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Archive for October, 2011

So after the weekend of gorging on delicious food, we had three veggieful home-cooked meals. Two classic and house favorites, and one new recipe sure to be made again! First night was a Giada De Laurentis recipe: Salmon with Pea Pesto in Lemon Bordetto. What’s a Bordetto you might ask? I too did not know what this was until reading the recipe and realized it was just a broth filled with the delicious flavor of lemon. The lemon of the broth, with the mint in the pesto, and the flaky salmon…it really all goes well together.

We used salmon steaks instead of our usual fillet (b/c they were much cheaper at our fish monger). And while the tasted good, all the bones were a little annoying so I’d probably stick with fillets from now on. I’ve also made this with trout and arctic char and both were delicious!

Served with his and hers bread sticks (made from leftover pretzel dough I had frozen). Bread is definitely a necessity to serve with this recipe to soak up all the delicious broth and pea pesto.

The next night I had a craving for sweet potatoes. This time of year, I’m really into squash, sweet potato, and pumpkin…prepare to see a lot of recipes featuring these fabulous gourds in the near future. So I came across a recipe on this blog, changed things up a bit, and a very quick (dare I say “30 minute meal”) was born.

Sweet Potato Stuffed with Tempeh, Kale, and Cremini Mushrooms (Adapted from Lil Veggie Patch)

2 small sweet potatoes

1 block tempeh, cut into small cubes (tempeh is made from soy but has a much nuttier flavor than tofu…trust me and try it!)

1 head kale, leaves chopped (discard stems)

a bunch of cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp brown sugar

1-2 tbsp soy sauce

1-2 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 cup veggie broth

Preheat oven to 350 and pierce sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Bake in oven for about 1 hour until nice and soft. Slice in half and place on two plates. Heat wok over medium high heat and add a little oil. Add garlic and stir fry until it smells good. Add tempeh and mushrooms and stir fry until golden. Add brown sugar. Then add broth, soy, maple syrup and kale and cook until kale is wilted. Season with salt and pepper and top sweet potatoes with this mixture

A very quick and easy, filling, healthy, tasty, and comforting dinner. I’m definitely going to be looking for more stuffed squash and potato recipes as the weather gets colder…which it definitely is starting too!

The last veggie filled dinner featured the other soy alternative, tofu. This roasted vegetable, tofu and baked bean casserole is a great make ahead meal and leftovers are great for lunch or dinner the next day. Really, all I serve with it is a salad but it could be a meal in itself. And you can use any vegetables you like, any cheese you like, and any brand/flavor of baked bean you like (chipotle is my personal fave!)

Roasted Vegetable, Tofu and Baked Bean Casserole (Adapted from Good Food For All by The Stop Community Food Center)

1 eggplant, chopped

2 zucchini, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 package button mushrooms, halved

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 block tofu, cubed

1 handful parsley, chopped

2 cans of baked beans

as much cheese as you like, shredded (enough to cover the top of the 9 x 13 pan)

Preheat oven to 425. Toss eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, and red pepper with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Roast in oven about 20-25 minutes until tender and browned. Preheat non stick skillet over medium-high heat and add a little oil. Saute tofu until brown and add to bowl with vegetables. Then add onion and garlic to pan and saute until browned and tender and add to bowl with vegetables and tofu. Add baked beans and parsley and toss to combine. Place in 9 x 13 pan sprayed with cooking spray, top with shredded cheese, and bake in oven for about 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and dish is hot. Enjoy! Sorry no picture! We were really hungry!

Now my week wouldn’t be complete without at least one restaurant outing. And this one took place at The Smith restaurant, an upscale pub in the east village. Owned by the same people as Jane, which I really liked, I had high hopes. It wasn’t as good as Jane, but it wasn’t bad either. My two dining companions and I were quite hungry so we ordered two apps and a side to share.

The Salad Special: Roasted heirloom pumpkin with arugula, dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, and ricotta salata in a spicy vinagrette

Artichoke flatbread with olives and cheese

The featured salad of the day was AMAZING! I am definitely going to try to recreate this. The roasted pumpkin was perfectly cooked and went really well with the sweet cranberries and toasted pumpkin seeds and the spicy dressing was a nice touch. Topped with ricotta salata, this was a perfect fall salad. The flatbread on the other hand sounded good, but was very under-seasoned (we actually added lots of salt and pepper to it). Brussels sprouts, my new fave bar snack, were really good. Fried and salty, we all enjoyed them tremendously.

Seared salmon with roasted mushrooms, fennel, peppers, and beurre blanc sauce

For my main, the salmon jumped out at me. It was a good dish, not amazing or anything, but perfectly cooked salmon and vegetables with a nice creamy sauce. So overall, I think The Smith is the perfect place for after work drinks and snacks….nice vibe, good drink menu and wine list, and good sprouts!

Enjoy your weekend and stay warm! Can you believe this snow?!?!

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It’s been our own version of restaurant week in this household lately! Starting things off was dinner at Juniors Cheesecake, an institution in Brooklyn famous for, obviously, their cheesecake. But let me tell you…the portions were anything but junior!

We need a shovel, not a spoon!

We arrived with our wonderful cousin, a regular at this restaurant. When seated, you are served a plate of really moist cornbread, rolls, and the traditional fixings of a good Jewish style diner…coleslaw, beets, and pickles. We started with a bowl of pea soup, and by bowl I mean a ginormous bucket sized bowl of the thickest pea soup I’ve ever eaten. It was quite good but I was already full…with a main course and cheesecake still on it’s way!

Grilled salmon with collard greens and broccoli

Eggplant parmesan with linguine with tomato sauce and corn

I was actually pleasantly surprised with my meal, the salmon was perfectly cooked and the collard greens were soaked in so much butter…which was not a bad thing in this situation. By the end, it looked like Adam hadn’t eaten any of the eggplant! This dinner actually gave us 3 full meals!

The star of the show, really was the best cheesecake I’ve ever had (yes, it was featured on my fave show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate) and definitely topped another cheesecake restaurant that shall remain nameless. Perfectly creamy, dense, and surprisingly light…this portion of the meal we had no problem polishing off!

On Thursday, our very good friends, Lauren and Lorne arrived in NY. I promised to show them the best food this city has to offer, and I think I succeeded! (minus one chocolate cookie episode that we won’t speak of ever again!) To start things off, we went for dinner with another couple friend to Caracas Arepas in the LES. After waiting an hour to be seated, we were hungry and ready for Arepas…which are basically corncake sandwiches.

We started with the fried plantains with cheese and guacamole with homemade chips. The plantains were so good…kind of like sweet, fried bananas with salty cheese, it was quite a good combo. And the chips were addictive!

Leek Jardienere: grilled leeks, sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions, guayanes cheese. One of our three vegetarian arepas

Adam and I shared three vegetarian arepas…our favorite was definitely La Muleta: Spicy cheese, beans, jalapenos, and plantains. But all were so good! Very unique and affordable dinner, enjoyed by our whole group! Another excellent thing about this restaurant is its convenient location right next to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop! On my last visit I went with the Salty Pimp and this time, the Bea Arthur. Vanilla cone, covered with dulche de leche and topped with vanilla wafer cookies. The best part were the cookies at the bottom of the cone… a very nice surprise!

Dinner #2 started with happy hour at The Vanderbilt. A friend had introduced me to the worlds best bar snack…brussels sprouts! I know what you’re thinking…but trust me when I say, these will dispel any of your brussels sprouts fear. If you could only see Lauren’s face when she had her first bite!

Lightly fried and topped with a mixture of siracha, honey, sesame seeds, cilantro, garlic, and lime…as Lorne said, they’d make the perfect football watching snack! The main event for the evening was pizza at Pauli Gee’s in Greenpoint. We were all expecting a very casual restaurant with a 2 hour wait, but were pleasantly surprised when we were seated right away in a very cozy booth.

Our lovely friends and eating companions. I was trying to discretely take a picture of Paulie Gee...that's him in the background! He made of point of coming over to our table and talking to us and was so friendly. It really added to the atmosphere!

We started things off with a fabulous salad filled with pears, candied walnuts, dried cherries, and gorgonzola. After perusing the very long and interesting sounding pizza menu and staring at the huge brick oven, Lauren and I decided to make the most of this dining experience and share two pizzas.

The Greenpointer: tomato sauce, fiore di latte, arugula, parmesan, lemon juice

The Hellboy: tomato sauce, fiore di latte, sopressata, mikes hot honey

Now I’m normally all about the green pizzas…and don’t get me wrong, the arugula pizza was very good. But honestly, the hellboy (love the name!) was, dare I say, the best pizza I’ve ever had. It was all about the combination of salty fiore di latte cheese, sweet tomato sauce, spicy and fatty sopressata, and Mike’s Hot Honey (sweet honey with chilis and vinegar). Lorne also ordered this pizza and also agreed it was the best pie he’s ever had.

The Regina: traditional margarita

Adam is a more traditional man and went with the tried and true margarita. It was good, but definitely the thing to get at Pauli Gee’s is one of the very interesting pizza’s with the amazing honey on it. Pauli Gee himself even told us he was not such a fan of the traditionals.

You would probably think after eating our weight in pizza we would be full. But there was another ice cream place I had to take my friends too. I’ve already blogged about Ample Hill Creamery and with new seasonal flavors, they again did not disappoint. I went with the pumpkin ice cream filled with graham cracker crust pieces and marshmallow. Lauren’s cinnamon ice cream with oatmeal cookie dough pieces was also delicious. Lorne went the more classic route with cookies and cream and Adam chose a family favorite, butter cake. A perfect end to a pizza dinner!

Ice cream friends! Oatmeal cookie on the left and pumpkin on the right

With one dinner left, dare I say, we saved the best for last. I had never heard of Yerba Buena, a Spanish/Latin/Brazillian restaurant recommended by Lauren’s brother. Lorne’s sister and husband joined us on our last eating adventure and we all enjoyed the guacamole to start.

It had a nice smokey kick from the chipotle peppers, something I will definitely be adding to my tried and true guac recipe. Adam and I shared two apps:

Tilapia tacos

Hamachi Ceviche

Wow! The fish tacos were perfectly fried and topped with a creamy, spicy sauce. The ceviche had the freshest hamachi mixed with citrus, onions, coconut milk and crunchy corn chips that definitely made this dish. Another app shared at the table was blue cornmeal crusted, fried calamari which my friends kindly let me try…trust me, if you ordered this dish, you would have been reluctant to share!

Blue cornmeal crusted calamari with fried plantains

Once I saw the cod go by our table, I knew that was what I was ordering. My favorite new ingredient is this hominy…basically corn on steroids it has such a nice chewy texture.

Black cod with hominy, shitake mushrooms, and a pomegranate miso bbq sauce

Paella

YB’s take on paella was also a table favorite. Mixed with coconut milk, plenty of fresh seafood, okra and rice, you can see why it is a house specialty. Now…being in the LES, we felt we really would be missing out if we didn’t head back to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop just one more time. And thank g-d we did because I discovered my new favorite food item in the world…The Biscoff Spread. Now, like you, I had no idea what this was. But the friendly staff at Big Gay raved about this and even gave me a giant spoonful to try. After one lick, Lauren and I looked at eachother, and we wanted just a tub and giant spoon of this sweet, caramelized, spread that is actually made out of the same ingredients in graham crackers. I took the staff’s advice and went for the traditional salty pimp lined with Biscoff…I now want to put Biscoff spread on everything (you may see some Biscoff coated chicken in the future!)

The globstopper: vanilla soft serve, pretzels, salt, chocolate dip

Wooweee…I think that was the best weekend of eating I’ve had since moving here. And so happy to be able to share it with Lauren and Lorne, who were amazing guests and can hold their own when it comes to eating through NYC!!! Come back and visit us soon PLEASE!  I think we are all thinking we need some good home-cooking and fresh vegetables in the near future! This morning I went on my last long run before the marathon (we’re 2 weeks away!) and it went pretty well…must be all that ice cream!

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As you can see from the blog title, it’s been a busy couple days filled with some good eats! On Saturday, we made our way to Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene..a wonderful outdoor flea market filled with vendors selling everything from clothes, to hats, to purses, to house-ware, and of course…food! After perusing the various food vendors, I had my heart set on some pupasas. Now what is a pupasa you might ask? Well, according to my good friend Wikipedia, it’s a homemade, grilled corn cake filled with either meat, cheese, beans, veggies, or a combination. Solber Pupasa had the longest line, so that’s how I knew they were good! I went with the Red Hook Platter: Two pupasas of your choice with all the trimmings!

Grilling up some pupasas

Spinach/cheese and black bean/cheese pupasas topped with sourcream, slaw, jalapenos, and salsa

These were so delicious! Crispy on the outside, nice and soft on the inside with melty, cheesy goodness! The toppings added a nice touch and the guy working there was so nice, he gave me a third pupasa for free! I would never refuse free food! Adam was not in the corny mood…He went with one of his all time favorite foods…the hot dog! Hot dogs are not really my thing…but these veggie dogs were very unique.

In the front, veggie dog with spicy ketchup and potato chips and in the back, veggie dog with mango slaw and peanuts

Adam preferred the sweet, asian one from, aptly named Asia Dog, over the spicy crunchy one but do not fret, he finished both with ease! We also sampled some very interesting tasting pumpkin pie flavored almond milk. It was actually delicious but not sure what you would drink it with?

I had my last long run planned for Sunday and I wanted something very carby for dinner that wouldn’t bother my stomach. Pancakes seemed to fit the bill so the first breakfast for dinner was had in our household.

These pumpkin pancakes were so so so amazing! And so easy too! I am definitely on a pumpkin kick!

Pumpkin pancakes topped with toasted pecans and warm maple syrup

Pumpkin Pancakes (Adapted from Cooking Light)

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup skim milk

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted, divided

Combine flours, 2 tbsp pecans, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Combine milk, sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs in another bowl and then add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. There should be a few lumps in the batter. Stir in the pumpkin. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add about 1/4 cup of batter at a time to pan and cook until there are bubbles on the top of the pancake and the sides are brown. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Top with remaining pecans and toppings of your choice.

They were actually so good, they made the perfect post 22-miler (longest distance ever!) meal on Sunday. This time served with a sauce made of greek yogurt, maple syrup, cinnamon, and also topped with warm bananas, toasted walnuts and more syrup. They were so satisfying after my long run….and speaking of the run, it went as good as I could have expected. Feeling ready for November 6th…I hope!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now (ie. since it’s birth in the beginning of September), you may notice we don’t really eat that much meat in this household. For some reason, the other night I was craving chicken. This Ina Garten (AKA The Barefoot Contessa) recipe for lemon roasted chicken will make your house (or tiny NY apartment) smell so utterly garlicky and lemony…and this was some of the best chicken I’ve ever had (and I’ve had my fair share of chicken). Adam described it as “the best wedding/bar/bat mitzvah chicken I’ve ever had…and I mean that in the best way possible!”

Crispy skin and super moist and lemony flesh

The recipe, surprisingly needed no adaptation. Ina (yes, we’re on a first name basis) is known for using lots and lots of butter! But here, there was no butter to be found and the chicken was still moist and delicious!

I served it with roasted vegetables (whatever looked like it was going bad in the fridge) and a pumpkin bean mash. All I did for this was take the leftover roasted garlic white bean dip from Friday night, mixed it with some leftover pumpkin from the pancakes, and heated it in the microwave. This dip does a great job as a hot side dish as well..give it a try!

This weekend we have some visitors from T.O. coming to stay…so expect the next post to be filled with fun food and restaurant adventures!

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Shabbos Dinner Party

This past Friday we broke from our new tradition of Shabbat date night and hosted our first dinner party in our Brooklyn apartment. Two lovely new found couple friends came over to enjoy a vegetarian Shabbos feast! In keeping with the Friday night tradition, a very large spread of food was served!

Appetizer table

To start, I made my world famous vegetarian wontons and Bonnie Stern’s roasted garlic white bean dip.

Vegetarian wontons with soy-honey dipping sauce

Vegetarian Wontons

1 package veggie ground round

handful of mushrooms, finely chopped

1/4 red pepper, finely chopped

1-2 green onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

ginger (to taste), minced

soy sauce, hoisin sauce, red pepper flakes to taste

Mix all these ingredients together and then place in the middle of wonton wrappers. Seal the edges by using some water. Spray with cooking spray and bake in oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until browned on top. I serve them with a really easy and tasty dipping sauce of soy sauce and honey (2:1 ratio). Always a party favorite!

Roasted garlic white bean dip with homemade pita chips

Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip (Adapted from Bonnie Stern’s Best of Heart Smart)

1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed

1 head of garlic

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp hot sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Roast head of garlic in oven by cutting off top half of garlic, wrap in foil, and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes-hour or until soft and brown and your whole kitchen smells of roasted garlic. Let cool and then squeeze into food processor with rest of ingredients and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. I served them with pita chips which I’ve posted about before…just cut into triangles, season to your taste, drizzle with a little oil and bake until nice and crisp

No Shabbos table is complete without a challah…and we’ve had everything from a  homemade whole wheat challah to pretzel bites challah at this shabbat table. But this week we had quite the treat. One of my dinner guests made the most delicious homemade round challah I’ve ever tasted….it was still warm from the oven and was slightly sweet with the most amazing soft texture. Maybe if we’re lucky she’ll post the recipe in the comments?

The best center piece ever!

As you should all know by now, the next course in our shabbos meal is always soup. And this soup was a cauliflower soup topped with sour cream…a mish mash of a variety of recipes from Bonnie Stern, Lucy Waverman, and my favorite foodie, Erin Macgregor.

Cauliflower soup topped with sour cream

Cauliflower Soup

2 onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 heads of cauliflower, chopped

2 tsp fresh thyme

10 cups veggie stock (or chicken)

salt and pepper (you need LOTS of salt!)

sour cream (optional but trust me…opt in!)

Heat olive oil in a large pot and saute onion, garlic, and cauliflower  until brown.  Add thyme, stock and bring to a boil and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Puree soup and season very generously with salt and pepper. Top with sour cream.

The challah went so well with the soup… we were all taking extra pieces to soak up every last drop. Now, you would think everyone would be full by now, but not in this household!

Butternut squash lasagna with sage bechamel sauce

This was the star of the show. I adapted a recipe from Giada DeLaurentis found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/butternut-squash-lasagna-recipe/index.html I did make a couple changes: To cook the squash, I cut it in half and roasted it in the oven with olive oil, s & p, a little cinnamon and brown sugar and left out the amaretti cookies. I also used sage instead of basil and used skim milk and part-skim mozzarella to lighten the dish up a bit. It was absolutely delicious! Served at many dinner parties in the past, it is a great option for a vegetarian dinner.

Roasted root vegetables with walnut pesto

To serve with the squash I went with this Cooking Light recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/roasted-root-vegetables-with-walnut-pesto-10000001673043/ The pesto really complimented the butternut squash. I also made a simple spinach salad topped with apples, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans in a maple mustard dressing. I wanted something sweet to go with the squash and offset the pesto. Needless to say, we were all quite stuffed at the end and every guest went home with quite the loot bag fool of food!

Homemade apple pie

But there’s always room for dessert right? My challah baking dinner guest was obviously knows me well and when she asked if she could bring dessert, she somehow knew I had vanilla ice cream in my freezer that would go smashingly well with her homemade, fresh from the oven apple pie. How beautiful is that lattice work?

All in all, it was a very successful first dinner party. Fantastic company, good food and wine, and many leftovers for all to boot! One lesson learned from this first dinner party experience is that we max out at 6 dinner guests…we have 6 chairs, 6 plates, 6 glasses, and 5 mugs…good thing no one wanted tea!

Future Food Network Stars!

Speaking of dinner parties, here’s a good segue…last year that favorite foodie of mine I’ve mentioned many times before, Erin, and I filmed an episode of the hit Canadian Food Network Show, Dinner Party Wars. Well guess what? The episode is FINALLY airing on November 9th! Get excited to watch us battle it out with two other couples over who can throw the best dinner party. So set your PVRs, VCRs, DVRs, and Tivo…10pm November 9th, FoodTv Canada.

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I’m not into the detoxing/juice/raw food cleanses…that stuff is just plain weird! But post Jewish holiday eating, my body was craving fresh veggies and healthy food. Enter Angelica Kitchen. My new veggie loving friend Julie and I decided to embark on a challenge…to try a new vegetarian restaurant each month and this restaurant was first on our list. I would describe the food as vegetarian comfort food and it now beats out candle cafe for my favorite vegetarian restaurant in the city!

Brown rice sushi with tempeh, cabbage, and broccoli

Lentil and veggie soup with sourdough and carrot spread

Angelica cornbread with miso tahini spread

We started with these apps: the sushi of the day, cornbread with miso tahini spread, and lentil veggie soup with sourdough and carrot ginger spread. The cornbread was doughy, cakey, grainy and surprisingly, gluten free. I didn’t know glutenless foods could taste so good! But I must tell you…both of our spreads were incredible. I think we were trying to find anything we could to dip in them…and little did we know, some more delicious sauce was yet to come.

Build your own plate with squash, kale and chard, tempeh, sea vegetables, and carrot dill sauce

For our mains, I went with the build your own plate…and again, the star of the show was the carrot dill sauce. I think Julie and I both agreed that next time we went we would ask for a giant bowl of this sauce and maybe some tofu on the side for dipping. It is that good! All the veggies were perfectly cooked, the squash was sweet and I demolished that plate and was stuffed to the brim. Detox dinner one success! I think Julie and I have a very good and veggie filled future in store…stay tuned for our November dinner date at Dirt Candy!

The next night, I cooked my own healthy meal inspired by Ellie Kreiger. Her sweet and spicy salmon with lemon lentils with spinach and tomatoes caught my eye when I was watching The Cooking Channel (Attention Canadian readers….I have not one but TWO food channels here…don’t be jealous!) I basically followed her recipes found here:http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy-appetite-with-ellie-krieger/cook-better-look-better/index.html

Salmon, lentils, and vegetables...a perfect plate!

Served with some roasted brussels sprouts and zucchini that was on it’s last leg, this meal filled the quota for a healthy meal my body desperately needed. And the best part was leftovers for the next night…love when I plan that way!

Now last night the healthier eating came to an end when I discovered the deliciousness that is Momofuku. My eating partner and I went to the noodle bar which is the most casual restaurants in this empire. We started with the shrimp buns…soft and fluffy Japanese style bun filled with some sort of shrimp cake, spicy mayo, and lettuce. It was so good…we actually debated ordering some of their other buns but we had big bowls of noodles ahead.

Shrimp Buns

It was cold and rainy outside so we were both craving soup and so, we both chose the miso chicken ramen bowl.

Smoked chicken, ramen noodles, cabbage, seaweed, spinach, and a soy egg

The broth was smokey and salty, the noodles were perfectly cooked, and the egg added a nice creamy touch. This bowl was warming and soothing for a cold and damp night and definitely hit the spot. Now, no Momofuku experience is complete without visiting the Momofuku Milk Bar...a very creative dessert spot with interesting treats such as “crack pie,” “compost cookies,” and “birthday cake truffles.” How could this be bad?

Cereal milk soft serve topped with cornflake crunch

That’s right..it wasn’t bad. This ice cream tasted like the milk at the bottom of the bowl of cornflakes…sweet and salty and very weird in the best way possible. The cornflake crunch really adds a nice touch.  My friend went with the compost cookie…now it was good, but it was also just a cookie. Nothing to write home (or blog) about.

Birthday cake truffle

Now this was something special. It tasted like the best raw cookie/cake dough you’ve ever eaten. So rich, sweet, and really melts in your mouth. It tasted especially good after a rainy and wet training run. Momofuku…I will be back!

 

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Last week we went for dinner in Fort Greene to a restaurant that could best be described as Eclectic, Fusion, New American. So now you know exactly what type of food it serves right?

No. 7‘s menu is very different…and the descriptions of the food items do not do it justice! I really liked the atmosphere…half casual bar and half restaurant it was very warm and inviting and would also be a great place to enjoy dinner or just a cocktail at the bar. We were greeted with delicious bread, a warm bean spread, and pickled cucumbers. Already, off to a good start! The four of us all wanted the same appetizer…how could you pass up fried broccoli? So we ordered two for the table and I tell you…our plate was licked clean!

Fried broccoli with black bean sauce, grapefruit, and spinach, dill and shallot salad

The batter tasted like there may have been cheese in it and the black bean sauce with the sweetness and lightness of the grapefruit and salad really all went well together. If you think you don’t like broccoli I have a solution…batter and deep fry it!

Grilled arctic char with chickpeas, tomatoes, capers, olives, and fried artichokes

Three out of the four of us went with the arctic char and I have to say, this was one of the best fish dishes I’ve ever eaten! The broth was salty in the best way possible and the fish perfectly cooked. But the star of the dish were the nuggets of fried artichoke hearts…must try recreating these at home because Adam and I were both raving about them!

Lamb stuffed cabbage with watercress, carrots, onions, and jus

The fourth diner was brave and went for the lamb stuffed cabbage…lamb for me is hit or miss as it tends to be a bit gamey some time (Note: if you want good lamb…run to Frank’s Kitchen in Toronto). This lamb was ground with rice and stuffed in cabbage and braised for hours and hours in a broth that was so rich I could have just had a bowl of that.

All in all…one of the best dinners I’ve had so far since moving to NY…and if you’ve been reading, I’ve had my share!

I also did some cooking last week…a recipe on the Food Network caught my eye. I changed it up a bit to boost the flavor with some different spices…the verdict? It was good, but needed a bit more spice. So we topped with some sirracha (which really makes everything taste good!) and it was much better. Sorry, no picture….but you get the recipe so it’s not a total loss!

Tofu and Eggplant Curry (Adapted from The Food Network)

olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 Japanese eggplant, chopped

1/2 tbs minced ginger

1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 14 oz can whole plum tomatoes

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

1 14oz can lite coconut milk

1 block tofu, cut into cubes

3 big handfuls of baby spinach

Quinoa or Rice for serving

Heat oil in pot over medium high heat and add onion and saute until soft. Meanwhile, drain tomatoes, reserving juice, and crush tomatoes in separate bowl. Add eggplant to pot and cook about 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, jalapeno, and cook another 2 minutes. Add spices, tomatoes (not juice) and cook until you can smell the spices. Add tomato juice and cook until slightly reduced. Add coconut milk, tofu, and simmer until the eggplant is tender. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and serve with quinoa or rice.

Have a great Monday everyone!

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Potato pizza….to some people this may sound a little bit strange. I mean, potatoes are meant to be mashed, fried, roasted, and baked…but on pizza? When we arrived at Five Points, I already new we would be ordering this dish (on my quest to eat everything in New York featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, this was next on the list!) Five Points has such a nice atmosphere and the menu had so many items that sounded very tasty. But I felt it was my duty to order this pizza….so that’s what we did.

Pizza topped with potato, truffle oil, and fontina

And it did not disappoint. Salty, chewy crust, perfectly cooked thinly sliced potatoes, topped with fontina cheese and truffle oil it was very good. A little on the greasy side though and Adam and I both agreed it was missing something sweet…maybe some thinly shaved pear mixed in with the potato? But don’t get me wrong…it was still very tasty and there was not a slice left. They actually also have another pizza with pear and blue cheese and other sort of delicious toppings like this that I’m sure would be delicious on this crust. I also had amazing scallops (sorry no photo), seared perfectly over a bed of pureed and creamy cauliflower and topped with a fennel and honey crisp apple relish…The dish was calling my name when I saw this description on the menu and it exceeded by expectations. Five Points….we give you Five Stars!

Sunday afternoons in this household are for one thing…football watching! Now, I do not enjoy watching football in the slightest, but I do enjoy football food and spending time with my husband. So, after a not so amazing 16 mile training run (do not eat greasy pizza and drink too much wine the night before a long run…lesson learned!) I decided to cook up some healthified and veggiefied (yes, those are real words) traditional football eats.

Veggie nachos wth the works!

For these nachos, I made my own corn chips by cutting corn tortillas into triangles, spraying with olive oil and sprinkling with salt, and baking at 400 for about 8 minutes. A good substitute for the store bought brands. Topped with a veggie chilli (see recipe below), shredded mozzarella and feta, mushrooms, corn and baked in the oven until the cheese melts. When they come out, sprinkly with the toppings you normally like…I went with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado. These made football watching much more enjoyable!

Veggie Chili Nacho Topping (Adapted from Cooking Light)

1 onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 package veggie ground round

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 chipotle chili in adobo, seeded and minced

1 tbs adobo sauce (from canned chili)

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

1 tsp corriander

1 tsp chili powder

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

Preheat pan over medium high heat and add a little olive oil. Saute onion, pepper, garlic, and zucchini until soft. Add veggie crumbles and spices and break up veggie crumbles with spoon. Add chili, sauce, beans, and tomatoes and simmer until nice and thick. This is also delicious just eaten plain as chili.

To go with the nachos (because obviously one giant pan of nachos was not enough), I made homemade chips…kale chips that is! If you have not had these before…run out now, buy a head of kale, and make them. Because trust me when I say, you will love them! Everyone does!

Crispy, Salty, Delicious Kale!

And they’re so easy to make! Don’t be intimated by these giant heads of green leaves…just remove the leave from the thick stems, chop into manageable eating pieces, and toss with a little olive oil and salt. Bake in a 400 degree oven until browned and crispy…about 15-20 minutes. You can also season these with anything you like…I’ve done garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, parm…the possibility are endless!

After running 16 miles…these football foods and a cold pumpkin beer (which I’m really into now!) really hit the spot. One more extra long training run to go before the big day!

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