How to Up Your Juice Game: Happy Moose Juice, San Francisco

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I am back on the juice–of the cold-pressed variety, that is.

And Happy Moose Juice is the shit.

For one thing, they managed to get the word “happy” in their name. And what could be better happier than a happy freaking moose?

For another, they have great packaging. Not surprisingly, there is a moose involved. I am in favor.

For a third, they know from fresh. Their juice has a bright, clean, flavor, and it goes down really smoothly. Even the green ones. That comment is for all of you haters out there. So, yes. Even the green goes down easily. Just try it. Seriously. You will go back for more.

For a fourth, the juices are just pretty. They are like jewels. Don’t you think?

And last but not least, you can hang out at their space and chill with a friend–I was there with my friend Santina, the blogger at Style by Santina–while you drink your juice. Apparently the space doubles as a juice bar by day, and a real bar by night. Now that’s the shit.

Happy Moose Juice842 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA. (704) 876-8909

This entry was posted in Juice.

10 Reasons You Should Eat at Gjusta

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1) Wearing beanies and expensive army jackets and Minnetonka moccasins are par for the course.

2) Ditto yoga pants.

3) Ditto pocket protectors or whatever you feel like, really. Nobody seems to care. They’re all to excited to stuff themselves full of gluten to pay attention to what you’ve got on. You’re so self-involved, dude.

4) Strong coffee, pain au chocolat, and juices involving ginger all exist in perfect harmony.

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5) You can get a kale smoothie. And beef borscht. Separately OR together.

6) The multigrain porridge with fruit. Nutty, not too sweet, great texture.

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7) The turkey reuben. Not everybody does it well, but these guys do. Double your pleasure by getting the salad of market lettuces. It will refresh your palate AND take the heart attack quotient down a notch.

8) People who would know say that eggs are great. If I actually liked eggs, I would definitely order the bialy egg sandwich with merguez and avocado. I’d also be open to the spring veg breakfast and the mushroom bowl. I’ve been on a savory breakfast thing lately.

9) Chocolate chess pie. Miso date cookie. You’re not eating sugar? What’s wrong with you?

10) The white, airy clean-feeling space feels expansive but not too large. And, to paraphrase the Temptations, it seems sunny even on a cloudy day.

Gjusta, 320 Sunset Avenue, Venice, CA.

 

 

Why Taza Chocolate Rocks

Please note the green smoothie. It's meant to offset the chocolate. Obvs.

Please note the green smoothie. It’s meant to offset the chocolate. Obvs.

Chocolate, like fitted black pants, button-down shirts, and red lipstick–is not a food trend (hello, anchovy butter this past winter!). It is a thing that endures.

If you’ve been following my Instagram (and of course you have been!), you may have noticed that I’ve subtracted a few things from my diet. Gluten and dairy. The reason? I have a touch of high cholesterol and of anxiety, and was told these dietary changes might help. Apparently I also have high blood sugar, but I simply can’t deal with that right now.

Well. I am dealing with it in a way. When you cut out gluten and dairy, your choices for dessert are limited. I wrote about Erin McKenna’s Bakery two weeks ago (gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, yet delicious), but when you don’t live next door, you can’t just run by for a cupcake when the craving for sweets overtakes you.

So I’ve been playing around with gluten-free vegan chocolate, and my favorite thus far is Taza. I like the texture. Unlike chocolate that contains soy lecithin, it’s not smooth, and the slight roughness is kind of fun in the mouth. Not to mention the fact that soy lecithin just sounds like a shady substance that’s worth avoiding. And Taza has all kind of cool flavors–right now vanilla and salted chocolate almond are my favorite.

How is the high cholesterol? I have no idea, because I haven’t been tested again. How is the anxiety? Maybe it’s a little better, but it’s hard to know, since I’ve had a lot of upheaval, like my second move in a year and a new job. One thing I will say is that when you cut gluten out of your diet, you basically appear to shrink in half. Which means that you have an excuse to buy new clothes. And that’s always a fun thing.

 

Get Your Turmeric On: Cauliflower Soup with Cumin and Turmeric

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My two current fixations in life are work (a long-term freelance assignment I LOVE and hope will continue forever) and someone who is, in the words of my therapist, “Inappropriate and unavailable.”

Work requires me to think ahead about lunch. Getting over the guy requires me not to think. Cooking is one way to solve these two problems.

After a week in which I’d had work, romantic despair, turmeric (god knows why) and cumin (conversation with a work colleague) on the brain, I went to the farmer’s market. Gorgeous heads of yellow cauliflower were calling my name. So I made soup.

Here’s what’s involved:

About a pound and a half of yellow cauliflower

Half a sweet yellow onion and almost a whole (small) shallot

Chicken stock

Salt, turmeric and cumin (I forgot the black pepper)

I tossed the cauliflower (including the leaves) in olive oil, threw on the turmeric (more than you’d think), cumin (no more than a teaspoon) and salt, and hoped for the best. Then I roasted everything in the oven at 350 degrees. Once the cauliflower was soft, I let it cool and put the crispy leaves in a bowl to save for later. I put the onions and shallots in a stockpot and cooked them on low heat until they were translucent. In went the cauliflower, followed by enough chicken stock to cover everything.

I turned up the heat and let the shit boil, then I turned it back down and let it simmer until the cauliflower softened up even more. I broke out my hand blender and blended until I couldn’t blend anymore. (Sometimes you need to add water to get the blending done, and that’s okay.) Then I added more salt and more turmeric until things tasted good. I have found that with most dry spices, you inevitably have to put in an amount that seems impossibly large. Cumin is an exception. It is a spice that will punch you in the face and leave you bleeding. So be careful.

Last but not least, I sprinkled the roasted leaves on top. Then I looked at what I had made and was pretty proud of myself.

P.S. I have no idea how long this took me, but it was long enough for me to stop thinking about the pathetic state of my love life and start feeling grateful that I still had both hands, given my unfortunate knife skills.

 

This entry was posted in Recipes.

Erin McKenna’s Bakery: Good Cake for the Dietarily Restricted

Babycakes 1Last Friday was my birthday, so it seems appropriate to talk about cake. Especially since I went gluten-free, dairy free, pork-free, egg-free and beef-free in June. At the beginning I would have given away my right arm for a bacon cheeseburger, but that receded. I do miss bread. But nothing is forever. I believe in moderation. Pretty soon I’m going to start introducing things back into the old diet. I like going out to eat and trying new stuff. I’m just doing it one thing at a time, to see how my body reacts. I’ve had pork and beef, and I didn’t explode, so that seems positive.

But let’s go back to cake, since it’s something I love the way I love breathing. When I cut out dairy, I was like, okay, cool, I can handle the vegan baked goods/ice cream thing. And then I cut out gluten, a move that seriously narrowed The World of Baked Goods.

I’d been to Erin McKenna’s Bakery–formerly known as Babycakes–once or twice because I get my hair cut next door at Fringe. I’d admired the chocolate chip brownie bites, as well as the decor and the uniforms. So when I divested my diet of all the things that make life worth living, I immediately knew where to go.

Hence the double-chocolate crumb cake pictured above. It was so good, I thought, “If this gluten and dairy free Reign of Terror never ends, I can continue to live thanks to Erin McKenna.” My birthday cake, which was vanilla with lemon frosting, blew the minds of everybody at dinner, as well as the minds of the guys at the next table, to whom we gave a piece. Highly recommend. The few bites that were left made an excellent breakfast.

Erin McKenna’s Bakery, 248 Broome Street between Orchard and Ludlow. But they have locations in Orlando and LA, and they ship nationally.

Warm, NYC

I think these shoes would look good on me.

I think these shoes would look good on me.

Happy new year, all!  You’ll have to excuse my brief leave of absence from blogging, as I’ve been experiencing some sudden changes at the last minute in my personal life. After living at home for two-and-a-half years in order to build my social media strategy and content production business (a.k.a. The Styley, which you can check out here) I found an apartment in Nolita, one of my favorite Manhattan neighborhoods, and moved out. The whole thing happened by accident and quite quickly, so the last few weeks have been filled with (too) many trips to Ikea, late night online shopping for linens at West Elm, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. You know how it goes.

Hello, hippie dress.

Hello, hippie dress.

In honor of my new neighborhood, today I’d like to talk about Warm, a store I discovered a few months ago, long before I moved. One day, when I have dough to burn, I will buy many of my clothes at Warm, including the ridiculously awesome embroidered dress pictured above.
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I will also buy stuff for my house, including that ragingly gorgeous throw below that would look tremendous on either a bed or wrapped around my body.

Welcome to my home. That is to say, my fantasy home.

Welcome to my home. That is to say, my fantasy home.

Warm is the store of my Bohemian/hippie dreams, and in reality the music there is always good, there’s always some delicious candle burning that smells awesome, and the staff is ridiculously nice. In short, Warm is cool, but never cold.

Warm, 181 Mott Street (just up the block from me!), between Kenmare and Broome. 212 925 1200.

Black Seed Bagels, NYC

White fish salad, yippee!

White fish salad, yippee!

My father is an old-school WASP, and my mother is an Eastern European Jew. Technically–by which I mean according to the Jews–my brothers and I are Jewish. Despite the Jews being in the majority chez nous, we celebrate Christmas and always have, although the year I found out we were Jewish I also found Christmas presents in the hallway closet early on in December and got my mother to give them to us for Chanukah. I am nothing if not enterprising.

Which is why, this year, I proposed that my mother not cook Christmas dinner, and that we go out instead. The members of my family, while charming and interesting, are an opinionated bunch. We do not do well together in small spaces for long periods of time.

The thing is, by the time this genius idea was approved, there were very few reservations for brunch left in the city. We are currently on the wait list for the Carlyle, but it seems unlikely. So I had the idea of doing a bagel and smoked fish fiesta, and one place I’m considering going for my supplies is Black Seed bagel.

Why it’s called Black Seed I have no idea. Maybe it’s because these are Toronto style bagels, which means they’re hand rolled, poached and fired in a wood oven rather than boiled. It also means they’re smaller than the average American bagel, which in my opinion is a good thing, since the average American bagel is large enough to smash an entire city if dropped from a great enough height. Either way, the bagels are delicious chewy and slightly sweet, and there is plenty of smoked fish to go around.

170 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY. 212 730 1950.

Instagram Artisans: Ariele Alasko, Josephine Noel, Amelie Mancini, Nick Lundeen

Wooden spoons of many sizes by Ariel Alasko (IG: @arielealasko).

Wooden spoons of many sizes by Ariele Alasko (IG: @arielealasko).

So, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in this post, Instagram is a place where I discover lots of cool stuff: places to eat, coffee to drink, and stuff to buy. The pop-up shop I went to over the weekend was no exception. One of the people I follow on Instagram is Ariele Alasko (named for the character in The Tempest, not for the freaking mermaid). The other day I was scrolling around and saw that she was having a studio sale with a few other very talented people: Nick Lundeen, a jewelry designer, Amelie Mancini, a mistress of textiles, and Josephine Noel, a doyenne of ceramics.

Groovy bags by Amelie Mancini (IG: @ameliemancini).

Groovy bags by Amelie Mancini (IG: @ameliemancini).

Spotted cup with awesome yellow handle by Josephine Noel (IG: @josephinenoel) and silver bangle by Nick Lundeen (IG: @nicklundeen).

Spotted cup with awesome yellow handle by Josephine Noel (IG: @josephinenoel) and silver bangle by Nick Lundeen (IG: @nicklundeen).

The whole experience was made that much better by the presence of hot spiced apple cider and cookies. All in all a good time. Including the interesting bus ride from Lorimer Street in Williamsburg to 744 Park, which is in a neighborhood whose name I don’t know. Trust the bus, people! It really isn’t that hard to figure out, and it will get you there. Plus, it’s faster than the G. No, really.

To shop Ariele Alasko, click here.
To shop Amelie Mancini, click here.
To shop Josephine Noel, click here.
To shop Nick Lundeen, click here.

Book Review: #Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso

This book takes being awesome to the next level.

This book takes being awesome to the next level.

I’m lucky. I like being a girl, and I’ve always liked being a girl. I have kickass mother who went to Columbia Business School and was one of the first women to work at Morgan Stanley. I’ve never felt like my gender was something that would keep me from doing whatever I wanted to do in life. As I said at the beginning of this paragraph–but it bears repeating–I’m lucky. I know it.

Still, as I forge ahead building a business in a field where I’m basically self-taught, sometimes it’s good to find examples of general female badassery out there in the world. And Sophia Amoruso is an excellent example. She’s the author of #Girlboss and the CEO of Nasty Gal, a $100 million fashion company that started as a vintage store on eBay. Interestingly enough, it looks like Sophia’s book agent on #Girlboss was none other than Andy McNicol, another female badass I know from college.

Some notable quotes from #Girlboss:
“Fortune favors the bold that get shit done.”

“You don’t get taken seriously by asking someone to take you seriously. You’ve got to show up and own it. If this is a man’s world, who cares? I’m really glad to be a girl in it.”

“If something’s not working out, but you keep hammering at it in the same way, go after something else for a while. That’s not giving up, that’s just letting the universe have its way.”

“When you believe in yourself, other people will believe in you too.”

“Luck lets us believe that whatever happens, whether good or bad, it’s not to our credit or our fault. That is why I don’t buy luck. But I do buy magic. There’s [an] everyday kind of magic we make for ourselves. And that’s not really magic at all. It’s just recognizing the fact that we control our thoughts and our thoughts control our lives.”

“Focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening.”

“Clothing is the suit of armor in which we battle the world.” (I have literally said versions of this to friends of mine.)

“There’s a chance for you. So take it.”

Amen to that, Sophia. Keep on rocking in the free world. You are all that and a bag of chips.

If you’re a bit down in the dumps about your life, and I was when I bought this book, it will help you change your attitude. And as Amoruso points out, it’s all in the attitude. If you think you can do it, you can, and other people will take you at your word. And that holds true for anything in life–work, love, friendships, whatever. You determine your worth by being honest, admitting when you don’t know stuff, working hard and believing in yourself. Or as Amoruso puts, it, “No matter where you are in life, you’ll save a lot of time not worrying too much about what other people think about you. The earlier in your life you can learn that, the easier the rest of it will be. You is who you is, so get used to it.”

In short, #Girlboss for life.

To buy #Girlboss, which you should do as a New Year’s present to yourself and everybody you know, click here.

Axe, Los Angeles

Bliss in a cup.

Bliss in a cup.

New York is cold and dark right now. I’ve been drinking lots of ginger tea because it reminds me of Axe in Venice, which has the best ginger tea I’ve ever had. So it seemed imperative that while in Los Angeles I drag my friend MeiMei to Axe for some lunch. MeiMei and I are excellent meal companions, as we both like to order a bunch of different things and taste them all. Our trip to Axe was a festival of dishes made from organic and locally sourced ingredients–we had soup with fennel sausage and lentils (well, only I had it because MeiMei doesn’t eat pork), a composed bowl with an egg that I had to eat around because eggs are just not my jam,  a grilled cheese sandwich made with Hooks Farm cheddar and tomato, and braised greens. We finished things off with–surprise! surprise!–ginger tea in lieu of dessert. Everything was perfectly cooked, richly flavored and textured, and fully satisfying without being too filling. And that’s a warning. Or is it a threat?

P.S. Making ginger tea is easy. Peel and dice one huge chunk of ginger, boil for a while, strain it and pour it in a cup. Making it well is another story. I’m still working on it.

1009 Abbot Kinney, Venice, CA. 310 664 9787. To make a reservation, click here.