Alyanumbers's Profile

Display Name: Alyanumbers
Member Since: 10/2/13

Latest Comments...

I feel like I should add: Bishara's restaurant in Bay Ridge, Tanoreen, is incredible. All the food is delicious, and she has the best desserts and cocktails.

I Found a Recipe in Olives, Lemons & Za'atar That Changed My Life Cookbook Review
3/14/14 12:00 PM

I made my egg bake! I couldn't shop for ingredients yesterday (ahem, broke as I had already done my grocery shopping at the beginning of the week), so I tweaked the recipe to use what I had (based it on Aida Mollenkamp's "Creamy Baked Eggs" recipe from Keys to the Kitchen).

Also had some fruit and some cereal. The whole thing was delicious, but way too much for me right before yoga class.

Day 5: Make Breakfast Today & Plan Next Week's Breakfasts The Cooking Cure Spring 2014
3/7/14 12:52 PM

I grew up eating muesli, mostly berry muesli. But now I do almost all my shopping at Trader Joe's and I've found their muesli to be underwhelming. Familia makes good muesli, but it's $5 for a small bag, and I'm a grad student...

What's Your Favorite Breakfast Cereal? (And I Don't Mean Oatmeal.)
3/5/14 09:06 PM

I tend to have a cup of tea, and maybe some cereal with milk. Only in the past week have I been focusing on eating a real breakfast, with eggs, cold cuts, whole-grain toast and sometimes cheese.

My goals:

1) Never have another tea-only "breakfast".
2) Eat more eggs.
3) Eat fruit for breakfast every day.

Day 2: Ask Yourself 3 Questions About Your Breakfast Habits The Cooking Cure Spring 2014
3/4/14 09:57 AM

I honestly don't understand what everyone's problem is with picky eaters... Why would you want to feed someone something they don't like? When I invite people over, I want them to enjoy the food, among other things--not force themselves to eat what I made out of "politeness". What is the point of cooking for my friends and family, otherwise?

Obviously, the key is for people to communicate about their needs: I always ask about food intolerance/allergies, diet restrictions/lifestyle choices and particular dislikes, and would expect a guest to let me know in advance if they're bringing something for themselves or someone in their care.

What to Do About the Guest Who Brings His Own Meal to Your Dinner Party
12/5/13 09:28 PM

I hosted PhD-Student Friendsgiving for 6 people + me! It was great; I made chestnut soup, green beans with shallots & pistachios (from Vegetable Literacy), a cranberry-almond salad (Martha Stewart), and a butternut squash gratin. My friend came over with the turkey in the early afternoon and we roasted it together, made cranberry-ginger sauce, gravy and stuffing (from her friend's mom's secret recipe). Another friend brought a sweet potato salad. I served a brownie bundt cake and a pear tarte tatin (+ vanilla ice cream) for dessert. Everything but the gratin was lactose-free to accommodate my lactose intolerant friend.

Drinks-wise: sparkling wine, white Bordeaux, Chardonnay, mulled wine and this terrible Norwegian liquor that a friend brought for kicks. We've all had so much fun. Now having leftover appetizers (cheese, salami and olives), eggs, and cranberry scones for brunch.

How Did Your Thanksgiving Dinner Go? We Want to Hear All About It! Thanksgiving 2013
11/29/13 11:37 AM

I have this chair and can tell you it's really comfortable. I got it because I needed a dedicated reading chair to get through my 1000 pages of reading every week (hello, PhD school), and it's the perfect size for me to curl up in and still have space for my cat to cuddle up to me. I live in a small studio, and this chair is now the star furniture piece of my apartment!

Money Saving Project: IKEA Wingback Chair Converted to Budget Nursery Rocker Interiors by Kenz
11/17/13 10:34 AM

I am hosting a small Thanksgiving gathering this year, and I plan to start it with one of my favourite recipes, Chestnut Soup:
Once you've roasted and peeled the chestnuts, it's the easiest thing ever.

8 Light & Lovely Fall Soups to Begin Your Thanksgiving Meal
11/13/13 12:49 PM

Oh yeah, and flowers! I always buy flowers, because where else can you get a dozen roses for $5-$6?

What Are Your Best Tips for Shopping at Trader Joe's? Good Questions
11/3/13 11:12 AM

I live in NYC, so TJ's is actually much cheaper than any other grocery store around me.

The produce isn't great, as many people have mentioned. I still buy it, though, because it's affordable, and their asparagus, broccoli and bok choy are good. I also like the bartlett pears. I wish they had more local produce, though.
They stock the same raspberries as everyone else in NYC (Driscoll's), but at close to half the price!

The meat isn't as good an idea. I can't by any means afford good-quality meat, so I'll take what I can get, but you get better deals on free-range/organic chicken and antibiotic-free beef through FreshDirect. TJ's (frozen) salmon, however, is cheaper and just as good. Their shellfish is not significantly cheaper than my local farmers' market, so check that first.

I love their juice, simply because there are so many options, and they're all clearly labeled (pineapple, grapefruit, orange--100% juice, some pulp, no pulp, etc.). I only drink non-homogenised milk, so no TJ's milk for me (if you're in the NY area, check your farmers' market for Ronnybrook). Their small yogurt cups are great, and so is their greek yogurt. I mean, it's not Siggi's, but it's also not $3 a freaking cup either.

I find their cheeses sort of mediocre. Their brie is very bland. Their sliced cheese options are good, and they have a nice lineup of cold cuts (I actually prefer their house brand prosciutto to more expensive options).

If you're lucky enough to have a TJ's Wine Shop near you, check out the French wines. Among other things, they regularly stock Jean-Luc Colombo, which is excellent.

If you have cats, get their "Tuna for cats"! It's great.

Finally, of course, their staples are great. Pasta, rice, canned beans, you name it, they have a large selection at very reasonable prices. I also love their "lightly smoked sardines", and their smoked herring. One caveat for the staples, though: their olive oil is crap. I'm sorry, but it's true (although I grew up in the East Mediterranean, so I may have high standards there).

Re: shopping time. I usually go either on a weekday in the mid-to-late morning, or at 8 AM on the weekend--it's fully stocked and no one's around. I was just there this morning.

Hope that was helpful!

What Are Your Best Tips for Shopping at Trader Joe's? Good Questions
11/3/13 11:10 AM