Caribbean Stew and a Thought or Two

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When I came across this recipe while thumbing through my copy of Moosewood Favorites, I realized two things: 1.) I love and have always loved how eclectic Moosewood's recipes are. It never seems to matter how inauthentic or random they are--the flavor combinations are always on par. Cooking from Moosewood is like a free pass to Ma's place; every creation tastes perfectly rugged and love-filled. 2.) I am completely enamored with the Caribbean. I have dreamt of traveling there ever since I first heard the Beach Boys' ...

Icebox Corn and Pea Soup

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If there's an overarching rule that dictates what I cook in my humble Midwestern kitchen, it's a deeply instilled desire to waste less that ultimately sways my decisions. It's a trait I was born with, I'm pretty sure. I have one memory in which I must have been about six years old where I got rather upset that someone in the house was about to open a new box of cereal when there was one already open. (Or, it could have been that I really ...

A Little Mexico in America, and a Drunken Chicken

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I grew up loving Mexican food. I mean, who didn't, really? I have a vivid memory of one particular trip to Taco Bell in which the employees neglected to put my order of two hardshell tacos in the bag. When we discovered this, we took another spin through the drive-thru in a hungered fury. Out of the kindness of their teenage hearts, the employees dumped not two, but FOUR hardshell tacos in my bag. It was a blissful afternoon. It took years for my perception of ...

Fratelli’s: The Other NYC Pizza

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When I think of pizza and New York City in the same sentence, I think of dollar slices in Chelsea, too-long lines at Grimaldi's, and pure bliss at Artichoke. The common denominator here is affordable, relatively fast, and thin crust (well, unless it's Artichoke). That's a New York slice, right? But then there are places like Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza and Wine Bar on the City's Upper East Side, a classy-casual respite from the goings-on of First Avenue. It's a joint that could pass as any other ...

Obsessed with Buffalo Chicken Soup

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I often find myself going through mini-obsessions in many realms of my life. With music, for example, I tend to find a new band I like and listen to that band on repeat until it's worn out--sometimes months--before considering moving on to something new. I keep a little more variety in my dining habits, but still there are usually one or two things I simply can't get enough of. In this moment, I'm obsessed with anything green tea or matcha flavored, cinnamon, and hot sauce. I've ...

Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

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If someone asked me if I've ever dieted, I would answer: I drank only juice for 36 hours, then got bored and chewed again, does that count? I ate nothing for a day, does that count? I consumed five bowls of shredded wheat and nothing else one day, does that count? I love food too much to "diet." But every once in a while I like to adopt a new eating lifestyle to cleanse my system, challenge my cooking skills, or just see how my body reacts. I often ...

Polenta Triangles in 2014

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I've come to love New Year's Day in a way I love no other holiday. Well yes, I do see the merits of adopting an "every day is the start of a New Year" philosophy, and I know I'd be much better off if I made resolutions more often than just in the fleeting moments of December, but there is something uniquely beautiful about January 1. I appreciate having a reason to look back on how much has passed and how I've changed over the ...