back and enjoy it this summer at Cubana Socíal, when the doors are opened and summer air fills the place.


Sunday morning I did something that several of my friends used to do every Sunday morning while we were in high school. I even texted one of them this Sunday to state, “guess what I did!”

I went….for dim sum.

My boyfriend and I drove in, found parking, and then waited in a throng of people in the stairwell of the restaurant. The hostess called out numbers, and once we heard ours we were able to scale the stairs and enter the filled restaurant. This is where my culinary tale becomes scant on fact, for I cannot actually tell you the names of anything I ate.

We didn’t order off a menu, just pointed to steamer baskets on the constantly passing carts. I didn’t question it; I just drank an entire pot of tea, had a fantastic time, and consumed everything.

Everything that is, except for the chicken feet.


11 Jan

Graduate school begins next week, and with it begins a disruption to my meals. It’s common knowledge among friends and family, that I need to eat and I need to eat often. But when I’m looking for a meal as I wait for a train or a class to begin, I grab the nearest palatable thing. This in no way means that something is something healthy.

I figure the only way to circumvent this issue to to do what all those magazines, books and blogs tell me to do: plan ahead.

Each weekend I plan on creating a list of recipes and meals that will either freeze or travel well, so that I always have something available. Today’s was a batch of Martha Stewart’s Apple Squash Soup. I had higher hopes for this soup, but a side salad and dollop of greek yogurt made it a much more respectable lunch.


After several months hiatus from visiting a museum for pleasure, rather than work, I visited the Whitney to view their Edward Hopper show. Already a Hopper fan, I enjoyed seeing his work set among that of his contemporaries.

His works of solitude and isolation, commentary on the human condition, are somehow much more palatable than more contemporary artists’ reflections on the darker aspects of life. I may feel this way because his use of light, color and shape are more applicable to my personal work, but my friend MaryEllen and I left the other exhibits feeling more depressed then inspired.

Hopper on the other hand made me really focus on the way light fell on the apartment buildings as I walked to the subway. I earned more personally and artistically from just a few of his paintings than from every gallery I visited in Chelsea earlier that day.


4 Oct

Sometimes in order to get dinner on the table quickly, you have to enlist some help. This week’s slow cooker recipe, Thai Style Pork Stew, was made through the joint effort of two members of my household.

The previous night I made the teriyaki sauce. Yes, that’s right…I made some. Thanks to google and everyone who posts recipes online, I was able to make the missing ingredient. Then in the morning I threw in the 3 pork  chops ( slightly less than what the recipe called for; but it’s all we had. My grocery list planning was not up to par this week) and necessary ingredients.

Then after switching it to low, I ever so blatantly laid out the recipe next to the slow cooker with all the other ingredients that needed to be prepped AFTER it was done cooking. Thanks for picking up the hint Dad!

So far, this is my favorite slow cooking. The two chilis we tried were weak, and I still have to make my family’s favorite one. But this pork stew? Going into the recipe rotation.

Channeling Flatbread

27 Sep

What I am about to describe to you may sound slightly gross, but trust me on this one. Pesto, Red Grape and chicken pizza. Now, grapes may sound like an odd pairing for pizza but the heat of the oven really brings out the sweetness and they taste amazing with the other elements.

If you grill the chicken the day or night before when you’re making another meal, this pizza will take about 15 -20 minutes to make. Perfect “coming home to dinner after commuting” meal. It’s from a cooking light recipe, but you don’t even need a recipe to figure out how to make this.

I simply used a Boboli ready made thin crust pizza, topped it with pesto, shredded chicken, halved red grapes and cheese. My pesto was made the other day from my 2 foot tall basil plant (it was taking over my garden! my other herbs have barely seen sunlight all season because of the basil jungle), but store bought is just as easy to use. I used preshredded low fat mozzerella cheese, but freshly grated the parmesan.

15 minutes later, pizza!

The pairing kind of reminds me of something I would find at my favorite pizza place, Flatbread Pizza Company. But it’s much more convenient to make this rather than fly over 12 hours to get it.