Learning As I Chop

Technical Difficulties

Posted in Tips by R @ Learning As I Chop on July 30, 2011

Yesterday I had almost finished a lovely post about summer chili (sounds oxy-moronical, I know) but when I turned on my camera, none of the pictures could be found. No idea what happened, but by then the chili was well within our tummies and images couldn’t be reproduced. In case you’re wondering, here’s the recipe I used. It wound-up being quite easy and delicious. You can also play around with ingredients (which I did), using what you have around the house to put together a simple dinner for your family. Plus, since you don’t need the oven, it works well for summer and doesn’t overly heat the house.

Nevertheless, as I sat around bummed about my post-that-was, I got to thinking about technical difficulties. All was lost due to a camera that had let me down. So what happens in the kitchen when other gadgets stop working, or stop working well? I decided to search around for a few places in NYC where you can get things fixed and move right along.


For example, nothing in the kitchen is worse than a dull knife. It can be completely frustrating to use and creates the sloppiest of cuts. However it’s really not a good idea to sharpen your own knives if you don’t know what you’re doing. Leave it to the professionals:

Broadway Panhandler
65 East 8th Street between Broadway and University
Manhattan/East Village

Henry Westpfal & Co.
115 West 25th StreetĀ at 6th Avenue
Manhattan/Garment District

Ambrosi Cutlery
4 Lupi Court
Mahopac, NY

Sur La Table
75 Spring Street at Crosby

Bowery Kitchen Supplies Chelsea Market
460 West 16th Street

ABC Knife Grinding Corp.
2954 Fulton Street
Brooklyn/Broadway Junction


I definitely plan to visit one of these establishments soon, as a few too many curse words have escaped my mouth while chopping vegetables. In the meantime, I’m off to DC to celebrate a friend’s impending baby daughter and won’t be back in the kitchen for a few days. While gone, I hope to fix my weird camera and devour some pink-frosted cake. Enjoy!


Sunday Morning

Posted in Baking/Cooking by R @ Learning As I Chop on July 24, 2011

When you’re pregnant, you often find yourself dreaming about food. Even after you’ve had your 3am snack. Heck, who am I kidding? This was me pre-baby too. Nevertheless, I found myself thinking about blueberry pancakes last night, which meant they automatically went on this morning’s breakfast agenda.

I’ve been using this same recipe for about three years. No idea where I found it but it makes great cakes and is super simple.

1 1/2 cup flour

3 1/2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 1/4 cup milk

1 egg

3 tbsp melted butter

Whisk together flour, baking powder salt and sugar. Create well in center and pour in milk, egg and butter. Mix together and fry on a pan or griddle.

I think it might be time to buy a recipe box. See how tried and true these envelope scribblings have become? Maybe it’s me, but I love nothing more than a well-stained recipe. Shows how loved it is.

Any idea what the well does? I make one because it’s easy enough, but not really sure about its purpose. Feel free to comment if you have ideas. The recipe also suggests that you sift the flour mixture before creating the well. I usually do this, and it creates a light and lovely powder. Per usual, I retrieved the sifter out of the cabinet but noticed it could use a wash. After dousing it with water, I realized my mistake. A wet sifter creates a nice goop rather than the mixture described above. So I ditched the sifter and just forged ahead. Truthfully, I didn’t notice much difference at the end.

I followed along, but decided to add blueberries in honor of my dream. No rhyme or reason to how many. I literally just tossed in the whole carton. In my opinion, one can never have too many bluberries.

The pancakes were served with pure Berkshire maple syrup and enjoyed with a cup of (decaf) coffee. All in all, a great way to start my Sunday. Enjoy!



Can’t Stand the Heat?

Posted in Baking/Cooking by R @ Learning As I Chop on July 18, 2011


Then make some ice-pops! A while back, my friend T and I got into a lengthy conversation with some colleagues about the difference between popsicles and ice-pops (inspired by a tattoo that she has on her arm). It was decided that NYers (or more generally tri-staters) call these delicious treats ice-pops while the rest of the country says popsicles. Either way, I’ve been calling them ice-pops ever since thoseĀ dog days of 80’s summers, spent in a daycamp on Long Island. In the meantime, while you think about your own personal linguistic preferences, here is some easy and refreshing fun for your kitchen. Enjoy!