Saturday, March 30, 2013

Weekend Chinese Food

We ordered from Asian Eatery aka Hong Wong on 59th Street today.  It's a Chinese/Japanese fusion restaurant that seems to be mostly take-out.  Chinese take-out is one of my favorite meals.  

Chinese Food on the Coffee Table

Mmm, egg roll.  Such fried goodness.

Box of Chicken Fried Rice

Vegetable Lo Mein

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Lo Mein and Garlic Chicken

Chicken Fried Rice

Sapporo - Courtesy of Japanese Grocery Store Called Katagiri on 59th Street.  $8.99 for a twelve pack!

Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls

On a recent grocery store outing, I saw Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and out of nostalgia bought a tube.  They are now also Cinnabon brand.  This hasn't really changed anything about the way that they taste.  The only difference I noticed is that there is now more icing, which is a good thing.

Just as yummy as I remembered!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Feast

My heritage is nearly entirely Irish with just a sprinkling of German.  Growing up, my parents would eat corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day while my siblings and I looked on in disgust.  I was not an adventurous eater and only started trying new foods as a teenager.  I never became a huge fan of corned beef and cabbage, but I have always been a huge fan of potatoes.  All of my ancestors came to America (including the German ones) during potato famines.  Go figure.  Tonight, I decided to make potato, broccoli, cheese soup.  Potatoes to represent my Irish passion for these root vegetables, broccoli for a little bit of green, and cheese because... well... because I adore cheese.

Pot of Soup
I sort of improvised the soup as follows:
  • Cook one chopped onion and two minced garlic cloves in butter
  • Add 1/4 cup flour, a dash of paprika, salt, pepper, & nutmeg
  • Mix well
  • Add 4 cups of chicken stock
  • Add 2 cups of milk (I used 1%, but I don't think it matters)
  • Add about 5 peeled and chopped potatoes, 5 peeled & cut carrots, & a bag of frozen broccoli
  • Add some more salt and pepper
  • Cook for 30 minutes
  • Add about 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley (more green for St. Patrick's Day & fresh flavor)
  • Simmer another 15 minutes
  • Let sit for 10 minutes
  • Use immersion blender to blend until smooth
  • Put back on low heat and add 2 cups of grated cheese (I used cheddar, comte, & bit of parmesan)
As the soup was simmering, I started to worry about the lack of warm bread to go with it.  Most of the dinner roll recipes online required at least two hours and huge quantities of sugar (which we are almost completely out of).  I found a recipe on the King Arthur Flour website for "Big Batch Quick Dinner Rolls." Click here for the recipe.  Since there are only two of us, and the recipe was for 24 rolls - holy cow- I halved it.

Buns fresh out of our oven - they turned out great.  My first time baking rolls ever!!

The recipe gave the option of brushing the rolls with melted butter - no brainer.

I garnished our soups with fresh parsley...

and away we went into our St. Patrick's Day feast.

I couldn't believe I made these - the bottoms were perfectly golden brown.

Tonight was one of those rare nights, where I felt like a domestic goddess.  It wouldn't have been possible without the help of my following friends:

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Kitchenaid Immersion Blender

Kitchenaid Standing Mixer - its dough hook was essential to the dinner rolls turning out well

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pope Cookies

Yesterday, I went over to Artuso's Pastry Shop in the Bronx to pick up a couple of pope cookies.  

Pope Francis Cookies

Piece of the pope's face before I ate it.
Artuso's is a cute Italian bakery in the Arthur Avenue area of the Bronx that had the clever idea of making cookies with the new pope on them.  They are essentially black and white cookies with printed sugar paper stuck on top of the frosting.  Even though they were kitschy, they were also delicious.
To read more about the pope cookies, visit the NYTimes blog here.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Trader Joe's Mini Chicken Tikka Samosas

Today after our mimosas, we had some samosas for lunch :-)

Mini Samosas Box
On lined sheet about to go into 400° oven.
Fresh out of the oven
Samosas with some Sriracha for spice

Mimosas at Home

Happy Daylight Savings!  This morning, I woke up and was shocked by how much I had slept in (I always sleep in on the weekend, but this this seemed unusual).  Thank goodness for Facebook, and people posting about super duper mundane things.

We have leftover champagne from our Oscar party and purchased some more orange juice at Whole Foods last night.  Can you guess what me made this morning/afternoon for our at-home brunch? 


 Mimosa Fixings: Red wine glasses, Whole Foods OJ, and Marquis de la Tour champagne (under $10 from Fresh Direct).

I have a generous pour... yum, mimosas!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Marché du Sud - The Groupon Experience

I recently purchased a Groupon for a French restaurant near us called Marché du Sud.  The deal was an appetizer, entree, and dessert for two.  I checked out the menu beforehand, and they had some good-sounding things like roasted chicken and steak frites.  I told them when I made the reservation (as they request) that we would be using a Groupon, and when we arrived at the restaurant we were presented with a very limited menu that was different than their normal one.

We waited a good 10 to 15 minutes before anyone came to our table.  We also were never served water, hence me getting buzzed from two beers.

To start we could choose between the basic house salad or the soup of the day (stingy).  We both chose the soup of the day, which was actually quite delicious.
Squash Soup with Pancetta
We also ordered Kronenbourg 1664 (which the French call Seize), because I always feel inclined to order drinks when I use a Groupon. 

The bread basket was a pathetic tin bowl with a few pieces of bread in it.  They did not refill the bread once.  Great service!  Not.

My starving husband dunking his bread in olive oil.
We could choose between a variety of pizzas (wish I had known we could only choose pizzas).  My husband chose "L'Authentique" and I chose "La Parmentière."  I've had "hachis Parmentier," which is kind of like shepherd's pie and liked that.  The pizzas were dry and sort of boring.  Also, we waited so long for them that by the time they got to the table we were starving.


La Parmentiere
I did like that they served the pizzas on wooden boards.

We ordered a Colomba for our second beer.


For dessert we could choose between a fruit salad and a piece of cheese.  Are you serious?  Who considers that dessert.  When the cheese arrived, it was a small piece of cheese with two cornichons, a few walnuts, and grapes.  There was no bread thus rendering the cheese useless.

Supposedly Dessert
 We were so dissatisfied afterward that we went to Whole Foods and purchased frozen lava cakes.
Whole Foods Lava Cakes
Finally some real dolce: lava cake with huge amount of whipped cream, delicious raspberry sorbet, and a nespresso.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Archipelago Botanicals Candles - One Kings Lane

I normally buy Yankee candles, but One Kings Lane was selling these Archipelago ones the other day and I bought four of the vanilla in two different sizes.

Short and tall Archipelago Botanicals Kashmir Vanilla  candles

I was disappointed when one of the shorter candles arrived broken, but salvaged the candle itself and will use it as a refill.  I don't want to have to send back a box of broken glass to One Kings Lane.

Salvaged candle

I put one of the taller candles on our mantel and this other one on a William Morris "Strawberry Thief" tray that my mom got me at the V&A the last time that she was in London.  It makes our toilet a little more classy and smells great.

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." 
~ William Morris

Bagel Breakfast Delivery

This morning I woke up and thought to myself, "We live in New York City, the bagel capital of the world.  I know what I'm doing for breakfast."  It's been a nice relaxing and restorative weekend.  Yesterday, I went to this relaxation method workshop with my friend at her usual yoga studio.  It was a little weird (involved massaging one another by stepping on each other's arms, feet, and legs and pressing different pressure points), but it was actually very relaxing.  Then I went to another friend's housewarming party.  We slept in this morning and ordered bagel sandwiches from Bagel Works on First Avenue.  It took them over an hour to deliver, but that's what you get for being lazy.

Freshly Delivered Breakfast

Bagel Breakfast Sandwich

Turkey bacon, egg, and cheese on a poppy seed bagel... I actually prefer turkey bacon.

Bag of poppy seed and regular bagels for us to throw in our freezer for during the week.
I hope that this is a good productive week at work.  This last week, I was wiped out by two different nights of socializing and then waking up and coming into work not feeling 100%.  I also did not run at all this past week.  This upcoming week, I plan to get plenty of sleep, drink more water, and go running.  Today is going to be a good day to organize the apartment and prepare for the upcoming week.