Cool Team-Up: Ok Go & Pilobolus

It is always entertaining to see artists team-up and create work together. It is probably even more entertaining when the two artists works in different mediums. Such is the case with OK Go’s video featuring the awesome dance group Pilobolus. Last night I was able to see them perform this live during a Pilobolus show at the Joyce Theater in the city. They filmed the video from below as the dancers and the band slide across a glass table making shapes with their bodies. OK Go is always creative with their music videos (Hello Treadmill Dance) and Pilobolus never fails to impress with their alternative visions (You might know them from their performance at the Academy Awards a few years back making shapes out of their bodies to represent the Best Movie Nominations) so to see the both of them together was such a creative and truly awesome moment. Watch the video above, but check out some other OK Go and Pilobolus videos while you’re at it.

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Songs on Repeat: The Sweet’s Wig Wam Bam

I remember liking this song when I was younger (It happened to be at the end of one of my favorite PG-13 movies, ah to be a preteen) and this song has not lost its novelty. While the British Rock band, The Sweet, is not as popular today as they could rightfully be you would be surprised to probably know one or two of their hits. I love how universal music is, forty years later people are still digging their work. But seriously let us focus on what is also important, those getups! Indian headgear, shiny metallic pants with matching vests and the long velvety hair. What you see today on the streets truly could not compete. It’s a shame that what used to be glam would be tacky now.

Delicious Dinner: Lemon Sole with Tomatoes, Aioli and Asparagus

Trying to keep this short and sweet. This is a complete meal idea that is a combination of just fussing around with recipes by putting different elements together from several recipes. Everything that is part of a recipe is from Suzanne Goin’s book Sunday Suppers At Lucques. The fish recipe asked for bluefish but I changed it up a bit preferring the simple taste of lemon sole. The asparagus recipe is mine and I changed the proportions for the salad. Goin’s aioli is all hers, but this dish is treading here between my own concept and Goin’s brilliant other recipes.

The tomato and blue cheese salad would be quite excellent by itself, or even with a salad or on top of a burger. The fish is simple and clean but the aioli just gives it such a savory and rich taste. All the colors you could want in a plate of food are here and it does not take very long to make at all. Like I said, short and sweet but rather savory this time around.

Lemon Sole with Tomatoes, Aioli and Asparagus

For the Fish:

  • 4 fillet Lemon Sole, without skin
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 8 slices pancetta, 1/8 inch thick
  • Salt and pepper

For the Tomato and Blue Cheese Salad:

  • 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  • Salt and pepper

For the Aioli:

  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 lemon, for juicing
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper

Grilled Curried Asparagus:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • ¼ cup water, for steaming
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 lemon, for juicing

For putting it all together:

  • Your favorite tomato sauce, half a jar

1. Begin by coating the fish in the lemon zest, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Place two slices of pancetta on top of each fillet and keep in the refrigerator for an hour.

2. Meanwhile prepare the beefsteak and blue cheese salad by cutting the beefsteak tomato slices into thirds. Toss the tomatoes with the garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix in the crumbled blue cheese.

3. To make the aioli place the yolk in a stainless steel bowl. Begin whisking in the olive oil drop by drop. Once the mixture has thickened you can whisk in the remaining oil in a slow steady stream. If the mixture gets too thick, add a drop or two of water.

4. To finish the aioli whisk in the garlic, salt, pepper, a squeeze from the lemon and the cayenne. Taste for balance and seasoning. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and heat a large heat-safe sauté pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Place the filets pancetta side down and cook for four minutes. Flip and cook for another three minutes. Transfer to the oven to crisp the pancetta and finish cooking the fish, for another five minutes.

6. While the fish is in the oven heat up the tomato sauce and another sauté pan for the asparagus. With a bit of olive oil, allow the asparagus to steam with the water, curry powder and lemon juice. Let this cook until tender.

7. To serve carefully take the pan out of the oven with oven mitts.  Place a layer of the hot sauce on a plate topped with a spoonful of the tomato and blue cheese salad. Serve the asparagus on the side with a filet of fish in the center. Top with the aioli and eat, eat, eat.

Collections to Envy: 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2008

Let me take you down memory lane. 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2008. Yes, it might have been so three years ago but with more and more designers dressing their runways in vintage inspired garments why not go back in time a bit? I am in love with the color scheme in the pieces. Black, white and gray are endlessly chic, but with subtle touches of color the collection is really special. I am also obsessed with how complete the looks are. I love how the models look like they could just be floating down the streets of New York, with their adorable bags and amazing shoes. What I would do for those boots…

These looks are so possible for anyone to pull off. All you need is a good fitted blazer or an oversized jacket to pair with a draped dress or knee length skirt. Add your favorite giant necklace and don’t forget your favorite purse!

Below are my favorite outfits from the collections and all of the shots are from http://nymag.com/fashion/fashionshows/2008/fall/main/newyork/womenrunway/philliplim/

Collecting: Vintage Postcards

 

I am slowly working on a collection of vintage post cards. They are pretty reminders of the past as well being more functional than you think. I use them to decorate spaces but also as bookmarks, and I want to create a custom notepad out of the blank cards. I would really like to eventually collect some with messages on them, kind of like old written letters but better because they also have timeless images printed on the other side. I find I like ones with gorgeous old photographs or vintage fashion prints, and the colors I love are always pretty pale and faded. I found these two at a vintage show for a dollar each. Most flea markets have giant bins full of lost images and postcards for new people to find. Keep collecting, even if vintage postcards aren’t your thing. I’ll keep adding pictures to this page if I find any that I just need to share.

 

 

Spicy and Tasty: Skirt Steak with Bloody Mary Tomato Salad

Summer means grilling, or more like it, summer needs grilling. Yes it is already blistering hot and blazing up the old grill can feel like just a step away from melting from the suns rays but you just must. Maybe my taste buds just crave grilled vegetables and meat during the summer months like I crave for something warming during the winter ones. Even so, I think spending time with good friends, family and drinks outside near the BBQ is so stress free. It is not only delicious but during a great grilling BBQ you can really appreciate all you have, edible or not.

While I am too young to actually drink (…) I love the idea of making fake cocktails or even incorporating liquor into cooking. When I saw this recipe I just knew I had to make it. From Bon Appétit comes another recipe from Sara Dickerman for Skirt Steak with Bloody Mary Tomato Salad. Wait. How cool is that? It is delicious, but also quite spot on with all of the ingredients coming together to create one killer of an interpretation of one complex, famous drink but with meat! I changed it up a bit considering my fear of all things whole olives and raw onions, but what I give to you is just a slightly adapted version. You’ll enjoy the spices of the meet and the salad, but you’ll enjoy it even more with a group of people you love.

Skirt Steak with Bloody Mary Tomato Salad

[adapted only slightly because I loved the recipe idea from Sara Dickerman Bon Appetit]

For the steak:

  • 2 11/2 pound skirt steaks
  • 2 teaspoons (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt

For the salad:

  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 package of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped celery hearts, the inner stalks and leaves from one bunch
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the steaks in a gallon sized plastic bag. Add the sugar, paprika, cayenne, pepper and salt and seal the bag. Shake the bag to coat the steaks and refrigerate for one to three hours to marinate.

2. Prepare the salad by mixing the onion with one of the tablespoons of vinegar. Keep raw or better yet sauté at medium heat for about ten minutes. Add the onion to the tomatoes and celery.

3. Whisk together the remaining two tablespoons of vinegar, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and the celery seeds. Slowly whisk in the oil. Add to the bowl with the tomato mixture tossing to coat. Season the salad with salt and pepper.

4. Let the steaks stand at room temperature for one hour before grilling. Heat your grill (if you have a gas grill to high, if charcoal build a medium-hot fire) and brush the grate with oil. Grill for about 5-7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest for ten minutes then cut against the grain crosswise into ¼ inch think slices. Serve with the salad and devour.

Songs on Repeat: Ben Folds’ You Don’t Know Me

So digging this song right now. It’s a quirky mixture of sweet and sour by a true master of piano rock. This song was the first on Ben Folds’ third studio album, Way to Normal. Josh Groban makes an appearance in the video, which in my opinion doesn’t live up to how great the song is. Regina Spektor isn’t in the video but contributes her voice to the track, and her soft voice contrasts well with Fold’s staccato. Just click through to YouTube to watch the video and then go ahead and download. Buy it, it’s worth it.

Fruit Goes Savory: Strawberry Ginger Chicken

I can’t stand not trying everything on a menu. It goes up there with my other pet peeves like the toilet seat staying up in the dorm bathroom or a shower without hot water. I just don’t want to do it.

With so many (usually) wonderful options on a restaurant menu deciding on just one thing is incredibly frustrating. Should I get the pasta or the fish? I had some seafood for lunch, but I can’t keep my eyes off of the Mussel dish. Maybe I want meat but we’re having a barbeque tomorrow. I’ll probably eat a steak then. I can always go with some appetizers, but is that enough?

The dilemma can go on forever until I just order the first thing I see when the waiter or waitress leans over looking at me. This issue never haunts one person in my life and that would be my sister. My sister is a simple creature when it comes to food. She likes strawberries and blueberries and sometimes chicken. So when she looks at a menu it is more of a scavenger hunt rather than a puzzle.

This is what inspired me to try to make a dish she would eat. I came up with an idea for strawberry chicken for her love of both ingredients. I snuck in some other flavors and I cannot say I had trouble making her eat it. She ate an entire chicken breast and claims she will eat it again. I say that this is one job well done. Try this for your own picky eater. The strawberries on top are hard to resists and the other ingredients cook down so they are not the focal point. The chicken will come out juicy and have a pleasant flavor that is not too sweet but just right.

I think it should please your picky eater and if it doesn’t who cares?

That means more for you.

Strawberry Ginger Chicken

  •     Chicken, two breasts and four thighs
  •     2 tablespoons olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  •     1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •     Zest of one lemon
  •     1 medium onion, diced
  •     2 tablespoons fresh ginger, diced
  •     3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  •     1 Serrano pepper, chopped
  •     ½ cup Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves, Sarabeth brand preferred
  •     7 strawberries, sliced

1. Marinate the chicken pieces in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon and zest of one lemon for at least half an hour.

2. In a pan on medium heat, heat a little bit of olive until it is slightly smoky. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and pepper and sauté until the vegetables cook down and the onions are golden brown. This may take ten minutes or so. Make sure to not let the vegetables burn.

3. Once the vegetables are cooked add in the preserves and mix to combine. Cook down for another minute or two.

4. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chicken pieces onto a foil lined baking sheet. Spoon the onion and preserve mixture on top of each piece of chicken. Make sure the top of the chicken is covered in the mixture. Place the strawberries in a layer on top of the chicken.

5. Bake in the oven for fifty minutes. Serve with some herbed scented rice or tender butter peas.

Food Lit: Lucky Peach

Food literature is something I can’t get enough of. I read all of the time: magazines, blogs and books you name it, I have read it or it’s on my list. I was incredibly excited when I heard about David Chang’s new quarterly food magazine adventure. I have never been to his restaurants but you can be sure as hell that I’m itching to try some of his food.

But for now I’m absolutely in love with the publication, Lucky Peach. While the magazine was impossible to find anywhere near where I live I had it shipped to my doorstep and it came pretty darn quick. This is the first of hopefully many editions from McSweeney’s, Editor-in-Chief Chris Yang and Editors Peter Meehan and Dave Chang. The entire issue is dedicated none other than the infamous ramen. Those that think they know everything there is to know (*cough* any college student *cough*) will be quickly immersed in the culture, history and flavors of what ramen inspires people to make. Some of the articles are incredibly long but everything is well written and creative. Through 175 pages you will get to know ramen noodle masters, understand how top ramen shops serve up their noodles, and read original cartoons and stories inspired by the chopstick loving dish. My favorite feature was the printed conversation between Chefs Anthony Bourdain, Wylie Dufresne and of course Dave Chang about the mediocrity and safeness that is ruining what it means to own a restaurant and cook for people. There is even a breakdown of WD~50’s signature dish, Eggs Benedict.

For anyone interested in food I would say you need to read this publication, and not just for the recipes. With the edgy hand drawn text, unedited language and comical cartooning the magazine is outspoken and visually pleasing but there is much more going on here. The magazine really puts decisions into perspective. Why would I add a bit of this over some of that? Why would I try to push my cooking while still admiring those who have “mastered” it? Those decisions matter and those are what propel the food industry, innovation rather than blatant reproduction. Communicated through a “take no prisoners” lens Lucky Peach is not just mere entertainment. It’s education.

For all information Lucky Peach: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/luckypeach

Collections to Envy: Elie Saab Couture Spring 2011

My fashion sense is not always there. It’s not like I don’t try. It’s just that I don’t really care. I’m kind of like a four year old in that I wear what I want to wear and that’s kind of just it. Of course the trends show up in my closet but I’m also not afraid of breaking them. Mixing patterns? Let’s do it. Bold colors? Oh yes. Sporty today, but girly tomorrow? Of course.

Even though I can’t afford the clothing I often fantasize about, it doesn’t stop me from experiencing the fashion through online media.

I am currently crushing on Elie Saab’s Couture Spring 2011. Just simply gorgeous. I don’t think anyone could put one of those dresses on and not feel like they were a princess or just unbelievably amazing. The details on the fabrics are incredibly romantic and Saab’s eye for the women’s figure is quite apparent. Empire waistlines work for every girl and in luscious colors of cherry lipstick red, sage and rose any girl would look like a movie star. In fact, the beautiful lilac dress from the collection was worn by Mila Kunis during the Academy Awards.

Here is a link to view the entire collection: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/S2011CTR-ESAAB

But for my own gluttonous pleasure, below are my favorites from NYMag!