Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spring Flowers

It snowed again last week, some flurries again last night. And more snow expected this week. So I could resist sharing something spring like.

These are part of "The Roses" display on Park avenue that just went up last week. The 38 massive flowers were designed by Will Ryman, who focuses on dramatic depictions of the otherwise mundane things in life. It was just the taste of spring I needed! I'm sure there will be more pictures of this to come, there are 10 blocks of sculptures!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cold. Hot. Chocolate

Seeing that it's so cold out, I decided to test the Barefoot Contessa Sinful Hot Chocolate Mix this weekend. Being someone who usually opts for the sugar free instant packet at work, adds a Splenda and a dash of milk to make it creamy (all to get some low cal sweetness post lunch), this version decadent!

But it was Saturday night and I've had this since Santa brought it for Christmas.

I made a special trip to the store to get the milk. I was going to do this right: no water! Let's face it, I tried the mix straight out of the container. Chocolately, a little bit of dark chocolate bitterness, with little pieces of chocolate. It's like a spoonful of chocolate, it was great. Into the pan it goes to boil...

Oh, it was so good! Like drinking chocolate. I suppose this is how hot chocolate is supposed to taste, after all. Last year I was on a mission to try hot chocolate around the city. I could stay in with this version.

This is my 101st post! It's almost crazy to think I've had this much to say! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

H&H and Zabar's

It's a cold weekend here in New York, so nothing is better than yummy food like carbs and more carbs and strudel to satisfy on a cold day.

It's been months since we've ventured up to Zabar's and H&H on the UWS (too long in fact, our last trip was August when M's parents were visiting!). It was our destination yesterday. The first stop is Zabar's for the whitefish salad and cucumber salad (lots of dill), next stop is H&H for two Everything bagels. And if you ask, they'll through in all the "stuff" that falls to the bottom of the bin. For someone who loves the "everything" of the Everything bagel, it's a dream.

Chewy on the inside, just the right crunch on the outside. Mmmmmm.

We were there on the early side, but later in the day someone will announce over the loudspeaker the special on homemade strudel in the back of the store. We didn't need the announcement to persuade us that strudel was a good idea on Saturday. Cherry and cheese. Flakey dough, sweet cherry and cheese to balance it all out. After all this we needed to take a nice long walk! We made a significant dent in the strudel.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

One Last Little Peak of Sun

My trip last weekend was sandwiched between two winter storms.

On the 12th, we dealt with this:

And then on the 18th it was more yucky weather:

But right in between was this:

Which is going to help, because more snow is on the way tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We Love Desserts, Twice a Day

There was a little bit of birthday celebration going on as well this weekend. Another year older, but I don't feel it, maybe a little wiser, maybe still excited by what all the years ahead will hold. Maybe it's being around good friends.

So we couldn't escape without cake! The big cupcake and wine awaited us at the hotel on Friday night.

And maybe just one wasn't enough because the 2nd birthday dessert was Saturday night. We supplemented this apple tart with yummy chocolate filled donuts.

But those of you who know me well can probably guess that these weren't our only desserts. Let's continue on....

The Ritz offers Smore's by the outdoor fire. How could we refuse? Outside, by the ocean, warm fire and childhood treats? I wasn't particularly skilled at melting my marshmallow. E was the most patient and achieved just the right amount of toast on the outside. Again, delicious.

It's really hard to pass up that fire. On Sunday night, L and I shared "Tic Tac Toe" cupcakes fireside. No one won the game, but we were both winners because we shared the cupcakes. Cupcakes accompanied by a chocolate martini and glass of Malbec.

Oh, and I almost forgot Sprinkles! Triple Chocolate post lunch on Sunday. This makes the cupcakes the second dessert of the day!

These kinds of posts make me laugh. Should I be laughing when I review all these desserts over three days? It was wonderful, plain and simple. Back to the 4HB on Monday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All I Can Say is....Sooo Nice!

It's been a very cold, snowy winter. Very cold. And very snowy. I think we've had some sort of storm every week since Christmas. So I was so excited to fit in a trip to Palm Beach between last week's snow and this week's slush/sleet.

I'm very lucky to have great girlfriends from business school, and we've made a real point to get together on a regular basis. We are spread out among NYC, Atlanta and DC and try and congregate somewhere warm in the dead of winter. It's hard to believe we graduated in 2004. Where does the time go? Things change, and some things just don't change. I suppose that's what make friends so great!

Tonight is just a quick look at some sunny pictures to spread some warmth to all my cold friends! I don't mean to make anyone jealous, but it's just too good to not share! More to come, because you all know how I like to photograph food. And it makes me happy to look back over the weekend.

I played around with Hipstamatic and Instagram for these shots. Sometimes I think I may overdo it with the choices and filters. I just can't help it and like the way some of them look. A little retro!

These are pool side at the hotel, late afternoon on Saturday. Breakfast, walk on the beach, lunch, some spa time, afternoon wine. How much better could it get? I think someone on the trip said that if you have an afternoon drink, you are really on vacation.

I was a big fan of the mini cupcakes at the spa. I may have had one. Or two. Did I have three? It was easy to lose count because someone would come rearrange the plate to remove the empty spaces!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tea Time

Just to clarify, we didn't just eat all day Saturday (if you haven't been following, I'm reliving our Saturday tour of the city which seemed to focus on sweets).

We also popped into Harney & Sons, a tea shop in Soho. We've been here before, but I wanted to take a closer look. We were in no rush.

The store and tea salon occupies a large space on Broome Street. The first time we came here, I was certain it was owned by a big company. Pure Dark specialized in chocolate on Bleeker (Nestle) and the Korres store in Soho always seemed a little much for this one product (J&J). You just walk into a store sometime and figure there must be corporate money behind it to afford the space for such a specialized product. Well, I was totally surprised here! There is a Mr. Harney and he has sons! It's a three generation family run business from Millerton, New York.

What is great is that they'll let you sample any of the teas in the boxes. How many times have you wondered what it's really going to taste like when you get home?

And the tea hostess knows exactly how long each should brew for. I enjoyed some Eight at the Fort, while M had a taste of green tea. I loved talking to her about what she puts in tea (sometimes milk, she said my Splenda was fine if that's the way I liked it) and the family behind the counter up front.

Harney & Sons
433 Broome Street, NY NY

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Macaroon: The Light Dessert

Stop number 3 on Saturday. This was the perfect little treat post lunch.

And it was another place I requested a stop in because it looked new. And it is new! Biscous ciao has only been open for a few months now. Loved the white interior (also very sparse and clean). Both this and Lulu reminded me of the inside of Sprinkles in LA. Except instead of cupcakes there were rows and rows of pretty french macaroons.

This is something I won't be making at home, better to buy it. My mini apartment oven can't handle the delicate dessert (only more hardy desserts like brownies!). The meringue-like cookie has a crispy outside with a chewy interior. And sandwiched in between the two cookies is a wonderful frosting surprise. One Pecan Caramel and one Gianduja please!

I grew up knowing only coconut macaroons from the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ. I've added all macaroons to my diet in my older age.

My personal note on this stop. Shortly after, we were walking back west and I heard a very familiar voice. I turn around and it's S Bazzy, sitting outside her very own little shop, Back! We worked together years ago in Boston, both ending up in New York, and running into each other randomly. It's a small city in a way.

Biscous, Ciao
101 Stanton St (between Ludlow and Orchard)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Papabubble: Candy for the Kid in all of Us

Another stop on our Saturday walking tour (check out my post from Jan 9th for the beginning).

Luckily, there wasn't as much to snack on at Papabubble, down near Nolita (yes, we covered some ground, and we aren't done yet). Basically, they are handmade hard candies in crazy flavors, shaped with love by what appears to be a just a few hipsters.

People pull the hot candy behind the counter in this sparse little shop. We watched them assemble the letters to spell out Dean & Deluca in the middle of the candy. She had the D and E going as we watched. It was actually hard to imagine how it gets as small as the candy below. And of course I was eager to try a piece right off the hot piece. Sort of fizzy and warm.

The flavors are fun: fizzy cola (yes, it's fizzy in your mouth, like pop rocks and the warm piece) and chili mango. Small bags like these are about $5. The way I eat hard candy (quickly), this would not be good for the wallet. They sell large blobs of hard candy in no real shape. I think I could take a hammer to this and it would be a better deal. Not nearly as cute, though.

They have shops in Barcelona (the original store), Tokyo, Amsterdam, Seoul and Taipai. So really this might be the easiest one to get to if you are stateside.

380 Broome St, NY NY

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Who Loves Cake?

Some days we'll just start out from our apartment at 10 am and walk and walk, covering different neighborhoods, spotting something new, checking out favorite stores...and we'll get home at 6 pm. There isn't much of a plan, it's really all about exploring. Today was one of those Saturdays (and it was just 30 degrees out!) and we just measured the ground we covered and it looks like it's about 7 miles.

So many things to report back on, too! So this will be my week of Saturday activities (and we covered quite a few). Hopefully we burned a few calories because we certainly tasted a few good things along the way.

First stop: Lulu Cake Boutique, 8th Ave in Chelsea

This is a new bakery that opened up just south of us. I've walked by on the other side of the street before, so finally had to go in. Cute cakes! I liked the clean interior with plenty of desserts displayed and a sample of the fun cakes they can do.

We couldn't leave with out sampling something, so we got a red velvet twinkie. I think this might be better than a cupcake, because you get the cream cheese frosting in every bite with just the right amount of cake. They do quite a few retro desserts, including Snowballs and Yodels.

I find as a blogger that I really need to share the full experience with my readers, which means we couldn't stop at ONE dessert. Oh no, that wouldn't be good enough for you, my loyal readers!

Later in the day, we brought some home so that I could really investigate this cake shop.

All of the cakes come with directions to let it warm up for an hour after taking it out of the refrigerator so that the frosting is just right. We waited 15 minutes.

This is the hazelnut cake with buttercream frosting and crunchies between the layers.

Update: I like cake, almost all cake. My favorite being carrot cake with cream cheese frosting or chocolate cake and chocolate frosting. M didn't like this as much, but I told him I think it was because it was still cold.


Related Posts with Thumbnails