It seems like we've been anticipating this night for about four years. D and James have been planning and planning and D's mom has been doing even MORE planning. All for this night.

And after living it, I'm happy to report, it was all worth it. The night was amazing. And the food ... I'm also happy to report it was the finest wedding food I've ever had. I don't even want to classify it as wedding food. It was just good food!

After a cocktail hour that featured some amazing food (mini BLT sandwiches, sushi, beef tenderloin, pasta and tasting spoons with lovely scallop bites), we sat down to dinner right as the sun was setting over the Hudson Valley.

We started with a nice shrimp salad. Mediterranean shrimp with white beans and lemon olive oil. It also had a little tomato and mozzarella salad. Every bite was just as good as it looked.

Next we had a nice salad with ricotta, dried cranberries, mixed greens and some other stuff. And a little flatbread with some balsamic drizzle. Flaky and perfect.

For dinner, I had the miso glazed sea bass. AND IT WAS FANTASTIC. It was served with a little bok choy and some coconut rice. Awesome.

Meena had the steak. Cooked to perfection and served with potatoes and fried sweet potato. She asked for a steak knife and was told she wouldn't need one. They were right ... it was like butter.

For dessert, we had a deconstructed apple pie thing that was pretty awesome. I'm usually turned off by the whole deconstructed thing, but this one was an exception. There was an apple sorbet, a praline gelato and some apples and stuff (I'd had a couple drinks at this point so the actual ingredients are escaping me at the moment).

Anyway, everything was perfect. The couple looked beautiful. Speeches were awesome. Dancing was fun. I can't think of anything that could have made the night better.



The night before the big night, we went to Sunset Cove in Tarrytown for the rehearsal dinner with everyone involved with the wedding. Lovely location. It was right on the Hudson and it was pretty phenomenal as the sun was setting.

Anyway, D's mom put together cute little menus and we all had three options of deliciousness. I went with the steak and potato option you're seeing up there. I felt incredibly intelligent when I ordered my steak rare and it came a little less than medium. I knew if I ordered a medium rare, I wouldn't get it that way. So my plan ... it worked.

Meena had a salmon dish with a maple walnut crust. I think many people had it, actually and it seemed fairly well received.

James gave a wonderful little speech and I think everyone felt really great about the whole affair. They can now officially get married!



Before Meena and I took off for the wedding, I figured we needed a brief bite. And I had a few things sitting around in the fridge so I figured I'd just throw a few things together.

The simple scramble featured:
- salami
- eggs
- stone ground mustard
- chives
- paprika
- olive oil

I topped it off with a new five year cheddar Meena picked up (not as good as the last, but still good). I served the eggs with a little toasted garlic baguette topped with some tomato dipping oil Meena also purchased the previous night.

The tomato sauce was sweet. And the eggs salty and popping with mustard. So the balance was lovely and we left for the 'burbs with some food in our tummies.


Twas the night before we were to make our way up to Tarrytown for James and D's wedding so we figured we needed to:
a) Keep the evening low key
b) Hang with Dan and Steve

We decided the easiest solution that would satisfy both would be to have the guys over here for some drinks and then hop on over to Lobo.

You can't go wrong with some tex mex and delicious drinks, right? Right.

Nothing out of the ordinary. Meena had:
- edwin's enchiladas

Alec had:
- chicken quesadilla

I think Dan had a chicken sandwich called the Bama and Steve had catfish maybe? I think.

Anyway, it was great to hang with friends and just chill.

The photo is from flickr. Someone named poobah or something. So thanks to poobah. But I wanted to show everyone that they truly do have some of the best margaritas in the hood. And that's what they look like!



Nothing out of the ordinary last night. I needed Meena to help me fill a room for an event, so after our stint in Midtown, we hustled back to the house and grabbed some Joya takeout on the way. Meena wasn't feeling all that well so we tried to keep everything as simple as humanly possible.

Orders were super simple:
- chicken pad thai (spicy!)

And that's it. We just had a glass of wine and watched some college hoops. I'm fully aware it's not really the most exciting evening in the world, but whatever. I enjoyed it throughly.



I had to check out a show at the Bowery Ballroom last night with work buddy Melissa, and because it was a later-ish show, we decided some sustenance was essential before the rock.

For reasons unknown to me, I’d never been to Loreley. It’s seconds from our old apartment and it sells lots of beer and German food. Are you kidding? I should have been there constantly. Sausage, sauerkraut and beer? I think if you took a drop of my blood and examined it under a microscope, you’d find that those three items are engrained in my DNA.

That was one of my favorite meals when I was growing up. Minus the beer, obviously. But when Mom made the old sausage and sauerkraut and served it up with a side of stone ground mustard? Man, that was the stuff dreams were made of!

Anyway, last night Mel and I both ordered the same thing:
- narnberger mit sauerkraut, senf and brot (4 grilled narnberg-style min sausages with sauerkraut served with mustard and german rye bread)

And uh … hi, it was awesome. I want to eat it again today for lunch. And then dinner. And then do it all over again tomorrow. Because it’s totally amazing.

NOTE: Those aren't the real photos, but it's really food from there. I forgot to take shots. So I stole these from flickr just to give you an idea. Enjoy!



I'd done a dish like this a really long time ago. I think when we lived in the West Village I gave it a whirl. And it was because I'd had a dish similar to this when I was at Extra Virgin once. I don't remember the vegetables and stuff I had on the plate, but the key component was this lovely prosciutto wrapped monkfish.

When I was at Fish Tales last night, I saw a few nice looking monkfish fillets and I said ... why not?

We still had some of D's lovely mashed potatoes in the fridge, so I figured I'd just make the fish and throw together some veg and plop it all over the spuds. The fish was super simple:
- monkfish
- prosciutto

That's it!

Then I threw together the brussels sprouts:
- brussels sprouts
- salt
- olive oil
- paprika
- honey

I threw everything over the potatoes and then drizzled with a bit of chive infused olive oil to give it a rich, subtle hint of onion flavor.

Meena was really into this one. She put it up there with the seaweed salmon we make sometimes (one of her favorites we make). So I guess that's a pretty good vote of confidence. The fish was cooked well and it definitely took on the texture "poor man's lobster" should. The ham gave it a lovely salty flavor and potatoes provided a great, creamy base.

This was awesome. We'll make it again.



As I mentioned in the last post, we exited the home of D and James with ARMLOADS of leftovers. Tons of turkey, stuffing, potatoes and biscuits made their way to Cobble Hill. We're lucky.

So last night we just launched round two and got all the goodness going again.

And you know what? It was all just as good.

Thanks, D!



Last night we were treated to something awesome - Easter dinner ala D!

That's right. Meena and I made the trek up to Williamsburg for a lovely evening of dinner and laughter with James and D.

As always, D made one serious spread. There was more food and wine than any four people could ever eat, but I promise you, we really did try.

I asked D to hit me up with an overview of the menu:

- edamame dip

- fresh ricotta, soft scrambled egg and chive baguette

- mini pizzas with homemade tomato sauce, mozz and basil leaves

- white bean, sunflower seed and golden raisin cakes with seared scallops

- herb and butter roasted turkey with caramelized onion gravy

- hot italian sausage, homemade cornbread, fresh cranberries, candied peanuts stuffing

- steamed green beans

- scallion biscuits

- mashed potatoes - cream cheese, sour cream, chives, garlic, chicken boullion cubes

And the dessert went a little something like this:
- upside down peach caramel cake - courtesy of Tom Colicchio -

So it was pretty amazing. We left completely full and with arm loads of leftovers. I'm pretty sure it gets no better than this. Thanks, guys!


For breakfast, I decided to be as efficient as possible. I hit the fridge and started tossing everything together I could find. And you know what? It worked!

I started with some eggs:
- red spruce cheddar
- eggs
- salami
- salt
- paprika
- garlic

And then I did some vegetables:
- broccoli (from the chinese food!!)
- red cabbage
- spinach
- garlic
- salt
- olive oil

I had a couple slices of the whole wheat baguette and threw them on there, too.

Honestly, what really made this was the red spruce cheddar. Honestly, I had to be that dude. Those dudes who are all about the brand names of their eggs and the out of the way farm where they sourced their rare heirloom strain of prehistoric ham? I hate that stuff and it's so pretentious. I'm all about good food but come on ... spare me the advertising. It's just food. Let's keep it at that.

BUT ... I'm being that guy sorta. I guess the cheddar doesn't need to be red spruce. It just needs to be good and old. Aged five years, I'd say. Five years of stewing and you'll experience the eggs we were getting down with on Sunday morning. Awesome.



We got incredibly lazy on Saturday night. We were out all morning running errands, filing formal complaints with the post office, hitting the store, etc. But it took its toll and at the end of the day, we just wanted to order some delivery. Well, we did throw together some meats and cheeses earlier in the day. But for the most part, it was just the delivery.

The cheese tray featured oil cured olives, five year cheddar, some really stinky cheese Meena picked out, whole wheat baguette and salami. Nice.

And for dinner, we called in the Szechuan House. Meena had:
- beef with broccoli
- shrimp lo mein
- spring rolls

Alec had:
- general tso's chicken.

I mean, all this and Michael Clayton? Amazing Saturday.



We hadn't been to Lucali in a minute. And that was starting to annoy me. Every time we went it was either a three hour wait or something crazy like that. So we went on Friday and we didn't let the hour wait turn us back.

Well, it ended up being more than that. It was an hour and a half. And it was cold outside while we were waiting. REALLY cold. So we were really in it for the love on Friday night. But we weren't going to quit.

We were treated to a lovely Good Friday parade while we waited. Everyone from the neighborhood rolls through the neighborhood with Jesus in a coffin and they sing songs in Italian to celebrate the day. Pretty impressive. We felt like we saw something rather unique while we waited for a few slices!

We finally did get through the door and we settled on a simple pie:
- mushroom
- garlic

The photo unfortunately sucks but I promise, it was amazing as always. Perfect crust. Amazing sauce. You can't ask for much more on a chilly Friday night.



We're going to Thailand for our honeymoon so I guess I've been thinking about it a lot lately. As hotbeds for amazing flavors go, it's one of the best. So I guess when I've been at the store lately, that's why I've been heading in the direction of all the Thai ingredients.

So last night I whipped together this little mix with some extreme quickness. It was actually two distinct parts. So the veggie base featured:
- red cabbage
- red onion
- basil
- olive oil
- salt

And the salmon piece featured:
- salmon
- garlic
- salt
- egg
- panko
- red onion
- red curry paste
- basil

I baked the salmon in the oven and grilled off the veggies while I threw together a little sauce:
- red curry paste
- honey
- milk
- olive oil
- sambal oelek

It was pretty lovely. The salmon was poppin' with flavor and the vegetables were crunchy colorful. Delicious.



I had another little event last night so I was home a little later than normal. Thus the delivery again. Meena had actually ordered me some Thai from Joya the previous night and because I wasn't home to eat it, she just wrapped it up and kept it in the fridge. Thus ... my dinner issue for Wednesday was solved.

Meena wasn't going to have Thai two nights in a row, so she did some Japanese. Her order went like this:
- shrimp shumai
- lobster tempura roll

She also ordered me some miso to go with my leftovers:
- spicy beef with basil

You can't go wrong with any of these. And if you know the blog, you know we don't stray much from these selections.



We had a Rolling Stone event last night so I didn't end up eating properly. I didn't have any solid food but I was able to get all my calories through this lovely brand of beer from Mexico - good old Pacifico.

The event was great. The band was OK. The crowd was pretty weird but fun. And the beer ... well, the beer was free flowing all night long!

So no dinner to speak of. But I'm sure I'll correct that tomorrow.



This was one of the more depressing dinners I've had in a long time. It's my own fault. I'm not sure what I was thinking. Well, I take that back. I know what I was thinking. I was thinking I needed to use up stuff in the fridge. But ... it didn't work out. And I ended up eating granola to complete dinner and make it feel like I really ate something.

Here's what I had:
- jalapeƱo and pepper jack chicken sausage
- organic white bread bun
- dill pickle
- mustard
- ketchup

I also had some more of my mushroom chutney. That was OK. It was mostly just the chicken sausage that was pretty terrible. I cooked them the day before and this one was reheated. It retained nothing I remembered as good. It was dry and crispy last night.

Oh well. The granola was good. I suppose that's a good thing, right?

I'll post the photo later ... Meena has the camera!



As I've mentioned, Meena was dealing with a fairly severe headache yesterday so I had the phone ringer off and I spent much of my time hanging in the kitchen while she tried to sleep it off.

I was a little bored so I just figured ... let's do some general kitchen stuff. I started with a mushroom chutney inspired by Jacques Pepin:
- crimini mushrooms
- tomato paste
- water
- mustard powder
- sugar
- sambal oelek
- raisins
- sea salt
- apple cider vinegar

Pretty simple. I'm finding most chutneys are. I suppose that's why Indian restaurants always give it to you for free. It's SO delicious though!

Then I did an olive tapenade with some extra olives I had:
- oil cured olives
- garlic
- olive oil
- basil
- rice vinegar
- crushed red pepper

Another simple one. I needed a little lemon and some white wine, but whatever. That seemed to be my theme yesterday. I'll get to that later.

For dinner, I threw together the two creations with some cheddar and a little mushroom brie, cornichons and bread. Nice little starter. Meena didn't love the tapenade (she hates olives, so that makes sense). I liked the chutney a lot.

For dinner I did take 34 on the old Tartine sauteed chicken. Still not the same. Needed more white wine, butter and lemon. But oh well. It was still pretty delicious (and fast) and it included:
- chicken
- bread crumbs
- olive oil
- salt
- garlic
- basil

Simple. I wanted to do a little flour dredge and get the bird crispy in the skillet but I ended up using bread crumbs and baking instead. Not bad for a simple Sunday night dinner.

Finally, I threw together a few more mushrooms for a side. They featured:
- crimini mushrooms
- scallions
- rice vinegar
- olive oil
- basil
- sea salt

And that, my friends, was Sunday night.



I actually had this same sandwich yesterday morning by myself. But I didn't have the camera so you're only getting a photo today. Sorry!

Meena was still suffering from this sinister headache so I just decided to make her a quick breakfast sandwich. Just a few things thrown together from the fridge:
- egg
- turkish bread (grilled)
- black oil cured olives
- mushroom brie
- spinach
- dijon mustard
- hot sauce

Meena's actually didn't have the black olives. She's not a fan, so I kept them to myself. But they were pretty tasty. I think Meena thought it was a little hot, but she still enjoyed it. That Turkish bread is pretty awesome when you grill it, too. So it was a nice, flaky, rich and decedent sandwich to get a Sunday started off right.


Meena had a mild migraine last night so we weren't going to stray outside to give that thing any cause to act up any more than it already was. So I just ran out and picked up a little fish and some vegetables for a quick and simple dinner packed with the flavors we love.

This super easy dish included:
- red onion
- spinach (sauteed with rice vinegar, black sesame and olive oil)
- korean bbq sauce (brown sugar, sambal oelek, garlic, soy sauce and water)
- salmon fillets
- sea salt
- green onion (garnish)


I did the good old season the pan and flip once method with the salmon. They were super thick cuts so I ended up finishing them in the oven for a few minutes just to get everything cooked through. But the top was perfect. Nice and crisp. Your fork moves through that little pop of crust and you get this lovely, creamy fillet underneath. Awesome.

The Korean bbq was perfect with the greens and sauteed onions.

I love this dish. It's nothing elaborate. It's super simple. And it's SOOO good.



Friday night we met up with Dan and Steve because I hadn't seen them in what seemed like years. I think it was only about 3 or 4 weeks but it felt much longer. And we love them so we felt like we just couldn't go any longer.

Dan made a reservation for the four of us at Rose Water, a little spot over by them off of Sixth Ave. Meena and I had walked by this spot tons of times and she'd always hinted at wanting to go. So ... we did!

We got going with a couple starters after some lovely focaccia. Dan had:
- celery root soup

And Meena, Steve and I all had the:
- smoked trout (with warm potato salad and daikon slaw)

The starters were nice. Meena said Dan's soup was really deep into that preserved lemon flavor. Which is fine. I don't know. I didn't try it. The trout was OK. Weird texture for a smoked trout. Lots of bones as well. Which was a bummer because it was so dark in there than it was hard to sorta figure that part out. The salad was jam packed with mustard though and I loved the daikon. So that was cool.

For the main courses, we mixed it up. Dan had:
- duck breast (with wheat berries, braised romaine and apricot sauce)

Steve had:
- cauliflower risotto (with smoked shiitake, poached egg and fried shallots)

Meena had:
- braised veal breast (cauliflower puree, crab apples and baby brussels sprouts)

Alec had:
- roast chicken under a brick (cider glazed turnips, hazelnut farro and pickled onions)

So ... dinner was just OK. I liked my chicken but it wasn't great. Meena hardly ate hers. Although I tried a few bites and it was OK. Dan had the winner. The duck was crisp on the fatty side and lovely in the center. I think Steve's was OK. For the money though, Rose Water wasn't really worth it. I'm glad we tried it. It was quaint in there and it was great to hang with the guys. But it was pretty much average.

Sorry, Rose Water. There are too many good spots. We probably won't be back!



I was going to cook for LOST last night but I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer earlier in the day and it was still a rock. So. We called in some Thai.

We tried for about 45 minutes to get some Joya on the phone but no luck. Dudes had it off the hook forever. So we decided to just try our friends at Cafe Chili instead. Meena isn't a huge fan of their pad thai, but it's still good. I like it. And they are nice people there. So I was fine with having them over for dinner last night.

Meena had:
- pad thai with chicken (medium spicy)

Alec had:
- kang masaman with chicken (spicy)

I'd never had mine before. But for some odd reason I really wanted some curry last night. I can't explain it. But I did. So I called for the masaman and it was really good. Peanutty and and rich. I won't order it every time, but it's a fun alternative.

Meena liked hers. She said it was a little bland, but she liked it.

Also, it's Friday. Thank goodness.



I feel like I've used this title before. Sorry. Sometimes I make the same thing and it's hard to come up with catchy titles. Especially because I usually work on this first thing in the morning. SOMETIMES without coffee. So you know. It happens.

Last night we had a burger and fries. But not the standard variety. Standard for us, I guess. But not like ... McDonalds or anything. Here's how I did the turkey burger:
- ground turkey
- garlic
- red onion
- tomato paste
- worcestershire sauce
- parmesan
- bread crumbs
- soy sauce

I also threw together some shiitake mushrooms with some olive oil, salt, sesame seeds and a little oyster sauce. I threw that on the skillet and topped off the burger off with this little condiment.

The burger was between two slices of that lovely Turkish bread I've been enjoying so much lately. Delicious.

And of course, we had some fries. Nothing special but they were pretty good. I used:
- potato
- salt
- olive oil

So it worked. It was a nice dinner. The only feedback Meena gave was that it was pretty huge and that bread was a little intense. Which was probably true. But I loved it. And there are even some extras! Whoo hoo!



Another late night for me and unfortunately some delivery was necessary. I wasn't expecting Meena to be home (she had a dinner canceled) so I didn't have anything worked up for dinner. I figured I'd just eat a sandwich or something. But when she reported that she'd be back at the ranch earlier than expected, we just decided to call in some Zaytoons.

Nothing terribly different I'm afraid. Meena had:
- shawarma platter

Alec had:
- lamb kebab platter

You can't beat this stuff. It's cheap, it's filling, it's delicious. I even had a shawarma from a street vendor earlier in the day for lunch. And I STILL loved this.



Meena had a late work night so I was on my own last night. Historically I've been a pretty lazy cook when it comes to nights that I fly solo. But recently I've been a little better. I made some pork chops last week. That was pretty solid. And last night I just made sandwiches ... but I did throw together a salad! So you know ...

I started with one sandwich that featured the same chicken salad from yesterday:
- french bread
- chicken salad
- mixed greens
- roasted red pepper (with sea salt and olive oil)

And threw together one additional sandwich
- oil cured black olives
- roasted red pepper (with sea salt and olive oil)
- semi-soft cheese
- french bread

And a little salad came together with:
- oil cured black olives
- parmesan
- mixed greens
- roasted red peppers
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar

I'm not blowing down any culinary doors here but everything was pretty darn tasty. The sandwiches were two very different tastes and quite delicious. The chicken salad was creamy and had just that hint of a mustard bite and the cheese and olive joint had plenty of salt and nice red pepper flavors. And the salad was packed with olives and just enough parmesan. Delicious.

I think I'm on my own again tonight ... so stay tuned for more solo efforts in the kitchen.