Thursday, June 11, 2009

Big Apple BBQ

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that this weekend is BIG APPLE BBQ it is held in Madison Square Park! Sadly, I won't make it this year, but I still suggest everyone get out there for some ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. It is one of the best weekends in the city and the weather is going to be perfect mid 70's not a cloud in the sky. So get out there and enjoy the best bbq from across the country. I know Max will be there (shout out) so grab you drinking and eating hats and get ready to get messy. A word to the wise, don't wear you Sunday best because Bar-B-Que sauce will fly.

Monday, June 1, 2009


As if I hadn't eaten enough on RoadTrip2k9, when I got home my sister was here. SO being that we were both exhausted from late nights and lots of cocktails, we ordered NY Style Pizza. Eug and I went to pick it up from Pizza 33. It was as good as always. I love their pepperoni with extra red chili flakes and tons of parm. Then to just end the week with a bang, Eugene and I made Fajitas. Fajita bowls to be exact. It was my attempt to be a little bit healthy after a lot of food and drink.

I have recently developed a major crush on Tyler Florence. Before going away I saw his Cinco de Mayo special which had what looked to be an amazing marinade for steak fajitas. And it was!

Here I am in my new apron courtesy of Becca! Its monogrammed if you cant tell!

  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 chipolte chiles, in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 pounds skirt or flank steak, trimmed of fat cut into thirds or 8-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Lime juice, olive oil, optional
  • Brown rice and beans
  • Avocado
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Good quality store bought salsa
How to:
1. In a small 2 cup measuring cup, or something similar size and shape, combine all the marinade ingredients. Using an immersion blender, puree the marinade until smooth. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and add the steak, seal and shake to coat. Refrigerate the beef for 2 to 4 hours to tenderize and flavor the beef. I did not use the immersion blender and it worked our perfectly. Be careful not to marinate the beef for too long because the citrus will start to "cook" the meat as done in our ceviche.

2.Boil water for rice and beans. Follow instructions on box of rice. Rinse beans thoroughly and add to cooked rice.

Preheat a ridged grill pan on high heat.

Drain the marinade from the beef. We left some of the marinade with the beef and then drained as we went. Lightly oil the grill or grill pan. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the steak over medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes on each side and then transfer to a cutting board and let rest. Depending on the size of your grill pan you may need to cook in batches.

3. Once the beef is off the grill pan and resting, add the bell peppers and onions tossed with lime juice and olive oil, if using. Grill the mixture for 7 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are just barely limp.
3. Thinly slice the steak against the grain on a diagonal. To make a fajita bowl, we started with lettuce.
4. Then added rice and beans.
5. Then add veggies.
6. Then add avocado.7. Then add steak.
8. Then cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo or salsa.These turned out amazingly well! It is really important to cut the meat against the grain so it isnt chewy and hard to eat. They were a healthy alternative to the mexican I craved. I also added Gator Sauce once I started eating for a little extra bite. Delic!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Road Trip!

Ali and I just got back from the best trip ever! We drove the CA coast from San Fransisco to San Diego stopping at only the best places and then jet set over to The Big Easy for a whirlwind weekend with the Grodnick clan for Leah's graduation (not my Leah).

The most notable stops included:
-Leah's in Berkeley-Stinson Beach- great picnic!-Downtown-Seals near Big Sur- It was very cold and windy!-SB- the 7 hours stretch that took us down the coast! Ali got a farmers tan and I burned my scalp:(
In LA:
-Melrose Place- the apartment complex not the street (no group shot, so sad!)-El Cholo- best fajitas ever!
-Flip Cup Tournament- Team Mustang SALLY
In San Diego
-the zoo-we didn't get to feed the Giraffes because it was a weekday, but it was still worth it!-La Puerta Tequila Bar-awesome tacos and tequila! According to Bill the bartender, you should order Patron, Don Julio is much better for the same price:)-the beach, where we opted to dine on fish tacos and margaritas instead of indulging our athetic sides and surfing
Our next stop was New Orleans where we ate and drank ourselves silly at:
-Cafe Amelie-MMMMMMufulettaAntoines- Traditional NOLA restaurant. We saw all of the Queens of Mardigras crowns and the Fishman room
-Pat O's-Piano Bar with the Grodnicks, Mary and Sally, it was raining cats and dogs!

We really ate well! Hands down the worst meal we had on our trip/the worst we meal we have had in a while was at Osteria. It was HORRIBLE and really expensive!
We had a blast though. Fighting through sunburned scalps we were able to eat some of the tastiest food and be with some of our favorite people!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo- Ceviche Style

I freaking love ceviche! I love it! I get so frustrated when I see it on menus though because its so expensive for so little! I always want to order it because it sounds so good you know its not enough for a meal and you also know that its about times more expensive than everyone else's appetizer. So making it at home is the best solution. I bought all of the ingredients for under $30 and Eugene and I had enough ceviche to last us days. I mean days, seriously.

I followed the same recipe that I got from the cooking class at ICE. Only this time I actually let it marinate over night...

  • 1 lb of small shrimp, deveined
  • 1 lb of bay scallops (or any type of scallops, just cut them into bite size pieces)
  • Juice of 6 to 8 limes
  • 6 to 8 stems of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup finlet chopped red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
How to:
  1. Cut shrimp, if necessary, into pieces the same size as the scallops. Place shrimp and scallops in glass bowl
  2. Combine the lime juice, thyme, red onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Add to the shrimp and scallops. Stir to combine well. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours (or no more than over night)**
  3. Turn the ceviche a few times during the marination period
  4. To serve, add parsley, olive oil, and diced tomatoes and mix to combine. Transfer to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs
** If you cannot let the shrimp/scallops marinate overnight flash cook them for 30-45seconds and remove into ice water.

I like to serve ceviche with either corn chips or plain lightly salted popcorn to add a little crunch.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Banana Bread with a Low Fat Twist!

Mmmmm mmmmm, Banana Bread! For some reason I am never able to finish a bunch of bananas. Its the weirdest thing, I love bananas. Everything banana flavored, everything banana colored! But I always have some left over. So on this lovely afternoon, I decided to turn my left over bruised bananas into Banana Bread instead of letting them sit on the counter until they were brown and attracting fruit flies.

After a little research I came across Joy the Baker's Blog. Her recipe for low fat banana oat bread was amazing. I didn't follow her recipe verbatim because without fail, I mess up when I bake. I never remember to read ahead or follow the exact measurements, but even without the egg white folding she suggests on her site, this bread was baked to perfection! Julie Childs would have been proud!

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp canola or walnut oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 medium egg whites, beaten
  • 3 large bananas, ripe
  • 1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
How to:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients including the oats and cinnamon.
  2. In a smaller bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add oil and whole egg and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Batter will be fairly thick.
  4. Pour batter into pan and bake until top of loaf is firm to touch, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Flip out and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. Slice loaf into 10 equally sized slices.
This banana bread really was delicious! Sometimes when I am feeling a little crazy I put a little whipped cream cheese on it for breakfast, so I get some savory and sweet. I also went out of town for the weekend right after I made it, so I cut it into individual slices and froze them. I enjoyed a defrosted slice this morning!


Thursday, April 30, 2009

A bush grows in Chelsea

Yesterday I spent the morning in the prep kitchen at God's Love and then to Trader Joe's. On the way home, I stopped in the Union Square Green Market and took a look at some fresh herbs.

I made the mistake of buying the first ones I came across. If I had been a little more patient and a little less tired from carrying my groceries, I would have stumbled upon some great herb gardens for window sills. They had window sill gardens in pretty pots with 4-6 herbs for $20-$30. Instead I came home with these two small potted plants ($6 for both, good deal just not as pretty)- rosemary and English thyme. The rosemary I have used twice since purchasing yesterday afternoon, the thyme will come in handy when I make chicken parm tonight. I have been debating growing herbs on my window sill for some time now. Primarily b/c I always waste about 90% of the fresh herbs I buy- they are sold in bulk. Herbs really don't keep that long in the fridge. One great way to make them last, aside from growing them of course :), is to mince them, measure them into teaspoon servings, and place them into an ice tray with a little bit of water. So the next time you need a little rosemary or oregano, all you have to do is drop the allotted amount of ice cubes needed into the pot and voilĂ  fresh herbs. (Don't forget to account for the additional water being added to the recipe from the ice melting).

I also have some tomato seeds I would like to plant, so I think I might go to a hardware store and buy a larger pot so I can expand my NYC "garden."


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Turkey Burger Heaven

Yesterday I decided to make dinner for Eug. Ali and I went to Trader Joe's on Tuesday afternoon for a shop and I picked up a whole lot of goods including ground turkey, spawning the idea for turkey burgers. I did some research on recipes. I actually liked Off the Broiler the most, though I didnt really follow the recipe from this site I did like the inclusion of onions, garlic and mustard into the patty itself. Plus the pictures were a nice guide. So my burgers turned out to be one of a kind- they almost tasted like beef! For the meal, I made spiced turkey burgers topped with pickled onions, home fries and a big green salad with lemon and olive oil dressing. The salad was not eaten, but I enjoyed it today for lunch!

For the potatoes I used small red potatoes and thanks to my birthday present I didn't have to to slice or dice anything- thank you Cuisinart Pro! You have made my life oh so much easier. I threw in the potatoes, garlic and onion into the food processor and then they went straight into the pan.
  • 1lb of small red potatoes
  • 1 small/medium red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • lots of salt and pepper
  • 2 dashes of red chili flakes
  • 1/2-3/4 cups of olive oil (maybe more, you just need to lightly glaze all of the potatoes)
  • a few dashes of cayenne, old bay or any spice you like
How to:
  1. If you are lucky enough to have a food processor, use it to slice the potatoes, garlic and onion. If not, slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices and finely dice the garlic and onions.
  2. Place the mix in a bowl and add the seasoning
  3. Put the frying pan on mid-to-high heat and fry away. Just keep an eye on them
  4. I like them very crispy and a little burned, so I cook them for about 30 minutes while I work on the rest of the meal
  5. Serve with breakfast, lunch or dinner. Ketchup is a nice side, but great alone too!
Pickled Onions:
  • 1 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
  • 1 small red onion, halved and very thinly sliced
How to:
  1. Whisk vinegar, brown sugar, salt and allspice in a medium glass bowl.
  2. Alternatively, bring the mixture to a boil in a small saucepan on the stove. Add onions and toss to coat.
  3. Put them in the fridge to chill
The Burger:

  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 red onion (minced)
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1-to-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dallop of mustard
How to:
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and combine.
  2. Refrigerate for 20 minutes
  3. Make into 3-4 patties
  4. Spray the pan and fry each side for about 6 minutes
  5. Make sure to cook all of the way through, turkey, just like any poultry, shouldn't be eaten under cooked
Burger toppings:
  • Bun (lightly toasted)
  • Swiss cheese (or Eug did a cheese combo)
  • Pickles
  • Pickled onions
  • Honey mustard (preferably mustard cup)
  • Ketchup
  • Tomato (on a side note, below are pictures of the weirdest tomato ever! I have never seen anything like this and think it must be a mutant, so obviously Eug and I both had to try it. If I die today, at least I was well fed)

The burger almost looks like beef. The trick is you need to add oil and maybe egg whites to keep the turkey moist. Always a tricky feat.