Something happens to me at 3 o’clock every day during work. I get a ravenous craving for something at once sweet, salty and crunchy. In my past life (aka, before I cared about the connection of food and health), I would have raided my cupboards for salty pretzels, those soft-baked Chips Ahoy cookies, and oh, maybe even peanut M&M’s. Mmm… But by now, I’ve learned to satisfy the craving with a handful of roasted nuts and dried fruit, or garlicky hummus with carrots and Mary’s Gone Crackers. This craving can probably be attributed to the natural energy dip near . . .
My childhood home was 10 minutes away from the beach by foot. From late spring up until September 1st - the first day of the Ukrainian school year - my mom would take my sister and I to the beach every single day. To clarify, she took us as well as a handful of other neighborhood kids; other times, we'd be taken by someone else's mom. Most days we'd get there by 8 a.m. to claim the coveted spot as close to the water as possible. The beach in Odessa is unlike any other I've been to since. The sand is fine and soft, the Black Sea warm, gentle and shallow. We'd hang . . .
If there is one edible indulgence I feel completely lukewarm about, it is frosted cake. Chewing through a mouthful of buttery frosting is just such an unpleasant sensation to me. Instead, true to my eastern European roots, I prefer bready, dense, plain cakes. In fact, this year for my birthday Rene baked me a pound cake as a surprise. When I asked where he got the recipe, he said "Plain dry cake dot com." Of course he was joking, but it did prove how well he knows me and I was very touched. (The site doesn't actually exist but I vouch for its creation!) Along with . . .
Phoebe Lapine is someone I've admired for a long time. With her blog, Feed Me Phoebe, she manages to strike a balance between personal stories filled with self-deprecating humor, and seriously creative yet good-for-you recipes that make you go, "Hmm, why didn't I think of that?" When I finally got to meet her in person - when we co-taught a course on food blogging at NGI - I was thrilled to learn she was just as cool in 3D as she is on the interwebs (always a relief, isn't it?). Aside from writing an award-winning blog, Phoebe is also a culinary instructor, . . .
Whenever someone suggests bringing store-bought salsa to a party, my inner self shouts out a big “Noooo!” That’s because jarred salsa freaks me out. Why is it that something that’s supposed to be made from fresh vegetables can just sit there in a jar on a store shelf for months? How can those limp tomatoes and odd bits of tomato skin be remotely appetizing? And why does store-bought salsa always taste surprisingly sweet? A part of me wants to apologize for sounding like a snob, but I am not even sorry. And don’t get me started on packaged guacamole… *full body . . .
The early morning scene within the New York City subway system is not a pretty sight. The trains are crowded, the people are irritable, and you best believe that everyone is collectively crossing their fingers that, just for today, oh please let there not be "an ongoing investigation," "a sick passenger in the train ahead of us", or a "we are being held in the station" announcement. And if you get stuck in the same car with a group of high schoolers, then you are really and totally f*cked. But aside from providing New Yorkers with a constant flow of stress, the train . . .
Lenivie vareniki is a classic Ukrainian recipe that I completely forgot about until a recent visit to, out of all places, an Italian restaurant. This year for my birthday, I had dinner with my family at this awesome place in my neighborhood called Lea. Lea churns out killer wood-fired pizzas - the kind with a little charring around the edges and minimal toppings to help the beautiful chewy dough stand out (my favorite!) - as well as creative pastas and thoughtful vegetable sides. Seeing as we were a hungry party of 6, we were able to taste more than half of the . . .