That Time My Camera Was Under Quarantine, And Other Musings

Let me tell you: It’s very frustrating to work on a burgeoning food web site when one of your most important tools is under a temporary quarentine. I am currently undergoing an unwanted, yet common, New York City nightmare: BEDBUG EXTERMINATION. I’m so pleased that it didn’t happen between six years and three apartments in Manhattan, but I’m not so pleased that it finally happened at all. (Haaa.) We’re clean, but them lil’ critters sure don’t discriminate. Bedbug extermination goes in phases: You get the first spray, then you have to wait at least a week before another spray, because the first spray only kills the adults, not the eggs. You need to wait for the eggs to hatch to kill the rest of ’em. Last Wednesday was Spray #1, and this Saturday morning was Spray #2, and hopefully the last one. (Cross your fingers! I want to take my life out of plastic bags!) Both my roommates and our dog are out of town for the weekend, so I waited out the fumes by myself for the three hours at one of my favorite neighborhood spots: Indian Road Cafe. I drank a Matcha Latte and ate a Basil Meyer Lemon Tart that made me want to scream like Sally Albright at Katz’s.

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This photo looks like spring! 

What does this all have to do with my camera?

Well, the ol’ girl and her lenses have been tied up in thick plastic bags until the extermination mist has settled, the bugs have gone to Heaven (or Hell, hopefully), and our apartment isn’t a total war zone anymore. It really sucks when you have so many recipes developed and you’re itching to both cook and photograph them. Oooh, my camera. My baby! I miss her so! She’s so close, yet, so far away.

Here’s hoping that, next week, we are joyously reunited.

In the meantime, many cool things have happened while I’ve been sans Canon.

– I have been developing a couple new recipes and, in test runs, they’ve turned out well! I’m going to have a zucchini noodle dish coming up in a future entry, and you’ll surely love it…as long as you love peas, too! (And why wouldn’t you?) I also have a simple yet filling three ingredient pancake recipe that has saved me on many mornings at work. File it under “Makes Multiple Breakfast For Your Work Week”. YES!

– I am a photographer, but my preferred subjects are easily posable and always edible. People? I can not do that. “Pose this way”? “Smile this way”? “Look this way”? This are all phrases that scare me half to death. How photographers deal with people is beyond me, especially antsy people like me that are constantly feeling like their hair is out of place, their lip gloss isn’t pink enough, or they aren’t looking in the right direction. (Okay, you could even call me a “spaz” if you must. Ha!) Well, I praise Krystal Balzer and her photography! She’s a friend of mine that works at the same hospital department as me, and she also has a wonderful photography business. We recently had a photo shoot at one of my other favorite local spots, Darling Coffee. I wanted some professional photos of me for this site, LinkedIn, et al. The lighting was perfect that evening, the mint verbena tea was delicious, and she took some amazing shots of me. I’m not lying: I got a little teary-eyed when she sent me the sneak peek. (I’m an emotional gal, sometimes!) It was just what I wanted!

krystal photo sneak peek

My eyes are really this color. #truthbombsdropping 

I can’t wait to share more shots in a few weeks; in the meantime, please check out Krystal Balzer Photography. This girl is wicked talented, and she has an excellent photographic style.

– I made my way to Wassail with my two dearest friends and fellow foodies, Lori and Hilary. I am a huge fan of hard ciders, and I loved them before they got so recently popular. (I need to stake my claim. Heh.) I have an admittedly odd allergy to Brewer’s Yeast, and drinking beer or eating it as a supplement in food makes me physically ill. (Fun, eh?) This led me to being introduced to Woodchuck Cider in my later college years, and I never looked back! When I heard that the folks behind the Queens Kickshaw were going to open this spot in the Lower East Side, I counted down the days as if it was about to be Christmas. The gals and I shared some ciders and small plates, and it was a great experience! From fancy bottles over $100 to various draughts representing various countries and continents, I could not have asked for a more enjoyable Happy Hour! I had a tart yet lightly sweet pint of Hidden Star from Slyboro Cider House, and I would definitely recommend it to both the cider novice and the cider connoisseur.

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A typical Instagrammed Happy Hour. 

As another week begins, I look forward to more recipe development, spring-like temperatures, Peruvian Chicken at Flor de Mayo, my freshman year roommate’s wedding on Friday, exploring interesting food options in New Haven, Connecticut, and finally reuniting with my camera so I can feel a little more creatively whole again.

Have a wonderful week, and continue to seek satiation, y’all! 🙂

Avocado Toast with Egg and Dill

I am certainly not trying to reinvent the wheel here. I’m merely trying to give it some different treads.

I think the term “avocado toast” can evoke different reactions from different people. One friend of mine stated that it’s a “basic breakfast”; she was not referring the the simplicity of its creation, but rather the image of a 23 year old girl with ombrĂ© hair wearing Uggs and a North Face fleece, eating it at a cafe in the West Village for $10 a pop while posting a photo of it on Instagram with the Nashville filter.

Haters to the left. Perhaps it is Olivia Wilde’s fault. Do I care? No. I love avocado and all one can do with it. Call me “basic”, even if I don’t own a pair of Uggs and would never use the Nashville filter for food photos. (Come on, now…)

avocado toast

I enjoy the simplicity and versatility of this meal, which makes for a great breakfast, lunch, or light dinner. (The hardest part may be finding an avocado of perfect ripeness.) We all know what roles an avocado can take over in the sandwich game: it provides healthy fats with the creamy satiation of a mayonnaise or spread. You can make it as nutrition-packed as you want it to be, or merely be a #basicbitch and sprinkle red pepper flakes on it for aesthetical value. In this version, I teamed up my avocado with a hard-boiled egg, fresh dill, sea salt, and garlic powder to make it a powerhouse Saturday afternoon brunch-esque meal. I needed a lot of energy and nutrition to continue an “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” Netflix binge, after all. (“Hash brown, no filter.”)

avocado toast

Avocado Toast with Egg and Dill
(Serves Two)

Ingredients:
– 1 avocado, ripe
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 2 slices of crusty bread (I’d suggest a good crusty sourdough)
– 2 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
– 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
– Salt, to taste
– Minced fresh dill or dried dill, to taste
– 1 tablespoon olive oil*

Before We Get Started…

– I mix my avocado in a bowl, while some may smash it right onto the bread. I prefer and suggest the former over the latter.
– I enjoy bread toasted in a skillet, and that’s the route I plan to go with this recipe. I’d suggest a cast-iron, though a non-stick skillet works fine. If you’d rather be lazy / quick / whathaveyou and use a toaster, I will not judge. Toast bread to preferred doneness in lieu of Step #2.
-An egg slicer is a great tool to use instead of cutting the eggs with a knife; keeps your yolks more in tact, but if you cut them with a knife, you’ll get a nice rustic look to your toast. (Or something like that…)

Directions:

1.) Scoop contents of avocado into a small bowl; mash with fork to desired smoothness. Stir in garlic powder and salt to taste.

2.) On stove, add olive oil to skillet and bring to medium heat. Add bread and toast on each side to desired doneness; 2 – 3 minutes on each side will yield a crusty toast with a few brown spots. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes.

3.) Slice eggs into rounds.

4.) Spread avocado mixture on toast. Top with eggs, dill, and more salt to taste.

avocado toast

Rock on, my fellow #basicbitches!