Category Archives: Italian

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Biscotti

I mentioned not long ago that I've been learning to enjoy tea, and it's been especially comforting in these past few winter months. I did however, often crave some sort of snack to go with the tea – something light and simple. I guess that's what tea cookies and biscotti are for! I went in search of a recipe that I would be able to make easily, without the need for almonds or almond extract (since I don't have either of those ingredients in my apartment at school), and without the use of an electric mixer. All I have for nuts are salted pistachios, which are generally not too forgiving in baked goods. I landed on a recipe for cranberry pistachio biscotti that allowed for salted pistachios, which everyone seemed to rave about, and even though I had no dried cranberries, I was determined to make a similar biscotti with what I had on hand (I did need to make several adjustments). Mmm I love the crispy crunchy bite of biscotti, but I especially like them dipped in coffee or tea. It's like dunking Oreos in milk, except the grown-up version :)

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Biscotti   (makes 32 cookies)             adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1/4 cup light olive oil (I used a combination of canola and regular olive oil)
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup shelled salted pistachios (if using unsalted nuts, add 1/4 tsp salt to recipe)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment.

2. In a large bowl, stir together oil and sugar until blended. Mix in vanilla, then beat in eggs.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Gradually add flour mixture to the egg mixture, stirring to incorporate. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. (I used whole pistachios without cutting them up, and it worked fine, but you can chop them up for a finer texture).

4. Divide the dough in half and form two logs about 12×2 inches each, laid out on the baking sheet several inches apart from one another (the dough will be very sticky). To handle the dough more easily, I suggest chilling it for 15-30 minutes, and wet hands with cold water when touching the dough.

5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until logs are light brown. They will spread a good deal in the oven. Move logs to a cutting board and as soon as you can, use a sharp non-serrated blade to cut the logs on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. (Reduce oven to 275 degrees F while you are cutting the logs).

6. Carefully move biscotti slices back onto baking sheet, laying them on their sides. Bake again for about 30 minutes, or until the biscotti feel firm to the touch – they will continue to firm up as they cool. Remove and cool completely on a rack. Store in an airtight container.

I didn't have the time to pursue it, but lots of people like to decorate their biscotti with melted chocolate: either by drizzling it over the biscotti or by dipping tips of the biscotti into melted chocolate. Either way, it sounds like a great snack! I refrained from adding chocolate on top because I already had chocolate chips in the biscotti, and I figured the chocolate would melt into my hot tea when I dunked the cookies in, and that would be odd. So they're not as pretty as they could be, but I loved the flavor! It was not at all too sweet, with a great cinnamon scent and a roasted nutty flavor from the pistachios. They were simply divine dipped in my pomegranate flavored black tea, what a treat! These cookies keep for a very long time too, which is great for me since I now have 32 and can enjoy them with my tea for a long time without having to make more :) Since they store so well, I'm sure they'd make a great gift as long as they were packed properly (the tips are brittle so if you don't pack them correctly they might break off during shipping). I only wish I had a beautiful clear jar to store my biscotti in, just like I see them at coffee shops. But alas, they'll be sitting in my tupperware until I can afford the luxuries of a real kitchen.


Balsamic Glazed Salmon Fillets

When I was at Trader Joe's last week, I picked up a bottle of balsamic vinegar (my first!) to try cooking with. Of course, in the moment of choosing, I made the mistake of being cheap (I'm a student after all…), and ended up with a 16 oz. bottle of balsamic vinegar for $1.99. It certainly looked better to my wallet than the half as big bottle that cost 3 times as much. When I got home of course, I did a little research and realized that the longer balsamic vinegar is aged, the better it is, and the more expensive it is. The one I bought was aged about just 1 year or so, and was very thin, just like regular vinegar. But I think on the bright side, cooking with a less quality balsamic vinegar means that I can be more careless with it, experimenting and learning without worrying about my money going down the drain. One of these days, when I become a better cook, I promise I will invest in a higher quality bottle of aged balsamic vinegar :)

Tonight's dinner was up in the air when I remembered I had a couple of frozen vacuum-sealed salmon fillets in the freezer that I had been meaning to make. I usually go with a trusty teriyaki salmon, but today was the day to take my balsamic for a test drive! I saw a recipe on Allrecipes.com that looked great and that I had most of the ingredients for. I made a few substitutions and additions, and it came out great! I overcooked my salmon a little bit, but that's my fault. The glaze for the fish was tart with a hint of sweetness (very different from teriyaki), and very healthy too – no fat and almost no salt! I served my salmon with white rice topped with Japanese rice seasoning (as you can probably tell, I don't go very far from my rice haha).

Balsamic Glazed Salmon Fillets   (for 1 fillet)                   adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1 salmon fillet, thawed (5 oz.)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp rice wine
1 tsp honey
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mustard (yellow or Dijon)
onion powder
garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to  375 degrees F. Line a small pan with foil. Place salmon fillet in center of pan.

2. Stir together ingredients above, adding in a few generous dashes of onion and garlic powder, and just a little bit of salt and pepper. Spoon over salmon fillet.

3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until just starting to flake when forked. The sauce will have bubbled and reduced to a thicker glaze.

4. Remove salmon to serving plate, and spoon remaining glaze from the pan onto the salmon.

I love being able to have dinner ready without any hassle and without having to dirty up dishes and pans for the prep and cooking. I think this salmon would be a great with a refreshing salad (the balsamic glaze makes for a great salad dressing flavor!). Enjoy!


Basic risotto with crab cake

I mentioned that the seafood risotto I had at McCormick and Schmick's was my first taste of risotto. Well it was on the salty side, but I thought the texture was quite nice and I loved the creaminess. So I looked up how to make risotto, because I was always under the impression that it was hard to make, but it's actually not bad at all – it just requires a bit of your full attention for half an hour or so. That's encouraging! So tonight when I came home from work and needed a good idea for dinner, I decided it was finally time to pull up my sleeves and give risotto my best shot. I had those crab cakes in the freezer from my Christmas present food basket, so that seemed to be the perfect pairing with a nice risotto.

There are so many possibilities with risotto, but I actually didn't have any ingredients for making it exotic or even for making one of the more popular risottos involving mushrooms or lemon. Well, like any good student, I accepted the fact that my empty kitchen cupboards were a sign that I should probably start from the most basic risotto recipe and work my way up. For your most basic risotto, all you need is rice (Arborio is the preferred rice, but any short grained rice will also do), onions, broth, and optionally a bit of cheese and butter. Luckily I had gotten some chicken broth from Trader Joe's last week (they have these really cool condensed chicken broth packets that you can dilute in water to achieve regular chicken broth – 12 cups worth of chicken broth takes up about the size of a salt shaker in my cupboard!). Perfect timing! I'll try and describe the cooking process in the recipe

Basic Risotto (serves 2-3)

Ingredients:
1 cup short grain white rice, raw
2 cups chicken broth, plus water as needed
1 medium onion
garlic powder
olive oil

optional:
powdered Romano cheese
salted butter

Directions:

Okay, so I did quite a bit of improvising making this risotto, because I didn't copy down a recipe (I just read the page I linked to above). So I'll just walk you through what I did and you can feel free to adjust as necessary.

I first brought a few cups of water to a simmer on the stove (my condensed chicken broth paste requires hot water to dissolve – if you are using canned or homemade broth, just heat it up to almost boiling and keep it hot).

Next I diced up half of my onion and threw it into a skillet with olive oil on medium-high. I sauteed the onions until they turned soft and brown… I actually thought I had burned them! I decided to set the browned onions aside and start over. I diced the second half of the onion, into finer pieces this time, and cooked them again on medium high except I took them out of the pan when they were still yellow and beginning to turn translucent but were not browned at all.

Once the onions were out of the pan, I added about 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan, heated it up on medium-high, and then put in my cup of raw rice. I stirred it so that all the kernels were covered with oil. All the recipes I've seen tell you cook the rice in the oil until the kernels turn translucent, but I noticed that mine were translucent right after I coated them in oil (probably due to using regular short grain rice). So I pushed the kernels around until some of them started to turn an opaque white color, which I assume is the point where the rice is starting to toast.

Now, it was time to add the chicken broth. I ended up diluting 2 cup's equivalent of condensed chicken broth into 4 cups of water. I added 1/4 cup of broth to the rice in the pan, and stirred it in as it sizzled and sputtered. The rice absorbed the water very quickly, so I added another 1/4 cup of broth and stirred it some more. You simply repeat this step, each time stirring the rice until the broth has been mostly absorbed but not completely dried, before you add more broth. After 10 minutes, I added the cooked onions back into the rice, sprinkled on some salt and garlic powder to my discretion, and continued to cook it with broth, tasting a few kernels as I went along to check for doneness. You can make the risotto as soft or as chewy or crunchy as you'd like, but I prefer mine to be al-dente, soft on the outside with a bit of chew on the inside. When you've just about reached this stage (it took me about 20 minutes), stir in a final little bit of broth, then add your grated cheese and a pat of butter, stirring it all together so the cheese and butter melt. Let the broth cook down until the risotto is nice and creamy but not watery or dry, and serve immediately.

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After plating my risotto with my baked crab cake and some Shanghai bok choy (I needed some greens and it was all I had in the fridge – sorry it doesn't match the dish well), I tasted some of my browned/burnt onion bits from earlier and discovered that it was actually like caramelized onions, with a nice bit of sweet smokiness to it. So I sprinkled those onion bits on top of the risotto for a garnish, and my boyfriend actually thought it was really really good that way.

So how did it turn out? Well, having not had other risottos to really compare to, I thought this simple and basic risotto tasted wonderful! It was creamy and soft with a bit of chew, and the chicken flavor really came through. I'm glad I used Trader Joe's broth, it's a good quality chicken broth with a lot of flavor minus the sodium. I also liked the creaminess that the Romano cheese and a little bit of butter provided, and the second batch of onions that I put into the rice came out nice and soft, melting into the risotto. Honestly, I was very very pleased with how it turned out, and I just couldn't get enough of it! (Don't save any for leftovers – it just dries up) I'm excited to try it again in the near future with other fun ingredients too. Risotto is really jazzed up rice, and I don't think I'll ever be satisfied with just plain rice ever again haha. The risotto went really well with the crab cakes too, which were very savory and a bit on the salty side, thus complementing the mild nature of the risotto. Yum, as I'm typing this I'm craving more!

 


Recent eatings (and some crazy weather)

A few weekends ago I had to go into work on the weekend (which is one of the things that I dread most), so I dragged my boyfriend along to grab lunch afterwards. Hehe the 30 minute walk to work in the cold weather is a bit more bearable when there's someone with you, and a hot lunch afterwards is great incentive for both parties :) Unfortunately when we were leaving my workplace and making the 10 minute walk to the Indian restaurant for lunch, the weather reared its ugly head. It was cloudy as I left my work, and then a minute later it began to rain, just a few droplets at first, then a little more, with the wind picking up dramatically. I was getting blown over, when next thing I knew, there was a gust of small snowflakes, which then turned back into rain. But no, the sky couldn't make up its mind, and in the next minute, the rain became a wall of little tiny ice pellets, flying sideways with the strong wind. Within literally a few minutes, I could no longer see ahead of me… the icy rain was coming down so hard and dense that it was completely white-out conditions. I was caught right in the midst of it all, and the icy rain came pelting down so hard that my face felt like it was being battered with needles, and I had to take cover next to a building before running the rest of the way to the restaurant yelling "ow ow ow!" the whole way there. Crazy weather I tell you! Of course, minutes after I was seated, the icy rain turned to a falling blanket of giant snowflakes, and another few minutes after that, bright sun. What a storm!

Anyway, we were getting lunch buffet at the Indian restaurant, which is called Royal Bengal. They serve mostly Northern Indian and Bengali cuisine, even though I don't really know what that really means hehe. Indian buffet is always a good time, because well first it's all you can eat, and that's always exciting for students living on a budget, but also because I don't eat Indian food often and it's fun to have something different every once in a while. The prices uses to be great, with the lunch buffet costing about $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekends (more meat dishes), and over the years it has risen gradually, to the point where weekend lunch is now $9.50 per person, which is at the threshold where I would not be willing to pay for it if it went any higher. Luckily MIT and Harvard students get a 10% discount, but honestly that's like less than $1 off, so it's not that much of a difference. So that particular weekend they were serving goat curry, fish tikka masala, and fish curry as their specials. The usual fare includes chicken tandoori, aloo gohbi (cauliflower and potatoes cooked with tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices), vegetables curry, daal (a creamy lentils dish), samosas, vegetable pakoras (battered and fried pieces of cauliflower usually), and some fresh vegetable salad with chutney and pita bread available on the side. Yum, here's my first platter of goodies. I try to get a little of everything, but I have to admit I'm not very good with spicy food, so I try to stick with less spicy stuff or else I'd be drinking water like crazy. I usually get a generous portion of the lentils, and some masala item, as they are mild and help give a little buffer to the spicy curries :)

The other thing I really like about Indian buffet is their rice pudding, which is called badami kheer. Indian style rice pudding tends to have a harder rice kernel (not as soft and mushy as English rice puddings) and a more liquid milk that makes the pudding a very refreshing dessert, especially after the spicy entrees. Served cold, it's usually flavored with cardamom, almonds, and raisins, although I try to avoid picking up the almonds and raisins since I like the pure texture and flavor of the rice with the milk. I grew up loving the Kozy Shack style of rice pudding, topped with a healthy bit of cinnamon, and while that is still one of my favorite comfort desserts, I am always looking forward to the Indian rice pudding each time I'm at Royal Bengal. Mmm yum.

Other things I've had lately include a good deal of homecooked meals. On the day that I got back from my latest NYC visit, my boyfriend had prepared dinner for us, which I thought was a really nice gesture especially after my long bus ride back. He pan fried together some onions and a bunch of garlic marinated pork chop medallions, which were thin and juicy with a slightly crispy layer of thin cornstarch. We ate them with rice and a side of garlic stir fried broccoli, and it was a great satisfying meal to come home to after a long day traveling. It's really nice to have someone there who can pick up the cooking when you just don't have the time for it (I had been thinking of getting fast food for dinner when he called me on the phone to let me know he was making dinner – good timing!).

To return the favor, I was in charge of dinner on a night when Greg had to meet with some classmates for a group project right around dinnertime, so that he could come back and we could have dinner ready to eat before like 9pm. Even though cooking alone takes a while since prep time and cooking time can't be cut down by doing both simultaneously (not very well anyway), I really do like having total control over our tiny kitchen space and trying my best to multi-task while planning out what I wanted to make. I definitely relish in the execution of my dinner plan. That's the thing about cooking which makes it so different from baking. For the most part, at least in Asian cuisine, you never have to worry about perfect portioning of ingredients. A dash here, and spoonful there, and a sip of what's in the pot are really the only things you need. Everything else is just trial and error (and execution via familiarity) until you get things to be exactly (or close to) how you want it to be. It's difficult to mess up… as long as you're not burning anything.

There's so much personality in each dish, so much room for variation, that I honestly believe no two dishes I ever make come out the same. Which is fun for me, but I guess difficult for many Westerners to manage, since so often Western cooking is governed by recipes (even when they don't really need to be). That said, I believe cooking is a very intimate thing, and one that you can really only improve on with experience and a flair for experimenting. Whenever I ask my mom how to cook the dishes she likes to make at home, she can never spit out a recipe for me. Never. She'll just insist that I come and watch her cook, and she'll be able to rattle off the general steps, just never the amounts of the ingredients used. And now that I've done a bit of cooking myself, I know just how true that is. When you're just adding and adding an ingredient until you get that satisfactory taste, you definitely lose track of how much is going into the dish. Anyway… heh tangent.

So that night I made a simple cabbage and bacon dish, which is one of my go-to dishes for fast and fool-proof cooking. First off, cabbage must be the world's easiest vegetable to cut. All I do is rinse it, peel off the outer layer, cut the head in half. Then I cut out the stem and proceed to cut the half-head horizontally and vertically in just a few fell swoops before the entire thing is cut into a bunch of small rectangles, since the head holds together so well. So fast! Then I sizzle up some bacon until it's a little bit crispy, and I set that aside. I leave the oil from the bacon in the pan to cook the cabbage with, until the leaves are nice and soft and a bright light green color (the parts closer to the stem will stay a light yellow color). A dash of salt goes in, and then I throw the bacon pieces back into the pan for a quick twirl and it's ready to serve. I personally think cabbage is just as tasty without the bacon, but my boyfriend really likes it with bacon, so I throw some in to humor him. Cabbage just has a great mild but slightly sweet flavor that makes for a nice refreshing vegetable side for most dishes I think.

The other dish I made was improvised on the spot because when I reached into the fridge after defrosting my chicken thighs, I realized that the mushrooms I had intended to use for a nice chicken and mushroom dish were moldy. Fungus growing on fungus is some nasty stuff. So plan B was to use whatever else was in the fridge that could be used to make a chicken dish (and honestly, there wasn't a lot that day). I had onions, carrots, and two small tomatoes. So I cut those up, and softened up the onions and carrots in a skillet while the chicken was cubed and marinated with salt, sugar, white pepper, rice wine, onion powder, garlic powder, cornstarch, and soy sauce. When the carrots were 2/3 of the way done, I threw in tomatoes which soften pretty fast, followed by the chicken, and let that sear to just a bit underdone before adding in some water to make a sauce. For the sauce I used soy sauce and hoisin sauce to achieve a balanced flavor that was neither too salty nor too sweet, something similar to a teriyaki but with a stronger hoisin flavor which made it a rich and rounded sauce. Finally I added a cornstarch slurry and brought the sauce to a boil until it thickened slightly.

You know… it boggles my mind, but how DO people come up with names for their dishes? Like the one I improvised above, I wouldn't know the first thing to call it other than just describing what it is. Who came up with the names like scallopini and casserole? Pad thai? General Gau's? I'm going to call this… hoisin chicken… even though the translation into Chinese makes it mean seafood chicken lol. What, I'm not good at making up names! :P

For Chinese New Year, which I apologize for not having had any interesting entries about despite being Chinese and enjoying its cuisine (I just don't have the ingredients to make those special new year's dishes), I spent the day eating something pretty normal. Greg had the chance to grab a big family dinner in Chinatown though, and brought back some leftovers for me which included a beef clay pot dish, some taro fried duck, beef with tofu, and Cantonese style chicken. He also brought back some dessert that one of his relatives picked up at an Italian bakery… some mini cannolis! Mmm I love cannoli… it has the most interesting texture combination – crunchy outer shell with a creamy but gritty ricotta-like filling. The big cannolis can be a big daunting to handle in one sitting, but the mini ones are great for a bite-sized dessert :)


Happy Belated Valentine’s Day

It's been a busy week, with school starting and coordinating Vday plans, but surprisingly I found time to cook and bake several times, so there will be updates forthcoming as soon as I get off my lazy bum to write them heh. On Valentine's Day, I was pretty excited to get my very own big heart shaped frosted cookie :D Apparently there was a lunch meeting and this cookie was the only one left over, which my boyfriend nabbed and presented to me at lunch. Yum! It was chocolate shortbread with royal icing on top, rich and buttery. We shared the cookie, but I refused to break it down the middle on principle, so we just ate from both sides until we got to the middle lol. I've always thought Valentine's Day cookies are so pretty, and even though it was a left over item from an event, it still made me giddy :)

For dinner, my boyfriend and I got off work early without any concrete plans, and after discussing it briefly we decided to relax and order in for Italian food and watch a movie together. We got our dinner from Stefani's Pizzeria, which consisted of tortellini alfredo for my boyfriend (we ordered fettucini alfredo, but apparently they misheard us), and linguini carbonara for me. We also got a nice complementary Caesar salad, soft garlic bread, and some flatbread to go with the salad. I really liked my linguini carbonara, it wasn't made with a cream sauce like most carbonaras are, instead it was made with a white wine sauce, with olive oil, shallots, mushrooms, and prosciutto. I really liked the flavor of the white wine in the sauce, it was a strong but refreshing taste that went quite nicely with the rest of the ingredients. 

We watched the Bucket List while we ate dinner, and it was such a sweet movie and it made me cry at the end. I don't know why it was given such poor reviews, but we both really liked the movie, even though it's not really a Vday kind of film. I'm a big fan of both Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, and the both of them were just wonderful in their roles. Yes the plotline is mostly formulaic and yes it moves a little slow, but the movie isn't meant to be action-packed, and I feel like both actors did a great job telling their story, and it was certainly moving. Critics might be right most of the time, but there are still many times when you should just let your own intuition do the judging.

Then for dessert we shared a decadent molten chocolate cake together, which I whipped together in no time at all (recipe to follow, with less blurry pictures). It was a delicious way to end the day and I liked being able to add a homemade touch to our meal.

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On Friday night, we had made reservations to eat dinner at McCormick & Schmick's, which is a chain seafood restaurant similar to Legal Seafood. There was a coupon for $20 off any entree, so we thought it would be nice to get dinner at a pricey restaurant without breaking the bank. The atmosphere was a bit stuffy for me, and not very romantic, with the place catering mostly to the older folk (something like a men's club). We had a pretty crazy meal that night… first we were seated in a center table, surrounded by cozy wrap-around booths, which made us feel like we had gotten brushed aside in the seating department. Next our table tilted heavily to one side if we both leaned on it (poor weight balance on the legs?), and our table candle was not lit. We ordered our food and started off with soup, clam chowder for me and Maryland crab soup for my boyfriend. (Sorry for the black & white photo… I accidentally had my flash on, after setting the white balance, so the whole thing came out with a terrible tint of blue that I couldn't fix in photoshop… so I just discarded all color information altogether haha). The thing with this restaurant is that they are very heavy with the salt in everything. The chowder itself was not bad, but a bit too salty (I definitely prefer Legal's chowder) and not as creamy as I expected it to be.

Next came the entree ordering mayhem. They have a special menu every day, based on the fresh seafood they get, which I thought was a nice idea. I was especially interested in their Atlantic salmon special, which was salmon stuffed with blue crab, shrimp, and brie. I ordered that, and Greg ordered their broiled seafood platter, which had salmon, shrimp, scallops, crab cake and stuffed clams. Later the waiter comes back to tell me that they were out of the stuffed salmon, so I had to change my order to their jumbo seared scallops instead. Then 10 minutes later, the waiter comes back to tell Greg that his dish was also out, so he had to then change his order to a yellowtail sole. Well, after all this, it's been about half an hour and our orders for dinner were just going in. Plus, we never got bread and butter, which every other table had gotten, so we had to ask for it ourselves. Finally, a server came with our dishes, and puts down a plate in front of me that I don't recognize… I stared at it for a minute, and that moment our waiter just happened to be coming by and said to the server that it wasn't my dish. Turns out, it was the broiled seafood platter that Greg originally ordered but they had run out of… interesting. So the waiter was clearly very embarrassed and confused, as the other dish the server was carrying was Greg's yellowtail sole. So the waiter gave the original seafood platter to Greg, and took back the yellowtail, and then shortly thereafter brought out my scallops entree. Very confusing.

Anyway, my entree was seared jumbo sea scallops with a saffron risotto and lobster sauce, with a side of steamed vegetables. The scallops were huge, and it doesn't look like it but I actually got 4 of them, which were more than enough for me to even finish. The saffron risotto was, although overly salted, still quite good. It was creamy, and the rice was al dente, with a slight crunch in the center, which I really enjoyed. This is the second time I've tried risotto, and let's just say the first time was terrible, with a lump that was dried and flavorless. So while this risotto was a bit too salty, it was at least better than any other time I've tried it haha. The scallops came in a bit of a brown sauce whose lobster flavor was pretty strong, not at all like lobster cream, but more like lobster stock in a sauce, reminding me a little bit of lobster bisque. The entree was very filling, although it didn't look like that much food at first. I was only able to eat 3 scallops and 2/3 of the risotto with all the veggies before I was completely stuffed to the point of being in a bit of pain heh. So certainly the portions were more than adequate. Mine and Greg's entrees were both about $24, and the soups were $6 per bowl, so the total for the meal after using the $20 coupon came out to about $45 before tip. It's not a bad price, but I think I can get a more satisfying meal experience elsewhere for that price, and less salty overload for sure heh. The one thing M&S does do very well though, is sell desserts. They don't have a dessert "menu" on paper, instead it's presented on a tray with all the desserts molded in very realistic looking plastic. They pick up each dessert to show you and tell you about it, so that it becomes very difficult to deny when the time comes. Luckily we were just literally stuffed to the gills and couldn't handle another morsel of food, but there was a very interesting looking "edible chocolate bag" filled with white chocolate mousse that looked quite delicious. Maybe another time…


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