December 14, 2011

Merry & Bright - Comfort & Joy

Do you have good tidings to share? I do. Last weekend I mulled over a few drawers of dusty type at The Arm to make these simple little cards. This is my third project at the Williamsburg studio and I am so enjoying learning the ins and outs of letterpess, tearing gorgeous, thick slabs of fibrous paper, and mixing sticky inks. In an effort to sponsor my next project, I am selling a few packs of these cards on my occasionally-updated Etsy site. Share and enjoy!


"Looking to send some holiday cheer? These little 3.5X5 cards are printed on luxuriously soft and thick bright white Rives BFK paper and will hold all of your joyful wishes for the new year. The words "Comfort & Joy" and "Merry & Bright" are hand-set in Engravers Roman typeface (c.1903) and printed in bright red ink. Eight hand-torn cards (four of each variety) are wrapped up with shimmering gold and brown craft envelopes."

Bright days to you,

December 12, 2011

Easy French Loaves

For frantic days and too-short weekends, I make these lazy loaves. It is almost embarrassing to post about a recipe so simple that it warrants a time disclaimer of "2 hours, mostly unattended" but these are foolproof staples that will leave you to your laundromat trips, morning park jogs, and numerous unfinished projects. Thanks to PA from Lincoln, Oregon who taught me how to knead and to Mark Bittman for convincing me that sometimes it's ok to forfeit the sticky hands and messy countertop for your beloved food processor.

3 1/2 c. flour (AP, or 2 1/2 cups AP and 1 cup Whole Wheat)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar or agave nectar
warm water

In a large food processor, mix together the flour(s), salt, and yeast with the knife fixture. Dissolve the sugar or agave in a few cups of warm water. Next, turn the food processor on and pour in the sugar-water while mixing. Add water until the dough forms a loose ball and process for a few more seconds. If it gets too wet, don't worry! Just add more flour. Once the dough has formed into a ball and seems elastic, place into an oiled bowl. Cover tightly with a plastic grocery bag and place in a warm place to rise. Let sit until doubled (at least an hour). Once doubled, place a shallow pan filled with water on the bottom rack of your oven and preheat to 400. On an oiled baking sheet, form the loaves into two long baguettes and cover. Let the loaves proof and the oven preheat for about 30 minutes. Once risen, slash the loaves and top with seeds if desired. Place the loaves in the oven and turn the heat down to 375. Bake, spraying the oven often with water to ensure a nice crumb, until the bread is browned on the outsides and the underside sounds hollow when tapped. Spray with water once more for a shiny crust and let cool before slicing.


December 6, 2011

Lunch Factory

Packing your lunch is not popular in New York. In fact, I'm finding that cooking in general is something many people reserve for paid professionals in tall white hats or tight fishy hairnets. I understand the sentiment. There is lots of good (interesting) food in this city waiting to be delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less and it's probably as good or better than what you would make and it is probably (even) as cheap or cheaper than what it would cost you to make it. So why take the energy to lug pounds of ingredients 15 blocks, uphill both ways, to find yourself ravenous at 8PM, staring spitefully at a bag of lentils and a pile of greens?

Here is my solution. Lunch factory. Take one night to make lunches for the whole week. Get your roommates in on the idea, and you can each make one big meal to be divided 5 ways. Voila, variety. And trust, it will save you some dollars and it will be much more delicious and healthful than whatever you were thinking about picking up at that place on the corner. I love multi-part lunches and always try to add a salad, tortilla, or side to the main dish.

This week my contribution was the above; brown rice and quinoa covered in cuban-style black beans, roasted chipotle salsa, sauteed collared greens with hot (HATCH) green chiles, corn salsa, field roast chorizo, green onions, and a lime squeeze. Thrown into purses and backpacks with a foil-wrapped whole wheat tortilla.

Let's make packing popular again!

December 5, 2011

Sweet Olive Oil Tortas

Have you heard of Sweet Olive Oil Tortas? This is officially my favourite packaged snack. In Spain, tortas are pastry-like flatbreads served up in a variety of ways, this one with anise seeds, sea salt, and sugar. Ines Rosales makes a number of amazing (vegan) varieties, all carefully stacked and wrapped up in printed waxed paper. I know I should bite the bullet and create a recipe for these little treasures but until then, find yourself a specialty store and enjoy!


Thanksgiving 2011

This Thanksgiving, K and I hosted a vegan feast of epic proportions. With the help of GK, RW, and our fearless roommates, we cooked late into the night to the sounds of Bruce Springsteen and Shara Worden, breaking only for poetry, wine, and eventually, sleep. The next afternoon, upon the arrival of 18 (!) guests to our first-floor apartment, we decided to take the party outside. It was an exceptionally warm and beautiful day so we loaded up bags with blankets, plates, and gravy boats and marched over to Prospect Park, casseroles in hand. I am so genuinely thankful for my friends, especially these ones who gathered around needle-covered tables two weeks ago. New York can be an incredibly intense and exhausting place and it's great to know there are people who you can trust.

Chickpea Cutlets (Veganomicon) and Herbed Stuffing with Kale and Sausage

Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Casserole with Coconut, Marshmallows, and Pecans (Kruis recipe)

Green Bean Casserole. An American Classic! (PPK)

Full plate! From left to right; Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Casserole, Grits and Pineapple Coconut Kale (from B&J LG), Roasted Sprouts, Mashed Potatoes (by SM), Mushroom Gravy (PPK), Chickpea Cutlets (KM masterwork), and Cranberry Sauce, Green Bean Casserole, Local Chard Salad (from M), and Spicy Sausage Stuffing (by GK and RW).

Pumpkin Pie with gold gilding and walnut brittle.

With gratitude,