Archive for November, 2014

All The Rest is Gravy

November 26, 2014

A good gravy goes hand in hand with a beautiful roasted turkey. We get rave reviews for this one, made with the pan juices, and a little help from some pantry items.

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Mushroom Gravy:

Pour the pan juices from the turkey in a bowl, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Strain them into a glass measuring cup, and add 1/2 cup of white wine, and enough stock to measure 6 cups in total.

Sauté 2 pounds of sliced mushrooms until they are golden brown and the juice has evaporated. It will take about 15-20 minutes. Mix in reserved garlic herb paste, and sprinkle with about 1/3 cup of flour. Toss to incorporate the flour, so lumps will not form when the liquid is added. Whisk in the broth/pan juices and bring to a boil. Continue whisking as it thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Put on Your Eating Pants

November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving is a day of over-indulgence. People jokingly ( I hope) talk about  wearing their “eating pants” to dinner, commonly referring to those with an expandable waist.

This year you can actually wear your sweat pants to dinner and look chicer than anyone else there, and most assuredly more comfortable than the other guests.

Here are just a few ideas for making this season’s joggers look pulled together and appropriate:
854e25cab8b135d1aa7feee130e6cbd9Add a heel and an interesting jacket. The more upscale fabric takes them out of the gym and into the dining room flawlessly.

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Love the leather jacket and the polished accessories!

ac455865abc9ccee6f7926fff5003907A little more casual, but with an air of laid back chic.

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Who says style and comfort aren’t compatible? Bon Appetite!

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Let’s Talk Turkey

November 25, 2014

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Let’s talk turkey. It’s time to dispel the myth that turkey is dry. Oh it can be. Buy a cheap frozen bird, stick it in a hot oven and cook it to buggery. That’s how you get a dry turkey.

But we all prefer a moist, juicy and flavorful bird at our house, so I’m here to tell you how to get it.
I’ve mentioned before that the quality of the actual turkey itself is important to the outcome. I get my free range turkey from DiPaola Turkey Farm, which I pick up at the Union Square Greenmarket the day before Thanksgiving. If you have an opportunity to get a fresh, free range turkey, it is well worth the extra money. If you have already started thawing a frozen bird, there is still hope.

On Thanksgiving day, take the turkey from the refrigerator, rinse it inside and out, and pat it dry. There is usually a little bag of giblets, liver etc. inside the turkey. Make sure you take that out!!( Not to be vulgar, but check both ends for goodie bags.) You don’t want to cook a turkey that is still icy, so allow a good 20 minutes or so for the turkey to sit before cooking.

Rub the turkey with garlic and herb butter, making sure to slide a good amount between the skin and the meat. * Reserve some herb butter for the gravy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you are stuffing the bird, do it now, making sure that the stuffing mixture is moist enough, so that it doesn’t try to draw all juices from the turkey while it cooks. Tuck the wings under and tie the legs with cooking twine if necessary. I usually make a ball of aluminum foil and tuck it at the outside of the cavity to keep the stuffing in, and prevent it from overcooking where it is exposed.

Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, and place a couple of stalks of celery, carrots and an onion, peeled and cut into large chunks. Add a little chicken or turkey stock to the pan, to get things started. Keeping the bottom of the pan moist throughout the cooking process not only gives you liquid for basting, but also creates delicious pan juices to make gravy with. ( We will talk about gravy tomorrow, so stay tuned!) We start the process with 1 cup of white wine, and 1 cup of broth in the pan.

Place the turkey in the oven and roast at 350 degrees. Roast for 1 hour, and then cover it  loosely with foil. Every hour or so, pour a little more broth and white wine over the turkey and continue to roast covered. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165 degrees. If it is not golden brown, remove the foil for the last 30-60 minutes of cooking.

Once the turkey’s internal temperature is reached, take it out of the oven, remove the stuffing, cover it with foil and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes before carving.
Do not throw away the pan juices or vegetables yet…we will use them for the gravy!Spoiler alert: Buy 2 pounds of mushrooms.

Place the stuffing in an oven proof dish and pop it back into the oven to keep warm.

A free range turkey is leaner and will cook faster than a conventional, previously frozen turkey. Don’t wait for the red timer to pop up before starting to check the temperature. By then, it could be over cooked! Start taking the turkey’s temperature at the earlier side of the estimated cook time, and judge from there. A good indicator of doneness is that the legs and wings should start to move freely and easily when jiggled, and the juices should run clear when the bird is pricked. A fresh, unstuffed turkey will take about 12 minutes per pound to cook, and a defrosted turkey could take closer to 20 minutes per pound. Allow a little extra cook time if the turkey is stuffed.

A guideline for roasting times:

10-18 pound turkey will cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours unstuffed, and about 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 hours stuffed.

18-22 pounds will take about 3 1/2 to 4 hours unstuffed and 4 1/2 to 5 hours stuffed.

22- 24 pounds will take about 4 to 4 1/2 hours unstuffed and about 5 to  5 1/2 hours stuffed.

Click here for our garlic and herb butter recipe, which can be make ahead. If you waited until the last minute to read this, you can use several cloves of finely minced raw garlic instead. It will mellow a bit as the turkey cooks.

Stay tuned for our gravy recipe. It’s worth waiting for!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Black is the New Black

November 24, 2014

The American Music Awards took place last night, and one thing can be certain from looking at the red carpet photos: Black is the new black.

Stars strutted their stuff in long black looks that showed an amazing amount of restraint for the music crowd:
Selena Gomez stunned in a modest black gown by Giorgio Armani Prive:

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Newcomer Charli XCX showed a little shoulder as she channeled old Hollywood glam in Vivienne Westwood.

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Fergie showed some leg and touches of gold in her Halston Heritage gown.

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Naya Rivera gave Morticia Addams a run for her money with this one, by Michael Kors. The killer body and the cleavage certainly got our attention!13834580-standard

 

Even the guys got into the act. In this case, there was only “OneDirection”: Dress in black!
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Super Sleuthing

November 21, 2014

I don’t generally use this site for tasteless gossip, but hey, it’s Friday, it’s freezing cold, and I have a little time on my hands right now.

As I was perusing Perez Hilton, reading yet another ridiculous post about Kim Kardashian’s well oiled rear end, I noticed something suspicious. How could the entire media gossip world have missed this one?

Kim is not, in fact naked. I repeat, she is NOT actually naked! While everyone is posting stories on what type of oil was used to make her butt so shiny ( it’s been attributed to a local French baby oil by her makeup artist, and to a hair oil from her very own haircare line by Mrs. West herself,) I am here to tell you differently. She is wearing a skin toned, latex suit! Uh-huh honey ( see what I did there with the Kanye reference?) This particular photo shows subtle lines around her upper body, which are clearly straps. Blow this photo up a little bit and see what I mean. A photo expert, who happens to live in this house, noted that the skin reflections are different on the presumed covered parts than on the actual skin. And when I  blew it up in more dramatically in photoshop ( I really do need to get a life) you can see where she has been photoshopped down a size or two ( or three.)

She has been photographed recently wearing latex clothing from fetishwear designer Atsuko Kudo, In a recent comment to the Daily Mail, the designer remarked,”‘Latex fits so much to the body that to the naked eye it’s very difficult to tell if it’s a top and a skirt, or a dress.”. ( Or a bodysuit to make it look like you’re nude when you really aren’t?)
Kim’s skin-tight outfit appears to leave little room for underwear, and Simon admitted it generally looks better if the wearer does go sans pants.

Ah-ha! Another clue. Did Kudo design a special suit to smooth her skin, compress her a bit and make her look sleeker and slicker?

Take a look at this photo from Perez Hilton, and see what you think. The caption is referring to the oil, but I, dear readers, have found something different. kim-kardashian-paper-oil-doodle__oPt
Look at the scoop under her arm, and the straps and scooped back. Those aren’t tan lines!

I should have been a detective…Mwahhahahahaha!

Break the internet Indigo Jones!

*We shall resume our more tasteful and useful stories on Monday!

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It’s a Wash

November 20, 2014

You know those pesky labels affixed to your fruit, that sometimes leave a little goo behind when removed? What if they had a more practical use than just providing info to the checkout clerk?

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Scott Amron has developed Fruit Wash labels, which dissolve into an organic fruit cleanser that helps remove wax, pesticides, bacteria and dirt. The labels would include all of the pertinent information regarding the fruit’s origin and PLU code, but be environmentally friendly, as well as hygienic.

The labels are not available yet, and the developer is currently seeking investors.

photo courtesy of Amron Experimental 

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Can You Exercise and Still Gain Weight? SPOILER: YUP!

November 19, 2014

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Did the New York Times act responsably when they wrote about a recent study of weight management and exercise?
The article, entitled “Exercising but Gaining Weight,” takes a look at research conducted at Arizona State University, following 81 healthy, but sedentary women who were overweight.

The women participated in a supervised exercise program where they walked on a treadmill 3 times a week for 30 minutes, at a pace that represented 80% of their maximum endurance.

They were told not to alter their diet or eating habits during the 12 week study. At the end of the study, all of the women had significantly increased their aerobic fitness, but many had also gained weight attributed to fat, not added muscle.

Are you shocked? I certainly am not. The average 150 pound person would burn about 142 calories walking briskly for 30 minutes.A 200 pound person might burn about 172 calories in the same time. Do the math, and at best, these people would have lost between 1.4 and 1.7 pounds over the 12 week period. That’s it. Less than 2 pounds!

I would venture to guess that the increase in activity led them to be a little hungrier, and maybe a little more tired, causing them to eat a bit more and move a bit less throughout the day. It’s no surprise to me, that these people gained weight.

I see woman at the gym struggle through a cycling class, only to spend the next hour or two at the juice bar, replacing practically every calorie they burned with carbs. Exercise isn’t a magic pill. Slow, consistent cardio doesn’t burn much fat. To see results, it takes a combination of strength training and cardio with intervals to spike your heart rate.
What you put into your body is of even greater importance. Moving more and eating more, especially more of the wrong foods, is going to cause weight gain. It’s that simple.

A congratulatory post workout snack at Starbucks would run about 600 calories for a tall Pumpkin Spice Latte and a muffin. Try that three times a week and see where that gets you.

I calculate a 6 pound weight gain from that alone!

It doesn’t take a degree, or an elaborate study to come to these conclusions.

Did the Times do a disservice to it’s less fitness conscious readers by printing this study? Does it send a message that exercise isn’t going to help you lose weight so you shouldn’t bother?

While I am sure people are using this study to validate their sedentary existence, I am not going to give up my gym membership just yet.

Read the article in it’s entirety here:

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Give it a Rest

November 18, 2014

It’s common practice to remove food straight from the oven, and slice and serve it while it is piping hot. If that food is meat or poultry, you are not doing your dish any favors.

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When you cut into the meat right away, the juices flow freely onto the cutting board. Once the meat has had time to rest, the juices redistribute into the meat, leaving it moister and more flavorful.

When you take the meat or poultry from the oven, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 10-20 minutes. The foil should keep it warm, as the juices settle.

Be aware that the food will continue to cook slightly as it rests. For rare meat lovers, be sure to remove it from the oven a couple of minutes sooner than usual to allow for the extra resting time.

Try this next week with your Thanksgiving turkey and see how much of a difference it makes.

Stuffing should be taken out of the turkey right away, so if you are going to let it sit, be sure to remove it to a serving dish immediatly.

Enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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We Have a New Addition!

November 17, 2014

We believe that food, family and friendship go hand in hand. You know we love to make simple dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients. We bet you didn’t know that we also make some pretty creative, artisanal foods as well.

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If you follow our Instagram, or Facebook page, you may have gotten a glimpse of  our picture perfect tarts, handmade ice-cream cones with freshly churned ice-cream, or mouthwatering cakes. You may have seen some of our “works in progress” and we hope from time to time you wished you could come over and join us for a meal.

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With the newest addition to our indigo jones “empire”, you can do the next best thing.

Introducing Indigo Jones Eats, our site devoted to foods that you can actually order and enjoy in your own home. Whether it is a special dessert to take to a friend,dinner to be prepared, small parties to be hosted or something for the school bake sale, we’re on it. We can provide specialty foods and bespoke catering for small groups, or cooking class evenings hosted in our own loft.

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We will be featuring seasonal foods available to order, and will update the site with photos of delicious foods to entice you.

Pop on over and say hello. We hope to be eating with you soon!

For the latest from both of our sites:

 

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Visit our sister site: indigo jones eats 

One Bad Apple

November 13, 2014

This morning, I noticed that my iPhone had  stopped downloading email. At first I attributed it to a bad WIFI connection. Later, I realized something was wrong. I logged on to make a Genius Bar appointment, and was redirected to try to resolve it via iChat.

Usually, when I go to the Genius Bar, they press a few buttons and fix my problem,taking just a shred of my dignity with it. Today, I foolishly opted to keep my dignity and resolve the issue elsewhere.

The Chat began. Each comment had a lag time of about 5 minutes before it was answered, making it a rather slow conversation. When the first cyber genius was unable to help me, she passed me on to her superior. After about an hour with him, he passed me on to an even higher power. When I read his first text introducing himself as Jesus, I lost it. Big time. Good thing it was a text chat, because I laughed like a maniac alone in my room for a long, long time. You know the feeling, right? Tears streaming, uncontrollable guffawing, and trouble catching your breath. My thoughts ran the gamut: What would Jesus do?(WWJD?) I mean, if Jesus can’t fix my iPhone, who can?

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We did resets, we tried deleting and reinstalling the account. Somewhere along the way I finally upgraded to IOS 8, but still, no emails.

Apparently Jesus couldn’t fix it after all. After 3 hours with Jesus and his various disciples, he set up a phone call with his boss for 4:30.

I was positively giddy. Was I about to talk to God?

Nope, just a really nice guy named Rik, who couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my phone either. By now, four hours had passed without resolution. The geniuses were flummoxed. What could be the problem?

After all that, there is only one thing it could possibly be:

Clearly, Kim Kardashian’s butt really did break the internet!kim-kardashian-paper-cover

Top Photo:  Glasshouse Images

Kim K photo: Paper Magazine

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