I don’t know what happened to me this weekend, but something deep, dark, and ugly stirred and I woke up one morning knowing one thing with a truer certainty than anything I had ever known: I had to cook more Gwyneth Paltrow recipes. I actually missed it! I think I have brain cancer.
So Sunday morning I strapped on my most waterproof boots, to better trudge through the horrifically blackened, disgusting piles of what was once Nemo’s snow, and headed out the door. The plan was to make Hot Niçoise Salad. “One cold wintery day in London, I was dreaming about salad niçoise,” Gwyneth introduces the recipe, because of course. “It didn’t seem right to be eating something so crispy and chilly in the dead of winter, so I devised this hot version.” The ingredients listed were pretty straightforward, it was a cold wintery day in New York City, and I have already attempted her cold niçoise salad, so I brimmed with confidence.
I don’t know what happened to me the night before — some drink combination, or a particularly handsome man looking at me in a certain way — but I woke up last Sunday with nerves of steel. I could do anything, I suddenly realized. Why hadn’t I ever seen it before? Buoyed by this superlative confidence, I sent out a text to a few choice friends: “In search of duck bacon today. If I succeed, we will have dinner. Wish me luck.” And I ventured out into Brooklyn.
It’s laughable how easy it was. I should have known. It shouldn’t have surprised me that duck bacon in Brooklyn is literally sold on the sidewalk. But, there it was, in the heart of the paltriest, most pitiable farmer’s market I’ve ever seen. Six tents, crammed on the length of one sidewalk, offering very little in produce (no duh, it’s January in New York, but STILL. Very depressing). I walked up and down the block twice, looking for the duck salesman the internet had said might be there, before I finally saw why I hadn’t seen him the first two times: he was just some dude, youngish with a hipster beard, sitting atop a cooler, behind a hand-painted sign that simply said, “DUCKS.” Continue reading
Filed under Pasta, Salads
So here we are in New York City. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s been quite the week, what with driving two 16-hour days to get to Wisconsin, sadly leaving my dog behind with my parents (who, I should gratuitously mention, are absolute saints), and arriving in New York on Sunday morning. Since then, I’ve been touring apartments around the city like a lunatic, trying desperately to secure a place to live before I start work next Monday (and expect a forthcoming blog post on how Gwyneth is actually helping me find a place). In the meantime, my friends Nora and Mandy are graciously allowing me to impede on their space and sleep on their couch in Chelsea. To make up for this, I cooked not one, not two, but THREE Gwyneth recipes for dinner recently. Let’s see how my first NYC cooking experience went! Continue reading
Filed under Pasta, Salads, Sides
Just a quick one today, even though it’s technically two recipes. I love when this happens. Today is My Ivy Chopped Salad (which begs the question: as the only recipe specifically beginning with “my,” are all the other recipes not hers? Then why does this cookbook even exist?) and Balsamic & Lime Vinaigrette. Continue reading
And we’re back! How was everyone’s week? New York was a blast, of COURSE. The Big Apple! (I made sure to call it the Big Apple all the time out there, so everyone knew I was a local and therefore knew the city’s nickname.) Here is where you can read some unconnected things I saw and experienced out there. EXCITING. Anyway, let’s get back to this project because we have literally eight billion recipes to cook and we’re running out of time! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?
Last night was Monday Night Football, so you know what goes well with that: Niçoise Salad! Actually, I just wanted to do something easy to get back into it, as well as knocking out two recipes in one, since Gwyneth so helpfully separates the salad from its Chive Vinaigrette. But things quickly backfired, because this was NOT EASY IN THE SLIGHTEST. And on top of that, it just tasted horrible! I’m not sure I’m ready to relive this yet, but let’s get to it. Continue reading
Today’s recipe is relatively simple and unexciting. (And if that intro doesn’t grab you, I don’t know what will.) You see, last night was a big night in my nerdy life, my equivalent of the way some people feel about the Super Bowl or, heck, even the Westminster Dog Show. It was, of course, the premiere of another season of Survivor. (Yes, I still watch the show most of you gave up on nine years ago. And not only that, but I participate in weekly viewing parties! Just like the elderly!) So instead of slaving away in the kitchen for six hours, I had to get down to business and whip something up quickly, so we could settle in front of the TV like the lethargic slobs we are on Wednesday nights six months out of the year. Continue reading
When you think of Gwyneth Paltrow, I’m sure you think of one thing: Asian food. Obviously. So, I knew I had to have a kick-off dinner celebrating the official beginning of the Danny/Gwyneth Project, and I knew I also had to cook Asian food.
(Actually, since I was cooking for 10 people, I just wanted to make the cheapest recipes in the book, and Gwyneth’s Asian recipes happened to have the cheapest, easiest ingredients. So: We’re making Asian food!)
The menu was: Best Stir-Fried Chicken with Fried Rice with Kale & Scallions, plus a Mizuna, Tomato & Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing. That’s right, I knocked out FOUR recipes. We’ll be done with this project in no time!
Warning: Long post ahead. We’ve got a lot to cover! Click ahead for more, obviously.