D I N N E R: tasty penne dish xx
Jessicuccia took a study break and came over this evening for an early din din. I got this delicious pasta recipe from Rachael Ray’s website. I have a few suggestions to make it a bit tastier and a bit easier- I used broccoli rabe instead of broccolini (more flavor) and instead of cooking the broccoli separately and setting it aside to start the turkey, I boiled the greens in the water with the pasta. I also sprinkled a lot of Pecorino-Romano (that I had in the freezer left over from this dish!) into the finished dish after adding the pasta water and before serving/plating it. It is so tasty!!! Enjoy xxx
T A B L E : Scones from Suzie’s xx
One of my favorite snacks is a scone from Souen, the NYC institution for natural organic foods prepared by Macrobiotic principles. Above is the chocolate-blueberry scone I feasted on yesterday with my Kukicha tea. Kukicha is a stem popular for its richness in calcium (it has six times more calcium than cows milk), vitamin C (2 times more than oranges), and it aids in digestion. I like my sweetened with a touch of maple syrup and a drop of soy milk, which goes perfectly with the scone that is not too moist, not too dry and not too sweet. There are three Souen locations, or Suzie’s as we like to call it, below 14th street from east to west- all a little different, the Prince Street location being the one I frequent most. Click the link above to find the one that suits you xx
C U C U L I: The reason I love Easter
It’s been a few months since I’ve been back home to Toronto, and what could excite me more than my most loved feature of Easter weekend…Easter bread, or by its Southern Italian (Calabrese) name Cuculi. It is a traditional and symbolic sweet bread, generally with a whole egg with shell embedded in it, made at Easter time to represent the crucifix. I can’t say that I ever knew that fact until I just did some research. All I know is that I have the ability to ingest A LOT of Cuculi and it tastes good with anything from nutella to salami or just plain. All the credit goes to my mom, she is the super star baker when it comes to this recipe (if I’m around I help!). There are variations of this recipe, differences and alterations can be found just moving a town over in Calabria. Some are made to be more like a biscuit when sliced, my mother’s recipe is much more doughy, just the way I like it.
So if you want to try a traditional recipe, even if you don’t celebrate Easter, take my word for it, it’s delicious!
S U P E R F O O D: Gold in a berry!
Goldenberries, otherwise known as gooseberries, is an Andean super food and the perfect blend of tart and sweet. They’re high in vitamins A, C and B varieties, antioxidants, and bioflavonoids. I became obsessed with these a couple years ago when a friend gave me a hand full and said “these are REALLY good for you”. Being that my friend was a health nut, I trusted her. You can find them fresh at certain grocery stores often imported from Colombia. In the dried form they are sold at many health food stores across the city and Whole Foods. I like to mix them with cashews for a trail mix like snack. To leave you with an interesting fact, in each Andean country they have a different name, in Colombia they are called uchuva, Ecuador uvilla and Peru aguaymanto. Much like a tomatillo they grow in a leaf blanket, waiting to be unwrapped!
B R E A K F A S T: egg, williamsburg xx
Once a week day I meet my bestie (check out her illuminating blog) for an early breakfast at this little spot in my neighborhood, Egg. It sources locally and serves on a small scale simple, fresh, clean, delicious dishes and holds a quiet, charming atmosphere- perfect for our community and for us to catch up!!! There is definitely a line around the block on the weekends- so much traffic runs through here that they have enlisted the help of smallknot, a new way of acquiring a ‘social loan’, to generate funds for new tables and chairs to replace the current ones that have endured 10 years of abuse.
I enjoy these poached eggs with grits and a side of kale but also treat myself to the Eggs Rothko (easy-cooked egg in a slice of Amy’s brioche, topped with Grafton cheddar- yum!!!). Try to get there in the next two weeks before their fund raising time runs out because if you love this place as much as I do then there’s no doubt you’ll find it in your heart to share the love and help them out xx
Egg is at 135 North 5th Street between Bedford and Berry in Williamsburg
B C U P C A F E: A little gem in the east village
My school work overload, and coffee addiction drove me on a hunt for a good little study spot in my neighborhood. I will admit that I did a little bit of a google/yelp search to see what was good around here, but after trying a few places, I can confidently say that B Cup Cafe is the place I go when I can no longer stand the library and don’t want to venture too far from home. Plus the wide variety of music, friendly staff and yummy treats don’t hurt!
R E C I P E: lasagna for two xx
C A K E : HBD KT
This past Saturday we celebrated Katiuccia’s big 3-0 birthday with a delicious Billy’s banana cake with cream cheese icing. Nothing beats cream cheese icing, and Billy’s quite simply has the most delicious cakes and cup cakes. Happy Birthday Katiuccia! xo
B R U N C H: A LA COLOMBIANA
This Sunday I ventured to Greenpoint for brunch. It wasn’t your typical omlette and waffles type menu, but at Cafecito Bogota you can enjoy all things Colombian. This colorful and vibrant spot had good size portions of typical Colombian dishes, brunch style, while also offering a special on drinks. Passion fruit mimosas and Rejado’s (Colombian cream soda mixed with beer). I indulged in Colombian beef stew with eggs and a side of salad and arepa. I will definitely be back for round 2!
1015 Manhattan Ave. @ Green St.
Greenpoint, Brooklyn 11222
R E C I P E: pecan praline bars
Just as the Uccia’s corresponded while in separate cities, this Uccia makes sure to keep up with her loved ones back home as much as possible. Each one of my girlfriends inspires me in various ways, but lately (probably due to my undying sweet tooth) I have been inspired by my best friend Caitlin’s baking skills. She’s always experimenting and whipping different indulgences up, and when I’m lucky (meaning in Toronto) I get to have some samplings. For now I will just have to enjoy the photos and the recipes which I would like to share with you from time to time. By far our most shared love where the sweets are concerned are squares, so when Caitlin told me about the delicious turn out of her Pecan Praline Bars I couldn’t wait for this to be the first share here in the ‘table’ section. Caitlin got this recipe out of her new favourite cookie cookbook Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich who, as per the title, has divided her book to cater to your preferred taste and texture in cookies. Caitlin personally tends towards chewy and gooey. While this recipe was taken from a book, everyone who has ever baked knows that your unique touch always comes through. Can’t wait to try these!