Thursday, October 7, 2010

POOGS Favorite Food Blogs For Janet: See

One of my absolutely favorite pastimes is sharing with you, total strangers who might appreciate my fabulous experiences.  This list of below is the result of many grueling nights, wrapped in cashmere, sipping a warm toddy, perusing literally thousands of food blogs. Here are my favorites:

Foggy Doggy
For six years, Mike Jenson, has been blogging about cooking gourmet dog biscuits and cocktails in his well-appointed, but tiny Shoreditch studio.  Some of the recipes he features, actually all of them, are riduculously complicated and involved hard to find and expensive exotic components, like distillation of sumac.  The main ingredient that sets these doggy treats apart however, is the special brew of home made vodka that he adds to each and every biscuit (hence the eponymous Foggy Doggy). But, the results are out of this (doggy) world. Mike's shaggy dog storytelling style and heartfelt desire to share his hard work to spare us some are genuinely endearing. My favorite post, "How to turn a Bucket of Rotten Potatos in the Perfect Canine Cosmo" makes me ever to eager to find him a book publisher whose design department is good enough to create a coffeetable book of his recipes that I can feature on POOG.

Frank Bites
For starters, this is one of the most profoundly beautiful food blogs out there. Frank Abouzeidiemetelschmidt is a videographer, food stylist and tumblr who travels around the world even though you can't. His videos are fast-paced, cutting edge artistic interpretations of what food would look like if it moved on its own. His edgy filming of flash fried Vishnatha spinach is the best visual interpretation of flash fried Vishnatha spinach that I've ever seen. And, just when I thought that he's reached the acme of videotaping food production, he surprised me with his "Souffle in Slow Motion," a Muybridge-like short that makes you want to reach out and at least touch, if not taste, the screen.

Crepes and Cretins
Sometimes it's hard to remember that even people who are not too bright like good food. And Crepes and Cretins has come along just at the right time to remind the rest of us that they do.  Their blog entries are short, practical and include everday ingredients to make simple, everyday food for simpletons.  Most of the recipes are creative redos of timeless classics such as thyme scrambled eggs (add thyme), gourmet Hawaiian pizza (add pineapple), nutella and strawberry crepes (add nutella and strawberrys to your crepes) and garlic roasted chicken (add garlic). It's no surprise that their entries read like short stories taken straight from the pages of The Joy of Cooking.

Tiny Limb's blog is not a food blog, but a blog about people who love food. It's fun because she doesn't care what they're eating but instead focuses on what they look like while they eat because, after all, who wants to look at someone unattractive scarf down dinner. She is first a foremost my favorite dining stylist (she styled my last dinner party and it was the BEST looking I've ever had).  When you are looking for someone to make your dinner party sparkle with fabulous looking guests think of Limb.

What Janet Eats
See Janet eat.  This text over action photojournal of Janet and her favorite foods is not to be missed for their unique and wonderful take on Janet and her food preferences styled circa Goodhousekeeping 1974. We forget how challenging the creation and provision of fun and yummy food for the family was women in the early 70s as they faced the rising tide of the effects of the sexual revolution and blouses that knotted into really ugly bows at the neck. What Janet Eats takes us back to that time with none of the cultural baggage, leaving us with beautiful images of food against time-treasured backdrops of avocado coloured kitches and faux wood panelled dining rooms. She uses tried-and-true 70s food to create edible historic montages.

Madagascar Spice
Blues Jennas is a food writer, fashion illustrator and writer who grew up in an English tea house in what was once Bombay. A few years ago, she began experimenting with creating delicious dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, peanut-free high afternoon teas, an effort that unfortunately failed, but fortunately resulted in her marvelous blog relating her seven year trials and tribulations. Each attempt is worse than the next in terms of taste, but the photography is beautiful and the Haikus and illustrations that accompany each recipe will make you cry. I especially love her discription of the dairy-ree, sugar-free, gluten-free, peanut-free cranberry scone:

Small juicy berries
Drifting in empty bowls
Filled by nothingness

Just Like Moms
Making dinner every night has been women's work for...ever. But now, thanks to a dad that makes dinner, we get to learn about how challenging it is to work and go home to create beautiful, nutritious and fun meals for the family even when you're exhausted, don't want to,. have not ingredietns and have a husband, or wife in this case, that works out of the house. Yet somehow Amir Toff manages to do just that with grace and humor and his iPhone.  His intrepid ordering of exotic take out is chronicled in the voice and via the charming antics of his humourously renamed wife and sons: Intrepid, Explorer and Sunshine. His menu links are fabulous (all you need for dinner is a PDF reader! Acrobat's 9.0 downloadable version is free). His mantra at the close of every post, "Why should I cook?" seems pretty good to me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Go: Barthelona Redux

Friends, Frienemies,
This just in: Barthelona ith awethome. I say this in no way to make fun of Barcelonitos, but to genuinely reflect the tension inherent in Catalan life. Since coming to Barthenona on Saturday  I have had the pleasure to see the city through the eyes of die-hard Catalans, who have been forced for centruries to speak in the false lisp of their Castillian oppressors. Despite this handicap Barcelonitos are in the avant garde of bioorganic food production. This may seem like a small victory, but it's not. The ability to create slightly tasteless but theoretically healthy food in a culture that values frighteningly tastel-but insanely bad-for-you food is a major vindictive coup.
Today's featured establishment (no, we are not getting free muffins), Barcelona Reykavic, is an all natural bakery just off of the Carrer Pintor Fortuny. It lives up to it's reputation as the city's leading Slow Food movement organic bakery.  The xocolate muffin is tough but tastey and the plantanos, despite being virtually inedible, are amazing. Nearby, local Biotherm Cafe serves the only vegetables that are not fried as tapas in a 20 mile radius. Their small plates are expensive, but you have the comfort of knowing that anything green has actually been imported from the victory garden at Eton. Just knowing that witty, weathly scions of the British aristocracy walked by these veggies makes you sigh in relief.

I would be remiss not to mention the terribly shallow art scene. MACBA is stunning and never open and local contemporary galleries elusive. This is the best way to experience cutting edge art - with longing. This longing captures the essence and effemerality of ideas. The longing itself is the point. To actually see the art, or to experience it, is SO passe. Barthelona captures this zeitgeist as no other city does.

Adios, mi amigos.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Be: The Karma Doctor

Hello friends,
Many of you have recently written with excellent ideas indoor wintery fun.  I thought I would compile some of these and add my own personal favorites to share with you here.
Snow ho!

A Visit From the Karma Doctor
Lots of busy women I talk to make good use of their trapped inside time by making doctor's appointments for the year. Everything from dentists and dermotologists to allergists and personal trainers. However, few make time for a regular visit to the Karma Doctor.  My Karma Doctor makes house calls and can always anticipate when a full-family snow day visit is necessary. It has nothing at all to do with my crying, but rather with his innate sense of when all of us need a better sense of where we came from, where we are and where we are going. Some people thing that it's impossible to minister to one's karma, but they're haters.  Marylebone's own Dr. Ben Gideon Smalley comes with everything he needs - a sharp brain, nicely trimmed finger nails, a melifluous voice and a karmic wisdom of the ages.  The first thing he does is make everyone in the family wear nude colored body suits, sit, breathe, hold hands and kiss. That small act enables all of us to calm down and smell the roses. I always make sure before a snow storm to buy several dozen roses and you should, too. The second thing he does is make everyone say something true in the karma circle of love. He draws the circle on the rug using lotus petals. Anything you say in the karma circle loses it's ability to be hurtful outside of the circle.  You can use the circle to purge your karma of negativity generated by being inside for long periods of time with people you are related to.  For example, once in the circle you can say how much you hate animated movies or how your son's habit of singing to you at bed time makes you want to leap out of your skin with panic.  I cannot tell you how good I felt when I left the circle of love after saying that I was disappointed that no one noticed my week long attempt to walk like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. It meant a lot to me to be able to do that and when no one noticed I was hurt. I mentioned that I felt that everyone was really self-centered and not very observant then I felt better. Dr. Gideon Smalley is available for certain people if you call 0-11-44-67-32-32.

Poem in a Jar
In these days of virtual media madness I find that it is always good to remind my children (and myself) of what books and words mean.  All too often we forget that books represent perhaps the greatest technological leap ever taken by humans ever and should be treated with respect and veneration. Words, too. They are symbolic of meaning. One of my favorite stuck-in-the-house snow day activities is to have the kids go through the books we have and cut out words that they like the sounds of.  Then, we paste the words to the insides of glass jars using a mix of powdered gelatin mixed with coconut water. Once each jar has been completely covered (from the inside) we take turns reading them out loud in a giant fun-filled family poetry slam.  If you can, have everyone read from behind the backlight curtain in your shadow theatre for great dramatic effect.  The jar makes a great flower vase if you shellac the inside when you are done.  Here is one of my favorites (from my own jar, which I shellaced myself with a mixture of linseed and eggwhite). My clever daughter named this one Mommy has Aphasia and I laughed so hard I almost peed in my pants, but they are hand sewn ultrasuede so I didn't:

Doll silk carrots cellar door azure
Anyway sandals Emin soak
Sex prayerful bean curd
Real pan Warrior erstatz fiddle
Lo waters a of or and gritty
Question love.

The first line rhyme was a throw away bonus and the last two words just ended up next to each other in an instance of poetic fate. Our family collection will be published in July by the Urban Poetry Collective. Proceed will be donated to SOOCCS (Sisters of Owners of Canine Cancer Survivors).

Faux Jello
Everyone remembers Jello and as a special treat we have one day a year when we make it.  I like to reserve this treat for snow days when the kids won't actually want to eat the jello but rather can be convinced to mix it with snow and play texture games with it. That way I get the Mommy points for allowing them to make Jello and a mess while making sure that they don't actually eat it.  If they insist on eating it however, a good substitute if you do want to eat it is Dandelion Aspic with Agave Syrup, which, if you add dried and pulverized berries to can be dyed to look like Jello. I won't tell if you don't!

Make Designer Skirts
I would never have come up with this one by myself, but my good friend, SM is a whiz with the needle and after the launch of her kids' clothing line in major store to be unnamed she came up with a do-it-yourself bedskirt skirt that is just to die for. Here's what you need:

100% 200 Count Egyptian Cotton Long Drop Bedskirt in color of your choice
100% 200 Count White Egyptian Cotton King Size Sheet
Sewing Maching (optional, you can get someone to sew by hand for you)

Cut one side of the bedskirt off keeping about four inches of the liner fabric above the skirt seam. Cut the sheet into three foot by one inch strips. Lay the strip on the liner fabric of the bedskirt section, fold over the liner fabric, sew it into place (there by creating a drawstring of Eygptian Cotton).  Once sewn into place wrap it around you as many times as desired, tie, et voila!  You might have to practice a few times before your stitching comes out right, but the seamstress I had come to show us how to stitch made it seem so easy.  The skirts we made last week will be available at the La Femme online auction during fashion week. If you don't have 200 count Egyptian Cotton sheets you can use a slightly lower thread count.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MAKE: And BE at the Same Time

This morning, as I sat and read my NYT, I was thrilled to see the yoga foodie movement featured in the Food section.  I say, it's about time. Anyone who has eaten a delicious vegan entree while doing the downward facing dog will tell you that virtually nothing can give you the same high as sweating and swallowing simultaneously.  I thought I would add to the article's wonderful coverage with a series of easy-to-make and easy-to-do vegan/yoga combos with a meditative soy wax facial twist.  Hope you can BE, in the existential sense, as happy as I am when I'm stretching AND indulging at the same time.

Tree Pose
Trunk Bark Hot Mocha Pattie
Essence of You Soy Candle Facial
Someone once told me that if the Tree Pose is your favorite one then you are well grounded, stable, earthy. So, what better to nibble on while in position than my own Trunk Bark Mocha Pattie. This nutrient filled snack  makes you truly one with the pose as  treeness infuses you from the inside.  To complete the experience however, I've added an Essence of You Soy Candle Facial.  The Essence of You Soy Candle allows you to melt the candle in it's entirety, add a few drops of your own (or that someone special's) perspiration. Once the candle is resolidified, you can burn it while you pose for a full sensory experience. I recommend using this candle during the winter months expecially since all of us can suffer from stuffy noses. As the candle melts use a small wooden paddle (I sneak mine from Harrods food court, shh) to scoop up some wax and smear it on your face. Heaven.

Warrior I (otherwise known as Virabhadrasana II)
Tai Chi Bean Salad
Ocean Air Clementine Wax Candle Facial
I love this pose! It makes me think of my first boyfriend. In 3rd grade we would pretend to be practictioners of the ancient martial arts in the playground. Everyone else thought we were weird, but now he's got a no.1 selling fashion line. He actually told me that my warrior pose was the best he'd ever seen.  In honor of first love, I 've coupled this otherwise aggressive-seeming position with a calming flavoid-filled bean salad. It's necessary when posing and eating to make sure that your choice of food balances your choice of movement.  In this instance the Tai Chi Bean Salad is ideal. As you lunge forward into full warrior mode, bring your extended arm back, with spoon, take a calming bite and exhale. The key to completing this motion for maximal harmony however, is to apply the Clemintine wax as a solid to your face PRIOR to going into warrior pose and then lighting your candle.  The BEST Ocean Air Clementine Wax Candle that I've found is from Romy and Cleo in LA (

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup
Bamboo Sugar Candle
Nothing looks so much like you do in this pose as a Vietnamese Egg Noodle in a bowl of warm tasty broth. You can really take your time in this pose to consider the mirror image tactile and sensual associations between you and your food. Some people say "You are what you eat," I say "You eat what you are." In this version of a facial gone wild, apply melted Bamboo Sugar Wax to your wrists and ankles for a genuine experience. Not to be believed.

A GOOP Spoof

Thursday, January 7, 2010

MAKE: Ecoorgans Boulevard

As all of us dedicated toxin purgers, the new year always presents innovative ways to cleanse. I have asked Malcolm Smidge and Heather Dexter, co-founders of LA’s terrific new Ecoorgans Boulevard to sacrifice any hint of competitive advantage his business may have had by sharing their secrets with me. I discovered EB last year when a friend of mine fainted during one of their fasts and I joined her on her 4 day regime to see if I could do it without fainting. The result was truly spectacular (I didn’t even sway slightly from inedia) and the smoothies and serums were so scrumptiously yummy that I ingest them whenever I am in LA. (The Papaya Juyce smoothie with added Acai is the best I’ve ever had .) They make regular intestinal purging much less icky and can deliver your diuretics to your door if you live in LA. If you don’t, like me, here are some key advice to keep on hand if you’re in a DYI mood.


Interview with Malcolm Smidge and Heather Dexter, founders Ecoorgans Boulevard

POOG: How did you begin your business?

Malcolm Smidge and Heather Dexter: We started Ecoorgan as the first full service detox and evacuate lifestyle company last year. The combination of easily mixed ingredients with new toilet technology from Japan really made the decision for us. Initially we were operating the HEALTHYcleanse detox program from our convertible BMW, where we also ran a raw food snack cart and served as the nexus of the LA healthy inside and out spirituality fitness raw food movement. What started as a deep inner need and a desire to cleanse, cleanse, cleanse extended outward to embrace and purify the world. The real intestipiphany however came when we first saw the Suzuki Air Fresh Barstool Toilet Model 552-0065889 and realized that bringing together our vision and their technology would enable us to create the first one stop sip and sit counter in the world. Our partnership has resulted in the world’s most dynamic, (sweetly-scented!) headquarters for a 24/7 purgative experience.

POOG: How does Ecoorgans Boulevard work?

Malcolm Smidge and Heather Dexter: People can find us on the world wide web or by calling us on our VOIP lines and call center located in Arkansas (the little-recognized capitol of the raw food cleanse movements telemarketing efforts.) If they call us, we can talk to them and tell them how to find our newest retail locations in LA when they are here. We make all of our smoothies and open all of our water bottles daily to guarantee freshness in our incredibly sparkly new kitchen. Our cutting edge rabbit water bottle openers are made by hand in Thailand and their use means that the level of carbonization in our water and intestoeco concoctions is maximized during the opening process. In addition, when we use maximally carbonized water in our smoothies we know that we are capturing the essence of each and every vitamin and element that would have gone into the mixture if it had more genuinely nutritive value. We’re pretty sure we are at least.

POOG: What sets you apart and makes you a leader in the sip-to-sit arena?

Malcolm Smidge and Heather Dexter: We are completely dedicated to making the widest possible range of water-based smoothies with immediate diuretic effects so that you leave our retail locations completely satisfied that you have met your cleansing goals in the shortest possible time. We know that time is a valuable commodity in today’s stressful world and believe that the ability to speed up the detox/purge/cleanse cycle is the main source of our competitive advantage. This would be impossible, of course, without our partnership with the Suzuki Air Fresh Barstool Toilet Company. We are also committed to an entirely recyclable, reusable model and have based our retail ecosystem on the lunar moon shuttle urine and human waste recycling program. No good fluid goes to waste in our model.

Here are some simple and easy to follow guidelines:

• Mix our Purple Sphincter Dust with two litres of highly carbonized water for maximum purge and a hint of ant-wrinkle benefits. Some say it also makes your laugh a little more…sparkley.

• After 20 magical minutes on our barstool it’s time for a quick in-place stretch. Lift your arms to the side and sway them first to the left three times and then to the right once. Repeat and then reverse. We call this the LOVEseat SWAY.

• Make sure that your BREAKFAST, LUNCH and DINNER all support your cleansing goals. The fundamental building blocks of any good program will always include a combination of powders, liquids and gels but never solids. We specialize in those that are murky and viscous so that you cannot swallow too much at once. In addition, if our greens are too bright, we tone them down with a smidgen of aged raw lamb to help with nightly evacuation.

• Remember, this program is not for everyone, but only very special people