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A Weekend of Eating

Good Monday Morning, friends! Gosh, it’s been a while. I’ve sort of been in “vacation mode” for the last week(ish), thanks in no small part to the fact that I don’t have any classes this week. Bring on the holidays!   

Our kitchen has finally been put back together; my dad was up until the wee small hours of the morning putting everything back together. And just in time for Thanksgiving cooking and baking! My mom and I always make these rolls, but I have to figure out which vegetable sides I want to make this year. I’ve already bookmarked many recipes I’ve found on blogs! shapes.jpg

Anyway, back to “vacation mode,” which really just translated to seeing as many friends and eating as many things as possible in the shortest amount of time. Not all went documented, but here are a few tastes!

Sofia and I met for a romantic dinner date at Osteria Cotta on Thursday night. While I’ve borrowed her books and stolen her salsa, I haven’t actually spent a whole lot of solo time with her in a while so it was really nice to catch up over Montepulciano and hearty Italian fare. We started with a couple vegetable sides: roasted cauliflower + lentils, which we spread over crusty slices of rustic bread.

cotta.jpg

Our entrée was a no-brainer: the special pizza was made with butternut squash, roasted cauliflower, and smoked mozzarella. Delicious! Smoked mozzarella is so underrated. We ate every scrap.

cotta pizza.jpg

After dinner, we sauntered over to Momofuku Milk Bar’s newest location, just a few blocks down the street. There were tough decisions to be made: birthday cake truffles or cereal milk ice cream? Crack pie or blueberries ‘n cream cookies? Compost cookies or candy bar pie?

IMG_4090.JPG Sofia’s cereal milk ice cream with cornflake topping

After all the cheese at dinner I decided to play it safe with carbs and got the compost cookie, a ridiculous mix of chocolate, butterscotch, pretzels, oats, ground coffee, and potato chips. Totally weird, but it totally works (even if it is a bit sweet).

compost cookie.jpg

On Friday, my friend Jen and I met at Queens Kickshaw for lunch. It was only my third time at the Kickshaw, but honestly, it became one of my very favorite places after my first visit. They’ve got the most outrageously delicious and creative grilled cheese sandwiches, and also take their coffee and beery very seriously.

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Jen got the cheddar + mozzarella (on brioche) with tomato soup. I love that each sandwich comes paired with a salad or soup to complement the flavors! I tried a new-to-me sandwich: gouda with black bean hummus, guava jam, pickled jalepeños, + salad (with jalepeño vinaigrette). Swoon.

kickshaw sandwiches.jpg

It was a weekend of late nights, after one of which my mom took me out for a nice brunch at PicNic Market, where I dined on gravlax “benedict” (made with cured smoked salmon instead of the traditional Canadian bacon) and an endless cup of coffee.

gravlax benedict.jpg

On another outing, we popped into Cascabel Taqueria for a quick bite to refuel (after furiously spending Groupons). I’d been there once before, last weekend, for a cup of outrageous Mexican hot chocolate, and I have to tell you: I am so excited this place opened up. They have the kind of Mexican fare I love (it may be my new Pachanga Patterson), and I am dying to try their tacos.

Anyway, I wasn’t all that hungry, but I tried their Ensalada Luchador: bibb lettuce with fingerling potato, pickled jalepeño, toasted pumpkin seed, and queso fresco. There hasn’t been much green in my life, and I will take an interesting salad any day of the week.
cascabel salad.jpg

Last night, after an evening at the theater with my parents, we stopped at Pure Thai Shophoouse for dinner. This place has been on “my list”* since they opened, but it’s a hoppin’ place and I’ve never been able to get in before. 9:30 on a Sunday night is the time to go!

My dad ordered their signature (non-alcoholic) drink, Langan, which is a homemade iced lychee drink that tastes like the best iced tea you’ve never had. And the presentation is gorgeous.
Langan drink.jpg

We shared some of the most awesome steamed veggie dumplings I’ve ever had (ground up peanuts, just spicy enough, delicious dough). I also ordered a Thai Papaya Salad, which is a spicy mix of shredded papaya, cherry tomatoes, green beans, dried shrimp and peanuts.

Pure Thai.jpg

For protein, I added salted blue crab, which the waiter double-taked to make sure I really wanted it. Basically, for $2, you get a generous portion of raw crab legs, which you crack open and suck the meat out of. I’m pretty hardcore, in case you hadn’t noticed ;-) .

But no, it’s not all fancy grilled cheese and raw seafood… after midnight on Saturday you could have found me and my little redheaded friend at a flourescently-lit hole-in-the-wall pizza place somewhere on Amsterdam avenue, scarfing down our second (and third) dinners.

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We’re 24. We’re becoming adults and have to make big decisions that very well might influence our entire futures. But late-night greasy pizza (or another vodka-soda at The Gin Mill) is not one of them, and 20 years from now, I surely hope I’ll still find this a completely satisfying ending to a Saturday night.

*said list has gone the way of my broken Blackberry, so if there’s a place in NYC you think I need to try, please let me know!

Goal for 2011 update: Cook One New Recipe A Week

Week 1: Lemony Spaghetti with Bitter Greens & Chickpeas

Week 2: Lentil Chili

Week 3: Chickpeas in Star Anise & Date Masala

Week 4: Thai-Style Black Beans w/ Mango & Cilantro

Week 5: Ten Minute Tasty Asparagus & Brown Rice, Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cheddar and Toasted Almonds, Warm Red Lentil Salad, Garlicky Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad.

Week 6: Beets, Spiced Quinoa & Yogurt, Sesame-Cooked Eggs Over Rice

Week 7: Curried Parsnip Fries

Week 8: Curried Lentils & Sweet Potatoes

Week 9: Rutabagas with Buckwheat, Black Beans & Kale, Garlicky Mushroom Greens

Week 10: Tamarind Lentils, The Double-Shift Scramble

Week 11: Spicy Chickpea Salad, Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze, Spicy Red Lentil, Peanut & Pumpkin Soup

Week 12: Sunday Night Supper Salad, Peanut Butter Banana-Berry French Toast Sandwich

Week 13: Grilled Cheddar-Mushroom Sandwich

Week 14: Black Bean Soup, Sweet Pumpkin Pudding

Week 15: Green Rice

Week 16: Matzoh Buttercrunch Candy,  Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew

Week 17: Truffled Turnip Soup, Nutty Lemon Brussels Sprouts, Cookie Dough Smoothie

Week 18: Raw Chocolate Fudge Cake, Spring Pasta

Week 19: Chopped Kale w/ Hot Pepper Vinegar

Week 20: Ultimate Veggie Burgers, Mmm Sauce

Week 21: Ribbed Asparagus Salad with Lemon, Spinach & Chickpeas, Chocolate-Chip Blondies, Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Pancakes, Leek Zucchini Pasta Salad

Week 22: Sesame Ginger Kale Salad, Hoisin Ginger Tofu with Smoky Tahini Slaw  

Week 23: Pan-Seared Asparagus Salad with Frisée and Fried Egg, Baked Ziti, Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread, Green Bowl   

Week 24: Quinoa Cookies, Chocolate Mousse

Week 26: Sweet Potato Stuffed with Caramelized Tempeh and Sautéed Kale, Shaved Fennel Salad, Summer Pesto

Week 27: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Week 28: Choco-holic Pancakes

Week 29: Green Israeli Couscous Salad

Week 30: Swiss Chard with Currants and Pine Nuts

Week 31: Babaganoush Soup, Freekeh Risotto, Brown Butter (Plum) Cake or Cobbler

Week 32: (Modified) Tomato Salad on a Roll

Week 33: None :-(

Week 34: None :-(

Week 35: Pappardelle with Spiced Butter

Week 36: Cucumber Peanut Salad, Grilled Peach and Avocado Salad

Week 37: Nut-Butter Crusted Fries

Week 38: Harvest Bread, Red Lentil Soup, Halibut with North African Spices, Warm Shrimp Salad with Red Chili, Kamut and Tarragon

Week 39: Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard, White Bean and Parmesan Baked Orzo, Rustic Plum Crostata with Lemon Thyme

Week 40: Chocolate Cherry Pumpkin Bread

Week 41: Pumpkin Boatmeal for One

Week 42: Hot Apple Pie Pancakes, Lentil Stew with Pumpkin, Tamari Roasted Chickpeas

Week 43: Pear-Apple Compote, Four Easy Pizzas

Week 44: Pumpkin Softies, Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie for One

Week 45: Rice + Beans for One, Rosemary Kale Chips

Week 46: One-Minute Chocolate Cake

Week 47: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans and Avocado

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, do you know what you’re contributing to the meal yet? I need ideas!

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