Monday, January 31, 2011

Dinner tonight: Chicken Cacciatore inspired by my Mom

My Mom has recently been bragging about the chicken cacciatore that she has experimented I thought why not give it a try tonight for the brood.  I followed this Rachael Ray recipe with a few of my own additions.  Since I had some veggies that had been sitting in the fridge for a few days...I figured this was the perfect recipe to add them to:  zucchini, red onion and green pepper.  You can really play around with this menu and spice it up with your favorite veggies, meats and/or herbs and spices.
With some garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli on the side...this dish was delish!

Today's Lunch: Leftover noodles turn Cacio e Pepe (Cheese & Pepper)

I have been making a lot of my Boobie's homemade chicken soup this winter.  It's been cold and there have been lots of sneezes in our path and this is the only thing that keeps my family healthy.  With the soup, I often serve thin egg noodles.  And inevitably...I always have a bowl leftover in the fridge.
After polishing off the last of this week's worth of soup, I took my leftover noodles and dropped them into a medium size bowl with 2 eggs, a splash of Mazzola heart healthy corn oil, several good twists of freshly ground black pepper and a palm full of freshly shredded parmesan cheese.  I put my good ol' non stick pan onto the stove, added a tablespoon of oil and heated on high.  I dropped the noodle mixture into the pan, flattened it out and left it there to sizzle.  When the bottom side was golden brown I used a large spatula to flip the noodle pancake.  Perfection.  A few more minutes and I was good to go.  I used a pizza knife, cut it into triangles and served along side my favorite dip.  I had just picked up a fresh container of Mango salsa which was bright and bold with flavors.  Making a beautiful combo of salty and sweet, the now Cacio e Pepe (which means cheese and pepper in Italian) noodle leftovers were a sheer delight.

Find these thin egg noodles at your local grocery store or on my favorite - Freshdirect.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby Moon

Sounds like a trip you take before you have a baby....doesn't it?
Well guess again.  It's the sister to my favorite Hamptons Italian joint (La Parmigiana) called Baby Moon located on Montauk Highway in Westhampton.
I've driven by this place about 100 times and never considered going inside.  For no good reason.  Until this past Friday, I had dinner in the old location of Cru, now called Lotus Of Siam.  Veering off track was pretty good!  Loved their crispy chicken wings which had a sauce that that tasted just like my favorite wings that are served at Whole Foods.  At dinner, our friends told us that La Parmiagana has a sister restaurant called Baby Moon.  I looked at my hubby and our eyes lit up with excitement!
So Saturday we took a drive out to our house and dropped the LM off with his grandparents for the night so we could do some shopping and indulge in lots of good food and R&R.
Our perfect weekend meals consisted of:
Break in shopping lunch:  The Country Rotisserie
*I got the 1/4 dark chicken with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans.  Delish.
Dinner:  At the Patio
*I got the butter lettuce wedge with blue cheese and cherry tomatoes and the pork chop with sweet mashed potatoes.  The pork is my favorite and is so good I had to have the watier get the chef to come to our table and give us the recipe.  And he did.  Stay tuned...I will be trying to make it in the coming weeks...
Breakfast:  McDonald's egg mcmuffin + a hot choclate.  Naughty.
Lunch:  Baby Moon.  And here we are...
*I had the garden salad (dressing is not the same as La Parmiagana - I'm obsessed with it there - which was the only disappointiment but still dressed with a nice vinagrette) and a mini pizza.  My husband had the veal parm sammie.  Devine.  I highly recommend it for a good Italian casual lunch or dinner!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This is where I want to go...

when I die.  The Food Hall in the Plaza by Todd English.   It's a food court haven.  Bravo Mr. English…Bravo!  Here's how we got there...

It had just snowed a good 12 or so inches through the night and the streets were a total mess.  But…it had also snowed the day before and LM and I hold up and stayed inside for the entire afternoon.  We had to get out and breathe some fresh air.  We just had to!  So we put on our snow boots, strapped into the Ergo and away we went.  

A friend had told me about this new food court in the Plaza hotel that she went to and loved.  A food court I thought?  So strange.  Why would I want to go there?  She told me it was a new found gem in the city.  So I had to see it to believe it…

Uptown we went.  Took the R train to 49th street (and 7th ave) and started with the shops.  My wardrobe has been feeling a little sluggish lately and so it was only fair I saw my retail therapists….J.Crew, H&M and Club Monaco.  And they all had great sales!

Once I filled my hands up with bags and had a weird sensation of my arms popping off, I figured we should head over to the Plaza for some lunch.  Very fancy for LM and I.  

The Plaza hotel is one of my favorite New York landmarks.  It’s romantic, architecturally gorgeous and full of beautiful people.  And with the park next door and the statues out front covered in very large mounds of snow – I was memorized. 

LM was soundly asleep when we walked into this very dimly lit and somewhat dark hall.  It was beautiful.  From the mahogany wood to all of the stainless kitchen stations it was very welcoming and I was excited to sit down. 
We took a good walk around the place as I studied each station:  noodles, grill, raw bar, pizza….the list goes on.  I sat down with LM and requested a high chair for when he wakes up…and started off with some dumplings while I studied the menu that was full of incredibly delicious sounding items.  When the dumplings arrived I had to eat them carefully over LM’s head to avoid dripping sauce in his hair…

Delicious.  I enjoyed a glass of Sauvignon blanc which complemented the dumplings quite well.  I could taste apple which went so nicely with the Asian flair.
I continued to nosh on some spit fire chicken crostini’s.  Don’t be fooled…these are like full pizzas and are a lot for one person!  I did some major take home here…and made for great leftovers.

I also ordered a pulled pork mac n cheese for my son to enjoy.  And when he woke up…he dove into it.

Overall a delightful experience.  And I cannot wait to go back.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

All time favorite brunch: Prune

It’s been 10 years, and I still have the same all time favorite brunch in New York City:  Prune.  Located on 1st Street (just west of 1st Avenue), Prune is a super tiny and cute spot for the best eggs benedict you’ll ever eat.  Perfectly cooked eggs over a lightly salted cured piece of ham topped on an English muffin.  The hollandaise sauce which usually kills the dish for me one way or another, is perfectly done.  Their sauce is not too creamy or rich.  Delicious.  For me however, the best part of the meal is the rosti potatoes.  Ever been to Deny’s?  They are similar to theirs.  They are the best and truly my all time favorite whether with breakfast or served next to a steak with some sour cream and ketchup.  Um, yum.

If you’re going to venture out to Prune, go with your girlfriends and leave the kids at home.  It’s just too small and not for the wee ones of any age.  And if you happen to go after a late night…try their amazing bloody mary…it comes with a shot of beer that has cleared many of my hangovers.  Devine.

54 East 1st Street
(212) 677-6221