May 17, 2013

Making it Through Winter

With late April days dipping down into the 30s, we wondered if spring would ever come. Well, it finally has. Windows are opened at night, puffy coats traded in for light jackets, and the earmuffs are stored away. (Okay, it was 43 degrees on Tuesday so the earmuffs snuck out for a one day appearance, but they’re back in the closet now for good.)

Outdoor seating is popping up cafes everywhere. Some NYC restaurants brave even the snow and declare year-round outdoor seating is doable even without heat lamps. (I’m talking about you, Sidewalk Cafe!) The rest of ‘em whip out the tables and chairs when it feels like it’s time to eat al fresco. Seeing more people on the street and leaving work while there is daylight makes the days much brighter.

Despite what felt like an endless winter, I managed to stay more active than usual. I’m proud that this is the first winter in nine years that I didn’t gain 15 pounds over the dreary, frigid season. While I could have done better, I did well enough. I attribute it to a few things, each of which took way more effort than it sounds like:

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February 3, 2013

Sweet and Satisfying Eggplants and Tomatoes

Shortly after Mike and I were married, my mother-in-law hosted a family dinner at her home. Always considerate of my selective food habits, she asked if I like eggplant and chickpeas. I’m definitely a fan of eggplant, but chickpeas have always been a bit questionable in my book. Anyway, I said “sure.” Little did I know, the dish I was about to enjoy would have me stocking up on chickpeas every three weeks. read more »

November 6, 2012

Name that Fruit!

Reporting live from the Maldives: Our fruit basket contains unidentifiable fruit. Nestled among the kiwis, clementines, plums, and apples lie two mystery objects… seemingly an out of water sea anemone and a potato. But that can’t be right! read more »

October 7, 2012

Clinton Street Bakery Pancakes

These not-so-ordinary pancakes come from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook – a gift I received from Mike two Christmases ago when I first moved to the city and lived on St. Marks Place. Since we started dating, we made a ritual of going to this tiny restaurant three times every February to experience the special flavors of “Pancake Month.” A simply ingenious invention by the owners to drum up business during their slowest time of year, Pancake Month now draws flocks of people for banana pancakes with bavarian cream and toasted coconut, or our favorite, a short stack studded with chocolate chunks and fresh raspberries topped with raspberry-caramel sauce.

This lazy Saturday’s homemade plate of pancakes were a celebratory stack, a labor of love. Typical pancakes are not very time intensive. Throw a couple ingredients in a bowl while the pan heats up, pour ‘em on, and behold: pancakes. Clinton Street-style pancakes, however, with their eleven ingredients and folded whipped egg whites managed to make a sinkful of dishes… along with some of the lightest pancakes on the planet.

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April 14, 2012

Memory Lane: Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna

I haven’t been in the mood to cook for a while. For the last few weeks, Mike and I ate dinner out and ordered delivery (many) more times than I care to admit. I’m not sure if it’s because we both lacked the energy to schlep food home from the grocery store six blocks away or if we just haven’t had the desire to cook after work.  Probably both.

I finally jumped back into cooking with a recipe that I love. One of Mama Pea‘s famous veg*n recipes (vegan or vegetarian, depending on whether you use real or mock cheese) has become a go-to in this household. For our second trip down memory lane, I’d like to share Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna.

These pictures were taken back in October during my first attempt at the dish.  I’ve since made it five or six times and have yet to be disappointed. Instead of pasta, the recipe calls for long, thin slices of zucchini layered with marinara sauce and a quinoa mixture.

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