Escaping the Zombie Apocolypse…a new kind of crabfeast…
August 31, 2010

Crab Feast Time!!

I told you I was going to my friend Elise’s annual birthday crabfeast….and this year it was a real extravaganza of crabs, great wine, a groaning board of salads and cheeses (and Alabama Caviar of course)….tomatoes featured prominently as one might imagine and good Eastern Shore corn.  It’s always a great time, but the “speakers” made this year really different. 

Marta Quintana of Havana Road...

How better to start than with a demonstration of the easiest paella ever made? I love paella…the classic seafood, sausage, and saffron rice dish… and have made it more than a few times, but let’s be honest, it’s a labor of  love…emphasis on the labor. You need all the ingredients and some time blocked out  to put together a good paella. Marta Quintana of Havana Road Products did it the easy way. Her motto is “Fresca, siempre fresca!” And everything is simply fresh. 

Smarty Pants on TED....

I almost lost my thermodynamic equilibrium when I heard the talk about Escaping the Coming Zombie Apocalypse….from which I took away two things… get thee to a Costco, as you could live for a long time in there-they have everything you need…food, water, camping supplies, clothing…you name it, and key thing to have …baseball bats to protect your turf…and 2. I have to get one of these computers called Sixth Sense that will hang around your neck and PROJECT a dialing pad on your hand to call someone. Here’s a Link to the inventor Pranav Mistry on TED-Ideas Worth Spreading, which if you’ve never heard of  TED, is fascinating in itself(tho you might want to fast forward about 5 minutes in Pranav’s talk-slow at first).

I wish I had more pics for you but I started having a really good time and photographing it kinda escaped me…you know how it is. And I’ve long ago stopped taking tons of pictures on vacation and stuff… because I find if you’re busy photographing something, you’re not really experiencing it. Yes, you  have the physical evidence that it happened, but a camera puts a buffer between you and what you’re seeing and hearing. You’ve gone from participator to observer. But I digress….here’s the Lazy Girl’s Paella recipe below.

3 16 ounce containers Havana Road Rice Ensalada
1 16 ounce container Havana Road Mojo Verde
1 16 ounce container Havana Road Cuban Salsa
1 bottle Chardonnay
1/2 lb clams
1/2 lb mussels
1/2 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
1/2 lb large scallops
1 8 ounce jar peas–or fresh better
1/2 cup minced roasted red peppers-in a pinch use pimentos
In a deep pan saute the Rice Ensalada with 1/4 Mojo Verde, 1 tsp. paprika and 1 tablespoon Cuban Salsa-when hot , put a lid on it and let it sit.
In a large skillet, add 1 cup Mojo Verde, 2 cups white wine, and add the cleaned clams and mussels–stir and cover with a lid for 5-6 minutes until they open.
Brown the scallops in a small skillet with with 1/4 cup Mojo Verde and 1/2 cup wine. Add the shrimp and cook for 2- 3 minutes until pink. Transfer all the seafood to the skillet with the mussels and clams. Stir 1/2 cup of Havana Road Salsa in gently. Fold in the rice, top with green peas and roasted red peppers. Buen Provecho:)

Doesn't this look delicious...and it was...

Back from New York….it’s quiet there…
September 17, 2008

All packed for New York...what did I forget?

All packed for New York...what did I forget?

Spent a long weekend in New York…sounds decadent but it was a definite budget trip. Here’s how I roll…when my son is who lives in the West Village is out of town, and he was, we go to NY and stay in his apartment. Free lodging…kind of….we are expected to leave gifts in return. And for the first time ever, I took Megabus! Their buses leave hourly for NY from the White Marsh Park and Ride…and if you book relatively far ahead(a few weeks) you can get away with maybe, a 20 buck round trip. Not too bad. Here’s what I learned about Megabus, for those of you who may consider a trip.

Waiting on line for Megabus..bring something to read.

Waiting on line for Megabus..bring something to read.


Get there early. If you have a 9:30 am bus arrive by 9. Why? Because something I didn’t know is that there may not always be room for you and it’s first come first served. I truly assumed when you booked, you had a seat. Not so, at least not on this bus….some folks booked on the 8:25 (and the bus was a half hour late), didn’t get on until the 9:25 came in. That was a little unsettling.

#2.They do have wifi, but there’s no plug-in. So you better have a good battery for your computer.

#3. They do have bathrooms, but it’s like a port-o-potty…just blue stuff in the bottom…no flush. That wasn’t too bad, but there’s also no sink to wash your hands, though they did have a limited supply of antiseptic wipes. Oh, and I had to ask the driver for toilet paper before we left as there was none. He did have a supply.

#4.Other than that, the ride was fine…we made good time…in NY by noonish. Dropped us off at Penn Station on 8th Avenue, and that was that. And compared to the stress of driving and the expense of Amtrak, it’s a hassle free bargain.

No, I didn’t see shows or sightsee or shop…just hung out in the village. Walked around, found a few really good and pretty inexpensive restaurants….you know, kind of like I live there. Only I don’t. Recommendations for eats?  

Gottino in West Village

Gottino in West Village

Gottino…new wine bar on Greenwich Ave….very chic, small plates, great cheese, glasses of wine-good! Perilla  on Jones Street for brunch…again minimalist, good food(fabulous grilled-or as they called it “griddled” cheese). And it’s Perilla soundingthe l’s ….it’s actually an herb…which I have never heard of!  And my favorite find, on Charles Ave just off Greenwich Ave…El Charro Espanol..small, intimate Spanish place with wonderful Sangria and Paella…and I’m pretty tough to please when it comes to that famous saffron, rice and seafood dish. Oh, and the place is a bargain. Jack’s Coffee in the morning…very earthy but oh so fashionable and javalicious.  On the weekdays, you might see a movie star there, but they disappear on the weekends. Lots of beautiful skinny girls in summer dresses and fall boots…that was all the rage this weekend. But man, those boots looked hot, and I mean sweaty hot, when the temps got close to 90!

But it was also a quiet sober weekend in the Big Apple…that’s where the economic debacle is hitting the hardest, at least for the moment. Lots of people worried about their jobs, their firms, how the whole mess may impact them. Of course, many people are feeling that same uncertainty right now. It’s not a good feeling. Not at all.