April 15, 2015

Thai Chicken Soup

I have made variations of this recipe 100 times and I really really like it.  CJ is not so much a fan of Thai curry, and I am a HUGE fan...so we compromise.  This has all the flavors of curry but in a soup format which some people might enjoy more.

veg oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
2 handfuls baby carrots, cut in half
1 bell pepper
1/2 an onion
(you can really use any vegetables you want!)
red curry paste
1 T brown sugar
1 T fish sauce
1 14oz can coconut milk
2 14oz cans chicken broth
2 limes
cilantro (optional)

Cook the potatoes either on the stove or in the microwave until they just start to become tender. Do not overcook because they will continue to cook later in the soup.

Add enough veg oil to cover the bottom of a large stockpot.  Brown chicken until no longer pink.

Add carrots, onions, and peppers and sautee. I always add the carrots first since they take the longest to cook. 

Once the vegetables are barely soft, add your curry paste.  I usually use a lot, 3-4 tablespoons but it just depends on your tastes and how spicy you like it.  Then throw in a bit of brown sugar and stir to coat the vegetables and chicken.

Let the flavors marry.  Cook everything together for about 3-5 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and chicken broth and stir.  Stir in fish sauce.

Bring to a boil then simmer covered on the stove for 20-30 min.

Add the juice of two limes and serve.  Garnish with cilantro if you'd like.

Serves 6

May 15, 2014


So it seems like lots of peeps have lots of advice about where to eat when in New York. Sometimes it can be hard to siphon through all the yelp reviews and top ten lists and guides and figure out what's actually amazing. Trust me, this happens to me every Friday night. One person says "this is the worst food I've ever had!" and the next person says "this was a transcendental experience!" How does anyone come away from reading yelp reviews without feeling like they have deep seated trust issues????

I'm here to help. By this blog post you shall know the truth of all the really good food I've eaten in the city. (sorry if that's blasph)

Disclaimer: I don't eat at Michelin star four star whatever the term is restaurants. That's a scene I'm not really interested in tapping into yet...partially because I have a hard time choking down a $60 tab let alone $120 and partially because I'm truly completely satisfied by everything else. 



Keste Pizza and Vino, West Village-
Neapolitan style pizza. This is my absolute favorite pizza in the city, period. There are a lot of pizza joints I haven't tried yet but this one would be soooo hard to beat. Don't bother with the caprese appetizer. My favorites are the Margherita and the Ricotta e Noci. I also love the Keste.

Joe's Pizza, West & East Village-
My favorite quintessential NY slice. So so good but make sure to say "not too hot" or you will burn all the skin/gums/tongue in on and around your mouth. Don't bother with toppings. PLAIN SLICE, B.

Patsy's (all over the city)-
This is one of our go-to spots. The one we frequent is on the UWS but we've been to one in Chelsea and one in Midtown East. This place gets a lot of flack for being a chain but it's like, whatever...the pizza is good.

Juliana's, Brooklyn Bridge-
Everyone wants to go to Grimaldi's under the Brooklyn bridge. It's very important that you DO NOT go to Grimaldi's. There is a lovely pizza place called Juliana's right next door and everything about it is better. Go there!!! Meet Patsy Grimaldi himself and he can tell you the story of Grimaldi's, Patsy's, Juliana's, etc etc etc. Hint: pizza in NY is insane and every pizza place is separated by like, three degrees. About Grimaldi's...there's no air conditioning (killlllll) the service is horrible and one time I waited AN HOUR AND A HALF for my pizza. I wish I still had the picture on my phone because my face is 100% HANGRY. It's also very crowded and you have to wait in a line to get in. Just...please no. Also you should read an article about Grimaldi's/Juliana's before you go. There's a bit of a feud there and you don't want to miss out. 

Side note: Walk across the Brooklyn bridge! It's cool! Walking from Brooklyn to Manhattan is very pretty but both ways are awesome!

Ice cream:

Brooklyn Bridge Ice Cream Factory-
Ok this is probably my favorite ice cream in the city. Cute, old-fashioned...they only have like 6 flavors, it's absolutely perfect. My fave is chocolate chocolate chunk and CJ likes the strawberry. Brooklyn Bridge Park is gorgeous!!

Sprinkles Ice Cream, UES-
Need I say more?

Gelato in Chelsea Market...that's all there really is to say. DELICIOUS GELATO!

Odd Fellows, Williamsburg BK-
Crazy and delicious ice cream. Flavors like raspberry peppercorn, olive oil, browned butter, pb&j, burnt marshmallow...very inventive. The English toffee flavor is to die for but they are making up new flavors all the time! I think you can check fb or twitter before you go to see what flavors they are offering that day. My mom's absolute fave. This is the only thing she specifically asked we do when she came to visit. Lol!


Chocolate chip cookie pudding at Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery, LES-
Just. I mean...I have trekked to the lower east side JUST to get this pudding. Homemade butterscotch pudding with chunks of chocolate chip cookie and globs of whipped cream...perfection. And CHEAP!!!!

Macarons at Laduree, UES & SoHo-
My favorites are vanilla, pistachio, caramel, and chocolate. CJ loves lemon, vanilla, and raspberry. Don't bother with the other macaron places...

Magnolia Bakery, all over- 
Don't get cupcakes here, get the banana pudding! Peanut butter cookie is also good. CJ loves the key lime pie cheesecake. I REPEAT: NO CUPCAKES!

Sprinkles cupcakes-UES
It's Sprinkles. Competes with all the great cupcake places in the city and probably wins them all too.

Molly's cupcakes-West Village
One of my favorite cupcake places! I love the Cookie Monster...it's a choc chip cookie dough cupcake. I haven't been in a while because one time I tried to use their bathroom without buying a cupcake and they basically bullied me into buying one and it was mortifying.

CRONUT @ Dominique Ansel Bakery (this is everything), SoHo-
You already know! I left my apt at 4AM to get one of these puppies last summer...and it was WORTH IT.

1/2 lb cookies from City Cakes, Chelsea-
This place is (literally) a hidden gem. Easy to miss because it's at the basement level. The sugardoodle is my favorite! Their choc chip is soooo good too but loads of chocolate chips. If you're not a fan of a reallllly chocolatey cookie, go for the sugardoodle! Ps I like these better than Levain.

DOUGH donuts (original is in Brooklyn, opening one in Chelsea SOON)- 
The best donut/thing I have ever eaten. This is the donut perfected. My favorites are the cinnamon sugar and coconut...I like the lighter flavors because the actual dough part of the donut is so incredible...I think gobs of frosting overpowers it! CJ likes the dulce de leche...I think that's what it's called. Idk it has a tan-ish glaze with slivered almonds on top. They sell these at smorgasburg and the Brooklyn flea!

Momofuku Milk Bar (crack pie), LES-
Crack pie is impossible to describe, but it is very delicious. I think this remains one of CJ's absolute favorite desserts in the city. There is also a location on the upper west side!

Junior's for cheesecake after a Bway show- Because it's close and the cheesecake is good. Don't go out of your way for it though. Please only consume after a show!

Baked by Melissa, all over-
I take back everything bad I've ever said about this place. The cookie dough and cinnamon cupcakes are my absolute fave. They're mini and they're stuffed and they're perfect. Amen.


Best brunch @ La Petit Abeille, Union Sq-
Good prices, delicious brunch, really cutesy Belgian atmosphere. I love love love the baked eggs...I forgot the French name but it's eggs, gruyere, goat cheese, tomatoes, and bacon. HI. CJ really likes the Croque Monsieur!

Shake Shack, everywhere-
Sigh. I have so many feelings about shake shack. It does not live up to the hype. It's not better than in-n-out. I only ever get the shroom burger which is very very delicious. I have had a shake once and I felt very meh about it. Really the reason it's on this list is because I CRAVE that damn shroom burger all the time. And you're going to go anyway so I may as well help manage your expectations.

Ippudo ramen UWS & Union Sq-
This place can have a wait of two hours or more but I LOVE IT. The food is awesome, the atmosphere is delightful and the service is on point as well. I looooovvvveeee the pork buns, so does CJ. Akumara Modern is the ramen we usually get! There was also a steak app last time we were there that was really really good too.

Jacob's Pickles, UWS-
NOM NOM NOM. Biscuits, fried chicken, pickles. Brunch is really good, but don't eat dinner the night before and you also won't need to eat at all for the rest of the day. The plates are huge and all the food is so heavy. But SO GOOD! We even went here for our thanksgiving dinner! They also have like specialty root beers on tap if you're into that.

Mighty Quinn's BBQ, LES-
Always a line. $8-9 for dinner is a steal and the brisket is soooooo yummy. Chrissy Teigen was there once when I wasn't there and I was like wahhhhhhh.

Pommes Frites, LES-
YUM. Big fat crispy soft hot french fries. With endless flavors of sauces. I looooove the mango chutney and jc likes the Parmesan peppercorn! The servings are huge too!

Vanessa's Dumplings, LES-
My dad loved this place. Absolutely loved it. The dumplings are like one dollar and they're delicious and the veggie sandwich is also practically $1 and delicious. The best dumplings I've had. Don't go anywhere else!!!!!!

Los tacos #1, Chelsea Market-
The best tacos in the city. The best food in the city. We found Mexican in a hopeless place.

Cafe Habana- SoHo
THAT MEXICAN CORN WITH THE MAYONAISSE AND THE CHEESE AND THE LIME AND THE ETC. Amazing. Long wait usually. Tiny and cramped. Very delicious. If you *just* want the corn they have a little walk up window! The Cuban is good and so are the enchiladas!

Amy's bread cupcakes
Magnolia Bakery cupcakes
Georgetown cupcakes
Pretzels from food carts
Donut Plant (sorry)
Grimaldi's (see above)
CHAIN RESTAURANTS (srsly if I find out you went to Olive Garden...)
Most places in Little Italy
Most places in Times Square

I don't claim to be an expert, and I certainly haven't tried ALL THE THINGS EVER. These are just some of my favorites! Every weekend is a food adventure and that's honestly one of my favorite parts about living here.

Gossip Girl

Jk. Or am I.......?????

March 10, 2014

Sacrament meeting talk (2/24)

Well this week was a lot of the same. Really hot, lots of walking, teaching, trying to get our investigators married, ect. But everything is going good.
We got two more missionaries in our Ward, Elder Mejia from Honduras, and Elder Bernal from Mercer Island, WA. I actually had met Elder Bernal once or twice before the mission because he plays lacrosse and transferred to play at BYU the semester after I left. Crazy that out of all the wards in the mission we´re both in the same one! So this week we helped buy all the stuff for their house, beds, kitchen supplies and stuff which actually took forever and was pretty boring, but oh well, you got to have a bed. And also we spent a lot of time showing them around the area.
On Sunday I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting and was pretty nervous but it went well! It was about prayer and trusting in God´s blessing and time table. I did however use the wrong word for time table a few times, I said horario, which I thought was just like saying schedule or time, but it´s actually more like a work schedule, so it sounded like I was saying God only answers our prayers according to his work schedule, as if there were hours when he wasn´t working or hours when he doesn´t bless us. Öh well haha luckly yet unfortuneatley none of our investigators came to church to hear that.

I actually feel like my Spanish got a lot better this week! I can be pretty impatient with myself sometimes and I asked my family to pray for me last Monday and I could DEFINETLEY feel the extra help of those prayers and my Heavely Father this week. A lot of people asked me how long I have been serving in México and told me my spanish was very good or noticed I have improved a lot.
Also I was not sick at all this week so that has been awesome!
I hope you keep me and all missionaries in your prayers, we really do have a Heavenly Father who knows, hears and loves us!
Ustedes son los mejores,
Elder Mitchell