Archive for July 2009


salad ready to go, my outfit not so much
EVENT: Eating avec A/C
VENUE: Phoebe’s Apartment, Flatiron
PARTY SIZE: 5
TYPE: Casual Summertime Dinner
MENU: Squash Chips with Balsamic and Basil Drizzle; Panzanella Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette; Lemon-Garlic Roasted Chicken Breasts; Iced Basil Green Tea

A few times over the course of the last few weeks, as New York City humidity has neared 100%, I’ve found myself slaving over my small kitchen’s open flame in nothing but a tank top and underwear. This sounds attractive in theory, and perhaps if it was an apron alone, there would have at …

Last week, I went on an interesting date. The guy, who’s been through culinary school in France, came over to cook me dinner in my kitchen. The interesting part: He asked me to pick up an array of ingredients and then stand aside while he improvised a meal around them (much more on this soon). The fallout from this guest appearance was a small kitchen covered in dirty dishes that would take days to tackle and a refrigerator full of random excess ingredients, namely vegetables, that had fallen to the wayside in favor of French simplicity.

This hash was the …

Cooking For One: Veggie Bounty

Posted by on Tuesday Jul 28th, 2009

DISH: String Beans a la Marc; Parlsey Zucchini; Sweet and Sour Cabbage Salad
TYPE: Summer’s Offering Lunch
MAIN INGREDIENTS: Vegetables

I’ve always loved the lunch buffet at City Bakery, on 18th Street, for the sheer vegetabley-ness of its offering. At any given lunch hour, you can heap creative, market-fresh salads, sautés, and greens onto your plate to your heart’s—and your diet’s—content. Sure, it’s overpriced, but it’s incredibly convenient, and keeping so many different vegetables in so many different preparations in your own fridge would be a giant pain.

Or would it?

I’ve been finding that if I buy relatively small …

EVENT: Our Beloved Neighborhood Green Space Returns
VENUE: Washington Square Park
PARTY SIZE: 6
TYPE: Potluck Picnic Dinner
MENU: Pomodoro Fresco Pasta Salad; Zucchini Quinoa Salad (Sophie); Fussili with Chipotle Mexican Meatballs (Steph); Baguette and Cheese (Keith); Ben and Jerry’s on Ice (Ed)

Come summertime in New York, when you don’t have the luxury of sitting back on your white porch and watching the traffic go by, and your rental does not come with a terrace or roof deck on which to plant an illegal gas grill, the natural solution is to take your intimate, at-home dinner public. That is,


VENUE: Cara’s apartment, Park Slope
PARTY SIZE: 2
MENU: Red Wine-Braised Lentils with (Veggie) Sausage; Steamed Spinach; Whole Wheat Toast

There are dinner parties when it seems like every single person in attendance requires a different meal. As a vegetarian, more or less, I know well the shameful sense of appearing to be a picky eater, when, in fact, vegetarianism is not exactly that. I do my best to keep it separate from childish pickiness, which I depict as liking to eat only things like vanilla ice cream, skinless chicken breast, and spaghetti with butter. It’s more of a …

When I was little and had the flu, there were a few easy comfort specials I would have my mother dish up to accompany my day of “Price is Right” and dramatic suffering: strawberry Jello, garlic soup, and white rice with lemon. These days, whenever I taste a bright, lemony rice dish it always takes me back a little to the thrill of no homework and daytime television. On vacation a few weeks ago, there was a lot of the latter and, lucky for me, my mother and I made enough of this rice salad (which sat beside my

DISHES: Squash Chips with Basil and Balsamic Drizzle; Patty-pan Squash Sauté
MAIN INGREDIENTS: Squash, Basil

When squash season comes around the bend, it truly feels like summer. I end up coming home to my kitchen with baskets full of all types of varieties. But when it comes to actually cooking them, I never really want to do much at all. When the ingredients are beautiful, as is always the case with any farmer’s market variety of yellow squash come July, I usually just prepare a very simple dish with olive oil, a hit of lemon or vinegar, good salt, and