I don’t know how professional cooks eat.

Seriously, aside from shoving a few eggplant donuts in my maw, and tasting a few things before they went out, I hardly ate this weekend as I prepped for our Supper Club.

There was a moment, a few hours before the event, that I called and begged Kate to bring us anything to eat that wasn’t what we were serving. The three of us then housed sesame bagels from Dunkin Donuts standing up because that’s what was closest. (I am actually remembering it tasting awesome, but i’m sure I would have eaten pretty much anything in that moment.)

This is about 1/8 of the chard I prepped.

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You’d think after spending the entire weekend shopping, chopping, and cooking that I would want to not do any of those things for a while. BUT you would be wrong, because there must be something wrong with me. I found myself so, so HUNGRY and needing my own food. And to do that, i’d need to do the shopping/chopping/cooking.

The event was on Sunday, which threw off my farmer’s market/groceria game plan. I found myself getting out of my nutritionist’s appointment by 4pm, and got the green light to head home after work just after. I thought, “OH, I can go to Trader Joe’s before everyone gets out of work and everything will be quiet and beautiful.”

Obviously that was not the case. At any rate! I found that I had some goods like beans, eggs, and tomato sauce left from last week AND i’ll be out of town this weekend, so I felt like I was able to go for a couple more spendy items that will last a few weeks. I clocked in just under $50 for the following:

+ yellow miso

+ brussels sprouts

+ spaghetti squash

+ acorn squash

+ 2 sweet potatoes

+ crimini mushrooms

+ quinoa

+ canned pumpkin

+ bagged arugula

+ bagged kale

+ parmesan cheese

+ greek yogurt

+ organic ground beef

+ chicken sausage

+ canned tuna

PLANS:

+ bolognese with spaghetti squash

+ pumpkin quinoa cakes

+ mushroom parmesan quinoa cakes

+ roast veggies with miso dressing

+ brussels sprout hash with eggs and sausage

On cooking (a lot).

October 15, 2014

Hey creeps!

I cooked a bunch of tasty stuff last week! Good fall food!

On Sunday I made a pot of SAWCE and turkey meatballs to ladle over spaghetti squash.

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And then I put on my finest mesh crop top and rode my bike over to go see Sinkane and Helado Negro which was pretty much great. The air was crisp and there were tinsel dancers and Tecate. I’ve had the below on repeat pretty much since then.

Other tasty things I made:

+ Brussels Sprout Hash with fried eggs and amazing beet sausages from The Meat Hook (these were gifted to me, so back off.)

+ Coconut Curry!

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+ This boss pantry salad with chickpeas, tuna, chili, lemon, shredded carrot, and kale

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+ AND the winner of the week was definitely this pureed golden cauliflower that I set a tiny steak on top of. I just steamed a half a head of cauliflower, and whizzed it up with a pad of butter, salt, pepper and garlic. I may or may not have licked my plate.

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So then after that I worked with two amazing ladies to shop, prep, and cook a seated dinner for 18 people! And also snacks for like 20 bar guest.

It was amazing and exhausting. This menu, a take on a classic north east Sunday supper using Middle Eastern flavors, really pushed us to explore the city and put our fingers in spice bins. It was really great. I teared up as I set the tables because everything looked so godamned beautiful. I was pretty much too busy to take and pictures, but look upon these gorgeous pickles we made!

My absolute favorite were the carrots, pickled with cinnamon and cardamom.

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Summer, It Was Real.

October 5, 2014

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I spend so much time dreading the end of summer (and tomatoes) and then all of a sudden I wake up and it’s actually Fall and it’s so godamned good. I wore tights for the first time, begrudgingly, but then realized how much better my fall wardrobe is than my summer attire of tiny jorts. This morning I got up early and went for a long walk in my hood. The air was crisp, and I wore a favorite jacket and stopped after grocery shopping for a big ol’ latte. I saw my first dog sweater of the season and crunched some leaves. In the middle of writing this, I tried to take my A/C unit out of the window, but stopped, because my neighbors are on their porch and I don’t want to kill them. Good stuff, all around.

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My grocery shop and meal planning for the week is definitely reflecting the change in weather. Feeling psyched to make lots of roasty, warm food this week.

+ Cheapo Pro: At the farmer’s market, pretty frequently, for ease of sale, items are priced ‘each’ rather than by the pound. I went hard at grabbing the hugest ‘each’ available this week. Greed is good.

+ Cheapo Con: Ok, this is probably the saddest single lady sentence of all time but WHY CAN’T I GET A TINY LITTLE POT ROAST FOR ONE?! I was craving a classic pot roast all week, with carrots and potatoes and wine! But the littlest ones were still $12, and I can’t eat pot roast for like 3 meals this week. Can I? I can’t. I settled for tiny steaks instead.

WHERE MY $50 WENT:

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+ Farmer’s Market-

-1 HUGE head of golden cauliflower.

-1 HUGE head of red Russian kale

-1 Orange Pepper

-1 Dozen Eggs

-1 large zuchini

-1 little spaghetti squash

-1 little delicata squash

-1 big handful of green beans

-2 little sweet potatoes

-1 bag of brussels sprouts

-1 big carrot

-3 apples

- 1 head lettuce

+Grocery Store

-greek yogurt

-3 cans of beans (butter, black, chick peas)

-1 can of coconut milk

-1 bag of onions

-2 cans of tuna

-1 pound of hormone free ground turkey

-2 tiny steaks

-3 seltzers

-1 large can of crushed tomatoes

- 2 lemons

WHERE MY $50 IS GOING:

- a big pot of coconut curry with sweet potatoes, green beans, peppers

- turkey flax meatballs with kale, chickpeas, and spaghetti squash

- tiny steaks with cauliflower mash, caramelized onions, roasted brussels sprouts

- Nicoise salads for lunch

- Brown rice zucchini boats

- Baked Apples with honey, cinnamon, cashews

On Doin’ the Thing.

October 4, 2014

Yo!

I’m eating my delicious post-yoga breakfast in front of my rainy window writing this after having survived my first week on this $50 grocery budget experiment. I don’t know why more people don’t eat fried rice for breakfast, it’s awesome.

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Mostly, it was awesome and easier than I thought.

SUCCESSES:

+ I actually ate everything I bought! There are relatively no wilting vegetables in my fridge, and i’ve got just enough leftovers for dinner tonight.

+ I spent seriously less cash than usual.

+ I ate way more home cooked food than usual.

+ I realized that making due with what I have is a fun challenge, even if it sometimes feels like settling. Like, these zucchini pancakes would have been better if I had stopped off for a $9 wedge of Parmesan cheese to grate in, but they were totally delicious without that.

+ All those food bloggers who have their shit together and swear by Sunday meal prep are totally dead on. Coming home to a bunch of half started meals seriously took the pressure off.

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CAVEATS + ADDITIONAL SPENDING:

+ WINE! How did I not budget this in. Whatever. I need wine to live. I’m giving myself a $20 budget for this a week. I spent $18 on a perfectly delicious 2011 Bordeaux this week and braised beef with it and drank the rest.

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+ Chocolate. Sorry, not sorry. I needed this. It was $3.49.

+ Meals out. I had one lunch and one dinner out. Which feels pretty good for someone who was doing way more than that previously. I think that’s a general rule i’ll try to keep. I spent $32 on those.

CHALLENGES:

+ Sometimes eating leftovers sucks, no matter how good they were the first time around.

+ I didn’t really think about how eating chili for four days in a row would effect my guts/butt. I’m eating a lot of beans and veggies these days so, i’m feeling jet propelled.

+ I’ve had some kind of monster sinus thing all week, so sometimes I really just wanted a bowl of hot spicy thai takeout for dinner instead of cooking.

WHAT I MADE:

+ Chili with turkey, beans, sweet potato

+ Salad with olives, hard boiled eggs, tomato (2)

+ Braised beef with onions over roasted butternut squash

+ Garlic roasted brussels sprouts

+ Kale and eggs

+ Roasted chicken thighs with kale, chickpeas, wine, mustard

+ Fried rice with broccoli, peppers, egg

+ Zucchini Pancakes with spicy paprika tomato sauce, egg

(This was absolutely the best thing I made all week!)

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THE CAKES:

1 large zucchini, grated, salted, and squeezed (like really, really squeezed)

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 egg

1 clove grated garlic

salt and pepper

Mix that batter together (it will look loose) and shallow fry in oil of your choice. I just plopped big teaspoons, and then flattened them with the back of my spatula.

I cooked some crushed tomatoes down with vinegar, paprika, and chiles, and put the cakes right on top. And then on top of that a crispy fried egg, because duh.

On a budget.

September 28, 2014

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I am lucky enough to have a great, tiny farmer’s market 2 blocks from my new digs in a little park.  It’s quiet and full of good dogs. No one is reaching over you for squash. There are ice pops, and good meat, and flowers, and organic veggies. It’s on a Sunday, and it’s made my Lord’s days really awesome.

There’s something awesome about the potential energy of a big bag of produce. Like endless possibilities for the week ahead. I spend the rest of Sunday afternoon tidying the kitchen and cooking and prepping food for the week and listening to nineties hip hop. It’s a great ritual.

Except, sometimes, like with anything great, I have a tendency to over do it. And then i’ve spent $90 and I have a house full of wilting flowers and a bunch of squash shriveling up in the crisper that I didn’t quite get to.

So, i’ve challenged myself to spend $50 on Sunday and that’s it. No popping into the fancy bodega for a few ingredients I missed on Wednesday. Just me, my $50, and a pretty well stocked pantry. (Pantry includes: cooking oils, bulk grains and nuts, and a pretty well stocked spice rack.) I aim to have lunches and dinners all set for the week. Breakfast is usually a yogurt or some oatmeal at my desk.

Full disclosure: I am going on about 8 weeks of working with a nutritionist. I am (mostly) avoiding processed food, including processed wheat products. Also, not eating thing with >10 grams of sugar.

Here’s where my $50 went this week:

FROM THE FARMER’S MARKET:

- a head of broccoli

- two orange peppers

- 3 onions

- 1 head of garlic

- 1 bunch of kale

- 2 little bunches of tatsoi

- 1 big zuchini

- 2 little sweet potatoes

-1 medium butternut squash

- 1 bunch of pink dahlias

- mixed salad greens

- brussels sprouts

- 5 apples

- 1/2 dozen eggs

- 3/4 pound of grass fed stew meat

- two tomatoes

 

FROM THE GROCERIA:

- greek yogurt

- 3 cans of beans

- 2 big cans of fire roasted crushed tomatoes

- organic chicken thighs

- ground turkey

- 3 bottles of seltzer

- ice cream bars (fuck off, ok?)

- soy noodles

- 2 lemons

Geez. Typing that out and seeing it makes me realize that’s a ton of food, and I feel awesome about that.

 

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK:

- a big pot of chili with turkey, beans, and sweet potatoes

- braised beef with roasted butternut squash, kale

- roasted chicken thighs with tatsoi, fried brown rice

- shaved brussels sprouts salad with apple, lemon

- salads w/ hardboiled eggs, tomato, olives

- eggs with zucchini pancakes

Oh, hey.

September 20, 2014


Oh, hey.

Yeah, it’s been a while.  You know how it goes. So many things happened! Like, the worst winter of my life! Seriously, that shit was whack.

But, the spring and summer were better.

I moved! To a great little railroad apartment in the still Polish part of Greenpoint. I immediately ripped apart the entire tiny kitchen and reorder it to my liking. It’s sunny and small.

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I ate a lot of good food. Some that I made. Some that my friends made. Not a lot that stranger’s made. I ate this food on the beach and on lakes and around my new dining room table. Some that a private chef made while he listened to a table full of women talk serious trash. My best friend got married and I catered cocktails and sides for a hundred people.

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I started taking care of myself. Like, seriously. I finally figured out that my love of swimming translates into real physical activity. I started swimming laps at a public pool overwhich the sun rose. I’m starting to get neck muscles. I’m drinking less and sleeping more. I’m working with a nutritionist. After six months of feeling so, so bad, i’ve started to feel so, so good. And if i’m being honest, it’s the first time in my life that it doesn’t feel like a phase.

As the summer ended I moved the laps indoors to a beautiful 1920′s bath house. My best mornings involve a swim, a Blue Bottle coffee, and a ferry ride across the East River. I will be able to swim a mile by next summer, mark my chlorinated words.

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On Week One

February 20, 2013

As of the publishing of this post, i’m halfway through my 21 day adventure in abstinence! I’m alive! And fairly well, I must say. I only cheated once, when I drank a tiny tin cup masala tea with milk in it, because I didn’t have the heart to send it back!

I wanted to check in, and give you all some of my more successful recipes for tasty vegan grub!

Mind. Ok. I wasn’t really prepared for the caffeine headaches. I will say that. I likely should have weened myself off instead of going cold turkey. I had gorgeous blood orange tea while a friend drank a flat white, and I wanted one so bad! Also, I formally disagree with anyone who has suggested there is some kind of mental acuity associated with hunger. I miss things (good bread and cheese seem to top the list), but that’s to be expected, and I spent about 45 minutes salivating over the St. Anselm menu yesterday. But  going without has helped me realize that I should stick to eating the best bread and cheese if I love it so much, which doesn’t include deli egg and cheese sandwiches on hard rolls. Dealing with the stress of work and life without a glass of bourbon (or four) to come home to has been a challenge, one that i’m better off for attempting. I am astounded at how productive I can be in a weekend sans-hangover.

I made myself these avocado chocolate mousses to celebrate making it through my first week!

Recipe, here, except I used unsweetened chocolate.

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I’m lucky to have a cohort in cleansing, Ms. Katie Hards, who has been great! Supportive without taking this ish too seriously!

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BODY. I seriously feel awesome. I have a crazy awesome amount of energy. I’ve been moving more – from walking home from work to taking dance classes. Samba this Saturday was really a blast. It was fun, and a serious workout shaking it to live drummers for an hour and a half. My pants fit better, and it seems like I lost about 8 pounds in the first 10 days, which is crazy.Also, my skin looks fantastic.

WALLET: In Week One alone I saved $50 by bringing my lunch every day, and an estimated $120 on bar tabs. BUT there is a definite time cost incurred to prep all that delicious grub.(This is a huge problem I have with the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan. Eating cheap AND healthy can be seriously time consumptive. Luckily, I really like doing it. Getting my mis-on is serious therapy for me after a long day behind a computer. I also spent more on groceries than usual, and got a mani/pedi on Saturday, because, duh, TREAT YO SELF.

CULTCHA: I’ve been trying to keep busy, but work is kind of starting to get a little crazy town, so I don’t have as much free-time as I thought I did.  I saw Toro Y Moi with Wild Belle on Valentine’s Day with my favorite lady, who made me a great dinner. Going to a concert sober was pretty interesting. I was able to stand right up front because I wasn’t concerned with being near a bar! The dance classes count as culture, right?

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The Grub. Ok, so my cookin’ has been on point! I ususally have a green juice or oatmeal for breakfast, a salad or leftovers for lunch, and then concentrate on making myself really nice dinners. Here are two especially good ones, with recipes! You’ll notice that they have a lot of the same ingredients, cause I made a huge pot of black beans and a big bowl of cashew cream last week!

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Black Bean Quinoa Burgers with Avocado Mash and Cashew Creamphoto(6)

Click through for recipes!

Read the rest of this entry »

Everything you ever read on the internets about starting a cleanse revolves around getting prepared, about easing into it, about getting your guts and mind ready to start this elimination endeavor.

You prepare your way, Gwyneth Paltrow, i’ll prepare my way, ok?

How did I prepare to take three weeks off from booze, coffee, meat, and dairy? I ate and drank all those things, in the best combinations ever, with the best possible company. My pre-cleanse weekend was pretty fantastic.

Let me elaborate:

I needed to up my resveratrol levels.

I needed to up my resveratrol levels.

Friday: As Nemo threatened to blizzard all over everything, I was able to scoot out of work early and somehow throw together a last-minute dinner party. My friend Kate, who is mentioned here probably too frequently, says that if “Speed-Entertaining” were an Olympic sport, i’d be GOLDEN. She and her beau, Kevin, who happens to be an incredibly generous wine representative, trudged through the snow with a few other friends to eat homemade chicken pot pie and imbibe on Kevin’s AMAZING leftover wine from tastings that day. We ate, and drank, and laughed, and watched all of these amazing videos of Nina Simone. My favorites were from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.

Saturday: There must be something to the theory that good wine does not give one a hangover, because after the serious wine-o session mentioned above, I managed to peel myself from bed, grab a latte, and get to Central Park before 10 am – before the throngs of sledders and their parents. I walked around for a few hours, in sheer wonder of how beautiful and quiet the few inches of snow had made everything. It was glorious. People were smiling at one another. I SAW NUNS SLEDDDDDDDING. The sky got big and blue, and the sun got warm.

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Ok, Saturday was the only day I actually did anything to prepare for the week-ahead. I dropped a hundo at Fairway on fruits, veggies, bagged beans, whole grains, and pantry staples like olive oil, cider vinegar, etc. I also cleaned the shit out of my fridge! AND reorganized my spices, and finally put them in their proper homes – these adorable little glass containers that have been in my pantry for six months!

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Sunday: I ate tacos for breakfast. Smoked meat tacos. Two kinds. I met an old (great) friend at Briskettown for brisket and pork belly tacos, and what felt like endless cups of Blue Bottle coffee in great enamel mugs. Good food, good chat. Then I drank a million big beers in a big sunny room, with a big group of good looking people I adore. I tasted all of their sausages.  Last hurrah, GO!

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Incredibly Good-Looking Company.

So, now that i’m three days in, caffeine headache in FULL EFFECT, would I have done anything differently to prepare?

Yeah. Getting home Monday night at 7:30, HANGRY, to a refrigerator and pantry full of whole foods that needed real prep to get turned into dinner stressed me out a little bit. My go-to move would be to eat a half a baguette while dinner was cooking. This was not an option! I ate a few almonds, drank a big glass of water and went to town prepping not only dinner for that night, but staples for the rest of the week, as to not put myself in that hanger-pickle again.

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Bean-Still My Heart!

I’m going to post some recipe highlights from Week 1 this weekend, but quickly, let me just say that this huge pot of black beans has been the tastiest, saviest experiment this week. Don’t tell anyone this, but I buy canned beans, usually. I know – dried are cheaper, and more delicious, but they take forever. I rarely plan that far in advance, but I thought this would be my chance to experiment.  SO I tried this no-soak recipe from The Kitchn. AMAZING. A bag of beans, covered with water, 1/2 an onion, some garlic, and some cumin cooked in a dutch oven for an hour and a half, and then BOOM- BEANS FOR DAYS. My whole house smelled amazing, might I add.

ALSO you can get nightly photos of my dinners over on my Instagram.

Or follow my tweets, which are the most positive after breakfast, and whiniest around 5 pm when the caffeine headaches are the worst!

On Cleaning Up.

February 5, 2013

Dear readers, I’m hoping that by this time next week I’m not standing on a street corner, yelling out in hanger, or curled up under my desk, shaking, from caffeine withdrawals.

I’ve decided to take 21 days off from the things I love the most (namely, beer and beef), and clean up my eating/drinking act starting next Monday. Why, you might ask, incredulously with eyebrows raised as many of my loved ones have? A number of reasons.

But first, the rules:

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1. Dollar Dollar Bills. 2013 is my year to get my shit together, financially. Bourbon is expensive. 5 bourbons are even more expensive. The cab home from Brooklyn because you’re too tipsy to take the subway is expensive. Pasture fed short ribs are expensive. Being a lazy bum and eating shitty take out for lunch is expensive. I figure if I can focus on feeding myself good, healthy, home cookin’ and cut out my bar tabs I can save myself an average of $80 – $120 a week. (Oh my God, I am just looking at that figure and thinking that’s a vacation or two a year in savings.)

2. Pep in the Step.  I felt like I was going to puke on the sidewalk the other day when 3 out of 4 of the escalators up from the center-of-the-earth- hell that is the 63rd Street F station were out. Not cute. I think I used school as an excuse to eat whatever I felt like, and to not move as much as I should. That’s over now, and I have “time”. Time to cook, time to walk home from work, time to hit the gym. I feel a little bit sluggish. I feel really sluggish when I have a hangover and lay in bed all day on a perfectly good Saturday eating Annie’s Mac and Cheese and watching every episode of Breaking Bad.

3. Cultcha.   I have an incredibly fulfilling social life, filled with friends that are smart and funny and good-looking, and are excellent dinner dates and drinking buddies.I think meeting them for a beer or a burger will be the hardest part of this adventure. New York City as a place supports my two inherent genetic traits: workaholism, and alcoholism. I think focusing on activities that aren’t centered around booze or meat for a little while will force me to see more of the city – to see films, performances, etc. I’ve got two concerts, African dance classes, a knife skills class, hopefully some volunteer work and maybe an Opera planned for the next couple weeks.

4. Vanity.  I’m fat. That’s not going to change. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to ditch my favorite jeans because they are currently too tight.  I saw this picture of me from when I worked on the farm. I was still fat, but I felt strong as hell, and I felt the best in my body I ever have. Also, look upon that sweet tan! Also, PBR in hand, duh.

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In preparation for the weeks ahead, i’ve been cooking myself boss dinners each night, with enough leftovers for lunch, so that I can get back in the kitchen swing, and think about portions.

Mustard crusted pork chops with kale and apple hash with thyme.

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Garlicky Kale Linguine with lemon and Parmesan.

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OH ALSO, SHOWER BEERS. (I’ll miss you.)

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So follow along these next few weeks! I am bad at commitment, and half a lush, so I don’t underestimate the challenge ahead of me. Don’t give me cheese, even if  I call you crying in the middle of the night, ok?

On New Orleans.

February 1, 2013

I’ve been threatening to take a trip to New Orleans for a while now. The idea of a vacation built entirely around snacks, drinks, and dancing has appealed to me for as long as I can remember. I could not have been more thrilled to be joined by two of my favorite broads ever, who just happen to be grad school colleagues, and the brilliant aforementioned supper club beauties.

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I love The Kates and liberal street drinking policies.

There was serious alchemy on this trip – perfect travel buds, warm weather, eating, walking, the kindness of strangers, dancing. I feel like we did a great balancing act of seeing “new” and “old” New Orleans – from classic cocktails in touristy bars, to an amazing local ingredient soul food pop-up dinner in a fantastic smokey bar  – from Oyster loaf and chicory coffee to avocado ice pops and local meat “southern antipasto”.

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Happiness is ice cold beer in tiny glasses, and fresh gulf oysters.

I think that our experience, limited as it was, was indicative of the way New Orleans is a city reverent of tradition, of folklore, of cultural history – but moving forward, partially because they’ve had to. Maybe that’s reductive, but it feels honest. Also, New Orleans is decidedly a “High Life” city, which was literally and figuratively refreshing. (Yes, I also had lots of great local brews also. I’m looking at you, NOLA Brewing Hopitoulas.)

Touristy? Yes. Legit fucking pisco sour? Also yes.

We were lucky to have had a (handsome) local tour guide (THANKS, JOSH!), as well as great recommendations from our network of pals and NOLA enthusiasts (Thanks, especially to Cait!)

Below find lots of pictures, and a list of the highlights of our trip.

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Beignets and Cafe au Lait at Cafe Du Monde. Maybe it’s obvious, but if you don’t like doughnuts and coffee, just get out of America.

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LEECHES!

Kate and I spent the better part of a morning wondering through M.S Rau Antiques, jaws agape. Bear Skeletons, living room sized silverware chests, tortoise shell everything. There was a man there whose sole job it was to wind antique clocks. NICHE. It was amazing. If I could go back, I would totally swing by Lucullus which specializes in culinary antiques.

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Literally, all of the oysters.

I loved starting my day with a dozen raw oysters and a cold beer, cause i’m a boss like that. The best? The huge, tongue-like incredibly fresh ones from Casamento’s, shucked by Mike, who sweet talked the shit out of us. Follow your oysters up with more oysters, fried, between two pieces of white bread, slathered with mayo, and an healthy shake of Louisiana hot sauce.

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New Orleans has really great signs. Really great colored stucco – greens and corals. The kind of charming disrepair I found and loved in Key West.

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Every single person we met in New Orleans was kind. Like over-the top nice. Like,” here take this extra bus ticket” nice. Like, “Oh my cousin is the maitre d’ at that restaurant, do you want me to see if I can get you a table” nice. Except this man. He was the most fluid, beautiful short order cook I have ever seen, with the ability to make every burger flip look hateful. Never has disdain looked so elegant. I loved him. And I loved the burger + egg he made me at 3 am. The Clover Grill was the NOLA version of a NJ diner, and I dig it.

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We didn’t really eat very many vegetables in New Orleans, i’ll admit. We did however, have all of the best meats, in excess. If there is a heaven, it smells like Cochon Butcher. We stood there, faces pressed against the meat cases, like puppies. We were able to nab a table outside in the sunshine, where we went to town on sandies. Bacon and collard green melt, with an unhealthy amount of their sweet potato hot sauce.

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And then, the sandwich of all sandwiches: The Gambino. House cured meats, mortadello, sopressata on the best ciabatta i’ve ever had, piled with perfectly dressed arugula. It was truly, a beautiful sandwich. Best enjoyed with beautiful ladies, cold beer, and Bruce Lee.

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New Orleans is a classic cocktail city. A cold beer city. A craft beer city, even. But it didn’t feel so much like a wine city. That was until Josh took us out to Bacchanal in Bywater. The premise was awesome. Choose a bottle of wine from their (fantastic) selection, maybe scoop some local cheese from the cold case, and take it out back into the huge outdoor space. The live music was amazing. The wine, beautiful. The company, superior. I want to live in a place where I don’t have to wear pants in January.

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We are the happiest customers.

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Cocktails! All of the cocktails! Sazeracs! Vieux Carre! Mint Juleps! Pisco Sours! At all of the classic cocktail joints! Hotel Monteleone is worth a trip, I think. We went on a Sunday, and were able to snag seats at the carousel bar!

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Not pictured, but CERTAINLY worth checking out!

  • The Crescent City Farmer’s Market! Amazing! Within the first half hour I was awake on Saturday, I had had chicory coffee, an amazing tamale, and an avocado ice pop. You want all of these things, together to start your day.
  • Sylvain Fantastic farm-to-table grub. Earnest, New American with deep southern roots. Their Southern Antipasti with country ham, pickled eggs, local cheese, and assorted little picklin’s was one of my favorite things I ate on the trip.

So go forth, readers, unto New Orleans! But call me if you are going, because i’m coming.

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