Saturday, May 31, 2014

Remembering Satya

One year ago today, we visited Satya Eastern Kitchen, a fast casual pan-Asian place in our area. It had only been open a short time when we visited (with our opening discount coupon that we got in the mail), but the place didn't even last a year. Before they arrived, we had been hopeful that they would fill the fast casual Asian niche for us, but considering we only went there once before they closed, that clearly didn't happen.

Satya had really nice decor. Wooden tables and benches, lots of tiled and mosaic artwork on all of the walls. It was a very pretty space. Good ambiance for a fast casual place, except that they were really close to Times Square which brought in lots of loud people and surrounding traffic.

We started our meal with a "small plate" of blistered shishito peppers (Japanese sweet peppers with coarse sea salt) for $3.95.

These weren't bad, but it's hard to mess up grilling peppers like this. But for $4, it wasn't a lot of food. (This is a common theme throughout our Satya experience.)

A got the chicken satay "big plate" which came with 3 skewers of chicken and 2 sides for $10. He picked brown rice and the sauteed mushrooms & spinach. He had a really unhealthy lunch that day (lots of pizza) so he decided to go for a healthy and clean dinner.

The chicken satay was nicely flavored and was probably our favorite thing we ate that day. The peanut sauce was lighter and thinner than what we usually see with satay, but it's probably healthier that way. The sides were basic, but also very healthy. This is the type of clean and healthy dinner that we love to get, but for $10, it's not a lot of food. Also, we could probably make this at home for far less if we had a grill.

I went with the Satya sliders, which were $10.50. The order came with 3 sliders - burgers with lettuce, Roma tomatoes, cheese and Asian aioli on brioche slider rolls - with a side of crispy seaweed and lotus root chips.

A liked the crispy seaweed more than I did, but we both liked the lotus root chips. Although they were tasty and crunchy, they weren't a very substantial side dish. The sliders were pretty good burgers as well, but again, 3 sliders isn't a whole lot of food. They were not big at all.

The food at Satya wasn't bad, but the biggest issue for us was the price. Understandably, based on their location, their rents were probably high and they passed that price on to consumers, but it's a little hard to pay so much and still leave hungry. Without the discount, what we got was close to $30. To compare to other fast casual places, you could get 3 bowls at Chipotle for what we paid (less, actually) and be completely stuffed. We never made it back to Satya because there were always other options that were better at the time, but it's kind of sad that the concept didn't make it. Would have been nice to have a good fast casual Asian spot. Guess we'll have to wait for ShopHouse.

Jimmy T

Almost every time I'm at Lenny's, I get the same sandwich. C1 on a whole wheat roll with no capers. I've tried other sandwiches here and there but always go back to that one. It's a lot of food and relatively good for you (other than the sodium content from all the cold cuts). But every so often, I splurge on something a little less healthy. Today, that was a return to one of the first sandwiches I ever got at Lenny's, the Jimmy T (aka the #5).

The Jimmy T is on their "all-time favorites" menu and consists of breaded chicken cutlet with melted mozzarella cheese, grilled onion, sweet peppers and honey mustard. It's served warm, which allows everything to meld together perfectly. Grilled onions and sweet peppers provide sweetness, tartness and crunch, while the cheese is melted in several layers between the pieces of (not dry) chicken. The honey mustard is just the right finisher for all of those ingredients, and everything works really well together. For a sandwich that has lots of stuff in it, it's also not messy, which is a huge plus.

Every time I get this, I wonder why I don't order it more often!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Chicken Enchiladas

We picked up a bunch of new (to us) frozen items from Trader Joe's on our last visit, which means more reviews! For a recent lunch I decided to try out the chicken enchiladas ($1.99).

Each package comes with 2 enchiladas. You have to make both at once, unlike the tamales they sell, since you're supposed to microwave them in the bag itself. I didn't know that, so when it said to puncture the plastic wrap, I thought they meant plastic wrap over the dish in the bag (like a TV dinner from a box). I opened the bag only to find that there wasn't any other plastic wrap and they meant the bag I had already torn open. Oops.

The enchiladas have white meat chicken, red enchilada sauce, bell peppers, and cheese in addition to the tortillas. These tasted like fairly standard chicken enchiladas. I don't really have a lot to say about them. They were fine but not extraordinary.

Buy Again? Maybe. I liked them, but I didn't love them. For the price though, the enchiladas were a pretty cheap lunch, so if I'm in the mood for it, I might get them again. Easier than making them from scratch.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Buttery Sugar Cookie

One of the custards we were looking forward to most this month was buttery sugar cookie, which they kept running out of so it took us some time to get it. We are fans of sugar cookies and Christmas cookie (although not exactly a sugar cookie, it's not that far off in flavor) is one of our favorite custards of all time from Shake Shack's repertoire. How would buttery sugar cookie fare in our rankings?

M's thoughts:
We didn't get this one until the last Wednesday of the month, which meant I spent the entire month waiting for the day when we could try the buttery sugar cookie custard. Sadly, it missed the mark for me. When I first tried it, I was expecting that buttery sweet flavor you get from an actual sugar cookie, but it tasted like nothing. Maybe just some vanilla, but not even much of that. It was just kind of there and had this vaguely sweet flavor that didn't taste like anything in particular. I was disappointed with that. The last few spoonfuls I had did leave an aftertaste of sweetness on my tongue that was reminiscent of a sugar cookie, but I didn't get any of that from the custard itself unfortunately.

A's thoughts:
I... was really disappointed by this custard. With so many expectations with how amazing Christmas Cookie was, we were both really looking forward to trying this. We got a double since it was the last day, and we really thought we were going to love it. There was none of that classic sugar cookie flavor, and there didn't seem to be any crystallized sugar which is always the best part of any sugar cookie.

Buttery Sugar Cookie
A's rating: 5/10
M's rating: 5.5/10

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Coco Asian Cuisine

Midtown really needs a good Malaysian restaurant. I'm always craving Malaysian flavors yet there isn't anywhere really close by to get delicious dishes like mee goreng, Buddhist yam pot or rendang. One year ago today, we were out in central Jersey, and it was the perfect opportunity to grab some Malaysian food for lunch at Coco Asian Cuisine in Edison. (Coco apparently has a branch in Elmhurst as well but we didn't know that when we went. They also have Thai food but we (and everyone else we saw there) were there for the Malaysian food.)

The one thing we knew for sure that we were getting at lunch was roti canai, our favorite Malaysian appetizer.

Roti canai is a "Malaysian crispy Indian style pancake served with curry chicken and potato dipping sauce." The chicken here arrived a little more "whole" than some other places but was tender and easily broke up in the curry sauce. The curry was delicious, but wasn't as rich as some of the others we've had and it was thinner as well. The pancake was crispy and chewy in parts, and that soft chewy texture is one of the delights of roti canai (at least for us).

We debated between getting noodles or the $7.95 lunch special. The lunch special had a variety of dishes (mostly rice dishes), which came with soup as part of the special. We decided on the specials.

The soup was a simple vegetable soup - a flavorful broth with some cabbage and carrots. It was mild but good.

A chose the Hainanese chicken, described on the menu as a steamed half chicken with bone in at room temperature with chef's special soy sauce. We had tried Hainanese chicken in Singapore years ago and found it to be a really fresh and delicious dish.

Although I like steamed chicken like this, I was glad that A chose this instead of me because of how roughly they cut the chicken and how much skin there was. Not my type of thing. A was really disappointed with the chicken itself. Normal Hainanese chicken comes with a minimum of two sauces, and this came with one. A even emailed a picture to his brother and sister-in-law (who is from Singapore) and they both agreed that sauces were missing. The chicken was cooked okay, but the lack of sauces was really noticeable.

The rice that came with the Hainanese chicken was really nice, though. It was nice and rich, and the chicken flavor was very evident. The chicken stock also made the rice nice and fluffy.

I went with the string bean belacan with chicken, which was sauteed chicken with string beans, red and green peppers, and shrimp paste chili sauce.

It had been quite some time since I'd had belacan (the Malaysian shrimp paste) in a dish, mostly because we rarely get to go for Malaysian food. When we were living in Chicago and regularly visiting the late Penang (which sadly burned down after we left), we often got vegetable dishes that used belacan as one of the ingredients, and really enjoyed the pungent unique flavor. I was happy with this. It had great flavor and tasted healthy from all the vegetables. I would love to be able to make this at home.

Malaysian cuisine is a bit scarce in Manhattan and I'm not sure why. It's so delicious. With all the Thai restaurants everywhere in Hell's Kitchen, couldn't we just make one of them a Malaysian place? That would be amazing.

Coco Asian Cuisine is located at 1803 Lincoln Highway (Rte 27) in Edison, New Jersey.

Japanese Fried Rice

Trader Joe's has always carried a lot of frozen rice options. Back when we lived in Chicago, we regularly stocked up on the nasi goreng and biryani (sadly no longer around). One of our new favorites is the Japanese Style Fried Rice ($2.99).

The primary ingredients are straightforward: rice, edamame, tofu, hijiki seaweed, soy sauce, rice wine. This tasted really healthy with its abundance of vegetables and the seaweed which was present throughout all of the rice. It also wasn't as salty as some fried rice can be. We paired it with some oven baked fries and chicken, and it was really good for a fair price. The hijiki is what really makes this unique. It's similar to adding furikake to rice, but a little better since it's mixed in so well. The texture of the rice was also quite good, considering it came out of the freezer.

It also couldn't be simpler to make. You can microwave it right in the bag. Just cut a slit in the bag, microwave it for 4 minutes, empty into serving dish, stir, and you're done. Now that's a quick and easy side dish that's still good for you.

Buy Again? Yes! We just picked up two more bags on our last visit. Healthy and delicious!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Caramel Praline Cake

After a couple of failed custard attempts this month, we finally tried a new one - caramel praline cake.

M's thoughts:
I liked this one. Not destined to be one of my all-time favorites, but a solid custard. It had a light caramel taste and reminded me of a candy bar.

A's thoughts:
My first bite was odd because it tasted just like ice and had no flavor. It was really weird. The rest of the bites were good, though. It was a nice, rich caramel flavor. The only thing that was missing was the lack of nuts since praline is really caramel covered nuts. Other than that I think it's a really good flavor.

Caramel Praline Cake
A's rating: 8/10
M's rating: 7/10

Sunday, May 25, 2014


I always talk about how our trip memories are fading, and this post is definite proof. On our second full day in Naxos, we had a hearty breakfast at the hotel, did some sightseeing, relaxed in the hotel swimming pool, and then set out to watch the sunset from the famous Portara. We remembered doing most of that. But, until we looked through our photos from Naxos, we completely forgot that en route to the Portara we stopped for a snack at this souvlaki and gyro place called Κορρές (listed on Foursquare as σουβλατζίδικο (Κορρές)). 

That isn't because there was anything wrong with the food or because it wasn't good. From what we remember now that we've thought about it, we think it was good. But there were so many amazing and memorable places and meals in Naxos with Taverna Lefteris and Milkato and our hotel breakfast bar and the dinner place we're going to talk about next, that this one kind of got lost in the shuffle in our memories. Sadly that happens when we haven't committed our memories to record.

We do remember that we were hungry so we stopped for a quick snack, and we'd seen plenty of young people eating these on the waterfront. The shop had a grill and various meat spits, and we decided to split a pork gyro pita which only cost €2. Inside the pita, there was pork, lettuce, tomato, onion, fries, and tzatziki. It was tasty. We mimicked the other young people and ate it sitting on the waterfront while people watching, and it was a wonderful break. Naxos is really such a great escape.

Bratwurst and More

Another vendor we visited on both days of the 9th Avenue International Food Fair this year was a German stand selling bratwurst. We hadn't seen them here before and aren't sure of their actual name, so we don't know if they showed up just for this fair from someplace far (like Millie's) or if they're one of those vendors who hits up every street fair in the summer. Either way, once we saw that the condiments and other products were actually from Germany, we were in the mood to try some bratwurst.

On day 1, we ordered the bratwurst ($6) and added some of the German curry ketchup.

This was really good. Although the bun was nothing special, the bratwurst had lots of flavor. Adding the curry ketchup gave it the tanginess that you get with currywurst and also the spices of the curry flavor, which was exactly what we wanted.

Even though we really liked the bratwurst, we decided to do something different for day 2 and got the bauernwurst (also $6), which is a smoked sausage. This time we had them add sauerkraut, which came from big cans that also appeared imported from Germany.

We also added some mustard which they said also came from Germany. We were looking for the German horseradish mustard that they had the day before, but they appeared to have run out. The sauerkraut and mustard were great. The sauerkraut had some nice tartness to it from the pickling, and the mustard had a little bit of spice to it. The bauernwurst was pretty good, but the bratwurst was still better.

We enjoyed our German snacks. Anyone know the name of this place?

Millie's Pierogi

Last weekend was the annual 9th Avenue International Food Fair (last year's report here) and we stopped by both Saturday and Sunday. We love visiting the neighborhood fair to see what local restaurants have stands (don't believe all the reports on Yelp that there are no local places participating; those people must be clueless) and to make our yearly stop at Millie's Pierogi.

We got our usual trio of pierogi on Saturday for $4.50 - kielbasa, cabbage, potato & cheese. We get the same ones every time because they're so good.

While we were eating the pierogi, we heard lots of people order the same combination. It's definitely the way to go. You can get Millie's pierogi for delivery (in large quantities), but we just don't think it would be the same as these buttery griddled versions we get at the fair.

On Sunday, we finally tried something from Millie's other than pierogi. We were intrigued by the kielbasa and the kraut dog, but we decided to go with the golumpki ($5). M thought about making golumpki back during the Week 2 challenge, but she doubts anything she could have made would have come out this good.

The golumpki consisted of cabbage wrapped around ground meat with rice, soaked in a tasty tomato and onion sauce. The meat was dense and tightly packed inside the cabbage leaves, which were really tender. We enjoyed this.

Ultimately, our favorite thing at Millie's is still the pierogi, but we're glad we tried the golumpki. Can't wait to get some pierogi next time!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Soy Chorizo

I read a lot about Trader Joe's products and one of the products there that's an absolute legend is the soy chorizo. At some point, the soy chorizo disappeared from the shelves and people went crazy. It popped back up again recently. Since we weren't able to try it before, I picked up one package on a recent trip to Trader Joe's to see if it was as good as everyone said it was. A was skeptical at first because why take a perfectly good chorizo and make it soy?

The soy chorizo comes in one long tube. You have to remove the casing before cooking, and when you do, it's like a crumbled meat product. Perfect for what we wanted to use it for - chorizo, potato, and onion tacos. The chorizo was so good - full of spices and really tasty on its own. We didn't have to add any flavoring at all to the chorizo taco mixture.

I've heard rumors that the soy chorizo is being discontinued again because the new version has milk powder in it which means vegans can't eat it. Seems a little strange to sell a soy meat product that vegans can't eat, but luckily, this doesn't affect us. Hopefully we can get back to the store and get some more packages before it's gone again, because who knows how long we'll have to wait after that!

Buy Again? Yes, 100% yes. I knew this had to be good when so many non-vegetarians were saying this was a "must have" item, and they were completely right.

Goodbye Kashkaval

It's hard to say goodbye to a restaurant that is a neighborhood institution which serves terrific food. It's especially hard to stomach (no pun intended) when the restaurant is being forced out for no good reason.

Today is Kashkaval's last day of service. They've been in Hell's Kitchen since the 90s, they're always busy, they were willing to work with the landlord to pay market rent, but they're still being kicked out. It makes no sense and it completely sucks for everyone who worked there and everyone who loved the place. 

Kashkaval is a unique place. The front of the establishment houses a take-out section, where you can buy, among other things, cheese, meat, and various Mediterranean tapas. In the back, there's a wine bar and restaurant, where you can get cheese plates, charcuterie, various tapas and dips and other appetizers, sandwiches, fondue, and other great Mediterranean dishes.

We didn't go to Kashkaval for many years after we moved in to the neighborhood, since it was always crowded (we hate waiting in line) and we figured it had been around forever and wasn't going anywhere. Now we wish we had gone much more regularly! The same thing happened with Le Madeleine, the beloved neighborhood French restaurant that was also forced out for no good reason. We're still a bit sad over that one too.

We've somehow (we're so behind in posting, so probably not that surprising) never written about Kashkaval here, so to say goodbye, here's a look at some dishes we've really loved.

You can get sampler plates of chilled Mediterranean tapas, and that's probably one of our favorite things to do. They're the same tapas that you can get to go from the front section, and they're so healthy and tasty.

The plate above has eggplant caponata (baked eggplants, garlic, tomatoes), spinach and feta (Bulgarian feta, onions, garlic, olive oil), roasted brussels sprouts (vinegar, garlic, olive oil, herbs), and artichoke dip (artichokes, olive oil, lemon, herbs). (The parenthetical descriptions don't list everything, but it's what's on the menu.) The one below has tzatziki (cucumbers, yogurt labne, garlic, dill, mint), piyaz (white beans, scallions, parsley, dill, olive oil), roasted brussels sprouts (clearly we like brussels sprouts), eggplant tapenade (roasted eggplants, garlic, olive oil, spices), lentil salad (green lentils, parsley, onions, fresh herbs), and baked beets (fresh beets, garlic, dill vinaigrette).

The tapas come with a basket of whole wheat pita bread wedges for dipping. Considering the variety you can get with these plates, they could be a perfect appetizer to share or even a meal of their own. The pricing isn't too bad either: 4 items for $13, 5 for $16, and 6 for $19. Sure, you could probably make some of these for cheaper at home, but for this quality and variety, it's worth it.

We've also tried over half the sandwiches on Kashkaval's menu. The sandwiches come on ciabatta bread with a choice of side dish - taboule, Greek salad, or Russian potato salad. We've tried all the sides. M's favorite is the Greek salad and A's is the Russian potato salad. All 3 are really good though, and perfect sides for sandwiches.

The sandwich M has ordered every single time she gets a sandwich is the chacarero.

Although they bear the same name, the Kashkaval chacarero is an entirely different sandwich from the Chilean chacarero.  The Kashkaval version contains turkey meatballs and Fontina cheese with tomato, avocado, and red onion. Although the toppings are good, the reason why this sandwich is so good is the turkey meatballs, which are so well-seasoned and full of vegetables (more on those later).

A's also gotten the mustard chicken and gruyere sandwich, which comes with basil infused oil, sundried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. The spiciness from the mustard and mild vinegar of the artichoke pairs nicely with the mild sweetness or the tomatoes and saltiness of the gruyere to create a wonderfully balanced flavor to the sandwich.

A has also ordered the soujouk and jalapeño jack sandwich, which has dill pickles, red onions, and fresh tomatoes. Soujouk is a dried sausage that can either be eaten raw or "fried" with its own fat. It is often heavily spiced with cumin, sumac, garlic, salt, and red pepper and can be made with either beef or pork. (The Kashkaval version is beef.) This sandwich used the natural saltiness of the soujouk and cut that with the sourness from dill pickles, sharpness from red onions, and sweetness from the tomatoes to blend a sandwich that was not only intensely flavorful but full of varying textures with all of the components.


Most of our Kashkaval eating has centered around the sandwiches and tapas, but on our last visit, we finally investigated the entrees. Many of them sounded good, but M knew she had to get the turkey meatballs. They're the same meatballs that are in the chacarero, but the entree comes with 3 meatballs, and sides of tzatziki, Greek salad (or taboule), and mushroom bulgur (or orzo).

This was so good that M was kicking herself for never ordering it earlier. Dunking the meatballs in the tzatziki was even more delicious than eating them in sandwich form. Combine that with the refreshing and light Greek salad and some healthy yet rich mushroom bulgur, and it's really such a great combination. M's inspired to make something like this someday.

We went back to Kashkaval during their final week of service to say goodbye. We were surrounded by a bunch of really loud people (won't miss the high crowd volume), but the food was well worth putting up with that. We're just sad we'll never be able to go back there again. Kashkaval did open a sister restaurant last year down the block called Kashkaval Garden. We'll definitely visit there, and we know we can get some similar types of things there, but it just won't be the same.

Thanks Kashkaval for all the great food and for being such a great part of the neighborhood!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Another Fantastic Nissaki Breakfast

We were excited to go to breakfast on our second full day in Naxos. Our first breakfast at the Nissaki Beach Hotel had been wonderful. Plentiful options and so much delicious food. We were especially delighted when we arrived at the breakfast buffet when we realized that many of the items were completely different from the day before. Even more to try!

For my first plate, I got bread with smoked salmon and cheese, a phyllo dough pie stuffed with cheese, a piece of crispy bread with tomatoes, cheese and capers, some potato and ham hash, a grilled omelette piece, and some Greek salad.

A got very similar things for his first plate - the same salad, salmon, tomato crispy bread, and potato and ham hash - along with some cold cut meats and some sort of pastry.

Of course, we both got the fresh squeezed orange juice. We love waking up to glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice. It's such a treat.

We honestly don't remember too much about our first breakfast plates except that the quality was good, just like all the food we got at the Nissaki Beach Hotel, and we really liked the potato and ham hash. That's one of the few buffet dishes we remembered.

But we can get a glimpse of what we liked best by our second plates. A got more smoked salmon with cheese and bread, more cheese pie, and a generous helping of the potato and ham hash. (Told you we liked it.)

I also got more potato and ham hash, along with more smoked salmon and cheese, cheese pie, and Greek salad. The hash, pie, and salmon were clearly the winners at breakfast this day. They're great breakfast foods and the type of savory breakfast I really love.

We also got yogurt on the side as usual. A got his with honey and some nuts.

I topped mine with some strawberries. I also picked up some cake topped with chocolate and strawberries that neither of us remember anything about. It's very unlike me to pick up a dessert and actually finish the whole thing though, so we both probably tried it.

After having a fantastic second breakfast at Nissaki Beach, we couldn't wait to see what the menu would bring for our third breakfast. Not only was this one of the best hotel breakfasts we'd had on the trip, but the menu changed every day. We could get used to this!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Week 20 - Diner/Drive-In Breakfast

For many people, a visit to a diner means all day breakfast. It doesn't matter if you go at 11 am or 11 pm. You can get a Western omelette with home fries. You can get pancakes or French toast. So for the Week 20 challenge, how could we not honor the diner tradition of breakfast at all hours by making some breakfast of our own?

One thing we always order at diners is corned beef hash, which often comes with eggs over easy and toast. We also like diner omelettes and home fries, but I already made an omelette back in Week 1, so I didn't want to make another one. Mashing them together, corned beef hash, eggs, and home fries would be our meal!


The two "easiest" elements of our diner "breakfast" dinner were the corned beef hash and the fried eggs.

I fried up one egg for each of us (total cost $0.86, $0.23 for each egg plus about $0.40 for the olive oil for frying). It was actually my first time frying eggs and I tried to not overdo it so the yolks would stay a little runny. I read a lot of articles about how different people like to fry eggs, all of which had different techniques, but I think in the spur of the moment, I didn't even follow the same method for both eggs and just winged it. I think they turned out okay though, especially for a first try. Just cooked for a little too long, but the yolks were still mostly runny.

I know the challenge is about making things from scratch, but the corned beef hash was coming out of a can ($2.49 on sale) for this meal. I don't really cook red meat at home, and was not about to make corned beef hash from scratch. Besides, the stuff at diners usually tastes like it comes out of giant cans and is not homemade, so I thought I'd try to be authentic and just pop the corned beef hash out of a can too. The Hormel/Mary Kitchen stuff did taste the same as the ones at the diners, but the only difference is they get that nice crusty layer on the bottom since they use a griddle. Cooking it in a pan, I just wasn't able to get that same browning. Not as good, but the same flavor.


The one part of the meal that I did make from scratch was the home fries, aka breakfast potatoes. Diners make a special kind of home fries that is hard for me to describe. The potatoes are soft but still have some clumps of solid potato, and it's like they're all thrown on the griddle to mix with peppers and onions. I couldn't really find a recipe to match that (and we don't have a griddle), so I went with our next best option: some delicious home fries, based on what the Pioneer Woman calls the "best breakfast potatoes ever."

To make the potatoes, I used:

- 3 large Russet potatoes ($2.31)
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced ($0.10)
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped ($0.60)
- 1 green pepper, roughly chopped ($1.05)
- 1 red pepper, roughly chopped ($0.66)
- 1 bunch of scallions, roughly chopped ($0.43)
- 1/4 cup olive oil ($0.70)
- 2 tbsp melted butter ($0.50)
- 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
- 1 tsp black pepper ($0.05)
- 1 tsp paprika ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.05)

The total cost was about $6.65. Scallions weren't in the original recipe and weren't really necessary, but we had 2 batches of scallions in the fridge that I had completely forgotten about and which were starting to go bad, so I just threw them in. They added nothing, so they will not be added again.

The breakfast potatoes were easy to make, but just took some time to prep and bake. Also, prepare for the kitchen to get really hot since the potatoes roast at a really high temperature.

First, you prep all the ingredients and mix everything together in a large bowl.

Lay everything out in baking sheets or baking pans. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. During this time, take them out twice and stir everything around.

Last, raise the heat to 500 degrees for 20 minutes, and just like last time, toss everything twice during that period.

We ended up with a big bowl of delicious roasted potatoes, peppers, and onions. For me, they had a nice zing to them from the cayenne pepper and other spices, in addition to the natural flavor of the roasted vegetables. A got the potato and vegetable flavors, but didn't get as much spice as I did and thought there should be some more seasoning. Maybe I didn't mix it as well as I thought...

We were happy with our breakfast plate. We have 3 more cans of corned beef hash that we picked up from the sale, so we may be doing this again!


Milkato is a gelateria that, to our knowledge, is only found on Naxos. All of its flavors are made fresh daily, and in the evenings it always seemed to have a crowd of people around enjoying their offerings.

So after eating an amazingly healthy and delicious dinner full of fresh vegetables, we returned to the city center for an entirely unhealthy dessert. There were so many flavors that looked amazing, and we had a hard time narrowing it down to two. In the end we opted for Lila Pause and Ferrero Rocher.

Lila Pause is a flavor based upon a chocolate bar offered by Milka and it has a strawberry base with chocolate swirled in and crispies. It was an interesting flavor that really worked well. It was like a creamy chocolate covered strawberry enhanced with some crispy pieces, and we really enjoyed it.

Ferroro Rocher (the nearly empty container) is exactly what it sounds like. It's a chocolate and hazelnut flavored gelato with crisped rice pieces and ground up hazelnuts. We knew we were going to like this flavor, and we were most definitely right. It was exactly as it was named, a Ferrero Rocher in gelato form. It was chocolatey, creamy, and nutty from the hazelnuts. It had great textural elements from the crisps and ground hazelnuts, and it's a can't miss flavor (if you like chocolate and hazelnut as we clearly do).

"2" scoops ended up being two massive blobs of gelato piled into a barely big enough cup. And it was only €3.1 (about US $4.25). For all that gelato! Such a good deal.

We gleefully savored our luscious treat while also wondering if it was socially acceptable to come back the next morning for breakfast when they opened at 10. (Although we knew we wouldn't since we had an amazing breakfast waiting for us at our hotel.) If you ever find yourself in Naxos, you would do yourself a great favor by visiting Milkato at least once for some of their wonderful gelato.