I think we hit our wall last night. We had been moving steadily toward the goal for the past few days, but last night we came home and just felt like crashing. Meena had planned on cooking German food for us, but the plan went out the window and we just called in some Joya.

Alec had:
- tom yum koong
- pork salad

Meena had
- spring roll
- chicken pad thai

Everything was pretty normal with the exception of my tom yum koong that was the hottest thing I've ever eaten in my life. Somehow, Joya has patented a proprietary process of converting your regular old fire into a lemongrass soup. My entire body was on fire after eating this. I can eat some really insanely hot stuff. I'm not trying to impress. I just can. I can eat (and like to eat) hot stuff. But this was rough even for me.

Anyway, everything else was solid and after a few bites of pork salad, I was back in order. I think we might do German tonight. Nothing says a rockin' Friday night like movies at home and German food, right? Well, it may not be crazy party time, but it's going to be awesome in my humble opinion.



Meena and I went directly to Park Slope last night to have some dinner with Dan and tune in to the world's greatest television program.

I can't actually remember where the food came from (whoops!) but I do remember what we had. Meena had:
- chicken korma

Dan had:
- chicken tikia masala

Alec had:
- lamb vindaloo

I enjoyed my lamb. I wasn't the best vindaloo ever but it did hit the spot. I was hungry and it was pretty much perfectly satisfying. But it wasn't the best.

Dan enjoyed his. Meena enjoyed it too! Mostly because Meena didn't enjoy her korma that much. She liked it, but she didn't love it and subsequently ended up picking at Dan's masala from time to time.

Another great LOST night and a lovely time with Dan in the Slope.



Meena was at work late last night so I was on my own for dinner. I'm not sure what I was thinking last night. I'm not saying this was bad. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it. I'm just saying it wasn't all that cohesive and it was ... weird.

Anyway, I guess when Meena isn't home, all semblance of rules go out the window and I just act more instinctively in the kitchen. I just start throwing things together and superhuman speed is my only objective. I just get ravenous and I want to go, go, go.

So last night I started with a kind of quesadilla ... and Italian quesadilla:
- flour tortilla
- marinara
- fresh mozzarella
- spinach
- olive oil
- peri peri sauce
- braised pork

And then I made a salad with:
- mixed greens
- braised pork
- fresh mozzarella
- lemon
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- dijon mustard
- minced kimchee

Weird. The salad was OK. It would have been better without the kimchee. I'm not sure why I did that. It seemed like a good idea that the time. It wasn't awful ... but it wasn't that good. I think it would have been fine without that one strange final ingredient.

The tortilla quesadilla thing was pretty good. Basic. Filling. Just what I wanted on a cold Tuesday night.



Last night I had my first class of the 10 that will occupy my Monday evenings over the next few months. I didn't end up back in Brooklyn until around 9:45, but Meena had totally made the most amazing dinner we've had in a long time.

I'd said to Meena a few times that I wished she could cook the two of us more Korean stuff. It's some of the best food on the planet but neither of us really knew how to make it. Well ... this changed last night. Meena went ahead and figured it out and I think I'll be asking for this again and again.

I'm not entirely sure what went into the spread, but here's the gist:
- white rice
- shiitake mushrooms (with olive oil and soy sauce)
- sweet onion (with olive oil and garlic)
- spinach (with olive oil)
- slow cooked pork butt
- korean bbq sauce
- siracha
- soy sauce
- kimchee

Salty and succulent. I loved every bite. For some reason, I just love the flavors of Korean food. So much. I love rich roasted meats. I love the fermented bite of kimchee. And the texture of mushrooms and spinach swirled around with rice and spicy pepper pastes. MAN. It's so good.

I promise you this ... I will be begging Meena to make this again and again. She claims next time she'll go all out and add a fried egg to the top of the bowl. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.



Good weekend. I'll just start by saying that. It was a good, delicious, relaxing weekend. We started it off with a long, relaxing dinner at Ivo & Lulu on the way home from the office. We picked up a bottle of wine (which wasn't all that hot, sadly) and ordered a few of our favorites. Meena had:
- grilled avocado with vegetable moouse
- chicken with mango cream

Alec had:
- grilled pear with bleu cheese
- wild boar sausage with blueberries

Awesome. Things have changed a bit over the years at Ivo but it's still one of my favorite spots ever.

Saturday morning Meena made a lovely little breakfast sandwich that started things off right:
- egg
- ham
- marinara
- cheddar
- wheat bread


Saturday evening we had the pleasure of hanging out with Dan in our hood. It had been a minute since we'd been lucky enough to hit Lucali so we decided to give it a shot. It took a minute to get in, but we finally gained entrance and oh boy ... totally worth the wait. I've probably said it before but I'll say it again. Lucali is the best pizza in NY. I know those are like fighting words to some people. But it's what I believe. Best pizza in town.

Sunday night Meena and I were able to enjoy a bit of pork butt that had been roasting away all afternoon. Around 2:00 in the afternoon I got a 2.5 pound hunk of pig going with the following:
- vegetable broth
- garlic
- cinnamon
- apple cider vinegar
- salt
- black pepper

When we pulled the meat out of the roaster it was falling apart. I couldn't even pick it up because it just kept breaking. Awesome problem to have.

We mixed the meat up with a bit of Korean bbq sauce and that was that. There's nothing better on this earth than roasted pork.

Meena made some mashed potatoes to accompany the meat:
- potato
- garlic
- milk
- sea salt
- black pepper

And I did a bit of spinach:
- spinach
- sesame oil
- peri peri sauce
- sea salt
- black pepper

Pretty good dinner. Pretty awesome conclusion to a lovely weekend. Now it's Monday and the baby upstairs woke us up at 4:00 a.m. with incessant screaming. So ... welcome to the week. But looking back at all this lovely stuff makes me feel very good about the last few days.



I'm not sure why I'm tired given it's been a short week with minimal activity, but for some reason, I'm sorta running on fumes. I had plans to make some foods last night but when I got home a little late, that plan went out the window. I just wanted to sit and hang with my wife.

So what do you do at times like this? You call Zaytoons and call it a night. That's what you do!

We kept it completely standard. Meena had:
- chicken shawarma sandwich with hummus

Alec had:
- shish kebab sandwich

And of course, we had a zaytoons mix. It wasn't that hot ... it must have been sitting around a minute. It just had a bit of an old taste or something. But whatever. It wasn't awful. And the sandwiches were spot on. Thank goodness for Zaytoons.



Meena and I decided to keep a bag of frozen shrimp in the fridge for nights like last night. It's cold out. We don't want to order in. Frozen shrimp to the rescue.

I will say, these frozen shrimp aren't quite as hot as the ones my parents get from Costco (I know, weird, right?). But they were pretty good. Anyway, I threw them together with a few things and got a pot of Uncle Ben's going on the other burner.

For the shrimp, I was inspired by something I saw on Tastespotting. I mixed up:
- brown sugar
- garlic
- sea salt
- black pepper
- lime juice
- peri-peri sauce
- soy sauce
- bbq sauce
- spinach

The recipe I saw called for chipotle peppers but I couldn't find them at my store. Such a disappointment. I'm not sure how a store could operate without that in its stocklist. Anyway, I just used that South African peri-peri sauce for heat and the bbq for a little smoke. I guess it was comparable. Not perfect. But OK.

Anyway, it was pretty darn good. Shrimp were full of flavor and the rice was a nice partner in crime. Meena says we'll make this again.



ONE MORE NIGHT! ONE MORE NIGHT! That's right. Black bean and espresso chili one more night. We had a ton so .... why not, right?

I already linked to the recipe for the chili so I'll spare you. The sandwich wasn't anything TOO serious but it turned out well. I just threw in:
- sauteed shallot
- turkey
- gruyere
- goat cheese
- stone ground mustard
- wheat bread

I grilled them up panini style and threw them on a plate. That's it! Again, the veggie crumbles with the chili only get better as time goes on, so that was a bonus. Soup. Sandwich. Tuesday.



Ahhhhh. The long weekend. Perhaps the greatest thing in the working world. One extra day to just kick up your feet and maybe actually get to some of those chores you never really intended to do when you only had 2 days of relaxation.

This particular weekend was awfully cold so we tried to stick around the house as much as we could. It didn't always work, but we tried.

Friday we had some nice delivery from Bombay Dream. Pretty good. I don't think they're any Baluchi's ... but we'll get down with them again.
Saturday morning Meena made a wonderful bit of breakfast from her left over chicken tikka masala. Couple eggs, some rice, naan and chicken. Delicious.

Saturday night we spent some time with Grant and Sara wandering Little Italy and Chinatown trying to help those who needed a place to sleep or get a meal. We didn't find anyone ... which was probably a good thing. After that, we went on over to Dan and Steveo's to make some dinner. We opted not for the salmon we'd planned and went with an espresso and black bean chili instead. Recipe here, FYI. I added veggie crumbles and it was much better for it in my opinion. Just saying.

Sunday I made a bit of breakfast with some eggs, goat cheese and panko. Some onions too, maybe. I can't remember. But it wasn't bad. A little bland. But not bad. Could have used some more salt, probably.

Sunday afternoon we made it to Grimaldi's for a pie. I gotta say ... not as impressed as I expected to be. It was good. No doubt. But Lucali still wears the crown in my mind.

Sunday and Monday night? You guessed it, left over chili. I made about 84 gallons for Dan and Steve and we came home with a bit of it. And it only gets better as the days go by. Chili is just one of those things.

Anyway, it was a great weekend. Thank goodness for it.



Honestly, I felt pretty guilty having some guy from a restaurant bring me dinner on a night that cold. But ... I didn't want to go out there! So yeah, we gave Chance a call and had them bring in some Chinese.

I had some strange orders:
- hot and sour soup
- pork dumplings
- mixed veg

Meena had:
- sesame beef
- curry noodles
- rock shrimp dim sum

As far as trying to get fit, this might not have been the best bet. But like I said ... it was cold. And we just couldn't bring ourselves to go trudging through the ice and snow to buy ingredients. Not the end of the world. Right>



I'm cooking again. Man. It feels like it's been a month. Maybe it has. I don't know. But I haven't cooked in a minute and I was getting tired of it. It's easy to come home when it's cold and nasty and just order something. But ... honestly, it's just as easy to cook. If you have a few things sitting around in the fridge, you can almost always throw something together.

And in this first month of the year, fresh from resolutions and pledges, I've found that I typically eat a little better when I control the portions and what's going into them.

Anyway, last night I got going with a couple of pork chops we had in the fridge. The meal was really simple and this is all that went in there:
- pork chop
- sea salt
- black pepper
- box of 30 minute rice
- olive oil
- garlic infused goat cheese
- jalapeno
- plum jam

So I just grilled up the pork chops with some salt, pepper and oil on a skillet (and finished them in the oven) and cooked up the rice with a jalapeƱo. When the rice was done, I threw in a bit of the goat cheese and let it mellow while I built some pork "sandwiches" on the plates with a bit of that plum jam in the middle.

It was actually done really quickly. It would have probably been done earlier but I was super gentle with my new sauce pan and tried to baby it a little. Not necessary. It's just new so I'm trying to be ultra careful. Anyway.

So this was great. It was inspired a bit by Chestnut's pork chop that I get nearly every time I visit. Altered considerably I'm sure. But still, it was really good. We'll make this again and again I bet. Given its ease and reduced timeline .... it's a winner.



We went to Dan and Steveo's last night to check in on Steve's most recent operation. He's on round two of foot surgery and we're happy to report he seems much better this time around. Still pretty immobile, but far more advanced in his use of crutches after suffering through this once already in 2008.

So per the usual routine, Dan (and his sous chef Steve's wonderful mother) knocked out some hummus and bruschetta. Very nice.

After that, we called in Joya's Park Slope sister, the lovely little Thai hot spot, Song. I had a fairly usual order:
- tom yum koong
- yum moo

And Meena had:
- woon sen with shrimp

There was also a massive thai calamari for the group to share. Pretty addictive. Pretty bad for you ... but pretty addictive.

It's funny that the restaurants are so closely related, but things do come out a little different. My yum moo was better than Joya's. Tom yum was pretty much the same. Meena enjoyed the woon sen but said it was mostly the same. Presentation was a little better at Song, though. Even in the delivery bins ... slightly nicer display.

Anyway, we're happy Steveo is on the mend and we'll likely be back soon for a similar visit. Get well, Steve!!



Weird weekend. I feel like I ate a lot ... but at odd times. And full meals felt sparse.

Friday we went all over the city, but we had some nice bites and drinks. Matt and Meena and I went to Terroir for a sampler of tons of fun little bites. Some marinated veggies, sardines, beets, etc. It was really nice. That place is probably a little expensive but I do enjoy it very much.

At the end of the night we made it home and ordered -yikes- papa johns from the INTERNET. And it came to our house! So weird. At 1:00 a.m. it's just necessary. Haters are welcome to turn up their noses but whatever. We needed it so we ordered it.

Saturday we had a Vietnamese experiment that controlled my food intake for the next couple days. Meena ordered a couple of our new favorite sandwiches from Nicky's. She added a bit of summer roll to the order as well and we decided we'd find out how Nicky's stacked up to the HanCo competition.

Well ... HanCo rules. Plain and simple. So much so that Meena actually put hers in the fridge and called HanCo for a replacement. Nicky's had a nicer summer roll sauce ... but in all other areas, HanCo wins. Handily.

Saturday night we had a nice, leisurerly dinner with a bottle of wine at Zaytoons. Same old same old. But the wine and relaxation were key.

Sunday we had some nice bites at James and D's house while watching football. Erin made a killer dip and D made a bit of sausage bread. Excellent.

And then last night ... I just ate the rest of the Nicky's in the fridge. For sure not as good as HanCo. Even after a day letting flavors meld. Meena called in a bit of Joya and dispatched a plate of chicken pad thai.

So yeah. Weird weekend. GOOD weekend. For sure. But weird. Sorry for the lack of photos.



Meena was out for a dinner with some of her friends so I was left to fend for myself. I rarely get inspired to cook when she's not around (although I do from time to time), and last night was no different.

I had decided to re-watch the last season of LOST so I wasn't really into anything that was going to take a lot of time. I just wanted to plop down in front of the TV and refresh my memory.

So I just poured a glass of wine and made a sandwich with a couple things I found in the fridge:
- cheddar cheese
- french bread
- hummus
- siracha
- mixed field greens

Pretty simple. And pretty good, actually. Good ingredients usually yield a good meal.

And man, I forgot how much I love LOST. It's such a good show ... I'm so excited to watch the rest of this last season. Even though I've already been through it once, it's just as good the second time.



That's right ... as the headline says, we welcomed two sets of friends back into our lives last night. First and foremost, we got to see Dan and Steve. It felt like months since we'd seen them last so it was really awesome to have the guys over for a few glasses of wine and chatter.

The second set of friends were our good buddies at Cube 63. That's right, return of the champs.

I can't really remember what everyone had. I picked up:
- electric roll
- yellowtail and scallion roll

Meena had:
- lobster tempura roll
- shrimp shumai
- clinton roll

I can't remember the specific orders Dan and Steve made ... I remember a lobster tempura roll. Can't recall what else.

Anyway, it was pretty good. I didn't realize my electric roll came tempura style. That was a bit of a sad note. But everything else was on point. And the food really didn't matter as much as just getting a chance to hang with our friend-os.



We didn't really set out to make a kid friendly meal last night but I think that's what ended up happening. Fish sticks, mac & cheese and some steamed veggies? Sounds like kid food to me.

The mac & cheese was just the end of the line for the batch Meena whipped up last weekend. It was pretty awesome every time we had a bite. She most definitely had a winner here.

To round out the meal, I whipped up a few new additions starting with a bit of veg. I steamed up:
- green onion
- white onion
- broccoli

Then I tossed it all with a bit of my red onion chutney, a touch of sea salt and some black pepper. I let the broccoli over steam just a touch ... but the flavor here was still pretty successful.

The final addition to our meal was a handful of salmon fish sticks that featured:
- dijon mustard
- honey
- sesame oil
- soy sauce
- panko
- sea salt
- black pepper

I baked them in the oven for a bit and they came out crispy on the outside and nice and juicy on the inside. Not bad for my first run at fish sticks.

I also made a dipping sauce but I can't really remember what I put in. Some soy and fish sauce and honey and garlic and some other stuff. It was pretty good though.

Anyway, this, our first foray into kid food, was a pretty solid effort.



It's a new year and Meena and I, like most Americans I'm sure, have a renewed commitment to health. Time to get back to the gym after two months of gluttony. So in an effort to start it off right last night, we did a simple meal with some simple ingredients to make sure we were plenty nourished for our run this morning.

I made a few extra meatballs from the sliders we had on Saturday night. They included:
- ground turkey thigh
- ground turkey breast
- parmesan
- fish sauce
- panko
- egg
- sea salt
- marinara
- black pepper
- soy sauce
- worcestershire
- sesame oil

And then we threw the reheated meatballs in with a bit more marinara and some steamed broccoli. I finished it off with a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper.

We also finished off the asian coleslaw and called it a meal.

Not bad. Am I a total nerd for loving the taste of steamed broccoli? I love the smell as it's steaming, too. That's weird I think. But I do. It's so delightfully bland. Who knew?



I guess I sorta lied again. About being back. We were back ... but then we went on hiatus again. Why? I guess I didn't realize I was going to have another week vacation. I had to go back to work last week ... this much is true. But not much was going on around the office. So after spending two massively unproductive days in the building, I really couldn't help but think we were basically still on vacay.

Then came New Years and all that festive stuff. So yeah. I didn't update. Sorry!

But here's a rundown of some of the highlights we've enjoyed since the last post:

- Diana's amazing New Year's Eve Spectacular
- Zaytoons delivery returning to normal operation
- Cuban food
- Vietnamese sandwiches
- Mac & Cheese and coleslaw and sliders and heartbreak
- Chestnut

I have to say that D's spread was one of the finest she's ever presented. From the rare roasted beef to the chicken and waffles (oh yeah, I said it ... fried chicken and waffles!!) to rice cakes and guacamole and hummus and timbles, she just hit the ball right out of the park. We had a fantastic time ringing in the new year with a wonderful assortment of buddies and we most certainly left fat and full and drunk.

We had a really nice dinner at Chestnut a few nights ago as well. I had an octopus salad that was fantastic. It came with sunchokes and kumquat - spiced perfectly and cooked to perfection. I moved into a pork chop that was stuffed with fruits and again, cooked perfectly. Meena had a fois gras appetizer that was pretty amazing and then moved into a grilled hanger steak with some bleu cheese fingerlings on the side. Awesome. I need to thank Val and Scott here ... this was their wedding gift to us. You know the way to our hearts, friends.

The final note I want to make is the addition of Vietnamese sandwiches into our diet. It was a life changing experience, folks. I know they're as common as pizza in NYC, but for whatever reason, we'd never been drawn to the loving warmth of one of the finest things that exists in the culinary universe. Our worlds were turned upside down yesterday when we sunk our teeth into that roll filled with so many delicious ingredients. We finished the sandwiches new people. Reborn. We're never going to be the same now that we know such deliciousness exists. We compared this to the first time we had Saam. Or when we wandered into Zaytoons for the first time. We have a new staple. Get ready to see lots of this one.

Anyway, that's about it. We made some grub for James and D last night. They came over to watch my eternal choke artists the Indianapolis Dolts turn in another painful effort. I can't even describe the disappointment. I feel sick. But ... as a Colts fan, this is nothing new. I'm pretty accustomed to post-season failures. Hell, for about 15 years, I was pretty accustomed to perpetual failure without any hope of post-season trauma. Oh well. The food was pretty good though. Meena made some Mac & Cheese and my mom's Asian Coleslaw recipe. I made some turkey sliders with a few condiments. Most notably the red onion chutney I seem to add to nearly everything.

So that's really it. I'll be back tomorrow with your regularly scheduled programming.