We found it really fitting to have two foodies finally get together to share our adventures in NYC! This was one of the fastest paced weekends I’ve had in a while and I have Chris and Matt to thank for it. People love NYC for the food, the life, the energy. I love NYC because two very beautiful people live there. (Okay, they live in Brooklyn, but same difference). And true to the intent of this blog, we did make some food together - especially for the 4th of July dinner party. (Okay, maybe Matt did all the work, but I had to assemble my dessert, so that counts as making something!)
Yes, the red eye was five hours of little sleep and a three-hour time zone shift that f’ed with my internal clock. Despite being on a full flight, it was nice to be sandwiched between my mom and my husband. The only fail on my part was that I decided to wear cropped Lululemon Groove crops rather than the pants, so my ankles were cold. Hey, it’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference.
We showed up to a bubbly greeting from Chris. He was quite excited to give us a tour of his new place. Might I add that it is a beautiful place! After a home cooked breakfast (courtesy of Matt), we were off to Times Square. Then after a quick snack around Penn Station, we headed off to The High Line. Here’s Jason and Chris looking cool even as the temperature kept climbing.
Oh, and those frozen treats Chris was referring to looked like this:
Although Chris did mention shopping at Robert Marc and dinner at Ippudo, he forgot to mention the little snack we had at the corner of 14th and … shoot I forgot. Maybe Chris will remind me. Coming from California, we have an abundant variety of Mexican food, but we are always in search of good eats. So we stopped to have a few tacos:
Who knows what Day 2 will bring, but I am sure it will be filled with even more food and endless laughter.
From NYC… Only Time can be Square
We finally got together! Two bloggers from two different coasts were able to share a 4th of July weekend.
Actually, it was both of our families as well. Mi’s husband & parents and my patents took the good ‘ol trek to NYC for the 4th of July weekend. It was pretty cool having everyone cone over and play.
They ended up staying at the Nu Hotel in downtown Brooklyn. I think it was a great choice as it is nice boutique hotel with a taste of the Brooklyn hipster trend. Thankfully, that hotel is two blocks from the “M&M estate”, so meet-up points were very easy to find.
We started off with some really great sight seeing as well as some New York musts!
Day 1- SATURDAY:
Coming off a red eye flight is not easy for anyone, especially the patents. However, I knew I had to whip them into shape and give them a taste of this wonderful, bustling city.
We started off with Times Square. Of course it was crowded, but we managed to navigate through the crowds and paparazzi. As the Jason took in the sights and sounds, the two bloggers took a moment to document this wonderful occasion. It is very rare to have s both on the same coast.
We then ventured to the Highline Park, which just opened phase 2 not too long ago. We started the adventure on 30th & 10th exploring all the way down to Gansevoort St. With adventures along the route, you know we had to stop for a snack. Thankfully, there was a little ice cream stand serving Mexican inspired flavored popsicles, like rice pudding.
Moving on with our culinary tour: we dropped off the parents then proceeded to head out to the west village for some shopping. we ended up at Robert Marc for a sensible pair of slim, sexy aviators for an everyday casual look.
For dinner, we had a delicious serving of Ippudo in the east village. The parents seemed very happy with this choice. I know every one was pleased with Jason’s choice if Sake because even Bac Mai was asking for more.
Day One definitely was a success and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves.
Yay family vacation!!!
From NYC… Waking up on Fire Island
I think I’ve figured out my summer beach home life.
If you haven’t been to fire island, you must go. This weekend was a big celebration weekend: Matthew’s BDay, Gay Pride, Marriage Equality.
Anyway, waking up to the sounds of the ocean crashing on the beach was a great way to start the morning. With coffee in hand and breakfast on the stove, I really could not have imagined a better way to live my life.
What more do you really need? The community of The Pines is probably one of the most inclusive communities out there.
Fire island is paradise. Walking on the boardwalks and going to low tea to meet up with the “gals” is just a few of the highlights to look forward to on fire island.
Today is just absolutely stunning. Clear skies and birds chirping.
Time for to take a dip in the ocean!
From NYC… Subway Performers.
I think I was taken aback yesterday when I saw these two guys perform on the subway.
Usually subway performances vary in spectacle: breakdeancers, singers, mariachi bands, drummers. Yesterday morning’s entertainment was quite different.
These two gentlemen board the train car with instruments in hand. Without even playing a note i’m already anxious to get off the train. However, I was proven wrong.
They start to play “hey soul sister”. I was absolutely dumbfounded. The act was creative and relaxing and such a great choice for a morning commute song. I immediately pulled out my wallet and tipped them.
They deserved it. Well done.
These are much easier to make than you’d think. I recently went to a girlfriend’s wedding shower and she had made these for her guests. Thanks Kim for the inspiration
for this post. And yes, she made all those desserts - she’s an amazing baker!
The ones I made were from a recipe I found on the Bakerella site (bakerella.com), with a bit of modification.
Chocolate Cake Pops
1 box chocolate cake mix - I love Arrowhead Mills Organic Chocolate Cake Mix (arrowheadmills.com/product/organic-chocolate-cake-mix)
1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate frosting - I used the recipe found on the cake mix box, but only used 1/2 the recipe (see below for recipe too)
1 package chocolate melt (dark or milk chocolate)
1 package of lollipop sticks
1. After cake is baked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with chocolate frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls, insert lollipop sticks, and lay on cookie sheet. (I like using a 2 tablespoon coffee spoon and hand rolling the balls)
4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package. Keep chocolate hot as it is easier to work with.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra)
7. Sprinkle any decorations as desired or save some chocolate to drizzle on cooled chocolate balls.
Yummy Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup baking cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk (whole is best)
2 tbsp brewed coffee (optional)
1 tbsp vanilla
1. Melt butter in a 4qt. pan on low heat.
2. Add in cocoa and stir together.
3. Slowly add in sugar and milk (alternating between the sugar and milk) while stirring.
4. Add in the coffee and then the vanilla.
Makes enough icing to ice 2 - 9”x13” cakes or a 2 layer cake.
I love cupcakes. Okay, anything sweet. So since it is a rainy day, I thought I’d liven up the weekend with some cupcakes. I’m doing a bit of improvisational work here, so I was just happy these came out edible.
Source: Mimi made this stuff up
Serves 24 cupcakes
1 box of chocolate cake mix (you’ll need the other ingredients listed on the box to make it)
6-8 graham crackers (the 4x4 slabs)
4-6 T unsalted butter
1 7 oz jar of marshmallow creme or 24 large marshmallows 1 4.4 oz bar of chocolate
1. Crush graham crackers until consistency is like coarse sand. I place the whole graham crackers into a plastic bag and roll a glass jar over to crush. This should yield approximately 24 T of graham cracker crumbs. Place crumbs into a bowl. Melt the butter and pour into crumbs. Mix until butter is evenly distributed in dry ingredients.
2. Line cupcake pan with baking cups. Place 1 T of graham cracker mix in the bottom of each cup. Pack graham cracker mix down so mix is not loose.
3. Prepare chocolate cake mix and pour on top of graham cracker bottoms. Bake as directed.
4. Once cooled, ice with marshmallow creme or cut large marshmallows in half and place on top of cupcakes. Use kitchen torch to heat and create a brulee topping. Place a piece of chocolate on top and serve. NOTE: Only put the marshmallow creme on right before serving. If you put it on and store it, the marshmallow will turn into liquid (yes, I learned the hard way).
For my company’s holiday philanthropy event, we were asked to auction off something or a service. Well, Bac Mai’s (mom) famous potstickers went up to the highest bidder. I made these with friends the other weekend and just forgot to post. Oopise. For those restaurants that claim to have the best potstickers in town, check these out …
I have two recipes for filling … will post shortly.
C: Hey There! It’s Chris and Matt from NYC. Hope you’re all keeping warm.
M: What’s the Disney movie that our picture’s from? Something with a dog.
C:What is that movie though? Dog Something?
C&M:ITS LADY AND THE TRAMP!
M: In case you forgot…
C: Wait, are you the lady or the tramp?
M: Babe, that bitch looks just like you. HAHAH!
C: ……..Anyway, we made a fun dish tonight. Mussels Marinara. YUM! I was the Sous-Chef.
M: It sure does beat making Muscles at the gym. ;-p
(1) 2lbs Bag of Mussels
Fresh Homemade Whole Wheat linginie. (not from our home… )
Crushed Fire Roasted Tomatoes (definitely not roasted in our fire!)
Onion, Garlic, Spices, Lemon, Parsley
Well, who knew home made pasta can be such an eye opener compared to its dry counterpart? The trick to keeping it nice and tasty, is to boil for a few minutes. Start a sautee with the basics. After adding the white, crushed and shelled items, stir and wait till all the shells open up. Not that long of a process. Its a great meal that can please all. It does get a little messy, so make sure to have a pug or two to lick up what hits the floor!
Warm hugs from the Wintry Mix of NYC.
Hello Everyone! Chris here from NYC. Mimi, I know this is my first post, but I knew that I had to make it count! So here goes:
Tonight, was soup night. Seriously. NYC has been hit with storm after storm and I had just about had it with slush and weather below 40 degrees. This recipe is actually my Mom’s; she taught Sarah and Me how to make this a while back when I was visiting for the holidays. (Dave, you have this too)
Anyway, I always find a way to adjust it slightly every time, mostly because of taste and flavor, but also to try and make it my own. It is a little time intensive, especially if you get a whole crab. But now after making this dish a few times, I don’t mind it. Its nice to get “in the zone.”
crab (pre-cooked) or canned equivilant
crab paste with soya bean oil
ground pork (substitution chicken or turkey)
Well, not to give all the details away; its a mix, boil, cook type of dish. Matthew seems to really enjoy it. And my serving size is about 10 people. Oops. Hey, its good to have some left overs right? Anyway, it seems to always work out, but it definitely tastes better with fresh crab rather than the canned (thanks for that tip mom!). Thankfully Whole Foods was having a sale on whole Dungeons Crab for $9! What a steal!
Oh, and it kinda sucks that I have to travel all the way down to Canal Street to find most of my ingredients. I mean, granted, I know that not all things are available to me within walking distance, but geez, downtown is far! (For now….)
I hope it looks appetizing! cause it sure was good!