Chinese Bone Broth with Asian Pears

I’m really trying to get hyped up for Chinese New Year.  Aside from some flowers I brought into the home, CNY lacks its usual red & gold luster, feeling more like the dreary snowy Monday that is New York today.  BUT in an effort to stay true to CNY traditions of 除舊迎新 “out with the old (crap) and in with the good”, I’m going to refrain from talking about the absolute insanity of work in January, my forever cold, and my wistful thoughts of childhood past. Continue reading

Oxtail Stew with Celery Root Mash

Happy 2016!!!!! 2015 went by in a flash, and with Preston’s hard work finally culminating to his start-up’s private Beta test in December, my year end workload, and trying our best to partake in the holidays, the past month completely vanished on us.  Luckily I had the last minute wisdom to take off the final week of 2015. No fancy plans, but staying home just to get ahead of life is such luxury.
Speaking of getting ahead of life and setting 2016 off to a great start, cooking must be involved since much of staying alive involves eating – fortunately and unfortunately. Continue reading

Back to Basics: Homemade Chicken Stock

Hem… what’s the story this month? Travel, travel, & more travel!  Granted, it’s been mostly the good kind of travel that involves family & friends – the kind where you don’t mind cramming yourself for 3 hours in a $150 Spirit Airlines seat that doesn’t recline. I take that back, Spirit Airlines still sucks balls.  Good or bad travel aside my body just can’t take abuse like it used to (I believe the scientific term is “gettin’ old”).  Here is my current list of travel “must-do’s”: Continue reading

The Holt’s Apple Butter

Having now lived in NYC for almost a decade, I don’t know how many times I’ve said to myself something to the effect of “I’m <insert colorful descriptor> done with this place”.  The frequency of such complaints is inversely correlated with falling temperature and positively correlated with the rising rent – which happens right about this time of year.  After such declaration, the “NYC Triple Threat” invariably happens where we meet some incredible people, walk past some amazing piece of architecture, and / or have our minds blown by some experience. It’s as if New York is telling us: “You don’t know what you’re talking about.  Stay just a little while longer”.  Rinse and repeat, the love-hate relationship continues.

Continue reading

Is it Fall Magic? No, it’s Apple Saucery!

This year, my husband and I finally got our act together, managed to organize an Adirondacks Fall camping trip (more on that later) and squeeze in our first apple picking experience!

Ok, so apple picking is actually quite a bit of work and is not like the calico skirt, birds chirping, pretty basket experience that I had envisioned, but it’s totally worth it!  Not only are the apples crispier and sweeter than our farmers market apples, it gave us a healthy appreciation for how hard it is to actually pick (let alone grow) the perfect apple. Here’s a quick shout out to Hicks Orchard, which despite my Manhattan food snobbery, does have the best Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cider Donuts…

To reward our hard work and as a continuation of my husband’s birthday week celebration, I decided to try my hand at making apple sauce!

Branching Owl's Homemade Apple Sauce

Branching Owl’s Homemade Sugarless Apple Sauce

I’ve never done it before, but making apple sauce like a boss isn’t as hard as it might seem. First of all, upgrade your mom’s apple corer with this, it is worth the $10, second, making apple sauce really does involve boiling the crap out of some apples.

Ingredients (Yields 12 – 15 servings, or 1 serving for my husband)

– 15 Apples

– 2 1/2 cups of water

– Juice of 1 Lemon

– 2 Tsps of Cinnamon

– 1 Pinch of Nutmeg

– 1 Pinch of Salt

Directions:

– Wash and core all your apples, cut them into chunks. We kept the skin on, since that’s where the flavah lives!

– Put apple chunks, water, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a big stock pot

– Bring the water the boil, the lower to a boiling simmer. Stir frequently and cook for 20 – 30 minutes, until the apples are mushy (i.e. boil the crap out of the apples)

– You can use a potato masher, or an immersion blender to smooth out the consistency

Here’s the result: The Homemade Apple Saucery Tower of Power:

Homemade Apple Sauce Tower of Power

Homemade Apple Sauce Tower of Power

Apples from Hicks Orchard

Honeycrisp Apples from Hicks Orchard

Edit: As a demonstration of his gratitude, my husband contributed this helpful reference image:

apple saucery - duh

apple saucery – duh