Thursday, March 31, 2011

Colson's Chocolate Brioche Suisses


I've long contemplated trying Patisserie Colson on 9th Street and 6th Avenue, but the pain au chocolate and raspberry beignets from Almondine just up the block are so good... The other day I was in the mood for pain au chocolat and decided the time was right to give Colson a try...

I was all set to get the pain au chocolat when I noticed the chocolate "brioche suisses" in the window. It looked chocolate-y, like a glazed, elogated rectangular cousin of the chocolate croissant. Both were $2.75. So I put it to the guy behind the counter. What was the difference? His words? "The brioche suisses is like the pain au chocolat but more flavorful." More flavorful? I'll take it.

The pastry lived up to the more flavorful promise. The light sweet glaze is very pleasant and it seemed to have more chocolate filling than your typically get with your standard pain au chocolat. For science, and of course for you, dear readers, I've returned several times since to, you know, check the quality and I can say that these have always been top notch and are now a favored treat around our place.

Patisserie Colson
374 9th Street (at 6th Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My New Favorite Food: Malaysian

Roti Canai
Needing a bite to eat in Flushing before heading out to Mom's can get overwhelming. Which region to I want? Where should I go? Thankfully, I have the internet on my phone or I'd be lost. But last weekend, I wasn't sure where or what and needed something fast and cheap. I decided to take my chances on Prince St, and the second menu I read was the winner. Sentosa Malaysian. Indian influenced Asian, perfect for a girl who can't make up her mind.

Sentosa Malaysian
With all the love for Indian and Asian in this city, it's a shame that there aren't more Malaysian places. The Malay peninsula is smack in the middle of the two, getting influences from all directions. Apparently Sentosa is one of the best Malaysian places in the city; it's nice knowing Flushing's good for more than Chinese and Korean. Not sure where to begin on the menu-everything sounded so good and my eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach-I immediately decided on a serving of the Roti Canai: Indian pancake with curry chicken and potato dipping sauce. I could have drank that sauce, it was seriously that delicious. There were just enough curry spices to give it a little kick while being incredibly flavorful. The fluffy roti was absolutely perfect for dipping.

Capitan Noodles
I sort of in the mood for noodles leading me to choose their Capitan Noodles for an entree. Fried flat noodles in a sweet soy brown sauce with pork, chicken, shrimp, squid, and kai-lan was absolute heaven to this starving girl. The best part about this dish was that it managed to hit a weird craving I had developed for squid and still satiate the Asian craving I ALWAYS get in Flushing. The noodles are slippery and hard to manage, but the meats plus the crunchy fried topping add a nice texture throughout. The two dishes together were the best and cheapest weekend lunch I'd had in a while.

As I was leaving, force of habit made me grab a take-out menu and I've been salivating over it ever since. I'm officially on a Malaysian kick.

39-07 Prince St
(718) 886-6331

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

1000 Posts and Counting

Wow. It seems like only yesterday Blondie and I were talking about our hypothetical food blog and here we are 3 plus years (we somehow missed our blogiversary on the 11th) later logging our 1000th post...

The past three years have brought us some pretty excellent adventures.

Morning Bun

We’ve taken our readers on vacation from San Francisco

Plantain Pizza

to Bogotá and points in between.

There were some epic cakes...

Easter Lamb Cake

The Easter Lamb Cake

Stars and Stripes Cake

Stars and Stripes Forever!

There were some epic cupcakes...

Liza Minnelli Cupcake!

Liza Minnelli Cupcakes

Lady Gaga Cupcakes

Lady Gaga Cupcakes


Desiger Cupcakes

Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Cupcakes

Mad Men Cupcakes

Golden Girls Cupakes: Sophia and Dorothy

Golden Girls Cupcakes for Mother's Day

Paw Paw Cupcake

Chow Chow Cupcakes (featured on the Martha Stewart show!)

Inside Blueberry Cupcakes

Mets Cupcakes


And more Mets Cupcakes

'Smores Cupcakes

S'mores Cupcakes

Elvis Cupcake

Elvis Cupcakes

Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes

Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes

And some awesome pies...

Apple Bourbon Gingerbread Men Pop Pies

Pies on Sticks

Sara Moulton's French Apple Tart

Apple Pie (Ok, this one was actually a tart)

And there were epic challenges that could test even the strongest of friendships

Chili Takedown 2009

the Chili Takedown Runsa Episode

Through it all, we've become closer friends with each other and made countless new friends. There’s nothing better than sharing a meal with friends. Here's to the next meal and the next and the next. We hope you’ll keep visiting and sharing in in life's deliciousness with us.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Flushing's Newest Food Court

New World Mall
Flushing is literally teeming with food-they have malls with food courts, underground food courts, food stalls, cafes, it's a food wonderland. But one of the worst places to catch a quick bite is right where I have to catch the Q12 bus. The choices on that stretch of Roosevelt Avenue are very limited, mainly because it's where Caldor used to be, the same Caldor my mother accidentally once set on fire (true story.) Recently I've noticed some new mall signage, and most importantly, they want a food court.

Th New World Mall has been in construction for over a year now with a blown scheduled opening of last fall, and in the past few weeks it's been looking closer to finished. They're still looking for tenants, but hope to have a decent food court. I'm crossing my fingers that it will be a good enough to numb the sting of the Flushing Mall 2012 closing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Halcyon Gourmet's Grown-Up Chicken Sandwich

Halcyon's March Special
I became a big fan of Halcyon Gourmet back when they were on my walk home from the subway station. Then late last year, they moved to a bigger location a little bit further from me, and I kept forgetting to go check it out. Until I got sick, developed slight cabin fever, and had no desire to cook anything. Through the wonders of Twitter, they enticed me with their March special sandwich: Pecorino chicken cutlet with broccoli rabe, red peppers, and pesto mayo on ciabatta. I can put pants on for that.

Halcyon Gourmet
The new Greenpoint kitchen is located on Banker St between Norman & Meserole, under an awning saying "Glass Impressions". This threw me off a bit, but luckily I knew the address and saw their chalkboard and red door. After a short wait, my freshly made sandwich was ready! The delicious crusted chicken cutlet, the creamy mayo, and crusty Ciabatta made for one awesome sandwich. I have a soft place in my heart for breaded chicken cutlets, but eating this with brocolli rabe and peppers made me feel like a grown-up. And since the sandwich is less than $10, it made me all kinds of happy.

When you go, be sure to pick up their peanut butter bliss cookie sandwich. It's to die for. So good there are no photos. Also, if any of you need Easter treats, they're selling some here.

Halcyon Gourmet
202 Banker St.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Calling All Food Lovers! Brownie Needs Your Votes!

Pie Soldiers

Earlier this week I shared my Serious Eats/Instructables Pi Day Contest Entries: "Pies Are Round? No, Pi(es) Are Squared!" Voting concludes today and I need your help......

Asking for votes feels pretty lame, but I need your voting love. Please help rock the vote! First prize is an iPad2 engraved with 314 digits of pi which would be such nerdy sweetness (and it's something I'd never buy for myself--I'd feel too extravagent when I have the little dude's college to save for...)

Pies Are Round No, Pies Are Squared

You can vote here. You do have to be an Instructables Member to vote, but joining is free and it's a very cool site where you can learn things like: how to make a sculpted zombie cake, or a playable Angry Birds Cake. Or if you prefer you can login via Facebook. Ok, last plea for votes. Thanks for reading. I'll keep you posted on how the contest turns out!



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nom, Nom, Oatmeal Doughnut

Oatmeal Doughnut
To me, Doughnut Plant takes the doughnut to the haute level. It's not right to really compare it to any others, unless those doughnuts are also $3 a pop. I like doughnuts therefore I like Doughnut Plant, but they're more of extravagant splurges. You would NEVER find my mother waiting 30 minutes in the freezing cold for a $3 doughnut even if it's the size of her face and has boysenberry filling. The cold even wins out against me after 7 minutes. And if you thought the new Chelsea location of Doughnut Plant would cut down on crowds, you're funny and slightly delusional.

Oatmeal Doughnut
In between errands this past weekend, I decided I deserved a doughnut. The new location on 23rd Street has a variety of new flavors including oatmeal. This is their take on healthy with half of the dough made from, well, oatmeal. The glazed exterior gave way to a nice cake interior. The crunchy granola feeling extends to the fillings: bits of sunflower seeds, dried fruits and nuts are all dotting the doughnut goodness. It almost makes you feel like your doing the right thing, almost.

Doughnut Plant @ the Chelsea Hotel
220 W. 23rd Street
(212) 675-9100

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rock the Vote for Pi(e)!

Pies Are Round No, Pies Are Squared
Happy Pi Day + 1 week. Last week, on Pi Day proper, I shared with you one of my Serious Eats/Instructables Pi Day Contest Entries. And what you see above is the other. I call it: "Pies Are Round? No, Pi(es) Are Squared!" And now it's time for the voting part of the challenge...

Pie Soldiers

Please help rock the vote! First prize is an iPad2 engraved with 314 digits of pi and the runners up get some pretty sweet pi gear. Pi ice cube molds anyone? You can vote here. You do have to be an Instructables Member to vote, but joining is free and it's a very cool site where you can learn things like: how to make a sculpted zombie cake, or a playable Angry Birds Cake or homemade Cadbury Eggs or Dragon Bread Candy or real Japanese Ramen from scratch. Seriously I could spend hours perusing the instructables. So many cool DIY ideas out there. Thanks for your support!



Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Cookie and a Cinnamon Puff

Van Leeuwen's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Doughnuts aren't the only things I eat when under the weather. The times when I need nutrients the most are the times when I indulge my sweet tooth because it's tiring being healthy. Since I'm still in cut-back and rest mode, I finding ample opportunities to explore my neighborhood's sweeter side, like the chocolate chip cookies from Van Leeuwen.

Van Leeuwen
I haven't had Van Leeuwen in a while, and I know full well that they are now serving doughnuts at the Greenpoint store-it's on my to-do list. When I stopped by yesterday fresh from my very first CSA meeting, there were no doughnuts, but I did spot some chocolate chip cookies for $2. They're love of Michel Cluizel chocolate is still in full effect as it's used in all their homemade pastries. The flours are also locally grown and milled. The homemade quality is apparent from your first bite, the cookie was chewy and fresh-perfect for a little ice cream sandwich. What I found interesting was the degree of sweetness, it was almost bordered on salty. It was refreshing to have a great cookie that wasn't cloying. If you're one who likes chocolate chip cookies, but always finds them too sweet, you need to check these ones out.

Sweetleaf's Cinnamon Puff
On sick day #2, I made a vain attempt to work only to be sent home within an hour. I'm a silly girl. Desperately in need of some tea for my journey, I stopped by Long Island City's Sweetleaf, and saw that they have cinnamon puffs! Balls of dough coated in cinnamon sugar, that'll make me feel better! The dough was fluffy and soft, the cinnamon was spicy, the sugar was sweet, and I was happy.

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Stores in Brooklyn and roaming trucks-check their Twitter

Sweetleaf Coffee & Tea
10-93 Jackson Avenue (at 11th St)
Long Island City
(917) 832-6726

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Everything is Better on Cheddar Waffles

Eggs Huntington

The waffle iron ranks up there with our least used wedding gifts. I love waffles. Lawman loves waffles, but when it comes to taking out that iron, it just doesn’t happen and I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s because you need some sort of non stick spray that we never buy or maybe because the cleaning effort to meal satisfaction ratio isn’t favorable enough, but we generally leave our waffle making to the professionals. And the professionals at Buttermilk Channel see fit to add cheddar to their waffles. Cheese plus waffles with no clean up? Yes, please!

Cheddar waffles are available as a brunch side ($4) or with a fried pork chop ($15). Seeing as I’ve given up fried food for Lent, the pork chop was not an option for me. But I wanted those waffles. I wanted them bad. Cue brilliant idea light bulb--the Eggs Huntington ($11) comes with two poached eggs, Benton's country ham, over biscuits with Hollandaise sauce not to mention your choice of Mimosa, Bellini, sparkling wine or fresh squeezed juice. A side of biscuits is also $4. What if you were to substitute cheddar waffles biscuits?

Happily the waitress obliged (at no extra charge!) and thought Lawman was loathe to give up biscuits (the joys of going halfsies with your spouse), when brunch arrived he was first to admit that the cheddar waffles are totally the way to go here. When I read that this dish included "country" ham, I was thinking ham of the oven baked variety and was pleasantly surprised to discover this ham is more similar to a proscuitto-like cured meat. My only regret with this brunch? That I didn’t order an extra side of waffles…they’re that good.

Cheddar Waffles

Buttermilk Channel

524 Court St
(between Nelson St & Huntington St)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 852-8490

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Sick Days=More Doughnuts

Peter Pan's Chocolate Mousse
Last week I caught a virus that knocked me on my ass. I missed three days of work! I've never missed three days of work! But I stayed true to my tradition of sick day doughnut eating. I'd had my eye out for the latest flavor at Peter Pan: chocolate frosted with chocolate mousse filling! During sick day #1, Peter Pan came through for me.

Peter Pan's Chocolate Mousse
The new doughnut came out around the beginning of February, but a girl can't eat doughnuts all the time-I was waiting for it to be a treat. This beauty will cost you $1.75, more than the average doughnut. But it's pretty awesome, fluffy dough with sweet, creamy mousse means the perfect chocolate-filled doughnut.

Peter Pan Bakery
727 Manhattan Avenue
(718) 389-3676

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pop Pi(es) for Pi Day

A Vase of Pies

If you're a math and pie fan, March 14th aka 3.14 is a banner day. Last year in honor of Pi Day I created a π themed pie playing off of the equation for area. With a raspberry and rhubarb pie; get it r-squared? (Insert, hearty chortle...ok, maybe insert polite laugh). This year I decided to go for a more playful route and make Pop Pi(es). Hooray for pi! Hooray for pies on sticks!

I've entered these lovelies in the the Serious Eats and Instructables Pi Day Challenge. You can check out my instructions for making Pop Pies over here. The contest is open for entries through 3/20, then it's voting time. I'll be posting a voting reminder next week when the polls open. In the meantime, Happy Pi Day!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Travels with Brownie: Revisiting The Skinny Pancake

Skinny Pancake, Montpelier, VT

Last month Lawman and I had a chance to visit a dear friend who recently settled in Montpelier. A weekend in town gave us a chance to revisit The Skinny Pancake. This time I went for their Lamb Fetatastic and the Localvore’s Dream, oh yeah, and some bacon Poutine...

The Localvore’s Dream (above) a 100% local crêpe filled with Misty Knoll chicken, house-made cranberry-apple chutney, Boucher Farm Gore-Dawn-Zola and organic arugula on a Gleason's whole wheat crêpe ($12.95) was my favorite. I generally don't love arugula, but here it gave the crêpe just the right amount of bite to tie the whole thing together.

Skinny Pancake, Montpelier, VT
The Lamb Fetatastic ($9.95) was also quite good. Made with Winding Brook Farm lamb sausage, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, sautéed mushrooms and feta cheese, it was hearty and filling.
Skinny Pancake, Montpelier, VT
The poutine with bacon gravy was surprisingly not my favorite part of my meal. Bacon plus gravy plus cheese over French fries--how could that not be a WIN? It was fine and I suppose I hold all poutine to the Duck Fat gold star standard, hard for anyone to achieve.

Next time I hit Montpelier, I'm going for dessert here. The Hot Apple Crispy--tart VT apples, pure VT honey, cinnamon sugar, and VT whipped cream sounds fantastic!

The Skinny Pancake
89 Main St
Montpelier, VT 05601
(802) 262-CAKE

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Late Night Snack with Ben, Jerry & Jimmy

Late Night Snack, it's fair trade!

Last week we got an invite to see Ben & Jerry (yes that Ben and that Jerry) make "a sweet announcement at 30 Rockefeller Plaza" with a special guest. Thanks to the wonders of the internets, we already knew that these mysterious invite was most likely for the launch of Late Night Snack their new flavor in cooperation with 30 Rock denizen, Jimmy Fallon. Spoiled surprise aside, there was no way that we were going to pass up a chance to experience a Ben & Jerry's flavor launch...

Cup of Late Night Snack

Here's what you need to know. Late Night Snack is a vanilla ice cream with a salty caramel swirl and...wait for it...chocolate covered potato chips. Sweet, salty and crunchy this hits the mark.

Late Night Snack display

As part of Ben & Jerry's pledge to go Fair Trade by 2013, this flavor is made with Fair Trade vanilla in the vanilla ice cream and Fair Trade cocoa in the potato chip cluster chocolate coating. And NBC and Jimmy Fallon are pledging their share of the proceeds to Fair Trade Universities.

The flavor should be arriving in supermarkets and scoop shops presently. I know Blondie can't wait to get a hold of another pint!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Travels with Blondie: Dessert for Breakfast

Munchers Doughnuts
Because let's be serious, doughnuts and cinnamon buns are desserts pretending to be breakfast. Like most people, when I'm on vacation I throw out my usually very healthy breakfast and indulge in such craziness. Thankfully, Lawrence, Kansas is amply equipped with breakfast desserts including FRIED cinnamon buns!

Fried Cinnamon Bun
All I really need in a town are doughnuts and ice cream. Lawrence has Sylas & Maddy's Ice Cream and they have Munchers,the resident 24 hour bakery. Yes, you can get doughnuts at 2 in the morning. Of course, the best time to go is early morning when the doughnuts are fresh. This time I choose a blueberry fritter and a fried cinnamon bun-I've never had a cinnamon bun done up in doughnut colors before. The blueberry fritter is acceptable, not as good as their apple fritter in my opinion. The fried cinnamon bun was definitely for the win. The glazed exterior and soft buttery cinnamon interior is the thing dreams are made of.

Auntie Em's Cinnamon Bun
That wasn't the only great cinnamon bun I had out there, Auntie Em's Deli & Bakery makes theirs fresh every day. I can verify this because not only were they discussing making tomorrow's dough while we ate ours there, the bun itself was still soft and chewy. Gooey, sweet cinnamon goodness made with love and care. Yes, the looks of it made someone start eating before proper documenting had occurred!

Munchers Bakery
925 Iowa St
Lawrence, KS
(785) 749-4324

Auntie Em's Deli
2311 Wakarusa Dr
Lawrence, KS
(785) 832-1333