Friday, October 31, 2014

Lunch Week 37: Beef Enchiladas

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: Beef Enchiladas
And finally the lunch of the week. I made enchiladas again but this time I used beef instead of turkey. The filling and sauce was lovely as usual but the corn tortillas that I picked up were horrible. I mean really terrible. They broke apart as I rolled them around the filling and even after baking, they were still pretty bad. The texture and the taste was bad. It pretty much ruined the lunch. Anyone any good corn tortilla brands?

Anyway, for step by step instructions and a proper recipe, click here.
Read more...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lunch Week 36: Turkey Meatloaf 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: Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Escarole
The weather is getting kind of chilly these days. And it's been rainy too. That screams for more comfort food, no? So this week I went for meatloaf. Turkey meatloaf to be exact. Juicy, tender meatloaf with a glaze of ketchup on top. And because I feel guilty about the meatloaf, I sauteed some escarole on the side.

For the recipe and step by step instructions, click here.
Read more...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lunch Week 35: Asian Sloppy Joes with Egg Crepe

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: Asian Sloppy Joes with Egg Crepe

So it looks like I'm even more behind on my lunch posts than I thought. I've been slacking, haven't I? Sorry about that. So here are the missing lunch posts from the past few weeks.
For this week, I made Asian sloppy joes with egg crepe. This is something completely from my childhood. It's comfort food. Although I changed a few things here (I added more vegetables for health reasons) but the idea is the same.
Read more...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 4): O'Hare Airport - Tortas Frontera

But you didn't think at was it, did you? No sir! Our last meal from Chicago wasn't necessarily in Chicago. When we arrived to the airport, we rushed over to Tortas Frontera to grab some sandwiches to go. We had hoped to eat them on the plane and forego the terrible airline food. Mr. M&P ate his on the plane while I decided to sleep instead. But don't worry, they were quite tasty back home as well.
We decided to split a couple of sandwiches: the Pepito ($11.50) and the Choriqueso ($9). The first was beer braised beef short ribs with pickled jalapenos, chihuahua cheese, black beans, cilantro crema, and avocado. This sandwich was really delicious being slightly spicy with juicy and tender meat and the freshness of the accompaniments. Really well done. My sandwich, the Choriqueso, had pork chorizo, poblano rajas, chihuahua cheese, and avocado. This sandwich was also good but not as good as the Pepito. I found it slightly dryer and needed the side of salsa that came with every sandwich.
Read more...

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 4): Dusek's

I didn't get a chance to finish my Chicago posts. Sorry about that. I'm trying to catch up on a lot of things that have fallen off my priority list. But now that I have a few minutes, I'm going to try to punch out the last couple of posts for you. On our last day in Chicago (not a full day) but really just a few hours in the day before heading to the airport, we met up with some friends that lived moved to the Windy City from NYC. We met up at Dusek's for brunch on Sunday.
The menu looked pretty interesting from the main dishes to the pastries. While we waited for our main courses to come out, we snacked on some pie spiced beignets ($4 for 4). These were fantastic. Impossibly light and fluffy, hot to the table, and just sweet enough to make my drool ever so slightly. These were wonderful. Our friends shared the doughnut (not pictured) which they enjoyed as well.
Read more...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 3): Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse

For our last dinner in Chicago, we went for steak. We definitely wanted to try an old school steakhouse and gladly settled on Gibson’s. We’ve read plenty about it and have also seen it on the League (not that any of the characters actually eat there).

We arrive to a very bustling scene. Apparently a lot of popular restaurants are in this area. It certainly seemed like a place to be seen. And that was validated as sports car after sports car pulls up to valet with the driver (usually an older gentleman) and his hot young date step out, pose, and head on into one of the restaurants. I stood outside and watched as people paraded themselves up and down the streets showing off what they had. It was quite entertaining actually. Some people call the neighborhood the Viagra Triangle. Take that as you will.

Anyway, back to food. As our party was led through the dining room through cramped quarters and jovial patrons, we spied on what other people were eating. Steak was clearly the choice but we looked and sides and even desserts. There was a lot to absorb. Once seated, we looked over the menu while the waiter introduced himself. We came back later with a platter displaying many of the steak offerings of the night but raw. We could see the difference of marbling between different cuts. By the way, they wet age their steaks. They also had a 2 lb lobster tail for viewing pleasure too.
After much consideration, I chose the bone-in strip steak while Mr. M&P had the bone-in ribeye and our guest had the filet. To share, we ordered the mashed potatoes with red eye gravy, creamed spinach, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. But before all that food graced our table, every entrĂ©e order comes with a starter of a salad or soup. While the rest of my party chose the salad, I had the soup which was a seafood gumbo that night. Rich, deep ocean flavors with chunks of seafood around. My only complaint was that it was a bit salty. I guess that the soup was made ahead of time and sat as the night went on allowing it to reduce and the seasonings becoming more apparent. I’ve experienced this at several restaurants before and it’s not uncommon.
Read more...

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 3): Lou Malnati's

On our last full day in Chicago, we decided to have deep dish pizza for lunch again. We're on vacation so why not splurge of gluttony?
This time, we headed to Lou Malnati's. Similar to Gino's, they have several locations around the city but obviously we went to the one that was within walking distance to where we needed to be. We planned on having an early lunch in order to beat the crowd (it was a Saturday) and get to where we needed to be going. That decision turned out to be smart because by the time we left, there was a line waiting to be seated. You see, deep dish pizza takes awhile to cook. Any good waitress will let you know that it's a 45 minute wait for your pizza to arrive. So if you know which pizza you're going to order, then do it right when you're seated. Then mull over the appetizers or drinks.
Read more...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 2): The Girl and the Goat

For our second night out, we had reservations to the Girl and the Goat. I've been a big fan of Chef Stephanie Izzard since her Top Chef days. Her restaurant has been revered over and over again by critics. And friends of our have also recommended it. So it was a no brainer to have dinner here. Their menu is made for sharing which is great for groups, big or small.
To start, we had the fried Naked Cowboy oysters with egg salad and capers. Plump crispy oysters giving a sweet yet briny flavor. Nicely executed and delicious. The flavors worked really well together.
Read more...

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 2): Gino's East

On the next day, we decided to get some infamous Chicago style deep dish pizza. We've heard good things about Gino's East from its old school low key decor and good buttery crusts.
Read more...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 1): Alinea

And the good eating just won't stop. On our first night in Chicago, we went to Alinea. Oh yes, we did. And although I was allowed to take pictures of my meal, I decided to opt out. Why? Well, sometimes I just want to enjoy the meal and forget about having to take the perfect picture. And this was the kind of meal that I really wanted to enjoy. Lucky for you, my readers, they provided me with the menu after dinner. So please read on below because this was the most interesting and interactive meal I have ever had. And I can honestly say that it was one of the best meals I've ever had too. Yup, it really impressed me.
Read more...

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 1): Frontera Grill

After having a double cheeseburger for breakfast then some doughnuts from Glazed and Infused for dessert, it was then time for our lunch reservation at Frontera Grill. You didn't expect me to go all the way to Chicago without going to a Rick Bayless restaurant, did you?
To start, we had to have try the guacamole ($9.50) which came with some homemade tortilla chips and two types of salsas: roasted tomato and tomatillo. This was excellent. Light, refreshing,and full of flavor. Even the complimentary salsas were fantastic.
Read more...

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 1): Billy Goat Tavern

When we landed in Chicago, I was starving. It was still pretty early in the morning and wasn't time for our lunch reservation yet. So as we walked towards our hotel from the train station, we passed by a sign for none other that the Billy Goat Tavern. I was immediately excited because I knew it was serving burgers at this hour. So we dropped off our luggage and headed straight there. We were practically the only patrons there at that hour. But shortly after more people came in for the lunch rush.
Read more...

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL: Doughnuts Galore!

While planning my trip to Chicago with Mr. M&P, I saw that they had a lot of well regarded doughnut places. So what was I to do but to create a map of doughnut places to try. While some places were completely far from where we were staying or visiting, others were well within walking distance from our hotel. So we planned on having some doughnuts every morning for breakfast. What better fuel was there to get us going for the day? First up, Glazed and Infused. The location we went to was a little storefront located within another restaurant. You actually have to enter through the restaurant in order to get to the doughnut counter. Or you can walk up to the take out window.
On this first day, we were a little wide eyed and decided to order 3 doughnuts to share. This was a bit more than what we could finish. Of course, this was after we had gone for a burger already. But more on that later. The doughnuts pictured above are: white chocolate passionfruit, chocolate, and maple bacon. The white chocolate passionfruit was our favorite actually. Creme filled, sweet, but also lightly tart as well. It was a well sized and well balanced doughnut. In fact, this was our favorite doughnut from the whole trip.

The chocolate doughnut was good but didn't hit that "oooh chocolate" spot. We couldn't pinpoint what was missing though. And surprisingly, the maple bacon doughnut wasn't that great. The bacon was overly smoky and overpowered the flavors of everything else.
Read more...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lunch Week 34: Rice Cakes with Pork and Vegetables

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: Rice Cakes with Pork and Vegetables
This week's lunch is something I've made before but I've been experimenting with it. I'm not completely satisfied with how I've been executing this dish but I get one step closer every time. And therefore, there is no step by step nor written recipe...yet. I'm still going to work on this until I'm entirely happy with the dish.

Read more...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Upcoming Posts

Hi Readers!

I'm a bit behind on my posts this week. So I'm going to take this time to catch up on some interesting eating adventures to write up. But here's a hint: Chicago!

In the meantime, eat well! I'll be back next week. Enjoy!
Read more...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Lunch Week 33: Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash

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: Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash
This chicken is one of my more favorite things to make for lunch. I'm not sure why I don't make it more often though. It's so delicious and easy to make in big batches. And it's really versatile meaning you can serve almost anything on the side. Although I made it a bit spicier than normal, I do suggest a soothing side like a salad or avocado. I opted for roasted butternut squash this time considering it's in season now.
Read more...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Baking: Three Layer Smores Cake

I really enjoyed how this smores cake came out that I'm dedicating a whole post (with recipe!) to it.
To remind you, the cake is a chocolate base with white chocolate graham cracker filling, and a toaste marshmallow frosting.
Read more...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cooking for September Birthday Ladies

In September, we've been celebrating dual birthday dinners for Mrs. Pattis Magician and Ms. Pastry Chef's birthdays. I always tell people that they shouldn't have to cook for themselves for their own birthdays. So when I joined this family, I offered to cook for them for their birthdays. And what have they picked year after year? Chinese food. And who am I to say no?
So feast your eyes on the meal that I gave them this year. To see these dishes more up close and personal, keep reading.
Read more...