November 28, 2011

Recipe: Tzatziki Sauce

32 ounces of Yogurt
8 ounces of Sour Cream
4 Cucumbers
2 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 tablespoons of fresh Dill
3 cloves of Garlic
1 Lemon
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper

Take yogurt and sour cream and add to a colander lined with a cheese cloth or paper towel placed over a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge overnight to strain out excess moisture.

Peel cucumbers, seed, and dice into small chunks and add salt. Place into a small colander atop a bowl, and also leave in fridge to drain moisture overnight.

The next day, remove both bowls of yogurt/sour cream and cucumbers from the refridgerator. Zest the lemon, then juice. Combine all ingredients in food processor, including the lemon juice and zest, and let sit in fridge for an hour, covered with plastic wrap. Remove from fridge thirty minutes, entire bowl or small batches, prior to usage.

Recipe: Mayonnaise Dill White Sauce

1/2 cup of Yogurt
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
Juice of one Lime
1 Jalapeno Pepper (minced)
1 teaspoon of Capers (minced)
1/2 teaspoon of dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon of ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon of dried Dill
1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl thoroughly. Let sit in room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe: Guacamole

3 Haas Avocados
Juice of one Lime
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1/2 medium White Onion
2 Roma Tomatoes
1 tablespoon of fresh Cilantro
1 clove of Garlic (minced)

Cut avocados into chunks and mix in bowl with lime juice, thoroughly coating all pieces. Drain lime juice, and save, when done. Dice onions. Peel, seed, and dice the tomatoes. Add salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper to avocados to avocados. Mash with potato masher until smooth, then add onions, garlic, cilantro, and tomatoes to the mixture. Fold ingredients in with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add one tablespoon of the reserved lime juice back in. Let sit at room temperature for one hour, before serving.

November 26, 2011

Recipe: Mulled Apple Cider

1 gallon of Apple Cider
2 tablespoons of whole All Spice
2 tablespoons of whole Cloves
5-6 whole Cinnamon Sticks
4-5 slices of an Orange

Add all ingredients to a pot (except the orange slices) and bring to a boil, then lower flame to a simmer for 5-10 minutes. Be careful, as it can bubble over, so you may want to occasionally lift the lid to release pressure, or at least crack the top by angling the pot's lid.

Note: If you have a small cheese cloth, you can add the cloves and all spice by wrapping them up and tying the top. This will make it easier to remove later on.

Turn off heat, let sit for a few minutes and add the orange slices. Strain out all spice and cloves, before serving (see above note).

Recipe: Falafal

2 cups of dried Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)
2 medium White Onions
8 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 cup of fresh Parsley
1/2 cup of fresh Cilantro
2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt
3 teaspoons of ground Cumin
3 teaspoons of ground Coriander
1 teaspoon of crushed Red Pepper
2 teaspoon of Sesame Seeds
2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
3 teaspoons of Corn Starch

Rehydrate chick peas in cold water overnight (minimum 12 hours). Drain water afterwards and then add to a boiling pot of salted water and boil for 30 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Note: You can skip the boiling if you want, but I've noticed the chick peas tend to be much firmer and rougher, whereas I prefer a smoother texture to my falafals.

Add chick peas to food processor along with onions, fresh parsley and cilantro. If there's too much for the food processor, then mix all three in a bowl and make in small batches. Process until smooth, then add to a cheese cloth-lined colander (strainer), over bowl, to drain out excess liquids. Don't squeeze out the liquids, you just want the excess liquids to drain out over the next hour naturally.

Add mixture back to food processor and add remaining ingredients (except baking soda and corn starch). Let sit for another hour after everything has been thoroughly blended.

When you're ready to fry up some falafals, you'll want to add the corn starch and baking soda to the mixture, about 10-15 minutes before cooking. Again, the food processor comes into play.


Prepare falafals into whatever desired shapes and set onto a tray or plate.

Add about 2 inches of oil (vegetable, olive, &/or sesame) to frying pan and one tablespoon of margarine (or butter) and turn heat onto medium-high, let oil get very hot (about 2-3 minutes). Add falafals, in small batches, to the oil and fry until golden brown.

Once done, you can remove and place onto a plate with paper towels, to let drain for a few minutes and then serve.

Goes great with:
- Tzatziki Sauce

Recipe: Coconut Rice

3 cups of Coconut Milk
2 cups of Rice (Jasmine or Basmati)
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil
2 tablespoons of dry, shredded Coconut

Add coconut oil to the pot used to prepare the rice, and cover bottom and lower half. Add rice, shredded coconut, milk and salt to pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent rice on bottom from burning or sticking.

Once the coconut milk boils, lower heat to lowest sitting to simmer, while covered, in the pot for 15-20 minutes. Looking for all the liquid to have been evaporated and/or absorbed by the rice at the bottom. When ready, turn off the heat and let sit for 5-10 more minutes, until ready to serve.

November 14, 2011

Recipe: TRON Shots

1 quart of Blue Raspberry or Fruit Punch
15 B-12 Vitamin capsules
1/2 quart of Lemonade
1 quart of Vodka

Boil the blue raspberry or fruit punch drinks in a pot, with the lemonade and add the vitamin capsules' contents (open capsules for their powder - don't just drop in!) and stir well, until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature, then add vodka and chill.

When ready to serve, serve under black lights for the glowing effect!

Note: You can substitute fruit-flavored vodkas for the regular vodka for better flavors and scents.

Recipe: Watermelon-Chipotle Vodka BBQ Sauce

2 1/2 cups of Ketchup
1/2 cup of Vidalia Onion (diced)
1/4 cup of Watermelon juice
1/4 cup of Watermelon Vodka
2 cans of chopped Chipotle Chilies
1/4 cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 cup of Hoisin Sauce
2 tablespoons of Canola Oil
2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
2 cloves of Garlic (minced)
1/2 teaspoon of Celery Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon of Honey

Heat oil in a sauce pan, and add onions and garlic, sauteing until soft and onions are translucent. Stir in brown sugar, celery salt and black pepper. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until the sauce thickens. Cool to room temp and use as desired.

Recipe: Apple Pie Shots

1 gallon of Apple Juice
1 gallon of Apple Cider
7 whole Cinnamon Sticks
1 tablespoon of freshly-ground Nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon of All Spice
1/2 tablespoon of Cloves
4 cups of Brown Sugar
1 liter of Everclear 190

Combine all ingredients, except Everclear, in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Let cool, strain out cloves and the all spice (the cinnamon sticks can remain), add Everclear 190, and chill. Before serving, add Whipped Cream to the top and enjoy!

Another option is to create a spice bag from some string and a small cheesecloth or empty tea bag (in which case, break the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces), in which case you can leave the spices in - it's annoying to fish out the cloves and all spice later on.

You can substitute Spiced Rum or Vodka for Everclear, but in doing so you add more water, so you may want to add half a can of apple juice concentrate to the boiled batch.

Recipe: Fish Tacos

1 filet of White Fish (Tilapia, Mahi Mahi or Orata)
1/4 cup of Canola Oil
1/2 teaspoon of Cumin
Juice of one Lime
Zest of one Lime
1 tablespoon of Ancho Chili Powder
1 chopped Jalapeno Pepper
1/4 cup of fresh Cilantro
8 Flour Tortillas

Combine canola oil, lime juice & zest, cumin, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro in a bowl and add fish filet. Let marinate for 15-30 minutes. Remove from marinade and add fish filet to a hot grill (over medium flame), flesh-side down, and let sit for four minutes. Flip to other side for 30-45 seconds. Remove and place on a plate, letting the filet rest for 5 minutes. Afterwards flake the filet with fork.

Warm tortillas on a hot grill for 30 seconds. You can actually use the grill used for the filet, if you want the tortilla to mop up some of the juices. Afterwards scoop up fish and add your own desired toppings (e.g. white cabbage, radicchio, freshly-cut tomatoes, tomato salsa, avocado, guacamole, and etc.).

Disclaimer - Most know I don't eat seafood, due to allergies, but I used to cook them for my ex's and they loved them. They're also still alive ;)

Goes great with both:
- Guacamole
- Mayonnaise-Dill White Sauce

November 7, 2011

New York Comic Con, Steampunk Day & Exxxotica

2011 was a big year for New York Comic Con (and Anime Festival)! The con saw about 105,000 attendees this year, a huge jump from last year's estimate of 75k! This year was also the marking of the con as a four-day convention, instead of the usual three, though some con-goers managed to whine over Thursday's events, but I'm not going to get into that... Anywho, here's some quick teases of the photos from the four days!

On the Sunday of the Brooklyn Indie Market (Oct. 23), I arrived a few hours before the fashion show to shoot some photos for Berit New York's "Fairy Warriors" collection, but for photos of the fashion show, here's a quick tease!

I checked out the Exxxotica Expo in New Jersey this past weekend, but only Saturday. The convention itself is three days long. I was kind of underwhelmed with this one, but I was also pissed as I had three shoots with actresses attending this and they all flaked out pretty much last second. The first two were true flakes, but the third one was kind of more she missed her flight and shit fell-through, but still some warning would've been nice. This con pretty much threw my whole weekend in the crapper :/

Anywho, here's some quick teasers!