Thursday, January 29, 2009

dream bathroom

i never thought that i'd have a "dream bathroom".

from the times

i love theater

i love theater. this is why. by this, i mean, the following images, which reaffirm that live theater can be so so cool. especially nice to be inspired during the early stages of putting my "eurydice" project up on its feet!

images from a nytimes past heddas slideshow that accompanied a recent review of the latest revival starring mary-louise parker. my favorite is the plimpton image.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

boogers on the moon

Today I turned to my boyfriend and said, "For Valentine's Day, can we go on a boat ride to the moon? And shoot arrows at the little men who sleep on the stars?" Then I added that I would ensure that all the sharks (sky-sharks, he called them) would go home, and they would be of no concern to us, as he is afraid of oceanic creatures.

And do you know what he said to me? Not "yes", not "let's do it", not "whatever you want." He turned to me and said, "You are a booger."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

pas de deux

stumbled upon a new women's boutique on east 11th while strolling through my old stomping grounds this afternoon. bumped into my friend tiffany there who buys for and runs the store--she used to hold the reigns on nearby den. the boutique, called pas de deux, is an extension of the odin conglomerate.

the store is beautiful, and the best part about it is that they carry a wide selection of shoes by the french brand repetto, which i love. i have these:

i actually stumbled upon the store because i noticed a pair of little black shoes, kind of oxford, not really--in this black leather that i really want. i actually want the alligator ones, but they've sold out on oak!

Friday, January 23, 2009

use me up

was at a dance class this evening, and this song killed me when it came on.

the morgan library

after working at the morgan library last night, i find myself still in awe of the modern interior of the space. particularly the main atrium, which has two large, beautiful trees rooted in soil beneath the wooden floor. the sight of a large tree indoors, surrounded by glass panes and walls, is a stunning image. the tree is so singular and prominent and theatrical--it reminds me of waiting for godot, wherein the tree is the only set piece. i want to use a huge, real tree in my "eurydice" project!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

let's get back on the island

now that the inauguration is over, let's get real: LOST premieres tomorrow night with a bombastic 2 hour special.

since the end of october/early november, i have been eagerly plowing through the show's past four seasons in order to catch up to this day. so, let's go!

*catch up will all of the LOST episodes on ABC's website
*a new york times article on the show and it's script coordinator
*a new york magazine q&a with michael emerson or benjamin linus (or henry gale?) of LOST
*another new york times article entitled "philosophy, mystery, anarchy: all is 'LOST'"
*attend a LOST premiere party at a Brooklyn bar
*listen to the band PREVIOUSLY ON LOST, known for composing a song per episode

happy inauguration day

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
(Abraham Lincoln, 1865)

from the new york times

chicken marsala

last week, i decided to make chicken marsala since i had nearly an entire bottle of marsala left over from the tiramisu adventure. it turned out delicious.

thanks to emeril

* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
* 2 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in halves and pounded thin
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 3 cups sliced mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake)
* 3/4 cup Marsala
* 1 cup chicken stock
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Chopped chives, for garnish


In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour and Essence and stir to combine thoroughly. Quickly dredge the chicken breast halves in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, add salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

* 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
* 2 tablespoons salt
* 2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon black pepper
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
* 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
* 1 tablespoon dried thyme


sometimes, you find yourself reading your favorite magazine and you just happen upon an article on your friend sophie in it. cool.

The Sundance Film Festival has been good to East Village filmmaker Sophie Barthes. The French-born director impressed the festival in 2007 with her philosophical short film Happiness, about a Brighton Beach woman who buys a box of joy and struggles with whether or not to open it. That earned her a slot in Sundance’s prestigious Screenwriters Lab, where she wrote and polished her first feature. Just two years later, she’s back with Cold Souls and a cast any debut filmmaker would kill for: Paul Giamatti plays a burned-out New York actor who removes his soul in order to shrug off some pressure, and David Strathairn performs the extraction. (Yes, the Charlie Kaufman comparisons are already buzzing.) Barthes’s idea for the movie came from a dream in which she was standing behind Woody Allen: “He was wearing a Sleeper costume,” she says. “A secretary comes and says, ‘Our souls have been extracted.’ Woody opens his box and sees that his soul is a chickpea, and he’s like, ‘I’ve made 40 movies! My soul is not a chickpea!’ I’m super-anxious, thinking, ‘If Woody Allen has a chickpea soul, what is mine gonna look like?’ I look down into my box—and I wake up.” Where does she think the dream came from? “The last eight years,” she says, “I’ve just felt like my soul was shrinking—so many people not wanting to feel anything because the country was such a mess.”

Sunday, January 18, 2009

el paso

i found these photos on cold splinters, a site i find endlessly enjoyable. the photographs were linked to a flickr page entitled: hippies, mystics, and those who appreciate the spiritual value of mexican food. ah, i'm in love. according to the site, these pictures were taken in texas around 1971.

the flickr captions say this last photo was taken in a dune just east of el paso. funny, because the girls and i have eerily similar pictures taken in a dune a couple of hours east of el paso.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


3191 is a photo project by two artists who live, of course, 3,191 miles apart, one in portland, oregon, the other in portland, maine. they each take a photo a day and put them together to form beautiful diptychs. on their website now, you can view a year's worth of evening diptychs, and you can check here for their recently published book of morning diptychs.

here are some that caught my eye:

mornings & evenings

a batali dinner

last night, i had the pleasure of cooking for 4 on a pleasurably freezing evening indoors, wherein we really got to take advantage of a cozy, warm evening at home. i also took advantage of my new molto italiano cookbook by mario batali, which was a spot on holiday gift from my sister-in-law. i bought the cheeses/bread/pasta at russo's in the east village, the pastries at the nearby italian bakeries veniero's and de robertis, and the veggies at top's on the waterfront.

we started off with a red pepper and onion crostini, which i don't have a picture of, but the recipe is unbelievably simple:
*1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
*2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
*teaspoon of thyme
*teaspoon of oregano
*2 tablespoons of olive oil
*1 baguette or Italian bread, coarsely sliced
*1 lemon

In a 10-12 inch saute pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the red peppers, thyme, and oregano. Increase the heat to high and saute until the peppers and onions are very soft, about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Grill or toast the bread. Squeeze a bit of lemon on each slice to moisten the bread and then top with red pepper mixture.

Then we had what turned out to be my favorite dish of the evening, eggplant involtini with ricotta and scallions.

please excuse the quality of this photo. i didn't take this one.

This was very easy and exciting to make. First, I made my own tomato sauce, adapted from Batali's recipe.
makes approx 3 cups
*1/2 spanish onion, diced
*3 cloves of garlic, diced
*1 medium carrot, diced
*1 celery stalk, diced
*3 tbs chopped thyme
*1 28-ounce box strained tomatoes (i use Pomi)
*olive oil

In a saucepan, heat olive oil and add onion and garlic. Saute until soft and browning, about 5 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, and thyme. Cook until all veggies are soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until sauce thickens. Season with salt.

When the tomato sauce was ready, I set 2 cups aside and began on the eggplant involtini.
*2 cups of olive oil
*1-2 medium eggplants (depending on how many people you're feeding), sliced lengthwise into 1/3-inch thick slices
*1 cup fresh ricotta
*1 large egg
*2 scallions thinly sliced
*1/4 tsp nutmeg
*salt and pepper
*2 cups tomato sauce
*a couple of sprigs of whole parsley leaves

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until 370 degrees (i just guessed.) Add the eggplant slices 3-4 at a time to fry, turning once until soft and light brown, about 2 minutes. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, scallions, and nutmeg, mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the eggplant slices on a work surface and spoon 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture at the base of each slice. Roll the eggplant up around the filling to form a neat roll and set seam side down on the work surface. Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the eggplant roll ups. Pour the sauce into the dish and place the rolls seam side down into the sauce. Bake until cheese starts to melt, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley leaves and serve.

next, we had a winter caprese salad, which was very easy to assemble.

*6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
*3/4 cup olive oil
*salt and pepper
*1 clove of garlic
*3 tablespoons grated parmigiano-reggiano
*3 cups fresh basil leaves, plus a few for garnish
*2 tbs pine nuts
*1 big ball of buffalo mozzarella, cut into quarters

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 2 hours, or until the tomatoes are softened. Once ready, set aside to cool. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic and parmigiano and pulse until the garlic is roughly chopped. add the basil and pulse 7-8 times until the leaves are shredded. slowly add the remaining olive oil and blend until smooth. Toast the pine nuts in a small saute pan, tossing frequently until golden brown, then cool. To serve, arrange 3 tomato halves cut side down on each plate. Place a ball of mozzarella in the center and spoon 1-2 tablespoons of pesto onto each ball. Sprinkle with pine nuts and garnish with basil leaves.

about an hour later, we decided to arise from our fat stupor and proceed with the dinner. i really thought that we were going to throw the rest of the meal out the window, but our fatness prevailed. our main course was a pumpkin ravioli with a sage butter sauce.

for this recipe, i combined a special batali element with a dish that i make frequently.

*pumpkin ravioli (i bought it frozen at russo's, assume 6 pieces per serving)
*a 8-10 fresh sage leaves.
*1 stick of butter
*2 handfuls of hazelnuts, chopped
*4 amaretti cookies, grated
*grated parmigiano-reggiano.

Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saute pan with the sage leaves. Watch that it doesn't burn. Briefly toast the hazelnuts in a small pan, tossing occasionally. Drop the pasta into the boiling water in batches, no more than 12 at once. Cook until tender, no more than 5 minutes. Watch for the ravioli to rise to the top. With a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to warmed serving plates. Top each plate with an even proportion of sage butter, and garnish with crispy sage leaves. Sprinkle each dish with parmigiano, hazelnuts, and the grated amaretti cookies (the batali idea). This is perfect.

somehow, we managed to put down dessert as well:

along with 1/2 a block of delicious, nutty parmigiano that my guests brought over. and after dinner cocktails. 2 of them! first we had a round of kentucky scurvys, my personal favorite: 2 parts bourbon, 2 parts grapefruit juice, one part rose's lime. then we had a special spicy winter creation: 2 parts dark rum, a dash of rose's, and a dash of angostura bitters. (i think that's what it was. maybe there was some seltzer in there as well? it as a smashing surprise!)

my guests over dessert!

i feel tremendously full again even writing about this meal. the cooking was simple, really. the feat was in eating all of this tremendous food. but i highly recommend all of the dishes, and i hope you trust my little cooking instructions!

belated christmas gift

i just purchased this dress with a christmas gift certificate at my favorite dress shop.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

summer down under

just found the above photos along with the following text on this blog.
The summer season of warm nights and hot, long days is upon us here in Australia.

i can't wait for summer. when it comes, i swear to god, i'm going to walk through the warm, humid streets of new york city all through the night. i'm going to get all the sleep i need now, because when warm weather comes, i want to be present for every minute of it.

the state of casting these days

i received this casting notice in an email today.

Danny Goldman (casting dir.) is casting Who Lives?, a powerful fictional drama based on the early history of kidney dialysis.

even better, i just noticed the sidenote: *Actors with kidney disease are a plus.

it's pretty weird... be casually browsing online and end up finding pictures of your cousins on fashion runways.

my cousin, natalie. first cousin.

Monday, January 12, 2009

mood rings

after a day of intermittent laughter in bouts of relief thanks to picking up a certain book again, i admit i am enamored with fran lebowitz. the book i have been reading is the fran lebowitz reader, a combination of her published sardonic essays, which was passed along to my mother and then to me, and has some singularly meaningful inscription on the title page that was not meant for me.

i just stumbled upon this cool little article about a lunch date with her. it was published in the "home & garden" section. does that still exist? who reads that section? is that just a front for "ladies only"?

here is a brief essay of hers, which i thoroughly enjoyed on the subway today and expect you to, too.


As one whose taste in mental states has always run largely toward the coma, I have very little patience with the current craze for self-awareness. I am already far too well acquainted with how I feel and frankly, given the choice, I would not. Anyone who is troubled by the inability to feel his or her own feelings is more than welcome to feel mine. It should not be surprising, then, for you to learn that I am something less than enchanted with a concept such as mood jewelry. For those of you fortunate enough to have your lack of awareness extend into the realm of advertising, mood jewelry is jewelry that tells you your feelings via a heat-sensitive stone. And although one would think that stones would have quite enough to do, what with graves and walls and such, it seems that they have now taken on the job of informing people that they are nervous. And although one would think that a person who is nervous would be more than able to ascertain that fact without the aid of a quite unattractive ring, this is apparently not the case.

Mood jewelry comes to us in many guises: necklaces, rings, watches, and bracelets. But whatever form it takes, it is invariably equipped with the perceptive and informative stone that not only relates one's present mood but also indicates in what direction that mood is headed. The stone performs this new feat by means of color change. The following, chosen solely on the basis of crankiness, has been excerpted from an ad:

ONYX BLACK...Overworked.
AMBER RED...You are becoming more strained, even anxious.
TOPAZ YELLOW...Somewhat unsettled, your mind is wandering.
JADE GREEN...Normal, nothing unusual is happening.
TURQUOISE BLUE-GREEN...You are beginning to relax...your emotions are turning up.
LAPIS BLUE...You feel belong. Relax...your feelings are beginning to flow freely.
SAPPHIRE BLUE...You're completely open...feeling happy...concentrating on your strong inner feelings and passions. This is the highest state.

One can safely assume that a person who finds it necessary to consult a bracelet on the subject of his own state of mind is a person who is undoubtedly perplexed by a great many things. It follows, then, that in such a case a piece of jewelry that reveals only emotions can hardly be called adequate--for here is a person besieged and beset by questions far more complex than "Am I strained?" This is an individual who needs answers--an individual who should be able to look at his heavily adorned wrist and ask, "Am I tall? Short? A natural blond? A man? A woman? An elm? Do I own my own home? Can I take a joke? Do I envy the success of others?"

Clearly, if there is to be such a thing as mood jewelry it must become more specific. In the interests of hastening such an occurrence I offer the following:

REDDISH BEIGE...You are an American Indian who is are of little interest both to yourself and to other American Indians.
BEIGISH RED...You are a white person who is are deeply embarrassed by your complete lack of interesting qualities...humility is no substitute for a good personality...this will not change.
LAVENDER...You are either a homosexual or a bathroom rug in a house where you match the tile...if you decide in favor of being a bathroom rug just remember that as a homosexual you could have been on the David Susskind Show.
HORIZONTAL STRIPES...You are extremely thin and have reacted to this fact excessively...this is the lowest state.
MULATTO...One of your parents is turning into a Negro...if your parents are already Negroes, one of them is turning into a white person.
IRREGULAR, FINE LINES...You are getting somewhat older...this will probably continue.
BURNT UMBER...You are turning into an artist...possibly Hans Holbein, the Younger. This is the highest state.


my favorites from a slide show of "would-be biggies" from the open call casting session of the upcoming notorious, thanks to the new york times.



Sunday, January 11, 2009

the end of mayle?

a closed chapter
a closed chapter by Bexia

whilst looking at mayle dresses online today (my absolute favorite designer to buy dresses from), i stumbled upon this briefing:
Designer Jane Mayle is closing the doors of her New York boutique and dissolving the brand that has become a Noho institution.

“We knew we didn’t want to reinvest in the neighborhood,” Mayle says. “It prompted me to think hard about where I was in business and where I wanted to go. The industry has changed so much, and the little niche we entered when I started the brand, and the demands in this niche have changed, so I asked myself, ‘Do I want to keep participating?’” Mayle became a favorite ... with celebrities and editors for its beautiful “magpie aesthetic” clothes and unconventional fashion path, relaying on word of mouth rather than runway shows.

Is it weird that I am genuinely upset right now? is this true?

she's always in my hair

this song used to be my jam when i was in...oh, i'd say, the seventh grade.

d'angelo - she's always in my hair

rilke on eurydice

A Rilke poem I found whilst amassing research for my "Eurydice" project:

Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes.

That was the strange mine of souls.
As secret ores of silver they passed
like veins through its darkness. Between the roots
blood welled, flowing onwards to Mankind,
and it looked as hard as Porphyry in the darkness.
Otherwise nothing was red.

There were cliffs
and straggling woods. Bridges over voids,
and that great grey blind lake,
that hung above its distant floor
like a rain-filled sky above a landscape.
And between meadows, soft and full of patience,
one path, a pale strip, appeared,
passing by like a long bleached thing.

And down this path they came.

In front the slim man in the blue mantle,
mute and impatient, gazing before him.
His steps ate up the path in huge bites
without chewing: his hands hung,
clumsy and tight, from the falling folds,
and no longer aware of the weightless lyre,
grown into his left side,
like a rose-graft on an olive branch.
And his senses were as if divided:
while his sight ran ahead like a dog,
turned back, came and went again and again,
and waited at the next turn, positioned there –
his hearing was left behind like a scent.
Sometimes it seemed to him as if it reached
as far as the going of those other two,
who ought to be following this complete ascent.

Then once more it was only the repeated sound of his climb
and the breeze in his mantle behind him.
But he told himself that they were still coming:
said it aloud and heard it die away.
They were still coming, but they were two
fearfully light in their passage. If only he might
turn once more (if looking back
were not the ruin of all his work,
that first had to be accomplished), then he must see them,
the quiet pair, mutely following him:

the god of errands and far messages,
the travelling-hood above his shining eyes,
the slender wand held out before his body,
the beating wings at his ankle joints;
and on his left hand, as entrusted: her.

The so-beloved, that out of one lyre
more grief came than from all grieving women:
so that a world of grief arose, in which
all things were there once more: forest and valley,
and road and village, field and stream and creature:
and that around this grief-world, just as
around the other earth, a sun
and a silent star-filled heaven turned,
a grief-heaven with distorted stars –
she was so-loved.

But she went at that god’s left hand,
her steps confined by the long grave-cloths,
uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.
She was in herself, like a woman near term,
and did not think of the man, going on ahead,
or the path, climbing upwards towards life.
She was in herself. And her being-dead
filled her with abundance.
As a fruit with sweetness and darkness,
so she was full with her vast death,
that was so new, she comprehended nothing.

She was in a new virginity
and untouchable: her sex was closed
like a young flower at twilight,
and her hands had been weaned so far
from marriage that even the slight god’s
endlessly gentle touch, as he led,
hurt her like too great an intimacy.

She was no longer that blonde woman,
sometimes touched on in the poet’s songs,
no longer the wide bed’s scent and island,
and that man’s possession no longer.

She was already loosened like long hair,
given out like fallen rain,
shared out like a hundredfold supply.

She was already root.

And when suddenly
the god stopped her and, with anguish in his cry,
uttered the words: ‘He has turned round’ –
she comprehended nothing and said softly: ‘Who?’

But far off, darkly before the bright exit,
stood someone or other, whose features
were unrecognisable. Who stood and saw
how on the strip of path between meadows,
with mournful look, the god of messages
turned, silently, to follow the figure
already walking back by that same path,
her steps confined by the long grave-cloths,
uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

salmon story

this evening, i read the following passage in the book i am currently reading, the gift. the author relays folklore and a wide variety of parables in order to explicate the process of gift-giving and it's socio-cultural relevance. this mythical story about salmon caught my eye. i personally can't stand the taste of salmon, but i served baked salmon at work tonight, so i guess this story is doubly relevant.
It was the Indian belief that all animals lived as they themselves lived--in tribes--and that the salmon, in particular, dwelt in a huge lodge beneath the sea. According to this mythology, the salmon go about in human form while they are at home in their lodge, but once a year they change their bodies into fish bodies, dress themselves in robes of salmon skin, swim to the mouths of the rivers, and voluntarily sacrifice themselves that their land brothers may have food for the winter.

Interested? Keep reading...

The first salmon to appear in the rivers was always given an elaborate welcome. A priest or his assistant would catch the fish, parade it to an altar, and lay it out before the group (its head pointing inland to encourage the rest of the salmon to continue swimming upstream). The first fish was treated as if it were a high-ranking chief making a visit from a neighboring tribe. The priest sprinkled its body with eagle down or red ochre and made a formal speech of ewlcome, mentioning, as far as politness permitted, how much the tribe hoped the run would continue and be bountiful. The celebants then sang the songs that welcome an honored guest. After the ceremony the priest gave everyone present a piece of the fish to eat. Finally - and this is what makes it clearly a gift cycle - the bones of the first salmon were returned to the sea. The belief was that salmon bones placed back into the water would reassemble once they had washed out to sea; the fish would then revive, return to its home, and revert to its human form. The skeleton of the first salmon had to be returned to the water intact: later fish could be cut apart, but all their bones were still put back into the water. If they were not, the salmon would be offended and might not return the following year with their gift of winter food.


little chefs

my favorite new thing: little chefs. literally little chefs. probably 3-4 feet tall, 4-5 years old.

just as i was about to proceed with this post about a 4-year-old sous chef i read about in the new york times sunday magazine, i stumbled upon this video featuring a 5-year-old with his own cooking show! so, the little chef first:

meet portland, oregon native julian kreusser, who has his own cooking show, "the big kitchen with food" on portland cable access tv. this kid is a pleasure to watch and he really knows what he's talking about. i like how he occasionally looks off camera for some silent guidance, and i also like the humming he does at around 3:02 to bide the time as he "whisks [the mixture] with a whisk".

now meet 4-year-old dexter, son new york times staffer pete wells, who writes about him in an essay entitled orange genius.
Most nights, before the nuclear generator runs down and he shuts his eyes, Dexter and I argue about food. Lately he’s been on a cookie jag, and the arguments are not about whether he can have cookies before bedtime. They are about whether he can have cookies before bedtime if he preheats the oven and begins mixing the dough at 8:15. The answer to that one, and I try to stick to it, is no. Oh, but what about making the dough now and baking in the morning? And if I say no to that too: What about starting the dough now, finishing it in the morning and then baking the cookies tomorrow night?

isn't that incredibly sweet? click on the article to learn more about dexter's love of cooking.

one question in brooklyn

Fifty People, One Question: Brooklyn from Crush & Lovely on Vimeo.

i found this video surprisingly captivating.
via lady croissant

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

help me, ebay!

i want these shoes! help me, mr. ebay!!

seen on the cherry blossom girl


i just found these photos on liebemarlene. they're from an editorial in lula magazine, which i can't afford anymore!

make your own kind of music

mama cass - make your own kind of music

i've been listening to this song all day. i love it. it's so cheery. at the same time, when i hear the first few notes, i get really frightened and freaked out because this song was blasting in the opening episode of the second season of lost, and you had no idea where the hell you were, why this song was playing, or if you were even watching what you thought you were watching.

yes, i'm a LOST addict. watch it for yourself here.

Monday, January 5, 2009

eula mae gumbo

last week, i successfully prepared a recipe i found in the times sunday magazine "the lives they lived" issue. this particular recipe belonged to cajun cook eula mae dore, who was commemorated in the issue. i was inspired to make her sausage-and-shrimp gumbo because i've never made anything like it before and after recalling my spectacular meal at jacques imo's in new orleans last summer, i was eager to try something new and different!

we started off with one of my favorite, simple salads: a boston lettuce wedge, topped with radishes, scallions, drizzled buttermilk ranch dressing, and cracked pepper.

after we ate the salad, i threw the shrimp into the gumbo, which had been cooking for about 25-30 minutes already. this took a couple of minutes...

...and then, voila! the final product!

and the recipe...

Shrimp-and-sausage gumbo, Eula Mae style.
- serves 6-8 -

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound andouille smoked sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (chorizo may be substituted)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup seeded and chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups sliced fresh okra or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen sliced okra, thawed
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
2 bay leaves
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, green parts only
Cooked long-grain white rice (optional).

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl.

2. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is light brown, about 2 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers and garlic and cook, scraping the brown bits from the bottom, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Add the sausage, okra, salt, cayenne, Tabasco and bay leaves. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the shrimp and green onions and simmer just until the shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and season to taste with more salt and cayenne. Serve in soup bowls, over hot rice if you choose.

My friend Adam unexpectedly brought over ingredients for an ingenious dessert: grape soda floats!

We scooped out some vanilla ice cream into glasses and topped them off with Welch's grape soda! I also put together some whipped cream, adding some vanilla and sugar to the cream, and then we topped out floats with dollops of cream!

everything was really good. the salad is very light and easy to assemble. i was able to prepare it simultaneously with the gumbo. this salad reminds me of freeman's... the gumbo was extraordinarily exciting--maybe because i've never made anything like it before and never thought to either. it was spicy, meaty, and satisfying. altogether a very unique cooking experience. lastly, of course, the grape soda floats were like little secret surprises at the end of the night. i think i just may prefer them to root beer floats and cola floats, and probably just about all kinds of floats.

ta da!