Arugula Salad

When you need a super quick and healthy lunch...try this! 
It's also great topped with grilled chicken!

You'll Need- 

Fat Free Feta Cheese
Black Olives
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar 
Salt & Pepper 

Start by washing all veggies. Top the arugula with the feta, tomato and olives and then season with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper! 

The arugula already has a nice peppery flavor so give it a try before adding too much pepper!

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BLT Prime

In the 2012 Zagat Survey BLT Prime was awarded 
NY’s #1 overall steakhouse experience! 

The review boasts that BLT Prime is “Not your run-of-the-mill steakhouse, this high energy Gramercy chop shop dispenses deliciously charred meats in modern digs!

BLT Prime is the newest outlet of Chef Laurent Tourondel's BLT franchise. BLT stands for Bistro Laurent Tourondel and has several outlets in NYC including BLT Steak, BLT Fish, BLT Burger, BLT Bar & Grill, and BLT Prime. 

BLT Prime is the most upscale of the three and is commanded by Australian Executive Chef Andrew Matthews who came to New York and worked under Tom Colicchio. Everything is served à la carte and the quality of every dish is exemplary!

When you first sit down a rustic little jar of chicken liver pate is delivered to you on a cutting board with fresh bread! The pate had a nice rich flavor but was also simple and natually good!

Next up was their signature Gruyère popovers which were also served to us complimentary. They were oversided, super flakey and buttery and very addictive!  

 We then moved on to some oysters and errrr grilled bacon!!! (I'm only a little ashamed  because it was sooooo good!) 

The oysters were a perfect selection of east coast (blue points) and west coast (kumamoto)! Both varieties had a perfect brisk sea salty taste! I usually dislike the west coast oysters because they tend to be less salty and crisp but these kumamotos were outstanding!

Next was the bacon....double cut and grilled to perfection, topped with parsley, garlic and sherry vinaigrette...glutenous, yes...delicious, also yes!! 

We lighted it up (slightly) with a baby spinach salad which also featured bacon, sliced button mushrooms, red onion, chopped egg, croutons, maytag blue cheese. 

The star entrees on the menu are of course their USDA prime steaks! Each freshly pulled from their dry-aging room then broiled at 1,700 degrees and lightly seasoned with herb butter. They were precisely seasoned and prepared and were 100% sublime!

We also shared the LARGEST Idaho Baked Potato I've ever seen, and an order of their insanely buttery onion rings. 


The meal and service were both absolutely flawless! Usually there is something tiny to nitpick but I loved loved loved everything about BLT Prime and I can't wait to go back! 

I'm certainly not alone in my love for this restaurant
take a look at the impressive list below

--- More Awards & Accolades ---

Best New School Steakhouse
Gotham Magazine, October 2006

Best Place to Expense a Steak
The L Magazine, December 2006

One of New York’s Top 10 Restaurants
Citysearch New York, February 2006

Best of Award of Excellence
Wine Spectator, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010

Award of Unique Distinction
Wine Enthusiast, 2007, 2009

The wine list is also over the top!
We chose a Chateauneuf Du Pape to enjoy with our feast!

Chico’s Chicken & Black Beans

I got the idea for this recipe from one of my favorite dishes at
Chico’s Cantina in Key West (BEST Mexican food EVER!!) 
They have a sautéed mushroom appetizer that’s to die for! 
It’s portabella mushrooms sautéed in olive oil with hot peppers! 
So simple yet ridiculously yummy so I decided recreate it into an entrée 
by adding some black beans and roasted chicken!

You'll Need-

1 Large Jalapeño Pepper
1 Box of Button Mushrooms (portabella or shitake work great too!)
1 Tsp Olive Oil
½ Can of Black Beans
Roasted Chicken

Start by slicing the mushrooms and cutting the jalapeño pepepr into very thin strips...

Next heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the jalapeño alone for about two minutes. This will give the pepper an opportunity to infuse the oil and add a kick all throughout the dish, not just when you bite into the peppers!

Next add in the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms start to wilt, it should be about another two minutes, add in the black beans (drained and washed) and continue stirring until the mushrooms are fully cooked! 

Season with salt & pepper and a little crushed red pepper (only if you'd like some extra heat) and transfer to a plate. Top with some oven roasted chicken and enjoy!!

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Vietnamese Pho

Traditioanl Pho is a clear beef broth with white rice noodles called bánh pho 
and slim cuts of beef on top. You can also top it with chicken, pork, or shrimp!
 To keep this recipe light and healthy I omit the noodles.

You'll Need- 
5 Cups of Broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
2 Eggs (one scrambled, one whole)
2 Teaspoons of Fish Sauce 
Water Chestnuts
2-3 Thai Chili Peppers (sliced)
Fresh Parsley 
Fresh Bean Sprouts

Bring the broth, chilies, and fish sauce to a boil. Stir in the scrambled egg. Next crack the whole egg and drop it in the broth. The egg will take about 5-6 minutes to be fully cooked. Next drop in a handful of each: parsley, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Simmer for a minute or so and then remove from heat. 

Add in the bean sprouts and chives. Garnish with a few drop of sriracha. 

You can also top with chicken, beef, shrimp, or pork! (I didn't add any meat this time around!)

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Cheesy Baked Broccoli and Cauliflower

You'll Need- 
1 Head of Cauliflower (cut into bite-size florets)
1 Head Broccoli (cut into bite-size florets)
1 Cup Non-Fat or 1% Milk
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Flour
3/4 - 1 Cup of Light Shredded Cheese
Freshly Ground Black Pepper and Salt (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 375. Boil the cauliflower and broccoli and cook until it's al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the vegetable cooking water. Place the cooked veggies in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once it's cool place it in a baking dish. 

In a small pot combine the milk, cooking water and cheese and heat until the cheese is melted into the liquids. I recommend using a bold cheese like extra sharp cheddar! I made mine with Gouda and wished I'd picked a cheese that had a little more flavor to it!!

In another small pot, add the olive oil and flour, and stir over low heat for a few minutes to make a roux. Add the hot liquid to the roux stir and simmer until it's nice that thick. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Add the cheese sauce to the baking dish with the broccoli and cauliflower and sprinkle a little extra cheese on top! Bake 20-25 minutes, until bubbling.

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Osteria Morini

Osteria Morini brings the cuisine of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy to New York City! Osteria Morini is named after Michael White’s mentor Gianluigi Morini. White worked in Emilia-Romagna for seven years before opening Osteria Morini in 2010.  Both Chef White and Osteria Morini have been recognized and awarded since the restaurant's opening...

Osteria Morini received one star in the NY Times, 4/5 stars from Time Out New York and is on Adam Platt’s list of Best New Restaurants. Michael White was most recently nominated for a 2011 James Beard Award for Best Chef: NY!

The décor at Osteria Morini is just as authentic as the menu! Chef White actually dismantled and shipped components from an Italian 1700s-era farmhouse to create the restaurant! He used the original terracotta floors and timbers to line the ceiling. The large cast iron door is from the farmhouse and even the restroom doors were formerly bedroom doors at the farmhouse! Although it’s very interesting to look at I can't say it's that comfortable! The tables are squished together and both times I’ve been, it’s been super crowded and noisy. It's a little frustrating at first but once you get settled it will be an enjoyable experience!

The food was great! I took my family here and we shared everything that we ordered...

We stared with some cured meats and Italian cheeses...they were absolutely delicious and a great way to start off our meal!

Prosciutto di parma
Speck smoked prosciutto

Capra Sarda - semi-soft goat’s milk cheese
Paglierina - soft cow’s milk cheese
Fegatini duck liver mousse, passito wine
Assorted Breads

We also started with the lasagna which was super rich and delicious! I've had this handmade specialty both times that I've been to Osteria's soooooo heavenly!

Lasagna Verde
 Traditioanl Lasagna with ragu antica, béchamel, and parmigiano

Next we ordered the Gramigna, TagliatelleStracotto, Branzino, and Braciola!!

The Gramigna was my favorite...the pasta was so perfect! The components were nice and simple but the spicy sausage really made the dish rich and savory!

Macaroni with pork sausage, tomato, cream, and black pepper

The tagliatelle was also simple yet gorgeous! The handcrafted tagliatelle was immaculate and the ragú antica was meaty yet light and had such a nice rustic flavor!

Wide ribbon pasta with ragú antica topped with fresh parmigiano

The stracotto was also great! I absolutely love short ribs and these were topnotch! I loved that this dish was extremely wholesome, simple and unpretentious!

Sangiovese-braised beef short rib served over mashed potato
and topped with caramelized root vegetables

The branzino and braciola were both underwhelming. Especially compared to the sultry pastas! They both seemed to lack passion and gusto.


Grilled mediterranean sea bass filet with salsa verde, market beans & tomato sofrito

Grilled duroc end-cut pork chop served with fingerling potatoes, greens, olives

Lastly, we shared a side of brussels sprouts which happened to be the best I've ever had!! The salty pancetta and sweet onions went so well with the spicy bite in the brussels!

                                              Brussels sprouts, pancetta, and onions

Overall it was a great meal! Handcrafted, authentic and spirited flavors. Definitely stick to the homemade pastas...this is clearly Chef White's sweet spot!

Getting a table is difficult to make sure you plan ahead and make your reservation far in advance! 

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Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is meant for a crowd so you may want to 
downside it if you’re not feeding an army! 
I made these at my sister house for 
New Years Eve dinner party and they were a hit!

You'll Need- 

5 Pound Bag of Potatoes
½ Quart of Light Cream
1 Stick of Butter
Fresh Garlic Cloves

Start by peeling the potatoes and dicing them into evenly sized chucks…the smaller you make the the quicker they cook! 

Add them to a boiling pot of water and simmer until you can poke right through them with a fork! 

Strain the potatoes and add them back to the warm pot and mash them! (I like to use a hand mixer and really whip them up!) While you’re mashing slowly add in the cream and butter while tasting along the way!  Once you are happy with the flavor and consistency grate in some fresh garlic and season with salt and pepper! 

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Faces & Names

Faces & Names is a cozy lounge in Midtown and has a big happy hour crowd! My husband works in this area of the city so I've been here a few times after work. The last time I visited Face & Names it was a Saturday afternoon and it was empty! To their credit the Jets were playing the Giants so I suspect most people were screaming at TVs either in the comfort of their own homes, or at their favorite rowdy sports bar!

The decor is pretty interesting, the walls are adorned with creepy/cool paintings of celebrities. They have a large bar in the front when you walk in and swanky lounge with sofas and coffee tables set up in the back. Very cozy! 

They have a great appetizer menu so we sampled a BUNCH of them!! 

Little Rickies (Mini Cubans)

These were yummy! Cubans are one of my favorites so of course I loved these mini ones! The toasty buns were great and after adding the pickle slices that came on the side, they were a home run! 

Buffalo Wings

The wings were also awesome! Super crispy and the sauce was perfect! 

Mini Corn Dogs

 Cute and whimsical but not impressive at all. 
The breading was bland and dry and there was way too much of it. 

Fried Pickles 

These were also too heavily breaded which left them totally greasy... 
The breading didn't have very much flavor so we were also not wowed by these!

Mini Chicken Tacos   

 Looooved these...the shells were so light and flaky! 


The dumplings were also awesome...the dipping sauce was delicious!

Overall I'd say this is a pretty cool place to grab some drinks and snacks if you're in midtown! Prices are reasonable and its always been a reliable place for us to have a fun and tasty time!

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Frickles (Fried Pickles)

The beer batter makes these frickles nice and light! 
They are super easy to make and a great (unhealthy!) snack while watching football! 

You'll Need - 

Pickles (cut into chips)
3/4-1 Cup of Beer
2 Eggs Yolks
1-2 Cups of Flour
1 Teaspoon of Old Bay
2-3 Tablesoons of Hot Sauce 
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable or Canola Oil (for frying)

Heat your fryer or pot of oil to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk the yolks, hot sauce, and 3/4 cup of the beer. Slowly whisk in enough flour to form a batter. If the batter gets too thick just slowly add in the remaining beer. We like ours lightly breaded so our batter is comparable to a pancake batter in consistency! Next season the batter with old bay, salt, and pepper. 

Place a small handful of pickle chips into the batter. Using tongs make sure they are coated evenly and individually place them into the heated oil. Fry for about 3 minutes. Place the fried pickles on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Season with a touch of salt on top. Repeat until all of the pickles chips are fried and enjoy!

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Thanks Elizabeth...saw this on pinterest and just added a little extra spice!!

Famous Original Ray's Pizza


“We use only the finest ingredients
Come taste the difference at Ray's Pizza
Every pie made to order”

That’s the slogan on their webpage so I’ll start there! First the good news, If you order a whole pie, that statement is true! The pizzas were made to order and while we waited for ours we were able to watch each pie get thrown, sauced, topped, and placed in the oven! However, if you’re ordering by if the slice, you’ll choose a pre-made piece from the display pizzas and they’ll warm it up for you in the pizza oven.  From the amount of people we saw come through, I’d guess that those go pretty fast and are still relatively fresh! 

The part of the slogan that's a fabrication is the “we use only the finest ingredients”…
While we waited and watched we saw them restock the toppings which came out of huge bulk sized packages…they were certainly NOT fresh ingredients! After eating the pizza I can’t say they were terrible but if I were Ray's I wouldn't consider a 10lb bag of prepackaged pepperoni the "finest of ingredients"!

We got take-out from Rays and decided to share a large pepperoni pie with with tomatoes added to half and we also tried a Philly cheese steak.

I was actually surprised by the Philly! The bread was great, the peppers weren't overpowering, and the meat had great seasoning! It might actually be one of the best I’ve had! (I have not been to Philly to try a REAL one, but it’s on my bucket list!) Ray's Philly was just the standard Philly that we all know and love…nothing gourmet or fancy about it...just simple and done right! 

The pizza wasn't too bad either! Definitely not my favorite here in NYC (see my post on Koronet) but it is traditional NYC style and my folks who were in town visiting loved it! The dough was way better than anything they can get at home! 

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Black Bean & Chicken Salad

You'll Need - 

1 Can of Black Beans
1/2 Cucumber
1 Box of Grape Tomatoes
6 Scallions
1 Cup Shredded (or diced) Chicken
1 Large Jalapeno
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Light Mexican Cheese  

Chop all of the veggies and add them to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the black beans and add them to the bowl. Add the chicken and mix well. 

I like to serve with balsamic vinaigrette and light mexican cheese....yummm!!

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