Salmon!

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So….strangely despite my heritage, I’m not a huge fan of fish. Which also means I’m not a huge fan of sushi *cringe* sorry. I’m sure y’all are all probably gasping and thinking but sushi is such a Japanese cuisine and you’re Japanese so how could you be NOT a fan of sushi. Trust me, my mom has even asked if I was truly Japanese. I’m just not a fan of the raw. But I do like cooked fish or rather, several kinds. So a few nights ago, I got some Atlantic salmon and cooked it for dinner! Huzzah! We didn’t really feel like cooking a whole lot of sides considering that we are in the middle of a heat wave in NYC and well, using the oven in a AC-less apartment equals cooked dinner and chefs. But it was still delicious!

So let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

-1 salmon
-1/4 and 2 tbsp cup soy sauce
-1/2 cup olive oil
-4 tsp ginger
-2 tbsp honey
-1 clove garlic, diced
-salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Season the salmon with salt, pepper, garlic and 2 tsp of ginger. Pour 1/4 cup of soy sauce and the olive oil and let the salmon marinate in it for a few minutes. Meanwhile make the honey glaze.  Mix together the honey, the rest of the ginger, and 2 tbsp of soy sauce.
  2. Place the salmon skin side down in a baking dish and pour the marinade over it. Spread the glaze over the salmon and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. IMG_8661

Now you can definitely add some lemon wedges or lemon juice to this. My room mate is just allergic to citrus so we omitted it. Enjoy!

Hugs and puppies!
Mimi

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Ice Cream Cake!

Whoaaa it’s almost August, where did the time go? And more importantly why haven’t I been posting regularly? Well because the first one isn’t so easy to respond to, I’ll just answer the second: I ave been let go from Sweet Revenge because they didn’t have much for me to do, but I have been applying to a ton of other internships and will be interning at T.E.A.L (Tell Every Amazing Lady) which is a non-profit volunteer organization to raise awareness and funding for Ovarian Cancer Research. Yay! I have also become a volunteer at Badass Brooklyn, a dog shelter, so hopefully there will be posts of homemade doggie treats in the future! But this post isn’t just about an update. It’s about ice cream pie!!! Which I made for our apartment warming party! We had our friends come in and paint beautiful canvases to decorate our bare walls! And of course eat food.

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So I know I made ice cream cake before, under frozen mocha pie, but I had an apartment warming party and since it’s kind of hot in NYC, I decided to make another ice cream pie! It’s very easy, so this post will be a short one. You can also easily customize it to satisfy your own tastes, for example use strawberry ice cream instead of chocolate and coffee, so I hope you enjoy this very brief post!

Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-1 package of oreos or chocolate wafer cookies (I just scoop out the filling in oreos and use the cookie parts)
-1 pint ice cream flavor of your choice (here I used coffee and chocolate)
-about 1 stick unsalted butter
Optional:
-raspberries (or strawberries/blueberries/etc.)
-chocolate covered nibs

Directions:

  1. Crush the chocolate cookies in a food processor or in a ziplock bag (use a rolling pin/heavy object) and pour into a mixing bowl. Add in the melted butter. I used a whole pack of oreos, so I used a whole stick of butter. Generally add in enough butter to make the mixture the consistency of wet sand. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Press the mixture into a spring form pan using a measuring cup to press it up the sides or a glass. Make sure the mixture is spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Let it cool.
  3. Meanwhile take out the ice cream (if you’re doing two flavors, just take out the first flavor) from the freezer and let it melt a bit. Once the crust is cool, spread the ice cream evenly onto the cake. If you want layers of ice cream, layer on the first flavor of ice cream, and place the spring form pan into the freezer until the ice cream has re-frozen. Repeat with the other flavors of ice cream.

    Layers of flavors!

    Layers of flavors!

  4. Garnish the cake before your guests arrive. I put the raspberries on a few hour before they came and they froze, but it was still pretty delicious. To garnish the cake as I have, take your raspberries and finding ones that are similar in size, carefully place them along the outer edge of the cake. Take about six more and group them in the center. Then take your cocoa nibs and after sprinkling them over the center, try and make a neat border along the ring of raspberries.IMG_3482

Let it thaw for a bit before serving and voila! Ice cream cake for everyone!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

P.S Here’s a photo of my painting 🙂

ADVENTURE TIME!

ADVENTURE TIME!

A night of pasta

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Well as I mentioned yesterday, I went out to dinner with my mom and room mate at this new (8 months) pasta restaurant in the Chelsea Market. My mom and I had been drawn into the restaurant by colorful array of fresh homemade pasta and because it was a new addition to the Chelsea Market (well new since we’d last been there). It’s called Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina and it is absolutely amazing.

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There are several ways to get into the restaurant, but the front door is located on 9th avenue. The ambiance is, while the music can get a tad loud, still very relaxing and the decor is cozy. The marble topped wooden tables with the mismatched chairs along with the copper pots and pans hanging from from a pan rack and lined along a shelf and the visible kitchen gives it a homey feel.

Whoops I think the lights got a bit in the way :/

Whoops I think the lights got a bit in the way :/

When my room mate and I first got there (we were meeting my mom at the restaurant), she was a tad late. Since we couldn’t be seated without our entire party, we were left standing for a while. However, after a few minutes we were quickly ushered toward the bar to have a drink while we waited. We each got a glass of the lambrusco cleto chiarli, which was recommended to us by the (very cute) bartender.  It was a sparkling wine, but the bubbles were very subtle and not overwhelmingly effervescent. The color was a lovely deep red and it was quite mild, which I enjoyed immensely.

After my mom showed up, we were led to our table and given our menus. Trust me, the choices are so tempting it was hard to choose just one. We started off our meal with a caprese of heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala (which is my favorite kind of mozzarella) and a sautéed zucchini dish with raisins, roasted pine nuts and mint and, of course, a bread basket (brown bag) of hearty bread where you could taste the sourdough culture and see the wonderful crumb content.

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The caprese was absolutely beautiful and simple. I loved how it came out on a wooden board. The tomatoes were juicy and full of flavor, sweet yet savory with a hint of salt, which was perfectly complemented by the creamy mozzarella di bufala that practically melted in your mouth. My mom wanted to get another caprese, but Monica, my room mate, said we wouldn’t have enough room for dessert. 

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Again, I apologize that the photos aren’t the best quality. I really should’ve brought my camera instead of relying on my iphone camera :/

The sautéed zucchini was perfection, with the faint nuttiness of the roasted pine nuts and the sweetness of the raisins that balanced the garlic smothered (in a great way) zucchini slices. I was so pleasantly surprised by the pairing of the raisins and zucchini, seeing as it was something that one doesn’t really encounter on a daily basis. 

After our bocconi and antipasti, it was time for the meal’s main stars. I had settled on the lobster ravioli with sautéed artichokes, while my mom picked the seared scallops with tomato oregano crostini and Monica picked the spinach and mascarpone ravioli served in a crispy parmigiano reggiano basket. 

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The lobster ravioli was absolutely delicious without being overly heavy. The ravioli, to complement the rich filling, came without a sauce. Perhaps the absence of a sauce made it filling, without having it sit heavily in my stomach. The artichokes were delicious as well, however I do feel that the outer layers were still quite tough and I had to chew them for a while, which wasn’t all that pleasant because after a while it felt like I was chewing on straw or something. But overall, I enjoyed the dish and thought it was quite delicious. 

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My mom’s scallops came in a wonderful copper pan. The tomatoes were slightly cooked and infused with flavor, but not overly so, since the juices within didn’t burn my tongue when I snagged a few. The scallops were grilled lightly and cooked to perfection, medium rare, which I prefer because it results in a juicy scallop and not a tough one. I admit I may have swooned a bit when I bit into it. The scallops and the tomatoes were so perfect together.  

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The spinach and mascarpone ravioli was filling as well and interestingly, the parmigiano was not as sharp as I expected it to be. I believe it may have been because of the mascarpone whose sweetness cut the sharpness, making the cheese basket milder than one would expect. I did however find that eating the basket itself revealed the parmigiano’s true flavor, which was again delicious. It was so hard to stop myself from eating all of it. The spinach and the mascarpone really blended together and like the lobster ravioli, it wasn’t overly heavy. This one did come with a creamy sauce, which really went with the pasta.

After our dinner plates were whisked away, we went through the challenge of choosing dessert. My mom was in need of some caffeine and sugar, seeing as she still had some jetlag, and Monica and I were just craving something sweet. We each decided to get a different dessert. My mom got the tiramisu (which means lead me to heaven in Italian…I think…), I got the millefoglie and Monica got the panna cotta.

Oh gosh this is a pretty bad photo :(

Oh gosh this is a pretty bad photo 😦

The panna cotta came in this adorable mason jar and it was in different layers of flavors. The bottom was pistachio, the middle was white chocolate and a cherry jam/sauce was spread across the top. It was absolutely creamy and delicious, with faint after taste of almond. I’m usually not a white chocolate fan, but this panna cotta was amazing and embarassingly, the photo doesn’t do it any justice.

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The millefoglie was basically a italian version of the mille feuille. The vanilla cream and the berries provided a nice contrast to the flaky pastry layers and well, I personally think that powdered sugar makes everything better, so. Overall it was perfect, the vanilla cream didn’t overpower the flavors of the berries and it all came together in a satisfying crunch in my mouth.

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My mom’s tiramisu was possibly the best tiramisu I’d ever had. For one, the ratio of the creamy tiramisu and the sponge-cakesque bottom was perfect. The bottom, which traditionally is soaked with rum and/or coffee, did’t overpower the top portion, which is mascarpone cream mixture. It also wasn’t overly sweet or heavy at all. 

Overall, this restaurant was amazing and my mom and I already have potential plans to go back. I know I’m going to be going back, even if it’s just for dessert or something. The menu is pretty pricey, but so worth it and the portion size is perfect! I definitely recommend Rana and I highly doubt you could go wrong with any of the choices you make. I already know what I want to order next time and it’s going to be completely different from what you read about today!

Until next time! Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina

75 9th Ave., Chelsea Market

New York City, NY 10011

212-370-0975

Happy Bastille Day!

Now usually I would have whipped up something clever like crepes or some french pastry..perhaps a choux or an eclair? Unfortunately, I have not had the time. You see, my mommy is in the city and she’s only here for 10 days (2 of which she will be in Boston because she is a wonderful mother who does favors to other mothers like taking care of other children. Does that make sense? nah it doesn’t have to).

Anyway, since I haven’t been able to be up to date and all that jazz, I will be posting some reviews of restaurants instead. Is that a good bargain? If not, I’ll haul myself to the grocery store and buy some baking supplies :3 Because I love you all very much and I love to bake!

Tonight, I’m going to a slightly new restaurant (8 months) in the Chelsea market! My mom and I were intrigued by the fresh pasta in the displays and placed a reservation right away. So since I will be there in under an hour, I shall take photos and update you on this wonderful restaurant when I get back!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

PS; i do believe it’s called Rana 🙂

My busy yet lazy summer days!

Hi!

Long time, no post! It’s been a tad hard baking in my apartment seeing as it’s air condition less and using the oven raises the temperatures to hellish degrees. So I’ve just been watching netflix and knitting. Oops…sorry about that.

On the bright side, my kitchen trailing at Maison Kayser went well. Very well, so well that I got offered a full-time pastry chef position. Unfortunately, as I’m an F-1 international student on a student visa, accepting that would be a no-no. So I’ve been thinking about maybe taking on an internship there instead. Problem is, the Maison Kayser branch would be in New Jersey and well considering the hours and my full-time student position, I’m not sure how it will go. On the other bright side, I was told that I was attentive, I listened and I had a passion of the culinary aspect and they were all surprised that I’d never really worked in a professional kitchen before! Wooo points for me!

Second piece of good news, I FINALLY started my internship at Sweet Revenge and while it was pretty slow goings, I got to prepare some lunches, frost cupcakes, make a ton of frosting, and other kitchen stuff.

To say the two kitchens were different would be a understatement, the way each kitchen worked/was run was so many worlds apart, but I liked working in both. While I’ll currently be at Sweet Revenge, I hope to someday find myself in the Maison Kayser kitchen or another pastry kitchen in the future!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi