Brownie's away in the land of dairy, eating cheese. Without me, might I add!! While she's mooing with cows and eating their products, I will have to make do with watching the cheese-making process online. I'm taking notes in case anyone wants to buy me a dairy cow for my birthday. Have a good weekend everyone!!
I've been in a giddy excited mood for days now. No, I'm not in love; it's because spring is coming. Two days ago, the Mets began spring training exhibition games. On top of this, Doughnut Plant has been making Meyer Lemon doughnuts and sending them to my Joe. Lemon = Sunshine = Spring = Warm = Happy Blondie.
Brownie and I did try to get some Meyer Lemon doughnuts on Fat Tuesday, but Joe had run out by lunchtime. Yesterday, when I picked up my morning "large featured with room" and saw more Meyer Lemon doughnuts, I HAD to get one. "Brownie, I have treaty treat to share for lunch." We met at the Biryani Cart and shared a buffalo chicken pita before eating our lemony treat. It's not overpowering lemony or citrusy, but it is yummy and gave me just a hint of spring to come.
Oh, and what I'm also super excited for:
(Full disclosure: I completely jacked this from Shake Shack's website and used my skillz.)
Doughnut Plant 379 Grand Street, between Suffolk and Clinton (212) 505-3700 Tuesday through Sunday: 6:30am until 6:30pm www.doughnutplant.com
This doughnut was found at: Joe the Art of Coffee Graybar Passage, Grand Central Station Lexington Avenue between 44th and 43rd Street www.joetheartofcoffee.comjump
I'm on a mailing list to try out new recipes for a very influential cooking magazine. Usually I don't have time to try out the new recipes within the next few days, but every now and again, a recipe calls out to me "Make time! Try me!!" Last week, that recipe was ricotta pie. Not ricotta cheesecake, ricotta pie.
Even though I've had ricotta cheesecake, I've never made cheesecake or pie before. Ricotta doesn't really appeal to me past using it a filling with pasta. I figured it couldn't be so hard, I have made PLENTY of cheesecakes and could just utilize that experience. One major difference was the ricotta draining. Yes, three pounds of ricotta needed to be drained.
Another huge change was the lack of real crust. Instead of a cracker crust, the recipe calls for bread crumbs coating the spring form pan. Nothing else unusual, to me anyway, was called for: take the dried cheese; mix with eggs, yolks, vanilla, and lemon zest; bake with a water bath at high heat, then low heat.
Then my ditzyness came out. I took the pie out of the oven, still in a water bath, and left it on the counter. I'm convinced that water seeped in through the foil and spring form pan, causing a wet mess. I did realize "Hello lady, you might want to put that on a rack," before all was lost.
For my first ricotta pie, I think I did a pretty good job. It came out springy, dense, and moist, just a tad on the wet side. Good on its own, the perfect accompaniment ended up being a little berry coulis. I imagine myself making more of these during the warmer months not only for the fresh berries, but for the little lightness this pie had would make a wonderful summertime dessert. It's cheese, it's pie, who wouldn't love it! I'd divulge the recipe, but I'm sworn to secrecy! jump
Martha's Country Bakery has finally opened in Bayside, Queens (yes, it's next to a Supercuts, Bear.) Now, you all know I love my Asian sweets (there are a lot of Asian bakeries around my nabe), but sometimes you just want a cupcake or a red velvet cheesecake or a really big chocolate chip cookie.
The only trip I have photos from was my first time there with Poodle. We had dinner at Press 195, followed by pure gluttony at Martha's. The first Martha's I ever visited was the Astoria location (mere blocks from my former home!) and to say I was sorely disappointed would be an understatement. I only tried it a couple more times before giving up. But that was Astoria, this is Bayside; this Martha's is like water in the desert. I did follow Yvo's advice and venture from the cupcake path,
picking up a peach tart
and red velvet cheesecake
in addition to a peanut butter cupcake.
Poodle got lots of cupcakes.
The tart was delicious with flavorful peaches and the right amount of glaze. I thoroughly enjoyed this and plan on getting more. The red velvet cheesecake was also a winner; moist cake and fluffy cheesecake together as one. I liked the cupcake, but I wouldn't rate it amongst the best in the city. Poodle liked hers too.
On another visit, I got one of their huge chocolate chip cookies and it was one of the best chocolate chip cookies I've had in a LONG time. Chewy, fresh, ample chips, everything was great.
Blondie and I started celebrating Mardi Gras a little early last night at the Shake Shack. I mean how can you resist Mardi Gras Bananas Foster Custard? How?...
The custard had a light banana flavor with hints of caramel and rum. The first thing out of Blondie's mouth was "mmmm, it's boozy." I think that qualifies as certifiably delicious. If you miss out on Mardi Gras proper, the custard flavor is available at the Madison Square Park location through 2/28.
If you do head over to Madison Square Park, beware...the heat lamps aren't working. Sadness.
Happy Fat Tuesday! It's time to celebrate. In Western Christianity Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, a forty-day-long liturgical season of fasting and prayer before Easter. Tradition holds that during Lent all meat and dairy products were forbidden. No meat and no dairy products = no rich foods. No rich foods = no pancakes or doughnuts. Hence the need to par-tay.
I like pancakes. I like doughnuts. And who am I to shun tradition on a day that demands I eat both. Here's a round-up of my top pancake and doughnut spots where you can get your feast day on...
DOUGHNUTS: Doughnut Plant: You want doughnuts? Doughnut Plant is all about decadent and delicious doughnuts. The Valrhona Chocolate Yeast Doughnut is to die for, but you really can't go wrong with any of the doughnuts there.
The Dessert Truck: Bomboloni/Warm Brioche Doughnuts from the Dessert Truck are a new favorite for Blondie. And how could you not like doughnuts that come from a truck?
Lefkos Pirgos: Greek Orthodox Lent doesn't begin until March 2nd. Take advantage of this opportunity to get some loukoumades--Greek honey soaked doughnuts at Lefkos Pirgos in Astoria.
Clinton Street Baking Co: It's still pancake month at Clinton Street Bakery. Celebrate Fat Tuesday with pancakes topped with roasted apples & pears with cinnamon sour cream. Yum. And during Pancake Month, they have pancakes available Monday through Friday until 11:00pm. I know where I'm going for dinner...
Norma's: It's Fat Tuesday every day at Norma's in Le Parker Meridien where you can get breakfast 7 days a week from 7:00am until 3:00pm. Their pancakes are steep, think $19 to $20 for: Norma’s Super Blueberry Pancakes with Devonshire Cream, Country-Style Buttermilk Pancakes with Juicy Georgia Peaches and Walnuts, Banana-Macadamia Nut Flap Jacks with Whipped Banana Brown Sugar Butter, Buckwheat Pancakes with Lemon Mousse, Hot Chestnut Pancakes or Potato Pancakes with Homemade Cranberry Apple Sauce and Sweet Carrot Payasam, but if you are looking to really, really looking to indulge, this is the place.
Shopsin's: Hands down my favorite pancake spot in New York City, Shopsin's delivers the goods. No ingredient is safe from the pancake form and there's nothing wrong with that. Highly recommend apple cinnamon pancakes and the slutty cakes. I wish the ho cakes (corn meal, pignoli,caramel hearts) were still on the menu. If you are in a savory mood, give their famous mac and cheese pancakes a try.
Speaking of savory pancakes, I'm always a fan of the assorted pancakes (scallion, kimchi, and pork pancakes) from Woorijip. Fast, cheap and in pancake form, what more could you ask for?
At my last visit, I asked Chris Chen if there was any validity to my assumption. "Yes, they are. People couldn't pronounce bomboloni." Well then, I don't feel so stupid, but I do think they should be called doughnut holes instead of doughnuts. Either way, they're still delicious.
This past weekend I hit up Houston on my very first trip to Texas. Let me put it this way, I got there on Thursday, returned Sunday afternoon and ate guacamole every single day I was there. But I digress, I'm a frequent Delta flyer and I noticed that something was missing in flight...
When the stewardess came started walking the aisles to offer the snack service, I expected to here the typical "Peanuts, Crackers, Biscoff? Peanuts, Crackers, Biscoff?" But to my dismay as she approached it seemed that only Peanuts and Biscoff were on offer. Sigh, I always go for the peanut butter crackers. Not sure if this is a result of the recent peanut butter recall or the economies of offering just 2 snacks versus 1. But I am looking forward to my upcoming trip this coming weekend on Midwest Airlines. Can you say complimentary chocolate chip cookies baked in flight? Oh yeah. jump
As you can see from our Twitter, Brownie is eating 'cue in warm Texas while I'm stuck here in cold and seriously windy New York. All I know about Texas is what I've seen in the airports and flown over, but my mind it's filled with cowboys and horses. Oh, and pools and waterparks, lots of waterparks.
For me, it's easy to get out of bed in the morning; I just think about bacon and get out of bed. I prefer bacon to sausage, I'd eat a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll every day if my heart allowed it, my affection for bacon runs deep. Any surprise that, barring a major disaster or illness, I'm totally going to the Bacon Takedown?!
We first heard about the Bacon Takedown prior to the Chili Takedown, but I still gasp every time I think about it. Baaaacoooon! Yesterday, an exciting tweet, followed by an even more exciting email, confirmed all the details for this upcoming bacon orgy. The Bacon Takedown will be at Williamsburg's Radegast Hall & Biergarten, March 29th, 5pm. Matt Tims, the awesome guy running this whole shindig, needs entrants; if you want the glory of winning this, you need to get on over to Chili-Takedown.com and email Matt. Brownie's going to be on another continent that day, and I already know I'm a winner, so I'll only be there to eat.
Since I first had Mitzy's macarons, thoughts of them have clouded my food memory. Their crunch, their chewy, their filling, I should eat these everyday!! Well, I've finally eaten all the February flavors, and here's your rundown.
First up, I finally got a chance to have a hojicha. I definitely prefer this to the matcha. The green tea flavor is subdued and tastes a little toasty. I wouldn't say it's my favorite, but if you don't like the matcha, don't immediately assume you won't like the hojicha.
The strawberry has a chocolate filling that I found overpowered the cookie a little bit.
I mistakenly got the matcha again, and again it was on the bottom of the rankings.
The champagne also has a chocolate filling, and tastes like champagne, dry and sweet at the same time. I liked this, but I love champagne. I would love to see this with a fruit filling!
The Earl Grey confused me and I'm still on the fence about it. It's a mixture of Earl Grey cookie and chocolate filling, like chocolate tea. I had this twice and I still can't figure out if I like it or not. Perplexing.
Mmm, coffee. I love coffee. I love things coffee-flavored. I loved this coffee macaron.
And the winner for this month: Chocolate Hazelnut. First, chocolate and hazelnut is one of my favorite flavor combinations in any form especially as Nutella. Second, Mitzy got all crazy on this one, it's chewy, but hard. You have to really bite, like you're eating a hazelnut. This may not have been intentional, but I loved it.
Inside the Chocolate Hazelnut
Itzy Bitzy's macarons are $2.50 each, both delivery and in Tafu. They are also available for shipping now, the information's on the website.
Itzy Bitzy Patisserie Delivery of two dozen or more macarons, Saturdays only, up to 100th Street in Manhattan. More instructions on the website here. www.itzybitzypatisserie.com
Tafu New York 569 Lexington Avenue (on the side of the Doubletree Hotel) (212) 980-1310 www.tafuny.comjump
For those of you who don't know, many office buildings in Midtown, and probably all of Manhattan, sponsor public art events and space. For a few months this has meant a huge Hello Kitty on Park Avenue, courtesy of Tom Sachs. Right now, it means that this BE-A-UTIFUL sculpture is also residing on Park Avenue.
During my lunch wanderings yesterday, a friend and I came across Jeremy Davis'Soft Serve. He looks like Buddha, or gluttony personified, or a giant ice cream man, or how I usually feel at the end of the day. All I know is that it made me really hungry for some more Momofuku soft serve. Below the Mr. Davis' story behind his work (sorry for the blurriness, the sign is very low and I'm very tall.)
Brownie and I have often discussed our mutual love of cheese (except for cottage!) usually while eating cheese. We also both share an admiration for hallowed ground that is Murray's Cheese. Simply, we love Murray's and would buy Murray's cheese every day if our stomachs and budgets allowed. With this in mind, I wanted to bring you some important Murray's news: they now have webisodes!!
The webisodes right now pertain to portion control and have Taylor Cocalis, their Director of Education, teaching us how to best cut different types of cheese. All were taped inside Murray's caves underneath the Bleecker Street store; the noise in the background is their humidity control machine. It all begins with Episode 1, Lightly Aged Goat Cheese. Watch them all!
(Note to any future boyfriends: Please notice all tools used and clothing worn. You now have no excuse for "I didn't know what to get you." I want those!)
While we're talking cheese, Liz Thorpe wrote about the new Roquefort tariff. There's going to be a Roquefort black market soon!!
Murray's Cheese 254 Bleecker Street (downtown end of Cornelia Street) (888) MY-CHEEZ or (212) 243-3289 and Grand Central Market 44th Street and Lexington Avenue www.murrayscheese.comjump
A couple of weeks ago we got the news that Streit's 84 year old factory downtown has been pulled off the market. I've eaten plenty of Steit's products over the years but I've never had the chance to visit their factory and small retail store on the Lower East Side. When I saw the sign in the window for 25 cent bags of potato chips and one dollar cans of macaroons, I couldn't resist popping in to check in to check the place out...
The store was sparsely stocked and in addition to the bargain basement potato chips and macaroons there were bags of noodles, plenty of boxes of matzo and soup mixes all very, very reasonably priced.
In the end it was the $1 bag of Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous that caught my eye. I love Israeli couscous. It's chewy, pasta-like, and, in my opinion, superior to any other couscous. I've never seen the whole wheat variety. Checking online Streit's Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous retails for around $3--66% off, pretty darn good deal. I'll definitely be back again.
Yesterday, after a delicious brunch with Brownie and Lawman, the Dewey Decimator, a friend of hers, and I decided to head to Butter Lane for cuppycakes only to find the saddest sign ever. Out of cupcakes! That makes me sad. Oh well, off to Momofuku Milk Bar.
We heard last week that Momofuku Milk Bar had rotated their soft serve flavors again; they are now offering cereal milk flavors. Yes, no more graham cracker, Brownie. From what I understand, Christina Tosi makes cereal milk from toasting a cereal, steeping it in milk, straining it, and then playing around with the remaining milk. She's now transformed this into soft serve ice cream.
I got me Lucky Charms with hot fudge
Dewey Decimator picked up Cap'n Crunch,
and her friend chose the third option, Fruity Pebbles.
I will say that this is some of the creamiest soft serve I've ever had. We enjoyed it, the main consensus being that each flavor tasted like the cereal it represented. It's sweet, but not cloying. I did find my hot fudge to be a little too runny for me. I like it thick! It's some pretty tasty ice cream, and the price is right in-line with other high-end ice creams in the city, like Van Leeuwen.
All the talk of White Castle for Valentine's Day had me pining for my favorite 24 hour chain restaurant, The Waffle House. Fortunately Lawman and I were bound for Pennsylvania, home of the Northern most Waffle House, this weekend and there was no question where we were heading for Valentine's Day...
But what to order? It's been awhile since we've had a Waffle House fix, so our eyes were a bit bigger than our stomachs. Lawman ordered up the All Star Special Breakfast: Two eggs over medium, wheat toast, three strips of bacon, cheese grits, and a waffle. I ordered a waffle, one biscuit with sausage gravy and a large order of hash browns scattered, smothered, covered, and peppered--for the uninitiated that's hashed brown potatoes: "scattered" (spread on the grill), "smothered" (with onions), "covered" (with cheese), and "peppered" (with jalapeño peppers). You can also get your hash browns, "chunked" (with diced ham), "diced" (with diced tomatoes), "capped" (with mushrooms), "topped" (with chili) or "all the way" (with all available toppings).
This was one mighty breakfast.
Moist yet slightly chewy, sweet and slightly malty, Waffle House waffles are always a treat.
Hello, waffle. I love you!
Waffle House waffles are sweet enough for me to eat on there own, but Lawman likes his with syrup.
Here are the scattered, smothered, covered, and peppered hash browns.
I usually go for hash browns scattered, smothered, covered, and chunked, but the pepper was a nice kick.
The sausage and biscuits were skippable.
While the biscuits were buttery and pleasant the sausage gravy wasn't much to write home about and with so many other tasty options on the menu, safe the tummy space.
Lawman liked his cheese grits and eggs. Next time I'll be sure to order some protein with my breakfast instead of a starch triple play (biscuit, waffle, and hash browns)
Our whole giant breakfast was under $15. Not bad at all. Especially for Valentine's Day Dining.
As we were finishing breakfast we overheard a couple at the counter say that they had driven from New Jersey just for a WH fix on V-Day. Aww.
The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Waffle House, 97.03 miles from NYC
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