Took a friend for a birthday dinner.  Honestly, Jack’s is food and ambiance I hadn’t expected from Albany, NY.  That’s the downstater in me judging.  But I should knock that off cause I’m a Jersey girl now.  Yeah, more on that eventually when I’m ready to talk about it.  (huge adjustment, Jersey feels like a whole ‘nother country sometimes).

So there was wine, a pinot noir from oregon and I’m not knowledgeable enough to know the finer details of wine but I like to drink it.  So it was good.  I love the pomp and circumstance of ordering a bottle.  #classyasfuck

Started with a half dozen blue point oysters. I just really like oysters.  I like how salty they are and they taste like I am eating the ocean.  You know what? when I’m done with this post, I may do all the oysters I’ve eaten this year.  Cause they’re my new obsession. 

House salads came with the entrees, a house dressing.  Couldn’t figure out if it was raspberry or blood orange but good nonetheless.  There was bread too but we never even touched it. Best decision ever by the way.  more room for everything else.

I had the filet mignon, medium rare.  Normally I like my steaks medium but with the quality touted, I thought it only fair to the beef to let it stay super pink in the middle.  And how can you ever go wrong embracing the pink, right? So tender.  So flavorful.  A huge cut which would normally make me nervous about evenness.  But they pulled it off.  And go big or go home, right?

birthday friend ordered Steak au poivre and pan seared scallops. I don’t like scallops enough to ever commit to a full dish but I like thying them when someone else orders them.  These were so fricking good.  the sear was a perfect little crisp crunch and they had to have ade them in the perfect pan.  and yeah, I’m still loving seafood.  

Then. cause it was a birthday dinner, we ordered dessert.  We had them make an order of thier house made strawberry cotton candy to go because we were going back to hang out with other people for a little and thought it would be something very nice to bring as a present. And birthday boy picked a tiramisu. I cringed inside, I  do not normally like tiramisu, really, I don’t.  So i ordered proseco cause Chris turned me on to ordering a liquid dessert.  And then this loose interpretation of a tiramisu was brought out.  It had the sponge soaked in a liquor.  and the mascarpone.  but it had nothing else in common.  firstly, the liquor was LIMONCELLO.  then no chocolate, but strawberry.   and oh sweet jesus, really.   yeah.  if i could recreate that dinner and eat it every day for the rest of my life, I could not complain.  ever.  seriously. and turns out the cotton candy was really cute too.  yeah, that place was baller.  thank god its so far from me. i need some distance from something that fricking decadent. 

healthy doesn’t have to be bland motherfuckers.


You were serving a bunch of people and you wanted something healthy. Don’t serve bland shit.  No one wants to eat bland healthy or UNHEALTHY food.  There are these things.  They’re called spices.  

Think of something that is not healthy for you that you enjoy the flavor of.

Is it pizza? ok, fine, make something with tomato and oregano and pepper and garlic.  a dash of salt.  a dash isn’t going to kill you. use kosher salt, more flavor, less salt. maybe baked chicken. 

is it barbecue? smoke some chicken in your oven with a dry rub.

use mashed avocado to replace the creamy texture of mayo on a sandwich, or with tuna.

lemon juice if you want tartness. with dill on seafood.   so much flavor.

smarter choices. don’t skimp on spices.

resolve that you deserve goodness and make sure if you splurge on something, that its worth it.  if you think you’re worth gorgeous french macarons, then you’ll be less likely to grab gas station cookies.  then once in a while, when the opportunity presents itself, treat yourself.  to one. if you want it.  don’t eat it just cause you can though.  think about if you really want something. drink a lot of water.  just get used to having a water bottle in your hand.  it gets lighter when you drink it so put 2 bottles in your bag.

work smarter not harder.


my latke recipe

It’s HanRnukah.  My arms are JACKED from grating potatos.  Someone asked for my Latke recipe and I never really had one, just loose guidelines.  So I wrote those down.  They are open for interpretation cause only bakers have to be precise.  Rules are for suckers and people who bake.  If you cook, you can just go with whatever.  I am a cook, not a baker.  In life too. Anyways.  Here’s the latke recipe/guidelines…

I buy a 5 pound bag of potatoes (long island is way better than russet, I dunno why, I just like em better and they’re cheaper cause they’re local. I think), 1 Large spanish onion, 1 BOX with the 2 pack of matzah ball mix, they are 4.5 ounce packets. and 4 eggs. also go find a shit ton of oil (vegetable) and kosher salt and WHITE pepper. black pepper makes shit not as pretty.
Turn on the oven to warm, find a cookie sheet and a cooling rack. I’ll explain in a bit.
Put a bunch of oil in the pan, put it on the stove but don’t turn it on yet, you have a lot of prep work.
peel potatos. explain to anyone who complains that its the way your peoples did it in the old country and to stop kvetching. Then grate the potatos by hand. seriously, they just dont taste as good if you use a food processor. your bubbe did it this way and you have to also. you also have to complain while doing so, loudly and as nasally as possible. i grate into a colander cause as the potatos sit, they will turn brown and get soggy, this way the water can drain out. don’t go crazy, the fluid that drains out is fine, if it seems SUPER moist than use one less egg but you should be fine. you’re gonna fry these fuckers and the beauty is in the randomness of them. grate the onion now too. cry. do not blame the onions, explain you are crying because your bubbella would be rolling over in her grave were she to see the tattoo/shiksa/bacon your precious child loves. if bubbella is not in her grave, blame your great grandma tzeidle, really embrace your inner tevye a la fiddler on the roof. break in the eggs, dump in a heaping palmfull of kosher salt, dump in about half as much white pepper. now dump in the matzah ball mix. i like this cause it has the matzah meal you need plus a lil bit of onion and garlic and salt, which lets be honest, you probably didn’t use enough of to satiate your great uncle mordechai’s salty tooth even though aunt ester says its awful for his sodium levels, tell them to stuff it and just to take another water pill. if shlomo hadn’t decided to run off with that asian girl, you all could be having hannukah there. anyways, i digress. turn on the flame under the oil, let the oil get hot enough that you can stick the handle of a wooden spoon in and bubbles come off the wood. while its getting hot, mix the whole megillah up. use your hands. make sure you washed them. start dumping in globs of latke mix. let them fry up, flip m over to cook the other side. when they’re done, put em on the cooling rack on the cookie tray in the oven on warm, let em drain out this way, my dad puts em on paper towels but i hate that. serve up with applesauce and sour cream only if you’re not serving meat. if there’s meat, don’t be a dick, you’re bubbe would roll in her grave. applesauce only. make people feel gulity for not eating what you slaved over a hot stove all day for.
thats how i do it. happy channukah!

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Jenn Bostic performs Snowstorm.

Jenn is incredibly talented and legit one of the nicest and coolest people I’ve ever met. It doesn’t matter this is a food blog and I’m talking about music, she’s just plain good for you. like, vitamins good for you. and vitamins you usually put in your mouth. like food. so that’s how this relates. go listen. she’s fantastic.

75 cent tacos.

It’s taco night on Wednesdays at Sutters.

It’s kind of like taco night at home growing up.  Crunchy corn tortillas with greasy taco seasoned beef, diced tomatos, shredded lettuce and shredded cheese.  Side of salsa and side of sour cream.  But instead of “paying” by listening to your folks tell you what to do with your life and your little brother being annoying across the table, you fork over 75 cents per taco.  This is a bargain.

Spaghetti Squash.

I had never even eaten it before this week. But I’ve now made it twice. It was a big squash. Dude, you cook it in the microwave. Seriously. And serve it up instead of spaghetti. White wine creamy primavera sauce? done. With a red sauce and grilled chicken? yes. please and thank you. super rich in fiber, B-vitamins, folic acid, beta carotene and damn near every other nutrient and mineral you could want, its a SUPERFOOD. And I like it. a whole hell of a lot more than kale. fucking kale….

Heinchon’s Old Farmhouse and Ice Cream Parlor, Pawling, NY

There’s a little yellow house with a gravel drive and lot on the side of Rt 22 in Pawling on the way towards the Putnam county line.  You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t an ice cream fan but even the most skeptic should be advised, ordering a scoop of homemade ice cream made from local milk and sitting out on the porch with friends seems like a perfect summer experience.

In a desperate attempt to hold onto the last shreds of summer, I went with Kim and Matt yesterday to have ice cream and sit in the lawn in plastic colored Adirondack chairs and if that is how my summer had to end, I’m ok with that.

Matt had cookies and cream, Kim had peanut butter caramel and I had a scoop of raspberry coffee over a brownie.  I love coffee iced cream and my previous favorite flavor at Heinchon’s is the black raspberry.  This was a lovely little combination and the brownie was chocolate so there’s no way that could ever be bad.  The salesgirl got excited when I ordered it and that was adorable.  

There’s a sign up that says soft serve is out of service and I think potential customers are better off for it.  Save your soft serve for Friendly’s and such.  This is where you go for a nice dose of what iced cream should be.  


If I don’t return, know I loved you.

I’ve been a lot of places but in my head, there are some hot spots of debauchery I have not been to yet.  Vegas, Dubai, Ibiza, Bangkok…. And New Orleans.   Yeah well, how fortunate am I that a WORK RELATED conference is in NOLA this year?  On Halloween.  

I’m so excited for some amazing educational opportunities, I get to do a CADAVER lab!  But you’re batshit crazy if you don’t think I’m going ham on Halloween.  

Now I just need a costume I can pack.  Ideas?

Also, happy blue moon.

International Wings atTapas, Ole Ole, in Suffern.

“I’m sorry that I am so awesome that I make all your other friends pale in comparison”

Obviously we love all our other friends and that comment was made in half jest prior to Melissa leaving for camp but really, I love that we can even say shit like that.

Melissa got back from camp Saturday, she did a noble thing and volunteered at a free camp for girls who have suffered a loss of a parent.  Also, karma points are always good. As are car flip flops.  Due to Hurricane Issac, her family vacation plans were pushed back and she doesn’t leave until tomorrow.  So SQUEEEEE!!! I am genuinely sad her vacation is cut short but lets embrace the silver lining here, I got to spend time with her that I didn’t think I would get.

Mondays are not as awful as they could be, despite working a 12 hour day with an hour and 10 minute commute.  They are made infinitely less awful when I know there is something fun to do so I neglected my Volunteer FD weekly drill and made plans to get international wings with Melissa.  I’ve gotten them before but she has never been available to try them.

Monday nights, Tapas does a wing night special.  There is a map menu with wings inspired by far off and some local places.  There’s also the standard tapas menu from which we also ordered our #1 favorites. Melissa’s is the bacon mac and cheese and mine is the beet and goat cheese salad. They are our favorites so there’s not much to review, just that they are fantastic.  Besides, we’re talking about international wings.  Last night found us ordering Suffern wings, Colombian wings, Ghost Chili wings and Hawaiian wings.  The ghost chili, Colombian and Hawaiian wings were new to me.  The Suffern wings are a standard kind of wing with a thick sauce that does not disappoint.  The Hawaiian had a coconut flavor with macadamia nuts.  The sauce was a little thin and the wings, being sweet, reminded me of the Canadian maple wings (from Tapas) and the french toast wings from Liberty’s in Tappan.  They are decent but definitely not ones I would order again.  The Colombian ones were a coffee and sriracha flavor.  I adore sriracha, I really do but the coffee taste was odd.  The bartender didn’t exactly discourage ordering the ghost chili wings but he tried to warn us.  They were, in fact, some of the spiciest things ever to go in my mouth.  I picked the first one up with my fingers and tried to eat it just like you should do with wings.  I then could not speak.  The flavor was amazing but my lips were on fire.  Then I made the mistake of wiping my eye with my hand that had touched the ghost chili wing.  Tears were POURING out of my face, I went to the restroom to compose myself and washed my hands.  Upon returning to the table I demanded a beer because water just doesn’t help a spicy mouth.  It just doesn’t.  Cheap beer however does the trick.  Also, we asked for blue cheese.  I resolved to eat the wings with a fork and knife and dip them in blue cheese and kill the burn with swigs of coors light.  Then they were fantastic, the flavor was amazing and I no longer feared that I would suffer 2nd degree burns to my lips and mouth.

If you have never had anything ghost chili before, you should know that the ghost chili is the HOTTEST pepper in the world.  Peppers contain capsaician and are measured in scoville units.  Your crudites/stuffed pepper standard green bell pepper has a scoville score of 0, A jalapeno can range from 3500-8000, cayennes from 30,000-50,000 and the previously highest ranked chili, the red savina clocks in at 577,000 scoville units. The Ghost chili comes in just a hair over 1 MILLION scoville units.  Want more perspective? Defensive pepper spray in the US is a standard 2 millions scoville units.

I feel like a boss.

I probably will only order those again though to show off.  Honestly.  As far as wings go, I have favorites from International wing night that we didn’t order last night, Like the Greek lemon oregano ones and the Jamaican jerk ones.  The wings themselves are large and meaty and despite them not producing MY idea (a S. African Durban Curry wing), I really adore those rare Monday nights I can steal away from all my responsibilities and find a fabulously fun and not so serious happy hour type of culinary awesomeness. Melissa Dolphin being there is just an added super bonus.