Showing posts with label Cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cooking. Show all posts

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.


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....

Monday, April 14, 2014

we hosted our first dinner!

did monday come too fast for anyone else?  hung and i are finally starting to feel at home at our new place . as if we weren't homebodies anyways, we feel like we just want to stay home, in our house, together.  no matter if i spent the whole week home not going to work, i'd feel like i need "just one more day" to enjoy the new place. 

we had such a great weekend though, seeing friends every night, celebrating new apartments, seeing friends we hadn't seen in a while, and hosting our first dinner at the new place!  saturday we got a few drinks with friends at battello .  we went there once before for a "we finally got the house!" celebratory dinner, but our friends had never been.  inside the space seriously makes you want to pinch yourself to make sure it's not a dream that a place like this is walking distance from my house.  guys, it's BEAUTIFUL inside.  edison bulbs dimly light up the place just enough to make it cozy, and just enough to reflect on the walls of windows, blending into the already-breathtaking views of manhattan.

Friday, March 21, 2014


life has been a whirlwind lately (as you probably know, if not, see here and here ).  Wednesday was just nice though.  i took the day off of work to surprise hung at his office, ate lunch with him and his coworkers, brought banana cake from momofuku millkbar , and arranged for him to leave after lunch....

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(1) everyday after work we've been eating dinner and going straight to the new house to paint. and paint. and paint. and we're still not done painting.  but at least we still get a great dinner before heading over there! hung made rice cakes with pork and spinach on monday. seriously it was like eating the best pork dumplings, but not in dumpling form.  hopefully get the chance to make it again and share the recipe with you guys! seriously it's so easy and so delicious. if you see rice cakes on the menu at a Chinese restaurant, GET THEM!

(2) wednesday morning i slipped out of the house before hung woke up to grab him a bagel sammich from wonder bagels , and on my quick walk home i noticed the most beautiful sky during sunrise.

(3) i had an hour to spare after picking up the cake but before i needed to be at hung's office.  naturally, i went to crate and barrel and had NO problem wasting an hour.  these stools, they are $150 each. and they are the ultimate inspiration for an upcoming DIY.

(4) that's the banana cake . when they said "a 6-inch cake serves 8-12 people" i thought they were crazy.  but then i saw the HEIGHT on that thing.  a sliver is more than enough!

one more tidbit of (good?) news, apparently we inherited the title of "condo association president" when we bought our unit.  hung gladly took that position.... now we just have to wait and see if that was a good decision or not ;)

happy friday!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

too good to NOT share

the weather is perfect.
the flowers are blooming.
it's already MAY.
summer is just around the corner...
so why on earth would you make SOUP!?
(um, because it's my favorite food, that's why...)
...and because I recently saw this recipe on a beautiful mess .
...and because asparagus is in season
... AND because I was simply intrigued at the idea of a "creamy" asparagus soup.
after putting everything in the pot, I took a shower, let it simmer, came back out, tasted the broth and immediately thought "what on earth am I doing, it's already 10:30 at night, i'm making a terrible soup, and i don't have another option for food"  ....don't let this fool you.  after you let it cool and get that stuff in the blender, the flavor explodes.... add a pinch of salt if you need to, squeeze a bit of lemon into it, and plop a dollop of plain greek yogurt on it and you will be impressed.
while asparagus is still cheap and in season, I encourage you to go try the recipe!

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do it.
you won't be disappointed.
p.s. those speckles in the soup are black rice.  I forgot to get a potato, whole foods was closed, and I had some cooked rice in the fridge.  though it's still delicious, it would totally be better with the potato that's listed :P

Sunday, April 28, 2013

that weekend i had a twin

never before have i heard so many times that my mom and i look alike.
even strangers. the random dude at the soup counter..... everyone.

i guess it's not a bad thing though, she's pretty cool...  and she came to visit last weekend! mr p cooked dinner for us, we spent a few hours at jersey gardens, roamed around manhattan and jersey city, ate at some fantastic restaurants, caught up with some of my friends... it  was the perfect 4-day weekend :)

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(and we played with dry ice.  don't ask, her idea...)

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....and we discovered jersey city's beach! (just kdiding, it's not really a beach, just sand, and i knew it was there, but it's still cool)

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can't wait for her next visit!


Friday, April 26, 2013

cooking but no baking

despite the unfortunate situation that i'm living away from home during the week, i have to admit that i've got it pretty good here.  i recently moved into a basement apartment (not so awesome) in one of the coolest neighborhoods in boston (SO awesome).  though i have a whole foods pretty close (hellloooo endless islands of delicious prepared food!) i want to cook my own food for 90% of the time. 

the bad part is that i only have a 2-burner cooktop (goodbye healthy, foil-pouch, baked fish), and i only have a limited stock of spices/herbs because i'm starting from scratch (though i might snag some from our fuller containers at home so i don't have to buy SO many more spices)

(mr p bakes salt-and-peppered salmon on top of sugar snap peas, puts lemon slices on top, wraps it in a foil pouch and bakes at 350-375 for about 20 minutes... it's one of my new favorite SUPER healthy meals!)
i realize that pinterest and google can and will be my best friends in finding healthy, cooking-but-no-baking, limited-ingredient meals, but does anyone else have any good ideas?
in the meantime, i'll settle for some  chunky white bean soup  and  asian chicken noodle salad  
let me know if you have any great ideas!
thanks, readers :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

...aaaand we're back!

power is back!
our house did not flood.
we ate a LOT of rice and fried eggs.
(drank ALL of our wine)
we played 1 boring game of scrabble.

but... we made it!  and ate pretty good last night since we had to start eating things that were defrosting in the freezer.   this included 2 bags of shrimp.  so, mr p made a "fancy" powerless meal of shrimp in a herbed, lemon butter sauce... with white rice of course!  this meal would have been perfect if only we had some veggies to go along with it, but we took what we could get!

but first, some photos of hoboken and jersey city

 via star ledger

hoboken path train station, via van wert independent

our friend magnus was brave enough to go towards the hudson river water before it came another 1/2 mile inland in jersey city

video from another friend from, again, before the water washed up further into jersey city

and before the power went out... we took advantage of still being able to use our oven.  it's gas, which never went out, but the controls are electric, so after the power went out, we could only manually light our stove burners...

after the power went out, we ate fried eggs and white rice....

now onto the "fancy" meal from last night

Herbed Lemon Butter Shrimp

2 lbs shrimp
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp italian seasoning
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste

in a large pan, heat oil on medium high heat, add butter, chili flakes, thyme, italian seasoning, and salt.  once the sauce is simmering, add shrimp.  bring to a simmer again, cover, and cook another 2-3 minutes, until shirmp is done (pink and curled at the edges).   add lemon juice to taste (i like mine REALLY lemony!!)  serve over rice, and preferably with some sort of veggie, like snow peas or broccoli! (but we didn't have anything like that last night)

bon appetit!

...and pray for those who lost their homes and those who have severe damage to their homes and belongings in long island, up and down the jersey shore, staten island, queens, hoboken, jersey city, and beyond....