Thursday, July 24, 2014
It's been pretty hot the past few days in New York City and I've been pausing longer in front of the fridge to catch some coolness.
Truthfully the contents of the refrigerator were getting out of control from two shoots I did back to back last week and that was also making me pause.
Among the bounty, I had a few cucumbers and some avocados which sounded like a great combination to me, especially after I read an easy recipe on food52.com, one of my favorite new sites for all things food.
The idea of a cucumber and avocado soup became a minor obsession, so tonight I finally dragged it all out and starting blending. First I took the skin off 4 large cucumbers and cut them into big chunks and threw them into my new Ninja blender. Then I scooped out the insides of 2 large avocados and added that in and blended it up a little to give me some more room. Next I added in about half a bunch of watercress that I cut the ends off of, 8 scallions with the tops and bottoms cut off, a handful of fresh mint leaves, and then put in the juice from two lemons and a little bit of romaine lettuce to mellow it out. I blended it all up and tasted it and it honestly doesn't need a thing! It's smooth and creamy without being too creamy in consistency and I loved every cool bite of it.
EASY AVOCADO AND CUCUMBER SOUP
4 large peeled Cucumbers
2 large avocadoes
1/2 bunch of watercress (about 1 cup)
8 strands of scallions, white and green parts included
1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
juice from 2 lemons
Put it all in a blender and blend until smooth and serve refreshingly, deliciously cold.
Friday, January 24, 2014
This week was especially cold and on Tuesday as the snow storm began, I put on my sneakers and hot footed it down to Trader Joe's to make my Mother's and her mother's Chicken Soup recipe, inspired by a little inner competition against the 2nd Avenue Deli Chicken Soup which I had on Monday night.
I picked up a family pack of Chicken parts, some parsnips, fresh dill and a sack of Organic Yellow Onions. I already had carrots and celery at home and forgot the crucial sweet potatoes that my Nana used to put in and the parsley that my Mother reminded me about when it was already too late. Oh well, Thank God she's still here to remind me!
I began with a large pot of water and salted each piece of chicken liberally as I put it in the pot. I added chopped carrots, celery, parsnips and should have diced the sweet potato like Nana did and added it all to the pot. Each step reminded me of all the years I watched as my Mother made this soup...I quartered the onions and left the skin on like my Mama taught me and turned the gas up to let it all come to a boil, skimming the fat off the top as it boiled. (Another lesson from Mom.)
After the soup came to a boil, I let it simmer for about an hour or so, until the chicken was well cooked and falling off the bone and added the dill and would have added the parsley if I had it.
It was and is a simple and delicious soup to eat and share with someone you love.
To all you Mothers and Mother Lovers out there, this bowl's for you!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Monday, January 13, 2014
|A Stunning view of the clouds from the cafe at Fairway Red Hook|
Amanda's a vegetarian so I wanted to make sure she's getting enough protein, so we got a can of Cannellini beans, some quinoa and millet and a Chia seed cereal for her and she has an adorable three-year-old son that we picked up a package of chicken and apple sausage for. We also picked up some fruit and nut mix for her to snack on, some individual packs of vegetarian soup stock and a box
of roasted pepper and tomato soup to heat up in a hurry and some yogurt and a chia and blueberry yogurt combination that sounded divine.
|roasted root veggies, quinoa and snack size tureen|
Thursday, February 3, 2011
My friends and I started off with the Chili Crusted Calimari, served with Wasabi and Sriracha Chili dipping sauces. The texture was fantastic and light and they were gone instantly. We also shared the Special Bread Basket, fresh baked and created by Bart. In it were Cheddar Cheese Straws, an Herbed Pound Cake and an Herbed Baguette served with Herbed Butter. I can't even tell you how delicious it was, but my mouth is watering at the thought of it and I am very proud of myself for resisting the gift of more Cheese Straws that Bart offered to send me home with.
For dinner my friend Jonathan and I had the Grilled Hangar Steak with sauteed Kale and Onions and Mashed Potatoes, which is one of my favorite meals of all time and was done to perfection. The steak melted in my mouth and the potatoes had the right creamy and firm texture you want in a mashed potato. Dave had the vegan Soba Bowl served in a miso broth with loads of fresh veggies and was so big he didn't have room for dessert! The lovely Jade had Oscar's sliders, grilled and served on a soft roll with grilled onions, melted cheese and optional bacon and a side of fries that were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Our friend Tammy who joined us, is a local acupuncturist who has lived in the area for about 3 years and got the Vegetable Tart and an order of the Oxtail Risotto to take home for her lucky husband.
Jonathan judiciously left room for dessert by only eating half of his entree (which he had packed up to go and left for me to take home and enjoy the next day!) and ordered the Chocolate Raspberry Strudel served with fresh berries and whipped cream. Mike, our served wisely brought extra spoons and we all dove in to savor the sweet goodness. I had to take a second bite and everyone laughed except for Jonathan who had his hand out for me to hand the plate back!
I wish I could live a little closer to Bart and Jesse and come up to Oscar more often but I'll make sure to make the trip a little more often now that I know where they are. It was so good to see my old friends and even better to see what a sweet spot they've made for themselves in the heart of the most beautiful part of New York State.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
It was Christmas Eve and Shabbat this year, combining two of the oldest traditions in religion. In honor of the coziness of the winter, I decided to do a trial run of my new slow cooker Crock Pot with a delicious cut of Brisket I had ordered from my friends at Holton Farms this summer and frozen. I've never used a Crock Pot before but my friends all swear by them and recently I went to a meal where they'd used it to make a vegetarian Cholent, a stew traditionally made with meat, potatoes, carrots, onions and in Hungary and the "old country" they add whole eggs. I was enraptured by the stew and idea of it simmering all day and melding all the delicious flavors together, layering and deepening. I had to get a Crock Pot.
On my most recent trip to Costco, I picked one up for a job I was working on with the intention of making soup in it. I started making a sweet potato, butternut squash soup in it when I was working on set and got frustrated with the slowness of it. When I want to make soup to be made and eaten in an hour, I need speed. I put in butter, onions and garlic and expected them to sizzle and brown like I normally cook them, but no dice, this wasn't how it worked. In frustration, I put it in a regular soup pot and went on with my business, saving the Crock Pot for another time when I had more time.
I had the urge to give it another try last week and pulled my brisket out of the freezer to defrost. I picked up a bunch of carrots, a nice big onion and about 6 small Yukon Gold Potatoes and about 4 fat cloves of garlic that had been split from a head.
I chopped all my vegetables up and put them in the Crock Pot and browned the brisket which I had seasoned with coarse sea salt and ground pepper and then put that in on top of the veggies. I grabbed a partially empty bottle of Dijon mustard from the fridge and added some whole grain mustard, ground rosemary, oregano and apple cider vinegar and shook it up and then coated the brisket with it on top of the vegetables. Then I added about a half a bottle of Pinot Noir that had been sitting around for a while and smelled like it would lend itself to the cause quite nicely. I plugged in the unit, put the setting on Low for 10 hours and went and watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and had a glass of wine.
All night long as I slept the aroma of the brisket floated through my dreams. By the time I woke up, I was starving! In the morning I made Kasha according to the directions on the package and indulged in brisket and kasha for breakfast. It’s not traditional but this is my favorite meal of all time and as far as I’m concerned, can be eaten any time! Sorry there aren't any pictures but some things taste much better than they look!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Breezing through the store was always such inspiration for me when I lived on 57th Street, they really know the lure of visual impact in there and I always got suckered in. I had a short list tonight, just chicken breasts. There was a sampling of Rick's Picks going on and I went over to try some of the new products. I'm a big fan of the Smokra, the smoked okra and it plays a major starring role in my turkey chili, and up until now, was my secret weapon. I got to chatting with Deittra, one of the Rick's Picks staff and she told me about a recipe contest they were doing with the newest member of the family, the "hotties", a spicy sriracha pickle chip, all I had to do was come up with a recipe and send them a picture of myself with my dish. I was practically cooking on my way out the door.
I'm ridiculously lucky to have a wide variety of ingredients left over from my commercial shoots, so I pulled together the ingredients from my shelves and refrigerator and it wasn't long before I had it all assembled and marinated the chicken. I can't even begin to describe how delicious this dish came out to be!!!
Peanut Chicken and Rick's Picks hotties
1/4 cup lime juice
juice from one clementine
2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon of honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice Powder
1/4 cup of Toasted Sesame Oil
1 cup of Coconut Milk
1/2 jar of Rick's Picks hotties
1/2 english cucumber cubed
buckwheat soba noodles
Marinate about a pound of cubed boneless breast of chicken for 15 minutes to half an hour.
Cook up buckwheat soba noodles according to instructions.
Heat 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil in a heavy sauce pan and add chicken to brown it a bit, then pour in marinade, coconut milk and pickles and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Cube fresh cucumber and plate noodles with cubed cucumber, add chicken and sauce and enjoy!
I would have finished this with fresh cilantro if I had it, but I didn't and it was delicious all the same!