August 16, 2009

How to Give Your Mom a Food Baby


Mama-san (who resides mainly in Tokyo) is in town these days. Wahoo! Last weekend, I joined my sister, BIL and niece in visiting her at my parents' condo in CT, but this weekend it was my turn to play hostess. Me being me and New York being New York, this must involve a lot of food.


I fueled up for her arrival Saturday morning by making a batch of Katie's Brownie Batter Pancakes. They lived up to their name even more than I would have expected!

Especially considering they're made with Amazing Grass... But any grassiness was masked by the massive amounts of chocolate flavor in the Superfood powder. Plus, I might have added a little more cocoa powder to the batter. And then topped them with the last of my chocolate PB2. Maybe.

And just in case there weren't enough hidden fruits and vegetables in this meal, I made a side shake of almond milk, applesauce, juicer pulp and vanilla spice hemp protein.

This is definitely a good way to get kiddies to eat their vegetables. Kiddies, or a certain boyf who shall remain nameless.

I retrieved the madre at Grand Central Station and from there, we made our way downtown for a lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Rosa Mexicano. Mama-san is a fan of the Meh-hee-can food, so I thought it was about time she tried this place out.

The tableside guacamole is a definite must here, so we musted.

They give you a basket of fresh corn chips, but they also provide a little stack of warm, handmade corn tortillas, so I opted for making wee burrititos with the guac.

Mama quite enjoyed her Tacos al Asador with pork...

While I went for my Mexican weakness, enchiladas.

Rosa Mexicano's vegetarian enchiladas are filled with spinach and mushrooms and topped with a tomato sauce, cheese and a mysterious "crema." I prefer that it remain mysterious for now.

Also a must is admiring the trademark fountain with mini diving men on the wall...

If I were one of those wee diving men, I think I would be grumpy either a) because there was a piece of metal poking me in the no-no region, or b) because I would have to watch fresh guac being made all day for everyone but me. Mostly 'b', actually.

After some hardcore farmer's market perusing and being-in-Brooklyn-ing, we met my brother, SIL and nephew for dinner in Park Slope, but my camera must have deserted me at that point. However, if you picture mountains of pasta, cheese, sauce and Pokemon, you'll get a pretty good idea of what our dinner table looked like.

Like most moms, Mama-san gets the Golden Patience Award for the weekend because she managed to amuse herself while I shuttled laundry up and down my building all morning. Amidst our random farmer's market stone fruit nibbling, she busted out this morsel of amazingness:

Pistachio-filled date? From Dubai? Yes, please.

Oh wait, there's more. Two other individually-wrapped dates stuffed with a pecan each.

And Natalia Rose thought SHE invented "raw pecan pie"? HA. Dubai clearly has a leg up on the raw dessert movement.

ANYdate, lunch was definitely memorable. After paging through my copy of Clean Plates NYC, we settled on Lupa, an Italian restaurant in the West Village that features antibiotic-free meat and seasonal vegetables. Doesn't hurt that it's co-owned by Mario Batali, either.

Like any traditional Italian trattoria, the menu was heavy with meat and fish dishes, so you know that when I saw this plate of verdure miste on the menu, it was to be mineImeanours immediately:

Clockwise from top: corn, roasted summer squash with mint and thyme, beets with pistachio cream sauce, olives, greens with ricotta and green beans with pecorino.

Or something like that.

Our main course was seriously top-notch, though. We both chose the ricotta gnocchi with fennel and sausage.

They were so light and pillowy, yet still distinctively cheesey, which made the dish really impressive. Plus the actual sausage factor was pretty minimal, which pleased me and my diminishing taste for meat. Basically, it was perfect!

Or at least I thought it was, but then I had dessert, at which point actual perfection was achieved (as is usually the case with dessert). On our way back to 6th Avenue to catch a cab uptown, we popped into PB & Co. so I could snag a peanut butter cookie and a mochacccino.

In all honesty, it wasn't anything to write home about, but baked goods and coffee tend to make me smile pretty much every time, so do with that what you will.

Our trip uptown took us to a matinee performance of 9 to 5, which is a musical based on the movie of the same name. It was good fun!

I mean, who doesn't love a lil Dolly Parton-ness and gratuitous boobies? It was a perfect choice for two classy ladies enjoying the city on the Sunday.

After the show was over, however, I had to say goodbye to Mama-san and gird myself for the coming week. (Gird? Who comes up with these words? And why do I use them?) Sad face.

Additional sad face:

It might look pretty, but this was a bit of a disappointing raw meal. I've had three avocados ripening for a week now, so I thought it was an optimal night to make guacamole, but I was sadly mistaken. The avos were still really hard in the middle when I cracked 'em open! Bah humbug. I ended up with mere tablespoons of usable avocado-juicer pulp-lime juice mixture to make a meal for myself.

Luckily, I had plenty of produce on hand and was able to supplement the inadequate guacamole gunk with stuff like massaged kale salad. <3

I also kept the tub of hummus handy for the bites of romaine boat that contained no avocado. ;) You do what you gotta do!

Alright, I think I've filled my picture quota for the week, at least. Missing Mama-san (and all the treats we shared!) already--obviously, I am at a loss for guacamole without her to take me to Rosa Mexicano!


Gena said...

Amazing recap of your fun times with Mama-San! I've heard that Rosa Mexicano has guac on tap at happy hour. If so, you know what's next on our agenda.

And it's not the booze.


Rosey Rebecca said...

Ooo the pancakes looks awesome!

MarathonVal said...

I'm so curious how you make this concoction with your juicer pulp.... I've tried a few things with mine (eating it straight up with soy sauce, baking it into crackers)... with absolutely NO luck. Any suggestions? :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Those pancakes...holy moly. The kale salad is nice and all, but the pancakes, off to see the recipe. I hope they're gluten free or maybe I can sub out the flour...thanx for posting!

Chocolate-Covered Katie said...

Oh my gosh, Diana, you are my favorite person ever now... not that you weren't pretty close before ;). I am definitely featuring you in my next tribute post. You are too awesome for words (I always knew you were, considering there is "chocolate" in your blog title hehe).

I hope you have a day that's as beautiful as you are!


Diana said...

MarathonVal -

So far, I have used juicer pulp in guacamole, on salads, and in smoothies, and I think my favorite would be the latter. There is something unappealing about looking at the pulp in your food, so naturally the best way to use it is to blend it into oblivion! That said, It's also quite good in a big hodge-podge of a salad. Barely noticeable among all the other ingredients + dressing. :)

VeggieGirl said...

If there was EVER a time to shout "holy yum," this is certainly it!! :-D Awesome time with Mama-San.

Dori said...

Wow what an amazing compilation of meals! The pancakes = wow. Rosa! MMMMMMMM I love it there. So glad you used Clean Plates to choose a meal, I have to do that! I've been going to Clean Plates approved restaurants in my area that I'd already been to but haven't ventured yet. Pistachio dates sound amazing. And ricotta gnocchi -- I NEED that! So glad you go to have such great meals with your mom!

Missy said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend with your mom! Such great meals! I must try a pistachio filled date asap! I will be taking a trip to Rosa's in the future too! I can't believe I haven't gone to a broadway show yet since living in NY!

K from ksgoodeats said...

Aw your mom is a doll! Glad you had fun with her :)

Homemade tortillas and guac? That sounds incredibly delicious! Who ever designed those wee-men definitely put the pole in the wrong region!

Caroline said...

Whoa, those pancakes look truly AMAZING. Must try ASAP.

elise said...

i heart rosa mexicano's guac...good times good times.

so cool that your momz was in town. how long is she visiting? how often do you see her? what does she do in Tokyo? do you visit her there? questions mcgee much?

sorry about the pretty, but not quite ripe avo sitch...i had the same dilemma last weekend in AC. looks good, but hard avo is such a disappointment :(

Lainie said...

All of your food looks so good -holy freaking yum!!! Your mama is beautiful.

Erica said...

Always a good time to hang with the mama! Those pancakes sound seriously jammin- I want to try making them for Joshers. And the ricotta gnocchi?? Delicious

melissa said...

nice eats. I have always wanted to go to lupa. so i enjoyed the review.

enjoy your break. see ya manana