Thai Cabbage Slaw

The perfect crunch, taste, and salad. I can't wait to try more of Mark Bittman's concoctions.

My obsession with Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix Cookbook continues. I can’t speak highly enough about it and EVERYONE must get it for their kitchen STAT. It makes meal-planning easy, and spices up our family dinner repertoire. My most recent find (there seems to be a new one every week!) is the thai cabbage slaw — DELISH what what!!!

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Llama Inn – Sunday Brunch

The perfect bite.

After our big celebration this past Saturday night, we went out to cure our hangover / adrenaline / socialization with a big brunch. My brother, Giora, who lives in Seattle and is always up to speed with pop culture and what is cool (way more than any other New Yorker I know) told me about a restaurant that he wanted to go to — Llama Inn, a new Peruvian restaurant in Williamsburg that has a lot of buzz about it.

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Christmas Celebration 2015

Hello from (grey and cold) Florida! We had an early Christmas celebration this past Friday night since we were all headed in different directions (Florida then Oregon for us Natori Juniors, the Philippines for the Natori Seniors, and New Jersey for my sister, Courtney). Take a look. And listen to this because it is amazing!

 

Santa visited us (thankfully, I remembered that he was expected to bring presents to the kids -- so darted out to the closest toy store to get MORE presents for the kids, as we celebrated "Christmas' in the morning as our family of four). This Santa, although wearing latex gloves and a little creepy, was BY FAR the best santa that we have seen compared to years past. No flask, no chain smoker, no creepiness.

Santa visited us (the four of us actually celebrated Christmas that morning…. so I had to run out and get more presents for Santa to deliver to the kids!). This Santa, although wearing latex gloves, was BY FAR the best Santa that we have had compared to years past. No flask, no chain smoker, no creepiness.

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Quince Paste

Quince paste, known as membrillo in Spain, is phenomenal when paired with cheese (especially Manchego cheese). I first discovered this paste (more like a firm jelly) from my mom, who always has it in stock. It is sweet without being overly so, and truly is a great addition to a cheese plate.

 

Who knew? (My mom did).

Who knew? (My mom did).

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Lou Malnati’s Pizza

I am a pizza lover. I might even go out on a limb and say that I am a both a pizza fanatic and snob. I love pizza and could eat it every night for dinner, but it has to be good pizza. Not the type of pizza that they serve at kids’ birthday parties (barf) or the kind that is soggy / too thick / bad sauce / overly cheesey / greasy, etc….  But once I find a pizza I like, I am a devoted fan. My favorite pizza places in NYC are hands down: Marta and Rubirosa. But when I can’t get to those restaurants (my husband isn’t a fan of eating pizza for dinner — he prefers it for lunch or a snack — one of our few conflicts), I love a frozen pizza. NOT JUST ANY FROZEN pizza, but Lou Malnati’s Pizza.

 

Lou.

Lou. We love you Lou.

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Ken’s Homemade Mac and Cheese

Guest blogger alert!  Here’s Ken… When he starts watching too much football on Sundays, I can usually guilt him into cooking/doing a guest blog post during commercials.  And his Jets are terrible so it’s not like he’s missing much.  Enjoy:

 

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If there’s anything in the vicinity of unhealthy on this blog, it’s a safe bet that it’s coming from me.  While I try to make an effort to combine healthy and, um, not-totally-girly, (see: Grilled Artichokes, Grilled Fruit, Grilled Romaine Salad, Lemon-Mint Pasta with Bacon, and a Guy’s Guide to Pregnancy), things like Beer Can Chicken are more up my alley.  Without further ado…. heart stopping mac and cheese.

 

ingredients

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Mushroom Torte

perfection

 

Torte / Quiche / Pie = All the same deliciousness. Especially when made by my Mama. Yep, the best cook in the world gave me a lesson on how to make tortes. Unbelievably tasty, and a home-run for any dinner / lunch / brunch dinner party. (My mom is such a pro in the kitchen that she made 8 of these tortes — all different fillings — in ONE afternoon. IF ONLY I had the charisma, talent, and energy that she has!) This torte was one of my favorites: mushroom. It is not simple, not vegan, gluten-free, or light — but it is full of flavor and a perfect addition to your plate. Center stage. This recipe was found from the Nordic Bakery Cookbook, which is amazing.

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Lentil Swiss Chard Soup

Lentil soup!

Lentil soup!

Ever since the holidays, I have found myself flipping through the Plenty and Jerusalem cookbooks and ooohhing and aaaahhhing over the beautiful, healthy recipes. Randomly, over the weekend, a friend made the most hearty, comforting, delicious soup from the same (brilliant) chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. I had to make a batch for myself. The soup is vegan, wholesome, rich, savory, and very Moroccan-esque. Definitely worth the effort in the kitchen.

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Ken’s Beer Can Chicken

Guest blogger alert! Here’s Ken with another fun grilling post:

 

Greetings!  It is great to be out of sweltering New York, and more importantly, reunited with my summering wife and kids in Oregon for a week.  I am blessed to have the ability to really focus on my true passions during my vacation: cooking for my in-laws, and guest-writing for a women’s lifestyle blog.  Good times.

 

I have stepped in for the Josie Girl before, mostly with grilling posts on artichokes and fruit (and separately, Lemon Mint Pasta with Bacon and Tips for Expectant Fathers) The focus on fruit, vegetables and general health?  Not necessarily my first choice (play to your audience), so it’s time for more of a traditional and fun (and manly) post on…. Beer Can Chicken.

Ingredients

Ingredients. 4 lb chicken, can o’ beer (room temperature), olive oil, salt, pepper, and if you have it, rosemary, and thyme.

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Gazpacho

I know, I know, I know. Sounds super boring and uninspiring. But trust me, this is a GOOD gazpacho. I always try different gazpacho recipes as there are so many versions and varieties out there, but I always go back to THIS one. So use this recipe to create a simple, lovely, and delicious cold soup on a hot summer day. This recipe is loosely based off the gazpacho recipe from The Breitenbush Cookbook.

Ingredients:

Ingredients

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