Wednesday, April 9, 2014

pickled carrot sticks

pickled carrots sticks

Back in our old apartment, before the move, before the kitchen excavation, our fridge was always full to the gills, except most of if its contents were myriad jars of preserved and pickled things are various stages of fermentation. There was always two jars of kimchi (newly fermented and older), preserved lemons, garlic confit, sauerkraut, quick-pickled onions, a few jams, and jars of anchovies, capers, mustards and the like. When we moved, I had to use up as many of these jars as I possibly could, but inevitably, some of them were thrown out, much to my chagrin.

Then, for several months, while our kitchen was a construction site, it was pointless to have jars of any kind because we didn’t have a kitchen. If we had to make our coffee in the bathroom, there wasn’t much room for preserved goods. Besides, at the time, our refrigerator lived in the dining room.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

tangerine champagne sorbet

tangerine champagne sorbet

I might have just figured out a loophole in this whole no-drinking-on-the-job thing. Suppose it’s a weekday, mid-afternoon, and you need a bit of a pick-me-up. You might be working in an office somewhere or, like me, at home. But unless your job is to review cocktails and spirits, it’s unlikely that you’re going to fix yourself a drink midday. Life, for better or worse, isn’t an episode on Mad Men, and if it were, you’d probably be drinking whiskey or vodka straight or on the rocks.

But, what if someone handed you sorbet with the same ingredients that go into a mimosa? You’d have it, and no one would ever even think ill of you.

You have David Lebovitz to thank for that. I’m just a humble messenger.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

friday link love

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Hello, friends. It’s Friday again, which means time for links. I’m a bit rushed this morning, so I’m going to keep this short. Andrew and I hope to do a little home improvement this weekend – maybe paint an accent wall or something. If anyone has any leads on beautiful, classic brass door knobs, can you please leave a comment below? Thanks!

I also hope to pick up another plant somewhere, and to sleep past 7am. I’m nothing if not ambitious. Oh, and I’d like to tinker with a Passover dessert I’ve been thinking on. I wish you all a relaxing and cozy spring weekend. xo, olga

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

triple-coconut quinoa porridge

Triple-Quinoa Porridge

I’m ashamed to say that breakfasts are sort of an afterthought in this household. If there was a candid camera sneaking around here in the mornings, we’d be in the hall of shame for certain. I start my mornings, early, with a glass of water and lemon (thanks, Winnie!). I shuffle out in my bathrobe and sit, glass of water in hand, while I sift through various emails, make a list of things to do for the day, and generally try to wake up. Each morning, I compile relevant press links for a client, put together a social media strategy for the day. I do it early on because I like to free up the rest of my day to work on books, on writing, on having some flexibility with my schedule. And it’s perhaps because mornings are so packed with activity, that everything: exercise, breakfast, showering, often falls by the wayside.

Lately, in particular, as I was rushing to the finish line with Marc Murphy’s book (it’s been submitted! fireworks! fanfare! celebratory cocktails!) breakfast was, well, it didn’t exist period. I’d realize by about 11am that I was so hungry I couldn’t see straight, and I’d lunge into the kitchen and try to make myself a smoothie (very good), a piece of toast (good, but was getting old), or a few slices of cheddar cheese with an apple (also very good). But did I make myself a proper breakfast? No.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

abc kitchen’s carrot avocado salad

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I was lucky to do a trail at ABC Kitchen about a year ago. It was made through a connection of a friend who kindly arranged for me to come in for a day. Normally, ABC Kitchen only lets culinary school graduates in their kitchen, but they made a special exception for me, or so I was told. Years ago, the drama department at Carnegie Mellon bent the rules for me as well, letting me take some classes in their closed-to-non-majors program. I’d like to say I have amazing powers of persuasion but that would be wishful thinking; I think I just got lucky. In any case, I got to take classes with this guy among other talented folks, and I’m tickled pink that he’s doing so well. Go Josh!

I had hoped, before my trail, that I was going to impress the ABC Kitchen folks so much with my work ethic and dedication that they’d let me come in for a stage, if only for a few weeks. I wore my kitchen clogs, got my knives sharpened, and even brought tweezers (for plating) in my knife bag. I fancied myself very prepared.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

friday link love

Was getting distracted at home - in my spring cleaning phase - so camping out here until I make a good dent. #bookwork

Hi friends, happy Friday! I’m currently awaiting comments from the chef on the manuscript, and after that, I hope, the delivery to the editor will be a speedy one. I took a little break on Wednesday to have lunch with one of my middle school English teachers. We’ve stayed in touch over the years, and it was really lovely catching up over some pizza. I even roped him into sharing a kale salad with me. We had lots to talk about. Immensely relevant things such as, which classical music composer, who died rather young, was the biggest loss for humanity in terms of further work we could’ve expected? My answer was Mozart; his – Schubert. And boy oh boy did we get to geek out over singular pieces of music, like Beethoven’s 7th symphony (my favorite!), his dislike of Lizst, and my indifference towards Haydn.

But most of this week has been somewhat of a blur. When I get to the final stages of a book, there’s a lot of nitpicking and fixing things here and there. Things like comma placements and rearranging various groupings of words. Things like order of the table-of-contents matching those of chapters. Are there any TKs left over in the manuscript that need to be filled. All fairly arbitrary stuff, but stuff that I feel makes the work, on the whole, better.

I was also sad to learn that one of my all time favorite sites, Television Without Pity, is getting shut down. NBC, which owns the site, pulled the plug (also pulled the plug on Daily Candy as well) citing funding issues of sorts. As long as I remember living in NYC, TWoP was a faithful companion to my limited television watching. I loved reading their recaplets in the morning following an episode, and then longer, 15-page snarky analyses a few days later. I had always admired the writers for TWoP – they had the kind of ease and eloquence I always wanted to have. And now – the site will be no more in about a week. Sad. I hope that given the site’s fervent following that someone scoops it up and rescues it from demise.

And on that note, I’m going to wish you all a happy weekend. I was going to do absolutely nothing – I feel like after this work-filled winter, I totally earned a weekend of sloth-like behavior. But, at the last minute, something very time sensitive fell into my lap, and well – there go my Saturday and Sunday. But tonight, tonight I get lucky – and see a dear friend who I so wish lived next door. Or across the street. And Sunday, we get to host some friends for brunch. All good things.

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