Sunday, August 2, 2015

Frida Kahlo at the The New York Botanical Garden

The NY Botanical Garden has stunning gardens and amazing plant collections. I should have visited years ago because it is a gardener's paradise! Luckily, I made it there by the pull of the wonderful exhibit titled Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life. Aside from the evocation (rather than replica) of Frida's Casa Azul Garden, there are fourteen of her original paintings and drawings on display. My personal favorites from this exhibit (though they are all amazing!) are "Autorretrato con Collar de Espinas" (1940) and Retrato de Luther Burbank (1931). 
 
 
 Below are other photographs from the garden's permanent collection. 
 
 
 
 
I plan to return to the garden in the early fall to visit the children's adventure garden and some of the others I did not get to see (I have a feeling that it will take me a long time to explore the gardens and that is a good thing!).

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tortellini Pesto Summer Salad


This is yet another simple and delicious summer salad that is sure to please everyone. I buy refrigerated or fresh cheese tortellini and make my own or I buy basil pesto. I cook the tortellini al dente (do not overcook), add the pesto, then add fresh arugula (one bag) and fresh cherry tomatoes (halve them), add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and feta and/or fresh parmesan. I gently combine all the ingredients only turning the salad twice (otherwise it is liable to become mushy). I like to refrigerate it for a couple of hours before serving (although it also tastes good at room temp.).

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Obsolescence ["outdated" technology]

The residents of Leonia, another of Calvino's Invisible Cities, would say, if asked, that their passion is 'the enjoyment of new and different things'. Indeed, each morning they 'wear brand-new clothing, take from the latest model refrigerator still unopened tins, listening to the last-minute jingles from the most up-to-date radio'. But each morning 'the remains of yesterday's Leonia await the garbage truck' and a stranger like Marco Polo, looking so to speak, though the cracks of Leonia's story-walls, would wonder whether the Leonians' true passion is not instead 'the joy of expelling, discarding, cleansing themselves of a recurrent impurity'. Why otherwise would street cleaners be 'welcomed like angels', even if their mission is 'surrounded by respectful silence', and understandably so - 'once things have been cast off nobody wants to have to think about them further'. As the Leonians excel in their chase after novelties, 'a fortress of indestructible leftovers surrounds the city, 'dominating it on every side, like a chain of mountains'. 
Zygmunt Bauman, Wasted Lives: Modernity and its Outcasts

 





Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fried tofu & green bean summer salad


I am sucker for fried tofu! That's the truth. I've been making this tasty salad to bring to all the summer bbq/potlucks we get invited to and it goes so quickly, that I never get to bring any left overs back home. Hey, since I am vegetarian I have to bring a filling dish in case there are no veggie dogs or burgers on the grill! I make this with extra-firm tofu, fresh green beans, and a fresh carrot. I first cut the tofu into squares and put them to dry on paper towels. I heat up olive oil and put the tofu to fry until it is crispy on all sides. Once the tofu is fried, I toss it into a salad bowl. I use the olive oil with which I fried the tofu to make a tasty sauce. Add sriracha sauce, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce freshly mashed garlic (3 cloves) to the olive oil. I add this sauce to the tofu. I steam fresh green beans and a shredded carrot and I also add this to the tofu. You can add more soy sauce, sriracha and/or chili garlic sauce to adjust the taste and some garlic powder to give it an extra-garlicky kick (there is no need to add salt since the soy sauce is salty). A variation on this salad is to add fresh ginger to it. This salad is tasty at room temperature or cold and it is so so so good!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

@home: the spring garden & banana ice cream

peel and freeze 2 (or  more) bananas (freeze for at least 2 hours) then whip in a blender and presto!