Sunday, June 2, 2013

I am Back!!!

Dear people who grace my little blog with your readership, I am sincerely humbled and absolutely embarrassed that I have  not been able to post much lately. I have started working full time again and as such have been immersed in the training and demands of my new position as well as home life which has suffered greatly because of the new job, so unfortunately the blog had to be put on the back burner for a bit. However, this does not mean that I have stopped trying new stuff in the kitchen or out and about in Brooklyn and NYC. I have also really started to hone my macaron making craft and have gotten quite good at it.

Today I wanted to share a recommendation for a book that has helped to keep my interest in macarons alive; I Love Macarons by Hisako Okita. This book is a very fun fast read and is chuck full of ideas on flavor combinations and beautiful packaging recommendations. I am absolutely over the moon about it and highly recommend it to anyone who has gotten on their way to learning how to make these beautiful looking little treats.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hooray! Red Hook Lobster Pound is Back!

 This weekend was a real treat. Red Hook had a wonderful weekend for sure with the much anticipated return of Fairway Market. For me the most important event was the return of Red Hook Lobster Pound. If you remember I wrote a post way back when Hurricane Sandy "graced" us with its presence. Since then Ralph, Susan and their staff have been working tirelessly to get their store back up to working order. It was wonderful to see the place back to business and making its mouthwatering lobster creations. If you had not managed to make it to this place yet I definitely say you must. The food these guys make is insanely delicious and made by some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Susan and Ralph here is to you and your incredible spirit. Love you guys. We'll be back for more soon :)

Some of the Wonderful Lobster Crew

Lobster Rolls and Lobster Mac n' Cheese ready to consume.
My camera apparently agrees with me that this is food porn.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Macarons!

Lately I have become obsessed with macarons. Not the consumption aspect of it but rather in trying to master a technique for making these little treats. Unfortunately I do not have the time or resources to enroll in one of the pastry chef programs available here in New York but I did get around to going to a class at Sur La Table which was terrific (although you wind up in teams of four so you don't really wind up having a lot of hands on time). In any case as I try to hone in on my macaron making skills I have also been playing around with flavor combinations. Here are a few of those flavor combinations I have tried.

 Chocolate with Blood Orange Curd 

 Chocolate Vanilla Butter Cream

 Orange with Vanilla Butter Cream - AKA Creamsicle

 Root Beer with Vanilla Butter Cream - AKA Root Beer Float

Blood Orange with Blood Orange Curd

I am really loving making these little treats and coming up with new flavor combinations. I guess that is what I love about making them, that the possibilities are endless. For those of you with gluten allergies, these little treats are absolutely 100% gluten free.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day Simple Idea

It seems that much like New Year's, Valentines Day is another day when restaurants charge up the whazoo for a meager meal. Aside from that most often said meal winds up being a disappointment because restauranteurs want to rush you in and out to maximize their profits, so the quality of the food is usually not very good. I say if you want to tell your special someone you love them, make them a delicious home made meal. If you are not a master chef fret not. You can always make a small gesture that is not too complicated by making or buying some pizza dough and shape it into heart shapes to make a very lovely and delicious love gesture. Top it with your loved one's favorites and you are set. Hope you have a wonderful Valentines Day.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mast Brothers - Never Again


It is not often that I write a disgruntled post about food, but here is one for you. I am not the type to complain about the price of a meal or anything food related when I feel I have obtained that value for the quality of the product and taste of it. I must say that my experience with Mast Brothers chocolate has been a great disappointment. I had been looking forward to trying one of their chocolate creations for so long because everywhere I looked people were touting their chocolate as something like the next coming of Christ. I guess it just goes to show that sometimes all the great reviews can only amount to a great pile of disappointment when the product just does not live up to the hype. The bar my husband and I tried was the one mixed with Sumptown Coffee (which both my husband and I love), so we thought it was a win win. Oh boy were we wrong. The chocolate was more a waxy, bitter mess than anything resembling chocolate. The picture above shows the chocolate bar and what was actually consumed before we dumped it into the trash. I have to say that paying $9 dollars per bar would have been a bit excessive, but at least acceptable if the product had been good in any way. At this point I feel absolutely ripped off and saddened by the fact that I had such high hopes for these chocolatiers and feel bad that I have to write what I am writing today. Sorry Mast Brothers.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Simplified Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce - An Adaptation

Hello my dear people. I hope I have not lost you all on account of my absence these past few months. My apology to any of you who might have thought I had deserted  my blog. It's just been a bit brutal with work and other obligations lately, but here I am back with you and ready to bring you another recipe I hope will bring you happiness. 

Winter always makes me crave food that can warm up even the dreariest of days. We have been experiencing some very frigid weather so I started looking for some good stew recipes. I found a Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce recipe via Food & Wine on Pinterest that sounded very delicious. Of course I adapted it to fit my very lazy mood at the time. I wanted the stew I just did not want to spend too much time chopping vegetables . Here is my simplified version.

Simplified Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

2 lbs Beef round steaks (About 3/4" thick) cut into cubes.
2 TBSP  Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Medium White/Vidalia Onion - finely chopped
4-5 Garlic Cloves - Finely chopped
1 1/2 TBSP Flour
1 Bottle Red Wine (Ask your wine shop owner for one that will make a nice stew)
3-4 Medium Sized Bay Leaves
1/4 tsp Dried Thyme

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put the olive oil into a dutch oven  and heat on medium high heat. slowly add in your beef cubes and season with salt and pepper to taste. make sure to brown the meat cubes on all sides. 

Add the onion and the garlic and cook until they become fragrant. Slowly add in the flour making sure to incorporate it without it creating any lumps. Slowly add in your wine using it to break up any flour lumps that might have formed. Stir in your bay leaves and thyme, distribute evenly. Simmer for one or two minutes and cover the pot.

Place the pot in the oven and cook for another hour and a half or so, allowing the liquid to thicken and reduce.

In the meantime you can either follow the directions on the Food & Wine recipe, or you can just make yourself some white or jasmine rice to accompany the beef. 

Below is an idea for you to make something with the left overs (if you have any). I just made a pizza with some caramelized onions, chopped kale and left over beef stew cubes. It was delicious. Here is the link for the pizza dough again. 


Enjoy and savor :)



Friday, December 14, 2012

Newtown Connecticut You Are In My Thoughts And Prayers

I spent the better part of today in ignorant bliss, completely unaware of the tragedy that had unfolded not too far from where I live. It was not until I went outside to pick up my daughter from school that an acquaintance told me about the horrific events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut. I cannot possibly express the sadness that filled my heart at hearing about this and thinking about those little ones and the school staff that were killed by this.....whatever the hell you can call someone who can do such a thing.

I feel overwhelmed with grief for the senseless loss of life. I guess that much like everyone else out there I ask myself, why something like that can happen. How can anyone have the heart to do harm onto anyone, in particular little children? We will never know the answer. At least none that do not posses a heart that can be as dark as to contemplate committing a crime like that. 

As I sit here writing I feel immensely fortunate that I am able to hug my little girl and tell her how much I love her. Perhaps it is as simple as that. Making sure that we tell those we love just how much we love them each and everyday. Life is such a frail thing and unfortunately most of us take it for granted. Maybe if there is something to take away from all the horror that happens in the world on a daily basis, it is that we all take too much for granted. There needs to be more love and respect for life in this world. I will start by taking a look inward to seek the love and strength I need and then proceed to spread that around to everyone I know because life is entirely too short.

To those parents who lost their children today, please know that you are not alone. People feel such tremendous love for you and we are all grieving with you. I wish I could give you back what you have lost today. I wish there was a way to make it all better again. The only thing I can do is to offer my shoulder to you if you need it. You are not alone.