Seaweed Sesame Seed Seasoning

Seaweed Sesame Seed Seasoning (Sally sold seashells at the seashore?) is my favorite touch to any dish. My freshman year in college, I was randomly placed in an all Asian hall (maybe the reason I ended up marrying Ken?) and therefore quickly learned many Asian customs and preferences (rice cookers, chopsticks, bowls for food, etc…). One of the best take-aways from that experience (definitely not my crazy roommate) was a Seaweed topping for rice. It simply is a small canister with seaweed and spices. Currently, my favorite variety of this seasoning is Seaweed Gomasio. And man oh man, is it good!

 

All of Eden Organic products are healthy, original, and delicious. ESPECIALLY, this seasoning!

All of Eden Organic products are healthy, original, and delicious. ESPECIALLY, this seasoning!

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5 Things That Should Be In Your Fridge

READERS!  Sorry about the lack of post yesterday but I am having still unresolved major computer issues.  Lame.  Really lame. Hopefully everything will be back to normal next week! On to today’s post…

 

My mother, the master chef and creative cook, has a kitchen full of unique ingredients and products. Here are five items in my parents’ fridge that are most likely not in YOUR fridge, but SHOULD BE!!!!

 

Five obscure-but-must-have-items!

Five obscure-but-must-have-items!

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How To: Meal Planning

My dear friend from childhood Katy is not only a good runner, but also a phenomenal teacher, mother, wife, and on-top-of-it-resident-chef.  Moreover, she is my 100% inspiration in terms of meal planning and cooking for her family. She is so impressive that I don’t know where to start — on top of being a full time teacher and mother of two she manages to cook 6 nights a week for her family by meal planning and organizing the menus two weeks at a time! As someone who needs guidance and help, I was fortunate to be able to sit down with her and ask a bzillion (sorry there are so many — worth reading through, PROMISE) about how she is able to meal plan.  It saves her time, indecision, and money.

 

Pinterest at its finest !

Pinterest at its finest !

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Eugene Saturday Market

Eugene, Oregon; home to the Oregon Ducks, elite athletes, homeless teenagers, and hippies stuck in the 1960s. One of the best random activities in Eugene is the Saturday Market (which takes place on Saturdays, obvi) where the perfume of choice is BO (and weed), white people serve a variety of ethnic food, wannabe musicians perform, and there is tie dye everywhere. What is not to love?

 

And if you go to the saturday market and want to fit in, then you OBVIOUSLY have to wear tie dye. And birks. (This is the closest I will get to "dressing up" in a costume).

And if you go to the Saturday Market and want to fit in, then you OBVIOUSLY have to wear tie dye. And birks. (This is the closest I will get to “dressing up” in a costume).

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Quince Paste

Quince paste, known as membrillo in Spain, is phenomenal when paired with cheese (especially Manchego cheese). I first discovered this paste (more like a firm jelly) from my mom, who always has it in stock. It is sweet without being overly so, and truly is a great addition to a cheese plate.

 

Who knew? (My mom did).

Who knew? (My mom did).

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3 Cookbooks

Guilty pleasure: reading cookbooks! I love collecting, sorting through, and learning from cookbooks. Although the internet is a terrific place to peruse for recipes and ideas, there is something about the old fashioned, hard cover that I can’t get away from. There are so many cookbooks that I love and use, but currently, here are my three favorite:

 

Cookbooks

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Instacart

After a feud with Fresh Direct last week (where I promised that I would never use their site again! And I am holding to that promise!), I suddenly found myself in a bind. Seriously — without Fresh Direct, how was I going to do a million things and be efficient / organized / get my food if I didn’t use them?  I love grocery shopping – love – but most weeks I unfortunately don’t have the extra time to go myself or with the family.  Below is my email to Fresh Direct…

My email to Fresh Direct, aka Monopoly of Delivery Groceries in NYC and SUCK

… sharing

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Mexican Cheese

My family loves cheese — cheddar, soft , fancy, creamy, stinky, messy, and Mexican. I know, right? Who knows about Mexican cheese? Definitely not the French.  But it is delicious and perfect for everyday eating. Our newest type of Mexican cheese is the “Oaxaca.” It’s similar in looks and flavor to queso fresca, and also has a string cheese like quality to it. Basically it is a saltier and more flavored version of string cheese, rolled up into something equivalent to a ball of yarn.

 

Softball?

Softball?

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Paris (Lunch) Food

Our two favorite meals during our 3 day stay in Paris were both lunches, excluding the random baguettes with ham, butter, and cheese I ate throughout the stay (THAT is my favorite meal in Paris). French food at its finest, take a look!

 

Caviar Kaspia

 

Located in Place de la Madeline, this restaurant has been open since the 1920s. It is a classic Parisian restaurant that is elegant, dignified, and quiet. The food is seafood based, although it has a little bit of everything. Definitely worth visiting.

 

Smoked salmon on top of a (gigantic) bellin, with creme fraiche on the side. Rich, filling, and beyond delicious.

Smoked salmon on top of a (gigantic) blini, with creme fraiche on the side. Rich, filling, and beyond delicious.

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Good Eggs

Good Eggs is the local and homegrown version of Fresh Direct. Founded in San Francisco by two tech entrepreneurs, this company’s mission is to grow and sustain local food. Currently in just a few cities (San Francisco, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and New Orleans), Good Eggs connects people to food by giving you information and history on the producers. It is a modern day farmer’s market that delivers (or you can opt to pick it up).

 

Good eggs

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Boyz 2 Men Marfa

OK.  Last Marfa post.  I promise (at least until our next visit).  In addition to its art scene, Marfa is also known for its food. Specifically, food trucks. (Well yes, there are only 3 or so of them, but these 3 make it a big FOOD scene). And we were thrilled with our choice of Boyz 2 Men (not the music group, ABC BBD, but the food truck).

 

Boyz 2 Men.

Boyz 2 Men

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Aloha!

Aloha! Dried Green Juice! Aloha!

 

aloha!

 

I am hooked on this dried green juice. Not only do I love the packaging (so modern and cool) but the product itself is a winner. At first, I was terrified of drinking it — 14 healthy, natural, organic ingredients — so healthy that even I was a little worried. BUT I WAS WRONG. This powder is GOLD (well, it’s green, but you know….).  What’s in it?

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Big Spoon Roasters

New nut butter obsession, thank you very much! Big Spoon Roasters is so good that you want to use a big spoon (get it?) and eat it all up. Big Spoon Roasters makes handcrafted nut butters from scratch in Durham, North Carolina. If anyone knows how to work with nuts, it is Southerners. They create the nut butters from nuts and honeys from local and like-minded farmers.

Big Spoon

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Carrot Ginger Dressing

Smother it on the salad. It is that good!

New York finally got a whiff of Spring yesterday! The birds sang, the sun glistened, it reached a whopping 43 degrees, and daffodils emerged (in bodegas, but still…..) Spring, colors, chirps, here we come! Goes hand in hand with a dollop of bright orange goodness to kick start your salad! Here is a recipe for the perfect Japanese carrot ginger dressing. Who knew a dressing could taste so delicious? Must try! (but be careful, it kinda looks like soup. It is not soup).

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Xmas with the Natoris

We safely arrived yesterday in Oregon where we will spend the next week lounging, eating, skiing, reading, and laughing with my parents, also known as Nana and Tata. (I wrote that sentence before our flight.  We are here missing a bag and had to drive four hours through the mountains because we missed our connecting flight and they couldn’t guarantee us on another flight until Tuesday.  So we are flustered, but yes, still safe!) We are all so happy to be with them and to celebrate the holidays.  As Ken’s parents just left for the Philippines to be with Ken’s grandmother, we had a “pretend Christmas” (as Cruzzie said) at the end of last week at the Natoris. Here are Christmas posts from 2012 and 2011, and now CURRENT shots of the Natori Srs apartment from this year! Enjoy!

White Winter Wonderland! Last year, the decor was pink, this year, ALL WHITE.

White Winter Wonderland! Last year, the decor was pink, this year, ALL WHITE.

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Whole Foods Brooklyn

I have an obsession with grocery stores. I love maneuvering through big crowds, window shopping, watching them prepare foods, you name it. Call me a wacko, but I love it. And so does, Ali Berlin, Contributing Editor of the blog (obviously one reason we are friends is because we share interests in grocery stores.) Thanks, Ali, for spiriting this post. AMAZING!

____

Dec 17, 2013 was a monumental day in Brooklyn because the first ever Whole Foods market opened in Gowanus, on the corner of 3rd and 3rd.  It’s been ten years in the making and people are overjoyed that it finally happened.

brick by brick

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Homemade Masala

One of the highlights of my Ayurveda Training was learning how to make different masalas. Masala is simply a spice mixture, and depending on the season and your dosha, certain masalas can help you become more balanced. Not only are the masalas delicious, but the act of creating, roasting, toasting, pounding, grinding, blending the spices is theraputic and rewarding. People over 5,000 years have been creating these simple blends in the same method — heating spices over hot fire, and pounding with a mortar and pestle. The aroma, the family bonding, the creation; it is all so great. Making masala is a metaphor for harvesting the spirit of ahimsa and maturing intelligence.

Mortar and pestle.

Mortar and pestle.

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Thanksgiving 13

Happy December! And Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend celebrating your loved ones, your life, and your health. We had a terrific holiday full of resting and family activities with the Natoris, although we missed my parents and brother who were all together celebrating Thanksgiving a la Oregon style. Here are some pictures, thanks for looking at them!

My everything.

My everything.

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