SPECIAL EVENT —
Join me this Saturday 3/18, 1-4pm, for a tasting at The Alchemist's Kitchen in NYC, 21 East 1st St!
Taytea 790 xxx
photo by gluttonforlife

3.16.17 Tea Time

Just a quick note to let you know that I'll be joining my friend Nini Ordoubadi of Tay Tea at The Alchemist's Kitchen in New York City this Saturday for a free tasting of her marvelous green teas. She's invited me to use them to create a couple of special non-alcoholic elixirs, so I'll be bringing some of my homemade ingredients, like wild rose petal syrup, pickled cherries and foraged chaga tincture. I would so love to see you there!

 

Stop by on Saturday, 3/18, from 1 to 4pm, at The Alchemist's Kitchen, 21 East 1st Street. 


Read More...
Susan Orlean —
A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky—unbidden—and seems like a thing of wonder.
Basket 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

3.14.17 Spring to Mind

As I write this, I can hear the steady thud of logs being stacked in our screened-in porch. We're expecting a major snowstorm in these parts and that requires preparation. With a fire in the hearth and soup on the stove, coziness is assured. G does firewood; I do soup. Between us, we get it done. A few warmer days last week and, despite an ensuing freeze, the butterburs emerged from beneath their blanket of pine needles. These common plants, known as petasites, belong to a genus of the sunflower family that also includes coltsfoots. Perennials with thick, creeping underground rhizomes, they spread over the years and their large, rhubarb-like leaves are fodder for slugs in the summer. But their beautiful, cold-hardy buds are a late-winter/early-spring delicacy in Japan, where Petasites japonicus, also known as fuki, grows like a weed. I was lucky enough to receive some of these plants a few years ago from my Japanese friend Tomo and they have adapted well to my garden (lots of shade and pine). 


Read More...
Filipino proverb —
Imitate the rice stalk: the more grains it bears, the lower it bows.
Soup1 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

3.7.17 Rice Crispies

I'm not sure where I got the idea for this addictively crispy spiced rice. Did I read about it? Eat it somewhere? Was it an offshoot of my savory granola? All I know is that it satisfies my need for a crunchy garnish, which comes up surprisingly often. For soups. For salads. For yogurt parfaits. For casseroles. Croutons are out for the most part (husband is gluten-intolerant) and toasted nuts can be a bit rich. So this puffed rice—puffed millet works well, too—tossed with fat and spices and then crisped in the oven is a simple and delicious solution. I don't know about you, but I crave a mix of textures and flavors in my mouth. Something smooth and creamy cries out for a punch of acid, a contrasting crunch. My arsenal of condiments and garnishes is always stocked with chutneys, pickles, syrups, oils, hot sauces and salts to add punctuation notes to my food.  


Read More...
Jean LeCarré —
Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.
Moonlight1 790 xxx
"moonlight" on the water

2.23.17 Film Noir

The 89th Academy Awards show airs this Sunday. My husband tried to ban more than half an hour of the red carpet (he says it sours him on the whole thing), but I can assure you I will be parked in front of our enormous television to watch it in all its alarming, cringe-worthy glory. Last year it was fascinating to see how many actresses were determined not to talk about who had designed their dresses—for the first time EVER! And I confess that I'm always interested to see which of them has had surgery. I know, not very sisterly, but I'm only human.

 

The last couple of years, there has been a growing protest against the under-representation of black people in Hollywood and this year's nominations seem to reflect an attempt to address that. All of the major categories include at least one black nominee, which I gather is unprecedented. It affirms the idea that change is possible, though we all see how vigilant we have to be to protect any progress that is made.

 

"Moonlight," directed by Barry Jenkins from a screenplay he wrote with Tarell Alvin McCraney, and starring Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali, is perhaps one of the most poignant and moving films I have ever seen, brimming with moments of grace. It's also beautifully shot and directed. For more about it, I recommend Tony Scott's review in the New York Times and this insightful interview with Jenkins and McCraney on Fresh Air.


Read More...
Miguel de Cervantes —
Spare your breath to cool your porridge.
Kitchari 790 xxx
photos by steven randazzo & bette blau (@whatbettefound)

2.17.17 Healing Vibes

Porridge is having a moment. It's grain-based and fits into the one-bowl meal trend. And it’s also supremely comforting—something we all seem to be in need of, now more than ever. (To say that porridge is "hygge," would not be a stretch.) At the Great Northern Food Hall in New York City's Grand Central, there is a Scandinavian porridge bar with all sorts of sweet and savory options. The latest addition to Jean-Georges Vongerichten's empire of restaurants at ABC Home, ABCV—self-described as "plant-based, non-GMO, sustainable, artisanal and organic whenever possible"—is serving congee, an Asian porridge, made with forbidden rice and millet. Further downtown, Good Sort, a vegan café in Chinatown, offers several kinds of congee, including a turmeric-and-coconut version topped with Champagne-poached cranberries. Porridge, a simple, easily digestible nursery favorite, is essentially a blank canvas for flavors and textures. Virtually any grain, from rice to oats to buckwheat, can be gently simmered in water, stock or milk—flavored at will with aromatics like ginger, chiles and herbs—until it breaks down into a pleasingly soft mush. What goes on top is another free-for-all: chopped toasted nuts, sprouts, infused oils, raw or cooked vegetables...

 

I developed a series of porridge recipes, the first of which is this kitchari, an Ayurvedic classic made with split yellow mung beans and basmati rice. I had such fun shooting with the supremely talented husband-&-wife team of Steven Randazzo and Bette Blau, who work together to create the most lush, richly textured images. They are masters of light and color, with a love of detail that really sets their work apart. We enjoy collaborating as our tastes—culinary and aesthetic—are aligned. (Remember this?) You can follow them here and on Instagram @whatbettefound.


Read More...
BACK TO TOP