Archive | April, 2010

pizza pizza

28 Apr

Okay, I have a confession to make.  Last night was the first time I have ever made pizza.  I mean, can you blame me?  I live in New York and the idea of staying home and cooking pizza never really occurred to me.  When I’m craving pizza, I usually bop over to my local pizza place, Artichoke and grab a slice (if you haven’t been, it’s a must). When my friend H mentioned to me that she has been making pies lately, I was intrigued and asked her if she would teach me.

Before I get into the recipe (which is pretty easy), I want to take some time to discuss Trader Joes.  I love Trader Joes-it’s inexpensive and all of the employees seem genuinely happy to be stocking the shelves.  It was my store of choice in college.  I dislike, however, the frighteningly long line at the Trader Joes in Union Square.  When H told me we had to go there to get inexpensive dough and pizza sauce, I cringed.  I discovered that it was worth the money for certain items-I’ll break down the cost at the end, but the important lesson I learned about Trader Joes is this: go with a friend. One of you can stand in line while the other shops.

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FEED Top Chef Challenge

26 Apr

Last night I was very excited and honored to be a judge at the Columbia University FEED Club’s Top Chef Event.  The challenge was, and I quote, “to cook a plentiful, low-budgeted and healthy meal” with only $17 dollars that would feed a family of eight. One in every 6 Americans faces this very challenge every day.  Six teams faced off against each other to compete for the title of Top Chef.  I was really excited to see how creative each team was with only $17.  There was everything from spinach frittata to fresh bruschetta. “Not Sam’s Mom’s Cooking” took home the grand prize with their spicy and flavorful jambalaya, but all the teams did a wonderful job!  Thanks, CU FEED Club for letting me be a part of Top Chef!  For more info about FEED, click here.

click for more pictures….

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asparagus soup

25 Apr

Today is the perfect day for asparagus soup.  It’s rainy and dreary outside and all I want to do is curl up on my couch in my pajamas, sipping tea and eating soup.  So I decided to pretty much do just that.  The real reason why today is the perfect day for asparagus soup is that it’s spring time!  I went to the greenmarket yesterday and every other stand had bunches of asparagus piled high.  So of course, I bought some asparagus and decided to turn it into a soup.

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fish en papillote

20 Apr

flounder with turnip and fennel

Fish en papillote (fish in parchment paper) is a very simple and healthy way to cook fish (or steam cook almost anything).  What I like about this dish is that you can adjust what you are cooking based on the season. It’s early spring, so I wanted to use some vegetables that are found around this time.  Turnips are in season right now and have a relatively mild flavor, which works well with the flounder because they soak up the buttery flavor of the fish.  Fennel is found from fall through summer.  It has a very strong anise flavor, and since this dish only has a few ingredients, it adds another dimension to the turnips and flounder. Continue reading

avocado tartine with beet salad

18 Apr

I love to cook, but I also love to eat out.  One of the first meals I remember eating when I moved to New York was breakfast at Café Gitane.  They have this great little dish, avocado toast.  It’s whole wheat toast topped with avocado, olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper.  This tartine is inspired by that avocado toast.

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