Lil B is very into dinosaurs these days. And of course he's a Shake Shack fan. Naturally, this is his favorite t-shirt. In the run up to his birthday this year, whenever I'd ask him what kind of cake he wanted, he'd tell me "a green cake" so that's what he got...a Shake Shack-inspired green cake...
I'm going to admit here that the dinosaur's cake innards came from a blue box. But stuffed inside that delicious boxed mix yellow cake was homemade dark chocolate pudding (seriously, this is my favorite chocolate pudding EVER). The chocolate pudding filling was in part a tribute to Lil B's current favorite book, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems, a retelling of the classic tale where chocolate pudding factors in prominently. The cake was topped with my own version of grocery store buttercream--you know the sugary part shortening, part butter frosting. Lil B went crazy for it. After announcing it was a "Dinosaur eating a hang-ka-bur, he proceeded to plant his face and teeth into said hang-ka-bur. When he came up for air he said: "Mama, I'm sharing the hang-ka-bur with a dinosaur!"
How does it stack up to past birthday cakes? You be the judge. Here's the 1st cake and the 2nd. I do think my decorating skills are getting better and better. jump
Monday, May 20, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
It's all going down Tuesday evening around 7pm. We'll be hanging out at WORD on Franklin Avenue, doing our last signing for quite awhile, possibly ever. Coolhaus is bringing their truck by a little early
126 Franklin Avenue
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
What I loved about the CSA hasn’t changed. It’s great to get organic vegetables and support local farms. I love seeing the different crops come into season and cooking with new-to-me vegetables. The CSA is all volunteer run and it’s on a sliding scale which enables folks with limited income to still enjoy weekly fresh, organic vegetables but at a much lower cost.
BUT…it’s also a big strain. Over the past few years deciding who’s picking up the veggies has become an unnecessary source of marital strife. Last year I’d conservatively that we missed at least a third of the pick-ups. The excess veggies get donated to a local soup kitchen so at least they don’t go to waste, but when you’re paying for vegetables and not getting them, it feels like you’re just wasting money.
Then there’s the actual eating of the vegetables. You know how it is…summer weekends get booked up fast! Whether it’s an invite to a friend’s barbecue or just kicking back for dinner al fresco at neighborhood joint at the end of the week or one of the many fun summer food events, there’s no shortage of opportunities to eat out to be social. At times I’ve felt like a slave to my vegetables, whether it was the attempting to prolong their shelf lives, balancing eating everything by the time the next delivery arrived, or invariably finding a bag of rotting radishes at the back of the crisper. When your CSA haul turns into liquidy organic compost in your fridge, that also feels like a waste of money.
This year I’ve following what was my back up plan last year before I jumped back into CSA-dom, I’ve made myself a farmer’s market fund. I'm setting aside the money I would have spent on my CSA and spending that money on a weekly basis (or an as-is-convenient basis) at the greenmarket. So I’m still supporting local farmers and getting to know the producers, but I’m getting the veggies I want, when I want them so there’s more of a chance I’ll actually eat them--at least that's the hope. Did you join a CSA this year? Or do you have your own greenmarket fund? jump
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Last month...wait...no at the very end of March...the Daily News snapped some pics of us for an article they ran about NYC based cookbooks. We were pretty psyched that our book, New York a la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks was featured alongside Daniel Humm and Will Guidara's I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes and Franny’s: Simple, Seasonal, Italian among others. We were also psyched to do our photo shoot at Big Gay Ice Cream's West Village Shop where we could model both our book and some of their goods. Blondie got the Salty Pimp with sprinkles while I went for a swirl of their coffee and cardamom...oh my soft serve, it was delicious. Super creamy. Cardamom can be a strong flavor and this had nice hints of cardamom without being too overpowering. It paired really nicely with their coffee flavor. If you want a full write up of their soft serve from a ice cream expert, check out Serious Eats NY editor, Max Falkowitz's post.
The special soft serve is available at their West Village Shop. Follow Big Gay on Twitter @biggayicecream for details about what flavors are in rotation. I'm dying to try the Yellow Cake and Brownie Batter swirl. DYING. TO. TRY. IT. Hopefully those flavors will be on the docket again soon.
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
125 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10009
61 Grove Street, New York, NY 10014
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Kelvin slushies we enjoyed. They didn't have a line.
Souvlaki GR was ready with little plates of souvlaki and Greek fries with a side of tzatziki. I had multiples of this as well because it's always good. Always.
Despite the lines, I still enjoyed last night. Events like this are always fun when the booze is flowing and you have friends in tow.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
You can find this easy peasy recipe over on Molly's blog. After making the crackers on two separate occasions here are my tips/modifications...
*I used 8.5 ounces of 3 year aged cheddar
*I love spicy food, so I used at least a tablespoon of Sriracha
*Unless you are making these for a crowd, I recommend dividing your dough and freezing half them defrosting and rolling it out when you are ready. These cheesy crackers are super buttery and delicious. And if you're like me you might find your self control lacking in their presence. The first time I made them, I gorged on cheese crackers. I'm not going to say I didn't gorge the second time I made them as well...but when you make half the amount of crackers, gorging on them is only half as bad.
Lawman-in-law and I started brainstorming what kind of cheese crackers I'll tackle next. I'm thinking Gorgonzola, but there's always I chance I could switch it up and go with Gruyère. What kind of cheese crackers would you love to make/eat? jump
Thursday, May 2, 2013
New Amsterdam Market. If you're one who's gotten into the Sodastream craze, you'll totally want to get in on this. The big release party with demos(!) is next Thursday evening at 7pm, RSVP requested here. But, er mah gawd, that's not all! The book from our friends at Robicelli's is officially on pre-order and so is the Mast Brothers Cookbook and--holy baloney!--Cakespy's new book is out next week! Who said publishing is dead?!
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Here's the deal, there's ricotta salata, there's chili flakes, there's sliced grape tomatoes, parsley, maybe some Parm(?), and there's enough fresh garlic to make your nonni proud and ward off any nearby vampires. Rigatoni is an under appreciated pasta shape and here Brancaccio makes use of the large, tubular pasta's lines which are like channels of garlicky, cheesy goodness. While this is a relatively new addition to the menu joining the popular bacon mac & cheese, it's fortunately in regular rotation. Add some perfectly sauteed broccoli rabe and dinner is ready for the table.
Brancaccio’s Food Shop
3011 Fort Hamilton Pkwy
Between East 2nd & 3rd Streets
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
At least, this is what Laura O'Neill, yes the same behind Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, tells me. Every morning in Bali, you get banana pancakes. So, at their new Balinese place, Selamat Pagi, they had to have banana pancakes on the brunch menu. They're denser than the ones we're used to, but have a decent amount of sliced bananas in the cakes. Then they're covered with toasted coconut *and* macadamia nuts. Then you top them off with homemade vanilla-flecked whipped cream and palm sugar syrup. Yes, palm sugar syrup. And then you proceed home to price vacations to Bali, possibly laughing at the people along the way who are still waiting for a table to eat plain old pancakes for brunch.
152 Driggs Avenue
(718) 701-4333 jump
Monday, April 29, 2013
My only regret is that I didn't have room to repeat this slice because it was soooo good. Blondie is a big proponent of strawberry pies in general and went she started tweeting about wanting to make one a couple of weeks ago, I naturally started craving one, too! Strawberry pies can easily venture into cloyingly sweet territory. Not the case with the pies from Four & Twenty. As always the crust is flakey, buttery perfection and the filling with bursting with juicy, strawberry goodness. This pie is a delicious reminder that spring is finally here! I'm looking forward to making a return visit for seconds.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
439 Third Ave. at 8th St,
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Hours: Monday to Friday: 8am - 7pm
Saturday: 9am - 7pm
Sunday: 10am - 6pm
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The folks behind al di là and Bar Corvo have brought south Crown Heights a bit of their culinary genius. Lincoln Station is perfect for breakfast, lunch, afternoon coffee, and dinner take-out. I'm serious. I stopped by for a little lunch time work--free Wifi is always a plus in my book--and picked up their rotisserie lamb sandwich. Succulent slices of lamb sandwiched between ciabatta with cucumber, fava bean puree, and a spicy yogurt sauce adding a Mediterranean flavor. The kicker? It's under $10. I desperately need to get back to try the tripe Sloppy Joe. Genius!
409 Lincoln Place
(718) 399-2211 jump
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
It's never too early to make weekend plans! And if you love street food this weekend promises to be a great one. Firstly...the Red Hook Vendors are kicking off their 2013 season at the Red Hook Park ball fields on Saturday. Blondie and I will be hitting up the park for some delicious pan-Latin specialties. Pupusas! Huaraches! Ceviche! Then we'll make our way to the fabulous Bookcourt in Cobble Hill where we'll be signing our book with the lovely Kim Ima from The Treats Truck (who will be signing her own book, The Treats Truck Baking Book, too). We're going to be demo-ing one of our favorite recipes from the book, the Frozen Mint Juleps from Kelvin Slush. So come join us for lunch at the ball fields and/or let's have drinkies together at Bookcourt. Here are the full details...
Red Hook Food Vendors return to the Red Hook Ball Fields Saturday. If you aren't familiar with the vendors this Serious Eats post is a great place to get acquainted. The carts and trucks open around 10am and close near dusk. They'll be there rain or shine. We had the honor of interviewing 8 of the vendors for our book and captured many wonderful stories. The sacrifices and the adversity that these vendors have overcome all while serving some of the best, homemade Latin food in the city is inspiring. The vendors will have to bid for a new 6 year permit at the end of the season and there are no guarantees, so get out there and support the vendors and show them that all the hard work--giving up every single summer weekend--is worth it. We'll be there at lunchtime, feel free to drop by and say hello. Follow us @blondiebrownie. If you have a copy of our book already, bring it along to get it signed by the vendors and us.
Our post-lunch event at Bookcourt starts at 4pm. Kim Ima from the Treats Truck will be vending outside from about 2:30pm onwards. We'll show you how to make your Derby Party extra awesome with the Frozen Mint Julep recipe from Kelvin Slush, then have a street vending discussion with Kim and wrap things up with a Q&A and signing.
We love drop bys, but if you do plan on coming, please RSVP to the FB event. I need to know how much booze to bring!
Photo credit: Donny Tsang jump