Monday, October 28, 2013

Brooklyn Commune Makes an Awesome Rice Salad

Rice Salad
I'm not a rice person. As far as starches go, it's my least favorite. But Brooklyn Commune and is making me rethink that with their new Vietnamese Rice Salad. . .

This $9 salad, makes a substantial meal. It's loaded with seasoned rice, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, thai basil, lemon-soy vinaigrette, toasted coconut, crispy shallots. This past summer I fell in love with Brooklyn Commune's Organic Kale Salad ($9), a close cousin to a Kale Caesar, made with kale, radicchio with shaved Manchego and anchovy dressing. To say I was bereft when the kale salad came off the seasonal menu, is to put it mildly. But...this rice salad is amazing. So many mushrooms! Crispy shallots! Mint! I can't wait to go back and have this again.

Brooklyn Commune
601 Greenwood Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11218
(718) 686-1044

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Shopsins Tupelo "Slutty Cakes"

Shopsins Tupelo 

If you fancy yourself a pancake lover and you've never had the 'cakes from Shopsins, not pass go, do not collect $200 until you do...

Lawman and I have been going to Shopsin's for a decade. When it comes time to order, there's the frequent quandary: get a old time favorite or try something new. Well, "try something new" won out on a recent visit when I ordered the Tupelo "Slutty Cakes" which consisted of peanut butter smothered bacon sandwiched between banana pancakes. Decadent? You betcha. Would I order them again? No doubt.

Essex Street Market
120 Essex Street
New York, NY 10002

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunday Dinner Roasting

Sunday Dinners
This season seems to be passing me by in a blur of school work, work work, cleaning out my mom's house, and trying my best at interviewing--all interspersed with blurry evenings with friends. But I've claimed my Sundays as a day to (slightly) relax and treat myself with some roast chicken.

A few weeks ago, the chill in the air and some potatoes in my fridge inspired a roast chicken dinner. But it didn't come out exactly the way I wanted and all week I kept thinking of experimenting with different marinades, so the following Sunday, I stopped by The Meat Hook for another half a chicken. Now, for the third week in a row, I walked on down to my favorite butcher, picked up my chicken, said hello to friends, and continued my latest Sunday tradition. This week I chose to make a marinade of brown sugar and maple syrup with a touch of ginger, and sides of roast potatoes, green beans and beets. (If you need help on the beet roasting, follow our friend Cathy's recipe.) An hour in a 425℉ oven-- first 30 minutes tented with foil, last 30 not; basting a few times; and boom. The potatoes and beans go in for the second half hour to get nice and crispy. I still want to get a beautiful crispy skin, so expect more updates on my roast chicken adventures.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Things To Do In The Middle Of The Night

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buns
I've heard that when you awake in the middle of the night (like 3:35am) and you're awake for more than a half hour (you're still staring out the window at 4:15), you should just get up and do something. Making cinnamon rolls is probably not advised, but I was awake and hungry.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buns
Don't ask why I was awake in the middle of the night. I've have issues sleeping through the night since I was a babe. You wake up, your mind starts going and you're done for. At some point around 4am, I started thinking about the cinnamon roll craving I've been harboring since Nebraska, where I ate the most delicious cinnamon rolls I've ever eaten in my life! Of course, they're from a store that's only open on Fridays and the last Friday I was there, they were closed and I have thought of those cinnamon rolls every Friday for months. There are no pictures because we kept eating them so fast. But back to my rolls.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buns
There I was awake with a craving and a rumbling tummy. My first Google search result landed me here on Sally's Baking Addiction. I subbed in a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour (Ron Swanson: vegetables is like Siobhan: whole wheat flour. I have way too much of it in my pantry and it makes me itch, and I need to get rid of it before I don't know myself anymore.); brown sugar (I keep forgetting to buy white sugar); and didn't manage to get that last 1/3-1/2 cup of flour into the dough. Around 5:30am, there were rolls rising in my oven and I was finally sleepy enough to fall back asleep. When I woke up a few hours later, it was the perfect time to turn on the oven for these bad boys. For the frosting, I used two tablespoons of maple syrup and one tablespoon of coffee, and it's still a bit sweet (yes, I added some salt.) I don't ever fully frost cinnamon buns as I like to add a little more drizzle on the individual servings. I would use this recipe again, though I'm still experimenting on my desired maple frosting.

And I might be possibly looking up flights to Lincoln, Nebraska, because er mah gawd, those cinnamon rolls.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Help Make Brooklyn's First Cocktail/Dessert Bar a Reality

The lovely ladies at Butter & Scotch are in the home stretch and trying to raise the remaining funds they need to sign a lease on their Cocktail/Dessert Bar. Check out their Kickstarter campaign. They have some pretty sweet perks for donors... From temporary tattoos to recipes to private parties and a year's worth of pies (yes, a pie-a-month!), there are some sweet, sweet rewards. We've known Allison and Keavy since the early days of their businesses--First Prize Pies and Kumquat Cupcakery. The other night we sampled some of their treats at Allison's mom Rhonda's grand opening of the new Roni-Sue's and DANG, they make an awesome rum punch. It's never too early to start, you know, shopping for holiday prezzies and a Kickstarter donation makes a great gift (they even are open to custom rewards at the $50 level or higher). What are you waiting for? Let's help make Butter & Scotch a reality! jump

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Awesome books by Awesome People Make Awesome Gifts

Fall is a big, big time in the publishing biz, especially for cookbooks. And this fall is no exception. There are a ton of awesome books by awesome people coming out in the coming months...

First up, have watched the Robicelli's cookbook trailer? No? I can wait. Go ahead.

Now are you excited for their book? I thought so. Well, you should get super excited for their book release party next Thursday, October 17th at Whisk in Manhattan. Full details on all of their events are up on their Tumblr. If you can't make any of those, you should probably go visit their NEW STORE when it opens (soon!). That way you can give Matt and Allison a hi-five, buy lots of books and baked goods.

four and twenty blackbirds pie book
On October 29th, our friends at Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie shop are releasing their cookbook. Can I tell you I've been waiting for this book for TWO years? Can I tell you that I've pre-ordered, no joke, four copies and I've already thought of several more people I want to buy it for as gifts? That's the thing about books. They make fantastic gifts. Your friends and family members don't need another tschotske. Give them a book. Teach them to make cupcakes or pie. And maybe, just maybe, they'll make one for you.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

TallyHo! And Hoorary for Liddabit Chelsea!

Liddabit TallyHo!
I’ve been watching Liddabit Sweets’ twitter stream with a hungry eye. Last weekend I had an outing planned in the Union Square-ish area so I decided to mosey over to their new Chelsea Market store for some treats…

The object of my desire was their Tally-Ho —a from-scratch chocolate mallocake. If you love marshmallow and chocolate this will make your heart sing. The mallo is soft, sticky and sweet and the cookie innards are super chocolatey with just a touch of salt. I could have eaten about a dozen of these myself. I made the mistake of sharing mine with Lawman—he liked it, but he doesn’t love marshmallow nearly as much as I do, so the glory of this treat was kind of wasted on him. If you have a chocolate & marshmallow lover in your life, surprise them with this treat, they will love you forever and ever.

Follow along on Instagram @liddabitchelsea for the latest of what’s in stock.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bring Rocky's Road Back!

Ample Hills Rocky's Road 
Remember when I won the Ample Hills Creamery movie flavor contest and they made a special batch of the ice cream flavor I created to go with the Syfy Movies With a View screening of Rocky? Well, the folks at Ample Hills are bringing one of the eight movie flavors back for a weekend and are taking votes...

My flavor, Rocky's Road, is my twisted take on Rocky Road ice cream. I'm a big fan of ice creams that are chock full of goodies, so this one has brownie chunks, chocolate chip cookie dough, mini marshmallows AND chocolate covered potato chips. This is the best chocolate ice cream you'll have in your life and if you're like me and love sweet/savory and ice cream that's loaded with goodies, you'll love this flavor.

I get nothing out of this deal, except the opportunity to stock up like a crazy person. There's a lot of great flavors, so go VOTE!

Ample Hills Creamery
623 Vanderbilt Ave
Prospect Heights
(347) 240-3926

*illustration courtesy of Ample Hills' Facebook Page.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What's Your Favorite Hot Sauce?

piri piri sauce
I love hot sauce. Sriracha. Harissa. Cholula. They're all in residence in my fridge. Lately my obsession has been Mazi Piri Piri sauce that I first discovered at Murray's Cheese Bar...

I've been putting this traditional, fiery Portuguese sauce on eggs...cottage cheese...lentil salad...burgers...anything and everything. The trouble is, I'm down to my last few drops. And as long as I'm planning on stocking up on hot sauce, what are your favorites? I currently have a tube of harissa, two types of sriracha, and a bottle of Chili Garlic Cholula (which in my opinion is a sad, sad spin off of the original). What am I missing? What other hot sauces should I add to my collection?