Tag Archives: brussel sprouts

My Birthday Dinner- Home Cooked by Mike

29 Oct

I’m still catching up on posts from far too long ago. 聽I cannot believe that it has already been more than 2 months since this meal. 聽So today I wanted to show off the incredible dinner that Mike made me for my birthday.

He started with a duo of scallops. 聽One was wrapped in bacon and the other was with avocado.

And the bacon was CRISPY. 聽Just the way I like it. 馃檪 聽Both were great.

For the main course, Mike made pork with a mushroom wine sauce and our new classic brussels sprouts with pancetta.

The pork was delicious.

And the brussels sprouts were as delicious as ever.

I thought he had already outdone himself, and then he uncovered this beauty!

Graham cracker crust, whipped cream, strawberries, and graham cracker crumbs.


Thanks again, Mike. 聽You are a fantastic boyfriend and a fantastic chef!

One year of NYC Nom聽Nom

9 Feb

Today marks the one year anniversary of when I officially started NYC Nom Nom.

My first blog entries were definitely a “hello cyberspace!” entry without much substance. 聽It was a simple list of my current favorite restaurants in NYC followed up by my recipe for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars that everyone loves.

My favorite eating moments of the past year were WD50 and Thanksgiving. 聽I also won TWO meals: one at聽Fishtail from聽Foodbuzz and the other at Landmarc from Time Warner Center’s Circle of Taste (and won a cooking class at Williams Sonoma from them too!) 聽I even got to eat on a completely different continent for the first time.

As for the bad… I had a casualty of bread, had an absolutely terrible meal at a diner that some people love and some people hate, had my gallbladder removed, and was nearly killed by Co.

I also really learned how to cook this year. 聽I managed to find a love for brussel sprouts and learned how to make pasta. 聽I no longer can be accused of being such a bad cook that I hermetically seal pots. 聽I even won my last company’s Top Chef Competition.

It has been quite an adventure for me and I have loved this little side project and hope to continue it for a long time to come.

My friends, my family, and even my mom called ME for recipes and suggestions this past year. 聽My Grandma even asked me for a cooking tip last weekend when we all sat down to a wonderful, homemade meal together. 聽My Grandma taught me a lot about food (especially baking) and really taught me not just a love for food, but a love for the traditions of food, especially surrounded by family and loved ones. 聽She passed away the very next day after our family meal together. 聽I will be forever thankful for all she taught me and for that last meal we shared together.

Grandma Litty (May 26, 1927 – February 1, 2010) enjoying a banana cream pie on a boat in Colorado- 2007.

Mike鈥檚 birthday dinner- Part 1: My聽kitchen

16 Oct

When I realized I had the day of Mike’s birthday off, I decided that it would become a cooking extravaganza. 聽I asked him what menu he wanted and he selected something with lamb, a risotto, our infamous brussel sprouts, and homemade chocolate peanut butter CUPS for dessert.

After seeing that the price of lamb on Fresh Direct was absolutely outrageous ($45 for a single piece?! WTF?) I went with the lamb shoulder chop. 聽It was billed as being just as flavorful and juicy as its more expensive counterparts. 聽I looked around for recipes for a while and didn’t come up with anything that really jumped out at me. 聽I picked up a Bon Appetit magazine randomly at the hair salon that morning and, there it was… “Lamb Chops with Pomegranate and Dried Figs.” 聽Done. 聽Went to the gourmet food store and had problems finding pomegranate marmalade, so I went with a pomegranate jam instead and hoped for the best.

I decided to go with a mushroom risotto to compliment the other strong flavors and found a recipe that sounded good (see below). 聽It was a bitch to keep stirring while putting everything else together, but I’ve determined that constant stirring of risotto isn’t necessary after the first few additions of liquid. 聽Just gotta go back to it often.

This time I wound up making the brussel sprouts with small diced pancetta. 聽It produced more pancetta grease to brown the brussel sprouts in, however, I missed those big bites of pancetta when we were eating it later. 聽Next time, I’ll go half big dice half little dice.

The plate came together very well, and all the flavors played nicely against each other.

Dessert is where I started to get creative. 聽I made the chocolate peanut butter cups in much the same way I make my chocolate peanut butter bars. 聽I cut cupcake cups in half and then melted down some milk chocolate to fill in the bottom of the cups. 聽I would take the individual cups out into my hand and spread the chocolate up the sides of the cup to the edge. 聽To my surprise, it stayed, forming a perfect bowl in the center. 聽I put these in the fridge to harden. 聽I then whipped up some peanut butter filling. 聽For 12 individual cups, I had plenty of filling by combining 1 cup of peanut butter with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 2 TBsp butter, and about 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs. 聽 I filled these into the hardened chocolate cups then tamped it down on the counter to get a perfectly even surface. 聽I then melted down some more chocolate and poured this over the peanut butter filling and smoothed it over to the edges. 聽Back in the fridge and 20 minutes later I had perfect little homemade reeses. It was SO easy and looked so good. 聽The paper was a wee bit hard to peel off (next time I’ll look for stiffer ones) but it all comes off and tastes so good. 聽I may give these as little gifts this holiday season.

(Making the cup bottoms)

(Filling the cups with peanut butter than putting on the top layer of chocolate)

This was so easy, in fact, that I felt as though I hadn’t done quite enough for Mike’s birthday. 聽The back of the chocolate morsels box had a recipe for “brownies that are more like fudge” so I decided to make some bigger peanut butter cups too. 聽I mixed up a smaller proportion of the brownie mixture and put it into 2 popover pans. 聽Baked these up and, while they were in the oven, got to making some peanut butter mousse (recipe below). 聽Once it was all done and the brownies cooled, I cut out the center of the top of the popover in a cone shape and then filled the inside with the peanut butter mousse. 聽Topped each one with an unwrapped peanut butter cup and v’oila:

(brownies cooked in popover pans)

(one with the center cut out for filling)

(folding together the peanut butter and whipped cream)

What was interesting about the mousse is that it was nice and fluffy and creamy the night I made it, but after refrigerating the leftovers, it definitely thickened and became more the consistency of soft fudge. 聽Delicious either way! Especially when mixed with some vanilla ice cream!



Lamb Chops with Fig and Pomegranate Relish


路聽聽聽聽聽 2/3 cup pomegranate seeds

路聽聽聽聽聽 1/4 cup diced dried Calimyrna figs

路聽聽聽聽聽 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

路聽聽聽聽聽 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

路聽聽聽聽聽 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses

路聽聽聽聽聽 5 teaspoons olive oil, divided

路聽聽聽聽聽 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly crushed, divided

路聽聽聽聽聽 2 5-ounce lamb loin chops or shoulder blade chops


1.聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 聽Mix pomegranate seeds (I omitted), diced figs, fresh mint, balsamic vinegar (good quality), and pomegranate molasses (or jam!) with 3 teaspoons oil, and 1/4 teaspoon cumin in small bowl.

2.聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 聽Sprinkle lamb with remaining 1/4 teaspoon cumin, salt, and pepper.

3.聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 聽Heat 2 teaspoons oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

4.聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 聽Add lamb; cook to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium.

5.聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Top with relish and serve.


Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients: (I halved this and it was still enough for 3 meals for the 2 of us)

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 6 cups chicken broth, divided

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 2 shallots, diced

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 1/2 cup dry white wine

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 sea salt to taste

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 freshly ground black pepper to taste

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 4 tablespoons butter

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.

2. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.

3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Peanut Butter Mousse


路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽1 cup creamy peanut butter

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽1 cup powdered sugar

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽1 tablespoon vanilla extract

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽1 cup chilled whipping cream


  1. Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter and cream cheese in large bowl to blend.
  2. Add powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons vanilla extract and beat until well blended.
  3. Using clean dry beaters, beat 2 cups whipping cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form
  4. Fold gently into peanut butter mixture in 4 additions