Friday, February 25, 2011

Latest Obsessions

*How To: Homemade Cadbury Eggs
(I am definitely making these for Easter!)

*Agatha Christie Books
(Currently reading The ABC Murders)

*The support of friends and family
(warms my heart during this crappy time)

*Floral Prints for spring
(this and this and this)

*Buying a waffle maker
(for future fried chicken and waffle brunches)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

For a Dear Friend

Though my heart is currently in pieces
I feel it is so important to honor
a very dear furry friend, my best furry friend,
Sergio Muffin.

I don't know what Serg was breed wise, but he
was one of the cutest dogs you'd ever see, and had an
extraordinary personality to match.
His history is unknown,
(though the bf and I had fun making up
his past for him: record producer, ex member of
different bands, writer, dancer, bouncer-we liked to think
that he did just about everything before retiring with us)
anyway-he was found wandering around Bay Ridge and
was brought to the BARC shelter
in March of 2008.

I met him one month later when I decided to become
a volunteer dog walker.
I had asked for a smaller dog and Serg is what they
gave me. He was slow moving, seemingly depressed-
like a little old man. We would take our very slow walks,
then I would bring him back and give him lovies and treats.

Then one day, maybe 2 months later, I took Serg outside
and he started to run. I cried because I thought he was just
and old man, incapable of running. But we ran. all the way
to the Grand Street park on the waterfront in Wburg.
I would let him off of the leash and we would run around,
he would chase me and then we would sit by the water.
He was a completely different dog after that.

I began to visit Sergie more and more, about 5-6 times a week to
be exact. I even took the bf to meet Sergie and he took to him right
away which was funny, because he really didn't take to men easily.
That October the bf and I adopted Serg, and moved him in with
us- to our new Sunnyside home. It was an adjustment for all of us,
but everything clicked and Serg became part of our family.

I can't even begin to convey what a character Sergio was.
So lively and curious, very loyal (the man followed me everywhere)
and wild. Sometimes he just liked to run-last summer he apparently
went on a crazy running spree in my parents backyard where he
jumped off of this little stone wall that's back there and just kept
going all through the bushes and up and down the yard. My parents
had never seen anything like it!

I'm pretty sure that one of the happiest times in Sergie's life
was from last April-October. He began to get this little spring in his
step, stopped showing his teeth to people (he was a bit of a bully), and
just really seemed to be enjoying life. I believe that he finally felt
like he had a solid home and finally let those old hang ups go.
We would take really long walks, longer than what you think a
13 year old dog might take, and just have fun exploring the
neighborhood. He became a lot friendlier with my family,
and has always been nice to my nephew Joelie. He would even
go on less of an attack when people came to visit us.
He was a changed man, and it felt good to see that

Unfortunately, Sergie had come with a laundry list of health problems,
but we managed them the best we could. This winter, just got to
be too much when old age collided with all the pre-existing problems.
It became time for us to make a decision, the right decision for our
dear friend. So while my heart is half in pieces, the other half
just wants to celebrate the fact that Sergio's story had a very
happy ending. He left this world with people that truly loved him
and a place that he could call home.

I love you Sergio Muffin<3

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Recipe of the Week

I've loved Chicken and Dumplings for as long
as my MomMom has been making them for me.
My mom can also make a pretty great batch, and
now, so can I.

Mine is a bit different, as it comes from my trusty German
cookbook. But they are still just as satisfying as
MomMom's recipe.

This recipe below is a smaller portion than what the book calls for,
just because I'm only cooking for 2, if you are cooking for more
you can double everything.

Stewed Chicken with Dumplings
(Huhnereintopf mit Mehlklossen)

*2 Chicken legs with thigh
*3 tbsp butter
*1 small onion, diced
*3 tbsp flour
*1 whole stalk of celery, and one stalk of celery, sliced
*Fresh Parsley, chopped, about a handful
*2 carrots, peeled and sliced
*8 Peppercorns
*1 small Bay Leaf
*Chicken stock or hot water to cover
(I used 1 carton of chicken stock and 1 1/2 c water)
*Flour Dumplings (recipe below)

Rinse chicken pieces and dry thoroughly on paper towel.
Sprinkle with salt. Heat butter in 3 quart casserole or stew pot
and after hot and bubbling, add chicken and diced onion.
Saute' slowly until chicken and onion take on bright golden
color. Don't let them brown. Sprinkle with flour and continue
cooking until flour is absorbed and begins to take on
a light golden color.

Add celery, parsley, carrots, peppercorns and bay leaf.
Cover with hot water and stock. Bring to a boil, cover,
reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours or until chicken begins to
come away from the bone.

Now it's time for the dumplings, you'll need:
*2c sifted flour
*2 tsp baking powder
*1tsp salt
*2 tbsp butter
*1 tbsp caraway seeds (optional)

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add caraway seeds
Using a potato masher or pastry blender cut in the butter as
you would if making a pie crust until mixture has texture of
coarse meal. Gradually add milk and blend in with fork until batter
is the consistency of thick, cooked oatmeal porridge.
Using 2 spoons, drop dough into pot, allowing them to rest on top
of the meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes without
removing the cover.

After the dumplings have been steamed, remove from heat and serve.
Additional salt and pepper can be added if desired

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Latest Obsessions

*BHLDN- anthropologie's wedding line-debuts 2/14
(no, I'm not even engaged yet but who doesn't love dresses??)


*This live version of Heartbeats
(very Twin Peaks-esque, no?)

(brilliant show, I laughed through the entire episode)

*Rani Necklace by Tree & Kimball
(a bit outside my normal style but, I love it)


*Old National Geographics
(amazing pictures, hilarious ads)

(a taste of summer in the dead of winter)

(really want to see this!)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Recipe of the Week

In keeping with my New Year's Resolutions,
I broke out my Chinese cookbook last Saturday night
and made 2 things that I was intimidated by.

Scallion Bread and Sweet and Sour Pork.
Today is all about the Scallion Bread.

Similar to the scallion pancake, but not as thin
or as greasy. It was quite delicious.

Scallion Bread

2c All purpose flour (unsifted)
1tsp salt
3/4c boiling water
2tbsp baking powder
1/2c cold water
2 scallions: chopped into pea sized pieces
1/2c oil (I used grapeseed)

*In a mixing bowl, place 1 cup of flour and salt and mix well.
make a well in the flour and pour in the boiling water.
Mix and knead well.
sidenote:*The warm dough will be extremely sticky, I'd use a spoon
for the first mixing and then keep adding flour when combining it
with the cold dough.

*In another mixing bowl, mix the baking powder and
remaining cup of flour; add cold water.
Mix and knead well.

*Combine hot and cold doughs and knead until they are combined.
Put in a covered bowl and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours
or more (the dough should become soft and sticky)

*Sprinkle flour on a board, divide dough into 2 equal portions,
and roll each into a ball. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a pancake
1/4-1/3" thick and 10" in diameter. Sprinkle each pancake with scallions
and press into the dough.

*Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Pan fry one at a time
over low heat in a covered skillet. Turn once so that both sides
are golden brown. Cut into large slices. Serve hot.

Recipe taken from The Classic Chinese Cookbook
by:Mai Leung

Friday, February 04, 2011

Latest Obsessions

I know, I'm a day late on these-but believe me
there was no time to do anything yesterday.

(had one yesterday at the train station-made me so happy)

*2008 Saint Joseph/ Syrah/Jean Michel Gerin
(best syrah you will ever have. seriously.)

*How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore-Prince
(had no idea this was the original. Prince does it better.)

*Mexico-food, history, beaches, culture. all of it.
(Yeah...I want to go back)

*My Family
(they are too much fun)

*Chiffon Blouses
(it'll be a see through summer)
(if summer ever gets here..)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Tropical Getaway

This past weekend, the bf and I celebrated his
birthday in sunny Mexico.
Playa del Carmen to be exact.

This trip far exceeded any hopes that we had for it.
The hotel was amazing-thatched roofs, hammocks
on the patio, no tv/phone/internet.
Delicious breakfast every morning, and a private beach.

Outside the hotel was amazing too- it's not very often that I
actually embrace being a tourist. But we did indulge in souvenir
shopping, and you'll be seeing my embroidered shirt once the
weather warms up.

A general highlight of our travel is food and Mexico did not disappoint,
It may be one of the few cuisines that I just do not get tired of.
We really had a full spectrum of experiences- from a local hole in the wall
to fine dining.

-Tostadas with Victoria beer. It's extremely hard to find
Victoria in the States so that was something we sought out
when we arrived.

Fried oysters with choice of black truffle mousse or lime and salt.
Bet you can guess what I went for...
(this was part of our 6 course tasting menu at Ambar
in the Mandarin Oriental- I can't even get into how
incredible that meal was. It has taken a place in my top 10
meals of all time)

On the flip side, this was our lunch after our massages
on Sunday. A tiny hole in the wall where locals were eating.
$17 got us 2 beers, a huge bowl of guacamole, 2 bowls of soup,
the medium size shrimp ceviche (can you imagine how big the large is!?)
and a chicken burrito. So.Good.

Needless to say, we already want to go back.
There really is nothing like sunshine and the ocean
to wash away the winter blues.
Next year I hope that we can stay for a month!