Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NYC Foodie Highlights (Part II)

While riding the subway to Brooklyn the other day (where I'm staying) I smelled something funky. Assuming it was the strange woman next to me I tried to ignore it. Finally, the train pulled up to my stop. I hopped off and gratefully took a big breath.

Sour Cherry shave ice at the Brooklyn flea market

Still funky. Oh no, the funkiness might be me. In fact it was me. In fact, as I quickly discovered, it was the stinky cheese I'd just bought at Chelsea Market. Phew, and oh no. I'm sure everyone on the train thought I was stinky. What a girl will do for some good cheese. I tell ya.

This photo was taken from the rooftop of the apartment building I'm staying in. Shhh. I snuck my dinner up there and watched the sunset.

Lemon Ricotta pancakes

I love a good diner. My favorite thing about them is the bottomless coffee.

Salvadorian chicken. That green sauce was amazing. 

While visiting a family cemetery in Queens (don't worry, we're talking ancestors) I happened upon this little Salvadorian place with super cheap lunch specials. When the menu isn't in English, you know you've found something good.

Pork dumplings, pork bun, duck pancake

Chinatown totally blew my mind. The sights, the sounds, the deliciousness. I am totally going back just to eat. All of this food (plus a drink) was $5. Madness.

Last but not least, Zen Butter ice cream, peanut butter with toasted sesame seeds. Chinatown is major!

More and more and more to come. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sustainable Sunday: NYC Farmer's Markets

I said it before and I'll say it again, New York has awesome farmer's markets. There is a market everyday of the week, throughout the year, in Manhattan and several throughout the week in the outer boroughs. Check out GrowNYC for a full schedule, including the farms that participate at each market and what you can expect to buy there. Most farmers come from New Jersey and the outlying areas of New York state.

While entering the Staten Island Ferry this week, I came across a farmer's market right in the terminal. Stone fruits, bread, honey, and berries were on offer. You know I grabbed some cherries.

On my way to queue up for a visit to the Statue of Liberty, I ran into the Battery Park garden, a community garden that works with local schools to educate kids about growing food. Wow! They had a huge garden full of healthy veggies. This I did not expect to see in the city.

Now that I'm staying in Brooklyn, I wanted to check out one of their markets, this one was in Prospect Park. Guys, I have to say I'm really jealous. This market seriously has everything. I thought Hawaii's markets would by far out shine those in New York, but I was very wrong. Brooklyn's market had the usual selection of fruits and veggies, but they also had a wide range of meats, including duck, chicken, and pork, cheeses, grains, even milk! I'm so blown away and impressed.

My Sustainable Sunday meal consisted of a potato knish (pastry stuffed with mashed potato), apple, and apple cider from the Brooklyn market.

Brooklyn, I think I love you.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

NYC Foodie Highlights

One of the best things in life ever is finding a terrific meal for a great price. It's a win win. Fortunately this type of win win is found easily in New York, where there is amazing food for next to nothing (let's be fair, I'm comparing to Hawaii prices). I know what you're thinking, "but New York is expensive!" it is, so you need to do some research to find the deals, but thanks to competition, the deals are everywhere.

Oysters and beer. My first time eating raw ones if you can believe it. They were delish. Scratch that one off the Summer Bucket List!

Cannolis in the West Village.

Coffee and a cupcake = breakfast in central park. I love these coffee cups because you always see New Yorker's drinking out of them in the movies.

Bagel with lox cream cheese.

Chocolate egg cream at a real soda fountain. This place was seriously authentic, down to the soda machines, milk shake maker, old dude wearing a white hat behind the counter, chalkboard menu, diner-style waitress, and grandpa and grandson enjoying a milkshake at the counter.

Lamb and rice plate from a street vendor. I heart spinning meat.

They call this the "sloppy bao," it's like a sloppy Joe, only the Vietnamese way. I call it the bomb. Seriously, this was the best sandwich I've ever had. Meaty, spicy, saucy ground beef topped with marinated green mango and cilantro on a crusty baguette. Nom.

Brooklyn beer on the ledge at the apartment I'll be staying at in Brooklyn. Love this place already.

More to come. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Big Reveal

Notice something new around here? That's right! Saturdays with Maggy got a major make-over.

A million mahalos go out to Tasha at My Cute Lobster Designs. She was super helpful, took the time to find out what I wanted, made sure I was happy, and walked me through the whole process. Girl, you are awesome! Please check her out on Etsy for all your design needs. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sustainable Sunday: Picnic in Central Park

There is a farmer's market happening somewhere in NYC everyday of the week. I stopped by Tucker Square this week and found a surprising array of fruits, veggies, breads, and cheeses. Walking around Manhattan with a tote bag stuffed with spring onions, patty pan squash, lettuce, tomato, and baguette bread made me feel like a genuine resident.

Back at Jessica's apartment, I assembled a salad. Lately I'm loving combining warm and cold ingredients in salad. Here we have some sauteed patty pan squash and spring onion on a bed of lettuce. That's it, no need for a recipe, or even dressing if you season with salt and pepper. The salad and I walked to Central Park to enjoy some sunshine and people watching. There were a number of underwear clad sunbathers, dogs in shoes, and little turtles.

New York highlights so far: cocktails on the rooftop at the Met, a ballet at Lincoln Center, and Indian food in a deliciously cramped box car lined with millions of Christmas lights.

Happy Sustainable Sunday!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Bucket List

Guys and gals the summer is here. For some that means sun, beach, barbecues, and hoedowns. For me it means the last summer of my 20's. I'll have you know that I've completed numbers 3, 4 and 5 of this list of goals to accomplish before turning 30, and I'm about to head out to New York to check number 1 off the list. That's right, this summer is all about New York City baby!

Summer Bucket List: NYC edition
Inspired by Joy the Baker Podcast

1. A dozen on the half shell at an oyster bar. I'm thinking red lipstick and a little black dress will be in order.

2. Cocktails and art at the Met. I'll be sipping a martini on the rooftop bar and trying my best to be an art snob.

3. Take me out to a Met's game. Buy me some peanuts and beer. We'll root, root, root for the home team.

4. Enjoy an opera or ballet performance.

5. Snap my fingers to some jazz.

6. Glide through art galleries at SoHo's arts walk.

7. Explore New York's farmer's markets. Sustainable Sunday will not be put on hold!

8. Be "that person" at the cheese shop who has to sample everything.

9. Spend time with my girl Jessica. If I could go back in time and have a conversation with my younger self, I'd say something like, "Stop being so boy crazy and hang out with your friends more, you'll need them." Alas, this is not possible, but what's great about being able to reflect on those younger years is that I have the chance, right now, to do and be better. This summer is all about quality girlfriend time.

What's on your summer bucket list?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sustainable Sunday: Kabocha Squash

Happy Sustainable Sunday everyone! I'm busy packing up for a trip to New York, working on my summer bucket list, and enjoying a little staycation with Dustin before heading out for a month. I've been loving all the feedback you've been giving me on Sustainable Sunday, the meals you've been cooking, your trips to the farmer's market, and even the baby food you've been making (go Patty!). Please keep it coming, I'd love to feature you and/or your blog in future Sustainable Sunday posts. Contact me if you're interested.

Below is a recipe and photos my friend Rosanne sent over using Kabocha squash. I'm not sure how common this type of squash is elsewhere, but if you are lucky enough to live in Hawaii, it's plentiful. And not to mention the BEST squash on the planet. For real. Thank you Rosanne, for sharing another recipe with us.

Little Slices of Orange (Kabocha squash that is)
by Rosanne

1 Kabocha squash
1 TBL oil
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Wash the squash, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds, which can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds.  Cut the squash into 1/4 inch slices using a BIG knife.  Put the slices with a little oil in a pan with a touch of salt and roast in the oven for 8 to 15 minutes.  

These little slices are simple yet so delicious. Since the squash is sweet it doesn't require any added sweetners like most squash. Eat the skin and all. My husband and I ate them for pupus before our meal that night of roasted veggies with rice. The squash is rich in beta carotene and so much more. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Black Bean Salad with Mango and Avocado

We have a lot of mangoes in our hood right now. I may have mentioned this before. They are best peeled, cut, and enjoyed just as they are, juice running the length of your arm, little orange strings clogging your teeth. But since we have so many, I wanted to incorporate them in a few recipes. Got to get my act together for the recipe contest at the Mango Festival (July 28-29) you know.

This bean salad is the first real recipe I ever made as an adult. A group of students from my graduating class in college got together for a potluck. A potluck! I didn't know what to bring. I saw a version of this recipe posted on the wall of one of my classes (must have been nutrition? who knows) and decided to fix it for the get-together. I was so proud of my little bowl of beans.

Black Bean Salad with Mango and Avocado
This recipe was featured on Easy Natural Food
serves 4 (can be easily doubled)

For the dressing:
Juice and zest from 1 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
salt & pepper

For the salad:
1 can black beans, drained
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
1 avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 green onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro

In a medium bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. The amount of oil you use depends on how juicy your lime is, so taste as you go to make sure it's the consistency you like.

Add beans, mango, avocado, onion, and tomato to the bowl and toss very gently to coat. Garnish with cilantro. The longer it marinates in the dressing, the better it gets. Serve with rice or as a taco or burrito filling. Excellent addition to the potluck table. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sustainable Sunday: Foraged Greens

Foraging for food can be easy in Hawaii. There are lots of wild or abandoned fruit trees along the roadside, and if you have skills, fishing and hunting keeps the fridge full. Just the other day we happened to park near a mango tree that was dropping like crazy, and since it was in the yard of an empty vacation rental, we helped ourselves. I totally don't feel guilty, you wouldn't either, right?

So I've been really into figuring out what else can be foraged around here. Turns out there are a number of greens growing right in my yard, some on purpose and some not, that can be thrown into a salad.

Maple hibiscus

Maple hibiscus, red leaves with a lovely deep magenta bloom, can be made into tea or added to salad. 'Akulikuli, or sea purslane, has salty, edible leaves. We planted a ton of them in our yard because we loved the purple bloom. They can be found growing wild near the shore. From the garden I snipped some kale, chard, spinach, green onion, lavender, cilantro, basil, sage, verbena, arugula, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Combined, these greens and herbs formed a flavorful and delicate salad. All it needed was a little squeeze of lemon (from the lemon tree of course).

You may not have all of these herbs or greens on hand, but chances are you have some. I'd love to hear about the garden salad you come up with or the food you've been foraging for. Please leave a comment or send me an email (gwenedwards82 at with your Sustainable Sunday meal ideas, I'd be happy to feature your recipe and blog. Happy hunting.

This salad is featured on Easy Natural Food's Summer Salad Sundays. Check it out!


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