Archive for the ‘adventures in cooking’ Category


What To Do With a Box of Veggies?

February 22, 2010

That box you see above? That appeared on my doorstep last Monday. For Christmas, my brother signed me up for a service called Urban Organic. It’s a produce-delivery service that specializes in sending organic goodies to urban areas (i.e., Brooklyn).There are all different types of packages you can buy, but I’m getting 4 of the “Little Box” — “More convenience than value, perfect for one. 11-13 items, 1-2 pieces of each item.” I am absolutely LOVING this — a fresh box of fruits and veggies at my doorstep every 2 weeks for 2 months. And not only is it great to have all the fresh, healthy produce, it’s also completely inspiring me to cook “outside the box” (ha!). So far, I’ve made:

… and lots of other more random dishes. It’s made me try recipes I normally would think are way beyond my skills, and it’s made me cook ingredients that I would be too afraid to buy at the store. Every Monday, I feel like I’m on my own version of Chopped — opening a box of ingredients and being forced to figure out a dish to make. We’re almost done with box #2!


Go Brew Yourself!

November 25, 2009

I’ve been wanting to post this for a while — some good friends of mine started this amazing homebrewing company called Brooklyn Brew Shop. They have these fantastic kits that you can buy and then make homemade beer in yummy flavors like Gingerbread Ale and Chocolate Maple Porter. Watch them give a demo on Daily Candy, and then buy a kit! All summer they set up shop at the Brooklyn Flea, and now they’ll be selling at Brooklyn Flea’s Gifted holiday market, November 27-December 24, 20 East 4th Street, at Lafayette Street. They’re giving away samples… beer samples!


A Brooklyn Cookie Swap

February 23, 2009

Photo via

J and I went to a Cookie Swap in Williamsburg on Saturday night. I really didn’t do much work. J bought the ingredients, made the dough, and then rolled all but 6 (that’s where I pitched in!) cookies onto a cookie sheet and into the oven. He was determined to make his favorite cookie, the Chocolate Crinkle. They were delicious. “Like a brownie with sugar on top,” J said. We ate an insane amount of cookies and I was so impressed by everyone’s creativity. Someone made those girl scout cookies that used to be called Samoas, but now they’re called something else b/c that’s not PC. Very impressive.


Kris doling out his homemade cookies into the jar.

The party-hosters even made a chocolate “earth.” (see below)


It's cookie earth!

It's cookie earth!


Gotta Love a Man Who Cooks

July 23, 2008

Thankfully, J does. But apparently there’s a new trend of… wait for it… “Gastrosexuals.” I saw the post on Grub Street, and they’re quoting a Daily Mail article that says, “it’s a term for a new breed of man that, seemingly inspired by macho celebrity cooks like Gordon Ramsay, have taken to the kitchen to impress the ladies. According to a study, 23 percent of 18-to-34-year-old British men say they cook to potentially seduce a partner, and 60 percent regularly cook for friends and family.” I’m not incredibly shocked by this stat, but I am shocked that we’ve morphed Metrosexual into the food realm and created a new word to torment men with. Good work Britain.

Photo via.


The Contessa’s Hamburger Secret

June 10, 2008

Very special news: It’s my birthday on Sunday. I’m going to be 25—which is exciting and terrifying all at the same time. So to celebrate, J and I are throwing a little rooftop BBQ. It will all be very makeshift as I never have all the utensils, tools, etc. to throw a proper party (that only happens when you’re a real adult and probably live in a house with actual storage space). But we DO know the secret to a yummy burger. One day while watching Barefoot Contessa, she showed us how to make her recipe for “Real Hamburgers.” She adds all sorts of yummy things to the meat before she cooks it like steak sauce, eggs, and pepper. But here’s the secret: she makes a little indentation in the burger meat and sticks a small sliver of butter in the middle. Blew my mind! It keeps the burger really moist and buttery in the middle. Friends: expect this deliciousness at the party 🙂


A Tip on Asparagus Tips

April 8, 2008

If you cook at all, you probably know this, but I had to laugh when I saw this little asparagus tip on The Kitchn. I never knew that you were supposed to snap off the bottoms of asparagus until J and I started making dinner together. Now, that’s pretty much my sole job when we cook—he does things like bread chicken cutlets, bake herb-crusted salmon, and sautee yummy carrots in butter sauce. I do things like chop vegetables and now… snap asaparagus. Yipee! I get the fun jobs. So if you don’t know here’s the way to do it:

Take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks. The asparagus automatically breaks just where the woody part ends and the fresh, juicy part begins. It breaks this way, we assume, because the end has much less moisture and therefore less flexibility.

All images: Faith Hopper


I Love Herbs

February 29, 2008


And no… I’m not talking about weed. A while back I gave J an AeroGarden, a smallish contraption that lets you grow fresh herbs or spices on your countertop through the magic of hydroponics (there’s no soil; the roots grow in water alone). It’s almost totally self-sufficient (no need to water or change the soil) and it’s all automated so it’s very difficult to kill your budding plants (it’s even got it’s own light source to keep it alive and well). We started to grow things like oregano, parsley, basil, savory, mint, and garlic chives about a month ago, and now we have full size plants to pick from as we cook. It’s such a great way to try to make your meals more healthy without cutting out the flavor. Last night we made a version of THIS, and it was delicious and super quick.