Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hot chocolate festivals, and so on.

The City Bakery is hosting a hot chocolate festival. A hot chocolate festival! Seriously, the wonderment never stops.

How did I not know about this prior to today? Look at all the amazing flavors I've missed. You're a real kick in the pants sometimes, New York, you know that?

Adjusting Friday lunch plans accordingly. Spicy fig!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Roasted brussels sprouts.

Early in the week, I roasted up some brussels sprouts to go with a big bowl of tomato soup. I know brussels sprouts are supposed to be awful, but give them a roast and I swear there's nothing better.

Roasted brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 475. Give brussels sprouts a quick rinse and a pat-down with a towel to dry. Chop off the nubby ends before slicing in half lengthwise. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with oil, then arrange the halved sprouts on the pan on their backs, flat side facing upwards. Drizzle with olive oil and hit with salt and pepper before popping in the oven. I find that using chunky sea salt draws out the best flavor, but any type of salt will do.

Turn the oven light on and keep an eye on the sprouts, pulling them out once they've begun to turn golden brown at the edges - about 20-25 minutes.

Salty, caramelly little nuggets of vegetable candy. The transformation is incredible - you won't be disappointed. Try it with any vegetable - just keep an eye on them, as the timing will vary.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Movie magic.

I think I'll start a posting series on NYC's hidden treasures. I suppose technically we were in Brooklyn, but NYC imposes their locality taxes on the boroughs, so I'm counting it.

Last night, feeling very SATC and tired of being apartment-bound, I decided to take Sir on a date night to the reRun theatre, on Front and Jay in Dumbo. I bought tickets for two to see Lovers of Hate, a SXSW/Sundance-approved indie on special release for Valentine's day weekend, and we ventured out the harrowing 1.5 blocks to reBar.

Dark and cavernous ReBar is a one of my favorite establishments here in Dumbo, so when they opened reRun, an indie theater / gastropub late this summer, I'm not entirely sure why it took me until February to get there.

Better late than never.

A tiny blink-and-miss-it style theatre, tucked in the back of a bustling bar at the end of a dark hallway. Eclectic d├ęcor, a warm and chuckly staff of film and food-loving hipsters, a menu of classic movie food, redone in a uniquely gastropub sort of way.

Sir had a steak-sausage hot dog with house-made relishes and garlic chips, I sampled the bespoke popcorn (paprika with bacon grease; herbed salts with clarified butter) served in greasy brown-paper bags. The movie was dark and delightful, the drinks were plentiful and the tickets were just five bucks a pop.

There were maybe seven other patrons there last night; it really was just Sir and me and the city. A NYC-inspired night out on the town, having hardly left our block.

This is the kind of place where even a night at the movies can feel like magic.

"The most amazing thing about living in a city like New York is that any night of the week you can go to Paris." -Carrie Bradshaw, SATC, taking herself on a solo date night at the Paris Theatre, in midtown on 58th and 5th.

New Yorkers make up a city of poets, narrating their own internal monologues as they traipse down picturesque streets, photograph cappuccino art, eat gourmet meals and sip artisan cocktails, shop sample sales, observe the crazies on the subways and ponder the meaning of life on their backs in the grass of Central Park. We over-romanticize, over-dramatize, and over-scrutinize as every moment of every day becomes a potential post or tweet, an instant of self-reflection.

I'm still under a year in, so perhaps I should state this as a humble observance rather than brashly categorize myself as such. But at nine months and counting, I'm starting to make sense of the self-narration. There's something about living in the city where so many famous stories were set that makes life feel like a bit of a dream.

I apologize if these flowery self-reflective posts are getting tiresome, but I just can't seem to help it. They come spewing from my fingertips like foul language from the mouth of a yellow-cab taxi driver.

Nobody's forcing you to read this, anyhow.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Modified huevos rancheros.

The past couple of weekends, we've been frequenting our local Bubby's for brunch, craving their light and delicious huevos rancheros. Brunching out, while definitely enjoyable, is not always the most economical way to approach weekend noms.

When I woke up today at the crack of 11:30, craving huevos rancheros for the third weekend in a row, I decided to take matters (and some of my Super Bowl Sunday leftovers) into my own hands.

Modified Huevos Rancheros
Corn tortillas
Eggs, any style
Chili (leftover; substituted for black beans)
Guacamole (leftover; substituted for salsa and avocado)

I warmed corn tortillas in a hot skillet, two apiece. Spread piping-hot leftover chili on top of the tortillas, maybe 2/3 cup per plate. Two eggs, scrambled, atop the chili. Garnish with heaping a spoonful of Super Bowl guacamole, two slices of bacon, and serve.

Not as pretty as Bubby's, but a superb start to the day nonetheless.

Sir approved.

Meanwhile, caught kitty snuggled up with his little orange dude, a present from Auntie Rachel. I may or may not have staged these photos.

O hai, Sir Ian.

Lazy mornings filled with delicious noms - after weeks like that one, Saturdays don't get a whole lot better than this.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rainy Brooklyn Saturdays.

Rainy Saturdays in Dumbo look like this.

A misty walk home from spin class, little mister mid-cat-nap, a second pot of coffee. 
Food on the telly, a hard-working Sir and a cozy living room.
Catching the Sirs, having a moment.
Drippy views of soggy buildings.

Lazy weekend Brooklyn, the very best kind.

Once more, for good measure. Close-up on the fuzz.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And the whole thing is illusion.

I adore this man. I'm thrilled to have named the cat after him.

Also, some pretty decent, if somewhat overly straightforward advice on acting, and life in general.

Because we won't, in fact, have the script on the night, and we will have to speak the words as though we are saying them for the first time.