December 31, 2011

Tailgating At The Battle For NY

Wait for it, wait for it...FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE!
So last Sunday was obviously a huge game for both the Jets and the Giants.  Not only was it the battle for NY, but there were huge playoff implications.  So it only seemed fitting that we set up a big tailgate for the pre-party.  Check out the rest of the tailgate and pictures after the jump.

December 19, 2011

Bolo Pretu - Caribbean Black "Christmas" Cake

Bolo Pretu - a moist and dense, labor intensive cake, made for very special occasions in the Caribbean
Last week a couple of friends had us over for dinner, which we scarfed down like starving hyenas, and a little bit of dessert.  One of these said friends happens to be a native of Curacao (for the geographically uniformed, it's a small island off the northern coast of Venezuela) and was toting along what she called Bolo Pretu or Black Cake.  This a popular cake around this time of year all across the Caribbean and it makes appearances at other special occasions.  Black Cake is deeply flavorful and emanating alcohol at every bite.  Essentially, dried fruit is soaked in various liquors for up to a year, and it is then combined with nuts, flour, sweet and savory spices, and the ingredient responsible for the namesake, burnt sugar syrup.  Once the batter is formed, the cake is baked for a couple of hours, only to be brushed with more liquor after it has cooled.  The final product is nutty, plumby. subtly sweet, mildly savory, and a little buzz-inducing.     

December 9, 2011

Zafra: Authentic Pan-Latin Cusine in Hoboken

The small space, tucked in at the corner of 3rd & Willow in Hoboken, offers a vibrant atmosphere away from the commotion of Washington Street.
Over the years, my little sister's bedroom has been the place where small rodents go to die.  Countless hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs have called a small corner in her room home, only to realize their final resting place would be a small corner of the back yard, next to their ill fated brethren.  Luckily for Latika (I know, what a name for a rodent), my sister's latest and hopefully final guinea pig, was spared a similar finale because my mom was sick of the house smelling like a petting zoo.  Fast forward a week and my parents found a willing new owner by way of a Hoboken cop.  Since they were in town, they might as well take me out to lunch right?  The venue - Zafra, a Cuban/Pan-Latino restaurant that I've been to about 3 or 4 times in the past year.  Check out what we ate after the jump.

November 30, 2011

The Greatest Holiday of the Year: Thanksgiving Eats

Thanksgiving...the meal where all health concerns are given a blind eye and an unofficial competition to use the most butter and heavy cream breaks out between dishes.  For the past 3 years I've been handling the biggest family meal of the year in my parents' house.  Besides being an excuse to continue my buzz from the night before, I enjoy being able to leave my fingerprints over this highly anticipated feast.  Now there's only 5 of us total, so it's not the biggest meal you've ever seen, but no dinner has more pressure than the one on the fourth Thursday of each November.  This year was no different, but I did feel more at ease when cooking this year...maybe that was just the hangover.  Either way, this was the smoothest Thanksgiving yet.  This year's menu consisted of a few variations on typical Thanksgiving fare, but I stayed pretty true to the classic Thanksgiving flavors.  Find the rest of the pictures and dishes after the jump.

November 22, 2011

Piggin' Out In Portugal - Part 2

View from back porch of the family restaurant
 So the feasting in Portugal continued the very next day where we went to visit Lisa's uncle who owned a small restaurant with his family near Vigo, Spain, for lunch.  Lisa's parents are from one of the northernmost towns in Portugal, and the Galician region of Spain was so close you could actually throw a stone there.  After a 30 minute drive up and down some curvy mountainside roads, we made it to the quaint restaurant that sits amongst a few countryside houses.  I didn't know it at the time, but this was about to be my favorite meal of the trip.

November 16, 2011

Healthy Maple Pumpkin Custard Cups

Paleo Maple Pumpkin Custard - Photo courtesy of Health-Bent

So I've been Crossfitting for the past 6 or 7 months now.  The most basic way that I can describe Crossfit is a never-ending functional workout program that puts you in the position to push yourself to your physical capacities on a daily basis.  For the duration of this time, I've been paying the people at Crossfit Hoboken to lead me through these weirdly satisfying torture sessions.  As you can imagine, when you hang out with people like this, they talk about healthy things, with diet chief among them.  Well the only diet that these heathens really endorse is called the Paleo Diet (this a Wikipedia link for those of you actually interested in learning more) - which is essentially eating meals made exclusively with naturally occurring ingredients, specifically consumed by our ancestors a couple of million years ago (it is aptly nicknamed the "Caveman Diet").  Find the recipe and more after the jump.

November 14, 2011

Piggin' Out In Portugal - Part 1

So my girlfriend is Portuguese and her parents still maintain an apartment up in northern Portugal in a region called Minho which loosely translates as free room and board.  So, back in August, we schlepped across the Atlantic to visit their family's tiny motherland (no seriously, you can leave the northern tip after breakfast and make it to the beaches on the southern coast by dinner).  The trip got off to an incredibly satiating start as soon as we got off the plane.  Now, I've been lucky enough to travel to several different countries, but never have I been this excited to wait for my luggage on the carousel.  Adjacent to the baggage claim was a FREE party!  It was the culmination of the "Semana do Imigrante"--The Week of the Immigrant--celebrating the immigrants of Portugal.  There were dancing locals decked out in traditional threads and cocktail tables with some traditional appetizers all to be washed down with FREE Portuguese wine.  I was beginning to like this country already.  Check out the video after the jump.

November 13, 2011


The world is my oyster and I plan on tasting it

Welcome to a place of culinary adventure.  From my kitchen to your local dive, I'm trying anything and everything and documenting my experiences here.  I can't afford to make every recipe by the book or frequent Michelin starred restaurants, so I've adopted somewhat of a stream of consciousness style of cooking and eating.  I use what I got or whatever I can find.  I'm also a traveling enthusiast with a steadfast belief that best food in any city can be found on the street.  There's no finer way to experience a culture than through their common food with the common people...I'll trade character for refinement any day.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy my culinary (mis)adventures By Word and Mouth.

First post tomorrow...Piggin' Out In Portugal - Part 1