Livin' The Life 3/21/18

Hey hey!  I'm back again with more photos for ya.  I actually just got back from another successful trip to New Orleans! I considered doing an updated post to my 2013 NOLA post, but I'm not sure yet.  So many post ideas and so little time!

While i think about this, here's my photo dump from the past month.  Enjoy!


The walk home from work the other day - The Helmsley Building all lit up in blue and green!


It wasn't Mardi Gras, but I still quite enjoyed a Mardi Gras Bock.


The beer fridges at Beer Culture are out of this world!


I haven't had these curry fries in a minute.  I didn't have the patience to make the sauce to go along with it, but these will do juuust fine, thank you.


My current favorite red table wine


I also remade this kale salad and I really prefer this type of kale vs the kind I used in my actual blog post.  This type of kale is just crunchier and sturdier, if that makes sense.  It can handle the dressing a lot better.  Anyhow, the point is that I must remember to update that post and the pics.


Went to see Rachelle Ferrell at the Blue Note for Valentine's Day.  It was magical!


Hanging out with the snow at Brookfield Place in NYC before a cooking class


Fish soup! My cooking class team didn't make this, but the arrangement of the bowls really pleased me.


Pizza for brunch at BIN14 in Hoboken.


Late Sunday night jazz jam in Brooklyn.


Went to see Black Panther and was greeted with this line outside...


Had brunch with my college friends and their older kid brought her stuffed monkey.  Monkey and mimosa.


Our friend Montaya performed at Apollo's Amateur Night.  I'd never been before and it was amazing!


Dinner and girltime catchup at Antique Bar & Bakery.  This place is quirky and if you go on a Friday night, there's a DJ, a go-go dancer, and donuts!


Really having a moment with hard-boiled eggs lately.  Freshly cracked pink salt and pepper for the win!


I know you've missed the sunset pics ya'll.


Quick One-Bowl Brownies

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I'm not exactly sure why it's taken me so long to post a one-bowl brownie recipe.  I've honestly had so many brownie recipes on this blog over the past ten (ahhhh 10!!!!) years.  The making of this recipe was a spur of the moment decision.  I had scheduled a girls afternoon with a few friends to firm up our summer trip details to Ireland and I wanted to bring something with me.

First of all, we had to make this an afternoon affair as my success rate of staying out late may be marginal at best.  Second of all, I'm going to Ireland!  I've never been but I've heard some great stories.  I'm also going to head to Amsterdam and potentially Brussels while I'm nearby.  Needless to say, there will be a ton of photos from this excursion.  Maybe I'll make some Ireland- and Amsterdam-inspired recipes before I go?  Hmmm...

But for now, we're talking about brownies!  Warm, chocolate-y, fudge-y brownies.  These came together in no time, like the name suggests.  It actually took longer to take the "after" pictures than it did to mix the batter together and throw it in the oven.  Facts.  At any rate, these were really tasty and was such a quick sugar fix...or a pleasant dessert to present to your friends.  Come on.  Who doesn't love when someone shows up at their door with brownies in tow?

Quick One-Bowl Brownies
makes ~2 dozen

Print Recipe

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 teaspoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Use cooking spray to lightly grease an 8" x 8" pan. (I used this for thicker brownies, but you can use a 9" x 13" pan or a 9" x 9" pan for thinner brownies.)

2) In a large bowl, add all the ingredients in the order given. Stir together, and then beat the mixture until fully incorporated.  I had a few lumps left  in the batter, but I didn't want to overbeat it since the eggs were included.

3) Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan.

4) Bake the brownies for about 31 minutes for the 8" x 8" pan (25 minutes if you are using a 9" x 13" pan or 26 minutes for the 9" x 9" pan).  Alternately, monitor the brownies and once they begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, insert a toothpick in the center and look for it to come out clean and perhaps with a few crumbs.  Once you see that, remove the brownies from the oven.

5) Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing into squares.  Store leftovers wrapped and at room temperate for 5-6 days.

--recipe from King Arthur Flower


The Brunch Dish: Miss Lily's Soho

Hellooooo to our old friend, The Brunch Dish series!

Here I am once again resurrecting an oldie-but-goodie series.  I'm trying to be better at documenting ALL the food I've been inhaling.  I've been pretty good about doing this over on my instagram, @thehobokitchen, but I do want to also post it here in a little more detail.

Last weekend I went with a few of my girlfriends to Miss Lily's for some Jamaican fare.  There are actually two Miss Lily's locations in NYC and we ended up at the Soho location since it was very central for all of us.  I've eaten at both locations and can confirm that the Caribbean food at both places are top notch.  If you find yourself in the NY area I would definitely recommend giving this place a shot. 

Typically I don't like to try Caribbean food outside of the Caribbean because I've found that it's usually not that great.  However I had to eat my words when it comes to Miss Lily's, as their food is super tasty and very authentic.  Apparently every other person in NY also thinks so.  I would highly recommend making a reservation beforehand as it becomes quite crowded for brunch on the weekends.


Waiting for our table, so we decided to indulge in a Miss Lily's punch and a Carib beer.


The cocktail and brunch menus!


Loving the Jamaican theme at the tables


Fried chicken and waffles should be a staple everywhere.


A full-on Jamaican Breakfast - ackee and saltfish steamed cabbage, plantains, and fresh fruit (not shown)


Jerk Chicken Roti with rice and peas and cabbage.  This was what I ordered and I absolutely loved it.  I was really stuffed by the end of this meal, but I would still eat it all again.


The Breakfast Roti!


I capped the brunch off with a refreshing Frozen Caribbean Margarita containing sake and Ting.


Livin' The Life 2/7/18

Helloooo! And welcome back to my Livin' The Life series!  I love this series and I've kind-of-sorta-DEFINITELY slacked on these posts for the past year, so I've decided to resurrect them.  So here we go again!

I went to see Kinky Boots earlier this year!  Never seen it before and it was so much fun!


Almost Showtime!


I'd also never been to Junior's before, so there's no time like the present.


Don't tell me you don't love a grilled cheese with bacon.  Also, FRIES!


I've been staring at the Bahamian calendar and this recipe for the entire month of January.  I will be making lobster bisque at some point in 2018.


My boss came to visit a few weeks ago and had never been in Times Square before.  So we had to go!  Can you spot the NYE ball?


Brunch at Burrito Bar in Brooklyn included this fancy pitcher of margaritas


Another brunch photoshoot.  This time at The Smith!  Eggs, bacon, and of course - Fries!


I'm having a huge moment with brussel sprouts.  I mean, I caught myself googling shaved brussel sprouts earlier today.  This is where I'm at right now.


Playing around with my friend's new iPhone X portrait mode!


Going away dinner for a friend at El Rio Grande. So sad! London Trip 2019 will be in the works soon!


We got a tiny bit of snow in Hoboken the other day.


Checking out Dinosaur BBQ in Brooklyn.


The pulled pork is my favorite.  Also, FRIES! I am seeing a pattern here....


Haven't had Indian food in ages.  Might have lost a life or two due to that vindaloo sauce.  Whew!


Cooking again. Finally! Quickly roasted some sausage and peppers.


Got some more snow today.  It's now turned into rain, sadly, but it was pretty for a few moments this morning.


Chicken Vegetable Egg Drop Soup

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I've gone and done it.  I've already been sick in 2018.  Let it be known that I wasted no time on this endeavor.  The only saving grace is that I haven't caught the flu.  I'm really hoping that I can escape the epidemic this year because it's really not supposed to be good.

As I'm bouncing back from the wooziness of my cold meds, I found that I was absolutely craving soup.  I've had a potentially unhealthy obsession with Cup O' Noodle soup lately (I'm sure it can cure anything!), but I knew I could also make something super tasty on my own.

I had seen a post on the Facebook recently showcasing this soup and I immediately knew that this needed to be made.  I got to work and was really surprised by how quick and easy this soup was to make.  I definitely recommend this if you're feeling a bit under the weather.  Not only will you have a nice homemade soup that you can say you made yourself, but it's a bit different from the usual chicken noodle soup that we tend to have when we're sick.

Here's to getting (and staying) healthy in 2018!

Chicken Vegetable Egg Drop Soup
makes ~4 servings

Print Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1)  In a medium pot over medium high heat, drizzle in the olive oil.  Add the onion and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

2) Add in the carrots and the tomato.  Allow the mixture to cook for a few more minutes.

3) Pour in the chicken broth.  Allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes.

4) Drop in the chicken and stir to combine.

5) Remove the soup from the heat.  Begin stirring the soup in a circular motion.  Slowly pour in the beaten eggs and stir for 1 minute.

6) Season the soup with salt and pepper, as well as red pepper flakes, if using.

7) Stir in the chives and the grated Parmesan.

8) Garnish with additional chives and Parmesan, if desired.  Serve warm.

-- slightly adapted from Simply Beautiful Eating

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Slow Cooker Chicken Teryaki

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I don't know about you, but I'm ready for another slow cooker recipe. 

2018 was going well for me, until I caught a cold approximately 8 days into the new year.  I know things could be worse, but for some reason I was a big baby with this one.  I'm on the mend now, but I definitely need to make a slow cooker recipe.  I need something that allows me to put everything into one pot, then sit back and relax for a few hours until dinner is DONE.

Today, we're making Chicken Teriyaki!  I do enjoy chicken teriyaki, but I've never made it myself before.  This looked to be the perfect opportunity to try it out.  I don't think I've ever had a slow cooker recipe that has gone wrong.  I'm sure I'm jinxing myself for future endeavors, but I'll take that chance.

Here, we have an easy combination of salty-sweet flavors.  We do a very, very slight bit of prep on the stove beforehand, but I'll allow that.  We then let the flavors marinate and cook with the chicken breasts for a few hours.  Then, just like magic!  We have our chicken teriyaki ready to be served up over some rice.  It can't get much easier than this.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki

Print Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon room temperature water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (could be white wine, rice wine or apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1.5 - 2 lbs total)
  • sesame seeds and chopped scallion (optional for serving)

1) In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and the water until combined.  Add the mixture to a medium saucepan, over low-medium heat.

2) Pour in the brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and ginger.  Bring the mixture to a simmer while whisking occasionally.  Allow to come to a boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

3) Place the chicken and the onions in the slow cooker.  Pour the teriyaki sauce on top.  Place the slow cooker on high for 3 hours, or on low for 5 hours.

4) Once the time is done, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred the meat with 2 forks.  Add the meat back into the slow cooker and stir everything to combine.

5) Cook the chicken for another 1 hour on low, stirring occasionally.

6) Serve the chicken over rice or with vegetables on the side.  Drizzle extra sauce over the chicken if desired.

--from Sally's Baking Addiction

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Champagne Risotto

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Happy 2018!

How's your new year going?  I may have woken up hungover on Monday morning after a fabulous party with fabulous people the night before.  Funny how that happens. 

Somehow I was still able to make this risotto the next morning.  OK, let's be honest.  I made it in the afternoon.

Still, that is a testament to how easy this is to make.  You may still have some leftover champagne hanging around your place.  No?  Well, this is a great excuse to keep the New Years celebrations going and pick up another bottle.  You'll use most of the bottle to make the risotto so you don't need to break the bank when picking up some bubbly.  With the remaining champagne, might I recommend sipping on a mimosa while making your risotto?  I won't tell a soul.

For some reason, even though there are 3 cups of champagne in here, I didn't really think I'd be able to taste it.  Uhhhh, that's not really how this works.  You can definitely taste the champagne in this dish.  It's quite tasty, but for some reason the flavor surprises me with each bite!


Champagne Risotto
makes ~4 servings

Print Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 8 cups liquid: 3 cups champagne, 3 cups chicken broth, 2 cups water
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan and herbs to garnish

1) Set a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add the olive oil and butter.  Allow the butter to melt before adding the diced onion.  Sprinkle the onions with salt.  Let the onions cook until they are soft and translucent.

2) Next, add the rice to the pan.  Stir the rice and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes.  The rice will absorb the remaining oil and butter in the pan.

3) Pour in 1 cup of champagne and stir, making sure to get all the rice off the bottom of the pot.  Turn the heat up to medium and stir the rice consistently.  (Note: I don't stand at the stove and stir the entire time.  I'll walk away for a minute or two to prep other things and come back to stir once again.)

4) Once the first cup of champagne has been mostly absorbed by the rice, add the 2nd cup of champagne.  Stir consistently until the champagne is almost absorbed again, then repeat these steps with the 3rd cup of champagne.

5) Add the 3 cups of chicken stock using the same method in the step above.

6) If your rice is not yet done at this point, you can add up to 2 cups of water to allow the rice to continue cooking.  Use the same method above, adding one cup at a time.

7) The rice will be done when the grain is al dente and there is still a bit of liquid in the pan.

8) Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.  Add salt and black pepper to taste.  Serve warm and garnished with extra Parmesan and herbs if desired.

-- recipe very slightly adapted from Heather Cristo

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Crab & Artichoke Dip

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Happy (almost) New Year's Eve!

I'm back from vacation in the Bahamas and have had a few slow-ish days back at work.  No matter. It's about time for another holiday, right?  I don't know about you, but I'm excited for the new year.  I'm looking forward to trying several new restaurants and checking out a few more music venues.  I'm also really looking forward to it no longer being sub-freezing temperatures...but that wish won't come true for a while.

At any rate, it's been a busy 2017 for me and I'm excited for 2018!  I'm getting together with a few friends to have a dinner tomorrow night and then we're going to a nearby bar closer to midnight.  If you are also getting together with friends and family, make sure you bring this dip with you!  You'll be the life of the party.  True story.

This is one of my favorite mix-everything-together-and-put-it-in-the-oven situations.  Not only is this easy to make, but it's also done in a flash, leaving you more time to get ready to part-ay!


Crab & Artichoke Dip

Print Recipe

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, divided
  • 3/4 cups finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces lump crab meat
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • tortilla chips or toasted baguette slices

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2) In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese, Parmesan, artichokes, garlic, crab meat, green onions, onion powder, cayenne pepper (if using), and Worcestershire sauce.  Season the dip with salt and black pepper.

3) Place the dip into a pie dish or a 10" cast iron skillet.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese over the top of the dip.


4) Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or long enough that the dip is warmed through and bubbling.

5) Serve warm with tortilla chips and/or toasted baguette slices.

--recipe very slightly adapted from Delish

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Lemon Cheesecake Crescent Rolls

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How's your holiday planning going?  I've made it home to the Bahamas but I'm currently in the middle of a Christmas maze and I'm not doing well.  In the past two hours I knocked over two reindeer and broke some antlers (R.I.P.).  Then I proceeded to trip over Santa and his sleigh, which had been placed on the floor.  My mom might have a holiday decorating problem.

When I'm not navigating the labyrinth of Christmas decorations in my house, I'm otherwise trying to get back into baking.  I made cookies last month and that's been the inspiration for me to get back in the kitchen and fire up the oven.  I admit that this is sort of "baking" because I'm not making the dough for these crescent rolls, but still, I am making the filing and putting lots of love in there for ya.

My friend had a holiday party last weekend and I made these to go on the dessert table.  However, these could also be used as hors d'ouevres or even as breakfast treats.  If you enjoy cheese danishes, then this will be something you will want to make.  Since we're working with pre-made dough, it's also super quick.  This means I'll be making these exactly 20 more times this year.  "You're welcome" to all my family and friends.

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Lemon Cheesecake Crescent Rolls
makes 8 crescents

Print Recipe

For the Crescents:

  • 1 package 8 count refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) FIn a medium mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, lemon extract, and lemon zest.  Mix well to incorporate.

3) Open the crescent roll dough and roll it out.  Separate the triangles.  Spoon cream cheese filling onto the wider end of the triangles.

4) Gently roll the dough up, starting from the wider end and moving toward the smaller end.  Once the croissant is rolled up, tuck the corners in and shape into a crescent.

5) Place the croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.

6) Allow the croissants to cool on a wire rack.

7) Once cooled, combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a medium bowl and mix until smooth.

8) Drizzle the glaze evenly over the cooled rolls.

--recipe from Lemon Tree Dwelling

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Autumn Glow Salad

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It's been silent over here for a minute.  So sorry folks.  But now we're back!

I'm a little late with this post, so even though it's kinda sorta winter, I'm coming through with a salad named after my favorite season, Autumn.  No worries about the timing.  I would still recommend that you make this.  Roasted vegetables are a savior for me during the cold winter months and this is no exception.

The original recipe called for a parsley dressing but I'm firmly in the parsley-tastes-like-soap camp, so that's not really an option for me.  However, we all know I love my basil, so why not switch up the herbs a bit.  I'm also constantly looking for a good excuse to add some Herbes de Provence to any dish, so here we are.

Even though this isn't the most festive of dishes before the Christmas holidays, let it be known that it's a necessary addition for me around these times.  This is a quick, easy and healthy meal that I can pull together to make sure I have the energy to make it through the next few very busy days.

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Autumn Glow Salad
makes ~6 servings as a meal

Print Recipe

For the salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa or other grain (bulgur, freekah, etc.)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence, or any other dried spices that you like such as thyme, rosemary, etc.
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup basil, julienned
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of one lemon (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1) Rinse the quinoa and cook according to the instructions.  Tip: I've found that I enjoy replacing the water with broth to give the quinoa more flavor.

2) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

3) Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.  Peel and dice the sweet potatoes.  Place the vegetables on a baking sheet (or two) and drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil.  Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper, and your desired dried herbs.

4) Roast for 15 minutes.  Stir the vegetables, then roast for another 10-15 minutes.  Once the vegetables are golden brown and soft, remove from oven and set aside.

5) While the vegetables are roasting, make the dressing.  Add all the dressing ingredients in a bowl.  Use a whisk to mix everything together until incorporated. 

6) Once the grains and vegetables are done, toss everything together in a large bowl and add the raisins and cranberries.

7) Pour the dressing over the salad right before serving.  Store the salad and dressing separately.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

--recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum

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