Saturday, March 29, 2014

Winter 2013/2014 Brooklyn Eats

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
(Anne Bradstreet)

It's been a long winter with so... much... snow... and though it's officially spring, it has yet to really feel like it. This time of year is always really busy for me, but I'm finally trying to catch up on some small tasks around the apartment, and on photos from the past few months, especially ones of first-time tested recipes. Please see below for photos and new recipes links on 1) eggs, 2) soup, 3) salad, 4) quinoa, 5) chicken, 6) stuffed shells and pizza, 7) lasagna, and 8) salmon.


Egg dishes are tasty and satisfying any time of day, not just for breakfast. I think I made The Naked Kitchen's Asparagus Frittata for breakfast one day -- I decided to try this recipe because it was simple, and it didn't call for broiling at the end (my broiler is a little extreme) -- and the Fitness Magazine's Mushroom-and-Kale Ragout with Poached Eggs for dinner on another day.

Asparagus frittata
Mushroom-and-kale ragout with poached eggs


I really enjoyed the following 2 soup recipes: Silky Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup from Sweet Potato Soul, a vegan food blog, and the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten's Italian Wedding Soup. They take a few steps, but were definitely worth it.

Silky butternut squash and cauliflower soup
Italian wedding soup


Both of the salads below have oranges in common: Fit Foodie Le's Orange Sesame Kale Salad uses orange juice as an ingredient for the dressing, and the Fennel Salad with Oranges, Arugula, and Shaved Parmesan from page 72 of Williams-Sonoma's Bride & Groom Entertaining cookbook calls for 4 blood or navel oranges sliced over and around the salad (similar recipe; I can't find the exact one online).

Orange sesame kale salad
Fennel salad with oranges, arugula, and shaved Parmesan


Cranberry orange quinoa salad
Mediterranean quinoa
Quinoa and almond pilaf

I go through phases of pinning only certain kinds of recipes, for example, slow cooker meals, French toast, cookies, pizza, lasagna (you'll see some of the latter 2, further below), and for some reason, for the first time, this past season I kept looking at variations of chicken lettuce wraps. They just seem like a good combination of hot and flavorful wrapped in cool and crunchy. Before I made Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps by She Wears Many Hats, I also made Women's Health Magazine's Low-Fat Chicken Marsala, and Martha Stewart's Curried Chicken Salad.

Chicken marsala
Curried chicken salad
Chicken cashew lettuce wraps

Stuffed Shells and Pizza

I'm always drawn to pasta and pizza; who isn't? Stuffed shells are always satisfying to make and eat -- Butternut Squash, Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Shells were no exception -- and though I've made pizza dough from scratch before, lately I'm more into finding yummy recipes for toppings. The one shown below, Simple Tomato Margherita Pizza, was just that: very simple and basic, with only a few ingredients needed.

Butternut squash, ricotta & spinach stuffed shells
Simple tomato margherita pizza


I'm a little obsessed with lasagna (kind of like stuffed shells), and there are so many recipes I want to try. Below are 2 recent ones: Slow Cooker Spinach Lasagna, and Annie's Eats' Spicy Kale Lasagna. The best thing about lasagna is that it always tastes and looks better the next day!

Slow cooker spinach lasagna
Spicy kale lasagna


The last photo and recipe link I'll post from winter is of Quick and Easy Balsamic Salmon from a blog called Eating Bird Food. It's a clean and simple recipe, which I paired with the quinoa and almond pilaf from earlier.

Quick and easy balsamic salmon

Winter Meals from Local Restaurants

The list of restaurants in our neighborhood that we haven't tried yet is getting smaller, but over the winter we did get a chance to try some that were new to us.

American: Pure Bistro
Beer/Sandwiches: Bierkraft
Burgers: Bareburger
Café & Wine Bar: Café Dada
Diner: Purity Diner, Z-7 Classic Diner
Japanese/Sushi: Sushi Katsuei
Mexican: Haab, Rachel's Taqueria
New Zealand: Kiwiana
Peruvian: Coco Roco
Soup: The Soup Bowl of Park Slope
Thai: Mee Thai, Rice Thai Kitchen
Vegan/Latin American: The V Spot

If I ever get around to it, I would still like to post photos from our quick trip to Las Vegas in late February, plus some video clips from the Britney: Piece of Me concert. Those should be up next. Happy spring!