Batter Licker

August 8, 2012

reflections on my hiatus

Filed under: non-food — Tags: — Kristen @ 3:26 pm

Now that it’s August, please consider July to have been my unintended month-long vacation from the blogosphere. Because giving vacation notice a month after someone has already taken the vacation is entirely acceptable, professional etiquette.

By the way, Monsieur Bossypantsman, you may have noticed I haven’t been physically or electronically present for the past month. Well, I was on vacation, but now I’m back and seriously ready to get ‘er done.

Can you imagine?? In the non-internet world, that would be taken almost as seriously as this guy.

Not that I haven’t waved, “Hello! Remember me? I’m still alive!” via Facebook and Twitter every so often.

But it was a heck of a month spent redlining contracts, negotiating this-and-thats, informing the (allegedly uninformed) marketing masses about the ins-and-outs of unauthorized trademark use and consumer confusion, and managing an overflowing email inbox by siphoning most messages into a “Deal With Post-Conference” folder.

Not to mention generally marching around in my no-way-Jose lawyer hat that’s complemented by my conflict-resolving superwoman cape.

Which is to say that I spent much of July smiling in a friendly manner while shaking my head vehemently “no” and then concocting creative solutions so the BlogHer teams could continue doing some of the fabulous things they do best:

/brag

/end brag

Speaking of which, I’m both extremely proud and unbelievably exhausted. Is it November yet and am I on a beach in Thailand with Jay, waving a flag to signal resort waitstaff to bring me yet another cocktail?

An extra brandied cherry this time, sir, if you please.

June 27, 2012

plantain and coconut fritters with sriracha yogurt sauce

About that Sriracha Yogurt Sauce in the title: it’s super easy and fast to make, and the perfect balance of spicy, tangy and creamy. But I have no evidence that it exists.

A smarter, more patient person would have snapped a photo of Sriracha Yogurt Dipping Sauce. But I dipped and noshed first, littering the spicy and tangy yet creamy sauce with unsightly crumbs. Soooo not photogenic.

But I didn’t really think about that until now, as I’m trying to invent excuses. Forgive me. I must have been famished. I plowed through the whole bowl of sauce.

On top of that brilliant mishap, I’m told it’s barbecue season. Summer; heat; sunny outdoors. Clearly a great time to grill.

SAM_8049 SAM_8085
SAM_8088 SAM_8089

So, instead, I thought I’d send something golden and fried your way. You know, in case you want to surmise an alternative to the traditional burger accompaniment: The Almighty French Fry. Because plantains will still satisfy that starch craving, but combined with some coconut flakes, they’re so much tastier, and sound much more sophisticated. Possibly healthier too, but I didn’t verify that. (more…)

June 13, 2012

manhattan with maraschino liqueur and bourbon-bathed cherry (not to mention cherry-infused bourbon)

Do you ever make cocktails at home? I’ve been mixing up gin and tonics for years – requires a LOT of skill, like opening a bottle of tonic water, pouring that and some gin over ice, squeezing in a lime, and stirring. So maybe it’s not really all that skilled after all.

But I only started attempting anything beyond that about a year and a half ago when, inspired by a tequila-based cocktail I had enjoyed at Tres (back then, Tres Agaves), I decided to put a fresh twist on the processed sweetener (grapefruit soda) by substituting juice from a freshly squeezed-by-me grapefruit and club soda. My version of La Paloma set in motion an exploration of cocktails that hasn’t stopped since.

From sparkling vodka elderflower lemonade and apple brandy limeade to a gin-based version of a dark ‘n stormy (or, depending on how you look at it, a ginger beer/ale version of a gin and tonic) and creamy candy cane cocktail, you might think me a purveyor of purely clear liquors.

The cucumber infusion that wound up as my bride’s specialty cocktail and the lemon peel and vodka infusion that became limoncello after a few months would do nothing to convince you otherwise.

However, in real life, I dabble in the brown stuff more often than the clear.

On Saturday, I spoke on a BlogHer Food Conference panel about the resurgence and modernization of vintage recipes. During the panel, I gave a longer-than-it-should-have-been-because-my-hands-were-shaking-and-ohmygosh-how-do-I-answer-questions-while-simultaneously-keeping-track-of-what-I’m-mixing demo on how to make two versions of the timeless (and my favorite) Manhattan cocktail.

I learned that: (more…)

May 31, 2012

gin mint julep and gin mojito

Filed under: drinks,fruit — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Kristen @ 12:54 pm

Someone’s jumping up a year in age this weekend. And neener neener neener: it’s not me!

I’ve already checked that off my to-do list for 2012, as I do every year about 3 weeks before Jay follows suit.

And every year, during those 3 weeks, I enjoy constantly asking Jay what it feels like to be with an older woman. Sometimes he even humors me with a response other than eye-rolling.


(more…)

May 25, 2012

gabi moskowitz’s brokeass gourmet cookbook and broccoli-kale gratin

I remember first meeting Gabi Moskowitz serendipitously at an Indian food-themed dinner hosted by our mutual friends, Rebecca and Bill Kee. While in the middle of preparing dal (a spicy lentil dish), she paused to introduce herself in a very warm and welcoming manner before putting me to work chopping onions. As I began that task, Bill casually mentioned that Gabi had a food blog too.  Soon I learned that she was not just any other kitchen maven named Gabi, but was The Gabi of Brokeass Gourmet, a recipe site with a monthly readership of over 30,000. I can guarantee the consistency of my onion cuts suffered as a result of being dorkily starstruck.

Thankfully, her fun and sassy demeanor disarmed my intimidation before I did too much damage in the kitchen. And I was happy to have shared a stove and chopping board, albeit briefly, with such an incredibly talented woman.

A few years’ worth of mostly social media exchanges later, I was excited for Gabi when I discovered she had procured a cookbook deal. When her PR rep sent me a complimentary copy of The Brokeass Gourmet Cookbook** to review, I could hardly contain myself upon its arrival. I can neither confirm nor deny whether I Gabi-vangelized the delivery person.

For those unfamiliar with this kindergarten-teacher-turned-cuisinière’s food blog and general background, I highly recommend you hop on over there, even if it’s just for a cursory visit. Once you bounce around her site a bit, you’ll see that Gabi’s cooking philosophy is grounded in accessibility and flavor.

These values carry over into her 116-recipe cookbook, where she starts with advice that will make meal-making much easier to manage no matter your skill level: how to stock a pantry with essentials like flour, olive oil, and salt for merely $50. And if you’re a bit of a lush like me, you’ll appreciate her subsequent input on how to smartly stock a budget bar.

Continuing to flip through the pages, I found that Gabi often takes dishes that might ordinarily be intimidating, such as Pakistani Butter Chicken (pictured above, although I deviated slightly by cooking the chicken thighs whole) or Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi, and simplifies the techniques involved without sacrificing flavor. She transforms the seemingly complex recipes such that beginner and immediate cooks alike can appreciate the time, steps and stress she’s saved them. (more…)

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