Go See Christina Courtin sing!


I went to school with her. I like the quote….this is how you wanted norah jones to sound.


Chai tea recipe I am dying to try

try on a chilly day with warm, well-spiced food and drink that stoke your agni, or digestive fire. Beth Baker, a personal chef and the principal cook at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, often makes gallons of this decadent chai to warm up meditators on silent retreat.
To make an agni-enhancing herbal version you can sip all day, follow steps 1 and 2, reheat, and strain, adding extra hot water as necessary. For a rich and heavenly pick-me-up, follow steps 3, 4, and 5 to add the milk (dairy or non), black tea, and sweetener.
To make 1 quart of chai, grind in a spice grinder:

Use fresh spices. i think that is the trick!
11⁄2 teaspoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons fresh cardamom pods
Bring to a boil, then let sit overnight:
2 cups water
1⁄3 cup ginger, finely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns
tsp of ground cardamom and coriander
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 dash allspice
3⁄4 teaspoon licorice root (optional)
Add 3 cups of milk and carefully bring to a low boil, stirring continuously so as not to scorch it.
Add 2 or 3 tablespoons good-quality black tea and simmer for 5 minutes.
Strain and sweeten to taste with 2 to 31⁄2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, or sugar.

( I must have gotten this from a yoga website and can’t remember where. Change it up with different sweeteners and soy milk or add different black teas and notice the subtleties. It really helps to steep the spices overnight, but not the tea unless you want the caffeine to skyrocket!)

and finally my first use of my pasta maker

Thanks to Franny and Marimba who got it for me for my birthday back in October and to my mom for inspiring me to make fresh pasta!

I think I will make saffron flavoured next!

Here is the dough! I think the ratio of eggs to flour is key. I couldn’t find the special pasta flour anywhere this time. No tipo OO and no cake flour, so regular flour it is! It was still tasty, but a little harder to work with in the beginning!

dscf2152Then, you slowly pull the pasta through thinner and thinner settings…dscf2153which then gets filled with a special roasted butternut squash and cheese filling

dscf2154and trimmed and sealed and savored with fresh sage and a brown butter sauce!mmmmmmmm

dscf2159and the leftovers were transformed in to linguine that went into the freezer!


and for dessert, we had a ruby red grapefruit and granny smith apple tarte tatin with cinnamon ice cream…..The only problem was the grapefruit didn’t hold up to the flip, so here is the before and well, the after just tasted good.




In the beginning( gingerbread house part 1)

I found a use for all that old vegetable shortening….PS. It made the house inedible which it becomes anyhoo, but it is nice and stiff.  I plan to make gingerbread people and gingerbread trees we can eat to supplement the sweet architecture!

Oh! If you don’t know I have started a tradition with Dave of making a gingerbread house every Christmas day, then now you do! I baked the walls and roof tonight, so it could harden. Oh, and Since I spent all Sunday night making cookies with Diana, I am craving sugar cookies. Does this sweet tooth nonsense ever end? 

I know, i know, I guess everyone has to been to NY Baking and Company except me and Dave, but we went today and had a blast. They are a little strict. No strollers and no lingering in front of the register. The man also snapped at someone because the other employees hadn’t priced a zester. It was a good example of holiday retail in NYC.

The walls cooling……dscf2151

Molasses, citrus and nutmeg madeleines

Here is my holiday solution to the madeleine. I got this recipe from the NY Times Dessert Cookbook. It is a great collection of medium to advanced pastries from the best restaurants around the world. They aren’t easy, but are usually rewarding as long as you have some specialty extra ingredients lying around. As I was making these, I discovered I didn’t have baking powder, so instead of halting, I used pancake mix. Good alternative surprisingly! You first brown the butter with molasses and brown sugar and voila! I was originally going to send them home, but they never made it to San Francisco…..




ON New York art news, reviews and gossip.

Art Fag City is Paddy Johnson. She reviewed Dave’s art gallery website.

Check out her site!!!!! Here is her article below.

from http://www.artfagcity.com


Those who haven’t taken a look at the The Two Percent already need to do so.  Conceived and maintained by artist and enthusiast David Behringer, the website not only to helps art newbies navigate galleries, but provides a filter for all the exhibitions and critic recommendations available in the city.  In short it’s useful to professionals and lay people alike.  The site organizes viewing by the “Top Five”: the best five shows currently on view,“Known”: New work by famous artists, and”Medium:” The best in each medium, while providing additional pages such as “Compare“: a graph that allows users to see how The Two Percent ratings compare with mainstream publications.

My interest in the site led me to meet up with Behringer a while ago and arrange an interview.  Our conversation took place in early December over IM.

Art Fag City: Could you talk about what your motivations were for starting the site?

David Behringer: The site was made for me – both past and present. When I moved here 4 years ago I wanted to see what was going on at the galleries, but had no idea where to start. Over a few years I developed a system, and I’m sharing it with my former self… or anyone like my former self. Also, keeping up a site like this forces me to stay on track and really identify who I am.

AFC: So how many shows do you see a week to come up with the top 2 percent

DB: It varies – a couple weeks ago I saw 31.. which is about normal. The first weekend of the season I saw 53.

AFC: And how do you determine how much time you spend at a gallery?

DB: The art really determines that. Though my style is always to come back to shows that catch me. So the first round is pretty quick, then the next week I’ll go back to a number of those. I’ve found 2 viewings are better than 1 longer one. I guess the simpler answer is that if there’s not much that catches me, I’ll see more shows.

AFC: Well, that’s completely logical.

DB: There are two things that I enjoy – the surprise of seeing something for the first time, and then seeing the actual work for what it is… which requires two views.

AFC: I wanted to talk to you about your site for some time, because it’s actually useful: It tells people what you think is worth seeing, what the critics think is worth seeing, and organizes that information in very logic (new york centric) ways, ie by walking order. How often do you find your opinions line up with the critics?

DB: That’s hard – because often a critic/publication will recommend something the final week the show is open. So even though I’ve recommended it from day one, it doesn’t appear to match up. I make far fewer recommendations that most other publications, so they typically line up pretty often (eventually).

AFC: also very interesting! Does your site also gives people an idea of who does the most reviewing?

DB: No not really…The New York Times “recommends” 1 or 2 shows at any given time.. but reviews as many as 10 a week I do keep track of all reviews in my database that drives the site and eventually want to integrate that into the site as well.

AFC: There’s a lot on the site already because you write your own reviews of shows you’re interested in as well. I like those reviews. They are straight forward and easy to read.

DB: Glad you like them. I write reviews of shows that are interesting to write about. Rarely are they “recommended” by me. The main purpose of my own reviews is to really find my voice and try to identify with what critics go through…wait scratch that – if you’re talking about the little short notes… those are a lot of fun – to try to describe a show while not giving too much away.

AFC: I was talking about the reviews, but I like the short notes, particularly those under the“Known” category

DB: Ha.

AFC: Right now, those aren’t particularly positive.

DB: I have high expectations.

AFC: Do you know the percentage under that category of artists who receive positive versus negative blurbs?

DB: not exactly no – though that would be fun to have a running percentage at the top of that page (note to self). Right now it is unusually negative. I’d guess overall it’s more 50/50. There are times when a “known” artist really surprises me – which is a treat. Like when a band/singer changes the lyrics for live shows.

AFC: Oh totally. You also have a creating and collecting section to the site under the heading “blog”.

DB: I’m using the term “blog” very loosely.AFC: Indeed.  So under creating you have an image you’re painting in your studio and this practice is relatively new right?

DB: Of painting? No. Of a webcam, yes. [The webcam documents the progress of David Behringer’s painting].  I double majored in college: A BFA in studio art (painting) and a BA in art history.

AFC: You’ve been painting for how long then?  And how long have you been collecting for?

DB: Exactly 1 year. Both the painting and the collecting currently serve one primary purpose: learning.

AFC: What have you learned so far?

DB: Ha ha. Seriously? Wow, that’s a book deal right there.

AFC:  Ha! a preview from the book deal perhaps?

DB: I’ve learned that I never know as much as I think I do. My assumptions about nearly everything are not necessarily wrong, but different.

AFC:  Any advice for newbie collectors using a credit card?

DB: Ha ha…. don’t! Have you heard about this financial crisis?! I do not recommend what I’m doing (credit) to ANYONE. I enjoy the thrill of the risk, but I’m not saying it’s smart.

AFC: LOL.  Finally, what are some of your future plans for the site?

DB: The difficulty is in balancing what I want the site to be and what I have time for. I’m currently working on a “guide to the blogs”.. A while back I researched art bloggers to find out who to read and who to contact and took notes on all of them… So similar to the “compare” chart, I want a blog guide that compares them not by my opinion, but by how often they update, what they focus on, etc. Also I do see a lot of shows outside Chelsea, and want to find a way (the time) to expand this to other neighborhoods without making it too complex.

AFC:  How would the blog compare chart compare to something like Quantcast [a site that measures blog reader demographics, traffic, and more]? (And yes, it does seem like the Lower East Side will be increasingly important so it’s eventual integration makes sense. Time is always an issue though.)

DB: I don’t know about too much about Quantcast, but from a first look: simplification

AFC: ha!

DB: You’ll see. It will be awesome!

Rice Krispy treats are the bomb!

Ok, so they obviously have a shelf life as I struggled to bite into mine.I offered some up, but the embarrassment was all Leslie’s when she tried to tear it apart. Only shark biting and excessive chewing can cure an almost stale krispy treat….

Who ever would have thought rice and sugar and gelatin could have made such a marvelous treat so common in every American household? I know Starbucks is almost the devil, but the fact that they usually have them, makes me have some sympathy. There went my soul…..No, really, if you make them with extra rich better, believe it or not, but they taste better. I remember even making a rice krispy treat birthday cake for a friend. No cake box or tricky frosting job required here!!!! I heart you Rice Krispy Treat!

This is the new Disney kid musician,ralph covert singing a song about them. If you haven’t heard of him, you are lucky…

just a rice krispy goose...

just a rice krispy goose...

Direct quote…once the rice krispies cool, they’ll be the best we’ve ever seen…


OK, so for the record, I think If Kellogg’s didn’t have anything to do with this, they would be called Crispy Fluffy Sweet Rice Nuggets, but I still can’t figure out why they spell Krispy as Krispie as well.

MOMA design store for one stop shopping???

NO, really! Maybe it’s just cuz people especially close to me are having babies, but have you noticed the cute baby toys at this store? I mean, I walked over because there was a crowd of twenty somethings playing with this raccoon hand puppet……. Hopefully, it doesn’t make your kid want to eat garbage.


Hopefully they don’t also eat these toy petit fours or develop expensive taste for them…

m_748661ok…but they are cute though!