Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn

brick cold

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Our apartment is on the top of an old building--a former storage area and a layer that I'm sure wasn't meant for human habitation. Sure, it has skylights and south, west and east views, but it's brick cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. When its really windy outside, I'm quaking in my boots . The rest of the building is a proper collection of apartments with thick walls, molding, high ceilings, and a linear bedroom, living-room set-up. Ours is not. It's labyrinthian, crooked, and chipped--like an old cabin on top of a mountain. This weekend, with below zero temperatures, I realize how acclimated I've become to the cold. Our visiting son who was raised on this chill remarked at least 5 times how cold he was. I feel pretty good. Hormones are good heaters. Saturday morning I actually had to make soup so the heat off the stove would throw a little warmth into the air before everyone woke up.

Adapting to the limited ingredients available in the fridge, the chicken broth elixir simmered on the stove.  Leftover aged Chinese-carton-brown-rice hid in the back of the middle shelf, and an old head of escarole (which got chopped and washed) was found in the crisper. Once the broth was done and strained of all bone-veg matter, all available chicken meat was shredded and put aside. The cleaned escarole simmered in the broth for 4 minutes, before the rice and chicken was dumped in to heat though. A bunch of basil on the brink of gone was a last minute addition. This soup was really good, and accompanied me on yet another leg of my bookmaking journey (draft 3 of MH3) which I've been scratching away at for at least two years-- every available weekend, or afterwork time-chunk, and vacations too. Someday it'll be over, and I'll forget how I feel right now. Like childbirth, I swear I'll never do it again, yet at least two more babies made their way out of me after the first one.

There are a few other non-book related things on my mind. For those of you spurtle-lovers, there is a new style in town (pictured here) coming in May/June. Each is made from a single piece of awesome acacia wood, and will have color-dipped handles. I am totally thrilled about this--been working with them for weeks, and they are passing the audition with flying colors.

Lastly, this week the world lost one of our great journalists David Carr whose Monday media column in the New York Times, was a must-read. Today I turned to the Business section, and found this profound article in the place of his Media Equation column detailing Mr. Carr's syllabus for his recent Boston University class. He was new to professoring, yet his ideas stand as tall as any I've heard. He's inspired me to strive every day to be a better, more honest and unique writer.

Best, LSQ

Valentine Eats

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Yesterday at work we planned a shower for our longtime food colleague, probably the cutest pregnant woman I've ever seen. Sweet lover that she is, we planned cakes, brownies, etc. Then it hit me, she's a proud Oklahoma-born eater too. We changed our plans, and what a good move. The individual frito pies, used the chili from my first Mad Hungry cookbook http://www.marthastewart.com/318747/chili, and the infamous cheese dip beloved by so many: melted Velveeta cheese blended with Rotelle tomatoes.

To make the little bundles, slice open the frito bag, plop on some chili, drizzle over some cheese dip, and you're good to go. Turns our that EVERYONE--man, woman and child went nuts for this.

Make it now for your sweetheart, and they'll love you forever.

Best, LSQ (and hearts to JR for tech support)

Bringing on a pan of walkin' tacos

 

 

 

Another 2014 favorite Food

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Bagels

I was fortunate to visit my former home city Detroit twice this year. The city is reemerging after years of hard luck. Like so many places, a food revolution is taking hold. It's not only galvanizing folks to do interesting things everything I have tasted is also first rate delicious. The bagel pictured here is hands down the best bagel I ate in 2014, and I live in NYC--arguably one o the bagel mecca's of the USA. This one is called the Lew Silver, a typical lox, cream cheese schmear, capers and red onion situation except the addition of grated lemon rind in the cheese elevated the whole mouthful. Still it's the actual bagel that is so amazing--crunchy, chewy and seasoned just right. I'm beginning to think it's the water along side the baking technique. See for your self and drool.

Should you find yourself in Detroit, run don't walk to  www.detroitinstituteofbagels.com

Now, if only my photo upload worked this time then I'm getting my blogging mojo back (thanks to John).

Best,

LSQ

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

http://www.marthastewart.com/1050632/quinoa-feta-burgers

 

Cookbook Gifts

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Looking for gifts?

Baking

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 www.realbakingwithrose.com

 

Preserving

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 www.mrswheelbarrow.com 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.

Best,

LSQ