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Livin' The Life 10/25/18

I know….I haven’t been around. I’m working on it! But life is happening and I’m just trying to keep up.

While I work on actually cooking more….here are some recent shots to show what I’ve been up to instead. Fall is my favorite season and I just can’t get enough of the crisp weather, freshly-picked apples, and ALL of the pumpkins and squash. Can we also enjoy this while drinking our obligatory cup of PSL? Yes, please.

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My family came to visit at the end of August and we FINALLY got to see The Lion King musical on Broadway!

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I know that I talked about Burger & Lobster in my last LTL update, but I went yet again! And I already have plans to visit in November. Judge not.

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This is my 3rd year attending the Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival. It’s outdoors and a pre-recorded opera is shown onscreen as the sun sets. Did I mention that it’s also free? It’s a great way to enjoy some of the final summer nights, as it happens usually the week before the Labor Day holiday. I will mention that the past 2 years, it was pretty chilly by the time the opera was finished, but this year it was hot and humid the.entire.time. Gross. But the opera was amazing!

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Trader Joe’s is my new favorite grocery store. I recently found out they sold a convenient meat and cheese platter, which basically means I’m eating meat and cheese for the next 2 days. Thanksbye.

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We finally went apple picking! I haven’t been in years but this year I reserved a rental car back in May (!!!) so that I would have absolutely no excuse not to do this. It was so much fun! I guess I should start planning next year’s trip now?

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I’ve been taking Sunset Yoga classes in the Antique Bakery event space in Hoboken. Two local yogis, Meghan Kramer and James Calleo, started this monthly event this summer. I’ve been to a few so far and they are so much fun. Imagine a hundred-person yoga class in a large beautiful room, overlooking the NYC skyline, and with the sunset on the horizon. Then, after you finish the class, there are usually some alcoholic treats to enjoy.

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Post-yoga NYC skyline pic

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I received one of the best birthday presents ever - an Instant Pot! I love this so much. I need to experiment more, but this is my inaugural attempt at cooking with it. I made Rosemary Balsamic Pork Loins. No I didn’t take pics, but this was so delicious that I would definitely make it again!

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We saw Richard Bona at his club, Club Bonafide. The show was fantastic!

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All about that meat and cheese plate. This is using the meat from TJ’s. We actually ran out of the cheese that came with the package. Thankfully I hoard cheese, so a crisis was averted.

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Flying out of JFK for a long weekend trip to Florida! The NYC skyline is so pretty.

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Lunch in Tampa at The Rusty Pelican. Loved their decor and their food.

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My friend’s balcony in Tampa. Yessssss!

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Got our culture on at the Salvador Dali Museum in Tampa. This was my favorite painting.

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There was also a Clyde Butcher exhibit at the Dali museum. This shot looks like it’s moving.

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Oh hey, melting clock!

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I’ve been having a moment with salads. I want to eat ALL the salads!

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Sunday morning walks on the beach.

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Bathroom pic at The Oxford Exchange. I’m obsessed with it!

Of course I didn’t see that open cabinet door until just now…

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Wall art in the hall leading to the bathroom. I could have stood here for a while.

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Lunch views at The Oxford Exchange.

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Not the best picture, but the real reason we went to Tampa was to see our Steelers dominate over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

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Checked out the new Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken spot in Hell’s Kitchen. Yummy!

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This year’s Bacon & Beer Classic was hot hot hot! It was held at the US National Tennis Center and yes, there was a lot of bacon and a lot of beer.

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Alert! Trader Joe’s is filled with pumpkin items. Get ‘em while you can!

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I revisited my Smoky Shrimp & Grits recipe. I forgot how good this is.

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Last week we saw Robert Glasper during his residency at Blue Note in NYC. He still has a few shows left on the schedule if you’re interested! The night we went, he was playing with Nicholas Payton and Christian McBride.

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I’m definitely interested in this halo halo. Nom! Mama Fina’s is the Filipino truth!

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I caught up with my dear friend Katie a few weeks ago and we had dinner at Pappardella. I’ll admit that we took a bunch of selfies before this one and I may not have looked my finest. How do you take a selfie with closed eyes when you’re the one snapping the picture…?

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Finally! Some IC Light on the East Coast! Watched the Steelers play at The Ainsworth in the East Village, which is the new home of the Steelers Nation NYC fan club.

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BRIC’s 2019 Jazz Fest featured Terence Blanchard, featuring the E-Collective. Love love love!

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Apple Pie Bread

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It’s finally FALL! Ok, it’s not actually Fall. That will officially happen in about a week. But that didn’t stop me from going apple-picking last weekend! I was definitely living my best pumpkin-spice-latte-life by going on a hayride, strolling through the apple trees, and eating apple cider donuts. Also, lets not forget the apple cider itself. Very important.

So now, I am sitting back at home with a 10lb bag of apples…

Time to make some apple pie bread! This bread turned out to be a relatively dense loaf. It’s definitely not cake-like, but I really enjoyed the addition of the pecans and the cranberries. Those ingredients always make me wish for cool and overcast days where I can curl up with a cup of coffee (or a hot toddy!) and a blanket.

This bread has a slightly longer ingredient list than I typically like, but the recipe was really speaking to me so I went for it anyhow. I’m definitely glad I did, as it provided a very tasty treat at the end of a long day. You won’t regret trying out this recipe if you venture to make it for yourself.

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Apple Pie Bread
makes 1 loaf

Print Recipe


For the Batter:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups shredded, peeled apple (about 4 medium or 2 large) (see note below)

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Prepare the bread:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a loaf pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2) Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds, or until fluffy.

3) Pour in the sugars and mix well.

4) Add in the buttermilk and baking powder. Mix well.

5) Add in the eggs and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.

6) Separately, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Whisk to combine.

7) Slowly fold in the flour mixture until just incorporated.

8) Fold in the apples, pecans, and cranberries.

9) Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly.


Prepare the Streusel Topping:

10) In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, and pumpkin pie spice.

11) Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until the topping resembles coarse crumbs.

12) Stir in the pecans.

13) Sprinkles the Streusel Topping over the batter, gently pressing the topping into the batter.

14) Bake the bread for 55-60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

15) Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, still in the pan. Remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool completely.


Note - If your apples generate a lot of liquid, I would recommend squeezing them gently before adding them to the batter. Otherwise, there might be too much liquid in the batter.


— recipe very slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction

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Slow Cooker Beef Gyros

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I'M BACK!!!!

Thank the ever-loving heavens.  I can't even begin to tell you how many flight woes I encountered....But once I actually made it to the correct countries, the trips were amazing!  I definitely need to make sure I head back to Europe at least once a year.  I've said it before but I'm really going to make this happen going forward.  It's so refreshing to visit other cultures and hear about their history.  While I was in Amsterdam I also did a food tour, courtesy of a recommendation from my friend.  It was a very cool experience to get to eat a lot of the local food and also hear the history behind it.

This Slow Cooker Beef Gyro dish is not Dutch.  That's a fact.  But it is quite delicious.  (Can we talk about how I'm using the word "quite" very frequently these days? I'm not sure where this is coming from and whether or not I like it...).  Anyhow, all that matters is that this Beef Gyros dish is super tasty and satisfying.  I will be making this again this fall since I'm still kinda busy and also doing a little bit of traveling.  I'm once again having a moment with slow cooker meals, so I'm going with it.

Don't hate me for saying this, but I'm so so excited for Fall!  I know Summer is great and all, but PSL's....I can say no more.  Let's see if we can usher the new season in with this slow cooker meal.  And if you just don't like Fall, I bet you will still like this meal, so get at it as soon as you can!

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Slow Cooker Beef Gyros
makes 4-6 servings

Print Recipe

For the Gyros:

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat or chuck roast (cut into bite size pieces or strips)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • warmed pita folds
  • sliced tomatoes and lettuce, for serving

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup diced cucumber, seeded and shredded
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To make the beef:

1) In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

2) Add the beef to the slow cooker.  Pour the seasoned olive oil mixture on top.  Toss to coat the meat in the mixture and cover with the sliced onions.

3) Cover and cook on Low for 6-10 hours, or until the beef is very tender.

4) Add salt and pepper to taste.


To make the Tzatziki sauce:

5) In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill, salt, and garlic.  Stir together until the ingredients are incorporated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


To assemble the gyros:

6) Serve the beef in folds of warmed pita.  Add tomatoes, onions, and lettuce, if desired.  Drizzle the Tzatziki sauce of the top of everything and serve immediately.


--recipe from 365 Days of Slow Cooking

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Livin' The Life 8/5/18

Guys - I'm about to head out on an EPIC trip to Dublin and Amsterdam in a few days.  I'm frantically packing and trying to get everything in order, but I wanted to leave you at least with SOMETHING to look at until my return.  So here we go...

Visited Burger and Lobster for the first time for a girls night out..and it will not be my last.  Hallelujah!

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RIP Anthony Bourdain

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Really into "bowl" meals now.  And hummus.  Always hummus.

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Went to a few vineyards in Long Island and ended up at Coffee Pot Cellars, where they have a dinosaur (aka Winasaur) made out of wine corks!

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Gorgeous day to be sipping wine outside at a vineyard.

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Back in Brooklyn and checking out the street art in Bushwick

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Saw The Boys in the Band earlier this summer.  This play is amazing!  They're in their final week so RUN to see it!

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Street art

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Bridge + East River + new construction

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Finaly got to ride on Jane's Carousel!

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Found a hidden gem in West Wine Bar in Greenpoint.  They served popcorn with our wine, which is basically what I have for dinner, soooo they already know me!

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Quick work trip to Boston last month

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Serving some owl arm candy

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Can we board yet?

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Stunning purple sunset views

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R + R = NOW group playing at the Prospect Park bandshell

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Really cool light installation in Prospect Park

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Love is Love is Love

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Pirates vs Mets game

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Stunning view from Riverside Park

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Coney Island boardwalk

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Seriously.  How can I NOT get a scoop of gelato?

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Ship at Battery Park

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MOOD.

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Met up at The Smith with on of my mentors, who was in town for a few days

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The kale salad there was nothing short of amazing.

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Hazy Hoboken morning

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Cute spring decorations on Vourt Street in Hoboken

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Newly obsessed with Jack's Wife Freda and their menu.

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Haven't been to Smorgasburg in years!  Broke the streak and ended up with this fantastic Cochon de Lait po' boy.

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You knew this would happen.  If I'm going to Smorgasburg, I'm hitting up my favorite donut place of life, Dough.

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Me & bae at a fabulous Hudson Table cooking class in Hoboken.

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Anthony David's: A Review

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Rainy Saturday evenings call for comforting Italian food.  In Hoboken I have my share of Italian restaurants to choose from.  In fact, I live exactly across the street from one.  However, I instead chose to head over to Anthony David's which was a few blocks away.  I had been here before a few months ago for a Sunday brunch, so I wasn't completely unfamiliar with the restaurant, but I had never had dinner here and was definitely curious.

Despite the crappy weather outside, the inside of Anthony David's was nice and dry and cozy.  Tables of families and friends dotted the interior.  There was also a bar counter where small groups could gather.  In addition, there is a larger dining room in the back.

We settled in and were greeted immediately by a friendly server.  Even though Anthony David's is a BYOB spot, they recently started to stock Unionville Vineyard wines by the bottle!  We reviewed the list of available wines and decided to go with a bottle of the Cabernet Sauvignon to pair with the meal.

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While we waited for the wine, we perused Anthony David's latest menu. Yum!

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We were pleasantly surprised to see that Anthony David's had ditched the traditional bread and olive oil that's served at the beginning of a meal.  They provided us with a spread that appeared to be made of beans and garlic, paired with slices of baguette. This was a delicious treat and we dove in.

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We started out the meal with some appetizers!

Charred Octopus - The octopus had a great flavor and was very meaty.  It was layered over a large portion of cannellini beans in a tomato sauce, which made this a hearty appetizer.  We definitely enjoyed this one.

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Burrata - I would never have thought to pair Burrata with salsa verde, but it was an ingenious idea.  This Burrata was served over a thick slice of bread and drizzled with olive oil and topped with salt and pepper.  Simple, clean, and tasty.

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Next up came the entrees!

Grass Fed Ribeye - This ribeye surrounded by market greens, roasted garlic, and pecorino & rosemary potatoes.  The meat was tender and flavorful.  The greens had a strong taste of garlic, so if you love garlic then this might be the dish for you!  The rosemary potatoes were fragrant and perfectly seasoned.

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Lobster Gnocchi - I really enjoyed the gnocchi and lobster paired together.  I also love corn in the summertime, so that was a welcome addition to this dish.  I think there might have been a few too many mushrooms here, but if you love mushrooms then this is the pasta entree for you!

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On to dessert!

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We went with donuts and a brownie for this portion of the dinner and we were not disappointed.

Chocolate Brownie - This was our favorite dessert.  The brownie was phenomenal.  It was chocolatey and just dense enough.  The pistachio gelato was a really nice addition on top of the brownie.  If you've never had pistachio gelato before, I recommend that you go out and find it!

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Warm Donuts - We were served four donuts - two were covered in a Nutella chocolate sauce, while the other two were covered in a bourbon glaze.  These donuts reminded me of zeppoles, which is basically a deep-fried dough ball.  I liked the contrast of the sauces on top of the donuts.  The donuts were pillow-y on the inside, but structured enough on the outside to hold up to the sauces.  These were a really tasty and a nice (and filling!) end to the meal.

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*Disclaimer - I was provided with the dinner in exchange for my opinion.  All opinions above are my own.

Cucumber & Chickpea Salad with Dill

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I really need to pick up my salad game on this blog.  It's really poor, if I want to be nice to myself.

I do make salads quite a bit in real life.  By "in real life", I mean that I don't set up photo shoots to take photos for this blog.  These are usually salads which I've already made several times before, or they're something that I've thrown together without an actual recipe to give guidance.  I've really become the queen of "clean out the fridge/pantry" salads.

But summer is now here!  It really did arrive, after rudely tempting us for so many weeks.  This summer is also quite brutal when it comes to the heat.  I'm not complaining because I'm still scarred from week after week of snow, sleet, and cold fronts earlier this year, but it's really time to ditch any sort of cooking on the stove or in an oven so we can focus on a lighter and healthier meal.

Something else I'm loving is chickpeas.  It's been a mild obsession for the past several weeks.  I've been making hummus like it's my job, and I've also been putting the chickpeas into quite a few salad recipes.  This particular Cucumber and Chickpea Salad recipe caught my eye because it also included cucumber and dill, as well as a nice and light dressing to complement everything.  I just couldn't resist!  So here we go...


Cucumber & Chickpea Salad with Dill
makes 4-6 servings

Print Recipe

  • 3 Persian cucumbers (or baby cucumbers), sliced 1/4-inch thick and quartered
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

1) In a large bowl, fold together the cucumber, red onion, beans, and dill.

2) In another bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to incorporate.

3) Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.  Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator before serving.

--recipe slightly adapted from Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen

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Salmon with Thai Curry Peanut Sauce

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Let me be the first to say....this doesn't look to be the most appetizing dish.  I mean, I know.  But I still can't help but share it because it's actually so so delicious!  I first saw this dish on Jessica from How Sweet Eats' instagram.  It was a fleeting image in her Instagram story but I immediately screenshot the image and knew I was going to make this as-soon-as-I-got-home.  That didn't really happen, but all that matters is that I made it finally!

A few things about this -

- Jessica served her salmon over coconut rice, and while it looked amazing, I didn't have any time to make the coconut rice.  I can totally see myself making it in the future though.

- We did however make this with a hefty serving of delicious roasted Brussels sprouts on the side, but those did not make it through the photographic edit process...

- While I love peanut butter, I rarely keep peanuts around the house.  I do however keep almonds, so I crushed and sprinkled them on top of the salmon and the sauce.  I also added green onions since I detest cilantro, which is what Jessica called for in the original recipe.

- Jessica recommends broiling the salmon, but *ahem* the broiler on my oven isn't working, so I've adapted this to be a baked salmon recipe.

- THIS SAUCE! I die. If you're a fan of curry AND if you're a fan of creamy sauces, then this will snatch your life.  Be prepared!  I wrote a note below, but this recipe definitely makes more sauce than you need.  You know what that means! Everything else I'm making for the next week is going to be drenched in this.  And when I'm done with that, I'm basically going to have to make more.  Because I just can't go on with out this anymore.  Dramatic?  Maybe.  Delicious?  Definitely.
 

Salmon with Thai Curry Peanut Sauce
makes 4 servings

Print Recipe

  • 1 (2 pound) salmon filet
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut, plus extra for garnish
  • almonds (or peanuts), optional for garnish
  • green onions, sliced, optional for garnish
  • cooking spray

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with a thin layer of cooking spray.  Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet.

2) In a small bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.  Rub the mixture all over the salmon.

3) Place the salmon in the oven and bake for ~20 minutes, or until just opaque and flaky.

4) While the salmon is cooking, make the sauce - Heat a saucepan over medium heat.  Pour in the olive oil until heated through.  Add in the garlic, stirring for 30 seconds.

5) Pour in the curry paste and stir for a minute or two, until incorporated.  Pour in the brown sugar, peanut butter, coconut milk, and sesame oil.  Use a whisk to stir everything together.

6) Bring the mixture to a simmer and make sure all ingredients are incorporated.  Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.

7) Serve the salmon by itself or over rice, if desired.  Pour the curry sauce on top.  Sprinkle with coconut, almonds, and green onions as a garnish, if desired.

* The Thai peanut sauce will make more than enough for this salmon dish.  I recommend saving the rest of the sauce to top other dishes.  I'm personally planning on drizzling this over some meatballs for lunch tomorrow!

--recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats

Pork Dragon Noodles

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I may or may not have a current obsession with Asian-inspired dishes.  I blame Trader Joe's Chicken Chow Mein.  It's a super quick and tasty dish that I've been making and taking to work for lunches.  I add my own spices because I can't leave a packaged and preserved dish alone.  FYI - you should most definitely amp up your packaged dishes with additional spices.  No regrets.

At any rate, I've been trying to beef up my workout game over the past few weeks and so the timing of this new carb-loving phase in life is quite appreciated.  My favorite noodles are vermicelli, but I also really love ramen noodles.  I've definitely indulged in a few (aka several) bowls of ramen noodles over the course of high school, college, graduate school, and at various other points in my life.  I always have a stash of Cup o' Noodles with me, or some other similar version of the same thing.  I mean, if you haven't tried Cup o' Noodles yet, how are you even getting through life right now?

Here, we're elevating our packaged ramen noodles.  We're discarding the fake seasonings and tossing in our own, along with a protein to help create a balanced meal.  This dish is nothing short of amazing.  The only issue I had was that I felt it only made 2 servings.  This might be a personal gluttonous issues though....Ever since making this, I'm now obsessed with eating all the noodles in sight!

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Pork Dragon Noodles
makes 2 generous servings or 4 smaller servings

Print Recipe

Dragon Sauce -

  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

Pork and Noodles -

  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 6 oz ramen noodles
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, crumbled
  • olive oil, optional (see note in instructions)

1) In a bowl, whisk together the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic.  Set aside.

2) Add the ground pork to a large sauce pan and saute over medium heat until fully browned.  (Note - I didn't need to add any olive oil to the pan to saute the pork, but if your pork is lean, then you may need a drizzle to keep it from sticking to the pan.  If you have quite a bit of oil after browning the meat, drain the excess oil and )

3) Once the meat is browned, pour the sauce into the pan.  Add in the crumbled almonds.  Allow the pork and nuts to simmer together for ~5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half.

4) Meanwhile, boil a pot of water for the ramen noodles.  Once the water is boiling, add in the noodles and cook according to the package directions.  Once done, drain the noodles.

5) Add the noodles to the saucepan and toss everything until combined.  Sprinkle the sliced green onions on top and serve right away.

--recipe from Budget Bytes

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Livin' The Life 5/26/18

It's Memorial Day Weekend!  Finally, a 3-day weekend to relax!

Here's what I've been up to the past few months...

A really cool happy hour from 2Beans in NYC - a fruit and cheese platter and a glass of wine for less than $20!

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A beautiful rose

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Went to the Blue Note to check out Bobby McFerrin

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AMAZING show!!!

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Glorious spring sunrise!

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Mussels at Flex Mussels....on point.

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And do NOT get me started on their spectacular donuts.  We got Peanut Butter & Jelly, Chocolate, Fluffernutter, and Salted Caramel.  These are life-changing.  That is all.

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Loving the brick, teal color, and chandeliers at Sorellina.

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Massive paella at Cuba

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Enjoying some jazz at BFlat

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Met Jessica Merchant from How Sweet Eats!  She held a workshop at Word Bookstore in Williamsburg and we drank wine while making a sea salt hairspray and lip scrubs from her latest cookbook.  Yes, from a cookbook!  Don't mind my awkward stance below.  She's so tiny and I was trying to do a bit of a squat...Nailed it!

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As I was leaving, I accidentally (on purpose) ran into Peter Pan Donuts.  I may have purchased a few donuts to go.

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The fam came to visit and we went to The Ainsworth for dinner.  I can't even explain how amazing these brussels sprouts taste!

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My mom decided to have a mimosa at brunch...

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Drove into the city to catch Nicholas Payton at Smoke.  He was fantastic!

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Brunch time = chicken + waffles time at Sweetchick

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Post-brunch stroll through Brooklyn Botanic Gardens while the cherry blossoms were poppin'.

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Birthday cocktails at Boudoir

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Road trip up to Hudson Valley's Palaia Winery.

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Beautiful views at Benmarl Winery.

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Took a tour of the Benmarl wine vault.  So many dusty bottles!

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When college friends come to town, you brunch at L'Amico.

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Music. Is. Love.

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I'm kinda sorta getting back into runninng.  Foggy early morning views of the NYC skyline.

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I honestly can't get enough of shrimp and grits lately.  Picked this up at Peaches.

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Speakeasy above a Five Guys restaurant in NYC.

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Last week I did a yoga class at the Departed Soles brewery in Jersey City.  Now I'm obsessed....

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Dinner with a dear friend at Cucharamama

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But seriously...these empanadas!

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My most favorite donut in NYC.  Hands down.

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I love walking into Goorin Brothers.

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Zucchini Rice

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I think we're doing summer now.  Like, I don't know if we're going to have a spring?  Maybe next week.  That's how these weather patterns have been playing me recently.  But, you know, we can roll with this.  Don't ever let me complain about the heat again, ok?  After this past winter I must learn to appreciate the warmer weather even more than I used to.

In celebration of our latest wave of "sprummer" (get it - spring and summer?) let's pull on a dress - or shorts, if you like - and make sure that we have some zucchini rice.  Zucchini season is in full swing so we need to take advantage.  Get thee to your local markets immediately.  Once you're back, we can discuss this rice situation.

We are mixing zucchini for our health and cheese because we only live once.  And let me tell you that this is delicious.  I decided to use brown rice because I had some in my pantry, but you can do you and use whatever type of rice you have.  Live your best life!
 

Zucchini Rice
makes 4-6 servings

Print Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth*
  • 1 1/2 cups water*
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 - 2 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella would work well)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1) Over medium high heat, melt the butter in a large saucepan.

2) Add in the garlic and stir.  Allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes in the pan.

3) Pour in the chicken broth and water, then add the rice.  Bring the rice to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the rice is cooked through.  This can take about 12 - 15 minutes.

4) Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the shredded zucchini and cheese.

5) Season the rice with salt and pepper, to taste.  Cover the saucepan and allow the rice to stand for 3 minutes, so the cheese can melt.  Serve immediately.

*Note - you can leave out the water and use only broth if you like.  Similarly, you can substitute water only, if you don't want to use broth.

-- recipe adapted from Damn Delicious

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