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love shaped cereal


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teeth for candy


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Mole (pipian)

Thank you to the Pablove foundation


for donating food, and to all friends who helped prepare this recipe for 60 at Los Angeles’ Ronald McDonald House on Dec. 18th:

Begin by heating a few drizzles of grape-seed oil in a medium sized pot.  Add an onion, chopped, and cook it some (til it twinkles).

Toss into the pot: 3 or 4 pieces of chopped garlic, 3 T. chili powder, 3 T. cacao, 1 t. cinnamon,  and 1/8 t.- 1/4t. clove (ground).

Cook a couple minutes, then, add:

2-3 c. veggie broth

1 can of drained, diced tomatoes

1/4 c. raisins

2 T. peanut or almond butter, and 1 T. tahini paste.

Allow sauce to simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, then blend.

Season the sauce to taste with salt.  Add either veggies, like green beans, squash, and chopped bell peppers, or, browned pieces of chicken or turkey.  Allow another 20-30 minutes of simmering to fully cook the goodies.

Serve over rice, with cilantro and sour cream.

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Foods to eat on a bicycle

(Things you wrap in foil) 

Baked Yams or Sweet Potatoes -400′ oven, holes poked into them with a fork, olive oil rubbed on, wrapped in foil and placed directly on rack for an hour.  If your hotel room has a microwave, I learned, that works too.  Wrap each poked yam in a paper towel and check it by the minute, after a couple minutes, til it is tender throughout. 

Bananas, Chocolate covered espresso beans

Almond butter and jam on a pancake – similar to the turkey bacon on a blueberry pancake, which incidentally, if you add egg, is known as a number 6 at McDonald’s.   

veggie scramble burritos 

almond-date-dried apricot and cranberry bars - grind equal parts almond, pitted date, and a dried apricot-dried cranberry (or sour cherry) combo in a food processor.   Roll through shredded coconut or raw oats to coat the outside of bars.

peanut butter granola bars- melt 1/4 cup each of peanut butter, honey, and oil with a pinch of cinnamon on the stove top.  Toss through any dried fruit you would like to include, measured according to your own taste, and 3 cups rolled oats that have been toasted in the oven along with 1 c. toasted coconut, and a pinch of salt.  Spread the stiff mixture flat on parchemnt paper.  Cut or break by hand into bar shapes.  

Cashew butter and jam on spelt bread, whole wheat, or cinnamon-raisin.  Don’t try this with millet or rice bread (too dry to swallow.)

Sushi bars a la Chris Carmichael- cook sushi rice according to package directions.  Add to it: braggs amino acids, 3 eggs that have been scrambled in grapeseed or olive oil, chopped salami or pepperoni, baked yam or sweet potato chunks, parmesan, or seeds and dried fruit…form into bars and sprinkle parmesan on the outsides so they don’t stick to the foil – wrap each bar.  

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Spinach Burritos a la Chris Carmichael- pan saute 3 sweet potatoes/yams until cooked through and still firm.  Add 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped, canned chipotle chili and some of its canned adobo sauce, add salt to taste, and wilt in 1 bunch of clean/bag of prewashed spinach greens.  Heat and smash a can of black beans off to the side in a separate, smaller, pan.  Fill warmed tortillas with a small scoop each of beans and the sweet potato mixture.  Wrap each in foil.  

Spinach and rice cakes- combine a batch of rice with about 2 cups of cooked, squeeze-dried spinach.  Add 1/3 c. bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parmesan to taste.  Make sure it tastes yummy, then add 1 egg to bind it all together.  Shape and pan fry little patties.

Risotto cakes – fry leftover risotto combined with an egg and a handful or two of breadcrumbs – cook patties til golden brown then drain on paper bags. 

Veggie frittata- saute any combo of veggies in a small, oven-proof skillet.  Add 6 eggs to the hot skillet, and move eggs around with a spatula by lifting layers, letting uncooked liquid egg come into contact with the hot pan.  Sprinkle parmesan, salt, and pepper over the egg while it begins to solidify in the pan.  Tranfer the whole thing under a broiler or very hot oven to finish the cooking.  Cool some, then slice.  

gf blueberry pecan pancake – follow Bob of Bob’s red mill’s directions.

Sushi balls coated with sesame seeds – cook sushi rice according to package directions.  Using wet hands, shape into bite sized balls and roll through sesame seeds.

Almond stuffed figs - shove an almond up the butt of a dried fig.

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Frank O’Hara Fortunes



“I think you’re wonderful and so does everyone else.

Just as Jackie Kennedy has a baby boy, so will you—even bigger.

You will meet a tall beautiful blond stranger, and you will not say hello.

You will take a long trip and you will be very happy, though alone.

You will marry the first person who tells you your eyes are like scrambled eggs.

In the beginning there was YOU—there will always be YOU, I guess.

You will write a great play and it will run for three performances….”

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Two Frozen Pie Crusts

When you’re out in the world kicking ass sometimes you get too busy for fussing with pie dough.  But you’ve still gotta eat.  We’ve all gotta eat.  Pie.  Thanks to two satellite sillypants correspondents here are two sensible tricks with frozen pie crust:

<a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/09/us/09buffer.html?ref=health”>Kelly’s</a> Quiche

5 eggs
1/2 cup crème fraiche
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 white onion
Garlic to taste
Pie crust (“um, I buy them already made”)
Baby spinach leaves
Olive oil
Nutmeg, salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 350
Pre-bake pie crust for about 7 minutes
On stove medium heat a little olive oil and throw in the chopped
onion/garlic till slightly browned
Add spinach leaves
Put spinach/onion/garlic in pie crust

In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, crème fraiche, cottage cheese, nutmeg,
salt and pepper and mix up
Pour on top of spinach in pie crust

Put in the oven at 350 for 50 minutes!

Charlotte’s 15-Minutes-of-Prep Chocolate Chip Pie

2 eggs (don’t use eggbeaters. tried it. nasty.)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened (use the real stuff, it makes all the difference)
1 cup chocolate chips ( or anything that comes in the chip form.. I’ve tried the Reese’s ones.. pretty f’in good)
1 cup chopped walnuts (can use pecans or a mix of the two)
1 9″ deep dish pie shell

325 preheat
i usually set the pie shell on top of the oven while its preheating to thaw it while i’m mixing everything else.

beat 2 eggs until foamy. add flour & both sugars. beat in butter. stir in chips & nuts. put in shell.

yeah. that’s it.

takes about 45-50 mins to cook in my crazy oven.

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Meatballs make the man, says Artemio

with the arch of his back

while he is crouched over

bus tubs of raw

pork, ground

and parmesan, and milk

and oregano and veal and things, knees on the concrete

and tile

second time this week, producing same results, January

cold floor, icy mornings, steaming sip, numb after noon, delayed for dinner, abbreviated in rest

some mornings we toast over prosecco to wake up

our clean slates

he is mixing with his arms and gloves, Mets cap on backwards, and he is the proudest man

to ever live in a ghost town.

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delicious invalid food


Sweet summertime

of New York’s empty city

The taller the tower

the hazier the cloud

Ring around my raspberry flavored mind


The shape of an egg

reminds me what we like to see

In New York the vinegar is wine

In New York there is only fruit and labor

The bread comes as quickly as they can bake it up

comes as quickly as is, goes

At 1 a.m. I get home

and wonder how I got here.


Sherried prune, salted caramel

I create for you

A masterpiece that words speak and no one ever tastes

Star tipped campground

Delight, magical inverted

Question of timing, precise

At the moment of slicing

A seasoning that is fascinating

But hardly a well kept


A burnt egg is meringue

Of a sort that pleases the eye

And no one complains.


Marc says he’s going to make a raspberry soufflé for the menu

Build your napoleon with the neat edged needles

Push saucing sauce around the plate

Push broadly

Eliminate the chaos of the misdirected

Lines on a plane

Where no shadows

Fall and one shape is the other of the color

Scoop the fruit and sugar

Down around the clowning fruit, papaya pineapple kiwi and

Textured shore of pecan pebbles

Caramel glazed miroir mountain.


Doesn’t even look like a strawberry

And the perspective is all off on the

Mint leaf.  A canyon is created from

The photo’s snapping shutter all the while

Canyon snaps and creaks crumbs, but none tumble.

No crumbs on the plate and no resistance

From us or for the photographic eye

But perspective is all off, cream is sharp

The plate so stiff, so expensive I can

See my future in it, a reflection

Breakaway flashes on the station’s steel

Lighting set for actors of a scriptless

Sensationalism, I see you now

Offer you a peach that tastes like gold.


Love Poem for Jacek at the Mangia Bakery down on Wall street

Jacek bends a knee and crouches toward the mixing bowl

Of a 60 quart


Bulb, warehouse

that he painted himself, floor to ceiling yellow, color of butter

Story of sugar

Covering the mixer

And the floor, where, his knee leans and he folds


Armpit deep in sweets

That early morning coffee don’t even cut

By the time you get out of work here you can’t even remember how you got here

It was the train

But it was so dark it was daylight-less dawn belonging to last night

How can so many people wake up and come straight

To Wall Street?  But to clean up, to fasten, to check, to bake

To measure, to cut, to scrape

To end tired, and happy, in the middle of the day.  The day changes

into a different thing, has a different form, and


Don’t taste anymore

And everyone works faster and faster when the album comes around again

Techno bakery, means to an end, and

How does anyone speak to anyone else this early, and

How does anyone see where they are going, next week I’ll stay out all night and stumble here straightaways

See Jacek, Polish, good humored, young heart, old face, buttery arm

Rosy cheeked

White pants, paper hat, 3:30am.

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Nana's Spaghetti Sauce

My grandmother Loretta Herman’s spaghetti sauce:

Brown 2 lbs. of ground beef in a large, hot, pot.

Begin to slowly cook diced salt-back pork off to the side in a seperate pan.    

When the ground beef is well browned, season with salt and pepper, and add 1 chopped onion.  Cook until onion becomes shimmery, then add 2 cloves chopped or well crushed garlic.  Cook for another minute or two.  Add 2 big cans of crushed tomatoes and one regular sized (14.5 oz.) can of chopped tomatoes in their tomato juice.  Bring to a boil.  Add any pork ‘juice’ that has accumulated in the slow-cooking fat pork pan.  Lower the meat sauce to a simmer, and continue to cook that pork off to the side over low heat to extract liquid.  Continually strain the pork’s liquid into the slow-simmering meat sauce for about 40 minutes. 

Simmer the tomato sauce for another 20 minutes to an hour, partially covered.  Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

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pears roasted in cider


Put into 450′-500′ oven after pouring plenty of cider (since you’re out of red wine) over-top of pears in a baking dish.  Add a cinnamon stick, and roast 1-1 1/4 hours, basting four times.  Add more liquid if it looks like it is going to dry out.  Serve with the thickened cider ladled over each pear.

Pears in Red Wine

two of my all time kitchen heroes and one of the first dishes I learned to make in nyc:

“Do it four times, and avoid pouring the liquid over the stems each time,” Artemio tells me in staccato Spanish once she is gone.

“Just on the sides…” as he smoothly drizzles thin ribbons of red wine over just the sides of a pear or two where they sit, piled in, buried by, white sugar.

I know Jody would never subscribe to an exercise that contrived.  I’ve only been working for her a week but I’m catching on fast.  Her ‘recipe’ for the roasted pears would be sort of like an athelete’s recipe for winning.  Step one, have talent, step two, be relentless, step three, don’t let up.  For the pears, step one: dump a bottle of red wine or so over a dozen clean pears, step two: dump a bunch of sugar over that and add a cinnamon stick, and three: burn burn burn them in a hot oven til they smell so crazy you’ve got to get them into the dining room and onto people’s plates.  Sensationally caramelized, roasted pears.

Still, I follow Artemio’s lead.  I think he should know what he’s talking about.

Otherwise he generally stays quiet.

Then again, there are those times when (out of mischeviosness, wisdom, or love) he knows something and stays quiet anyway, despite whatever he knows.  Artemio preps Jody’s food.  Everybody knows, that he knows, absolutely all that there is to know, and possibly everything that’s going on in the kitchen.  He’s the prep guy in the mets cap in the basement at Giorgione, and then again at Gusto when Jody moves there.  My career moves involve following Jody too.  There’s plenty of us.  She hires at will or whim, amused by how we wash up at her shores.  She abandons, fires, re-hires us, all from the same pool.

Jody has told me, pointing her dead serious finger at me, “make sure the syrup thickens as they cook, but add more wine if you need to so all that syrup and juice doesn’t burn off entirely.  And don’t let it get bitter.  Once they’re out of the oven just let ‘em be at room temperature.  Put ‘em on there in a pile.”  She’d nodded toward a colossal empty oval platter, pointing with her chin.

When she came back she saw me basting the pears, three quarters of the way through their cooking.

“Hey!” Pointing two fingers at me now, “those aren’t done.  Why are those out of the oven?”  She’s jabbing at one of the pears with her knuckle.

“It’s how Artemio does it,”  I told her, aiming for exoneration, immunity, afraid of her serious jabbing, her disgust.

Artemio pretended he didn’t hear this.  Looked as if I’d spilled fish guts on his shoes.  Later on I learned not to respond by naming others in a direct-inquiry such as this.  It wasn’t quite professional.  Or macho.  But I’m an essentially truthful person, tending toward honest simple explanations ever more so in situations where I think I’m about to get ass kicked, or fired, for not following stupid-proof instructions.  I know just enough to know I should only have to be told something once.  Later on I stopped being so afraid of Jody’s pointing and jabbing at food with her knuckle.  It’s almost how she tastes.  First she glances, then she pushes with a knuckle.  If you don’t want her to poke you have to hand her a fork when you show her what you’ve been doing.

“Oh, ok, fine,” she’d said, putting the finger away.  “He runs this place.”

She put on her coat and walked out of the restaurant then, and I still sometimes wonder, uselessly, which is the nature of remembering conversations, how serious she was.

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