#MOMAgram

Last Saturday I took a trip to the Museum of Modern Art with my good friend from college. It was the last day for the Magritte exhibit so the place was bursting at the seams with smelly artists and hipsters. It reminded me of the sweaty dance parties we used to throw in college, minus the dancing, alcohol, and fun.
I’m not really the “art viewing” type of person but the MOMA has many famous pieces in their permanent collection that I appreciate, including, but not limited to, “A Starry Night” by Van Goh, “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth, and “The Persistance of Memory” by Salvador Dali.

I’ve come to realize that the attraction of the MOMA is not the art, but the glorious selfie opportunities that the art provides. A “selfie” is a photo that one takes of one’s self. It wasn’t just one person taking selfies it was EVERY SINGLE PERSON in that museum. Even the dopes that carry around their IPads were joining in the fun. Honestly, IPad person, you look like an asshole. I saw one moron grab a sculpture for a “funny” selfie. A security guard almost tasered her. Anything for “the shot”.

Did I Participate in selfie Saturday at the MOMA? Of fucking course. It was too good to pass up. In fact, I went above and beyond the traditional selfie by asking others to take the picture for me. It was epic.

A Starry Night? who cares! Salvador Dali? Who’s that? Is my hair good? Okay, take the picture. :Smile: :Shoot: :Filter: :Hashtag: :Post:- Trip to MOMA complete.

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Then, just as we were about to leave, we spotted someone wearing the same exact outfit as me. At that moment I made two decisions: 1) To never shop at Target on black Friday again 2) To follow the chick around until I got a shot worthy of social media posting.
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Now that you’ve finished reading this post, do yourself a favor and search #MOMA on Instagram. It will make you laugh. I promise.

Juice Head

I’m a self proclaimed juice head. Not the Jersey Shore type of juice head, but the actual juicing type of juice head. While I thoroughly enjoy the sport of juicing, it can be a real pain in the buns. Clean, peel, cut, core, juice, drink, clean- Way too much work for one friggin glass of juice. In the real world (not my world) where people have jobs (not me),  juicing is much too time consuming to do regularly. 

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At one point in my short lived juicing career, I was juicing once a week. Then I started storing my juicer, AKA the Situation, in a not-so-convenient location. It was all down hill from there. Today, I took the Sitch out of hiding and blew the dust off his parts. He looked so happy to see me, and I could not wait to light his ass up like a Saturday night at the Shore!

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I choose my flavors by scanning the fridge and determining what fruit or veggie is closest to rotting. It’s a pretty quick selection process. If you look funky and smell funky then you’re gettin’ thrown in the Situation. The rotting treasures of choice are always the shining stars of my juices. Today, I happened to have expiring strawberries and oranges. Lucky for me, they are a nice flavor combination.

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One lesson I learned during today’s juicing session is that it may be more economical to blend strawberries into a smoothie with other soft foods, like bananas, because the Situation extracts lots of good pulp. Of course,  this pulp, like all pulp, could be used in a number of different recipes or it could just be eaten right out of the pulp catcher thingy, but why go through the hassle of scraping out pulp when it can just be blended into a delicious smoothie.

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One pint of strawberries and two naval oranges make about 16 oz of juice. It’s amazing how much fruit it takes to make one friggin glass! This is something to keep in mind when you first start to juice. Here’s a basic list of approximate fruit to juice ratios:
2 naval oranges= 8 oz juice
2 grapefruit= 8 oz juice
3 medium carrots + 1 Apple= 8 oz juice
3 Golden Delicious Apples= 8 oz juice
1/3 pineapple= 8 oz juice

If you don’t have your own Situation and you are looking for one that won’t break the bank then check out the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer. We bought this for my mother in law and she loves it. Go ahead and treat yourself to a sitch! You deserve it!

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Everything Is Coming Up Meaty

If you haven’t noticed,  I have been making an unusual amount of meaty meals lately.

Crackpot Robs
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Meat Pie
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McCarthy Meatballs
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I do love meat, but this trend has more to do with my new obsession with K&T Quality Meats. This butcher is located on Ditmars Blvd in Astoria, NY -dangerously close to my house- and it is feeding my meat addiction one purchase at a time.

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If you already like meat then the skilled butchers at K&T will make you love meat. The other day I purchased 3 lbs of spare ribs,  3 lbs of lean chuck meat, and 1 lb of chicken breasts for 25 dollars! What a steal! When i saw the final price I wanted to buy more but my husband gave me that “don’t you dare buy another piece of meat” look. He’s such a drag sometimes!

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The butcher who helped with this purchase asked me what I was planning to make and then skillfully cubed the chuck meat, sliced the ribs and split the chicken breasts. He customized the meat to accomodate my planned meals. I was doing the happy dance all the way home.

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This experience was much different than purchasing the “whatchya see is watchya get” meat from the supermarket. It was different in a good way but I can understand why some may find it intimidating. It’s not easy to make decisions when the hanging lambs and skinned rabbits are judging your every move with their glazed eyes. Also, you have to actually speak to a human being. I understand. I hate talking to humans. It’s much easier to just sift through the shrink wrapped meat section until you find what you need, sort-of. They never have what you actually fucking need. Frankly, it’s annoying. This lack of customization and selection of supermarket meats will cause you to spend more time in the kitchen and less time enjoying the fruits of your labor. And all of us deserve quality time with our fruits. I, for one, love my fruits. They’re delicious. So, do yourself a favor and shop at K&T or your own neighborhood butcher. You. Won’t. Regret. It.

The Brick Café: Astoria

“Well, that was disappointing”, said the soggy ravioli to the under seasoned soup.

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A couple of years ago I celebrated a friend’s birthday at the Brick Café on 31st Ave in Astoria, NY. The food, drinks and service were all excellent! So tonight, when we couldn’t find parking near the restaurant of our choice, my husband and I defaulted to the Brick. We thought it was a safe bet…Wrong-o!

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The dim lighting and dark wood of the Brick Cafe is welcoming and cozy. The restaurant is split into two sections, the formal dining area and the bar. Both sections serve the same food. Since we were dressed like hobos, we decided to sit in the bar section. The bar has a great atmosphere and the drink selection is wide and varied. It’s too bad the food sucked tonight because everything else grade A, including the rating from the health department.

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The husband and I weren’t in the mood for full meals tonight. So we each had a soup, french onion for me and pea for him, and shared an order of fries and fried ravioli. Let me clear the pink elephant in the post. Yes. We have an appetite for fried, unhealthy food. Whew, felt good to get that off my chest! Okay, moving on…

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Let’s start with the soups.

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Both soups were highly under seasoned, and the pea soup was actually cold! Have you ever tasted cold pea soup? It’s not fun. Not fun at all. A good french onion soup should be salty and oozing with cheese. This one just didn’t have enough of either. It was like biting into a joy bar, when expecting a snickers. Disappointing and not worth the calories.

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The fried ravioli were the saddest part of the meal. The little guys had so much potential. They could have been something! Instead, they were soggy, little pockets of cheese. The rich filling and spicy sauce were DElicious but these flavors could not save the dish. Ah, it’s so sad when good flavors are wasted on poor execution.

And a yadda, yadda, yadda…I will only eat at the Brick again if there is a zombie apocalypse and it is the only restaurant within a 50 mile radius that I can raid for survival. Too harsh?

Afghan Kebob House: NYC

I was recently introduced to the Afghan Kebob House by an old friend from high school. This restaurant, located on 2nd Ave between 70th and 71st, is hidden amongst the lavish, over priced restaurants of the upper east side.

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The interior of the Kebob House is very dark and cave like. Really fucking cave like. Think, Jafar’s lair in the movie “Aladdin”. If you haven’t seen Aladdin, then I feel bad for you. If you haven’t played Aladdin on Sega Genesis, then I feel bad for you. If you haven’t eaten at the Kebob house, then I feel bad for you. These are all things that should be on your bucket list. You might have missed the boat on the Sega game, but you can still watch the movie and eat at the Kebob House!

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Do not let the freaky deaky darkness of Jafar’s lair the Afghan Kebob House intimidate you from dining there. The food has my two favorite “A” qualities: Amazing and Affordable. The Afghan Kebob House allows you to explore an exotic cuisine without breaking the bank AND it is BYOB. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. They will gladly serve any alcohol that you bringwithout a corking fee. This keeps the bill down and eliminates the headache of trying to fairly divide the cost of a dozen (or two) drinks. BYOB saves friendships and money. Does it get any better?!

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It does get better! The waiters do not Rush you out. In fact, they encourage you to take your time and enjoy. Next to the delicious food, this is my favorite aspect of the Afghan Kebob House and, for me, this factor can make or break a restaurant. If you rudely rush me out, I will not come back. It’s one of my many “eating out” pet peeves. Anyone living in a metropolitan area should NOT put up with rudeness at a restaurant. There are way too many options.

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Ordering from a menu that has unfamiliar items can be scuuury. That’s why I am going to tell you exactly what to order. The Aushak Ghousti: boiled dumplings filled with scallions and herbs that are topped with a mint yogurt sauce and ground beef. To. Die. For. Each bite is an explosion of flavor. Unfortunately for you,  I ate my meal faster then I could photograph it. Your just going to have to take a leap of faith and trust me on this one. Once you break your Afghan cherry,  there’s no turning back. So break that shit and break that shit hard.

Click here for more information on the Afghan Kebob House and I hope to see you there!

How Numismatic of You

If you are not a schmillionaire or an autistic savant with an interest in coins then you are probably thinking, “what the fuck is Numismatics? ”

Numismatics is the sport of pissing money away on collectable coins. Numismatists literally piss and shit money right into one another’s pockets. Being that so few people have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on a single coin, the community is rather incestuous and business is circular. It is both strange and intriguing.

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This week I had the pleasure of being a lot shower at a coin auction. The job is simple. I show lots (aka coins) that will be up for auction to potential buyers. In contrast to my last position as a manager in the health care industry,  this job requires very little thinking and I love that about it!  What I’ve come to realize is that sometimes life requires you to take a step down before you can take a step up. This job is exactly what I need right now. It is healing my mind.

Most of the day I sit there in my $20 outfit and quietly listen to numismatists say things like,  “I only paid $14,000 for the Serbian lot. It was a great deal!” Oh, the things that I could do with $14,000. For starters,  I would pay off ONE of my student loans. This type of statement can be hard to swallow but, surprisingly enough,  I’m not bitter about their wealth. I am amused.

Numismatists are all wealthy. You have to  have money (alot of fucking money) to be a player in game. These people can afford many things in life. Cars, houses, butlers, etc. You name it, they can get it. However, they choose to spend their money on collecting more money. Not just collecting, but obsessing. This obsession has driven up the value of old, expired coins and counterfeits. A coin that would once only afford a slice of bread can now be traded for a house. Is it this obsession with currency that made these people rich in the first place? I don’t know,  but it is an interesting question to ponder.

There is no doubt that the world of coin collecting is a clear demonstration of the growing financial gap between the haves and the have-nots. While some of us are struggling to pay student loans, others are buying a million dollars worth of old coins. But deep beneath the bullshit of it all there is culture, beauty, and craftsmanship that even I, a daughter of Joe the plumber, can appreciate.

The McCarthy Meat Grind

Much like Jenny McCarthy’s movement against vaccines, grinding your own meat is pointless.

Unlike Jenny McCarthy’s movement against vaccines, meat grinding does not impact the health of children. Zing!

Okay, okay, so it may be a stretch to discuss Jenny McCarthy and meat grinding in the same post BUT the two are related…sort-of.

Jenny McCarthy: Dumb/ Meat Chunks: Dumb

Jenny McCarthy: Not funny/Meat Chunks:Not Funny

Jenny McCarthy: Imposes unfounded information on a vulnerable population/Meat Chunks: Does not do this

As you can see by the above facts, McCarthy is very similar to a pile of meat chunks; except she sucks and meat chunks are nice and tasty. In recognition of these similarities, I took it upon myself to name a pile of meat chunks after her. Then, I ground those chunks down into a mushy mess and rolled them into balls, Jenny’s favorite shape.

To do the McCarthy Meat Grind I used the meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid stand-up mixer. The meat grind will be alot easier for you if your McCarthy is partially frozen. You could defrost McCarthy half-way or throw her in the freezer for a little bit before starting. This technique prevents the grinder from jamming with fat and such. I have made this mistake before, and it wasn’t pretty. Once the McCarthy is ready, throw her in the top of the tray and turn the mixer up to at least speed 7. I will turn the speed down at the end of the load (that was a trick I learned from Jenny AYOOOO!) because I find that this pushes some of the excess McCarthy out. Some people will throw the McCarthy back in the grinder for another run, but I have never done this.

There are so many dishes that can be made with ground McCarthy! I made meatballs, McCarthy meatballs. They are round and flavorful, just like she likes ’em.

McCarthy Balls

1 lb ground meat

1/2 handful fresh basil

1/2 handful fresh parsley

2 minced garlic cloves

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

salt and pepper- a generous amount

1) Mince parsley, basil and garlic. I was feeling lazy adventurous, so I took a chance and ran these ingredients through the meat grinder. It made a mushy pesto type substance, but it did the job. It was much quicker than chopping everything by hand.

2) Switch that mixer attachment to the flat beater and mix all of thses ingredients together until well combined.

3) Roll them into any size ball that you would like [Some like ’em big and some like ’em small, ya know?] and line them up on a baking sheet. Stoneware is the way to go. If you don’t have a stoneware baking sheet then I highly suggest that you get one. Mine is from Pampered Chef and I love it!

4) Heat the oven to 400 degrees and throw the balls in with the heat. Check them frequently and turn them once. This will ensure an even cook. I usually par-bake mine so that they can finish cooking in the sauce, but this is up to you. You are the master of your balls.

5) Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!