Editor’s Note: Don’t Hate Me Because I’ve Gone Blonde (aka the “Excuses, Excuses, Excuses” Post)

I’m not sure how often you check in with the BLD Project.

But for better or worse, this blog is my lifeline to the ideas, the experiences, the motivations, the people, that drive my thoughts about food on a daily basis (whether or not I write about it).

Food for survival, food for satisfaction, food for pleasure, food for ribbons (the winning of awards and kudos kind): We’re all eating, all the time. I’m just supposed to be writing about it. Which brings me to the topic at  hand: My errant ways.

Last week was a lost week, for many reasons. I am going to rest the blame on the serious amount of chemicals that went into my head to return to blonde — let’s call it dinner, Monday night.

The recipe was something close to:

photo90 sheets of foil (aprox.)
(1 1/2) containers of
BW 2, 10 oz.
1 bottle Clairol pure white,

To that fine concoction, mix in a couple of pitchers of margaritas at Tortilla Flats, my own neurosis and BINGO. (Literally, Tortilla Flats hosts a lively Bingo scene on Monday nights.)

All joking aside, for many reasons, collectively the week was a wash. So I’m going to pick up with Thursday afternoon, when I’m on my way to the airport for “BLD Minnesota Edition,” and we’ll just call the rest … roots.


Editor’s Note: Enough of this Space-Time-Continuum-Paradoxical-Ness

It’s late on Monday night, I just finished the post on my night of burger decadence, which, while amazing, was last Thursday. Now, for the last 30 minutes, I’ve been trying to pull something miraculous out about meals from yesterday, and the day before, but in the back of my mind what I’m really thinking about are the three meals I’ve already had today that are waiting in the queue, begging to be blogged about.

I’ve not been able to get back on track since I was blind-sided by the perfect trifecta of work insanity, freelancing overdrive and national holidays/international visitors that was the week culminating in the Fourth of July. Enough to this space-time-continuum-paradoxical-ness. I’m chalking Friday – Sunday up as being “missed” and I’m starting over with this week’s posts. … First thing in the morning.

Editor’s Note, aka the “What a Week!” Post

What a week! In hindsight, I should have realized this week’s great potentials, all of which were realized, and which caused the BLD project’s 3x daily endeavor to be put on hold, only temporarily:

Über freelancing/article productivity. Between Monday and Thursday (short work week due to Fourth of July federal holiday), I visited five food establishments as “official” article research (I put the quotes around “official” because generally I consider all my wandering and eating to be research); listened to several hours of previously-recorded interviews (and transcribed quotes); conducted two new interviews; wrote three articles (600 – 1,200 word count); and had this Market Research column on sorbet published in amNY. On average, I was writing/typing 2,000-2,500 words a day.

photo(5)Über cause for celebration. I’m not sure how often it happens that the culmination of NYC’s Gay Pride Week, which is the parade on Sunday, falls within a week of the Fourth of July, which might be my favorite national holiday, but this year it did, which means this city absolutely errupted with passion, pride and energy twice within a week’s span. Plus, out-of-town visitors.

Über-ly gorgeous early summer weather. Have I mentioned that I absolutely love the summer season? Other than being caught in a 10-minute downpour that gave entirely new meaning to the weather advisory of “rain may be heavy at times,” this week has been absolutely gorgeous. High temps low 80s, relatively low humidity, evening temps dropping into the 60s, which is warm enough to not need any kind of jacket/sweater/shrug, but still comfortable for sleeping — that is, when I got around to it.

So now, I’m going to see if I can post seven posts, each representing the highlight of the day, and get this next week started fresh. As they say, let’s keep on treking …

Missed: The Friday Food Kerfuffle

Eating regularly and generally healthfully is difficult enough, let along blogging about it 17 times a week. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.

That’s pretty much what happened on Friday; I had a strategy for the day, and it failed, multiple times.

First, I forgot to take a photo of the vanilla Instant Breakfast mix that, mixed with milk, was my “breakfast” because I had a big lunch adventure planned. However, I photo(11)got so caught up with work that I ended up missing lunch entirely, and about 4:15p I broke down and went fridge-scavenging, devising this plate of fresh mozzarella, salami slices, avocado and water crackers, which I promptly devoured. But by the time I ate, it was so late that then I wasn’t hungry for dinner at the regularly-appointed time. I ended up meeting up with friends out and about later, unintentionally skipping dinner because I was too busy socializing.

And that’s the Friday food kerfuffle.

Missed: Hit and Miss Dinner at Ditch Plains (aka “Grownup” Pigs in a Blanket Sighting no. 2)

Entirely blaming the incident with the door and my finger for my missed dinner post, but dinner was too interesting to let slip by, so let’s get a move on:

chorizo red onion mussels & fries

Oh, Ditch Plains. You just can’t decide between West Village chic and Western-style country. And I’m afraid it’s to your detriment.

Decent bottles of wine are served in short tumbler glasses, which probably has something to do with the fact that you can’t order wine by the glass. The menu, too, is seriously incohesive: Classic bistro-y options like tartare, fried calamari, some beautiful-sounding salads, skirt steak, several options of moules frites (left), share the menu with three hot dog “combos” (including this fairly unsavory-looking version topped with mac n’ cheese), chicken wings and oyster shooters. Huh.

On the other hand, the “Pigs in a Ditch” ($12) — Ditch Plains’ grownup riff on that classic combination of biscuit-wrapped mini sausages — was entirely classy, delicious, and disappeared before I could say “iPhone”: You’ll have to just imagine mini sausages wrapped in a puff-pastry blanket, served with homemade ketchup.

Of note, it’s the second time I’ve run into “growup” pigs in a blanket that really work in about as many weeks; the pigs in a blanket ($8) at Walter Foods were totally different, but equally delicious, in that the “pig” bits were thick slices of chorizo sausage inside a flakey, croissant-like pastry, served with a zippy, housemade ketchup. I am totally on board with this trend.

The roasted oysters ($15) — I believe there were six, topped with garlic and parsley butter — were also outstanding,  the fries soaked in the chorizo-red onion broth of the mussels the best part of that dish (we ended up just dumping the fries in), which brings me to the $21 taco entree, which is three average, fish, steak or smoked tofu soft tacos.

I’m just … befuddled. For $7 a taco I’d expect something pretty fancy. Think of the possibilities! Instead, in trying to do too much, I think Ditch Plains stretched too far on this one. Which leads me back to my original point: Why put tacos on the menu, to begin with?

Missed: Breakfast, Due to Technical Difficulties

I spent the morning at a site in the city that had absolutely zero connectivity — and I was in the middle of Times Square. So bizarre how cell phone dead zones work. Breakfast was but an Apple Pie Lara Bar; if you’re interested, you can find more on my Lara Bar adventures here.