Tag Archives: New Jersey

Man and Lisa v. Food

So…I was sitting around watching TV last night with my cousin…and he has cable, so I was super-excited that I could shift between The Office and Man v. Food and The Little Couple and Keeping Up with the Kardashians

And as we were watching, Jen from The Little Couple talked about dating and said that she got to a point before she met Bill when she thought, “Maybe it’s just not going to happen for me…” and I thought, “Wow – I’ve been thinking that exact same thing…”

And then my cousin and I went back to Man v. Food and he said something like, “You should marry that guy. He lives in Brooklyn and he likes food.”

And, you know, I’ve seen Man v. Food before and I *have* thought that Adam Richman is kind of adorable. (I’ve also thought that he seems like a little bit of a manwhore, too, sometimes…but, then again, what hot-blooded New York male with a show on the Travel Channel isn’t a bit of a manwhore? [And I’m not so much of a prude that I can’t admit that if I was from Mars and didn’t hear my clock ticking loud and clear, I might be inclined to sow oats ‘til kingdom come, too…])

And…I also happened to be texting back and forth with a friend in Seattle last night…and I sort of busted his chops and he sort of busted mine and he finally wrote back something like, “You love me…” and I said, “I sure do…but, right this red hot minute, I’m also sort of loving Adam Richman…” and he said, “I’ll introduce you!” and I said, “Sure…great.” And he said, “No, really – I went to school with him…” and then I freaked out a little.

And, I mean, I realize the odds of it becoming Man and Lisa v. Food are pretty darn slim *and* that 2010 is supposed to be about me and me alone (to which my darling friend said, “Well, then I guess he’ll just have to pine away for you for twelve long months…”), but, heck, I’m not so much of a cynic that I can’t entertain the fanciful notion that maybe my friend has magical powers and/or got along super-well with Adam Richman at Yale and Adam Richman has fond memories of him and/or thought of him as something of a guiding life force and will listen with rapt attention when my friend says, “Hey, so, I have this adorable friend and you should meet her…” (I wasn’t sure whether my friend should lead with “adorable” or “pie-making” in his pitch, but my friend said adorable was the way to go…and then I pointed out that they say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but my friend argued that it is actually anatomically lower and so I amended my intro-to-Adam-Richman phrase. But this is a family blog, so we’ll leave it at that.)

And, you know, maybe it isn’t totally crazy and that blurb from The Little Couple and my cousin’s comment were fortuitous…and maybe Adam Richman will be totally intrigued by my pornographic name and he will totally have his taxi light on. And maybe this explains why the universe has spewed such tremendous man-crap at me over the past several  years – maybe it was all so I would truly appreciate Adam Richman when I had him.

Besides, think about all that Adam Richman and I have in common: Aside from food and travel, we both live in Brooklyn, we both used to live in Atlanta, we both have master’s degrees from Ivy League universities, we both describe ourselves as “a bit on the husky side” (okay, okay…I don’t actually do that…but I *did* eat a lot when I was depressed this summer…) and we are both brunettes. If *that* doesn’t spell out, “written in the stars,” I don’t know  *what* does.

So…I am going to amend my 2010 resolution slightly and say that I am going to be happy with me…and Adam Richman, too, should he happen to fall in my lap.

(Either way, I am excited about 2010. The buck stops in 2009, folks. I was watching Jersey Shore – I know! I know! But I’m working on a story about how MTV is leveraging all the online buzz to drive ratings, so I *had* to – and, you know, there’s tons of dramz: Sammi [the self-proclaimed “sweetest bitch you’ll ever meet”] gets in a fight with Ronnie because she sees him dancing with a girl at Karma and so she gives her phone number to her cop-friend and J-Woww [the one with two-toned hair and renegade boobs] sees and tells Ronnie to go “check his girl” and then he gets upset and leaves the club and so J-Woww goes after him because she doesn’t want him to be alone, but then someone tells Sammi that Ronnie left with J-Woww and *she* gets upset and goes to the house, too, and finds Ronnie and J-Woww in the same room and it’s terrible [which, tragically, is precisely why Ronnie said his one and only rule was not to fall in love at the Jersey Shore!], but then Ronnie feels bad and follows Sammi into the guest room and they make up…and, sure, I’m probably not going to draw *too* many life lessons from Snooki and the gang, BUT…I *did* sort of find wisdom in Sammi’s comment when she was upset about Ronnie and the Mystery Lady from the club [who I think ended up going home with The (poor) Situation who has abs of steel but still can’t seem to close the deal?] and she said something like, “He’s with another girl? No. That’s it. I’m done.” I wish *I* had the gall to say, “Look at how completely amazing I am! If you’re stupid enough to screw things up, I’m moving on! There are plenty of other fish in the sea!” Although…I guess that can be part of my I’m-going-to-be-happy-with-me resolution.)

(Adam Richman, you’ve been warned…[but I mean that in the nicest way possible…])

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Filed under Brooklyn, holidays, The Office

Simple Bruschetta and Less Interesting Apples

I have found that my posts about food — allegedly the, ahem, bread and butter of this dog and pony show — don’t receive quite the same attention as those about my life. Perhaps I have inadvertently found my calling.

Nevertheless…I feel it would be remiss to not talk about 1) the bruschetta; and 2) the apple tart.

1. I’ve wanted to make bruschetta ever since I saw that food porn scene — you know which one I’m talking about — in Julie & Julia. I should have just Googled those precise terms, I guess…as I would have come up with this: Bruschetta alla Julie and Julia. As you know, Epicurious is my go-to site…but they really didn’t seem to have any basic bruschetta recipes — everything had lots of stuff and I was really looking for something simple. So…FoodNetwork.com is always Choice #2…but, same deal. (Alton Brown’s is simple, yes, but it lacks tomatoes…) Finally, I looked in my cookbooks, et voila: The Joy of Cooking had the very simple recipe I was looking for. I kind of monkeyed around with it a bit and added the garlic to the tomato/basil mix instead of rubbing it on the bread (which perhaps means I did not make proper bruschetta at all, but I can live with that…) and I decided to go with a little onion, too. In the end, it was really amazingly delicious…but very heavy. I wanted to be able to eat, like, an entire loaf of the stuff, but just couldn’t stomach it. And when I woke up the next morning, I could still sort of taste the garlic…which I know is totally gross to admit…but, it’s true. (And thanks to some little writer figurines that my friend Frani gave me yesterday, I know that Virginia Woolf said, “If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.”) It was really good stuff though…and I still have enough tomato goods to make it three or four more times, I’d say.

2. And…apparently I don’t like using apples as much as I thought. The same thing happened last year. I went on that standard fall-time I’m-in-a-couple ritual — apple-picking — and in theory, I should have been on cloud nine afterward, baking up a storm…and churning out pies and tarts and sauces faster than you can say, “The leaves are changing color!” But I never really used them all. And it’s not like I had many apples this year…I had plans to emulate my New Jersey friend and make an apple tart — as in singular! — but the recipe I wanted to use required cardamom and I couldn’t find any at my grocery store…and my mother actually ended up sending me some in the mail…and I checked on the apples yesterday and they’re kind of mushy now. So, I mean, I can still totally *make* the tart…it will just be with less interesting apples.

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Filed under blogs, books, Food Network, Modernism, tarts

The Great Pizza Fiasco of 2009, Entirely New Apples…and Binging Throughout Manhattan (and a Little Bit of Brooklyn, Too).

I haven’t been SO focused on self-improvement lately that food has slipped *entirely* through the cracks.

I have been meaning, for example, to blog about the Great Pizza Fiasco of K’s recent(-ish) trip. You see, she had never been to Grimaldi’s before…and if you’re someone who comes to New York from time to time — as K is (or was) known to do — it seems like the kind of place you need to go once. I took my oldest childhood friend on, like, a Tuesday in the middle of the afternoon and we were able to walk right in. So…I thought maybe if we got there *right* when it opened the line wouldn’t be too bad.

So…we arrived at 11:30. There was a *bit* of a line, but the restaurant was empty and I figured we’d be okay as long as we got in during the first wave (we had tickets to Billy Elliot at 2:00!). So…we waited. There were some folks carrying in boxes and whatnot…and I thought maybe they were running behind. And then a guy came out with a clipboard and walked down the line, asking how many people were in each party. I assumed that maybe the info on the Web site was wrong or that I had misread it and the place didn’t open until 12:00. We waited patiently — it was, after all, almost noon by then — and then, what do you know? A giant tour bus pulled up right in front…and I thought, “No! This isn’t happening!” And yet it did. An entire tour bus full of people walked right in. And that was it…we only had an hour until we had to leave…so instead, on our way back to the trusty F train, we stopped in the Dumbo General Store (which I was later told is Hecho en Dumbo at night…and is totally a restaurant I have been meaning to try FOREVER).

So, it all worked out in the end and everything, but…I don’t know, Grimaldi’s. Seems like maybe we’re getting a little big for our britches, no? Especially since it isn’t exactly the ONLY place you can get good pizza in this town. So…trying to prove that very point, I tried to take K to Lucali the following night…but, dammit, there was a power outage and they were closed. So. K did not get pizza in New York. We *did*, however, have hot dogs outside the West Side Story theater, appetizers and mojitos with orange girlie doodads at Havana Central (also a tiny little nod to our mutual alma mater…), burritos at my favorite burrito place IN THE WORLD (I can’t believe some of those Yelp reviews. I love this place and I *hate* California Taqueria…so clearly Abigail S. and I find ourselves on opposite sides of the Burrito Fence…in fact, I think the guacamole there is maybe the best part…and the Gourmet burrito makes me pretty much happier than anything else. And why do you *have* to have rice and beans in your burrito, Daniel G.? I don’t get it. If I was a braver person, I’d register and write my own review. Perhaps that will come later in my quest for Sandra Bullock Clarity), and, finally — one of the places K actually wanted to go! — Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft. (Another food connection? She bought me a lewd apron for my birthday. How about that?)

The following weekend I made my way to — gasp! — New Jersey to visit another K. And I was actually pretty shocked that I only had to ride New Jersey Transit for 70 minutes, but felt like I was leaving the city far, far behind. (I was also a little bit in love with the child sitting in front of me who kept calling every body of water he saw “the ocean.”) K II lives in a very bright and airy apartment on the Princeton campus (or pretty darn close) and there are lots of trees and birds and bugs. And we went apple-picking! I was not able to get my standard pie apples, but I’m not so much of a stickler that I wasn’t willing to branch out with three new varieties. I *wish* I could remember all three, but one was definitely Macoun. And…as K II took me to a charming kitchen store in the heart of Princeton (that had a revolving cake platter that plays “Happy Birthday!”) and bought mini tart pans (that’s the difference between the two of us — my tart pan is HUGE), I was totally inspired to make an apple tart of my own. (The recipe I like most on Epicurious, however, calls for cardamom and I did not see any at my local grocery store…but Trader Joe’s in the middle of the day in the middle of the week has sort of become my new favorite place to be…and Joe should have cardamom, right?) She was *also* talking about how much she likes donuts…and she was searching for a baked good to claim as her “thing” and I really, really wanted to be able to find a recipe for baked donuts that would blow her away (she was reluctant to embrace donuts because of all the frying)…but, sadly, I didn’t see anything good in any of my cookbooks (Martha has an interesting one for pumpkin cornmeal donuts…but they, like virtually every other donut in creation, are fried)…although a quick Google search pulled up *these* baked donuts…although they are also quick to note that it’s an entirely different taste sensation. If I was a more industrious blogger, I’d try these recipes out and come back with some original reporting. Which I suppose is *maybe* still a possibility, but…

…the traveling doesn’t stop there! My mother is flying in tomorrow…and we have big plans to eat a lot: Mesa Grill, Grand Central Oyster Bar, The Spotted Pig, Buttermilk Channel…and I don’t know what else. Shake Shack? Blue Smoke? Artichoke? I am sort of the proverbial kid in a candy store here as I pick out all these amazing places I would never go if it was just me.

But, wait! There’s more! Big J and I booked our tickets to Costa Rica today! We leave on November 12. And my guidebook is patiently waiting for me at the Red Hook post office. And surely there will be *something* food-related for me to blog about between now and then. (I am tempted to sign this, “Besos! LL.” But shall refrain.)

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Filed under birthdays, books, Brooklyn, frying, gadgets, Martha, pizza, Uncategorized