Thursday, January 31, 2013

Baking: Oreo Cake

And finally the dessert: Oreo Cake. When Ms. Pasty Chef told me she wanted something Oreo based, I brainstormed and ended with an Oreo cake. I looked all over the internet for a recipe but never found one that I was comfortable with. Most recipes didn't incorporate actual Oreo's in the recipes. Instead, they were cakes made to look like the cookie. So I made one up using several resources of my own. And I'm glad I did. This came out very well minus a couple of aesthetic points. Otherwise, the flavor was spot on.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cooking: Black Bean Garlic Chicken

Black bean and garlic is another very versatile sauce. You an use it on chicken or pork. I hardly see it on beef but I suppose you can do that too. Not seafood though. It's probably too robust and would destroy the delicate ocean flavors. Anyway, continue to read to see my step by step instructions on how to make this classic Chinese dish.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cooking: Shrimp and Chinese Sausage Fried Rice

I've written about my fried rice before but I thought it was time for an update and formal recipe. The great thing about fried rice is that you can add whatever ingredients you want. Don't eat meat, omit the sausage. Are you vegan? Just use vegetables. Love meat? Add ham and/or chicken. It's really versatile. I even once had a salmon fried rice in Hong Kong which was excellent. This version (my personal favorite) is shrimp and Chinese sausage.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Birthday Celebrations with Chinese Dinner

Every year around Mrs. Pattis Magic's (formerly Mrs. Executive Chef) and Ms. Pastry Chef's birthday, I offer to cook them a celebratory meal. It's usually a Chinese dinner and they always happily oblige. For some reason the invitation lists always grows more than what was originally planned. But it's all good. The more the merrier. Besides, how can I say no to family like Mrs. Green M&M and Mr. HP Sauce. Anyway, back to good. I tried a few different recipes this time so that I can take advantage of the grill and not slave over the stove all day.
Here's a picture of the spread before people attacked. I'm explaining what everything is to people so there's no mystery. Though, everything seems straight forward.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Takashi

I love celebrating my friends' birthdays. It's a wonderful excuse to get together and enjoy a very good meal. Some of my friends are outspoken and tell me what they want and where they want to go. While other friends like Mr. Peanut Head, let me do the deciding. I send him a list of restaurants that he might like and he picks. The list usually consists of places I've been wanting to go to as well. Being the organizer of the group has some perks. Anyway, for Mr. Peanut Head's birthday we went to Takashi, a beef centric Japanese restaurant.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mac Truck

This review is long overdue. I tried out the Mac Truck when it came into the Midtown scene for the the very first time in September. What can I say, I know I'm really behind on my posts. Things may have changed since they first started vending in Midtown. So please take this review with some reserve as it may not represent what it is now.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lunch Week 4: Miso Salmon with Soba, Kabocha Squash, and Bok Choy

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Miso Salmon with Soba Noodles, Kabocha Squash, and Spinach
This week, I'm doing Japanese flavors. I kept things basic and simple with each ingredient tasting of its natural flavors. I have to say, it's much harder to pull off simple and unadulterated than it is to make something like a flavor bomb.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Night: Edi & The Wolf

Towards the end of  one year, my friends thought that we weren't hanging out enough. It's true, we weren't. So they started Tuesday night get-togethers. Every Tuesday, we'll pick a bar to drink, eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Whoever can make it will attend. If you're busy, it's okay. There's always next week. So this is Tuesday Nights on Tasty Eating where you will find bars that serve food and how we like them.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: Edi & The Wolf
I needed to change things up a bit. Although I do love the pub fare at Phebe's, I don't constantly want that kind of food: fried everything. So I suggested Edi & The Wolf one night for Austrian fare. Not to my surprise, my friends were also craving something different.

We arrived to a fairly empty restaurant and were seated immediately. It filled up as the night went on. I was put in charge of selecting things from the menu. You know what happens when I'm put in charge? I order too much. It happens pretty much every time.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Jade Asian

Long time readers know that I really enjoy Jade Asian. It's my go to dim sum place in Flushing, Queens. What I didn't even realize myself is that I've never had dinner there. Well opportunity struck one day or circumstances forced certain decisions (friend with child for dinner) and we ended up at Jade Asian at night.
The restaurant was relatively empty on this Wednesday night as expected. Chinese people definitely do not eat out often at restaurants. It's usually a holiday or birthday. Anyway, I wasn't really bothered by it being empty since I've been here before.
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Ichimura at Brushstroke

When you first walk into Brushstroke in Tribeca, you're greeted by a hostess and a lively atmosphere of diners and chefs working behind the sushi bar. However, if you're lucky enough to get a reservation for Ichimura (which only does 2 seatings per night for a max of 9 seats) then you're swept away to the right behind the curtains to a simple wooden bar with Master Chef Eiji Ichimura at the helm. No sous chefs stand behind there with him. It's just you and 8 other lucky diners for the edo mae style omakase dinner (starting at $150).

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

LT Burger

Whenever there's a new burger place near me, I have to check it out. When I heard that LT Burger opened up near Bryant Park, I looked forward to it. I had enjoyed BLT Burger in the past and was hoping to make a return visit. This just made it easier on me.
We arrived on a cold night during the holidays. The city was packed with tourists. It was basically mobbed. We walked a bit and found it much more manageable near Bryant Park. Sure people were lined up to ice skate but if you avoided that direct area then it was fine. When we arrived at the restaurant, there was a line but a short wait. About 15 minutes later we sat at the tiniest table in the corner. This really was a one top table. Things kept falling and the plates wouldn't fully fit. In hindsight, we should have asked for a bigger table. At least the meal was going to be quick due to the nature of the food.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lunch Week 3: Pork Marsala with Sauteed Escarole

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Pork Marsala with Sauteed Escarole
Changing the cuisines up keeps my lunches interesting. Korean one week, Turkish another. This time, I'm making Italian. No pasta, cheese, or red sauce here. Nope. Instead, I'm opting for pork chops in marsala wine sauce and sauteed escarole and cannellini beans.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Nights: Hallo Berlin

Towards the end of  one year, my friends thought that we weren't hanging out enough. It's true, we weren't. So they started Tuesday night get-togethers. Every Tuesday, we'll pick a bar to drink, eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Whoever can make it will attend. If you're busy, it's okay. There's always next week. So this is Tuesday Nights on Tasty Eating where you will find bars that serve food and how we like them.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: Hallo Berlin
It was a small crowd on this particular week. Just 4 people. So we enjoyed a couple of dishes together and some good German beer at Hallo Berlin. We sat outside in the garden in the back due to the good weather. We shared an order of the Potato Pancakes ($6.50) which came 2 to a plate with applesauce and sour cream as garnishes. The potato pancakes were more pancake than potato. I like latkes much better for the texture. But these had good flavor. Not too starchy and well seasoned. On the right, we also shared the Dr. Atkins Diet Platter ($19) which came with 3 sausages (vealwurst, beefwurst, and porkwurst), meatballs, and plenty of pickled vegetables including red cabbage, sauerkraut, pickles, cucumbers, and string beans. The sausages were plump, juicy, and very flavorful due to the various spices that they used. The accompanying vegetables helped cut through the fatty richness of the meat. This was a very good value.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Phil's Steaks

Sometimes I come across a food truck so good that it amazes me. And all faith in humanity is restored. Phil's Steaks is such a truck. Good food, fair prices, and quick service. Get in my belly!

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Friday, January 11, 2013

East Noodle [CLOSED]

One rainy night, Mr. M&P, Mrs. Green M&M, and Mr. H&P Sauce and I found ourselves downtown looking for some place to eat. I was really tired and requested not to be the one to pick a place. We were in the East Village. It shouldn't be too hard for them, right? Right? Our first attempt at Ippudo ramen was shot down with a 1.5 hour wait. We walked around the corner and found ourselves in front of Yuba which I heard good things about. But they didn't want to wait the 30 minutes. So off we went in search of a place that can seat us immediately. Several places I pointed out were shot down. When we grew too tired and too hungry, they pressed me on where to go. Umm yeah, I asked not to pick. And I had already suggested a few places that they said no to. Can't a food blogger get a break sometimes? I grew impatient and just jumped into East Noodle.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

DBGB

I'm going back, way back here. My posts are all over the place. Between my summer hiatus and busy work schedule, I posted what I could. Now that things have simmered down a bit, I've been able to go back to my photos and look through some of the more memorable meals. This meal at DBGB stems from the Feisty Foodies's birthday dinner back in October. A small group gathered and we bid a very happy birthday to the food loving princess.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lunch Week 2: Bibimbap

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Bibimbap
I love making bibimbap (a Korean rice and vegetable dish). It's fairly easy to make the cooked rice with sauteed vegetables and it tastes fantastic. All the different flavors and textures of each vegetable keeps it interesting throughout the week. The only thing I changed this time is the omission of the egg (only because I actually ran out of it) and mixing the gochujang red pepper sauce into the rice.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Nights: Veselka Bowery [CLOSED]

Towards the end of  one year, my friends thought that we weren't hanging out enough. It's true, we weren't. So they started Tuesday night get-togethers. Every Tuesday, we'll pick a bar to drink, eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Whoever can make it will attend. If you're busy, it's okay. There's always next week. So this is Tuesday Nights on Tasty Eating where you will find bars that serve food and how we like them.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: Veselka Bowery
Once in awhile, my friends and I like to class it up for Tuesday Night. We love pubs and pub food just fine but sometimes we crave a bit more especially when we have a book club meeting. So on this chilly night we went to Veselka Bowery to chow down on some comforting Ukrainian food. The special that night a seafood tower, Zabava. They had the option of small or large ($55/$100). We chose the small because we wanted to order some other things as well. It came with cocktail shrimp, poached mussels, roasted beets, smoked fish, cured fish, crab cakes, salmon croquette, fish salad, etc. It was actually a great deal. It came with a lot of food and fed us happily.  Everything tasted fresh and clean. The smoked and cured fishes were filled with rich flavor.
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Monday, January 7, 2013

2012 Cookie Swap

Ah the holidays. It's when people splurge on all things luxurious. As wallets get smaller, waists get larger. A cookie swap is a good way to gain some weight. I mean, how can I not try each and every thing? Oh dear me! And I don't have a sweet tooth. Yeah, I'm whining...

And now the cookies!

This year, I made a variety for Feisty Foodie and Dessert Zombie. I like going from lighter flavors to more robust. So I made lemon iced, cherry almond oatmeal, peanut butter Nutella thumbprint, and smores espresso brownies. They were pretty easy to make and that's why I aimed for 4 different cookies.

I liked the texture of my lemon cookies but it could have had more lemon flavor. I should have trusted my gut and added double the zest as I usually do. But I wanted to try the recipe on its own. Now I know what to do to improve.

The oatmeal cookies were really moist thanks to the applesauce I added. I call it my healthy cookie since it has less sugar and much more fiber as well as healthier add ins like cherries and almonds. It's not the best tasting cookie but it's not bad with a cup of milk.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Guy's American Kitchen and Bar

Recently, I was given the chance to eat the Guy's American Kitchen and Bar. To be honest, it was a departmental holiday lunch paid by my company. Did I pay for my meal? No. Did the restaurant pay for it? No. Now that I got that disclaimer out of the way...
Although Guy's Fieri's restaurant wasn't my first or any choice, I begrudgingly went anyway. I know all of you have heard or even read the NY Times scathing review. I don't have to anything more to add to that. But I was given the chance to judge the food, service, and decor on my own. I really didn't want to and made all the excuses I could to avoid it. But peer pressure and guilt from several friends and coworkers changed my mind. Sure, I went in with prejudices already in mind but I love it when places prove me wrong in the right way. Would this Guy's American Kitchen be one of them?
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lunch Week 1: Lamb Stuffed Eggplant

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Lamb Stuffed Eggplant
I'm back to cooking in full force. Work was winded down (finally!) and I'm well rested (thanks for the holidays). So I'm starting the new year right with some delicious lunches. And hopefully this year I can explore more cuisines. Shake things up a bit. This Turkish recipe comes from Food & Wine magazine but I've added my own tweaks.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tuesday Nights: Red Lobster

Towards the end of  one year, my friends thought that we weren't hanging out enough. It's true, we weren't. So they started Tuesday night get-togethers. Every Tuesday, we'll pick a bar to drink, eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Whoever can make it will attend. If you're busy, it's okay. There's always next week. So this is Tuesday Nights on Tasty Eating where you will find bars that serve food and how we like them.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: Red Lobster
Once a year, we spend a Tuesday night wearing ugly sweaters to an establishment we would never bat an eyelash to. Last year we went to Olive Garden. This year, we went to Red Lobster. Chain restaurant is always a key factor.

When we arrived, we waited a little bit for our whole party to be seated. But that's always the case for large parties. We were 7 people. When we were finally called on the buzzer, we took the elevator up and were seated at a 6 top booth. What? We were really cramped and they offered to put a chair at the end of the booth but that meant being bumped into every time someone needed to walk by. Luckily, our friend spotted a round table about to be finished and asked if we could sit there. Thankfully, the hostess said yes.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!
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