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Coconut, PB and Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats and Girls

Sorry, guys. It’s been almost half a year since I’ve posted on here, and that last post wasn’t even written by me (I know, shh!)  But after reading several posts by some of my blogger pals recounting a potluck shindig I threw on my rooftop last Friday, I’m feeling motivated to dust off the good ole WordPress account. While I’m at it, I thought I’d better jot down the recipe for the rice crispy treats I made for the potluck. I mean really, how did Spring already turn into Summer?

Before we get to the treats, let’s spend a moment to talk about girls. No, I’m not talking about the HBO series, which I admit I do watch. (To read the best commentary about that show, you really should be reading Eddie Huang’s recaps.) Rather, I want to spend a moment to recognize some awesome gals I know.

Last Friday I threw the aforementioned party on my rooftop in Long Island City, inviting some of the bloggers visiting from out of town whom I’ve gotten to know through Gojee.  What started off as informal plans to grab drinks evolved into a bigger potluck gathering with both visiting and local bloggers at my apartment.

It was so nice to catch up with friends and meet new ones whom I’ve only been in touch with online and was meeting for the first time in person. Without too much planning, everything came together pretty seamlessly, with the exception of the ominous overcast. Food was served, libations were shared and heartfelt conversations were had.  Though some of us had only met that day, by the end of the night it felt like we were all old friends.

One of the more openly honest and poignant topics of conversation that evening touched on the struggles of grappling with the increasingly aspirational culture of blogging and the fact that sometimes reality isn’t particularly aspirational.  Kasey more eloquently sums up the conversation here.  I suppose it also helped that I was liquoring everyone up with shots of beet sugar vodka throughout the night.


Party people: Kimberley, Kathryne, Laura, Barb, Diana, Kristin, Kasey, Yossy, Elizabeth, Sarah. Not pictured, since we took this photo later in the evening: NicoleCathySarah, and Chitra.

Ignoring the wind and drizzle, we persevered and made our way through the impressive spread. Unfortunately, I was only able to squeeze a few Instagrams on my phone in between playing hostess for the evening, so the following is by no means a complete representation of the offerings on the potluck table. Check it out –


Cathy’s Roasted Hakurei Turnips with Israeli Couscous


Sarah’s Chocolate Dipped Farmer’s Market Strawberries


Elizabeth’s Roasted Beet Salad


Yossy’s Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies


Acme Smoked Salmon with Creme Fraiche and Buckwheat Crepes made by yours truly (crepes adapted from Kate’s recipe; I used all buckwheat flour instead of a buckwheat + spelt flour combo)

A special thanks to Bruce Cost’s Fresh Ginger Ale and Industry City Distillery for providing drinks to keep us refreshingly hydrated and liquored up.

While I’m still on the topic of girls, I wanted to give two more shout outs to a couple more awesome girls that I know –

First, to my NYU homegirls Talisa Chang and Juliet Linderman, who along with Aldona Watts and Diana Diroy started Her Girl Friday and recently hosted a panel of veteran editors from the New York Times and New York Magazine titled How to Pitch Like a Girl. The premise of the panel was to provide encouragement and insights from established journalism veterans on how to effectively pitch stories in order to level the gender playing field in journalism and storytelling. And oh hey, they also just made it onto the cover page of the New York Observer!

Last but not least, a shout out goes to my co-organizers of the recently revived Girls in Tech NYC Chapter – Kara Rota of Cookstr, Jamie Eun Lee of Tipping Point Partners and Amanda Moritz of Brainscape.  After we hacked the mailing list for Girls in Tech to throw a mixer a couple months back, we were caught red-handed by the organizers of the official Girls in Tech organization. Don’t worry, we officially now have their blessings to proceed. Kara, Jamie, Amanda and I are aiming to achieve something similar to that of Her Girl Friday but in the equally male-dominated world of tech, starting with our Start-up Equity 101 Primer on June 13th. The primer is designed to educate more women about equity in start-up companies in order to negotiate for equity more effectively. Wish us luck!

Alright, now that I’ve laced this post with enough hyperlinks to explode WordPress, onwards to the treats.  Have a great weekend, everyone –

 

Coconut, PB and Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon
Makes a 10 inch circumference pan-full of Rice Crispy Treats

Ingredients:
3 cups rice puffs (I used rice puffs from the Indian store, but regular Rice Krispies cereal works too)
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
6 ounces dark chocolate chips, melted
Generous handful of shredded coconut and black sesame seeds

Directions:
1. Stir together the peanut butter and melted chocolate in a double boiler (I used a metal mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water) until smooth.
3. Fold in the peanut butter and chocolate mixture with the crispies in a mixing bowl.
4. Pour the mixture into a parchment lined baking sheet and top with shredded coconut and sesame seeds.
5. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 to 2 hours to allow the treats to set quicker. (I put it in the fridge overnight)
6. Once everything has set, carefully peel the treat from the sheet of parchment, cut and serve.

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Hot Pot Ambassador Dinner with Kian Lam Kho

hot pot spread

Big thanks to Kian for a beautiful meal, Jeff for organizing, and Talisa for this recap of the rooftop Hot Pot Ambassador Dinner.  Oh boy, I’m getting hungry again.
– Veronica

When Jeff’s email blast arrived in my inbox announcing the next Ambassador Dinner — an evening of traditional Asian hot pot dining with Kian Lam Kho — it took me about fifteen seconds to send in my RSVP.

I love hot pot. It’s something I grew up doing with my family at home (somewhat infrequently, but with zest — usually in conjunction with a slew of sweet and savory fondue nights, the better to make use of the cooking equipment needed for such endeavors).

The concept of Hot Pot is simple: a pot of hot broth sits in the center of the table on a burner which keeps the broth simmering. Everyone at the table partakes in adding a variety of uncooked items (like veggies, meat, seafood, dumplings, and noodles), and fishing them out as they’re ready to eat. Since most of the ingredients aren’t seasoned, additional flavor is added via the broth during cooking, as well as with dipping sauces after cooking. At the end, everyone slurps up the remaining broth, which has been infused with the flavors of everything that’s been cooked in it throughout the night.

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Sex in the (Long Island) City

Every morning you can find my mom upstairs, tending to our rooftop garden, fully equipped with garden gloves, a wide brimmed hat and a hose in hand.  They say Mom knows best, so here she is, doling out gardening advice and talking about plant sex.  -Veronica

Season One

To our delight, the rooftop garden last year was a meeting place for buzzing bees, fluttering butterflies, vocal songbirds and, ahem, migrant workers – a colony of mail-order ladybugs that worked for food and board.  Since we’re in a mid-rise building in Long Island City with plenty of sun, seasoned gardening experts assured us that bees and butterflies can still grace our plants. The bountiful abundance of vegetables — beans, tomatoes, peas, zucchinis, cucumbers, radish, lettuce, eggplants, pepper, green onion and a host of other experimental fruits and herbs — throughout May to October last year pretty much exceeded our expectations. We had enough not just to indulge in “flower pot to cooking pot” dining, but also to share with others. Our little baskets of fresh-cut garden produce became a great diplomatic gesture to reach out to our new neighbors in the community.


Peas, lettuce, tomatoes, bitter gourd

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