belated 100th anniversary, manhattan bridge!

December 31st marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Manhattan Bridge. It was opened in 1909 and was the 3rd bridge built to cross over the East River, the first two being the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges.

Though not as beautiful as the Brooklyn (in my opinion), the Manhattan Bridge is still one amazing sight. It’s also pretty friggin creepy walking across it since the walkway is on the side and the bridge deflects a couple feet when the subway trains pass! I took the photo above from DUMBO last spring.

Happy belated Manhattan Bridge!

I originally wanted to post this last week but didn’t get around to it…

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cooking: gala apples and brie baguette sandwich

I made this today at work for lunch. I’ve read about brie and apples being paired for sandwiches all the time but never tried the combination. This was pretty simple to make and tasted damn good.

Here’s my quick recipe

Gala Apples and Brie Baguette Sandwich
Serves 1 hungry person nom nom nom nom nom!!!

-1/4 of a french baguette, sliced into 12 1/4″ – 1/2″ slices
-half of a gala apple, sliced into thin pieces (I attempted to, I had to use a butter knife)
-six thin to medium slices of brie

Preheated a toaster oven to 375°. Place baguette slices along foil wrapped oven tray then place brie slices over baguette slices. Melt the cheese/toast the baguette for about 5-7 minutes until brie is melty and bubbly. I kept checking every 2 minutes or so. Take out of oven, place apple slices on top, form the sandwich, and enjoy!

Mmmm, I’ve still got 3/4 of a brie wheel to go….

Oh, and happy new year everyone!

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cooking: stove top mac and cheese

There were still ham leftovers and I was craving for some mac and cheese all day in the office so dinner was definitely going to be mac and cheese, someway, somehow.

CHOW had this recipe for Stove Top Mac and Cheese. I followed everything exactly and my only addition was 2-3 cups of diced, cooked ham.

This dish completely blew my mind. Not just because it tasted great, but also because the following day when I brought leftovers for lunch, I heated it up in the microwave and it was still creamy! Never have I had leftover mac and cheese that wasn’t dried up and just as enjoyable (if not close to enjoyable) as it was when it was freshly made.

This one is definitely a keeper!

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cooking: ham & potato bake

Since I had a ton of leftovers from the ham, I wanted to make a dish using those leftovers. I also had a bag of russet potatoes, so a casserole or bake of some sort came into mind.

I would have attempted a gratin if I only had a mandoline…birthday gift anyone? Haha…I kid…

Again, I kinda used two different recipes and combined different bits and pieces of the two.

Ham & Potato Casserole/Bake
Adapted from Mother’s Ham Casserole and Hearty Ham Casserole

3 medium sized russet potatoes, diced (I think I used three…)
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 medium to large sized carrots, chopped
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
2 cups cooked ham, cubed
7 tablespoons butter, split into 1 tbsp portions
1/3 cup ap flour
1 3/4 cups milk
8 – 12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbles
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once there, I tossed in the potatoes and cooked for about 15 minutes. Next, I heated a skillet on medium heat with the butter, then added the onions, celery, and carrots. Saute for a couple minutes until onions become soft. Add the flour, little by little…you want to make a roux and cook off the raw taste of the flour.

Take the milk and slowly pour it into the mixture, little by little, making sure to stir the mixture constantly. Once all the milk has been mixed in, add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Turn off the heat once the mixture has thickened.

When 15 minutes pass, drain the potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the ham cubes to the potato, followed by the sauce. Use a spatula to mix everything together.

Once evenly mixed, pour the mixture into a buttered 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Toss in the oven for 25 minutes. After 25, take out the dish, spread the mozzarella and gorgonzola, bake for an addition 5 or until melted. Remove from oven, let cool, enjoy.

Mozzarella and gorgonzola was okay on the bake. I woulda preferred gruyere but it was last minute and I just kinda used what I had in the fridge.

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merry christmas!

This post was originally intended to have a picture of Christmas cookies/treats made by my friend’s girlfriend. He brought in a ridiculous amount of treats to the office on Monday…and the next day when I wanted to take a photo of the treats, they were all eaten…

Thanks for the treats Tom & Ally, they were delicious…and put me beyond my necessary sugar intake for the week…in a single day hahaha.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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