Monday, April 24, 2017

3 Easy Ways to Make Dinner for your Family During the Workweek

By: Finance Foodie, in collaboration with Slow Cookers Success

Cooking dinner during the week is just the worst, right? You’ve spent all day working and just want to come home, pop something in the microwave and go to sleep. Especially if you’re cooking for more than just yourself!

But this doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s three easy ways to make your next midweek family dinner a great one. These three quick and easy ways of feeding your family will be sure to put the pleasure back into the ominous after work chore that dinnertime too often becomes.

A good stir-fry is a sure fire way to keep the family healthy and happy. With none of the stress of different cooking times and buying specific ingredients, making a stir-fry is the perfect versatile weeknight family meal. Just fire up your wok, grab any meat, seafood or vegetables you have in your fridge, mix them together with your favourite Asian cooking sauce and you’re good to go. In 15 minutes, you’ll have a tasty meal fit for the whole family, without any of the hassle of preparing a million different ingredients to be cooked separately.

Pasta dishes are another super easy, super versatile way of making dinner for the whole family in no time at all. All you really need to get started is a saucepan, some boiling water, and a tasty pasta sauce. Whether you want a rich and creamy pasta bake, a no-fuss spaghetti carbonara, or a hearty stroganoff, pasta is one of the best foods to suit any family’s taste. With so many delicious dishes using pasta as their base, no matter what ingredients you have on hand, you’ll almost definitely be able to whip something up (just don’t forget the pasta). The best thing is, most pasta dishes can be cooked in less than 30 minutes! That means you can come home from work and actually relax a little, before putting on your chef’s hat and making a quick, easy and healthy meal that everyone can enjoy.

Using a slow cooker:
A great way to take the stress out of making a family dinner in the week is by using a slow cooker. Whether you want to make a spicy chili, a hearty Italian lasagne or even just a sweet and delicious apple cobbler – slow cooking is the key, and there’s really no limit to what you can make! With a programmable slow cooker, you simply put your ingredients in it in the morning, set the timer, and come home to a fantastic meal after work that the whole family will enjoy. It’s completely stress-free and the best way to keep yourself, and your family, happy after a hard day at the office.

If you just don’t know where to start with choosing a slow cooker, Slow Cooker Success has some great reviews of the best timed slow cookers on the market right now.

Monday, April 17, 2017

C'est Magnifique at Brasserie 8 1/2

By: Finance Foodie

When I first moved to New York City over a decade ago, Brasserie 8 1/2 was the first "finer" restaurant I dined at. I still remember it felt so chic and sophisticated walking down the swooping circular staircase into the dining room - in that moment, it was like I had made it and Manhattan was mine (then I went back to my box apartment that I shared with 2 other roommates and quickly came back down to earth...)

Fast forward to present day - I still live in a box apartment (sans roommates, at least) and Brasserie 8 1/2 is still very much alive and grand (no small feat considering the ultra competitive NYC dining arena). Given its prime Midtown location, this French brasserie is usually packed during the weekdays for business lunches but tends to quiet down for dinner service. The Mister and I, looking to unwind after a stressful workday and escape the hustle and bustle of the area, decided to have dinner here a few nights ago.
When looking over the menu, my eyes immediately saw the $42 three course prix fixe menu (as a value minded Finance Foodie, I also like a good deal). The server informed me the portions are quite generous so the Mister and I start off sharing the Grilled Octopus from my prix fixe meal. The portion size was indeed enough to share and the char on the octopus was nicely smokey. I didn't really care for the butter beans that came with the dish but the tender octopus legs were the star of the show anyways. Also, it was nice to see this exact dish was on the a la carte menu as well ($16).
Poitrine de Canard
For my main, I went with the Poitrine de Canard, two slices of duck breast on top of red cabbage and a flavorful black currant gastrique with a side of flan. The duck was cooked a perfect medium rare and didn't taste overly greasy (as duck can get, especially if served with the skin). I also like how the lightness of the flan served as a well executed contrast with richer flavors of the duck and the red cabbage.
Steak Frites
The Mister, who has been on diet and was looking forward to this "cheat meal of the week", went with the old French Bisto standby meal of Steak Fries ($47), a large hunk of dry aged sirloin with fries. The meat was massive but still perfectly cooked and had nice flavor from the herb butter sauce.

For dessert, we split the Apple Tarte Tatin with a scoop of caramel ice cream from my prix fixe meal. The ice cream was creamy and sweet and melded really well with the flakiness of the tarte. An excellente way to end a magnifique meal!

Finance Foodie Money $avvy Tip - While the a la carte menu can get a bit pricey, the dinner prix fixe menu (both the $42 three course menu served daily and the Soft Shell Crab menu on Sunday and Monday) are a real best bang for your buck. Portions are generous and the only thing they skimp on is the price (not the quality of the food).

Brasserie 8 1/2
9 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 829-0812
Cuisine: French

Brasserie 8 1/2 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Friday, April 7, 2017

A Financier Feasts: Midtown Italian Edition

By: Finance Foodie

It might be no surprise that one of the things I look forward to most each day is lunch, especially during the work week (sometimes, Foodie by Night seeps into Foodie by Midday). Working in Midtown Manhattan, I feel blessed that I can walk to a myriad of food options each day.
Midtown Manhattan
But where to go? Well I generally go for my favorite cuisine Italian. And as a Finance Foodie, naturally the financial markets dictate exactly which Italian destination - when I'm having a good day (read: making $$$), I get the urge to splurge. But when I'm on the wrong side of the trade, I go for the value orientated option (as they say: good food can be found at every price point). Below are my top go-to Italian spots for whatever the work day is throwing at me.


Monday, March 27, 2017

North Italian South of Houston at San Carlo Osteria Piemonte

By: Finance Foodie

Last Sunday, inspired by the unexpected sliver of warm(er) weather, the Mister and I decided take a stroll around the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. A planned hour walk turned into three so we happened to be in the area during dinnertime. We stumbled up upon San Carlo Osteria Piemonte, a cozy and newish resto specializing in Northern Italian cuisine, specifically from the Piedmont region (hence the name, obviously) and decided to dine there. I had worked up an appetite walking around all day, so I was excited for some rich and delicious Italian feasting.

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