Category Archives: Wanderlust

Tel Aviv: Now & Then

 

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My love affair with Tel Aviv began back 2005, when I was a student at the university on a study abroad program for six glorious months.  Late morning classes and a bike ride to the beach were followed by evenings smoking hookah on the balcony and parties at boites all over town.  I interned at Time Out Tel Aviv and quickly became familiar with the incredible offerings of the metropolis by the sea. But exploring my beloved city on our family vacation last month, I couldn’t help but muse upon how much we both had changed since I last visited. Crumbling buildings have been replaced with gleaming modern construction. The Jaffa flea market, a former dump of mid-century household goods and cheap souvenirs, is now home to boutiques with artful displays and chic shop girls. And, much to my delight, it seems that everyone in town has a new baby.

Yet, many things remain just the same as I remember. All across the city, beautiful, bronzed Israelis spilled out of bustling cafes on to the sidewalks ; the men behind the shwarma counters beckoned with friendly smiles while Levantine playlists blared overhead.  Young chassidic crews in white skullcaps and wispy sideburns danced to techno blaring out of their van at the city’s main intersection where freshly squeezed pomegranate juice is as easy to come by as American Apparel.  Basking in the Mediterranean light, sounds, and flavors was the most perfect way to celebrate my 30th birthday.  It was thrilling to be back in town.

On this trip, as we dined at new restaurants and ordered my favorites at old hangouts, I mused on the Tel Avivian aptitude for creating ambiance. In each little corner of the city, one can discover the most inviting, groovy, I-want-to-come-here-every-night vibe that reminds me why, despite the limitations of parenthood, I still love going out to see how creative folks can transform a space into an experience.  I could go on forever about the way this tiny town stacks up against bigger urban destinations like Barcelona, Copenhagen and even New York. The street art, the boutiques, the bars, the crowd, the food––oh, the delectable, gorgeous food!––leaves no doubt that Tel Aviv holds its own.

The last time I visited, in 2010, the Mr. was fresh out of law school, and we were not yet engaged.  We spent a few debaucherous days in Tel Aviv, went road tripping through the beaches and ruins of Israel, and followed it all up with a week in Egypt visiting a grad school friend born and raised Cairo.  It was an incredible, spontaneous and carefree adventure that brought us closer in a way that only traveling together can.

This trip provided a whole new opportunity for reflecting on travels of my past and reveling in the present adventure. Overall, I came away with a glimpse of my future hopes for my family.   Feeling confident after two successful flights and a great family weekend spent exploring Rome on our layover, we landed in Tel Aviv brandishing 3 passports at customs. Perched in her new nautical themed stroller and loving every new flavor and playground stop, my little jetsetter didn’t stop my grand plans to visit all my old haunts.  Instead, she slowed us down just enough to enjoy the stunning rhythm of life in Tel Aviv.

 

 

 

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Kid & Coe: Bring the Kids!

The Mr. and I have always loved to travel together and have no intention of ever slowing down. True, bringing our daughter along requires extra baggage and planning, but we can’t wait to for the foreign stamp that initiates our future jet setter’s passport! We’ve had one excellent experience renting  a fabulous apartment on vacation so,  I was thrilled when I first stumbled upon Kid & Coe on Cup of Jo and soon learned more about the awesome moms behind the venture.  A brilliant start up,  Kid & Coe’s mission to create ‘a dynamic community of traveling families’ is based on the philosophy of collaborative consumption. Why not share the wealth? Kid & Coe features 100 gorgeous properties in some of our favorite destinations: Copenhagen, Tel Aviv and Brazil.   Whether traveling across the globe to spend a few weeks in a Thai villa or living like a local in an L.A. bungalow for the weekend, rest assured all the essentials for the perfect family friendly stay will be covered.

Each time we travel, my husband and I feel blessed when we have the opportunity to meet and hang with locals. When we’re home in Dumbo, we guide international visitors towards the Brooklyn Bridge almost daily!  I’d love to list our sunny apartment on Kid & Coe, it would be the perfect base for a family setting off each day to explore NYC! I’d make my guests at home with white linens, Brooklyn made snacks, and a cozy crib with plenty of lo fi toys for the kiddos.

Our neighborhood boasts some pretty dope views, great coffee and kid-friendly stops, check out our favorites below!

Wake up

Let your spouse sleep in while you head to Brooklyn Roasting Company (25 Jay St) with the kids to sample some of the borough’s best java roasted on site in a huge warehouse space. Grab a seat on one of the bold orange comfy couches and enjoy your coffee with the sun streaming in, a perfect introduction to Dumbo’s architecture.

 Shop

Susan Lazar is a hip designer and mom whose line Egg Baby (68 Jay St) has outfitted Dumbo’s littlest residents since ’03. Organic cotton basics and festive classics in tiny sizes are the perfect wardrobe additions for your littles. The well edited racks of beautiful designer clothes at Zoe (68 Washington Street) are  strictly for the hippest of Brooklyn mamas. Neighborhood gem, Modern Anthology’s (68 Jay St ) masculine vibe lends itself to a perfectly curated vintage home goods selection and wardrobe basics for the caveman meets creative Brooklyn dude.

Move

Walk or bike to Fulton Ferry Landing, across Scribbs bridge and into the leafy, historical streets of Brooklyn Heights.   Kids of all ages will love Brooklyn Bridge Park‘s wide, grassy spaces, art and 4 playgrounds! For the full playground roundup, schedules of summer movie showings, rotating photography exhibits and food vendors visit the Park’s website first. Borrow a tapestry and enjoy the view with a picnic!

Pizza

If you’re hardcore, Grimaldi’s, Julianas and Ignazios all sling pies on the Old Fulton strip. My favorite place to grab a slice is Fascati’s (80 Henry Street) where thin crust is served up at the counter. Grab a booth at this local Brooklyn Heights spot owned by the same family since the 70s.

Date

For the most romantic, Brooklyn-y spot in the hood that is decidedly not kid friendly, dine at the Vinegar Hill House (72 Hudson) or grab a drink next door at Hillside while the kids are asleep a few blocks away. For a VERY special occasion, the River Cafe is a show of old New York elegance, recently reopened after a post-Sandy makeover.

Georgia on my Mind

Back in June, the Mr. and I headed to Savannah with our 3 month old in tow to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. It was the first time we flew as a family and although we had some reservations, we had the perfect weekend. We checked the super light, highly recommended bjorn baby travel crib and our brand new, enormous wheely suitcase containing the familial wardrobe,  breast pump and formula supply and off we went.   I was born and raised 30 minutes from Manhattan and often find that I am way too NYC centric. What a nice surprise it was to discover the charming city of Savannah with its hipster art students, and picturesque town squares.  I experienced my first dose of southern hospitality in a celebratory weekend  filled with long walks with the stroller, southern comfort food, and perfectly garnished Bloody Marys!  Here are some of our favorite spots…be sure to check out the NYT’s 36 Hours in Savannah before you go too!

Sleep

Pulling a classic move, the Mr. promptly checked out of the 4 Points Sheraton,  minutes after entering ourdingy room that overlooked a scary parking lot (the sweet bellhops were dumbfounded).   Starwood points be damned, we took a 2 minute cab ride to the Bohemian (102 W Bay St) where the concierge warmly welcomed our “lil miss” and showed us through an art filled hallway to our well appointed room. I was so happy to see a spotless marble bathroom, a crushed velvet (!) tufted headboard, and a British campaign style desk,  the perfect makeshift spot for mixing bottles! Traveling with a baby meant hanging out in our room more often than we used to, so the money was well spent. The room was clean and cozy and the hotel bar was the perfect spot to hang.  Our lil miss is a fancy hotel kind of gal, she slept through the whole night for the first time at the Bohemian!

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baby in the bed!

Shop

 Don’t miss Savannah College of Arts & Design shop, ShopSCAD (340 Bull St‎). Its filled with clever stationary, clothing and home designs by students and alum. We picked up a colorful, waterproof, graphic rug for our kitchen which is a great souvenir from our family weekend.  The jewelery selection had me drooling as did the effortless gypsy style and bold lips of the shop girls manning the counter.

graphic mat

Eat

Peak your head in to Gryphon Tea Room (across the street from the ShopSCAD or stop for lunch or tea.  I adored the colorful bookshelves, mid century chairs and leopard print carpet.

photo via wisdomholiesttreasures.com

Upon the recommendation of the hotel clerk, we hit up local joint, J. Christopher’s (122 E Liberty St) for our first brunch. We grabbed a seat outside next to graduating SCAD students and their proud parents and indulged in our southern brunch fantasies: skillets full of eggs, meats and potatoes and my favorite, pecan pie french toast.  We also loved the restaurant at our hotel, Rocks on the River/on the Roof where we could kick back and take in the views.   Had to go back twice for the fried green tomatoes smothered in goat cheese and jalapeno buttermilk dressing. Each time I washed this excellent dish down with a southern style Bloody Mary topped with shrimp and pickled okra.

There’s no shortage of great food in Savannah, in addition to buttery desserts and ice cream everywhere you go, particularly in the historic district.  At Byrd’s Famous Cookies, we sampled jalapeno, chedder, and vidalia onion biscuits .  I fell in love with the shop’s old timey feel and wanted to buy a dozen tins to take home.

via Byrd’s Famous Cookies

Nearby, we laughed every time we passed the line outside of Paul Deen’s The Lady and Son’s restaurant, which reminded us of this SNL skit. Hot butter and oil!

On the eve of our anniversary, we set off for the The Olde Pink House, (Reynolds Square 23 Abercorn Street) with our lil miss. I’m a sucker for ‘olde’ mansions and this one was just perfect, right down to the bubble gum pink facade.  Each room had a little bit of a different vibe to it but the common denominator was gorgeous wide plank wood floors, fireplaces and crystal chandeliers! We sat a bright And contemporary room at a table with plenty of room for the car seat, and I was very tempted by the adjacent empty balcony and the dark candlelight tables I spotted en route to the ladies room.  Cornbread in the bread basket made up for the lack of romantic lighting as did mac and cheese poppers, fried fish, green tomatoes and collard greens.

Do

Savannah is the perfect walking city which made it ideal for our new family.  Downtown Savannah was designed in 1733 by James Oglethorpe and retains much of its original town planning.  Gorgeous candy colored mansions, lush secret gardens and historic squares shaded by sweeping branches are the perfect setting for ambling along after one too many Bloody Marys! We fed the lil miss on a bottle on many a square bench as she stared up at the  Oaks, Magnolias, Crepe Myrtles and Palms trees in wonder!  While the riverfront was quaint but a bit too touristy, we adored the vast Forsyth Park with its statues, fountains and tree lined walkways.  We passed many a hearst carrying ghost tours through town and debated doing a paranormal mansion experience but in the end opted to take the tour at the Owens Thomas House for a peak into the beautiful English style garden and  ‘one of the earliest intact urban slave quarters in the South.’

Check out Savannah, ya’ll! You won’t be disappointed.

Giorgio Armani: One Night Only

ARMANI  ONE NIGHT ONLY NYCThe night after Diner en Noir, the Mr. surprised me with passes to a once in a lifetime event that blew my mind! Italian billionaire, fashion designer Giorgio Armani recieved the key to New York City and unlocked some fashion magic by curating a gorgeous couture retrospective that was launched with a spectacular runway show and celebrated with the best dance party I’ve been to in a looong time.  It’s not every night this mama gets to glam out but when I walked into the SUPERPIER, a massive industrial pier from the 1950s,  transformed into what the husband called, a chic department store, complete with soft peach and black carpeting, movie-set lighting, and optical illusion causing round mirrors, I felt like a million bucks! With my hair blown out and my teal suede stilettos heels, I was living out my 80’s excess fantasy on the West Side Highway!

We didn’t get to see the fashion show, but I wasn’t too upset! The runway viewing was for VIPs like Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellweger, Hilary Swank and Leonardo DiCaprio.   I did, champagne in hand, spend the first hour or so browsing the Eccentrico exhibit which rivaled, if not flat out crushed the Met’s Alexandar McQueen display.  My husband had to tear me away from the goods; I was so close, I could practically try on the clothes and accessories! Unfortunately, the lighting was so bad so my photos do not do any justice!  I can barely begin to describe the remarkable designs that have made Mr. Armani, 79, a household name. My favorite pieces included a massive jade pendant and floral print pill box purse that attached to the wrist with a tortoiseshell cuff.  When I think of Armani, I think perfect tailoring and structured, classic garments, but the exhibit told a different story at times.  I was really feeling the groovy vibe -palatzo pants, backless dresses, fur and jumpsuits-  worn by my some of fellow guests, too.

photo via pursuitist.com

We arrived as the show was ending and just as the husband tried to pull some work strings to tour me around the inside of the runway setup, a handsome throng of well dressed Italian men made their way out of the exit, buzzing around a diminutive yet very tan and dapper Giorgio. The Armani groupie procession made their way down the carpeted hallway and into the lounge area where young models mingling with fashion bloggers and industry royalty, craned their long necks to see what the commotion was all about. Sitting down on a low banquette, surrounded by glowing orbs and his minions, Mr. Armani’s mere presence seemed to signal the after party had officially begun!

In the “dinatoire” area of the room, gorgeous waiters passed around perfect portions of truffle risotto, delicate ricotta filled ravioli, and seared tuna bites with caper berries.  I was too excited to focus on food (though I did wake up regretting that decision) as I took careful bites, I cautioned to my husband  ‘fashion parties are not for eating!’  He steered me onto the dance floor where Mark Ronson mixed Amy Winehouse with the Bee Gees and Tribe Called Quest as fresh faced ingenues taught botoxed editors how to ‘Dougie’. A matronly queen bee of fashion PR stood behind the DJ booth scanning the crowd alongside model Alec Wek whose wacky fist pumping made me giggle and boogie down. Being surrounded by gorgeous, fabulously accessorized fashion people can sometimes make you feel really inferior. But thanks to Mr. Armani, for One Night Only,  spirits were high, the turntables omniscient and, amidst the free flowing bubbly and incandescent lighting  everyone was feeling fabulous.

Palacia De Villapanes

Our trip to Spain was filled with many memorable accomodations.  Our first stop from the Madrid airport was the Atocha train station where we boarded a comfortable, high speed train to Seville.  We arrived in Seville two hours later and went straight to the beautiful  Alma Hotel Sevilla.  Originally built as a private mansion for the Marques of Villapanes in the 18th century,  the property has been restored into a modern boutique hotel with 50 guest rooms. 

A tropical garden in the middle of Madrid’s Atocha train station.

The cab dropped us off in front of the hotel’s majestic entrance and I could hardly believe that a mere 8 hours prior, we were hailing a cab to JFK over the roar of the subway in Dumbo!

The archways led into a beautiful open air courtyard with black and white marble floors (check out the awesome chevron pattern on the top floor) , a soothing fountain and lush greenery.

The hotel had some very unique and beautiful floral arrangements scattered around the front desk that I photographed as I would love to replicate them back home. I think some of Brooklyn’s finest florists would appreciate the color and texture combinations.

The Andalusian flavor of Seville was apparent in the many Moorish and Moroccan style design elements featured throughout the hotel which made me feel quite at home! Off the side of the lobby was a pretty sitting room with an enormous wooden door with grommets leading to a small garden. I love the old terra cotta moroccan style floring  juxtaposed with the huge black and white printed rice paper lanterns.

  

The hotel’s restaurant had an eclectic and unexpected asthetic. Black walls, Wrought iron chairs, brocade upholstered banquets and simple white cloth place settings adorned with colorful bud vase arrangements reminded me of some of the quaint hipster haunts back home!

Beyond the restaurant was a cozy library featuring backlit Moroccan style tiles and modern seating. The warm blue shelves  brings out the gorgeous wood floors.

And finally, although only a limited shot (see the website for more) our room!  The crisp white duvets (his and hers so no fighting over covers!)  and moody purple velvet wingback bed was exactly what I needed after a long day of traveling and the Spanish heat.  The deep purple and gray color scheme was both rich and soothing, and the clean, dark furniture was a great contrast to the gossimar curtains where sunlight streamed through until 11pm!  

The stunning bathroom, sadly not pictured, featured an incredible 360 degree shower, adjacent bathtub, and moroccan  mosaic in deep jewel tones. Bath products by Malin and Goetz so you know I requested extra cilantro conditioner to take home!  One of the most delightful parts of our room was the mini bar, stocked with FREE delicious, mini Spanish juices!   I had my fair share of tomato, pineapple and apple each day of our stay.

Don’t laugh, I am a sucker for free stuff, particularly when you are at a luxury hotel and paying top dollar. Why not throw in a few gratis perks? It will make even the classiest of guests so happy. Needless to say, after a fabulous shower and my first official Spanish siesta, I awoke feeling like a new woman who desperately needed some tapas!  More on this coming soon…

Vintage in VA

The highlight of my weekend in Virginia was the beautiful wedding we attended.  In true road trip fashion (you don’t leave Brooklyn for nothin), we decided to check out all the sites in VA! Our first stop upon entering town was the majestic University of Virginia campus which has many massive green lawns encircled by dorm rooms (lucky students). We also visited Thomas Jefferson’s estate, Monticello. Mr. Jefferson was quite the eccentric (granted we owe him a lot for his free thinking ways) and based on the decor in his home,  he had many of the same sensibilities as the modern day hipster.

Thomas Jefferson’s Taxidermy

UVA and Monticello were beautiful properties and though I am partial to Columbia University’s campus, I loved the college town vibe in Charlottesville. There was no shortage of quirky coffee shops, cafes and boutiques. The weekend turned into a bit of a shopping spree though I was able to exercise quite a bit of restraint. Because I like to immortalize my remorse as a reference point for future shopping decisions, let me quickly recap the shopping scene in Charlottesville, VA for ya’ll.

Across the street from the UVA campus, I had to stop at Duo (101 Elliewood Ave) a pretty shop filled with contemporary designers and a decent consignment selection. Half of the dresses in this shop screamed UVA sorority girl to me but an adorable dress in my favorite color caught my eye! It fit like a glove but the conservative length was a poor match for my pronounced bow framed cleavage! 1/2 prep, 1/2 party? Probably a better fit for an aforementioned sorority girl than my domesticated self… Next!

Trina Turk Yellow Bow Dress

Beyond the shops around the UVA campus, be sure to spend some time walking around the downtown mall of Charlottesville where you will find several well-curated vintage stores and a number of home and design boutiques.

My favorite vintage shop was Low Vintage (105 5th St. SE ) which was a treasure trove of vintage clothing, accessories and home goods. The racks were organized by decade and each item had a small tag on it with a detailed blurb about the item’s origin. I could have spent all day at Low Vintage, browsing and reading about each piece’s history; to me, this is what makes vintage clothing so special.  Unfortunately, the Mr. was starving so I didn’t have enough time to get lost in my fantasy land.  I quickly grabbed a 1970’s coral and gold link necklace on a suede cord (widely copied by Jcrew today, go figure) and off we went to grab lunch.

Low Vintage

After lunch, we hit up Vixen Vintage (300 East Market Street) an upscale boutique filled with retro designer gear and a beautiful dressing room. I spotted an incredible brown and black floral printed maxi dress on the mannequin and asked to try it on. It was an original Pucci, and I was transformed into a groovy, 70’s era hostess! It would have been the perfect hostess outfit today, and would have worked just as well as a mother’s day or ladies brunch outfit with cool brown platforms. The girl in this picture below is rocking the same vintage Pucci dress in a different print. Sadly, I could not justify investing $400 in this retro look but, I continue to troll Ebay for a more affordable alternative.

With my vintage dreams crushed for the moment, I set out to pick up a couple of gifts for mother’s day at Roxie Daisy (101 E Water St).  Based on some of the wonderful selections at this store, it looks like all the hype over artisanal Brooklyn products has found its way to Virginia! I found soaps from Saipua, the amazing Brooklyn florist, as well as the One Girl Cookie cookbook (our neighbors in Dumbo). After much deliberation, I decided on some beautiful, hand woven dish towels from Guatemala, and some culinary papers which act as a doily but instead of laser cut white paper, picture a stunning black and white image of a peony. Imagine your next layer cake served on a beautiful  B&W lithograph and you’ll get the idea. A pretty way to dress up the dessert table.

Two passed up dresses, one necklace and a couple mother’s day presents later, I popped my head into Petit Bebe. I couldn’t resist the ultra modern baby hammock in the window! Petit Bebe was just about the cutest baby store I have ever seen! Coming from Dumbo, this says a lot. I encourage you all to check out their website and their pintrest board which is filled to the brim with a french inspired children’s wear and furniture.  I kept thinking about my expectant sister in law, but couldn’t pull the trigger on anything before the baby’s arrival.

Well, we got back from Virginia on Saturday evening and promptly fell asleep at a tame 10pm.  At 4am, I was awoken by the Mr. tapping my shoulder with news that my sis-in-law was in labor!  Looks like I will be taking advantage of Petit Bebe’s website, I can’t wait!

A taste of Brazil

Several years back, long before I became domesticated, I took the trip of a lifetime to visit a dear friend of mine who was working at a law firm in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Our small but rambunctious crew of four former college roommates spent New Year’s Eve on the beaches of Rio wearing white dresses, eating copious amounts of street corn, and dodging errant fireworks. It was a glorious week marked by adventure! I vividly remember the desolate bus station where we missed the last bus back to Sao Paulo and the sleezy motel room we stayed overnight.  We played geography on a long ferry ride to a beautiful island, learned tropical fruit names in Portuguese, watched our friend get a sweet goodbye kiss at sunset, danced at an impromptu forro performance and swam naked in the ocean way past midnight.

Sunset in Ilha Grande

Sunset in Ilha Grande

During our time in Ilha Grande (translation: Big Island) off the coast of Rio, a tiny slice of  paradise filled with  pristine beaches, we truly got a sense of Brazilian hospitality. Upon our arrival, a gorgeous local porter met us at the shore of the island, loaded a wheelbarrow with our oversized American luggage and pushed our belongings up a long and winding hill. If this scene sounds like the perfect setting for the next chick lit bestseller, you are picturing it correctly.

Monica's House!

We made our way up the hill and found Monica’s House, a colorful residence with a lush tropical garden,  many cats and a hammock in the suite we were lucky to call home.  After a few days of mediocre urban street food in Rio, and an unfortunate lunch of fried ‘tiny fish’ which came with their heads and tails intact, I was thrilled when we finally agreed on what appeared to be a decent restaurant for dinner. And so it was that I found myself for the very first time, dining on Moqueca, a delicious, traditional Brazilian seafood stew on a moonlit beach in Ilha Grande.

Moqueca or as I like to call it, Brazillian fish stew is made with fish, (seafood really, but I stay away from crustaceans!), onions, garlic, tomatoes and cilantro carefully simmered over a low flame.  My friend Chef Monsta, posted this recipe a long time ago, but after getting rave reviews from the Mr. upon my 3rd time preparing it, this dish has entered the official Dumbo Domestic roster.  I know, fish stew may have an unpleasant ring to it, but I dare you to try it! I assure you, you will be blown away by the simplicity of the preparation and the boldness of the flavors.  If you’re feeling the pescatrian spirit, in the mood for an exotic meal but tired of thai takeout, trust DD, put on some Sergio Mendes and make Moqueca!

Recipe (adopted from Simply Recipes)

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of fillets of firm white fish such as halibut, swordfish, or cod; you can also use salmon,  rinsed in cold water, deboned, cut into large but bite sized pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped spring onion, or 1 medium yellow onion, chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onion greens, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, de-stemmed, chopped (or sliced)
  • 2 cups chopped (or sliced) tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp paprika (Hungarian sweet)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped with some set aside for garnish
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk

To prepare:

1. Place fish pieces in a bowl, add the minced garlic and lime juice so that the pieces are well coated. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper. Keep chilled while preparing the rest of the soup.

Some of the veggies you'll need...

2. In a large covered pan (somewhat deep as you will add liquid), coat the bottom with about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook a few minutes until softened. Add the bell pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. (At least a teaspoon of salt.) Cook for a few minutes longer, until the bell pepper begins to soften. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and onion greens. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

The colorful stew in its first round of simmering...

3. Use a large spoon to push aside about half of the vegetables (or remove momentarily if pan is crowding). Spread the remaining vegetables over the bottom of the pan to create a bed for the fish. Arrange the fish pieces on the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.   (** If you prefer more citrus in your dish, or to water down the coconut flavor, don’t discard the reaminder of the marinade, add it to the stew).  Then add back the previously removed vegetables, covering the fish. Pour coconut milk over the fish and vegetables.

After you add in the coconut milk...

4.Bring soup to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes or longer if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may need to add more salt (likely), lime or lemon juice, paprika, pepper, or chili flakes to get the soup to the desired seasoning for your taste.

5. Serve with crusty bread or rice (for even more flavor, mix lime juice and chopped cilantro into your prepared rice).