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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Summer 13 Nutrition Tips

Now that it is August, it’s the perfect time to finish the summer on a good note with some nutritional advice from the lovely and talented, Dr. Jana Klauer. Featured on JGB twice before (last summer and early 2013), Dr. Klauer continues to motivate, inspire, and educate all of us. So, thank you Dr. Klauer for sharing more wisdom and science, and helping us commit to a healthy and active lifestyle!

dr. klauer

The ever so beautiful and smart, Dr. Jana Klauer!

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Blue Apron Food Delivery

Although I love to cook, I get stuck in my own routine of cooking only a handful of meals. I am bored of my own repertoire, so I can only imagine what my meat-potato-husband thinks of my crunchy-green-leaf-dominated limited offerings. But I think I have found a solution: Blue Apron to the rescue!

Blue Apron

Blue Apron is a service that sends you the ingredients and recipes of three delicious meals a week. You pick meat/fish versus vegetarian, they prepare the recipes and the portions, send you the fresh ingredients and deliver it to your door. Ridiculously awesome. All you have to do is COOK the food, and VOILA, an amazing-wholesome-fresh meal for you and your family to eat!

Perfectly balanced meal.

Perfectly balanced meal.

The weekly subscription (that you can cancel at any point — or skip for a week or 9) can be delivered to most states in the Northeast (Santa Claus year round!) They deliver to: CT, DC, DE, IL, IN, KY, MA, ME, MD, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VA, VT, WV and in some parts of AL, AR, GA, IA, MI, MO, MS, NC, SC, WI. Basically, half the United States. Brilliant. The food comes tightly packaged in a box with ice to keep the ingredients fresh and intact. Then, you place the items in the fridge, plan out the weekly meals, and relax.

Insulated box, fed-ex over night shipped.

Insulated box, fed-ex over night shipped.

CHRISTMAKKUH!

CHRISMAKKUH!

The weeks worth of ingredients.

The week’s worth of ingredients. The produce is whole, the meat and fish is uncooked, and there are not any (or very few) processed ingredients, so you KNOW you are eating fresh and in-season produce and meat. Dream come true.

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Smorgasburg

The best reason to skip breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday is to save space to party at the Brooklyn Flea’s giant all-food market, Smorgasburg.  Set at the East River State Park in Williamsburg or in the old tobacco warehouse under the Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo, it is a full-on adventure in deliciousness.

Smorgasburg

Some highlights:

Hash Bar:

No -- not hash to smoke.

No — not that kind of hash

Hash and eggs.

Hash and eggs.

Bon Chovie:

Fried Anchovies, Jersey style. WHAT WHAT????

Fried Anchovies, Jersey style. WHAT WHAT????

Butter & Scotch Bakery:

S'mores Pie. Absolute perfection.

S’mores Pie. Absolute perfection.

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2013 Paris Marathon!

SO, I did it!!! Thank you to all the people who supported, cheered, and encouraged me to complete one of my lifetime dreams. I ran a marathon! In Paris. In my goal time. It was heavenly. Almost as heavenly as a fresh, hot Parisian pain au chocolat…

logo

The map of the race. Unbelievably scenic and beautiful!

The map of the race. Unbelievably scenic and beautiful!

Off the plane. HELLO BAGUETTE!

Off the plane. HELLOOO BAGUETTTTEE!!!

first stop

First stop. Running Expo to pick up my bib number! EEK!

Allez Yael!

Allez Yael!

Saturday

Saturday preparation lunch. HELLLOOO BAGUETTE. Encore!

little walk

From our Saturday walk (I went with three friends, who all ran and finished!) A quick sightseeing excursion before the WHOLE REST OF THE DAY ROLLING, STRETCHING, and PREPARING FOR THE MARATHON THE NEXT DAY! double eek.

stairs

Stairs (5 flights) up to where we were staying (thank you Mrs. Natori!). Can you imagine how we would cope post-marathon if the apartment building didn’t have an elevator? THE HORROR! #firstworldproblems

dinner

Dinner pre-race. Carbo-loading.  Yep, eating spaghetti. And I despise pasta. But you do what you gotta do!

friends

Friends joined us for dinner.

selfie

Ok, I am really bad at selfies to begin with, but a seflie of me and my pre-race jitters is even worse. But I had to include it.

fashion designer

Do you believe that my mother-in-law is a fashion designer???? Can’t you tell by my look? HAWT DAWG!

Pre-race! Left to right, my friends Brad (one of Ken's best friends from growing up), Jenny, and me in the hood with the snarky face.  Picture taken by Pamela.  We all finished!

Pre-race! Left to right, my friends Brad (one of Ken’s best friends from growing up), Jenny, and me in the hood with the snarky face. Picture taken by Pamela. We all finished!

running

Yep, I took this on the run with my camera. It was one of my “rewards’ for finishing a mile. Pretty picture even with the runners in it.

sky

I MEAN, CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS RIDICULOUSLY BEAUTIFUL SKY AND SUN AND VIEW?

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Christmas 2012

Back in the saddle after Monday’s hiatus. It’s been a long week –  overly tired (baby Zoe is teething so no sleep for me), busy traveling (quick family-of-four trip to Florida), and gift wrapping (lots of presents), therefore had no time to write. I hope everyone had a super duper Christmas (and Hannukah earlier in the month!) We had a great night with my in-laws and family. Here are some highlights of Christmas Day Night with the Natoris!

holiday outfits

Holiday outfits.

pink tree

PINK TREE! Electric, neon, modern, cool, fresh, unique, and awesome!

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Crispy Onions

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, which means PARTY IN MY TUMMY.

party

There's a party in my tummy! o yeah! o yeah!

One of my absolute favorite dishes happens to be green bean casserole. Maybe because I never ate it growing up, or maybe because it is so rich and creamy, decadent and savory. Whatever the case, if it is in front of me, I will eat the whole dish. So delicious.

YES PLEASE. NOW. (thanks)

As I recently discovered, fried onions are the secret to any dish. Green bean casserole, sandwiches, and salads. Seriously, you just sprinkle on fried onions and your dish becomes a party in your tummy. They are sugar-free, meat-free, and guilt-free. And I have found a brand I love:  Lars’ Own crispy onions!

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