Haters Gonna Hate

November 22, 2016

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A Facebook friend from my childhood posted what she thought was an innocuous yet extemely deragatory comment about Michelle Obama’s current Vogue cover. It incited a dialogue that was both bitter, and frightening at the same time. Those that agreed added their two cents in the same defamatory way, and those that disagreed practically ripped her head off. As I read the comments, the small voice in my head kept repeating,” don’t engage, don’t engage.” Yet, regardless of your political bent, she made a comment that was demeaning, rude and wrong on so many levels…about another woman who didn’t do anything to invite this vitriol.
I silently followed the thread throughout the evening, and picked it up again early in the morning. A few people commented to say goodbye, as they unfollowed her forever. A few encourged her. The only thing that was consistent was the hatred. This was not about reasoning, or objecting; this was two factions that were so fed up with one another, that they said exactly what they thought, without sugar coating a thing. I finally caved and simply stated my mantra that Michelle herself instilled in me a few months ago: “When they go low, we go high.”

Minutes later, the post was deleted.

I think of myself as open minded and reasonable. I am liberal, and believe in the rights of all people, regardless of race, color, religion or sexual orientation. I believe in being a good person, and doing the right thing wherever possible. I want to accept that others have opinions different from my own. Yet, all of this hate is getting to me. It’s giving me a stomach ache that won’t go away. It’s causing feelings to well up inside me that are full of fear, and frustration. And finally, as each racist, homophobic, xenophobic and misogynistic cabinet appointment is revealed, those feelings inside me are starting to resemble hatred. And that frightens me even more.

Yes, I do hate that we have just set ourselves up to be a white supremacist society that has no filter in how we deal with others. Even our new first lady to be, who has decided to stay in New York, seems to want no part of this sh*t show. Yes, I do hate that you supported this behavior and are doing nothing to stop it, as it spirals out of control before your guy even takes office. Yes, I do hate that suddenly you are smug and spewing rude comments as if it’s ok because our future president does it too. It’s not ok.

I am sorry Michelle. I don’t know how much longer I can continue to go high, when so many around me on both sides are going so very, very low.

Each day, I take a deep breath, and try to remind myself of the good things in life, and to live in the moment, because as the Jews in Nazi Germany can attest to, it can change for the worst in heartbeat. And all indications are that we could easily be headed in that direction.

I believe in free speech, but not in hateful, hurtful speech. Please take a minute to think, before you speak or post a comment that might inspire hateful rhetoric, and demand it from others. If we all did that, it would be the first step in coming together to keep America great.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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How To Host A Successful Thanksgiving

November 21, 2016
The Jones Family

The Jones Family

When one of my favorite websites, The Kitchn, invited me to participate in their Thanksgiving video series, I jumped at the opportunity. But the real magic happened when my family wandered in, and reluctantly joined in on the fun.

While the content is as promised, what puts a smile on my face is seeing my family together as we really are; raw, authentic and very happy. In a time when many are feeling isolated, disenfranchised and afraid, looking at my multi-cultural and multi-racial family, gives me great joy, and for that I am thankful. This Thanksgiving, do not let fear or hatred cloud your thoughts. Family isn’t just about gene pools; it’s about love. I hope you can feel ours in this video.

This is us…

http://www.thekitchn.com/videos/p8Kj7Vly

Tips For Cooking the Best Thanksgiving

*Sorry, I can’t get the video to embed. Please click on the link to view.

Thank you Rebecca and team at The Kitchn + Apartment Therapy for letting us be part of your series.

Holy @#$%!!! Thanksgiving Is Next Week!

November 17, 2016

So here I am, the master of Thanksgiving organization, coming to the realization that I am a little behind the proverbial eight ball. If you are in that boat with me, no worries, there is still plenty of time to catch up.

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This kind of looks like me, but it’s not.

This week’s challenge, is to make grocery lists, and then break them down by perishable and non- perishable. Non- perishable items, (defined as those with a long shelf life that won’t go bad, such as flour, canned or packaged goods etc.) should be purchased as soon as possible, to get that chore out of the way. Don’t assume you have flour, or baking powder, just because you always do. Check and make sure you have more than enough. This is not the time for quick jaunts to the supermarket in the midst of cooking. Check, right down to the salt and pepper. You will thank me for this later.

If you are at all like me, break those lists down by store. I go to a variety of different places to get what I need. You may be able to do one stop shopping and skip this step. If so, lucky you! I am legit envious. If you have a car, I’m positively green with envy!

1635400409_compOrder your turkey. If you have never had a fresh turkey, please give one a try. It costs more, but the flavor and juiciness is beyond comparison to a frozen bird. And they aren’t factory farmed, injected with hormones, and fed GMO grains. It simply tastes better, is better for you and in some strange way, better for the turkey. I am in New York and use DiPaula Turkey Farms, who have pickup locations at various Farmer’s Markets around the city. I go to Union Square.  Local butcher shops usually have them as well but they all require pre-ordering.

Did you get your dishes and linens organized last week? I didn’t either. If not, do it this week. We have a large group and actually had to purchase another folding table to accommodate them. But I haven’ t checked for napkins and chairs yet. Don’t wait.

Are your linens clean and ironed? Turn on the TV or Netflix, pull out that ironing board and do it now. Trust me, you don’t want to do it Thursday. Even better, get someone else to do it now. ( If you live in my house, you know who you are!)

 

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Now for the fun part; the cooking!
I rarely freeze food, but a few things actually benefit from their stay in cold storage. Make them this weekend, and they will be your best friends, ready and waiting when you need them, and don’t have time to make them. These items include pie and tart crusts, which I roll and freeze well wrapped in the pans I plan to bake them in. For my pie toppers, I cut the strips, braids and shapes ( leaves and flowers) in advance and freeze them on a baking tray. Once this stuff is frozen, you can stack them, making room for other items. You can and should, bake these while frozen. It cuts down substantially on crust shrinkage and adds little or no extra baking time.

Biscuits also freeze well unbaked, and are great to make in advnce. Freeze them on a cookie sheet, and then toss them into a freezer bag until needed. These also go into the oven frozen.

This is the one I'm serving. I added a few homemade croutons. Cube the bread and freeze it now!

This is the one I’m serving. I added a few homemade croutons. Cube the bread and freeze it now!

If you make soups, they also freeze well.  If you are planning a cream soup, leave the dairy out until the last minute. Freeze the non- dairy soup, thaw it in the refrigerator, and then once it is heated prior to serving, mix in the cream. I do a butternut squash and pumpkin soup without cream, and then add a dollop of creme fraiche to each serving, It’s an elegant touch, and allows you to really taste the seasonal flavors and not cream. It’s less rich before a heavy meal.

Think about decor. Will you be doing flowers, candles or some elaborate thing with pinecones and gourds? Figure it out now. Buy the candles, bleach the pinecones and decide where the flowers are coming from, and what you will put them in. If you are making placecards, you can do them now. I actually print out menus every year. ( I know,  it’s a bit much, but it’s only once a year so why not?) Don’t feel pressured by Pinterest. It’s ok to order flowers, or grab them while you’re in Trader Joe’s. If your is anything like mine, you will be standing in a check out line that snakes to the front of the store, allowing you to pick them up while you’re standing there anyways.

I am off to take my own advice, and get this underway, before the pie orders come in and I’m overwhelmed again.

Next up: Cooking and setting up for the big meal. Get your pre-work done, and get some rest while you can.

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Thanksgiving Prep: List Making

November 8, 2016

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Now that election day is here, and we can begin to cleanse our palettes of all the nastiness and hatred that accompanied it, it’s time shift our focus to THANKSGIVING! With only 16 days to go, there are lists to be made, and pre-work to be done, to make the big day way less stressful than political campaigns we just lived through.

Over the next 2 weeks, we will be sharing our preparations with you, so you can get ready for the Superbowl of Cooking right along with us.

Today’s project is a big one, but it sets us up for success. It’s all about planning and making lists.

First, grab yourself a folder; real, or digital and mark it “Thanksgiving 2016”. Whatever lists you make, and recipes you gather will live in this folder.

Start your list making:

First and foremost, make a guest list and invite people however you choose. Emails, phone calls or letter pressed invitations are all fine. Make this as casual or as formal as you like. Keeping a guest list will allow you to have an accurate headcount so you are sure to have enough food, drinks, placesettings and chairs for everyone that is coming. And if your house is like ours, be prepared to take in a few “Thanksgiving Orphans “at the last minute.

Next, plan the menu. Write down every course, and if you are sharing the cooking with some of your guests, assign dishes to each of them now. Put their name next to the dish they are reponsible for right on your menu so you don’t need to worry about it.

Gather your recipes. Now is the perfect time to pull out all of the recipes you will be using for the meal. Many cooking websites and magazines are overflowing with Thanksgiving recipes, so if you want to try something new, or you don’t have a favorite recipe for something, now is your chance to do a little research. Place the recipes into your folder as you find them.

Now that you have your menu and headcount, it’s time to check to see if you have all the serving dishes, utensils and place settings to accommodate everyone. Think about table cloths, napkins and extra tables and chairs if necessary. Check for serving dishes, and oven to table dishes for things that require them, Arrange to borrow what you don’t have, or go out and purchase it now, before things get hectic. Trust us, you don’t want to be scrambling around at the last minute, when you need to be home cooking. You know where we are going with this one: make a list of what you need and plan to get it all by the end of next weekend.

Once all of your lists are made, place them in your Thanksgiving folder. We will be referring to all of this later in the week.

Happy Planning!!!

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What’s Up?

October 31, 2016

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I bet you’ve all been wondering what I’ve been up to lately, since clearly, it hasn’t been stockpiling blog posts. Indigo Jones Eats has been having a growth spurt, and although it’s very exciting, it’s also exhausting!

Here is a little bit of what we’ve been up to, and a sneak peak at what is coming soon….

We are now in a couple of coffee bars around town. If you are on the Lower East Side, stop by Pintail Coffee, on Orchard Street for a treat. The coffee bar shares space with a jewel box of a vintage clothing store. We deliver freshly baked scones, muffins, cookies and more, a few times each week and the assortment varies.

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Terramoto Coffee is also carrying Indigo Jones Eats, and has a fun assortment of Halloween goodies, as well as the classics. Since they are just down the street on West 15th Street,( near Chelsea Market)  we can literally run things over as they leave the oven.

We are about to join a new launch next week, and are currently recipe testing for their sustainable, locally and transparently sourced baked goods.

We are also going to be featured on two new websites, launching in November, giving us more on-line outlets for our products.

We are up and running with Umi Kitchen, currently delivering on the East Side of New York City. If you live in the delivery zone, download the app and leave me a message for a code to try it out for free.

We are teaching classes with the newly launched site Keenobby, which offers experiences, such as cooking and baking classes ( that’s us!) and shibori dying and more. Check out their website to find something that interests you.

Next week, we will be shooting a video for one of our favorite websites. We’ll post a link when it’s ready. Very exciting!

And no, we haven’t left the fashion industry. So if you are wondering why we don’t call, and we don’t write, it is because we are busy keeping up with it all.

We promise to keep you posted and provide as much new content as we can.

Stay tuned, and keep checking in!

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Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

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Everything Is Coming Up Rose Gold

October 24, 2016

Suddenly, rose gold is everywhere. It came into fashion for jewelry and hardware several seasons ago, when everyone including  Apple, Beats and Nike introduced it into their collections of technology. The color, which occurs when a small amount of copper is added to gold, giving it a pinkish tinge, lent a fashionable edge to smartphones and computors. Since pink is thought to inspire calm and peacefullness, the color couldn’t have hit it’s peak at a more crucial time.
Today, rose gold is showing up in clothing, technology, accessories and even hair color, as the trend reaches a fever pitch.

Apple offers it’s Macbooks and iPhones in rose gold.

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Beats makes wireless headphones in the tone.

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Rose gold tinged hair is fast replacing ombre as the “it” hair color trend.

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Michelle Obama SLAYED in a rose gold dress from Atelier Versace at the final State Dinner of the Obama Presidency.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk to North Portico at the White House to greet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini, for a State Dinner at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. The first lady is wearing a floor length, rose gold chainmail gown designed by Atelier Versace. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Tiffany currently offers over 500 items in rose gold, including this Elsa Perretti bracelet, valued at $15,000.

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Tiffany + Co.

Neiman Marcus is offering a rose gold airplane in their Christmas catalogue, for a mere $1,500,000! You know you’ve made it when you can afford a trendy private plane that might look dated next season!

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Neiman Marcus

Givenchy is just one of the designers using the hue for metallic leather handbags and shoes.

Givenchy at Saks

Givenchy at Saks

And yes, real guys do wear rose gold!

via macrumors.com

via macrumors.com

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Unrecipe of the Week: Eggplant With Yogurt + Pomegranate Seeds

October 19, 2016

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Last week, I was looking for a few great side dishes that were hearty enough, and interesting enough for a vegetarian to eat in lieu of the racks of lamb that I was serving to the carnivores. After searching through famed chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s book “Plenty,” I stumbled upon his recipe for roasted eggplant with a buttermilk yogurt sauce, topped with za’atar and pomegranate seeds. It fit all of my criteria and then some. It was special enough to stand on it’s own. It had seasonal elements, was healthy, and full of flavor. The cool buttermilk yogurt sauce was smooth and creamy against the texture of the roasted eggplant, and the pomegranate added a touch of sweet crunch. The fact that it came together quickly was a bonus. It’s no wonder that Mr. Ottolenghi chose this for the cover recipe of his book!

roasted eggplant

roasted eggplant

Roasted Eggplant With Buttermilk Sauce adapted from “Plenty”:

Split 4 small eggplants vertically. Brush with olive oil until the pieces are fully saturated. The oil eggplant will absorb the oil, so be liberal with it. Sprinkle the halves with thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Roast in a 350-400 degree oven for about 30 minutes until the flesh is soft and they are nicely browned. Allow them to cool slightly.

For the sauce, whisk together 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt with about 8 or 9 tablespoons of buttermilk and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in 1 clove of garlic, minced as finely as possible, or pressed in a garlic press, and a pinch of salt.

To serve, spoon the sauce over the eggplant halves, sprinkle them with za’atar* and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy!

*Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix. It is available at specialty markets, and it is also easy to make at home.

Za’atar:

Combine about 1 tablespoon each of oregano, ground cumin, salt, pepper, and sesame seeds. Many people also use sumac, but I didn’t have any and I didn’t miss it!

Photo: top: Epicurious | bottom: indigo jones

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Food Saftey For Power Outages

October 18, 2016

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With all of the storms we are experiencing this season, power outages are probable in many parts of the country. How that effects food safety can be determined by a little logic, and a simple trick.
Should you experience a power outage, it is important to open the freezer and refrigerator as little as possible, to avoid letting any warm air in, or allowing the cold air to escape. If the power outage is not too long, it’s possible that some of your foods can be saved. Keeping a thermometer in the refrigerator is the best indicator of potential spoilage.

The safe temperature in a refrigerature is below 40 degrees, and below 34 degrees for fish. If the temperature outside is in that range, you are safe place your food items outdoors; properly wrapped, of course. Although the freezing point is 32 degrees, the freezer should be kept at zero degrees or below for optimum storage saftey. Frozen foods should be only kept outdoors when the temperature is more extreme, and the foods are well protected. Freezer burn occurs when the food is exposed to cold air, not temperature.

Lately, the internet is buzzing with this tip, and it is one worth sharing.
When a storm is imminent, freeze a cup of water, and place a quarter on top, and leave it in your freezer.

When you open the freezer, if the quarter is sitting on top, it means the water didn’t thaw and the food you had in the freezer likely didn’t thaw either.

If the quarter is at the bottom of the cup, that indicates that the water thawed, forcing the coin to the bottom. Partial thawing would have allowed the coin to submerge, and then refreeze, placing the coin elsewhere in the cup.  In either case, the food in the freezer should be thrown away to avoid causing illness.

If you have a way to cook during the power outage, via a gas stove or an outdoor grill, it is the best way to salvage frozen food that is thawing. Just remember to eat it and toss the leftovers, , as the cooked food will require refrigeration.

It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food safety.

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Signs Of The Times

October 17, 2016

North Carolina’s ridicuous bathroom bill, stating that everyone must use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender assigned to them at birth, set off an explosive debate that rippled across the country.

When Target responded with their commitment to allow people to use whichever restroom they felt most comfortable in while visiting their stores, ultra conservatives vowed to boycott them.

How some percieve gender neutral restrooms

How some percieve gender neutral restrooms

It raised consciousness of the issue, causing people to question the way we label the facilities in public establishments.

In the ultimate desire to be politically correct and create an atmosphere of inclusiveness, some have resorted to extremes.

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Great sign by the way, just not necessary when there is only one restroom to choose!

At a recent photoshoot, the studio posted a sign next to the restroom door that stated it was for men, women or transgendered individuals. While I respect their desire to create a comfortable environment for everyone, there was in fact only one, private restroom in the entire studio. I am pretty sure that a year ago, that sign just said restroom. Was this overkill, or an attempt to boast of thier open-mindedness? I am willing to bet that a year ago, that sign simply stated restroom.

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A little cyptic perhaps, but allows for free choice

Later in the same week, I attended an event in the auditorium of at Cooper Union, a local college in the East Village that specializes in art, architecture and engineering. The restrooms, which had clear gender labels on them just a year ago, now had cryptic signs on the doors. One showed stalls, and sinks, and the other showed stalls, sinks and urinals.

In Europe, most public restrooms are unisex, offering fully enclosed stalls and communal sink areas. While not as conducive to primping and gossiping as single sex facilities, it offers equality, accessibility, and most importantly privacy. I mean, who designed toilet stalls that exposed people’s feet, and could be looked under, over or through anyways? The idea that anyone can walk into the bathroom and recognize who is sitting on the toilet by their footwear is ludicrous, causing women in offices a lifetime of embarrassment and subsequently, constipation.

Should we be patting ourselves on the back for being so modern and inclusive by posting witty signs, when we should be finding ways to allow people to take care of their natural biological functions in private?

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Sow Your Oats

October 6, 2016

Oatmeal is a breakfast staple. We have instant oats, overnight oats, oatmeal bars, and good old fashioned Quaker oats in the iconic cardboard canister.

Oatmeal is a great way to start the day, as it is full of healthy fiber, and protein. Classic toppings tend to err on the sweet side, with fruit, nuts, and brown sugar being the most popular. This can cause spikes in blood sugar, and depending on how much of sweet stuff you are using, it can turn your healthy breakfast into a calorie bomb.

Maybe it’s time to rethink the oats, by creating savory versions that are filling and nutritionally balanced. These taste so good, you might want to consider oatmeal for dinner!

Cookie+ Kate topped thier savory oats with an egg and a pile of greens.savory-steel-cut-oatmeal-recipe

Healthy Nibbles and Bits mixed in peppers and onions before adding white cheddar cheese and topping it with an egg.

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The Full Helping’s mushroom, kale and miso oatmeal has us drooling!

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The Mija Chronicle’s oatmeal has a Thai influence, using peanuts, cilantro and ginger as flavoring.img_80491

Healthy foodie Mark Bittman tosses scallions and soy sauce into his morning oats, as he pursues his goal of eating a vegan diet by day, and carnivorous one by night.

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The Oatmeal Artist uses butternut squash in their take on the concept, as well as other versions on their oatmeal exclusive blog.

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I’m inspired! What will you add to your oatmeal?

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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