Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Lovely Day in Brooklyn

Saturday was such a sunny and (fairly) warm day so we decided to spend it in Brooklyn! We started our afternoon at Smorgasburg, a weekend outdoor food flea market in Williamsburg with almost 100 different vendors selling all sorts of delectable food and beverages. Since we hadn't eaten anything beforehand, we were super hungry and ready to eat! We started with fries at Home Frite that had been mixed with truffle oil, parmesan and parsley, with a lemon aioli for dipping. The fries were thick cut, perfectly seasoned with a fresh citrus flavor from the aioli. Next up was a small slider size brisket sandwich and pulled pork sandwich from Mighty Quinn's, a BBQ restaurant in the East Village. The pulled pork was really good, but the brisket was awesome. The meat just melted in your mouth, with the right amount of fat and flavor. We can't wait to actually go the restaurant now! Last stop was at Oaxaca, where I picked up two tacos, one with pork carnitas and the other with ceviche. Both were really fresh, with a nice kick of spice and acid from the lime. We made some good choices, ending with a refreshing beer in the beer garden at the center of the space.

As we were heading to our next destination, we had a lucky discovery that OddFellows Ice Cream was on our way! I have been wanting to try their ice cream as they are known for having for creative and wacky flavor combinations. We had a double scoop of burnt marshmallow and the big winner, miso cherry. The miso was very prominent, but not too overpowering, and the macerated cherries added the right amount of sweet and tart. I could eat that flavor of ice cream every day - trust me, I'm not joking.

Our next destination was Radegast Beer Hall, where we had several German beers - hey, we're just doing research for our trip to Europe in the fall! Some friends met us there and we hung around for awhile longer and enjoyed a pretzel because it was National Pretzel Day after all!

Our last stop, and the one I had been waiting for all day, was at a fairly new restaurant called Emily in Clinton Hill. I was drawn to it, of course, by the name, and was even more excited when I heard really great reviews! They are predominantly a pizza place, but also have some pasta dishes and sides/appetizers as well. We ordered the Emily and the Matt pizzas, of which we both agreed the Emily was the clear favorite. Loaded with mozzarella, truffles, pistachios and honey, it was the perfect balance of sweet, savory, salty and earthy. I would go back solely for that pizza. We also had the opportunity to meet one of the owners, Emily, which was a really nice treat!

I can't wait for another fun Brooklyn day, especially as the weather continues to warm up. Where are your favorite places in Brooklyn? Let me know so I can check them out this summer!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Asian Lettuce Wraps

It's really hard to go wrong with a recipe that involves some of the best ingredients in Asian cuisine - ginger, scallions, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, peanuts. Don't all of those ingredients just scream something delicious? Well, I can guarantee this recipe will be exactly that! You're probably wondering, "What is the wonderful recipe that is already making me salivate?" Well, you're in luck because you get to experience this incredibly easy, but full of flavor recipe for Asian lettuce wraps!

I decided to use ground turkey instead of ground beef, just to make the recipe a bit healthier. I've never actually made these with ground beef, but I can guarantee that they're still full of flavor if you're going the leaner route. All of the flavor comes from the spices and sauces after all.

The end result is a crunchy lettuce cup full of flavor! The ground turkey (or beef) mixture has a spicy kick from the ginger and a good amount of heat from the red pepper flakes. The hoisin sauce gives a bit of sweetness while the soy sauce gives some saltiness. Look how balanced all the flavors are! The crunch of peanuts throughout is great too, give a nutty, earthy flavor. I hope you enjoy - I know I have since Matt and I have made this recipe several times now, even two days in a row!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Vanilla Chia Pudding

I'm so happy that we're finally feeling the sunshine in NYC! It's been a rough winter and I can't wait for spring and summer to get here. So many things to look forward to, especially the 10K I'm training for on Memorial Day! Matt and I have started working out again and we're trying to be very health conscious, but of course that doesn't mean I can get rid of sweets in my life completely. I just need to be a bit more crafty about what to make to satisfy my sweet tooth. I saved this recipe for vanilla chia pudding on Foodgawker a long time ago, but never got around to making it. Finally I decided to give it a try because it's both healthy and a little bit sweet!

This is probably one of the easiest recipes I've ever made. Three ingredients - vanilla almond milk, chia seeds and vanilla extract. How much easier can it get? After mixing up the ingredients, I put it in the fridge and stirred the mixture every 10 minutes for the first 30 minutes to avoid clumping. Afterwards, I just left it in the fridge overnight to thicken up and voila, you're done!

I left out the maple syrup so I could see what it tasted like without any extra sweetness. I think when I make it again, I would add in a little syrup because it wasn't as sweet as I would have liked. I did chop up strawberries and each bite was delicious from the sweetness of the fruit. There are so many options of fruit toppings - I'm thinking raspberries or mango next time. What would you mix into your pudding? Let me know in the comments section!