Monday, August 31, 2009

Let's Hear It For New York

B and I listened the Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 today. This song, Empire State of Mind featuring Alicia Keys, quickly stole our hearts. I loved watching B eat up the words "If Jesus paying Lebron, I'm paying Dwayne Wade" for the first time. Later, I listened to it again while running on the treadmill at the gym and it made me want to run miles more.

I’m from where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
these streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
lets here it for New York


Another CSA round today. I had to re-organize my fridge to make everything fit. I also had a bunch of left-overs from last time to sort through. After two shares full of potatoes, my fridge is overwhelmed. I had to put a cardboard box on my bottom shelf to hold all of my potatoes. I counted 16! I mix of red, white, and russet potatoes. Thanks to a hint from mystic domestica, I'm going to put a good portion of these to use in a potato corn chowder. Maybe I'll look into potato salad? Or have baked potato night! Mmm, yes!

The most absurd part of my share was the quantity of jalapenos we received. I usually have half a jalapeno lying in a ziploc in my fridge, since I nearly never find use for a whole one. Our share for the day included 16 jalapenos. Can you believe that? It was the first thing I noticed when I got to bridget, before I could even sign in. What am I going to do with all those jalapenos? Well, I'm already thinking of a jalapeno butter with corn that I tasted at Diner. I'm also thinking of pickling them, but that doesn't thrill me. La Superior serves jalapeno rellenos that I love--I'm wondering if I can try those. Ideas? I also need something new to do with my batch of beets. I'm beet pesto-ed out.

Maybe I'll have another taco night and make this esquites recipe from New York mag. I do have a new batch of epazote.


I like this photo Jen took yesterday afternoon as we left my apartment after a few leisurely hours that included white wine sangria and pizza to head to the Grizzly Bear concert, which we ended up missing.

In it, we're all engrossed in the game of "Get the Pencil in the Hole." Exactly a week ago, this spot served as the grounds for the bike relay race that ensued after my birthday party.

The pizza I tried out yesterday was near-perfect. I did a Margherita with pancetta, and an adaptation of smitten kitchen's grilled eggplant and olive pie. I even made a second pie of the latter recipe for lunch today!


Doing some research on an upcoming camping trip and I'm chasing waterfalls. Just found out about a place called Bash Bish Falls.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

At the Edge of the World

"And as we watch a lone Sea Shepherd clinging to the back of a harpooned whale, we understand a resolve that will not quit until the killing ends."

- the closing sentence to Jeannette Catsoulis' review of the latest film about Japanese whalers in the Ross Sea and the eco-pirates who are out to save the whales, At the Edge of the World


I'm not nuts about jewelry, but this wedding 1974 wedding ring is incredible.

Before I say goodnight...

"He raised his hand and over the desolate earth he traced in space the sign of the dollar."
- Atlas Shrugged

Peach Pie

My worn-out, taped and tattered copy of Atlas Shrugged.

I stayed home this evening to bake my first-ever pie! I had been eyeing the recipe from Smitten Kitchen for peach-creme fraiche pie, so this afternoon I finally went on what turned into a shopping spree at whisk. I intended to buy the necessary baking tools that I lacked, and ended up buying my much-anticipated pizza stone, as well as the A16 Cookbook, which I have heard so much about.

Anyway, I'm glad that I didn't make big plans for the evening, because it took me more than a few hours to get through this pie, with many breaks of course. It's cooling now.

In other exciting news, I spent my breaks in between baking polishing off the final pages of Atlas Shrugged. The book is 1168 pages long and I received it on my birthday last year. I can't tell you what it felt like to see these words:

There might be a chance that I still lean towards The Fountainhead being my favorite of the two, but I have to say: that climactic scene at the Institute is unlike anything I've ever read before. I could only compare it by calling it cinematic. It was like seeing real-life superheroes. Unbelievable.

And on that note, I am ready to move this behemoth of a book from my nightstand to my bookshelf. But, not without a few parting quotes:

+ "Drop your guns," said Rearden. "You don't know why you're here. We do. You don't know who your prisoner is. We do. You don't know why your bosses want you to guard him. We know why we want to get him out. You don't know the purpose of your fight. We know the purpose of ours. If you die, you won't know what you're dying for. If we do, we will."

+ "One of these centuries," said Danneskjold, turning to them for a moment, "the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."

+ "Dagny!--he heard himself crying soundlessly--Dagny, in the name of the best within us! He was jerking at futile levers and at a throttle that had nothing to move...Dagny!--he was crying to a twelve-year-old girl in a sunlit clearing of the woods--in the name of the best within us, I must now start this train!"

Friday, August 28, 2009


Do you remember my Williams-Sonoma post, where I expounded on how Williams-Sonoma is heaven and I listed all the gadgets I wanted from there? Well, last night I received my last 2009 birthday gift from Billy's mom and it was EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED! Can't wait to install it as a permanent fixture in my kitchen and tell you all about it. More later!

Fall Fever

Now that my birthday is over with, I'm satiated with summer and ready for autumn to commence. Although I'm no longer a student, autumn will always carry the smell of a new year, with a changed schedule and fresh notebooks. The Jews really have the calendar year right--Rosh Hashanah, which means the head of the year, falls in September and ushers in the new year as I follow it. It's too cold in January for me to feel any sort of thrill towards the technically new year.

Anyway, the autumn bug has hit me. Occasionally, I'll catch myself looking at my cardigans and jackets longingly. I'm sending my boots out to be fixed. I've even started browsing some sites to check out the new fall digs, mainly because I received a lovely gift certificate to Opening Ceremony from my folks. I was swooning this morning looking at the perfect muted fall dresses. Liebemarlene just reminded me about Permanent Vacation, whose site I haven't checked out in a few months and who have just released images from their fall collection. I've wanted one of their dresses for awhile, maybe now 'tis the season to buy! But which?

My autumn excitement really kicked in with the arrival of the fall preview issue of New York Magazine. After devouring the calender of new releases and events, I neurotically went back with a pen to ink up the issue with my choices for the fall, as if I'm going to keep this already tattered issue around to guide me through the coming months. This is what caught the attention of my erratic pen:
+ 9/3 - The Giants host a (preseason) Super Bowl rematch with the Patriots. (Since dating a sport addict, I've kind of fallen in love with the ritualistic tradition of football Sundays. Especially when it's cold outside, there's nothing better than spending a Sunday on a couch, surrounded my food and people.)
+9/12 - Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing Iago in the Public Theatre's Othello
+9/28 - Yom Kippur. (Last year we had a supreme feast. I wonder what this year will bring.)
+10/3 - Zac Pelaccio's Williamsburg BBQ pit Fatty 'Cue should finally open this month.
+10/13 - "Global Kitchen: The Magic of Pickling" at the American Museum of Natural History
+10/17 - Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth, hosted by Ruth Reichl, premiere on PBS.
+10/26 - David Chang's Momofuku Cookbook comes out tomorrow. (Really, New York Magazine? Nothing else special about today?)
+11/2 - Everything related to Jonathan Safran Foer's eating habits will be illuminated: his investigative-scientific-philosophical memoir, Eating Animals, is released.
+11/8 - From your house to Bauhaus at their house: MoMA's epic "Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity" opens tonight.
+11/24 - The Pixies play the second of the three concerts--it's Doolittle, all the way through--at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
+11/25 - Rob Marshall's Nine, a Fellini-inspired musical drama starring Daniel Day-Lewis is released.

I can't wait to go to movies, museums, concerts, and plays, then walk home breathing in the crisp autumn air with hints of that wood-log winter smell, wearing my boots and tights and dresses and jackets. Woohoo!

P.S. Despite my eagerness for fall, I'm secretly glad we have three weeks of summer left, just enough time for a few more pool parties, BBQs, and a camping trip!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Earthy Bodies

Little Marina, circa 1991/1992 in Israel with my grandparents.

Two new solo songs from Fleet Foxes vocalist/drummer J Tillman:
+Earthly Bodies
+Though I Have Wronged You

Birthday Recap

My birthday festivities included:
+Big, fat girls only dinner at Fette Sau
+A quick drink at Spuyten Duyvil
+Received my boyfriend's mysterious gift: a reconnaissance mission in a top-secret envelope
+Early morning wake-up!
+Nearly three hour drive to Cape May in NJ for whale watching!
+Saw 100 dolphins swimming around and up to the boat, watched them surf. Incredible! (No whales though...we're going to go again.)
+Made a quick pit stop in Atlantic City for my first time. Blew $50 quickly.
+Got lost in Jersey on the way home.
+Had a surprise party awaiting me at my apartment! We ate pizza and Spanish pastries! And all the boys took their shirts off.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Lasting Gift

Look at all the flowers everyone brought to my surprise birthday party!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Women Hold Up Half the Sky" - Chinese Proverb

Assuming that the bulk of my readers here are girls, I want to strongly urge you all to find today's issue of the New York Times' Sunday Magazine, which features a slew of important articles that focus around that topic, "Why Women's Rights Are the Cause of Our Time."

The stories presented left a deafening mark on my heart and brought me to tears. Ultimately, I felt confused by the facts presented about the brutal oppression suffered by women around the world. In my mind, we should be centuries behind this kind of inequality and unfathomable violence. This reminds me of a game I played recently with Billy: I asked him when & where in history would he choose to go if he had the opportunity to time travel. His options were endless. Mine, however, were bound primarily by the fact that I was a woman. I didn't want to end up anywhere outside of the U.S. or pre-20th century unless I was of untouchable importance somewhere, as in royalty.

The cover article, The Women's Crusade, drives that realization home, reminding us readers that women around the world are "routinely beaten, raped or sold into prostitution." A second article, A School Bus for Shamsia, tells the story of a young female student at an Afghani school for girls who was seriously burned with battery acid and the journalist who reported the story, eventually raising $25,000 to help the girl and her school. By the end of the article, he has managed to buy a school bus, but is still having difficulty convincing Shamsia's family to allow him to put the donated money toward repairing her face and damaged eyesight. There's also an interview with Hilary Clinton, as well as a final anecdote that again leaves you thinking about "a safe place to be a girl."

A section in the cover article lends a few words to do-it-yourself aid. The writers suggest, a microfinancing organization wherein you can choose to lend (and be paid back) small amounts of money to people all over the world looking to finance small businesses. Or there's GlobalGiving, a donation-based organization wherein you can make a small gift to women whose causes you identify with. Click here for an expanded list of organizations that seek to support women in developing countries.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pleasures of the Home

Every sunny summer Saturday that comes along makes me feel like I should be making the most of the day by spending it outside. With no plans, errands, or specifics in mind, I usually hop on my bike, wander about Brooklyn, and find a spot to read the paper.

However, there's also something to be said for a full day spent enjoying the pleasures available in one's home. With the radio on all day, I cleaned up my place and made a full breakfast of Western scramble, cumin-scented breakfast potatoes, and bacon. Check out the photo of my monsterous CSA egg--it held twins, although I thought it would be quads:

dinosaur egg


After, I proceeded to read the entire paper on my couch. Then I messed around on the computer, catching up with all of my favorite blogs and even discovering new ones, watching hip new videos, and google-ing whatever peaked my interest. Then, after a brief bout of work-related e-mails, a brief Craigslist money-making venture, and trip to Marlow & Daughters for more provisions, I set foot in my kitchen for 3 hours of cooking.

I had no one to cook for, no future meals to prepare for, no one to taste test my makings other than myself--and it was great! Sometimes I think that's the way I learned to cook at all, by spending a lot of time experimenting on my own and gaining experience with a variety of foods. Because I had all these CSA veggies I wanted to use (carrots, celery, onions, garlic, an array of peppers), I decided to make some contorni type dishes to keep in the fridge for the upcoming week. I made marinated carrots (with olive oil, white wine vinegar, a chili pepper, parsley, and oregano), a broiled hobo-pack of peppers, zucchini, onion, and rosemary, and roasted peppers with garlic.
Plus, I ran out of my stock of homemade tomato sauce, which I make every so often and freeze, so it was time to make a new six pint batch.

I also decided to re-try the delicious red beet pesto recipe I mentioned here the other day. I ate up my last batch within a day of making it, so now I have three masons jars full of it!

All in all, I'm very happy with my stay at home day. I feel rested, indulged, and accomplished. As for the rest of the evening, I have plenty more to do here at home: four magazines to read, 150 pages left of Atlas Shrugged, and I have to finish watching Aladdin, which B & I rented late last night from iTunes. You know where to find me.

lovers and haters

I just watched a sweet, short clip called Lovers & Haters on the NYTimes website.

Some great responses:

+ "I hate my brother, the older one."
+ "I hate ugly girls."
+ "I dont hate nothing."
+ "Things I love, things I love, OK...I like raindrops and roses and bright yellow kittens, y' 'bout that?"
+ "I love Times Square. I love the Broadway."

What do you hate and love about New York?


I am loving Carey Mulligan. Especially after this NYTimes video. Can't wait to see her in this.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Catch It

Biked over to Brooklyn Bridge Park last night to take in "Catch Me If You Can" under the city lights. Perfect temperature, good food (soppressata, strawberries, cheese, raisin fennel bread, wine), and lovely company. I do wish I had something (or somebody) to lean on--it's impossible to stay comfortable at those outdoor movies. I'm excited for next week--Edward Scissorhands! But, I'm going to ensure that I have a biking partner for the ride home. Late night solo biking down deserted Flushing Ave is not for the faint of heart.

My Moon

Cooool! New Ryan McGinley photos. Found here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Williams Sonoma is heaven

Sitting on the Williams-Sonoma website, ogling all the gadgets I vow to own one day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Baked Eggs

Meryl came over this afternoon and we made baked eggs for lunch! It was delicious. I was inspired by Miro who informed me of this Ina Garten recipe during our dinner date last night (wherein she executed a perfect buttermilk-dressed Boston lettuce salad with veggies!)

The baked eggs were so quick and easy to make. I can't wait to try them again in different combinations.

I also put together a red beet pesto, which I don't have pictures of, but it was AMAZING! I was inspired by a friend who is the chef at Smith & Mills. He started us off with a red beet pesto bruschetta that surprised me. It was intense, sweet, garlicky, salty, and bright purple! I loved it. I just combined about a cup full of sliced roasted beets, one garlic clove, 3/4 cup Parmesan, olive oil, and a few basil leaves into a food processor, and VOILA! Pictures soon...

Words or questions of Wisdom

Does it mean you're getting old when you find out people from your high school class just got married? (Does that mean they'll have babies soon?) Or how about when you feel trepidation about turning 23 next week, does that mean you're getting old?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Forts and Adventures

Did a lot of fun things this weekend.

+Made a fort in my living room. Watched Whale Rider in it and ate late-night snacks. Found Lou loving the fort the next morning.

+Ate delicious, cheap Mexican food at La Superior in good company and drank homemade lemonade cocktails.
+Peeped the latest scary alien movie. It was awesome!
+Raided the USQ Greenmarket. Picked up bi-color sweet corn, squash blossoms, heirloom tomatoes, and flowers among other things.
+Cooked a 4-course meal for my friend David's birthday. Made the following: 1) Homemade Minted Lemonade and Artichoke-Olive Crostini. 2)Fried Ricotta-Stuffed Squash Blossoms, Fresh Corn Salad, and Roasted Beets. 3) Pan-Roasted Brick Chicken (under a brick stolen off the street by my dutiful boyfriend!) alongside Frites and Heirloom Tomato Salad. 4) Marlow & Sons' Chocolate Caramel Tart with Sea Salt.

+Played Bananagrams and drinking games.
+Woke up bright & early for breakfast in Rockville Center
+Swam in the ocean (and peed in it, too)
+Went to a roadside seafood shack, watched live lobsters being gutted
+Tried my first lobster!
+Slept so well in the Hampty Hamps.