Sunday, December 12, 2010
Dudes. DUDES. I am so sorry. I haven't posted since August, and I feel like a jerk. I have let myself down. I hope you do not also feel let down by me, the jerk.
Basically what happened was; I got busy. I went to Provincetown (so fun), then I went to Puerto Rico (gorgeous), then the kids started school and it got busy at work and everything snowballed and the few times I did get to cook fun and/or interesting things I neglected to take pictures and also I felt like a slacker for not updating and I am so ashamed.
I have not really been cooking lately, since I'm spending 12 hours a day in the office frantically shipping packages so as not to ruin Christmas for a bunch of nerds*, but I will be trying to update as much as possible. Then, once Christmas passes, I have a lot of free time for a couple months while I hibernate. I live in Massachusetts, guys. It's cold and dark and it's all you can do you stave off the ennui.
If I don't get time to post before then, I hope you all have the best of holidays (if that is your thing). I will definitely be back right after Christmas, since we have some cool stuff planned for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner and I want to show you the results!
* what up nerds, solidarity
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I am home, briefly. I returned from San Diego last Wednesday, and this coming Monday I will be heading to Provincetown: The Gayest Town On Cape Cod. I am totally excited for the trip, as it will be a Real Vacation. I may even start working on Secret Project #2, while I have the time and am waiting for Secret Project #1 to begin. Projects! I hesitate to say more, I believe in jinxes.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I've got two quick ideas for you today. First, and I cannot believe I've never done this before, I made Tea-Poached Tilapia. It was so easy, and so delicious. Time it right and the fish comes out flaky and tender. You could always marinate, Tilapia takes well to marinade, but I was literally digging around in my freezer and found the fish last minute and had no time to do so. I had only planned on making a veggie stir fry and rice that evening.
Tea Poached Tilapia
4 herbal or green tea bags (I used Twinings lemon ginger)
2 c boiling water
2 T chopped garlic
1 T minced or grated fresh ginger
1 standard bunch scallions, thinly sliced
4 tilapia fillets
Steep tea bags in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. You want a strong brew. Set aside. Saute' the garlic and ginger in approximately 2T oil until garlic is softened. Remove tea bags from water, add brewed tea to the garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a strong simmer. Add the fish fillets to the simmering tea, add the scallions. Cover, simmer for about 3-5 minutes until fish is cooked through. Salt to taste.
Now that you have it, how you serve it is up to you! I pulled the fish out of the poaching liquid (which you can save and freeze and use for soup, or to steam shellfish) and served it on top of jasmine brown rice with stir fried vegetables. I set out an assortment of Asian condiments: like chili sauce, tamari, plum sauce, hoisen, and let everyone dress their own dinner. A fruit salsa would be lovely. You can also turn this into a soup with soba noodles or ramen, and some bean sprouts and snow peas.
Cameron and I love pickles. Pickled anything. Cam is a fan of anything sour (Salt & Vinegar chips, sour candy), and if it's also spicy she is so down. I have a feeling that she will be the one that I eventually travel to China with, they appreciate sour way more than the West.
I want this to be the year that I can, or "put up" preserves but it has just been too frigging hot to boil mason jars. I'm also disappointed in the low yield of my farm share this year, not sure whether that's just how the season is moving along, or if they're just spread too thin, share wise - but I haven't been really getting enough of any one thing to justify such a large scale project.
Anyway, I'm messing around with refrigerator pickles. I prefer a fresh pickle over cooked, and I guess that this is technically a brine, but I'm really happy with the result. I've tried three, so far. Two of which are great, the other one I just put together yesterday so I can't taste it until the weekend.
Like a vinaigrette, once you have a base you can create your own flavor combo from there. You can use any kind or vinegar, though with balsamic you may want to mess with the sugar proportion since balsamic is so sweet.
Basic Pickling Brine (for one jar)
2 c vinegar
1 1/2 - 2 c raw sugar
1/4 c salt
"Jeebus, that's a lot of sugar!" you say, and you are right - but you need it to counteract the vinegar, especially if you are using white. You could maybe use less if you are pickling fruit (my next experiment), as the fruit has a higher sugar content than cucumbers (duh).
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup orange juice
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
1/4 cup hot water
1 pound angel hair pasta, cooked, drained and rinsed
2 scallions, very thinly sliced (optional)
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced into long, narrow strips, then cut crosswise
2 tablespoons cilantro, coarsely chopped (optional)
Whisk together first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Add pasta, scallions, cucumber, and cilantro, and use your fingers to toss and coat the noodles. Add salt or more vinegar if it isn't as vibrant as you like. Let sit at room temperature if you're going to eat fairly soon — otherwise refrigerate.
Our accompaniment was asian-inspired fresh rolls. These are a great way to trick children into eating salad, by the way. There are near endless possibilities as to what you can put in these light, tasty, little packages; once you get the hang of rolling them you will want to make them all the time. I like to put rice noodles in there, usually, but since noodles were the main course it seemed like overkill. Tonight was simple, using what I had on hand.
Chicken, Basil, & Romaine Fresh Rolls
1T rice vinegar
1T soy sauce
1 tsp raw sugar
1 small clove of garlic, pressed or minced
1 tsp fish sauce
zest & juice of 1 lime
2 c cooked chicken, shredded
4 c chiffonade romaine lettuce
1 c chiffonade basil, any variety
1 carrot, grated
package of rice spring roll wrappers, available at any asian market
Whisk together first six ingredients until sugar is dissolved, then toss with shredded chicken. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes, then toss with lettuce, basil, and carrot.
That's your filling, now you need to know how to wrap it up.
First of all: spring roll wrappers come stiff, like uncooked noodles. "IF I BEND THEM THEY WILL BREAK, OH GOD." Don't be scared. Let me walk you through, friend.
1. Set up your work space. The bowl of filling, your package of wraps, a plate or some kind of dish with cold water, and a cutting board or dish to roll them in.
2. Lay one wrapper in the cold water. Wait 30 seconds. Take the wrapper out, being cautious not to rip it. If it falls apart, you left it in too long. If it still feels stiff, like it won't be pliable enough to work with, put it back in the water for a few seconds.
3. Place the wrapper on the work area, and a large pinch of filling in the middle.
4. Wrap it like you would a burrito, keeping in mind that unlike a tortilla this will stick to itself. You also have to work kind of fast so it doesn't get too tacky or soggy. If you don't know how to wrap a burrito, it's pretty simple. Fold the southern "flap" up over the filling. Bring the eastern flap over, then west. Roll it all north.
I have made a video that demonstrates. It was shot by my eleven year old daughter, who spends a lot of time making Ke$ha tribute videos and is handy with a camera.
Once you get used to it, you can soak the next wrap while you're wrapping. Serve as-is, or with a dipping sauce. An easy one is soy, fish sauce and a squeeze of lime. Thai sweet chili is excellent, especially when accompanied by sweet soy sauce. Hoisen, grated ginger, and a shot of lime juice or orange juice is good too.
*that we have totally taken over, the poor man gets no peace.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
It's the first day of summer, and I'm hot. Not "hott" like Christina Hendricks, but "hot" like sticky, and I smell like I've been riding the rails. My day has been full of various flavors of annoying first world problems, and as I was telling E how crabby I felt I knocked over a two gallon pitcher of fruit punch. Inside my fridge. It poured into all of the drawers, all over the kitchen floor, and into the dark recesses underneath the refrigerator. This is our third summer here, and as I helplessly watched sticky pink liquid run everywhere I realized that I have never moved the fridge to clean under/behind it.
I heart my grill wok. It was pretty cheap, I've had it for years, and with a hot grill and a little practice you can make kick ass grilled stir fry. SO great for smaller pieces of food, like shrimp. Nothing falls through the grate!
After the bigger pieces were done, I took them off and sliced them up, then tossed them with olive oil and salt and fresh ground pepper. I sprinkled the whole deal with chopped fresh herbs from my garden.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Time - we never have as much as we need. For most of us, it's because we have terrible time management skills. The internet has ruined us. For most people it used to be a luxury to be able to sit and read the newspaper, now we get all pissy if we don't get to spend an hour or two every day dicking around Digg or whatever. I've been reading a lot about how constant access to information is rewiring our brains, and it's scary. I've been implementing some new rules for myself; Don't refresh Facebook. Don't carry your phone around and check it every minute (I leave it in the car, my bag, the other side of the house, I don't give a fig anymore). Close the laptop if you're watching a movie. You don't want to look at Reddit, so don't (it's a time-suck, and it's stupid).
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
My friends found a trivia board game in which you place bets (with poker chips) on whether or not your opponents will answer the question correctly. It is ridiculously fun if you enjoy trivia and not having any faith in your friends.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
How many different ways can one family eat tacos? The answer is infinity. (Infinity Tacos is the name of my Los Lonely Boys/Evanescence cover band.)
I had a small beef brisket from our CSA, and decided to slow cook it for taco filling. Since I don't give a frig about authenticity, I rummaged around in the cabinets and came up with a melange of ingredients to throw in the crock.
I rubbed the roast with Lime Pepper and Kitchen Bouquet, and let it sit while I chopped a head of garlic. I sautee'd the garlic in a few tablespoons of oil, and then quickly seared the meat on all sides. I then transferred the meat to the crock and topped it with a can of roasted green chiles, a couple of quartered tomatoes, a sliced onion, a half a jar of pizza sauce that I had in my fridge and some agave syrup to balance out the acid in the onions and tomatoes (probably about 2T?). Then I set it on low nd came back to it eight or nine hours later. I took the roast out, shredded it by ripping it apart with a fork in each hand, and returned it to the pot, mixing it back with the cooking juices.
The results were tender and flavorful, peppery without being too spicy. I used a jarred tomatillo salsa and smoked shredded cheese to complement the meat.
The reason that I didn't write this up in my traditional recipe format is that I don't intend this as a strict recipe (which it certainly can be), but more of an example of how I take what I have and wing it from there. I know a lot of people don't feel comfortable cooking without a recipe, and I don't blame you! When I was first teaching myself to cook, before I was working in kitchens and learning from more experienced people, I didn't trust myself to experiment. Even now - when dealing with flavors and cooking styles that I am unfamiliar with - I will stick hard and fast to recipes until I get the feel. Eventually I get to the point where I instinctively know what something will ultimately taste like as I'm composing a dish.
Maybe we don't all have this ability, and I'm taking it for granted. Maybe it's kind of like how anyone can be taught to play the guitar, but not just anyone can be Clapton. I'm certainly no Keller (the food world's Clapton), but I'm just as good as half the hacks on Food Network (eff you Bobby Flay) and I think that anyone with a love for interesting food and some core knowledge can throw together an impressive meal any day.
Here is another example: pasta salad. Like Taco Guts (what we refer to taco filling as), the possibilities are endless. Do you have pasta? Good, you're halfway there. I made the following salad for a pot-luck at E's school. I wanted something a little different but not "weird", and something that the parents could enjoy in the sea of mac and cheese and meatballs that everyone always brings to these events.
Chicken Chipotle Pasta Salad
3 cloves garlic, minced
zest + juice of 1 lime
3/4 c mayo
3/4 c sour cream
1 scant tsp chipotle powder
Blend together, set aside.
2 c corn
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 whole chicken - roasted, boned and chopped (can you say "rotisserie", boys and girls? I can, especially in summer.)
1 c chopped fresh cilantro
1 # pasta
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, and then immediately rinse in cold water. Drain off as much water as possible.
Toss pasta with remaining ingredients and dressing. Chill for at least one hour to allow the flavors to blend.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Quick post tonight! I am sleepy as heck and not feeling very wordy, but I made some pretty skewers that I want to share.
Grilled Tuna & Fruit Skewers
the zest and juice of 1 large or 2 small limes
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 c oil (canola, soybean, etc)
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
handful of chopped cilantro
s/p to taste
4 tuna steaks, cubed into 1" pieces
1 bell pepper, 1 small red onion, also cut into 1" pieces
pineapple chunks, fresh work best but canned is ok too. Frozen may fall apart!
strawberries, tops removed
Marinate the tuna chunks for at least 1 hour. Toss the fruit and onions and peppers with a little bit of oil. Thread all ingredients on to skewers. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side.
There are two ways to keep the food from sticking on to the grill - first, get your grill super super hot. The hotter the grate, the faster it will sear the food. You can also cover the grill grate with a layer of heavy aluminum foil, and spray that with pan spray.
Serve with some kind of rice.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
I started this post about three weeks ago, before my old laptop ate itself. Let's go back in time, shall we?
Yesterday we hit the first barbeque of the season after a relaxing weekend of working on the yard and hanging around the house. When you tell me, "bring whatever" I generally kick into overdrive. I brought three things to this particular shindig: Bacon Spinach Deviled Eggs, Balsamic Strawberry Rhubarb Tart, and an Asian-style slaw. I neglected to get photos of the eggs and the tart. Sorry. Trust me when I tell you that they were very pretty.
The slaw idea came from having a lot of leftover Thai Basil and bean sprouts after I made pho the other day. I shredded my cabbage by hand, but I've had a lot of practice and I have a really big, sharp knife. You could use a food processor or even buy the pre-shredded bags of slaw mix, I am not here to judge.
1 small head of cabbage, shredded
4-5 carrots, shredded
1 lb mung bean sprouts
1 c chopped Thai Basil
1/2 c sesame seeds: black ones look pretty but regular ones are just as good!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
It is pronounced "FUH" like "funk" and not "fo" like "fo sho", and that is why the title of this post works and I am funny.
Pho is Vietnamese beef and rice noodle soup, typically sold as street food. You start with the noodles and some raw beef, pour boiling stock over them to heat up the noodles and cook the beef, and then choose from a variety of fresh herbs and greens to garnish.
The stock is the first "layer" of flavor in your dish. I've had pho at a few different restaurants, and found the broth to be pretty similar. From what I could tell, at a taste, it was beef broth, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mirin and sugar. When I was looking around online at different recipes to get the basic gist of what I would need to make my own I discovered that pho is a dish with many regional variations - in some areas they use cardamom and/or fennel, in some the broth is bitter from charred onion, in some the broth is sweeter. (For this meal I decided to go with a pretty basic recipe, to see what the family thought. )
The next layer of flavor comes from the garnishes. This is the fun part.
Greens include but are not limited to: Thai Basil, cilantro, fresh mung bean sprouts, scallions, any kind of leafy green (watercress, baby spinach), and culantro. Limes or lemon can be squeezed into your bowl, and you can basically go crazy on the sauces. I love going into the local Asian market and buying sauces and condiments, even if I don't know what they are. Here's some examples from my pantry:
L-R: Plum Sauce is kind of like duck sauce but tangy-er, Chili Garlic "Rooster" Sauce is hot with a nice rounded garlic flavor. Sweet Soy is what it sounds like; it's a thick, almost molasses-like syrup. It's kind of weird on it's own, but excellent when paired with Sweet Chili sauce. The two of those drizzled over any fried Asian appetizer like won tons or spring rolls or Crab rangoons = OMG SO GOOD. The last sauce is Sirracha. Sirracha fans will put that sh*t on everything. Pizza, burgers, scrambled eggs, you name it. It's spicy, like burn your lips spicy, but it's got a great kind of fresh flavor all it's own.
You can switch up/ add on to the protein, as well! I've had pho with brisket and meatballs, and I've seen tripe, tendon, and different organ meat on the menu. As you can see, tonight we added hard boiled eggs. I just found out that my local market has fresh quail eggs - so excited - they're going in next time.
Okay so the point is that there is a lot of choices here, don't get confused. Try whatever you like! As long as you have a nice rich broth, you can't go wrong.
Traditionally, the broth is simmered for hours and hours and starts with an oxtail. I was not up for an all day project, and Stop & Shop was fresh out of oxtail. You can definitely fake it if you start with a good quality beef stock.
I also want to add that you really need access to an Asian market or bodega for this one. Regular grocery stores might have some of this stuff, but it's going to be that super overpriced 'Taste Of Thai' nonsense.
White Girl Pho
1/2 gallon beef stock
1" piece of fresh ginger, smashed
1/4 small onion
1 tsp fish sauce
1 T mirin
1/2 tsp Five Spice powder, or more to taste
Place all of the above ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and then lower hear and simmer for as long as it takes you to prep all of the other ingredients. (minimum 30 minutes)
Cook one package "rice sticks" according to directions. Rice sticks are those flat, clear noodles that are also used in Pad Thai. Remove from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water. This will stop the noodles from cooking and keep them from sticking together in a big sad clump.
Prep all of your vegetables and herbs. I don't bother chopping the herbs like basil and such, we tear them with our hands, straight into our individual bowls.
Now assemble; noodles, then raw beef, then ladle the broth in. Garnish to taste, then enjoy!
This was devoured by the whole family, by the way. It's nice because we all had slightly different dinners, to our own taste. Kind of like build-your-own-taco night.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
If you do not own a crock pot, you are wrong and go get one. Seriously, I bet you even know someone who has one that they never use and will give it to you. They are fools, those people. They know not the amazing tool that they have at their disposal.
Before I left the house, yesterday morning, I rubbed a whole roaster chicken down with olive oil and seasoned salt.* I set my crock pot on high/4 hours. Line the bottom of the crock with crinkled aluminum foil.
Not only does the foil keep the chicken away from it's own drippings (stew is nice but not what you want, here), for some scientific reason that I have not given much thought to it gives it more of a crispy skin than when there's no foil. (Same holds true for roasting potatoes in there.)
Pour about a half cup of water in the bottom of the pot, this will keep the meat nice and moist while it's cooking. Place the chicken on the foil, close the lid.
That's basically it, walk away. Come back in a few hours and your chicken is ready to go.
Along with the chicken I made a quickie pasta saute'.
Wicked Easy Weeknight Pasta
1# large pasta shape
12 oz can of diced tomato, or if you can find them, canned cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion, diced
minced garlic to taste, I seriously used a whole head
a handful (a cup or so) of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 c white wine
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
s/p to taste
Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Get a large saute' pan or wok really really hot - high heat for a minute or two until it just starts to smoke. (This is all in the heat and timing. Saute' takes practice, but this is an easy one.) Add olive oil and immediately add onion and garlic. Stir (or wrist flip if you're fancy) until the onion is translucent. You want to keep the onion & garlic moving around as much as possible - if the garlic browns too much it will turn bitter. Add the wine. If your pan is hot enough, the alcohol will burn off almost immediately and the wine will reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, juice and all. Stir. You'll notice after about a minute that the sauce will have thickened, the goal is to reduce the sauce by about 1/3. Add vinegar, stir, then add the pasta. Give it a quick toss to coat the pasta and remove from heat. Toss in the basil at the end, season with salt and pepper.
The whole active saute' process takes less than five minutes once your ingredients are chopped and the pasta is cooked.
This is so basic that you could easily add other things at the end - capers and shrimp might be nice, for example - or kalamata olives and feta cheese!
*You can buy seasoned salt already mixed, but be careful because a lot of brands have MSG and silica and weird additives. I like Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Seasonings, but you can easily mix your own. I have a problem, I impulse-buy different spices and seasoning mixes just about every time I'm in the store. It's ridiculous.
Man, Boston's "Theater District" is gross and sketchy! Even though I grew up close to Boston, I had not been to that area before this past Saturday. E and I had tickets to see the touring company of Young Frankenstein; The Musical, and I thought that instead of Yelp-ing the neighborhood we could just "walk around and find something". Great idea in theory.
From what I can tell, the Theater District in the the beginning stages of what is charmingly known as "urban renewal". They recently renovated the Opera House (it is stunning, that's where we saw the play), The Paramount just reopened thanks to Emerson College, and tucked in between the numerous Dunkin' Donuts, the wig shop, and the Army-Navy store are a handful of four star Italian restaurants. After a quick lap around the block, we landed at Bina Osteria.
The weather was beautiful that day, so we chose to sit outside. The view is only a T stop and some Emerson dorms, but the fresh air was nice. I started with the Duck Confit, and was surprised when I discovered that it was duck breast (as opposed to legs, which is what is usually used for confit), and that it was served cold. I was not disappointed; it was light and flavorful and perfect for the warm evening. I also ordered their Glass Sipper cocktail - gin, cucumber, basil and lemon. Lovely. (...and HUGE, easily a double)
E started with the Mussels in Marinara. Soft and wonderful, light sauce. Near perfect.
Due to a kitchen problem, our entree's took a little too long; since we had to be at the theater by a certain time, we ended up wolfing our food down. No regrets! E loved her Squid Ink Spaghetti with Shellfish and Fresh Tomato. I had the Loin of lamb in a house-made chestnut tortilla, with portobella mushrooms and Fontina cheese. The staff couldn't be nicer, and the manager comped our drinks to make up for the wait (unnecessary, the entree's still arrived faster than any other full house on a weekend). I would absolutely eat there again, maybe the next time we see a show at the Opera House. Perhaps we'll have time for dessert.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Nostalgia kicked in the door again today, and reminded me about Sloppy Joes. How could I forget? Just as all-American as the hamburger and twice as hard to eat in public. Notice that you never see Sloppy Joes on restaurant menus? It's because they are more unattractive to watch someone eat than buffalo wings - and watching someone eat buffalo wings can be a friendship killer.
But if you are eating them in the privacy of your own home, who's going to judge? Your kids? Your cats? The Sex & The City re-runs that you watch while you eat so that you don't feel lonely? None of them will judge. They all got problems, too.
Sloppy Joes, also known as "Manwiches" usually come out of a can. You buy a hunk of ground beef, open a can of sauce, add sauce to beef and slap it on a burger bun. The sauce not only has high fructose corn syrup and various dehydrated vegetables (gross), but it is crazy high in sodium. Sure it's easy, but so is my recipe. It doesn't take that much longer to cook these from scratch - I had dinner ready in about a half hour and that includes throwing together the salad.
I have not had a 'Joe' in many years, so I basically winged this from memory. It doesn't taste just like a Manwich, but it tastes really good! We always used to have them with Ruffles potato chips (also terrible for you), so tonight I served them with our favorite kettle-cooked salt and pepper chips and a basic salad. Everyone loved it, and actually finished their meals. Hooray for......
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, chopped fine
3-6 cloves of garlic to taste, chopped fine
splash of red wine
1# ground beef
16 oz tomato sauce (I like the roasted garlic flavor, but plain is fine too)
2T steak sauce (like A1)
1/2 tsp chili powder (I used chipotle, regular is fine)
1 tsp paprika
1/4 c brown sugar
s/p to taste
Saute' the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and bell pepper in about 2T of oil on high heat for 2-3 minutes. When the vegetables are soft and the mushrooms have released their moisture*, deglaze the pan with the red wine. Cook down the wine (about 1 minute) and then add the ground beef. Brown the ground beef in with the vegetables, frequently chopping it up with a wooden spoon as you go. When the beef is evenly browned, add the chili powder and paprika. Give it a quick stir and then lower the heat to med-low and add in the tomato sauce, steak sauce, and brown sugar. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste.
I served this on toasted bulkie rolls with melted smoked Gouda cheese.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
The highlights so far:
Sky City at the Space Needle in Seattle, WA - This was not my first time at the Space Needle, I had been once before duing the same convention last year. Sure, it's touristy to go to a revolving restaurant but you know what? The food is wonderful, the portions are generous, and the staff is lovely. Highly recommended for a splurge. We started with the Carpaccio and the Prosciutto Wrapped Flagship Cheese, and my entree' was the Seafood Pasta. It was rich, and delicious, and such a large portion that I couldn't finish.
Junior's in Times Square, NYC - Guys, I'm not going to lie to you. I love diner food. I love deli food. Junior's will give me those things, they will give me a huge pile of those things. They give you a selection of complimentary pickles before your meal. My chicken salad was simple, just like I like it. Chicken, mayo, celery. Perfect. I would be remiss not to mention the cheesecake, which is as heavenly as cheesecake gets.
Mercat a la Planxa, Chicago - The ideal review of this place would just be a recording of the gutteral noises that we made while trying the food. High end tapas shared between the six of us, we tried about 20 dishes and I could honestly not pick a favorite. Excellent cocktail menu, as well.
I also updated my flickr stream with some shots of various things including our lovely Easter feast, most of which was provided by Kaliis, all of which was scrumptious. Ogle away.
I will leave you with Food and Wine's recipe for a pitcher of Limoncello Collins, a light and lovely cocktail for the current warm and lovely weather. We drank these with Easter dinner.
- SERVINGS: Makes 8 Drinks
- 16 ounces limoncello
- 12 ounces gin
- 8 ounces fresh lemon juice
- 24 paper thin lemon slices
- 16 ounces chilled club soda
- 8 mint sprigs
- In a pitcher, combine the limoncello, gin and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. Press 3 thin lemon slices against the inside of each of 8 collins glasses. Add ice to the glasses. Stir the limoncello mixture and pour it into the glasses. Stir 2 ounces of club soda into each drink and garnish with a mint sprig.