Friday, October 29, 2010

Food Swapping
Urban domestics swap food in Brooklyn.

I went to the BKFoodSwappers food swap in Brooklyn last night and made out like a bandit. If you aren't familiar with the idea of food swapping, basically you bring some homemade food item and barter it for something tasty someone else made. We had a fantastic crowd of about 30 foodies.

I brought mango habanero hot sauce, papaya habanero ketchup, quick refrigerator pickles and an apple butter spiked with a tiny amount of habanero.
If you are looking for a great workspace in Brooklyn check out Brooklyn Creative League that gave us the space for our event. Thanks Neil! You can see the nifty form swappers fill out and put in front of our goodies for people to sign.

I came home with pickled green beans, some spectacularly tasty baked goods from Hungry Rabbit NYC, SkeeterNYC's Salmon Rilette, fridge pickles, apple pie rum, flax cracker, date tamerind dipping sauce from Jackie Gordon and Nomnivourous' bacon jam(recipe). I'm feeling very pleased with myself.

Swapping tips:
  • Know your audience. I knew my particular crowd are foodies, so I couldn't just stroll in with basic chocolate chip cookies and expect to score.
  • Label your items with your contact info and any social media links.
  • Have great organizers like Kate of Hipgirls and Meg of Brooklyn Homesteader who keep the event moving along.
  • Be prepared to go after what you want, channel your inner car salesman. I heard lots of begging and cajoling last night. I may have threatened @EmilyHanHan on Twitter for her bacon jam. :)
  • Go early. Get your name on what you prize the most.

Are you a swapper? Want to throw a swap? Kate has a nice description over at her website.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Love a macaron? Like pumpkin? Live in New York?
You might want to head on over to the Payard Patisserie website and preorder some pumpkin goodies. A lovely PR person let me know about how Payard is celebrating Halloween and I'm happy to share the good news with you.
Here are a few reasons why you would be a hero if you show up at a Halloween party with pumpkin macarons or even the $24 completely adorable cake:
  1. François Payard is a third generation French Pastry Chef.
  2. He was awarded “Pastry Chef of the Year” by the Bon Appétit Food & Entertainment Awards
  3. While the kids are eating poor excuses for sweets, you could be eating a terrific dessert.
  4. Macarons are the tastiest little bites, crispy outside creamy inside bites ever created by man.
Need I say more? I'd go for the cake. $24 is reasonable considering the fabulous chef.
Available Friday, October 29 through Sunday, October 31 and can be ordered at for delivery in Manhattan on Friday or Saturday, or for pick up at FPB or FC Chocolate Bar (located in the Mauboussin jeweler on Madison Avenue) on Friday, Saturday or Sunday by calling 212-995-0888 ext 131 or emailing

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Papaya Ketchup
This is delicious with my fried plantains, baked sweet potato spears or served with fish. This is terrific with mango too.

Makes 1 cup

1 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon butter

4 tablespoons onion, minced

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 papaya, ripe, chopped

1/4 cup cider vinegar

4 tablespoons orange juice(optional, you could use just about any juice or water here)

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice, ground

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce or to taste, habanero is reccommended


  1. In a medium sauce pot, heat the oil and butter.
  2. Add the onion, ginger and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes over a medium low heat until the onion as softened.

Add the papaya and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Add the cider vinegar, water, sugar, cloves, allspice and hot sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until thickened. Puree in food processor and cool completely. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may want to add more hot sauce.