wine-zero-waste

Zero Wasting and Wine Tasting

May was a busy month for me because I was taking an Intensive Sommelier course. We learned the basics of viticulture and enology while tasting more wine that I could ever image.

Follow me on Vivino to see my wine recommendations.

Wine is something that I am extremely passionate about and going to incorporate into my future career. So I’d like to share with you a bit about how to fit wine into your zero waste lifestyle.

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Avocados: How to buy them and keep them fresh

Avocados have become a huge staple in my life as an adult. As a kid I couldn’t get over the color to even taste them. But now, I can’t about anything better. We always have them on hand in our home. They’re delicious and a great source of good fats.

But they are also a tricky fruit and it is sometime difficult to know if they are ripe, how to store them, and how to preserve them if you don’t eat the whole avocado at once.

So with out more ado, here are my tips on everything avocados!

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eljardi-barcelona-restaurant

Barcelona Restaurants You Might Not Know

One of the best parts of living in Barcelona, and Spain in general, is the opportunity to taste great foods consistently. Here are a list of some of my favorites for when you are tired of eating tapas and want to try something new. From burgers in Poble Nou to Latin fusion cuisine in El Born, this list is sure to make your taste buds start to water and take you a bit off the beaten path.

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simple-easy-fondue

Recipe: Quick and Simple Cheese Fondue

If you’re like me, finding simple but delicious recipes that don’t take long to prepare can be a saviour on a Friday night. This week we wanted to do something special, but without a lot of effort, so we pulled out the fondue pot for a fun and easy meal (that’s great for kids!).

Ingredients

Feeds 3-4 people

Fondue

  • 200g Gruyère cheese (grated)
  • 100g Maasdam cheese (grated)
  • 200ml Heavy cream
  • 4oz White wine (any)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Dippers

  • Broccoli
  • Small sausage
  • Chicken
  • Zucchini
  • Red & Green peppers
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation

You can choose just about anything to dip into your fondue, these are my suggestions. (You can see from the photo that last time I used chorizo, mushrooms, broccolini, and peppers.)

  1. Heat a frying pan to medium heat. Prepare the chicken and sausage: season with salt and pepper, chop into small bite size pieces, and sauté.
  2. Remove the meats and keep them near by to re-heat when the cheese mixture is complete.
  3. Chop the zucchini into sticks and lightly sauté. Don’t over cook as they will get mushy and hard to handle with the fondue sticks.
  4. Heat a 4-quart pot on medium heat, don’t add any oil as the cheese is full of oil, there will be not sticking. Add the first 100g of Gruyère and 100g of Maasdam.
  5. Mix in the white wine and 1/2 of the heavy cream. Keep stirring to ensure all of the cheese melts.
  6. Add the rest of the heavy cream when the cheese has melted and begin adding the last 100g of Gruyère. Make sure that the consistency is not too liquid, nor too solid. You want a smooth, almost paste like texture.
  7. Let the cheese mixture simmer on low heat while you reheat the meats. Plate the meats, cooked zucchini and raw broccoli.
  8. Heat your fondue pot (I was able to find a combustible gel from the supermarket specifically for fondue pots, but you can also use a sterno or large tea light candle) and transfer the cheese mixture into it.

The cheese will start to boil again, after a 4-5 minutes you can put out the fire and reignite it midway through the meal with the cheese starts to cool. It will remain hot for quite a while.

Dip and enjoy!

Approximate cost based on Barcelona pricing: 16€ (5,33€ per person)


Timesburg-Barcelona

Timesburg: Amazing Burgers in BCN!

I have sought far and wide to find an amazing burger in this town and with my trip this afternoon to Timesburg in Poble Nou, I think my search has ended (or atleast reach a high note!). Because I can’t resist queso de cabra I chose the Cabra – 200 grams of beef, queso de cabra, caramelized onions, tomato, rucola, cranberry jam, and the special Timesburg mayo. Absolutely heavenly! Real beef, cooked well and the branded bun was hilarious. There was a bit too much bread for my liking (especially since it was a massive burger!) but that was easily solved by eating my second half sans bun.

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NYC Bucket List: Two Little Red Hens and Carl Schurz Park

After yet another Uva meal, I headed to Two Little Red Hens to grab some cupcakes before puppy watching in Carl Schurz Park. If you’re never been to this bakery, make a plan right now to visit! For my birthday this year a my Upper East Side friend bought me a Brooklyn Black Out Cake from here and it was to perfect! It has triple chocolate – dark chocolate cake, chocolate pudding filling and chocolate fudge frosting – phenomenal! So, of course I wanted more!

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NYC Bucket List: Max Tribeca

Fettuccine al Sugo Toscano

I think one picture is all I need to describe the meal that I had a Max Tribeca last week Wednesday. My friend Christie has been raving about this dish for weeks, so when I had a request for Italian food from an out-of-town friend I was dining with, Max was the obvious choice. I had been to this restaurant once before, at the start of a bad month long relationship that ended with me being the dude in the relationship and calling it off for lack of physical intimacy.

But Max itself was a great pick and I was eager to go back for more, but sorry that I couldn’t when Christie was in town. My budget wouldn’t allow for it. The amazing dish is the Fettuccine al Sugo Toscano – with is made with a delicious homemade meat sauce, unrivaled by anything I have had before. It’s like and upscale Hamburger Helper but far far better. It’s thick and creamy, just what I was hoping for.

I paired it with a glass of Montepulciano, which was also good and not too expensive. We should have skipped the meatball appetizer, just because it made me so full, but that did give me leftovers of my main dish to take for lunch the next day. (It was just as good the second time around.) I completely understand why Christie was coming back for more!

Max Tribeca
181 Duane Street
(btw Greenwich and Hudson Streets)
New York, NY 10013
(212) 966-5939


NYC Bucket List: Hecho en Dumbo

Don’t let the name fool you, this restaurant provides phenomenal Mexican eats in the Lower East Side/Soho area. It was however started in Brooklyn (Dumbo, obviously) before it was moved to this permanent location at 354 Bowery. We choose it for my farewell dinner with Jen at the recommendation of her crazy boss and it didn’t disappoint us.

As our appetizer, we choose the Guacamole thinking that it was going to be a big bowl of guac, but instead it was a decent dollop surrounded by these delicious, flaky homemade chips. It was the perfect amount for a started and didn’t prevent us from being able to eat our meals.

There was an extensive cocktail menu, where Jen tried the Pantera Rose (tequila blanco, fresh grapefruit juice, St. Germaine, and a salted rim) and I went for the Coctel Sangria (Red Malbec wine floated on top of vodka, Boylan’s Soda, Lime Juice, and Cane sugar, on the rocks). Both were really tasty and got us a bit tipsy…that also might have been the beer we had while I waited for Jen at her office. As I drank the Coctel Sangria the wine slipped further into the drink and mixed with the other ingredients. It was pretty to watch.

For the main course I went with the Queso Fondido de Chorizo. I was a little skeptical at first of the chorizo not knowing how it would work, but it was great. It was ground, not whole pieces of chorizo (good!), baked into the cheese and to die for! My favorite part were the fresh tortillas. Most Mexican places that I had eaten tortillas have a very grainy taste (think Rosa Mexicano), but these were soft and fluffy. But far the best tortillas I have ever eaten. It got a bit greasy at the bottom with all of the cheese, but that’s to be expected. This post is making me hungry for more! This surpassed Agave as the best Mexican I’ve had in NYC to date.

Hecho en Dumbo
354 Bowery
(between  Great Jones and East 4th Street)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 937-4245


NYC Bucket List: Peep

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kh1979/2503818449/

It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my good friend and former producer Tricia, so last nights dinner was a real treat and a girly gabfest. We met up with our mutual friend Sara to share a phenomenal meal at Peep Soho and even has a celebrity sighting when Brooklyn Decker came in with her friend. The restaurant (as you can see above) is white lacquer and pink neon! Quite jarring for the sense, but the food made up for the modern decor.

To start we had the Spinach Dumplings with Chili Pepper Vinaigrette to share. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture because we gobbled them up so quickly.

For the main course I went for the  Pineapple Aged Pork Chop with Garlic Greens and White Rice! It was delish, though a little fatty (I ate around that). The pineapple and pork combination was great and the green were nice, crisp and flavorful.

Trish, a vegetarian, went with a lemon rice dish. I tried a bit and it was really good. I don’t remember all of the ingredients though and it’s not on the online menu!

After talking to the couple next to us because we were confused on the name, Sara opted for the Face Towel Noodle, which came highly recommended.  It was a large noodle with Shrimp, Squid, Chicken, Egg, Tomato Paste Chili and Basil. Yum! I also tried a bit of that. I know what I’ll be getting if I ever take a trip here again.

Upon finishing our meal we learned why the restaurant is called Peep, when we took a trip to the bathroom. It is all glass and dimly lit inside. Though you cannot see into the bathroom from the outside, you can see out of the bathroom from the inside! Peep indeed! I got to use my wonderful Billr app to figure out what we owed for the meal. Check out my next post to learn more!

Peep Soho
177 Prince St, New York 10012
At Sullivan St
(212) 254-7337
www.peepsoho.net/home.html