Breakfast for President

It has been a long minute since my last cooking endeavor. Mostly because it’s really hard. But! A while ago (maybe last weekend) I decided that I would make breakfast. I didn’t because I didn’t want to, but luckily the ingredients were still in the fridge. So, last night I decided to make breakfast for dinner.

Here’s the thing, I now understand why breakfast for dinner was always suggested at my house. It’s so easy to make and SUCH a crowd pleaser. Go Dad!! Breakfast wins. Go breakfast. Breakfast for Pres.

I decided to make scrambled eggs for boyfriend, eggs in a blanket -that’s what it was called in my house but I don’t know if it actually has a name- for myself, and boyfriend made himself bacon.

I started by making my eggs in a blanket. This is a piece of bread with a circle cut out of the middle and an egg is put into that hole in the bread. I cut the bread with a cup to make sure that I got a perfect circle in the middle. I did not get a perfect circle, but I managed to get a hole (unidentifiable shape) so I was fine with it.

Then I put butter in the pan, then added my bread and then I cracked my egg and put it inside of the unknown shape. Not bad. It was all going really well until I had to flip my egg in a blanket. After the “flipping” my egg was no longer in the blanket. My poor little egg was probably freezing. Get it? Because it wasn’t in the blanket anymore…

It ended up being a scrambled egg with a piece of bread. But, it was cooked the way I like it so I would say it was kind of successful.

Then I started making the scrambled eggs. Butter in. Three eggs in. Then I proceeded to scramble the eggs and add in two pieces of American Cheese and my secret ingredient…cream cheese. Shout out to Mom. It’s magical, I promise.

Then boyfriend said he wanted vegetables in the scrambled eggs. He has too much confidence in me. I had already cooked the eggs and I didn’t want them to burn so I took them out of the pan, put them onto the plate and then started to cook the veggies. Added some salt, pepper and oil and cooked them right up.

This was all happening while boyfriend was simultaneously making his bacon. Keep in mind the kitchen is the size of a Starbucks bathroom stall. A small Starbucks stall.

When we were done cooking we successfully plated our masterpieces and sat down to a lovely home-cooked meal. We also had chips and guacamole because the guacamole was about to expire.

Also Oreos for dessert.

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Places I Like to Eat (close to NYU)

As an NYU student it is VERY important for me to know all the best restaurants and coffee shops around me. In my first semester I made it my mission to eat everywhere so I could know all the best places. Freshman 15 in the first semester. My belly is happy.

Here are my results…

Best Coffee Shop:

The Bean

824 Broadway

Holy wow do I love this place. There are 3 different locations around NYC but this one is homey and cozy and the best. It’s always super crowded and super warm (which I happen to love). There aren’t always seats available so sharing tables is a must. Also, their dirty chai is seriously to die for. Absolutely incredible. They also have both vegan and gluten free options. And wifi. And a discount if you’re a student at NYU. This magical place is also next door to The Strand; the best bookstore in the whole entire world and my favorite place ever. Not an exaggeration.

Best Pizza:

Joe’s Pizza

150 E 14TH Street

Cheesy, melty goodness in every bite. And for a low, low cost. It’s been around since 1975 and the slices are around $3.00 each. This place is an institution and you must go.

Best Bagels:

Murray’s Bagels

500 Ave. Of the Americas

See bagel post (pictures included)

Best Ice Cream:

Sundaes and Cones

95 E 10th Street

Super unique and fun ice cream flavors. Examples include black sesame and green tea. WHAT?!? Crazy weird. And crazy yummy. And cute!! They have snowmen everywhere. Who doesn’t like snowmen??!!?!?

Best Oatmeal:

Oatmeals

120 W. 3rd Street

This sounds like a weird category but holy moly this might be my favorite place to eat. They have both savory and sweet oatmeals on the menu, or you have the option to make your own. They have options from Parmesan Ris(oat)o all the way to the S’mores flavored oatmeals. Their sizes are Baby Bear (small), Mama Bear (medium) and Papa Bear (large). How cute is that?!!? Boyfriend gets Papa Bear. They are yummy and warm and obviously healthy because you’re eating oatmeal.

Other Places you Should Go:

 Space Market (for a quick bite or snack)

Glaze (a FANTASTIC Asian teriyaki place thing)

Dos Toros (like Chipotle but it looks fancier and has a more fun name)

Fresh & Co (yummy and healthy and everywhere)

S’mac (MAC AND CHEESE YUMMINESS)

 Happy eating.

 

Gym Junky Paradise

I really try to eat healthy. I try to avoid sweets. I try not to drink coke. And I think that it’s a good idea to eat a substantial amount of green things everyday. I also think that eating in moderation is key. People disagree with me though. There is this new “health” trend coming about called a Cheat Meal and it’s exactly what you think it is.

Cheat Meals are typically for the avid gym junky. For the huge, scary, hulk type, car- lifting humans. Boyfriend being one of them. Boyfriend LOVES his cheat meals. His last cheat meal consisted of 6 cheeseburgers and 2 Mcflurrys (m&m and oreo). Oh, yes.

The idea is that when you eat that much in such a short amount of time your metabolism has to work that much harder. The increase in metabolism “can last for days after your body digests a cheat meal thus offsetting the drop in hormones that occurs when the calorie-defecient diet is again resumed” (bodybuilding.com). The key is to diet for 6 days and then on the 7th day you have the cheat meal. Continuing like this will (in theory) make you leaner and meaner (not actually meaner).

Honestly, I am a huge fan of these cheat meals. Mostly because I can have a bite of whatever I want and I don’t have to feel bad about it because I am not eating even close to as much as what boyfriend is eating. Also, boyfriend has to jump up and down sometimes (to make the food go down faster?) and that’s always fun to watch.

I am not sure if cheat meals do indeed cause weight loss, but I like the idea of them regardless. You get to stuff your face until you want to die and then your body is so overwhelmed that it just rejects all of the food. At least that’s how I picture it working.

Past Cheat Meals:

12 Donuts (Variety of kinds)

17 Pieces of Pizza

3 Boxes of Cereal and 2 Gallons of Milk

Box of Oreos and Bag of Hot Cheetos

Bag of Mini Donuts, Box of Sugar Cookies, Box of Oreos (Oreos are our favorite)

Future Cheat Meals I Think Would be Funny to Watch:

12 Cups of Coffee

3 Pounds of Salami

4 Bottles of Siracha

47 Apples

23 Ranch Dressing Packets

So many people are taking part in these cheat meals that they are opening a Cheatmeals Diner in South Harrow, London.

#gains

(I think that’s what they say)

Pretend Cooking

This is a new segment of my blog that I will be calling pretend cooking! Pretend cooking happens on the days where cooking is just too much to handle. When you get home late and you just want to sink into that butt imprint on your couch and watch Netflix for hours. When the idea of getting up to make ramen from the package makes you want to cry. When you just want to be a lazy potato…but you’re starving. Today I had a lazy potato day.

Here is how my pretend cooking came about…

I was browsing online for some easy taco recipes and came across one on Real Simple that said all I needed was to buy a pre-made rotisserie chicken and then the typical taco ingredients. Meaning: NO NEED TO COOK CHICKEN. Thank you Real Simple, you made everything really, really simple.

Market time! I got some cucumbers, salsa, guacamole, tortilla wraps and cheese. I’m very minimal when it comes to my tacos. Then I went to look for the chicken. If you are a loyal reader (thanks grandparents) I’m sure you know about my track record with grocery shopping. And, based on my grocery excursions so far I’m sure you can piece together what happened next. Yep. You guessed it, no rotisserie chicken.

There was pre-made turkey, but the bones were visible and that freaked me out. There was some kind of fish, but I was not in the mood. Then I saw some lemon chicken, but felt like that might be weird with the salsa and assortment of shredded cheeses.

THEN I found a Mexican chicken salad. Sold.

All I had to do to prepare this meal was to cut up the cucumbers, warm up the chicken and cook the tortilla wraps a little bit. Very manageable.

I began this very taxing cooking experience by cutting up the cucumbers. I only ate most of them. Then I put the pre-made Mexican Chicken into a pan with some vegetable oil. I didn’t cook it for too long because I really didn’t want to burn the already made chicken. You are not allowed to have burnt food when you are pretend cooking. So, the chicken ended up being a little bit chilly, but it smelled good. Then, I put the tortilla wraps into a pan to cook those (the oven doesn’t work). The first one ended up being super oily and gross. They got better as I kept cooking though. Progress people.

All I had to do after that was put out the guacamole, salsa, and cheese. Can’t mess that up.

Everything tasted super yummy (except for the super oily tortilla wrap that boyfriend ate (still sorry)).

Pretend cooking is the best. I highly recommend it.

The Best Bagels in New York (so far)

I love bagels. I think it should be a requirement that each person must eat at least one bagel a week. I mean, okay they may not be the healthiest but…taste trumps health in this case.

As a New Yorker, it is important that I know where to get the best bagels. I haven’t been to every single bagel shop yet (key word yet) but out of the bagel shops I have been to here are the best of the best…

5. Murray’s Bagels

500 Ave of the Americas

This is a top-notch bagel joint. Not only do they have the typical bagel variety (salt, everything, sesame etc.) they also have the option to add omelets or meats or cheeses to the bagels. The more options the better. They also have a huge array of drinks and different sweet items. The bagels are doughy and filling. This place is a staple as an NYU student.

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(salt bagel with regular cream cheese)

4. Brooklyn Bagel

286 8th Ave

Okay, #4, this bagel shop is seriously incredible. When I went here with boyfriend it was a freezing day in the city and there was no room to sit and eat in the shop. So, boyfriend and I decided it would be fun to find a bench and eat in the cold (always up for a city adventure). Even though our fingers were numb and it was hard to talk by the end of our meal because of our frozen lips, the bagels were still incredible. That’s saying something. There are as many different kinds of cream cheese that you can think of to go on huge, doughy bagels. These bagels are huge. Like, really huge. The more the merrier.

(It was so cold that I forgot to take a picture but I got an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese)

3. Tompkins Square Bagels

165 Avenue A

 Yum. The line to get a bagel at this tiny little shop is always out the door. That alone is a good sign. There are 40 cream cheese flavors (I counted) including expresso, wasabi and different tofu varieties. There are also a large number of specialty sandwiches. And! You can watch the bagels being made. Those bagel makers are magicians I swear. This is also a spot frequented by many NYU students, and it is near a skate park. Bagels and a show.

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(everything bagel with regular cream cheese and avocado)

 Russ & Daughters: The Shop

179 E Houston Street

Warning: this joint has two different locations. There is the shop and the café. The shop is where the bagels are sold and the café is where you can sit down and order a meal. This is important because these two places are a bit of a walk from each other and the website is not very clear.

Okay, now onto the bagels. Once you get to the Russ & Daughters SHOP you are immediately hit with the small of fish and chocolate. Yes, weird combination but such a pretty sight. The chocolates/ pastries line one side of the store and the bagels and lox line the other. These bagels are smaller and crispier than other the other bagel places previously mentioned, but just as yummy, don’t worry. The only issue is there isn’t a place to sit and enjoy the bagels. I would recommend going to this small haven on a day when it isn’t 30 degrees outside. Still though, worth it even in the cold.

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(everything bagel with veggie cream cheese)

 1. Absolute Bagels

2788 Broadway

Dead. These bagels are heavenly. The best of the best. So good. Seriously. Even thinking about these bagels makes me want to cry. Sorry, but wow. The line is out the door no matter what time it is so you must wait. Seriously…wait in the line. It’s worth it. I promise. The shop is tiny and there are about 10 magical unicorn wizards behind the counter getting your pieces of heaven to you as fast as possible. There is also a nice homeless man outside of the shop sometimes. He’s really nice. Don’t ask me why the bagels are so good, I really do not know. They just are. You must trust me. That’s all I can say. Just go.

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(salt bagel with regular cream cheese)

Stay tuned for more bagel reviews.

A Workout and a Meal

I tried cooking again! Giving myself a mental pat on the back because cooking is very exhausting. Go you if you cook everyday.

Today I attempted to make One Pot Pad Thai (thank you buzzfeed). The recipe seemed simple enough, and only one pot to wash? Bonus. So, off I went to the market. I chose to go to a market up by Union Square because I knew it would have what I needed. Also it was close to where I worked out. So, list in hand I started to inspect the aisles. First, I couldn’t find the green onions. Then, the scallions were nowhere to be found. Then I couldn’t find the shallots. (I never actually found any of those items). Then, in order to make the Pad Thai sauce I needed a few different kinds of sauces. Couldn’t find any of those. I had to ask the poor market worker about every single item. Shoutout to you market worker. Eventually, I found the items that I deemed most important-not very chef like, I know-and made my way to my kitchen (boyfriend’s kitchen).

Good News: I got a good work out in.

Bad News: I had to carry 3 heavy grocery bags a mile and a half in the middle of winter in New York City.

My arms were about to fall off.

More Good News: I actually planned ahead before I started cooking!! Yay progress.

So, first I made the Pad Thai sauce. This included brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce (ew), and rice wine vinegar (also ew). For the record I have a fear of vinegar so this was a huge step for me. The recipe called for 1/8 cup of all of those ingredients. Unfortunately, we don’t have 1/8 of a cup SO I had to wing it. Eh, could be worse. After that was done I cut up the chicken into small chunks. Okay, I cut up half of the chicken. Then my arm got tired. Boyfriend took over. Then I cooked the chicken until it was nice and golden brown. Then cooked two eggs. Then made my noodles (NO BURNING THIS TIME) and then all I had to do was put all of these ingredients into my (one) pot and mix it all together.

MORE GOOD NEWS: It tasted good. Like…good.

Also don’t worry, I bought pepper. (See previous post).

 

 

Attempt #1

Today I tried to cook. That’s right, I put on my big girl pants and brought out the pots and pans. First, I googled easy recipes and settled on Chicken Scaloppini With Spinach and Linguine from Southern Living. It looked yummy and…it said easy to make. Note to self: don’t always trust the label.

So, I was off to the store. Unfortunately, the grocery store I went to wasn’t organized in the most convenient fashion. There was a lot of bumping, dropping, squeezing and sighing involved in finding all of my ingredients. Also, as a reborn meat eater getting the chicken was a little gross. But, in the end I got all of my supplies and it was an experience. Yay for grocery shopping in New York City!!

Now, the hard part. Cooking. Step number one was to make the linguine, and while that was cooking I had to chop up the asparagus and wash the spinach. Easy, breezy, beautiful. Then I had to strain the cooked noodles (thank you boyfriend for doing the heavy lifting) and put them back in the pot on low heat with the spinach and chopped up asparagus. All of that was accomplished seamlessly. Then I had to cut the chicken and make the flour coating for it. Oops we didn’t have pepper (we used garlic powder instead). Smooth sailing. Next it was time to cook the chicken. It actually didn’t go as badly as I thought it would. The most difficult part was knowing if the chicken was fully cooked or not because I haven’t eaten it in so long. Again, boyfriend you rock. Also, ouch at the stupid oil jumping out of the pan. Then, I realized that my noodles were still on low heat, and I was guessing that the recipe called for low heat because they didn’t know how slow I am at cooking. So, I looked at my noodles and while the top looked fine, the whole bottom layer was a nice golden brown. The color you want your marshmallows to look on a s’more. Nice. We turned that burner off and tried to take off all of the crunchy noodles. Bonus to the burning, the crunchy noodles were a nice little snack. I feel like there should have been dramatic music playing the whole time that I had the stove on. Then I made the sauce to go on my unique noodles. No problems here. Then boyfriend did some more heavy lifting and poured the sauce over my noodles. It ended up looking a little bit like ramen. Weird because it’s an Italian dish, but I wasn’t complaining. And, I didn’t set the apartment on fire.

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I also forgot some of the ingredients (capers, parmesan, salt)

Here are things I need to work on…

1.Not burning the noodles

2.Cooking faster

3.Learning how to cook chicken

4. Arm strength

5. Remembering ingredients

6.Buy pepper

My dinner actually ended up being kind of yummy. I don’t know if that’s because I was exhausted and starving or because it was actually good…

Welcome

My name is Carly Stern and I am currently a freshman at New York University.

Full disclosure…I am not a chef. I can make omelets, grilled cheese and macaroni semi-successfully. Okay, honestly I’m lying when I say I am semi successful with my cooking endeavors. So, this blog will be a documentation of my journey trying to cook as well as a place for me to document all of the really cool places that I get to eat at.

I believe that cooking and eating should be fun, so if you’re looking for a serious step by step/ how to/ look at me and my fancy expensive fine dining experiences blog…this is not the right place.

The reason that my blog is called TAE is because I think it’s really backwards if you don’t love food. Get it? (TAE is “eat” spelled backwards).

If you subscribe to this blog I will deliver a puppy to your door!! Just kidding but I will deliver tons of fun.