Archive for April, 2011
Yoshie Fruchter and Leah Koenig combine two of our favorite things in their marriage: she’s a cookbook author and food writer and he’s a musician. What more could a couple ask for??
Koenig‘s first cookbook, Hadassah Everyday Cookbook, recently came out through Rizzoli Publishing and is currently impressing Jewish grandmothers across the country, as well as their hip young granddaughters, like myself (yeah, I’m hip and young–what of it??) who always despair at the lack of creativity in Jewish cookbooks. And did I mention it includes a breakfast chapter? You can buy it here on Amazon.
Meanwhile, Fruchter and one of his several bands, Pitom, recently released their latest album, Blasphemy and other Serious Crimes, on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records. A mashup of jazz, funk, rock, and whole bunch of other stuff, Pitom creates unique music that is constantly evolving. On their new album they explore some more rock and grunge sounds that will surely make your ears happy. You can buy that album here on Amazon.
The two are teaming up outside of their home for an awesome event called Blasphemy and Bites. Fruchter and Pitom will be on hand playing their tunes, as well as the band Gutbucket, and Koenig will be there with tons of amazing samples on hand. It happens Monday, May 2 at The Rock Shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn. TnJ will be there and so should you.
TnJ also got the chance to interview this fabulous couple, check it out:
TnJ: Leah, your new cookbook, The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook: Daily Meals for the Contemporary Jewish Kitchen, features an entire chapter on breakfast recipes, which is somewhat of a rarity in most cookbooks, especially Jewish ones. Was it your decision/idea to include this chapter? Why did you think it was essential to include?LK: I think Jewish cuisine has added a lot to the world of breakfast. Bagels and lox, challah french toast, matza brie…we’ve got some real classics in the repertoire. Plus, breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. I find myself scheming up new egg dishes and baked goods more than anything else, so having a chapter dedicated to breakfast seemed like a no brainer.
Apple Walnut Bread
This super moist, nutritious quick bread is reminiscent of a Rosh Hashanah apple cake. For a twist, pour the batter into cupcake or muffin cups. Makes 2 loaves
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
Turbinado sugar (raw sugar; for sprinkling on top)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine both flours, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. In a second bowl, mix together sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time to wet mixture and stir to combine. Pour wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Fold in apples and walnuts (the batter will be very thick).
2. Lightly grease two loaf pans and spread half of the batter into each. Sprinkle the tops with a little sugar and bake for approximately one hour, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Us TnJ-ers are fiercely loyal to our favorite bands. When we saw The Drums during CMJ, we got hooked on their live performance, and jumped on an opportunity to see them in an intimate setting again. This time, it was at Mercury Lounge, one of my personal top picks for best venue to see live music in NYC. Just the right capacity, and on a normal night, the crowd is less obnoxious than most.
The opener, to be blunt, was not really worth mentioning. To say we suffered through their pseudo-goth set is to be kind. However, other folks in the audience seemed to love it. So we’ll leave it at that.
We were there for The Drums, and only The Drums. Very rarely does such an enigmatic lead singer emerge who can pull off the surf rock, and super-nerdy fashion sense. You can’t tell from our photos, but he is wearing a t-shirt embroidered with the word “Paris,” TUCKED IN. A tucked in t-shirt!!!
Their set consisted of mostly songs off of their self-titled debut from last year, including but not limited to “Best Friend,” “It Will All End in Tears,” “Book of Stories,” and of course, “Let’s Go Surfing.”
We were once again blown away by the charisma that everyone in the band exuded. They are all in their early 20s, but carry themselves as performers weathered way beyond their years. They played a few new (and very good) songs too, from an album that they mentioned will be coming out later this year.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have our best cameras with us and the crowd was a bit tall, but hopefully you can get a sense of how intimate and energetic the performance was. Keep an eye on their website for upcoming dates and releases; seeing them live is highly recommended.
Somehow, we here at TnJ had sort of forgotten about Park Slope’s Rose Water. DevoLT had a birthday brunch there many years ago that was great, and we live near there, but somehow had managed to not go there for years. Luckily, that was remedied with a fabulous brunch experience on a recent Sunday.
Rose Water is charming and popular, hence there will likely be a short wait for a table. We ended up in a kind of odd, almost private nook that was nice except for the constant door slamming right near us. Luckily, the food make up for any slight uncomfortableness. Rose Water offers a $14 brunch prix fixe which includes an entree and drink (choice of coffee, tea–hot or iced–or juice or lemonade).
We opted to start with a basket of breads for the table ($7) and it was well worth it. The basket comes with 2 of each of strawberry scone, challah bread, and ginger bread, as well as butter and jam. The strawberry scone was pretty much amazing and the challah was yummy and soft. The ginger bread was our least favorite, but if you like ginger you will surely enjoy its chunks of it.
For our entrees we opted to get the special which was potato latkes with poached eggs and broccoli raab and mushrooms, and an order of the vegetarian dish, which is baked polenta with goat cheese, poached eggs, and a warm mushroom salad, which we swapped out for a regular salad.
The latkes were perfectly cooked and tasted delicious with the runny yolks of the broken poached eggs on them. The whole dish was covered in a delicious red, somewhat spicy sauce that at first seemed out of place but then quickly melded with the rest of the dish. It was topped off with a nice queso fresco to tie in the red sauce.
The polenta in this dish was in cake form, and topped with a nice shmear of goat cheese and a tangy, vibrant pesto. The pesto also ran across the poached eggs and the fresh salad. This was a great, fresh dish that was filling but not overly so. The bread that accompanied it wasn’t really necessary with the polenta cakes, but we’ll take it!
So, if you’re looking for that perfect brunch spot for this weekend, here it is! Rose Water is a classy joint with great food and good service. What more could you ask for on a Sunday morning?
787 Union St.
Park Slope, Brooklyn
Helloooo Spring! The April picks this month lean towards the sunny side of life, because that’s how we like it here at TnJ.
First pick is a band that I was sad that we had to miss at SXSW this year: Hunx and his Punx. Best band name ever, right?
Another in the series of killer girl (and one guy) groups that we’ve praised on the site for a while. Their full length Too Young to Be In Love came out on Hardly Art earlier in the month, and you can check out the title song here.
Second pick is the new album from Vetiver, called The Errant Charm, due out on Sub Pop June 14th. Advance notice yes, but it’s good to be in the know.
This is Vetiver’s fifth album for Sub Pop, and I can tell from the single “Can’t You Tell” (har har har) that it’s going to be decidedly uptempo. Check out the song here, and go to their website for tour news.
Third pick is a new discovery, a South Bronx based band called Wires Under Tension. Below is a video, done very DIY, for their song “Electricity Turns them On,” from their debut Light Science out now on Western Vinyl.
Their instrumental style reminds me of a more proggy version of The Mercury Program, or a less proggy version of Don Caballero, with violin thrown in the mix. Check out another song, “Mneominics in Motion,” here.
Fourth pick is an Israeli electronic artist called Side Brain whose album On the Second Moon of Earth just came out in March on Holy Dub Recordings.
Fifth pick, an album that I am currently in love with, is Wye Oak‘s newest, Civilian, out now on Merge.
A perfect musical pair; vocalist Jenn Wasner sounds like she was born to make music with all around instrumentalist Andy Stack. I’m just sad I discovered them so late in the game. This is the first time in a long while that an album has struck me right off the bat, at first listen, as being fantastic. Wasner’s rich voice will draw you in immediately. Check out the title song on their website, and what the heck, just buy the entire album, you won’t regret it.
Speaking of purchasing, don’t forget that Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 16th. We’re going to do a post on our findings in the next few weeks!
There are lots more photos after the jump!