Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New York Eats

I recently took a trip to New York City.  I lived there from 2003-2008 and was able to revisit some old favorite  places while discovering more.  I've heard people say that one could dine out every night of the week and still never experience all that the NYC food world has to offer.  It's ever changing and I know I've barely even scratched the surface.  Here are some places I recently enjoyed again or for the first time on my trip...

The City Bakery...  A famous Union Square/Flat Iron bakery. I used to work there and eat their $3 dollar cookies for free every day.  I stumbled upon one of their smaller Birdbath branches and I had to get a giant chocolate chip cookie!

We explored the new High Line park and found this open market with all kinds of food stalls from local artisan food shops.  We tried rice balls, empanadas and mini canoli from 3 different places.  There were many more to chose from including gourmet hot dogs, chocolates, ice creams, homemade sodas.... wow.  I was impressed by this new edition.  I would love to see something like this in DSM!  Many of these vendors were also found at a flea/food market in Williamsburg.

When in New York, if you want an authentic cultural experience on so many levels try Golden Unicorn for Dim Sum.  The endless pots of green tea and carts of steaming dumplings that usually contain pork or shrimp, being wheeled around you is an amazing and delicious experience.

Rubirosa is a modern Italian and Pizza restaurant with delicious cocktails!!!  Split a pizza with your friends, if they are kind enough to share.  :)  And a gluten-free menu for your GF friends.

I am only mentioning the Hungarian Pastry Shop because of the neighborhood it's in.  My old 'hood!  Their food is nothing to write home about as far as I'm concerned, standard NY bakery cookies (Am I missing the Hungarian pastries?), but the ambiance is dark and noisy and interesting.  The coffee shop is across from one of the most amazing cathedrals I have ever seen. It sits across the street from St. John the Divine and is worth the trip up town... have a coffee, a cookie and use the bathroom (full of pseudo-intellectual graffiti) at the Pastry Shop.  Gawk at the Columbia students reading.

I've mentioned this before, but this place is not to be missed...  Bombay Frankie Roti Roll.  Best described as an Indian burrito, it's the best thing ever.

And another old favorite... Market Cafe.  Your friends will find you so savvy when you take them to this gem that still seems to be a best kept secret.  Jordan and I recreated the scallops, potato flatbread and deserts this summer that were favorites of ours when she worked there and got free food (you have to love that early 20's free food situation that comes with restaurant jobs!!)  The fries are also good.  They've added some new cocktails to their menu ad I highly recommend the cucumber gimlet.

I ended my vacation with a trip to a new Queens establishment owned by a former co-worker.  The Queens Kickshaw is conveniently located about a $12 cab ride from La Guardia so I camped out there for a few hours before hailing a taxi on my last day in the City.  Jen gave us the royal treatment with a complimentary basket of knishes.. and a couple of deserts.  (THANKS JEN!) And I had some delicious homemade tomato soup while Ryan tried the grilled gouda sandwich.  Everything there is homemade and real... the decor is repurposed modern.  It's a dreamy little spot for a DIY lover like me.  I enjoyed my time there, enjoyment increased 200% by reunions with old friends.  I would love to go back ASAP.

Oh and there are so many places I didn't even get to!

One of my favorite things to do on vacation is eat and New York is the best place to do it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekly Menu

This week I was inspired by the cold temperatures that's are starting to be more normal than just a random occurrence.  The menu consists mostly of Fall and Winter comfort-food favorites from the binder of recipes.

The triumphant return of my favorite Black Bean soup!  so many people I talked to read and tried this recipe last year!  I can't wait to taste it again.  With corn bread on the side.

Spicy Sloppy Joes

Baked salmon with wild rice and frozen peas
I use frozen salmon, take it out of the freezer in the morning and it's good to go in the evening.
I will season it with grated ginger (about 2 teaspoons), soy sauce and olive oil (just a drizzle of each on each salmon piece).
Bake at 400 for roughly 20 minutes

Vegetable and quinoa bowl:  broccoli, frozen peas, onions, carrots and peppers-- perhaps some warm spices like cumin and cayenne!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Weekly Menu: The first week of October!

Leaves are changing and the weather is getting slightly cooler.  Squash by the truckload are showing up  at farmer's markets and at the groceries...  My neighbors brought a cute bucket of pears over from their tree!

Here's the weekly menu for the first week of October (can you believe it?!) Happy Fall!

crock pot pulled pork... for tacos and leftovers for sandwiches.  still need a recipe for this one, do you have any suggestions?

roasted spaghetti squash with salad

roasted beet salad

pizza with mozzarella, tomato, basil and mushrooms.

homemade pizza sauce (have I ever shared this before?):
1 can crushed tomatoes
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 C chopped onion
1 T red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
other seasoning such as basil, oregano, etc.
olive oil

heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and garlic, cook for about two minutes.
add tomatoes and seasoning(s).
cover and let simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.
this recipe freezes well for your next batch of pizza if you don't use it all!