The Great GoogaMooga isn’t looking so hot after getting a major beat down from Sunday’s decision to shut down the “rain or shine” event due to inclement weather 90 minutes after opening. Sure, people hopeful on attending the amusement park of food, drink, and music were disappointed at the cancellation, but that’s just the beginning.
Vendors (i.e. participating restaurants) had already set up, hired staff to man their booths, and prepped a ridiculous amount of food what what was expected to be a hoard of hungry attendees. With vendors suffering major financial loss (some reporting losses of $10-15 K) and what can only be deemed a second disappointing year in a row for The Great GoogaMooga, it’s future looks bleak.
Nonetheless, the good people at the Great GoogaMooga graciously provided me press access to the event. I actually met up with my good friends Matt and Rachelle at the event pre-rain on Saturday morning, and we tag teamed it up so we could sample and eat as much as possible.
I vividly remember my second grade teacher. Mrs. McQueen. McQuaid. Mc… something like that. Maybe not so vividly as I thought. Anyway, I do remember really loving hot dogs right up to the point Mrs. Mc…Quaid (that’s definitely it, yes, McQuaid) told the class that they were made from pigs eyes. I was only in second grade! It was devastating, almost as much as watching that scene in the Lion King where Simba’s dad died.
Her hot dog declaration scared the living daylights out of me, leading me down a sad and lonely frankfurter-free diet for several years. To think about how many backyard bbq hot dogs I missed out upon because of Mrs. McQuaid deeply saddens me. A piece of my culinary childhood gone. Forever.
Don’t cry for me. It’s okay. I’ve moved past it. Hot dogs are back to being a mainstay on the summer grill rotation at our house. Asheley would eat them every night for dinner if I allowed her (which I don’t, sorry hun). And whenever we are in the East Village, our favorite hot dog joint is a must. I present to you the amazing, the magnificent, Crif Dogs:
It’s been such a busy weekend, I think a recap is in order. It all started on Friday when our good friends Joe and Lisa wanted to check out Hearth restaurant in the East Village. Oh, you remember we went there 2 weeks ago and wrote this post all about it? Yea so, we went again! The chef’s tasting menu is such a great value. Totally worth every penny. And since we arrived a bit earlier than our reservation, we pre-gamed with a glass of wine at Chef Marco Canora’s wine bar, Terroir, just a couple doors down.
Saturday was filled with getting the vegetable and herb garden ready. That’s never fun. Asheley made the mistake of offering to help. I don’t think she will be offering that up anymore. Many weeds were pulled. Soil tilled. Compost and other goodies added. Oh, and plants planted. That’s actually the fun part.
Asheley and I hosted Mother’s Day this year. I took the opportunity to experiment a bunch of new dishes on my family. Some were successful and thoroughly enjoyed. Others were… well, at least eaten. I’ll be sharing some of those recipes soon (just the good ones, don’t worry).
Asheley and I love the city. That’s no secret. If we have any free time on the weekend, that’s probably where you’ll find us. Over the course of this past year, we’ve gotten the itch now and again to move there. We just feel at home in the city. It excites us. And when you think about having all this amazing food at your fingertips all the time, it’s tempting. It really is.
So what’s stopping us? Oh, there are a bunch of reasons. Our jobs for one. Another is having to give up our beautiful home in suburbia to most likely downsize to a one bedroom shoebox apartment for the same price. No yard, no vegetable garden, no grilling… it all adds into the equation.
The itch subsides and we return to being content with the almost weekly visits to our home away from home. But then Chef Marco Canora’s Hearth happened. And that itch came back with a vengeance, bigger than ever. I rarely fall so hard for a restaurant, but Hearth did it to me. I think I’m in love. Hubba hubba.
It’s here, it’s finally here! Cinco de Mayo is THIS weekend! I’m kinda a little bit sorta maybe excited, in case you couldn’t tell by the torrent of Mexican and Tex-Mex themed recipes I’ve bombarded you with this past month. Sorry about that. I just couldn’t help myself.
And no worries if you missed any of them, because here they are in one, convenient list.
I recently had the opportunity to do a guest post for Dishfolio and just had to share this recipe with them. It’s one of those tried-and-true recipes that’s been hanging out with me for quite awhile. It’s too good not to share here as well, so…
What’s your favorite food? This question always stumps me. I don’t even think it’s possible to answer. How can you pick just one? Even narrowing it down to a single cuisine is pretty darn impossible. More than anything else, I love variety in my food. Italian one night. Maybe some Thai the next. I do, however, have one recurring, predominant food love. Chips and dip.
Oh how I love thee. And just to be clear, we’re not talking about that peel back container of commercially-packaged self-stable gunk they sell in grocery stores. Fresh, homemade dips, spreads, salsas, and guacamole is where it’s at. That’s the stuff that gets me excited.
I’m pretty much required to make this pineapple habanero salsa at almost every party during the spring and summer. A couple of my friends demand it, threatening to disown me from the circle of trust if I fail to deliver. Just kidding… kind of.
You have to try pretty hard to not love tortilla chips dipped in melted cheese. Like come on, who doesn’t love queso? My dad, who is notorious in our family for being the pickiest of picky eaters (the man eats almost nothing that’s actually delicious and flavorful), absolutely loves queso. He didn’t even eat pizza until meeting my mom, who quickly changed that absurdity by threatening to end their relationship immediately. But queso? My dad is all over queso.
This isn’t just your ordinary bowl of melted heavily-processed-cheese. Heck no. We can do better. We deserve better. This, my friends, is ultimate queso time.
Do you remember that show Captain Planet? That was the stuff. Earth. Water. Fire. Wind. When our powers combine… That’s what I feel like this queso is all about: Real deal queso. Flavor-packed roasted poblano sauce. Sweet-spicy-tangy pepper relish. When their flavors combine… (more…)
There’s always one. You’re about to throw an amazing party, have a killer menu planned, and then it hits you. You remember that one friend of yours that’s a vegetarian. Doh! Being the amazingly generous, caring host that I know you all are, your brain immediately starts thinking of a meatless alternative for your plant-loving friend. That’s just how you roll. You’re thoughtful like that. And that’s why I like you.
And good news. This taco is good enough for all the omnivores in your life as well. It’ll make them feel like they’re being all good and healthy.
I first made these wontons a couple of years back for a little happy hour I threw for friends from work. I remember enlisting the help of my good friend Steve to be my sous chef to make sure everything was ready and done on time. The first task he tackled was filling and wrapping the wontons. We both had never done it before but he decided, very stereotypically, that since he’s Asian, that skill must have been inherently imbedded somewhere in his DNA.
Steve was totally right. He filled and wrapped the first wonton with careful approach. After that, he was like a wonton savant. We both had no idea how he was prepping them so fast. We laughed and laughed about this new-found career opportunity… that is, until he realized that now every time I make these southwest wontons, he’s in charge of filling and wrapping them.
Anyway, I think you will really love these Southwest Wontons. They are an insanely addictive party snack and after making them for your next friendly get-together, will definitely up your “cooking street cred”.
Asheley’s new thing is wanting to do a Tough Mudder, a 160-mile bike race in Ohio this summer, and various triathlons. She spent the other day looking up information about wet suits and bike gear. Oh, and she just signed up for cross fit.
Honestly, I don’t get “the enjoyment factor” in all of this. But I’m happy because she’s super excited about it, and that’s really all that matters. Asheley loves these types of athletic challenges. Me? Well let’s just say making tortillas has been the extent of my extreme sporting this month.
Didn’t I just make corn tortillas? I know, I know. Those were really great. And ridiculously easy to make. But the flour variety are definitely my tortilla of choice. Asheley’s too. No, they aren’t as healthy. And it’s hard to find any redeeming nutritional value about them. But gosh they’re good, so leave me alone (more…)