Sunday, August 29, 2010

OMG! We have been so bad at updating!

Summer has been busy and lazy at the same time, and we've been enjoying tons of juicy peaches, cold sorbet, refreshing iced tea and looooong Sunday brunches. Updates very soon.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Strawberry and mint infused syrup

AND... Were back! After a bit of a hiatus, O.M.G food is back with a vengeance. We were in boxes for a while, and then we moved, and then we had to find the camera, and then we had to actually unpack, and then we FINALLY started to cook again. PHEW! I think our friend Jill over at Hey That Tastes Good, was in a similar situation.

This past weekend was a beautiful one! We started our Saturday bright and early and the Ft. Greene Farmer's Market. We picked up some pursulane (blog post to come), eggs, rhubarb, bok choy, beets, mint and strawberries. Everything was so beautiful and we wanted to take all of the veggies home with us, but we ran out of room in the bag. So after a delightful brunch at Rice, we went home with our treats. J and I discussed the evenings plans and decided that we should make some type of fruity infused syrup for the vodka we would be blurring our good sense with. We decided that a strawberry mint infused syrup would go well with a vodka soda lime drink. The strawberries were warm from the sun and bursting with juicy goodness, and the mint was earthy and refreshing.

First, I boiled some some water and put the bundle of mint in the water for it to steep. After the water boiled and the mint turned the water a hazy shade of yellow, I added sugar (we had some white sugar, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that we HAD to get rid of so I used it).

Next, I removed the mint from the infusion, threw it in the compost, and moved on to the berries. I removed the tops, and gave them a good rinse, and then I gave the berries hell. I squashed the crap out of those bad berry babies. I squeezed them over a bowl until they begged for mercy. Did I show them who was boss? I sure did, because after squashing them to a jam like pulp, I transfered them into the hot, minty, sugary bath. It was more of a mint jacuzzi for the berries at this point, so I would consider them lucky.

This mixture of chunky strawberry pulp and mint syrup was so delicious, I would really like to experiment with popsicles. You could throw this mix into popsicle molds and freeze them for a sweet, minty summer treat.

I put the strawberry infusion into the fridge to cool, that took about 40 minutes, and then I strained the syrup. The results were astonishing! I had never made a fruit infused syrup, but the first time around yielded delicious delights! The syrup was minty and had the strawberry flavor that old tyme strawberry candies have.

As planned, we mixed the syrup with vodka, seltzer and a zesty lime wedge. Think about how much effort muddling mint for a mojito takes, and then think of how easy breezy lime squeezy this cocktail is... The cocktail was like a sweet strawberry breeze. After two cocktails, I really felt like I was in a hammock. Next time I will use raw sugar, and double the amount of sugar used so the results are more concentrated.

You'll need:
-- 1 bunch of fresh mint
-- 1 quart of fresh strawberries. Snobbery aside, you really should use farm fresh berries, the ones that are literally still warm from the sun and soft enough to mush pretty effortlessly. Store bought, out of season berries are way too hard and tasteless. Trust us on this one.
-- 1 1/2 cup sugar (really should be more like 3 cups to make a syrup)
-- 1 1/2 cups water

1. Add water, sugar and mint to saucepan and boil.
2. Remove from heat and let mixture steep until water turns amber, approx. 40 min.
3. Mash strawberries
4. Strain mint mixture into large bowl
5. Add mashed berries and stir
6. Let mint/strawberry mix sit and cool. Stick in freezer if you wish.
7. Store in airtight jar or container until ready to use.

How much of the mixture you should use in your cocktail will depend on the sweetness and concentration. If it is more like a juice (as this was), you'll have to use a good amount. If it's more of a syrup, add only a little bit or you'll be in headache city after one cocktail.



(Photos by J)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Donut Tour 2010

I realize I haven’t updated in a while. Things have been in flux here in Brooklyn. R and I are moving out of our apartment, which is exciting since our neighborhood was less than ideal, but also quite stressful as we try to pack in as many apartment visits as possible before the end of the month. We haven’t been grocery shopping in eons, and Passover was last week, which meant no leavened bread, so we’ve been eating peanut butter and parve Nutella on matzoh for the better part of two weeks. Yikes!

This weekend, nothing would make me happier than heading up to Northampton, MA to visit my friends and embark on a very special journey called Donut Tour 2010. Instead, I’ll be drowning in piles of work and searching for apartments, but I have a tremendous amount of faith that this first ever event will NOT be the last. I am already anticipating varied forms of the tour in 2011, 2012 and beyond. Maybe in New York next year? Brooklyn, of course? I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the facts.

It’s no secret that my friends are geniuses. It’s also no secret that OMG Food is passionate about good ideas and good food, which is why this blog is the perfect space to detail this incredible journey.

Please see the official press release below:


On Saturday, April 10, over thirty residents of the Pioneer Valley will participate in a six-stop "Donut Tour," driving to multiple donut shops throughout the valley and sampling donuts at each location.

Participants in "Donut Tour 2010" will meet at 81 Bridge Street in Northampton at 10:00am and don screen-printed t-shirts, buttons, and signs all made for the occasion. They will each be given a map of the chosen locations, comment cards to fill out for each stop, and a custom-made "Donut Tour Mix" CD consisting solely of songs that have to do with donuts.

The Tour's first stop is the Donut Man in Hadley. Other stops include the North Hadley Sugar Shack, Atkins Farms and Henions Bakery in Amherst, Sunrise Pastry Shop in Easthampton, and the Donut Dip in West Springfield. At the Donut Dip, participants will be greeted with a top-secret "Donut Surprise."

"Donut Tour 2010" was conceived by Elena Lavarreda, an '08 Smith alum and Valley native, who recruited friends to help with the planning. "I just got to thinking about how many great donut shops there are in the valley that my friends and I never get to experience," she says. "I wanted to change that."

Paige Hendry-Bodnar, an '09 Smith alum and fellow organizer, concurs: "This is a great way to support local businesses and build community. People of all ages are set to attend the Tour, which is exciting. But mostly, I am excited about eating DONUTS."

To break down the journey a little further:
Donut enthusiasts will meet at 10am sharp and caravan north to their first stop,
Donut Man in Hadley, MA where they will enjoy the famous buttermilk and sour cream donuts.

Next, they’ll continue to North Hadley and won’t stop till they reach the
North Hadley Sugar Shack to feast upon maple cream donuts.

Arriving in Amherst, the caravan will unload at
Henion Bakery and ask for jelly donuts made with raspberry jam.

Most donut tour members will be familiar with the next stop,
Atkins Farms, where many Smithies have spent glorious Mountain Days with classmates picking apples, sipping cider and eating the Farm’s world famous cider donuts.

Perhaps after a short break and some stretches after 4 donut locations, donuteers will continue to Easthampton to
Sunrise Bakery for some good ole’ fashion donuts.

And finally, if the anticipation isn’t killing you yet, the last and final stop is:
Donut Dip in West Springfield where guests will enjoy a surprise donut! What could it be? What do they have up their sleeves? We’ll all have to wait to find out.

But what about vegans like me? Will they be left out? Of course not. The Donut tour event planners take this work very seriously and want this experience to appeal to all walks of life, which is why vegan donuts will be offered throughout the journey.

Want to hear more? The Donut Tour team will be blogging about the experience, tweeting up a storm and voting for their favorite donuts. Check out their
destination map and twitter updates.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm on a tea kick. I've been trying to drink less coffee and more tea, and so far it has been a pleasant journey. I bought loose leaves at Kalustyan's in "curry hill" recently, which is a lot cheaper than buying bagged tea, it seems.


Lately, it has been HOT in our apartment and I've been really into making big batches of iced tea and sweeting it with a little bit of honey OR the infused simple syrup we made a trillion years ago for NYE (recipe to follow). This sweetener is perfect, actually, because you don't need to use a lot and it is spicy and perfect for tea!


I am impatient, so waiting for the tea to cool is the hardest part. I usually brew some in the morning, stick it in the freezer, go for a run, and when I come back, I can enjoy some refreshing, cold tea. Yum!


I recently discovered this great place called Tea Spot in Greenwich village on Macdougal street, but while looking it up online, I clicked on the wrong link and came across a blog with the
same name which is pretty cool. Anyway, the REAL Tea Spot has so so so many teas and plenty of seating for the work-from-home/coffee shop/library gal like me. There are also some NYU students here and there, and people on awkward dates. Perfect.


Maybe I'm not searching hard enough, but I have to say, it has been hard to find some decent, cozy coffee shops in NYC. I know that sounds absurd, but unless I feel like shelling out $20 for lunch, coffee, tea and snacks to earn my electric socket and "free" WiFi, there aren't a ton of welcoming study places. It certainly makes me miss the
Haymarket in Northampton and of course, the one and only Bookmill.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Granola bars, sort of

I was on a granola bar kick for a while, because I needed healthy, portable snacks. I wanted to mix things up by adding some (dairy free) chocolate chips, so I looked up recipes and came across a few. Don't laugh, but I used a combination of Rachel Ray's "No Bake Chewy Granola Bar" recipe and some other food blogger recipes. Rachel's recipe calls for rice crispy cereal. I used a gluten free, brown rice cereal instead. I used 1/4 cup brown sugar instead of 1/2 (I used extra honey). I also added peanuts to make up for the other ingredients I was missing. I didn't have raisins or granola, so my bars fell apart a little, but were still the perfect combination of salty and sweet.


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 cups granola,
1 cup rice cereal
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup thin pretzel sticks
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanuts


1. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the honey and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
2. Add the granola, rice cereal, raisins and pretzels to the saucepan and fold the ingredients to evenly coat with the sauce. Transfer the granola mixture to a 9-by-13-inch ungreased baking pan and press firmly to evenly fill. Gently press the chocolate chips onto the top of the granola. Let the granola mixture set in the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes, then cut into 2 1/4-by 3-inch bars.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Whole Grain No Knead Bread


I used the same recipe for the white no knead bread to make a whole grain version. I used 2 cups of unbleached (white) wheat flour and then used rye, whole wheat and brown rice flour as well as seeds (flax, sesame, poppy) to make up the remaining 3.5 cups. The dough was pretty sticky for some reason, and I had to add more and more flour to fix that. Next time, I should use more white flour from the start.


I made two versions--one slow rising dough (Bittman's. It takes 12 hours to rise, omg) and the quick rise dough from before. I sprinkled seeds directly on top of the quick rising bread, which made it even more delicious. BUT, I forgot to put corn meal on the bottom of the pot, so it stuck and then broke. sad. Trial and error.


Friday, February 26, 2010

veggie stock update


We consulted our chef neighbors about veggie stock. As it turns out, you should only cook vegetable stock for 45 min., not a couple of hours. Chicken or other meat broths should cook longer so that the bones soften, but vegetable broth does not take nearly as long. Oops.