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All You Can Eat, Philly

20 Apr

A few weekends ago, my friends and I took a quick day-trip to Philadelphia (“Philly”). We had one day to cram in as much eating as possible. I think we did alright.

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We started with coffee at La Colombe, followed by a mid-morning snack stop at Federal Donuts. Two donuts, strawberry shortcake and blueberry mascarpone, shared four ways.

IMG_1678 Continue reading

Butternut Squash Tahini Spread from Jerusalem: A Cookbook

15 Jan

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On Tuesday I picked up my first ever Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box of produce from Corbin Hill Farm. Corbin Hill picks the produce based on what is in season, and all of the produce is grown in New York State using sustainable farming methods. There are options to add “extras” to the order, such as dairy, eggs, meat, bread, beans or extra fruit.

In my January box of produce, I received apples, butternut squash, cabbage, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, shallots, sprouts, arugula and an enormous Macomber turnip.

While I like to go to the markets and pick out my own fruits and vegetables, I thought the CSA box would be a nice mini kitchen challenge.

First up: butternut squash. Continue reading

Notes and Noshes from Madrid, Spain

13 Jan

A few notes and noshes from my short stay in Madrid, Spain. We arrived on Christmas day and spent the night with a sweet family that cooked a special, traditional Christmas meal for us. Some of the food was unfamiliar, but we tasted new things and were grateful for the warm welcome into the city. I did not take any pictures that night, but below are some snapshots of the rest of the trip.

A requirement: churros con chocolate (pictured in the middle) + cafe con leche for breakfast

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We visited the Reina Sofia and the Prado art museums. This was a pretty installation at the Reina Sofia.

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Exploring the parks was another favorite activity. The park near Casa de Campo had a section with some colorful birds. Random yet pretty.

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El Mercado de San Antón was a big food highlight. The downstairs section of the market is for picking up gourmet groceries and snacks, and the upstairs section is full of tapas-style fancy food vendors.

We ordered a Continue reading

Thanksgiving 2014

29 Nov

I hope your holiday was delicious and special. My friend Natasha and I co-hosted and cooked most of the food together. Our friends brought extra sides (sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green bean casserole), desserts (mascarpone tart with berries), and drinks (wine, beers, cider), all of which were amazing!

The menu:

Castelvetrano olives

Kale salad with apples and walnuts

Extra-buttery mashed potatoes

Mashed sweet potatoes

Kale stuffing with dates

Brussels sprouts with bacon

Green bean casserole

Spatchcocked turkey with gravy

Roasted garlic

Cranberry sauce (homemade and jellied)

Dessert:

Upside-down cranberry cake

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping

Peanut Butter Pie

Mascarpone tart with berry sauce

Hand-whipped cream

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Clockwise from left: stuffing a la Samin (and Charlie!), with dates instead of prunes and no sausage; spatchcocked and carved turkey from the Serious Eats recipe and video; cranberry sauce (can be made one week before TG) Continue reading

My Experience with Blue Apron

5 Nov

When it comes to food, I like to be in control. I like to be the one picking out groceries and I like to be the one cooking. But honestly, grocery shopping can be a pain sometimes.

Inspired by the discount offer of two free meals for first time users of Blue Apron (Blue Apron has also been sponsoring some of the podcasts I listen to lately), I decided to try out the services. With my discount offer, I paid about $40 for three meals intended to serve two people (regular price of about $60).

Blue Apron is a food delivery service that takes care of the grocery shopping, allowing customers to enjoy and focus on the cooking experience. After noting dietary preferences, Blue Apron ships three pre-shopped and pre-portioned meals on a week-by-week basis. The food gets carefully portioned and packaged and is shipped in a refrigerated box.

I wanted to keep an open mind, so I did not check off any dietary preferences to see what they would send me. The week before my delivery, Blue Apron sent me an email with the ingredients and recipes I would be receiving:

  • Pan-Seared Salmon with Arugula, Candy Stripe Beets & Horseradish Sour Cream
  • Greek-Style Braised Chicken Thighs with Fingerling Potatoes
  • Caramelized Pork & Congee with Crispy Shallots & Black Garlic

Each meal is slated to take an average of 35 minutes to prepare. While no nutrition information is provided for individual recipes, Blue Apron notes that each meal contains between 500 and 700 calories per serving.

Below I discuss the meals I received and cooked, showing pictures and providing individual feedback for each recipe.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Arugula, Candy Stripe Beets & Horseradish Sour Cream

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I cooked the fish on my first night Continue reading

Slow Food NYC Benefit Dinner at Kings County Distillery

22 Sep

On Wednesday, September 10, I attended Parker Red’s Farm to Fork Dinner benefiting Slow Food NYC at Kings County Distillery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The dinner was supporting Slow Food NYC’s Producer Summit, an event bringing together local farmers, chefs, and distributors to discuss challenges and celebrate successes of the current local food system. The Producer Summit will be held at Hawthorne Valley Farm in early November, and the hope is to create “an actionable strategy to strengthen and expand the supply chain of organic and sustainably-grown food to New York City restaurants.”

FTF Whiskey Dinner Invite - Final

The evening began with live music, radishes with butter and salt, boiled peanuts, charcuterie, and a tasting—moonshine, bourbon, and chocolate whiskey—made from corn and barley grown onsite at the distillery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Continue reading

Figs in my Belly Traveled to Kansas City: A “Guide”

2 Sep

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Back in July (doesn’t that feel like forever ago now?!), I hopped on a tiny airplane headed to Kansas City, Missouri to visit my friend Elizabeth and her friends and family. The trip was filled with food, drink, music, and fountains.

Below is my little guide to this lovely city, and a few random photos that I snapped during the trip. Surely, I missed some hot spots, so if you have any KC places that are not to be missed, let me know!

Coffee

Drinks/bars (also see the restaurants for good drinks, too)

Restaurants

  • Story.-great restaurant, excellent desserts, 10$ dinners on Sunday
  • Bluestem-go to the lounge for happy hour snacks and drinks
  • Room 39-causal lunch (great for sitting at the bar), more upscale dinner
  • The Westside Local-kale hummus, friendly servers
  • Cafe Europa-order the classic lemon cake from the pastry case; go for dinner or Sunday Supper
  • Port Fonda-Mexican food, margaritas
  • Beer Kitchen
  • Succotash-unique little breakfast spot; the “vegan sink” and the “cake and a smile”
  • Minsky’s-good for delivery or take-out pizza
  • Füd-vegan
  • Cafe Gratitude-vegan

Barbecue

  • Oklahoma Joe’s-the Z-man sandwich is supposed to be awesome
  • Gates Bar-B-Q-their sauce is good, burnt ends sandwich, more of a fast food type place

Sweets

Markets

  • City Market-go on the day when they have the farmer’s market
  • BADSEEDorganic farmer’s market

Shopping

Museums and Things to Do

A few random photos from the trip:

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Coffee at  Oddly Correct

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Don’t miss out on the happy hour drinks and snacks (and desserts!) at Bluestem

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Live music at The Westport Saloon

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A must-order if brunching at Story.: ricotta fritters

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The desserts at Story.are insanely good!

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A visit to The Nelson-Atkins Art Museum

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Burnt ends sandwich at Gates Bar-B-Q

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The Kale Hummus at The Westside Local!

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A stop at Loose Park to check out the Rose Garden