Coconut Pistachio Macaroon Cake with Chocolate Ganache

IMG_2742This cake is wheat/gluten free and dairy free so it is perfect the perfect solution for many situations and occasions.  Your gluten free friends will love you, your jewish friends will tell you it’s the best Passover dessert ever and dairy-phobes will love the coconut cream infused chocolate ganache.

Originally from a recipe by Francois Payard, who some of you may remember was the genius behind the amazing coconut pineapple tart Continue reading

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Fresh Horseradish from The Pickle Guys

IMG_2695Walking down Essex Street last Sunday I noticed a big crowd at The Pickle Guys.   This is the pickle go to place on the Lower East Side.  In addition to making a wide variety of kosher pickles they also make holiday horseradish for Passover.   Fresh horseradish has way more of a bite then the stuff you get in jars, but it never occurred to me that when making it in bulk you’d need to wear a gas mask ;-) IMG_2697IMG_2693Neil is traveling this year so for the first time in 28 years we are not doing passover.

I have to say that as much as I enjoying making passover lasagna for the Seder I don’t miss all the cleaning and tin foil and plastic bag covered cupboards.   Seeing the fresh horseradish didn’t actually give me a ting of regret that we weren’t celebrating this year and that I had no reason to buy a big jar of horseradish (I have 2 bottles in the fridge already and, lets face it, there is only so many Bloody Mary’s I can drink!)

If you aren’t going to be on the Lower East Side this Spring but are in need of some pickles or horseradish The Pickle Guys ship just pick up your phone and call: 1-888-4-Pickle.IMG_2692 IMG_2694

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Grass Fed Beef the Argentine Way

There is a beautiful stillness and simplicity to this episode.  The handsome young cattle rancher (farmer?) is articulate and straight forward.  After watching it you wonder why we would raise cows in any other way.

Once they start to carve the beef that has been slowly cooked by an open fire and place the thick fatty slabs in between simple white buns….well even if you don’t give a damn about sustainability and cattle farming this last few minutes of family and friends sitting around the fire and eating this amazing looking beef is well worth watching.

All I can think about now is where can I go for lunch that serves Argentine beef!

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Double Chocolate Cookies with Optional Fruit and Nuts

IMG_2682These cookies took me three batches to really get right, but most certainly worth the effort. Continue reading

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When Did Olive Oil Get So International?

IMG_2643I was at Whole Foods on the Bowery by my apartment, some nice gentleman had offered me a tasting of three different kinds of Chilean Olive Oil.  One of them really piqued my interest, it was really delicious, fruity with just a hint of  pepper so I went to the not insignificant Olive Oil section to see how much it cost.

This may have been a mistake, you see normally, I buy the cheapest generic brand extra virgin Whole Foods 365  oil for like $6.89 and don’t really pay much attention to the vast selection of oils on sale.  For my purposes there is no need to buy a high-end oil as 90 percent of what I use it for is cooking, sautéing and adding to sauces.

Maybe I don’t have a very sophisticated palate because for me, it’s even fine in vinaigrettes.  For special occasions to drizzle over a risotto or salad I have a small bottle of the good stuff, but rarely use it.

Anyway, so there I am staring at the Olive Oil section in dazed awe.   Continue reading

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Rise Up Against Monsanto

This reminds me of the action ACT-UP did back in 87 to close down Wall Street for a day to protest the criminal negligence of pharmaceutical companies and their glacial pace in developing AIDS drugs.

Of course the difference here is that family, friends and lovers are not dying in front of you on a daily basis.  Still, I admire Food Democracy Now for taking this on and for trying to take the battle against Monsanto to the next level.

In addition to asking people to divest any investment funds they might have from Monsanto they are also calling for a day of action on May 9 at 3pm in front of every office of Fidelity, Vanguard and State Street to make them aware that we don’t want Monsanto to be part of our 401 k or other investment funds.

Maybe because I came of age in New York City in the mid to late 80′s when AIDS was ravaging the gay community and every week someone else you knew died that I have a strong belief in political action and have seen first had how when people organize they can over come tremendous odds.

My question is:  o we actually care enough about GMO’s, chemical poisoning of our lands, destruction of seed diversity and Monsanto’s evil corporate culture (suing innocent farmers) to actually do something about it?

The reason it worked so well with AIDS is because dying people have nothing to lose and were very angry as were their friends, family and lovers.  All of whom were glad to take to the streets and demand action and bring light to the horrors of the epidemic.

With GMO’s and Monsanto I wonder if it is too abstract to get truly worked up about? Especially if you are not a farmer. Certainly I’ll make sure our Vanguard and Fidelity funds are Monsanto free and am planning on going to the march May 9th.  I sign everything I can to try to get GMO labeling on our food, yet when it doesn’t happen, as it didn’t in California and Washington, I’m disappointed, frustrated, but not exactly burning mad.  Maybe I’m just worn down by corporate power, greed and malfeasance?

They managed to pass GMO labeling in Connecticut and are talking about it in Vermont. There is hope and with actions like this more awareness to why we should all care about what Monsanto is doing to our bodies, our farmers, our planet.

If you are in New York and want to join me on May 9th leave a comment and lets organize something.

Thoughts?

 

 

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Years of Living Dangerously: Showtime’s New Series on Climate Change

Showtime has posted the entire 60 minute premier episode of their new series Years of Living Dangerously online.

The tag line they are using is: The biggest story of our time.

No kidding.  So it is nice to see a full series dedicated to the global impact of climate change, its causes and how all over the world it is impacting us.

It’s not like most of the information here is new to most of us, it’s how they are bringing together the pieces and looking at it from every angle that is so satisfying, meticulous, smart and comprehensive.

Get a cup of coffee (or something stronger) sit down and watch as Thomas Friedman, Harrison Ford and Don Cheadle explore three very different regions of the planet that have been devastated by climate change.

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