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Monday, April 30, 2012

Cobb Salad

Sometimes a good old fashioned cobb salad can really hit the spot.  It feels very All American to me, and I like that you can mix up the toppings to suit your liking without losing that quality.  I used the following:
  • Avocado
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Deli Turkey
  • Bacon
  • Hard Boiled Egg
  • Tomato
I love how you can present this salad with each topping in its own little row - letting the colors spread out like a rainbow - red to orange to yellow to green with a few others in between.  I haven't put ranch dressing on a salad since the beginning of high school, but something about it just felt right about using it this time for my retro supper.  The cobb may seem old school when you see it on a menu, but I found it completely satisfying.  There's a reason this salad has stood the test of time.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Trader Joe's Knows

Like any warm blooded mammal, I love Trader Joe's.  If you aren't obsessed with their consistently delicious, inexpensive, and widespread selection, I don't know how you function in society.  I recently discovered the recipe section on the Trader Joe's website and it gave me yet another reason to love the store.  One of the joys of Trader Joe's is their pre-seasoned food items.  They do all the work for you and make the flavors usually found only in gourmet stores accessible to all.  Sometimes, however, I understand that you want to make the dishes your own.  By mixing the curry chicken with fresh veggies and putting it atop refrigerated dough, for example, you get a new take on pizza that's semi homemade.

I didn't make any curry chicken pizza, but I did make a great, healthy scallop dish, courtesy of the website.  After rendering the fat of some chopped bacon, I added in sliced leeks, chopped apple, and thyme and sauteed for about 8 minutes.  Unfortunately, I got distracted and ended up sauteing for more than 8 minutes, resulting in a less crunchy veggies, but it was still tasty.  Once the veggies and bacon are ready, add your scallops and cook them for about 1.5 minutes per side.  Add some salt and pepper and serve it all over pasta (I would have preferred spaghetti but only had shells in the house).  The apples and applewood smoked bacon gave the dish a sweet flair, which scallops pick up well.  Apples and leeks are two ingredients I rarely use so I was thankful to be given a little guidance.  Traditional cookbooks are great, but it's good to know what a great resource Trader Joe's website is.  This recipe may have utilized a few pre-seasoned or chopped ingredients, but the final product seemed to be all mine.       

Thursday, April 26, 2012

3 on Thursday

This week has seemed impossibly long.  Yesterday definitely felt like a Thursday, which led to extreme disappointment when I realized it was Wednesday.  Thankfully, there are some really cool things going on right now...
Last weekend I went to a Mets game - my first baseball game of the season!  I was so happy Bridget didn't want to spend her bachelorette party weekend shopping.  This was a welcome reprieve from the activities most friends want to do when they come to town ("OMG McDonalds in TIMES SQUARE?!  We have to go!").  I like the baseball atmosphere more than the game itself.  I grabbed myself some Shake Shack, made friends with our neighbors in the stands, and soaked in our Great American Pastime.  
Some of my friends recently participated in Atlanta's first ever, sold out color run.  You start out wearing all white, and throughout the race are sprayed with paint so you wind up crazy colorful.  I'm not much of a distance runner (and, yes, I'm aware a 5K isn't considered "distance"), but I would totally train for this and participate next year.  How can you not finish this smiling?!

I didn't set my DVR to record ABC's new show, Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 because I thought it would be stupid, but I caught up on Hulu and loved it.  The irreverent humor has pushed this show into the ranks of my 30-minute faves (which currently includes Happy Endings, New Girl, and Modern Family).  The main girls are cute, but James Van der Beek plays a hyperbole of himself that pretty much makes the show. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Johnny's Bar

Johnny's Bar is a tiny dive in the West Village that we stumbled into after brunch on Sunday.  We walked in mostly as a way to escape the rain but then stayed for the laid back vibe.  I feel like most spots in the West Vill are adorable little brunch places where you're hoping to run into one of those celebrities who's not just famous but also a local New Yorker.  This is this exact opposite.  Nothing about Johnny's would be described as adorable - grungy is more like it.

The wall behind the bar is littered with bumper stickers and pieces of paper listing drink specials in marker.  Also behind the bar, one of the greatest ideas ever: a "buy a drink for a friend" chalkboard.  Here's how it works: let's say I'm sitting in Johnny's, having a drink, letting off some steam.  Everything would be great if only my good friend X was there with me so I decide to buy her a drink.  On the board, which is divided into three sections, the bartender writes who the drink is from, what the drink is, and who the drink is for.  As long as X comes in within the month, she can claim her pre-paid drink.  If you and your friend are regulars, this makes for a fun little game.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Ladies" at Lips

Strippers are so overdone.  And kinda skeezy.  That's why, for Bridge's bachelorette bash, we decided to hit up Lips for a drag show.  It was hilarious, fun, and extra raunchy.  I wanted to ask the "women" all sorts of questions regarding the makeup and wardrobe routine but I kept that all inside and just enjoyed their saucy performance.  

Everyone in the bar was there for a birthday or bachelorette party, which means they're all in a celebratory mood and ready to have a great time.  We were throwing our heads back and arms up while squealing with giddy laughter.  Next time you're up for an extreme girls night, this is the place to go. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Eating at Essex

Bridget's bachelorette party was a raucous weekend-long affair, but Saturday was the big night.  We started the evening with dinner at Essex, which is the perfect restaurant for groups.  I've heard as much since I moved here but never got to experience it firsthand until now.  I always thought it was the place for party brunch, but it turns out dinner is great too (and, unlike brunch, accepts credit cards).  It's loud and energetic - basically made for a table of wild wedding-brained ladies.  Their sweet deals also make it great for groups.  Every day other than Saturday has a 1/2 price happy hour and $1 oysters all night.  But the deals don't stop there, for $60 you can get two courses and a 2.5 hour premium open bar.  Due to our tight schedule, we didn't take advantage of that bargain, but that only meant we had a larger menu to choose from.

I decided to get to appetizers for my meal.  The first was a crab cake over a heart of palm salad.  The crab cake had a great meat to filler ratio and began to fall apart as I pierced it with my fork, an indication that there wasn't too much breading attempting to hold it together.  Next I got an endive salad with pecans, gorgonzola, dried cranberries, and a pear vinaigrette.  The flavors complimented each other, but it needed a little more dressing to bring it together.  I also tasted a bite of the potato pancake topped with salmon gravlax and caviar.  I know it was listed as "crispy", but I thought it was just a little too crunchy and probably shouldn't be called "famous".  I do, however, like the idea of potato pancakes with different toppings.  Just take them out of the pan 30 seconds earlier and you've got a great appetizer on your hands.

Essex was just the place to kick off a rowdy evening.  There is enough variety in the menu and the food is good enough (though not spectacular) that everyone in your birthday or bachelorette party will find something they enjoy.  Then drink specials take this restaurant to the next level ensuring that the rest of your night will be a blast.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ramp it Up!

Ramps are in season and I just took advantage by eating a ramp pizza with hot peppers at Otto. I highly recommend giving these spring onions a chance during their fleeting season.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

3 on Thursday

Who's ready for the weekend?!  I'm heading into this weekend knowing it's going to be a biggie since I'll be running around New York City for Bridge's bachelorette bash.  I'm going to take tonight to rest up in preparation.
While perusing Hello Giggles, I discovered Diamond Gothic - the brainchild of Bethany Joy Lenz (of One Tree Hill fame) and two other actress/comedian ladies, JC Coccoli and Abigail Spencer.  Diamond Gothic is a rotating novel where each author takes a turn with a chapter.  When you receive the book, you have to work with whatever the previous author left you.  It's a familiar concept, particularly in improv theaters, but these gals take it to the next level by doing it online.  I would love to put this concept into practice myself (any readers want to join me?!), but if that wasn't enough to hook me, the novel's setting certainly was: Savannah, GA.  Diamond Gothic is all about Southern secrets - a topic I know all to well - set in what I [biasedly] believe to be the most beautiful city in the country.

Not sure if you caught it, but about two weeks ago Jon Lovitz tweeted a picture of his friend's doorstep that had remarkably been vandalized with swastikas, the word Jew written in syrup, and a bag of feces.  It turns out, the property defacers were three girls (driven there by one of their mothers) who go to high school with the victim (who happens to be Lovitz' friend's daughter).  Lovitz' tweet immediately gained national attention and the girls were permanently expelled from school since they violated school rules prohibiting racism and vandalism against other students.  Most people thanked Lovitz for bringing the behavior to light and for condemning the girls.  There were, however, several people who admonished Lovitz for "publicly humiliating" high school girls.  Those people disgust me.  These girls are 14 - plenty old enough to know better - and deserve their punishment and public shaming.  I applaud Jon Lovitz for taking a stand for what is right and using his platform of celebrity to encourage thoughtful discussion.  Bullying of any kind is disgraceful, but this act of blatant Antisemitism is UNACCEPTABLE.  The fact that this happened on the first night of Passover is not lost on me.  The fact that I just realized today is Holocaust Remembrance Day is not lost on me either.  Please take a moment today to remember.  Please take a lifetime to NEVER FORGET.  Few words are as profound as those of Elie Wiesel: "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.  The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.  The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.  And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference."      

McClure's pickles now makes potato chips and they are a confusing delight.  Your tongue says pickle but your teeth think chip.  The spicy pickle flavor is actually not spicy so don't hesitate - pick them up off the shelf and give them a try.  I'm not really a potato chip person (though I dare you try to take a bag of white cheddar Pirate's Booty out of my grasp), but I could definitely snack away on these since they're not too greasy, have a good crunch, and come in a unique flavor.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

From Joan's on 3rd to Tess' on 61st

I always read about celebrities like Katie Lee who absolutely love Joan's on Third, the cafe and catering company in LA.  Apparently Gayle King is also a fan because she raved about one of their sandwiches in a magazine article about her favorite things.  She briefly described it as grilled cheese with goat cheese and fig jam on raisin bread.  Sounds easy enough right?  Though I'm sure Joan has put slightly more research into her sandwich and likely makes artisan bread and jam from scratch, I was able to buy those three ingredients ready to go at Trader Joe's and made myself a delicious little sandwich.

I used fig butter instead of fig jam because that's what they had at the store, but I also think I'll get more mileage out of the butter.  It went on one piece of bread and the goat cheese went on the other.  Even though goat cheese is not known for it's melty qualities, it gets even smoother as it's grilled.  A small sandwich is utterly satisfying and I could make a case for eating it at any meal.  It's sweet enough for breakfast and tangy enough to serve with a light salad for lunch.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

L.A. Burdick

My cousin Jason and his awesome wife Sarah met up with Jill and I during the Cambridge bit of our marathon Saturday afternoon walk.  I don't think I had seen them since the last time I was in Boston - a year ago for their wedding - so it was great to catch up.  After dragging Jason into a boutique, we decided it was time to indulge in some chocolate and headed to L.A. Burdick.  There are four locations of this chocolate shop, including one in NYC, but it was my first time hearing about them.  While I grabbed drinks (all of which can be made hot or iced and feature their incredibly rich dark, milk, or white chocolate), Sarah picked up a box of bonbons that was downright wicked.

Each chocolate is teeny tiny but packs so much flavor that we didn't mind splitting each one three to four ways.  I can't remember all the ones we tried, but I know they included earl grey, cashew sesame, trinidad, ginger, jaffa, and honey caramel.  Of course, when I got home I looked up the New York location and learned that it is quite accessible...which makes it quite dangerous.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Better Buttery

This weekend, I went on a spontaneous trip to Boston to visit Jill.  Knowing I would want to experience all of Beantown's best eats, she made a reservation for Saturday morning brunch at South End Buttery, a restaurant that has won awards year after year.  We had absolutely gorgeous Spring weather all weekend so we decided to walk several miles from Jill's apartment in Allston to the restaurant in Boston's South End.

The restaurant materialized in the middle of a residential neighborhood in all it's Saturday morning glory.  Plenty of people had stepped out of their nearby townhomes to eat outside with their dogs right next to the young clientele who were picking up pastries post-jog from the front take-out area.  We noted the promising activity moving in and out of the restaurant as we headed inside and downstairs where we could sit down and eat leisurely.

Jill heard good things about the bakery basket so we ordered one to share.  It arrived brimming with that day's muffin (snickerdoodle), scone (blueberry), and breakfast bread (banana spice walnut).  All of the pastries were delicious but tasted even better when topped with the homemade strawberry jam that was chock full of whole strawberries.  Next up, Jill had the buttery breakfast, which came with two eggs, two pancakes, and sausage.  I'm not one who craves pancakes for breakfast.  I usually have one bite of someone else's and that's enough, but I could have eaten all of Jill's pancakes with fresh berries right off her plate.  They were thin enough that you wouldn't mistake them for cake, which is perfect to me because I like light but not overly fluffy pancakes.  I ordered the eggs benedict that included a few manchego shavings and a homemade biscuit.  I loved the swap of Canadian bacon for shaved, deli-style ham and of course enjoyed the perfectly poached eggs that were just the right size for the biscuit.

Everything in our carb-heavy meal was super fresh.  Usually you have to pay a premium for all this homemade product, but the most expensive entree comes in at $15 (and neither of our dishes was that expensive).  Why can't all restaurants offer such quality, fresh meals for that price?!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Sour Cream Sauce

After I took the last bite of this fish, I picked up the phone to call my mother so I could tell her she absolutely had to make it this week.  It looked fine enough on Pinterest, but the result was way better than I could have imagined.  In a bowl, combine low fat sour cream, minced garlic, fresh dill, green onion (white and light green parts, reserving some light green pieces for garnish), and parmesan cheese.  Slather that stuff all over halibut and bake at 350-400 for 15-20 minutes.  Make no mistake, when I say slather, I mean it.  Really give it to that sucker.  The sour cream is light and will thin out while cooking so when you plate it, you can just spoon it right back on top. This was one of those dishes where every ingredient played a role and could be tasted.  The sour cream was slightly tangy, the garlic a little spicy, the dill fresh and get the idea.  Maybe it's because I'm shocked at how quick and simple it was, but if I could, I would make it again tonight.   

I served it with portobello mushrooms that I stuffed with creamed spinach.  If you want the easy way out, buy frozen creamed spinach.  If you want a healthier version where you control the amount of cream and cheese, make it yourself.  It couldn't be much easier to wilt spinach, add some cream, parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  The flavor of the fresh spinach is much stronger than its frozen friend and it takes about the same amount of time to prepare.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

3 on Thursday

I've been able to get through this week because I have something to look forward to - a spur of the moment weekend getaway!  In case you don't have a spontaneous trip coming up, these should help you make it through.
At the Passover dinner I hosted over the weekend, I combined the place cards and party favors because I always like killing two birds with one stone.  I found these cute little bags (that came with their own ties) and tags for super cheap at the Container Store.  I filled them with swedish fish (matched the color scheme) and mini bottles of alcohol.  The mini bottles only set me back $1.50 a pop and were quite popular.  It's something people will inevitably use and was perfectly suited for the 20-something/30-something crowd.  It's little touches like this that make a dinner party.

The chemistry department at Florida State University decided to take a look at different alcoholic beverages under a microscope and the results are beautiful pieces of artwork.  The one shown above is one of my faves - Irish Pale Lager.  I wonder what my drink of choice, Jack and Diet, would look like...

I was lucky enough to be gifted a pair of Earnest Sewn jeans so I got the run of the store and walked away with these beauties.  I'm rockin the Audrey in the 491 Bianca wash.  I've never worn Earnest Sewn before but I really liked the way these jeggings fit.  They're tight, but not so tight they couldn't have real pockets.  I always buy really dark jeans and have been looking for a nice light wash so round out my closet.  Not only do I love the way these look, they are so unbelievably comfortable.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Passover Picnic

Since Greg and Susan up and moved across the country, I decided to host this year's Passover Seder on Saturday night.  Once the RSVPs started pouring in, I realized what an undertaking this was going to be.  I immediately conferenced in my Mom for some menu planning assistance.  I was terrified about my first brisket - after all, brisket is the centerpiece of most Jewish meals and what ye be judged by all other Jewesses - but she coached me through it.  Other than the brisket, I made charoset, deviled eggs, salad, sweet potato casserole, and okra and tomatoes with quinoa.  I delegated a little bit and had some friends chip in when it came to fruit and dessert.  Based on the fact that there was no brisket left when I went to make my plate, I'm thinking the food was all well received.  It's always a good idea to use your Mom's recipe when the opportunity presents itself since they've had years to perfect it. 

After we did a little praying and a lot of eating, we sat around playing Table Topics.  Once you crack open this cube of conversation starters, everyone will get involved so it was the perfect way to bring my mixed bag of nuts together.  We were working with a 50/50 Jew/Non-Jew split and people from all different social groups.  By the end of the meal, everyone was buddy buddy and maybe even learned a bit about the holiday.   

The food was gobbled up by all 13 guests.  Yup, 13 people (plus a baby) squeezed into my little apartment.  Since I don't have a table large enough, I set everything up on the floor for a Passover Picnic.  I have such good sports for friends.  No complaints about sitting on throw pillows were voiced.  I made sure to decorate the floor just as I would a real dining room table with flowers in ribbon-accented mason jars, a table cloth, and party favors.  Usually you say, "next year in Jerusalem;" we said, "next year in a bigger apartment."  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


After walking around the West Village, Podz and I decided to end the day with a stop at Popbar.  Popbar makes gelato, yogurt, and sorbetto popsicles that they then hand dip into the chocolate and topping of your choice.  Podz chose hazelnut gelato with dark chocolate and coconut flakes, while I chose mixed berry yogurt in white chocolate with coconut.  I'm not usually a white chocolate girl, but it worked with the slightly tart berry yogurt.  It's a little gimicky and there aren't very many toppings to choose from (just the coconut and a couple nut varieties), but the quality of the popsicles was good.  It was a fun thing to do, but once it gets warmer I see myself going to Mr. Softee before paying $5 for one of these again.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Not So Obsessed

I was skeptical of Meatball Obsession, the latest in a trilogy of meatball-only destinations.  I still haven't tried Meatball Factory (the second of these places to open), but I am a die-hard Meatball Shop fan.  Meatball Shop was the first to come up with the "all meatballs all the time" concept so I firmly believed they had to be the best.  However, it's not fair of me to denigrate something I've never even tried, so when Podz suggested we start our day in the West Village there, I couldn't argue. 

Meatball Obsession separates itself from the other restaurants by being no more than a window.  I was impressed to lean my head into the small space and see they were churning out meatballs quickly in Le Creuset dutch ovens.  Unfortunately, I can't eat somewhere just because I like their cookware, and that's about all I liked about this place.  My suspicions proved true as I found Meatball Obsession nowhere near as good as the Meatball Shop.  I tried two different varieties, the beef in the parma sauce (crispy pancetta, parmigiano-reggiano, and herbs) and the pork sausauge in the genoa sauce (herbs, pine nuts, and pecorino romano).  The sauces were ok, but nothing special and over-salted.  The meat itself had been ground so fine that it had a uniform texture, much like the ones you buy in the freezer section.  I can't even say the stick of focaccia bread rocked my boat since it didn't taste as fresh as it should (perhaps because it's sitting right next to a window in chilly New York weather).  The price may be slightly less than that of the Meatball Shop, but you're also getting a smaller portion.  Meatball Obsession offers one ball for $4, but for $7 at Meatball Shop, you get four balls that taste much better.

I'm glad I did the necessary research so I can now tell you not to waste your time with Meatball Obsession.  Stick to the original and head to Meatball Shop!   

Friday, April 6, 2012

Book Review: Me Talk Pretty One Day

For years I've been told I need to read David Sedaris' collection of essays, Me Talk Pretty One Day.  I tried once, but after buying a faulty copy (after about 50 pages it started from the beginning), I got discouraged by the botched book and put it down.  At the time, I also wasn't thrilled by the subject matter.  Blame it on my sheltered upbringing, but I was in no mood to read about someone who casually discusses his homosexuality (gasp!) and past drug use (double gasp!).

Seven years after my first attempt, I tried again after Jen told me how much she loved it.  Jen and I typically agree on books and movies so I trusted her recommendation.  It also helped that she was able to lend me her copy since I didn't want to shell out the money a second time if I was just going to put it down again.  This time proved far more successful than the first.  I flew through Sedaris' witty rants that cover everything from grating tourists to his twisted love of the macabre.  I guess I just had some big-city-living to do, but I loved it.  Instead of seeing the essays as being in poor taste, I now find them playful.  Sedaris is cynical, but he recognizes it so he doesn't take himself too seriously.

3.75 out of 5 stars

Thursday, April 5, 2012

3 on Thursday

Last weekend afforded me no time to rest and this week has been no different as I run around preparing to host a full scale Passover Seder on Saturday... 
Newsweek has been stumbling in the last few years, but if the issue they released two weeks ago is any indication, I think they're on the way back up.  Newsweek capitalized on the excitement around the Mad Men season (after an unbearably long 18-month hiatus) by putting their issue into a time machine set for 1965.  Not only did they revert to the same fonts and style they used then, they convinced the advertisers to do the same.  I'm not an avid news magazine reader, but I was completely engaged while reading this issue.  I still can't bring myself to throw it away.  If you can, try to get your hands on it.
Yes, I have DVR and often fast forward through commercials.  But sometimes, when I'm watching per-recorded show I let it run straight through and attempt to multi-task (check my Twitter or Pinterest feed, browse recipes online, flip through a magazine) during the commercial breaks.  When this commercial came on I stopped and watched the whole thing then rewound and watched it again.  The "one of a kind" and "know who you are and own it" messages gave me the warm fuzzies.  I'm not a Dr. Pepper drinker, but now I won't discourage others from sipping away.

 If you're single, this video will give you a serious chuckle.  If you're not single, you'll still probably laugh your pants off.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Turtle Club

Last Saturday was a Hoboken night.  Steph and I needed some time to catch up, so while Gav surrounded himself with March Madness, we hit up The Turtle Club for dinner and drinks.  The restaurant is new(ish) to Hoboken, but the mosaic floors have an old school flair that remind you an actual Turtle Club (America's first social club) existed here way back when and includes alums like Alexander Hamilton.

I was impressed by the cocktail list right off the bat because it included fun ingredients (ginger beer, muddled cherries) but wasn't overrun by super sweet drinks.  After two rounds of the Sybil's Sip (Ketel One, St. Germaine, lemon juice, grapefruit, and basil), we were ready to discuss all of the stressful things in our lives.  We continued to discuss our frustrations and celebrations over three shared dishes.  The first was a salad of arugula, dried cherries, walnuts, and shrimp.  It was good, but I found it slightly overdressed and was disappointed that it only included four shrimp, which is not enough for the $7 fee we paid to add them.  We got our choice of three bruschetta for $8, which I thought was a good deal, and I always love when you get a variety of choices for this type of thing.  We picked the asparagus with truffle oil, gorgonzola with garlic, and [my fave] bacon with caramelized onions and boursin.  The third - and in my opinion, best - dish of the night was the portabello napolean.  It was like a warm caprese salad all jacked up.  The mushroom caps were topped with sauteed spinach, roasted red pepper, mozzarella, and a balsamic reduction.

As the night wears on, the restaurant turns into a vibrant bar with a popular music selection.  It has a way of feeling slightly upscale without trying, which only means I'll be trying to return next time I'm in the 'boken.   

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Aw Puddin'

Puddin' is reserved as a term of endearment, which is why I think it is the perfect name for this small dessert shop in the East Village.  Puddin' serves up their own special concoctions, like the lemon drop, coconut cruise, and caramel macchiato.  Or if you'd like to create your own parfait, mix-and-match style, choose from the available fresh-made puddings and toppings (which include sauces, cakes, and fruit).

Lindsay and I had been talking about trying Puddin' for months and finally made good on our word.  I tried the coconut cruise (coconut pudding, graham cracker crumbs, pineapple, lime soaked coconut cake, and whipped cream) and found it as refreshing as a pina colada.  I'm not a major fan of whipped cream, but I didn't find it particularly offensive here.  I also tasted a bite of Lindsay's chocolate with marshmallow cream.  The chocolate was rich and the marshmallow creme was glue-your-mouth-shut thick.

We each ordered the $4 minis, which are large enough to satisfy any sweet tooth, but small enough to keep you from feeling like you're completely ruining your diet (bikini season is alarmingly not too far off).  These cute desserts are a great alternative to a coffee date with a girlfriend...though they serve Stumptown so we had coffee too.  There are only five stools in the whole place, so you'll probably need to have your pudding and coffee to-go, but it's a fun and easy treat to eat while meandering the East Village.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crab and Kale

I was surprised how easily dinner came together on Wednesday night.  I didn't even make it to the grocery store until the time that I would normally like to start cooking so I knew I would have to get some quick cooking ingredients.  At the fish counter, I found ready-made fried softshell crab for $6 each.  Immediately I knew I would be making a sandwich.  I picked up squash and zucchini that was already julienned along with some arugula from the salad bar.  While I warmed the softshell crab in the toaster, I tossed the squash and zucchini with some mayo and curry powder.  I didn't really cook anything when it came to the sandwich, but it evolved into a pretty special sandwich due to some strategic assembly.

The side dish was just as easy.  When the individual ingredients are flavorful, you don't need many of them to create something striking.  This kale dish, for example was comprised of three total ingredients.  I cooked chopped kale (the pre-chopped stuff was a beautiful shortcut) in boiling water for about five minutes.  While that was cooking, I sauteed dried chorizo until it started releasing its own oils.  I got the chorizo from the deli counter (where they sliced it for me) and then gave it a rough chop before sauteing it.  I drained the kale and added it to the chorizo so the flavors could combine.  You don't even need any oil, salt, or pepper.  Once it's all mixed together, top with a poached egg.  Done.

[I think] the picture makes the whole meal seem homemade and well thought out...even though it took a total of 15 minutes to throw together.  Even if you don't think it looks like it took much planning or effort, does it matter?  It tasted good enough for me to recommend you make it yourself. 


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