Archive for February, 2010


veggie pizza with truffle oil and parmesan.

The weather has been all kinds of Bipolar lately. One minute it’s all “Aren’t I gorgeous? Check out my bright blue skies. How’s about some Sun? Done. Mild temps? You got it, baby,” and the next moment it turns all, “You want cold? I’ll give you cold. I’ll give you freezing, bitch. How’s 17 degrees? Wait, wait, I’m not done. How’s about two feet of snow? Want flurries for days?” And you’re left with cracked and bleeding knuckles and what can only be described as mild irritation.

Last weekend was one of the highs. I got to the point where I left the coat at home and wore loafers without socks to shop a little. Admittedly, I jumped the gun just a little on the lack of coverage, but damn was it a nice preview of what’s to come. I’ve started to feel like a hamster on a wheel at the gym every day, so it was fucking delightful to run outside. On Saturday, I went back to my track and ran two miles, and then I ran another couple of miles alongside FDR. Running alongside traffic is really underrated. I did the same thing on Sunday, except this time I did the track, the path along FDR, and then ran through the streets. I mean, danger? Never heard of it.

I just watched “Into the Wild” last night, and it actually changed my life. Like, I’m obsessed with this Emile Hirsch and (most) everything his character stands for, but that movie is also such a love letter to nature. Emile spends 3/4 of the movie looking all athletic and tanned and doing all kinds of risky outdoorsy activities, and I think that’s when I connected with him most. Of course, he gets all miserably Jesus on the Cross-like once he gets to Alaska. That’s not really of interest to me. Anyways, I was so ready to start running, hiking, paddling, etc.  As if on cue, the weather hit one of her lows yesterday.  We got like two feet of snow overnight and shitloads of snow ALL damn day. Who, me? Bitter? Never.

On the spicy side, I made the most delicious veggie pizza earlier this week. My friend introduced me to Chelsea Market, which I’m almost ashamed to say I had never checked out in my three years in NYC. It’s MECCA. The place is filled with fresh food markets, Italian specialty stores, delicious bakeries, etc. Also, it’s dirt cheap. I bought an entire week’s worth of groceries for $18.95! Suck it, Whole Foods. Anyways, my pizza was made of:


Veggie pizza

whole wheat pizza dough

1 small Japanese eggplant, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

tomatoes on the vine, sliced

cremini mushrooms, sliced

mozzarella, sliced

fresh basil

fresh thyme

olive oil

truffle oil

I started with some store bought dough, which you can get at Trader Joe’s for $0.99. You have to let it sit at room temp for about 20 minutes, so in that time I sliced up all my veggies and preheated the oven to 425 degrees. I rolled out my dough and put it in my little pizza pan sans oil. Risky, I know. I then laid all my veggies atop each other and sprinkled the whole thing with thyme. I drizzled both oils on top, and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes. I added the basil at the last 5 minutes so it wouldn’t wilt, and it came out all kinds of delicious.

I’m not sure how attractive it came out, but see below for the first piece I ate…which was followed by two more pieces. I served it with a little Parmesan cheese on top and doused it in red pepper flakes. So good! See below:

Veggie pizza with truffle oil and parmesan


pasta with truffle oil, spicy crab cake panini.

Ok so a couple of months back, I was all “Wooooo my computer’s back! All is right with the world. Prepare for the best blog of your LIFE. I’m going to blog so hard. So very hard.” And my computer, vindictive as she is, staged a preemptive strike and almost melted into herself. Who does that?! Whores. That’s who. I sent her to Florida to straighten out. Then, I went to California for shits and giggles, and I didn’t cook for like a week. Also, my fitness was dangerously low, so I had enough material to write something like, “Today I walked from the car to the restaurant and ordered enough French Toast to gag a Frenchman. Like, easily. And then I went and consumed a giant frozen yogurt with frosted Animal Crackers.” No one wants to hear that. So, yeah, I’ve been absent for two months. All apologies.

A few weeks ago I decided to have a few friends over, and I got all kinds of creative with the appetizer list. I quadrupled every recipe, and then of course had poor time management and only made half of what I’d planned. As a result, I have so many unnecessary ingredients just sitting around, taunting me. I made a pasta dish last week with a bunch of my lefties, and it came out kind of Batali-worthy.

pasta a la Deena


1/2 pound pipe rigate pasta

2 cloves garlic

1/2 vidalia onion, sliced

1/2 lb. portabella mushrooms, sliced

sundried tomatoes

parsley, chopped

lemon juice

truffle oil

olive oil

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

I started by sauteeing the chopped garlic and onion in some olive oil, salt and pepper, and let that go ahead and brown away. Then I added the sliced mushrooms and a little bit of the truffle oil, and continued to cook until they were ready for me.

Meanwhile I boiled the pasta, and then chopped the sundried tomatoes and parsley. Once the pasta was done, I drained it and then added the mushroom mixture right in. I stirred in the tomatoes and parsley, added some lemon juice, and then shredded a bunch of parmesan cheese on top. It was pretty much my proudest pasta ever. Isn’t she lovely?

It was hearty, so my workout routine had to match. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with and really taking to the midday gymming. Every day is kind of a race against the clock, though, so variety has fallen off as a result. I went to my first yoga class in months yesterday, and I’ve decided it’s probably necessary that I welcome it back full time. I’m really sore and MUCH too zen for a New Yorker right now. I kind of love it.

One of the appetizers that made the final cut for my get-together was Spicy Crab cakes with Lemon Aioli, which I bogarted from the Neelys:


2 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, chopped fine

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon crab boil seasoning

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 cup plain panko bread crumbs

1 large egg

Hot sauce, to taste

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over to remove cartilage and shell fragments

1/2 cup peanut oil

I pretty much stayed true to the recipe, although Whole Foods seems never to have heard of this “crab boil” seasoning, so I used Old Bay. And way more hot sauce than just “to taste,” obviously. You basically just mix everything in a giant bowl and then form into patties, roll said patties in bread crumbs, and then sautee over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side. Since I’d quadrupled the recipe, I only had enough time to make about half of the patties, so I made the rest of the bowl the day after.

I ate some of the 20 some-odd patties in typical ass out, face-in-the-refrigerator fashion, but I got a little fancy with the remainders. I had planned on making some crab and avocado crostinis, so I had a couple of untouched baguettes. I decided to make a crab cake panini with some grilled red and yellow bell peppers and avocado. I drizzled the bread with olive oil, and toasted both halves. I already had the grilled peppers leftover from a delicious bruschetta I’d made (touche Bobby Flay), so I placed those along with some sliced avocado opposite the crab cake. The whole thing was incredible and, like, gives Crayola a complex because of its purdy colors. See below:

Crab cake panini with grilled bell peppers and avocado

February 2010