Friday, December 11, 2009

Out of the Woods

Apparently, the cop at the entrance to the Greenwich Village Equinox was there because Tiger Woods's mistress was there, and the paparazzi was out of control.  

Ok, before everyone jumps all over me for writing about this, let me indicate 4 reasons why this is news, even though the Tiger Woods story, in general, is NOT:

1.  Tagging onto something this stupid but over-reported is bound to improve this blog's results in search.
2.  It  permits me to illustrate the proper grammatical usage of a singular possessive when the possessor's name ends in "s".  The usage of "s'" is commonly substituted but is often (though not alway) incorrect.
3.  Any time a cop is in an Equinox for any reason other than to arrest someone for jacking off in the steam room is news.

Maybe the reason we're getting so much of Tiger-gate (Wood-er-gate?) is because the sex scandal of an admired, accomplished professional athlete is a refreshing change from all those sex scandals about politicians, many of whom are neither admired nor accomplished.

Although maybe that's not fair.  A fair portion of an entire political party has accomplished the Herculean task of convincing a segment of the American people that scientific facts are a mere matter of opinion.  After all, just because Darwin believed in God and evolution doesn't mean you're allowed to; much more fun to see if we can get broad swaths of the citizenry to live like ignorant fools.  Oh, and that whole global warming thing - apparently it's still clearly up for debate - and I'm afraid it might remain so until we're harvesting cotton and tobacco in New Hampshire.  (This year's Christmas tree: Douglas Fir or Coconut Palm?  Discuss.)

In our regular reality TV update, I am pleased to report that the cute brothers from The Amazing Race did NOT win, but came in second to Megan and Cheyne (stupidest name ever.)  Those two really did deserve to win, they managed to work together - and be NICE to each other - through the whole season, and came in first on most of the legs of the race.  The brothers, however, pretty much whined and bitched at each other across eastern Europe.  And the cuter one was fat.

However, the hot brothers on Top Chef totally won.  The duller one coming in second, with the younger (and cuter - looks matter) one winning.  In all seriousness, though, this was the best season of Top Chef ever if you were a foodie.  From the beginning, there were at least six seriously talented chefs, and they were all interesting to watch.  Plus, all six of them made it to the Top 7, so there were very few shockingly early eliminations.  Also, there was so much talent at the very top, that any of the four finalists could conceivably have won, without argument.  So much more interesting than the season I spent sitting around waiting for that cute little Butterball Stephanie to beat the pants off that creepy Richard Blais.  

I have to admit, it actually was a really touching episode, and I'm always so moved by the Top Chef finale.  It's great to see people who've worked so hard get recognized for it, and the contestants always seem to find so much joy in cooking.  As it should be.

In cooking news, most of what we've made this week is something I've already given you the recipe for, so I'm stealing today's recipe from my sister, who got it from Martha Stewart Everyday Food.  She loves this magazine - she says it's really well organized.  Every month they give you a vegetable, tell you when it is in season, discusses how to prep it (if necessary) and gives you a few recipes for it.  They do the same with other food categories, kitchen tools, etc - giving you an introduction to a particular item, provide information and background, then options for how to use it practically.  

Last night she made her family (they of the "I cook for these clowns every night" comment) a Roasted Vegetable Lasagna.  While it was cooking, my niece Cassidy (3 and a half) came up and said, "Mommy that smells delicious."

  • You'll need:
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 pounds eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 pounds zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 medium red onions, cut into 1/2-inch rings
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • Marinara
  • Fresh Lasagna Noodles (you will need about 1/2 of the batch), cut into 4-by-13-inch strips and cooked, or store-bought dried noodles, cooked
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh marjoram leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (3/4 cup)
Here's what you'll do:

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons salt over eggplant slices, and let drain for 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place zucchini in a single layer on oiled baking sheets. (Work in batches if necessary.) Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tender and just starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a dish.
  3. Place onion rings in a single layer on oiled baking sheets. (Work in batches if necessary.) Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender and browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Mix with goat cheese in a small bowl.
  4. Gently press eggplant slices between double layers of paper towels to remove excess liquid. Place eggplant in a single layer on oiled baking sheets (work in batches if necessary.) Brush with oil, and season with pepper. Bake until tender and golden, 6 to 9 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup of marinara in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place a layer of noodles over marinara. Layer eggplant on top of noodles. Spread 1/2 of the goat cheese mixture over eggplant. Spread 1 cup marinara over cheese layer, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons marjoram. Repeat layering once, replacing eggplant with zucchini (noodles, zucchini, goat cheese, marinara, marjoram). Place a layer of noodles on top. Spread remaining marinara on top of noodles, and sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese.
  6. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Want the recipe in printable format?  Just go here.

Those of you who have been following may be wondering where the Christmas Cookie recipe is - but I'm suspending today's cookie recipe in honor of the onset of Hanukkah.  Yes, I know, I've said some pretty nasty things about Hanukkah recently, but I've been forced to re-visit my opinion of the holiday.

No, not by my mother.

By Mormon Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).   Hatch - like many Republicans - is a huge fan of Jews and of Israel.  (So disorienting --- it's like finding out the Focus on the Family Guy, James Dobson, watches Will and Grace reruns and goes to Drag Bingo.)  Anyway, Senator Hatch is such a fan of the tribe that he's applied his talent for songwriting (the dissonance just grows, doesn't it?) to penning a song about Hanukkah.

Yes, of course it will suck.  All Hanukkah songs suck.  No trees, no Santa, and it's hard to get something to rhyme with Dreidel (or coupon or Florida, or anything else that would be in a song about a Jewish winter holiday.)  Plus, there isn't a great tradition of snappy ditties written by Mormon Republicans from Utah.  

Still, as signs of the apocalypse go, I'll take that over Tiger's mistress on the Stairmaster.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! Wow, I did not know that about possessive's that end in "S" ... I will remember that in future time's when writing formal project lists's's's! :)

    Excellent Linda Richman Coffee Talk reference. Big smile from that one.

    Finally, I'm afraid you were dreadfully inaccurate on one point: All Hanukkah songs most certainly do NOT suck! You will recall Adam Sandler sings one ass-kicker of a holiday tune.