The Curious Incident of the NYC Hot Sauce Expo

posted in: Events, NYC Events | 1

I’m suffering from a slight sunburn today, but it pales in comparison to the burning sensations experienced at the first-ever NYC Hot Sauce Expo yesterday. Held over a two-day weekend at the East River Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the show featured dozens of small-batch hot sauce makers from around the country. The outdoor event spanned the public park, just across the river from Manhattan’s skyline, on an especially sunny spring day. Other participating vendors offered craft beers, vodka for Bloody … Read More

Week of Eating In Day Three: Making Time for Lunch

posted in: Ruminations | 4

Getting into the midst of the Week of Eating In, I figured it was time for a good gathering over (homemade) grub again. As I discussed in The Art of Eating In, everyone can use some time in the middle of their day to relax, sit down and eat. Especially with your friends, fellow workers or family. Just like we all need to sleep, this communal time is restorative and constructive in many ways, even if it’s not a business … Read More

Compete with Crostini at my Book Launch Party! (and everyone wins books)

posted in: Cook-Offs, NYC Events | 9

Guys, I’m almost due. On February 18th, this blog will give birth to numerous identical hardcover books, each named The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove. Published by Gotham/Penguin, it’s my first book, a memoir of the two years I spent eating in, solely, all the while trying to keep a somewhat normal life, a paying, nine-to-five job, a boyfriend, social engagements, etc. It didn’t turn out being so normal in the … Read More

Ginger Sesame Truffles

posted in: Desserts, Recipes | 6

Is there something slightly devilish about making a great batch of sugary-sweet treats, for the sole purpose of bestowing upon others as “gifts”? Do you get that Grinch-like smirk, stirring a bowl of melting chocolate and butter, thinking, this is not all going in my belly, ‘cept for one teeny bite? And then, does it dissolve just as quickly as those last slicks of butterfat when your first “sneak” lick from the spatula turns into two, then three, then five? … Read More

Reason for Not Eating Out #36: For the Sport

You can’t exactly sit through a restaurant meal and claim to have the best culinary know-how of a group by pooh-poohing this, or extolling that. Well, maybe you can to an extent, and many people do — and I have, too. But it’s much more convincing, in my opinion, if you walk into a social setting with your own homemade dish, and compare it against those of all the others in the room, who did the same. And that’s what … Read More

The Takedown Tackles Tofu

Nobody was to-fooled by what was in their food Sunday at the Highline Ballroom: it was the first-ever Tofu Takedown. As an antidote to last month’s Bacon Takedown, Matt Timms turned his popular Takedown series upside-down by taking on that versatile and very un-carnivoric delight. Tofu, in all forms, firmnesses and flavors found their way into the contestants’ 17 unique dishes. And as one half of the lucky (“celebrity“?) judging squad (the other half being my half-Asian sista, Akiko), I … Read More

Oh My Guacness

Yesterday I certainly got my greens judging the 2009 Guactacular Invitational, though they were none the unsaturated fatty type. I can’t say how much I ate of the goopy goodness, but in attendance, more than 300 made it to the Bell House in Gowanus for the first-ever cook-off event.

The Bacon Takedown: Holy Smokes

To all those tired of the pork belly and bacon food fad, I’ve got bad news for you. It’s far from over. Anyone who might have walked within a one-block radius of Radegast Biergarten in Williamsburg sometime between 4:45-7pm yesterday would have seen the hoards of hungry bacon lovers lining up outside the bar (“Is this for the bacon festival?” I heard a lot of). When I arrived at the time the first-ever Bacon Takedown officially began there, 5pm, that … Read More

Recession Chili (and the Curious Case of the Ridiculously Packed Chili Takedown)

Welcome to 2009, Chili Takedown. This is no time to be splurging on pounds and pounds of beef. Sorry, heritage pork (except for your bones and spare ribs, which I’ll get to in a bit). I’m not even doing the fresh garnish doodads anymore. This is recession era chili. And I’m going back to the basics of peasant home cookery — that is, minimal amounts of meat, used for flavor mostly, cheap winter vegetables, and lots and lots of B-E-A-N-S.

Oh! You Cheesy Things

I think the makers of those aerosol cans of spray-cheese need to merge with Silly String. Then we’d have the perfect, edible orange goo to epitomize the celebration that was the second Fondue Takedown this past Sunday. And to clobber the winner with for a photo — “Say Cheese!” So maybe Sunday night’s winner was spared of the cheese sliming (she was wearing a handmade apron, though), but the back room of Union Pool, Brooklyn’s popular bar and now mecca … Read More

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