It's hard to fathom, but due to a very unfortunate scheduling mistake, Meena is at her Glamour welcoming dinner and not here for the opening of an all new season of the world's most addictive television program, Lost.

And because I had jury duty today I ended up with some more time than usual to make dinner. I got lucky and every one of the cases went the plea bargain route. That means I got out a little before 5:00 and I don't have to go back again for nine years. Whoo hoo!

So I grabbed the butterflied chicken breast we had in the freezer and whipped up a little dinner for one:
- chicken breast
- basil
- smoked mozzarella
- sun-dried tomato
- balsamic reduction

I also threw together a small salad:
- watercress
- sun-dried tomato
- bleu cheese
- black pepper
- olive oil

The whole thing was good. The chicken was funny - it almost had the taste of salami when I mixed each bite with the balsamic reduction. Really strange. But as my Dad would say, I did get a really good scald on that bird. Not over cooked or dry, just wonderfully juicy with a nice smoky finish thanks to that wonderful mozzarella.

You may wonder why I'm typing this during the show. Well, it's because I didn't do my homework and didn't understand that the first hour of this "two hour" super show was actually just a recap. A Lost for dummies if you will.

So I figured I'd share dinner with everyone. Tada!


Last night I went to see at show at the Mercury Lounge and it was a lot of fun. The Teenagers were in town from Paris (a fact they reminded us of often) and they played all their hits at an early show that wrapped up fairly early.

Then I sat in the train station for 45 minutes.

Then I got annoyed (really annoyed) and paid for a cab back to Brooklyn. It was massively frustrating so I called Meena on the way home and had her call in some comfort delivery - Chinese.

That's right. I had her call up China Hong and get me some General Tso's chicken. Obviously not the best thing for me. But I needed something comfortable and easy. So you know .... sue me.

While I was away, Meena called in some pad thai from Joya. Also delicious.

Now I'm off to jury duty. BORING. I'll upload pictures later. Peace.



Meena submitted a request for pizzettas last night and because I feel like it had been a minute, I was happy to oblige.

I recently read some food blogger’s mission statement that said something about his whole purpose being to break his habit of cooking the same stuff over and over. It got me thinking.

Do I cook the SAME stuff over and over? I never use a recipe so honestly, the same dish is pretty much never served twice … for better or worse.

I do cook the same types of things a lot. Lots of piles of potatoes and fish. Lots of pizzettas. A healthy heaping of stews and slow cooked meats. And let’s not forget the fact we order the same delivery all the time.

Are we in a rut? I mean, it may seem like it. But it all still tastes good to me! So I guess maybe I’ll try to push it a little. I know I need to revise the page’s layout. And I need to fold in some new element or this thing is going to get boring for me. It’s already boring for all of you who read this. So I’ll do my best to integrate something fresh. I promise. It’ll be a late New Year’s resolution.

Anyway, enough of that. About these lovely pizzettas! I only used a handful of ingredients to make two different kinds. The first take featured:
- flour tortilla
- marinara
- anchovies
- red onion
- basil
- green onion cheddar

The second option went like this:
- flour tortilla
- basil pesto
- red onion
- parmesan
- roasted red pepper
- crushed red pepper
- sea salt

Meena wasn’t a huge fan of the red pepper dominated joint. I didn’t really have a problem with either option. I thought they both came out crisp, lovely and jam packed with a few simple flavors (mostly salty … which is fine by me).

Another successful journey though the land of pizzetta.



Last night was the final evening of our brief affair with the short rib so I figured I’d keep it simple to give it the proper send off. Wouldn’t want some wild taste infusion to ruin its memory, right?

Meena asked that I use James’ dish from the other night as inspiration. That memory yielded the following:
- idaho potato
- basil pesto
- milk
- black pepper

That’s right … pesto mashed potatoes!

So that was the base. Then I skimmed the fat off the short rib meat and gently reheated it. I feel like I remember that method from when I read Heat. If it’s good enough for Babbo, it’s good enough for me, right?

So I got that going and while it was coming up to serving temperature, I made a little onion thing:
- red onion
- olive oil
- paprika
- cinnamon
- salt
- crushed red pepper

The onion stuff went on the top of mine and on the side of Meena’s. She’s suspicious of such condiments so I figured I’d give her the option to mix when comfortable (or not at all).

Everything was really delicious. The potatoes were creamy and packed with pesto flavor. The meat was still rich and amazing. The heavy paprika scented onions even gave the whole thing a nice little punch at the end.

Oh, forgot to mention. We did a quick salad too. It featured:
- spinach
- parmesan
- red onion
- dressing (olive oil, maple syrup, basil, apple cider vinegar and salt)

It was also delicious. Again … how did I ever make a salad before the salad spinner arrived? I have no clue. Visions of me drying lettuce with a paper towel haunt me.



Today we had the whole afternoon free so we took advantage by firing up the crock pot with a nice slab of beef short ribs inside.

I was inspired by James' dinner last night and figured it would be pretty awesome to start up a slab in the afternoon, forget about it and open up the top six hours later to discover a pretty amazing treat. Turns out I was totally right.

The short ribs roasted with the following:
- beef broth
- coffee
- garlic
- maple syrup
- red onion

Once it came out, we shredded it up, threw off the bones and a bunch of the fat and mixed it up with Meena's barbecue sauce:
- brown sugar
- soy sauce
- garlic
- crushed red peppers

Then we served the whole thing with some white rice, green onions and spinach wilted with rice vinegar.

This was a truly amazing dish. It was like eating a ssam without the wrap. And the kimchi and shiitake mushrooms. But you know what I mean. It was filled with a great garlic punch and creamy, fatty goodness.

I can't wait for round two tomorrow.


Last night we went over to Williamsburg to join James and D prior to a party at Matt's sister's apartment. They'd scoped a new spot in the hood called Fiore earlier in the day and they were stoked to hit it with us. Lucky for us, the place was still really new and sans a liquor license so we were BYOB all the way. Excellent.

I didn't want to be that guy with the flash bulbs going off so my apologies for the crappy photos. At any rate, here's what we chose. Meena did:
- tuna salad with tomatoes, red onion and bread
- bucatini with amitriciana

I kept it mostly straight forward:
- beef carpaccio with parmesan
- two cheese pizza with black pepper

My pizza wasn't all that great, but I did like my salad a lot. It wasn't bad. The pizza. Not at all. But the crust left a little to be desired.

Meena's pasta was pretty good, but I'm not sure she loved it. I know she wasn't a HUGE fan of the salad. It was good, I think she just had something else in mind when she ordered it.

James got the real winner. Short ribs with mashed potatoes and stuff. Really lovely. I had a bite. It was amazing. The clear winner of the evening.

Matt's sister had a great place and the evening came to an end a few hours (and bottles of wine) later when James was awesome enough to drop us back in Cobble Hill. Thanks everyone!



The week was finally over and Meena was finally starting to feel better. Cause for celebration, right? Well, we were planning to see Cloverfield with Dan and Steve but before we hit the theater, we had a few culinary stops to make.

We started with a little spread of snacks at the house. Nothing special, just some salami, crackers, smoked provolone, onion cheddar and the very necessary cornichons.

Lovely spread. We washed it all down with a touch of pinot noir.

Once Dan and Steve came by, we took off for a Japanese spot around the corner we'd been wanting to try for some time - Hibino.

The place was beautiful. And their angle in the whole Japanese restaurant game is Kyoto-style obanzai, fresh made tofu and new and traditional style sushi for a reasonable price. That's a quote from their site. And it's true. That's really what they're doing. Anyway, here's what we had. Meena got rolling with:
- obanzi stew (with diakon and fish cake and egg and all sorts of stuff)
- teriyaki chicken

Alec had:
- miso soup
- kyoto style futomaki

My food was awesome. Meena's food was really impressive. The chicken was rad and that obanzi was like nothing I'd ever had before. It was like stew ... but separated into it's four individual components. Strange, but great.

Steveo actually worked with the lady who owns the place so she sent us a free desert. Really nice. Sesame ice cream, these lovely little custards, green tea ice cream.

Very cool. And despite what everyone else thought ... I liked Cloverfield, too!



I got out a little earlier last night (not really early, just not 8:00 p.m.) so I joined Meena on a quick F ride back to the hood. On our walk home, we hit Fish Tales and Pacific Green for a couple quick supplies. It was super cold out last night so I was seriously racing back to the house to get the burners cranked up and the oven broiling.

I still didn't want to spend too much time in the kitchen. Given I had a little extra time to kick back, I wanted to get in and out and start digging in as quickly as possible. So what's easier and faster than fish and rice? Not much, man. Here's what went into it:
- cod
- glaze (brown sugar, soy sauce, crushed red pepper, garlic)
- scallions
- white rice
- burnt red onion
- burnt poblano pepper

I threw it all under the broiler to finish after a quick stint in the oven. Awesome flavor.

I also threw together a salad:
- field greens
- red onion
- parmesan
- olive oil
- rice vinegar
- salt
- basil
- mustard

The greens were delicious, too. Nice mustard flavor permeated the whole thing.

I loved the whole meal. It was super quick and the cod was delicious and packed with flavor as a result of that glaze really getting baked into it. Meena isn't a fan of the peppers, but I liked the additional flavor they added with their buddies, the burn onions.



We didn't feel like cooking when we both got home late last night so we decided some Indian would be in order. Normally we do the Thai or Japanese thing, but we figured what the heck? We hadn't really reached out to any of the Indian places around here. We figured we'd give Dhaka Indian a shot.

We usually do the test and order our favorites when we call any Indian place. So we went with the normal stuff. Meena had:
- chicken tika masala

Alec had:
- lamb vindaloo

We also had an order of naan, the various sauces that come with Indian food and one order of mango pickle. I'd be remiss if I didn't admit I only ordered this because M.I.A. mentions it in a song. She likes fish and mango pickle. Or so she says. So I figured whatever. I'll try it. And now ... I've tried it. I'm not sure I need to again. Maybe it was just this place and their mango pickle I didn't like. Who knows. But you know, I like to try stuff.

Anyway, the food was OK. Not great. Not as good as Baluchi's. But not bad. There are a couple other spots we can call. And I'm sure we will.



As I've mentioned extensively, Meena has been sick for the better part of a week at this point. She's still not feeling great, but I'm hoping she's finally turning the corner. Let's hope.

At any rate, she requested comfort food last night and I was happy to help out with the request. Who is going to argue with comfort food? I mean really. And what's more comfortable than mac and cheese?

Here's how I did mine:
- organic macaroni and cheese
- smoked provolone
- parmesan
- bread crumbs
- olive oil
- dried basil
- milk
- low fat hebrew national hot dogs

Meena is a huge fan of having some hot dogs with her mac so I grilled up a few and threw them in as well. It was lovely. It was like being 12 again. Pretty awesome.

I also whipped up a quick salad to give us some greenery:
- field greens
- red onion
- dried cranberries
- olive oil
- rice vinegar
- salt
- mustard powder
- crushed red pepper
- dried basil

It was total comfort food but it was all really awesome. The funniest thing was that it was SO cheap to get the ingredients. I forget how much money you can save when you're eating grilled cheese and tomato soup style day in and day out. I'm not saying I'm about to make the switch, but you know ... just stating the obvious.



In an effort to recall all the vital Lost details that may have left my brain since the end of last season, I holed up yesterday and watched the better part of Season Three over again. I want to be ready when 1/31 rolls around!

Because most of my time was spent in front of the tube, I figured leftovers were in order. I didn't want to spend too much time away from my castaways. So we reheated the beef stew and added some grilled cheese to the mix. Nothing fancy, just some smoked provolone on good old peasant bread.

Meena wasn't a huge fan of the sandwiches, but I'm convinced the sickness has her taste buds off ... or maybe I just made a bad sandwich! I liked it though, so I'm hoping it's the former.

Meena put in a request for some comfort food tonight ... should be an interesting post tomorrow.



Sunday night. Football night. For the big Packers playoff game, I went over to D and James' house for a little football time. Meena was feeling WORSE if you can believe it and stayed home in bed. This cold or whatever it is has it's hold on her. It's terrible.

I forgot to take pictures and for that I am very sorry. Because we had quite a spread:
- sausage bread
- edamame dip with vegetables
- spinach balls
- buffalo chicken and tofu
- taco dip
- beer
- wine
- chips
- cookies
- brownies

I mean ... is that a spread or is that a spread? Now if only the Packers could have pulled it out ... sorry Brett. Maybe next year?



For breakfast this morning, I hoped one of our favorite deli sandwiches would cheer Meena up and make her feel ready to fight the world again. But alas, she wasn't feeling great and I didn't quite do the sandwich.

We normally pick up a baked salmon salad bagel on weekend mornings but instead of doing the giant bagel thing, I went with my own homemade version with some baked salmon salad from Court Street Bagel.

Here's what went into mine:
- red onion
- tomato
- baked salmon salad
- turkish delight bread

I liked it. A lot less carb than the store bought version. But still nice. I think this may be the way forward for us.


Toward the end of Saturday, Meena still wasn't feel well. This sickness does not want to let go of her.

So I went out to the butcher Saturday morning and picked up some meat for a beef stew. I read in Jaimie Oliver's book about a recipe so I figured I'd give it a shot. Nothing tricky ... just good old fashioned stew.

Here's what went in:
- stew beef
- carrots
- celery
- red onion
- olive oil
- wine
- canned tomatoes
- salt
- cinnamon
- garlic
- dried shiitake

Nothing too drastic. And the result after a day in the crock pot? Awesome. Everything melted together and it was just a wonderful broken down bowl of goodness. Can't ask for much more than that.

I was supposed to use dried porcini but I couldn't find any. Shiitake was OK, but obviously porcini would have been much better.

We threw in a picture of Meena's side dish of the weekend. This illness is really bumming her out. She just can't shake it.



We woke up and Meena wasn't in the mood for breakfast. So we made her some oatmeal and I went with the egg white omelette.

My little creation featured:
- egg whites
- cilantro rice and beans
- salsa
- cilantro
- laughing cow cheese
- field greens
- salt
- crushed red pepper

Not bad. I got the eggs a little over done. It was fine. But not the best I've ever made. But with the contents available in the fridge, this was about as good as I could manage!


Meena still wasn't feeling very well so we kept it close to home and picked up some movies. Nothing serious in the hope she'd start feeling a little better. In an effort to do something a little adventurous from the confines of home, we tried a new thai delivery place - Em Thai.

We kept it mostly similar to our normal orders. Meena had:
- veggie dumplings
- chicken pad thai

Alec had:
- shrimp dumplings
- chicken curry something or another

Mine was mad spicy. Which was great. Meena's was just OK. I'm not sure we'll do the Em Thai thing again. Maybe. We'll see. But I don't see the likelihood being great.



Meena was out sick yesterday so when I got home, she wasn't all that interested in food. She did decide finally that a shrimp shumai and POSSIBLY some miso might actually do the trick.

So we called our friends at Cube 63 and dialed up some Thursday night Japanese. I would have run out and picked up some supplies but it was raining and gross. I couldn't have done it. It was too nasty. So here's how it went:

Meena had:
- shrimp shumai
- miso soup

Alec had:
- sushi plate (california roll and 8 pieces of fish)
- miso soup

I forgot to take a picture of the sushi plate. Whoops. It was just so tasty that I dove into it and forgot all about taking photos. I didn't eat any of my rice which is the way I like to roll with this new sushi plate deal. If I do ... I'm too full by the time I get to the third piece. So I just stick with the fish.

Meena was really into her soup and shumai. I think she still felt kinda bad and went to bed, but at least she ate a little something. She'll be better soon. I'm sure of it.



I had to go to the Wyclef show in Times Square last night so I wasn't really able to get down with some serious eats. I hate eating alone so I wasn't about to go hit some restaurant in midtown after work all by myself. So I just worked a little later and then sorta meandered over toward the Nokia Theater. A little past it, I found a Subway and that was fine for last night. It was a weird ghetto Subway food court thing with like Nathans and Indian places and Chinese places too. Very strange. But I went for the Subway and it filled me up and that was awesome.

I had turkey. On wheat. With the usual provolone, mustard, every pepper they have and some lettuce and tomato. Nothing special but it's pretty much my favorite.

I can't front. I like Subway. When Meena and I are on road trips we'll go way out of our way to find a rest stop Subway. It just makes more sense for some reason.

Anyway, I didn't have food photos so I just snapped a couple shots of Wyclef and Times Square to give you a sense of what the rest of my night looked like. Wyclef was good. He covered Marley and soloed on the guitar with his teeth. Can't ask for much more than that, right?



We're on day three with our rump roast and tonight we're trying yet another nationality - the very simple, very mundane Mexican soft taco.

Well, I guess it's not that mundane. Tacos are common, but they can taste really good, right? I know we do them a bunch, but that's because we like them. So whatever. Here's a little store about a few more.

I got started with a little rice and beans side:
- black beans
- rice
- salt
- cilantro
- tomato juice
- olive oil
- cumin
- lime juice

And then we just threw together all the taco stuff:
- fat free sour cream
- flour tortillas (trimmed to a smaller size)
- salsa
- shredded cheese
- cilantro
- field greens

We threw it all together and it was truly lovely. The warm tortillas were trimmed down to the perfect size and we had just enough of all the stuff to fill them up.

The beef is still going strong. It went really well with the chipotle salsa.

Anyway, I know it may look like just another taco night, but I'd put it up there in the top tier of taco nights from that past year or two. Simple, delicious.



I'm not sure if I should be trying to make ssam, but last night I figured I'd give it a shot. I had that lovely beef rump roast that had been cooked down the previous day and even though it wasn't the incredible salty Berkshire pork they have at Momofuku, I thought it might work.

So I got everything going and as soon as Meena got home from her first day at her new gig, I sprung into action and started wrapping stuff up. Here's the list of what went in:
- shredded beef
- shiitake mushrooms (sautéed with black sesame seeds and rice vinegar)
- white rice
- miso sauce (soy sauce, water and miso paste)
- kimchi paste
- whole wheat and flax wrap

I also made a little green side dish with the following:
- broccoli
- raisins
- cumin
- paprika
- rice vinegar
- garlic
- olive oil
- black pepper

Meena wasn't a huge fan of the broccoli. I should have chopped it up into smaller pieces when roasting. My bad. I learned this one from Bon Appetite and it didn't really say how large they should be ... just what the needed to look like when done. But the vinaigrette was very nice. I liked it and I'll try this one again. I just need to refine it a little.

The ssam was pretty good. I should have thrown something green in there. Edamame would have been nice. I thought about it. But I couldn't find it at Pacific Green. Whatever. I mean, I think we both liked it. Pork is the ideal, but the beef was OK. Meena especially liked that I wrapped it up in foil just like they do at Momofuku.

The point is, I think I stayed mostly true and as a result, we had a nice dinner. I'll keep working on it. It's definitely something I'd like to get better at doing. I want to hit Chinatown and see if I can get some mu shu wraps to use instead of these tortilla things. That'll help. And I should try to marinate some black beans and cucumbers. That would help too.

I'm going to get better. I promise!



Sad day. Colts went down for the count. That means we become Green Bay fans for the remainder of Favre's historic drive. And that's OK. But still. Sadness. They were a better team than that.

Anyway, we put a nice big rump roast in the new crock pot yesterday and let it slowly simmer away all afternoon. When all the games were over, we were finally ready for some lovely beef barbecue with an awesome Carolina style sauce. Here's how it went:
- rump roast
- beer
- water
- salt
- vegetable broth
- ajvar
- garlic
- crushed red pepper

Once we shredded the meat and let it stew just a little longer in that broth, we threw on some sauce:
- apple cider vinegar
- brown sugar
- honey
- salt
- garlic

We threw it all on a bun and went to town. That tang of the apple cider vinegar was perfect with the rich, broken down beef. I loved it. And we have plenty more of the beef for the rest of the week. Look for leftovers coming soon!



I hate to say it, but after hitting a party last night on the Upper West Side, we made it back to Cobble Hill long after everything else was closed and shut down. But we were hungry. Desperate.

We had a great time at Lida's birthday. We had plenty of wine, snacks and laughs, but in the end, we were both craving something a little more substantial. We needed to expound on the crackers and spinach puffs we'd just picked on.

So as much as it pains me, we were stuck with chips from the bodega or a thin crust pizza from the Dominoes on the corner. We did the latter. With ham and pineapple. And I'd be lying if I said it didn't taste like college. Not great, but there were memories embedded in that crust.



This morning I went digging through the fridge for some breakfast stuff. We didn't have a TON of supplies, but as it turned out, plenty for a quick omelet.

Nothing special. Definitely nothing fancy. Just egg whites and some simple fillings. Here's the list:
- egg whites
- spinach
- laughing cow cheese
- parmesan
- pancetta
- salt
- olive oil
- cherry tomatoes

It was pretty good if I do say so myself. That laughing cow gets creamy instantly and the pancetta was salty and perfect. The cherry tomatoes were exploding with good tomato flavor that you can't find in the regular joints this time of year.

I don't know that it was a "healthy" breakfast but it wasn't like ... triple bypass inducing. I don't think anyway. But whatever. It was good. And I ran this afternoon. So let me eat and have my fun!


The last few days of this week were especially challenging at the office so we figured a movie and dinner would be the ideal evening to ease into the weekend. I'd been told There Will Be Blood was one of the best films anyone would see in the next few months so I figured we'd be best served hitting it up. Turns out that was a wise decision. It was great.

For dinner, we wanted to be close to the theater. Thus, Cube 63 it was. It was also awesome to see the place packed last night. We barely got a table!

We didn't deviate too much from the norm. Alec had:
- sushi plate (8 pieces and a california roll)
- miso soup

Meena had:
- lobster tempura roll
- 63 roll

As always, it was glorious. Spectacular fish. I couldn't eat all my rice, but I was hungry, so I plowed through most of it.

Awesome dinner. Amazing film. Fantastic Friday night.



I already knew Meena was the best ever but when I got home late last night and she had all those lovely things you see up there hot and ready to go ... well, she really just locked up her reputation from now until forever.

The first little course she had waiting was some sort of goat cheese appetizer she found at the butcher. We both agreed it wasn't the best little thing we'd ever picked up. Lots of goat cheese ... not a lot more flavor. The one with the olive tapenade was good though.

Then she got down with some serious main courses. First we got started with the salad:
- spinach
- parmesan
- cherry tomatoes
- dressing (olive oil, garlic rice wine vinegar, honey mustard, worcestershire, salt and black pepper)

And that lovely rolled chicken contained:
- butterflied chicken breast
- parmesan
- pancetta
- herbed bread crumbs
- laughing cow cheese
- chicken broth
- paprika
- garlic

Everything was great. The chicken was all rich and cheesy. And that little pancetta pop made everything taste incredible. That marinara we've been enjoying for the past few days made its encore appearance and it really tied the whole thing together.

The salad dressing was perfect (Meena is way better at dressing than me) and the spinach was dry as a bone when everything started mixing (shout out to the salad spinnah!!!!!).

Meena is amazing.



I wanted to cook last night in a bad way. We were out on Monday, I was out on Tuesday and Wednesday, if I had my way, was going to be cooking time!!

Luckily, Meena had picked up a glorious new salad spinner, so both of us were eager to get in the kitchen and get to work on some delicious midweek taste explosions.

We started things off with the salad (thanks to the spinner!) that featured:
- green apple
- baby spinach
- pancetta
- rice wine vinegar
- salt
- balsamic vinegar
- pistachios
- olive oil
- garlic

I think it was good. The flavor was strong. I need to work on salads a little. I haven't been making them as much lately and my skills have suffered. I'll do better.

The main was a salmon meatball offering that was totally fantastic. It went like this:
- salmon
- serrano pepper
- garlic
- lime juice
- dijon mustard
- oyster sauce
- salt
- allspice

I served them atop a little of that marinara Meena picked up the other night. Pretty fantastic. They were moist and tender but still packed with lots of good spice and salty, tart flavor.

I'd make these again for sure. I think I could have eaten about 13 of them. Next time. Next time.



Last night I joined Matt and Jaymez and D over in Greenpoint for Mel's birthday dinner. Meena had some stuff to finish up due to the impending work transition, so she didn't make it over.

While I was away, Meena did have some of Joya's finest pad thai. I'm sure it was delicious.

I, on the other hand, was chowing down on some really wonderful stuff made by Mel's friend Erika at Eat Records in Greenpoint. Thanks to Matt for snapping the cell shots and forwarding them my way. The menu went a little something like this:

- Assorted Olives and Nuts
- Pizza Salad with Spinach, Radicchio, Caramelized Onions and Shaved Pecorino
- New-Style Idaho Shepherd's Pie (Beef Chuck Roast/ Leek Mashed Idaho Potatoes/ Herbed Corn)
- Braised Green Bean with Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon
- Clementines and Pomegranates and whopie pie

The food was fantastic. The people were great. It was another fantastic night. Until the G train stopped running and I had to take a bus to a train to a train just to get near our place. But I digress. Happy birthday Mel!