Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ruthie Foster in Madison Sq Park

Tonight I went out for the free concert Ruthie Foster played at Madison Square Park. I tried really hard via facebook to get a date, but unfortunately it didn't happen. Around 3 it was looking like rain and I considered not going thinking it would be called off. When I left the apartment, it had rained at some point between 5:20 and 6:45, but wasn't raining right then, so I put on my new science sandals, grabbed my camera and an umbrella and made my way back to the park outside the building where I've been working.

I was very pleasantly surprised that the park wasn't entirely mobbed. Usually when you go to a free thing in NYC, 3 million other people want to go too. This was wonderful because the park itself was relatively open - even bench seating was available from the North side. The stage was set up near the Shake Shack (I'll review this place later when I've actually eaten there!), and all the tables and chairs were filled with people eating and drinking, and then extra seating in front of the stage was for blankets for people to bring picnics - just like Prescott Park in Portsmouth! People walked though and stopped to listen and moved along, and I actually got a chair behind the sound guy. This wasn't a great seat for watching, but in the middle of fans so very enjoyable!
After the beer I got (a Shakemiester brewed especially for the Shake Shake by the Brooklyn Brewery) I sat, watched, clapped, and did a very good job of not singing the choral parts from Rock My Soul's versions of "Joy" and "Death Came a Knockin'" arranged by Cheryl Lynn Stromski for the group. I'm proud of me for being relatively quiet :)
I decided I had to buy a cd, and of the 8 options, the person at the stand recommended "Runaway Soul" as the most gospel like of the bunch. I just listened to the whole thing and highly recommend it to my gospel loving friends :)
I started on my way out with my CD while the band was riffing on "Death Came a Knockin'" and watched the folks in the middle of the park ballroom dancing! I tried to upload this but blogger nixed that. You can see the last photo (with the girl wearing a see through crinoline skirt as a shirt) that there are people dancing in back.
I mentioned on fb that this was the most fun I've had on my own in NYC, and I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the MSP music series as this was only the first show.
If you come to the swamp, otherwise known as NYC in the summer, put this on your list :)

PS - Pandora has a Ruthie Foster station for your enjoyment :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Girls Night The Musical - an evening of laughter and fun!

I was able to get Tickets from Theater Extras to see Girls Night. My friend Kathy from work said her girlfriend went and was dying to go again, so that sounded like a good recommendation to me!

My friend Marlene was available to join me as well, so it was a great night to catch up. We hit Pomaire first - very nice :)

The show is in the club downstairs below Sophia's. I would not call this a nice venue. It was hard to see the stage, despite the addition of risers to the dance floor.

But, for what you lost in the venue, you make up for in the show. Girls night is fun and fluffy in a girly kinda way. There are parts that remind us that life is not easy, but over all it is a comedy that celebrates fun and frolicing. The music is fun 80's disco, and the story is set in a Kareoke bar, so it all makes a great flow.

When you decide to go, go soon as it closes 8/1/2010, and go early as seating is general admission. We arrived at 7:30 and were in the second to last row. And, be ready to participate!! It is a fun time :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pomaire, romantic and delicious!

I went with Marlene to Pomaire before a show. I'd found it on line, and the reviews were good (an oddity in the online world in NYC - people really say exactly what they think!) The actual restaurant lived up to all the hype, which is all the better!

Pomaire serves traditional Chilean food in a cozy relaxing atmosphere. Be sure to get a reservation via Open Table, otherwise you will be sitting at the bar or at a communal table. Not a bad place to be, but I think good to know ahead of time.

I actually ordered based on the mentiones in the reviews of the empanadas, the Pastel de Choclo, the Pisco Sour and the Sangria.

Marlene arrived early to the city - she heard there was a 45 minute back up at the Lincoln Tunnel so she left early, but in actuality there was no delay at all. No problem - I met her here at Pomaire earlier than our reservation. When I arrived, she had a gorgeous glass of Pinot Noir going. I knew what I wanted to try - the Pisco Sour. Pisco is a brandy made from muscat grapes and a liquor that is favored in Chile. The cocktail is made with lemon juice and confectioners sugar, and garnishe with a slice of lemon and a grape. Served in a champagne flute, it is a nice little start to the evening. Not too sour from the juice, and surprisingly a gorgeous balance between the brandy and the juice/sugar combination. If you've never had one, this is the signature cocktail here at Pomaire. It was nice to be at the bar before the rush, because we were able to chat up the bartender (who is the owner until the actually bartender arrives), and hear about the cocktails and how they are made. When the real bartender arrived, she told us about the Robinson Caruso Cocktail which is like a mojito but made with Pisco brandy.
We moved to the dining room, and Marlene decided she needed to try the Robinson Caruso, and I was interested in trying the red Sangria (which also has Pisco in it). I tasted Marlene's drink, but took a sip from the glass rather than the straw. I guess all the sugar is at the bottom so it tastes sweet as you drink it. She loved it. My Sangria was gorgeous and complex and light - everything I could ask for!
Marlene agreed we should try the dishes from the reviews, and as indicated in the reviews, don't fill up on the delicious bread. They serve savory pastry squares and rolls that are warm and wonderful. We ordered the Empanada and the owner suggested the seafood version so we went with it. We told him we were going to share it, so he said he would have it cut in half in the kitchen and serve it with some winter greens. It was delicious and seriously - one emanada could have been dinner so I'm glad we shared. It was even more amazing with the salsa condiment on the table. Now this is not mexican spicy salsa - more of a fresh fully flavored salsa. You don't miss the kick because the other spices are so interesting.
For dinner we had the Pastel de Choclo, a meat, chicken and corn pie. The ground meat and shredded chicken were nicely flavored with spices and a good amount of minced sauteed onion. There were also raisins and olives in there (I love dishes with the flavor of olives, but I really don't like whole olives so I picked those out easily). The topping of the pie was a cross between polenta and cornbread - very delicious adding great corn flavor. This dish is served in a clay pot, and is incredibly hot when it arrives, but stays nicely warm as you eat your dinner slowly.
At this stage of the game we are totally stuffed. We decided to save dessert for our next visit. We knew we'd be coming back sometime because it was a wonderful locale with gorgeous food and service.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Suzee's Healthier Lemon Blueberry Tea Bread

I got sucked in to the recipe section of Fresh Direct, and found a low fat lemon blueberry recipe that was very inspiring.

I liked that it had corn meal and oatmeal so I knew I had to try it.

Here is my version:

1.5 C Flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/3 C fine ground corn meal
3/4 C sugar
3T canola oil
2 jumbo eggs
1/2 C plus 2T buttermilk
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 cups blueberries
1/3 C old fashioned oats

Use a pyrex loaf dish, sprayed with Pam. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix. Add all the wet ingredients to a separate bowl and mix until smooth. Add the oats and blueberries to a third bowl, and scoop a couple T of the flour mixture into the blueberries and oats to help them stay suspended in the bread. Mix the wet to the dry gently with as few strokes as possible, and then fold the blueberry mixture in. Pour in to the prepared dish and bake 55 minutes.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Suzee's Tzatziki

I have been wanting to make a Tzatziki for a long time. I had the greek yogurt, and the cucumber, I figured I'd just whip it up!

1 16oz Fat Free Greek Yogurt
1.5 hot house cucumbers
5 fat cloves of garlic
a bunch of dill, or sub dried
Juice of 1 lemon
.5 t sea salt

I sliced the cucumbers in half lengthwise, and scooped out the seeds. Yes, these are supposedly "seedless" but not really. That gets most of the water out. Then I cut long thin strips of the remainder, and chopped them up finely in a cross cut.

I dumped the cuke, the yogurt, chopped dill and minced garlic together and tasted. Hmmm... needs something....I had a fresh lemon, so I put in the juice. That added a nice brightness. I also added about a half teaspoon of sea salt, and mixed it all up.

I wish I had some roasted lamb now!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Suzee's Kitchen Sink Chopped Salad

I got my order from Fresh Direct at 7:15 this morning, and I'd gotten some fresh radishes and green beans. I was anxious to make a chopped salad - it's so nice to just have it there waiting for us at the end of the day! I wasn't sure how it was going to end up, but after eating some, I can tell you it's tasty!

Here's how I made it:

Clean a big bunch of radishes, cut in half and slice

Clean a pound of green beans. Steam for 2 or 3 minutes, and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Cut into manageable lengths.

Wash and cut a pint of grape tomatoes

Wash and chop a 1/2 of a european cucumber (leave the skin on - I love the color)

Wash and chop an orange bell pepper

Let a cup of super sweet frozen corn come to room temp

Add all the ingredients to a big bowl, and toss.

For the dressing, add a 1/2 C of mayo and a 1/2 cup of buttermilk with a heaping table spoon of ranch dressing spice. Mix it all together, and pour it right on the chopped salad, and toss.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Gadgets - yay or nay?

The daily special today at Foodbuzz is the chop and scoop board. What do you think? I've used these in the past and thought - what a pain! You have to scrape all the bits off the flexible board - they just seem to magically stick there :(

I suppose if you didn't have storage for a cutting board, perhaps you would choose this. I like to be able to use mine over the sink or over the stove to make more counter space, so it really wouldn't work for me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In The Heights - Not Your Mom's Musical

WOW! I just walked home from the Richard Rogers Theater, and I can't stop thinking about the most fabulous show I just saw!! In The Heights is an original broadway show that won the 2008 Tony for Best Musical. AND YOU MUST SEE IT!

Seriously - an up-to-date score, incredibly talented ensemble cast, gorgeous sets .... even the lighting engineer gets kudos from me, and I don't even know what they heck they really do.

The story is heartwarming - you will laugh, you will cry, you will suck in your breath in surprise.

If I get the chance to go again, I will go in a heartbeat.

I think I might even have to down load the recording to my iPod.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I love Ophelia

Rick came home after Ophelia came by and he was so excited he grabbed my camera and took pictures :)

It's true - I suck as a housekeeper. I'm a great project manager, analyst, commucator, negotiator and fun director. My husband thinks I'm a great wife, and my friends tell me I'm a great friend. But I am horrible at cleaning.

I think this was the cleanest our apartment has ever been!

The bonus is that she does laundry too!

I love Ophelia!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Getting Ricky To Eat Fish

You may have read about my attempts to get Rick to eat fish. He likes to eat a high protein diet to avoid becoming hungry, and what is better than fish? Nothing I say!

This fish turner is on special on Foodbuzz and it actually is on my list o stuff to buy. I figure, what ever it takes to get my guy to eat fish. And he does like it when it looks pretty. My last attempt wasn't too attractive as I didn't have something like this. Perhaps it will come in the mail this week with the cheap shipping!