chile feast

we've been eating chiles again
they were on sale at Top Valu Market for $0.79/lb (now they're $0.69!)
Severo brought a bag home, it quickly got devoured --

roasting on the grill

chile sandwich!

chile egg scramble!

we bought another bag
and another

visiting santa monica like a tourist -- BP Oysterette

Severo and I had a date night in Santa Monica last Tues

I wanted to shoot touristy shots of the SM pier:

He wanted to try the Lobster Roll at BP Oysterette:

lobster roll with sweet pototo chips

BP Oysterette is great. Not cheap and certainly busy (even on a Tues night), but what we ordered was delicious.

lobster tacos with white beans, brown rice, grilled lemon

At $20, the lobster roll was jam-packed with meat. Very sparse on the (homemade) mayo. Yum.
The tacos' lobster filling was tasty, but I didn't like the deep fried shell -- next time I'll request the tortillas soft. The beans were outstanding. Had traces of fennel and I don't know what else -- must return and eat again. The rice was plain brown rice, ho-hum. Sadly, we were too full for dessert. Next time.

We then walked down to the pier, played tourist, shot photos and had a grand time.


Venice Fog

Originally uploaded by anne m bray

This was shot on iPhone using Hipstamatic app.
I am in thrall to both items.
Cannot get enough of either
Keep running out my phone battery shooting pix

I captured this last night after attending the 4 By 14 reception @ Julia Dean. Karen and I were walking back to her car. My battery was in the red/dead zone. I could not not take this.


Moosewood Gypsy Soup

this is a delicious, warming soup from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook
features chickpeas + sweet potato or squash

3-4 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2-5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 c chopped sweet potatoes (or any orange squashy veg)*

2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
dash cinnamon
dash cayanne
1 bay leaf
3 c stock

1-2 cans chickpeas, drained + rinsed (or 1.5c cooked)
1 c chopped tomatoes
1/2 c chopped chiles (I subbed a can of Rotel Original )

in a soup pot,
saute onions , garlic + sweet potato for about 5 min
add seasonings, stock
simmer, covered, 15 min
add chickpeas, vegs
simmer at least another 10 min (until vegs cooked)

*I used kobacha that had been previously roasted


eating NYC (lucky) #13 -- Mooncake Foods

On the way back to the hotel, we saw Dennis entering an eatery so we followed him in.

Mooncake Foods did not disappoint. Lots of items looked good but since we weren't hungry (we went more to socialize) we ordered crawfish dumplings.

only one left when I remembered to take a photo

Thus concludes our trip to NYC. So much fun! (See some more pix on my flickr site.)
We return at the end of April for another Smithereens gig. Venue is State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. A benefit for the Court Tavern, Patti Smith is on the bill too. Get your tickets now!

eating NYC #12 -- Thompson Cafe

We were aimlessly wandering, looking for breakfast and Thompson Cafe looked good. It was. We got omlettes that cost under $6.

we discovered that asiago cheese tastes great in omlettes

eating NYC #11 - day 4 -- Once Upon a Tart

Last morning in NYC... what to eat? My initial idea was dim sum, but Severo woke up too late (had to be on the A train by 1pm for our flight) He found something online nearby, which, once we hit the streets, we never found.
These tarts caught our attention, however... especially the one at 2:00.

Once Upon a Tart is the purveyor. We got the above lemon tart, a savory spinach + olive tart and a piece of fritatta for in-flight dining. All delicious.


NYC - Who Benefit afterparty

I met up with Cindy Sivak after the show. She kindly drove us to the afterparty at City Winery.

with Ira Elliot (Nada Surf)

NYC - Who Benefit @ Carnegie Hall

I ended up in an opera box!Didn't have camera, didn't think to sketch (doh)
DID have fun!
Severo shot this from the stage
see details here

finale on youtube, featuring Severo utilizing the full stage

eating NYC #10 -- The Pizza Suprema

After sound check (I wasn't allowed backstage so I went and sat in Central Park and the Apple Store @ 59th) it was time to eat again!
Pizza Suprema fit the bill
mr happy


NYC - backstage door, Carnegie Hall

(more sound check/backstage pix on flickr)

NYC - you call this a limo?

"limo" to sound check, Who Benefit @ Carnegie Hall

?, jimmy, jk, dennis

NYC - new room with a new view

After out hearty breakfast, it was time to check out and relocate to the Hampton Inn Soho (provided as part of the Carnegie Hall gig).

empire state bldg still part of vew

eating NYC #9 -- day 3 -- 'wichcraft

It took us a while to decide upon breakfast (we wanted something near the hotel). And it took us a while to locate the 1 park ave location of 'wichcraft (it's at the entry to gym, door on 33rd)

Severo had fried eggs: bacon, gorgonzola & frisée sandwich on ciabatta roll
I had marinated white anchovies: soft-cooked egg, roasted onion, salsa verde & frisee on country bread

eating NYC #8 -- Magnolia Bakery

After a brief respite at the hotel, we went up to Grand Central for a "snack" at the Oyster Bar (no pix). Oysters (YUM!) and NE Clam Chowder (liked The Lobster Place's better).
Then, when wandering around looking for my subway entrance (we were parting ways -- I was heading to upper west side to visit with Kim Lewis + family, Severo had rehearsal in Jersey) we saw a sign for Magnolia Bakery. Cupcake alert!!

our catch of the day:
lemon | vanilla vanilla

These we devoured when we met up again back at the hotel.
The lemon was underwhelming... too ladylike. We both prefer a more robust lemon flavor.

eating NYC #7 -- Jacques Torres

The next food stop was the Jacques Torres chocolate factory on Hudson St.

We had sampled some of their confections and WONDERFUL hot chocolate the day before at the Chelsea Market and needed to stock up on product. Mmmmmmmm. It was fun seeing all the Easter chocolates on the factory racks. (more pix on flickr)

eating NYC #6 -- Cafe Habana

I found Cafe Habana using the LocalEats app on my iTouch.

happy Anne with cafe con leche

Food great. One small problem... the black beans accompanying my huevos rancheros reminded me of the "borscht" from the night before.

eating NYC #5 -- day 2 -- Momofuku

Our first order of business was getting me clogs at a shop around the corner. No more snow boot torture. Then on to Momofuku, for the "Crack Pie TM"

Severo had read about this in the LA Times (including the recipe). A++! We had tried going the night before but the line was ridiculous. What a grand way to start the day...

NYC - room with a view

returned to the hotel, time to call it a night. the empire state was lit yellow and green.

eating NYC #4 -- you call this borscht?

There are two Odessas on Ave A, neither has borscht on the menu. We opted for the one at 119 ave A. I had eaten here back in the 70s.

Upon entering, we asked the waiter if they had it. "Yes". Imagine my surprise when it arrived and it contained kidney beans. Not to mention the spicy broth. And where was the cabbage?

My theory? They took the "soup of the day" (spicy bean?) and added beets to it. It tasted very odd and wrong.

eating NYC #3 -- Pommes Frites

Potato detour at Pommes Frites

too much -- this is a small that we're holding
a bit disappointing as well... not crispy enough

touring NYC #2

After hanging out at Chelsea Market for almost two hours, it was time to walk more.

loving the wifi in the parks

Severo had never been to Washington Square Park!

... By this time I had developed bad blisters from the snow boots I hadn't worn in 15 years so walking involved lots of sitting. I developed a jones for borscht and remembered Odessa on Ave A. We worked our way to the East Village.


eating NYC #2 -- The Lobster Place

The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market

lobster roll lunch
The best lobster roll I've ever eaten

touring NYC

We took a long postprandial walk. Destination: Chelsea Market. Detour: Chelsea Hotel

eating NYC #1 -- Penelope

Breakfast at Penelope
Thank goodness they serve coffee for while you wait or I would have become very unpleasant company. (Sunday Brunch time in NYC, you know). We shared our orders halfsies.

Salmon Wrapped Poached Eggs
Two farm fresh eggs wrapped in smoked salmon on black toast with green goddess dressing.
Served with greens.

Pumpkin Waffles
With apple butter, dried cranberries, toasted cinnamon-cardamom pecans, and poached spiced apple slices.

NYC - arrival

After a red-eye from LAX to JFK we trained into the city and checked into Hotel 31 - a great cheap ($86), clean euro-style hotel on 31st between Park + Lexington. Early check in! Yes!

Here is the view from our window

here's my sketch of same