Monthly Archives: November 2012

wednesday wisdom: it’s almost thanksgiving

Thanks, Louis C.K. Happy indulging, everyone.



meatless monday: it’s national peanut butter day

Nom nom. Via Pinterest.

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I’ll usually highlight my commitment to drinking healthful green juices, or very light snacks and meals (veggie based). How virtuous, you say! I know.

And then I found out that November 19 is National Peanut Butter Day.

Say goodbye to all that virtue.

Here’s five fun facts about peanut butter, the best food on the planet, courtesy of Foodimentary:

  • It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
  • There are enough peanuts in one acre to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
  • By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.
  • Peanut butter was first introduced to the USA in 1904 at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis by C.H. Sumner, who sold $705.11 of the “new treat” at his concession stand.
  • Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a physician wanting to help patients eat more plant-based protein, patented his procedure for making peanut butter in 1895.

Get yourself a classic, kid-like PB&J or the grown-up version, or eat it straight from the jar with a spoon, which really delights your Significant Other. Peanut. Butter. You can’t go wrong.

Happy Thanksgiving! xx

wednesday wisdom: just simple.


meatless monday: homemade pretzels with mustard

via pinterest.

Yesterday I was at a baby shower for a German friend, and German food was presented. It was then that I revisited the soft pretzel and mustard snack. Usually I’m disappointed in soft pretzels from the ubiquitous carts that dot the NYC streets; they’re often stale, cold, hard, unsatisfying. Better in theory than in practice.

Have you ever had a real German pretzel, from a real German bakery, fresh from the oven, all crispy and golden on the outside, soft on the inside, aromatic and dotted with sea salt and sunflower seeds? Dipped in honey mustard? Best. Shower. Snack. Ever.

Homemade Pretzels
adapted from  Alton Brown
makes 8 pretzels

1 1/2 c. warm (110-115 degrees F) water
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 oz. all-purpose flour (approx. 4 1/2 c.)
2 oz. unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 c. water
2/3 c. baking soda
1 lg. egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. water
Sea salt
3/4 c. sunflower seeds, raw & unsalted

Combine water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 min. or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 min. Remove dough from the bowl, clean bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50-55 min. or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring 10 c. of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt and sunflower seeds. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 min. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 min. before serving. Serve warm with spicy or honey mustard.

wednesday wisdom: a reminder

illustration via

meatless monday: carrot ginger soup


Hot soup is medicinal, and what we need now more than ever is healing. Spicy ginger adds a little more heat and a new zest {for living}. Recipe via Eat Live Run.

Carrot Ginger Soup
serves 2
1 lb. carrots, peeled & chopped
2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 c. vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coriander
1 tbsp. olive oil
green onions, sliced thin for garnish

In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the minced shallot and saute until tender, about 5 min. Add ginger and saute for another 3-4 min. Add chopped carrots, broth, coriander and salt and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10-15 min. until carrots are tender. Carefully transfer to a food processor and puree. Garnish with green onions. Serve with thick crusty bread and lots of love.

november spotlight on: community

Photo by Iwan Baan on Wednesday night, showing the island of Manhattan, half aglow and half in dark, is the cover of New York Magazine’s new issue, out Monday.

Where to begin.

Late Friday afternoon, as the light and the heat sputtered on hesitantly in our neighborhood, I found myself breathless, racing down First Avenue, unable to hail a cab or a spot on the overcrowded bus. Two laptops, an extension cord, a box of Wheat Thins, a bottle of shampoo and a hairbrush bounced heavy in my backpack, the same pack I toted around all week, from outpost to outpost, seeking power and Internet and hot water. But now I raced toward home and the light.

There is still tremendous loss, just a few miles outside of Manhattan. Staten Island and the Rockaways and coastal New Jersey are in great need and are counting on us to be good neighbors and support them. Let’s not fail them. Let’s be community to them. Here’s one way, here’s another.

Community is the only thing that got me, and probably you, through this week. In that spirit, the community who supported me, and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude:

– Luke and Arushi. You guys probably didn’t realize that when you stored your gas grill at Lost Weekend, it would one day be used to serve the only hot coffee in Lower Manhattan for 4 days. (I tried texting you to ask if we could use it, but I assumed you’d approve). You made cold, weary folks extremely happy, and gave us a place to gather to check in with each other. That grill created community.

– Laura and Alan. Thanks for being a power and shower outpost for me in Williamsburg on Day #2. Grateful.

– Caitlin, Lindsey, Bridin, the good people at eBay and at the Westin Grand Central. Thanks for being power and shower outpost #3. It was so luxurious to lay in a hotel bed and watch CNN for a few hours. Grateful.

– Friends and family around the country. You were diligent in checking in with loving texts, emails, and sending thoughts and prayers our way. Keep sending them. You are my extended community. Grateful, always.

– Abby, Paul, Adam, Kiki, and the rest of the staff at ForgtMeNot. Thanks for staying open and giving us community (and hot food) in the darkness.

– NYPD crossing guards. You tirelessly manned every intersection and directed pedestrians/cyclists/cars. Safety first. Gratitude.

– Phoebe. Thanks for laughing and drinking and sharing a little gossip. The community of girls finds each other in every circumstance. Grateful for you.

– Michael and Bella. Cold dark nights were less cold and less dark with you as my cuddlers. Eternally grateful!

– Brad, Lindsay, Walkers, Regina, Amanda, Debbie and Bill, and everyone else who offered us a place to stay if we needed it. Amazing generosity, never forgotten. Gratitude.

What about you, New Yorkers? Want to declare your gratitude and do a community shout out? Leave your gratitude in the comments and let’s spread some warm fuzzies! xx