Thursday, September 23, 2010

Juviza and Gihuber | Brooklyn Engagement Photographer

When I'm not taking photos, my day job is managing an Americorps program at a community health center. Juviza was part of the first crew of Americorps I took over when I started. We had a great time taking photos down by the Brooklyn Bridge and I'm so excited to be a part of her wedding in a few short weeks!











Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quinoa Stir-Fry

I don't often cook with tofu. I do however love cooking with quinoa and a good stir fry so when this recipe popped up in my google reader, I thought I'd give it a shot.

The last time I made a stir fry with tofu it failed miserably, but I followed the directions more closely then I usually do with this and it turned out really great! I loved the flavors, subtle sesame oil and just enough ginger. It was also really quick, always appreciated on a weeknight. I would never have thought of quinoa in a stir fry, but it worked really well! Alex said this was just ok, but he had three plates full, so take that as you like. :-)


Stir Fried Quinoa with Vegetables and Tofu
From the New York Times

1/2 pound extra firm tofu, drained and sliced thinly
2 broccoli crowns, broken into florets
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce (regular or low-sodium)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (may substitute soy sauce)
2 teaspoons dark Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (grated on a microplane)
1 tablespoon minced ginger (grated on a microplane)
2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil
1 medium red bell pepper, cut in thin strips (we used 1 yellow and half a green)
3/4 pound (2 medium) baby bok choy, trimmed, washed and dried, cut in 1-inch lengths
1 bunch scallions, sliced very thin (I used one large scallion sliced thinly)
1.25 Cups quinoa, prepared to package directions

1. Place the tofu slices on paper towels. Place another paper towel on top, and prepare the remaining ingredients.

Cut the tofu slices into 1/2-inch dice. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and add the broccoli. Boil one minute, and transfer at once to a bowl of ice water. Drain and dry on paper towels.

2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil. Combine the garlic and ginger in another small bowl. Have all the ingredients within easy reach of your pan.

3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch steel skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in a tablespoon of the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and tilting the pan. Add the tofu. Reduce the heat to medium, and stir-fry one to two minutes until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds. Add the pepper and bok choy, and stir-fry for one minute. Add the broccoli, and stir-fry for one minute.

4. Swirl in the remaining oil, and add the scallions, quinoa and the soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry, scooping the ingredients up from the bottom of the wok, for about one minute until heated through and fragrant. Serve at once.



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tomato Almond Pesto Pasta

I saw this recipe pop up in my google reader from Smitten Kitchen the other day, and with the mounds of tomatoes at the market, I figured it would be an easy dinner to try.


It was super easy, though I had to make it in batches due to the size of my mini food processor. We also added in a few handfuls of shrimp to add some protein to the mix and subbed in spaghetti as that's what we had in the house. Yum!

We served it with a nice green salad with some fun rainbow carrots and cherry tomatoes.



Overall, if you're looking for a delicious light pasta dish that's easy for a weeknight, you've found your dinner!


Linguine with Tomato-Almond Pesto [Pesto Trapenese]
From Smitten Kitchen

Adapted from Gourmet

3/4 cup slivered almonds
1 large handful fresh basil leaves
1 to 2 large garlic cloves
Several sprinkles of sea salt
6 ripe plum tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
1 pound linguine

In a large skillet, sauté the almonds in a little olive oil until toasted. Let cool, then blend them in a food processor or blender until they are in coarse pieces. (“The size of orzo,” the original recipe suggests.) Scoop them out of the processor and set them aside.

Put the basil, garlic and a few pinches of sea salt into the food processor and chop. Add the almonds back to the food processor (keeping them separate will keep them from getting too finely chopped as you get the basil and garlic to the right texture) with the tomatoes, cheese and olive oil and whirl briefly. Season it with freshly ground black pepper.

Cook your linguine until it is al dente and could use another minute of cooking time. Reserve one cup of pasta cooking water and drain the rest. Immediately toss the hot linguine with the pesto and mix quickly so that it drinks the sauce up a bit. Add more pasta water if needed.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Reason #234

Beautiful Bread.


One of the things I loved when I lived in Spain was the fresh bread. Every day my host mother would be sure to bring home a fresh loaf of delicious crusty bread to have with our lunch.

New York allows us to have a piece of that, as we often find ourselves shopping for food on a near daily basis. I always am picking something up, and with the market so close to work and the little shops in the neighborhood, we've become accustomed to having lots of stuff fresh!

However, the best part of the market along with the beautiful food are the people that stand behind the produce. I think it's so important to know where your money is going, and in the case of Hot Bread Kitchen, I couldn't be happier with the cause I'm contributing to. On their website, their mission states:

"Hot Bread Kitchen is a non-profit social enterprise that creates better lives for low-income women and their families. We do this by paying women while they learn the skills necessary to launch food businesses and achieve management track positions in food manufacturing.

To help offset the cost of our training and to build esteem in the contribution of immigrants, we sell delicious multi-ethnic breads that are inspired by our bakers and the many countries that
they come from. We make it a priority to use local and organic ingredients.

How cool is that? I just got the ciabatta and a few little rolls for today, but I'm excited to try all the fun different kinds as well.

Here's to knowing where your food comes from, and using your dollar to make a difference.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Manhattan by Night.

Chances are if you've come to visit Alex and I since we've moved to the new neighborhood we've taken you for a stroll out to the Brooklyn Promenade. It's one of my favorite parts of where we live and where I regularly head on my running routes.

I've been meaning to get out to capture some night shots of the city for quite awhile and finally managed to get around to it this weekend. I love the promenade at night and am always entranced by the glow of Manhattan in the moonlight. They recently finished some new sections of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, so a lot of the Brooklyn side is now flood-lit at night, so the effect isn't quite as dramatic, but I still think it makes for a lovely view.