Holycrapwhatatoughwinteritsbeen. I’m so serious. My astrologer (GO SEE HIM if you live in New York. Eric will change your life) told me at the beginning of January that this winter would be a rough one because of Mars going retrograde. He wasn’t wrong. I went from bronchitis to chronic migraines to flu to cold to stress to a new job. I’m finally doing what I love- nannying and cooking- and I couldn’t be happier. And since I’m happier (and Mars is out of retrograde!), I decided to bring it back to y’all with a heaping of stuff I’ve been loving lately.
COLD BREW FRENCH PRESS COFFEE
What can I say? I have a busy lifestyle. Caffeine is my best friend. I’ve got a huge crush on Stumptown. But, for some odd reason, hot coffee rubs me the wrong way. Call me a puss, but cold coffee just really gets me the right way. French press? Um, hi. And cold brew? Cold brewing has less acid and lets the notes of your coffee really shine through. Plus, with this buddy, I can make it the night before, press it in the morning, and wham-o: iced coffee. Instead of brewing it the night before, and it getting all cooked and stuff, it’s just sweet and smooth. The way the inventor of caffeine intended. I like mine black, or if I’m feeling really saucy, some coconut creamer. Be wary of the coconut creamer, though, if you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, you might find yourself drinking it from the carton! Bodum’s cold brew coffee press is a worthy investment for any iced coffee connisseur…and especially this summer. Mine is lime green. Get yourself one.
Buy it here.
NEOSPORIN OVERNIGHT LIP RENEWAL TREATMENT
Seasons changing, heater to fan, and lipstick abuse (guiiiilty) can wreck your lips. How uncomfortable are chapped lips? So uncomfortable. This stuff is phenomenal. It’s under ten bucks, comes in a tiny little container. You slather it on your lips at night (after you floss and moisturize, of course) and wake up with a perfect pucker. Yes, you too, dudes, can enjoy freedom from corpse-like lips with this stuff. You’re welcome.
Find it at Duane Reade, Walgreens, etc.
Jay Wolman’s FARM & FIELD
Y’all know I like to stay on the cutting edge, and I want to keep you there too. My friend Jay is a fellow foodie, sans food allergies. He and I can shoot the shit about peppers and organic vodka and chicken wings for days. Why? Because he’s talented, a., and b., loves food as much as I do. Oh, and c., is one of those people with a naturally clean, inventive palate. That’s important. He is also good-looking, like me. Half-kidding. His instagram (thebeardedhound, stalk away, guys) is like Playboy for your mouth. Kid is talented, and is finally putting it on the internet for us all to see. It’s just a little blog baby, so be gentle, but stay tuned. It’s not entirely dork friendly, but it is pretty, and his recipes are pretty adaptable to any dietary needs. Jay’s stuff is a lot like mine: fancified comfort food made with good ingredients and weird little twists. PS, dork alert, his recipe for ramp and goat cheese pesto is nut-free. Heeellll-o.
Add this to your RSS feed immediately. The world needs more food porn. And Farm and Table is just what we all needed.
GOURMET KALE CHIPS
“Kale is the new spinach,” my dear friend Eleni told me. She’s so right! Kale is so trendy right now. Unlike most ephemeral things, however, kale deserves its good rap. And best of all? Dork. Friendly. Especially if you make it at home. A lot of the kinds in stores are up to $9 a bag, and slathered in cashews. No, thank you. Not for this nuttard. You CAN make them in your oven, by setting it to 270 degrees and baking til crisp (anywhere from 6-10 minutes) on a cookie sheet, but I prefer to use my dehydrator. By the way, you need a dehydrator. They’re like $30 and pay themselves off in no time. Fruit chips, besides kale chips, should be your new jam. They’re even easier than fresh fruit to carry around, keep for weeks, and are useful in everything-from compotes to sauces to garnishes to snacks. Anyways, kale chips are so the jam that even my mom is into them. A lot of people mess solely with the sea salt and olive oil kind–I prefer to get fancy. Here are some ratios you can try out on your own (and they’re all vegan, or vegan-izable):
Dairy-free Parmesan & Truffle: 1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces + 3 tbsp nutritional yeast + 2 tbsp truffle oil+ salt to taste
Barbecue: 1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces + 2-3 tbsp barbecue sauce + 1 tbsp olive or canola oil
Salt and Vinegar: 1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces + 3 tbsp vinegar (apple cider or white wine is best) + 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
Pizza: 1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces+ 2-3 tbsp tomato sauce + 2 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning + 1 tbsp olive oil + 2 tbsp nutritional yeast + 2 tbsp salt and pepper, to taste
Coconut & Agave Caramel: 1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces + 3-4 tbsp (or even 1/4 cup, if you like it like that) agave nectar+ 1 tsp cinnamon + 3 heaping tbsp of shredded coconut…toss with dark brown sugar if you’re feelin’ crazy.
The possibilities are endless. Go for it. Tell me about what you make. Love it.
I’m going to get a little Brooklyn-centric for a minute and rave about my new favorite restaurant. It’s not entirely dork-friendly, but there are options for all dorks. Southern food is my thing. In culinary school, I’d always lean toward crazy Southern food for market basket challenges. One time, my food was referred to as “the lovechild of Thomas Keller and Paula Deen” (I blushed). Brooklyn Star kills it every time. The ambiance can be romantic or perfect for parents. The cocktails, oh, the cocktails. And listen, glutards, they have Doc’s Hard Cider on tap. I’ve had things from deep-fried pigs tails to tripe chili frito pie to roasted bone marrow. Best of all? A-F-F-O-R-D-A-B-L-E. Brooklyn Star is one of the most underrated places in New York, and worth a visit next time you’re in Williamsburg.
Brooklyn Star is located off the Lorimer stop on the L train, in Brooklyn, at 593 Lorimer Street.
BOOKS…SET IN THE 80s
Blasphemous, I know, but pity me : I love reading on my iPad. First world problems. Whatever. I’ve had a hard time with reading comprehension my entire life, and for the first time, I’m actually remembering plot, characters, their development. And I’m reading at a rapid rate. Technology is cool. Hate on me all you want. Anyways, I really just got into books set in the 80s. I just finished The Marriage Plot a couple of days ago. Ever seen The Virgin Suicides? It’s by that guy, Jeffrey Eugenides. The Marriage Plot is a great read, thick but palatable, a good love story that isn’t filled with roses and chocolates–it’s realistic and has tons of New Wave music & Barthes references. Pick up a copy for your e-reader or beach tote this summer…it’s a good one. The first satisfying love story I’ve ever read in my 18 years of reading. I finished that, now I’m binging on Bret Easton Ellis. American Psycho, anyone? Gory, but good. I’m just so into stories set when I was fetus, or when my mom was my age. Any suggestions? I’m loving the references to Reagan and stirrup pants in my current reading choices.
NICKI MINAJ’S “BEEZ IN THE TRAP”
Nicki Minaj has been around since 2007, guys. Shocking, I know. She’s not just all “Super Bass” and weird wigs. I’ve been a fan since her mixtape with Lil Wayne five years ago. While I’ve loved “Right Through Me” and “Your Love”, “Stupid Hoe” made me want to smash my head on my kitchen table. Even if she looked awesome. So, imagine my delight and surprise when “Beez in the Trap” came out. I honestly thought it was about bees in crackhouses at first. I was wrong…anyways. The video is a little dark, the beat very simple, but when I found out what the song is about–I was really crazy about it. “Beez in the Trap”, says Nicki, is “a saying I am always. That’s our slang way of “I beez doin such and such” so it’s like I’m always in the trap. Now the trap, ladies and gentlemen, refers to anywhere that you get your money.” (the video below is NSFW, btw)
Hustle hard, y’all. Work hard, get paper, translated: do you and do what you love, the benefits rule, don’t listen to anyone else. Just Beez in the Trap.
There you have it. Things I’m super-into right now. Lip balm, coffee, Nicki Minaj, kale chips, 80s books. You should be into them, too.
‘Til next time.
PS: I got my culinary degree! Finally! For Realsies!