Yesterday, there was an urgent need for an apple crumble for breakfast.
Yesterday, I was out of brown sugar, oats and butter.
Yesterday, I had a bunch of apples from apple picking trip upstate NY.
- 4 Macintosh apples, cored and cut into small chunks
- 4 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into small chunks
- 1 lime - juiced
- 1/4 t salt
- 1.5 cups granola (I used raisin/almonds granola)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 4 T Earth Balance fake butter spread (any other butter substitute)
- 5 t Earth Balance fake butter spread (any other butter substitute)
Oven temp ~ 325F
- Mix the apples with juice of 1 lime, 1/4 t salt. Let sit for 5-10 min.
- In a separate bowl, with a fork, mash together 1.5 cups granola, 4 T Earth Balance, 1/2 cups maple syrup. Mix well.
- Line up a baking dish - I used a loaf pan - with apples from bowl one. Pour ALL the juices from apples mix on top.
- Dump granola mix on top. Spread evenly. Dot the top of granola mix with 5 t of Earth Balance.
- Bake @325F on the bottom of the oven for 20 minutes.
- Relocate to the top shelf of the oven for another 15 minutes.
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WHO ARE THE YES MEN?The Yes Lab @ Hemi
involves students, faculty, local activists, and the occasional government official in strategizing and accomplishing funny media-getting actions. The Yes Lab will launch
its Fall 2012 semester on Saturday October 13
in an all day workshop at the Hemispheric Institute, 20 Cooper Square, 5th floor, New York. Thereafter, the Yes Lab will meet every Friday
beginning Oct. 19. Anyone is welcome to show up
so long as you're committed to actively help carry out a particular project. If you'd like to participate, terrific! Please RSVP.
This fall, we will be partnering with several organizations to organize action groups
focused on issues that range from the local to the global. The organizations we will be working with are: War Resisters League
The United States’ oldest secular pacifist organization, the War Resisters League has been resisting war at home and war abroad since 1923. Their campaign and storytelling project, “Facing Tear Gas
”, aims to end the international and local transfer of US-made tear gas, and in the process change the story about tear gas globally and (militarized) police locally. Breakthrough
Breakthrough is a global human rights organization that brings human rights issues and values into the mainstream and make human rights real and relevant. Their campaign, #ImHere
, is an urgent and innovative call to action for the rights of immigrant women in the United States. A multimedia campaign, #ImHere seeks to highlight the ways in immigrant women in the U.S. are an increasingly vulnerable population - the goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the issues faced by immigrant women and bring them into the wider, mainstream conversation about women's rights that is gaining so much traction in the run-up to the elections.Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
The only national organization that is dedicated exclusively to the needs of restaurant workers was founded after 9/11 by former workers at Windows to the World on the Twin Towers. Their current workplace justice campaign, “Dignity at Darden
”, is aimed at Capital Grille restaurants where workers of color complain that they cannot access living wage jobs in the restaurants because of their race and ethnicity, that they are being clocked out early, have to share their tips with non-tipped workers, and other examples of wage theft. Many workers have also brought up the need for paid sick days – not only to protect their own health but also the health of customers.Change the Stakes
An NYC parent, teacher, and educator organization, developed out of the longstanding educator group Grassroots Education Movement, with membership from across the 5 boroughs. The organization aims to stop the destructive practice of high-stakes testing in NYC public schools, with a particular emphasis on the testing regime in grades 3-8. They aim to increase awareness about the narrowing of curriculum in schools due to undue emphasis on testing; educate parents and communities regarding the top down and opaque process of test development, distribution, and grading facilitated by the multinational corporation, Pearson Inc
; and increase numbers of parents who choose to opt out
of the state tests next spring.
Participation is easy; just show up! But please RSVP
first!Breakfast and lunch for the October 13th Yes Lab launch has been generously donated by:
FALL MENU IS HERE!!Summer may as well call it quits because we've moved onto fall. Please check out our Sample Catering Package designed specifically for the Fall 2012!Ou la la!!We can't wait to dazzle your palate with our 2012 specials:* Pumpkin White Chocolate Mousse Cake* Green Tea-Asparagus Angels Cake
* Maple-Beets Pot de CremeIf you'd like a recipe of an item from the Fall Menu, please get in touch HERE
We are a funky bunch. We love to laugh as much as we love to cook. And we luuuuffff to cook!
Besides a need to entertain you, and a need to dazzle your palate; we also have an urge to make you smile.. post a few educational things here and there.. and, simply make you feel gooooood
about DemidovaCatering (we want you to like us, because we like you!
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According to Japanese Scientific Research, full ripe banana with dark patches on yellow skin produces a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) which has the ability to combat abnormal cells. The more darker patches it has the higher will be its immunity enhancement quality, hence, the riper the banana the better the anti-cancer quality. Yellow skin banana with dark spots on it is 8x more effective in enhancing the property of white blood cells than green skin version.Courtesy: Bryan Nashhttp://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/checking-pseudoscience-real-science-news/
In my very own, private opinion, cooking professionally is really a man's job. Don't get me wrong, I can't live without it. Its the high of the pressure, the crying over the fragrance of spices, an orgasm after tasting just made sauce....But cooking on a line is really a man's job.
When I first started working on a line my vocabulary experienced significant shrinkage (just like George from Seinfeld), and suddenly I was "fucking" a lot ~ Fucking this/that, shit, fuck, shit again, what the fuck? fucking piece of shit... you get the idea?! But mostly "Fuck". The word Fuck was used a lot. By all of us. I was lucky to work with cooks from different countries, so depending on the kitchen you could hear "fuck" in more than 5 languages at the same time!! And it used to express a lot of emotions. You would never hear:
~"My dear colleague! Unfortunately, I just burnt that sauce you asked me to look after, therefore, I am going to make another batch for you. And even though you need it right away, I can not to anything about it. Let me get on that sauce right away."
~ "You definitely inconvenienced me, dear colleague, but its OK. Why don't you get to that sauce right away."
Instead, you will hear :
~ "Shit!! Really?!? WTF, Maria? Fuuuuck!"
~ "Fuck, man!! I am so fucking sorry! Shit, I'm fixing it. Fuck! fuck, fuck, fuck..."
Working on the line IS tough. At the beginning of my time in every kitchen, as a woman - 5'1 short, I was often looked down at, literally of course, but also looked down at by the men who were working the lines. I think before I built up my resume as a cook, Executive Chefs would hire me out of curiosity.. Every kitchen I worked at, I were the only girl working the line. There were pastry chefs, but I were the only one next to big snappy guys, working just like them.
I was screamed at, thrown pots at, and some of my finished dishes were sent flying (by the Chef) in to a garbage can. Men like when a woman can take a beating, and the only way I earned respect from those big snappy guys was by not saying a word back, working hard and not crying. Oh, I was CRYING, only when no one saw ~ on my way home. One time I threw a towel at one chef for screaming at me for no apparent reason. He wasn't mad at me, it was stress screaming, but the only way to prevent him from screaming his stress out at me in the future was to throw a towel I was holding right in his face and storm out of the kitchen. He and I were on very professional terms up until that point. But when I came back in to the kitchen 5 minutes later, we were best friends. No moral here, just sharing.
Professional kitchen is crazy. As a customer, you would think that a beautiful presentation of a perfectly cooked steak just peacefully appeared on your table.. , or you might complaint that food is taking too long. IT'S A WAR ZONE there, people! Restaurants that care about their food, reputation and their customers put a lot of effort in making sure that that steak of yours is of the perfect temperature. And if a cook fucked it up and has to start all over again, oh, boy.. pots are flying, dishes are being broken, and lots of "fucking"...
So you would understand why I, seemingly normal person prior to the beginning of my working as a Line Cook, went cuckoo one day. And I mean free ambulance ride to a hospital kind of cuckoo. Unfortunately, I already had a bit of cuckoo in me to begin with, but failing a "scallion test" at Momofuku Restaurant sent me over the top... panic and anxiety disorder.
Working in a professional kitchen IS though. Being a chef IS tough. A lot of us are alcoholics and complete nuts, because there is a lot of stress in the kitchen, day after day ~ every single day.. and most can not cope with the level of pressure in a healthy way. One has to be very strong not to go down a slippery road of an every day "night cap" after work. And some of us do it a lot.. which might lead to depressions.
Depressions and recipes have a lot in common. Both involve a number of different ingredients ~ it's not just the onions that make an onion soup, and while one major or minor event may set off a depression, a number of factors usually "flavor" the mood. So when a depression should be treated professionally? The answer is ~ when we can longer treat It ourselves. Just like when we take it for granted that the food should be delivered to our table in a timely manner and cooked to perfection, we take it for granted that we are "supposed" to wake up on the right side of the bed every morning. It's a nice idea, but things don't work that way.
In looking over different areas of your life, look long and hard at your diet. What you eat most definitely affects your mood. Learn to curb the excess fat in your diet. Cut down on butter. Minimize your sugar intake. And when you choose your dinner for cooking, think about how it can be cooked in the most healthy way. Broiling hamburgers rather then frying them, helps to cook out some of the animal fat instead of soaking it in. Use common sense to get as much animal fat out of your system as possible. Fish is low in fat, and rich in minerals and nutrients. Some of us could and should eat a lot more of it, and learning how to cook fish is not that big of a challenge if you set your mind to it.
When I was diagnosed with panic disorder and mild depression, I was really against going on meds. I loath the fact that my mood is dependent on those tiny and expensive pills, and god forbid I forget to take them, my mind does things I cant even tell you about.... So I went to a psychopharmacologist who shares my anti-meds view. He actually "prescribed" me a fish diet and fish oil intake at least three times a week. We are what we eat. It's a secret, but in reality some humans are fish ~ we came from water to water we shall return.
- 1 package of dried shiitake mushrooms or any dried mushrooms (cheap in China Town!!)
- 5 cups of water
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 5 cups fresh white/brown, whatever your body desires, cubed mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice ( or one lemon, squeezed)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- Minced dill & parsley for even more taste and garnish!
1. Pour 5 cups of water in to a pot, add dried mushrooms, 1/2 bay leaf and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes ~ while you are doing everything else.
2. In a food processor, blend the heck out of 5 cups cubed mushrooms, 1 tablespoon lemon juice ( or one lemon, squeezed), and 2 garlic cloves. Blend until the mixtures becomes a consistency of a smoothie, add some stock from step 1, little water, or rice milk to make it silkier, but not watery.
Transfer to a cooking pot, bring to a boil, immediately reduce the heat and let simmer. Stir occasionally.
3. FIRST!! heat a sauce pan until smoking hot! then... add 6 tablespoons olive oil, almost immediately throw in all of the following, at the same time is even better! -1/2 cup minced shallots, 1/2 cup diced carrots, and 1 cup sliced mushrooms. Stir a few time so that the ingredients don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Keep stirring until carrots are golden and mushrooms are golden brown. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Don't burn the shallots! And even if you do a little ~ its Ok... it'll give the soup a smoky flavor! Stir until tomato paste starts sizzling. Turn off the heat. Transfer to the pot where blended mushrooms are simmering away.. (step number 2). Stir.
4. Taste. Add 1 tablespoon of Sherry. Adjust the seasoning. Dilute as much as you like, and to the point of your idea of the perfect thickness with the mushroom stock you made in step 1.
5. Sprinkle with dill and parsley.
P.S.: You can use the leftover mushroom stock as a base for soups; you can cook rice or pasta in it! You can even make a cold drink out of it ~ stay tuned for that recipe:)
Majority of us, either out of choice or necessity, spend some time in the kitchen. For some, cooking is a hobby and, therefore, a labor of love. For others, it is an unavoidable and laborious chore, a function that must be performed for the sake of physical survival.
Cooking offers a challenge to both - the beginner and an experienced cook. In many ways, it parallels life: the more you work at it, the better you get. The better you get, the easier it gets. Though the kitchen is a workshop with specific tools, cooking is-or should be-a tool itself.
We can use the kitchen space to vent our emotions, to express love and anger, hostility and happiness. Inventive cooking ~ either elaborating on basic recipes or creating dishes from one's own imagination, is an excellent tool for personal expressions.
The kitchen may not hold the "secret of happiness", but it can be your "great escape". The pace and pressures of contemporary society make all of us - even the best adjusted - subjects to the anxiety/depressive syndrome that may be the chronic decease of our time.
Life problems, broken personal relationships and cooking in a professional kitchen under tremendous pressure of making it "perfect" and putting food out within seconds after 500 orders came in at the same time, as well as the intensity of the heat of the ovens and personal relationships in the kitchen might send you to a hospital with a panic disorder. As it happened with me last year. 8 months of 1 to 2 mg of klonopin/day and weekly therapy sessions later, I realized that I, by working in hectic and some famous kitchens in NYC, was put through an intense learning about myself and learning how to live with it. My ego had done a lot of crying because of all the mistakes I've made and pots thrown at me by Ex Chefs.
The kitchen, I've realized, is a special place for expressing not only culinary talent, but basic gut feelings. And it can be, too, a place where we explore ourselves, our problems, and potential solutions that will improve not only what's going on on the stove, but in our daily lives. The main challenge is to stay present. Spending time in your kitchen could be an utterly beneficial form of physical and occupational therapy - since cooking is something one sometimes must do anyway, it could as well be done to maximum advantage. It's possible to cook one's way out of depression, and I know it is ~ because I've done it.
When you are having a murderous day or month, it's best to turn to proven winners - foolproof recipes that offer a simple result without aggravation. So experiment on days when you can afford to fail emotionally. The recipe that is so complicated that it must be followed to the symbol, might make you want to start breaking plates. I cried once for two days after I spent 48 hours trying to make a perfect German Chocolate Cake. I swear, I will never ever put myself through the nightmare again. Instead, I created my own version of it, one that doesn't make my brain go into a coma.
Needless to say, that changes in our society have changed the way we feel about and use our kitchens. We go out more, order out more, and our kitchen space has definitely shrank over the years as the rents have increased. We even substitute the cooking experience by ordering a Chinese stir-fry and spending an evening in front of TV, watching "Master Chef".
I was raised in a house with TWO kitchens. Our "first" kitchen was a part of the house we lived in. It was a beautiful space with a family dining table next to a large window that was overlooking a garden. The "second" ~ "summer" kitchen, was a whole separate building. Looking back at it, it was actually a cabin. Beautifully decorated, as big as my current NYC apartment, with a big dining table, again, next to a large window, overlooking another garden, two stoves, large refrigerator, big sink, and beautiful wood cabinets. Every spring we would move all the cutlery out of our "home kitchen" into the "summer kitchen", and back home in the late fall. The joy and magic that was happening in our summer kitchen is hard to describe in words ~ pure emotions. Open windows, summer breeze, fresh flowers and culinary magic!
Coming from such a setting, I feel at home in a professional kitchen, and, therefore, my tiny NYC kitchen sometimes has a power of crashing my buds of culinary urges at home. But I choose my battles... I turn into a super smart secret agent.. I start by doing dishes! Yes, doing dishes has that special wizardly quality. I use the "doing dishes" therapy for headaches, frustration, cluttered mind, and stress diagnosis. Somehow, you just start paying attention to what you are doing, and everything slowly dissolves in the foamy drain of the sink. You do have to take breaths with this medicine. Doctor's order. I find that the monotonous job of washing dishes is a welcome task when my mind is hammering with tensions I've brought home from the outside word.
You can also start working your way out of depression by cleaning out your kitchen. Look at all your kitchen equipment.. when was the last time you used that mini blender that is taking space on the counter next to the Vitamix machine? Get rid of old spices, or 500 cans of "survival" food that you bought for the hurricane night ~ so last year..
The change of environment can relax us and redirect our thinking. During a sudden attack of depression, the one that tied me to bed to make sure I am trapped to the point of not being able to go to work ~ I was working as a Grill Cook at one of prestigious restaurants in Midtown, Manhattan at that time, I called the Executive Chef and told him honestly about whats happening. I was fortunate enough to have Jason as my mentor. He didn't scream, didn't tell me not to come to work ever again, but instead, asked me to meet him at Grand Central market to pick up fresh produce for the daily specials. He rescued me from my depression that day by simply walking me through the market while talking about ingredients, letting me look through colorful produce, and pick some for my daily special.
Instead of spending lunch hour at the local food joint next to the office, fighting the crowds and rehashing the problems in your head, it's possible, in every city or town, to find an open market section. The aroma of fresh food and the colors of produce stimulate the senses. The act of buying greens and veggies reaffirms the fact that bad as the day may be, it will eventually end. You'll be able to go home soon and relax.
Just as our society is obsessed with youth and skinny jeans, we are manic in our obsession with an eternal happiness. Troubles and depression can not be cooked away like the excess liquid in a sauce, but cooking can help us cope.