Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I can dream, can't I?

The kitchen of my dreams. Conveniently located in the house of my dreams. Welcome to Clingstone.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

An Open Letter to Starbucks.

Dear Starbucks.

This sucks.

As does this.

This, too.

And, if I drank this every morning, I would weigh 380 lbs, have rotting teeth, and would be in need of a heart transplant in a few short years.

Why? Why? Why Starbucks? Why and how did you get it into your collective, over-Frappuccino-ed heads, that it would be a good idea to replace the one coffee beverage an adult might actually want to drink in the morning -- the only one you offered that was made from three simple ingredients: coffee, milk + sugar; the one beverage that was lowfat, light, and refreshing, with just the right amount of caffeine, and with no cream in it, so my teeth didn't feel like they were coated with paste after drinking it; the one beverage that didn't remind me of Yoohoo, or Bosco, or the Nestle's Quik Shakes I drank as a kid; the one iced coffee on the market that was simple, sophisticated, and peerless--

and remove it from every shelf in America.


Starbucks, I've heard recently that you have been closing stores, and laying off employees. Surely, the economy being in the miserable state it's in has something to do with your downturn, but I can't help but wonder if part of your downfall is due to the fact that you are also completely out of touch with your consumer. What you beanheads don't understand is, that if I want to get fat, I will go to McDonalds. If I want Guarana & Ginseng, I will go to Mrs. Greens. I come to you for coffee. Simple, good coffee. Not coffee that is 800 calories with whipped cream and chocolate syrup piled on so high that I need a special lid to contain it, and 2-inch wide straw to suck it up with.

America is getting fatter and fatter and you are not helping us by making your drinks bigger and bigger, loading them up with more and more 'stuff'. I am not 16 years old, and I do not want to drink dessert for breakfast. Nor, do I want to travel out of my way each day, to stand in line for ten minutes with a bunch of people who are equally unhappy about having to drive out of their way/stand in line, for an iced coffee that is good or bad, depending on the mood, experience, or level of hangover, of the heavily pierced barista behind the bar. Sorry Starbucks suits, but I want a consistent experience.

I had that -- of course -- before you inexplicably removed the aforementioned perfect, peerless Iced Coffee Italian Roast, from every supermarket, every Target, every Starbucks, every online resource in America, just in time for summer.

Yesterday -- after wasting more gas trying yet another out-of-the-way supermarket, and leaving both empty-handed + utterly frustrated -- I came to the sad conclusion that I will never again taste my favorite morning beverage. And so I did what I always do when things look hopeless -- I came up with a solution.

This morning I am going out to buy myself an espresso maker (not from you, of course) so I can replicate the recipe at home. And, once I do, I will be posting that recipe here for all the other spurned Iced Coffee lovers out there who are equally tired of Corporate America just not getting it. And I will happily drink it every morning, for what I am certain will cost me small change, instead of the $2.00 per can I was laying out each day. That will save me approximately $700 per year -- money that will go towards something good for me, not you.

So, in conclusion, thank you for the $700 this year, and the $7,000 over the next 10 years in savings. And, for challenging me this week in the kitchen + today on my weblog.

Have a nice day, and don't forget to get your cholesterol checked regularly -- that Grande Frappuccino you sell in your stores has a whopping 65 mg. of it!

Suzanne Brown

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On Year Later

...and I still miss you just as much as I did when you left us this time last year. Time to make another cheesecake, I guess.

I love you, Grams.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gathering two of each species.

Ok. Disregard my last post. I honestly can't take another second of this--it rains constantly here. It's insane. Today the weatherman on the radio couldn't even bring himself to announce the forecast for the remainder of the week. I believe that is not only unprecedented, but a very bad sign.

Seriously, what the HELL is going on?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


It's been raining nonstop this spring, so much so, that I am beginning to wonder how people who live in places like Mobile, Alabama (ranked the #1 rainiest city in the U.S.), Pensacola, Florida (the runner up) and New Orleans, Louisiana (taking home the bronze) don't eventually lose their marbles. But then again, at least in those cities it's warm outside. Here--in perpetually grey and gloomy New York--I'm still in fleece, still tucked beneath a thick, down comforter at night (it's back on the bed after a two-night hiatus), still putting the heat on to take the chill out of the house. All this, despite the fact that summer is a mere 12 days away.

It boggles the mind.

But yesterday I came home to my tiny red cabin in the woods, huddled over, my shoulders up to my ears as usual, when this small angel wing sculpture--a gift from my dear friend, Bethanne--caught my eye. Cold, wet, cranky + bemoaning the loss of the season, I saw the word 'believe' peeking out the flower box by my front entrance. And suddenly, I didn't feel so miserable anymore. Because those seven letters that spelled out believe, reminded me that it's not the warmth of the sun, or the blueness of the sky, or the length of day that makes life wonderful. It's everything else in the world that give us joy, makes us who we are; things like family, friends, home, faith. There are many things in this world that I believe in--a few which I have listed below--but more than anything, I believe that one day soon, the sun will shine again. And that, I am most certain, will be a truly glorious moment.

I believe in...
My friends + family America Summer Blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream Stopping to pet dogs
God Vacations Respecting elders Loving children, not spoiling them Exercise Being independent Cooking Growing a garden Being fearless Creativity Laughter as the best medicine Splurging Heroes Not judging a book by its cover Forgiving people Flip flops Well-worn jeans Everything in moderation Hanging the flag Reading Being yourself You're never too old Salt air Respecting privacy Clotheslines Thin crust pizza Frye boots Feather pillows Running after the Good Humor Truck A favorite sweatshirt Thanking a soldier Being grateful for small things Living each day to it's fullest The power of a sunny day

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Here I Am.

My dog did not use my keyboard as a chew toy (sidenote: I don't even own a dog, but if I did, it would be most certainly a fugly, slobbering bulldog named Mugsy), nor have I fallen ill with the porcine flu that has been oinking it's way across the tri-state area. I'm not trapped under a massive piece of furniture, the result of a spring cleaning effort gone horribly, horribly wrong. For you sci-fiers in the audience, rest assured that I've not been adbucted by aliens, possessed by a demon, lost my brain to flesh eating zombies, or had every last drop of my Type A blood drained by some red-eyed feral creature of the night.

Yes, I'm still here, in my tiny red cottage by the river, alive and well, and finally--after the longest and most miserable winter and spring imaginable (by New York standards, at least)--coming out of hibernation. The windows are wide open. The down comforter just came off of the bed. It's safe to wear shorts without risking hypothermia. My shoulders are not up to my ears when I walk outside. And best of all, the produce at the farm is starting to inspire me.

With summer comes more energy + creativity. I feel the stagnation of winter sloughing away. Time to start cooking again. And writing.

It's good to be back.


Personal Note: Satisfied, Scooter Boy + ewiz2?!

SPRING FAVA BEAN DIP (Print Recipe Card)
2 cups fava beans, cooked, cooled with shells removed (you can use frozen fava beans if you prefer)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove crushed garlic
Salt + Pepper to taste
Shaved Pecorino Romano (optional)
Pita Bread cut into wedges (toasted if you prefer)

Place fava beans, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with shaved pecorino romano if you desire. Serve with pita bread wedges.

Makes 2 servings