7.22.2016

MangiaMore: KALE caesar salad


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Another week, another obligatory meal preparation. It may seem like I did not fulfill my weekly duty last week, but I did (although there is no photo evidence to prove it); I made easy peasy tacos. This week was another low-key dinner. There was far less prep than the zucchini lasagna, less financial responsibility than shrimp tacos, and far less salsa than regular tacos. Instead, there was far more… kale.
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For some reason, some strange reason, I was really yearning for a kale Caesar salad. Vegetables are not really my thing. I like them, but I do not long for them on the regular, like I would a cheeseburger, pizza, or a good old chocolate chip cookie. I eat salad, but mostly because I have to, and it is easy to pack up and carry to school (when there is school…). But I am going to go ahead and say, salad is not my ideal lunch, by far. But sometimes the desire for dark leafy greens arises, and you must give in, even if it seems counterintuitive.
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So I did and forced this vegetal meal on my family. There are endless kale Caesar salad recipes out there in the great wide world of the internet, but I instantly gravitated towards one on Gimme Some Oven.  This kale Caesar salad recipe included equal parts kale and romaine (though, in reality, this did not happen; there was much more kale involved) and a homemade Caesar dressing with a secret ingredient…
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Lime! Lime instead of the traditional lemon. And non-fat plain Greek yogurt, for all of the creaminess without the calories and fat of mayonnaise. And, anchovies (typical, but something I have never worked with before). Get this— went to the store and no anchovy paste. So I got some canned anchovies and put them in my baby food processor with my too big Parmesan and my too big garlic, made a paste and mixed up them ingredients. Perfecto!
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Mixing mounds of greens in my almost too small salad bowl did not make nearly as much mess as putting it all together. But the stray kale leaves, soaked spinner, Parmesan strands, and slew of dirty dishes were so worth it. The Caesar dressing was unlike anything I have had before. It was missing that gloopy, heavy texture that weighs down the salad; instead, the dressing was light and softened the earthiness of the dark kale and brightened the flat crisp romaine. The lime in the dressing really made a difference, transforming the salad from a warming winter food, to a fresh side (or main, or whatever) for smoldering summer. It was addictive, with just enough chew and crunchy croutons.
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Plus, the leftovers will make for a great (no sarcasm) salad lunch.

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7.19.2016

HONESTY is the policy: Rosemary and Vine


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When asked about Rye, New York, Tania Rahal, the co-owner of Rosemary and Vine, revealed that the people are honest and straightforward. She mentioned that they are direct and generous at the same time, not afraid to compassionately share their opinions.

The Rosemary and Vine restaurant fits right in. Transparency is very important to the restaurant’s team and mission. Wholesome, fresh, seasonal, organic, and local ingredients are key to the vegetarian Mediterranean-inspired menu. The open kitchen is also paramount to the concept of the table service eatery, allowing guests to see food preparation and indirectly involving them in the process. With that, Rosemary and Vine’s food tastes honest.  Including a mix of family recipes and dishes cultivated by Consulting Chef Erica Wides, summer is on the menu.
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Honesty begins with the starters, a blend of classic and fresh. Start with a cooling and textured gazpacho blanco, complete with a vibrant soft green color, a result of luscious cucumber, grapes, and deep roasted almonds.  Try a smoky babaganoush topped with sweet-tart pomegranate seeds that add a crunch to the sinful eggplant spread. The homemade hummus, a family recipe, is bright and smooth, earthy and meaty, perfect with crisp pita points. An avocado crostini is complex and hums with tangy feta, sweet peas, a layered charmoula, and moments of mint. 
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Rosemary and Vine’s summer flatbreads exude color and bright flavors that combine to be satiating and familiar. The Sarah similar to, but steps above, run-of-the-mill pizza, the Ella smooth with thick ricotta, spicy baby arugula, but accompanied by a crunch from buttery roasted pine nuts, the Yasmine with lemon notes and creamy hummus and fatoush greens. Each one demonstrates discernable fresh seasonal ingredients.
Owners Berj Yeretzian and Tania Rahal
Salads come in all colors, too— textured with lentils or quinoa; colored with cucumbers, tomatoes, or kale; made fresh with sumac dressing or apple cider vinaigrette. 
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Entrees are an amalgamation of a vegetarian paradise and Mediterranean flare that is far from intimidating, but still includes the aromas and flavors of another world. The saffron- scented Moroccan tagine attracts regulars because of its robust warm spices with hints of sweetness supported by delicate butternut squash and zucchini and hearty chickpeas served on couscous.  A truffled summer garden fettuccini is perfect for the scalding summer temperatures, as it remains fresh with earthy grilled asparagus and fatty pine nuts, while the radicchio adds a bitterness balanced by the bursting sweet summer corn. The thick flakes of Sartori Parmesan binds the pasta dish together; its salt brings out the sensuous truffle butter. Other entrees include Turkish braised eggplant ragout, family recipe falafel, five-cheese mushroom lasagna, potato kibbeh, and a Proven├žal frittata.
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No summer meal is complete without dessert. Abborio rice pudding is laced with spicy cinnamon, bourbon vanilla beans, and the distinct flavor of almond milk, just sweet enough, while the dark chocolate pudding speaks to mature decadence.  The warm chocolate cake is a dessert in between, still luxurious with cocoa powder and 70% dark Valrhona chocolate, but made playful with sweetened strawberries and light whipped cream.
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The restaurant offers a mission-based curated beverage list, including sustainable, small batch production Mediterranean wines; delicate and refined wine cocktails; select draft and bottled beers; coffee by Coffee Labs, a small-batch, local independent roaster in Tarrytown, NY; hot chocolate by Valrhona; and organic teas by Serendipitea.

Rosemary and Vine came together through the vision of owners Berj Yeretzian and Tania Rahal, to bring a taste of their native home to their new home in Rye, New York, culminating in a beer and wine bar offering delicious Mediterranean, vegetarian fare. The eatery has transformed through the sincerity of its clientele, but its constant has remained: honest food.
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7.15.2016

MangiaMore: chocolate chip GRAHAM cracker cookies

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Good news calls for celebration, amirite? Good news calls for a special treat, correct? Chocolate chip cookies are perfect for any occasion, but they are especially well suited for good—no great— news. We got some great news on Monday, so I whipped up a batch of cookies. Not just my usual chocolate chip (and rainbow sprinkle) cookies; I mixed it up for this celebration. This time I made some super simple and super scrumptious chocolate chip graham cracker cookies.
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On the outside they look just like your normal, moist, sweet and chocolaty cookies, but on the inside, these delicious gems have graham cracker crumbs to supplement the dry ingredients. Unlike many other choco chip cookie recipes, this one did not call for regular white sugar, and relied on rich brown sugar and the deep sweetness of the earthy graham crackers. Other than that, these cookies inspired by Buns In My Oven on My Baking Addiction were divine. It is almost impossible to tell that the secret to their gooey deliciousness and caramel notes is those unassuming graham crackers. Put them to the test… like I have for the last four days.
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Follow the #foodiventures on instagram and leave a comment because we are always looking for recommendations on delectable confections. 
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