Kiku Sushi Family

Now when I say that this place is my absolute favorite sushi joint, I really do mean it. It’s a small, unassuming restaurant on the corner of Broadway in Massapequa, New York. You walk in, get greeted by the two sushi chefs behind the sushi counter with a smile, and get seated relatively quickly. I’ve been going to this restaurant for about 7 years. It is my families go to, and the name isn’t wrong. I always feel like family… but maybe it’s because they know who I am. I’m not obsessed or anything like that.

When you sit down, they hand you a menu. They give you plenty of time to browse through the 93 (give or take a few) speciality rolls. I have had most of them and am quickly working my way to eating them all. They have rolls literally served on fire (Blaze Rolls) and Mountain Rolls and Towered rolls and everything in between. Below are some of my favorites!

Roll Kiku– The OG. My first love. It is a banana, crab tempura, cucumber roll with spicy tuna, spicy salmon, spicy yellowtail, and masago on top.
Maple Roll- Spicy tuna cucumber, jalapeno roll with mango, avocado crunch, scallion, crab, and masago on top.
Ocean Roll- eel, crab, cucumber roll with salmon, yellowtail on top
Boston Party- This is my go to roll when I just want to eat something with lots of fat. Deep fried shrimp, crab, avocado, cream chose roll with crab salad on top
Blaze #3- spicy tuna, avocado roll with mango, tuna, and eel… ON FIRE. What. (video’s below!)



Along with the most amazing rolls I’ve eaten in my life, the menu has tons of Japanese specialties, including Negimaki (beef wrapped scallions), tartare (*my boyfriend’s fave!), tempura, Nabiyaki Udon, and Naruto rolls (for the ones who don’t want rice- it is wrapped in cucumber).

Kiku also gives you a free appetizer when you sit down to eat. Think about it. Free appetizer, the world’s best sushi… I think it’s well worth the trip, don’t you?

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Coco for Doughnuts!

Yesterday’s travels brought me to Manhattan (are you shocked?) to John Jay School of Criminal Justice to meet with one of my best college friends with a couple of my best. I went to my hopeful future school to see one of my undergraduate professors give a lecture on his career in forensic mental health. It was awesome!

Before that, however, the weather squashed my friends and I’s plan of walking around Central Park, casually food truckin’. Instead, we traveled to the Upper West Side to eat at this little place called Jekyll & Hyde. The entire experience was awesome, starting from the moment we sat down and the waiter telling us that  we had to push on library walls to find the bathroom. The gargoyle was without a doubt my favorite thing. He definitely made fun of everyone in the room, so I beg, if you don’t have a sense of humor, don’t go. The food is a bit pricey and they charge you a $3 entertainment fee and it’s cash only, so be warned. The bar upstairs wasn’t open, but we got a tour from one of the waitstaff. I got scared a few times, my friend, Laura, got exorcised, and Emily got a new set of eyes. I would recommend Jekyll & Hyde for the experience alone.

We had some time to kill before the lecture. Within five minutes we were standing in front of Doughnut Plant. It had been on my foodie list for a while and I’m so glad I got to finally go. They even liked my photo on Instagram… I actually might feel famous.

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My “famous” Photo! (A girl can dream, right?)

My friends got the buttered pretzel chocolate doughnut. I ate half of Emily’s like the true garbage disposal that I am. I chose the Coco Loco, a doughnut filled with sweet pineapple and glazed with coconut milk and topped with baked coconut flakes. I figured it might be just a bit too sweet for my liking…until I bit into it. Perfect. The pineapple filling was just sweet enough. My teeth didn’t hurt after, and while a bit messy, the filling wasn’t runny where it was dripping everywhere.  The doughnut was fluffy and light and had the perfect texture. Probably the best doughnut place I’ve been to. They are what doughnut places should aspire to be. I’ll be honest if I try a better one, but so far, compared to Donut Man in Cali, this one for sure takes the cake… or the dough.

Pro Tip: They seem to run out of flavors very quickly- by the time I ordered and finished my doughnut, about 15 people had come in asking for a PB&J one. If you’re looking for it, go early. I was happy with my choice, but peanut butter is bae, so I can see how everyone and their mother would be looking for that.

Friday Night Eats

Let me just start off by saying that I saw Alton Brown Live last night. Yes, the Alton Brown- creator of the Astropop and cocktail slushies (with gin, sweet vermouth, and cough syrup), singer, songwriter, guitar player, converse wearing’ comedian, and host of Cutthroat Kitchen and Good Eats. Check out his show, Eat Your Science! You’ll leave with a basket full of knowledge and probably a few stitches in your side from laughing. You’ll also start saying “food for thought” a lot the next day… Or maybe that’s just me. Moving on…

My inspiration for tonight’s dinner came from Alton Brown and this little burger joint called Smashburger. Alton Brown, proclaimed Food God (Vote for him in November), spoke a whole lot about chicken thighs.

“Who doesn’t like chicken thighs?!”- Alton Brown and everyone else in the world.

At Smashburger, I got a chicken, spinach and goat cheese sandwich, and their smashfries. Smash fries have rosemary, olive oil, and garlic on them. Why I never thought to put rosemary and garlic on my fries in an Italian household in beyond me. Kudos to Smashburger.

 

As we were coming home, I bored my friend with the ideas running through my head for what would be tonight’s dinner. I call this one Chicken, Spin-Smash, & Potatoes. Not the best name, but can’t fault me for trying, right?
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Chicken, Spin-Smash, & Potatoes

What You Need

-6 Chicken Thighs (Skin On)
– Fresh Rosemary
– Granulated Garlic Powder
– Sea Salt & Pepper
– Dried Basil
– Spinach Leaves (I used one bundle for two people)
– 1 tablespoon flour
– 1/3 cup lemon juice
– 1 cup vegetable stock
– 5 Potatoes (for two people, with leftovers!)
– Crumbled Blue Cheese
– 1/2 a stick of butter
– 1/2 cup of the milk of your choice

What You Do

Preheat oven to 375°

Take chicken thighs from the packaging and wash them. Then place them in an aluminum baking pan skin side up, bone side down. Chop 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and sprinkle over chicken. Sprinkle garlic powder (to taste), sea salt, pepper, and basil on the top.
Place in the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Then flip and bake for 20 more minutes. How easy!

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Place a pot of water up to boil. Prepare your potatoes. Wash them, and then peel. Dice them evenly and place into boiling water. Give a quick stir, and sprinkle in some salt.

While your potatoes are boiling, start the spinach. Clean in a colander and shred. Put the vegetable broth in a pan, heat for 2 minutes, then add spinach and stir to coat. In about 5 minutes, add lemon juice and 4 sprigs of rosemary (I used more because I love lemon, it’s really up to you). When the spinach is wilted, gradually add the flour and stir. You will be left with a creamy spinach, lemony delight.

 

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You’ll know the potatoes are done when you can successfully put a fork through them without any resistance. You can then strain them, and add them back into the pot. Add the butter and, using a masher, mash and stir until butter is melted. Add your milk and stir until incorporated. Then, add 1/2-1 cup of the crumbled blue cheese. Taste, add more if needed.

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Once your chicken skins are crispy, take them out of the oven. You now have a smashing meal on your hands (think Nigel Thornberry, and maybe Smashburger, too).

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The Finished Product!

Life Hack: Peel the potatoes over a garbage can- it makes for less of a mess!

Shake Shack & The Museum of Sex

This weekend, we celebrated my friend, Laura’s, birthday! It was an epic birthday weekend, and I can only hope mine is just as rad (*hint, hint*).

She had requested we go to the city, suggested going to the Museum of Sex, and left the food up to me. She had never been to Shake Shack before, a true New York Touristy staple. I had never been to the original in Washington Square Park, and decided that it was definitely time.

I chose to go back to my vegetarian roots (I was one for 8 years) and get their ‘Shroomburger. Phenomenal. Never disappointed. It’s a fried portobello mushroom stuffed with Muenster and cheddar cheese, topped with lettuce and tomato.

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Only the most heavenly bite. The cheese was dripping from my chin- Perfection.

I also have to get a concrete, because it is actually on my bucket list to get a concrete at every single Shake Shack (Yes, I do realize this is going to take me my entire life, and I am entirely okay with that). I got the The Concrete Jungle, a mix of vanilla custard, bananas, peanut butter sauce, and fudge sauce. I love bananas and peanut butter, and adding the extra calories is just a simple win.

We ended our night by jumping in a bouncy boob castle at The Museum of Sex and going to a swanky rooftop bar, 230 Fifth! Overall, I had a blast and was so happy my friends did, too! Also, to that bachelorette drunk on the train- if you’re reading this- I hope that you’re okay! You have good friends.

Shake Shack Life Hack: When ordering cheese fries, ALWAYS get the cheese on the side. You will always get more cheese, and who doesn’t love that?