Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zucchini Recipes (for Jaime)

Earlier this month, Kalyn posted an entire blog entry on using up zucchini, which might help. I tried the Roasted Zucchini with Green Onions, Feta Cheese and Basil this week. It has a good flavor, but is a little juicy for my taste. I also found it to have an intense aftertaste/effect, which I never appreciate.

I also tried a variation on this Zucchini Carpaccio this week. I have had it bookmarked since it was posted last July...I'm glad I got around to trying it. As I don't have a food processor or mandolin and tend to be lazy about food aesthetics, I made it into a salad with thicker (but still thin) pieces of zucchini and carrots. The combination of flavors is great and it doesn't require you to heat up the oven. Win!

I also have this recipe for zucchini strand spaghetti bookmarked to try and am tempted by the zucchini recipes that were covered in Animal, Vegetable, Mineral.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Broken Computer

I am still lazy but my current reason for not posting here is that I broke my computer! Or, rather, something I downloaded unintentionally without any awareness broke my computer. When it fixes, I will resume my semi-regular posts.

Monday, July 7, 2008

What's in Season in NYC?

Time Out New York always has a handy listing of what is available seasonally at Green Market. I forget about it and then remember. So glad summer is here! There are so many more tasty food options - berries, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Blue Fin

Last Monday my former co-worker, Scott, who taught me all my initial event planning knowledge, was in town staying at the W in Times Square. He is starting an environmentally friendly clothing company specializing in kid's clothes and had a meeting with the factory reps from India. I love how entrepreneurial he is. We were going to meet for drinks, but ended up doing dinner at Blue Fin. Thank God as I was starving and don't have a tolerance at all.

He started with the Yellowtail Ceviche as his appetizer and insisted I taste it. It was beautifully presented and decently flavored, but it was surprisingly dry for ceviche. Having first encountered this dish in Ecuador, I suspect I have abnormally high expectations. Our entrees were much better.

He had the Wild Striped Bass with Lobster Risotto, Melted Leeks, and Lemon Sweet Peas; it was very rich (buttery) and light at the same time. The peas made it feel like a summery dish. I had the Chilean Bass (bad for the environment, I know!) with Artichokes, Dates, and I can't recall what else as it has been removed from the menu...with good reason as it seemed heavy for June in spite of the delicious flavor. Both fishes were perfectly cooked.

We split the most creative dessert on the menu, a variation on a smore:
chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and graham cracker ice cream. The chocolate aspects and the strange marshmallow-like, yet not at all, topping didn't do anything for me. The ice cream was very unique though and given the option I would order that part of this dessert again. It tasted more like marshmallow than the topping but was actually vanilla rolled in graham crackers, which gave it a unique, crisp effect.

The W is so chic. I'm glad I got to check it out! My favorite part of what I saw was the lobby; it was completely surrounded, ceiling too, with a waterfall/fountain type thing that created wonderful shadows on the floor. I totally want to stay at a W one day. I'm sure they can't compare to the Le Meridien in Cyprus, but it is a much more reasonable goal.

Location: 1567 Broadway (at 47th Street)
Hours: Sun-Mon 7:00a-11:00p, Tues-Thurs 7:00a-11:30p, Fri-Sat 7:00a-12:00a
Cost: $$$

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Vanilla Vanilla Mini Cupcakes

To celebrate my friend Meg's birthday a few weeks ago and my new mini-muffin tin, I made cupcakes for the first time in over a year. In an attempt to be on time to the party and use ingredients I already had I decided to stick with vanilla, which is my favorite anyway.

This strategy didn't work out...I still went to the grocery store and was a good hour late for the party. Fortunately, the cupcakes made that excusable!

I used Tartelette's listed recipe and switched out the listed frosting for the matching frosting from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook.
I chose yellow coloring for the icing as that is Meg's favorite color to wear in the summer (I think). I don't recall liking the resulting frosting in the past, but this time it was very good. I think the trick is to be very cautious when adding the confectioner's sugar. My frosting was much softer than in the past and retained a tasty butter flavor.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


When UrbanDaddy sent around notification that Dell'Anima served ricotta pancakes, I was sold for the aforementioned reasons. I immediately contacted Kimberly, who fell in love with ricotta pancakes at a different upscale hotel on a business trip, and we made plans to go. It only took scheduling a month and a half out... She, Catherine, and I finally went a few weeks ago. The restaurant is tiny, very intimate and cozy. The staff is friendly and the service attentive. But the best part is the food...

The meal is served family-style with generous portions and complimentary, fresh bread served with ricotta cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil. We opted for three selections ($14) instead of six ($18) and enjoyed ricotta pancakes, scrambled eggs, and an arugula salad. The ricotta pancakes were great, but the real standout was the eggs. They were thick, pillowy clouds just like my Grandpa Sweetiepie used to make. I reveled in them. I had not encountered eggs that good since he passed away a few years ago. The salad was refreshing compared with the weight of the other choices; it was dressed with a lemon vinaigrette, fresh pepper and parmesan cheese. Personally, I could have done with less fresh pepper since arugula has a peppery flavor on its own but it was still good.

I would love to go back for a different meal, but that might be a while as it is a bit pricey. In the meantime, anyone want to go for aperitivo? It is Friday through Sunday from 4-6 pm... The food is free with your drink. :)

Location: 38 Eighth Avenue (at Jane Street)
Hours: Mon-Sun 5:30p-2:00a
Cost: $$$