Thursday, March 31, 2011


Decades ago, Michele, Patti and I went to Babycakes, a vegan bakery on the lower east side. I have been waiting for Michele SLOWSON to send me a couple of pictures from that afternoon so I could write this post, and 25 years later, she finally has. (It was maybe 3 weeks, but seriously, any pictures that Michele takes on her camera basically don't exist because unless you hound her to the point of actual illegal harassment, you will never, ever, see them again.)

Before I get into talking Babycakes, it is necessary that Patti get a proper introduction as I've never mentioned her on here before.

This, my friends, is Patti Kenyon:
Patti is by far one of my most valuable forms of entertainment at school. She is HYSTERICAL. She sings with me/too me which is the only true way to my heart. Needless to say, I absolutely adore her.
      I got sick the day we planned on going to the bakery, but couldn't let myself miss the opportunity of an afternoon with Patti, Michele, and baked goods, so I forced myself to get out of bed. (I can't remember a time when I have ever gotten out of my bed when I didn't want to felt sick for any reason that didn't involve eating. I am a slave to food + good company.)

I arrived at Babycakes to find Patti and Michele already there and waiting for me. (as usual) It looked super cute.

Inside was really cramped and there were a lot of people sitting/standing around. The kitchen was open and right behind the counter so you could see the bakers preparing everything.

She looks pretty serious, but she was actually quite nice and cooperative when it came to my slightly creepy request for pictures of her. There were a lot of delicious looking treats (ALL VEGAN!). Several different flavored cupcakes with different icings, quickbreads, donuts, brownies... a really good variety. Most of their stuff is prepared with alternative less refined ingredients like agave nectar instead of white sugar. There are also a number of gluten free options.

We decided to get four things and share them all.
A cinnamon bun, a caramel donut, a vanilla cupcake and a chocolate brownie/cake thing.

It all looked really yums, but honestly, I was so disappointed.
The cupcake was flavorless, the donut was dry and the chocolate brownie was just dull. The only thing that really made the trip worth it was the cinnamon bun. Delicious. Sweet but not overly so, with a pretty accurate cinnamon-bun-like texture. Definitely deserving of my affection. I would go back for that, but that only.

I think we were so bored with the baked goods that we somehow ended up giving into Michele's request to take pictures of us for her article. (CLICK HERE TO READ IT! IT'S GREAT!)

We got a little carried away. 
 At least Patti and I got to display our love for all of the lower east side to see.

Hi Patti! 
Now you're double famous.
We're singing Prince tomorrow. I've already planned it out. 
Dress appropriately.

And Michele, I still love you even though you took forever to send me these pictures.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Red Bamboo

I don't think you have all been formally introduced to my sister, Lindsey:
Somehow she has managed to avoid being on here as often as she should be, but, I am determined to change

Tonight we got dinner at Red Bamboo. All I had to eat all day was, a bowl of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin cereal, a (huge)bowl of lentil soup, a pear, a minneola, nuts, vegan cake scraps from school, tasting of different frostings, a mini vegan muffin cake from left over cake batter, anything else edible I saw lying on the street and/or sidewalk, pumpkin seeds, I think accidentally(right) a piece of a band aid and $5.00 rip off dried mango from whole understandably, I was very hungry when Lindsey arrived a tickle bit late to the restaurant.

We were seated right away and I quickly read the the menu. It had a lot of tasty looking options. My sister is trying to eat foods low in acidity because she has some vocal cord issues and it is supposed to help, so we tried to pick out an appetizer that would be fitting to her restrictions.

 We shared the steamed dumplings. 
They had veggies and tofu inside and were served with a ginger dipping sauce. 
Quite yummy, but the dough was a bit thick for my liking. 
Also, I shoved these into my mouth so fast that they could have tasted like burnt tires and
I probably wouldn't have noticed.
I am such an attractive woman.

All of the options for the main course looked really delicious, but Michele and Sara ate Burgers/Veggie Burgers for lunch and I was salivating the entire time, so I knew I wanted something comparable. I also knew I definitely wanted french fries in my mouth as soon as possible. When our server came over I asked her what her favorite sandwich on the menu was and she pointed to this:

The Mottalini  
Two breaded soy chicken cutlets with Dijon mustard and vegan mayo 
garnished with lettuce, tomato served on a roll with fries.
I actually contemplated asking the waitress more than once if she was sure it was vegan because I really thought I was eating chicken. It was unreal. So. Good.

Lindsey, on the other hand, ordered the MOST BORING THING ON THE MENU.
Grilled Vegetables with Tofu and Brown Rice
It actually looked delicious and from what I tasted, it was pretty good.
I eat this ish (Hi Misch) at home everyday though, so, I like to order fun things when I go out.
I guess Linds likes to be healthy all the time. 

She broke down when it came time for dessert though. 

We got two cakes and shared.
 Carrot Cake

 Peanut Butter Heaven
So appropriately named.

This is what our plates looked like when we were so full we literally could not stand up:

Aaaand this is what they looked like 5 minutes after that:

I was dying.
(Notice that there is butcher's twine keeping one of my braids in tact.)

The food was good. Dessert was awesome. I left with more than a food baby, a food toddler, a food senior citizen...but it was so worth it.

Then we had a 45 minute photo shoot in the subway. 
Let's not talk about it.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eatuntilyouareactuallygoingtopuke Day

Today was Pasta Day.

I tried to get the situation under control early by telling myself all last week that I was NOT going to eat anything on pasta day. This morning I said it over and over in my head...I am NOT EATING ANYTHING AT SCHOOL TODAY.

But, I know myself well enough to know that I am powerless to the potency of pasta. I made it through about half the class and then it was just over. Anything that was edible and vegan was in my mouth. Uch. So delicious.

Chef Rich (LOVE HIM) demoed how to make gnocci for us.

 Then we each rolled out a small batch of it, cooked it off, and prepared a brown butter sage sauce to toss it in. I don't usually post the things that we do at school that are not vegan, but this can very easily be made vegan by just using a different sauce.

Gnocci rolled and cut

 Marci and Lindsey manning their station.

 Katie O about to brown her butter.

Gorge, but not vegan.
I wanted so badly to eat this. 
Cheese is my nemesis.

Next we each got to make our own pasta dough. I made a vegan corn pasta. These were all of our doughs:

There were a lot of creative ones. 
A delicious vegan, spelt, porchini mushroom. (echem Sara Russel)
A rosemary, sage, orange zest. 
Tomato whole wheat.
Lots of cool stuff.

Then we rolled and cut our pasta.

This was Lacey doing hers. I thought she deserved time in the spotlight. 
(Spotlight= fragments of her arms being viewed by the 37 people who read this, at least 10 of whom I force to do so. ) 

Flat sheets for stuffed pasta (ravioli, tortellini, etc.)

 Angel Hair

Next we separated into groups and made different sauces and fillings.

This was our delicious tomato sauce.

There was also White Bean Sauce, Almond Cream Sauce and Walnut Pesto.

These were the fillings:

Tofu Ricotta

Beet Filling, Olive Tapenade, 
Pumpkin w/Walnuts and other deliciousness 
and Porcini Pesto

Filling time!!
I chose Half Moon Pasta That Has a Fancy Italian Name That I Can't Remember I'm a Failure. 

This was my corn pasta stuffed with the pumpkin filling and tofu ricotta mixed together.
I just cut rounds, put a small amount of filling a little off center and sealed around 
the edge with water and pressure.
I cooked this off and served it with the almond cream sauce. 

Everyone experimented and put all different fillings with different sauces and different pastas with different sauces....
It was a free-for-all and it all ended down my gullet.

This is what the end of pasta day looks like:

It's also what the end of a lesbian costume party looks like.

Aaaaand one more....

Is that Matt Wolfson?

Friday, March 18, 2011


A hundred and twenty years ago Misch and I went to Gobo and I haven't written about it yet so let's do that now. K.

First, I hate to say mean things(that's actually a little bit true), but the woman who served us knew NOTHING about the food at the restaurant. The menu is pretty expansive, so we were hoping for a little bit of guidance. We wanted to share a few things so we could try a variety of what the restaurant had to offer, but she really had nothing valuable to extend to us in the way of suggestions or advice. It really felt like she had just walked in off the street and was reading the menu for the first time with us.

So, we figured it out on our own and went with:

 Crispy Spinach & Soy Cheese Wontons

 Pine Nut Vegetable Medley with Lettuce Wraps

 Pineapple Fried Rice w/ Sunflower Seeds & Soy Protein

 Scallion Pancakes with Homemade Mango Salsa

Mango, Coconut and Tapioca Pudding
Topped with Macadamia Nut Brittle

Honestly, it wasn't great. I'd give it a 3 out of 5 overall. The pine nut vegetable medley was by far the best dish. It was delicious. I would have been happy had everything lived up to that level of deliciousness. The crispy spinach and soy cheese wontons were good as well, but they did not shake me to my core with delciousness, really nothing at this meal did. The fried rice was okay; it needed more seasoning and quite honestly I could have gotten fried rice from the Chinese restaurant on the corner and added pineapple, avocado and sunflower seeds and it probably would have been better. The scallion pancakes were delicious, but have you ever had scallion pancakes that weren't? The mango salsa was bland and did not add anything to the dish. The tapioca pudding was just a mess; definitely the disappointment of the evening. It was flavorless, watery and boring. I'm thinking maybe we just ordered wrong, but really in a good restaurant, there should be no such thing. At least I got to spend another lovely evening with my darling Michele!

Hi Misch!
I hope you're having fun in Boston with our boyfriend Sam!
(I think I'm going to stop saying that now. I'm starting to creep myself out. (I'm definitely not going to stop saying that.) )

Welcome Back To ME! & Salads I +II

I haven't posted for basically a million years because I have been studying for a very important shmidterm, so I have been focusing mostly on that. BUT lucky for all of you, my midterm was TODAY(yesterday technically cause it is 12:56am) so now I have pa-lenty of time to write all about my sordid life. (Sordid is not really the right word, but sometimes I just use words because I want to. Hi Linds.)

For the midterm we had to make a creamy carrot soup(there are pictures of it in this post), poach a pear (there are no pictures of it) and make a salad with a vinaigrette. We had two full hours, so it was not a big deal. I feel like different chefs like things different ways in terms of consistency and flavor so it's hard to know exactly how to cook things to get the best grade. Grades are pretty irrelevant in culinary school though. I know how to make soup, poach and make salad so...I'd say it was a success.

There was also a written portion which was so annoying. I'm going to be up all weekend thinking about these three stupid questions about oil...OIL! Uch.

So where we left off.....


Salads seem like they wouldn't need a school to necessarily dedicate an entire class to them, and yet, my school decided to dedicate two classes to them. How reasonable.

These salads are a bit more complicated in that they are not just vegetables and dressing. To me, they kind of stretch the meaning of salad and go more into general cold appetizer, but, you know, I'm not here to judge.

Salads I:

 Antipasto Salad

Carrot Olive Salad

Green Bean and Hazelnut Salad

Caesar Salad 
A rare treat for a vegan

Spinach and Garden Vegetable Salad w/ Creamy Horseradish Dressing

 Pasta Salad

Broccoli with Roasted Peppers, Capers and Olives

 Wilted Green and Red Salad

 Wild Rice and Hazelnut Salad
This recipe even looked delicious on the page; enough to make me write this when we were going over recipes in the beginning of the class.  
(Though I write little romantic notes to a lot of my recipes (seriously) so, this is not incredibly unusual.)

I'm sorry about these last few pictures. Sometimes it's hard to get a photo in before the vultures attack. (False: I totally space out and it isn't until people have already started eating that I realize I've only taken pictures of half the food.)

 Russian Salad

Mushrooms a la Grecque

Bean Curd(tofu) and Peanut Salad
This was my favorite. I probably ate half of this myself(with Michele of course).
Anything with peanuts makes my tummy smile.

Salads II:

In this class we focused on some plating techniques as well. These were my favorite platings of each salad:

Watercress, Orange and Fennel Salad

 Butter lettuce with Cucumber Ice and Raspberry Vinaigrette

 Cabbage, Dulse and Cucumber Salad with a Creamy Dill Dressing

 This had a special name that I forgot but it was cabbage, bean sprouts, cucumber and 
green beans with an AMAZING peanut dressing

Buckwheat Salad with Mushroom Dressing