Archive | November, 2010

Sunday 11/28/10

28 Nov

I’ve eaten Thanksgiving food for the past 6 days straight, and I feel great.  Never better.  My goal was to gain 15 lbs after Thanksgiving weekend, but I actually think I’ve lost a few pounds instead — I think because this is where my metabolism feels most at home and works its best.

Started out Wednesday night by heading out to Strong Island with B to spend Thanksgiving with his family.  This was my first time ever out to Strong Island, and I’m not going to lie, I was slightly terrified as I always am whenever I leave Manhattan for another part of “New York.”  Good thing we took car service there and back since I probably wouldn’t have gone at all if we had to take the LIRR.

But I joke.  Strong Island really wasn’t that bad — quite the contrary.  It was absolutely delightful and B’s family really knows how to have a good time.  The minute we arrive to B’s home, his parents have a huge bottle of Svedka ready for us with plenty of mixers and shot glasses laid out for us and a few other goods.  This certainly wasn’t the quiet Asian Thanksgiving I was used to having back in high school with my immediate family members eating silently around the table with a huge bowl of rice next to the turkey.

After pregaming with B’s parents, his bro, bro’s gf and a few of B’s Strong Island friends, we head out to the LI bars, somewhere called “The Village” (???) or something….. who am I kidding, I have no idea, I was literally blackout and way overly mellow by the time we left B’s house.  I’m not even sure how I made it out to the bars, but the only things I remember from the night are:

1) getting free gin and tonics from someone and free apple pie shots,

2) repeatedly falling on B’s shoulder mumbling “I shouldn’t have done that, I shouldn’t have done that,”

3) B helping some girl who was more blackout than me who was passed out in an alley and who thought B was trying to abduct and rape her when he was just trying to help her find her friends, and

4) getting the longest text series in the history of texts from T at 5:30am containing memorable quotes such as “You have earned as much cock as I can gather” and “Fuck Thanksgiving.  I’m thankful for your body.”

Well, needless to say, I was hungover STARVING the next day, so I was thankful it was Thanksgiving.  B’s mom is an amazing cook and she prepared all the Thanksgiving bests: turkey, honey baked ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, mushrooms, grilled asparagus, 4 kinds of pie, homemade chocolate chip cookies and HOMEMADE WINE — it was beautiful.  I had myself one incredible plate of love.

Thanksgiving Sides

Turkey

Honey Baked Ham

Heart Strong Island and B’s fam.  And Thanksgiving didn’t end there.  After we passed out circa 7pm on Thanksgiving Day, B and I woke up the next morning to some more Thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast over a Criminal Minds marathon.  When it was time to leave Strong Island, we wanted to continue our Thanksgiving eating spree so naturally we went straight to S’s apartment for Thanksgiving #2.

Now I had been spending the past 4 Thanksgivings with S, and he is really known for single-handedly creating quite the impressive Thanksgiving feast.  Here’s what S had on the menu this year:

  • Roasted turkey stuffed with duck fat
  • Foie gras stuffing
  • Squid ink stuffing with porcini mushrooms
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes with brown sugar and crushed pecans
  • Green beans with crushed pecans
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Lots of gravy
  • Cream fraiche

That’s right.  You did read that correctly.  He did make foie gras stuffing.  And it was maybe the best thing I’ve ever had in my life.  Here’s the plate of leftovers I helped myself to for Thanksgiving feast #2.

Thanksgiving #2

I had another one of those plates Saturday and Sunday too.  S’s roommate C was really hating on me by the end of this weekend, but no matter.  I heart my friends.  Fuck Thanksgiving.  I’m thankful for my friends.

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Tuesday 11/23/10

23 Nov

Had a Thanksgiving potluck lunch at work today — it was my idea!!  I did this at my other agency too.  The trick is to plant the idea into someone else’s head so they think it was their idea and totally not the resident food hoarder’s idea.  Last year it worked like magic and I even somehow convinced my managers to pay for it all, when the original suggestion was for all of us to pitch in $5 each.

This year it was a new set of people at a new job so I knew the chances of this working again were high.  Last Friday as we were all sitting around drinking during happy hour at the office, I casually asked the social committee lead, “Heyyyyyy, so are we having a party for Thanksgiving or what?!?!?!”

Coworker L:  Oh, I didn’t even think of that!  That might be fun.  What would we do though.

Me:  Yes!!  It would be SO fun.  So, I know we’ve been having a lot of office happy hours lately, so if we’re low on alcohol budget then another fun party idea we could do is a potluck lunch.  We did this at my other agency and it worked out great and it was so fun!!

Coworker L:  Ohhhhhhhhhh potluckkkkkk hmmmmm……..!!!!

Five minutes later all-office email goes out about a potluck lunch on Tuesday with the company providing the turkey and everyone else responsible for bringing sides or dessert.  Yessssssssssssss.  I am genius.

So yesterday I went to Gracefully on my way home from work to find the cheapest and easiest sides I could find, which actually turned out to be a lot more challenging than I had anticipated.  Since I never go grocery shopping, I never realized how hard it is to find a cheap savory food item that is microwavable.  Literally everything good I found was OVEN BAKE ONLY.  What is that about?!?!??!  What is oven bake?!?!??!  Why can’t I microwave popcorn chicken!??!?!?  So inconsiderate.  These frozen food makers are clearly not thinking of their target audience.  Obviously not everyone knows how to use an oven.  But everyone DOES know how to use a microwave.  So why wouldn’t they just make all frozen foods microwavable.

It took me like 45 minutes to find a microwavable option within my budget — finally I found these vegetable souffle things, so I got a butternut squash souffle and spinach souffle, each for $4.99.  I was pretty proud of my discovery until I arrived to work the next day and see that literally everyone else has brought in homemade really impressive full-on sides and desserts made with love.  My office buddy J brought in a humongous Whole Foods bag and whipped out like 6 containers full of legit Thanksgiving sides.  I mean, that must have cost him a fortune.  I wonder how much his salary is.

Whatever, I still win.  Out of the entire office I definitely brought in the least amount of food and consumed by far the most amount of food.  And by most amount of food I specifically mean 3 plates of turkey and sides including green beans, yam, mashed potatoes, mac ‘n’ cheese, stuffing, roasted potatoes, couscous, penne pasta, roasted squash, cheese and crackers, cornbread, salad, as well as 2 plates of desserts including pecan pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin mousse and brownie cake.

The best part is I think there’s more leftovers for tomorrow, which means I will have Thanksgiving feasts for pretty much one week straight — Tues/Wed at the office, Thurs at B’s house in Strong Island, and then Fri-Sun at S’s apartment eating all his leftovers while rewatching episodes of South Park (my post-college Thanksgiving tradition).  GOBBLES!!!

Sunday 11/21/10

21 Nov

Our big Harvard-Yale game was this weekend, which is always just one huge shitshow full of free food and booze… poverexia heart.  A few weeks leading up to this event I got super excited coordinating a party train with some friends, until this past week when I actually got around to looking at tickets and realized the Acela is a roundtrip ridiculous expense of $300, or like 50 Tasty King lunch specials.  Fuck that shit.  Luckily B felt the same way, and with his wonderful corporate discount the answer became very clear that we should turn this into our own road trip and forgo the all-you-can-eat hot dogs and Kati rolls on the 3-hour NYC-BOS Acela ride for the all-you-can-drink Svedka and cranberry juice in the B-mobile.

So off we were to Beantown, my first time back since the last HY at Harvard 2 years ago.  Four hours in a car really fly by when you’re chugging vodka in the back seat and jamming to some Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj.  We arrive in good time to make it out Friday night, and after dropping my stuff off at the Sheraton Commander where I was sharing a room with S, I head out to meet J/I et al at Grafton.  Not surprisingly my Kong/Grafton connections are still going strong and so I cut the line no problem and got some free double shots of Grand Marnier from my fav regular who’s still there after all these years, felt like dying, then was good to head to next destination: Fly and Owl like good ole times.  Weekend off to good start with plenty of free booze to be had.

Next thing I know I’m waking up to a 7:30am wake-up call on Saturday morning to rally for the tailgate.  Feel like death.  I attempt twice to throw up all the booze from Friday night with zero success, so instead to make myself feel better, I inhale the breakfast room service that S ordered of scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon and toast.  I immediately feel 10 times better and start to rally by opening up my personal bottle of champagne that I had brought (my HY tradition) and pouring some into my OJ.  I finish the rest of the bottle over the tailgate that lasted all of about 1.5 hours before the cops started shutting everything down, not even enough time for me to explore around and see which old alums had the really nice tailgates this year with oysters and creme fraiche and Grey Goose martinis that I could steal.  So I just continued with my champagne, Busch Lights and some mini bites of a torn-off Subway sandwich and decided to fill the rest of my belly with some post-tailgate nicer foods at the Owl, which consisted of beef stew, chowder, lobster rolls, chicken salad sandwiches, etc.  I had the perfect amount of free food, just enough to barely coat my stomach and continue filling the rest of it up with shitty delicious beer.

The raging continued all day and with a few external aids I was good to go the rest of the night without a power nap.  Before we know it, it’s already midnight and there is literally the most ridiculous line of 16-year-old girls anyone has ever seen outside the Phoenix and the Owl, and they were literally all Social Network groupies who are in love with Eduardo and Taylor Swift and made me want to kill myself.  With Eduardo throwing down $50K towards the PSK party on Friday and throwing cash at the undergrads to go get 30 bottles of Grey Goose for the PSK party on Saturday, I was of course tempted to partake in the liquor situation but was absolutely not in the mood to deal with girls whose faces I wanted to smash.  Not really sure what then led me to the Owl given there was a similar kill-yourselves girls situation but with a less-than $50K booze budget, but at least I was able to continue scoring free booze on the second floor and score some free action on the third floor.

After that I was ok to go home solo but I was surprise-awakened a few hours later to a knock on the door with S coming home with same third-floor friend N both of whom brought over some Felipe’s carnitas burritos, my favs.  A few bites of Felipe’s burrito made me hungry for N’s burrito but unfortunately S was highly uncomfortable with the thought of me satisfying my craving in the one bed in the room with S right next to us, so I was sexiled to the floor and decided to finish the rest of my Felipe’s burrito the next morning for breakfast before we headed back to NYC.  End of amazing weekend with splitting headache, overwhelming nausea and the worst knee bruises I’ve ever gotten in my entire life to show for it.

Sunday 11/14/10

14 Nov

So, I’ve recently received a lot of criticism on my excessive use of CAPSSSSSSSS and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I’m not sure if it was due to some external agents, but I ended up getting into a 2-hour argument about this on Friday night spurred by some recent feedback I had received from the editor of another blog I write for, specifically that I should “scale back or eliminate writing in all caps.  The reader will get your enthusiasm and what you’re trying to stress by what you write about the food.  Same goes for drawing out words like sooooooo good.”

Friday was quite the weird night that consisted of a series of events that in retrospect I can’t actually believed happened:

  1. Did S/C/F and I actually watch Totoro as our Friday night “pregame” inspired by the recent South Park series and our mission to witness the origin of the Coon and Cthulhu partnership (all hail)?
  2. Did I actually get into a 45-minute heated argument with C about how yes, some guys ARE too big for regular condoms, with the argument ending in C still refusing to believe me and me throwing a screaming fit?
  3. Did I actually pour myself a glass of scotch from S’s liquor cabinet that I later found out cost like $100/glass? (oops… luckaayyyyyyy… win for poverexia)
  4. Did I actually go out in Gramercy on Friday night (gross) to a bar that had a live country band and Texas flags everywhere (double gross… kill myself)?
  5. Lastly, did I actually engage my friends in a 2-hour pointless argument about why I should continue using CAPSSSSSSS and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ?!!??!??!?!??!??!

Yup x5.  Such a weird Friday night, but at least I scored a super expensive glass of scotch, all of S’s leftover lamb vindaloo and F’s leftover pesto pizza and spinach roll as my free Friday night dinner.

Saturday night was a bit more normal and full of birthday parties and free drinks the entire night.  It started out at New Ashiya for all-you-can-eat sushi and sake bombing, just our typical weekend.

New Ashiya

We had a party of 10, and we all decided to do one round of legit sake bombing to toast our awesomeness, and after that first round we all started to just pour half a bottle of sake directly into our beers which got pretty ugly by the end of our dinner.  After about 8 special rolls and 10 rounds of sake “bombing” and way too many Asian waitresses yelling at us, we were ready to head out to U’s birthday party at Slate where he had bottle service, which meant free drinks for ME!!!

And then after Slate was W’s birthday party at Sway where she too had bottle service, but unfortunately by then I just couldn’t stomach any more alcohol without throwing up in my mouth which absolutely killed me because when we left a little after 3am there was still literally a FULL bottle of Grey Goose left that W had ordered but no one else could finish.  It PAIINNNEEEEDDDDDDDD me to see that and it was a huge distraction out of the corner of my eye as I was dancing the night away, and several times I half reached toward the table contemplating pouring myself a Grey Goose screwdriver but I just couldn’t get myself to do it.

Next thing I know I wake up in my bed on Sunday at 1:40pm with a splitting headache and with the greatest urge to hurl.  Thank god Chinese food was just a phone call away.

Wednesday 11/10/10

10 Nov

Went to go watch the NYC marathon on Sunday with A and B, and it was a beautiful day for running and for me to get a nice facial tan while watching the thon.  The race was truly inspiring and brought me back to my high school cross country/track days and I started thinking to myself, wouldn’t it be grand if I ran the marathon next year… until I remembered that the SPC championships in Spring 2002 was the last time I had ever worked out in the past decade.  Maybe in another life.

It was pretty fun watching the thon except that I couldn’t find anyone, except I did see Jared of Subway running the thon and he was not looking too good.  I think he was literally running like 13-min miles.  Not impressed.  However, by pretending like I liked Subway I did score some “free subs” coupons, which I will certainly use in the near future.

What WAS impressive though was the amount of leftover food that I scored when A/B/C and I went to grab a bite to eat after the thon.  We went to Ray’s on the west side which scared me because everything on the west side scares me, and everyone got pizzas, calzones etc whereas I got nothing because… well because I’m poverexic.  So I sat around as one by one my friends stopped eating their food — B gave me like half of his leftover chicken calzone, A gave me a bite of her leftover cheese pizza, and C gave me a whole garlic knot and half of her leftover “minestrone soup,” ie, a can of Progresso that was just poured into and heated up in a plastic container.  What a great dinner for ME!

And then after Ray’s, B and I went back to S’s apartment to watch some football and South Park and take a nap.  I mean we were exhausted after the thon — we literally walked the entire city from East Village to Midtown East to Central Park to Upper West Side.  B and I practically walked a marathon that day, and our time was pretty close to Jared’s — 05:30.  Anyway, after a mini nap, B decides to order burgers and fries and gives me like half of his fries, and S heats me up this delicious Indian burrito, or these delicious lamb slices with a bunch of other goodness wrapped in a big soft pita.  I have great friends.

On an unrelated but related note, on Monday roommate M went to a book signing by our fav person in the world Adam Richman of Man v. Food.  GAAAAASSSSSSSPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

Adam Richman

I unfortunately did not go, but I was extra excited when roommate M brought home an autographed book with a personalized message to… ALL OF US!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And roommate M asked him a great question on behalf of all of us, what we have always been curious about for the past few seasons: “How did you overcome your carb weakness??”  GREAT QUESTION.  Apparently he used to eat protein breakfasts full of bacon/eggs/etc, and to overcome his carb weakness he started switching over to heavy starches like hash brown, pancakes, waffles, etc.  What a champion.  He is literally the best person in the world.

Sunday 11/7/10

7 Nov

Got to review the Meet Morocco Cooking Demo on Thursday for Nearsay.com, which meant an INORDINATE AMOUNT OF FREE FOOD.  I wasn’t really sure what this event was, but I just signed up for it because it had the word “cooking” in the title, and if I agreed to review the event, I would get to taste all the food for free.  Heart reviews.

It was a very rainy Thursday and I barely had time between leaving work and getting to this event, so I was in my work clothes not looking my best with my yellow holey galoshes, and I get to Food Emporium Bridgemarket and it is like a red carpet event.  Shit.  I mean, there is literally a red carpet leading up the stairs to the event, and I am like derrrr… well this is embarrassing.  Anyway, I enter and go up to the second floor of Food Emporium, and I am like shit this is a LEGIT event.  I was expecting some casual cooking demo where people just crowd around and they’re handing out samplers.  This event was NICE, I mean I was really impressed.  A shit ton of really nice food all from Maroc Export, which I guess will now have their products available at all Food Emporiums.  Not that I ever go to Food Emporium, or any grocery store for that matter.  But if I were the kind of person to go grocery shopping or spend money on food period, then I would certainly consider purchasing their products.

So as soon as I get upstairs to this event, there are these two guys with a really beautiful platter of shot glasses… or Moroccan tea cups.

Tea Time

And then to my left there’s a live Moroccan band playing some really nice music to set the mood, and to my right there’s a wine open bar.  And in front of me is celebrity chef Sam Talbot — GASP.  He’s ridiculously handsome, but I was much more concerned about the free food and drink at this time, so back to that.

Open Bar

Before I could even grab myself a glass, four butlers bombard me with delicious Moroccan hors d’oeuvres like “beef sticks” and “shrimp sticks” that were really flavorful and greasy in a good way, along with this chicken triangle pastry thing that had a hint of cinnamon and was topped with just the right amount of powdered sugar to add a good amount of sugary kick to the savory chicken:

Beef/Shrimp/Chicken Sticks

And curry chicken, beef and grilled shrimp satays:

Chicken/Beef/Shrimp Satays

Seared tuna on endives:

Seared Tuna

And my absolute fav of the night — DUCK BREAST WITH RED CABBAGE that was sosososososooooo gooodddddd, it was to die for, and the cabbage had some sweet flavoring to it, like sweetened cranberry or something, it was DELICIOUS.  With all the rest of the hors d’oeuvres I was really polite and only took one of each kind on every plate, but with this duck I took three.

Duck with Cabbage

I was really full on all the appetizers and with three full glasses of wine in me, I was ready to maybe head home until I caught THIS out of the corner of my eye…

Moroccan Buffet

OOOOOOOOMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGG it was like one of those incredible all-you-can-eat Indian buffets that we have in the city for $9.99, except it was Moroccan and free.  It was incred.  On top of all the delicious appetizers, now we get an entire Moroccan dinner.  I was completely in awe.  I didn’t even know what everything was because there were no labels, but all I know is that everything I tasted was perfectly spiced, the lamb chop was nicely cooked to a beautiful medium rare, the seared scallops had that good chew to them, the red beets were really well cooked, and the white fish and couscous were excellent as well.  The waiter initially handed me a plate that had maybe half of what I wanted to get for myself, so I kindly declined the plate and asked if I could just fill my own plate instead.  So this is what I got for myself, better fit for a poverexic:

My Buffet Plate

All in all it was an extremely delightful event and perhaps I would have stayed a bit longer had it not been for my horrible headache/hangover from the night before that had still persisted throughout my entire day.  Fucking hangover.

Thursday 11/4/10

4 Nov

Yesterday was fantastic.  I left work on time because I wanted to get a nap in before A’s birthday party at Blind Barber, and on my way out coworkers N and N caught me and were like, “Hey!  We’re going to Japonais for some drinks — wanna come?”  I mean, not really, but sure.  To be honest all I wanted to do was take my power nap, but I do enjoy post-work drinks with coworkers and I’ve pretty much gotten into the habit of doing that at least once a week.  And this week CEO J is in town, and so he came out for drinks with us……. which means DRINKS ON THE COMPANYYYYY!!!  Yessss, so glad I decided to come along.

I was even happier that I came along when 2 seconds after we sit down, coworker N asks for the appetizer menu and starts aggressively ordering literally everything off the menu.  I’m not kidding.  I thought S was an aggressive orderer, but coworker N is super intense.  “HI YEAH EXCUSE ME we’ll start with 3 bottles of Chardonnay and then we’ll get 2 orders of lobster spring rolls, 3 avocado rolls and 3 spicy salmon rolls, steak robata, shiitaki mushroom fried rice, sweet and sour calamari, and she’ll take a grey goose pear martini, he’ll take a grey goose dirty martini” and on and on and on and on.  I mean, I was IMPRESSED and it’s not often that I get impressed by other people.  And that wasn’t even it!!!  That was just the FIRST ROUND.  We finished everything we ordered in about 30 minutes — let me tell you, PR girls at this agency are not your typical anorexic PR girls.  Let’s just say we have Pizza Thursdays every week and it shows.

So after we did that, coworker N grabs the menu from one of us and restarts the cycle of aggressive ordering, ordering just about the same food as the first time around.  I mean, I think I just met my best friend.  Our table was literally every waiter’s DREAM COME TRUE.  We just didn’t stop ordering, ever.  This guy was going to get such a huge tip.  I think we must have gone through like 10 bottles of wine among 5 girls and a CEO and the restaurant’s entire dinner and appetizer menu.  At one point the waiter came back to our table and was like, “You know what I think you ladies would like?  One of our specials, called asdfkhasdf, it’s delicious.”  None of us even understood what he said, but of course coworker N is like “WE’LL TAKE IT.”

We ordered a THIRD round of food and by then we were on like our 7th round of drinks and I was losing track of time, but I just couldn’t pull myself away from this abundance of free food and drinks.  Things didn’t end with the third round of food.  “DESSERT MENU PLEASE” coworker N motions to the waiter.  She was seriously en fuego.  And the dessert we ordered was TO DIE FOR — perfectly fried donuts with melted oozy dark chocolate inside with really good green tea cream.  I think by now everyone was starting to get full — or wasted — which meant I finished an entire order of those donuts and no one even noticed.

To be honest I was starting to get a bit wasted myself but I really didn’t want to leave all this free food and drink.  But A’s birthday party was going to be full of free ass…. the decisions I face in life!  So difficult.  Anyway, I eventually left my coworkers at Japonais and went over to Blind Barber, and next thing I realize I’ve slept through my alarm and am late for work… shit.  I guess our company’s “Thirsty Thursdays” have turned into “Wasted Wednesdays.”