Tag Archives: chocolate

The Starving Artist Eats Watermelon Feta Salad

24 Jun

Yesterday I shared that summer was all about karpouzi at my house.

The other Sunday, after church, I had my friend Sandra over for brunch and wanted to make something special. I decided to try my hand at a watermelon-feta salad. This isn’t something I ever grew up eating, but when I attended the GABBY Awards a few years ago, one of the passed meze they served at Ellis Island before the ceremony was cubed watermelon with feta speared with a toothpick. Since then I’ve seen delicious recipes for it watermelon and feta salads. I decided to make my own version, topped with an exquisite dark chocolate vinaigrette my friend Rori gave me as a housewarming gift.

Lomogram_2014-06-08_04-34-41-PMHere’s my super-easy, super-quick recipe:

  • Cut watermelon into chunks
  • Cut Feta cheese into chunks
  • Mix the watermelon and feta in a bowl and top with pistachio meat (meaning pistachios out of their shell)
  • Drizzle dark chocolate vinegar over the salad
  • Serve!

See how easy that is?! You can prep ahead by cutting the watermelon and the feta into chunks the night before, but I recommend waiting until you’re about to serve guests to mix the ingredients together so that they retain their individual flavors and so the nuts don’t get soggy.

The ingredients are, admittedly, a bit on the pricier side, but when you make it yourself you save a lot of money. This is part of a new series I’m doing called “The Starving Artist.” I used to do posts called “Tasty Tuesday,” but I’m switching it up a little now to focus on budget-friendly recipes for writers. You might also like these feta-inspired appetizers:

I’m looking to get more fruit in my diet this summer. If you have any unique watermelon recipes, please share them in the comments below!

 

The Story of Turning My Thesis In

29 May

You already saw the picture from my reading, but here’s the story of completing my theses.  Oh and what an adventure it was.

One of my best friends was getting married on the Sunday before my thesis was due (why don’t people plan their lives around my writing schedule?!) so I had to put the finishing touches on it, print it out, and get it professionally bound that Saturday.  Well, let me tell you, finding a company that does vello binding is not as easy as it sounds even in New York City, where most things are at your fingertips.  I was rushing around New York, being turned down by one place after the next.  Finally, I found a FedEx in Chelsea that could do it, but they were so packed that they told me to drop off the manuscript and then they’d call me back once it had been printed on high-quality paper and bound.  I don’t live in that area so of course that meant lots of time traveling back and forth on the subway.  But the guy who helped me had the name of one of literature’s most fascinating characters and was so helpful, giving me special coupons for when the time comes to mail my manuscript off to publishers.

It felt kind of anticlimactic turning my thesis in on Monday.  I ran down to the Writing Program’s office on my lunch break and thought the office would be abuzz with friends from my workshops.  I only ran into one other person turning her thesis in at the same time as me.  I was in and out pretty quickly, after indulging in a piece of delicious chocolate from the office’s basket as my reward.

Since I was in the area I decided to go to Argo Tea.  One of the women from the writing program introduced the Chicago-founded company to me, and I’m officially obsessed with their Red Velvet Tea.  It is insane how delicious that tea is.

That evening I saw a bunch of writers from my graduating class post that they had submitted their theses.  It’s so exciting!  There were so many great writers in the program, and I can’t wait to see their theses turned into books.

Chocolate Tasting at Chocolat Moderne

13 Feb

On Saturday, I went to an open house at Chocolat Moderne!!  Swoon!

You may remember the name Chocolat Moderne from my Gabby Awards post.  I was kind of obsessed.  That’s why I was so excited to take a little tour of the chocolate factory and meet the founder, Joan Coukos.  The Greek American chocolatier was so sweet.  We exchanged stories of where in Greece we’re from and chatted about other Greek Americans living in New York City.

 

I got to sample the many delectable chocolates Chocolat Moderne has to offer.  One of my favorites was the Cocoa Casbah Hot Chocolate ~ Kama Sutra, an exotic blend of cardamom, clove, and coconut.  It’s chai tea making love to hot chocolate.

 

I also sampled the champagne truffles, which I think would make for a romantic Valentine’s Day gesture.  This special chocolate has “rare collector’s Marc de Bourgogne pressed from chardonnay grapes and a layer of dark ganache scented with a mellow aged Pierre Ferrand 1er Cru de Cognac from the Grande Champagne appellation.”

As lovely as the champagne truffles were, I have to say I loved the Moderne ~ Red Fruits bar.  This bar is a “blend of fine dark chocolates from Valrhona, is a fresh breeze of red berries and red stone fruits.  The crunchy toffee nuggets sprinkled throughout the bar release the unique and fragrant essences of cherries, strawberries and raspberries.”  The dark chocolate was intense and the raspberry tart.

 

 

Chocolat Moderne has special Valentine assortments that would go lovely with a nice bottle of red wine or champagne.

 

 

The factory is located at 27 West 20th Street, Suite 904, and is open every day from noon to 6pm.  It’s definitely worth dropping by to see the chocolate-making action and to pick up some artisnal chocolates.  You can also inquire about chocolate tastings held at the factory … something I intend to get in on!

Tasty Tuesday: What Your Favorite Writers Snack On

16 Aug

 

The New York Times had an article back in July about what writers snack on while they work.  In illustrator Wendy Macnaughton’s “Snacks of the Scribblers,” we discover Lord Byron drank vinegar to keep his weight down and Joyce Maynard eats lime popsicles, among other eccentric eating habits of writers.

Personally, I like to write early on Saturday mornings in the Barnes & Noble Café, where I’ll order a Starbucks caramel latte and whatever sweet strikes my fancy.  Sometimes it gives me sugar-caffeine overload, though, so it’s better if I have a healthy breakfast before going there.

At home, I don’t usually eat when I write.  Dark chocolate usually is a good motivator, though, so sometimes I start and end on a piece of Theo’s Fig, Fennel & Almond bar.

Dear writers, what do you snack on?