Recipes from Cooking Light in my “To Make” pile
This past month went by as fast as any I can remember. I can’t figure out how 31 days passed in what seemed like a week. I don’t think time has sped up on me, so I must have slept for a few days in some sort of abbreviated Rip Van Winkle style.
New York Foodie-Junket
We schlepped the family to New York for a weekend of gluttonous eating, dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History and Central Park.
I was astounded at how much Little Guy loved the big city! He was mesmerized. I hated my first visit to Manhattan; the crazy people seemed to gravitate to my little seven year-old self. My first Times Square experience included a man getting in my face and screaming, and a drunk homeless man accosting me. I spent the next fifteen years telling everyone that instead of I ❤ NY; I hate NY. Yeah, not Little Guy. His first Times Square experience included riding the Ferris Wheel at Toys R Us, and eating an ice cream sundae the size of his head. Times Square and 42nd Street have changed a little since 1979. (Note that this link contains pictures that are inappropriate for young viewers.)
I made my requisite foodie stops at Murray’s Cheese, Ess-a-Bagel, Zabars, Barney Greengrass and Magnolia Bakery. I also finally checked off of a foodie-geek bucket-list item when I experienced the Batali/Bastianich food Mecca that is Eataly (you don’t go to Eataly, you experience it).
Oh, and while we are talking about foodie-geek items, I also ate at a Tom Colicchio Restaurant. I had one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten at the Tap Toom of Colicchio & Sons (although my husband’s steak was tough as wood and about as unseasoned!) Mr. Colicchio (or can I call you Tom? Oh, okay, Mr. Colicchio then!), since I am sure you have nothing better to do with your time than read this blog post; let me just tell you, your people are doing it the right way! My hubby’s steak aside, that food rocked some serious ass! I could ramble all day about the merits of the beef tartare alone.
Cooking Lighter at Home
With all the butter we consumed in the two days in New York, we had to eat healthier at home. There were a lot of Cooking Light recipes made in my house last month. Here are a few of my favorites:
I did a fair amount of light cooking this month, but the single best thing I made all month was the Almond Brittle from Cooking Light. I used half toasted almonds and half toasted cashews. The results were yummy; really really yummy. So good that the recipe is now banned from my house. The brittle lasted less than 18 hours in the house, and I’m not sure how much anyone else had. It was ugly; I’m not proud.
This orzo side dish was a huge hit with the Twinkle Twins, Hubby and me. Not only was it good that night, but the leftovers made a wonderful cold addition to a salad the next day. It also worked well with whole-wheat orzo. Although the recipe does have the dubious honor of being the only recipe I’ve seen that called for 3/8 teaspoon salt. Would 1/4 teaspoon salt really hurt? Oh and a note to anyone that pays attention to the nutritional information of recipes; it’s wrong on this recipe. It’s impossible for a 1/2 cup serving of orzo, mushrooms and Pecorino Romano cheese to have 45 calories, and only 2.2 grams of carbs. I’m sure its an innocent typo, but for those of us following weight loss programs like Weight Watchers, it’s an annoyance. (If there is anyone out there following Weight Watchers points program, the correct points value is 3 points for a 1/2 cup serving).
As a special request, I agreed to make fish sticks for hubby, who begged for them. Knowing that the kids would also appreciate them, I went to the store looking for the suggested halibut to make the recipe. You want to know something. Halibut is hard to find; at least it is here in New England at the end of Spring. So, I improvised. I like to keep my seafood purchases as local as possible, so I bought a small piece of cod for the kiddos and splurged on fresh scallops for hubby and me. This recipe makes good ordinary fish sticks. However, it makes wonderful crispy scallops. It was a special, unexpected treat.
This recipe defined my month–bad timing, good results. I saw the recipe months ago when I was bundled up in layers while snow blew in tall drifts outside the windows. When did I get around to making it? The first day it hit 80, and we found out the A/C was out. I made the recipe vegetarian by using veggie stock and by leaving out the bacon and adding a large pinch of Penzey’s Chicago Steak Seasoning (insert irony here) which is a good all-purpose smokey seasoning. The first batch looked like hell, but it was a huge hit. The twins ate almost half of it by themselves. I had to make it a second time just to get enough of it to snap a quick picture.