Friday, October 21, 2011

Comic Con NYC

Comic Con NYC was exactly what I’d envisioned (and hoped) it would be. Tens of thousands of die-hard fans, many dressed in full costume, eagerly exploring the show floor, scoping out their favorite video game/comic/movie, and celebrating their passion. 

While I used to be an avid reader of macabre comics in my late teens-early 20s (check out Johnny the Homicidal Maniac), I haven’t been a big reader since. That said, when I heard Comic Con would be in town, I jumped at the chance to check this out. Thankfully, a sweet cousin scored us tickets and we were able to attend, despite the sold out status. 

We arrived a little before opening time at 10 a.m. and I was shocked at how many were already queued up to get in. After a short wait, the crowd herded into the Javits Center and was unleashed on the hundreds of vendors, numerous speakers and varied programs just waiting. Rob and I took a tour of the show floor and marveled at some of the booths and set-ups. A huge fan of Ugly Dolls, I spotted the sign for their booth and proceed in that direction. 

Once we arrived, I marveled at what a great job they did on the design and execution. I loved and appreciated how it fit so well with the overall look and feel of the brand. It was bright, enticing, carefree, silly and filled with good goods. We got a doll for our niece and I picked up two great shopping bags!

After a good walk, we proceeded to Roman Dirge’s spotlight discussion on his art, comics and process. If you’re not familiar, Roman is the author of the wonderful comic, Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl. These stories tell about the unlife of Lenore, the strange friends she encounters in her town of Nevermore and her adventures (or misadventures).  All of the stories have a childlike, fairy-tale feel with the twist of death and the macabre. 

Roman gave an interesting and casual explanation of what he does, his process, the character development and more. There were numerous fans in the audience and some were clearly more than thrilled to be in his presence. One such fan was in a full, handmade Lenore costume and he liked it so much, Roman asked the girl if he could take a picture with her. 

After the hour-long discussion we went back out on the floor, but were not thrilled to see how it had become even more packed. It felt as if it were at full capacity (despite the fact that more and more continued to flood in) and after shuffling around for a while longer, I was ready to call it a day. 

It was a great experience and something that I’d highly recommend. While I enjoy comics, I was most clearly awestruck at the passion of these fans. Anything that brings together enthusiastic people for a common theme gets me excited and inspired. Comic Con NYC wasn’t lacking in the least.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cooking with Apples

When a few dozen ripe apples on hand, we were challenged with what to make utilizing the ingredient.  While I began baking two batches of my grandmother’s apple cake, Rob quickly took to the kitchen and whipped up a lovely apple themed meal.
Clockwise from top: apple gratin, apple sauce, cider and bourbon marinated pork chop, fresh-mixed veggies
First he made an apple and onion gratin, comprised of julienned ingredients. It had a nice creamy texture and was baked to perfection. 
He also made some homemade applesauce to compliment the pork chops that was sweet, yet tart, chunky and the perfect texture (not too smooth, not too creamy). For the pork, he marinated the chops in an apple bourbon glaze, which came out deliciously. And finally, (because we had a lot of veggies on hand) he made a bright and sunny mixed veggie side (the only thing not apple related in this meal). 
All was delicious and while we’ve been eating and using the apples, we still have a lot left! 
Any good apple recipe suggestions?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apple Picking

Apple Picking is one of the many joys of fall and after a long ride from the city, we arrived at Lawrence Farms in upstate NY.  A working fruit and vegetable farm, it’s nestled on a hillside overlooking the gorgeous Hudson valley. And we luckily went on one of the nicest days of the season!
After our friends arrived, we ventured into the orchard and began picking the many varieties of apples they boast. 
Despite all of the pickers out, the trees were still chocked full with red treasures and we got a nice smattering of various types. 
With about 20 pounds of apples, we were challenged with using them in creative ways and stay tuned to see what we made…

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chicken and Waffles

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since I’ve blogged. Time has certainly flown by. Yes, I’ve been very busy, but disappointed that I’ve neglected to keep this updated on a regular basis.

There will be posts to come (hopefully this week), but for now, please enjoy a shot of Rob’s delicious oven-fried chicken with waffles and swiss chard. It was absolutely wonderful and I’m lucky to be married to such a great cook!