Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn

Quinoa, what?

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I just keep trying to love quinoa.

I know it sounds crazy that I can not figure out how to upload an image. I keep getting all sorts of warning messages about permission etc.

It doesn't really matter, the image wasn't that great anyway. All I mean to say is that I know I should love it--quinoa that is--but it is a hard sell for me.

Recently I ate this burger, developed by my co-worker Shira Bocar (she has an awesome series on youtube called Eat Clean). It was so damm good, that I thought I

might finally like quinoa. Last night I made some at home using red quinoa. I sauteed one minced shallot in olive oil until it carmalized, then added 2 cups chicken

broth, and some salt. Bring to a boil, add 1 cup of quinoa, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the grain is fluffy, about 20 minutes.

It looked ok, but seemed a little naked, so I stirred in some fresh chopped cilantro, and sauteed mushrooms and ginger. Here's the thing: it still tastes slightly

metallic, and has a texture that makes me think I'm eating insects. But as quinoa goes, it was really good--if quinoa is your thing give it a try (actually the image is

on my instagram feed which is on the side of this page).  If like me, it is not

your thing, but you think you should be eating quinoa so you feel as though you are  a full participant in the 21st century then try these vege burgers which are

totally delish and therefor cravable!

Best, LSQ


Cookbook Gifts

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Looking for gifts?


Here's a light topic to consider for my first post in over a year. If you have a friend who is either a baker or preserver, then

here's a few recommendations for you: The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum is a classic that will outlive us all. Rose is a meticulous

tester filled with unconventional methods that work to perfection. The book is worth the price for the chocolate chip cookie intel, Wicked Good Ganache

revelation, and the superb Renee Flemming Lemon cake. Immerse yourself in all things Rose at



Mrs Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry by Cathy Barrow is one of the most compelling books to cross my desk this year. Unlike Rose, who just published her 10th cookbook, Cathy is on a maiden

voyage here, and what a beginning! SHe speaks with a no nonsense common sense that we understand to say: 1. that most preserving can be done without special equipment. 2. 99% of jams and

pickles will give you no safety problems, due to acid and PH levels (cause most folks are worried about that). 3. She teaches you how to make amazing jams without store-bought dextrose-laden

pectin, instead making your own or teasing it out of the fruit that contains it. SHe will teach you how to make your home, a grocery store of your own making, only without superfulous packaging

AND where the preserved seasonal riches can be enjoyed year round. Cathy is an inspiration for anyone changing careers, as she did post 2008 by turning from landscape design to food blogging

here at and her blog led to this great book.

There. I did it. Blogged, that is. It's like 2008 blogg-baby-steps all over again. Lets see if I can refigure out how to upload pictures, enjoy the process and activate my peeps again.



Superbowl: an unavoidable food opp

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This year I've been acting sort of casual about the Superbowl menu situation. Living in NYC, where the game will be played tomorrow (well sort of NYC), should be getting me extra excited, but just like when the president's in town, it really just boils down to a traffic nightmare for those of us coming and going to work and appointments every day. But I was snapped out of my complacency by an unusual situation: my hubs decided, shopped and is prepared to execute a menu totally devoid of any Mad Hungry recipes. I mean--for cryin' out load--if any book should be cooked from this year, it's Mad Hungry Cravings, named one of the top five munchie cookbooks by the San Francisco Guardian Surely a game representing the top two stoner states should be feted with food from an equally notorious book? My competative juices are flowing again. Since it's not too late to create or alter your menu for tomorrow, I'm throwing some recipes into the ring: Teriyaki-glazed Chicken Wings, Loaded Potato Skins, and Queso Fundido recipes are in the index on the left side of this post.

But back to my hubs. It's Sam Sifton, the venerated NYTimes food columnist and current newsie big wig, who stole my man's appetite away from me with these three recipes Game Day NachosClam DipCoke-Brined Fried Chicken.  I felt defeated before the game was even played. Like I wrote Sam yesterday, I get the coke chicken and nacho's but surely my proven, can't-stay-away-from, carmelized onion & bacon dip would have better odds in Vegas than his clam dip?  Sam advised me to make it anyway. So make I it I will. And it'll be placed right next to that clam dip like a Seahawk facing a Bronco, and then we'll see whose the winner! Stay tuned for the outcome and have a great weekend. Best, LSQ

Carmelized Bacon & Onion Dip photo by Jonathon Lovekin

Teriyaki-glazed Chicken Wings & Loaded Potato Skins photo by Jonathon Lovekin

Queso Fundido





Beer, Bourbon & BBQ

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Yup, that's the name of the this traveling eatdrink circus.  Today was the first 2014 tour stop in NYC at the Tunnel on 11th Ave and 28th.  It's really a great, well-curated round up of bourbons & ryes & beers & hot sauce & cravaeable eats. Festival founder Greg and the awesome food/drinks curator Monica rolled in from Baltimore and put on an exemplary exhibition.  Making their way from "apples to oranges," as Monica puts it, meaning there are apples galore up in the north east with New York being the first stop, right on down to the world capital of oranges, Florida, with many stops in between.  Get details here and def check it out if it comes to your neck of the woods.

We did an informative bourbon & rye tasting and I finally learned the difference. Dave from (my fave tasting at the festival) helped me understand my preference. I like a rye and rye-forward bourbon and specifically his 'redemption rye' which taste of "spice and leather with mint at the end," and is absolutely perfect for a Manhattan or Sazerac.  Rye whiskey must have at least 51% rye mash as opposed to bourbon which needs at least 51% corn and when that corn mash is coupled with a high percentage of rye then thats the bourbon I seem to like.  And by the way, the only difference between whisky and scotch is Scotland--whiskey is whiskey everywhere but in Scotland it's scotch!


Pocket Pies

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For years I've made pocket pies as a strike against those nasty, expensive hot pockets sold in the grocery store. Even with all the food fresh food cooked at home, my boys discovered those convenient little suckers at their friends house. So I started making them at home --mostly chicken pocket pies--a hand held pot pie.

Only recently did it dawn on me to make leftover-pocket pies. Not that there are many leftovers in our house, but this week there is some steak pizzaola (from Mad Hungry Feed Men & Boys) and Chili Verde (yet unpublished or titled MH3). With some dough in the freezer--just defrost, roll it out and fill each cut circle with those chilled & solidified leftovers. Fold each one over and crimp. Brush with a little egg wash and bake 25 minutes. And it's hot, golden-brown, pastry-wrapped yumness!