it’s not goodbye… it’s see you later #2.

 

Nearly ten months ago I took a break from blogging because of a busy new job and returned two months later when I found I had more time. Well, once again I find myself taking a break as my job is making me a little too busy to keep up with this blogging train.

So, once again I bid adieu for who knows how long. It could be a few weeks, it could be a few months, it could be forever. I may post a few random recipes here and there, detail the next must attend food event, wax poetic on the last great restaurant I ate at, or tell you about a great new food deal. Who knows.

All I know is that I love my little blog that could but my paying day job comes first.

In the meantime…. follow me on instagram @mckenziemahoney or on twitter @mmmguide

xo

McKenzie

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Check it Out: Labor Day at Maison Premiere!!!

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Williamsburg’s “premiere” oyster bar and cocktail lounge, Maison Premiere, is once again throwing its annual Labor Day party Monday, September 2nd from noon-midnight. Enjoy live music, oysters and chefs specials all day long with full dinner service beginning at 5pm!

Maison Premiere

298 Bedford Avenue (between South 1st and Grand Streets)

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McKenzies Recommenzies: Lupe’s East LA Kitchen!!!

photoI’ve walked by Lupe’s every Monday night for the past 6 years (that’s roughly 312 times folks) and never ventured in… until a few weeks ago for a dinner date with my friend Jason.

After my recent trip home to San Diego, I got a craving for mexican food and Lupe’s hit the spot. Lupe’s serves up fresh LA-style Mexican food in a no frills setting on the edges of southwestern Soho that is open late, serves relatively cheap food, offers quick service and has delicious albeit a little greasy (in a good way!) Mexican food.

The decor is really great with its their bright neon Lupe’s sign, tiny diner style tables squished next to each other, vinyl lined diner booths, and a shrine to the Virgin Mary in the corner.

Order the salsa fresca and tortilla chips…. they are perfectly salted and a heaping bowl of both clocks in at just $1.50. Then go wild with their very large menu where most entrees are served with rice, beans and salad. Since I have a weakness for enchiladas (something about the ooey gooeyness of the cheese gets me!) I went with the enchiladas suizas which come filled with chicken and cheese and smothered in a green chili sauce. They’ve got all your Tex-Mex favorites like burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, chile relleno, tacos, marinated meats, and more.

Lupe’s is a great spot that is down to earth, has affordable prices, great fresh LA-style Mexican food, and friendly, quick service in a neighborhood that can sometimes be too pretentious for its own good. Viva Lupe’s!

Lupe’s East LA Kitchen

110 6th Avenue (at Watts Street)

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Around France in Ten Bites…Part Deux!!!!

IMG_3116* Najac *

Last years trip and blog post detailed my ten favorite foods from the South of France and this years trip consists of the same thing…. with rosé and mashed potatoes getting yet another shout-out! Our vacation included a visit to my boyfriend’s French “family” who summer in Najac, France and we spent the entire trip with them, eating Evelyne’s delicious four-hour long meals, dancing all night to french songs I don’t know (but loved), drinking rosé like it was going out of style, and enjoying the quiet life in the french countryside.

Simply put, it was heaven. We spend our lives in New York running around and this trip was the exact opposite. We had nowhere to be and nothing to do except spend time together and it was one of the most relaxing vacations I have ever been on.

Below you’ll find the ten favorite foods I enjoyed while once again exploring one of my favorite countries in the world. I can’t wait to go back next summer!

1. Aligot

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A dish from the Auvergne region of France (where we were), Aligot is basically mashed potatoes on crack. It’s made of potatoes, butter, creme fraiche or cream, garlic and one of the following french cheeses…  tomme d’Auvergne, tomme de Laguiole or tomme fraiche. When mixed all together, you get something that tastes like mashed potatoes but is much creamier.  The cheese brings a nutty flavor and  the raw garlic gives it a little bit of bite to make something that is both filling and full of flavor. This was the highlight of Alain’s birthday party and it was served with fresh sausage and bread.

2. Bread

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The French are masters at fresh bread and I devoured loaves of it at every meal. Not surprisingly, I gained four pounds in 7 days!

3. Ice Cream

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Creamier than what we get in the USA….I ate nothing but pistachio ice cream (my favorite flavor) while in Najac. Every time I saw an ice cream sign, I headed for the door with a few euros in hand.

4. Fancy French Food

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We treated ourselves to a few fancy meals which were all so relaxed and casual that I was a little bit weirded out. Meals like this in the USA come with crisp white tablecloths, expensive bills, and a dress code but in France you can walk in with shorts and a t-shirt on and have an exquisite three-course meal for just $50!

5. Baguette Sandwiches

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Can’t go to France and NOT eat a baguette…this one came filled with lettuce, ham and cheese and a slathering of whole grain spicy mustard :)

6. Home Cooked French Meals

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Evelyne, the Tachet family matriarch, cooked up four unbelievable feasts for our 15-plus people dinners with such ease. Above was my favorite meal she made, with two plump chickens (heads still on) cooked to perfection and served with sauteed ratatouille, and fresh foraged mushrooms (more on that later).

7. Rosé

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Soo much rosé! 120 magnums were consumed over the course of 6 days and we even managed to bring a few bottles back from the vineyard we visited in Caillac.

8. Fresh Sardines

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Sardines aren’t my favorite, but when they’re served up just slightly grilled with salt, pepper, and a brush of olive oil, I cannot resist these little guys!

9. Cheese

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Every meal we had ended with a cheese course and I ate every piece that came within reach. I wish I had gotten a photo of the fresh chevre we ate many times but it was so good that it disappeared almost immediately after hitting the table.

10. Fresh and Foraged Mushrooms

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While we were playing golf, a few went foraging for mushrooms (had I known I would have skipped the golf!), and that night we gorged on freshly roasted mushrooms of a variety I do not know and could not decipher in French!

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Run…Don’t Walk to Roberta’s!!!!

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Deep in the heart of Bushwick lies Roberta’s, a pizza paradise that you have to go to…. right now! All the hype, accolades and love for this place are spot on. Roberta’s is unlike any restaurant I’ve ever been to and their pizza is straight up amazing.

After a long morning of filming my September and October recipes for Spice to Meet You with its creator Jason Feirman, we treated ourselves to an afternoon of pizza at Roberta’s, after we spent an hour biking there from my home in Tribeca! How I had not made it the biggest priority to eat there before is unfathomable to me. Jason, a pretty serious pizza blogger who travels the world in search of a good slice, was there to guide me through my first experience and ordered for the two of us.

Housed in a former garage, Roberta’s is a culinary campus with a small garden/farm, a radio station, outdoor bar, wood burning oven, and much much more. They’ve got indoor and outdoor seating but we sat inside as it was drizzling rain outside. The communal wood tables, colored string lighting and old school music (our varied genre playlist included some Buddy Holly, Tupac, and Steve Winwood) sets a relaxed and casual mood.

We’ll get to the two pies we ate in a second but one thing on the pizza as a whole…. it is absolutely perfect.  Neapolitan style, thin and covered with a light sauce and some seriously high quality cheese. It’s definitely up there as one of the best pizzas to ever touch my lips.

Now Roberta’s offers much more than just pizza on its menu, but I wasn’t going to get anything but pizza for my first meal here.

photo 2* Four Emperors*

The Four Emperors came slathered with a spicy arrabiatta sauce, thick slices of fresh mozzarella, creamy dollops of ricotta, and sprinkles of asiago cheese and sesame seeds. It’s a cheesy and meaty mess of greatness that I adored.

photo 3* The Bee Sting *

The Bee Sting consists of fresh mozzarella, tomato, spicy sopressata – and a drizzle of honey for a sweet and spicy mashup of delicious proportions! Now take a look at that picture above, it tastes just as amazing as it looks. Again it has that deliciously light and thin crust with a nice char around the edges.

Cheeses Christ…. (one of the names of their pizzas) this place is good! Roberta’s is a must eat destination that is definitely worth the trek!

Roberta’s

261 Moore Street (between Bogart and White Streets)

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McKenzie Makes: Berry Berry Good Gluten-Free Oatmeal Muffins!!!

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Nearly every time I enter a coffee shop I’m tempted to pair my soy latte with a muffin or scone but thanks to the required calorie counts on menus here in NYC I know better ;)

But for those days when I really want a fresh-baked good, I tell myself that I can just make my own and one that doesn’t have nearly the amount of calories as the ones sold in the coffee shops. But enough with telling myself I would do it someday…. and so I looked to my pantry and made a gluten-free muffin that is berry berry good! So this week as I walk to work my latte won’t be lonely as it has a new muffin friend!

***makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I use Bob’s)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 4 TBL ground flax seed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries and raspberries

To Make:

  • pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  • spray muffin tins with non-stick spray
  • whisk oats, flour, brown sugar, sugar, flax seed, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl
  • in another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, oil and vanilla and stir into the dry oat mixture
  • boil 1/3 cup water and stir into oat/buttermilk mixture and let stand for 5 minutes
  • fold in blackberries and raspberries
  • divide batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out  clean
  • cool for 10 minutes
  • enjoy!

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Check it Out: Bobo’s Tour de France!!!

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 3.45.11 PMEvery month Bobo Restaurant explores a different region of France and its unique cuisine with a 3-course prix fixe dinner for just $35 every Sunday night!

This month (August) they’re highlighting the southwest region of France known as the Pays Basque, French Basque Country or Northern Basque country! Each course features two options to choose from like duck minestrone, a braised chicken leg with red peppers and onions, a baked sea bass with chorizo crust, and a brown butter cake with fromage blanc sorbet!

Check their menu at the beginning of each month to see what region and dishes they’ll be serving!

Bobo

181 West 10th Street (At 7th Avenue)

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