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Meat Reviews

My Pizza Stone Review

December 14, 2016

We’re finally getting around to using some of wedding gifts. We received the Old Stone Oven Rectangular Pizza Stone off our Amazon wedding registry.

I never made pizza dough myself so I opted to go for a store bought version. It was the perfect opportunity to try the Trader Joes Garlic and Herb Pizza Dough that I’ve been eyeing. The dough was fairly easy to roll out. The end results were great and I highly recommend using this flavorful pizza dough.
fullsizerender-1We decided to make a meat lovers, mushroom pizza. We whipped up a quick homemade tomato sauce and topped it with shredded mozzarella cheese, ground beef, pepperoni, chicken sausage and mushrooms. Another shout out to Trader Joes for their Jalapeño Chicken Sausage. I don’t eat Italian sausage, but I will definitely be trying out more chicken sausages. It had the perfect amount of flavor and heat. fullsizerender-2 fullsizerender-3 fullsizerender-4We followed the pizza stone instructions, which were to place the stone inside the oven, while preheating the oven to 450F. Our pizza was topped and ready to go into the oven, but that’s when we ran into some problems. How do we transfer the pizza onto the sizzling stone? We ended up putting the pizza onto a floured cookie sheet with the hopes of having it slide off onto the stone. It was a struggle, but we were eventually able to get the pizza onto the stone. I probably should have researched this prior to trying to make pizza. I later googled that we should have made the pizza on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Then using the cookie sheet, slide the parchment paper and pizza onto the stone. That would have made clean up alot easier too. 
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Overall, the pizza stone worked great to give us that crunchy crust that we were looking for. We could hear the sizzle as soon as the dough hit the stone. Going forward, I’m going to try out the cookie tray and parchment paper technique. Here’s to many more future pizza nights!

 

 

 

Life Reviews Travel

My #NYCWFF Review

October 18, 2016

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend this year’s New York City Wine and Food Festival. My uncle won tickets and my mom and I were the lucky ones to reap the benefits. 

The festival started at noon, but we had fast pass tickets and were able to get on the expediated line to beat the rush. It was held at Pier 94. I’ve never been there, but it was a huge space. There were 2 stages where guest chefs gave demostrations and the rest of the space was filled with various food and wine vendors. There were so many different vendors offering free food and drinks that I never had to wait on line more than 10 minutes for anything. fullsizerender-4

There a were plenty of food and wine to go around! I ate everything from meatballs, porkbelly, chicken drumsticks, baked clams to cheesecakes, cookies and ice cream. They did not skimp on the portions too. Most samples were so big that it was able to satisfy both me and my mom. I was surprised by how many alcohol vendors were there. They had a seperate section for wines whiskey, gin, vodka, etc. Not to mention the cocktails were amazing! Some of the vendors included Shop Rite, David Burkes Kitchen, Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse, Blue Moon, and Cupcake Vineyards.fullsizerender-1 img_7426 fullsizerender-3fullsizerender-2I was also excited to see some Food Network chefs. Whenever we needed a break from eating, we headed to a demo. We saw Moriomoto, Rachel Ray, Tiffany Thiessen, Emeril Lagasse and Valerie Bertinelli. The morning demos had less people and we were actually able to get a seat, but the afternoon demos were packed and ended up standing or sitting on the floor. Morimoto was by far my favorite chef that I saw. He’s a really funny guy in real life. fullsizerender-5fullsizerender-2The best part was the amount of loot I was able to collect by the end of the day. They were giving out everything from samples of avocado oil to lady finger cookies to full size bottles of Kikkoman products. fullsizerender-8Would I go back again? It was definitely an amazing experience and to be able to go for free was even better. Tickets are around $200, but most of the proceeds go to the No Kid Hungry and New York City’s Food Bank. I think it’s worth the price for the amount of food, alcohol and entertainment that you get for 6 hours.photo

Reviews Wedding

My ‘Plated’ Review

October 12, 2016

Two of our friends gifted us a subscription to Plated as a wedding present. Plated is a meal subscription service. Every week you pick 2-3 meals and they mail all the ingredients portioned out along with matching recipe cards. This gift came in handy as I started to run out of dinner ideas.

Here’s my week 1 first impressions. I chose the 3 meals a week for 2 people plan, which is $72 per week. You start by picking 2-3 meals from from about 9 recipes. There’s a good variety of vegitarian options and protein options. A plus about Plated is that you can easily skip weeks for whatever reason. You also choose which day of the week you want the package to be delievered. Plated shippments are tracked so you know exactly when it should be delievered to your door.

It came in one box with cooler bags to keep all the ingredients fresh. I appreciated how organized everything was. The ingredients were grouped and labeled by recipe. I enjoyed the large recipe cards with detailed photos. I will definitely be saving these recipe cards for the future.
fullsizerender-3My biggest complaint would be the portion size. I thought that their filler ingredients outweighed the main ingredient. Their 2 person portion of steak looked more like a portion for one.

Tomato Braised Fish with Fennel, Potatoes and Dill:
fullsizerender-2fullsizerender-4Seared Steak with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Gratin:
fullsizerender-5fullsizerender-6Sicilian Turkey Meatballs with Eggplant Ragufullsizerender-1 fullsizerender-7Overall, I enjoy using Plated. I do less grocery shopping and don’t have to stress so much about what to make for dinner. We picked recipes based on trying ingredients/recipes that we wouldn’t normally gravitate towards, so it allowed us to expand our horizons. Some of the recepes were better than others. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll be continuing my subscription once my current one runs out. For the little amount of food you recieve, it’s just not worth it. Plated is a unique gift that would be great for newlyweds, parents with newborns or just anyone who wants to cook, but don’t have all the time in the world.