Category Archives: Appetizers

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When you first look at these, I am hoping that you think “wow, what a creative way of displaying mini grilled cheese sandwiches!”  I’m sure your mind quickly drifts away from that thought to try to figure out what the red, thick, sauce it is served with is? Can it be marinara sauce? No. Spaghetti Sauce? No, try again. It is good old Tomato Soup.

Yes, my friends, there is a first for everything, and this validates the fact that I did not know how to make tomato soup before this past weekend!

We had a few people over on Saturday and since I have been increasingly more and more addicted to pinterest (thank you, mom,) I thought I would try out some of the DIY party appetizers. I was inspired by Because Im Addicted who has various trends, whether it be fashion, food or photography. I loved the idea of making mini grilled cheese sandwiches and placing them over tomato soup! I had always been more of a “Grilled cheese with tomato” girl, instead of the soup part, but I figured they go hand in hand, and they sure look cute so why not give it a whirl!

Wrong!! As my entire can of tomato soup was quickly running out after only filling about five mini martini glasses, I did think to myself that was odd. However, continued to arrange everything and place it out in the dining room so our guests could start to enjoy! It was a few minutes later than my sister asked me why the tomato soup was so thick, and asked how much water or milk I added.

Milk?

Water?

Ummm, none? I didn’t even think to read the can for instructions! I mean how hard could it be to make a can of tomato soup? You have to ADD ingredients? Oops! Luckily, Christy saved the day and made the next round of soup, adding milk, and it was then a big hit. Thank you, Christy for saving the day!

Almost a Big Hit

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I seriously have to drag myself to the gym, it is not an easy thing for me to do. On the other hand, it is extremely easy for me to make up excuses as to why I shouldn’t have to go! 🙂 The hardest part about going to the gym, is walking to my bus back to Jersey passing restaurant after restaurant and not going in and ordering anything and everything on the menu.

Well, 5 Boro Burgers is one of those places that I pass on a weekly basis. I passed it when it was under construction and was genuinly excited to find out it was a burger joint. Oh, the little things in life. My favorite thing about it was the fact that one whole side of the restaurant opens up and is such a nice breezy place to sit on 36th Street without being right in the middle of Herald Square. My husband and I had tickets to the Jimmy Fallon show one day and we were trying to think of a new restaurant to try that would be somewhat quick before the show. Lightbulb!!! Five Boro Burgers!

It was a perfect day to sit outside and take a huge bite out of an enourmously large burger only to waddle ourselves up to Rockefellar Center to NBC studios.

What I should have done, was taken a picture of the wings. Being that I am not a wings fan, I typically don’t even blog about them because how boring would that be for my readers to have to hear about something that I have no interest in! Boy was I wrong that day! Danny ordered Garlic Parmesean Wings, OUT OF THIS WORLD! I was in shock that I loved these wings (off the bone, none the less) as much as Danny did! I think I would go back just for them.

Then we moved on to the whole purpose of our visit…the burgers! They creatively named all of their burgers after the….drumroll please… Five Boros!

-Bronx Burger: Guacomole, Pico de Gallo, Mozzerella Cheese, Spicy Mayonnaise & Bacon

-Queens Burger: Roasted Red Peppers, Spanish Onions, Bacon, Mozzerella Cheese & Balsamic Dressing

-Brooklyn Burger: Grilled Onions, Cajun Seasoning, Steak Sauce, Crispy Bacon & Cheddar Cheese

-Manhattan Burger: Grilled Zucchini, Mushrooms, Onions, Vodka Sauce & Swiss Cheese

-Staten Island Burger: Grilled Pineapple, Green Pepper with a Sweet Rum Glaze and Pepper Jack Cheese

Im pretty sure we both got our own renditions of the above selections but left extremley satisfied. Off to the Jimmy Fallon show we go!

5BORO BURGERS

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I have said it before and I’ll say it again: damn! That is some good calamari!

Biggies is consistently at the top of my list of favorite restaurants. We have definitely featured their amazing Thai Calamari and always fresh Ahi Tuna Tacos before, but after another great experience there the other night, I felt it necessary to feature this MUST HAVE, once again!

What is your favorite appetizer at Biggies?

Thai Calamari Never Gets Old

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I love wine & cheese bars. I love the atmosphere, the wine and of course, the wide variety of different cheeses to try. I wasn’t really into wine bars before I met my husband. Certainly not because I don’t like wine or cheese, simply because I had never really been exposed to them.

We went to Grand Cru on our first date and I have to say I was blown away. Ever since then, we have made it a tradition to try a new wine and cheese bar each year on our anniversary. For Valentine’s Day this past year, we went back to where it all began at Grand Cru.

My absolute favorite cheese (for now…) is Tete de Moine. This is a Swiss cheese that has hints of nuts and dried fruit. It pairs well with fruit and almost any of the spreads that Grand Cru offers.

We have tried to recreate wine and cheese nights at home before (See Perfect Start to a Romantic Evening) but places like Grand Cru really know how to do it right. The myriad of breads, spreads, fruits and cheeses are right on. I could go for a glass of wine right now!

Where It All Began ❤

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I have been going to Fire and Oak for a couple of years now and I am always impressed with the creativity and variety on the menu. I have always loved the tuna flatbread and the sushi, but they also have tasty truffle fries and salads.

During my last visit they offered a specials menu that was new to me, including Tuna Tartar. Just look at it! It’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost:)

The dish is served with fresh tuna, scallions, caviar, cucumbers, sweet soy sauce and some type of spicy mayonnaise sauce artistically drizzled over the dish.

It was aesthetically and tastefully created to perfection.

Elegant Tuna Tartar at Fire & Oak

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Yes, they went there. The Shannon Rose took that gutsy risk and decided to offer what is called a MURDER BURGER– a burger deep fried in Harp beer batter. So many different thoughts went through my head when I saw this on the menu. First of course being, “Um of course I want to eat that, a cheeseburger? fried? wow!” Of course the other thoughts consisted of not wanting to have a heart attack at 26 since I would probably be able to finish the entire thing. But still, a fried cheeseburger? It might be a risk I was willing to take. Solution? Danny ordered it instead 🙂

Let me step back and give a little history of the relationship I have with The Shannon Rose. The first time I experienced the restaurant was at the Clifton location. My friend Sophia introduced it to me and I loved the pub atmosphere, the drink menus and the bar food as well. They have a great selection of sliders and fries- exactly what everyone and anyone wants to eat at a bar. The problem was I didn’t live too close to Clifton so it was always a bit of a hike. We met friends there a couple of times when the UFC fights were on (to please the boys) and even though I had no interest in what was going on with the fights, I was satisfied with the rest of everything going on…music, friends, food and drinks!

When I was driving home one day and noticed that an old Fridays by our apartment was turning into a Shannon Rose-Ramsey, I was thrilled! A short while later, when we went there for the first time, I was impressed with what they had done to the place. It has been open for a few weeks now and it is STILL a full house every time I pass by. One of the coolest features is that they have live music at night with different bands. Really cool.

I am recommending to everyone out there to go and try the Shannon Rose Quesadilla. You will not be sorry! Not only is the quesadilla delicious but it has a secret, genius ingredient…spinach and artichoke dip. AMAZING.

So back to the burger…I always say you have to try everything once. (Well when it comes to food). And actually, I might not say that if I was having this conversation with lets say, Anthony Bourdain, however; try the burger. Then you let me know…is it true or false? Does everything fried  taste good?

T or F? “Anything Fried Tastes Good”

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About a month ago Danny and I went to Bistro 55 in Rochelle Park. Bistro is a part of the restaurant group that he works for, South City Group. Anyway, we go there occassionally for some awesome oysters and appetizers and a couple of drinks. This night in particular, we tried just about everything on the menu! The manager Jess always has the best suggestions and can pair any food item with one of the numerous beers on tap they have to offer.

One of the best features of Bistro 55 and what really sets it apart from the competition is their incredible beer selection. Everything from Ommegang Witte to Sixpoint Bengali Tiger to Dogfish IPA. They change their draft beer seasonally as well so you always have a great selection of oktoberfests and ciders. The other cool thing is you can order a flight of beer and choose 4 for just $11!

So this picture is the Peach Habanero Glazed Wings. WOW! so good. They definitely have a kick to them but the combination of the sweet with spicy is right on.

Peach habanero deliciousness

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OK…I know what you are thinking…”EW.” I thought the same thing when I uploaded this picture haha. HOWEVER, I did not think ew when this was handed to me, or when I was eating it! So stay open minded! I would like to introduce the one, the only, the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl chili dog in Washington DC.

Danny and I went to visit two of my very best friends Amy and Laura, and Amy’s husband, Tom in DC a couple of weekends ago and this is where we ended up after going to a few bars. I have to admit that I only ordered my hotdog with cheese, therefore this picture was either Tom, Amy or Laura’s hotdog. I think it’s funny because I didn’t realize how BAD the chili looked until I saw the picture I took even though you would think that is why I ordered mine without.

Because Ben’s Chili Bowl hotdogs are famous FOR their chili, and I just had cheese, I tried a bite of one of my friend’s and have to say that it really was dynamite. They had video footage playing of all of the celebrities that have been to Ben’s Chili Bowl over the years, including President Obama, and the history of the restaurant which was really neat.

Ben’s Chili Bowl is also featured on Serious Eats as one of the Top 29 Touristy Spots in America that are actually good. I have to agree! Stop by next time you are in DC for a good lunch, dinner or anytime snack 🙂

It’s good… I promise!

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Houlihans “shrooms” are definitely a weak spot of mine. It doesn’t matter if I’m not hungry, if I’m dieting or in a hurry, I order the shrooms appetizer without fail.

They recently came out with a “small plates” or “small dishes” menu that includes a smaller version of the scrumptious appetizer so I have been ordering that instead. Hey, whatever it takes to make you feel less guilty right?! 🙂

They are basically fried mushrooms stuffed with a horseradish/cream cheese filling and pretty much just incredible.

I went to Houlihans in Ramsey last night for a friends birthday and finished eating them before anyone else had a chance to try them. Oops!

An oldie but a goodie

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Slamming sliders

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I was pretty excited to make sliders as a part of the spread for Danny and Julio’s birthday party Friday night. I wanted to do something simple since I had not made them before and I didn’t have much time before all of the guests would arrive. Well I made about 14, ate 1 to make sure it tasted ok, then I just waited for people to come!

As I waited, I decided I would take two to my downstairs neighbors because I wanted someone to enjoy them while they were hot!

Once the guests arrived, the remaining sliders were gone in about 2 minutes. Uh oh! Realizing the cheese and crackers, pizza rolls and cake were not going to hold everyone over for the rest of the night I offered to order pizza. That wasn’t going to cut it.

JMo went out and bought ingredients to make more sliders. I would be lying if I said this was a picture of the sliders I originally made. Instead I will tell you that JMo showed me up in my own kitchen! His sliders were amazing- and Danny had the idea of coating the patties in black pepper corn which made them delicious!

I felt bad at first that I wasn’t being the best host since the guests were now the ones cooking, but now I like to look at it as doing everyone a favor! They would not have been able to taste the amazing sliders JMo had made if I just ordered pizza:)

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