Tuesday, October 23, 2012


 I have lots of food that I've made or like to eat but am way too embarrassed to tell anyone about them. Some things I've made out of total desperation, like that time Junior year when Neal and I ran out of food a few days before winter vacation but didn't want to buy new food so we had to "get creative." We promised never to tell anybody about the food that we made that day. Some other food combos I just tried out because I felt like it, like kimchi and mac and cheese, which used to gross people out but then everyone got all crazy over Siracha and you know what, it's totally the same idea. And then there are some things, like pizza cones, that are so totally trashy that I've only had it once (or twice...) and can't really admit how much I loved it while looking anyone in the eye at the same time.  

But the thing that I've gotten the most side-eyes for is one of my favorite snacks: peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. Gus from the cartoon "Recess" (which I still watch every morning, by the way) bought a PB&P sandwich to lunch in one episode, so I decided to make it, and I've been eating them forever now.  I've always been secretive about it because it seemed to weird everyone out. I maybe have even lied and pretended I thought it was gross too. I don't think any of my roommates have ever seen me eat or make one because I am so sneaky about it. But this morning, I saw this article on the NY Times about PB&P sandwiches, so today I feel brave enough to say that I love these sandwiches so hard.

My favorite way to make them (like I made this one after I got home today) is with creamy crappy peanut butter (none of that fancy grind-it-yourself goop, it is not good, I don't care what you say) and extra sour pickles. Then, this is the best part, I like to give it a little grilled cheese treatment by toasting it in some butter on the stove so that the peanut butter gets a little melty and warm and makes the crunchy-sourness stand out even more. That's the beauty of this sandwich, everything balances each other out. Creamy and crunchy, sweet and salty, sour-y and buttery, it's a dream. Don't knock it til you try it. For real.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

blabbing and plans

Hmm, I don't know if you guys actually read this or just like to look at the pictures. I usually just look at the pictures on other food blogs too, so no judging, it's cool. But I do have something to blab about and also, I have a new idea!  Oh, and here is a picture of a beer can chicken Jeremy made, which I may or may not have already posted at some point.

So. I know the pictures on this blog aren't the fanciest and the food isn't always pretty in a food-porny way, but I dunno, I kind of like that. I mean, I like nice food pictures a lot; I obsess over them, I spend all my free time on the computer looking at them, and I could name you a million blogs I love that have the most beautiful, drool-worthy pictures of food. And you know, if I had the right kind of camera, I'd probably take the time to pretty my pictures up a little bit. But I don't have a fancy camera (no offense to my iPhone), which is ok though, because that's not something that's totally important to me. Obviously photo quality matters to a lot of people, which is really only a good thing because I wouldn't be half as excited about food if it weren't for all the beautiful pictures of it. I think that if I was trying to blog about recipes or something, it would probably be more important to have quality photos because who wants to cook something that doesn't look good? But I'm not trying to do that. I just want to talk about my eating/food experiences and those don't always (uh.. or ever, really) look like they walked out of Saveur or Gourmet (R.I.P). I'm a sort of regular person who eats at restaurants that are dark sometimes or makes food in a kitchen with really yellow lighting and whose food comes out kinda gloopy but totally tastes good sometimes. I guess I think of this blog as an eating diary, and I want my pictures to be a real representation of how and what I eat, you know? Anyway, that's why this website has always been my favorite site for looking at food pictures. 

Here, I threw in another food picture so you don't get bored. This is my plate (number #1) when I went to Peter Luger and had more meat than I have ever eaten at once.

BUT ALSO, like I said, I love good food photography and food presentation, and that's something I'd like to pay more attention to in my ieat19meals offshoot blog. Oh yeah, so this is the part where I talk about my idea, but really it was Justin's idea so I gotta give credit where credit is due. I have no way to link to this dude's art or beer brewing or cooking or printmaking any of the other five million things he can do, so I guess you'll just have to believe me when I say that Justin Israels knows his stuff. Now you can go google him or something.

 Anyway, so the idea is that I want to cook the alphabet!! So like, each meal has to use main ingredients all starting with the same letter, starting with A and ending with Z, obviously. I don't wanna wuss out like Sufjan Stevens did with his whole "album for every state" project, but I think it'll be trickier than it sounds.  I think I'm going to make it a separate blog so it doesn't get confusing and I'm going to try to, you know, try to make the pictures look a little nicer, a little more put together.  I still only have an iPhone though, so let's see how that goes. Good idea, right? Yeah!! This is my plan and I'm gonna do it. Hopefully I can cook my "A" meal this week or weekend. Ok that's all. I'm done now.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Parish Hall

I always wake up early, no matter what I do and it totally drives me nuts. I guess mostly because most of my friends aren't awake and so I just sit around bored and hungry until somebody gets on gchat so I don't feel guilty calling them and waking them up. Woah, what a really sad description of my life. Umm yeah, so yesterday I was really happy when May was awake and ready to go to brunch with me. We decided to try Parish Hall, which is a new(ish?) restaurant from the same people/person who opened Egg, and we even made reservations because well, it was Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn. But when we got there, there were soo many available tables that it made me kind of nervous. No worries though, the food was excellent.

 Rabbit hash!!! Rabbit! I love rabbit.
I was a little nervous ordering hash because I was thinking of it in the most brunch-y trashy way, like a huge portions of fried meatiness and potatoes, and I wasn't super hungry. But this was really perfect and not heavy at all. Well firstly, there was rabbit. But also, kale and wax beans too!

Smoked trout and eggs

I think it was essentially the same as mine, but the cold fish version with different greens. I only had a bite of this, but I really liked it. I was sort of thrown off because it was cold, but I actually think that was nice and light for a non-hung over brunch.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

cheeky and a plus one

Sandwiches from Cheeky:

 Fried chicken, gravy, coleslaw on a biscuit

The gravy was a little chilly, but no big deal, probably because it's gravy and everybody likes gravy. This was actually Joey's sandwich, so I only had a little bite, but it was really good. The fried chicken was just a little peppery and the right amount of crispy/crunchy, and the coleslaw was a nice touch to complement the fried chicken-gravy heaviness. Lots of textures going on in this sandwich-- creamy, crunchy, crispy, flaky--you know, all that good stuff.

The less attractive pork chop sandwich with caramelized apples, onions, and spicy mustard

This was good, but didn't really blow me away or anything. I can think of other pork sandwiches I liked more. Although, those were of the pork belly variety and I guess it's just not fair to compare any other sandwich to the bliss that is pork belly. Anyway, I like pork and apples together. I wish the mustard was a little more kick-y though, that would have been nice with the sweetness, but it wasn't very spicy to me. And that's saying something because I can't even eat spicy Cheetos.

Ricotta and roasted grapes crostini

Ew, look at that horrible faux marble laminate top of my sickly yellow kitchen. I swear it's so much more pleasant to look at in real life and in the day time. So I made dinner for Julia yesterday and started off on this really high note but then it went real south real fast. But first let's talk about how good this crostini was. I've never roasted grapes before and they were amazing! All that sugar comes bubbling out and they are so delicious, especially when they're paired with that creamy ricotta (I added salt and pepper too). Then I also roasted beets for the first time...it was close-your-eyes easy, but since I only recently started liking beets, I had never done it before and was sort of nervous. BUT THEN, the part that I definitely have made before, I screwed up so hard. And it wasn't even the hard part. I bought this fresh gnocchi and I had these big plans with sweet potatoes and squash and sage butter, then I freaked out when I dropped the gnocchi in the boiling water (while it was still frozen, I know this isn't where I messed up!) and it just looked like it was turning into goop. But I gave it a little time and they weren't floating to the top, but then I just freaked out more and took them out. It was over 2 minutes and I was afraid I was over-cooking them...turns out I just undercooked them. I mean, they got a nice crispiness on the outside once I put them in the pan with the sage butter..well some of them did. I dunno, it tasted good, but had a funny texture. Oops. Maybe next time...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

this week

Lately I've been drawing a total blank on restaurants I like or want to try. I think my brain has been totally stress-fried, I never know what's going on. So yeah, I got really excited when Mallory and Melissa wanted to go to Olea because I hadn't been there before and the menu looked good. I woke up way too early and was just agonizing over my brunch choices until we were sitting at the restaurant.

This is actually Mallory's brunch. I think she got Parmesan toast with poached eggs, avegmolo sauce, (??? apparently a butterless hollandaise) and peas. I wanted to show this picture instead because it looks more interesting than what I got, and I also wanted to mostly talk about the home fries. I got the polenta, which also came with home fries and really beautiful orange (which means fresh!!) over easy eggs. The polenta was really amazing, a little more solid than grits but not served in the sliced form I usually get it in. They were really creamy in texture but not in taste. But I really think the best part was the home fries. They were perfect in every way and exactly how home fries should be, you know? Not that overly greasy kind, or the under-cooked over-paprika-ed kind, or the mushy mess kind, or even the well cooked kind that have wayyy too much salt. They were each individually crispy and seasoned just right, and just soft enough on the inside but with enough bite to it. Yep, love that starch.

 I made vegetarian chili that was so spicy I thought I was going to burn my eyeballs through the back of my skull. But nobody else seemed to have this problem, so maybe it was just me. I like chili without meat because I think that so often the ground meat just turns into mush that tastes like everything else in the pot. 

A little snack break at work with terrine Kathy and Richard made (I know, they make a lot of good food) and cheeses from Murray's Cheese. I've been volunteering for the cheese classes there so I can take them for free. It's been total agony and ecstasy for me. The classes are really interesting and tasty, obviously, and it's pure cheese heaven for like 3 hours. But then, my body just hates me later on for eating so many things I have an aversion to.  Yeah, decadent eating.  Life is rough.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

catching up

I've been not so great at keeping up with this. I mean, I haven't really gone grocery shopping in like two weeks, so I have been eating the dregs of my fridge and other miscellaneous unexciting foods, and nobody wants to see that. But there have been good meals thrown into the mix, so check it:

So last weekend Bill had a little printshop BBQ at his house in Ossining. We went apple picking before hand (really cute, right?) and those apples have kept me alive and healthy for the past week. I also had some of the best apple cider donuts I've ever had at the orchard. They had this really nice cinnamon-y crunch crust enveloping the cake-y part.

 Bill made all of this blurry food. I guess it looked less blurry on my phone. But anyhow, you get the idea, BBQ basics (whiskey included). Don't be fooled by the barbeque sauce in the bottle. Bill made some of his own too (um I'm pretty sure he made it and in any case, if he didn't it was good bottled bbq sauce then).  I've never made my own BBQ sauce so I don't really know what I'm talking about, but this had a good tang to the sweetness as well. I don't like sauces if they are to sugar-y tasting. Plus, you need that little tangy kick to complement the pork. See, really, everybody I work with is a great cook. I hope that wherever I end up next, I get to work with people who are this good at it. Printmakers and cooking, it's just a thing, I think.

Pulled pork!!!!!

And here's the plate again. So clockwise: pulled pork and bbq sauce, sweet potato and black bean salad, regular potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw

Our Sarah and Bill's Sarah both made desserts, but unfortunately, the pictures of Bill's Sarah's red velvet cake was dark and not so great. But I promise it tasted delicious because Sarah is like me and doesn't like too much frosting overwhelming the cake. Our Sarah made a GRAPEFRUIT cake. Yeah, I know, me too! It was so so good and citrus-y sweet.

Ok and on another note, Melissa had me over for dinner and made this tomatillo chicken from a Bon Appetit recipe (where she works!). I guess I didn't realize how much I like tomatillos, but these tacos reminded me of that. They add a nice tang. Yeah, I'm all about the tanginess, I guess.