Memorial Day Weekend in New York City

Summer’s official welcome weekend is finally here. What are your weekend plans? It’s been a while since we had a 3 Day weekend like this, so let’s do a run through of what we can do, shall we?

PROJECTS/ERRANDS

Remember those projects/errands you’ve been putting off since winter? Well, time to man up and do them! Mine are the following:

  1. Sell s*** I no longer/have no use for.
  2. Marie Kondo the heck out of my closet

EAT

I am slowly succumbing to the notion that I may never cook a full meal again as I’ve found myself eating out more often. While I know this is not the most healthy, physically and financially, I seriously can’t help myself (oh god, am I addicted to eating out?). Anyway, I thought about it and decided that it may be better for my wallet in the meantime because whenever I buy veggies or fruits from the market, I end up throwing them out. More wasteful ‘no? I do still cook at home once in a while. I subscribed to Hello Fresh recently and while the concept is great, it’s not the cheapest at $59/week for 3x 2 person meals.

That said, here’s something I plan on doing in the next month. Eat at new places. I find myself eating at my go to restaurants that it’s starting to get too monotonous and expensive. There’s over a million restaurants in this city (ok that’s an exaggeration, but if you live here you know what I mean), so me thinks it’s time to discover. This weekend, I plan on dining in at least one of the following:

Astoria Seafood

Not a novel concept for me, but eating in a restaurant where you choose fresh seafood and then give it to the chef to cook? PRICELESS.

ophoto from yelp

Nai Tapas

I’ve wanted to come here since 2 years ago, perhaps my wish will come true this weekend.

NiaOutphoto from eatery row

SHOP

Memorial Day Weekend Sales are probably the best time to buy a new mattress. I bought one 4 years ago during Memorial Day weekend at Macy’s and then promptly returned it before it was delivered because I found a cheaper one 1 week after. My picks:

Gap – up to 50% off + 20% purchase using code MORE. Gap has been killing the wardrobe game lately.

The Real Real – 20% purchase using code REAL. Good deal for snatching that gently used designer piece you’ve been eyeing.

Old Navy – 50% Tees, Shorts, Tanks and Swimwear. 20% regular priced items. Some dresses are on sale too.

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If all else, you can catch up on some zzz’s, exercise to get *some* form on your abs, and do your regular weekend routine like as if it’s not a 3 day weekend.

The one take away? Don’t waste the weekend away on doing mindless tasks, like scrolling through your social media pages (ahem, listen to your own advice, Liane).

Happy Weekend everyone!

feature image by giphy

Restaurant Week : New York City

ny_restaurant_week_nycgo

Twice a year, people of New York City gather to celebrate New York Restaurant Week. During this time one can enjoy three course meals at any of the restaurant participants for an affordable $25 lunch and $38 dinner price.

For me, Restaurant Week is a good time to discover new restaurants the city hast to offer. If you’re wondering where you should make reservations, here are my recommendations:

1) Fig and Olive – Midtown – Mediterranean

Lunch Menu Picks

Appetizer: Salmon Crudo
Main: Truffle Risotto
Dessert: Chocolate Pot De Creme

The truffle risotto is delicious. It’s a small serving, but it will pack a major punch on your taste buds! If you have an extra $7, I highly recommend ordering the crostinis.

Fig_Olive_crostinis

2) Les Halles – Flatiron – French

Appetizer: House Made Pate
Main: “Paleron”
Dessert: Creme Brulee

I personally like their Cote de Boeuf, but since it’s not included in their restaurant week menu, I recommend the “Paleron” is a preview to the rib roast mothership.

Les Halles -steak-frites

3) Hatsuhana – Midtown – Japanese

Hatsuhana is my go-to sushi place in the city. The restaurant week menu is not available online, but I highly suggest this place if only for the fresh fish they serve. My tip: sit at the bar where you can see the sushi chef work their magic.

4) Socarrat Paella Bar – Midtown/Chelsea – Spanish Tapas

Dinner Menu Picks

Tapas: Croquetas del Dias
Main: Paella de Arroz Negro
Dessert: Flan

Paella with black rice and assorted seafood is the bomb. It’s good for two people, so make sure you bring a companion when you try this place out!

socarrat_paella_feedthemodel

Fig and Olive | Les Halles | Feed the Model Blog

Dad’s Oven Roasted Pork Belly Recipe

2 lbs pork belly
2 tbsp kosher or sea salt
2 small bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup soy sauce
Marinate the pork:
Dry the skin thoroughly with paper towel.
Score (hiwain) the skin every 1/2 inch with a sharp knife
Generously rub the salt into the skin
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a shallow baking dish
Place the pork in the dish meat side down
Marinate uncovered in the refrigerator for at least one hour
Preheat oven to 425F
Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and place a roasting rack on it
Remove pork from marinade (discard) and place on the rack
Pat the skin again with paper towels to make it dry
Roast the pork for 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Rest the pork for 15 minutes before slicing

Quick Recipes in my book

Recently, I realized that I detest recipes with more than 8 ingredients. I mean, why does one need 8? Are those 8 ingredients really crucial to the taste of the final product because chances are they’re not!

Anyway, in honor of The Everygirl 30 Day Challenge that starts today, here are my 5 quick and easy recipes:

1) Oven Seared Steak

# of Ingredients I use: 4
[salt, pepper, rib eye, oil (or butter)]

2) Pasta Amatriciana

# of Ingredients I use: 7
[pasta, can of peeled tomatoes, guanciale (pork cheeks), parmagianno reggiano, pecorino romano, extra virgin olive oil, peperoncino]

3) Sinigang na Baka/Baboy/Isda/Manok (Sour soup with beef/pork/fish/chicken)

# of Ingredients I use: 7
[onion, tomatoes, meat of choice, fish sauce, sinigang mix, water, vegetable of choice – I prefer spinach or kale]

4) Fennel/Anise and Arugula Salad (made this up, but feel free to personalize)

# of Ingredients I use: 6
[arugula, fennel/anise, salt, lemon, pepper, EVOO]

5) Beef/Pork/Chicken Tacos

# of Ingredients I use: 4
[soft taco sleeves, meat of choice, salsa, salt]

Please share any quick and easy recipes you have in your arsenal on the comments below or tweet them to me @Lianepamuspusan

5 Ways to Search the Foodie in You

Several months ago, I was a cooking machine. You can find me almost every day (and night) in the kitchen whipping something away. In addition, I like discovering new restaurants which serve delicious food. I like going to food markets just to browse what the vendors have in store for their clients. Unfortunately, my machine has died down and I have now become a victim of monotonous and crappy junk.

Does that ever happen to you? One day you’re high on something and the next you just can’t stand doing it?

Pasta Amatriciana
Pasta Amatriciana

So, what does one do to get the machine back up?

1) Watch Julie & Julia – the best foodie movie there is.

2) Read food blogs. I am a fan of Food52 and Emiko Davies.

3) Revive your Pinterest Food board. Cook the recipes you pin for god’s sake.

4) Keep your kitchen/dining area clean. It helps to fire up the good old cooking spirit in you.

1_Apartment_Kitchen
First Apartment Kitchen

5) If all of the above doesn’t work for you, search Yelp for the best [insert favorite type of food here] restaurant around your area and go there!

 

Straccetti di Manzo (“strips of beef”)

While browsing through old photos, I stumbled upon this:

Straccetti di Manzo roughly means “strips of beef” in Italian. It originates from Rome and .. well that’s the extent of my knowledge. I first tried this dish when I was at a trattoria near University of Bologna. My colleague introduced the dish to me and I was hooked!

As you can tell from my photo below, the recipe calls for strips of the meat mixed together with arugula, grana padano, EVOO, salt, and pepper. I look forward to making this dish once my meatless diet comes to an end.

straciette

Recipe:

– strips of beef (boneless sirloin sliced thinly will do)
– 1 clove of garlic
– EVOO
– arugula
– parmagianno reggiano cheese (or if you can find Grana Padano, even better)
– salt and pepper
– balsamic vinegar (optional)

1) Saute beef and garlic
2) Season with salt and pepper
3) Mix in the arugula, toss until it wilts
4) Plate it
5) Grate some cheese on top
6) Eat it! Feel free to sprinkle some balsamic vinegar on top too!

meatless diet for 40 days

I challenged myself this lent season to not eat beef, pork, and chicken. I figured going pescatarian for forty days might do some wonders on my physical and mental state. 

In addition, it’s also a great way to introduce a series for the blog. Let’s call it, “meatless diet for forty days”. Catchy, isn’t it? 

We’ll start with stir-fry vegetables with poached egg and packaged soup

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Recipe

  • collard greens
  • fennel or anise – can somebody tell me the difference? Cause I sure can’t
  • edamame – I use the packaged ones you find in the fridge section of your grocery store.
  • roasted pine nuts
  • lemon juice
  • minced garlic
  • EVOO
  • salt
  • poached egg (Don’t know how to poach an egg? Watch Julie & Julia, that’s how I learned!)
  • packaged or canned soup (optional)

1) Saute minced garlic in EVOO until brown.

2) Add collard greens. Saute, saute, saute until you see it start to wilt.

3) Add pinch of salt. 

4) Saute some more. 

5) Taste the collard greens to see texture. If it still tough to chew, saute.. saute.. saute. 

6) Taste it again. If you can handle the texture, add fennel/anise. Saute again. 

7) Taste the collards again, if it taste tender and not tough at all to chew, add edamame. Saute. Sprinkle some lemon juice in there while you’re at it. 

8) Taste your concoction. If the texture and taste is to your liking, plate it. Otherwise, add more salt (or lemon) and then, guess what? Saute some more. 

9) Once you get tired of sauteing, plate your concoction. You can follow how I did it on the picture above – placing the poached egg on top of the veggies or feel free to create your own masterpiece. 

Couple of notes: 

1) The yellow stuff you see in the picture is packaged broccoli and cheese soup. My mom bought it at TJ Maxx, so I’m not quite sure where else you can source it. I added it for extra flavor, but again that was my preference. 

2) I don’t measure my ingredients (I know, the horror!) as I prepare my food base on the length of time I would like to eat it. For example, if I want to eat it for two days, I eyeball my ingredients to accommodate that length of time.

A boost of berries for your salad

Salad-Ingredients

 

My recent venture with salad ingredients:

  • spinach (good for fighting acne, especially the ones that break out around the chin area)
  • white stilton cheese with cranberries (you get the essential nutrients, i.e., calcium and protein from the cheese and antioxidant benefits from the cranberries).
  • balsamic vinegar with a hint of raspberry (well, I just can’t have salad without a little Italian infused flavor).  

Continue reading “A boost of berries for your salad”

Roasted Bone Marrow

I have finally ended my seemingly daunting search for bone marrow bones in NY. I was at the Pacific Supermarket, 3 stops away from my stop, and there it was calling out to me saying, “here I am! I only cause a pretty $1.xx”.

Anyway, I have then made it my mission to cook roasted bone marrow today following this recipe. For the parsley salad, I opted out of capers since I am not a big fan of them. I used honey wheat bread instead of the regular french bread that the recipe uses.

I was first introduced to roasted bone marrow at this gastropub in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood called Quinn’s. After that place, I have never again eaten it roasted other than cooking and eating it the Filipino way —- “Bulalo” style. Then last year when I went home for Thanksgiving, my sister introduced me to this restaurant at Bellevue Place called Koral that serves bone marrow, roasted style. Since then I was hooked to this dish.

Some fun facts:

Anthony Bourdain considers roasted bone marrow as his comfort food and apparently this stuff is actually healthy for you (in moderate amount of course).

My History with Pasta Amatriciana

Pasta Amatriciana

I cooked this using substitutes instead of the original ingredients.

  • Bacon instead of guanciale (pork cheek)
  • Macaroni noodles instead of bucatini (long tubular noodles)

I met this pasta during my first trip to Rome last year. I was walking around the Trastevere neighborhood and happen to stumble upon a restaurant called “La Scalleta”. It was lunch time, so I went in to try it out.

I ordered Pasta Amatriciana (and an osso buco style dish, which I will talk about at a later post). I instantly bonded with the pasta of course, because it was REALLY good.

When I returned to Bologna, I told my Italian roommate about this encounter with the Pasta Amatriciana. She told me that she knows how to cook it and proceeded to tell me that she can teach me how to. Of course I didn’t pass up on that offer.

The pasta became my go-to meal during my second and third semester at school because it was that kind of meal for a student.

See the recipe here.