This is Us!

We are here to bring you our life through food. Especially Italian food. You can learn more about us here.


Kelvin Natural Slush Co.

Since it's such as nice day outside (I know because I was just out there), I wanted to take the time to post about Kelvin Natural Slush Co. , an all natural slush company that roams the streets of NYC making people like me very, very happy. I first discovered them last week (yes, I apparently DO live in a hole) and ordered the ginger slushie with mint. REAL mint. Not flavoring. I sucked that thing down in a matter of minutes. Now I follow them on Twitter and am happily pleased with their schedule that has them parked near my office every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

My ginger slush was well flavored - not too sweet or syrupy (as these types of drinks can be sometimes). The mint really did add an extra zing to the overall taste. It was very refreshing – a perfect treat to sip as you do some window shopping. Or, in my case, sit in front of a computer and work. Either way – win, win!

Kelvin is nominated for a Vendy Award, so best of luck to the slush crew!

As a side note, I really like the Kelvin logo.

Sweet as Honey

We are taking a detour from cured meats to talk about HONEY! And PRIZES! Which one should I talk about first?

HONEY: The honey pictured above is Andrew's Honey. I found this stuff at the Union Square Farmer's Market where Andrew and his team have a stand on Wednesdays. GO THERE. For a few reasons:

1. They give out free samples.

2. Their honey is the best.

3. Did I mention the free samples?

Anyway, my favorite is the whipped honey with cinnamon. I eat it out of the jar with a spoon, like ice cream. Other things you can do with honey (note: NOT an exhaustive list): put it on fruit, oatmeal, throw it in tea, bake with it, make pizza with it, eat it out of the jar, glaze a ham with it, make peanut butter and honey and banana sandwiches...

This particular honey is 100% pure, local, raw honey. You can read more about it on their website, or just wander over to their stall in Union Square and try some.

Now, onto the PRIZES:

I'm giving away the little pot of honey (featured in the picture on the right-hand side). This one is local Brooklyn honey. Brooklyn's finest. If you post a comment on the blog THIS WEEK you could win this pot of honey. Really, I will send it to you. So POST. We already have one comment, so don't make this a one-man race.

In closing, a random fact: Did you know that there are a lot of clips on youtube of Winne the Pooh in Swedish? Anyone know what's up with that? I was looking for a honey-related clip and came across them.

Oh, and don't worry, we'll be back to meat products tomorrow.

I didn't know there'd be prizes!

Well, there will be.

Tomorrow, I'm going to post our first prize/giveaway. It will not be money. But I did exchange money FOR this prize.

All you have to do to win is post a comment on the blog this week. Then I will choose randomly from all the commentors (I'm assuming there will be about 2 of you) and you will WIN this prize. I will also tell you tomorrow what the prize is.

I'm going to do this (prize giveaway thing) somewhat regularly. It will be random and the prizes may be bizarre. You'll just have to see. They WILL be food related.

And did I mention they won't be money? Just sayin'.

Onion Rings the Size of My Head - A Review of Elysian Café

This week’s review: The Elysian Café located on 10th and Washington in Hoboken.  A pretty cool and classy venue, as far as the ‘Boken is concerned.  And with charming decor both inside and out, it’s the perfect local spot to wash away my Labor Day blues, which have set in exceptionally hard.  I pick up Elana at her apartment, and we make the walk uptown.

Upon being greeted by the hostess, we are lucky enough to get a table outside which didn’t look possible at first.  The outdoor seating is packed, as it should be.  The weather is still nice, and the Elysian’s outdoor scene is one of the best in Hoboken.  Its curbside location is great for people watching, yet it feels deceptively secluded with its trees (or is it just a tree?) that create an intimate feel.  Inside, there are two rooms: both of which have considerable, yet quite dissimilar, character.  After all, the brownstone building dates back to 1895, and, throughout its history, housed both an ice cream parlor and hair salon. (This interesting factoid prompts me to daydream of getting the dome trimmed as I sit in an old time barber chair while eating spoonfuls of Haagen Dazs).

Our outdoor table is small but equipped with cool dishtowels with a faded stripe down the middle in lieu of a napkin.  I like these things, just way cooler than some ol’ napkin flapping around in the breeze.  I’m pretty sure only good restaurants do this, but I’m probably overreacting.  Like I said, it is Labor Day – and I am emotional and reading too much into things.

Drinks are first.  And while the selection looked pretty awesome, our ultimate cocktails were just ok.  My drink, the English Dandy (Hendrick's, Lemonade, mint and club soda) was great. It was mild and tangy, like a gin drink should be.  Elana got the Hendrick's Pink 75: (Hendrix, Maple Syrup, lemon juice, rose champagne). It was a bit too tangy and tart for both of our tastes.

For appetizers, we ordered 12 Kumamoto oysters (we had asked for Blue Point, but they had run out, and gave us the Kumamoto oysters at the Blue Point Price - a nice gesture) which were nicely presented in a bucket of ice. These suckers were extremely fresh and came with some garlic vinegar sauce which paired well with the oysters.

For entrees, I ordered the Burgundy Braised Beef Short Ribs with Yukon gold taters and tempura onion rings, and Elana selected the Cod, which was new on the menu.  The ribs were very good – juicy and flavorful, and when I was too lazy to pick up my knife –tender enough to accommodate fork-only cutting.  The taters and onions were a great compliment.  Elana’s cod was equally impressive, it came in a tomatoey-white wine broth with little neck clams, and chorizo (!!). The cod was perfectly flaky, and the broth light and smoky (flavored by the chorizo).

Since Elysian is a French Bistro, we had to order their Crème Brulee, which was fantastic.  A snappy, slightly burned outer crust, which, when cracked, gave way to a cream of perfect consistency and taste.  Lots of visible vanilla beans too.  I could have eaten 15 of those things.

Elana took one for the team and made the to trip to the bathrooms which she described as “very clean and orderly….With....wait for it....and Xlerator!!!”  ‘Nuff said.

The service at Elysian was ok. The dinner took slightly longer than expected, and our waitress (a nice young girl) forgot our fries…which, by the way, are awesome here. But we were so full that we did not care, nor were we charged for them.

Also, for those wondering, Elysian has a good cheese selection.

We really enjoyed our experience at Elysian.  While it falls short of the ultimate food experience, their dishes are well presented and made.  It’s a solid, upper echelon choice for those dining in Hoboken. We’ll be back for sure.

Overall Experience - Top Gun


Fig, Prosciutto and Ricotta Pizza

This week, we are featuring meat quite a bit. Specifically, meat of the cured variety. First up is this pizza topping with PROSCIUTTO (I heard another echo....). The topping is very easy. You could make your own dough (GASP!), but I realize that would be more complimacated (intentional misspelling). Instead of making making your own crust, you can high-tail it over to your local pizza joint and request some uncooked dough. I do this occasionally and only get funny looks 50% of them time I do it.

If you DO want to make your own dough (bless you!), you can find my recipe here.

If you DO NOT (miserable slacker) you can just work your store bought dough into a disc shape and pop it into the oven. The oven should have been heating a pizza stone at 500 degrees F for about a half hour. If you are stone-less (hey, it happens), you can use a baking sheet. Sometimes I like to heat the baking sheet up a bit before I use it too. But you should know the baking sheet heats up A LOT faster than the stone. USE MITTS. Of the oven variety. Protection is important, people: safety FIRST!

Topping Ingredients:

1 mini basket of figs (purple or green will do - you can even mix and match!) halved with stems removed

Dollops of Ricotta cheese (THIS is the kind I used. You will want to eat it out of the container like ice cream. Try and save some for the pizza). Place the dollops in an aesthetically pleasing manner on the face of the pie

Arugula - a sprinkle here, a sprinkle there

Honey - drizzle it on top.

Throw everything except the arugula on your crust and pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes. When it comes out, sprinkle with arugula. DONE! Simple, right?