Mid July, here we are. Second half of the year, here, too! Here is what I am currently loving this month:
This past weekend, in an attempt to have an adventure and do something off electronics, we looked up “best pizza in Brooklyn” (in our 5 borough food scavenger hunt) and discovered Di Fara. So we hopped in the car, drove to a predominantly Hassidic Jewish neighborhood and got some pizza. And yes, it was the BEST PIZZA EVER and I am so glad that we went on this adventure. It was absolutely incredible.
If you know me well, you know that Fred’s at Barney’s was my go-to restaurant for 11 plus years. It is where we had every Sunday dinner, multiple meals throughout the week, and even many special occasions such as Marathon parties, birthday parties, and special moments. It was our kitchen. We knew the entire wait staff and loved everything about it — it felt like home. So we were extremely sad when Barney’s shut down PRE Covid. It felt like we lost a part of our family and didn’t know what other restaurants to go to. Sure enough, a month later, the music died, and all restaurants were shut down to Covid…..but here we are, back in NYC, restaurants are reopened (currently only outdoor dining) and the chef from Fred’s, opened up his own restaurant “Mark’s Off Madison.” It is located downtown on 26th street and Madison, with Mark as the chef, and many of the same wait staff as at Fred’s. It felt like going home — we were so happy to see so many of the same waiters and think often of the others that we don’t know their whereabouts (Lorraine, Aggie, Jose, Gian Franco, and so many more — we miss you and hope you are all safe and healthy). Fred’s was a special place to us and so going to Mark’s Off Madison felt special, too.
Most everything in Oregon is hippy dippy (the remaining bit is redneck), and the state produces an incredible amount of yummy, healthy, unique, and interesting food products. There are a dozen of Oregon items that I can’t live without — Toby’s tofu pate, Emerald Valley salsa, Pok-Pok drinking vinegars, Yumm sauce, Nancy’s Yogurt, Dave’s Killer Bread, etc…..– and I just found a new one! Kale Sprinkles! It is literally a pound of dehydrated kale, mixed in with nutritional yeast and other herbs, that you sprinkle on any food to create a spice and added texture. It is so easy, so delicious, and healthy too. I can’t wait to stock up on kale sprinkles (ps, how great is the name?)
The local community pool in Eugene, Oregon (Amazon Pool) is unlike any other public pool. Sure, there is a random mixture of people (Olympic athletes, White Trash, professors, and a mish mash of kids), incredible views and greenery, and endless options of fun (high dive, platform dive, loopty-loop slide, tunnel slide, obstacle course, water sprays, sandbox, you name it). But it is the snack grill that is my ultimate favorite. It is not your typical pool snacks — no corn dogs or french fries — but rather hippy dippy Asian cuisine served at Ume Onigiri House. Kombucha, of course, and even better their dumplings and onigiri. Even though Ken is half-Japanese, I had never tried an onigiri until this summer. AND MAN, how I love it. Seriously, if you ever go to a restaurant and see it on the menu, get it. It is essentially a rice ball filled with various fillings — teriyaki chicken is my kids go to, but I have had the kimchi and teriyaki tofu and they are DELICIOUS.
So yes, I understand that Ume Grill is unique to Eugene, but wherever you are, go find ONIGIRI. So good and so healthy, too. The perfect little meal.
I was introduced to my new favorite pizza place by my out-of-town-brother this past week and now I am dreaming of the pizza nonstop. My brother is one of those people that knows everything about a place even when he doesn’t live there. He also loves food, reading about food, and is always right. So when he was visiting this past weekend and suggested trying Prince Street Pizza — I knew that it was going to be good and worth the trek down. And YUP, sure enough, this tiny little pizza shop is where it is at. I can’t wait to go back.
I discovered that it is the little things that make a big difference in my life. So when my mom gave me reusable silicone bags for Hannukah, I was thrilled. These fun, colorful, ever so practical, and healthy alternative to plastic food storage bags are a great addition to my kitchen. Not only do I feel like I am helping the environment (even in a very small way) but they are an extra pop of color in my day that makes me smile. Stasher bags come in all different sizes and colors and can be used for more than just food!
I have not been into cooking recently — not sure what it is, but I just don’t feel like being in the kitchen and cooking. I have been tired from marathon training (and here I go with another marathon next month), the start and craze of school, and September life is just busy…..I guess I don’t even feel that into food these days — I just want to consume some calories and then be done. But that doesn’t stop me from buying new cookbooks. Here are my current three favorite new ones!
Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year (Shana Tova!) Since I have the tendency to be bad at holidays (across all of our religions), this year, I decided I want to be more festive, and threw together a last minute holiday dinner with friends (4 Jewish-Catholic/Christian families… go figure!). One of the main traditional Jewish dishes is Noodle Kugel, something that is very Jewish but not something I ever grew up eating. I was looking for recipes on the internet when I decided to contact one of my old-time friends who I met when we were on a Teen Tour of Israel together. And sure enough, Heidi-ho got in contact with her mother (who just happens to be a chef!) and immediately sent over her go-to Sweet Noodle Kugel. Although it has been decades since I last saw Patty Padawer (can we talk about the awesomeness of her name), I remember her delicious food fondly. Talk about helpful — she saved the day — thank you SO much, Patty!
Like most Oregonians, my parents are constantly (and thankfully) looking for ways to create less garbage and be more environmentally conscious. In their attempt to eliminate saran wrap and aluminum foil, they use reusable bowl covers. It is a simple switch that reduces waste and takes little effort. Plus, the various patterned tops make your fridge look hip! I ordered some for NYC and can’t wait to use them.
As many of you know, I love butter. Not just ‘like’ butter, but LOVE butter. It is actually my go-to snack. I smother it on bread, croissants, rice cakes, anything… And because of this, I am a butter snob. And here in Oregon, the land of hand batched, artisan everything, there is GREAT butter. Thanks to Butter Culture, I am now eating more butter than ever.
So here we are in April. It snowed here in NYC on Monday. I thought April was SPRING for GOD SAKES? In any case, need to stay positive, so here is what I am currently loving for April 2018! Take a look.
It is made with organic chocolate, so it’s healthy, right???? Yeah right, but somehow, it makes it taste better, like the organic chocolate is better for your body and your body knows that. And if you are going to indulge, then might as well indulge in some organic chocolate (or that is my rationale….)
With a snap of a finger, lightning speed, here we are in December. Mid December, in fact. Not sure how time flies as fast as it does, but, it does. So without further ado, here is what I am currently loving this month! Enjoy!
I like how it is mid December, and we have already received 100 cards. Mind you, I also sent out my cards on the 1st of December, so just like me, most of our friends like to be early….. This holiday card ring hack has changed my life — it literally makes me so happy every day to have the cards OUT, without cluttering up the house!
One of my favorite neighborhood go-to’s is Le Botaniste. It is perfect for days when you want to be uber healthy and are looking for a quiet place to eat and relax. Le Botaniste was concepted by the creative force behind Le Pain Quotidien (more here) and serves healthy, organic, vegan, and gluten-free meals. Although I have been over two dozen times, I always get the SAME thing — I make my own bowl.
And just like that….here we are in October! Nothing says fall more than pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, woodfires, foliage, and scarves. And spending more time in the kitchen and becoming more of a homebody! Since I love food, here are four food products that I am currently loving — all so different, but all so delicious.
Hands down my favorite food product is “butter.” YUP, butta. Love it. LOOOVE it. Like an unusual amount — I can actually eat it by the spoonful if it is good butter. Sounds gross, but good butter is better than anything. European butter is my favorite, but in the USA, I used to settle for Kerry Gold Butter. That is, until I discovered Ronnybrook Butter, and it is to die for.
Happy September, happy back to real life! I hope everyone settles in to the fall with ease and peace despite the craze and chaos it tends to bring. I know that I am trying to take one day at a time; better yet, hour to hour. I am not sure how summer disappeared as fast as it did, but I’m happy we created fond and wonderful memories that will forever be in our hearts! That said, here is what I am currently loving!
1. Slides. Yes, I know, shower slides from the 1990s are finally back in. I have been a fan of them the past two summers and have worn them non-stop. I love that they are easy, and go with everything. Although not practical for urban daily city life, I plan on wearing them once again NEXT summer, too. Thank god they are finally in fashion — last year I got a lot of weird looks.
Although the US has great healthy options (salads, smoothies, greens, etc…), Paris ultimately has my favorite food, which we enjoyed last week at the Paris Marathon. We had great luck with the restaurants we chose and couldn’t have been happier (well, our stomachs are a little bigger, but C’EST LA VIE!).
Sunday Brunch: Our favorite, Cafe Charlot. Not many restaurants are open on Sundays (and Mondays), but this is a classic French bistro where all the cool kids go to brunch for seven hours. We ate and drank for hours on end. The food is delicious, the sun was shining, life was (is) good.
I just returned from a quick trip to Paris where I completed by 4th Paris Marathon (7th marathon total). It was great fun — both the trip itself and the run, and now I am looking forward to not traveling, not doing long runs, and staying put….. at least for the next couple of months (I have already planned my next two marathons…). Here are pictures of the weekend! (And what day is it today?)
I love dessert. Almost as much as I love my family. But I don’t like to eat too much sugar because I get jittery, emotional, and always have a sugar crash. So, when I don’t have time to bake my own health(ier) dessert, than I go to my local stores to purchase healthy-ish desserts. Here they are:
My sister got married this weekend in an amazing wedding in Portland, OR (yes, we just relocated the family back from the West Coast the weekend prior… lots of travel!) It was beautiful, heart warming, emotional, and fun. I am so #blessed (#sorrynotsorry) that I love my family as much as I do — my sisters, brother, and parents (obviously, my husband and kids too)– so much that I just want to be with them all the time (which makes my re-entry to NYC all that much more difficult). Outside of the event and family, the highlight of the wedding was my sister’s WEDDING FOOD! BEST WEDDING FOOD EVER EVER EVER. And not just any food, it was FOOD TRUCKS. Yep, food trucks at a wedding. And it was AWESOME. There were three food trucks for the main meal, and one food truck for dessert #Winning.
With a flat of blueberries in our house from our local CSA, I went on a hunt to find the best blueberry pie recipe. That said, searching “best blueberry pie” on the internet does not necessarily lead to the best blueberry pie, especially when I add words such as “low sugar” or “healthy.” So instead, I went the old fashioned route and asked a friend for a recipe. Needless to say, this much more experienced baker (read ‘older’) instantly emailed me her go-to-blueberry crisp recipe. So I made it (but of course, with some minor adjustments) and IT IS SO DELICIOUS.
Ingredients for Crumb Crust and Topping: