Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Whenever our schedule affords us a trip up to Maine, we try to make it to Lewiston to visit my great aunt. Aunt Alberta is ninety-one and sharp as a tack with a wicked sense of humor. She knows all the great haunts in Lewiston and Auburn for good traditional New England (and French Canadian) food. One of her favorite places to grab a bite is Rolly's Diner. It's just the sort of locals only joints that you dream of stumbling on when you're on the road...
Rolly's (pronounced r-AHL-ies) is just over the river in Auburn, Maine. The outside of the building isn't flashy. It's the sort of place where you walk in and sit where you want. Nothing on the menu is over ten bucks with most dishes ringing it under $6.95 (the $9.50 price point is saved for a lobster sub).
Crepes are made to order from scratch and are a popular option (my aunt seems to always order them). They are good, but as someone who learned crepe making from my mom who in turn learned from Aunt Alberta (who learned from her French Canadian mother!), I know I can make a mean crepe myself if the mood strikes.
What I can't make or find pretty much anywhere is creton (crey-toh-n) a French Canadian spiced ground pork/pork fat spread somewhat akin to pâté. You eat it spread on toast and while it's not a featured dish on the menu you can get a "side" of it for a dollar (it's in the little plastic cup above).
This past weekend, I went with the Memorial Day Pancake Special, three buttery, super fluffy buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream. It came with my choice of bacon, ham or sausage (pork sausage patties, all the way!) for only $5.95. In New York the same breakfast would have been easily twice that. Great breakfast, good down to earth folks, totally worth the trip.
87 Mill Street
Auburn, ME 04210
Monday, May 30, 2011
Happy Memorial Day! Blondie and I are both taking a much needed vacation. We hope you're having a restful day as well. If you're looking for some last minute picnic dessert inspiration, check out our Stars and Stripes Seven Layer Cake.
We'll be back with much more deliciousness tomorrow, but in the meantime, in honor of Memorial Day, take a moment to remember those who serve and have served our country.
And to my own Aunt Pookie: Happy Birthday! Sending you a virtual slice of pie!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Their June menu is packed with fun summer flavors. Here's the list of what I plan on eating and writing off as pre-birthday cupcakes: the Strawberry Shortcake, the Peach Cobbler, the McFadden, the Strawberry Balsamic, the Raspberry Lemonade, the Apricot Chardonnay, the Ebinger (can attest that the buttercream is fabulous on this one,) and of course, another Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. Can you tell I grew up in the South eating desserts like these? Plus you only turn 30 once and I plan on living it up!
Be sure to double check their Twitter and/or Tumblr before heading out to get a cupcake, not all stores get all flavors or deliveries every day. jump
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Heritage Food, were tender, juicy, and most importantly, big. Excellently spiced, they tasted exactly like the meatballs my mother used to make, and she got her recipe from her best friend's Italian mother. These are the real thing, not a pretentious remake. Those meatballs came with a cheese I'd never tasted before, Big Ed's from Saxon Creamery. It's a mild, cow's milk cheese, that can get stringy like mozzarella, and reminded me of Muenster. At $13, this was quite the fulfilling lunch, in a relaxed little restaurant.
Northern Spy Food Co.
511 East 12th St
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Serious Eats. For those of you not familiar with them, they specialize in affordable, unpretentious cooking that's especially geared towards twenty-somethings just starting out their adult life. It's the perfect book for a new graduate or if you've found yourself on a new, more frugal budget. There's even a section for dating with recipes that will make a good first impression when cooking for someone!
Now for the contest: This is going to be a quick one. Email us at blondieandbrownie at gmail dot com (the button up to the left) and we'll pick a winner before we head out of town for the holiday weekend on Thursday. I will try to mail this baby out as soon as possible. The contest is open to all US residents this time, get those emails coming in! jump
Monday, May 23, 2011
Brownie to this deliciousness, and I knew Little B's birthday picnic was the perfect one. I brought along a tub of Korey's Horseradish and Bacon-sheer willpower stopped me from eating the tub beforehand-and some pretzel chips. "That's some good stuff." "Did you try the bacon dip?!" "It's got a nice kick to it, too." "Mmmmmmm" "Where is he again?" "What others does he have?" "Can we get more?" Then before we knew it the tub was empty. The creamy dip filled with chunks of crisp bacon and given a spicy kick from the horseradish make this a dip to be savored until you've licked the tub clean. Yes, you could probably make this at home, but Korey's got the recipe down pat and wouldn't you rather spend your afternoon eating his dip while drinking beers in the warm summer sun. I know I would.
Kors D'Oeuvres is found at the Saturday Brooklyn Flea in Ft. Greene (176 Lafayette Ave.) jump
Thursday, May 19, 2011
With all the crummy weather we've been having, you wouldn't know it, but it's spring. Fresh fruit should be hitting the greenmarket soon, but in the meantime the lovely ladies at Four & Twenty Blackbirds are working some spring flavors into their rotations.
Last weekend I picked up a slice of Lavender Honey Custard. This airy custard was lightly sweeten and with a touch of lavender. Delicate and delicious. And this week they are beginning to offer rhubarb pie as well as Strawberry Balsamic. Woohoo! Can't wait for more fruit to hit the market.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
439 Third Ave. at 8th St,
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Teaspoon is still working out the opening kinks, but that didn't stop me from stopping by. The prices are about on par with Martha's, and everything's baked on the premises. Plus, they'll have pie! The case wasn't quite full yet when I got there, but they did have these Milk Chocolate Blonde Bombshells! How could I resist a treat named that? This tastes like a chocolate chip cookie made into a bar; it's a very vanilla and brown sugar dough. The milk chocolate does turn up the sweetness, so be prepared. I would have absolutely loved it if they switched out the milk chocolate for a darker one, giving it some bitter notes. For $2.50 it's a good size bar, enough for splitting between two friends or at least pretending you're going to.
Teaspoon Bake Shop
36-41 Bell Blvd.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I typically shy away from saying that something is THE BEST because, really that's rather subjective don't you think? Your best and my best may not align and then what? But when I get over-the-moon excited about a new food find, I have to share, and these days it's the Chocolate Earl Grey Doughnut from Dough that's making my little heart go pitter pat...
I'll freely admit that I'm not even crazy for Earl Grey, but the slightly fruity tea flavor gives the rich, fudgy frosting, a little special something extra that takes these
soft, pillowy, majorly addictive doughnuts over the top. It's like the beloved chocolate frosted doughnuts of my youth on deliciousness steriods.
If their Clinton Hill shop isn't convenient, you can find them in Williamsburg on Sundays at the Brooklyn Flea.
305 Franklin Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11205
Monday, May 16, 2011
1.5 million children in the US are living at these levels. It's not their problem, it's our problem.
For more information or to donate to Live Below the Line, click here. jump
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Hester Street Fair or the Brooklyn Flea, but Saturday also brings the Habana Outpost Block Party to Fort Greene. There's face painting! There's prizes! There's mojitos! It's all on Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Then Sunday is the annual 5th Avenue Fair in Park Slope. Bands! Food! Boatloads of moms with strollers! It's on Sunday, Noon to 5pm, all along 5th Avenue from Sterling Place to 12th Street.
Midtown Lunch Fifth Birthday Party
Saturday, June 11th, Noon to 3pm
155 Varick Street
Habana Outpost Block Party
Saturday, May 14th, 10am to 4pm
757 Fulton Street
Fifth Avenue Street Fair
Sunday, May 15th, Noon to 5pm
Fifth Avenue, Sterling Place to 12th Street
Park Slope jump
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
My oldest niece just turned ten years old and chose to mark her entry into double digits with a pirate and gypsy themed party. She was the pirate captain, naturally. Since we weren't able to make it out to Chicago for the festivities, last month we did a pirate party reprise at my in-laws house complete with pirate monkey cupcakes made by yours truly...
Inspired by Little B's pirate monkey gear from Gymboree, I created these cupcakes with captain and first mate monkeys. I thought I was finished Jolly Rogering up the pirate hats when I discovered a few plain black caps in the bunch. Since I had already dyed my remaining frosting red, I decided to give them red skulls and cross bones, I think the effect was kind of fun. The cake itself is the adapted mud cake recipe I made for Brooklyn Kitchen's Cupcake Cookoff a couple of years ago and the liners are from Reynolds new "Stay Brite Baking Cup" line. True to their word they stayed bright in the oven.
Next up later this month is Little B's birthday. I'd better get cracking on my idea for the little guy's cake. I'm thinking of going with a banana cake or a pumpkin cake--something not very sweet. Any recommendations for first birthday cake recipes?
In the meantime, here's a little birthday shoutout to another favorite May baby, my Lil Bobo! Hope you enjoy your special day! You may be able to drive, and vote and rent a car, but you'll always be my little brother. Love you!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Uncle Ray's Potato Chips. I just so happened to need a snack to accompany the tailgating! I'm always looking for a chip comparable to Zapp's dill chips, and Uncle Ray's would be good in a pinch. While Zapp's are kettle cooked, Ray's are the normal thin slice, and the dill flavor would need a bit more kick to really get me hooked. They were nice to munch on though, not too greasy nor did they leave my hands coated with flavoring. jump
Monday, May 9, 2011
Dough doughnuts. Everyone seems to be raving about them, and I'll be more inclined to try one without having to trek anywhere. Too bad I'd already wrecked my diet that weekend, so no doughnuts for me! One day, one day.
Red Hook Vendors had made the trip up! Pupusas for everyone! I may still travel to Red Hook on occasion, but with this so much closer, it's a no brainer.
People's Pops for some red plum shaved ice. I love that their treats aren't laced with tons of sugar, making this shaved ice just the right treat for cooling down without feeling gross or getting too sticky.
Liddabit stand, I KNEW I needed to get something. After careful consideration, I decided to take home one of their King candy bars. At $6.50, these are some pricey candy bars, but it's all homemade and incredibly delicious. And the higher price is a good way to make this more of a treat rather than an every day occurrence. The King is peanut butter nougat with a brown sugar-brown butter cookie, and fresh banana ganache, all covered with milk chocolate. You're not buying this in any grocery store. I was pleasantly surprised by how much the banana flavor came though, it's completely equal with the peanut butter. I liked that it's covered in milk chocolate, anything darker would have been too sharp for the flavors.
The Brooklyn Flea is in Williamsburg on Sundays from 10am to 5pm, rain or shine. It's located on North 6th Street between Kent and the East River.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Happy Mother's Day! Be good to your mom!
For further Golden Girls cupcake pleasure check out this link to a classic Betty White/Bea Arthur scene where Rose and Dorothy have a conversation about "cupcakes."
Rose: No offense Dorothy but your cupcakes are dry and tasteless, nobody ever wants to try your cupcakes!
Dorothy: My cupcakes are moist and delicious. Men LOVE my cupcakes.
Rose: Get a clue Dorothy, men would rather PAY for cupcakes!
For more frosted celebs check out:
Fashion Designer Cupcakes (Donatella Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, and Betsey Johnson)
Lady Gaga Cupcakes
Liza Minnelli Cupcake
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
It was too late in the afternoon for me to go for one of my usual espresso based drinks, so on a whim, I decided to try a small serving ($3) of the cioccolata con panna from Eataly's Lavazza Café, which I figured given my relationship with hot chocolate would more than satisfy. But I was wrong. Oh so, wrong, because the cioccolata con panna is hot chocolate perfection. It's dark and rich, sweet without being too sweet and ever so slightly thickened--there's nothing watery about this cup. The small is enough for an afternoon sugar rush or to take the edge off a sweets craving, but consider yourself warned that you'll probably regret not ordering the larger size.
200 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Regular Softee season is already well underway, but tomorrow marks the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck's inaugural run of the 2011 season. Salty pimps, oh how I've missed thee! Best of all Doug and Bryan are back with some VERY BIG news...
Serious Eats NY has the full scoop (*sorry, I couldn't resist), but the long and short of it is, BGICT is coming out with a book with Abrams in 2012! And Doug promises: "our book isn't just recipes. I'll also share things like my preferred way to shoo heroin dealers away from your ice cream truck." Ice cream and life lessons. What more could you want?
The truck should be in place at Broadway and 17th tomorrow afternoon (check their twitter feed @biggayicecream for timing. I can't wait for my first Bea Arthur of the season. That sounds really wrong, and yet...
Monday, May 2, 2011
olive oil mayo (personal note: I love this stuff!) and potato sticks. Potato sticks still take me back to being a kid and placing them on my tuna fish!