Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

We made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  I finally used the pie crust cutters we got from our Williams-Sonoma wedding registry.
Autumnal leaf on top of pie
Pie cooling on our stove top

Pumpkin pie and whipped cream
I used a pie crust recipe I found here:
It turned out great.  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sushi, Box Wine, and a Cupcake

Dinner tonight was an Alaskan roll and a rainbow roll.  

Ko Sushi Alaskan roll and rainbow roll
My first time having the rainbow roll, and it was delicious

I have finally given in to box wine.  It's hard to limit yourself to the U.S. guidelines of one glass a night and seven a week at most.... My week started Monday (I'm not counting the 2.5 glasses I had Sunday).  The Bota Box Cabernet Sauvignon is potable, and now I want to try the Trader Joe's Shiraz and Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon.

In the above photo, you might notice my Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.  My mom used this cookbook to bake all of our cakes and cupcakes growing up, and my favorite basic cakes still come from this cook book.  Sunday evening, I made a dozen (I had to half the recipe) white cake cupcakes with chocolate butter frosting.  My husband and I had the last two today, and they were till pretty good.  Homemade cake is so superior to box mixes.  Your preference might depend on what you grew up with though; so it's probably relative.

Do cupcakes count as portion control?
As good, if not better, than the Magnolia and Crumbs equivalent

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Self Magazine Sweet and Spicy Peanut Noodles

Asian recipes and recipes from health magazines intimidate me.  Well, last night, I decided to make a healthy Asian recipe.  Self Magazine recently had a "Sweet and Spicy Peanut Noodles" recipe that looked delicious.  Here it is:

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
1/4 cup natural chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Asian chile paste (or to taste)
6 oz cooked linguine
1/3 cup sliced scallions

In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until just soft, 1 minute. Add 3 tbsp water, peanut butter, soy sauce, hoisin, sugar, vinegar and chile paste; cook, stirring often, until sauce is thick, about 4 minutes. Toss in noodles and scallions; serve at room temperature.

191 calories per serving, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein (Serves 6)

I doubled the recipe; so that my husband and I could eat it for a couple of meals.  The results were yummy!
Wok full of noodles
Side by side comparison

The Jeffrey Craft Beer & Bites: A Review

Our neighborhood is not hip.  There are not any cute little gastropubs serving craft beers to hip people hanging out and enjoying good conversation.  Or at least there "weren't" until we got The Jeffrey on 60th Street near the Queensboro Bridge.
Liquor selection on wall behind the bar
We popped in the other night to have a drink after work and both loved it.  It's one part adorable copper-topped bar, one part restaurant, one part beer garden, and one part coffee bar.  The staff was enthusiastic, charming, and knowledgeable.  Now that I've had the bar happy hour experience, I want to come and try their coffee bar some morning.  They said they are starting brunch soon too.
We tried the Sixpoint Stout, which was part of their Happy Hour selection.
We also had warm soft pretzels with pub cheese and mustard.
The Jeffrey is a great haven for our neighborhood, and it is just hipster enough that you feel cool, but not so hipster that you feel out of place. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Homemade Lasagna

I've been making huge dishes lately, which is dangerous for a two person household.  Last night, I made lasagna.
We've been buying DeCecco since Barilla CEO, Guido Barilla, said he would never feature a gay family in his ads, because it doesn't fit with his concept of family. 
Homophobia is not cute, and there are plenty of other and better pasta brands.
An entire ball of Trader Joe's mozzarella, most of a block of Emmental from Gourmet Garage, and some Trader Joe's Parmesan.
I'm becoming a huge fan of Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic Marina sauce (used 1.5 jars).
Layers of sauce, pasta, and cheese ready for a 350 degree oven.
After 25 minutes, I put tin foil over the lasagna and baked it for another 15 minutes. 
Melty, cheesy goodness.
Slice of lasagna.  Yum.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Going to Bed and Waking Up to Cats

Sometimes when I go to bed, my side has been completely taken over by our cats.

I've been replaced.
In the morning before work, I usually throw my outfit options on my side of the bed and often come back from the shower to find one of our cats lying on my clothes.  This time it's our gray and white.

Hmm, which outfit should you wear today?  I chose the dress on the left (Ann Taylor hand-me-down from a colleague).
If not for sits, why made of warm?  This cat loves sitting on my clothes, especially warm materials like this wool j.crew pencil skirt, anything corduroy, and my puffy NorthFace jacket.
Now that it's cold out, I often wake up to this little guy, our tabby, sleeping on my feet.  This was from this morning.
Look at his little tail and his bunny-like paws.  I love these cats more than words.

Magic Cookie Bars Redux

I tried making Magic Cookie Bars again this week, and they turned out much better this time.  I took out the butterscotch morsels and nuts that I used last time.

Blurry photo of magic cookie bars
My version of portion control
Here's the recipe I followed:
1 stick of melted butter
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups of chocolate chips
1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes 

You put the melted butter and graham crackers together, flatten that mixture in a 13x9 inch pan, pour the can of condensed milk over that, add the chocolate chips and coconut evenly over that, press down, and throw it in 325 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Sooo yummy and decadent.