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Archive for February, 2011

It’s edible!

Photos by me and pwisenberg

The food in New York was good, like really good. I only wish we’d had more time to explore more restaurants, bars and bakeries. Nonetheless, here are a few pics of the delicious fare we enjoyed in NYC. Sadly, we didn’t get photos of our experience at two of the best restaurants of all- Blossom and Foodswings. Blossom was beautiful, chic and delicious. My rigatoni in porcini cream was rich and savoury and I’m dying to recreated the black-eyed pea cakes we all shared to start. And don’t even get me started on Foodswings, it’s everything you’d want in a greasy Brooklyn diner and it’s all completely vegan. You really wouldn’t know it though, especially if you had the chicken bacon ranch sandwich that I ordered or the sweet and spicy drumsticks that Paul inhaled. Seriously so good. I can’t wait to go back and order the chocolate peanut butter milkshake.

As for the meals we were able to capture on camera, here’s a play-by-play for all the foodies out there…

1, 2: Delicious (and half cheese-less) pizza from a fabulous place in little Italy. Served hot and fresh, complete with paper plates and fountain pop. Perfect.

3-6: Legendary Italian bakery Ferrara and some of their goodies Lindsay and I sadly couldn’t have (but drooled over anyway).

7: Giant grapefruits in China town (actually the size of my head).

8: A photo of a photo. Mini treats from an adorable cupcake stand in Soho.

9: Huge black and white cookies spotted in a window of a Greenwich bakery.

10: Three dollar whiskey shots from the oh-so-divey Ding Dong Lounge near Columbia U.

11, 12: My new favourite lunch spot, The Hummus Place (I literally saw the sign from across the street and decided right then and there that we all had go based on the name alone). The falafel balls were crispy and chock-full of parsley, and the hummus I ordered was topped with sautéed mushrooms and paprika, I can’t wait to make it all myself! (Unfortunately, the vegan raspberry brownie we had for dessert got gobbled up before we had the chance to photograph it).

13, 14: Mimosas and bloody marys from the awesome Australian restaurant The Sunburnt Calf. The vegan options were limited but I was sold at the mere mention of “all-you-can-drink”. So what if my english muffin and avocado cost $23.00, the bottomless cocktails made it all worth it. This place really nailed the party vibe by offering customers lemon drop shots before they even get seated. Oh and the best part? It’s a brunch place. Yes, this was all consumed at 11:00 a.m. Brilliant.

15: Amazing pesto pizza with sun dried tomatoes and tapioca cheese from Slice, a great little pizza joint we stumbled across after our plan A restaurant was totally booked. Blessing in disguise though, the service and atmosphere at this place were spot-on. Cool and laid back, they even sell children’s books about vegetables (that I totally regret not buying).

16, 17: Pretty little cupcakes from vegan chocolate shop Cocoa V. Turns out they were closed the day we planned to go, but luckily Lindsay can be pretty convincing so we managed to score these babies nonetheless. The cupcakes were moist, light and completely delicious. They helped make the long drive home a little less depressing. The perfect ending to a perfect trip.

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It’s musical

Photos by pwisenberg

From John to Jimi to Jerry, NYC was full of musical inspiration. I especially loved the brightly-coloured mural and absolutely couldn’t leave without snapping a photo of me with my dad’s all-time favourite artist- the legendary Jerry Garcia. Another highlight was strolling down Bleeker St., where Lindsay bought a gorgeous new ukulele from Matt Umanov Guitars (complete with a free deluxe hardshell case, eh eh?). And how could we forget Strawberry Fields? As if it wasn’t enough of an experience just being there, Paul and I were lucky enough to witness our two friends get engaged, such a beautiful moment (talk about waterworks!). And lastly, when we realized we happened to be strolling down the Jones St. from Dylan’s Freewheelin’ album cover, a photographic recreation was totally obligatory. And hey, when it’s a cold blustery day in New York city, who doesn’t wanna snuggle up to someone they love anyway?

Peace and love.

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It’s beautiful

Most photos by pwisenberg, a few by me

My heart literally hurts when I look at these photos. If it’s possible to have a crush on a city, then I’ve sure got one on New York. I know everyone says this, but this city is like no other. It’s so beautiful and so alive. My highlights include:

-Waking up to a hazy morning view of the George Washington Bridge
-Taking an epic 8 hour walking tour all over the city (including Little Italy, Wall Street and China Town), our feet were killing us but it was so worth it
-Taking a gypsy cab to a seemingly sketchy warehouse party in Brooklyn, complete with performance artists and giant indoor swings
-Navigating our way through screaming toddlers and stressed-out parents in order to see all the animal exhibits at the Museum of Natural History in under an hour, so much to do, so little time!
-Gawking at beautiful Soho store displays from Free People, Jonathan Adler and countless other
-Seeing it all for the first time with two amazing friends and the love of my life

Don’t worry, I have not forgotten about the food, glorious food! But all the things we ate (and drank) were so wonderful, they deserve a post all their own. New York, I miss you already. You still have so much more to show me, I’m already counting the months until my next visit…

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Summer lovin’

photo by me

Hello everyone, it’s great to be back to the blogosphere! New York was amazing, I really did not want to leave. I’m so excited to share some of the great photos we took while we there… coming soon I promise! But for now, here’s a yummy little dish that has become a standard in my house. I know, I know, the ingredients are not quite in season, but come on, it’s so delicious I couldn’t resist! My mum has been making a black bean and corn salad like this for years, so I basically took her recipe and added fresh tomatoes and thick slices of ripe avocado, mmm.

Black bean and corn salad
Serves 4

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn (fresh if possible)
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, sliced

Dressing

2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 1/2 limes
zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine salad all of salad ingredients, reserving avocado. Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss to coat. Top with sliced avocado and serve. That’s it- supa easy.

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photo by me

Okay fine… we’re totally driving to New York… In fact, I’m blogging from the car right now (modern technology never fails to impress me). I’m sure you’ll agree when I say that every good road trip needs snacks, lots of snacks. So, in addition to the vegan brownies my pal Lindsay packed, and my homemade lentil hummus with veggies, we have a tub full of pasta salad to look forward to! I made this yesterday with the specific goal of using up whatever food we had left in the fridge (I hate to waste), and wound up making penne with sun dried tomatoes, basil and walnuts. I ate more than a few spoonfuls of it when it was hot and man it was yummy! I can’t wait to try it cold for dinner en route. Plus, it was super easy and came together in 20 minutes tops (Racheal Ray ain’t got nothin’ on me!).

Penne with sun dried tomatoes and walnuts
Serves 4

1 package whole wheat penne
1/2 jar sun dried tomatoes, drained not rinsed
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 chili, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh basil, tightly packed
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, cook penne in boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and chili to the pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until just soft. Add sun dried tomatoes and stock and simmer for about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine cooked penne, sautéed veggies, basil and walnuts. Toss everything together and serve hot or cold, so delicious!

Well my friends, I’m off to enjoy the rest of this long journey to NYC (car games will be played). I wish you all a wonderful weekend and can’t wait to share my adventures with everyone- food, photos, shopping- when I get back!

xo robin katherine

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photo by me

Spinach and pecans and clemmies, oh my! This delectable little salad is quick and easy. The pecans are roasted in a maple cayenne glaze and the clementines add a burst of freshness to the savoury dish. Bonus: the candied nuts are sweet, spicy and good enough to be eaten alone as a healthy snack!

Spinach salad with clementines and candied pecans
Serves 4

Candied nuts

3/4 cups whole pecans
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt

Spinach salad

4 cups tightly packed spinach
2 clementines, segmented
1/2 cup red onion, chopped

Easy balsamic dressing

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss pecans in maple syrup, cayenne, oil and salt and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Toss spinach, clementines, onions and pecans in dressing and serve. Yum!

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photos by me

I woke up today all excited to make homemade hummus but, to my disappointment, we were all out chickpeas. What’s a girl to do, you ask? Use lentils of course! I included all of the standard hummus ingredients but spiced it up by roasting a whole head of garlic first and substituting the chickpeas for some adorable little lentils- it turned out to be very tasty! It’s great as a dip for fresh veggies or crackers but also works well in wraps. I decided to quickly roast some asparagus, peppers and mushrooms and wrap them all up with the lentil spread along with some fresh tomatoes and arugula. Healthy and yummy- a perfect anytime meal for any day of the week!

Homemade lentil and roasted garlic dip/spread
Makes about 2 cups

1 can lentils, drained not rinsed
1/4 cup tahini
1 whole head garlic, roasted
juice of one small lemon (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Slice the top off the head of garlic so the cloves are exposed. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in tinfoil and bake for about 45 minutes until soft and golden brown. Once the garlic has cooled, squeeze the roasted cloves out of the skin and add, along with the rest of the ingredients, to a food processor. Combine on low until smooth, about 3 minutes. Enjoy with just about anything!

Roasted vegetable wrap with garlicky lentil spread
Makes 2 wraps

2 large whole grain tortillas
1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
1 cup button mushrooms, halved
olive oil for coating
salt and pepper to taste
lemon wedge
1/2 cup tightly packed arugula
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
4 tbsp garlicky lentil spread

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss asparagus, peppers and mushrooms with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, squeeze with fresh lemon juice and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, spread 1/2 the lentil mixture in the middle of each tortilla, leaving a one inch border. Add 1/2 the roasted vegetables, 1/2 the tomatoes and 1/2 the arugula to each. Wrap them tightly, tucking in the ends as you roll. Slice in half and serve warm or cool. Delish.

Have a sunny Tuesday everyone!

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