Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sicilian Antipasto

Over the holidays, we were introduced to this Sicilian Antipasto treat! It is simple yet, packed with flavor -Honey, Pistachios, Apricots, Lemon Juice over fresh Mozzarella...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

EATALY in Italy

WOW look who the chef was representing Campania at an Eataly event in Italy's Eataly! Carmela Bruno!!! Congrats! If you are ever traveling through southern Italy, make a detour to Valle Dell'Angelo to experience the most delicious Italian food I have ever had!


Wow! We look tired...
So we managed to lose our silverware, a cheese grater and our cookie sheets somewhere between Florida, Kentucky, Germany, Italy, back to Germany, back to Florida, with some time in New York and finally in our new home, Washington DC.  I will be back to blogging soon! My bread making equipment is here and calling my name!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I love Bleecker Street, NYC

Giant Dosas!!!!
If you haven't explored Bleecker Street in the Village then you haven't been to New York City! Cheese shops, olive oil shops and endless amounts of restaurants all wrapped up in a fun neighborhood.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Potluck

So I need ideas for an office Thanksgiving Potluck...Do I make something that needs to be heated or do I go cold turkey? Recommendations are welcome!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Time to Spruce up the Kitchen Supplies

Hello everyone!

I have just moved into a new apartment and I am looking to supply my kitchen with all the essentials. What are some of your favorite kitchen items you cannot live without?

Send me your ideas!! :)

Cast Iron Skillet? Knife protectors? Electric tea kettle? Which pots and pans are your favorites? Kitchen aid mixer?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Restaurant open in Delray Beach

I will be heading to South Florida by the end of July and it looks like there are some new places popping up on the scene. One place I am going to be sure to check out is Max's Harvest, a  new restaurant endeavor by Dennis Max, owner of Max's Grille in Mizner Park, Boca Raton.

And since it is FLORIDA, I must get back to eating some of its finest seafood. These items look especially delicious to me:

Cedar Key Clams & Florida Shrimp
Tasso, Corn, Tomato, Cilantro, Chardonnay & Ciabatta …

or the

Pan Fried Soft-shell Crab
Creamed Florida Corn, Wild
 Leek Pesto, Charred Peppers

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Around the World with Sandra - Za'atar Bread

This morning we had a middle eastern bread that is usually a snack or sometimes served around breakfast time. It basically is a pizza dough topped with Za'atar, which is a blend of spices.

The spices are:
  • 1/4 cup sumac
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Around the World with Sandra - Moong Dal Roti

    One of the best reasons to come to Kentucky is to spend time with Drew's step-mom Sandra. Sandra is a former flight attendant for Indian Airlines and Kuwait Airlines. This exhausting yet exciting profession, enabled her to travel to numerous interesting and far off places from around the globe. Throughout her travels and work experience, she has made many friends and we were fortunate enough to be in Kentucky at the same time her friend Toni was visiting. Like Sandra, Toni is from India. Toni has been making  her way around the U.S. visiting with friends and family and lucky for us, she has been cooking up a storm. One of my favorite dishes from the past week is this, moong dal roti. This specific roti has a mixture of onion, cilantro, green chilies and chapati flour. It is typically served for breakfast with a side of eggs or yogurt.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon

    Yesterday, I had the opportunity to experience a small portion of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail at the Woodford Reserve Distillery. It was a gorgeous day to drive through the country, past all the horse farms and experience one of Kentucky's most prided beverages, bourbon. Although, I am not the biggest fan of bourbon, the distillery tour was educational (and bourbon bbq sauces and marinades are delicious). For whiskey to be considered or titled bourbon, it must have at least 51% corn grain, then a remainder of rye or wheat and malted barley. The charred barrels are used only once, then sold off to barrel brokers who then sell them to Ireland and Scotland for the production of whiskey.  The higher up the barrel is in the limestone warehouse, the higher the proof of the alcohol. Bourbon must be aged a minimum of two years prior to distribution, but most are a bit older. They have master tasters who approve of when the bourbon is ready for consumption. 

    The thing I enjoyed most about visiting the Woodford Reserve was learning that this was the location of the Old Oscar Pepper Distillery which is where sole location where bourbon was refined as the bourbon we all know today.Today, Woodford Reserve is owned by Brown-Forman and is known for its amber color, caramelized flavor. I always love to tie in a little piece of history while traveling. I also learned of this trivial fact: Bourbon County today is a dry county...all existing distillers are located out of the county.

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    "Don't Spanx Me!" has officially kicked off

    The wedding dress has arrived so I have officially started my "Don't Spanx Me" exercise and eating healthy regiment.
    The Plan:
    Jog once a day -  (or as soon as I go back to Florida I am going swimming - I can't wait) ( knowing myself I won't keep up the jogging once a day so I am building in some sort of exercise to substitute it with  maybe a nice hike or a day canoeing, I miss our bikes from Berlin).

    Eat 3 Healthy Meals a day: Breakfast
    Lunch (biggest meal of the day)
    Dinner (eat before 6 pm)

    Crunches and Push-ups at night before bed.

    Let's see how this goes...wish me luck! End date TBA.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Simply Sophisticated: Wine, Cheese, Bread & Jam

    Simply Sophisticated: Stonewall Kitchen's Peach Pomegranate Jam! The other week we were hosted at a friend's apartment in NYC for wine & cheese and I could not get over how delicious this jam was! I highly recommend you should all try it. It has the sophistication I miss from Europe with the home grown flavors of a place true to my heart, Maine (thank you Jess - you've changed my life).

    French Baguette
    Peach Pomegranate Jam
    Topped with a hard Goat Cheese or a cheese with some spice (heat)
    Paired with a red wine of your choice

    To Order:

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    North Fork, Long Island - Stick a fork in it!

    New beginnings are ahead!  Drew passed the New York Bar exam, spring is in full bloom and the grapes are beginning to bud. So to celebrate we decided to spend some great, quality, family-time out on the North Fork, Long Island. We mostly spent our time in sweet bliss, dreaming about our futures and sampling the local wine and beer of the area.

    We managed to cover a sampler from the Roanoke Vineyard, a glass at Sparkling Pointe (channel your inner Brazilian carnival spirit) and a beer sampler (the highlight of Drew's trip) at the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company. My brother and his girlfriend enjoyed a Spanish wine tasting class at Lieb Family Cellars while Drew and I took an excursion to the edge of Orient Point. Winter is gone! Go out and enjoy the spring season!

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Big Bites out of the Big Apple

    Drew and I are currently in New York making our rounds at some of our favorite eateries. I am sure this will be one of the many posts to come regarding food in New York so here are some of the first places we hit.

    Grimaldi's Pizzeria in Brooklyn 

    Ray's Candy Store -Tompkins Sq Park (East Village) - Save Ray's from closing and show your support by ordering one of  the best egg creams in all of NYC

    YUM - I am loving the Mac Bar in SOHO not to mention the packaging is sooo fun

    I find this to be very mocking...

    Korean Watermelon Soju

    Enchiladas from NY's oldest Mexican restaurant El Parador Cafe
    Tres Leches also from El Parador Cafe

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Counting Down the Days to the Bar exam

    Hey everyone!

    Just a short update...we are days away from our trip to NY and the Bar exam being behind us (yes us...I think I despise the exam as much as Drew does).

    In the meantime, I took advantage of the 2-for-1 sale on Barilla pasta, making comfort food like Rigatoni with a traditional red San Marzano marinara sauce and meatballs and have squeezed in a few pizzas here and there...can one ever have enough Italian food?

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Chicago - Style Deep Dish Pizza

    Our Take on a "Reverse Pizza"
    You are going to be sooooooooo stuffed after eating a Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza. Drew and I became very accustomed to having an individual, personal sized, light, thin pizza in Italy, which I still prefer, to having this beast! Chicago-style deep dish pizza is it's own unique, special thing (for you Boca Mag people a #4). We have to accept that we cannot compare it to other pizzas. One key and essential item you must have to make this is a deep oven dish or deep dish pizza pan. Unfortunately, our deep dish pan is in Kentucky at the moment and we are in Florida, so I had to become a bit creative to find the perfect deep pan for this monster. I used an industrial sized, oven safe, deep skillet and I have to say it did the trick quite well. If you do not have one of these lying around in your kitchen you can use a deep roasting pan.


    Pizza Dough: (Thick) - or if you aren't one to make dough you can cheat and buy fresh dough at the supermarket (Trader Joes, Publix, Wegmans etc.)

    1.5 pkt or dry active yeast
    1 ¼ cup warm water
    1.5 tsp of salt
    3 tbs of sugar
    1 tbs olive oil
    1/2 cup of vegetable oil
    4-5 cups of flour

    2 cups of Box of Pomi Tomato Puree (or if you are in Europe Pomito)
    1 tbs Sugar
    1 tsp dried Basil
    1 tbs Garlic Powder
    2 big pinches Mixed dried herbs
    (I used Giada's Tuscan mixed herbs that I received at the South Beach Wine & Food Fest) which is made up of:
    Rosemary, Sage, Bay Leaf, Basil, Marjoram, Thyme, Wild Fennel & Chili pepper.
    1/4 tbs olive oil

    Fresh mozzarella drained or mozzarella that is sold in a block (we wound up using Sorrento's new Fresh mozzarella pack - we were pretty pleased with it) - enough to make a layer covering your dough

    2 Italian Sausages Hot or Mild - we used Hot...
    1/2 Green Pepper
    1/4 cup Purple Onion
    2 cloves of garlic

    Step 1: Yeast & Water
    To create the dough (by hand) dissolve the packet and a half of yeast (hefe, lievito) in the 1 ¼ cup warm water inside a large glass bowl. Make sure the water is not too hot, nor too cold-this could kill the yeast. To know if the yeast is active, it should bubble when you stir the mixture. Let the yeast dissolve completely before adding any other ingredients.
    Step 2: Dry ingredients
    Once the yeast is dissolved, add 3 tbs of sugar, 1.5 tsp of salt, 1/2 cup of Vegetable oil and 1 tbs olive oil.
    Step 3: Flour
    Before adding the flour, make sure the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Add in the cups of flour in one cup increments, while mixing the dough mixture together in the interim. You may have a little too much or not enough...the dough should have good elasticity and not be toooooo sticky.
    Step 4: Kneading (w/ TLC)
    Knead the dough thoroughly but not too hard. Form your dough into a ball in the center of your bowl and cover it with either a very lightly dampened cloth or plastic wrap (I prefer the cloth).
    Step 5: Rising
    Let your dough rise for at least an hour and a half to two hours.
    Step 6: Room Temperature
    Make sure your dough is room temperature when you are getting ready to lay it out (this is especially important for those of you who decided to purchase you dough).
    Step 7: Preheat your oven 
    to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
    Step 8: Chop 
    your Onion, Green Pepper, Garlic and make your Mozzarella cheese into 1/8 inch slices.
    Step 9: Crumble and fry 
    the Italian Sausage: Set aside.
    Step 10: Mix
    your sauce together, combining all ingredients...this sauce is to remain cool (do not use a cooked sauce).
    Step 11: Roll out your dough 
    into the shape of the pan you will be using
    Step 12: Coat the pan
    If you placed your dough in the pan to get the shape accurate, remove it. Coat the bottom of your pan with olive oil and corn meal - so that the dough will  be nice and crisp and not stick later when you want to serve it.
    Step 13: Pan
    Place your dough into the pan again.
    Step 14: Important layering order of ingredients
    (hence why we coined it the reverse pizza): The first layer to go on to the dough is the cheese. Layout the cheese evenly across the dough (I do not recommend shredded).
    Step 15: Add the Sausage 
    (fresh not dried aka Fresh Pork Wurst if you are in Germany :P and if you happen to be in Germany I recommend spicing up the Wurst when you crumble it with Italian flavors or better yet, buy fresh ground pork and add some fennel, paprika, sugar, garlic, black pepper, red pepper etc. )
    Step 16: Sprinkle 
    the chopped onion, garlic and green pepper on top of the sausage for the next layer of the pie.
    Step 17: Pour the sauce 
    over the top making it the final ingredient on top of your pizza before going into the oven.
    Step 18: Bake the pizza 
    in the pan (no pre-bake for this one) with all of its ingredients on top at 450 degrees for 25 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown color.
    Step 19: Remove from oven 
    sprinkle some freshly grated Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan or Grana Padano - I am a Pecorino Romano Girl myself) over it, cut and serve.(Know your Cheeses:
    Step 20: Don't feel bad if there are left overs. 
    This is a monster of a Pizza!

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    New Year, New Food to try out - Mei's Chilled Chinese Noodle Bowl

    Mei's famous Chlled Chinese Noodle bowl (farthest to the left)
    AUTHENTIC CHINESE FOOD RECIPE - Straight from China!
    2010 has come to a close, but we would like to hold on to some of the dearest friendships and memories we have made while living abroad. In honor of the relationships we have formed with the Chinese Bukas, Drew and I are going to attempt to make Mei's famous Chinese Chilled Noodle bowl. Mei is from the Chinese province located within the Golden Triangle and I believe this dish is customary from where she lives. We appreciate her sharing this recipe with us and hopefully we are going to make it as delicious as she does. If any of you out there give this dish a try - I would love to hear from you! Let me know how it turns out!

    200g Chinese noodles (can be bought in almost Asian stores; it looks like an Asian version spaghetti)

    Fresh ginger, garlic, Chinese parsley, green onion; Sesame paste, olive oil, Chinese salted Tofu, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper oil.

    1.   Boil some water in a deep pot and then put noodles in. Stir the noodles from time to time for 5 minutes (very similar like cooking spaghetti).  Don’t overcook the noodles to be too soft.
    2.  Take noodles out of the pot and rinse them in cold water. 
    3.  Put noodles in another bowl or pot and pour some olive oil in, and stir the noodles so that they don’t stick together (I often use hand to do this).
    4.  Put noodles in fridge and cool it (the coolness will harden the noodles later chewy; Remember: harder noodles are always better than overcooked soft noodles for making cold noodles.)
    5. Wash the fresh ingredients. 
    6.  Cut parsley and green onion (you can decide what shape or size you like; for green onion smaller pieces mingle better with noodles so as to make the taste better.)
    7.  Grind fresh ginger and garlic into paste and add some water (the smaller particle ginger and garlic are ground into, the easier for the noodles to absorb, so a better taste!  But this is a tough process when you don’t have any appropriate tools but your hands!)
    8.  Making the sauce: blend sesame paste with warm water (mix with a spoon), until it dissolves totally into water; add the ginger garlic into the water followed by the rest ingredients except parsley and green onion; stir until they totally blend together (you can add small amount of everything at one time and taste it to see what is lacking or what you prefer, and then add more).  It is a fun process and you get to experience how sensitive our tongues can be and how easily in our daily meals we ignore them to the extent that we don’t really taste food but only eat it! -Mei)
    9.  Sprinkle parsley and green onion on the cold noodles (remember, they may still be in the fridge!) 
    10. Whenever the food is ready to serve, pour the sauce into noodles and stir adequately.  The bowl of cold noodles are ready to be served!
    11.  If there are left overs, you can refrigerate them for another meal or you can always keep some of the sauce in the refrigerator of another time, boil and chill fresh noodles and serve.

    Thank you Mei!!! We will see you in April!