Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lunch Break

Slow day at work today, so I decided to go out for lunch.  Went to Three Tarts bakery based on a coworker's recommendation.  I ate an adult grilled cheese sandwich that was ooey gooey goodness with caramelized onions and bacon!  The pumpkin spice cupcake gave the NYC bakery a good run for it's money.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Two Boots

What a strange name for a delicious pizza place. Nakul ordered delivery pizza from Two Boots. They forgot the basil on the Margarita, which was worked out because Alison had a basil plant growing on ther balcony.  The Cleoplatra Jones, fantastic crust topped with sweet Italian sausage, roasted peppers, onions and mozzarella was awesome. Here she is:

Friday, October 07, 2011


Not the appetizer kind of apps, but the iPhone kind of apps. 
 I used TVFoodMaps to find breakfast while in NYC, Tal Bagels was featured on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."
Plenty of space and seating available:
 Everything bagel with golf ball sized scallion cream cheese ball in the bagel hole:

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Cluck Cluck

Alison told me about an awesome bakery, Two Little Red Hens, near her apartment.  The name sounded very familiar and when we arrived, I had walked through that bakery back in 2004!  
The decorated cakes were as cute as ever.  
We opted for the pumpkin spice, marble and Brooklyn blackout cupcakes.  The pumpkin spice was marvelous and the Brooklyn blackout was rich and chocolaty.  

Expensive, Overrated and

kind of delicious.  While I was in NYC, Max Brenner was right outside the subway station.  How could I not stop in?!
 After reviewing the menu, I settled on a blended frozen chocolate drink.  Not bad, but not worth the $7+ for it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Rick Bayless at the Airport

I've been traveling quite a bit for work these days.  Airport food food has come a long way.  I had breakfast at Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill to go.  A little salty, still delicious.  Here's my egg and chorizo breakfast sandwich.  
Stop by gate B11 when you have a some time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tourist Trap

At Harry Potter's Wizarding World, if you have enough galleons, you can get all kinds of Hogsmeade goodies.
Have some refreshing pumpkin juice as you wait in line for rides:
Stop by the Three Broomsticks:
Have a seat and enjoy a frozen butter beer:
Afterwards, peek into Honeydukes
and chow down on a cauldron cake!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Made from Real Girl Scouts

First diet breaker of the weekend of decadence.  Delicious Thin Mint Ice Cream Cake.  What a great minty chocolately surprise.  

Friday, September 09, 2011

Gaaaar-Baaaaan-Zoe Snack

I cannot look at another salad. It's true. Thankfully, there are some very imaginative people out there that have created yummy and crunchy snack recipes for me to try. Today I made roasted rosemary garbanzo beans from the cookbook, "Cook Yourself Thin Faster: Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too." Yum!
I actually made two different versions, one where I removed the chickpea skins as the cookbook suggests and one where I left the skin on. Both had the same texture, I will leave the skin on in the future to save myself unnecessary work. Recipe 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 1/2 tsp. rosemary 1/4 tsp. salt 2 (15.5 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss chickpeas in olive oil and salt mixture. Bake, shaking pans occasionally and rotating pans after 20 minutes, add rosemary and bake until chickpeas are browned and crisp, about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Dying Attraction

Went through a Drive-Thru convenience store in Ohio for the first time!! It's like a 7-11, where you never have to get out of your car.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Water Snob

New Yorkers really do think that everything NYC is the best. Here's a $4 bottle of NYC tap water:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just Beachy Keen

Nothing like waking up to this view at Daytona Beach with a refreshing Tazo Tea in hand.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Taste of Chicago

We went to the Taste of Chicago for Sasha's birthday this year. There was one item that just blew my mind and that was the collard green egg rolls from C'est Si Bon. YUM! I wasn't expecting it to be good at all when I purchased it, but the filling was savory and the sweet/acidic/spicy dipping sauce complemented it perfectly.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Sasha is turning the big 1 next week and we're celebrating a little early.

I baked up Alton Brown's Carrot Cake recipe, namely because it didn't have raisins, walnuts, pineapple, coconut, tires, super glue and all the other stuff you don't want in cake. Here's the cake, it's a little busted because I forgot to the line the pan with parchment. I think I'll back off a little on the sugar next time, it is a little too sweet. Can't wait for Sasha to try it!

I ate a preview cupcake and YUM!!! Moist and crunchy.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Unsalted butter, for the pan
12 ounces, approximately 2 1/2 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
12 ounces grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/3 cups
2 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup firmly packed
3 large eggs
6 ounces plain yogurt
6 ounces vegetable oil
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 9-inch round and 3-inch deep cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

Put the carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with the flour.

In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt.

With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil. Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces powdered sugar, sifted, approximately 2 cups

In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition.

Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

Yield: approximately 2 cups

Friday, June 03, 2011

A Glimpse into the Future

feels like a step back in time. I worked with our corporate chef today and it really gave me a sense of excitement. I was back in the kitchen with great guidance. Of course I picked up another cooking tip/trick. Make roasted garlic by "deep frying" it in oil at a low temperature for a long period of time. Yum!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Classic Cliche

When life gives you lemons:Make strawberry lemonade!
I had a giant bag of Costco lemons going bad in my refrigerator and strawberries tucked in the bag of the freezer. I looked up a quick recipe on the net.


1 3/4 cups white sugar
8 cups water
1 pint of frozen strawberries
1 1/2 cups lemon juice


In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Add frozen strawberries. Puree with immersion blender. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Food Meets Science

at Flavorology. Rick and I went to Flavorology hosted by Bell Flavors. What a fun event! We got to see people push the boundaries with their creativity. Interesting flavors included a soy sauce blueberry yogurt. Here's one of the dishes we tried, behold the tiramisushi served with asian pear "ginger" and marizipan "wasabi."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting Eggy Wit It

Well, I finally finished off the 24-count carton of eggs from Costco. Here's a curried egg salad sandwich recipe from Health Magazine that I have really enjoyed. Instead of using super fattening mayonnaise it uses Greek yogurt as a creamy substitute. I made the sandwich with the oat bread I made a couple days ago.Curried Egg Salad

2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 tablespoons plain Greek-style low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 slices rye bread, toasted
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1 orange

1. Combine eggs, yogurt, bell pepper, curry powder, salt, and pepper, in a small bowl; stir well.

2. Place spinach on rye bread, top with egg salad, and serve the orange on the side.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's Easy Being Green

It's easy to be greener and you save green! These are five things I am doing this year to be more green in the kitchen.

1. Unplugging any appliances that are not in use.Appliances that are plugged in, but not in use still draw energy
More Info:

2. Making baby food.I will only use store bought baby food for travel, that way there is less packaging to recycle/discard.
More Info:

3. Packing zero waste lunches for Rick.
I'm still working on this one, getting close though.
More Info:

4. Double the use of the Aerogarden light.Since the Aerogarden provides so much light, I planted some more herbs in pots. I am also using water that would have gone down the sink to water the plants.

5. Use table top toaster oven instead of the big oven.I have a GREAT toaster oven that is small, but big enough to fit an entire frozen pizza. Love it!
More Info:

Friday, January 07, 2011

Oat Joys!

I tried the Quaker recipe again, this time...SUCCESS! Look at the loaf and all it's wonderful tastiness:

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Oat Woes

What do with all these oats? Oat bread! I grabbed the recipe from Quaker's website. The bread looks sad and collapsed with a hard crust because 1. I overproofed the bread and it sank 2. I added steam (forgot it's only if you want a super hard crusty shell, like for French bread). The bread tasted great, I'll try the recipe again without my boo boos.

Quaker's Best Oatmeal Bread - By Hand

5-3/4 to 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Two 1/4-ounce packages (about 4-1/2 teaspoons) quick-rising yeast
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/4 cups low-fat milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine or butter

In large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, oats, sugar, yeast and salt; mix well. In small saucepan, heat water, milk and margarine until very warm (120ºF to 130ºF). Add to flour mixture. Blend on low speed of electric mixer until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed; beat 3 minutes. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape dough into ball; place in greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Punch down dough. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half; shape to form loaves. Place in two greased 8 x 4 or 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Cover; let rise in warm place 15 minutes or until nearly doubled in size.

Heat oven to 375ºF. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Cook’s Notes
If desired, brush tops of loaves lightly with melted margerine or butter and spinkle with additional oats after placing in pans.


Nutrition Information
1/32 of recipe

Monday, January 03, 2011


defined as "the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual". Well my herb Aerogarden was overgrown because we went out of town for a few weeks. Here's the garden post-harvesting:The basil and mint had gotten way out of control and I had a lot of extra heavy cream left over from the chocolate ice cream. Made sense to combine the two and make Basil Mint Ice Cream. I made a few modifications. 1. I used about 20 basil leaves and 10 mint leaves 2. I used an immersion blender instead of a stand blender 3. I added some honey 4. I added a splash of orange juice.

I made a very very sad looking quenelle, so here's a super close up to make up for it. Don't the specks just make it look lovely?
Basil Ice Cream

Yield: Makes about 3 cups
Active Time: 25 min
Total Time: 3 1/2 hr

2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup well-chilled heavy cream

Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer; an ice cream maker

Bring milk, basil, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring, then remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender (reserve saucepan) and blend until basil is finely ground, about 1 minute.
Beat together yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 1 minute. Add milk mixture in a stream, beating until combined well. Pour mixture into reserved saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175°F on thermometer (do not let boil). Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and stir until cold, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in cream and freeze in ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours.

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Dark Chocolatey Goodness

Made my first batch of ice cream in the Kitchen Aid today. It tastes delicious. I didn't strain the ice cream base and I used more heavy cream than Alton Brown's recipe called for, so it is super creamy and delicious. I also used Hershey's dark cocoa instead of the normal cocoa powder. I tried straining the ice cream base after it was chilled overnight (which did NOT work). I think next time, I will do it while the base is warm.

Chocolate Ice Cream

1 1/2 quarts

1 1/2 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder, approximately 1/2 cup
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup 2% milk
8 large egg yolks
9 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place the cocoa powder along with 1 cup of the half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Add the remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.

Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.