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May 2012

Posts from April 2012

The Graduate

I know I've already posted this on Facebook, but I'm so proud that I couldn't resist! Miss Moxie is now an obedience school graduate. We attended a six-week Basic Obedience class through Kate Perry Dog Training, and I can't recommend it enough. Kate and her team were wonderful and gave me useful tools to continue working with Moxie going forward. We worked on "look," "sit," "stay," "down," "leave it," and "come," all of which we practice every day on walks and at home (she's better at some than others, but there's been a great deal of improvement overall).  Kate offers a 10% discount to rescue dogs and runs classes at various locations throughout the city. We even had a little graduation ceremony and I swear I almost cried. God help me if I ever have kids . . .

Booze You Can Use: Speed Rack Finals!!

Sorry kids, no cocktail recipe today, because I want to make sure you get your tickets to the upcoming Speed Rack Finals! What is Speed Rack, you may ask? Well, it's a national competition created by and for female bartenders to promote female bartenders and to raise money for breast cancer research. The first round was held in New York (here's my recap), and subsequent rounds were held in nine other cities. The ten regional winners will compete along with six wildcard competitors on May 10th at 5 pm at the Prince George Ballroom. Tickets are $40 and include cocktails, punch, beer, and snacks, and best of all, proceeds benefit breast cancer research. I guarantee it'll be a raucous and fun evening, as bartenders from across the country will be in town for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic and they'll be cheering for their local favorites. Plus, @daisy17 and I are bartending again.

TV or Not TV?

Last night I connected two friends, one who creates documentaries about food and the people who make it, and another who is interested in pitching a video or TV series in the culinary realm (I don't want to give away any secrets!). We discussed his idea, tips to focus a pitch, and more, and I think it was a productive and fun evening all around (and, of course, it was all over delicious food and wine at Corkbuzz, so that didn't hurt). It got me thinking of how many times friends have told me that I should have my own show -- they seem to think it should be a reality show of some sort -- showcasing my life with all of its food and beverage adventures. I suppose some of it could be very interesting, but that's where the heavy editing would have to come in. There would be quite a bit of not-so-exciting footage, for sure. My working title is Eat, Drink, Dog. :)  I don't think I'd really be interested, but it's amusing to think about at the very least.

Loop de Loop

I finally got my ass on my bike this weekend. As I did my six (yes, six!) Harlem Hill repeat loops (in addition to one big loop), I wondered to myself how many times I've lapped Central Park, either on a bike or running, since I started cycling in 1999. I'd be fascinated to know my total distance . . .

And since I finally got on my bike as part of my triathlon training, you may want to reward me by making a donation!

Booze You Can Use: Have a Collins to Action


The Tom Collins is a traditional, lively spring refresher made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and topped with club soda. This week I had the privilege of attending a cocktail class with Eben Freeman, who not only showed us his secrets to efficient and precise jiggering, but taught us about basic cocktail formulas and how, putting them to use with a bit of creativity, one can produce a staggering number of cocktails. The Collins family of cocktails is merely a basic sour (spirit, citrus, sweetener) topped with club soda. His Collins to Action is a Tom Collins variation peaturing PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, which adds a perfect sweet/tart element to the drink. These would be perfect for brunch and/or a lazy afternoon in the sun. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture.  Pictured above is A Bird in the Hand, which we also made during the class. You can find the recipe here.

 Collins to Action
1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz. gin
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. simple syrup
Club soda
Combine all ingredients except club soda in a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass and top with club soda.

Weekend Wrapup

What a great weekend. On Friday night I went over to Sarah and Arlan's to catch up over a delicious dinner of mushroom papardelle, salad, and decadent cookies and ice cream for dessert.  Saturday morning I took Moxie to obedience class where we worked on "heel" and walking on a loose leash, then headed out to Ba'sik to be an extra for an ice cream commercial -- free drinks and ice cream -- not a bad way to spend an afternoon! For the evening, I joined Kim and John for a trip out to Red Hook to visit our friend Jim at Cacao Prieto, where we tasted their wares before heading to dinner (and karaoke!) at Hope and Anchor. We finished of the evening at Sunny's, where we listened to live music from the dozen or so bluegrass musicians who gather there every Saturday night. I had a relaxing Sunday morning with Moxie, then met up with Matt for brunch before seeing Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway -- having been in a production of JCS is college, it was a welcome trip down nostalgia lane. Afterwards, we had drinks at the Rum House. After a quick stop at home, I caught up with another Matt (this one is a high school friend in town from Texas) before heading to a feast at Maharlika with Lindsey, Caitlin & Jenn. Full and happy, I went home to sleep before starting out another busy week.

Booze You Can Use: Have a Moonlight Cocktail

My Mom emailed this one to me the other day with the subject line "use up that Creme Violette." Now, I don't have Creme de Violette, but I do have Creme Yvette, so I made myself one. Or two. I should have snapped a picture as it was a lovely color as well as tasty. Thanks, Mom!

The Moonlight Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces gin (I used Plymouth for the first and NY Distilling Company's Dorothy Parker for the second -- much more floral and complex)
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce creme de violette (I used Creme Yvette)
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
Pour ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass and enjoy.

Don't Pass Over Passover

image from
I learned this weekend that, despite having been at most of the same Seder tables I've been at for the past 30 or so years, not everyone in my family has the same understanding of Passover as I do. As I've mentioned in the past, I'm the Jewiest Jew in the family, which isn't saying much, but I do recall the story of Passover from year to year, and have hosted my own Seders.  After a heated discussion based on this recent NYT article in which a new father questioned his own knowledge of Judaism and decided to proactively learn more to teach his son (and decided to write a new Hagaddah in the process), we abandoned The Concise Family Seder, used another, almost too-basic, Hagaddah as an outline for our Seder the following night.

The result was a hodge-podge, somewhat crowd-sourced Seder where we bounced back and forth from our remedial Hagaddah to my friend Peter and I telling the story of Exodus with fill-ins from the group. It was somewhat unruly -- not ideal for a ritual that literally translates as "order" -- but fun nonetheless. I was told by some that they got more out of it than our usual Seder -- but we'll see how much they remember next year. Maybe I'll draft a brief quiz.

The following came up over the course of the evening as good sources for basic and/or additional information about the Seder, the story of the Exodus, and Judaism in general:

The Brick Testament, particularly the story of Exodus.

The Prince of Egypt - Passover simplified.

Seder in a nutshell - there is a structure to a Seder. It includes the telling of the Exodus, but there are a few other things we're supposed to do as part of the evening.

And, my favorite, Google Exodus.

If you're interested in deeper knowledge of the history of the Jews from 1500 BC to shortly after the destruction of the 2nd temple, you can watch this PBS Documentary:

Next year, in Jerusalem!!

Booze You Can Use: Drink, It's Pesach!

Gotta love a holiday which involves a requirement to drink four glasses of wine. If Manischewitz isn't your style, I'd suggest cocktails from The Sipping Seder, which mirrors the elements of the Seder plate, but in liquid form, or some of these thoughtful cocktail creations and Kosher spirits from @winenshine. Either way, L'Chaim, and a happy Passover (and/or Easter) to you and yours.