[Lunch & Dinner] Charlie Bird

If you know me, you know I have a slight obsession with Charlie Bird‘s farro salad. Why obsess over a salad, you ask? Because it’s delicious, fresh, intriguing and somewhat guilt-free.

Charlie Bird NYC Farro Salad Beaches & Brie

This salad helped me appreciate pistachios in a brand new way because YES, it has pistachios! The parmesan shavings on top just add another level of saltiness greatness, making each bite come to life a bit more.

I have yet to recreate this salad at home but NYT Cooking and All Day I Eat have some great ideas on how to start!

Charlie Bird Cacio e Pepe NYC restaurant Beaches & Brie

Another Charlie Bird favorite? Their Cacio e Pepe. Creamy but so good, I mean, just look at it! They also have a prix fix lunch menu during the week where you can get a small plate (think: farro salad)  AND a pasta for $32. Not super cheap, I know, but it’s worth treating yourself to a nice lunch if you are in the area, especially if it’s a nice day out and you can take advantage of their outdoor seating.

gnocchi Charlie Bird Beaches & Brie

The gnocchi is also another solid option. Try starting with the burrata option, another great pick, but NEVER as a substitution to the farro salad. Promise?

charlie bird burrata nyc beaches & brie

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Wine, Cheese & Friends (Pasta, Shrimp & Hot Dogs too)

What do I love more than wine and cheese? Having wine and cheese with friends, old and new.

As you may or may not know (everyone’s busy, I get it) I have a new camera and of course, I’m eager to explore all the possibilities. It’s not as easy as it looks, I’ve yet to find that perfect light but I’m enjoying the journey.

Back to the wine and cheese.

I love the Holidays. Considering the crappy weather, it’s a season full of color and life that allows us to reconnect with people and gives us an excuse to put pretty things together. Seriously, think of all the things you do in preparation for the Holidays! I love the hustle, from getting the perfect gifts to finding the perfect outfit for your company’s Holiday party (which is tomorrow and I do not have).

holiday dinner setup red candles

I may have a passion for capturing beautiful moments, but my friend and old coworker Citlalic has a passion for creating them. Her house is full of exquisite details that come together to build a lovely home. She has the perfect amount of patience to make sure that everything is perfect, which I love to capture!

salami cheese gouda guacamole olives nuts dinner setup

I must say I am very proud of my two cheese picks, Nettle Meadow Kunik and Aged Gouda from Murray Cheese Bar. Boy, were they good. My worst nightmare has a name and that is “lactose intolerant”.

pigs in a blanket homemade

We also made pigs in a blanket! Not my best assembly, but that doesn’t affect the taste! Who knew this was so easy? Just cut little hot dogs and roll them with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

shrimp alfredo pasta

I look at this picture and I am hungry all over again. Citlalic cooked this delicious creamy shrimp Alfredo pasta with homemade sauce, props to her because I’m usually lazy and just buy the sauce at the store. Check out the recipe here.

holiday dinner setup red

I look forward to the day that I have the capabilities to set up a table like that. I don’t even own a table cloth at the moment. I miss my mom’s kitchen where I could find napkins of every color and glasses for any occasion. One day, Cristina, one day.

Happy Holidays! 

Butternut Squash Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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Yes, this just happened today. I feel really proud of my solid chef attempt and I wanted to share the magic with all of you. There are leftovers I would love to share as well, but I guess some pictures and the original recipe will suffice.

My best friend Pinterest led me to discover an awesome recipe by Rachel Schultz. I honestly pin more than what I can handle, but today I was feeling adventurous and decided to try something new. After experiencing quite some confusion while cooking my first set of sausages as part of the recipe, I must say it was a success. My boyfriend and guinea pig can attest to it.

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Otto Strada, New Restaurant in Hoboken

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A few months ago, Otto Strada opened up its doors in Hoboken. If you are looking for delicious Italian food and good ambiance, this is your place. My personal struggle when visiting an Italian place is that I am never sure if I am going to want pizza or pasta, but Otto Strada had solid choices for both desires.

Another plus? It’s BYOB, bingo!

I also expanded my Italian vocabulary by learning that Otto Strada means Eight Street, which, voila, is where this new spot is located. Ah, the genius.

Although my food comma kept me away from ordering dessert, I was drooling over a gigantic dessert calzone. That’s right, calzone for dessert. I was creeping, but I could not look away from the Nutella drizzling from the inside of this wonderful thing. I recommend you leave room for dessert, highly encouraged.

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One of the specials for the day: a delicious pesto with roasted tomatoes

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My boyfriend is trying to learn to take food pictures, he is getting there very slowly, so cut him some slack! – Pollo alla Milanese con Prosciutto: breaded chicken pounded thin, pan seared, topped with prosciutto, homemade mozzarella and tomato bruschetta over a bed of arugula tossed with a lemon vinaigrette