Queso Serious???

So I’ve been trying for weeks to get Murray’s to do SOMETHING with the phrase, “Queso Serious?”  I’ve gone so far as to carve it into a pumpkin with an image of the joker underneath!  (Disclaimer: by “carve,” I mean that I liquored up my Japanese friend, Keiko, and put her little OCD attention-for-detail hands to work carving out lettering while I painfully chipped away at the Joker’s face)  In truth, the title of this post has nothing to do with anything, but damnit, a corny Spanglish pun that good just cannot go to waste!!!

Beware, ladies and gentlemen, Murray’s is about to let me loose from my cage.  I am about to roll out my first 2 months of classes, complete with a newsletter that I’ve had to design in Photoshop, a program I have about 2% knowledge of — think the computer equivalent to me drawing a newsletter on the back of a napkin in crayon…  I’ve leaned HEAVILY on my friends for the upcoming 2010 class schedule, pulling chefs and drinking experts from here and there to come in and bail my sinking ship out.  Thanks to them, there is an outside chance that I may not be fired (or quit) within the first quarter of 2010!

I will definitely post more about upcoming classes next week when my brain will hopefully start to emerge from the cheese fog that it’s been engulfed in for the past few weeks… or has it been months?  Apologies to the handful of readers still actually clicking on my sad, dwindling blog…

where my brain has been... aging in a cheese cave.

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Filed under Randomness

Don’t be a swine floozy.

What’s a swine floozy?  It’s someone who gets the swine flu and then just spreads it around town like it’s going out of style.

True to his Asian paranoid roots, my father sent me a matrix today that tells you the difference between the common cold, the seasonal flu, and our good friend Swinesy McGiggles.  Long story short, swine flu is like the common cold and the seasonal flu in that in all 3 cases, you’re sick; except with the swine flu you apparently run 101+ fever, your chest burns like you’re stuck in a desert AND swallowed a cactus, and oh yeah, you get a riotous bout of the runs.  Grrrreat!

Listen, all kidding aside, that actually does sound pretty bad.  It at least sounds bad enough that if someone so much as hiccups on the subway, I will trample your baby carriage to get to the other side of the car.  Actually, I have a very unfortunate ability (or disability) to be acutely aware of human odor… not in the BO kind of way, but just in a weird way where everyone has a unique, personalized smell.  Sometimes that smell is great, and sometimes it’s not.  Don’t worry, you’ll know if I’m not digging your scent cause I’ll be holding my breath and trying not to make eye contact with you while doing one of those exaggerated back-bends away like we’re playing limbo, and you’re the stick.  Where’s this going?  So glad you asked!  When people get sick, they smell sour to me…  I swear, when people are congested, they just have a very odd, very distinct, sour smell.  Not good sour like pickles, either.  Bad sour, like spoilage.

So if I so much as smell old, chunky milk emanating from you, I’m booking it as far away as possible.  And if you have the magical combo listed above that means you’ve just won Swine Flu Bingo, do us all a favor and keep your leaky butt at home.  Sure, I know, if I have such a phobia and a scent problem, I should just embrace my Asian roots and don my face mask.  You know what?  I’ve thought about it and even though I know I would get those, “Hey look, I know that person’s Asian cause they’re wearing a face mask!” looks from tourists in matching “I’m with stupid” shirts, it still beats the hell out of the swine flu.  The only thing stopping me is that a face mask would really inhibit my ability to slurp up ramen noodles…


Filed under How'd I get this way? Blame my parents.

This cactus-gram stings even more than your abandonment…

Is anyone still out there?  I know, I know, I’m a bad blogger.  Add this to the list of things I’ve tried, been gung-ho about for a few months, and then fizzled on.  You know, like my juice diet, work out plans, sobriety…  Consider this post my Valentine’s day cactus-gram to apologize for being lame.

But that cactus-gram line from Juno isn’t just an homage to how much bone-dry sarcasm tickles me, it’s because I have Juno on the brain.  NO!  I’m NOT pregnant (although human gestation seems to be on everyone’s minds these day, which is great, as long as my uterus isn’t involved).  No, it’s because my husband has actually succumbed to illness.  Every once in a while, he gets a cold, but it’s usually well-timed right dab-smack in the middle of a weekend or holiday, never during capitalist/market hours.  After all, that’s not his own time, that time belongs to “the firm.”  My husband, being the finance/work-machine that he is (the man has a calculator collection with he, himself being the largest in his collection), he usually doesn’t allow himself to get sick during his 6/7 workdays per week.

Yet today, he worked from home in the morning.  Yes, that’s right, he took an ALMOST sick day.  It took my insisting that he should not go in with a 102 fever for him to sleep an extra hour before running to the computer to make an 8AM conference call wearing no less than 8 layers of clothing and a winter hat.  After a brunch of Theraflu, takeout soup, and 2 Mucinex D, he disappeared into the bathroom and emerged 30 minutes later fully dressed and heading out the door to go into the office for the rest of the day, deliriously mumbling, “so much to do… so much to do…”  I don’t know if anyone on his team reads this blog, but if they do, they might want to invest in Purell.

He’s promised not to work late today and to have soup at home vs. his daily infusion of Chipotle.  That’s right, people, I work at a gourmet cheese shop (ooo, so fancy!) and my husband subsists on a steady diet of mass-produced burrito.   What can you do?  Not tonight, though.  I have a chicken in a pot and am making him a week’s worth of chicken soup with bow-tie noodles — if you know my husband, you know that he loves the bow ties.  And not in that fake, metro-sexual, hipster chic way that looks RIDICULOUS.  No, he came out of the womb loving bow ties and I think it’s a major part of his 20-something going on 70-something charm.  Bow-ties and long, slow walks through the park for exercise… Someday he’ll grow into these quirks.

The problem with being well-intentioned and horribly short-sighted is that it all usually ends in tears.  I decided sometime last week to finally tackle that giant bag of black, line-dry laundry that I’ve been accumulating over the last few months, and then since I only have one drying rack, I hung most of it to dry over any and every surface of my apartment — where it still hangs to this very day.  Do you know where this is going yet?  Juno references, chicken soup cooking, apartment upholstered in clean laundry…


“She smells like soup. Have you ever smelled her? I mean, her whole house smells like soup!” Yep, that’s me.  I’m Soupy-Sales.  Basically, everything I wear for the next month is going to wreak of chicken stock.  People will stop referring to me as “that girl who smells like stinky cheese” and start referring to me as, “that girl who smells like stinky cheese and chicken noodle soup.”  EVERYTHING smells like soup!!!  Between that and the ridiculous amount of heat being pumped through my co-op (only between the MOST useless hours of the day, shutting off right in time to leave you shivering in the wee-hours of the AM), I feel like an ever-plumping matzo-ball simmering in an apartment of chicken soup… and yes, I’m getting more spherical by the moment.

Oh, and by the way – I’m not giving you the stink eye, that’s just my face.


Filed under Sometimes I just post what's falling out of my head

The eagle has landed…

…well, I’m not quite and eagle, I’m more like an overweight, lazy, park-grazing pigeon.  It’s not important.  What IS important is that I’ve found a new home!  I have just completed my first week at Murray’s Cheeses where I will be organizing their classes and special events.  I would have written sooner, but finally learning from all my past luck, I figured it was best to wait until the ink dried and I was actually there before letting it be known.

On top of my cautious announcement, I’m also holding back on the effusive elation, even though the job sounds like and has so far been pretty damn cool.  Why?  Well, I’ve learned that if you walk into a job with ridiculous expectations, you usually get spiked like a free-floating, unaware volleyball.  So this time, I’m going in hoping for the best, excited for all the incredible things that come with the job, but extremely aware that this is, at the end of the day, still a job.

This path, the way of cautious optimism, allows me to experience every little benefit of my new Murray’s life as it happens, vs. trying to anticipate all of my enjoyment at once at the waaayyyyy beginning of the job the way I’ve done in the past.  For example, the very first day I started work, my job was to taste 6 different cheeses, totaling about 1/2 lb, paired with 6 different wines.  That was my JOB.  I had to take a class about cheese for free – no, wait, I was PAID to take a class about cheese & wine.  With every bite that I took, my mind frantically tried to wrap itself around the moment.  It just couldn’t be.  Someone was paying me to eat a 1/2 lb of cheese…  It’s like all those times I wished upon a star didn’t fall on deaf ears.

And then the next day, when I ate another 1/2 lb of cheese and paired it with hard cider, which was even BETTER than being paired with wine, I considered that maybe this was all a cruel dream and I would wake up elsewhere…  Here I was, tasting amazing American-made ciders that on their own were pretty damn good, but when paired with the right cheese, basically sang in your mouth (and not my karaoke singing).  Could this really be happening or was I being punked?

The following day, when I ate an entire pound of cheese, I saw that there could potentially be some negative consequences to this job… I told myself that when sampling cheeses, I should only smell and nibble enough to understand the flavor, texture, and appreciate its pairing if it had one.  Yes, this is what I told myself even as I devoured the last ounce of my 12th cheese of the day and happily washed it down with a glass full of Brooklyn Local 1 pale ale.  At this point, I may still be dreaming, but who the hell cares, I’m going to live it up.  Right now, I hope for but never expect an incredible day, which means that each day ends up being a little like a surprise Christmas morning, except there’s no tree, just lots and lots of cheese presents.

So, the next time you see me, I hope it’s at Murray’s where you’ve come to take a class!  I plan on introducing some great hands-on classes taught by all of the great cooks I know who I’ve wanted to learn from and now have an excuse and venue to do so!  And when you do see me, if I’m a little more solid, don’t blame the cheese… it could very well be the ridiculous Francois Pralus chocolate that my friend Taylor introduced me to on our way out of work last week.  More on the dark chocolate Infernal Bar tomorrow.

(And if you’re still reading even though I’ve been delinquent with my blogging, thank you for your support!!!  I will definitely be better in the future, and will most likely be posting shorter, more pointed posts given my lack of time… the new brevity will most likely make it a better blog anyway.)


Filed under This never would have happened in Finance

Stick a fork in me…

…Because I’m officially done with FCI.  After basically living within the walls of 462 Broadway for the past 2 years (plus a few days), I’ve officially said goodbye to the place that trained me to cook and gave me my first job after my career change.

This past weekend, I finished up my last job with FCI as the Guest Chef Coordinator for the New York Culinary Experience.  Months of planning culminated in an amazing (and exhausting) weekend where I not only ran around like a chicken with my head cut off to make sure that the Guest Chefs had what they needed for class, but I did so without much of a voice since true to being a disaster, I got terribly sick the week leading up to the event.

There was chaos, yelling (on the part of a particularly diva chef and her sous-chef), and crying (mostly on my part quietly in the corner of the storeroom), but in the end, it was the perfect capstone to my career at FCI.  Basically, every different division of the school, from the student volunteers to the Admissions department, worked together this weekend to make this event happen, and it warmed my heart in a cheesy girl scout kind of way – not that I was much of a girl scout, I think I made it to Brownies before I pulled a, “Bitch, peddle your own damn cookies” to my troop leader.  Of course, this weekend, I was more of the troop leader and my girl scouts were an army of student volunteers who helped me keep my sanity, most-likely preventing a hypoglycemic rage blackout on my part.  Basically, these student volunteers probably saved more than my life this weekend.

Butter-poached lobster tail on top of lobster coral (roe) pappardelle with sautéed veg. Incredible.

Butter-poached lobster tail on top of lobster coral (roe) pappardelle with sautéed veg. Incredible.

I also had the chance to witness Chef Jonathan Benno and his team from Per se teach a 2 hour class on using every part of the lobster, serve up multiple appetizer-sized tastings, bring with and cook their own lunch (Cuban sandwiches), all the while not making a single peep or showing any perceivable signs of stress.  Damn.  That’s freaking elite.  I don’t think they ever verbally communicated… maybe there was eye contact or SWAT-like hand signaling going on, or maybe, just maybe, they run like the freakishly efficient well-oiled machine that you would expect them to be.  Even if it was to be expected, witnessing their stealth and precise movements and harmonious interaction left me in complete awe.  My jaw would have been hanging to the ground if not for the fact that I had to chew the extra tastings that his team plated up for volunteers and staff in the kitchen.  Yeah, they had time for that, too.  Without FCI, I would never have witnessed something so unforgettable.  It was like an exit bonus, minus a whole lot of zeros.

Shhh - can you hear that? ... ... ... That's exactly what it sounded like as they plated 30 dishes with ridiculous speed and precision.

Shhh - can you hear that? ... ... ... That's exactly what it sounded like as they plated 30 dishes with ridiculous speed and precision.

After the frantic energy of this weekend, I spent a few quiet moments finishing up some work in a dark office Sunday night and it hit me all at once – FCI has been my home away from home for 2 years.  I’ve spent more time there than anywhere else since moving to NYC.  There have been amazing times, and then there have been terrible times, but in the end, I’m so happy and thankful for the friends that I’ve made and all the experiences that I’ve had.  Where else could I have become so completely addicted to cocktails (which I believe is called alcoholism…), Swedish meatballs, consommé, blogging, and the best damn baguette this side of the Atlantic?

This event represented the best of my time at FCI, and it made it both easy and difficult to say goodbye to the school.  You always want to go out on a good note, but going out on a good note sometimes makes you wish for more.  You know, like that perfect dessert that makes you want to stay and order just one more plate.


Filed under This never would have happened in Finance

The French-colonized part of me wants to put up the white flag

Oh. Dear. God. Somebody please make this week end.  When I decided to take on a job helping to organize guest chefs for the fabulous New York Culinary Experience event, I thought, “How bad could it be?”  That should have been my first clue.  From now on, I will only take on jobs where I’m filled with anxiety and trepidation from the mere mention of the opportunity.

So far, I’ve gotten yelled out 3 times by 3 separate guest chefs, all for different reasons.  My coworkers warned me that this would happen as the event drew near (it’s this weekend), but I thought, “No way!  Couldn’t happen!  Not to me!”  Well…  obviously I seem to have some sort of reasoning disability.  My coworkers keep reminding me that these chefs aren’t yelling at me specifically, that they’re just venting their frustrations and stress.  That’s grrreat.  You know what, though?  No matter what anyone tells you, getting yelled at just isn’t fun.  This is like when my mom told me, “Mindy, someday when you go to give birth, the doctors will tell you that contractions are a good pain.  That’s a lie.  Pain is pain.  It’s not good.”

So consider this week 7 days of labor after a particularly difficult pregnancy.  Hopefully, at the end of it, I will have given birth to a beautiful event.


Filed under Living the disaster

8 Days a Week, I love me some Salumeria Rosi

When I still had my head deep in the FCI Food Technology dungeons, I had the pleasure of fighting for burner space with Alexis & Aaron of Salmueria Rosi.  I could always count on these two kitchen angels to lift my spirits with delectable Italian treats.  I would respond in kind by passing on 100 proof, bubbly cocktails.  They were at FCI developing recipes for Cesare Casella’s “new place” at the time.  That new place turned out to be Salumeria Rosi, open for almost a year now, and for almost a year now it’s been my go-to place for “small” plates of delicious Italian happiness.

The stunning ambience may keep you from appreciating how beautiful this place is in its simplicity.  Half of the store is a counter where you can order salumi, cheese, and pre-made Italian takeaway items.  The other half is elegant, modern dining perfumed with fresh rosemary sprigs tucked gently into crisp white, cloth napkins, serving appetizer-sized portions of modern-rustic deliciousness.  No droplets on plates.  No negative space.  Yet as you can see, the colors of the food itself are stunning.  Pictures can’t capture how much flavor is in each bite, though, and let me tell you, flavor is king here (right under Cesare himself).


One of the best things that came with switching careers is not just becoming a better cook, but meeting incredible chefs who have that “gift” – it’s that ability to see food and know exactly how to prepare it, how to season it, in order to elevate it into something more.  Cesare, Alexis & Aaron are those people.  It’s a luxury to be able to have a place where you know that nothing served to you will ever be under-seasoned, under-cooked, under-loved.  It’s about more than just a delicious menu with fabulous Bresaola (which I can thank SR for making me obsessed with), it’s knowing that anything you order is going to be fail-proof.


I always end up ordering with my eyes and not my stomach.  I think “small plate” and forget that 8 bread-and-butter plates make far more than one entrée-sized one.  Yesterday, I left my rain-soaked trek and was welcomed into Salumeria Rosi by a delicious bowl of Chicken & Parmesan broth with a poached egg and proscuitto.  It’s a little like heaven in a bowl, light in texture but rich in flavor.  I could literally eat it everyday (and kinda wish I were eating it right now).


Our server, Rebecca, recommended that my friend Eunice and I try the anchovy-marinated broccoli.  I have a rule – if someone swears by it, you have to order it.  That rule’s definitely bitten me in the ass before, but not this time around.  Tender, chilled broccoli that burst into tangy, saltiness when bitten.  It reminds me of something I love that may sound odd, but trust me, it’s delicious: Chinese sautéed broccoli the next day — it’s cold, tender, and marinated.  Absolutely fantastic.  Salumeria Rosi’s version is spot on, but leaves out the greasiness.


The basil & zucchini farrotto topped with thin slices of toasted almond was vivid and bright in both color and flavor.  How do you make cooked farrotto or risotto taste like you grew it in a garden?  Apparently, the answer is an incredible pesto that screams fresh basil with every bite.  The almost slices were genius – the natural, faint nuttiness of the farrotto is elevated by the crunchy almonds in such a decadent way.


The capstone on an incredible meal was what I can only describe as Italian ratatouille.  Please don’t take away my francophile status, but damn, this version wins, hands-down.  I couldn’t finish all the perfectly tangy & savory zucchini, tomato goodness there, so I took some home and immediately started munching on it when I made it across the park and into my apartment.  As it cooled, this hint of spiciness came through that was absolutely illuminating.  I actually stopped, put the lid back on the takeaway container, and managed to control myself enough to save some for my husband.


So please, friends, please make the trip to Salumeria Rosi if you have not already and then visit again and again.  I have an evil plot whereby Salumeria Rosi does so well on the Upper West Side that I can convince them to open up a second shop across the park a little closer to 1st Ave.  They deserve your patronage, but more than anything, don’t I deserve more dining options up here on the lonely UES???  Yes, I’m selfish.  No, I don’t care.  It’s a wash.

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Filed under Eating my feelings and paying for it

100 Reasons to Break a Diet

So it’s a big day…  Today is my 100th post.  Wow… I don’t know whether to be proud, embarrassed, or depressed.  I think I’m a little of all three, but I’m going to say that I’m leaning towards the proud in order to justify my most recent purchase… a new digital camera.  No, I didn’t splurge for the SLR because 1) I don’t think my little-seen photos warrant buying an SLR and 2) I literally felt sick to my stomach forking over the change for my new Canon point-and-shoot, so I probably would have triggered a full-on ulcer if I had dropped SLR change.  Oh, and on day 3 of owning my new camera, I’ve already been asked to bring it to my last event helping out Dave Arnold at Star Chefs…  Disaster waiting to happen?  Yup.  Did I remember to get insurance on this puppy?  You betcha.

So to celebrate this mini-milestone and my new camera (mostly justify the camera purchase), I decided to bake up some strawberry scones.  Actually, it all started because I was trying to be healthy and bought a quart of strawberries on the cheap.  I bit into one and it actually tasted like a strawberry, which is pretty remarkable since outside of Tristars, strawberries have been tasting a lot like… well, like nothing.  I ate half my quart and then cut up the rest and bought myself some buttermilk.  I know most scone recipes call for dried fruits, but there’s something amazing about using fresh berries in scones.  It’s a little like baking your jam right on in there, but it’s not gooey or sweet.  Dense scone gets interrupted by tart, juicy, naturally sweet strawberry goodness.


For my 100th post and as an homage of the food tech life that I’m leaving behind, I decided to add one more element.  I love Earl Grey tea, have loved it since I was a child, and I think it’s actually a hereditary obsession that I got from my mom.  Specifically, I just love Bergamot.  Every morning before school, my mom would make me Earl Grey tea with milk and sugar, and while it was brewing, I would sit and sniff the foil envelope from the tea bag.


And… perhaps you saw the episode of Top Chef Masters where Nils Noren used a smokey tea (Lapsang Souchong) to infuse into whipped cream, for which he was criticized with people complaining it was “too smokey.”  All I want to say is that I have had that whipped cream and I have had it infused with even more lapsang… and it’s DELICIOUS.  I’m using Earl Grey because I am mainstream, but the lapsang and the idea as a whole is Mastery.


For the home cook, use a wine bottle that you’ve cleaned out thoroughly and a Vacu Vin stopper.  Add your (very cold) cream and loose leaf tea and vac like crazy until your arm hurts when trying to pull out anymore air.  Let it sit in the fridge while you work on the rest of your scone mise and strain when ready to use.


I food processed my butter into my dry, added in some chopped strawberry and pulsed to coat in dry ingredients, then pulsed in my buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.  I was trying to skip a step today, but I think I will go back to combining my liquid into my dry ingredients by hand as the food processor juices the berries a bit and the batter comes out a little pink, which bakes up a little too tan.  I also have a “scone pan” that I got online for cheap years ago.  It’s actually ridiculous and useless, but I have to use it now since I bought it.


Brush the scones with leftover buttermilk mixture and sprinkle with Demerara sugar.  Bake it up and make sure to eat one straight out of the oven… then eat one when it’s cooled slightly… then eat one toasted after it’s cooled… each one tastes different, I swear!!!


So what have I learned after posting 100 times?  How to use WordPress… somewhat.  That and losing weight is a losing battle.  At least I’m losing something, right?

Thank you for reading and laughing with or at me.  Either way, I don’t really care as long as you’re laughing.  But if you’re laughing at me and I find out about it, I’m going find you then slap you with a rope of cheese.  Just a warning.


Strawberry & Earl Grey Scones

2.5 cups AP Flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt (I like to use a healthy pinch on scones – a little salt is kind of nice here)
6 tablespoons butter (ice cold and cubed)
1 pint diced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (make sure they’re cooled)
1/2 cup buttermilk (add a little extra to compensate for loss from pouring out of the bottle)
2 tablespoons loose leaf Earl Grey (feel free to use even more)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Demerara sugar

  1. Mix loose leaf tea into cold buttermilk, pour into clean wine bottle, and vacuum down with Vacu Vin as much as possible.  Keep in fridge – can be done the day before.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Toast & cool the walnuts.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together to combine.   If making by hand, just stir to combine.
  4. Pulse in the cubed butter to create pea-sized little lumps or cut with a pastry cutter until pea lumps are achieved.
  5. Add in the strawberries and walnuts and pulse quickly just to coat in dry ingredients.
  6. Strain buttermilk and measure out ½ cup.  Gently beat one egg to combine and mix in buttermilk and vanilla to incorporate.
  7. Mix all ingredients by hand (literally use your CLEAN hand) quickly – DON’T OVERWORK THE FLOUR!  When just combined, dump out onto a flour work surface and gently fold a few times with another ½ cup of flour or so until you can form the dough together into a disk.
  8. Cut disk into 8 pie pieces, brush with leftover buttermilk, and sprinkle with Demerara.
  9. Bake until golden and crisp on the outside, but not overly dried out in the center – anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes depending on your oven.  Rotate half way through.



Filed under Fool proof recipes... fool-tested... fool-approved

DIY disposable chopstick elegance

I decided to just post a quick and fun how-to on making a chopstick stand out of your disposable chopstick wrapper.  My friend Keiko does this when we eat out and now I can’t help but do it every time someone places cheap balsam-like sticks wrapped in a paper tube down in front of me.  It’s cuter and more authentic when Keiko does it because she can hold a conversation at the same time.  Me?  I’m usually completely withdrawn from conversation, staring at my paper folding, chewing on my bottom lip in frustrated concentration.
The activity keeps me distracted and calm so that I don’t sit there, bobbing my knee or tapping my foot, anxiously waiting for my food.  My husband thinks it’s like Dog Whispering, where Cesar Milan gives unruly dogs a task to accomplish so that they don’t attack people and small animals.  Kind of like how blogging keeps me from going upstairs and telling my neighbor that her child is annoying and could he stop running laps with his iron feet back and forth and back and forth.  It also helps me from angrily and loudly spraying Oust outside my other neighbor’s door who smokes like a chimney and refuses to crack a window, causing the hallway and my apartment to smell like a college dorm room from the 90s.  Yep, I’m that neighbor.  Now all I need is a gaggle of cats…

Fancy Shmancy Disposable Chopstick Stand

  1. Start by folding your chopstick wrapper into thirds like you would fold a piece of paper to fit into an envelope, folding the left 1/3 over the center, and then the right 1/3 over that.
  2. Slide1

  3. Fold your new, smaller rectangle (that is 1/3 the length of your original chopstick wrapper) in half lengthwise and then unfold slightly, forming a kind of tent.
  4. Start at one side of the tent and push the pointed edge of the tent down and pinch the sides, making an inverted Isosceles triangle that’s bisected by the top of the tent.  Repeat on the other side until you have created your own chopstick stand



Minutes of fun...


Filed under Sometimes I just post what's falling out of my head

Slow your Kati roll

I think I have Food OCD.  I go on food binges where I become obsessed with a particular dish or food item and crave it every second of everyday for weeks on end, sometimes even months.  Eventually, my cravings are satisfied enough that I can find a way to take it out of daily rotation… and put it into weekly or monthly instead.  Right now as I sit on my couch like the giant saddle bag with legs that I am, all I can think about is my new favorite lunch food – kati rolls from where else, Kati Rolls in the West Village.  (Oh, FYI – all these pics were taken with my iPhone!  And yes, there’s definitely a little Kati Roll left on my iPhone screen… and no, I didn’t consider licking the deliciousness off of it… who would do that???)

IMG_0055.JPGYou know what the problem with New York is?  An abundance of bad food choices.  You can throw a stone here and hit a bland place to eat, then have that same stone ricochet off that bland restaurant and hit at least 8 more that are even worse.  All I want to know is what’s wrong with seasoning?  Huh?  What’s wrong with salt?  If it weren’t for salt, I’d pass out several times a day… without the aid of alcohol.  Salt is delicious!!!  I promise!  Here’s my suggestion if your family has a history of eating bland foods: take one for the team and start introducing flavor into your diet now.  Sure, you may suffer the long-term health repercussions, but your children and your children’s children will thank you.  They’ll eventually evolve and adapt until, like me, they have a medical need for flavor or else they will pass out from blandness poisoning!  While the decor inside Kati Roll is simple as can be, the flavor that is pulsing out of this joint is anything but bland.

Flavor makers.  Flavor makers with a smile.

Flavor makers. Flavor makers with a smile.

Kati rolls are a good way to start.  Indian flatbreads (paratha) are toasted up on a skillet and then rolled and filled with ridiculously flavorful grilled, marinated chicken, beef, potato mix, paneer, egg, or some combination those with thin slices of red onion.  The toasted paratha alone are a delicious treat – it’s the perfect balance of slightly chewy and almost flaky with the very slight taste of tangy yeastiness.

Toasted, tasty, obsession-worthy paratha.

Toasted, tasty, obsession-worthy paratha.

Truly, one roll is plenty for lunch…  Unfortunately, because these damn things are so tasty, I always order two because I can never decide between my favorites: the marinated, grilled Chicken Roll or the spicy, tangy Aloo Masala Roll.  Two warm rolls wrapped in foil and served on a paper plate.  It’s not winning any plating points but I’ll gladly give up a visual show for warm, slightly sweet paratha wrapped around spicy, well-seasoned meat or potatoes with fresh, tangy onion slices.


Hello delicious Chicken Roll.

Hello delicious Chicken Roll.

The only other roll I’ve tried so far is the paneer roll – also delicious, just not as delicious in my opinion.  Eventually, when I do tire of my obsession, maybe I can find a way to try other rolls.  Besides, with a menu like this, you kind of feel obligated to try every picture shown:

IMG_0045.JPGYou know what’s a terrible idea?  Blogging about the food that you’re obsessed with when you don’t have any access to it… and staring at pictures of it at the same time.  Probably one of my worst ideas yet, right after that time I tried to make a kale smoothie.  Don’t ask.  So one last picture for my self-inflicted kati roll torture to leave us all drooling with spicy aloo desire:

Aloo happiness.

Aloo happiness.


Filed under Eating my feelings and paying for it