Egg Creams Soothe Hearts

So at the Breakup Cookbook we talk a bit about drinking to forget. Though I prefer to reach for a milkshake over a martini. If you swing the way I do (or even if you don’t), you may enjoy this video I made on the opening day of Brooklyn Farmacy, an old-fashioned soda fountain shop that even sells penny candy. It’s about how to make an egg cream—for those of you who don’t know what an egg cream is, watch and learn. You’ll be glad you did.

Brooklyn Farmacy Egg Cream from Heather Quinlan on Vimeo.

Thread with Facebook: Friends of Friends as Potential Dates?

Combining old-school matchmaking with modern social networking, Thread is an easy way to consider potential mates without having to create a whole new profile or pay for a dating site. Techtartsapproves and this simple video shows how it works. Are you ready to move on? It seems so simple, anyone willing to give it a go needs to report back to the Breakup Cookbook! in less than a minute from on Vimeo.

Fresh Guacamole

The one drawback of guacamole, like some passionate relationships, is that it doesn’t last long. Things turn ugly fast, but at least this dish is so popular you probably won’t have any leftovers to remind you of the past. Now that you’ve learned how to properly cut an avocado, it’s time for a fiesta! Though some Latin American purists might disagree, the popularity of this Tex-Mex staple as a topping or simply with tortilla chips is undeniable. However the sad containers that they sell as prepared guacomole in the grocery store are almost guaranteed to have a strange consistency, even stranger colors, and lack of flavor. Try it fresh and you won’t go back.

2 ripe avocados
1/2 small red onion
1/4–1 whole jalapeno pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 Tablespoon lime juice
salt and pepper

1. Cut the avocado into roughly one-inch pieces (click here for how to video). Chop red onion and pepper into small pieces. Roll the cilantro into a tight bunch and chop finely.
2. Using a mortar and pestle or the back of a fork, mash the avocado until only slightly lumpy.
3. Mix in the onion, pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

How to Cut an Avocado

You have to really work at your avocado timing to get a perfectly ripe one. Too early and things are bland and tough. Too late and it gets all mushy. A ripe avocado will gently yield to a good squeeze. Now once you have a perfect specimen it’s time for the challenge of preparing a fruit with a giant pit. Whatever you do, do not peel the thick skin off, the fleshy part easily comes off from the inside once you cut it open. Just follow this step-by-step video for some simple tips.

Coming soon: Breakup Cookbook’s Fresh Guacamole recipe

Do you know the Dirty Dozen?

No, not raunchy sex positions (get your mind out of the gutter), but a list of which fruits and vegetables are most important to buy organic. From the Daily Green, this updated list is indispensable to check out before your next trip to the grocery store. These twelve produce items are most likely to carry pesticide residue so organic guarantees you won’t be ingested extra chemicals.

1. celery
2. peaches
3. strawberries
4. apples
5. blueberries
6. nectarines
7. bell peppers
8. spinach
9. cherries
10. kale
11. potatoes
12. grapes

Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Sauce

This recipe comes from our talented pal Kristen V. Brown at Try the recipe! Check out the site! It’s all god. I mean, good!

Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Sauce
Serves 8

I love rhubarb, but on a hot summery day, who wants to spend their efforts whipping up a pie crust? Not me. This easy cake comes together in under 30 minutes using just one bowl, and is as good for breakfast as it is dessert.

For the cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped

For the sauce:
16 ounces strawberries, green tops chopped off
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x13 baking dish; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl using either a stand or hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy ( about 3 minutes) Add the egg and beat to combine.
3. Add the vanilla, salt and baking soda and beat until combined.
4. Starting with the flour, begin adding the flour and buttermilk, alternating until all of each is completely combined.
5. Stir in the chopped rhubarb.
6. Spread batter evenly into baking dish and bake until the top has brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean – about 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, make your strawberry sauce. Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse until very smooth. Press twice through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
8. Once the cake is cooled, spoon sauce on top. Et voila!

Sex and the City in the Closet

To promote the Sex and the City 2 opening this Friday, HBO and New Line have invited you inside Carrie’s closet. Though it took me a moment to figure out the interface, it’s an appealing romp through some surprisingly affordable (and not bad looking) items. Want to feel better? Don’t go see Sex and the City 2, just buy the clothes.

Breakup Mechanics

There’s a certain intangible something that allows people to fall in love, and oftentimes a certain intangible something that makes it all end. However, love, like life, the universe and everything, can apparently be molded into a handy graph like the one above. Oooo that Sentimental Equilibrium really got me.

This is the work of a Spanish mathematician named Jose-Manuel Rey. PhysOrg explains:

Breakup mechanics. The model produces a plausible scenario, through a sequence of effort inattentions, for the deterioration of a relationship in a gradual form, which seems to be typical according to data. Because of the effort gap, there is a tendency to lower the right effort level. Then the intrinsic instability of sentimental dynamics obeying the second law causes the piecewise decaying trajectories to move further and further away from the target trajectory and eventually to cross the threshold level xmin. This is considered a point of pre-rupture, since it is a matter of time before effort is abandoned.

I’m not sure exactly what all the symbols mean, I can barely add, much less do math with letters. But what I think it’s saying is that once it’s gone it’s gone, and it’s too much effort to get it back. Seriously, do we need math for that? I would love to hear what Jose-Manuel Rey’s exes have to say.

Cooking with the Stars

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Here are some classic cooking scenes compiled by afrenchindublin on YouTube from the silver screen—literally, from black-and-white movies. My personal favorite are all the scenes from Sabrina (the original, not the weak 90s remake), where Audrey Hepburn learns to cook in France before she returns to a classic love triangle. It’s a bit long, but fun to see all these great kitchen moments in one place.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

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This is one of my favorite salads—it’s so colorful and the bright berry flavors balance out the greens. Plus, when else do you get to use strawberries in something that’s not a dessert, snack, or drink? (Confession: I actually ate some strawberry shortcake for breakfast this morning.) For a different flavor, try it with milder shallot instead of red onion and oranges instead of strawberries.

baby spinach
red onion
balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Chop onion and strawberries, combine with spinach.
Dress with balsamic vinaigrette and toss all ingredients together.