Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Oh Drunk Brunch.

As you may or may not know about me, both in life and by reading this lover-ly blog, I LOVE BRUNCH. Anything to do with brunch excites me: omlette, home fries, mimosas, bellinis, sandwiches...really all of it. I am very biased in saying that New York City has some of the most incredible brunch spots on the planet. A place that is very close and dear to my heart is Intermezzo (202 8th Ave, between 20 and 21 streets). My friends and I have affectionately named this wonderfully normal Italian eatery 'Intermesso' and soon you will see why.

This my friends, is what Intermezzo calls a mimosa, but what I call, a fishbowl:

Intermezzo features an $8 all you can drink special during brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon-4 pm (so get there early!). You can do unlimited bellinis, mimosas, bloody marys, or straight champagne (don't say I didn't warn you).The food is awesome too. Somehow when my friends and all gather for a 'drunk brunch', the bill comes to $20 a person! Incred.

In great need for a quality drunk brunch this past Sunday as it nor'easter-ed and looked like this,

the brunch crew branched out to a new unlimited mimosa drunk brunch place called Sapore. On the corner of Perry Street and Greenwich Street in the West Village, this cute little Italian inspired cafe did not fail. I had a salad which wasn't a great choice (who honestly orders a salad at brunch, I know, I'm still mad at myself), but everyone else's food looked great. Or maybe it was just the constant loose pouring wrists of the friendly wait-staff...who knows. (at one point I proclaimed to the waiter 'It's like you know me!' as he brought over pitcher after pitcher of mimosas before my glass could get half empty (or half full, whatevs). It was like he knew me. Or just wanted a table of screaming ladies..) I know some of the gang had a fritata they all enjoyed and the eggs Benedict looked fabu.

As the mimosas continued as quick as the streets were flooding, the cameras were snapping. Here is a certain friendly blogger with our waiter.

(Identities of all bloggers have been consealed to protect the blogging party's reputation...haha RIGHT.)

Let's just say, we'll always have a table at Sapore.

Recipe of the Week this week is going to be a bit lame, or not..depending on your outlook of drinks. To keep with the theme of spirited spirits, I decided to share with you all,
Kaitlin's Peach Bellinis:

Goya Peach (or whatever other kind of fruit) Nectar (in internation section of store)
Orange Juice

Two parts peach nectar, two parts OJ, go for the rest with Champagne. Or however else you like it. My gang rolls deep.

I know, lame recipe...but I was so happy when Kaitlin figured out to replicate our favorite Intermesso bev. They have inspired many homemade drunk brunches. Throw a brunch party this weekend and impress your peeps!!!

I know that there are a ton of unlimited drink brunches in this city, and trust you me, I'd love to go to every single one. Trouble is after a good drunk brunch, you're pretty much restricted to sleeping or shopping afterwards, so beware. Anyone have any favorites I should try out? I should have devoted this blog to unlim brunches..but then again, I'd probably have no posts done!

Peace, Good Snacks & Plenty of Mimosas,

Monday, April 9, 2007

Saturday, April 7, 2007

A pick-me-up for when you make crappy food.

Directly from our pals-Sharon, Lois and Bram. Who didn't love The Elephant Show??? They really don't make shows like this anymore.
Watch, enjoy and learn all about what you should do when you make crappy food. I love when the elephant flips his trunk up at about the 3 minute mark. Keep your trunks up everyone!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Low Fat Cheese is a Commodity

After too long of a blog hiatus, I'm back. Back from spring break, which I spent in the lovely city that I live in, that I never get to spend time in. Ever pass a store or restaurant 100 times and never even peak in?! I had a very dear friend of mine, Rachel, come visit me all the way from London, so I had a great excuse to explore the city and just hang out.

Whenever Rachel comes to town, I love probing her with questions about English culture and politics, and we have great conversation. Since we had such a great week, I thought I'd share some of the fun things we ate.

Last year when Rachel came to visit, I brought her to one of my favorite restaurants in all of New York City, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria & Restaurant.

(pic from

Needless to say, she jumped off the plane and wanted to head right to Otto! Located right above beautiful Washington Square Park, Otto is owned by celebrity chef and one of my favorite Food Network rock stars, Mario Batali. Otto is not a restaurant for the non-wine lovers crowd, mainly because the food menu is 1/4 of the wine menu. I've never had anything off the food menu (or wine for that matter) that was less amazing, but one of my favorite things to do at Otto is to go with a few friends and order a nice bottle of wine and a cheese plate:

This is a cheese plate with a goat cheese and two other cheeses that had fancy names that I don't remember, but all were incredible. Each cheese plate (you can order them in 3 cheese, 5 cheese and 7 cheese platters) comes with crusty bread and three exquisite dipping sauces that have matched every cheese I have ever tried (and let's just say, I'm quite a veteran Otto cheese plate-er). The sauces are honey with truffles, white wine with apricots and brandy with cherries. I highly recommend a wine and cheese plate any time of the day. If you're not a seasoned cheese picker, ask your waiter. I have never been steered wrong! I always choose my wine at Otto based on price (umm yea, I'm graduating in 7 weeks), but I'm not too picky. I've never met a wine I didn't love. Visit to see the rest of the menu. They are very accommodating and it's a great place to have a large group or it's def intimate enough for a date or a night out with a few friends.

In discussing cheese, I love hanging out with Rachel, for the pure conversation fun of making fun of each other's accents and talking about things we have here and that she has in England. One thing that rocked Rach's world was the low fat cheese selection in my refrigerator. food fact of the week, tator tots and chocolate chips are also two foods not found in such abundance in the UK. Who knew!? A world with limited low fat cheese, tots and chocolate chips?? EK! So, if anyone is going to London in the next few months, holler at me for Rachel's contact so you can bring her and her family some more chocolate chips!!

I'm going to feature a lunch time snack I made last week which was a big hit as my RECIPE OF THE WEEK!

'Make it in the Bowl' Italian Bread Salad

4 Servings*

4 cups of cubed, stale, whole wheat baguette or crusty bread
2 packages of cherry tomatoes
10-15 basil leaves
8 oz of Mozzerella Cheese
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar

To taste:
Salt and Pepper

*Prepare this salad 30-60 minutes before serving

Grab the serving bowl of your choice, preferably the one you usually use for a big salad. Cube the bread (the smaller the pieces, the better) and throw the cubes in the bowl. Slice the cherry tomatoes once down the center and throw them in the bowl too. Rip the basil leaves a few times (you can chop the leaves, but it's not necessary), throw them in. Cut or grate the mozzerella to your liking and toss that in along with oregano, salt and pepper to your liking. Pour the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad mixture and toss. Make sure you toss the salad so that the bread cubes are in position to grab most of the moisture from the tomatoes, oil and vinegar. The salad needs to be prepared 30-60 minutes before serving so that the flavors can blend and the oil and vinegar can be absorbed by the bread.

(recipe improvised from 'bread salad' recipe from )

Vegan friends, omit the cheese! And Voila! A great apetizer or side dish for your meal! Easy, inexpensive and only one dirty bowl!!

All this talk about cheese, salad, chocolate chips and tots has my mouth watering after a busy day of not too much eating. So, fellow friends and foodies, have a great week!

Peace, love and good food,

Monday, March 5, 2007

Green Market. Red Soup.

I'm working on formulating a 'Jeanette's Top 10 List of NYC' (which if you know me, will be an eternally running list of drinking games, staying away from tourists, eating and shopping). Until I can get a list going, I would love to share one of my permanent top ten spots with you all: The Greenmarket (In union square). This spread of everything from bread to wine, green beans to cookies, and pears to plants is so much fun to walk and browse through. An added bonus is the satisfying feeling of supporting the local vendors doing what they do.

I love the market so much because the fruits and veggies are very inexpensive. I bought 2 large red onions for $.64! In Whole Foods, across the street, I would have paid at least $1.00. Leaving the green market with bags of stuff never leaves you in too much debt (unless you're my friend Kaitlin who buys obscene amounts of plants on every visit to the market!). Here are some pictures from my lovely Saturday afternoon:

The Greenmarket is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays year round. The best and worst day to go is on Saturday. Best because all the vendors are out in full force, Worst because everyone and their mother is there with dogs and baby strollers and on skateboards. So just be careful.

In returning home in a Spring-y spirit (It was such a gorgeous day on Saturday...It even hit 60 Degrees!) from the market with all my fresh veggies, I was craving my favorite summer soup-Borscht! My mom used to make it when I was younger and I used to love it. I called her up and now (drum roll please) here is my fav summer soup to share as my recipe of the week!

Momma Joy's Cold Red Soup (aka her recipe for Borscht):
(4 Servings per recipe)

4 Large Potatoes
1 Bottle of Manischewitz brand Borscht (this is only the base, I didn't get all semi-homemade on your asses)
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 Large Red Onion
1 Large White Onion
6 Beets
1 Large Seedless Cucumber
As much Sour Cream as your little heart desires

(Jeanette Tip: Start some boiling water before you gather your ingredients so that by the time you chop up all the potatoes, you'll have a place to throw them. not that genius, I know, but whatevs)

Chop the potatoes and throw them in the boiling water. Leave them until tender. (Note: the smaller you chop them, the quicker they will cook!)

Dump the container of Borscht into your serving dish or tupperware (The best part about cold soup, is that you can make it directly in your serving dish or tupperware!). Add the vinegar little by little. Make sure you don't make it too strong, you can always add more, you can't take it out once you've gone too far!

Chop up the remaining veggies and throw them into the borscht.

That's it for prep. The rest of the magic lies in the presentation. Take a good few spoonfuls of potatoes and put them into the bottom of a bowl. Ladle in the cold borscht mixture over it. Top with sour cream and stir. Enjoy!

Thank you momma Joy for this one. I think I am subconciously hoping that by putting up a summery recipe of the week, spring will get here faster. One can only hope.

until next time, snack well and peace on earth.


Monday, February 26, 2007

How do you measure a year?

In food, but of course. Since this is my first attempt at blogging, we'll just go by how much food played a role in my 22nd birthday weekend. Here goes:

My aunt took me out on Friday evening to the new Dos Caminos on 50th street and third avenue. This is our special celebration restaurant because, one-it's pretty expensive, and two-when we go, we eat everything (so once or twice a year is better for the hips). Besides their world renown (my world at least) fresh guac that is made on the spot, this was a dessert that will have me coming back for more:

This double Oaxacan chocolate mousse cake was topped with two pieces of Oaxacan white chocolate. The ice cream is rose petal flavored. Did I know what a rose petal tasted like? Not really...but this was an incredible and very different variety of ice cream I totally enjoyed.

The rest of the weekend was kicked off with your less than traditional birthday cake, made of jello and wax bottle candy "candles". Thank you to my wonderful pal, Kaitlin for this beautiful and delish work of art!:

Saturday evening, after a fun night out in the east village, we stopped by Chickpea on St. Marks Place. This is a fav quick snack place of mine in the city because there are many vegetarian options and their food is so delish. They are open uber late too! I think on weekends until about 5 am!!! Anywhere I can get hummus this good at about 330 am is def on my list :)

This is the hummus plate which I shared with some friends. Beautiful presentation and great great flavor. Really cheap too, for all those on a budget. I think 4 of my friends late night snacked at Chickpea for under $15 total! Here's the hummus plate!:

After hanging out in the east village, my lovely roommate, Cara, gave me my birthday presents!! She knit me a beautiful ear warmer, got me some cool socks, bought me grapefruit vinegar (can you tell she knows me well?) and made me these DELISH vegan tiramisu cupcakes:

At the present moment, those are the only cupcakes that were left, but I assure you, she made me more than two delicious morsels of goodness. I brought them to my Oscar/birthday bash (please see next paragraph) and they were a huge hit! Vegan tiramisu is one of my favorite foods! Thank you Cara for making my birthday that much tastier!

One more cupcake shout out. Thank you Brittany for making the delish cupcakes on Friday night! I wish I could have featured them on the blog, but they were gone in milliseconds!

Onto OSCAR SUNDAY, which coincidently this year fell on my birthday. I know! Two of my favorite holidays rolled into one! We celebrated by having an oscar/birthday bash at my friend's apartment. Here is what we conjured up:

A wonderful goat cheese, baby greens and apple salad topped with raspberry dressing and some really good cheese with blueberries in it (top) and this week's recipe of the week! (bottom)

Recipe of the week #2:
Low Fat Veggie Ravioli Lasagna

(Thanks to and 30 Minute Meals (holla RR) for the base of this recipe!)

1 bag of frozen spinach
1/4 cup of butter
4 tbsp flour
1 qt of skim milk
Nutmeg, Salt and Pepper- to taste
3 cups part skim ricotta cheese
2 tbsp lemon zest
4 cloves of garlic
4 packages of low fat four cheese ravioli
1 can of artichoke hearts
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

(Since everything in this dish is precooked, only the broiler will be preheat it to the broiler setting on your stove)

Defrost the spinach as per the package. Set aside. Open the artichoke heart can and set that aside as well.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and whisk in flour. Let cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and bring sauce to a bubble. Lower the heat down as the sauce begins to thicken. Season the sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

While the sauce is heating, in a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, garlic and salt/pepper.

Cook the ravioli as per the package.

Drain the ravioli. Using an appropriate baking pan, pour enough white sauce into the pan to coat the bottom. Layer with ravioli, spinach, artichoke hearts, ricotta mixture, sauce, REPEAT. Ravioli, spinach, artichoke hearts, ricotta mixture, sauce, REPEAT. (sing it to yourself!) End the layering with ravioli and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top (to make a crust in the broiler). Put the pan into the broiler for 5 minutes or until you see the cheese getting brown and bubbly and VIOLA!

yummy ravioli lasagna, in, what took us about 45 minutes. This delish and not too fattening recipe was very easy to make and was loved by the Oscar party. One thing I can note, is that fresh ravioli packages can be a bit pricey. The reason the recipe calls for ravioli is to avoid the hassle of obtaining 4 types of cheese to layer in, but if you want to try something new, try this with a different type of pasta and just include some more cheese.

All in all, it was a wonderful birthday weekend. Thank you fellow foodies for joining me on my journey. Until next food endeavor, have a great week!


Monday, February 19, 2007

An Ode to College Cuisine.

While eating and chatting with friends this president's day weekend at Penn State University, I decided to dedicate this post to dining and cuisine at a place very different from NYC, at a state university. Follow me on my weekend food journey from the Happy Valley!

This is The Waffle Shop:

Heaven in the Happy Valley. This place is pretty much the only motivation for a hungover college student to get out of bed on a Saturday or Sunday before 3 pm, its closing time. I've visited Penn State three times, and there hasn't been one day NOT started at The Waffle Shop. With three locations in State College and at least a 20 minute wait at the door at each, you instantly know this place is a hit. I joke with my friend that Waffle Shop is the only reason I go see him (juuust kidding ;).

I always get overwhelmed when ordering brunch. Which way to go? Sweet or Savory? Protein or Carbs? Lots or Little? Brunch is, of course, the most important meal of careful decision making is necessary. This weekend (I was in State College for three days, so I obv went three times), I tried 2 different omelets, the greek and the villager (broccoli and cheddar...yumm), 2 different pancakes (regular and choc chip..more yummm), and lots of toast and home fries. I've never really hated a home fry that I've eaten, but The Waffle Shop def has some of the best. They are a side order of red skinned goodness.

This is inside the University Creamery at Penn State:

Their homemade ice creams are made with fresh milk from cows on campus! How fun and productive is that?!

Here are my friends eating their ice cream:

On the left, Peachy Paterno, named after the beloved Penn State Football coach, Joe Paterno. On the right, Chocolate Coconut. Two thumbs up for both (obv).
...and any school that sells their own cheese (also made with the milk from cows on campus) automatically deserves my respect!

All dairy aside, we somehow managed to exhaust ourselves to the point of not being able to leave the apt on Saturday for dinner, so this is what we conjured up from a kitchen in an apartment inhabited by three men:

On the upper left, Velveeta Mac and Cheese. The upper right, Penne with Tomato Sauce. Bottom, Jeanette's Cheesy Eggs (Eggs, Milk, and cheese...made special by adding my name to the front ;) Delish Meal. Not sooo healthy, but we worked with what we had.

Overall, I had a great weekend, foodwise and others. Stay tuned for the recipe of the week (please hold all cheers, glittery bits and applause for the next post!)