Tag Archives: sandwich

Tartine Bakery, CSA, and Bento 40

3 Jul

We’re going camping this weekend!! Look forward to an update with lots of camping goodness since it’s my first time camping. We’re going car camping though so it’s not truly camping but it’s a good start.

I went to Tartine Bakery to pick up two loaves of my favorite bread in the world, sourdough walnut bread. We’re bringing it camping to make sandwiches for hiking and for general nomming. It’s amazing by itself but goes great with manchego cheese. While there, I also picked up a sandwich for dinner and dessert. Tartine is overpriced but it’s so delicious. I’m sure I’ll get tired of overpaying soon but there’s still so many things I want to try! They ran out of almond croissants though. I was so sad. Those are amazing. Well, it’s another excuse to go back!

look at the size of this thing!! ~$7

spicy turkey pesto panini $13.50

seasonal fruit tart with pluots $5.50

Here’s a bento I made this week, nothing really special. Rice ball “cupcakes” with purple furikake “sprinkles”, grilled makerel and sweet egg leftovers, cabbage omelette and a strawberry.

bento 40

Our 6th CSA share! Only 3 more left before our subscription runs out.

CSA share 6

This week we got:
strawberries – bringing camping
red butter leaf lettuce
cabbage
romaine lettuce
golden beets
parsley root + parsley
cipollinni onions
cauliflower
cherry tomatoes – bringing camping

close up

glistening strawberries

Soul Food in Union Square

2 Jun

It amuses me that there is a Union Square in NY and SF that are both great places to hang out, eat and shop. We drove to Union Sq. on Sunday and luckily found a parking spot. Parking is free on Sundays, which is great because it’s $3.50 an hour for metered parking and more for garages! We were hungry so we grabbed a snack. I treated myself to a Boudin jalapeno cheddar bread. They toasted it for me and it was really, really good.

mmm.. warm and crusty

I’m going to have to try to make these one day. So tasty. The jalapenos were pretty hot but manageable.

all the jalpaneos inside

I’m still looking for a bag but I’m being super picky. I might have to just buy online. Good thing Brian had a former co-worker to talk to while I shopped. One and a half hours was completely not enough time to shop for something specific though so I ended up not buying anything. I guess that’s a good thing. We had early reservations to have dinner at Farmer Brown’s. They feature organic soul food.

nifty entrance

I loved the ambiance and their service was excellent. The hostess had great fashion sense since she fit with the restaurant’s decor perfectly! Helps that she had a great body too! Okay, moving on… the menu was a glazed sheet metal clip board. As I said, this restaurant had great details.

the menu

They gave us delicious corn muffins that had bits of jalapenos in it. They were not spicy but had a great pepper flavor. These guys were addicting, especially with the apricot butter. At least I think it was apricot, it could have been peach or nectarines.

jalapeno corn muffins with apricot butter

I ordered the fried chicken because Brian’s friend recommended it. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it had a lot of flavor. The menu describes it as the “perfect” fried chicken. It was cooked perfectly with moist meat and crispy skin but it was lacking in flavor overall. It also wasn’t as salty as fried chicken should be? The collard greens were good with bits of bacon throughout. The macaroni and cheese was super rich. I ended up only eating the chicken and took the rest home for another meal.

fried chicken with macaroni and cheese and collard greens

Brian got the pulled pork sandwich. It had a lot more flavor than my dish but I didn’t like something in it. I’m not sure if it was the cole slaw or the bbq sauce. The chips looked flavorful but weren’t that strong in flavor either. Maybe I killed all my taste buds from that jalapeno bread before?? His friend got the catfish but I don’t know him well enough to take a picture of his food.

On Memorial Day, we went out to hunt for bikes and a bike rack. We ended up stopping by two walmarts because the bikes are really cheap there. Other than that, we normally hate shopping there because it’s so depressing (besides all the other issuse with walmart). We still haven’t bought anything yet because the bikes we liked were mountain bikes and had wide bars which don’t fit on normal trunk racks for sedans. I’ll have to do more research. We ended up meeting up with another friend who took us to a hole in the wall called House of Dumplings. It’s in a strip mall that has about 5 stores but it was really good home cooking. We got chow mein, 3-flavor dumplings and xiao long bao (soup dumplings). The chow mein was flavorful and had lots of beef and veggies but I don’t really like chow mein noodles. The 3-flavor dumplings had shrimp, pork and chives and were really good. The chives were strong and the skins of the dumplings were perfect. You could tell they’re handmade. The xiao long bao were okay. The flavor was strong in ginger and there was actually soup inside, which means they were pretty successful. The portions are big but cheap. If this place were closer, I would be going often. Sorry for lack of pictures, I was super hungry. =P

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

18 Apr

Delicious and simple pulled pork sandwich.

Pulled pork sandwiches are such an easy dinner when you use a slow cooker. All you need is a pork shoulder/butt and a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. You can make your own sauce if you want but for ease, bottled sauce saves a lot of time. Try to get one with the least amount of artificial colorings or sweeteners. I used a “honey hickory” sauce, which is key to getting a smoked or grilled flavor without the actual smoking or grilling. If your BBQ sauce doesn’t have that, there’s something called liquid smoke that would do the same thing.

Most recipes call for the whole bottle. I initially use about 1/2 a bottle with a cup of water for ~2 lb of pork in the slow cooker. Cook on high for a few hours then when it’s soft, turn to low until dinner (~6 hours total, time depends on your slow cooker!). About an hour before dinner, drain the liquid and pull the pork apart using a fork or tongs. The meat should fall off the bone and separate really easily. Discard the bone and fat. Return the meat back to the slow cooker, add ~ 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce, stir and leave on low until it’s time to eat!

The coleslaw is a simple mix of chopped cabbage (I used napa), shredded carrot, 1/4 of diced onion, ~3/4 cup good quality mayo (i used olive oil mayo), 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, salt and pepper. Mix ahead of time and keep in the fridge so the flavors can meld.

Serve everything on toasted burger. Pickles and hot sauce optional.

My brother ate 3..

Carol’s birthday night out

11 Apr

Last night, the girls + 1 boyfriend got together and celebrated Carol’s birthday. It was not a good night for the Bento Challenge I’ve been participating in.. buuuut it was a great night in terms of having a good time with friends. There’s not a lot of pictures because it was dark everywhere we went and my camera sucks without lighting.

Cute water mugs.

It was a long night but it felt so short! We started at Kampuchea Restaurant in the lower east side which was super cute and cozy. I would say it’s romantic but there are mostly communal tables. I’m not actually sure what type of cuisine it was but I ordered one of the Cambodian sandwiches. The Catfish sandwich ($11) was similar to a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich in that it had pickled carrots and cilantro with the catfish cooked in a honey, soy, black pepper bbq sauce. It was sweet and spicy which I liked a lot. The sandwich came with fried sweet potato chips (like thick ruffle chips) and a slightly pickled cucumber. My friends who ordered the oxtail sandwich ($13), shrimp sandwich ($12), and pork ribs ($16) liked their dishes. My friends who ordered the braised beef brisket ($19) had mixed reviews because it came out more like a beef stew with daikon radish than a brisket. My friend who got the Cambodian vegetable soup ($16) said it was too salty.

Cambodian Catfish Sandwich with Sweet Potato Chips

I recommend the sangria ($40) which featured apple cider among other things and each glass is topped with a piece of young coconut. Delicious!! The appetizers were a joke. I guess they’re meant for individuals but still.. the eggplant terrine ($9) was about the size of half a deck of cards and the green mango salad ($8) was very sour and not tasty. Important to note, there are few things for vegetarians here since most dishes have little bits of meat or fish in them. Overall the bill came out to $36 each for 6 people with the birthday girl not having to pay.

The young coconut was delish.

Later we walked over to Spring St. near the edge of Chinatown and got dessert. Some of us went to Rice to Riches while the rest went to Pinkberry. I split a “solo” size almond rice pudding  ($6.75) with Wendy. It was delicious and super rich. I would totally go back for more except that it’s fattening (they advertise all over the store that it’s fattening and sinfully legal) and expensive. I could probably make like a gallon of rice pudding for that price. If it’s crowded, I recommend walking across the street and sitting in the park. Lots of benches and chess tables which were filled with people eating dessert and pizza from nearby Lombardi’s. Rice to Riches serves the pudding in reusable plastic containers which are great because I can and will reuse it (I know it’s reusable because they sell the spoons). But it’s terribly wasteful to only serve it in those containers because most people throw them out when they’re done. They should make an option to have it in a paper dish rather than plastic. I can’t find any information on the containers so let me know if you find anything.

Photo credit Diana MacKenzie

We decided the night shouldn’t end yet because it was so nice out so we went to La Caverna for drinks. Funky looking underground bar with a cave theme. It was pretty nice. They also serve fancy looking food but it seems like a weird place to eat. I recommend the Altarima ($9) which is passion fruit, Champange and peach. Their gin and tonic ($7) where not bad either. The music is good but it got really crowded and it was so loud that I lost my voice.

We recovered at McDonalds. Ending up at McDonalds meant that we were not thinking straight and I abandoned all inklings of eating healthy. Chicken McNuggets and super-sized fries anyone? I finally got to try the sweet chili sauce.. too spicy for my liking. After stuffing our faces with grease, half of us hailed a cab back to Brooklyn while the rest (more sane of the group) took the train. A cab back to Brooklyn was $30.

I listed all the prices because I need to remember not to spend any more money on anything not needed. And I listed all the food to remember not to eat unhealthy food. Besides an already planned brunch, let’s hope the rest of April doesn’t lead to more gluttony.

Bento 28 and Garden Update

5 Apr

The bento challenge is going pretty well.  I have a meatloaf bento stashed in the fridge which I will transfer to the freezer soon. I haven’t eaten anything past 9pm since the challenge though I will kind of break that today by having some hot chocolate later.. not really breaking anything considering I had class today and didn’t get home till after 9pm to begin with.  The meatloaf recipe as well as the earl grey tea muffins I made were new recipes so that’s meeting another challenge.

The seedlings have been growing nicely.  Some plants didn’t grow yet so perhaps those seeds are dead.  Seems like the tomato seeds from Campbell’s tomato soup and my pepper seeds from last season have not sprouted yet.  The bean plants grew like crazy so I had to transfer them to a bigger pot already.  I’ve been putting everything outside during the day to get some nutritious sunlight and supplementing with artificial lights while they’re inside.

They're growing!

I am reminded of this scene in my favorite Miyazaki film, My Neighbor Totoro. I could only find it in Russian(?) but it doesn’t really matter. Skip ahead to 40 seconds. I wish I could do that to my plants!

Spring is here and I celebrate by splurging on my favorite flowers.  I spent a good 10-15 minutes at the plant store because I never knew there were so many variations of hyacinths.  They were not labeled as being different but you can tell by the flower shapes, petals and most importantly, their scent!  They all smelled slightly different, which is pretty amazing to me.  Even though these pink ones were not in the best shape, they smelled the most familiar to me as what hyacinths should smell like so I got a pot of those.  When the flowers die, I will plant it in my front garden so it’ll regrow every spring.

Smells heavenly.

Here is my bento for class today.  This was a good bento because it didn’t smell and I could easily eat it without people looking at my strange food.

Ham sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mayo on wheat Italian bread. Strawberries, crimson raisins, earl grey tea muffin.

And here’s a picture of Bella enjoying the sun outside.  They love to roll around on the warm floor! Horrible for me because they pick up so much dust that I have to wipe off before they’re allowed inside again.  She’s leashed because I’m afraid they’ll run away.. cats don’t follow commands well.  Ringo got her chance after Bella returned inside.  I only have one harness and leash unfortunately.

Bella enjoying the sun outside!

Alice’s Tea Cup Take 2 & 3

21 Mar

curious french toast at alice tea cup
Curious french toast baked with pear surrounded by fresh berries and creme anglaise.

My good friend, Amanda, was visiting her boyfriend, Wayne (and me!) so we went to Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter II on the east side. Then my sister and I had to use up a Groupon so we tried out Chapter I on the west side.

tea at alice tea cup
Meow says the tea drip catcher.

I have to say, Chapter I sucked. Service was extremely slow from the kitchen, the waitress could not do her job (didn’t acknowledge us until 10 minutes after we sat down, messed up our orders, didn’t know who ordered what when serving), and the food wasn’t good! The poached eggs tasted like vinegar and the pumpkin scone that I get every time was bland, bland, bland. It took us 30 minutes to get our food. Then I had to wait for the side order the waitress messed up even though I finished my dish already. The only really tasty part of the meal was the berry scone and the yogurt with berries, which they did not have to cook.

scones at alice tea cup
The good scones from Chapter II. Pumpkin and garlic, herb and cheese. This pumpkin had a lot more flavor than the one from chapter I.

Yes, normally people go there to sit and chat for hours on end and I’m usually easy to please when it comes to restaurants but this was just too much for me. So, sorry for the rant.

chicken ruben at alice tea cup
Chicken ruben at chapter II.

Chapter II had tasty food for the most part. Wayne randomly chose the eggs “Benedict”, which teaches you not to randomly pick stuff. The concept of this dish is just wrong but if you read the descriptions you’ll probably pick something you would like. Amanda got the Curious French Toast and I got the Chicken Ruben sandwich. Both were decent. The service was also faster and the waitstaff attentive. I also like the decor of Chapter II better plus they have more seating upstairs with lovely windows.

"eggs benedict" at alice tea cup
Eggs “benedict” on buttermilk scone and side of potatoes and chicken. Starchy and dry with a tart hollandaise sauce.

alice tea cup bigger breakfast
Alice’s Bigger Breakfast from Chapter I – 3 tiers with scone, eggs any style, veggies (asparagus, spinach and bell pepper) or bacon, and vanilla yogurt with berries (straw, blue, black, and rasp -berry).

alice tea cup table
Take home message: go to Chapter II if you do have to splurge on brunch. Time for me to find a new, less touristy, tea place.

Bento 2

20 Jan

Classes tonight so simple bento for dinner. It would be strange to bust out 2 tiered boxes in the middle of class. Luckily, first class ended really early so I had more than a half hour to eat it. Normally there will be only 10 minutes between classes. If anyone knows how to present sandwiches better in bentos, please let me know. Looks really bland here.

bento 2
Roast beef sandwich on Chinese bakery square toast with lettuce, olive oil mayo and a slice of cheddar. Tomatoes on the side.