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E-Z(ucchini) Carpaccio

A frequent stop when I go home to New Jersey is to Fig & Olive in the city. My dad’s girlfriend is a serious food fanatic and this is her go-to. Needless to say, we get along. She loves this place and deems our visits a reason to celebrate, which is 100% okay with me. This place has very a fresh, simple menu and is yet to disappoint. I got mushroom soup there once and it was BANGIN’. Like, so good I was giving the waiter the skeptical eye (do it, click the link) when they responded that, “no, there’s no unicorn sparkle magic ingredient in there”. The ambiance of the meatpacking district location is so nice. It’s weirdly home-y for a NYC trendy restaurant, with fresh herbs growing throughout the place, a collection of olive oils from all around the world filling the walls (available for purchase, btw) and centrally located open bar where you can watch the bartenders using fresh ingredients for their cocktails. One item we always get from the menu, whether it’s brunch or dinner, is the zucchini carpaccio. So basic. So simple. So perfect. So DELICIOUS. It makes for a really good appetizer or side dish and is really easy, so definitely an option for a dinner party. No guilt with this either. MOW away and feel no shame if you finish the whole thing yourself.

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Zucchini Carpaccio (for two)

-1 large zucchini, or two smaller ones, you judge

-1/2 lemon

-3 tablespoons high quality olive oil

-grated parmesan or grana padano

-handful of toasted pine nuts

-salt and fresh ground pepper

Slice zucchini thin > Arrange on plate in a shingle like design, slightly overlapping > Combine olive oil and lemon juice > whisk to emulsify > sprinkle zucchini with salt and pepper > drizzle olive oil/lemon mixture over the top to lightly dress the zucchini > sprinkle with grated cheese and pine nuts > let sit for at least 10 min > add whatever you feel is missing/lacking > bon appetit!

This is a good recipe to trust your gut with. Don’t feel like you have to follow these amounts exactly. If you need more or less, just go with it and eyeball everything. I’ve seen some recipes out there which include fresh ricotta, additional chopped herbs, or goat cheese. YES, PLEASE. All of the above. Here’s one of them – YUM. You can also put it on a bed of arugula or other light green. I actually used pea shoots for mine, but they were a little too intense with the light flavors in this dish. Next time I would go with something that’s tamer.

HAPPY WEEKEND!

 

 

Fitzgerald said it best…

“Life starts all over again once it gets crisp in the fall”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovAN6aYggWo

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve written out this first post back. It’s funny how much stress I put on myself for my posts, as if my audience base is that large…or that judgmental. In a nutshell, my first semester of grad school and the entire summer flew by. There were lots of weddings, a move to a new town, final papers, new workout MORNING schedule (believe it, baby), multiple out-of-state weekend trips and having to say goodbye to one of my best friends in Boston. Now here we are, October 1st. I am absolutely  in love with this season and there’s something about the leaves falling and nature starting its renewal process that makes me a little more in sync with embracing change and moving forward. Semester number two has started.  I have a tendency to, how should I say this, lose my shit when new deadlines, or I suppose change in general, hits my plate. The last four weeks brought me a dog needing/getting ACL surgery, some medical issues of my own, never-ending to-do list at work, and a new syllabus, which slapped me in the face and called me bitch as soon as I got it. I’ve had anxiety as long as I can remember and although I’ve made great improvements in the last year or so, I refuse to let it consume me anymore. I understand it will always be there and it will never fully disappear, but I cannot let it dictate my moods and waste my mental energy. So, rabbit rabbit. Happy to be back. Happy to be doing things that I feel like are moving me in the right direction. Happy to have celebrated 4 years with an unbelievable guy last week. AND DEFINITELY happy to be looking forward to a long Columbus Day weekend in Maine with no plans, except to relax.

Mental note: need to get back into yoga.

Fridays have been kind of bittersweet lately. On one hand I’m all, HELL YEA FRIDAY!!!! Then on the other hand I’m like, another week is over? How? Time is FLYING by and it’s freaking me out a little bit. With a full work week, classes, workouts, etc. it’s hard to live each day with purpose, as the Buddhists say. I have been trying to make sure I get my workouts in and cook dinner sans microwave during the week. On Wednesday I made vegetarian enchiladas [so effing good…everyone on planet earth will like these] with homemade enchilada sauce. Who knew this irish/scandinavian chica could be so well versed with mexican cuisine.  Yo soy bueno….muy bueno.

sauce

[my sawwwwce – SPOILER: it’s basically a roux with tomato paste, broth instead of milk, and spices]

This recipe is already all over the internets, but I deemed it a must-post for G&G. Even the leftovers the next day for lunch were awesome. Have a fantastico weekend mis amigos! I’m so worldly…

HOLA

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I’m Pro Prosciutto

PRO: My office has a keurig-like coffee machine with free coffee [how convenient, save some washingtons, i can reuse my favorite mug]

CON: My office has a keurig-like coffee with free coffee [no easy excuse to leave, no cappuccinos, i’m a brat]

Not that my office is on lock-down or anything. I come and go as a I please for the most part and don’t stress when my lunch goes over allotted time. It’s just…..UGH MONDAYSSSSS! WHYYYYYY! Get me out of here!!!!

[case of the Mondays]

On a happier/tastier note, this weekend I had some pretty fantastic food experiences. Dan and I went on a double date to Marco in the North End on Friday. I think it’s new? At least I don’t remember it being there when I lived there. It’s teeny tiny, so maybe I just managed to overlook it. In any case, it was so good!! Traditional Italian and their appetizers were INSANELY good. We got a burrata with prosciutto and sautéed onions on it, cheese filled dates wrapped in prosciutto, bruschetta (aka garlic bread, but still delicious) and italian sausage with roasted peppers/onions. SO AMAZING. For my meal I went with bolognese and it lived up to my expectations. Homemade pasta with ’tish of cream in the sauce…so so so good. Cocktail list was pretty bomb too. Definitely a jewel amongst a plethora of tourist traps.

[love Guy – he should come out with a mens accessory line]

Saturday night continued my prosciutto bonanza. Dan and I got pizza from a place that was recently aired on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives called, Italian Pizza Express. It was phenom. He got pepperoni and I got prosciutto and ricotta cheese. Definitely going to order from there again, especially because it delivers to my new place  – HUGE BONUS POINTS.

I snuck in some vinyasa yoga on Saturday, but last week I was a slacker after moving and trying to unpack. Back to it this week! Tonight = 5k and some lower body work.  Tomorrow = yoga at work starts up again. yes.

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Deep Thoughts

Things going through my head on July 5th:

  • Where am I?
  • What day is it?
  • Convinced that this is the first time July 4th has ever fallen on a Wednesday [it’s just wrong].
  • I’m bloated and sore at the same time from a workout and mucho indulgences yesterday. Very strange.
  • Okay…it’s been confirmed, today is Thursday. Tomorrow is a 1/2 day and then I’m off to Jersey. Light at the end of the tunnel.
  • I ate enough chicken nuggets and tater tots  for a family of six last night IN ADDITION to taco bell. Woof.
  • Organic duck sauce [condiment of choice with above nugg fest] always tastes really weird. Must stick with the original one even though it’s naughty. Some things just can’t be made healthy.
  • How can I tell my boss that today is useless and that I should just go home to cuddle with Bear?

[Yes, Mr.Fluffypants. My thoughts exactly]

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