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What I’ve Been Up To

Things have been very busy lately, with work and cooking related things that I am working on and I haven’t really been posting as much as I would like to. This week has been a whirlwind, so I thought it would be nice to post something about what I’ve been up to.  It started last Saturday when I met a dear friend and fellow blogger from DC, Emily here in Brooklyn, we had fun going to the farmers market and flea. Sunday I had the potluck which was so much fun, lots of great food and friends.

I work in real estate and it’s crazy and incredibly trying times in the NYC/Brooklyn market. There is a serious lack of housing stock and more people who want to buy than product available which makes for a very challenging market. So I have been really busy trying to find homes for the many people looking, Not fun.

I am also sure you have seen in several posts that I am involved with the startup company, Mealku, a food cooperative matching hungry eaters with eager cooks who prepare the food and it’s delivered by bicycle or skateboard (really, the delivery person came to pick up from me yesterday on a skateboard) amazing. Mealku asked me to cater an event for 40 people, breakfast foods to be ready this last Tuesday morning, very early 6:30 AM.  I was up for the challenge so of course I said yes, I would do it. I made muffins, scones,  banana bread, apricot/pistachio loaf and a seasonal fruit salad.

Packaged for Mealku event

Packaged for Mealku event

Mealku event

Mealku event

I made a small batch of tomato balsamic jam with some of the heirloom tomatoes I got at the farmers market.

Tomato Balsamic Jam

Tomato Balsamic Jam

I had leftover peaches and assorted plums so I made a galette

Mixed stone fruit galette

Mixed stone fruit galette

Yesterday I had a Mealku request for my Meatballs and Sauce, so I made it, slowly simmering the sauce and meatballs pretty much all day. Posted this a while back https://apuginthekitchen.com/2012/03/02/meatballs-and-tomato-sauce/

Meatballs

Meatballs

78 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow. Suzanne…look at you go girl with all of that cooking and baking! What a challenge but you are sure a pro. I am loving that tomato balsamic jam…oh I bet that tastes incredible. I’m a realtor too and it is crazy and awesome at the same time that it is such a sellers market now! Sounds like you are crazy busy, but glad you took a moment to share with us. 😉

    August 17, 2013
    • I’m hardly a pro but I get a big “E” for effort. Thanks so much for saying that. I wing it and hope something sticks. I didn’t say this in the post but I burnt 24 muffins at around midnight (wrong oven temp on the recipe) had to start over, it was hard. Real estate is challenging, you are so right it’s a sellers market for sure. I can’t believe how many people are buying homes right now.

      August 17, 2013
  2. Karen Rush #

    Suzanne you are amazing. I cannot imagine doing all that you do so brilliantly. I am a realtor who cooks. I know how hard it is to do it all. Your involvement in the new startup is very interesting. Your breakfast for 40 was amazing. The meatballs look so inviting. You are having an exhausting, exhilarating time. Well done you!

    August 17, 2013
    • Karen you are too kind, wouldn’t exactly use brilliantly but I do try hard. As a realtor you know how hard it is right now, I am working sometimes until 2 in the AM. It’s crazy right now.

      August 17, 2013
  3. Wow! You have been seriously busy. I’m really impressed by your stamina – I’d been a shuddering wreck in a corner if I had to cook for 40 people and hold down a job. I love the look of the peach galette – I hope you kept it for yourself as a reward for all your hard work. Anyway, chapeau! as we say in France…

    August 17, 2013
    • LOL, I was a shuddering wreck, luckily it was just baked goods which I have a little experience with. The galette was good, I did take a piece for myself but a stiff drink is what I needed to calm down. Say hi to Hugo!!

      August 17, 2013
  4. Now that is busy. Kudos for fitting everything in and also for finding the time to write this blog post to update us. I read in one of your replies to a comment that you burnt a tray of muffins and had to start over at midnight – I suspect that was stressful.

    I hope you had a chance to have a restful and enjoyable weekend. 😉

    August 17, 2013
    • Yes stressful, I had two muffin tins at the same time 24 muffins and burnt all of them. Having to start over after midnight was difficult. Today has been very nice, thanks so much.

      August 17, 2013
      • Oh my gosh, Suzanne! What great commitment you have!! That had to be very unfun to start over at midnight 😦

        August 17, 2013
      • LOL, had no choice made a committment. It wasn’t fun at all. but it was a learning experience.

        August 17, 2013
  5. Bevi #

    Wow what a busy bee you are! All wonderful events to be sure!

    August 17, 2013
    • Thanks Bevi, yes everything was great. Busy for sure, but there is a great sense of accomplishment when it’s all said and done.

      August 17, 2013
  6. Your too inspiring my friend to us lazy bloggers haha I can’t believe you did so much in so little time!
    Accomplishment win!
    And on top of that it all looks and sounds super delish 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    August 17, 2013
    • Lazy hardly, I don’t know a lazy blogger. We all have busy lives whether it’s school or work or family or all three. Thanks so much.

      August 17, 2013
  7. You HAVE been busy!! And with so many exciting, fun things! Your galette is gorgeous!!!

    August 17, 2013
  8. Glad to see you’re posting, and hopefully you enjoy staying busy! All the foods you posted are making me hungry, especially those meatballs!

    August 17, 2013
    • Thanks Pamela, yes busy is good!! Have never been very good at balancing one of those burn the candle at both ends sort of people.

      August 17, 2013
  9. PSsquared #

    Thanks for the update. I love the idea of food co-op. Good for you!

    August 17, 2013
    • It is a really great concept and it’s already gaining momentum. Thanks so much.

      August 17, 2013
  10. Wow, and you still have the time to leave comments 🙂 I appreciate them all the more!
    – The Mealku sounds really interesting. Although I’m not so sure about such an early start! Think I’d have to stay up all night.
    – And I’m just about to delve into your meatballs post as it’s only fairly recently I started to eat them.

    August 17, 2013
    • LOL. I was pretty absent for a few days, recovering from it all. I have to get an early start every day but not quite that early. I did stay up almost all night. I really hope you like if you try my meatballs thanks so much!

      August 18, 2013
  11. You have guts to single-handedly cater a breakfast for 40; but I’m not surprised you met the challenge like a champion and the offerings look simply fantastic. Lucky those who got to eat it.

    I feel for you having a super crazy busy schedule but at the same time it all sounds or at least feels exciting and energizing as well. Filled with passion. As the say: you go girl! 🙂

    August 17, 2013
    • Yea it’s crazy busy right now between the real estate and cooking stuff but I like it. The only difficult balancing act is the pugs, they need constant care so I have to try and balance all of this while caring for Izzy and Nando. Thanks so much Azita.

      August 18, 2013
  12. This is incredible, Suzanne! You have been quite busy. What lucky people to be able to eat your baked goods – your galette is stunning. Thanks for sharing all you’re doing right now. I hope you find a moment to relax and enjoy these last weeks of summer.Cheers to you!

    August 17, 2013
    • Thanks so much Hannah, going to try and relex, actually yesterday was fairly relaxing, enjoyed it.

      August 18, 2013
  13. Wow, you must be so busy, brilliant work!

    August 18, 2013
  14. Wow Suzanne! You’re so amazing! Waking up so early to prepare for so many people, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle it!

    August 18, 2013
    • Thanks Jasline, I don’t usually pull all nighters like I did for that catering event, I can’t sleep in, pug duty and work but for one day it’s alright. Still feel like I am recovering.

      August 18, 2013
  15. The breakfast for Mealku looks amazing! I can’t believe you took on that entire event for 40 all on your own. Congrats! And here I am wondering if I could handle a meal here or there for them and my schedule doesn’t seem half as crazy as yours.

    I’m not sure the market in Bay Ridge is yet in the hands of the sellers, though it is shifting. We’ve stepped back from looking for a while until I find a full time job again, but there seems to be a pattern of homes being overpriced by 50K or more (where do they think they are? Park Slope?!), then they sit on the market at least 6 months before finally dropping down to a reasonable price and selling.

    August 18, 2013
    • The meals are easy to handle, you only do it if you can. The catering gig was fun but hard work. I didn’t mind though,
      Real estate right now kind of sucks, yes there are a lot of buyers but prices are terribly high, it’s such an inflated market. I dislike when there are as many as 40 offers in on one property. I guess I hate to see disappointed people and I also really dislike falsely inflated markets. Homes are being over priced in my area by way more than 50K more like 200-500K over what they should be. Properties are going in bidding wars up to 500K over asking.

      August 18, 2013
  16. I didn’t know you were in real estate … also. 🙂 One of my best friends is a broker in NYC so I happen to know the market quite well. She tried to convince me to work with her but I don’t think I would be good at it. You must be very social, kind to and patient with people and … I’m not unfortunately! 😉
    Hat off to you and your amazing talents!!! I couldn’t do it. 🙂

    August 18, 2013
    • Yes, I sell real estate in Brooklyn. Who does your friend work for? I have been doing this for 15 years here and specialize in historic homes. You are so right, you must be patient, kind, well we try but it’s good when the market is good and you have to be able to balance a budget to take into account the lean times and also the long periods between deals. Thanks Francesca.

      August 18, 2013
      • Corcoran

        August 18, 2013
      • Thought it would probably be one of the big ones since it’s Manhattan. I know a lot of Corcoran agents both in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

        August 19, 2013
  17. Yep, how do you do all that? and work selling real estate?! fun post to catch up with you. The gallete looks mouth watering!

    August 18, 2013
    • Thanks, luckily there is enough down time in that I can sort of make my own schedule so that I can incorporate the cooking stuff in. It works some of the time.

      August 18, 2013
  18. You are way too busy!! All those baked items for breakfast sound amazing!!

    August 18, 2013
  19. Liz #

    so glad you reported back with photos–amazing stuff! What a lot of work that must have been. Am floored and mightily impressed. Did you have a favorite dish/recipe?

    August 19, 2013
    • Thanks Liz, hmmm… favorite dish well, of what I made for the mealku event I would have to say the banana bread.

      August 19, 2013
      • Liz #

        ah, yes, the power of banana bread 🙂

        August 19, 2013
      • So basic and simple and always a hit!!

        August 19, 2013
  20. That is hard work! I’d be a basket case if I had to cook for 10-12, leave alone 40!
    Love all the pictures!

    August 19, 2013
  21. You are one busy gal! Way to go!

    August 19, 2013
  22. I don’t know how you found time to post this blog! All the food looks amazing, you did a wonderful job. The meatballs are calling my name right now! That is also really neat that they pick up the food on a bike or skateboard 🙂

    August 19, 2013
    • Thanks Suzie, I had to laugh when I saw the delivery guy pull up on a skateboard. It was so funny. He is fast too, got the food to its destination in no time at all.

      August 19, 2013
  23. Mealku sounds like such a great idea, I would love to participate in it. I hope they get really popular and expand nationwide!

    August 19, 2013
    • I hope they do expand to other cities across the US, it’s such a great concept. Thanks so much.

      August 19, 2013
  24. Maria Stickel #

    That is so exciting! You certainly are a busy bee!!!! Everything looks scrumptious.
    Maria

    August 19, 2013
    • Thanks Maria, yes busy for sure, so much going on and summer is supposed to be down time.

      August 19, 2013
  25. Everything looks great, Suzanne, although I think I would be partial to the galette as I adore peaches! 🙂

    August 19, 2013
    • Thanks Stefano, me too, love fresh ripe peaches. One of my favorites is peaches in wine. Since I have you here, what wine would you use for this dessert?

      August 19, 2013
      • With your galette you would need a sweet wine, with intense flavors and ideally either effervescence or minerality. So, you have many choices, but a quality Moscato d’Asti, a Passito di Pantelleria or (in red) an aromatic Brachetto could all work well. For a wonderful treat, pair it with a nice Picolit from Friuli. Let me know how you like them if you get to try any of such pairings! 🙂

        August 20, 2013
      • Oh thanks Stefano, I will try that!! I also wondered about this, my family used to slice fresh ripe peaches and pour wine over them, usually red wine and serve that as a dessert. What wine would you recommend for that use? Not sparkling right?

        August 20, 2013
  26. So interesting to hear everything you are up to. Meanwhile where I live the real estate market which has been buoyant for years is suddenly slumping. Oh – and the food – yes – the food – that stone fruit galette made my mouth water. Beautiful!

    August 19, 2013
    • Really the RE market is slumping. Interesting. Here in NYC/Brooklyn we are a bit of an anomaly. Even when the market tanked in most of the US we were still fairly strong.
      Thank you, I love stone fruit and making a galette with the remainder of the fruit I had was delicious!

      August 20, 2013
  27. Sounds like you have been quite busy. All of the food looks so wonderful though! Especially that galette! 🙂
    Kenley

    August 20, 2013
  28. Wow. You have been very busy! Everything looks great!

    August 20, 2013
  29. Great job on the catering gig! Looked great!

    August 20, 2013
  30. Wow, you’ve been busy enough for three people Suz! Love the look of your event catering and, to echo everyone else, the galette looks amazing! I can’t believe that Mealku staff deliver on skateboard. I’m intrigued! I think if I lived where you are, I’d order some goods just to see the skateboarding in action 🙂 Love this post. Take care, don’t work too hard! xx

    August 20, 2013
    • Things have calmed down considerably with regards to the food and I’m glad for now I too loved the skateboard delivery, it’s so NYC!!

      August 20, 2013
  31. How fun to hear a little about your life Suzanne! Isn’t it funny how many things we make that don’t make it into the blog? I love your meatball recipe! Interesting…all the women in my family…mom, 2 sisters and now a couple of nieces are all in Real Estate in California, Bay Area. I get the “busy” when it comes to that. Amazing you have time to cook. 🙂

    August 20, 2013
    • Really, so you get the scoop on real estate in the Bay Area all the time. It’s a great job because I can make my own schedule, love that. Thank you!

      August 21, 2013
  32. Sweet Suzane, You have a job, you blog and you volunteer! Yes, whirlwind is the word. I am impressed and a lot of kudos to your efforts. 😀

    August 21, 2013
    • Thanks so much Fae, busy life for sure and the pugs are a full time job too!!

      August 21, 2013
  33. I love your blog so…. I’ve nominated you for the versatile blogger award! But participation is purely optional. If you’re interested please check out this post at http://foodthoughtstoshare.wordpress.com/

    August 21, 2013
    • Cindy thank you so much, I love receiving awards and really truly appreciate it. I love your blog also!!

      August 22, 2013
  34. Real estate in Brooklyn sounds hectic to say the very least! I just moved to Manhattan a few days ago for a semester of studying abroad, and I can’t even imagine how busy your day-to-day job must be.
    But in other news… THAT TOMATO BALSAMIC JAM ❤

    August 22, 2013
    • Welcome to NYC, you should head over to Brooklyn on Saturday to my hood and check out the Brooklyn Flea. The tomato jam is amazing. My favorite summer condiment. Thanks so much.

      August 22, 2013

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