Posted by / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / 1 Comment /

A Lunch in Brooklyn

I spent the day in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn yesterday with two of my very dear friends Caroline and Gwen, and Mister in tow. I met both girls in Florence, Italy during our study abroad year in college, nine years ago *scary*. We've been a part of each others lives every since and #iamSOgrateful for that :)  Since Gwen moved back to New York from Chicago and isn't tied to a day job yet, we've been getting together at each other's houses once per week along with Caroline who is a super smart Physicians Assistant at Yale Hospital and has one day off per week. We love to cook and bake together, share our meals, do crafts and indulge in a little day prosecco drinking while we chat about life and play with Mister.

So yesterday we went to Gwen's new apartment for some lunch and walking around her neighborhood. I was smitten with her apartment, it was so...Brooklyn Chic:

Mister taking in the sights

Gwen and Max's beautiful sun-drenched bedroom:: {bedding is Serena and Lily}

Gwen made us a delicious and healthy lunch of cauliflower mac and cheese (you will NOT miss the enormous amount of fattening cheese missing from this recipe) along with a kale salad.

Sorry for the blurry pic, as you can see Brian's hand was involved.

Creamy Cauliflower Mac:

Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 45 minutes
(Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking dish
2 1⁄2 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 cauliflower, cored and separated into large pieces
8 ounces elbow, shell, ziti, or other cut pasta, preferably whole wheat
1 ⁄2 cup grated cheese (like sharp cheddar, Gruy√®re, or Emmental or a combination)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, or to taste
1 ⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
Black pepper
1 ⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ⁄2 cup or more bread crumbs, optional

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with a little oil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put the stock with the bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When small bubbles appear along the sides, about 5 minutes later, turn off the heat and let stand.

2. Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Scoop the cauliflower out of the water with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a blender or food processor. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until still somewhat chalky inside and not yet edible, about 5 minutes.

3. Remove the bay leaves from the stock. Carefully process the cauliflower with 2 cups of the stock, the 2 tablespoons oil, the cheese, mustard, nutmeg, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. (You may have to work in batches.) If the sauce seems too thick, add the remaining 1⁄2 cup stock. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour the sauce over the pasta, toss, and spread the mixture evenly in the dish. (You can make the dish to this point, cover, and refrigerate for up to a day; return to room temperature before proceeding.)

4. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan and bread crumbs if you’re using them. Bake until the pasta is bubbling and the crumbs turn brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Less Creamy Cauliflower Mac: Cut the cored head of cauliflower in half instead of into large pieces. In Step 2, cook only half of the cauliflower until it’s very tender, then transfer it to the blender or food processor as described. Chop the remaining half of the cauliflower into large pieces and add them to the boiling water along with the pasta. Proceed with the recipe.

Kale Salad: 

Start by taking the stem out of the kale leaves, and then julienning the leaves into strips. Meanwhile, slice a container of brussels sprouts pretty thin. Make the dressing: mix together one tbsp of dijon mustard, the juice of 1-1.5 lemons, salt and pepper. Whisk in about 1/4 cup of olive oil, or until the dressing has a nice consistency and flavor. At this point, you can dress the kale to let it macerate for a few minutes before serving. Cook the brussels sprouts: put a tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. After a minute, add the brussels sprouts. Let them brown, untouched for about 2 minutes before stirring the pan. I think they take about 5 minutes to cook over all? Add hot brussels sprouts to the kale, shave parmesan, add extra dressing if necessary.

Everything was amazing and it was such a lovely day. Thanks, Gwennie-Belle :)

1 comment:

  1. That's so fun that you've stayed in touch and have a standing weekly day date! The food sounds delicious! I think I'm going to have to make both of those.


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