Back in the saddle...

I could sit here and type lamentations to my online absence, but that’s a waste of space. I don’t want to apologize and you don’t want to read drivel. Let’s fast forward to the fun part.

I’m moving back into my apartment! Truth be told, I moved in just over a year ago, but after 8 months out of town with various shows I’ve barely decorated at all. It’s time to get crafty and put my stamp on this homestead. First on my list is an update to the oh-so-average ceiling fan hanging in my dining/living room.


I had a simple frosted globe covering the bare bulb, utterly characterless. The cheap solution? A canning jar. I tried a few sizes, wide mouth and narrow (I’ve got experience with all sorts of mouths), and settled on a .5 Liter Quattro Stagioni jar with a 70 millimeter lid. I’m sure Ball makes a jar that fits, but I like the patterning on the Quattro jars. It mottles the light just enough to make a semi-bare bulb tolerable. Loosen the pins holding the globe in place, remove the globe, hold the jar over the bulb and screw the pins back in tightly. Done.

Oh, the relief that comes from scratching an item off my To-Do list! But like the dreaded Hydra, slice off one head and two more spring up in its place. Time to hang art on the walls and use this ice cream maker I’ve got chilling in the freezer. A cold bowl of sweet cream may be the only way to combat NYC’s summer sweat plague.

I’m dripping.


Public Cupid

Darling friends and acquaintances,

Join me in a social experiment?

I’ve been terribly bored with internet dating for some time now. It’s such a dreary proposition: write something glib and self-aware, agonize over/upload pictures, flip through profiles of people in your neighborhood, then send messages into the void. I don’t enjoy looking at profiles, I’m too judgemental for my own good, and no matter how many people I send messages to, the outcome is the same: rarely engaging responses amidst a sea of mono-syllabic “Hey”s.

When I complained about this problem to a friend in New Mexico he echoed my despair. Neither of us have had much success at finding dates online. We were sick of the format, it felt like buying a stack of lottery tickets, knowing the odds are impossibly low but hoping the next one might match.

We joked that it would be more fun to search for dates for each other than for ourselves.

We traded login information and started the search.

Turns out it’s much more fun to set up a friend than it is to look for digital love on your own.

Of course, once the trade was discussed my head kept spinning. What if I passed out my login info to all of my friends? What if I made my profile, so challenging to fill out on my own, a veritable Wikipedia entry of testimonials and pictures from friends? What if my digital dating persona was curated not by me, but by my community? What if our friends are better at describing our personalities than we are?

And so I did it.
I cleared my OkCupid profile (except for a slight disclaimer at the top, warning perusers that the writing is publicly generated), and am publishing my login info right here:
Username: DK27
Password: publiccupid

I’ve left some pictures, most are terrible. Perhaps you have better pictures of me? Do we look adorable together at some event? Go ahead and upload it, this isn’t a joke. The answers to all OkCupid bio questions are blank, fill them in as you see fit.

Some ground rules:

  • No changing the password or login info, that locks everyone out and ruins the experiment.
  • If you decide to message someone, bravo! Feel free to log back in to follow up on that message. If you don’t, I will.
  • Write anything you want, edit what other people have written, click through profiles and have fun.
  • The only text that must remain in the profile is the disclaimer at the top: Much like Wikipedia, this is a publicly curated profile. All answers have been provided by a community, some close, some far (both in miles and mindset). Tread with caution.

I have no idea if this will go anywhere, but it would be delightful to go on a few dates selected by my community. Be bold! Be brave! Type away!

(I expect you all to behave with a modicum of decency, though not too much. Never too much.)



Kids in the Kitchen 2012

My third year attending the annual International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference has confirmed what the first two years had me suspecting. While the panels are informative and the socializing is good for business, it’s the active, hands-on activities that really charge me as an attendee. With IACP that means the annual event sponsored by The Culinary Trust (their philanthropic wing) and the Kids in the Kitchen committee.

Every year an event is planned in the conference’s home city to teach kids some valuable and basic cooking skills. For the last two years we’ve had the opportunity to work with the kids only once, during the conference. This year was different. The Culinary Trust planned the event to run for three weeks. We worked with the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger teaching weekly cooking classes to a fantastic group of kids, ages 8-18.


I know everyone who works with kids says this, but I have to write it anyway: The kids are fucking fantastic. They showed up week after week, ready to cook, ready to eat, and ready to play. We all had a great time. Who knew making smoothies could be so exciting? Seriously. Kids love a Vitamix.

The Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger is an organization that feeds 11,000 hungry people in Brooklyn every month.
Now read this:
You’re only allowed to shop at the pantry once a month.

So, where are families in need getting food the rest of the month? The neighborhood needs more support.

The Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger has been farming backyard plots for three years to supplement the food in their pantry. They teach cooking classes, pair kids with elderly community members to learn gardening and farming techniques, and provide clothes to those in need. This organization fights hard for their community.

And now it’s my turn to help out. There is a giant empty plot of land next to their headquarters. It’s been empty for 9 years. Dr. Samuels (the executive director of the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger) has tried everything she can think of to get that land for more urban farming. I called the city council member representing that district to inquire about the land. Will you join me in putting some pressure on the local government to help out? The community needs food. Farming engages everyone, from elementary school students to retirees. This is a win-win situation for the whole neighborhood.

Please call Darlene Mealy at 718-953-3097 or email her at Ask her what the plan is for that land. It’s been sitting unused for 9 years. Let’s change that, let’s help the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger feed more people. Leave a comment and let me know when you call!


Keep kicking ass,

Recipe, Snack, Appetizer

Lentils and Doctors

There is an eternal stack of hummus containers in my fridge.
The leaning tower of Sabra.


Lordy. I hate cleaning out the fridge. But, as the kitchen is mostly under my dictatorial rule, the lovely bits as well as the ugly tasks fall to me. I try to place similar items together in an attempt to alert the mates to their growing collections of…Shredded Cheese, Hummus, Jam, Peanut Butter, Coffee Creamer, etc. At this very moment there are at least three bags/jars/bottles of each of those items. All open. All half used.

And now that I’ve typed up their list of repetitive groceries I am compelled to issue a sigh. Those are sad ingredients. Evidence of lives devoted to the hospital, of fleeting glances at food and attention paid to patients and studies. It makes me realize how terribly different our lives are and I’m grateful to live with such impressive young doctors.

Back to the leaning tower of Sabra.

I’ve had some dry lentils sitting in my freezer for months (again, I keep many varied and inappropriate items in the freezer). After I made chicken booze I was left with glorious stewed vegetables-onions, carrots, garlic. I’m attempting to break my heroin-like dependence on hummus so I decided to make these foods into a dip.

‘Twas successful, if over zealous. I made almost four pints, but the good news is that this freezes well. What’s in your freezer? If you’ve got some dried beans or lentils sitting around why don’t you cook them up and blend them with whatever herbs and aromatics you have in your fridge? Dips don’t have to be planned, sometimes the best way to write a recipe is to clean out your fridge. Happy blending!

Video, Fall

Harvest Home Rocks

Here is what I love about living in NYC:
People do fantastic things. All the time.

Everyone you meet is up to something. This isn’t a city to sit on your heels and simmer. Rather, it’s the best place to fill your pot to the brim and make a fabulous stew of life. Take for instance, Jill Brack. Many of you know her as the founder of Glow Gluten Free Cookies. Here’s what you might not know: Jill is on the board of Harvest Home Farmer’s Market. Harvest Home places farmer’s markets in low income neighborhoods with little access to fresh produce. The markets are set up so the patrons can pay with food stamps, but what’s even more impressive is that paying with your EBT card is incentivized. For every $5 you pay with your food stamps, you receive an extra $2 to spend at the market. In a time when it is often more expensive to buy fresh produce than a Big Mac, Harvest Home goes a long way to shift the balance.

Harvest Home sponsored an event this past week with PS 72 in Harlem. 4th and 5th grade classes were asked to design a poster for the market. One poster was picked and the winning class (Ms. Callahan’s 5th grade) was brought to the market to celebrate. Jill asked if I was interested in cooking a market inspired meal for the kids as part of their prize. My answer-”LOVE IT.” Food always tasted better with company and what better company than 30 5th graders?

I had free reign of the market’s bounty to plan my menu, all of the veggies donated by the farmers. For lunch we at chili and maple roasted squash, braised collards with apples and onions, roasted chicken thighs with a citrus-tahini dressing, a big salad and rice pudding with caramelized apples. Our plates were palettes of Fall colors, filled to the brim. I loved watching the principal of PS 72 sit down with the kids to eat. This is how we can change food habits-eating together, talking about food, learning as a community.