Pirashki Stuffed with Ground Beef

Pirashki!

Pirashki!

Although I have been experimenting with many different regional cuisines, it was pointed out to me that I’ve yet to make any Persian food. After reviewing a list of Persian dishes, the Persian Pirashki caught my eye. But I was a little confused because pirashki sounds really Russian. So of course I looked it up and it turns out that there are many dishes in Iran that have roots in Russia. I had to brush up a bit on my geography and realized that the two countries are really close together, so it isn’t really that surprising that a few dishes overlap.

This was my first time making bread dough! Luckily I have seen Koen make it millions of times so I had an idea of what I had to do and what to expect my dough to look like. The result was a bit like naan, because it’s yogurt based. The combination of the yogurt dough and ground beef filling – yellow from the tumeric, was so delicious! From the recipe I was able to make 10 pirashkis, so Koen and I are having the rest for lunch today! Yum! Continue reading

New York City: Revisiting our favorite spots

One last Bahn Mì from Saigon in Chinatown

One last Banh Mì from Saigon in Chinatown

Day 13 was our last full day in NYC because we needed to head to the airport after lunch the next day. So we spent our last real day eating my favorite lunch again from the trip – Banh Mì from Saigon in Chinatown, and then heading back to Midtown to buy presents. I also wanted to visit the Ralph Lauren stores on Madison Avenue as well as his daughter’s candy store, Dylan’s Candy Bar. As a thank you to Christina for letting us stay with her so long, we spent our last evening seeing Mamma Mia on Broadway! The next morning we needed to pack and get our things together. For our last lunch we decided to go back to San Gennaro’s for steak and mozzarella sandwiches. Luckily we planned a lot of time between leaving Christina’s apartment and our flight. It turns out the exact time we wanted to head to the metro station was during the huge parade for San Gennaro! The crowds were gigantic and we were both with two suitcases trying to fight our way through. Then we had to talk to the police officers to try and convince them to let us cross through the parade because if we had would wait another hour it would be too late. So rather than taking 5 minutes to get to the metro station it took us 30 minutes – but we made it! At the airport we decided to have one last burger from the Shake Shack! Now we are both looking forward to going back to NYC in September!

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New York City: Russ and Daughters, San Gennaro, The Butcher’s Daughter

Russ and Daughters

Russ and Daughters

Heading into our last days in NYC, we knew we had to try a bagel from Russ and Daughters. Christina and I left to pick up bagels to bring back to the apartment but we hadn’t realized our trip coincided with Yom Kippur. There is always a long wait but we arrived the day before the holiest day of the year for Jewish people. So it was packed! But luckily a kind stranger gave us his tickets and we didn’t have to wait more than half an hour – but some people were waiting more than an hour to place orders! But I have to say it was worth the wait (plus I had good company)! After lunch we headed to Little Italy for the grand opening of San Gennaro – the oldest and biggest religious street festival in NYC. We heard there was a cannoli eating contest and we had to check it out. We’ll never be able to unsee the contest, but at least I can check off attending an eating event from my bucket list.  I lost my craving for cannolis so we headed to The Butcher’s Daughter for kale chips and fresh juice. We were invited over to Queens for dinner at my friend Greg’s place, but of course I forgot to take photos!

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New York Day: Brooklyn (Williamsburg and Bushwick)

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn

Now that we had explored a lot of Manhattan, we decided on day 11 to meet up with some friends in Brooklyn. We met up with our friend Matt in Brooklyn to see another side of NYC. First we explored Williamsburg, walking around and stopping at the park to look at the view of Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridge. Matt also took us to Five Leaves where I of course ordered a Brooklyn beer, because it was only fitting. For dinner we headed to Bushwick to meet Danny at Arepera Guacuco and I tried arepas for the first time! After dinner we met up with my friend Meredith for drinks in Bushwick.

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New York Day: Katz’s Deli & The Met

The Famous Katz's Delicatessen

The Famous Katz’s Delicatessen

By our 10th day in NYC, we had already seen quite a bit – so we slept in before enjoying lunch at the famous Katz’s Delicatessen, founded in 1888! Everyone knows the famous scene in Katz’s Deli from the movie When Harry Met Sally. There’s sign hanging in the restaurant if you’re interested in sitting in the same booth! After our HUGE lunch, we headed to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The collection at the Met is overwhelming. In general, it’s so amazing how much art is at your fingertips while you are in New York City. Koen and I will be back in NYC September 2014, and we’ll definitely head back to the Met! If you’re on a budget, admission for the museum is based on donations. So if $25 is too much, you can give what you can any day of the week. After our trip to the Met we met Christina when she got off from work for Mexican food.

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New York Day: My birthday, Natural History Museum, Zabar’s, and more cupcakes

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History, Theodore Roosevelt Equestrian Statue

I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday during our trip to New York City! We decided to save the American Museum of Natural History for the occasion. I had no idea the museum is so big! Luckily you can leave the museum and come back, so we spent a couple of hours in the morning exploring before taking a break to have lunch in Central Park. After spending a few more hours at the museum, we went for a birthday cupcake in Soho followed by a delicious Italian dinner from Di Palo. To end the evening, Koen, Christina, and I went for cocktails at Apothéke, a speakeasy in Chinatown.

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New York Day: Dim Sum at Jing Fong, The Frick Collection, Staten Island Ferry, Di Palo’s and more cupcakes

Sunday breakfast - Dim Sum at Jing Fong in Chinatown

Sunday breakfast – Dim Sum at Jing Fong in Chinatown

On Sunday, I had dim sum for the first time! To take advantage of Christina being off from work, we started the day with Dim Sum, followed by a visit to The Frick Collection, where on Sundays from 11 – 1PM you can pay what you wish to visit, and then a beautiful ferry ride from Battery Park to Staten Island (which passes Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and also happens to be free). When we arrived back in Battery Park, we went to Nathan’s for hotdogs and corndogs. Christina had to go back to work, but Koen and I enjoyed the view of the Statue of Liberty and the nice weather. My birthday was the following day, so we stopped by Di Palo for delicious Italian treats and wine. And of course, a birthday dinner isn’t complete without dessert, and we went for a walk to the Little Cupcake Bakeshop in Nolita for cupcakes.

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New York Day: Banh Mi, Nike, Chelsea Market, Markt, and the Guggenheim

Koen and Christina in front of the best Vietnamese sandwich restaurant in Chinatown!

Koen and Christina in front of the best Vietnamese sandwich restaurant in Chinatown!

On Saturday, we planned our day around visiting the Guggenheim Museum. Because we were trying to save money, we visited the MOMA on Friday, because entrance is free between 4 – 8PM and the Guggenheim on Saturday between 5:45 – 7:45PM, because you are able to pay what you want. Christina was also off from work, so she took us to her favorite Banh Mi restaurant for lunch, then to a Nike exhibit she worked on in the Meatpacking District, followed by a tour of the Chelsea Market, and then to a Belgian restaurant for biertjes and frietjes.

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New York Day: Financial District, Shake Shack, Brooklyn Bridge, Molly’s Cupcakes

Taking the Subway to Lower Manhattan, to the Financial District

Taking the Subway to Lower Manhattan, to the Financial District

Friday, Day 6, was a really fun day! Koen and I started with the Financial District, seeing Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange before having a delicious lunch at the Shake Shack. After our burgers, fries, and milkshakes, we walked off the calories along the Brooklyn Bridge enjoying the sun and clear skies. After walking to Brooklyn, we took the subway to Midtown because on Fridays from 4 to 8PM, the Moma is free! There is so much wonderful art at the Moma, and I could take photos, so there will be another post dedicated to the Museum of Modern Art. Afterwards, we headed back to Chinatown and induldged in cupcakes from Molly’s Cupcakes in Greenwich Village.

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New York Day: MOMA

The Museum of Modern Art!

The Museum of Modern Art!

I know it’s already March, but I’ve just now been able to find the time to post more photos from NYC! We were there 14 days and I’m still on Day 6! This post is exclusively about The Museum of Modern Art, or the MOMA, because I want to keep track of all of the beautiful artwork that Koen and I saw. At the time there was a special exhibition called American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe which I really enjoyed. Also, we were able to visit the museum for FREE. Every Friday if you’re patient enough to wait in line, you can enter the museum free of charge from 4 to 8PM.

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