Friday, October 28, 2011

CSA Week Twenty

Wow, tons of greens this week!  Here is what I got:

-Monster sweet potatoes
-Monster fennel
-Curly endive
-Bok choy

So Wednesday I finally made roasted broccoli, which my mom has been raving about for a year.  It was so good and easy.  You can make it as healthy or unhealthy as you want, but it is really tasty and quick to make.  I used this Alton Brown recipe, and skipped on the cheese and used crushed croutons instead of Panko bread crumbs.  It was good-od-od-od-od-od.  I also made apple chips: FAIL.  They were soggy the next day, so really I just have dehydrated apples (not that exciting).

Last night I made sweet potato tacos, which I hope to share soon.  Really tasty, and a nice change from the old routine.  Tonight I am thinking about a caramelized fennel and onion pizza, but we shall see.

If you are looking for another sweet potato recipe, try this sweet and spicy lentil soup.  You could even substitute the swiss chard for kale.  Or how about this baked spaghetti squash with tomatoes and basil?  I told you I was obsessed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vesta Trattoria and Wine Bar

Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels. 
I went out with friends last Friday night to this adorable little place called Vesta in Astoria, Queens.  It was such a fun night.  Vesta is pretty cozy, with enough space to fit about thirty people, give or take, and a little bar in the corner that can seat about ten more.  Besides the Italian food being really yummy and the perfect rustic feel, the wait staff was so friendly and chill.  I can't wait to go back and try them for brunch, their menu sounds amazing.  And did I mention they have a Sweet Baby Jesus Cake?  For real.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spaghetti (Squash) and Marinara

I am kind of obsessed with spaghetti squash.  I mean what is more magical than a squash that literally has spaghetti-like strands when you scrape out its roasted flesh?  Well I am sure there a few things, like unicorns, rainbows, and Jersey Shore.  Here is a really simple way to get introduced to this squash.  Cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the squash on a baking sheet, cut-side down, and roast in a 400 degree F oven for about 45 minutes to an hour until tender.  This is when the fun begins, scrape out the squash, creating strands (use an oven mitt to hold the squash in place while doing this).  I like to top mine off with marinara, basil, toasted garlic slivers, and parmesan cheese, and homemade croutons.  For a whole array of recipes, check out Martha's lineup.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Best Thing I Had In My Mouth - Eataly's Golden Raisin & Caraway Seed Bread

Last week I met up with a friend for a drink at Eataly, and then wound up shopping for some ingredients for dinner.  I got butternut squash and amaretto ravioli, Mario Batali cherry tomato marinara (really fresh and bright tasting), and this golden raisin with caraway seeds bread.  All the food was great, but the bread was soooo good.  I loved the sweetness of the golden raisins with the licorice flavor of the caraway seeds.  It was great toasted a few days later too.  Definitely the best thing I had in my mouth all week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CSA Week Nineteen

Here is what I got yesterday in my CSA:

-Bosc Pears

So I have big apple plans this weekend.  I am making caramel apples and an apple crisp or pie.  I have a ton of apples to use from my trip to the Hudson Valley.

I am so tempted to roast vegetables again and just put them on top of some farro or quinoa, but maybe I could get more creative.  We shall see.

Don't these Crostinis with Kale and Parmesan look tasty as an appetizer?  Or how about this carrot salad?

Can I just say I am in love with spaghetti squash?  You can literally eat it like spaghetti and not feel bad about all the carbs.  Genius.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cider and Cheese Pairings

Cidre Bouche Brut Organic, Etienne Dupont and Le Chatelain Camembert.  Photos taken from the Astor Wines and Murray's Cheese
This past August my friends and I took a class at Murray's Cheese called Power Trio: Beer, Cider, and Cheese.  I am finally getting around to posting about it (after shuffling through a stack of papers I remembered I took this class), and I thought there really isn't a better time to have cider than now that it is finally feeling like fall around here.  So I am just going to highlight my three favorite pairings.  You can get the ciders at Astor Wines and the cheese at Murray's Cheese, but I am sure there are other places you can find both.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Best Thing I Had In My Mouth - El Paso Veggie Burrito

This past weekend I stopped by one of my favorite Mexican joints called El Paso Taqueria.  I love going to the El Paso Taqueria location on 104th and Lexington for lunch or dinner, but for a while there has been a smaller place called El Paso Deli Restaurant for take-out and delivery right across the street (which is actually their original location for the restaurant).  Kind of confusing, I know.  I like to go to the taqueria for a real sit-down feel, but the deli is great for a grab and go, or just a casual, cheaper experience.  I got the vegetariano burrito and fried-to-order chips and salsa.  Muy bueno!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hudson Valley Mini Food Guide

Last weekend, I left NYC and took a drive up to the Hudson Valley.  It was such a dreamy, relaxing trip.   I actually couldn't believe how long it has taken me to commit to renting a car and exploring the area.  I thought I'd  share some food-related gems we found along the way.  Beware - this is a long post, but with a lot of pictures!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Best Thing I Had In My Mouth - Concord Grapes

Last week I made it down to the Greenmarket for some concord grapes.  These beauties are in season right now, and I love them soooo much.  They are the types of grapes you see in old Baroque paintings.  They are a beautiful purply-blue color with a thin bloom that rubs off.  You don't find them in a lot of grocery stores, because they have large seeds.  They don't bother me too much though, because I love their flavor and jelly-ish texture.  I had fun buying a basket, sitting in the park, and spitting the seeds.  They looked quite picturesque in their wooden baskets with bees buzzing around them at the Stone Arch Farm's booth.  You should definitely stop by your farmers market and give them a try.

CSA Week Seventeen

This has been a busy week, so sorry for the late post, but here is what I got last week in my CSA:


As soon as I saw potatoes and carrots, I knew I had to roast some vegetables again.  They were so good last time!  Click here to learn how.  We also sautéed some kale, and munched on radishes.

This may sound weird, but I truly love shredded cabbage with lemon juice and salt.  It is great for digestion.  Roasted cabbage with lemon sounds pretty good too, or even homemade sauerkraut in Martha Stewart Living this month (not online yet).

Unfortunately, I won't be able to pick up my CSA this week so their won't be a post.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


While I was visiting my parents in Des Moines over Labor Day weekend, my mom took me to a little place called Flarah's.  Flarah's is famous for their bite-size cheesecakes, but we went for their yummy lunch.  With it's modern style (think Ikea furniture), it's perfect for sitting down for a well-balanced lunch.  They have a great "Pick 2" deal, half a sandwich, salad, or soup combo.  I chose the Vegetarian Delight, and Roasted Apple Salad.  It comes with crisp chips, and an unusual fruit salad.  The fruit salad was both our favorites, we loved that is almost like a fruit slushy, and really a perfect dessert (no need for the cheesecake).  All the food was well-made and tasty.  I left feeling satisfied, and it brought a little brightness to the rainy day.  If you live in the Des Moines area, you should definitely give it a try.

If you are looking for a simple plum dessert, try this Plum Crisp I made last year.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Best Thing In My Mouth - ABC Kitchen Sundae

Last Thursday, I treated myself to a fancy lunch at ABC Kitchen.  I have been dying to go there after I heard about their salted caramel sundae with candied peanuts, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and popcorn.  Like really!?  As an ice cream freak I had to try it, and I glad I did, because it was the best thing I tasted all week.  Toffee popcorn is officially my new topper on ice cream (specifically Garrett's).  I also loved that the chocolate sauce was in the bottom of the bowl, like a swimming pool for my three mounds of salted caramel ice cream.  And yes I shared, so don't judge.