While we were out doing our wandering today, we stopped into the butcher on Smith Street for a little hanger steak. I love this cut. You just clean it up a little and sear these suckers off and it's always tender and delicious. What's not to love?

Once we got home and I had it all trimmed, I marinated ours in the following:
- hoisin
- beer
- salt
- black pepper
- garlic
- worchestershire sauce

After another great Colts win, we got the kitchen ready to kiss these steaks with a little fire. Once seared, rested and sliced, I added the following:
- grilled peasant bread
- sauteed red onion and crimini mushroom (with balsamic vinegar and olive oil)
- herb mayo (lite mayo, parmesan and basil)

In addition to our sandwiches, we mixed up a few oven baked fries to play a supporting role. The featured:
- potato
- olive oil
- salt
- black pepper
- basil

I liked my sandwich a lot. I'm not a big fan of creamy things, but for some reason I wanted that mayo and it was really nice.

Excellent sandwich to cap off an amazing weekend.


While we were out and about, we stumbled upon the Atlantic Antic around the corner from our house. I guess it's a thing out here. Lots of bands, shops, food, people, etc. And you know what was super cool? The had all the bars in the street and everyone was drinking delicious beers and hanging out in the sun. Awesome.

Meena and I both had a Widmer Hefeweizen. Looks about like orange juice. But it's not. It's delicious, wonderful wheat beer. Niiice.


We had a late night at James and D's house last night, so when we made our way into the kitchen this morning, we just decided to go with the same thing we had yesterday morning. Mostly. I had a lot of the same ingredients. Not all. But most of them.

So I got cooking with the following:
- grilled red onion
- peasant bread
- basil pesto
- fontina cheese
- marinara sauce
- egg
- prosciutto

Pretty rich. Totally delicious. It's not a big sandwich. And because we were really only having it with black coffee, I suppose it's cool we indulged a second day in a row. And we needed fuel for a beautiful Sunday filled with wandering in Brooklyn!


Another night at James and D's house and another great meal. This time it wasn't a sit down situation - it was a tapas spread that just didn't quit. I probably put on about 5 pounds at dinner alone. I don't care though. It was too delicious to worry about the ever expanding waistline.

And even more challenging was creating perfect food for the very wide variety of palates in attendance. From James to Matty Chaymez to ... the two of us. Just a lot of different styles in the room. Not an easy assignment for the cook!

I'm not totally up on all the ingredients, but I can quickly describe the goodness you're seeing up there:
- orzo salad with dill and edamame
- homemade tabouleh
- homemade hummus
- shrimp, pear and walnut in phyllo
- cheese and leek tartlet
- tempeh with pea puree
- veggie sliders
- cheeseburger sliders

Amazing. D was even prepared to make us a scallop dish but we were just too full. Well, sorta. We actually had some cookies we brought from One Girl Cookies in the neighborhood. They were pretty good. Prettier than they were delicious, but still good.

Bottom line, D is a hero. Great dinner, great wine, great friends. I realize I'm sounding cheesy, but it's true. Awesome time.


Hummus -
Lemon Juice

Tabouli -
Cracked wheat (bulgar)
Fresh mint
Fresh Parsley
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil

Orzo Salad -
Frozen edamame
Red onion
Artichoke hearts
Fresh dill
Apple Cider vinegar
Olive Oil

Cheddar Tarts -
Cheddar cheese
Half and half

Shrimp and Pear Purses -
Pear caramelized with brown sugar
Toasted walnuts
Phyllo dough
Soy sauce

Veggie Sliders -
Chopped broccoli, carrots and onion
Mashed black beans
Fresh breadcrumbs
Roasted garlic

Cheeseburger Sliders -
Ground beef
cream cheese
lemon juice
chopped sweet onion



It's a beautiful day in Brooklyn and we went wandering around for a bit. We didn't have much purpose ... just a general goal of finding some lunch and grabbing a few things to take to James and D's house tonight. And fortunately, our meandering lead us to Zaytoons for a quick bite.

Nothing special for us today, just some really, really, really wonderful sandwiches.

Meena had:
- chicken shawarma sandwich

Alec had:
- shish kabab sandwich

Perfect. We both had them add a little hummus and everything was just right. Grilled meats, pickles, tahini ... it gets no better.


There are just some ingredients that go perfect together. Ham. Egg. Cheese. Does it get any better? Not for my money.

Meena's boss was having some trouble in Milan this morning, so she was up early dealing with that business. After hours of dealing with Italian airlines, I thought she deserved a nice little breakfast sandwich to get her going.

Lopez was over as well and I knew he'd be hungry. So I got the kitchen going ASAP to make sure everyone had a filling egg sandwich that featured:
- egg
- peasant bread
- basil pesto (from a jar)
- grilled red onion
- fontina cheese
- field greens
- salt
- worchestershire sauce
- prosciutto



We were lucky enough to have Lopez in town last night and we decided he needed to have an experience with Lucali. Lopez likes himself some pizza and in our neighborhood, there's simply no better place for it.

With one bottle of delicious wine from Smith and Vine uncorked, we decided to roll with a pepperoni and basil pie.

We made a very good decision. You know we loved it and I'm pretty sure Lopez felt the same.

No food photos. Sorry. I don't know why, but I always feel like I'm intruding on this place if I snap a shot. No clue why. But here's this nice shot of the outside for you. Just in case you were wondering what it looked like.



Last night Meena and I were both out late-ish for various work related functions. She, luckily, spent her time at a nice little BYOB sushi spot on the UES called Poke. While I had a lot of fun with friends from work, I had only beer as nourishment during the standard dinner hour.

So when I got home later on, I was totally ravenous and went straight for Meena's leftover pad thai from the previous evening.

With that and a little hunk of that chimay cheese on the pumpernickel baguette, my hunger was suppressed.

Now on to the weekend!!



We had a couple things in the fridge that needed to be consumed, so before we called in Joya as planned last night, we attacked those bites we'd been eyeing for a day or two.

This little cheese plate is becoming a trend ... and I love it. For some reason, cheese is really highly coveted in our new neighborhood (not that I have a problem with that of course), and lots of great varieties are available. So we did:
- pumpernickel baguette
- st. andré
- chimay
- salami

And to properly close out the leftovers, I made something called a chicken crispy (Meena LOVED that name every time I uttered it):
- hoisin chicken
- panko
- cajun spice
- water cracker

Delicious on both fronts.

When it came time to order the Joya, I wasn't feeling quite as hungry as usual. Obviously due to the mini meal we started with. So rather than my usual, I went with:
- thai spare ribs (small order)
- tom yum koong

And Meena kept it strictly traditional with:
- chicken spring rolls
- chicken pad thai (medium spicy!)

I was delightfully full after this little spread. Lots of variety and lots of great flavor.



That's not much of a title, but I couldn't think of anything better. Sorry!

But it's sorta true. Tuesday is always a little boring. You're past Monday which is awesome ... but it's not even Wednesday yet and there's still a lot of week left. So I suppose it's important to have an interesting meal to make sure you're prepared for the rest of the battle. Right?

Before dinner (and while I as cooking) we snacked on a delicious little spread:
- whitefish salad
- brie
- water crackers
- salami

And luckily, I made it home in time to hit the fish store on Court (Fish Tales) and was able to pick up a little salmon for our consumption. The main course went like this:
- panko salmon (baked with honey, stone ground mustard and panko)
- avocado
- shiitake
- red onion
- black sesame seeds
- salt
- black pepper
- hoisin sauce (with tomato sauce and filtered water)

Meena claimed it was one of the best meals she'd had in a very long time but I think she was just being kind. It was really good. And actually prettier than you're seeing up there. But I promise you, this was awesome and we'll do it again. Probably soon.



Oh, Monday. How I dread you so.

So it was another Monday and the beginning of another boring week. I shouldn't be so hard on the week. I have a nice job and wonderful life. I'm just bored. But you know what's not boring? This dinner!

I can't lie ... Jennifer from Last Night's Dinner totally inspired this one. My meal ended up being nothing like hers, but I have to be forthcoming about my inspirations, right? So her pulled duck sandwiches were the inspiration, but like I said, I ended up somewhere totally different.

I started with some nice, fluffy barbecue sandwiches:
- chicken breast (braised in tomato sauce, hoisin and water)
- pita bread
- pickles
- cucumber and onion salad (cucumber, red onion, white vinegar, salt and black pepper)
- extra hoisin

And I served the whole thing with the remaining cucumber and onion salad.

I thought this was going to be good, but I had no idea it was going to be great. When I reduced that braising liquid and mixed it all up with the shredded chicken, I didn't know I was going to get the intense flavor I managed to achieve. And I felt like the cucumbers and onions with their amazing vinegar bite were going to make the chicken taste that much better. Turns out I was right.

I probably didn't need the pickles, but other than that one misstep, this was one of the best dinners I've made in a minute.


For Dan's ACTUAL birthday, we had a full day of ultra fun stuff lined up yesterday. And I do mean a full day. I think we were at their place in Park Slope by 10:30! On a Sunday! That's amazing!

Steve got the whole party started with better than birthday cake, totally New York style bagels and cream cheese. Outstanding ones from Bergen Bagels! Here's the rest of the spread:
- assorted bagels
- assorted cream cheese
- oj
- ice coffee from dunkin'
- milk
- candles
- birthday balloons

Steve is amazing. Believe this.

Next up, we went to go see the world famous New York Yankees kick the snot out of the Blue Jays of Toronto. Awesome game. Awesome seats. Tons of park food! Here's what we tried:
- hebrew national hotdogs
- pretzels with mustard
- dippin' dots in a baseball helmet
- beer!

Dan, I hope you had as much fun on your birthday weekend as we did!



Dan's birthday weekend extravaganza continued Saturday night and we found ourselves at the delightfully quaint Applewood for some of their critically acclaimed fare.

Meena and I had stopped in earlier this year and although we generally liked it, the place wasn't without its faults. Good food and great ideas ... execution was just off in places.

Last night was no different. I think where Applewood really shines is in the quality of its ingredients. They get the best stuff. And I won't argue that point. Everything I tasted was great. Everything from the radishes to the grouper ... tip top quality.

So about the food. We started with another round of their delightful trio of spreads and all were quite delicious. Although I must say they were presented better last time we were there and our bread didn't taste as fresh and nice as I remembered.

For small plates, Meena started with:
- seared big eye tuna with radishes and grilled melon and jalapeño relish

And I went with the:
- crispy braised vermont pork belly with roasted fingerlings, cocarde lettuce, celery root puree

FYI, everyone seemed to think Dan's small plate was the finest selection (duck bolognese
potato gnocchi, garlic confit).

Meena went with a main course of:
- sautéed atlantic halibut with summer onions and a vanilla scented lobster broth

Alec went with:
- pan seared day boat snowy grouper, greens and a milk poached garlic puree

Everything was good. Again, the ingredients were top notch. But for me at least, it just seemed like everything was over-salted and reliant on some puree or sauce. If you're a place that prides itself on the very best ingredients, I just don't think that's necessary.

And my pork belly wasn't as good as the one Meena had in January. Good ... but that was better. Just sayin'.

Anyway, I digress. The food was good (albeit overpriced) and we all had fun. It's such a nice setting.

Meena finished her meal off with a chocolate soufflé that featured a nice scoop of thyme flavored ice cream (I, of course, helped). I had a nice cup of coffee.

Sorry to get all critical (on Dan's birthday even!), but I just had to let the world know about my culinary experience, man!


When I woke up, I didn't realize Saturday was going to be this fat. I made a nice breakfast and we had little bites, but looking back on it a day later ... it was a very fat day.

For Dan's birthday extravaganza, we started out at the Brooklyn Brewery for one of their Saturday tours. It's not really a tour, FYI. I mean, it is. But it lasts about 15 minutes at the very most and it's just a brief history of the place. With a quick overview on how brews are made. Interesting for sure. Just not all that serious.

Anyway, the best part of the tour is having some samples after the fact and we most certainly explored the varieties. Between the four of us, I think we sampled:
- pennant
- oktoberfest
- ipa
- weisse

They were all delicious.

After a couple brews, we decided we needed a snack. Normally we would have just grabbed a slice, but Meena had to use the ladies room and none of Williamsburg's beautiful slice establishments really had much to offer. So we just decided to do it big and hit Fornino's. James loves this place and I see why. The pizza is great.

The four of us split:
- margherita extra

The extra meant cherry tomatoes. I'm not sure why that's extra, but they were delicious and sweet little additions to our pie.



I know I've done it once before on MOAP, but it wasn't really a muffin tin madness. Honestly, this one isn't really either, but it's much closer to the breakfast staple I love so much.

So rather than breaking out the muffin tin, I just did one egg basket for each of us in little ramekins. I know you're all thinking ... they're burnt, gross. But I love the little blackened edges. Something about it is just delicious to me.

Today's madness included:
- whole wheat pita
- egg
- basil pesto (from a jar ... sorry!)
- tomato
- parmesan

Under the basket, I threw down a little sauce:
- ajvar
- olive oil
- honey

I also whipped up a little shrimp salad to go along with it:
- shrimp
- salt
- pepper
- light mayo
- white wine
- stone ground mustard
- red onion

And just to make sure breakfast was totally decadent, I picked up a little whitefish salad from the fish store on Court Street. I LOVE whitefish salad.

Great breakfast. Now we're off to the Brooklyn Brewery for a tour!


For some stupid reason I didn't take any shots of our food last night, but I did snap a couple shots of the very tiny Petite Crevette once we'd finished. So ... you get the big fish and the menu wall. Sorry!

I just want to start by saying this place was great and I loved it. It's tiny, out of the way, BYOB and French. All the elements of a restaurant Meena and Alec are going to enjoy.

Once we'd squeezed into our little table and the wine was poured, we got started with:
- mussels provençal

After tearing through the mussels and really excellent bread and garlic olive oil, Meena moved into:
- shrimp provençal

And although I really wanted to get the grilled sardines, I went for:
- seared scallops with roasted corn salsa

The food was good, but I think we made a mistake not ordering the burgers. I know. I know! I eat burgers like it's my job, but the salmon, tuna and beef patties coming out of this kitchen looked divine. We'll definitely hit Petite Crevette again ... expect to see burgers on our plates.



It doesn't look pretty but it was awfully tasty. Last night after work we hit the Whole Foods back in our old hood and left with all the stuff we needed for an Anytime Burger!

I totally realize I make a lot of burgers. And I totally realize it's not all that impressive or inventive. But whatever, man. They're delicious!

So this one was KINDA true to the original with:
- lamb burger (ground lamb, red onion, garlic, tomato paste and worchestershire sauce)
- tomato
- field greens
- hummus
- yogurt sauce (greek yogurt, roasted red bell pepper, salt and black pepper)
- whole wheat pita

We also picked up a couple miscellaneous side salads and stuff from Whole Foods. Some were good. Some weren't (I'm looking at you seaweed salad ...). But it was a solid dinner after a long day of photo shoots and other assorted madness.



Steveo was working late last night, so we had the pleasure of Dan paying a visit to our hood for dinner. We chatted about a few ideas, but in the end, we settled on Cube 63. Dan hadn't had sushi for a minute so we just decided to head in that direction.

Good idea. We sat on the back patio and it was beautiful. Crisp night, gorgeous setting, amazing food. Perfection.

I started with:
- miso
- sushi plate (california roll and eight pieces of sushi)

Meena had:
- shrimp shumai
- volcano roll
- cube 63 roll

Dan had:
- cube 63 roll
- spicy tuna roll
- philadelphia roll

Everything was excellent. The real standouts were Meena and Dan's cube 63 rolls. It was basically a spicy tuna roll with a decadent lobster salad on top. It completely melted the second you put it in your mouth. Amazing.

Another great night at Cube 63.



Sorry for being so slow to post, but it's been a really busy day. Like. Really busy.

But last night we did have a great dinner at Joya and I can't deny the world a look at that. Well, I sorta have to. That's not my dinner. Just stolen Flickr photos. But you get the idea. Actually, that one dish could be my chicken with basil. I'm not sure though.

Anyway, we started with:
- chicken spring rolls

The Meena had the:
- chicken pad thai (REALLY SPICY)

Alec had the:
- gai kraprow

Next time Meena won't order SO spicy. It ended up being SUPER hot. But it was still really delightful.

Sorry Cafe Chili, but the food at Joya is just so good. I'm sad because the people at Chili are so nice. But boy oh boy ... Joya. I love you.



After our delightful dinner at Alma the other night, I felt like some hanger steak fajitas were going to be a great dinner option for this Monday night. Fall is creeping in and the air is getting crisp. I don't know. I thought fajitas. Does that make me odd?

I luckily got to the butcher right before they closed and scored some hanger steak. Here's how the rest broke down:
- hanger steak (marinated in lime, soy sauce, and cayenne pepper)
- guacamole (avocado, lime, salt, sour cream, salsa and black pepper)
- radish
- corn tortillas
- hot sauce

These weren't quite Alma, but I think I did a pretty bang up job. The guacamole had too much lime (I tried to cut it a little with the sour cream and some salt), but it wasn't bad. The steak was great. Just medium rare. Medium in some ends. But still really tender and juicy. The radish was even a nice little punch of flavor.

Oh, before the dinner, I threw down a little plate of cheese and whole wheat crackers. They're actually called bible bread. Why? NO CLUE. But they went well with the little hunk of st. andre cheese and some of the others we had left over from late last week.