Monday, February 22, 2010


The week in Washington, D.C. and New York City was fun-filled. The snow in D.C. didn’t detract us from all we were destined to do. CJ spent time outside in the snow with his great friend, Fred, and my friend, Nina, and I cooked and talked, talked and cooked – a perfect way to spend some relaxing days away. We even got a chance to make sushi with a group of 6th grade boys!

In NYC, we walked and walked. We went to the top of the Rockefeller Center and looked out at the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. We even got our 15 seconds of fame – our picture on a billboard in Times Square!
In both cities, I kept my eyes peeled for how the locals eat. Do New Yorkers and people on “the Hill” eat differently from us here in the SF Bay? At Nina’s, we ate wonderfully, but then Nina is a wonderful cook. Our first morning there, Nina made delicious and light Danish puffy pancakes and filled them with fresh berries! One evening we ate brown rice with sautéed mushrooms, dark leafy greens, grilled tempeh and topped with a marvelous tahini-parsley sauce. It reminded me of a dish I love so much at Café Gratitude in Berkeley that I made it for dinner last night. For dessert one night while watching the Olympics, we had a wonderful apple crisp made from the apples we bought the day before at the local Farmer’s market (see recipe below).

At the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, I was so pleased to see signs up throughout the museum cafeteria, like these above, outlining the need to be conscious of our health and of the health of our environment - our motto!

On Thursday, we were off to New York City where we joined my cousin and her two wonderful boys for 36 hours of fun. You can find anything and everything in NYC. I found two very cool things – street-side produce vendors right next to the hotdog venders and Pret A Manger, a chain deli originating in London (UK) that makes all their food fresh, with no preservatives or additives and posts great signs about eating well, such as the one above (click on the photos to read what it says).

All in all, it appears that Americans on the West Coast and East Coast are becoming more conscious of what and how they eat. Next, maybe a trip to St. Louis or Detroit. What will we find there?

Farmer's Market Apple Crisp by Nina L.
2-3 large Farmer’s Market apples, quartered, cored and sliced thin (the vendor suggested we use a variety of the larger apples for a pie or crisp)
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup whole wheat or spelt flour
½ cup turbinado* or brown sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp butter, melted (3/4 stick)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place sliced apples in a bowl with the lemon juice. With your hands, mix thoroughly. Transfer apples to a shallow, round baking dish and evenly distribute.
In a bowl, add all the remaining ingredients. With your hands, mix until everything is evenly incorporated and some clumps form. Spoon mixture evenly onto apples.
Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.

*Turbinado sugar is often called “raw sugar.” It is brown in color and has larger crystals than does refined, white sugar. Organic turbinado sugar is made by crushing the freshly-cut sugar cane to squeeze out the juice, rich in, vitamins and minerals. The cane juice is evaporated and spun in a centrifuge, or turbine, to produce the large sparkling golden crystals.

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