Showing posts with label Jersey City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jersey City. Show all posts

Thursday, January 8, 2015

taco tuesday - orale mexican kitchen in jersey city

taco tuesday.  it's like it's too silly of a name to actually do it... except... when you REALLY like tacos, and you REALLY like the tacos at a restaurant just blocks from home, and you REALLY like a good deal.....  YOU DO IT.

hung and i stayed in jersey city for christmas in 2013.  christmas eve happened to be taco tuesday at orale, so it was the obvious choice for a little date before christmas after ice skating at newport skates.  the tacos are half off, guys.  i think it makes them even tastier knowing that they are half off.

we had such a great time that we decided to make it a tradition:
"taco tuesday on the tuesday before christmas"

some people open one present on christmas eve, some people go to church, some people always go to grandma's house.  our tradition is that we eat tacos.  weird? maybe. fun? definitely!  the rule is that if christmas falls on a tuesday, we're making tacos for christmas dinner.

...but tacos at orale in downtown jersey city just hit the spot though.  this year hung ordered the peking duck tacos, and i ordered my normal vegetarian ones (even though i'm not a vegetarian, they are my favorite!!)  i got there late, but hung had already made friends with the bartender, and had a few drinks down, when i got there.  he already ordered the esquites (like a hot corn and cheese salsa) and the baked cauliflower (who knew that grapefruit and cauliflower could pair well together!?)

beyond the stoop at orale mexican kitchen, jersey city

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

an unexpected new years eve

our original plans were to stay home, relax, hopefully make it to midnight to see the ball drop but if not i wasn't going to be upset.

instead....

drinking champagne and getting out of work early seemed like a good idea.
going straight to orale for margarita's seemed like a good idea.
stopping at e.tittlemouse to say hello was definitely a good idea (the wine there? maybe not)
drinking a few MORE drinks at home was just to keep my streak going.
heading out for more wine was (while we definitely had a great time) may have not been the best idea.

at least our NYE was fun while it lasted!!  the next morning? (ok ok the next whole day)… not so much.

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great company, fantastic pasta from pasta dal cuore, great night. thanks for the impromptu NYE celebrations, e.tittlemouse!  my new years resolution is to NOT be hungover on New Years Day next year :P

happy new year everyone!
jenn

Monday, December 22, 2014

happenings

....and so the holidays have begun.  our new-to-us car has already seen some miles, and there are more to be clocked, but as long as there are smiles and laughter and good food and good company, we can claim a successful holiday season. 

in light of my absence on this space, and likely more to come, here's a recap of the holidays for us so far.  between thanksgiving, friendsgiving, a wedding, a friends chrismakuh, holiday parties, and birthdays, we've been busy.  but we can only be thankful to have each of you in our lives!!  so, thanks, friends and family, for being so awesome :)

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^^^this one is smiling on the outside (but thoroughly upset that that girl beside him was the ping pong champion of the night)

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^^^missing those two for christmas... but thankful that weird one in the back is driving to see us (and to deliver our newly-reupholstered danish modern chair!!)

read on for more.....

Thursday, December 4, 2014

porta jersey city

i've been waiting for this place to open for so long! those people know what they're doing when they start creating buzz about the place months ahead of time and block it off from the street, making it even MORE mysterious and enticing.  carefully following porta's instagram feed, i saw a little comment stating the opening for last night...  my instant reaction was "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"  i had been waiting for it for so long, and they just "had" to open on a day that i had tickets for another event. (the tickets were only $5 a piece, do i really need to go to it? i'm going to miss the opening night of porta!!) 

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luckily for us, we were able to get back to jersey city by about 9pm after the apartment therapy maker talk (more on that soon!), when the place had NO wait! (ok ok, we can handle a pizza and a beer, right? we technically didn't eat dinner yet) impulse splurge of the week is officially commencing. 

read more about our impulse night out below....

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

brown butter truffle sage rice krispie treats

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if you follow @beyondthetoop on instagram, you had to know this recipe post was coming ;)

if you read the title thinking "ew gross" you'll be sticking your foot in your mouth after you try these.  our friend made them once during a dinner party, and i (along with everyone else) went crazy over them! they are the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and take hardly any more effort to make than regular rice krispie treats with just butter and marshmallow.  i made them for thanksgiving, posted it on instagram, and was requested to make them again for friendsgiving just a few days later! the lazy girl inside me thought i could get by with saving some from the first batch, but they definitely did not last long enough.  the entire batch was GONE before i had a chance to stash them away.

give them a try and let me know what you think!  read below for the recipe....

Friday, November 21, 2014

chef after dark

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"taking a cooking class with your husband."  it sounds like a fun date night, right?  while it was a blast to go to, it was hardly a date night.  i guess the point of "date night" though, is to force ourselves out of the house and do something fun together.  so last night "technically" still fit our requirements.  it just happened to be with people we "know" (more on that later) and ended in a hangover the next morning.

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jersey city is a funny place.  people are so welcoming and interested in meeting new people that we all start following each other on instagram and social media before we meet in person.  before you know it, 6 months (or more) go by, and you still haven't met each other in person.  when you finally do it's like
"hey i'm jenn" 
"yes i know, nice to finally meet you in person, i'm renee"
"yes i know, nice to meet you too"
"i love your blue sofa!"
in a round about way, that's pretty much the conversation we had last night.  maybe we never met in person yet, and maybe we've been stalking following each other on instagram for quite some time, but we felt like we already knew each other!  it's sort of weird, right? when i talk about it, it's weird.  but it doesn't feel weird. that's the cool part about it.  social media is a wonderful thing.

anyways, about this cooking class we took! it was hosted by bambino chef and lourdes of the vine.  lou lou from lourdes of the vine provided the wine (and the awesome wine tasting lessons!), while renee of bambino chef provided the rest with the help of chef joyce.  the night started off with some sparkling wine to help us through getting to know one another.  once everyone arrived and suited up, we were split into 2 groups.  hung's group made cheesy savory cookies, and my group made garlic sausage with puff pastry (i forget what each item was called, i'm terrible with my french food!!) once everything went into the oven, both groups started assembling the figs with blue cheese! since it's not fig season, chef joyce rehydrated dried figs with port wine, red wine, and water so we could stuff them with blue cheese, bake, and drizzle with a port wine reduction.

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guys.  it.  was.  so.  good.

the cheesy cookies were amazing (how could you not enjoy it when 2 of the 3 main ingredients were butter and parmesan!?)  the garlic sausage with puff pastry tasted like "pigs in a blanket" to me, but with the nicer meat (i.e. NOT hotdogs) and puff pastry instead of croissants. served sliced with mustard, they were the perfect little one-bite snack.  lastly the figs.  omg the figs.  not a new flavor to us, we've been making pizzas with dried fruit and blue cheese for a while, but when it was in one-bite form with the sticky delicious port wine reduction, i could have eaten the entire plate.

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each dish we made was paired with a french wine.  i've always read about how to pair wine with food, and i've read about how to properly do a wine tasting, but i've never actually done it.  i had never been taught to do it.  last night i learned that swirling the wine in the glass, indeed, does make the smell come out better, and slurping the wine, indeed, does bring out the flavors.  (i felt so fancy doing all those fancy wine things and actually understanding why instead of doing it because that's what i see people do when they get a bottle of wine in a restaurant).

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what a great group of chefs after dark last night!! we were all basically best friends by the end of the night.  maybe the wine helped.  but this is why i love doing things like this.  lou lou and renee weren't exactly strangers to us, but the rest of the group definitely were strangers to us when they walked in the door at the beginning of the night.  by the end of the night we hugged goodbye like best friends.

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while bambino chef focuses on children's cooking classes, kids birthday parties, and occasionally a private party for adults and families, i have to say the first adult class open to the public was quite the success!! 

just wait.... you're gonna see those savory cookies again soon.  like, maybe, on that holiday coming up, that one where it's ok to indulge in butter and cheese.... and nearly everything else.

cheers.
jenn

p.s. can you tell we had a great time? i'm posting this literally hours after the event when i haven't posted in, well, almost 2 weeks! i'm a terrible blogger....

Sunday, November 9, 2014

happy birthday to the mind behind e.tittlemouse

saturday we were happy to be invited to a small dinner at e.tittlemouse and co. to celebrate napoleon's birthday.  napoleon and his wife, belinda, run the small resale store on bay street in downtown jersey city.  besides having a great store filled with designer clothes, vintage housewares, and the works of local artists, they've become great mentors to several local creatives and entrepreneurs and have become our friends in the meantime.  although the celebration was in honor of the birthday boy, it was really just a fun dinner with great people.  we saw familiar faces, met new faces, indulged in new wines, and ate new food (well, new to us, apparently we're the only two at the event who didn't know what any of the filipino foods were).

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napoleon, thanks for including us at your birthday dinner, we look forward to our next dinner! (because we apparently planned many more that night, i see a pho night in the near future :P)

cheers.
jenn