Monday, January 31, 2011

Supernatural Scampi

Sometimes I'm a creature of habit but when a food item is THIS good, it warrants getting it again and again. If you haven't had the shrimp scampi at E&V yet, please please hurry up and get some.

Buttery and delicious. Enough said.

P.S. - Other favorites include the seafood salad (Michael's usual) and the broccoli rabe appetizer with potatoes, hot cherry peppers and olives. Soooo good.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Labor of Love

A little voice got in my head a few weeks ago that kept saying "make a cake, make a cake." So when we were invited to a friend's parents for Sunday dinner, I thought it appropriate I bring some dessert. Perfect opportunity to make a cake!

I used this recipe and it came out pretty good. It was my first foray into layered cake making and though it was tons of work, I guess the end reward was worth it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Power Shots

I never realized how awful my cell phone food photos were until my dear hubby gave me a brand spankin' new high-tech camera for Christmas :-) This little food blogger is on her way to including much better food shots on this site, I hope. Now I just have to memorize what all these little camera knobs and dials mean and when to use them.....hmmmmm.



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pizza Perfection

Last week we grabbed pizza with my best buddy and her new boyfriend (YAY!) Whenever "E" and I decide to eat pizza there is no question that the pizza will be from our beloved Star Tavern. Of course, I've blogged about my deep love for this pizza before.

The four of us devoured several pies and one was more delicious than the next. I'll admit that Pepe's does give Star a run for its money, but after being reunited with my childhood thin crust pizza last week, my feelings came rushing back for Star. Their plain cheese pie is an exercise in pizza perfection. The simplicity is a good example of when less is more.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beauty and The Cheese

I have a mild Halloumi cheese obsession lately. I don't need a twelve step for it or anything - I just really really enjoy eating all of the salty goodness this cheese has to offer (other examples here and here).

So naturally, when I saw Nigella cooking up this recipe using Halloumi, I had to try it. The verdict? Double dose of YUM!!

Oh, and did I mention I'm obsessed with Nigella too? It is hard not to be....she is a beauty whose recipes are utterly simple and delish. Plus, I adore watching her make cooking look completely and totally effortless. My kinda gal.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Food on Sale

Who knew Ridgewood had a restaurant week? I sure didn't!

It is one of my favorite towns (as evidenced here and here.) If my weekend wasn't so jam packed, I would certainly head over to one of the great eateries in town for a discount meal.

(photo courtesy of NJ Monthly)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Take Me Away

Being stuck in bed with the stomach flu sucks. Trust me, I just went through it. Time on my hands meant dreaming of warm weather, tropical beaches, gorgeous hotels and great food.

I've been obsessive about Ritz Carlton hotels for a while now, but this particular Ritz property is calling my name mainly because of who has a restaurant there.

Eric Ripert's food and Grand Cayman together? I can't even. Take me now. The End.

P.S. - One of these years, I am going to this event.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fondant Discussion

A recent visit and chat with an old friend made me want to experiment with fondant to make edibles that are as pretty to look at as they are delicious to eat (Ahem, Dr. Sherm!)

In the meantime, I figured I would just browse.....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back in Time

If you have ever been to The Fireplace on Route 17 North in Paramus, then you know it is like you time warped straight back to the 1950's. It is unapologetically a palace of burgers, shakes, and all things greasy (yet remarkably delicious). Their cajun seasoned onion rings were so spicy and flavorful that I find myself craving more and the buffalo chicken sandwich was tasty too. I think we all know by now, if something is deep fried it is going to taste great.....

Counting your calories? Beware. It is hard not to order one of everything.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Second Birthday

I'm greedy, so I parlayed my December birthday into more than one celebration. I went for a Greek dinner and enjoyed it. However, after watching this episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate on Food Network - I decided a second birthday meal was in order so I could test out some garlic shrimp at Schillers Liquor Bar on the Lower East Side.

Boy, oh boy, was it worth it....

The bar, after all, was created by Keith McNally (the beloved papa of SoHo's French bistro, Balthazar) and it bears his unmistakable mark. Best part is the moderately priced, straightforward menu with tons of entrees under $20! Our delectables included the garlic shrimp appetizer (heavenly) and entrees of traditional cuban sandwiches (best version I've had):

The wine list is broken out in three categories: cheap, decent and good. Normally we would have ordered a bottle, but my husband was far too stuck on this winter cocktail to stray. It might have been the best part of his meal!

Schiller's made me want to go to Balthazar STAT.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Year in Review

I'm clearly a newbie with a ton to learn when it comes to this whole blogging thing, but I'll always remember 2010 as the year I started doing it! I thought it would be fun to look back at all of the recipes I made (and posted about) and pick my favorite one.

I scanned all my entries but I knew in my head what my favorite was going to be before I even started - these Vanilla Bean Doughnuts:

Maybe it was the pure vanilla flavor or just the fact that I could make healthy (baked) doughnuts at home in seconds...either way, these were my fave and I've made them many times since the original post.

If I had to pick up a runner up it would be these Homemade Oreos. They'll make you stop eating the mass produced kind - I promise.

The rest of my 2010 recipes are below.

Lemon Poppy Biscotti

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Caramel Apple Donuts

Sweet and Sour Brisket

Poppy Seed Cake

Waffles of Insane Greatness

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread

Basic Pizza

Caramel Popcorn

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Holiday Visitors

Did I mention how much fun the holiday break was? Having over a week off was beyond awesome - and uh, the amount of calories I consumed was beyond awesome too. Unfortunately my waistline is still sort of angry with me. Whatever, she'll get over it...

I had help eating plenty of delicious food. Do these photos look familiar to anyone out there in blogger land?

EXHIBIT A - too many Magnolia cupcakes:

EXHIBIT B - empty diner plates that were full of eggs, corned beef hash, and the BEST crispy fried bacon:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Zinfully Delicious

I've done many posts about my love of a good burger - most recently this one. There is something I just can't resist about the combo of a good bun and perfect beef patty with yummy toppings.

When I saw a few months back that Zinburger, a lively new concept centering on burgers combined with wine selections, would open at the Promenade Shops at Clifton I couldn't wait to try it out. Happy to report - it DID NOT dissapoint.

I ordered my "Zinburger" as listed on the menu with manchego cheese, Zinfandel braised onions (UH, YUM!!!), and mayo (gluttonous, but you need that fat to transport flavor). It came out as ordered, medium rare, and oh yeah, extra delicious. This ground-in-restaurant and never frozen beef proved to be really really tasty and those onions made my burger taste like pot roast (which is never a bad thing in my book)!

Side selections priced from $5 to $6 include generous portions of hand cut fries, double truffle fries, sweet potato fries (with yogurt dipping sauce) and zucchini fries. For those wanting a healthy side, there are plenty of hearty salad selections on the menu too.

Michael ordered their special house drink, the “Baco-tini”. He's a fan of this Bacon infused Vodka Martini with just a spray of Dry Vermouth that is topped off with a crispy bacon slice. According to him it comes highly recommended, as does the Ahi Sandwich with Coleslaw, Avocado and Tamari Soy Glaze.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Big Fat Greek Birthday

In trying to decide where to go for my milestone birthday dinner last week, I chose Greek. Greek folks certainly know how to have a good time and celebrate.....after all, arent these the people who smash plates on the floor, dance around, and yell "OPAH" at weddings? Soooo on our way home from an afternoon of shopping, we googled the nearest Greek restaurant and Greek City in Ramsey came up.

Don't let the strip mall location and not so nice exterior fool you. Inside you will find adorable decor, friendly staff and home made Greek food. It might look like a gyro-joint but I promise it is much more!

I totally overate (heyyyy, it was MY birthday). Started off with pita bread and eggplant dip and grilled halloumi cheese. YUM.

Dinners of seafood stuffed peppers and a grilled seafood platter with Greek fries were totally satisfying. The best thing were the greek potatoes that came with the stuffed pepper - tender, lemony and straight up awesome.

Yep, dessert too. Galaktoboureko:

Who said turning the big 4-0 has to suck?