Upcoming Book Signing At Hu Kitchen in NYC + A Giveaway!

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In less than two weeks, I’ll be bound for the Big Apple to receive our People’s Voice Webby Award! Thanks to those of you who voted for our iPad app, we managed to best Jamie Oliver(!) in the popular vote. (Don’t worry, Jamie fans—the Naked Chef still managed to pick up three Webby Awards!)

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NYC’s one of my favorite food cities in the world, so you can imagine how excited I am to return. This time, I’m definitely going to make it over to Hu Kitchen, Manhattan’s preeminent Paleo joint. Hu Kitchen serves up tasty, nourishing grub, and offers an incredible selection of grab-and-go options, too.

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I know: I’m late to the game. Henry’s already enjoyed meals at Hu Kitchen, a bunch of my pals have hosted book events there, and the place even has a gigantic sign outside that says “FOOD FOR HUMANS”—the same phrase I used for the subtitle of my cookbook. Honestly, I have no excuses for not visiting sooner…except for the fact that I live 3,000 miles away.

Now, with the Webby Awards ceremony around the corner, I finally have the perfect excuse to haul my butt over there. In fact, I’m excited to announce that my one and only New York City book event will be hosted at Hu Kitchen on Tuesday, May 20th at 7 pm!

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To date, I haven’t done any book signings on the East Coast, so I hope to see you at Hu Kitchen. Bring your books and/or buy them at the event, and I’ll happily scribble all over them. As an added bonus, I’ll be giving away stuff, including Nom Nom Paleo swag and a couple of Hamilton Beach slow cookers. Don’t miss out—the event is absolutely free of charge, but please RSVP by clicking here!

Not close enough to Hu Kitchen to come see me? Turn that frown upside-down, ’cause I have a thank-you giveaway that EVERYONE can enter. What’s up for grabs? Three lucky winners will receive a personalized Nom Nom Paleo prize package that includes a brand-spankin’ new copy of our cookbook, a limited edition Nom Nom Paleo action figure, a Nom Nom Paleo tote bag, and a pair of unisex Nom Nom Paleo knee socks. Anyone in the whole wide world can enter, and I’ll scrawl a personalized note in the book! (I’ll even force my kids to sign it!) Click the picture below to enter:

Giveaway Time! Score An Invite To A Private Nom Nom Paleo Dinner Party! http://nomnompaleo.com

The deadline to enter is 8 pm Pacific time on Wednesday, May 14th, so hop to it! Good luck—and I hope to thank you personally at Hu Kitchen in a couple of weeks!


Looking for recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).

A Quick Trip to NYC

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My little cousin Jennifer has a bun in the oven! (Don’t worry: she’s now a bit older than she was in the photo below.)

When she asked if I’d attend her baby shower, the answer was obvious; after all, Jennifer’s always been more like a sister to me than a cousin. Along with my big sister Fiona, we were basically raised by our grandparents while our parents were at work. 

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Poor Jennifer. Because she was an only child starved for companionship, it was easy to cajole her into playing servant to my queen or shoe salesperson to my snobby shopper. I spent a large chunk of my formative years bossing Jennifer around. I’ve been trying to make it up to her ever since.

I couldn’t miss Jennifer’s baby shower. So bright and early on Friday morning, I kissed the kids and hubby goodbye, hopped on a plane, and flew to the opposite coast to help celebrate the little one’s impending arrival. 

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Paleo Eats: 8/7/12 (One Lucky Duck, Shake Shack, & Birreria in NYC)

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Since arriving in NYC, we’ve had meal after meal after meal after meal of meat, so we woke up craving vegetables somethin’ fierce. After researching nearby options, we trudged over to One Lucky Duck, a shoebox-sized raw vegan take-out place just a block from our hotel. 

You read that right: RAW VEGAN. Hear me out before you run away screaming.

We split an enormous pumpkin seed and herb salad (greens, kale, parsley, cilantro, mint, hemp seeds, pumpkin seed macadamia parmesan, pumpkin seed lemon dressing)…

 

…and a zucchini and tomato lasagna which was layered with sun-dried tomato sauce, pistachio basil pesto, and pumpkin seed macadamia ricotta.

We closed out the meal by sharing a couple of raw, vegan “Oreo” cookies.

Yes, I know about the whole cooked-versus-raw debate, and the price tag at One Lucky Duck was kinda hefty, but we loved the fresh, organic, well-seasoned vegetables and treats. I’ll admit that I was kind of nervous that the servers would smell the charred meat emanating from my pores, but all in all, it was a great meal packed with loads of nutrients.

Next, we hopped in a taxi that took us to the American Museum of Natural History.

In all my visits to NYC (without kids), I never even considered visiting this museum, but it was suggested by many parents as THE best place to take the kiddos, so we happily sacrificed an entire day roaming the halls. The museum’s HUGE and the taxidermic animal displays are both kitschy and awesome.

Both kids were dashing from exhibit to exhibit and wildly gesturing for us to come look at EVERYTHING.

Before we knew it, our stomachs started grumbling. Lunchtime!

We weren’t in the mood for subpar, over-priced sandwiches and chips in the museum café, so we hoofed it across the street to Shake Shack.

I love this location on the Upper West Side — efficient lines and lots of indoor seating.

My husband and I each ordered a bunless double hamburger with extra bacon while the kids ate hot dogs.

Cheap, quick, and tasty. Dare I say that I prefer it to In-N-Out? 

We wandered back to the museum in the afternoon and spent time chilling in the IMAX theater and planetarium. (I may have even caught some shuteye during the shows.)

By dinnertime, we were ready to go outside and enjoy a meal al fresco. Lucky for us, my cousin Jennifer had made us reservations at Eataly's rooftop beer garden, Birreria.

I’d asked Jennifer to pick a place that offered a good balance of meat and vegetables, and she told me Birreria fit the bill. She even pointed out that the menu has a subheading for “Funghi” that would appeal to the mushroom-lover in me.

For appetizers, we all split a plate of coppa (cured pork shoulder)…

…and three ‘shroom-centric starters: Pleuroti (seared King Oyster mushrooms with spigarello broccoli, soft poached egg and truffle vinaigrette)…

…Maitake con Pecorino sardo (whole roasted Maitake mushrooms with sugar snap peas, pea greens and lemon vinaigrette)…

…and grilled portobello mushrooms with nectarines, balsamic onions and local greens.

Umami cubed.

Then, we split the Cotechino, an Emilia Romagna inspired pork sausage served with local kraut and mustard seed…

…and grilled lamb chops over a bed of fried artichokes and green beans.

We were still making up for lost vegetables, so we also shared two contorni: spicy broccoli…

…and roasted baby carrots.

After dinner, we meandered up and down the aisles of Eataly…

…admiring all the unusual and hard-to-find Italian delicacies.

And because it was our last night in NYC and I wanted a treat, I forced everyone to track down the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.

I’m a sucker for soft serve and I wouldn’t leave New York before trying a cone-less Salty Pimp (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, and chocolate dip).

A tad sweet for my Paleo taste buds, but I polished it off lickety-split as the sun went down.

Back at the hotel, I balled up my clothes and threw them in the luggage while humming Empire State of Mind to myself, and thinking of all the restaurants I didn’t have time to hit this time. Bareburger, I’ll see you when I’m next back in Gotham.

Watch out, Boston — I’m coming to eat you up!

Paleo Eats: 8/6/12 (The Breslin & Minetta Tavern in NYC)

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This morning, we woke up late and headed over to The Breslin to devour another meat-centric meal.

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We’ve eaten in this dimly-lit, saloon-like restaurant in the Ace Hotel before, and from past experience, we’ve detected some surliness from the staffers. Nonetheless, the breakfast at the Breslin may be my favorite in the city.

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If you order the full English breakfast (fried eggs, blood sausage, bacon, pork sausage, roasted mushrooms, and tomato)…

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…and fried eggs and skirt steak with tomatillo sauce…

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…no substitutions are needed to make it Paleo.  

The kiddos ate a side of scrambled eggs (which are whipped with milk)…

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…and thinly-sliced, house-cured bacon.

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After we stuffed our bellies with protein and fat, we spent the rest of our day waddling around lower Manhattan.

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The one spot I had to check out was Korin, a restaurant supply store that specializes in Japanese knives.

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A while back, one of my readers (Hello, Randall!) offered constructive feedback on my knife collection:

As someone who has a lot of really cool cooking tools (you, not me), allow me to tell you how appalled I am that your kitchen tools section purports you as using Wustof knives. Ewww, yuck. There is a store here in Gotham that you may or may not have heard of: Korin.

Randall’s right. I have a couple of Japanese knives, but overall, my collection does suck — or at least could use some enhancements — and I was more than happy to wander around Korin and drool over each and every Japanese-made blade.

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After consulting with one of the experts at Korin, I settled on this Western-style knife.

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I decided against getting a pure carbon blade because I’m too busy to give it the TLC it would require, without which it would rust. It’s not like I have a knife master at the ready to mend my knives, so I settled for a blade made with a steel alloy. (My apologies, Randall.)

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Afterwards, we took a peek at the construction zone surrounding One World Trade Center…

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and wandered back up to SoHo.

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In the evening, the four of us stopped at Minetta Tavern for dinner.

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I’ve been dying to try the restaurant’s Black Label burger, which is famous for both its price tag and the secret blend of dry-aged Angus delivered daily by Pat LaFrieda. You can read about how the chefs lovingly prepare this burger here.

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We started off with sardines, pickled ramps, and egg salad…

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…and a tomato, cucumber, and feta salad.

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We ended with burger and fries.

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Don’t fret! I didn’t eat the bun and I left most of the fries (which are fried in peanut oil).

How was it? Soooo beefy and juicy, with just the perfect accent of sweetened grilled onions.

We walked back to our hotel, stopping only once at the Strand to check out books…

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…and pose as super heroes.

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Oof. Three days in NYC and I’ve already overdosed on meat. I’ve been such a Paleo cliché, eating meal after meal of meat, meat, meat. Regular readers know that I normally ingest lots of vegetables, but if you only started tuning in a few days ago, you’d think that my diet consists of nothing but animal flesh. I really need to get back to eating my veggies…starting tomorrow.

Dining Out: Takashi (New York City, New York)

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Takashi's been on my restaurant wish list ever since I read a glowing review in the New Yorker a while back. Raw offal? Check! Liver, heart, and sweetbreads? Yum! Grilled first, second, and fourth stomach? I’m there!

How could I possibly pass up a meat mecca with a menu offering “beef, all beef, and nothing but beef”?

This teeny yakiniku — or Japanese barbecue — seats only 34, but some of my favorite carnivores have flash-grilled their own beef here, including Anthony Bourdain, Melissa McEwen, and Chris Cosentino. In fact, Mr. Bourdain has declared that if he could eat just one dinner in NYC, it would be at Takashi. 

I love the meat mural at Fette Sau, but the cutesy cartoons of Takashi’s beefy cuts and innards make ‘em my favorite restaurant wall art of all time.

Plus, every cut is carefully sourced from small farms that sustainably raise their cows. 

I wanted to sample so many items on the menu that my head started spinning like Linda Blair’s. 

How can you not want to order some piping hot Testicargots? Seriously.

While we were studying the menu, we sampled the complimentary cabbage salad with miso dressing…

…and kimchee.

(I know soy, sugar, and white rice aren’t technically Paleo, but I ate ‘em with gusto tonight. Avert your eyes if you don’t want to read about it.)

For our beef-centric feast, we started with Yooke (thinly sliced beef eye tartare with a raw quail egg)…

…Akiles-Yubiki (flash-boiled shredded achilles tendon with spicy sauce)…

…Gyutoro-Temaki Sushi (chuck flap hand-rolled sushi)…

…a plate of Testicargot (“cow balls escargot-style with garlic shiso butter”)…

…and stewed beef tendon casserole.

Then, our waitress pulled down the vent and fired up the grill so we could start charring our own meat at the table.

She also suggested the proper cooking times for each cut before letting us loose.

We quickly grilled short ribs…

…rib eye…

…belly…

…and “between-the-rib” meat.

Also, to sample the odd bits, we ordered the chef’s offal tasting platter…

…which included heart, liver…

…sweetbreads…

…and first and fourth stomach.

It wasn’t all meat, though. We did have some veggies in the form of a scallion salad.

And since I’d ingested so many vitamins and nutrients from the organ meats, I thought a cup of house-made vanilla soft serve was in order.

Totally worth it.

Paleo Eats: 8/5/12 (New York City, New York)

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Melting in a muggy subway station is not my favorite way to start the day…

…but we were meeting Jennifer and JC for brunch and the L train was the quickest way…

…to connect the dots.

Sidney had recommended dell’Anima as a tried and true place to get eggy entrées, and I always trust my twin.

The kids split a fruit salad…

…scrambled eggs…

…and housemade sausage.

My hubby and I opted for spicier entrees: the Pollo al Diavolo (Devil’s chicken)…

…and the Uovo in Purgatorio (baked eggs in a spicy tomato sauce with pancetta).

Both dishes made my mouth tingle pleasantly from the heat, and I loved the moist breast meat and runny yolks.

After brunch, we wandered around the West Village desperately seeking ways to keep cool. Our first stop was L’Arte del Gelato where my sweaty kids slurped up fruity sorbets…

…that immediately perked them up.

Then, we wandered into the Gourmet Garage to pick up water and kombucha for the grown-ups. My cousin giggled when she heard the Double-Os chanting, “Kom-bu-cha! Kom-bu-cha! Kom-bu-cha!” Yep, I’ve got them brainwashed.

Our only planned activity in the afternoon was a matinee performance of Traces

…where we gasped and cheered at the remarkable feats of strength and acrobatic skills in an air-conditioned theater.

As soon as the show was over, we cabbed it to Takashi to meet Jennifer and JC again for dinner.

We all stuffed our faces with raw and grilled offal and beef. Check out this post for all the deets.

I can’t wait to eat my way through the city tomorrow.

Dining Out Paleo: Fette Sau (Brooklyn, NY)

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Before I had kids, I was an unabashed gastrotourist. In Italy, I was more interested in visiting Cibreo or Enoteca Pinchiorri than in ogling Michelangelo’s David. In Japan, I didn’t want to do any shopping; I was there to hunt down some good shojin-ryori. Forget seeing the sights — I preferred getting lost in the Tsukiji Fish Market (and eating my way out). Even after having kids, I planned our vacations around the restaurants I wanted to visit.

So it probably comes as no surprise that we came back to New York to eat.

This is the first time we’ve brought the kids to the Big Apple, but we’re not here to climb the Statue of Liberty or gawk at the sidewalk performers in Times Square. Instead, we arrived with a list of restaurant recommendations from my readers, and we’re going to do our best to hit as many Paleo-friendly eateries as we can.

First up: Fette Sau.

As soon as we arrived, we dropped off our luggage at the hotel, met up with my cousin Jennifer and her husband JC, and boarded a subway train for Brooklyn. Emerging from the Bedford stop, we hoofed it to the restaurant in the muggy late afternoon heat.

Located in the heart of Williamsburg — the hipster capital of the East Coast — Fette Sau is a casual barbecue spot that specializes in smoked meats. (It’s famous for its enormous smoker, which can accommodate a quarter-ton of meat at a time.)

When I learned that “Fette Sau” means “fat pig” in German, my face lit up for two reasons: (1) Yum! and (2) when I was little, my mom’s affectionate nickname for me was “fat little piggy.” I know that sounds terrible to those of you who watched after-school specials about mean moms who pressured their daughters into developing eating disorders, but I swear it sounds super-cute in Cantonese. (And yes, Cantonese is truly the most mellifluous-sounding language in the known galaxy — next to Klingon.)

The place wasn’t easy to find, but then we spied the neon sign above what looked like an auto repair shop and a long line snaking out the open roll-up doors. It was only a little after 6 p.m. — super-early for New York diners — but Fette Sau was already packed.

A few of Jennifer’s friends were already in line, so we put ourselves in charge of hovering over the crowded picnic tables until one opened up — and then pounced like a feral cat.

It took forever for our party to get to the front of the line, so we had plenty of time to wait for a table to become available. We nabbed a couple of picnic tables outside, though I wish we could’ve eaten inside the slightly-cooler cement structure. I wanted to spend more time gazing at the meat murals.

The boys kept each other entertained…

…while the rest of us waited, and waited, and waited for our food.

An hour after we arrived, two humungous platters arrived. We’d ordered close to eight pounds of meat, meat, and more meat.

We had hand-pulled pork shoulder…

…beef ribs, spicy Berkshire sausages…

…brisket…

…pork chops…

…beef cheeks…

…and Cora’s broccoli salad, pickles, and sauerkraut.

Don’t worry — there was a dozen of us digging in.

Still, I managed to eat more than my fair share.

And so did the boys.

It was nice to stretch our legs after the meal and I spied many more places to put of my restaurant bucket list.