Friday, May 31, 2013

You Don't Need A Reason To Break Out In To Song...

Especially when you're two...

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Memorial Day Escape: South Beach, Staten Island

No BBQ or cookout for us yesterday. We have been entertaining every night since we have been home. So, we escaped to the beach this Memorial Day. No picnic basket. No snacks. We didn't even carry a bottle of water, having made up our minds to pig out on hot dogs are burgers at the little food shack by the shore. 

South Beach is a thirty minute walk from our house, right through Fort Wadsworth

With amazing views of the Verrazano... 

.... and the old remains of the fort that bears its name. 

Stunning views of the bay...

 ...and soft surf...

Confident in her new "swimming" skills from Hawaii, Jada promptly jumped in and fell face first in to the water. 

She had to wear my hoodie back to the boardwalk, where we had a clean shirt. 

But no dry bottoms. 

So, she played in the park in her pampers. 


While Pop-Pop looked on. 

Memorial Day was was fun and simple this year, a lazy day with the fam and just what we needed. We hope yours was too. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Dry-Rubbed, Grilled Rib Eye

Happy Memorial Day! This entry is for you if you intend to grill or gather with friends today- or on any day this summer. A no-fail, full-of-flavor steak is at your fingertips. Enjoy!

All you will need (sans computer) is:

6 tbsps salt 
4 tbsps brown sugar 
2 tsps crushed red pepper 
4 tsps smoked paprika 
2 tsps Old Bay 
extra-virgin olive oil 

4 (22-24 oz.) rib-eye steaks 

Thoroughly mix all of the spices in a bowl.

Cover and rub each steak with the spices.

Cover with plastic and refrigerate for twenty-four hours. If you are cooking the same day, cover with plastic and let stand at room temperature. Results are best when the rib-eye is marinated overnight, but it still packs a punch if you make it on the fly. Either way, your steak will taste as if it has been aged.

If your steak has been refrigerated, take it out thirty minutes before cooking. Get it to room temperature.

Get your grill ready. This recipe works with gas, charcoal or a stovetop.

Lightly oil your steaks.

Place them on a hot grill, charring both sides.

Then, move the steaks to a cooler part of the grill to continue cooking, 6-7 minutes per side for medium rare.

Remove from the grill when you are happy with the temperature of the meat and let it rest in a warm space 7-8 minutes.

Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.

Friday, May 24, 2013

his eye is on the sparrow: Sorry my little boys act like... little boys.

Recommended reading for parents of toddlers, boys or girls!

his eye is on the sparrow: Sorry my little boys act like... little boys.: You know what I have been working really hard on?  Not apologizing for the fact that I have little boys,  who act and behave like... (g...

Jada's First Pedicure

With only two years of treading on her little paws, Jada is not in need of a pedicure but she definitely wanted one on our most recent visit to Dashing Diva

She loves her toes painted at home so I was not surprised by her request, " I paint my toes too?", when I  sat down to put my own tired feet in to the warm bath prepared for me. 

So, our accommodating friends at the spa obliged and delicately placed her little toes in my tub. She giggled and smiled, "Wook! Just like Mommy!" 

Our pedicurists sat side by side and worked in tandem, gently cleaning, filing and moisturizing until we were ready for the polish. 

"So pretty!" she whispered as the first coat of pink was brushed on her toes. 

She wasn't the only one smiling. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chicken and Rice for Beginners

Super cool, super practical, go-to recipe passed via favorites DALS via Bittman. Enjoy!

Chicken and Rice for Beginners

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good-Bye, Va Beh'

Every day, Michele and I are moving closer toward our dream of establishing our new life in Maui. Part of this transition is leaving our little restaurant, Va Beh', behind. We have sold the space to a very dear friend and wish him all the best in his new endeavor. 

Va Beh' was a dream come true for us. Building a business together, an extension of our love and of our home, brought us closer together as a couple and as a family. Challenging, inspiring, exhausting, exhilarating, every day tested and enriched our lives. We can only hope that we have done the same for our community, loyal customers, family and friends. 

Thank you to everyone who supported us on this journey. Thank you to those who continue to hold us up, as we prepare to open our next restaurant in Maui. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ginger Cupcakes with Jada

Rained all day so we made cupcakes, Jada's first batch! 

Her palette is a little more advanced than the average two year old's, so it was easy to opt for ginger. She loves it and we already had some in the house. 

The recipe is super simple and fast, kid friendly and delicious to boot. 

You will need: 
2 egg yolks 
.5 cup molasses 
.5 cup brown sugar 
.25 cup butter 
.5 cup yogurt 
1.5 cups unbleached flour 
1 tsp cinammon
2 tsp grated fresh ginger 
1.25 tsp baking soda 

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees as you prep your ingredients. 

2. Melt the butter and let it cool. 

3. You can grab a medium sized mixing bowl for this step, but I used the small pot that I melted the butter in: Make sure that the butter is completely cool, then mix in the egg yolks, molasses, sugar, yogurt and ginger. 

4. Let the wet mixture stand and find a large mixing bowl to mix your dry ingredients. Whisk all of the dry ingredients together. (This is Jada's favorite part.) 

5. Slowly introduce handfuls of the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients, stirring slowly until the dry is fully incorporated in to the wet. This is your batter. The hard part is over. 

6. Pour your batter in to muffin cups. (We are renting a "furnished" apartment in Maui and are making the most of whatever we have here. I just bought some paper cupcake cups from the grocery store and stood them on a baking sheet.) 

7. About twenty minutes later, you should have perfectly baked cupcakes. (Stick a fork in one to make sure that they are done, as I did, if you want to be sure that they are ready.)

8. Eat. Your toddler will love you. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Maui Onion Festival

As far as I could tell, The Maui Onion Festival is a county-fair feeling celebration of their famous sweet bulb in Kanapaali's upscale Whaler's Village. Not a structured presentation of various interpretations or uses of the veg, which is what I was expecting, but more of an open, free-for-all feel complete with magic shows, a beer garden and face painting for the kids.

There were local food vendors too. Menu items weren't onion-centric but worth noting: 

A container of incredible, flavorful noodles from The Hyatt Regency went down easy. 

And the fiery Korean tacos from Maui Fish and Pasta were the perfect compliment. 

But, the highlight of the day were Hula Grill's onion rings. We stood on a very long line for their only offering and it was well worth the wait. 

Crisp, light and flavorful in a light beer batter, the rings were wonderful. 

All in all, we didn't leave any more enlightened about the onion than when we came but we had a fun and entertaining Saturday lunch by the beach. We will definitely be back next year!