Monthly Archives: August 2012

Roasted Veggie Lasagna

Since my man decided he was sick of taking sandwiches to work for lunch, my main dinner mission has been to cook meals that yield leftovers, which sounds easier than it is when you’re also trying to cook new things every week. Last week we decided to pay homage to our community and cook a nice Italian meal. I wanted to do a roasted veggie and lamb lasagna, but alas there was no lamb at my market, so beef had to suffice. It started with the veggies and the sauce:

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Red peppers & zucchinis into the oven at 450.

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I started the sauce at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I drizzled the zucchini  and the red pepper with some olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, then popped them into a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until they’re nice and blistered. For the sauce I used one can of plain, unseasoned tomato sauce and half a can of tomato paste. To this I added fresh oregano and basil from my garden, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 medium red onion, some salt and pepper and let that baby simmer! (The longer, the better).

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We used whole wheat lasagna.

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Then we added beef to the sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t make the pasta, just picked a box of whole wheat lasagna and followed the directions. I then browned the beef with some garlic and onions and added it to the sauce (leave this step out to make it vegetarian). Since I’m far from vegetarian, I let the beef simmer with the sauce while I finished the rest of the dish.

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Then I chopped up the veggies.

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And started building the lasagna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All I had in the house were loaf pans, so I made two “loaves” of lasagna and it worked out great. I layered them like this: sauce, pasta, veggies, pasta, ricotta, veggies, sauce, pasta, sauce; did you get all that? If not, just wing it, delicious will always be delicious no matter the order 🙂

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Into the oven at 350 for 30 min.

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Top with mozz and back in until it melts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I sprinkled with the top with a little parmesan and into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I topped it with some sliced of fresh mozzarella and then back in until it’s nice and brown.

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Served with a leafy green salad!

Italian? Check. Leftovers? Check. Delicious? Double check. POP POP.

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TGIF= Happy Hour, Ya’ll!

In celebration of Friday, I thought I’d encourage everyone to get out there and TREAT YO SELF to a beverage and/or tasty treat from your local watering hole. Here are a few of my favorite haunts:

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This is the “Windjammer” and a Peak Organic IPA

First up, we have my local Astoria bar, Blackbird’s, which specializes in craft beers and tasty appetizers. My favorite Friday afternoon treat from here is “The Windjammer,” a dip made of black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and onions. I also don’t mind that they serve my IPA to me in a mason jar, just like down home.

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Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls and a Harvest Wheat

Next up we have the most embarrassing of the three bars I frequent, the world famous Heartland Brewery. World-famous if you’re a tourist, that is, as these are the only folks I am ever sharing this bar with. I don’t care if it’s an over-priced NY chain, I like that they brew their own beers and these spring rolls are freaking delicious.

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These are Fried Pickles with an Icy-Cold Shiner Bock

Lastly, for the Austinites who might be reading this blog, I recommend heading a few miles north to the sexy and risqué village of Round Rock for a nice visit to the HomeField Grill. The outfits are tacky, but the brewski selection is impressive and you really can’t go wrong with pickles battered, deep fried and served to you by a bartender in a referee’s uniform.

Oh, “Home Field…”… I GET IT!

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Sushi Samba Restaurant Week

You may remember from the Spring that when Restaurant Week comes to town, I try to take advantage. I’m lucky enough to have a foodie friend who is always down to play Restaurant Week with me! We decided to do lunch at Sushi Samba 7 in the West Village this time around. It’s only twice a year you can get a 3-course meal, specifically designed to highlight the chef’s talents, for $24.

My date opted to get the heirloom tomato salad, which she ate with chopsticks, like a boss:

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I was smart enough to order an appetizer I could eat with my hands, short rib lettuce cups with red onion and cilantro, yeah: sushi samba, sushi, sushi samba park, restaurant week, nyc, restaurants, new york city, samba split

For our main courses, we both chose the sushi plate, which was a chef’s selection of sushi along with a special tempura roll with a yummy wasabi mayo dipping sauce:sushi samba, sushi, sushi samba park, restaurant week, nyc, restaurants, new york city, samba split

The dessert section of this menu is what made me want to come here. I just had to try this concoction, called the “Samba Split”:
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My date ordered this mocha shake of sorts, which I tasted, and it was terrific, too:
sushi samba, sushi, sushi samba park, restaurant week, nyc, restaurants, new york city, samba split We were lucky enough to pick a beautifully sunshiny day for this fanciful adventure. We sat outside and relished being ladies who lunch.

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Trivia NYC at Raven’s Head

In order to spice up this week’s Tuesday, which can often carry an air of blah, we decided to partake in one of our very favorite weeknight activities: Pub Trivia! This is something we’ve never done in Queens before, so we had to do a little research. Finally, we decided on Raven’s Head Public House on Steinway and Broadway in Astoria, where Trivia NYC hosts Trivia on Tuesday nights at 7pm. My person had been here once before and assured me the food was good and the beer was great. My arm was twisted!

For our draught choice, we both selected the Founders Centennial IPA, which is apparently an award-winning brew from the folks over at Founder’s Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids. It was tasty, hoppy and came with a kick of 7% alcohol. If there’s one thing I know about my man, it’s that he loves himself a buffalo chicken wrap, so I wasn’t terribly surprised to see him order this:

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He’s a man who knows what he likes!

I opted for one of my favorite foods (as previous posts may have indicated) macaroni and cheese! This particular mac was tossed with bacon and breadcrumbs, topped with additional cheese, baked in a skillet, then brought to me in a bowl:

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Who won? I did.

We had a friend join us for Trivia, which we were terrible at, but enjoyed thoroughly. He out-ordered both of us with the delicious looking steak salad:

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Yeah, I probably should have ordered this.

I would highly recommend this particular Pub Trivia to anyone in the area who enjoys such things. But I must warn you, this was not some rinky-dink gum ball machine trivia, host Jarrod Hornbeck is not messing around. Not only that, but he has a loyal group of regulars who I’m guessing dominate every week — they certainly did this week. It was a good time, I’d definitely go again!

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