Interactive Animal Illustrations for the iPhone

Cool new iPhone app, Petting Zoo, from one of my favorite illustrators, Christoph Niemann.

In a post on The New Yorker Culture Desk, Niemann describes the process of making the app, and of the creative process at large:

That’s the hardest part: letting go of an idea that, having spent a number of passionate nights with, you have fallen in love with. Even with a certain amount of routine, this letting go sadly doesn’t become easier. The natural instinct then is to rely on what you know is working. It’s unfair, but this is the surest path to boring and predictable results.

Via {daring fireball}.

Read more Christoph Niemann on this blog here.

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parm is one of my all-time favorite dishes. It’s fast, easy, and (sort of?) healthy. I’ve gotten my process down to a science.

I’m going to break it down in 3 steps. All measurements are guestimates; serving size is 2-4 people.

Step 1: Make the sauce!

You can buy sauce from the store, but making it from scratch is easy and can be tweaked to match your taste.


  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 2–3 cloves of garlic
  • splash of white wine
  • salt & pepper (to taste)


Mix all of the above ingredients in a medium saucepan with a spoon, and heat gently for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat while you prepare the rest of the meal.

2. Eggplant communion


  • plain breadcrumbs (about a cup)
  • flour (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 medium eggplant (I prefer organic eggplants; avoid the humongous ones because they tend to be on the seedy side).


Slice the eggplant into 1-inch slices, so you’re left with 5-7 good sized discs, depending on the size of your eggplant.

Next prepare three shallow bowls. Fill the first bowl with flour, the second with 2 eggs, the third with breadcrumbs. You want to put enough in the bowl so it can easily cover your eggplant slices.

Rub the eggplant slice in each bowl, making sure to cover evenly and thoroughly. Refill as necessary.




Finally, lightly fry the breaded slices in a tablespoon or two of olive oil.

3. All Together Now


  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced (I prefer the “log” from Trader Joe’s.)
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan Cheese


Preheat oven to 350º. Line up the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet, leaving a couple of inches between each slice. Top with mozzarella and a healthy dollop of sauce.


4. Bake
Bake for 15–20 minutes, until cheese is good and melted.

Sprinkle each slice with a hearty pinch of Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!