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Archive for November, 2009

When this NYC trip happened a few months ago, I had just returned from Africa and one of my brothers got married 3 days later. This left me little time for blogging. So I shelved these pictures for a while and forgot about them until now. Here you go!

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DSC00657video art!

EDIT: I really feel I should add that the above video art featured a girl in an 80s prom dress getting pelted, usually in the face, with tomatoes. She broke her “Ta-da!” pose just long enough to wipe the pulp out of her eyes, the trooper.

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DSC00669What’s lacking in this post will be any details whatsoever on the galleries or artists. I have all of the press releases upstairs somewhere, but seriously this trip was like 3 months ago so they’re not particularly handy right now. These exhibitions are all over by now anyway. Next time I’ll be more on top of things.

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DSC00635Oh, just a random collage glued onto the wall of a building, picturing a T-Rex moments from devouring a little girl who happens to be dreaming of cats. Who even knows what’s under that black smudge.

DSC00624We also stopped by the Guggenheim for a Frank Lloyd Wright Exhibit. No pictures allowed once you begin ascension up that big crazy spiral. Sorry.

DSC00619Perhaps the most fulfilling part of the day, we stopped by the famous Tom’s Restaurant, or better known as Monk’s Cafe from Seinfeld. As a hardcore fan, it’s kind of been a dream of mine to get this picture taken. One more thing checked off that list. Now all I have to do is backpack across a few more continents and most of my life goals will be complete! The inside of this cafe was charming; Seinfeld paraphernalia everywhere. We spilt a vanilla pistachio milkshake, which was pretty freaking delicious, though I eat dairy very, very rarely so it kind of made me want to throw up everywhere. Oh and the cutest thing about this cafe, Scotty told me in the men’s bathroom someone had scrawled “NEWMAN” in tiny letters on the mirror. I’m not sure why but I love that.

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Balasia has opened a store in the Allentown Farmer’s Market! The space will be up and running starting next Tuesday, November 24th. Expect restaurant classics like Curry-yaki & Teriyaki Baked Tofu, Chipotle Chili, THE West African Peanut soup, Ginger Curry Pumpkin soup, Coconut Quinoa & other seasonal dishes. The new space will have more of a take-out vibe than the previous building in Emmaus, with minimal seating but a full menu.
Teriyaki Tofuyum.

 

The Allentown Farmer’s Market, normally open Thursday – Saturday weekly, will be open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving week. It is located at 1725 W Chew St in the Allentown Fairgrounds.

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I had some crazy good pine nut/lentil dumplings at Blue Sage once, and immediately began contemplating how I could make something similar (but with more kick!) on my own. My first attempt turned out ok, but they weren’t exactly fantastic. Probably the fact that I was just trying to use up a batch of less-than-great dal in a creative way didn’t help. So this time, I made a PERFECTLY spicy, flavorful and delicious pot of dal, mixed it up with some toasted pine nuts, and used that as the filling for half of the dumplings. Dal (also spelled dhal, dahl, or daal) is the Indian term for lentils cooked with spices, basically. I thought spicy Indian flavors would make for a very interesting dumpling filling, and holy crap, did it ever. For the other half of the dumplings I went a more traditional route and used sauteed veggies and shrimp (I liked the Indian ones better, though). This meal turned into a crazy Indian/Asian fusion ordeal, and the flavors all went together surprisingly well.

VeggiesCabbage, shallots, shiitake mushrooms, grated carrots, garlic and lots of ginger, frying away in the saute pan. I added the garlic near the end of the cooking process, after the veggies had cooked down for 10-15 minutes, then I added the grated ginger all the way at the end, after I turned the heat off. I wanted the ginger to retain most of it’s flavor and kick, since not a whole lot of other spice went into this filling.

FillingsThe sauteed veggies and a little bowl of dal. I won’t lie, dal is not the prettiest food in the world, so I’ll spare you the close up. I mean I think it looks delicious, but I think all brown goopey Indian food looks delicious.

FillingSome of the pictures were taken on an iphone, with the ShakeItPhoto application giving the pics an old-fashioned polaroid look. The rest were taken on my rickshaw wannabe camera. Hopefully the lack of consistency here won’t give anyone a headache.

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Lined up

a Soggy MessI didn’t time anything, or follow any precise steps. I just tossed the dumplings into a pan with a little oil, let them cook for a couple minutes on medium high heat until the bottoms began to turn brown, then I dumped a glassful of water into the pan, covered it and let them steam until they felt right. This haphazard method worked beautifully.

yumI guess these are technically pot-stickers, but I like the word dumpling so much better. It’s an adorable word.

once delicious dumpling circle

dumpsOld fashioned polaroid dumplings.

the PlateVeggie/shrimp dumplings on the left, dal dumplings on the right. Deliciousness all over the place. And please, use a high quality Tamari, not some crappy American soy sauce.

I’ll post my dal recipe sometime, but it does contain some top secret spice blend I got from an Indian friend’s mother. She ships over (from India) boxes of homemade jarred spice blends and chutneys and things to my friend. I don’t even know what’s in my jar and I don’t care, it’s freaking good!

And because it was about 30 seconds down the road from where I was, I had to stop in Vegan Treats to purchase the most adorable little Pumpkin Pie I’ve ever seen:

cutest Pumpkin Pie everThough honestly I was so bummed that they didn’t have any pumpkin whoopie pies that day; that was the true reason behind my visit. If you’ve never experienced the glory that is the Vegan Treats Pumpkin Whoopie Pie, well then you just don’t know what you’re missing.

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