Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekend Wish List

Good evening, loves,

Hope you're keeping warm and cozy on this gloomy February night. The wind is howling at our retreat on the beach of New Jersey, but we won't let that stop us from dreaming away the rest of the weekend.

This weekend, we're wishing for:
1. Snow pants. Our kid sister, the fabulous H, is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to sledding, snowball fights, and making snow angels. We wish we had the resources to keep up with this snow princess, but our Brooklyn "Escape-from-Snow-City" wardrobe has left us with limited options-none of them being snow-friendly. We'd love a pair of polyester snow pants from Target, please!
2. A great recipe for Snickerdoodles. A snow storm always puts us in the mood for baking, and these cinnamon-dusted yummies are high on our list. Got a recipe to share? See details below for the best way to your tried-and-true favorites to the Bitches on a Budget.
3. A jar of highly-coveted Grey Poupon mustard. Nothing says luxury like a little spread of something extra on your bodega sandwich, and a few days spent with mom's secret stash has us hooked. I'll be the girl smuggling a little extra something under her down jacket on NJ Transit tomorrow morning.
4. Reese's Peanut Butter eggs. Although it might not feel like it, Easter is right around the corner, ushering in the best of the best chocolates, gummies, marshmallow confections, and sugar-laden treats for the Easter baskets of suburban kids everywhere. Now bigger than ever before, the Reese's Giant Egg (found at Duane Reade) is the equivalent to 10 peanut butter cups. AKA heaven.
5. Sunshine, and plenty of it. We're pretty jealous of the jetsetters among us who have left the city for warmer, sunnier shores of Florida, Mexico, and the Caymen Islands. Bon voyage, safe travels, etc, but we wish we were on a plane to somewhere bikini-worthy at the moment.

What are you guys hoping for? Send us your wishes at bbonabudget@gmail.com, or Tweet us @bbonabudget, and we'll do our best to make them come true.

xo,
B

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rockstar Chicken Soup

There's nothing this Bitch loves more than a bowl of steaming hot soup on a snow day. Luckily, our new favorite friend and local rockstar, Chucky Grimm, has got a delicious and easy recipe for his famous soup.

All you need:
big fucking soup pot
one super soup scooper
cutting board
sharp knife
kiss the cook apron
cute lil' faces to feed

one large can of (cheapo store brand) chicken broth
handful of celery, chopped
handful of carrots, chopped
handful of spinach
2 pieces of cooked chicken (best if cooked beforehand on frying pan w/ Cajun seasoning)
one packet of hot sauce from your local Chinese restaurant
one box of shell pasta
snidge of Cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Turning the stove on high, boil water and carrots until soft.
2. Add water to empty chicken broth can, pour in and let it boil
3. Once boiling, add 1/2 box of shell pasta
4. Add remaining vegetables
4. Let the noodles get soft, and reduce heat to let stand for approx 15 min
5. Turn off the burner with lid on let it cool down
6. Add salt and pepper to taste; top with grated cheese (optional) and serve


Meet Chucky in person tonight when his band, Theodore Grimm, plays at Legion in Williamsburg. Stop by around 10p to kiss the cook himself.

As for the soup? We feel like rockstars already, and we're only one sip in.

Enjoy!

xo
B

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How to Stay Fly In Rain, Snow, Sleet, and Hail

Good morning, Bitches!

It's snowing again! We'd find it hard to believe if we weren't out battling the flakes the size of our heads at 8a this morning. Not sure about you, but the constant weather alerts, snowstorms, Brooklyn bodega wipe-outs, and snow days have us craving the warmth of the spring sun, eating outside, and leaving our coats at home. As we remain your eternal Bitches on a Budget, we know that few have the disposable dollars for anti-frizz serums, smoothing shampoos, and waterproof blush/bronzer/foundation/concealer/under-eye cream/eyeliner.

We'd like to share our tips for staying fly when the weather is anything but:

1. Don't underestimate your circumstances. You may be rocking your fiercest office or nightlife attire, but you're sure to arrive at your destination soaking wet, soggy, and completely un-adorable. Break out the rain boots you've stashed in the back of your closet and keep your lovely flats/pumps in your bag. As soon as you get to where you need to be, hide the boots and replace with your cuter alternative.

2. Waterproof mascara is your new best friend. No matter what the precipitation situation is outside, your eyes will be as black as they should be- without giving you raccoon eyes.

3. Don't let the rain or snow discourage you from your daily make-up routine. Just take necessary precautions, and pack enough q-tips and supplies for touch-ups once you arrive at the nearest bathroom. Stay away from liquid make-up, which has a tendency to "melt and slide". Use water resistant products,

4. Tardiness doesn't look good on anyone. If you've got a meeting, an appointment, or simply somewhere to be, do yourself a favor and leave a little early. It'll give you time to freshen yourself up before you have to meet with your obligatory cohort, and the MTA is never to be relied on.

5. Plan your outfit to be weather-appropriate. Unless you plan on hosting your own personal wet t-shirt contest, it's a good idea to check through anything that might become see-through when wet (black is always a foolproof default plan). Grab a lightweight jacket- a trench is my personal favorite- for a look that's rainproof and stylish. Soaked jeans get uncomfortable, fast, and take a long time to dry. If you have to wear jeans in the snow, at least fold the bottoms so they don't drag on the wet pavement. Skirts are NOT a great go-to option in a blizzard. Ever.

6. No matter how good your hair looked in your apartment this morning, chances are it's going to be destroyed. Take note of this beforehand. Pulling hair into an updo or half upsweep is the best way to stay looking good in rainy conditions, as your locks are already curled/pinned/sprayed. If you're wearing your hair down and get taken by surprise by a freak shower, keep a tiny emergency kit on hand in case of disaster. Pack some extra bobby pins, hair elastics, and baby-sized hair spray so you're never stuck looking anything but fabulous.

Whenever it's not raining, try to deep-condition your hair from the winter winds, which have a tendency to dry out your follicles. Retaining and replenishing as much moisture as possible is ideal, and we love nothing better than a Garnier Fructis hair mask, a shower cap, and a night on the couch. You'll have supermodel hair in the morning. To keep dry flakiness at bay, add a little granulated brown sugar to your shampoo.

7. Think twice about wearing anything that might get too slippery, like flip flops, open-toed sandals, suede flats, or anything that might retain water.

One of our favorite new e-mail services is Umbrella Today? (umbrellatoday.com), a website that sends daily text alerts to your phone at a predetermined time re: the eternal bring the umbrella or leave it at home debate. It also has an iPhone app so you can download right on your phone.

We also love Hair Forecast (hairforecast.com), which takes the daily weather forecast for your specific location and translates it into a scale of 1 to 10 that tells you how your hair will behave. A '1' is a bad hair day, and a '10' means your locks will be record-release-party worthy. Just remember how your hair reacts with different hair conditions- you might find out that a 3 or below means a ponytail-worthy style.

Always remember- if you're wearing rain boots already, why not jump in a puddle or two? Those who didn't plan as well as you will be a little jealous, but you can enjoy a brief splish-splash before hurrying off to your much more important adult responsibilities.

Got any tips for staying fierce when the weather is anything but? We'd love to hear 'em. Send them our way by commenting below, emailing us at bbonabudget@gmail.com, or Tweeting us @bbonabudget.

xo,
B

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When to DIY and When to Call for Help

Whether you live alone, with your boy, or with your best partner in crime, sometimes a Bitch has to break out the tool kit for a bit of do-it-herself. Before you roll up your sleeves and jump right in, make sure to properly assess the situation first. You don’t want to be the girl who cried “Landlord”, but there are some things you might not be able to fix. Below is a guide to some basic home improvement things you, as an apartment tenant, are responsible for fixing- and others that are out of your hands.

NOTE: Every Bitch should own a proper set of tools, including two screwdrivers (a flat blade and a Phillips head), an ordinary 16 oz claw hammer, a tape measure, a flashlight, a utility or box knife with a retractable blade, a razor blade holder/scraper, a 12” flat-jaw, arc-joint set of pliers, a crescent wrench, a toilet plunger, an electric drill with drill bits, and a level. Whether our tools are all pink and kept in a sparkle tool box (like my personal collection), or shoved in a Tupperware in our coat closet, we promise these tools will make your life much easier.

WHEN TO DO IT YOURSELF

  • Fixing a clogged sink does not require major maintenance. The best way to keep your kitchen sink unclogged is to take preventative measures, but if it’s already clogged then it might be too late. Grab your plunger and follow these steps to get it working as good as new. Run the tap and fill the sink with enough water so that it covers the head of the plunger. Grab the handle of the plunger and place the head so that it is sealed against the bottom of the sink. Move the plunge up and down vigorously. Loosen the clog and wait for water to drain freely. To fully flush out the clog-causing debris, run very hot eater through the drain for several minutes. Remove the tarp beneath the sink and clean it thoroughly if the plunging fails to unclog the sink.
  • How many Bitches on a Budget does it take to change a light bulb? One, if you follow these easy steps. Turn off the power and let the bulb cool. Twist counterclockwise, gripping ends between your thumbs and index fingers. Is the bulb broken? If so, take extra care and use an unpeeled potato to remove the base of a broken light bulb.
  • Want to paint your room? There’s no need to call in a professional. All you need is a steady hand, the color of your choice, and a cute pair of painter’s overalls- er, a roller and some painter’s tape. But the overalls might also be a must. First, clean your walls with a large sponge and water/dishwashing solution. Tape the trim, molding, and windows that you’d like to avoid getting splashed with paint. Pour enough primer into the tray so that it almost fills the well toward the bottom of the tray. Coat walls in primer. Let dry. Paint trim. Roll on paint in a 3 foot x 3-foot “w” shape and fill in empty patches until the section of wall is fully covered. Remove painter’s tape while paint is still wet to avoid accidentally removing any dried paint along with it.
  • If your sliding windows have gotten stuck between seasons, as humidity buildup often causes them to stick, don’t freak. A little silicone spray lubricant will grease the skids. Spray on a rag, then wipe along the tracks.
  • Living with mice or roaches is a regular issue for most, if not all, New Yorkers. Personally, I have found great success in not leaving food out, cleaning crevices under the stove and behind shelves, and using mouse traps as a last resort. I do not endorse the poison pellets that cause mice to curl up and die behind your furniture, staying hidden for months until they start to rot- and I speak from experience. To get rid of roaches, I usually use insecticide spray (like Raid), and supplement with cockroach bait, traps, and liquid concentrate. If the problem worsens with either pest, find out when the exterminator will be visiting your building next.
  • My roommate has drunkenly burst through the door so many times when the security chain has been on the door, it finally gave way last month and sent my roommate tumbling to the floor. Thankfully, it’s quite easy to replace and install. After purchasing a replacement at the hardware store, grab your screwdriver and some masking tape. Tape up the template for the lock plate (the part not attached to the chain). Position it about 3-6 inches above the deadbolt on your door. Screw the lock plate onto the door. Position the chain mount on the wall just outside the door frame. Make sure it lines up with the lock plate. Screw in the chain mount. Test it out- and try not to lock your roommate out when he’s gallery hopping with his art friends.

WHEN TO CALL THE LANDLORD

  • If your cabinet has suddenly come off it’s hinges, if a drawer falls apart, or if your fridge stops running.
  • If the heat won’t come on. Usually it takes a few days for it to kick on at the start of the chillier fall months, but don’t be afraid to ask your landlord for help if you’ve been shivering your way through November and December.
  • Once upon a summer, M and I were preparing to host an epic dinner party for some of our closest friends. The crackers and cheese were out, the wine was uncorked, and we were sporting our fabulous American Apparel Le Sac dresses. Heeding the call of duty, one of us ladies popped into the bathroom for a last minute freshening up before the guests arrived. One flush of the toilet was all it took to send a flood of water out the bathroom door and into the living room, leaving us screaming from atop our couch and without a toilet for the rest of the evening. Call your landlord if this happens.
  • Particular events over the course of the past year have led to many of us changing our locks. Stolen purses, lost keys, and angry exes are all acceptable reasons to have your locks switched. Just make sure to let your landlord know and make them an extra set of the new keys.
  • A particularly hard rain or snow storm (or an absent-minded neighbor who left the tub running upstairs) could contribute to a weakening in your ceiling. If you notice water rings and stains appearing on the ceiling, give your landlord a ring.
  • Smell gas? Call the gas company, then your landlord, immediately.

We’re lucky enough to live in a building where we absolutely adore our landlords. If you’re in a similar position, don’t forget to show some love! Send down some cookies if you’ve baked some extra, and don’t forget to say thanks every once in awhile.

Love,

B

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gourmet Oatmeal

Being a Bitch on a Budget, we often find ourselves scraping pennies, cutting corners, and eternally searching for coins beneath the couch cushions. In fact, we have caused a commuter traffic jam on more than one occasion to retrieve our dropped coin purse at rush hour near an L train turnstile.

One of the things that allows us to stay fabulous and spend what little money we have on luxuries such a $2 PBR, the occasional pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and trips on the PATH train is keeping a relatively small arsenal of foodstuffs in our cabinet. Sure, it may get boring to eat the same four things day after day, but if it allows us that little wiggle room in our budget, where’s the harm?

This being said, oatmeal is one of our favorite things to eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Whether you prefer your oats steel-cut, rolled, crushed, or instant, oatmeal is the perfect bowl of something warm and comforting to keep you going all night long. Plus, daily consumption of a bowl of oatmeal can lower blood cholesterol, reduce the risk of heat disease, and stabilize blood-glucose levels. Plus, it costs between 20 and 40 cents to make a bowl (if you invest in a large drum of Quaker Oats), and fills you up!

Here’s how to make your oatmeal:

  1. In a small saucepan, put 1 cup of water (or 1 cup of milk-even soy is okay- depending on your preference) and a sprinkle of salt. Set the saucepan on medium-high heat.
  2. When the water or milk starts to simmer, pour in ½ c of oats. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Cook at a simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring every so often so the oatmeal doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  4. When the oatmeal is at it’s ideal consistency, turn off heat and serve! For a heartier, chewiest oatmeal, cook longer.

Here are some of our favorite ways to keep one of our favorite staples from becoming a little too Charles Dickens:

  • A teaspoon of honey, a few drizzles of heavy cream, and a fresh peach sliced on top
  • Butter and crew
  • A spoonful of grape, strawberry, or blackberry jam or jelly
  • A scoop of whey protein or cottage cheese for an extra protein boost
  • Dried fruits like dried pineapple or apple
  • Walnuts, pecans, or anything maple-glazed
  • Vary the type of milk and choose from soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, chocolate milk (we’ll do this at home, where we have such a fancy milk selection)
  • Maple syrup, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger
  • Brown sugar and berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, whatever)
  • Vanilla yogurt and sliced almonds with honey
  • Peanut butter and chocolate chips
  • Wheat germ with a few chocolate chips
  • Some chai tea spices right in the bowl with cream, sugar, and raisins

Any other great combinations out there? Share ‘em with us at bbonabudget@gmail.com, or Tweet us @bbonabudget!

Love,

B

Monday, February 22, 2010

Clinton Hill on a Budget

Clinton Hill is an oft-overlooked Brooklyn neighborhood with loads stuff to do, even if you are running low on dollars to spend. Located between Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene and Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill and Fort Greene are filled with graceful houses with loads of period detailing along Cumberland, South Portland, and South Oxford Streets. Between dodging hipster Pratt artists and yuppies pushing strollers, you’ll find a quiet escape from the louder parts of Brooklyn. Due to the Pratt Institute, the neighborhood is primarily young students and families, and the community is filled with artists and bohemians of all types. The hill keeps it real, mixing cultures beneath the green leafy trees, and boasting such famous residents as Rosie Perez, Talib Kweli, Diana Martinez, and Mos Def- not to mention the old stomping grounds of Mr. Notorious B.I.G. himself.

EAT/DRINK:

1. Delicious, affordable and authentic, Castro’s (511 Myrtle Ave) has been serving the residents of Clinton Hill with outstanding Mexican food for years. The Jukebox in the front spouts Mexican music, you can eat outside on a sunny day, and their burritos are the size of a football. We’d recommend the chicken burritos ($7) for all of you carnivores, and cheese enchiladas for the vegetarians ($10). Open daily 11:30a-11:30p.

2. Hungry for a bialy ($1) and some culture? At Tillie’s of Brooklyn (248 DeKalb Ave), art comes with your side of $3.25 granola . The Brownstone Poets’ Reading is the latest event in the Salon Series that features spoken and written word, including poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and storytelling. Tillie’s hosts open mic nights, art exhibitions, openings, and readings- just check out their website at www.tilliesofbrooklyn.com for a complete schedule of events. Open Mon-Fri, 7a-9p and Sat-Sun, 8a-9p.

3. Bergen bagels on 473 Myrtle St is the place to pick up perfectly plump, kettle-cooked bagels ($1.75) with loads of house-made cream cheese, with choices of olive, walnut raisin, sundried tomato, and tofu vegetable ($1.00-$2.10 each). Open daily 6a-11p.

SEE:

1. Whatever is on display at Pratt. The 2009/2010 gallery season’s theme is Design and Sustainability, and the Envelopes show, curated by Chrisoper Hight, is an interesting way to see this theme at work. The show features envelopes with designs that “explore new potentials of the architectural surface in terms of the skin of a building and also as a skin that envelopes the body.” On display are full-scale models and architectural renderings of these models. Drop by the Rubelle and Norman Schafler Gallery (200 Willougby Ave, 1st Fl) and see for yourself. FREE.

2. Watch the hotties play a pick-up game of basketball at Greene Playground on weekend afternoons. Pick a seat on the bleachers between Fulton St above St. Felix St and DeKalb Ave.

DO:

1. Stitch and Bitch Sewing Circle on Sundays at the little CafĂ© Suave (559 Myrtle Ave) has a homey 1940s feel. While the jury’s still out on if this establishment is actually closed (they’ve proudly displayed a “CLOSED” sign since their first day of opening), it’s worth a shot.

2. Challenge your fellow Bitch on a Budget adventurer to a swinging contest at Underwood park (at Lafayette and Washington Aves).

3. Alibi (242 DeKalb Ave) offers an unfinished-wood porch for smokers, a pool table, spray-painted walls, deer hunter arcade games, $4 Guiness and happy hour from 6p-8p. What’s not to like? If you’re in need of a local bar with cheap beer, stiff drinks, and students wearing sweatpants, look for further.

SPLURGE:

1. Take yourself to Apple Art Supplies (321 Dekalb Ave) and run wild through the overpriced aisles. Swarming with Pratt students and artists who don’t feel up to fighting the crowd at Pearl Paint on Canal St, this art supply store is close to heaven and fully stocked with all of your creative needs.

SPEND: (not including $2.25 metrocard) $11- 15

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weekend Wish List

The Weekend Wishlist here on Brooklyn Bitches is usually compiled with luxuries and goodies we are drooling over without a chance of actually obtaining.

This week, however, our Bboab Fairy Godmother must have heard our prayers, because there is a major sale going on three blocks away that could help realize all of our dreams coming true.

In honor of Brooklyn Kitchen's move from 616 Lorimer St (boo!) to 100 Frost St, EVERYTHING is on sale. I'm planning a trip later this afternoon, and these are the items heading my wish list to add to my personal kitchen collection:

1. A set of pink stackable ramekins. perfect for making molten chocolate lava cake, which is on the top of my food pyramid. Great for serving, prepping, and making super impressive baked desserts.
2. The 5 cup stainless steel crank flour sifter for adding the ideal texture in foods while baking. Further fueling our need for useless baking equipment that we could absolutely do without, how much fun would it be to have one of these handy the next time the urge for baking strikes?
3. Non-stick Madeleine molds. Because anything you pour into them comes out looking hella-impressive. These short little cakes taste great dipped in coffee, served with vanilla ice cream, or by themselves.
4. Egg cups. Because what says luxury like a little seat for your eggs? We'll be tapping the egg shells and digging in that much faster. Plus, they come with special egg spoons that will elevate your breakfast to a fancier affair with no effort.
5. Cookie cutters in every shape, size, and variation. At Brooklyn Kitchen, they carry cutters in the shape of states, dinosaurs, and oversize diamond rings. What's not to love?

We also wouldn't mind: a French carafe and glass to upgrade our basic cup of water on the nightstand set-up; a 1950's inspired salad spinner; a pretty cake stand; and a variety of juicers, zesters, and strainers (for all of our bartending needs),

Have a very happy weekend, bitches. We hope all of your wishes come true!

xo
B

Thursday, February 18, 2010

10 Things to Do With Vinegar

Vinegar is an acidic liquid processed from the fermentation of ethanol in a process that yields acetic acid. It has been used since ancient times and is an important element in European, Asian, and other cuisines.

We have also come to found that it is truly a lifesaver, working overtime in a variety of time saving functions we we're aware of. Before you regulate that bottle of Shoprite-brand vinegar to the back of your cabinet, pull it out and make it earn its keep.

  1. Clean your teakettle or coffeepot, by boiling a mixture of water and vinegar in a teakettle and wiping away the grime. Cleaning your coffeemaker? Fill the reservoir of a coffeemaker with a mix of vinegar and water and run the brew cycle. Follow this with several cycles of just plain water to rinse.
  2. Boil better eggs by adding two tablespoons of vinegar to the water before boiling. The acidity of the vinegar helps to keep eggs from cracking.
  3. If, like me, you happen to take your sweet time when it comes to finishing your cup of morning coffee, chances are you’ve successfully stained the bottom of your favorite cup. Remove coffee stains by swishing 2 tablespoons of vinegar around in the cup and wash as usual.
  4. Killing yourself over trying to peel off price tags or stickers? Paint them with several coats of vinegar and let the liquid soak for five minutes before you peel.
  5. Make your 3 x 4 Williamsburg ‘backyard” into a garden paradise by using vinegar to kill your weeds. Fill a spray bottle with straight vinegar and spray multiple times.
  6. Soothe a bee or jellyfish sting. Dot the irritated area with vinegar to relieve immediate itching and take the edge off your sting.
  7. If the snow salt has wrecked havoc on your favorite boots, save them by reaching for the vinegar. Dip a rag or old T-shirt into vinegar and wipe away all that white, fabulous-killing residue.
  8. Don’t keep buttermilk on hand for all of your fried-chicken and baking needs? Not to worry. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk and let it stand four to five minutes to thicken.
  9. We’ve heard a rumor that consuming one tablespoon full of the stuff stops hiccups instantly. Will test and get back to you guys about that one.
  10. Return your favorite sweater to its formerly fluffy state by dropping a few capfuls of vinegar in during the rinse cycle for an extra-soft feel.

What’s your household Wonder Product? Send us the household products you love and we’ll give ‘em a test.

Email us at bbonabudget@gmail.com, or Tweet us @bbonabudget!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Did This Go Bad?

Did this go bad?

Part of being a Brooklyn Bitch on a Budget is not throwing anything away. Unfortunately, we’re somewhat notorious for holding onto most things for waaay past their expiration dates. It’s like if we have it in our fridge, we’ll use it somehow- even when your grapes are wrinkly, our milk is somewhat curdled, and our bread is stale. However, we’ve come to discover that keeping food well past it’s due date only results in a fridge full of smelly, rotten food.

One of our resolutions is to only buy what we can use (let’s see how long we can stay with it). Luckily, we’ve compiled this list to remind us how long we can keep certain foods around our kitchen before they pass their prime. Discard accordingly!

Apples: up to 3 weeks. Keep unwrapped in the fridge.

Asparagus: 4 days. Cut off bottoms and wrap exposed ends in moist paper towel in fridge.

Basil: 2-4 days. Avoid if wilted.

Bell peppers: 1 week. Store in plastic in fridge.

Berries: 3 days, max. Store in ventilated container in fridge.

Broccoli: 5 days. Keep in plastic in fridge.

Carrots: 3 weeks. Remove tops and refrigerate in plastic.

Celery: 2 weeks. Keep in fridge in vented plastic bag.

Cherries: 5 days, max. Store in plastic.

Chicken (cooked): 3-4 days. Refrigerate in shallow, covered containers.

Chicken (raw): 1-2 days. Keep in freezer.

Coffee beans: 1 month. Store in a cool, dark place in a container. Grounds last up to 2 weeks.

Dry pasta: up to a year, making it a favorite of the Brooklyn Bitches on a Budget. Store in a cool, dark place.
Eggs: 3-5 weeks. Place on lower shelves of fridge- not the door!

Flour: 6-8 months. Store in cool, dry place. A sealed container is ideal.

Garlic: 2 months. Store unwrapped in a cool, dry, ventilated place.

Grapefruit: 2 weeks. Store in fridge

Grapes: 1 week. Place in vented plastic bag and store in fridge.

Ground beef: 2 days. Either refrigerate or freeze.

Lemons/limes: 2 weeks. Store in fridge

Lettuce: 1 week. Refrigerate in plastic bag with a dry paper towel to absorb moisture.

Mushrooms: 3 days. Store in paper bag and put in fridge.

Onions: 2 months. Store in cool, dry place.

Oranges: 2 weeks. Store in fridge.

Pizza: 3-4 days. Keep leftovers wrapped in fridge.

Pork (raw): 3 days. Refrigerate in sealed container.

Potatoes: 1-2 months. Store in cool, dry place.

Steak (cooked): 3-4 days. Keep refrigerated.

Steak (raw): 3-5 days. Refrigerate in original packaging.

Tomatoes: 5 days, max. Store stem-side down and unwrapped at room temperature.


Make sure to keep your food fresh and your fridge smelling great!

Love, B

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shakshouka

Shakshouka.

Shakshouka.

ShakshoukaShakshoukaShakshouka.

Say it three times fast, and you’ll get the feel of our favorite Middle Eastern dish.

It’s what we look for first on the menu at The Hummus Place, and it’s the dish that brought on the Great Kitchen Disaster At Metropolitan Ave 2007- my roommate and I attempted to recreate it’s awesomeness by memory and were seriously disappointed.

Alas, it’s not as hard (or as expensive) as we originally thought. Shakshouka is native to North Africa and the Middle East, and usually served as a breakfast straight out of the skillet with a side of warm pita bread. However, we feel the need to eat this awesome hearty meal for lunch and dinner- plus we’re guaranteed to have plenty of leftovers.

Want to try for yourself?

All you need:

Extra virgin olive oil

1 chopped bell pepper (red or yellow or green)

1 can chickpeas

1 can black beans

1 chopped onion (red or white)

1 can diced tomatoes

1 clove chopped garlic

1 jar tomato sauce

4-6 eggs

black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, tumeric

2 c brown rice

4 c water

(Makes 4-5 servings)

  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add rice and cover. Remove top periodically to allow steam to escape. DO NOT STIR RICE!
  3. Coat large skillet with oil and turn heat to medium-high. Add onion and peppers, stirring until they brown.
  4. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, beans, and garlic. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add tomato sauce, heat until it boils. Add spices to taste.
  6. Once sauce is boiling and vegetables are cooked, crack eggs on top of mixture. Cover the frying pan and turn the heat on low until the eggs are cooked through.
  7. Once eggs are cooked, serve over rice directly from skillet.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Harlem on a Budget


Last night, one very Brooklyn Bitch found her way on an A train speeding uptown to 135th St.
What was once the scariest neighborhood of them all has become substantially less scary. Headed to Harlem for a close friend's funk band show with a crew of fellow Williamsburgians, we weren't quite sure what to expect.
My personal experiences uptown have never extended past 110th St, making me somewhat wary to adventure into this new New York neighborhood. I was delighted to find such a beautiful, artistic community so far away from the two-digit-cover-charge-plus-three-drink-minimum music and art scene in Manhattan. Next time you're looking to eat, drink, and dance, hop on a subway uptown to see a part of New York that tourists will never get to experience.
EAT/DRINK:
1. Miss Maude's Spoonbread Too (7 Lenox Ave and 137th St) is the place to enjoy red velvet cupcakes, fried chicken, collard greens, and mac and cheese. Try Miss Maude's famous seafood gumbo ($3.95) or the homemade meat loaf ($9.95), or make a meal from sides of cole slaw, string beans, candied yams, mashed potatoes, corn bread stuffing, rice and peas, or black-eyed peas for just $2.50 each. And for all my single ladies out there- Miss Maude's is a favorite of the doctors at Harlem Hospital on their lunch breaks.
2. Veggies and carnivores can enjoy a satisfying meal at Cafe Veg (2291 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd and 134th St). Dig in to all the steamed veggies ($6) , eggplant fritters ($2.50) and soy burgers ($8) and enjoy with a natural soda (lemonade, raspberry lemonade, or orange-mango). Eating vegetarian's not your thing? Order the duck ($9), curry steak ($9.50) or meat loaf ($9.50).
3. If you find yourself hungry for snacks and jazz and it's after 9:30p, St. Nick's Pub (773 St. Nicholas Ave and 149th Sts) is the place to be. It's a laid-back local favorite that's been around forever, as well as being one of the only places you can enjoy Sugar Hill's own local brew. Make sure to drop some bills in the tip jar that circulates during late-night jam sessions- there's never a cover here!
SEE:
1. Take a stroll through the visual arts gallery at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (515 Lenox Ave and 135th St). A branch of the New York Public Library, the Schomburg Center is a national research library devoted to collecting, preserving, and providing access to resources documenting the history and experiences of peoples of African descent throughout the world. Currently on display is Jerry Pinkney's African-American Journey to Freedom, the Seagram Collection of African-American Art.
2. Harlem's best art institution is The Studio Museum (144 W 125th St) . Visit on a Sunday, as part of the Target Free Sundays program. The fall/winter season opened with a major exhibition, 30 Seconds off an Inch, bringing together a collection of contemporary artworks by a group of approx. 100 artists who have absorbed the lessons of U.S.-based conceptual art and identity politics (StudioDesign.org). Also on display until March 14th are a series of watercolors from the permanent collection.
3. The Apollo theater (253 W. 125th St) is an artistic institution. While it may not be budget-friendly to see a show, at least peek your head inside to see the venue where Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and James Brown have made history. The Apollo is a source of New York pride, as well as a showcase for brilliant African American artists.
DO:
1. Go to The Shrine (2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd), Harlem's newest small club, for a night of amazing music and wonderful food. This fabulous renowned venue offers Daily Happy Hour: Bringing Harlem Spirit Back, with $3 draft beers and $4 mixed drinks. Enjoy the best jazz, funk and soul music over an epic platter of french fries or plantains. Not able to make the trek to 135th St during the week? Brunch at the Shrine offers a morning feast of salads, toasts, and eggs any way you like 'em. Open seven days a week, 4p-4a, and hosting a variety of talented singers, musicians, djs, poets, artists, and comedians. Best part? Concerts and shows require no cover charge or drink minimum, making the Shrine a favorite place for any Bitch on a Budget.
2. Latin dance is on the rise, and you can shake your booty on the third floor of the Harlem State Office Building (163 W 125th St) on Fridays from 6p to midnight. $10 buys you six hours of dancing and movin' what your mama gave you. Planning your Harlem adventure for a weekend? Stop by the Harlem YMCA (180 W 135th St and Adam Clayton Powell Jr) and enjoy a $5 salsa class.
3. The GreenFlea at P.S. 175 (W 135th St and Lenox Ave) is full of traditional African crafts and textiles and light on the typical flea market fare.
SPLURGE:
1. If you have the chance to cut loose at The Cotton Club, you should do it. Located at 656 West 125th St, this famous jazz club has launched the career of legendary jazz greats. Closed temporarily in 1936 after the Harlem race riots, the Cotton Club reopened later that year and has kept it's doors open ever since. $34 per person buys a buffet brunch and a gospel show, or spring for the $45 buffet dinner and show. If you can't make the splurge, at least Netflix the movie, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Open Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 8p-12a, Saturday from 12p-12a, and Sunday from 12p-8:15p.
SPEND: (not including $2.25 Metrocard) $15-20

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekend Wish List

Good morning, Bitches!

February 14th. Valentine's Day. It's one of our most dreaded days of the year, and we're strongly opposed to all things related to this consumerist commercial Hallmark holiday. However, if the boy or the wife showed up with any of the following, we just might reconsider our position on the matter.

On this weekend's wish list?

1. An invitation to see a show at Fashion Week. Any show, we're not picky- we just want to spot Tavi, our favorite fashion blogger (check her out at http://tavi-thenewgirlintown.blogspot.com/) from under the tents in Bryant Park. We know we're not the only fashionista New Yorkers to mourn the move from the Park to Lincoln Center. However, we're willing to partially overlook this if we were able to score an invite.
2. A tiny 3-cup Bodum Demi Chambord Coffee Press. Although I like my coffee in large quantities, I just might consider cutting back on my caffeine consumption if my morning java came in such a cute container.
3. A bunch of yellow daisies. We've just rediscovered the most beautiful little blue vase tucked away in the far recesses of our cupboard, and it's time for it to come out of hiding. There's something so wonderfully indulgent about cut flowers in the wintertime, isn't there? Makes any Bitch on a Budget feel like a million bucks.
4. The quarter fried chicken and a Brooklyn Indian Pale Ale beer from Egg on N. 5th St. This Bitch had her first visit to the Williamsburg institution for a certain birthday girl's festivities last night, and boy did it live up the hype. We strongly recommend the biscuits, the boiled peanuts, and the fried chicken! Battered and fried to perfection with the most wonderful sweet and crunchy coating, this stuff is what you've been dreaming of.
5. A fancy set of pastry brushes. We're seriously missing the one tool used to glaze, frost, brush, and baste the baked goodies we've been whipping up as of late.

That's it for us. We hope you get everything you've been dreaming for this weekend! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Love,
B

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chocolate Makes the World Go Round

Valentine's Day does not even come close to ranking on our Top 100 Holidays. It's one of those days we'd be perfectly content with leaving off the calendar altogether, regardless of our coupled status. Yes, there are boys in our lives, and yes, they're quite wonderful, but we've made a mutual pact with our fellas that Feb 14th is not to be acknowledged.

This being said, there are many aspects of V-Day that we particularly enjoy. Flowers, heart-shaped candies, and uncomfortable lace thongs? Not so much. We'd much prefer an overwhelming amount of the good stuff: chocolate. White, dark, truffled, milk, melty, frozen, we're not choosy.

It doesn't have to be Valentine's Day to enjoy a recipe heavy on chocolatey goodness. Try any of these easy chocolate desserts, no matter what day it is, to get your daily fix.

Chocolate Panini
4 slices white bread
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate

1. Form two sandwiches with bread and chocolate.
2. Transfer to a waffle iron and cook until the bread is golden and chocolate has melted (2-3 min).

Chocolate Ganache Sandwiches
1 bag of chocolate chips
2 c heavy cream
2 boxes chocolate wafer cookies

1. Melt chocolate chips in heavy cream over low heat. Stir occasionally until blended.
2. Remove from heat and chill in fridge until cooled.
3. Beat chocolate cream with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (3-5 min).
4. Assemble sandwiches with 2 chocolate wafers and a few tablespoons of ganache.

Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 bag marshmallows
6 c Rice Krispies
12 oz chocolate bar (like a Hershey's bar)

1. In a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter and marshmallows. Stir until smooth (6-8 min). Add cereal and stir until coated and combined. Press into a 9-by-13 in baking dish.
2. Chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl set in a saucepan of gently simmering water. Spread the chocolate evenly over the rice mixture.
3. Cover and place in fridge for 45 min. Cut into 24 squares.

Chocolate Chip Surprise
Mix a handful of chocolate chips into everything you happen to eat for the day. Pancakes, waffles, pb&j's, oatmeal, and croissants are all fair game. I've finished many a bag of chocolate chips this way.

Go out and get your chocolate on! And please, for the love of God, don't go all Hallmark on us.

Love,
B