Learning As I Chop

A Night On The Town

Posted in General by R @ Learning As I Chop on October 12, 2011

While we wait for Baby LAIC to join us (still have a few more months), H and I have been cherishing the remainder of  life a deux. This might mean sleeping late (something you can’t do with a hungry three-day-old) or taking each day as it comes, without a plan or care in the world.  Two Saturdays ago, we ventured out for a night on the town and partook in the Food Network Food and Wine Festival. Our evening focused on restaurants from Brooklyn. Though I needed to stay away from the wine (I’m not one of those lax pregnant ladies who sneaks a sip here and there), there was much food to be had. Here are some highlights:

Above is a sardine or anchovy sampling (can’t remember which one) from Vinegar Hill House, a delicious restaurant in DUMBO. Fish while pregnant is a funny issue. You can’t have it smoked (sadly needed to avoid the ACME table) or raw (my personal favorite) but you can eat the type you (or at least I) would normally avoid, such as the ones mentioned above. However I was in the mood for adventure and decided to give it a whirl. Honestly? Quite good. I’ve eaten at Vinegar Hill House, so I wasn’t surprised, but the fish was satisfyingly salty. Reminded me a lot of caviar. Yum.

And then there were the tables that provided simple food, but had me coming back for thirds and fourths. Savory dairy has been my #1 pregnancy craving and I made no secret of it during the evening. I think the nice men from  D. Coluccio & Sons probably got sick of my face, but they were very professional and humored me every time. Especially when I asked if I could have a lot (I know, I know, I have no shame, but who says no to a pregnant belly?)

H and I also learned new words that evening. Any idea how to make headcheese?

We had no idea but quickly learned that headcheese  “is not a cheese but a terrine or meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow), and often set in aspic” (source). Yeah, we stayed away from that dish. Though I will say that Colonie did manage to make it look rather appetizing considering the ingredients.

Saved for last, we finished our meals with amazing desserts. Besides the delicious and decadent cake from The Chocolate Room, my night’s favorite dish came from this place:

When I first saw their offering, I thought it was a small lemon tart – one of my favorite sweets. Can you see how I was easily fooled?

However I was wrong. Instead, it was a yummy honey pie topped with salt. Sweet and salty is one of my favorite combinations and I loved every bite of it. I also had never tasted a similar dessert, and I appreciated its unique quality without being overly weird. (Is that a culinary term?) In my opinion, bite-sized pieces were the way to go. Sweet but not ovewhelming. You can learn more here.

So those were the highlights of our evening. Other notable items included caramel apples and nourishing butternut squash soup. Hopefully we’ll be able to go again next year though I’m thinking our event of choice will probably be geared towards people who like their fruits and veggies pureed. In the meantime, I’ll continue sipping my decaf coffee and dreaming of sashimi. Enjoy!


Something’s In My Oven….

Posted in General by R @ Learning As I Chop on July 8, 2011

and it’s not a cake. It’s a BABY!!!!

Dear Readers,

I apologize for my disappearing act these past few months. As some of you might know, cooking becomes quite challenging when you’re just beginning to eat for two. Your energy is at an all-time low and your palette is not interested in anything more than 3am bowls of cereal, bagels and chocolate chip muffins. Or maybe some mac-n-cheese and mashed potatoes from time to time. Not very blog-friendly foods.

So that’s where I’ve been. Now that I’m almost 14 weeks, I hope to return to my usual frequency. Especially since it’s summer and I have homemade icecream and canning on the horizon. In the meantime, here are some of the food/pregnancy blogs I’ve been following.  Enjoy!

Daily Garnish

Rhodey Girl

The Culinary Couple

NeverHomeMaker Baby

The Fitnessista

Adventures in China(town)

Posted in Gardening/Plants, General by R @ Learning As I Chop on June 29, 2011

The other day, on my way to the Tenement Museum (for school), I passed through Chinatown. As someone who loves food, but hates crowds, I have mixed emotions about Chinatown. However one can always smell interesting smells, eat for cheap and find all kind of exotic foods. Such as the piece of produce below. Points for anyone who knows what it is. I certainly don’t.