an urban chick adventuring around

Last night, again, with our favorite ‘simple’ chicken dish via Marcella — only lemons, salt & pepper plus the boid.   Roasted to perfection.   Mille grazie, signora Hazan.    And another household favorite, the “plum” cake that forgives a zillion variations (this one with donut peaches and a variety of random plums of a certain age that are fished out of the fridge. 

Then a nice stretch-out on the couch with a sleepy Mici (he got some raw chicken scraps earlier & was quite content), along with yesterday’s find at my new favorite bookstore en el mundo mundial — Kitchen Arts & Letters on Lex between 93rd & 94th.    Enjoying “Family Life: birth, death and the whole damn thing” by Elisabeth Luard.   I can even find it in my heart to forgive the rather steep asking price for this sucker as I don’t think this Brit-published version is even available in book form on Amazon, save for intrepid resellers who charge even more.  #score


Get color-full.

Read more: How to Make a Funfetti Cake from Scratch on Food52

Oh. My. FUNFETTI cake. Who knew?

Mici the cat demonstrates his most amazing beggar-boy skills when there’s protein a-cooking en la cocina. Last night was no exception when I tried a new recipe for pollo al ajillo (receta tradicional). Micifuf scored some raw chicken scraps and the fam scored a new keeper recipe.

At first, T and I thought we were heading toward a misfire when I added some ingredients out of sequence. Let’s face it - I was (a) tired, (b) following instructions in tiny print, (c) concerned that chicken pieces weren’t golden brown like the ones T remembered from childhood and (d) feeling rushed because I was aiming to scoot out to a yoga class after cooking it off — idea was that we’d have a later, Spanish-style dinner.   Oh yes, and the sauce seemed way too liquid toward the end.

But then I (a) opted for an icy cold beer instead of going to yoga, (b) removed the chicken parts and reduced the sauce to a thick consistency and (c) added the finishing sprinkle of finely chopped parsley and — voilà — dinner was served.  The boys scarfed it down.

Now my everlovin’ spouse is talking smack about cooking his own version tonight to show that he can do it even better. A kind of pollo al ajillo contest. May the best poultry whisperer win. Bring it on!

Here’s the recipe I used: http://invitadoinvierno.com/aves-caza/pollo-al-ajillo-receta-tradicional/

NYC Century bike ride today! Fun tour of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens via their 55 mile route. A few nice swag items at the end, too, and a very satisfied feeling, Didn’t bring a thermos of hot chai tea and banana bread like last time but did bring a pot of hummus and bags of cut up veg.

Gotta eat, always.

Thanks for the company, Nancy and Erica!

Fuchsia Dunlop: London’s Chinatown



Illustrations by Hannah K. Lee

Four articles from Lucky Peach were nominated for James Beard awards this year. We’ll post all of them this week for your reading pleasure. First up: Chinese food guru Fuchsia Dunlop on London’s Chinatown.

Bonus recommendation: Fuchsia’s latest book, Every Grain of Rice, is amazing for the home cooks in the audience. I’ve been cooking out of it on the regular for the last few months. - pfm

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Lucky me.   Get to glide by many beautiful and funky and uber-curious structures on my daily commute.   Have always had a particular fascination with the spaceship-cum-forest-like Church of the Crucifixion on Convent Avenue in the West 140s.   The lyric strand of “Here’s George Jetson” always runs through my head as I cycle by this beauty.   Just realized it is a play on Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame Chapel in Ronchamp, France.   Well, go figure.   And it is the work of an architect who turns out to have created another curious west side structure — the Calhoun School building on West End Avenue in Zabarlandia.   The creative mind behind all this is one Costas Machlouzarides, a Cyprus-born gentleman who trained at Columbia University School of Architecture. 

And Costas co-founded AGBANY as a young architect in the 1960s -  Action Group for Better Architecture in New York — who knew?  AGBANY  tried to save old Penn Station by bringing the protest on to the streets and into the media in 1962.   Now I’d love to find out if Costas is still alive and if he ever speaks publicly.   Read that he submitted a plan for the WTC about ten years back.

Can you spot the brommie in one of these shots? 


Long Beach Island 2014 #alwayswonderful #thanksmom and oh those wonderful grilled clams by Sara (videoclip here).

Instagram experimenting - driving the gulls crazy