Hurricane Sandy Pizza Night

As everyone knows, the east coast is recovering from Hurricane Sandy. New York is without subways and busses just started running today. Unfortunately a lot of people are without homes, cars, or are dealing with flooding. My neighbors and I are fortunate enough to still have our homes and electricity, but can’t go much further than anywhere within walking or biking distance of our neighborhood, much like a lot of other people around the city. So, a lot of eating and drinking is happening in pockets throughout New York.

The other night my neighbors made fried pickles and mozzarella sticks in their deep fryer, and chili. Tonight I made 5 different pizzas. Pizzas are so easy because you can top them with whatever you want, and they’re usually always delicious. You can even make them gluten free and vegan friendly, using the right ingredients, which I did for some of these because of my guests’ dietary restrictions. I also prepped some of the toppings in advance, making dinner even easier.

Tonight I made:
– Pesto, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella
– Sauce (that’s tomato sauce), roasted peppers, caramelized onions, mozzarella
– Green apple, caramelized onions, bacon, cheddar cheese
– Sauce, spinach, mushrooms, bacon, mozzarella
– Brie, half green apple, half red grapes, honey

All were pretty good. My picky friend even liked the apple/bacon/cheddar, and the Brie “dessert pie” was simple but good combo of ingredients. Yum.

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M

Café Couture

Potent and delicious Ethiopian coffee and a vegan chocolate chip cookie with a story

Sidamo is hands down one of my favorite cafés in all of DC. It’s an authentic Ethiopian experience on the revitalized H Street corridor in Washington. Authentic because of the wood used to make the decor and the coffee being freshly hand-roasted (you can smell it blocks away – it’s amazing), to the staff that welcome you upon each visit. Yirgacheffe and Harrar are personal favorites and must be tasted pure, without milk, cream, or sugar, or any other sweetener for that matter – there is enormous body and flavor to be appreciated in each tasting. So if you happen to be in DC it’s really worth your while to check it out and meet Kenfe and Mimi, the owners, one of which is bound to be smiling behind the counter, roasting coffee at the large glass windows facing the street, or mingling with the customers.

What I really wanted to write about is a recent Washington Post article regarding two independent roasters, also in DC, that have qualms with offering wifi at their recently established coffee shops. The mentioned “wifi parking” is discussed further in an interview with American University Radio personality Kojo Nnamdi if you have some extra time to tune in.

Oh, and last bit to jot down real quick, referring to the above photo and the “cookie with a story” caption. Sometimes it pays to speak your mind … politely. At Sidamo they have three large jars of indescribably irresistible cookies beckoning your reaching of a hand in to grab one right by where you pay and wait for coffee. A woman was very vocal regarding her desire to have one of those cookies, but expressed how she only really wanted half. Well, it so happens that if you are in the right place at the right time and you offer to help a sister out she’ll gladly share with you. Just remember to be a gentleman and take the smaller of the two halves when it’s offered up!

That’s all for today …

P

The Great Googa Mooga Festival

The Great Googa Mooga Festival went on this past Saturday and Sunday in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. What is Googa Mooga? The definition according to the event’s website:

The Great GoogaMooga: n. an amusement park of food & drink; adj. something wonderfully great; excl. “oh my goodness!” or “how bout that!”

Googa Mooga

General admission tickets were free, but you had to register for them, and choose one of the 2 days to attend. Or you could pay $250 for “Extra Googa Mooga,” which included free stuff. It was the first time this festival went on, but the hype was huge, proven by the press both leading up to and at the event (a Food Network interview happened right next to us), and the high number of well known eateries, breweries, wineries, musical artists, and well known contributors (Anthony Bourdain!). I attended Saturday, along with thousands of other people looking for food, drink, sun, music, and fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were a LOT of complaints by some of the attendees, especially voiced on the Googa Facebook page, mainly about the crowds, extremely long lines for food and drink, confusion about having your ID checked, how to purchase drinks, and the sparse cell phone service. My friends and I experienced all of this – it took us awhile to figure out where to go just to purchase a drink, and we moved lines 3 times before figuring out we were in the right place where we then waited over an hour to get a beer, the whole time not receiving phone calls, and our text messages taking extra long to go through.

Fun for all ages!

But it didn’t really matter to us; we were there to enjoy each other’s company, the (very) warm weather, and the experience. We also know there are kinks to work out, some of which they even did for the 2nd day. While in the beer line, we took turns waiting in the food lines. Once we finally figured it all out and got our drinks and food, a couple hours after arriving, we set up shop on our blanket next to some other friends. For the next few hours we enjoyed some of the best things of summer – being with friends, playing cards, eating and drinking, listening to live music, and soaking up the sun. If a couple of us dared to go wait in another long line for drink or food, at least we knew we had a home base.

The day turned into evening and ended after an awesome hour long performance by The Roots. Overall, a great day and way to get the summer going.

 

 

M