We had a good run here at palatememoirs.blogspot.com. A great run, even.

But it's time for a new journey. After a little less than three years, we decided it was time to streamline some things. Nothing crazy. We're not quitting or anything. Just moving.

Check out the new Memoirs of a Palate HERE.

Or just head on over to memoirsofapalate.com

see ya' there.



As Timbaland once said:

It's been a long time
We shouldn't have left you
Without a dope beat to step to
Step to, step to, step to
Step to, step to

Sorry about that. I'll have some updates and news and stuff soon.



Sorry it's been about three years since the last update. And I'm even more sorry I don't have a ton of really awesome photos from the food consumed over the last couple days. But I can describe it a bit and offer some insights into my mom and dad's third trip to the big city.

Last Tuesday night the folks hit Brooklyn and they were ready for some food after their travels and neighborhood exploration. We figured Bocca Lupo was in order.

Dan and Steve joined the festivities and we had a whole lot of bruschetta, paninis and maybe a bit of wine. Mom and Dad liked the mushroom and truffled cheese the best. I have to agree.

Wednesday night we made sure they hit the neighborhood's finest pizza — Lucali, of course. It's tough to get in but whatever. We knew we had to do it. That photo was from when D and James went with us, but whatever. Similar pizza. I think we had a hot pepper and shallot pie and a mushroom and onion pie. As always, fantastic.

Thursday night mom and dad went to the city and we were on our own. We called in Joya. Sorry, dudes. We were tired. I had some pork salad, Meena had a curry.

Friday night we went big and had all of m&d's friends out to Brooklyn for some drinks, snacks and dinner at Buttermilk Channel. The Guggenheims and Guipes made the trek down deep into Carroll Gardens for Court Street's finest. I had an Esposito's sausage sandwich and Meena had a flap steak with some crispy marrow.

I think the best thing on the menu is still the duck meatloaf. And despite what you may have heard, the fried chicken is pretty dope. And the bacon almonds ... they're still incredible.

Saturday morning I made a little breakfast with some of the previous night's snacks. A little egg with a nice cheddar from Quebec and a bit of proscuitto and toasted bread bits. Salt, pepper, you know the drill. It was excellent.

Saturday night we hit the famed Boathouse in Central Park and I must say, it went way beyond expectations. I couldn't believe how good the food was. I guess I wasn't expecting much, but I was very, very wrong. I thought it would just be a trap for tourists but the Boathouse delivered.

Meena had a roasted chicken with kale and gratin potatoes. I had a snapper with wilted cabbage and it was out of this world. I almost went with the whole branzino, but man ... that snapper was perfect.

And on Sunday, the folks were on their way back to Indy. Sorta. The had awful issues as LGA and they actually ended up in Cincinnatti later that night. Or Kentucky. Or something. But they made it home eventually and I have to say, this may have been their best trip yet. It was so excellent to see them and we had such a good time eating and exploring all over Brooklyn and the Upper West Side.



We had a fairly healthy portion of salmon burger mix left over from the previous evening so we figured salmon meatballs were in order. When life gives you burger mix, make meatballs, right? That's what I'd always heard. Anyway.

I mixed up the little meatballs and threw them in the oven at 500. While they were firming up, I threw some veg in a pan:
- white onion
- spinach
- garlic
- red wine vinegar
- sea salt
- black pepper

I threw the meatballs over that mix and added a bit of marinara to the top. Right before we dined, I added a spot of sriracha and some black pepper. Nice.

It wasn't incredibly filling, but it was pretty delicious. This mix really was better as meatballs. For whatever reason, they were a bit more firm this time? I guess a little time in the fridge helped? Unclear. But they were delicious and the vinegar laced veggies gave the slightly sweet, slightly salmoney meatballs a nice partner in crime. And that sriarcha heat went well with the acidic tomato sauce. Success!



Saturday night we made our way into the city for an amazing dinner at Pylos with Madeline and Pedro but I didn't get any photos and how interesting is a post with no photos, right? Not very. But I just wanted to mention it ... fantastic meal. I had some poached salmon, Meena had a mixed seafood orzo spectacular and there was a massive plate of that awesome Greek cheese that is sometimes served on fire.


So how do you follow that up on a Sunday night at home? Well, you don't because it's impossible, but we tried salmon burgers.

I used one heck of a mix this time around:
- salmon
- honey
- wheat bread soaked in milk
- egg
- spinach
- fish sauce
- sriracha
- chili powder
- garlic

I mixed everything up in the food processor and threw them on a hot skillet. When they were browned and ready to come off the heat, I slapped them between two pieces of wheat toast and added a bit of avocado and field greens. Oh, and some sriracha.

Delicious. The flavor was intense and lovely ... the texture lacked a little. I probably should have used a bit more bread and used the food processor a little less. But it's coo.

We served it up with some more cucumbers and onions that had been bathing in white vinegar, cider vinegar and salt for a minute. I added a bit of the left over avocado as well. Gave it a nice smoothness to balance out the pickley pop.

Not a bad close to the weekend.



It's been a minute, but for a very long time, muffin tin madness was a staple on this blog. Egg cups with a crispy bread crust. I think I used wheat bread a lot in the beginning. Then I tried tortillas some. Tried to give it a Mexicali twist. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

This time it worked.

Rather than using a ramekin, I opted for a gratin dish this Saturday morning. I went with the whole-wheat tortilla and after greasing up the dish with some cooking spray, I worked the crust into place.

While the oven was heating up to 400, I threw together the filling:
- jalapeno chicken sausage
- trader joe's fresh salsa
- spinach
- egg
- sea salt
- black pepper
- chili powder

I baked these suckers up and when all was set, I popped them out of their dishes and threw them on a plate. With a little sriracha and a side of cucumbers and onions, we had a breakfast to be reckoned with, friends.



Friday night rolled around and rather than hitting the town and doing all the wild things the cook kids are up to, we decided it was best to kick it at the house with a little dinner and disc 4 of The Wire's first season. Not the flashy choice, sure, but the best choice, I assure you.

You know my love of the blackening spice and I decided I'd just get a little salmon going with a few dashes of that lovely stuff. Spice on the fish, a run through the pan and a finish in the 450 degree oven. Viola.

I threw these spicy bits of fish over a simple salad:
- greens
- white onion
- cucumber
- white vinegar
- sea salt
- dressing (soy sauce, apple juice, sesame oil, garlic and sugar)

Spicy fish, cool salad. That's about right if you ask me. The salad had a nice little bite courtesy of of some cucumbers and onions I'd marinated in white vinegar and sea salt for about an hour. Reminds me of summer as a kid for some reason. Well, I know the reason. My mom always made that. Anyway, it was awesome.



Meena and I have done brunch at Buttermilk Channel a few times but because we're taking my parents there next week, we figured it was best to try dinner once before we took the plunge. I'm happy to report we will not be changing our reservations - Buttermilk Channel stands!

We had a nice little dinner. Maybe a little over the top for a Thursday, but hey, today's payday. You gotta indulge once in a while, right?

We started with the little dish I'd hear so much about - the maple bacon almonds. Friends, you should definitely get these if you're ever there. Amazing. Little bits of bacon and incredible sweet and salty coatings encased each little nut. Fantastic.

After the almonds we moved into a little cheese sampling and though I don't have much to report, we were both pleased with the selections and the roasted grapes that were served alongside.

For the main event, Meena went with a duck meatloaf that was served with summer corn pudding and a massive onion ring. Though the presentation was a little mundane, I was incredibly taken by the taste. The flavors all worked so well together and the heartiness of the duck really worked well in a meatloaf format. I was impressed.

I had the bratwurst with sauerkraut and mustard. They served this sucker on a lovely toasted roll and threw on a side of fries. It's nothing revolutionary but I just love these tastes. It's like being a kid again.

So we'll be back for sure. Next week, actually.



I was at a little after work event last night and while I was away, Meena got going on a whole-wheat pizza spectacular.

She's not often the one handling the dough when we make pizzas so according to her reports, she struggled a bit to get it in the right shape. No biggie in my personal opinion. As long as it cooks, the shape is irrelevant.

When it came time to top this sucker, she threw the kitchen sink at it. We got:
- chicken jalapeno sausage
- shrimp
- smoked mozzarella
- marinara
- yellow bell pepper
- onion
- spinach
- broccoli

It's funny because looking back at this list, it doesn't seem like a ton of ingredients. It's not, really. I guess it was just the quantity of the list. Because this was a STACKED pizza, friends. Eating two slices was like eating half a pizza. And it was awesome.

I threw a bunch of sriracha and sambal oelek on mine as well and the spice really helped tie everything together.

Fantastic pizza from my lovely wife.



This isn't the first time I've noted this trend, but when Meena is out for dinner and I'm left to eat whatever's in the fridge, my main goals are quick, simple and delicious.

In my experience, quesadillas are almost always able to deliver on those three tenets.

The lowly quesadilla. It's the fodder of movie jokes and the most common appetizer on every tex-mex menu around the globe. But it can be good. It really can. And last night I think I made a pretty delicious one.

I started by cooking down a few ingredients:
- cabbage
- onion
- spinach
- garlic
- chicken jalapeno sausage
- rice vinegar
- sea salt

Once I had all of that cooked I threw it in a whole wheat tortilla and added a couple slivers of that smoked mozzarella. I cooked off both sides and then topped it off with a bit of sour cream, salsa and sambal oelek.

This one worked out according to plan. I liked having all the veg and minimal cheese. I think so often these things are drowning in cheese and that's all you really taste. I used a couple slivers for the sake of tradition and kept my focus on the veg.

The veg really sung with that vinegar pop and gave the cheese a run for its money as the mayor of flavor town. The whole thing came together with the addition of the smooth sour cream spicy salsa.

Not bad for a bachelor night.



Folks, we just ate the best salad we've ever created in this kitchen. I know it's become a bit of a trend in this house to make these overstuffed dinner salads, but this one was just the best. I promise.

We started with a bit of the beef tenderloin we'd had in the freezer. We thawed a steak and coated both sides with blackening spice. We gave both sides a hit on the skillet before finishing in the oven while we prepared everything else.

In a bowl we threw together:
- mixed greens
- tomato
- bleu cheese
- white onion
- avocado
- dressing (canola oil, garlic, rice vinegar, sea salt, black pepper)
- toasted whole-wheat tortilla
- prosciutto

SUCCESS! That spicy, tender steak, while minimal in size, was just exploding with flavor. It was spicy and just perfectly bitter. What you'd expect from blackened tenderloin, I'd say.

And all the other ingredients really reacted well to Meena's dressing. They were all enhanced and showed the best side of themselves when mixed through our salad bowls.

Fantastic - we'll definitely follow this recipe again - I have a feeling I'm going to crave it.



You know what's awesome? Blackening spice is awesome.

I'd had this recipe for blackening spice for a couple years and back when we lived in the East Village, I remember making it a few times. Well, jump cut to now and here we are thinking about that lovely mixture of sugar, salt, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, oregano and basil again.

See, we had this salmon fillet in the fridge and we didn't know what to do with it. We obviously cook salmon a lot and we have a variety of ways we can prepare it in our repertoire. But blackening hadn't come up in a minute and the second it was mentioned, we knew - that was it.

So I whipped up the mix I described above and gave that salmon a tour of the skillet followed by a blast of the oven to finish it off.

Then those lovely, spicy fishes went down on the following sandwich fixings:
- red onion
- tomato
- greens
- sesame mayo
- radish kimchee
- pumpernickel baguette

Well, we've done a very nice job here. The spicy fish ... the kimchee kick and the smooth sesame mayo. The resistance of the pumpernickel and the sweet summer tomato.


On the side of this successful sandwich Meena threw in another one of her awesome salads. Mixed greens, tomato, onion and that awesome dressing. Lovely way to close out a nice, long weekend.



Saturday morning I figured the best start to our day was going to be a nice little scramble using up a bit of the taco night filling we had left from the previous night. Just a quick little brekkie with stuff we had on hand.

Here's how I broke it down:
- taco filling (see previous post)
- campari tomato
- chicken apple sausage
- milk
- eggs
- spinach
- sea salt
- black pepper
- smoked mozzarella

And that was that. With a bit of sriracha (we really do put it on EVERYTHING, friends) it was heaven on a Saturday morning plate. Er ... bowl.


Asian taco night, that is! I know we've been doing this a ton lately, but man, it's just so good and just so delicious.

I had to work a little later on Friday and Meena was off early, so she was kind enough to get it started and take care of most of the annoying prep for this one.

On my way home, I dropped by Korea Town and picked up a couple little treats that I knew would just go perfectly with this sucker - spicy daikon and radish kimchee. It smelled to high hell but it was otherworldly delicious.

When I got to the crib, I threw together some veg in a pan:
- spinach
- broccoli
- white onion
- red onion
- shrimp
- mushrooms

I threw just a bit of some Annie's stir fry sauce on the top as I finished them up to give the whole mix a nice sesame flavor.

With a couple whole wheat tortillas warmed through in the oven and a dose of sriracha ... these suckers were out of sight. Just brilliant. After a long week, it was the perfect way to usher in the weekend.



Night two of the meeting took us on a tour of the High Line and down to Los Dados for some margs, chips, salsa, guac and assorted other Mexican goodness.

The food quality took a massive turn for the better on Thursday. We had this lovely shrimp salad you're seeing up there. We followed it with little chicken tacos, delicious tamarind skirt steak and an assortment of desserts that featured mountains of churros.

After Wednesday, I must admit, the high-end Mexican of Los Dados was a very welcome addition to the meeting agenda.



Oh boy. We had the start to our annual meeting at City Winery on Wednesday and it was a questionable experience at nearly every turn.

The idea was good. You know when you see people eating in a barn on a winery and it looks all rustic and romantic? Well, they employed this concept in the middle of Manhattan and it came out looking a lot more like a NYC cab garage than a beautiful Napa Valley barn.

The wine was just OK and the food wasn't great. We had some hummus on a toasted slice of bread, a salad with some goat cheese, a crazy sausage and some sliced steak.

Not an awesome way to kick it off, but it was good to see some of the folks I hadn't seen since last year.



It's not that I stacked the deck against this new Trader Joe's whole wheat crust, it's just that its deep brown hue gave me the feeling that we were about to eat some delicious toppings on a slice of cardboard.

It wasn't quite that bad, but I'm not sure we'll be selecting this variety any longer. It was crisp through the center and the edges gave that nice bounce you'd expect from a slice handle, but the taste was just a little off. I guess the problem was that it was TOO powerful. You want a crust to be subtle, I think. You want to taste it, but you don't want it to be the ONLY thing you taste.

Anyway, that was the crust.

After one blast in the 500 degree oven, I coated the dough in the following:
- marinara
- crimini mushrooms
- spinach
- red onion
- applewood smoked mozzarella
- apple and chardonnay chicken sausage
- sea salt
- black pepper

So that was that. The ingredients definitely saved what could have been a slide into pizza disaster. That's a strong word. I didn't mean that. It wouldn't have been a disaster. But that crust. Just not great. We'll go back to the other variety next time. FOR SURE.



Awesome. Just awesome. We got home and had this one on the table in under 20 minutes. So fast, so, so, so delicious.

Meena picked up a bit of turkey kielbasa at Trader Joe's the other day and was kind enough to chop a few bell peppers and white onions last night. When we got home, I threw all three on the grill pan and got lovely grill marks on everything.

Meena threw two ears of corn in some boiling, salted water. And she chopped some tomato and carrots for a quick salad that was topped with her classic dressing (canola oil, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, rice vinegar).

Just before serving, I reduced some balsamic vinegar to drizzle over the plated kielbasa and pepper/onion medley. That thick, syrupy sauce gave each bite a ... bite. A sweet, sour vinegar punch that went tremendously with that smoky sausage and charred veg.

This one was a clear winner. Score one for the good guys.



I spent the weekend in Milford, PA doing a bit of camping with the broze. I was hoping to have a few images but I don't really. Rest assured, I ate a lot of hot dogs, hamburgers, pickles and chips. My sodium levels are through the roof. And my back hurts. But I had a blast and can now say I've rafted the Delaware River. Cool, right?

When I got back, Meena had some gear ready to grill up a bit of salmon. The only problem? The Trader Joe's frozen salmon was total crap.

We tried to get it right on the grill pan and serve it up with a bit of TJ's fresh salsa, but it still just wasn't right. The side of corn and Meena's delicious garden salad were enough to save things, but suffice it to say, no more frozen salmon from TJ's.



That's right. Another win with Trader Joe's pizza crust. I don't know why I didn't trust it, but for some reason, when you roll this stuff out, it just doesn't look right. But it is. So, so right.

This time around, we threw on:
- red bell pepper
- marinara
- chicken sausage
- le fournols
- spinach
- marinara
- shiitake mushrooms

And Meena whipped up a salad of mixed greens and avocado and finished it off with her dressing (canola oil, sea salt, black pepper, garlic and rice vinegar).

Another great one.



This one won't be all that informative. Because I can't remember the name of the caterer who brought in the food. Sorry. But the deal was that we had this Digital Sales Meeting Dinner on the top of the Thompson LES and they brought in some nice Asian fusion stuff for eats.

We had bok choy with garlic. Skirt steak with some kind of chimicurri or salsa or something. There was a "jerk" chicken that was a lot like orange chicken from a Chinese restaurant. Fried rice tied the whole thing together.

I should have snapped a shot of the view. Beatutiful views uptown and downtown. Perfect weather. Good food. Not a bad way to cap off a meeting.