Shrimp Scampi



You'll Need -

1 Pound Large Shrimp (shelled and de-veined, tail-on for presentation if you want)
3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp  Butter
2  Tbsp Parsley (chopped)
1/2 Cup White Wine
Juice From One Lemon
Crushed Red Pepper
Salt & Pepper



Heat a saute pan on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter melts, add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Saute for about a minute or until the garlic begins to brown then add the shrimp to the pan.  Add the white wine and stir everything together. Then spread the shrimp out in an even layer in the pan. Increase the heat back to high and let the broth bubble for 2-3 minutes. Turn the shrimp over so the cooked sides are facing up, and let cook for another minute. Remove from the heat, and season with parsley,lemon juice, salt & pepper.





Serve alone, with crusty bread or over pasta



Makes 4 Servings

Calories – 221
Fat - 12.5 (4.6 Sat)
Carbs - 2.8
Fiber – 0
Protein - 21

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Assorted Baguette Hors D'oeuvres

These are some quick and easy ways to turn a simple baguette into delicious hors d'oeuvres!
For each of these ideas slice the baguette into small pieces and toast lightly in the oven. Then pile on the following toppings!


Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

You'll Need -

6 Plum Tomatoes
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tsp Balsamic Vinegar
6 Fresh Basil Leaves (chopped)
1/4 Cup Onion (red or while, chopped)
Salt & Pepper

Dice the tomatoes as small as you can and place in a mixing bowl, add freshly minced garlic, onion and basil and stir to combine. Drizzle in the EVOO and balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt & pepper. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and spoon mixture onto the toasted bread

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Fresh Basil Pesto

You'll Need -

2 Cups Fresh Basil Leaves
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan-Reggiano
1/2 Cup EVOO
1/3 Cup Pine Nuts
3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
Salt & Pepper

Add basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add Salt & Pepper to taste.
First coat the toasted baguette slices with a little bit of cream cheese and then add a little bit of the pesto spread on top!

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Cheese and Veggies

This one is super easy! Coat the toasted baguette slices with your favorite soft cheese and top with either a tomato or cucumber slice!
I really like using herbed goat cheese or laughing cow cheese wedges (awesome light cheeses!), or Boursin and Alouette both make a variety of spreadable cheeses!
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Bread

This past Friday two of my friends and I stumbled upon Bread while we were in Nolita for a show at the Bowery Ballroom. We were getting soaked in the pouring rain outside and we were quite happy to come across this place and see all of the comfort food on their menu!


We decided some hearty meatballs would warm us up and gave them a try. I can honestly say these were the best meatballs I've ever had! The texture was perfect and they were so flavorful...melt in your mouth amazing!!!



We also ordered the Prosciutto Di Parma with mozzarella and cherry tomatoes on ciabatta.The bread was wonderful..soft on the inside and crusty on the outside but the sandwich as a whole was not great. It was pretty bland and I'd wished we could have tasted the prosciutto and mozzarella. Since the panini was pretty flavorless, I dipped it in the delicious leftover sauce from the meatballs which made it waaaay better!


We also had an order of fries and they were quite delicious as well! They came out of the kitchen hot, fresh and crispy and were served in a cute little flower pot!


The menu was full of other dishes I'd love to try...

Starters:

Zucchini Souffle with creamy fontina
Cutting Board Tasting of crudo and cotto, salame, capocollo, speck, soppressata, selected cheeses and grilled vegetables.

Panini:

Spicy Capocollo with scamorza cheese, red peppers, arugula and spicy olive oil, served on a baguette.
Goat Cheese with shiitake mushrooms, roasted peppers, tomatoes and arugula on ciabatta.
Aged Salame with taleggio cheese and olive tapenade on ciabatta bread.

Pasta/Hot Plates:

Penne Quattro Formaggi with speck, gorgonzola, scamorza, fontina, parmigiano
Fresh Tagliatelle with lamb ragu
Braised Beef with creamy polenta and braised carrots

To top it off Bread has a nice atmosphere and reasonable prices. I'd love to go back sometime!

Spicy Meatballs/Meatball Sliders





You'll need -
1 lb Ground Sirlion
16 oz of Tomato Marinara (homemade or store bought)
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Package of Onion Soup Mix
2 Cloves of Fresh Garlic (minced)
Crushed Red Pepper
Salt & Pepper

Directions -

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the beef, egg, parmesan cheese, onion soup mix, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt & pepper in a mixing bowl. Form the meat mixture into meatballs. I make pretty large meatballs and usually get 6. Brown the meatballs in a pan on the stove before adding to a glass baking dish with the marinara. If you are using store bought I usually like to add some fresh herbs, garlic, and crushed red pepper to liven it up a bit. Bake covered for about 30 mintues. Remove cover and bake for 5 more mintures to get rid of any extra moisture in the sauce. Let them sit about 5 minture before serving.



Makes 6 Servings

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving -

Calories - 161
Fat - 8.5 (3.9 Sat)
Carbs - 1.4
Fiber - 0
Protein - 17

I like them alone, with a side of green beans or served on top of spaghetti or ravioli! Try them with any of your favorite pastas!

They also make great meatball sliders





Pick up slider buns or small dinner rolls from the store. Coat the top bun with a little butter and minced garlic and lightly toast in the oven until golden...think garlic bread! Add a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and serve on the toasted and garlicy bun!

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Koronet Pizza

In a city that is known for it’s pizza it’s hard to find the “best” slice!

But lucky for me I don’t have to go very far to find a great and enormous slice!!!


I’ve yet to try all of the top pizza places, Joe’s, Ray’s, Artichoke, Di Fara, Sal & Carmines, etc…So I’m not saying that Koronet’s is the best, but damn…they’re doing one heck of a job!

My sister, who comes from Boston, has nicknamed these monstrosities “face pizza” (because it’s waaaay bigger than your face) and requests that we visit Koronet each time she’s in town! She’s even been known to take a slice home for her husband when she visits NYC without him!

Their pizzas always taste fresh and come out of the oven HOT…with a nice thin crust and not too much sauce they serve my favorite style of pizza. To make it even better I bring it home, pop it in my hot oven, and really crisp up the crust…yuuumm!!!

The Dead Poet

The Dead Poet is the quintessential Irish Pub! This place loves thier Guinness just like me!





They have even formed a "100 Pint Club" which has over 1000 members (yes..I am one of them!)  They track each members progress and when you reach 100 pints of Guinness, they engrave your name on thier Guinness wall of fame!



After living here for almost a year...I'm only at 8 so it may be quite some time until my efforts are memorialized on this wall!

We ordered the nachos with the chili on the side because we didn’t want all of the chips to get soggy. Little did we know they were going to dump what must have been a whole jar of salsa on top! Our plan for crunchy nachos failed and a soggy mess of chips and salsa arrived. We rolled up our sleeves and dove in anyway. A very weak batch of nachos is you ask me. The good news is the chili alone was great! I wished I had some shredded cheese, hot sauce and a big spoon to enjoy it that way!


We also ordered the buffalo chicken fingers…super gourmet outing for sure (hahaha)


The chicken fingers came crispy with the sauce on the side and they were actually quite good! After looking around the joint and not seeing any door that would lead to a kitchen…my suspicion is that they order their food from somewhere else and have it delivered. This would also explain the extra soggy nachos and why our chili was served in a Styrofoam bowl!!

Although I've been to the poet several times this was the first time I've eaten there. With good chicken fingers and bad nachos I'd guess this place is hit or miss on the "bar food"!

Oven Roasted Veggies

A simple side dish that goes well with just about everything...
Mix it up and use whatever veggies you like best!


You'll Need -

1 10 oz Container of Grape Tomatoes
1 Large Summer Squash
1 Bundle of Asparagus
EVOO
Salt & Pepper
Crushed Red Pepper

Directions -

First wash all the veggies! Chop the summer squash and asparagus into bite sized pieces. Arrange all of the veggies on a baking dish and coat with a little olive oil (I use my "misto"...a wonderful gift I received for Christmas last year! It's a refillable spray bottle for oil which helps reduce the amount you'll use.) Lastly, season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Bake in a 350 degree over for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.






Makes 4 servings

Approximate Nutritional Information Per Serving -
(I accounted for 1tsp of EVOO but probably didn’t use that much with the misto)

Calories - 71
Fat - 1.7 (.3 Sat)
Carbs - 12
Fiber - 5
Protein - 3.5

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Hudson Beach Cafe

Take a ride on the 1 train and get off at 103rd Street, after a short walk through beautiful Riverside Park you'll soon feel a million miles away from Manhattan! The Hudson Beach Cafe is ALLLL about the location. With a clear view of New Jersey and the Hudson River, the atmosphere here will surely be worth the trip uptown!




The Hudson Beach Cafe is a part of the same restaurant group as P.D. O'Hurley's and O'Casey's and has a very similar menu...Irish pub grub...burgers, sandwiches, salads, fish & chips, etc... I'll admit right off the bat...the food is not great! So don't come for the food, come for a drink with a view!!




In the evenings you'll even hear live music ... it truly is a wonderful place to take in the sunset and let your worries melt away!!




** Added Bonus **

The Hudson Beach Cafe is also conveniently located across from the 105th Street dog run!

Bring your pup and let him/her run loose...there are always lots of friends to play with inside!!  When your pal is all tuckered out head over to the HBC! (It's very dog friendly)


(Truman is a frequent flier at the HBC!)



Vermonter Chicken Salad


This recipe is inspired by one of the most delicious sandwiches I have ever eaten! I went to college in Burlington, Vermont...home to the Red Onion Cafe. (http://redonioncafe.webs.com/) 


The Red Onion is famous for their gourmet sandwiches...most notably the AAAMAZING "Red Onion"...Which is perfection on toast! In between the nutty, toasted bread there's turkey, bacon, apples, red onions, sun-dried tomato mayo and Vermont maple cheddar are all piled high! The sandwich is served warm and is absolutely to die for...my mouth is watering just thinking about it! 


Here is my tasty tribute to the Red Onion...




You'll Need -

2 Cups of Roasted Chicken
3 Strips of Bacon (use turkey bacon to cut back on fat and calories)
1 Small Granny Smith Apple
1/4 Cup Red Onion
6 Sun-Dried Tomatoes (rinsed)
1/4 Cup Light Mayo
Salt & Pepper

Directions -


Chop the first 5 ingredients and place them into a mixing bowl. Add the mayo and mix until combined evenly. Season with salt & pepper to taste.


I love this chicken salad on top of a fresh garden salad, scooped up on wheat thins or along side fresh veggies...or...serve between some toasted whole grain bread with melted cheddar cheese and create your own yummy version of the beloved Red Onion Sandwich!! 




Makes 4 Servings

Approximate Nutrition Facts Per Serving -

Calories - 221
Fat - 10 (2.5 Sat)
Carbs - 9.1
Fiber - 2
Protein - 22


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Noodle-Free Lasagna


You'll need -

2 Large Zucchini
1 Package of Frozen Chopped Spinach (thawed and drained)
1-2 Cups of Mushrooms, Sliced (depending on your love for mushrooms)
1 Bag of Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese
1 16 oz Container of Fat Free Cottage Cheese
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
3 Cups of Meat Sauce (I use my Sirloin and Pepperoni Bolognese - see separate post below)


Directions -

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a deep 9x13 inch baking pan.

Slice the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices. Sprinkle slices lightly with salt and bake for 12 minutes, let cook and blot dry...Try to get as much of the moisture out of the zucchini as you can. With all the veggies going into this recipe it WILL get very watery if you're not careful! (no matter what it'll have a little more water than lasagna with noodles!)

To assemble the lasagna, spread 1/2 of the meat sauce into the bottom of prepared pan. Then layer 1/2 of the zucchini slices, 1/2 the cottage cheese,1/2 the mozzarella cheese...


then add all of the spinach (make sure the spinach free of any water) and all of the mushrooms...



Repeat by layering the remaining meat sauce, zucchini slices and cheeses. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over the top...


Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil; raise oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let the lasagna stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Mmmmm...Final Product

** side note -- I think most lasagnas taste better the next day, after they've had time to sit and the ingredients have had time to mingle! It's still delicious right out of the oven...But if you can make it ahead and let it sit overnight, I think it's better!! **

Makes 8 servings

Approximate Nutrition Facts Per Serving -


Calories - 348
Fat - 16.5  (9.1 Sat)
Carbs - 15
Fiber - 3
Protein - 35


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Sirloin and Pepperoni Bolognese



You'll Need -

1lb 90% Lean Ground Sirloin
28 oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes
2 oz Sliced Turkey Pepperoni
1 Medium Onion
6 Fresh Basil leaves
3 Fresh Cloves of Garlic, Minced
Crushed Red Pepper (to taste)
Salt and Pepper



Chop the onion and place into a saute pan with a little bit of water and cook for about 3 minutes then add ground beef and 1/2 of the garlic. Dice the pepperoni into small pieces and add to the pan as well. Saute until beef is cooked through and onions are translucent. In a separate saucepan combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, crushed red pepper and salt and pepper.
When the sauce comes to a boil combine with the meat mixture and let the sauce simmer and the flavors blend for 15 - 20 mintues minimum.



Makes 6 Servings

Approximate Nutrition Facts Per Serving-

Calories -194
Fat - 8 ( 2.5 sat)
Carbs - 9
Fiber - 2.5
Protein - 20


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Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal

Another NYC landmark The Oyster Bar of Grand Central Terminal has been around since 1913.

They showcase over 15 varieties of fresh oysters on their raw bar and update the menu daily... it features soups, stews, shrimp, crabs, scallops, lobster, tuna, salmon, swordfish...the list goes on and on...the menu is HUGE and has only a handful of non-seafood items included!



My mom was in town (yay!) and we went here for lunch! We ordered the Pan Fried Maryland Softshell Crab, Malpeque Oysters (from P.E.I.) and the New England Clam Chowder


MALPEQUES!

Everything was very very good!! A few years ago my Dad introduced me to the Malpeque oysters and they've been my favorite ever since!  I prefer east coast oysters over the west coast oysters because I like the saltier taste...I LOVE the sweet and saltiness of a Malpeque! Add some horseradish, hot sauce and lemon and I'm in heaven!! I always look for the Malpeques and love when I find them on a raw bar's menu!

My mom had the crab and loved it, I had a bite and agreed, it was yummy! Both the crab and the oysters tasted great and were very fresh! The New England Clam Chowder was fabulous too...very simple but it is definitely up there with some of the best I've ever had...(Legal Seafood's chowder still wins in my mind, and probably always will, because I'm in love with it!!!)

The architecture of Grand Central Terminal is stunning...check out these nice photos I took while there...




Super Easy "No Cook" Appetizers

I love the delicious meats and cheeses that I can find right in my neighborhood. Both the Westside Market and the Garden of Eden have fabulous artisanal cheese selections and impressive high end deli counters.

After a long day of work I LOVE to unwind with a big glass of wine and a quick gourmet snack! Here are two of my most recent creations...


Antipasto

From the Garden of Eden...left to right...the first cheese is a light Havarti...best at room temperature and very good for a light cheese! The second cheese is a soy jalapeno...yuck...this was my first try with soy cheese and I hated it! The Garden of Eden 
also has a wonderful olive bar stocked with spanish, cerignola, tunisian, sicilian, and moroccan olives (to name a few).
 The bar also features olives stuffed with garlic or cheese or almonds...soooo good! All of the olives I selected were great, I especially liked the spicy spanish and garlic stuffed! To the right is some delicious peppered salami. The softness of the cheese, the saltiness of the olives and the peppering on the salami really worked well together and made a great snack...the wine was a delicious addition too (:

Approximate Nutrition Facts Per Serving-
(1 oz light havarti, 1 oz soy, 7 olives and 1/2 oz of salami)

Calories - 315
Fat - 23 (5.5 Sat)
Carbs - 7
Fiber - 2.5
Protein - 17

Caprese


For the caprese, I shopped at the Westside Market and found nice big vine ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh part skim mozzarella. I sliced up the cheese and tomato drizzled them with balsamic vinegar and seasoned with freshly ground salt & pepper. Super easy and delish!

(1/2 of a medium tomato, 1oz cheese, balsamic and basil)
Approximate Nutrition Facts Per Serving-

Calories - 93
Fat - 4.5 (3 Sat)
Carbs - 5
Fiber - >1
Protein - 7.5

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Carnegie Deli

Located in Midtown, The Carnegie Deli is a NYC landmark and famous for their HUGE homemade sandwiches!! It's a tourist trap but if you are here...you should check it out! 

When we arrived there was a line of about 20 people out the door so we were surprised to be seated within ten minutes!

When you first walk in you'll be stunned by their impressive meat counter. They cure and smoke their own meats and make the most amazing pickles! (served complimentary before every meal) As you approach the back of the restaurant you'll see the hundreds of pictures of the celebrities who have enjoyed a meal at the Carnegie Deli!




They are most famous for their pastrami, corned beef and brisket sandwiches but when I went I SHARED the "Club Dear"...(there is a $3.00 sharing charge)...

Triple decker turkey with bacon, lettuce, tomato on white bread. We added american cheese. The only way to eat this thing is to break it apart and make your own mini sandwiches! They saw us doing this and brought us a side of extra bread!



We also had the onion rings...the plate of rings was HUGE!! The onion was thinly sliced and the batter was nice and crispy...Yum!

Everything I've tasted from the Carnegie Deli has been pretty good...but I'd say you go here for the experience and not necessarily the cuisine!

Chinatown



For my first trip to Chinatown we decided to just walk around and see where the night took us.

We started at the Nice Green Bo Restaurant...We picked this place because of their name...My last name is Green and my nickname for my husband is Bo! It looks like a typical Chinatown joint. Clean but nothing fancy and packed full of people. 

We shared a few appetizers:

Wonton Soup
Egg Drop Soup
Egg Rolls
Soup Dumplings w/Pork (aka Steamed Tiny Buns w/Pork or Xiao Long Bao)



Wonton Soup & Egg Rolls


Soup Dumplings

When in Chinatown...drink Tsingtao!

The food was ok...but really nothing special.The waitresses were pushy and wanted to turn their tables. If you're looking for good food and fast service I would recommend this place. If you're looking for fabulous food and a relaxed environment, this is not your place!


We decided to move on and found the Shanghai Asian Manor. This place had cute decor and was cleaner and friendlier than most places in Chinatown. We ordered the Hot Pepper Shredded Beef and the Eggplant with Garlic Sauce. Both dishes were a little bit spicy and  both were very delicious. I would highly recommend this place!


Beef (left)  -  Eggplant (right)

 
A bonus...they accepted credit cards! A lot of places in Chinatown are cash only!

White Bean & Chicken Salad


You'll need -

1 10 oz Box of Cherry Tomatoes
1 14 oz Can of Cannellini Beans
1 1/2 Cups of Diced Roasted Chicken
1/2 Cup of Feta cheese
1/2 of a Medium Red Onion
Basil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Directions -

Rinse cannellini bean and wash and half the tomatoes. Chop up the red onion and basil.
Mix all of the ingredients above in a large mixing bowl annnnnd enjoy!

Makes 4 Servings


Approximate Nutrition Facts Per Serving-

Calories - 151
Fat - 4 (2.8 Sat)
Carbs - 19
Fiber - 5.5
Protein - 9

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