Do(ing) it Like a Feminist

Post-Grad Girl living in a Post-Grad World.


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Foodie Friday: The Best Tacos I’ve Ever Had

Hello Foodies!

I am here to report a restaurant that has blown my mind when it comes to tacos. First off, I would like to point out that tacos are so easy to make and we’ve all had a build-your-own taco night (or rather South of the Border night in my house), and this restaurant is not like that at all. Here in my neighborhood of Sunset Park, there are quite a few authentic Mexican restaurants that are good, but Ricos Tacos takes the prize.

Ricos Tacos is known for their carnitas (fried pork), so much so that they have a painting outside of their restaurant with a pig. When I went to Ricos Tacos for the first time, I ordered one Carnitas taco and one Bistec (steak) taco. I had a feeling it would be different because authentic tacos are made with corn tortillas instead of flour, so I knew there would be a taste difference (flour tortillas are so tex-mex). When I got my tacos, I was surprised at how much they pack on them!

SO good

SO good

They gave us this tub with sauces, and after I tried the first two (my mouth was on fire because of them), I found this avocado sauce that had just the right amount of kick to it and put it on my tacos. I was in heaven! In order to have the full experience, you have to wash the tacos down with a Jarritos, preferably pineapple.

After my first experience at Ricos Tacos, I wanted more, so the following week I had a burrito! It was so jam packed that I couldn’t finish it, but it was SO good.

Ricos Tacos is an amazing little restaurant off 5th Avenue. I would recommend it to anyone who is in need of a quick taco fix. Did I mention they were open 24/7?

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Not Your Average Foodie Friday Post (Because it’s Saturday)

Foodies! I have been running around this entire week for Thanksgiving that when I get a moment to blog, I’m too tired! Anywho, this Foodie post has to revolve around Thanksgiving because that is the ultimate Foodie holiday.

This year I was so excited because I was going to help my grandmother with Thanksgiving dinner and provide my own dishes to the mix. By the end of the night on Thanksgiving, everyone was so full from so many amounts of food that we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Some ate more, some sat back and tried to digest their food, and some went on to run back and forth between the rooms. During the week, my grandmother and I did a lot of prep work for our wonderful feast and I got to learn all the tricks of the trade when it came to making our special thanksgiving dinner. Here is what was on the menu: Turkey (duh), Pernil (pork shoulder), rice and peas (we call it arroz con gandules), my special mac n cheese, sweet potatoes, potato salad, stuffing (not your average stuffing because it was extremely different), pasteles, and salad.

About to rewind time to eat this again

Last week, I helped my grandmother make pasteles, which is extremely complicated. I can’t post the recipe on here because I still don’t know how the hell it works, so I may have to do another batch (or 2) to fully comprehend the recipe, but all I know is they were fantastic. I didn’t even get to the dessert yet. I made a red velvet cake, flan de queso, and there was also pumpkin cheesecake. I died and went to foodie heaven.

I’ve spent the whole week working on thanksgiving with my grandmother and it’s interesting how we bonded over food. I learned so much this past week about how food connects with our culture, and I feel confident that I can make my own thanksgiving meal alone, but I won’t attempt that for a few years.

Happy Holidays all!


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Foodie Friday: Guest Blog “Crockpot & Chickpea Tofu”

Hello fellow foodies!

This week, you’re in for a treat! I’ve asked my friend Carrie, the owner of Fitness and Frozen Grapes to contribute a piece of her own for Foodie Friday. Carrie is one of my good friends and she is always looking to turn any old fashioned meal into something worth bragging about. You all know my motto for food: never be old fashioned, and this recipe will not disappoint. Enjoy!

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Hi, everyone!  I’m Carrie, and I blog over at Fitness and Frozen Grapes, a healthy living blog.  The fabulous Gabby asked me to write a post for Foodie Friday, and since my crock pot dinner last night turned out great, I figured it would be a perfect meal to share.  Say hello to tofu and chickpea curry.

Even though I’m not a vegetarian, I love meatless sources of protein like tofu, tempeh, and quinoa.  As a runner-turned-triathlete, I’m very conscious of what I eat, and I’ve discovered my body responds better to vegetarian proteins than lamb, pork, and red meat.  Plus, I’ve recently become a huge fan of my crock pot; it doesn’t get easier than a set-it-and-forget it meal.

When I prepped this dish yesterday afternoon, I followed this recipe, but I made a few changes, which are reflected in the text below.

Tofu and Chickpea Curry (found on myrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Place first 10 ingredients in a 4-quart electric slow cooker; stir well.  Cover and cook on low for 5 1/2 hours or until vegetables are tender.

2. Place tofu on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels.  Press to absorb excess moisture; cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

3.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add tofu; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until browned, turning with a spatula.  Stir into vegetable mixture in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.

4. Spoon rice into bowls or onto plates.  Ladle curry evenly over rice. If desired, black pepper.

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I want to thank Carrie again for submitting this wonderful recipe! Check out her blog when you get a chance to see more fabulous recipes!


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Foodie Friday: The Post-Sandy Edition

Bloggers, this week has not been a good one for trying new things, so I’m afraid this Foodie Friday is going to be a short one. Ever since Sandy’s arrival, many people in NYC (including myself) has been in a post-hurricane funk. We’ve been secluded to our homes and have been getting cabin fever. It is really not pretty. The hurricane has left me feeling unmotivated and stir-crazy, so much that I haven’t done anything substantial this entire week!

This is been my struggle this entire week. SO hard.

Anyway, BACK to Foodie Friday. Just when I lost hope for the rest of the week, I became inspired.

I went to my grandmother’s house to pick something up, and she asked me if I wanted some homemade soup that she made. Now bloggers, mind you, it wasn’t a big deal, but my grandma can throw down, even with soup. As I took some to go, I asked what was in it. It was your normal, old-fashioned chicken soup but with a twist. It has cabbage, yuca, eggplant, rice (instead of noodles), and chicken drumsticks.

Now, I know you all remember my motto from the very first Foodie Friday: never be old-fashioned, and it’s true. Remember that you can create great things just by adding different ingredients to the mix. This soup she made left me inspired and gave me hope that I can get out of this post-hurricane funk and be productive. Sometimes we need the little things in order to keep steady, and I am grateful to my grandma for giving me that back.

Next week, she is going to teach me how to make pasteles! I’m trying to learn as much as possible from her because these are the recipes that can be handed down forever. My culture is engrained in the food I make, and hopefully it is with you too.


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Foodie Friday: Back to Basics

When I was in college, I loved to cook, and I don’t mean minute rice and TV dinners. I loved to COOK. I tried and made so many different meals from Chicken Cordon Bleu to Pernil (pork shoulder) to stir fry. Needless to say, the people who lived in my house were please because they got free meals and didn’t have to help prepare it (well most of them). My friend Connie and I used to throw down in the kitchen, and between the both of us, we would create spectacular meals, baked goods included!

This past week, I wondered where my passion for cooking went, so I decided to get back in to the spirit of making dinner! Granted, some of these meals I only helped on, but all of them were ideally made because of my ideas.

**Trigger warning – now commences amazing photos of food. Be prepared to get hungry.

Sunday: Pastelon with Rice and Beans and Avocado on the side.

*Friendly tip- Add salt to the avocado and it extracts great flavors from it!

Monday: Stewed Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Avocado Side Salad.

This is not your average stewed chicken because it wasn’t stewed in a large pot, but rather a deep frying pan, and stewed in oil, vinegar, and spices. You would think that would be a weird thing to do, but it’s actually quite amazing (and not fried).

Tuesday: Short Ribs with Rice and Corn, Guineos Escabeche (pickled bananas) and Avocado Side Salad

Guineos Escabeche is a Puerto Rican dish that usually is cooked with Gizzards and Onions usually for major holidays, but I think it’s great any time, you just need to find green bananas. These bananas were actually starting to turn yellow, so it was a little sweet but nonetheless tasty.

Wednesday: I wasn’t feeling good so I made oatmeal (boring), but I did however make it from scratch and add cinnamon, brown sugar, and raisins to the mix, but I forgot to take a picture.

Thursday: Pasta with Chicken and Mixed Vegetables and Garlic Bread.

I’m actually a pro at making good garlic bread, but what’s interesting about last night is the fact that I made it out of left over bagels we got from a man who owns a bagel shop. I love to add garlic powder and real garlic to give it that extra flavor, but the kicker is adding a little cheese on top, and cover it while it’s in the oven. The inside gets so soft and the outside stays crunchy!

Friday: That’s today! I am not sure what’s on the menu for tonight, but it may include a variation of the above mentioned. The chicken is defrosting, and rice may or may not be cooked again. However, I am meeting my friend tonight for Raw Oysters and drinks at this place called Beebo Seafood & Raw Bar in Bay Ridge (they had a good deal on Groupon). I’ve never been to a Raw Seafood Bar, but I promise that I will take pictures!

Also, you may have noticed that I had avocado in most of these meals, and I will explain why. 1) I love avocado, and 2) Marcus (my boyfriend) got me this huge Florida avocado, and I couldn’t eat it in just one day!

*Another tip: You have to be careful with avocados because if you don’t wrap it carefully enough, or you take the pit out, it can go bad quickly.

ANOTHER THING: This week, Marcus and I went to my favorite bakery by my house and got amazing sandwiches. Las Rosas Bakery is primarily known for the fantastic food they make, but I love their sandwiches. This week, I tried the Steak and Cheese sandwich, and I died and went to foodie heaven.

The bread was just so soft and the steak and cheese were cooked perfectly together. I usually go for their Cuban Sandwiches or Ham and Cheese, but I think I found another favorite to add to the mix. Another great thing about this bakery is that it’s run by Hispanic women, and you know how much I love seeing women run small businesses! If you are ever in Sunset Park, I would recommend going to this bakery and trying their amazing food!

It’s hard out here for a foodie, but life is short, so why not try different things while you’re still breathing?

 

 


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Foodie Friday: Brooklyn Cupcake Takes the Cake

As I mentioned last week, for my segment “Foodie Friday” I will occasionally post restaurant reviews of places I frequent in New York City, and what better way to start the reviews with my favorite cupcake shop in New York City?

Brooklyn Cupcake is unlike any cupcake shop I’ve been to. Their fusion of regular cupcake flavors in conjunction with Latin ones really make this little shop a wonderful treat. For a Puerto Rican like myself, I wouldn’t mind having my favorite winter drink converted in to a cupcake (hello Coquito).

Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this cupcake shop is truly a hidden gem. I first tried Brooklyn Cupcake after a family member raved about their Rainbow Cookie cupcake. She brought some for us to try, and once I laid eyes on their Flan de Queso cupcake, I knew I was going to be hooked. Granted, Brooklyn Cupcake holds true to traditional flavors like red velvet, vanilla, and chocolate, but it steps out of the box with out of their bold flavors like Guava Con Queso, Coquito, and Tres Leches. The cake is so moist and the frosting is simply divine, and each part compliments each other very well.

Someone call the doctor because I’m going to eat all of these

Since my first visit back in 2011, I have been following Brooklyn Cupcake in their quest to spread awareness and build a strong clientele (or as I’d like to call it, Cupcake Domination). Last year, during a weekend visit to NYC from school, I told my friends it was a MUST that we stop here before heading back on the road to Geneva. We each bought half a dozen cupcakes and even stopped to take pictures with the owners:

Such a great local business in Brooklyn! They even take pictures with the patrons!

And I even bought the shirt too!

Gotta represent!

This week, I went back and took two of my friends with me and saw they had a new flavor (or at least new to me). Hello French Toast!

Who comes up with these amazing flavors?

My friends were floored at how amazing the cupcakes were (I told them they would be), and my friend Carrie and I made a promise to come back again during the weekend (how can I pass up an opportunity to get a Tiramisu cupcake). I love the approach Brooklyn Cupcake takes with their cupcakes because they are so simple in design, but pack a mean punch in the flavor department. I’m hoping they continue to emulate the great Latin flavors in their cupcakes, and here’s to hoping one day I will see a Majarete or Tembleque cupcake (I couldn’t help myself).

Brooklyn Cupcake is turning out to be an iconic small business because not only is it owned by Latinos, but it is also owned and maintained by women, and that is something that we need in this growing economy. For all you city folk with a sweet tooth, I suggest taking the G or L train to Lorimer/Metropolitan and walking down the blog to Brooklyn Cupcake to try one of their fantastic creations.

As I said last week, my motto for food is to never be old fashioned, and these people take that saying to another level.

Brooklyn Cupcake is located on 335 Union Avenue between Grand and Maujer Streets. Find them on Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to stop at their blog for their day to day activities!


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Foodie Friday: Pancakes Any Style

I’ve decided to come up with an awesome segment that deals with discussing two of my favorite things: food and blogging. Now, it’s time to commence with FOODIE FRIDAY!

I love to cook food. During my final year in college, I used to cook for my house and treat it as a special occasion. During this segment, I will be posting various recipes I like to use and also various restaurants that you can check out if you live in New York City. HERE WE GO!

For my first post on Foodie Friday, I’m going to keep it simple. It’s time to talk PANCAKES. I hope everyone has had at least one pancake in their lifetime, but what I love about them is that they are so malleable and you can pair it with almost anything!

My personal FAVORITE side to pancakes

If you don’t know how to make pancakes from scratch, here is a recipe for old fashioned pancakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted.

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

 

It sounds simple enough, but when you have your batter ready, make it fun! Add your favorite ingredients to the mix, but don’t get too crazy! The idea is to mix flavors you think would compliment each other. When I like to make pancakes, I love to add cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla to give it a different flavor.

On Pinterest, I recently saw a recipe that made pancake muffins with sausage inside, so of course I had to try it!

What would we do in life without Pinterest to help us?

The recipe is pretty simple, actually. You just create the batter, slice some sausages and distribute them among muffin tins, pour the batter, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

As I stated before, you can always substitute your ingredients. Instead of sausage, maybe add fruit (or even CHOCOLATE). Pick and choose what’s best for your palate.

What’s the moral of this story? Never just be old-fashioned.