As you probably know, by the end of last week there was a lot of hype about Hurricane Irene coming up the East Coast and gearing up to hit the NYC area hard. I don't live in NYC, but across the river from downtown Manhattan on the Jersey side. The main concern for the area was flooding and power outages. We live on the 25th floor so clearly flooding wasn't a concern, but a power outage definitely was. So while my husband was making sure we did all of the hurricane 'preparedness' needed, I had some concerns of my own.
Not related to food, I wanted to make sure we had plenty of entertainment for us and our friends in the building if the power went out. I made sure our board games were easy access and downloaded a hurricane playlist for our battery operated ipod speakers. You cannot imagine how many songs are out there relating to hurricanes, storms, wind, rain, etc. They ended up in a pretty good mix in my opinion. Then I of course wanted to make sure we had plenty of cold beer in the cooler. Below was our selection.
It included Anchor Steam, Ithaca Beer Co. Cascazilla, Dogfish Head IPA, Keegan Ales Hurricane Kitty, Stone IPA, and the light choice was Miller Light. Most of these are favorites around our apartment, but the Hurricane Kitty was one we hadn't tried and obviously had to get for the occasion. It was an IPA and surprisingly good considering we only got it because it had Hurricane in the name. We also had plenty of red wine on hand, and we didn't even need to worry about keeping it cold.
Now onto the food, I wanted to bake some snacks up to go along with the other non-perishable food we loaded up on. So I made these peanut butter granola balls from Martha Stewart.
I didn' have mini liners, so I used my mini cupcake tins instead. For the dried fruit I used dried cherries, and while they didn't stick together to great for me they tasted very good. A snack I'll be making in the future. I also made a couple loaves of chocolate chip banana bread since I had some ripe bananas to use up.
This was from a recipe my friend, Amanda, who lives in our building. I'll share the recipe in a separate post later this week.
In addition to the baking I was picturing all of the food in my packed freezer and refrigerator going to waste. All of that deliciousness from Trader Joe's and fresh seafood from the shore. As soon as work was over on Friday I got to cooking.
Friday night's dinner was a shrimp ravioli that I had picked up from the seafood store down the shore. I was hungry and busy doing all of my other hurricane preparedness, so please excuse my cell phone quality picture.
I made a quick tomato sauce with a can of crushed tomatoes. I sauteed 3 cloves of minced garlic in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then added crushed tomatoes, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes, remove bay leaves and serve. I tossed this with the ravioli and served with a side of frozen green beans I had in the freezer.
Next up, use the eggs. On Saturday morning I made some eggs over easy, served over sauteed mushrooms and baby spinach, and a toasted english muffin.
This will be another recipe to come, because this post will be long enough without the recipes. To loop you in on a timeline this was lunch Saturday and the worst part of Irene was supposed to hit us shortly after midnight through the morning Sunday. So I figured I had less than 12 hours to save the food in my freezer, the clock was ticking. That meant I was making a snack of the frozen pot stickers I had from Trader Joe's. Yup, I had 2 bags of these pork pot stickers because I love them.
One dipping sauce was an already opened bottle of Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce I had in the fridge, that stuff is so good. The other sauce was soy sauce with about a tablespoon of sriracha mixed in.
Don't worry, we powered through and kept eating, having a feast for dinner. Amanda made a pasta with bolognese sauce, using ground turkey. She made a lot, and it was sooo good! I think she used an epicurious recipe so I'll share which one it is once I hear from her.
I used the rest of the balsamic four onion from these turkey burgers, I definitely didn't want that to go to waste. I added a couple of tablespoons of dijon mustard to the spread and heated it up on the stove. Then served it over the swordfish (grilled for 5 minutes on each side) and some frozen spinach that I heated up in the microwave. So yes if you are calculating this in your head, so far we have eaten all of that in 24 hours. We couldn't let the food go to waste!
We went to bed Saturday night, waiting for the worst of Irene to arrive. Our air mattress was blown up in case we had any issues with our windows breaking in the wind, since we're so high up. We were lucky to wake up Sunday morning with our power still on and some flooding in the neighborhood, but nothing too bad. We took a walk a little before noon, and most of the flooding around our building had receded. Here was our view from the waterfront of New York City.
We came home and there was still a threat of a power outage, due to the flooding in other parts of the city. Don't worry, I still had more food in the freezer. I had a package of the cooked chicken breast strips. I love this chicken for a quick meal, it's great to throw on a salad or simmer in a pre-made sauce. This time I simmered it in some Patak's Korma Curry sauce that I bought on sale at the store and served it over rice. I didn't love the sauce and will not be buying it again.
In the end we were very lucky not to be impacted by Irene, it resulted in a weekend of downtime at home and fun with friends. I know millions of people, homes and businesses were impacted with flooding, tree damage, and still do not have power, and I wish them the best.
Irene left us with this beautiful sunset Sunday evening (through my dirty windows).
Goodbye Irene. I'm going to go unpack my go-bag.