posted by on Cake, Cuban, Philadelphia, Vegging Out

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Even though I grew up just 20 minutes from Philadelphia, I always considered myself more of a New York gal. But with some of my best friends living there now, I’m trying to make more of an effort to visit and try the burgeioning restaurant scene.

Last week, while home for the holidays, we celebrated the birthdays (one a tad belated) of two of my high school friends. We settled on Mixto, a Cuban spot, whose most attractive quality was its proximity to my Philly-residing friend’s apartment. As you’ll see, that’s not always the best deciding factor.

What’s in it for you (not much): Plato Vegetariano (Rice with vegetables, arepa, yuca, avocado and plantains); Paella Vegetariano (Saffron broth with seitan, chickpeas, green peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini shittake mushrooms and plum tomatoes)

What’s in for them: Tilapia with mango salsa; tuna a la parilla (seared tuna with yuca puree, sauteed spinach and creole cream sauce); Lomtia pico de gallo (grilled pork loin, grilled pineapple, Peruvian mashed potatoes and guacamole); churassco Argentino (strip steak with garlic roast potatoes and vegetables; pollo empanizado (breaded chicken breasy in mild cheddar sauce with whipped potatoes and vegetables)

{An obviousstarter: guacamole with plantain chips}

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posted by on Coffees & Cafes, Nolita, Tea

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Every winter, I start counting down the years until I move to a warmer city, but the one part of colder temps that I do happen to enjoy is cozying up in a cafe with a good book and cafe au lait by my side.

Being the neighborhood snob that I am, I looked for a good spot in my relatively new surroundings that would satisfy my favorite winter activity. Pretty soon, I came across the cafe at McNally Jackson, a Nolita bookstore that has all the major titles of a Barnes & Noble without losing its charming mom and pop feel.

{Masala tea served atop a classic}

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posted by on Baking, Chocolate, Comfort Food, Cookies, Holidays

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Most people spend the holidays eating huge turkey dinners and gorging on baked goods, but when I go home it’s pretty much traditional Indian food every night. It’s amazing because I never have that kind of home-cooked goodness in New York, but when I got back to the city last night, I had an urge to make good on tradition.

Chalk it up to the lack of holiday baked goods during my week off from work or maybe it was my way of coping with going back to work, but after settling back in my apartment, I pulled up this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for oatmeal cookies and made a few adjustments and additions (i.e. chocolate) along the way.

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posted by on Crepes, Holiday Markets, Holidays, Midtown, Sandwiches, Vegging Out

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{Bryant Park ice skating rink}

Among the many things that are lovely about winter in the city—Christmas lights, artisanal hot chocolate, and the scent of pumpkin and peppermint—are the holiday markets. Sure, who actually needs kitschy clocks and winter hats in the shape of panda bears, but it’s hard to feel anything but a healthy dose of cheer while strolling the shops.

And if you’re not into the trinkets, you can always love the food, from Turkish gozlëme to mini cupcakes. My boyfriend and I visited that BP market during a long lunch break earlier this month, where we shared ‘wichcraft sandwiches and nutella crepes— plain for him and with bananas for me. I will never understand his dislike for bananas…

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posted by on Bistro, Brunch, Coffees & Cafes, European, Sandwiches, Vegging Out

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I was looking back at the photos on my computer and, as I sometimes do, came across photos from months ago that I haven’t yet shared. Whoops! These particular photos were from my best friend’s October visit to NYC. We ventured the great distance of one block from my apartment for the weekend brunch at Jacques, a French bistro in Nolita with good food and more importantly, an ambiance straight out of a Parisian cafe. (These photos were from my old, janky camera, which makes me realize how much I cherish my new Canon S95.)

{I want a sign like this in my apartment}

What’s in it for you: Eggs Florentine; vegetarian goat cheese sandwich with fries; French onion soup; frisee au Roquefort (with blue cheese, apples, pears and dijon vinaigrette)

What’s in it for them: Eggs Benedict; smoked salmon Benedict; Merguez omelet (lamb sausage and herbs); steak and eggs; French toast with bacon and fruit salad; Jacques burger with fries

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posted by on Bread, Eggs, Fast & Easy, Sandwiches, Vegging In

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On this week’s episode of Top Chef: All Stars, my favorite chef-turned-chef personality Anthony Bourdain made a remark that Wylie Dufresne of wd~50 fame here in New York is something of an “egg slut.” Well, I like to think I am, too. My love for eggs kind of reminds me of the Bagel Bites commercial: “Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening pizza at suppertime, when pizza’s on a bagel, you can pizza any time!”

Even though I mostly eat them in the morning — scrambled, sunny side up, and my favorite, poached — I came across this great recipe for lunch- or dinner-time eggs while flipping through Health magazine. Instead of goopy mayo, this version uses Greek yogurt, which happens to be a staple in my fridge. Plus, for a night when we had about 30 minutes to make and eat dinner (lest we want to miss the previews before Black Swan), it was the perfect quick meal.

{Boiled eggs chopped}

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