Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year in Review...The Wines We Drank

I decided sometime late 2009 that it was easier to remember what wines I drank if I just took a picture. The label, the food I drank it with, I thought that would all help me remember the wine. It kind of worked. I will admit, it's come in handy. At least I can scroll through the pictures in the store to try and remember the one we liked "that last time."

It also made me realize I go back to the same wines. The 1st time we had Wyatt, I remember the guy at the store describing it as "gulpable". On Chambers Street. It's really funny what exactly I remember..

BYOB at Gazala Palace (two TeAwa's here)
Lots of chicken breasts and wine
$9.99 bottle left over from book club
Our thing for Rose

We're ending the year with a Pinot Noir from Crush, picked up on the way home from work. Here's to more wine in 2011!

I think this is the first Wyatt.

We carried this back from Naples!

Lenz, Gazala Palace

To the left is the wine we picked up on the way to dinner with Mari and Jared. It's so funny how this comes back when I add captions!

Cantina Z...this was one we had in NYC and at Anna's house.

This is from the Eataly wine store (thus lots of Bastianich wine)

TeAwa the first time at Gazala.
See, TeAwa again at Gazala, goes great with Druze.
Paul Marcus Wine, Berkeley

I liked the label of the Pinot Project. Grand Central.

My one wine tasting, with a friend.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow Snow Snow

It's hard to miss the snow in New York, even my mom reports back to me what they are reporting on the Today show. She's seen the plow hit the car more times than I have! Queens is still unplowed, Brooklyn looked pretty bad too. It's the delivery guys and garbage men who really deserve props. We don't ever order in, but even I wanted to tip the guy in the elevator Monday night for venturing out on his bike to deliver food! And those poor garbage men digging the trash out from UNDER the snow, off the top, and then digging a path to the curb.

Day 1: This is about 1 pm on Sunday. I took Amtrak back early (the only train still available was at 9:40 am) and we ventured out to see the snow. I am glad I came back when I did, my friend Katie spent 4 hours on Metro North on Monday. From South Norwalk, CT (a 50 minute train ride normally).

Day 2: And this is Monday morning. I was apparently the 1st person to venture out. And the area around Madison Square Garden was not looking much better. I think I was one of the few actually heading into work.

Day 4 (I missed Day 3): We ventured out for coffee and a pastry at Eataly.

Enough people walking creates a path. Look at those boots: amateur!

And this is probably the state my car would be in if I brought it back to New York. Still snow covered. Of course, not sure the parking lady would want to dig the snow out to even get my plate number to ticket me! Luckily, the car is parked at home...where it can remain snow covered forever at this point (thank you Mom & Dad). As long as it's not in New York! And it's looking for a new owner as nice as the current one (just a small plug for my awesome 2005 beige Hyundai Elantra Hatchback).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Almost White Christmas!

I love being home for Christmas. My mom really does the holiday and does it well. We have a real tree (cut down at the tree farm), lots of decorations and lots of treats. I've had the same knitted stocking since I was little.

I think my mom has threatened to cut out the cookies for years, but of course they are back. And I've already eaten about a dozen. There are only six or so we must have each year (but we always have more than that), everyone has a favorite.

My sister pitched in for the peanut butter kiss ones. My dad delivers a plate to all the neighbors late morning on Christmas Eve and when I get home early afternoon I help with the chocolate pie. Well, all I really do is melt the chocolate. But the timing is CRITICAL to the success of the pie!

Saw almost all the neighbors from my little street in Ellington and even discovered the new Trivial Pursuit on Christmas Eve (you can bet!) at our annual Christmas Eve gathering across the street.

I am back in New York now where it is windy, snowing, and now thundering and lightening. So will be in for the evening where I may snack on a few more cookies...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More Panettone?

First, a disclaimer: I've subscribed a few people to get email alerts when I have a new post. Just let me know if you'd like me to remove you. I claim to have the best or most interesting blog out there, but like to keep in touch and let you know what I'm up to.

In this case, it's eating. Let's be honest, especially this time of year. So continue my earlier post on Eataly panettone and to show just how serious I am about this cake, let's move on to more versions!

It's hard to resist the Trader Giotto's version, it's the right price and a sweet cake. Highly recommend. This one was gone before I could even get a picture of the cake.

And then we decided to test out a slightly different version which I've seen around. This version doesn't have any dried fruit, but instead comes with powdered sugar. Supposedly, this is Italy's most popular brand (Bauli).
I honestly couldn't read the directions for sprinkling the powdered sugar (they were in Italian with little pictures). But it looked like you needed to put it near a heater and then put the sugar in. Then agita! Which I take to mean "shake!" It creates quite a mess. Here's a peak into the bag (after someone decided to eat the top).

And my breakfast this morning. I toasted it and the powdered sugar formed a sugary crust. I tried to capture the crackly shine below. Mmmmm....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holidays & Coffee

I love that even my favorite coffee place embraces the holidays, spreading holiday cheer one chalkboard at a time.

The picture on the right is from last weekend, and today's holiday/winter message is on the right.

It's almost Christmas time and I couldn't love it any more. The streets are packed with people in to enjoy the city lights and sights, maybe too many in some areas. But fun and festive.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Panettone Time! The Eataly Version

For me, it's always Panettone time. I know what you are thinking, those cakes in the box? The one Giada says to use for French Toast because they are so dry? Yes, that is the cake.

We decided to test one out last Christmas, just to see how dry and unappealing it might be. Well, it was a moist sweet cake and we were hooked. We've tried Trader Giotto's, Eataly, one from Fairway, a mini one from Buon Italia. Basically, lots of brands. And lots of kinds, including plain, raisins, chocolate chip, and chocolate covered. We started early this year with one from Costco purchased in late October.

So how were we going to resist the piles of cakes at one of our favorite spots? Well, it didn't go well.

This is the pile of Panettone at Eataly...

And this is the one we brought home...
Slight chocolatey flavor to the cake and a generous amount of chocolate chips. I want to say the cake consistency was denser (maybe I thought it should be denser for the price), but I'm actually not sure if it's better than lesser varieties.

Our conversation while standing at the pile went something like this:
"Should we buy it"
"Mmm, yes? But do we really need this much cake?"
"You know we are going to buy it at some point, so let's just get it over with"

I wish a had a good picture of the inside, or us digging in.

I love my Panettone toasted with peanut butter (my holiday time breakfast), or with butter, or maybe Nutella (but this isn't allowed in the house anymore).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Time is Here!

Oh, do I love the holidays. I'm a big fan of NPR on my drive to and from the train station, but I've given it up for the 100% Christmas music radio station. And I hear the same songs over and over. I don't care.

While my apartment is too small for a real tree, I love to see them out on the street. I love the lights in the parks and on the streets, the buildings decorated, and the window displays. Just a few shots from our travels this weekend...

Holiday Bike in Soho & Magnolia Bakery on the Upper West Side:

New York City Tree "Farm" on the Upper West Side:

Union Square:

W 57th (the KKR building) on the way to the Time Warner Center:

My favorite tree guy (family) on 9th Ave in Chelsea. I spoke with the owner of this tree place, he is from New Jersey. They were located across the street in front of the new apartment building before it was condos. I'm so glad they haven't gone far!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Back from Mumbai!

I've been back for a few days, but have failed to post a trip update. It could be that I had a hard time adjusting to the time difference and have been going to bed at 8 pm, leaving little of the evening to blog.

The trip was amazing, crazy, insightful and hard all at once. The streets are busy, crowded with people, and hot. There is always activity and this is coming from someone who lives in New York. But coming back to New York, I found my city almost calm and peaceful.

I just watched Eat Pray Love and will say that the scene when she is in the came and just arrived in India is exactly what it's like. The drivers are crazy.

I have a stomach of steel, but even I may have overdone it on the spicy food. It may be some time before I can venture back into Indian cuisine. I had a hard time saying "no" even when my stomach was bothering me. I never wanted to miss out on trying something new. From the kebab at Badamiya behind the Taj Palace to Sashimi in the Taj palace.

The world is so big and there are so many places to see, I have to admit, it may be some time before I make it back. And the only way I'll travel there is business class now (I know, it sounds bad, but it's the only way to go for a 15 hour flight). I hear the north area is great, and I would love to see the Taj Mahal (the real palace, not the hotel).

And being in the place of the terrorist attacks was a bit scary. I see the WTC site, know what happened there, but there is something about eating at Cafe Leopold, being in the Taj Hotel, that makes it all very scary and real.

This gives a good sense of what a rickshaw ride is like. Two short clips. The first is the Rickshaw moving along at a good pace, then slower as we encounter car and foot traffic. And yes, that is our rickshaw beeping.

A second clip of my rickshaw ride:

And this is the market off the Colaba Causeway, where the locals were all shopping:

And a few of my favorite shots. View from the Taj Mahal Lands End.

In front of the Gateway to India in Mumbai.

Inside the Taj Mahal Palace courtyard.

The rickshaw ride.

And of course, I tried my fair share of food items. Lots of Indian! Though I did manage to get to the California Pizza Kitchen for my first lunch (started off easy on the food front) Then I dove right in. Street food, grilled corn, spicy eggs at breakfast, fruit I couldn't identify...when in India, just go for it.

This is the chicken Sheekh Kebab from Badamiya behind the Taj Mahal hotel. Took a chance, but our driver recommended it after we asked him where we should go. The hotel concierge, Elton, said he used to go there late after hitting the clubs...We had two failed attempts (the first time we were too early and the 2nd we were thwarted by a downpour). But I finally got it!

This is lunch at the friend fish place on my second day.

Cafe Mondegar for lunch after Elephanta Island.

Wasabi Sherbet at Wasabit by Morimoto. Spicy and cold.

All in all a great and interesting trip. Lots of food and lots of sights. It may be awhile until I'm back, but have many memories.


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