Sunday, July 25, 2010

Savor it While it Lasts

Vassar is fast approaching
and my days of working an internship and a job will soon be over
so will be the days of restaurant hopping in Hell's Kitchen,
hanging out in Chipotle on those sweltering hundred degree days,
just for the refillable soda with the lemon twist
real ice cream cones will be long gone, and I'll be stuck eating fro-yo from wafer cones
my dog won't wander in to my room late at night
air conditioning will be a thing of the past
so I have to bask in the things I love, for the next three weeks

My devotion to Cafe Bustelo & Pilon will never falter,
Spanish coffee all day everyday, con leche and lots of sugar
just the way my mom makes it every single morning
heating the milk in a separate pot, it becomes my job to make sure it doesn't boil over
and boy, that sure is a lot of responsibility
I appreciate our cabinet shelves, lined with assorted Goya products so much more now
my mom & Goya really make magic together

The best thing is being able to travel to any continent,
from the comfort of the East Village
First Avenue takes me to India, with all the lights
and celebration of a festival
not to mention deliciously addictive cheese naan
(think a match made in grill cheese-Desi fusion heaven)

At work I can revel in both Japanese & Afghan cuisine
Even Ukraine isn't out of reach, I gotta love authentic pierogies
even though I think at Vassar they do them pretty well,
my roommate would always look forward to pierogie night
the one night of the month she would decide to emerge from
the cave that was our room, and when she didn't
I would smuggle ziplock bags and tupperwares of them
so she could freeze them and have real dinner (ie not cereal) for days
she's the one thing that I don't have while I'm at home,
and I miss her & her Midwestern charm
but most of all, I miss her stressed out habit
of making turbans out of scarfs
she'd don them at night, while struggling with chemistry chapters

My (few) days of being a home-cook were awesome
I'll have to give that up in the communal dorm kitchens
which frequently are missing key things, like spatulas

I'll have to trade in the tastes of my childhood
I remember sitting in small Puerto Rican restaurants
waiting on my pernil & tostones, sipping Coco Rico coconut soda,
light and refreshing
Kola Champagne to accompany my rice & beans,
its not the same having Diet Coke out of soda machines
The last thing I must savor in these last 3 weeks
are beautiful mountains of ice cream
my heart breaks at the thought of being without the creamy goodness.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Food Feature

After seeing the Wafels and Dinges food truck
throwdown with my man & lover, Bobby Flay
I had to a taste their authentic liege wafels
a liege waffle is the other Belgian waffle,
the one that they don't serve in diners or at brunch spots
the liege waffle is a richer, wonderfully soft & chewy waffle,
with a sweet caramelized crust
dinges is an awesome Belgian word that means "whatchamacallit",
gotta love that that's what they call the waffle toppings
so when Bobby Flay could not compete with these heavenly liege waffles
I was intrigued, and when I saw the bright yellow truck in Park Slope,
I could not resist
the men were super enthusiastic & explained
everything I needed to know
about the waffles & their accompanying dinges
I opted for a liege waffle with spekuloos spread: a Belgian favorite
think nutella & peanut butter of the Flemish sort
its smooth like peanut butter, but is made out of
gingerbread cookies & spices
it was sweet and melted beautifully on the waffle with the powdered sugar
my advice: this truck is on the move, so if you spot it,
consider yourself lucky, and enjoy a waffle!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Photo Diary

I got to grillin' yesterday
which reminded me of all those summer barbecues
when I was younger, spent playing hours of baseball
with improvised bases made of frisbees & styrofoam plates
and eating shish kebabs slathered with bbq sauce, with that amazing taste of char
me & my best friend would run around with cups of lemon juice,
dipping our kebabs and pieces of italian bread inside
to add extra zesty flavor
those golden days were before I was a vegetarian
so I had to adapt the ingredients without sacrificing
the perfect barbecue taste I hoped for
so I made
lemon grilled asparagus (my all time favorite veggie)
marinated cherry tomato skewers with mozzarella
balsamic portobello burgers with provolone
Mexican-inspired street corn
& classic apple-walnut pie
it was the best meal I have ever cooked
(it was even mom-approved & my mom is a tough judge)
the food was better than the fireworks.

marinating portobellos

prepping the asparagus

topped it with cookies & cream ice cream

spicy goodness

classy, open faced of course

this should be the cover of Noms Weekly

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Beautiful Day in Park Slope

Yesterday I took a break from my obscenely long walks
that zig zag from the LES to Tribeca to Chelsea
and instead, I gave my feet a break and let the train take me somewhere
I went to Park Slope, to enjoy some eats and visit my favorite flea market
I forgot how much I love Park Slope, I just feel out of place sometimes
because the sidewalks are literally seas of baby carriages,
(do people just get knocked up and move to Park Slope & Tribeca?)
but I had a wonderful day, probably because Uncle Louie G's icees
greeted me as I emerged from the 7th ave F train stop
these irresistible icees are my absolute fave,
so I got a chocolate jell ring & cannoli icee
the cannoli literally tastes like rich cannoli cream, yummm

The flea market on 7th ave has always been my favorite, its in a playground,
giving it even more of a nostalgic ambiance
when I was 15 I would visit to buy hot pink vintage pumps &
to ogle sequined 80s prom dresses I longed to wear to high school
thank god I've gotten more classy since those days in '06,
so now I dig the granny earrings, decor, and kitsch
my best find was a 1957 issue of Ladie's Home Journal
the pages were beautifully illustrated, the ads were witty,
the recipes were classic,
and all of the women were glamorous & flawless (before the days of photoshop)
which left me wishing I was born in the 30s,
yea Kotex "napkins" were sanitary belts in those days,
(I'm sure that idea makes any 21st century girl cringe)
but I'd make that sacrifice just to be a 50s woman
with beautiful kitchen appliances

There were so many other interesting finds at the flea market,
like vintage anonymous family photos, glassware, appliances &
housewife dresses & creepy dolls
one Woody figurine caught my eye,
it was a small toy from when Burger King put Toy Story toys in their kid's meals
which was in my childhood, this little figurine was going for 5 whole bucks
for a 50 cent Burger King toy, a steep vintage price
which made me feel oh so old,
1995 wasn't so long ago!....was it?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh Hi, July

Can there be a more perfect day?
cheap food & free finds
those might be the things I love the most
by cheap food, I don't mean just any normal eats
I mean pizza, from Artichoke
the most epic slice of pizza ever to exist,
and coincidently the best in the city
this is the pizza I dream about while eating Baccio's take out at Vassar
(and just in case any non Vassar people, by some odd chance,
visit Poughkeepsie, Baccio's margherita pizza is a lovely,
olive oil laden, addiction-in-a-box)
just by the line that is perpetually snaking out of the small shop,
you can tell, this pizza is not to be missed
14th between 1st and 2nd is a sea of people making their way through a mammoth slice
some stand at the counter, sit on sparse wooden benches, loiter on every staircase available, and others just simply stand on the sidewalk,
because when you're in pizza-bliss, location hardly matters
the price just went up to 4.50 a slice, but it is massive & oh so worth it
I'm impressed with anyone who could finish their own slice
it's creamy, super savory with such a thick crust
think a few normal slices stacked,
slathered with an intoxicating spinach artichoke concoction and pieces of artichoke hearts

yes, it is a two plate pizza

Not only was there great pizza in my life today, but lots of freebies
I was pleasantly surprised as I walked down Ludlow St.
to find bags & boxes full of books, and old records
I went through that awkward moment of looking at the treasures,
and wondering whether these discarded items
were actually up for the taking, or if I got too close
someone would emerge from the shadows, and claim the stuff
embarrassing me, and crushing my dreams of free stuff
luckily, as I spied the Complete Vegetarian's Cookbook
I could not resist and I got past my apprehension,
to find out, it all was free!
I grabbed that cookbook (which can be bible # 2, seeing as I already have my Zagat 2010)
as well as the Tao Te Ching, a book on yoga & consciousness,
Kite Runner, the Canterbury Tales, and some vintage records
other people were encouraged by our searching and soon there was a small crowd
picking through books, shoes and records
this is why I love New York City,
you can be a broke intern, and shopping is still possible
in other news,
today is a celebration, I ordered Food Network magazine.

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