Yesterday’s menu.I sliced one potato and a half eggplant. I put them on an oiled sheet, season them with salt and olive oil. I leaved them for circa 15 minutes in a preheated oven(350 F). The time depends how thick your slices are.
In the meantime I heated in a small deep pann 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. As soon as the butter mealted I turned the heat on low and while stirring constandly with a whisk I added some white flour until the flour and the butter made a thick mixture. I add slow some lukewarm milk(two small glasses) while stirring. The béchamel schould have a smooth texture. Season just with some nutmeg.
In another pan I saute some ground turkey meat and a half medium onion in some olive oil in medium heat. When the meat was cooked and the onions translucent I added 1 tablespoon of shopped garlic and 1 tablespoon shopped coriander. I pured 150 gr shopped canned tomatoes in boiled the mixture over low heat for a couple of minutes. I seasoned with salt and pepper.
I oiled some small soufle forms and piled the ingriediens: I started with the potatoes, then the eggplant, the meat and at last the bechamel. Its very importand to cover the whole surface of the form with béchamel. In this way the béchamel is going to “seal” the moussaka and the ingriedients are not going to be dry. On top of it dust some parmesan cheese. Put in a preaheated oven(350 F) until the topping is going to be brown. http://makeagif.com/gy760l
For the salad I added some fresh baby spinach, snow peas(cut the ends and in two), thin slices of onion, ready cooked shrimps and orange pieces. As a dressing I used a simple balsamic, oil, salt, pepper and mustard dressing.
Although this weekend was really rainy and foggy i couldn’t resist visiting some places in the city i was planning. Saturday i was exploring Chelsea by my own. I walked down from 14th street to 25th street until Broadway. I spotted some serious vintage shops who were amazing! The most of them were full of clothes and hats from the 20s until the 80s far away from my budget and my casual clothing needs. It’s definitive worth it just to walk inside and admire the clothes and the customers! A lot of really stylish men walk also around. The possibly of meeting gay people in this neighborhood are high, which makes Chelsea unique. I walked again down to the 14th Street and walk through the High Line Park.
The High Line Park
This park is build on old railway up in the air.
Stylish couple wearing the perfect tourist outfit
Streetart at Chelsea
Directions: there are many entrances, i used the entrance from the 14th street.
What to do: just walk around, enjoy the view(Chelsea piers and busy avenues) from high, sit in one of the small designer benches or the big beach chair shaped wooden benches with your friends or make new ones. Cool you feet in the special for this propose flat fountain. Watch the traffic from the wooden staircase(there is a big “window and enough place to sit)
People: 50-50 mix tourists and locals
Opening hours: 7 am- 10pm daily for more information; http://www.thehighline.org/
I spend the rest of the day walking though the city watching people and visiting stores and delis.
Food gourmet festival at Madison Square Park with delicatessen food trucks with food from all over the word in affordable prices! From 11 am to 9 pm daily until the 3rd June.
I cooked yesterday for the first time quesadillas. It’s basically fried filled tortilla, a mexican sandwich that you better eat warm. As all the sandwiches you can fill your tortilla with anything you want, there are a lot of recipes in the internet. I am going to give you the begginers version:
- deep pan
- frying pan
- deep plate
- 1 can black beans
- 1 cup ricota cheese
- 1/2 cup hard cheese (emmentaler)
- 10 small corn tortillas
- 1/2 walnuts, smashed
- olive oil, canola oil, salt, pepper
- 2 carrots
- 1 zucchini
Grade the carrots, zucchinis and saute them in a pan (small heat). Remove from the heat and dry in a paper towel. Add the vegetables in a bowl with the ricotta cheese, black beans, the graded hard cheese, the smashed walnuts, olive oil and season. Mix flour with water in a deep plate to a thick mixture. Warm the tortillas in the oven. Warm some canola oil in a pan. Put one tablespoon of the mixture in the center of the tortilla, fold it and dip it in the flour mixture. Fry both sides. Eat warm. Use a dip you like. *Additional you can use ground meat and baby spinach to the ricotta stuffing.
The Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual cherry blossom festival of the Brooklyn botanical garden. I went there yesterday alone because I am really interested about the japanese culture. After my friends duped me for some other activities, my water bottle open in my bag in which I was carrying my laptop, I had to buy my ticket in the train which is much more expensive and I meet a mum from Scarsdale who had seen me outside of the Edgewood school and thought I was a mum waiting for my kind(Edgewood is an elementary school and even if my kind was just in first grade, how old did she think iI was when I gave birth to my kid? 14? man!)i finally arrived. But lets give some facts: Directions:take the subway from the Grand Central downtown, number 4 or 6. After ca 45 minutes leave the subway at the Franklin Avenue. Turn left and again left in the first opportunity. As you walk the street down on your left you can see a big building the Brooklyn Museum, after that on your right you are going to see one of the parks entrances. Tickets: adults $1o but if you have your Student ID with you $5. They except also International Student IDs. For the Festival +$5 for everybody.
I arrived at 15:00 at the North Washington entrance with the smallest line(just 15 minutes wait). And honestly I was really surprised about the importance of this Festival; many different people, ages and cultures, where already there waiting patient in line. Together with my ticket i got a free map of the botanical garden and notes of the activities and their places.I didn’t use. Maybe I should. The small cute roads across a lake where overcrowded with people, who were mainly taking pictures. In a small opening in the woods people where sitting amphitheatrical and watching an original japanese cooking show. Happenings: not only cooking shows, but also origami workshops, stage presentations of the japanese culture with a lot of dancing and singing, martial arts, mangas, japanese paintings and food. And all these was happening in beautiful scenery of flourish plans and small paths with a lot of green space between where you can sit and eat or just watch the people passing by. And believe me there was a lot to see: People: as I mention before there where a lot of different age and cultural groups. A lot of people until 25 where there in manga costume, other where just wearing their traditional dresses like indian sari, kimonos and islamic headscarf. Funny moment: a guy in the forties was wearing a fancy Napoleon jacket and another guy asked him if he can take a picture of his costume and he was like: “its my just my jacket dude! I’m not wearing a costume!” hahahaha! Too fancy for this festival. I notice the style of the young girls from japan and taiwan; which was on the one hand conservative and girl but also at the same time sensational and fresh. I totally loved the mix of oriental flower pattern on girly dresses with men shoes and pop accessorizes. They basically don’t show a lot of skin and are daring to mix patterns that the most of the people wouldn’t dream about with a genius result. What to buy: japanese nature paintings for $45, mangas signed by the authors for $35-12, vintage japanese rugs for $15 and japanese paper umbrellas for $9. What to eat: amazing japanese lunch boxes with noodles or rice, rice balls and sushi. I had also a delicious ice cream from the ice cream trunk outside of the botanical garden.
*And while I was secretly thing how stupid all these people with their huge cameras look nad I was imagining the big mountain of stupid fotos they probably where taking.. and then it happen to me… low battery and dead!NOOOO! In the first minutes I felt a bit blind to be honest but then it was ok. Some snapshots of things that catched my eyes are following:
For more informations about the Garden(http://www.bbg.org/), the festival(http://www.bbg.org/visit/event/sakura_matsuri_2011/), and more fotos ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/brooklynbotanicgarden/)
Spinach is one of my favourite vegetables cooked and not. Today I’m preparing it in form of a soup.
The basic spinach soup recipe
- deep pan
- wooden spoon for stirring the soup
- food processor or blender
- onion, finely chopped
- bunch fresh spinach washed or a block frozen
- potato, in small cubes
- canola oil and olive oil
- salt, pepper, cumin, nutmeg
Spray a deep pan with canola oil and turn the heat on medium and add the onion and potato until the onion soften. Add one cup water and boil in medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the potato cubes soften. Add the spinach and turn the heat off. When the soup is cool put the mixture in the blender. Warm up the soup again and season with the spices. Add some water if you want and add to two tablespoons olive oil.
Time; 10 minutes preparing and 20 minutes cooking.
More ways to cook a spinach soup;
- Replace the canola oil with butter, but turn the heat lower than usual because otherwise butter will burn. One tablespoon is enough. The taste of the soup is going to be “richer”.
- Replace the potato with a cup of cold water mixed with flour to paste, which you are going to add after the soup has been blended. You have to boil the soup for a few minute before serving. This alternative is going to save you a lot of time.
- Add two tablespoons heavy cream or cream cheese after the soup has been blended and stir while warming up the soup again and let the cream melt. Or you can just put some crumbles of feta cheese in everybody’s plate after serving. Combine with some croutons to your soup and you have an adequate meal.
- Add a half cup lentils and boil with the potato. Season with the cumin and optional garam masala.