This time of year, I remember why I love New York. All of the streets are lit up, there’s a crispness in the air that isn’t bitter cold yet, and you can’t help but smile at all of the holiday decorations and Christmas trees. But with December comes a rush of holiday parties and with them an abundance of sweets, drinks and delicious little cheesy cocktail appetizers (you know what I mean). Some nights, you might just want a salad. Personally, I need salads with a lot of crunch, and some interesting elements besides just lettuce (and I can’t always justify adding cheese and bacon). This salad has quickly become one of my favorite weeknight meals — quick, inexpensive and delicious.
Tag Archives: fast
For many people, autumn is the best season of all. (Apple cider! Plaid! Falling leaves!) Summer will always have my heart, but I must say that I do love the beginnings of fall – the first night when you really need a blanket, those first crisp apples and pears, and being in the Northeast, the beautiful autumn colors. Since it seems like now it is officially the end of summer, I have decided to embrace it –and what better way than with apples?
Pancakes aren’t my favorite (I’ve always been more of a french toast kind of girl), but since Ari loves them I try to make them every now and again. I had picked up a few apples last weekend at the farmer’s market, and while I love eating them sliced with a little peanut butter, how can you say no to adding a little butter and sugar? This baked “pancake” tastes indulgent and yet is surprisingly healthy, thanks to very little sugar and the addition of whole-wheat flour. A perfect fall breakfast (or dessert).
On a side note, does anyone else only like sliced apples? I can never eat them whole. Or is it just me?
Do you ever have one of those nights where you feel like you have nothing to eat even though the fridge has plenty of food? Sometimes I get home from work at 7:30 and don’t feel like making a complicated meal, and lately, fried rice has been the one thing that has saved me from ordering takeout (also great, but it adds up quickly). Fried rice may not be quite as healthy as having a salad, but it is a great way to use up any miscellaneous vegetables and the variations are almost endless. I love adding chicken or tofu for more protein, and while my favorite vegetables are broccoli and peas, it would be great with carrots, zucchini, or pretty much anything else you might have lying around in your refrigerator.
This is very hard to believe now, but I had never had a banh mì sandwich until I was well into college. Vietnamese food wasn’t the most prevalent in Minnesota, and I distinctly remember sitting at Hanco’s in Park Slope with a friend from who is from New York, realizing what a genius combination pickled vegetables, pork pâté, and spicy mayonnaise is. Since that day, I have had banh mì from different places all over the city (and tried a couple of restaurants in Minnesota too), but I had yet to find a perfect sandwich. Something was always just slightly different — not spicy enough, too much meat, too little mayo. So when I saw this genius idea, I knew I had to try it out, I subbed ground chicken for pork to make it slightly healthier, but otherwise kept things much the same. Ari quickly declared it one of his favorite dinners, and it has definitely become one of my too.
Somehow the summer is almost over and I haven’t had nearly enough picnics. Living on the East Coast, it seems like we wait for summer all year and then it flies by so quickly — there’s never enough time to go to outdoor movies, the beach, eat outside at restaurants…I could go on and on. The other night, Ari and I finally decided that instead of staying in and watching Netflix, as we tend to do when we both get home from work late, tired and cranky, that we need to take advantage of the warm weather while it lasts. So we threw together a few easy items and headed down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, one of my favorites in the city with gorgeous views of Manhattan (see: here). We were out the door in less than half an hour, and it made me wonder why we haven’t taken advantage of it more often. Here’s to the last few weeks of summer — hope you are enjoying as much as I am!
These sandwiches come together in minutes, and are inspired by one of my favorite French bakeries — La Bergamote. With only a few ingredients, make sure to use great bread and ham, and don’t be stingy with the butter — that’s what makes them so delicious.
We leave for a whole week in the Bay Area tonight (!), so I’ll be absent next week — but you can follow along if you wish on Instagram, where I’m sure I’ll be posting tons of pictures. (Mostly of tacos. Cannot wait.) Have a great week!
I have made a version of this salad pretty much once a week since the beginning of the summer, but neglected to post it until now because it usually disappears too quickly. It’s the perfect summer dish, to me — light, full of texture, and minimal cooking time. It also uses my favorite ingredients of the summer — namely, lime juice, fish sauce and a little hot pepper. I was always wary of fish sauce until a couple of years ago, afraid of the pungent smell and implications behind the name. But luckily, I got over that and now I use it in dressings, marinades and sauces all the time — it adds the perfect salty, unctuous flavor to almost anything. The original recipe uses panko-coated pan-fried shrimp instead of tofu, which is also delicious.
This is one of my top-five appetizers. It was inspired by a lovely special at one of the best (and most underrated) restaurants in Minnesota, the New Scenic Café. A bright yet unassuming exterior with views of Lake Superior just across North Shore Drive hides wonderfully simple, local fare. Unfortunately, I don’t get to make it there as often as I would like, but a version of this crostini was served as a special appetizer one of the last times I was there. Once I got home, I had to re-create it — I love the contrast between the sweet balsamic-glazed figs and the salty gorgonzola cheese. You could also serve this as dinner with a salad (which I have definitely done).
I’m actually in Minnesota this week (hooray for vacation!), and won’t be making it up to Duluth, but I can’t wait to check out some favorite restaurants, like The Bachelor Farmer (I wrote about it last summer here), Anchor Fish & Chips (best fish and chips I have EVER had), and hopefully a few more. But mostly, it’s so lovely to hang out with my family, see some friends, and relax. Are you taking any trips this summer?
Now that it is finally feeling like summer around here, I have been craving cool salads and smoothies for breakfast (of course, they would taste even better if I could drink them on my terrace, but alas, that will have to wait until I live somewhere besides New York. Or make a lot more money. One of the two.) I’ve gotten to be a big fan of adding greens to smoothies, as they add lots of nutritional value while not tasting like salad in a glass. This is my current favorite combination, and I added chia seeds in there for some protein, though they are completely optional if you don’t like the taste. One of the other things I love about smoothies is the endless variation — you could sub berries for the pineapple, or use 1/2 coconut or almond milk and 1/2 orange juice instead. Whatever you try, the results usually end up being pretty delicious.
Also, in case you’re wondering, the metal straws are from Amazon. I happen to always want to use straws for any kind of drink, so I love these — eco-friendly and so much cuter than the boring old plastic straws. (Though I kind of hate myself for using metal straws AND a mason jar. So twee. And yet, I still love it.)
We have been having a lot of smoothies lately for breakfast — which is great, but in an effort to switch things up a bit from the routine, while still being healthy, I decided to try out this chia seed pudding recipe from Food & Wine. It couldn’t have been easier. Ari was not as big of a fan — I will admit, the texture takes a little getting used to, but it pretty much just tasted like vanilla almond milk — so, delicious. I used maple syrup (my dad makes it!) instead of agave, and vanilla almond milk (from Trader Joe’s — it’s SO good), and served it with diced mango and just a touch of maple syrup drizzled on top. My note would be to make sure that you shake it occasionally while refrigerating — the chia seeds in mine were a little unevenly distributed, making some parts more liquidy than others. Overall, it made a delicious, healthy , and filling breakfast — and I always love anything that you can make the night before to make getting out the door in the morning that much quicker.
If you are anything like me, there are nights that you simply don’t want to go to the grocery store (although mine is a block and a half away, so I don’t have much of an excuse). This recipe uses ingredients that I pretty much always have on hand, and can be adapted really easily to suit your tastes — you could add in some chicken sausage, sprinkle lettuce or cotija cheese on top, make scrambled eggs instead of poached. But in any case, this is an easy, cheap option for weeknight dinners or weekend brunches — and even if it’s still a little cold here in New York (although, compared to what my family is experiencing in Minnesota, it’s practically summer here), I can almost imagine sitting on a beach, maragarita in hand, devouring these tostadas.
Disclaimer: Ari told me that I had to tell you that this is very messy to eat. We tried our luck with forks but ended up just picking up the whole tostada at once. It still tastes good, in any case.