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Friday, December 30, 2011

About my recent diet...

I APOLOGIZE FOR MY DIET. It's not that I haven't been eating, exactly the opposite actually, but I've been without internet access. This past week my family went to the Grand Velas resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, and I can confidently say that I don't think I've ever eaten so much in my life. The reason? The resort was all inclusive. What this means is that food and drink are included in the initial booking price of the hotel, so in my family's eyes it meant that we literally ordered one of everything off the menu. From the moment we woke up with huevos rancheros, fluffy waffles, and homemade granola, to massive fresh salad bars, burgers, and tacos for lunch, to flank steaks and grilled sea bass for dinner, and insurmountable options for dessert, this was definitely a non stop eating vacation, just the way I like it. The best thing I ate this trip was probably the most ironic. We went into the town of Playa Del Carmen one night looking for authentic Mexican food but wound up at quaint Italian restaurant instead. House-made pasta made the spaghetti carbonara absolutely insane. Crispy bacon and loads of fresh parmesan made this pasta literally heavenly. Unlike other carbonaras, it was dry, not heavy with a creamy sauce, which elevated it to the next level because you could really taste the fresh pasta. UGH TAKE ME BACK!!
Below, I recorded some of my food adventures. My own food porn. Enjoy!

Green Tomato Gaspacho with a vegetable pillow (think Vietnamese spring roll status), tangy, tart, and a potent kick of habanero
Fresh tuna with pickled onions and cucumbers and a sweet balsamic glaze, SO fresh, so good
Mussels in a sweet creamy poblano sauce, totally smokey and delicious, the broth could literally be made as a soup
Grilled flank steak, grilled cactus leaves, fried poblano pepper stuffed with cheese, and mashed yuca Steak was amazingly flavorful with a brown sugar sauce that was to die for
Grilled rack of lamb crusted with breadcrumbs and rosemary, so good baby JJ ordered two...
Grilled vegetables with a sweet potato puree, crisp, healthful, and still flavorful!
Waffles with powdered sugar, fresh fruit, and a hash brown cake. YUMMY and FLUFFY
Fresh fruit salad, tasted as good as it looked
BEAUTIFUL fruit stack. PICTURE PERFECT
Egg white omelet with a hash brown cake, grilled cotija cheese, a roasted cherry tomato, and a tortilla cup filled with a black bean puree. Sounds simple, but the black bean and egg combination had me SINGING.
Grilled vegetable and shrimp kabobs with a fresh green salad, the perfect light and tasty lunch
Gaspacho served with baby scallop kabob, soup was so chilled and so fresh tasting
Crab and artichoke ravioli. Who would have thought of this combination? It was such a good pairing
Grilled steak with a potato gratin stack and some fresh vegetables, steak was sooo tender and had a rustic grilled taste

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Eating my way through PB

Grilled cheese with tomato at Hamburger Heaven
 Bacon Cheeseburger at Hamburger Heaven
 Fish and Chips at Nick n Johnnies
 Chopped kale and quinoa salad with avocado, tomatoes, red onions, edamame, and soy dressing
 INSANE ahí tuna tacos with rice, sesame seeds, avocado, cucumber, and red onion with a soy ginger sauce

Welcome to my new home...

AND ITS DONE. ! Finally, after all of the hard work and effort, my house is finished. And honestly, I'm ready to move in. Its perfect, 100% edible, and suuuuuper sweet, just the way it should be. I decorated half and the other half was decorated by JJ, the sous chef/birthday boy. I went with a pattern technique of some sort and threw in a few flowers for good measure. Obviously I'm extremely anal and an obnoxious perfectionist so my side kinda reflects that. JJ's strategy? Put as much candy on as possible so when you eat it every bite is sugar filled. Also, I'm pretty confidant more candy went into JJ's mouth then on the house all together, but hey, that's half the process as well. I like where his heads at. It was a fun afternoon activity, blasting some Weezy and T-Swift as we decorated and snacking all the way through. So, enjoy pictures at literally every angle. I'm a proud architect, what can I say?

**TIP: Make sure the icing is EXTRA thick because it sucks when it starts to droop down and is too thin so nothing will stick.**

JJ's Sides


 Mine


The decorators

Do holidays the hungree way.
xoxo
hungreegirl.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gingerbread Journey Begins

Okay so I've made a gingerbread house once before but I guess I forgot how hard it was. Because seriously, its REALLY hard. So many steps, so many measurements...architecture isn't usually my thing, by I'm doing my best. So last night I made the dough and let it chill over night in the fridge. This afternoon I made my own templates for the shapes of the walls and roofs (how crafty am I, I mean really?) and I rolled out the dough and cut the shapes of each template. While the cookies baked and cooled I whipped up the frosting. When I was little and we decorated gingerbread houses I remember having constantly sticky fingers and eating more of the frosting then what possibly went on to my house. I made a thick royal icing, I mean really thick like cement, to ensure that the house would hold. When assembling, make sure you have an assistant, this is where my sous chef baby JJ comes in, because assembling a house cannot be done alone, successfully at least. Well after much struggling and a lot a lot of icing, my house is standing. Wooo! Next step: decorate!

(Ignore the cups, they are keeping the roof in place until the frosting firms up)


Thats my exasperated face...it was VERY hard work.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

HG hits PB

Thats right. Hungree Girl hits Palm Beach. Palm Beach, Florida, is the land of pastels, beaches, the elderly, and some really good food. To me, PB means tons of fresh seafood and lots of clean and light flavors. We always hit some GREAT spots when down here so look for new posts!! Now that first semester and finals are over, all I will be doing down here is beaching, baking, and cooking. Also, now that I'm reunited with my lil bro JJ, he has decided to be my sous chef in our culinary adventures over break. On our goal list? A homemade gingerbread house (dough in the fridge chilling right now), some holiday sugar cookies, homemade jelly beignets, oreo cupcakes, and some latkes. Eclectic list, I know. So, make sure you check for updates!

holiday break calls for hungree-ness.
xoxo
hungreegirl.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finally...

Its finals. How do I study for finals? Ya...about that...Everyone has their own de-stressing technique. Mine? Baking, obviously. So when my friend Sara invited me over for a study break, I suggested we make gingerbread cookies, and she jumped on board. I may not have expressed this previously, but I love Christmas. Christmas is the best holiday of the year. Sorry fellow Jews, but no one gets this excited about Hannukah or Yom Kippur. To make up for my own religion's lack of spirit I've joined in on the Christmas cheer and have adopted it as one of my own favorite times of year. Everyone's happy, everything is bright and colorful, and there are so many types of cookies. Sara and I spent the morning shopping for ingredients and baking. We started with a simple recipe, but adapted it to my liking, and then made our own frosting recipe as well. As we put the dough in the fridge to chill ***ESSENTIAL STEP DO NOT SKIP*** we studied, or more Sara studied and I planned about how I was going to decorate my little crispy ginger-y men. And then, the decorating time came and then the eating. They were crunchy, spicy, and sweet, and the frosting was to die for. The hint of lemon and vanilla gives the richness of the cookie a nice contrast. Needless to say, Sara made my week, helped to de-stress me, and made me able to survive through finals. THANKS SARE!


**Also, shout out to Janice for being herself and helping around the kitchen, keep doing your thang Jan!

Gingerbread Men: makes about 3 dozen
Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick salted butter, softened room temp.
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, room temp
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup molasses
1 large egg



Recipe: Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl.
In a separate large bowl beat the butter and shortening until mixed. Add in brown and white sugars and cream, beating about 3 minutes. Add molasses and egg and beat for 3 more minutes until fluffy and light. With a wooden spoon, gradually add in the dry ingredients. A thick dough should come together and once this happens use your hands to really work the ingredients into one. Separate dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flour a clean surface and a rolling pin. Lay out one disk, roll into 1/4 inch thickness and use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes. Space evenly on pan and bake about 8-10 minutes, until firm to touch and dark brown in color. Let cool on wire rack and frost when totally cooled.

Royal Icing
4 cups powdered sugar
1 egg white
1/2 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbs water

Combine all ingredients in one bowl. Start stirring with a wooden spoon and once well enough combined use a hand mixer for about 2 minutes. Separate into different bowls and dye with food coloring. Can be stored in airtight container.

DECORATE!!




























i'm one very happy hungree girl.
xoxo
hugnree girl.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Best Cure.

Famous 4th Street Delicatessen
38 S. 19th St. (Between Market and Chestnut)
Forks: 7.2
Price: $$$ (HUGE portions)


This morning I woke up with a pounding headache and a very empty stomach. SO college. I had already watched 7 episodes of Blue Mountain State and had no intention of moving when Cole called me to remind me that we were having lunch. He wanted to take me to this "special place." Ugh. When I say I wasn't in the mood, I mean I was NOT in the mood, but I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed and acted like I was. Ripka and Kelsey joined the crew and we hopped in a cab heading towards 19th street to check out the Famous 4th Street Delicatessen. Now, there are some things you should know about the specific people I was with today. First of all, Cole loves food also and is going to go to cooking school with me. Cole is also like 6 ft. 4 and 215 and can eat a LOT, so he's always fun to lunch with. Ripka, a staple in basically every food adventure I take, loves the healthy options, and is always dfoj, down for orange juice, evidenced today by her $11 worth. Then theres Kels. If they had a TV show rivaling Man V. Food, it would be about her. Never in my LIFE have I met someone who likes food as much as I do and who can eat more of it then anyone I know. This is the girl who calls Jimmy Johns and they pick up saying, "Hey Kelsey" before she states her name and order and then bring her chocolate chip cookies for free. Nuf said. We pulled up to the deli and I immediately snapped out of my groggy state as I knew classic Jewish deli oversized food was just the cure I needed. White tiled floors, classic black and white pictures lining the wall, massive loaves of fresh rye bread displayed on shelves, and an enormous glass display case told me that we were in for a good time. As soon as we sat down we were greeted with a bowl of sweet and half sour pickles and a vinegar based cole slaw. You may not know this, but I love pickles. They're crunchy and salty and perfect. What's not to love?

The slaw was great. It wasn't a typical mayonnais-ey slaw but was had a light vinegar sugar dressing instead. The thinly sliced cabbage pieces, carrot rounds, and red onions, were all drenched with the tangy flavor absorbed from the dressing yet still maintained a solid crunch.

We went through 3 bowls pretty fast. I couldn't go to this Jewish deli and not order a sandwich. Cole and I split a corned beef and pastrami sandwich on rye with brown mustard and an order of matzah ball soup. The sandwiches have two size options, regular, which is MASSIVE, and something called the zaftig, which is basically a joke, 22. oz. of meat. like OKAY? When someone who reads this can handle that, call me, I want to shake your hand. The soup came out in an oversized bowl with a giant ladle. It was your typical matzah ball soup, soul-warming and hearty, with a clean broth, tender vegetables that still had a bite, and a mammoth of a matzah ball. The matzah ball was really good, great consistency and lots of flavor, it added to the soup, unlike sometimes when you just have a giant doughy baseball sitting in the center of your soup, ew.

The sandwich, the sandwich. Oh how we ordered so perfectly. Piled high on fluffy rye bread and slathered with their brown grain mustard, warm pieces of tender pastrami and corned beef lay as if they had been hand carved with love, then tucked in for a nap between two blankets of rye bread. Needless to say, it was insane. It looked as good as it tasted with a salty peppery crust on the pastrami and a lean cut of the corned beed. Highly, highly recommended. It was served with 2 baby latkes which were crispy and hot, got me in the mood for Hannukah.


Ripka ordered a greek salad with grilled chicken. We started laughing when the salad came to the table because she's tiny and it was literally the size of her torso. It was an average salad with flavorful and well grilled pieces of chicken but wasn't anything to write home about.

Kelsey went with a turkey, lettuce, and tomato, sandwich on rye. It was also massive and tasty, but a little disappointing because the turkey was kind of dry.


 When we got the check our very friendly waitress brought out a complimentary bag of warm chocolate chip cookies. Its always great to leave the restaurant on a sweet note.

I thought that was me leaving on a sweet note until we ran into some friends who had a massive pile of french toast on their plate. How is a girl supposed to refuse french toast? It's impossible, she can't. So they cut me a bite and I got a bad case of order envy as I relished my one heavenly bite of super fluffy and decadent challah french toast that had the crispiest crust yet still maintained the lightest inside. Not fair!! Actually now that I'm writing this, who does that? Who eats a whole meal and then starts getting fed from other people's plates on the way out? I need a leash I swear.

SO, I definitely recommend 4th Street Deli because my dish was amazing and it has a great atmosphere. I would go for the pastrami or corned beef and stay away from the turkey, and would definitely check out some more breakfast options like french toast and such because they definitely have promise. Thanks Coke-a-Cola for dragging me out of bed and taking me!

happy being hungree made me cured.
xoxo
hungreegirl.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

LUNCH TODAY

My egg white fritata primavera. A fritata with mixed vegetables like portebellos, grilled eggplant, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach. I added feta. SO GOOD! From Sabrina's Cafe on 34th.

Tampopo

Forks: 6
Price: $
try delivery!!
269 S. 44th street

Yesterday was just one of those really good eating days I guess. I was in the quad scrolling through campus food menu when the text came. "Dinner?" YES. It was just what I had been waiting for. Motivation to move out of the comfort of the quad and go for something yummy. Within seconds, the plan was made and I was on my way to meet Whitney and her friend Laura for dinner. We were headed to Tampopo. The only reason I've heard of Tampopo is because my friend Nicole literally orders it in every day, so I was excited to check out where 80% of her meals come from. A small hole-in-the-wall joint located in 44th street, Tampopo is a byo that serves some classic Japanese dishes. The restaurant was small, but very clean. I got a glance of the kitchen behind the counter and it was clean, not crowded, and looked very under control. The menu was simple and easy to follow. Sushi, rice bowls, udon and ramen soups, and some specials. I love Japanese food because when done properly it's clean, crisp, and light, and you don't feel like you need to curl up for 5 years after you eat it. I ordered the vegetable rice bowl and a special vegetarian roll. They gave us a buzzer and we sat down to wait, and the buzzer rang about 7 minutes later. The food came on a plastic lunch tray and I brought our order to our small table. The food was beautiful and looked just like Japanese food should. The rice bowl was some brown rice topped with tons of mixed vegetables like bean sprouts, yams, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and onions in a light brown sauce. It was flavorful and light.

My roll was pretty and clean and the pickled daikon in it gave it an unusual and welcomed flavor and crunch.

Whitney got the something called the bim-bim-bop which was brown rice topped with a fried egg, beef, and some julienne vegetables. Once again it was clean and crisp and hit the spot.

Laura got a rice bowl with chicken teriyaki and an egg as well.

All the food was refreshing and well prepared and had you feeling you were being genuinely healthy. I loved it and will now be joining Nicole for all of her daily Tampopo order ins!

Honey's Sit n Eat

Honey's Sit n Eat
Style: Jewish and Southern comfort food
Price: $$
Forks: 9.3
*CASH ONLY
800 N. 4th street

Surprise surprise that today I went for brunch. Today, however, was a very special occasion. My brother Jake, who's been abroad in Australia since July, came back to campus today for a short visit. This celebratory occasion obviously called for a celebratory meal, duh. So, we decided to check out Honey's Sit n Eat, a place that has continuously gotten rave reviews. Jake and I, plus Ripka, journeyed downtown to check out Honey's. Set on a small corner we could already tell that Honey's was packed. Groups waited on benches outside clearly eager to get into the colorful restaurant that had amazing smells wafting around the block. We put in our name and was told that it was going to be 30 minutes wait, tough, but we dealt with it. When we were finally called we legitimately ran inside, so ready to get a taste of everything we were smelling outside. As we walked to our table I was having minor panic attacks as I checked out everyone's food I passed and was having palpitations out of pure excitement. Honeys is a mix of Jewish and Southern styles, two styles I wouldn't have put together before this meal but now can clearly see why. After much deliberation, I ordered the brisket omelet with spinach and caramelized onions, a side of grits, and a biscuit. The omelet's flavors were great. Brisket? Whodda thought? The onions were soft and delicious and the brisket added a smokey savory flavor that you don't usually get with your eggs. The biscuit was thick, buttery and delicious. Crunchy on the top and the bottom and doughy in the center I slathered it in a berry jam and went to town. The grits were creamy and smooth and once seasoned with a little brown sugar and maple syrup were dreamy and soft. They were like eating melted clouds, or liquid pillows. Weird analogy but go with it.

Jake got the Croque Madame special, french toast with ham, topped with another piece of french toast and two sunny-side-up eggs. It was served with a micro green salad with some fresh cherry tomatoes. I'm so glad he ordered it because I was DYING to try the french toast. Dampened with a thick maple syrup, the challah french toast was crusty on the edges and top, and fluffy and light in the inside. Combined with a salty piece of ham and the runny yolk of the egg the dish was just the right mix of sweet and savory. It was demolished.

 Ripka went with the turkey club minus the bacon. Don't get me started on taking out the bacon, but hey it wasn't my sandwich. The turkey was freshly cut in thick hearty slices, the kind of turkey that you wished every deli you went to had. It was piled high in a generous heap and against the crisped multigrain toast it really held its own. Also, good fries, very good fries. Thick and potatoes, soft kind, not crispy how I usually like them, but very very good.

 We also got some latkes for the table, a little of that Jewish influence coming through. The latkes were thick, crispy, and awesome. I dipped mine in jam and ugh, so good. This was one of those meals that you're so full it takes you a while to move afterwards, like one where you go home and take a nap as soon as you reach your room. Like the name suggested, we sat and we ate, and it was amazing. SO worth the wait, I will be back asap and will go with a bigger group so I can try more things on the menu. VISIT FOR SURE!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

RX

This past Sunday I ventured to RX with my cousin Whitney and friend Ali. Now, I had never been past 42nd, so hiking up to 45th was quite the trek. It was a beautiful morning, light jacket weather, and I was ready for a good brunch to complete a relaxing weekend. Whitney raved about RX so I was really excited to give it a shot. We arrived to a corner cafe with airy windows and lots of light. The place was packed and we put our name in for a table and waited 10 minutes outside, but the weather was gorgeous and the company good so it wasn't a problem. RX hosts cozy wooden tables that make for an intimate yet relaxed atmosphere. As I scanned the menu my classic decision making problem kicked in and choosing what to get was like pulling teeth. It was a small menu that boasted a well rounded variety of brunch items, from omelets and poached eggs, to pancakes and french toast, to savory huevos ranchers and steak and eggs. I ordered the special daily fritata, with sweet corn, squash, and zucchini topped with a hollandaise sauce and served with a mesclun salad. The fritata was light and eggy and the corn gave it a really sweet bite. The hollandaise sauce was the perfect topper adding a smooth savory element to contrast with the crunches of zucchini and squash. My one complaint, it was a little cold, not as hot as I would have liked.


In classic Whitney style she went with the steak and eggs. A fried egg served alongside medium cooked steak and toasted tortilla chips doused in a house made salsa. When I topped the chip with a piece of egg, a bite of steak, and a little salsa, the combination created a harmonious symphony in my mouth. The steak was really well seasoned and stood strong on its own as well, something I find important.

 Ali went with the chocolate pancakes. Its not a real breakfast unless someone orders them, so it was only fitting. They were beautiful. Well sized, feathery and fluffy, they melted in my mouth. The chocolate chips were large milk chocolate ones and tasted as if they were scattered with love.

As always, one dish per person wasn't enough so we ordered two sides: french fries and scrapple. The french fries, THE FRENCH fries. They were insane. I don't know the trick they had to have been double fried or something but they were super crunchy yet not dry. Somehow they retained a moist interior while having the crispiest crunchiest coating I've ever experienced. They tasted like onion rings almost, a hint of garlicy oniony something I couldn't put my finger on. Seriously, get two orders.

 The scrapple was served with side of apple butter. The rich flavor of the savory scrapple was complemented amazingly by the fruitiness and spreadable texture of the apple butter.

It was a great meal, I'll definitely be back, and definitely go try!

Hopelessly Hungree
xoxo
hungreegirl.