Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Things Alex And I Have Been Cooking Recently

Here are some things Alex and I have been cooking recently!

First, and best:

Black bean tostadas! Oh, man, so much Mexican-food-deliciousness and California-nostalgia all wrapped up into one amazing meal! We shredded our own farmers' market lettuce, cooked up some beans and tomatoes, made our own guac, fried some tortillas, and life was golden!

We were very excited about our tostadas.
Alex's was messier than mine.

Later, we made latkes in the same oil. Latkes are good for all times of year, it turns out! Also, Jamie had never had a latke, so we had to remedy that, because she was of course missing the best food on the planet. Well, the best food tied with tostadas and blintzes. Fortunately, we made blintzes the day before yesterday, so we have completed the trio! Oh, well, also they are probably tied with or slightly behind homemade macaroni and cheese. But that doesn't count because it is in a whole other league and also because we haven't made it recently. Anyway, I will get to the blintzes later, because I am trying to go in chronological order.

So, also, we went to the fancy cheese store and bought bleu cheese, and I put it with honey on sourdough toast, and that was delicious and beautiful.

I especially like it on my butterfly wings plate!

I made a chocolate mousse pie but was sad when somebody else ate the last piece, so then Alex made his first chocolate mousse pie and decorated it with a chocolate Easter egg and the surprise found therein!

My chocolate mousse pie

Alex's chocolate mousse pie!

We made chile relleno casserole, which would have been good if it hadn't been so salty.

I am mixing up the egg whites, cheese, and chiles!

We made spinach torte, which was incredibly delicious mainly because all the egg and cheese covered up the spinach taste! The layers of dough were very difficult to roll as thin as necessary, but it was a fun time trying.

The six eggs were basically unnecessary,
but they were very silly and fun!

The finished product was

We made Welsh Rarebit, which is super good mainly because it is primarily made of cheese, also with some beer and egg, and put it on sourdough. We added apple and broccoli, as per Moosewood.

There is one and a half cups of cheese
on my plate alone.

With the rarebit, we made beet horseradish salad, which is weird and looks pretty freaking gross and also exciting, but which tastes pretty darn good. Alex likes it even more than I do, which is cool because he thinks beets taste like dirt and normally won't touch them. He is silly. Beets are nature's candy!

Yum yum, magenta!

We made blintzes, which, yummmmmmm. I found some farmer cheese at the farmers' market (how appropriate!) and we used that. I don't think I'd ever had real farmer cheese blintzes before; I think usually people use cottage cheese and/or ricotta, because farmer cheese is not sold in stores because they haven't figured out a convenient way to mass produce it. I still don't know what hoop cheese is, though. Also, it turns out that crepes are really really easy to make, especially when you know you are going to fry them again so you don't have to flip them! Now we can make them any time!!

Blintzes are beautiful, golden, and so easy!

Also, I made a crepe with the caramel sauce
that we had made as an ice cream topping
but cooked too long
so it was too hard
until I heated it inside the crepe.
Also, I sprinkled the top with cinnamon.
Best dessert.

And most recently, we made risotto! I was intimidated, because risotto is what they always screw up on Hell's Kitchen because apparently it is really hard. And while it is entertaining to see Gordon Ramsay throwing plates around the kitchen, it is less pleasant to be stuck at home with a gooey burned mass of gross. And it is true that it requires constant attention, and it is tricky to know when exactly the rice is "dried out" enough for it to be time to add more stock, and also you have to stir it more than it says because it sticks like crazy. However, it worked beautifully! We used the Moosewood recipe and also added some mushrooms, asparagus, and sausage, all from the farmers' market. It is a beautiful goldenrod color, and also excellent eating! Hearty and yummy. And the pan wasn't even hard to clean, after a little soaking!

So that is all. Next up: Alex's birthday cake. Which is actually my birthday cake recipe, from Aunt Carolyn! I'm excited to try my hand at this six layer thing, and also this highly complicated fudge frosting....

In Which I Eat A Lot

So it has been a while since I posted! This is mainly because I have been so busy actually doing the things I should be posting about! Also, because I type for a living, so sometimes I don't really want to type for fun also. But since I just submitted a guest post for Ya'el's awesome new blog (be sure to read her first post, which is both insightful and fun!) and she graciously included a link in it to this blog right here, I thought I ought to have some recent activity so as to look like an interesting person!

So here I am.

Anyway, one of the things that I have been doing since I last posted is hanging out with Cheryl! She came to visit for several days, which was very fun. Her visit included such delightful activities as eating at Pam Real Thai at 49th and 9th, eating at Chocolate By the Bald Man; and eating at Alice's Tea Cup!

We like to eat, I guess.
We ate a lot of delicious tea food at Alice's Tea Cup!
Also, drank a lot of tea!

We also saw shows! We saw Wonderland, which was, not to go into too much detail, terrible.* We also, to make up for it, saw The Book of Mormon, which was freaking awesome in every way, to the point that I did not even mind standing for two hours (we - Cheryl, Alex, our friend Shawn, and I - got the last four standing room only tickets for that night). It was riotously funny, shockingly truthful, inspiring, moving, catchy, fun, serious, and, whatever anyone tells you, actually a pretty biting look at religion, especially Mormonism. Although apparently Mormons like it too, so who knows. I downloaded the first song for free by "liking" it on facebook, and I highly recommend that you do the same. You will be instantly in love.

Anyway, another thing I have been doing since I last posted is hanging out with Alex's brother and sister-in-law, Ben and Tara. They live and work in Australia, but were able to come visit the States for two weeks in April, during which time they spent a day and a half in New York with Alex and me! This was also a very fun time. Their visit included such delightful activities as eating at a Persian place on the Upper East Side, eating at some diner-y place in Times Square, eating at Chocolate By the Bald Man, and eating at an empanada place in Hell's Kitchen. Also drinking at Blockheads and at Vynl, a martini bar also in Hell's Kitchen.

We like to eat and drink, I guess.

Also, we saw Anything Goes! It was not very good, except for the big dance numbers. I mean, it's not a very good show to begin with, and because the plot 100% depends on this ridiculous racist twist at the end it is impossible to make it acceptable for contemporary audiences, so actually I'm not sure why it has been revived in the first place, since there isn't anything in it that is so good that it outweighs what you are saying by putting up this corny, dated, racist schtick of a musical. The only complex character is Reno Sweeney, and Sutton Foster, while very talented, is completely wrong for her, so that didn't work out either. She is great at plucky and sincere; she is less great at bawdy, over-the-top, and yet secretly more-or-less genuine. Also Sutton Foster, while a very good dancer, was the weakest part of the dance numbers, because she one hundred percent drops character to think really hard when she dances, which is not what I am paying to see (not that I personally paid to see this show. But it is the principle of the thing). That said, the dance numbers were great! The title number and "Blow Gabriel Blow," which are the best songs in the show to begin with (the music this show is not, shall we say, Cole Porter's best work), blew me away with the dancing, including the tap dancing, which is hard to do these days! I am not easily blown away by contemporary tap dancing! But this was great. Also, our seats were really really really good.

Anyway, the point is, probably they should put up reviews that include the best numbers, and not actually do this show. But I do not regret seeing it, which means it was better than Wonderland. Also, maybe they should produce original shows/plots. I would appreciate that. See: The Book of Mormon.

Another thing that I have been doing since I last posted is hanging out with Alex's dad! He came into town for a day because he had business in Jersey, and we hung out, and it was very fun! We ate at the Tick Tock Diner, which is the best diner I know, and is on 34th and 8th, and I highly recommend it. Also, we ate at Puttanesca, an Italian restaurant in Hell's Kitchen (I appear to hang out in Hell's Kitchen a lot), and it was very very good. Also, we ate empanadas at Mama's Empanadas around the corner on Greenpoint. Mama's Empanadas are delicious and very cheap. Also, we walked all across town! We gazed at the U.N. building and sat in a park near the Ford Foundation building. P.S. The Ford Foundation building lobby is open on weekdays to the public, and it is enormous and beautiful! It is basically a rain forest, with a wishing pond in the middle at the bottom. Remind me to take you when you come visit, which I assume you are all planning to do any day now!

Mama makes delicious cheap empanadas!

Anyway, I have been doing other things also besides eating, seeing shows, and hanging out with visitors. I have been going down to D.C. to hang out with my father at an educational leadership conference, I have been subbing for Drew's Triple Threat class at Broadway Dance Center, I have been with Alex shopping and cooking delicious food, I have been also with Alex working on our subway stop project, I have been typing interesting interviews, I have attended Drew and Greg's excellent housewarming party, I have been hanging out with Edlyn, I have been thinking about how to be a better citizen, and I have been preparing for Alex's birthday! Also I play a lot of Boggle and cribbage with Alex and Jamie. Also I have been getting ready to go to Toronto and for Alex to leave for Connecticut and for Carla to get here and then later for me to leave for camp. But I will tell about all those things in another post, because this one is getting long! Ok, bye.

*Ok, I can go into detail. You have convinced me. Basically, it was a bunch of bad pageantry, wasted acting talent, uninspiring costume and set design, plotting that completely did not suspend my disbelief, and stupid, derivative music. With a dollop of racism for good measure. We actually left before the curtain call, which I have never done at a Broadway show, even Billy Elliot, which is the only other Broadway show I can think of that I probably would have been better off not seeing.