Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Under One Looks Forward To Night One....

A Freilichen Chanukah to all!

Feel free to submit your own photos for consideration. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Art Set Free

Not only is New York "The City That Never Sleeps", but it's nice to know that there are a lot of fun and wholesome activities that are FREE in the city.

I often think that not enough people take advantage of such fun activities as Shakespeare in the Park, Shakespeare on the Run (love this one!), Philharmonic in the Park, etc.

Though they've been around for quite some time, it's only in the past couple of years that I've become aware of artsbrookfield.com. Their tagline is "art set free" and from what I can see, they're really trying. In their words, "Arts Brookfield, a global initiative of Brookfield, engages diverse communities by invigorating our public spaces through free, world-class cultural experiences". 

Just a few weeks ago, I went to their exhibit called "Canstruction", where various artists and businesses teamed up to raise awareness about domestic hunger by creating sculptures entirely out of cans and after the exhibition, donating these cans to the poor.

Tonight, Avram and I enjoyed a wonderful ice sculpting demonstration right in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Titled "Grace-ful Ice Microcosmos", Okamoto Studio transformed multiple blocks of ice into insects, small creatures and butterflies and they will only be on display for one more day! Have a look at some of my photos and check it out yourself. Scroll down and watch the progression...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cookbook Review - Secret Restaurant Recipes

I'm about to tell you something that reviewers don't like me to say...
When I hear about a new cookbook on the market, I often say to myself, "Not ANOTHER one...!" 

I'm starting to think that אֵין חָדָשׁ תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ  - there's nothing new under the sun. With the proliferation of recipes on social media and the internet WHO NEEDS COOKBOOKS? 
OK, so they make really nice gifts (pssst.... Chanukah is right around the corner). But they are becoming so repetitious, don't you think?
Well, I've got to say that for once,  I was intrigued when the nice folks at Artscroll offered me a reviewer's copy of Secret Restaurant Recipes. I really liked the concept. It offered something different. And who doesn't want to be in on a secret, right? 
When I received the cookbook, I was immediately impressed by how many well-known restaurants participated in the making of this book. Restaurants we've all eaten in, more than 70 in all, had opened up their card files and shared a little slice of their delicious heaven with the editors of this book. Fun, right?

I immediately picked out the recipe(s) that I wanted to make first - Cauliflower Bisque from my favorite Amsterdam Burger Company in New York, and Eggplant Chicken in Garlic Sauce from Segal's Oasis Grill in Phoenix, Arizona. Both recipes were easy to follow and were WINNERS. (Warning: The eggplant chicken was hottttt! But yummy :) )

I particularly liked that the book was peppered with little tips and hints from the chefs of these renowned establishments. I felt like I was in the back kitchen with Chef Jeff Nathan and he was giving me private lessons.

Did I like this cookbook? YES! Would I purchase it as a gift? YES!

(Have I been a cranky reviewer who has refused to review substandard cookbooks in the past? Ummmm... yes...)