Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Youtube sometimes makes my videos seem blurry....riddle me that. This is a blogger upload of the chinatown bounty.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


The sunflower has been picked. Kid (since you know my name -christo-(you can still call me dogg) you might as well know his -jackson (the pup)- and (banana)- mona- so there we are now exposed) Jackson wants to EAT it as is his method. He wants to eat anything put in his way that seems organic and tasty. He doesnt 'get' that it has to dry and then we have to roast it. How easy is he to love?


Most of being a parent, as far as I am concerned, is creating memories and since they do last a lifetime I make that my primary goal. We went a little out of the City to the 7 Lakes Drive, they are in Harriman, New York and we go there all the time. The drive is easy once you get out of Manhattan and the scenery is nice on the Palisades. We were relaxing in the hammocks when we noticed some worms in the leaves. Well ten minutes later we had a couple dozen worms and it was time to go fishing.

I take the little guy fishing and it is the cutest frickin' thing ever. He cant cast, he gets flustered and he catches these little sunfish that mean the world to him.

We HAVE to bring them home so he can eat them, he insists and he eats them with wasabi and ketchup. He brought home like 20 or so. He caught more but they wriggled out of his hands when he took them off the hook.

Disclaimer: These fish dont get that big to begin with so its not like we are taking from the baby pool and they are usually preyed upon by the walleye, and they are abundant.

Saturday, July 26, 2008



Amanpreet had been in prison for seven years.

The day he got out, his wife and son, Lil' Preet, came to pick him up. When he got into the car, the only thing he said was, "F. F."

His wife turned to him and answered, "E. F."

Out on the highway, he said, "F. F."

She shook her head and said, "E. F."

"F. F.!" Amanpreet insisted.

"No, E. F.," said his wife.

Lil' Preet finally said, "Mom! Dad! What's going on?"

Amanpreet replied, "You mother wants to eat first."

soft shell crabs

These little buggers were my all time favorite for years then I fell out of the habit of liking them, I think I had too many, but now I'm back after a several year hiatus. They were so popular in the late 80's and early nineties with restaurants selling them then for 18-22 dollars for a plate of two. I am not sure what they go for now.

The soft-shell is the blue crab in its molted state. The molting process means an abundant supply of soft crabs from late spring to early fall, with May through September ranking as the most productive months and Chinatown is well stocked with both hotels (4 - 4 ½ inches) and primes (4 ½ - 5 inches) grade. Today we bought hotels grade to get back in the swing of things. (they were just smaller, and cheaper)

Clean the crabs by removing soft gills under each side of shell. Remove the tail by twisting and pulling off. Remove eyes, mouth and sand bag under mouth with a snip of a scissor. Wash well with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Soak in mixture of egg, milk and salt and pepper. Dip in flour. Fry in deep fat for about 3-5 minutes or until brown. (Remember you eat the WHOLE thing, shell and all)

I like them in a sandwich with a chipotle mayonaise and a slice of tomato.

Chipotle mayonaise is simply a little of your favorite mayonaise with some chipotle peppers mixed in to your degree of hotness.

You can also have them on a mixed green salad or with some smashed root vegetable as a main course with a rémoulade, they are good however you decide to have them. The kid ate two!

Friday, July 25, 2008


One of 4 bullets that went through the glass and hit the 18 year old.

Tell me how to complain, I eat well, I am all sexed up and my kid is happy. Is it because we dont have a couple of mercedes and a large yard-well that doesnt make me unhappy. Is it because we dont have a pool- well that does not make me unhappy. I'll tell you what makes me un happy - judgmental people thats what. We are happy on our little island of bliss and the last thing we want is to be 'compared' yup the 'we got but you dont got' syndrum. People succumb to this malady all too often, NOT US. If you did visit and if I LET you visit you would see how humble we are. You might be amazed at how I turn out some of the dishes that I do with what I use at home. I can cook anything on a fire and a metal plate-trust me, give me a lid and we are baking.


Summer in the City

The "hood"... the tune keeps playing in your head long after you dont hear it any more, am I right?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

devil business

The perfect deviled egg is just that to me - a deviled egg, no fancy piping no exotic ingredients just plain simple egg yolk, mayo, dry mustard, yellow mustard salt and pepper. While I have made them with crab meat before and while these were absolutely excellent nothing beats simplicity. The real trick in my book is the perfect boiled egg. Everybody and their grandmother has a method to boil eggs and and none of them work for me like mine does. I dont like them to be green and bouncy, I like the yolk fluffy and bright and just set. I leave the eggs out to get to room temperature. When I am ready to use them I cover them with water in a saucepan so they are just submersed and then put to boil. When the water starts boiling I let them boil for a solid 5 minutes. When the five minutes are up I let them sit for two minutes before running ice cold water over them until they are cool enough to handle. Peel under running water and slice in half separating the yolk into a separate bowl to be mixed with mayo, dry mustard, yellow mustard, salt and pepper. Finely smash it with a fork and then spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg white and dust with chile or paprika, and there you have a simple yet perfect deviled egg, even more perfect if you let them rest a while so the dry mustard has a chance to marry the other ingredients. The funny thing is how people will eat more of these than they would if they were just eggs!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

big stac

Chatting with the kid he said there was no way I could make 2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun - he was right I did'nt have sesame seed buns. The other part he was confused about was the 'special sauce' he said its a secret and there is no way I was going to know what to put in it. I threw caution to the wind and just winged it.

Complete with wilty shredded lettuce and the non-bun middle bun -bun.

Who cares it was way better anyway.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

bar food

I make wings a lot they are easy and they taste good and you can eat them with your hands. Things you can eat with your hands are priority in kidville. No fussy salad forks or soup spoons to deal with just raw mitts and plenty of napkins. I dont think I have ever made wings the same way twice, I always try something different - like that time I used vegemite.

These wings were first tossed with a little salt, pepper, celery salt and hot red chile then dusted with cornstarch right before frying in hot canola oil.

Nice pile of wings that were then dusted again with hot chile powder right out of the oil. These are a dry hot wing compared to the standard hot wing covered in hot sauce.

Put them on a plate however you like with or without blue cheese dressing.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

taco time

Tacos can be made out of anything you want. Some favorites include simple vegetarian like avocado and pico de gallo, or sauteed zuchini, and cheese or mushrooms, onions and radish or whatever combination you like. Other favorites are chicken and the ever popular fish but these are made from something like that pork roast you saw the other day except I made another bigger one for a garden party we had on Saturday. Bananas moms is here from out of town so we had a little outdoor fun. This is what we did the last time she showed up.

I cut the meat off the bone in large slabs and then slice it and cook it again in a hot cast iron skillet to make 'carnitas'. While carnitas are usually pulled and stringy I like to slice it since I prefer a more chunky bite. This chunky meat was then rolled up in toasted flour tortilla with some pico and crema and a little red chile sauce.

This pico de gallo is a mixed bag of tricks, it has a combination of chiles and avocado. I remove the 'vein' from the hottest ones to cut back on the heat leaving nothing but flavor. (you can see the hand of Banana cutting things up)The vein is the white pulpy string you see inside the chiles when you cut them open lengthwise, they hold the seeds and most of the heat, remove it and the chile flavor is more manageable.

berry good

No matter how hot it is or how cranky I feel I still have a kid to feed that isnt aware that my moods affect my desires like his do to him - he wants to eat and thats that! These are not really pancakes and not really crepes they are somewhere in between. I didnt want the fluffyness of a pancake but I also didnt want the thinness of a crepe so I made pancrepes. They are the size of a pancake but pliable like a crepe and extra eggy. We topped these with a quick blueberry sauce made by simmering some fresh blueberries with a little sugar, butter and pomegranate juice poured over the pancrepes and dolloped with a little whipped cream. Healthy, decadent and food groupie (meaning it satisfies some food groups). Belly full of goodness and off to the beach we go - no photos because we go to play in the waves and since sand gets everywhere I didnt want it all up in my camera, I have posted beach photos before if you want a refresher, we even go in the winter.

too hot

The heat has limited my efforts as of late so as a result there has not been much cooking. Simple things like bread and cheese abound. I did throw together some bay scallops in a spicy cream sauce for bread dipping, though.

Ooey gooey goodness

We drink a lot of water, a ton of fruit smoothies and we go to the pool - how do you stay cool?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008



A pico de gallo made in the molcajete feels so authentic and tastes even more so. I use this tool fairly often to grind up all kinds of things from spices to guacamole. And since I mentioned it last I finally have the proper stone for it the tejolote or pestle, I am no longer using a river rock.

This is a basic Pico de Gallo salsa with chiles, tomatillos, tomato, garlic salt and lime.

Served with taquitos, which are filled with spiced pulled chicken and then rolled into a corn tortilla, fastened with a toothpick and fried till crispy - a little crema (the link has a recipe for homemade mexican sour cream) and some queso rallado (grated mexican cheese similar to parmesean) topped with shredded lettuce and the salsa.

Many make a meal.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


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Language Problem

A Russian woman married a Canadian gentleman and they lived happily ever after in Toronto ...

However, the poor lady was not very proficient in English, but did manage to communicate with her husband. The real problem arose whenever she had to shop for groceries.

One day, she went to the butcher and wanted to buy chicken legs. She didn't know how to put forward her request, and in desperation, clucked like a chicken and lifted up her skirt to show her thighs.

Her butcher got the message, and gave her the chicken legs.

Next day she needed to get chicken breasts, again she didn't know how to say it, and so she clucked like a chicken and unbuttoned her blouse to show the butcher her breasts.

The butcher understood again, and gave her some chicken breasts.

On the 3rd day, the poor lady needed to buy sausages. Unable to find a way to communicate this, she brought her husband to the store...

(Please scroll down)

...What were you thinking? Hellooooooo, her husband speaks English! Now get back to your emails. I don't know about you sometimes! Hehehe!

Monday, July 14, 2008


I challenged before with the omelette and only two , one I remember and the other should remember me, stepped up - NOW I challenge with the souffle. Its only beaten egg whites with some flavor how hard can that be?

look up recipes if you need to.

but butt

Picnic shoulder, pork butt, Boston butt, pork shoulder, the front legs, whatever you call it.

Pork Shoulder Arm Picnic

It was prepared by rubbing with a little dijon mustard and red chile, salt and pepper and then slow roasting. It was later pulled and enjoyed with some favorite bbq sauce on white bread.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Green Lips

I have taken this green thing too far! New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels prepared a la Moules et Frites, I cant help it its summer! My friends say I dont explain enough, this is for you.

Mussels (Moules)

  • 2-3lbs Mussels
  • 2-3 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1-2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 5 tsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion chopped rough
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Mussels: Wash, scrub and debeard the mussels. Any mussels that are open give them a sharp tap if they remain open discard them with any that have broken shells.
  2. Place the white wine in a large saucepan with the mussels and bring it to the boil then reduce it to a simmer and cook with the lid on for 2-3 minutes until the mussel shells open, any that do not open discard. Remove the mussels from the pan and keep warm.
  3. Strain the wine and return it to the pan bring it to the simmer and whisk in the butter so that is well incorporated. Stir in three tablespoons of the parsley and a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Return the mussels to the pan and cook them for a minute until heated through.
  4. To Serve: Distribute the mussels with the cooking liquid among 4 bowls or deep plates and sprinkle over the remaining parsley and place a lemon wedge on the side of the plate. Serve with a side plate and bowl with water and slice of lemon.

Frites (french fries)

  • 2-3lbs floury potatoes (e.g. Idaho)
  • Oil for deep frying
  • salt
  1. Frites:Peel the potatoes and cut them into wedges 3-4in long and .25in wide and thick. Place the potatoes in a bowl of cold water and leave them to stand for 10-30 minutes or rinse them thoroughly in cold water. Remove the potatoes from the water and dry them thoroughly.
  2. Heat some oil in a deep fryer, wok or large saucepan to 250-325°F (the oil should half fill the container). When hot cook the potatoes in batches for 4-5 minutes until they are tender but not golden, drain the potatoes on some kitchen paper (It is important not to overcrowd as this will reduce the cooking temperature and will stop them from cooking evenly). Heat the oil to 325-350°F and cook the potatoes in batches for 1-2 minutes so that they are golden and crisp, when removed from the oil place them on kitchen paper to drain. Sprinkle with a little salt and serve. *To test the temperature of the oil use a thermometer or to test it has reached 350°F drop a cube of bread in it and the bread should float to the top and be golden.
  1. To Serve:Serve the frites on a side plate with a little frites sauce on the side (frites sauce is like a tartar sauce) if using or place them on the side of the plate with the mussels.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mo' Green

Spinach lasagna.

Ricotta, parmesean, spinach, egg, nutmeg, garlic, salt and pepper and basil filling.

Layer till pan is full drizzle it with olive oil and bake till bubbly.

Let cool and try and share.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

chile time

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I have chile going to:


lucky for me


unless you speak up now.( by e mail because I forgot)

And if the afore mentioned could kindly e mail me an address again (or I will track it down) thanks.


If I was to have a best friend.

I never had a best friend because the guy who lived next door to me who I thought was my best friend told me who his best friend was, and it wasnt me. The guy who called me his best friend died. This girl who lived down the block told me I could never be her best friend, and my brother and sister had everyone else 'in the bag' so to speak.

I dont care if she has other best friends -

If you click on that picture up there right can watch her make pancakes....It makes me happy.

I would like to have people like her as my best friends.


See the bee?

Its here again, all the way back to September 2006 I have posted a sunflower, I grew them before but never posted and since my blog was started in 2005 well thats why. Here is last years. Speaking of memory lane its time for some ginger beer!

On the 365 posts thing - I am so close to the 165 mark. Trust me I will do 365 - even it pains me. ( I could completly do post after irelavant post spelling and all posting several times a day but whats the point?) - 1 a day is hard enough. (average, I know, I do 'catch up')[like now but this is 'padding' for when I might be 'out'.]

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Goin' Green

Some semolina flour, some eggs and some spinach and this is what you get. Around here, like I have said before, this is kid bait. My guy will gobble this up faster than I can make it. I have some new gadgets for my stand mixer and I was anxious to try them out. As luck would have it Banana, who basically lives at these two thrift stores on west 17th, found the roller and two pasta cutters in their original box -retail value $149-$169 on sale for (if you are sitting you might want to stand) 12 bucks...yup Kitchenaid pasta roller and cutter set for $12 US. I had to crack 'em out and take 'em for a test run.

The spaghetti cutter is the one you see here.

A little Gorgonzola, a little Romano, a little Olive oil...

and its all Love.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

big talker

Soy has been kicking my ass. Since I last posted about tofu and grandiose-edly stated all the foods I was going to make out of 'tofu' a lot has changed. The biggest factor here is the quality of my ho-made tofu. It sucks. Its grainy or gross or otherwise so worse than what people who hate tofu hate even more. I cant get the ratio down for a small quantity. All the recipes I have read are for larger portions and I am not 'bout to make 2 gallons of soy milk just to see if it coagulates right, so I have been trying to 'create' this tofu a liter at a time. These three are 'barely' passable if not at all.

I have a dense and gritty one that only the hardcore can enjoy.

I have a smooth and 'cheesy' one (which gives me an idea)

....and I have a way too silky one which is still useful for something.

The protein factor is omnipresent but the overall asthetic value is severly diminished while esthetically it remians pure, for me at least. Lets not forget that I can purchase all kinds of tofu, I have Chinatown and the Korean street and of course all the Japanese grocery stores, so GOOD tofu is easy to get, I just want to see if I can make it..........
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