Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brazilian Treat: Alfajor Havanna

It's hard for me to pass up a treat.  So when Mariana, my coworker, returned from Brazil and came around with these dulce de leche cookies, my response was "yes please!".  These are traditional, with the meringue coating.  But it's a layer of dulce de leche sandwiched between two soft cookies.  Dulce de leche is slowly heated sweetened milk.  Heated to the point where it becomes caramelized and oh so good.  Try one if you have the chance.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Twin Lights Ride: 30 Miles

Start of the Ride
I signed up for the Twin Lights ride back in July.  And I convinced a fellow triathlete to ride as well.  Of course, as the day approached, we were suddenly willing to give up on the entire ride if it rained.  So much for being hard core during triathlon training, it's all gone out the window.  But we confirmed our plans Saturday night and said 30 miles might be enough.

100 miles?  
I got my pick up before the Holland Tunnel and off we went to the Highlands in New Jersey.  The ride was really nice and the weather held out for us, not a lick of rain.  I have a nice farmer's tan to show for it.  We rode through the back roads of New Jersey.
2nd Pit Stop.  There was a chocolate fountain here.

Yes, at mile 11 we were tempted to just continue on the 55 mile route.  And then, after a bit of debate, we decided to finish 30 miles strong.  Good call, as my behind was ready for a break by mile 30.  Gearing up for another ride next weekend, this time up and over the George Washington bridge.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Epicerie Boulud: A French Treat for the Afternoon

We were on our way to Moneyball and needed something sweet after lunch.  So we passed by Epicerie Boulud, Daniel Boulud's patisserie on the Upper West Side.  M had the Blueberry Financier, a small cake that was super moist.  I tried, so I know.  I had the Chamonix, named after the French town.  It's a small, glazed cake with fruit in it.  Very tasty.  I loved the idea that you could get a little treat and take it to the standing bar. There were a few standing tables inside, and a few more outside (where you can also sit for service).  I'm not sure the standing bar works well everywhere, but love it when I find one in New York.
I do love my chocolate desserts, but the tarts looked amazing.  Will definitely have to come back again.  And I'd love to try one of his 12 other restaurants, including the Michelin 3-star Daniel.  I'll warm up with one of the sanwiches here first.

Website:  http://www.danielnyc.com/epicerie.html
Location:  1900 Broadway at 64th Street

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cupcakes, Three in One Day

This past weekend was my Shop for Success event, where the YES! organization hosted a shopping experience (with nails and makeovers) to benefit Dress for Success.  As part of this, I was tasked with organizing the pick up of cupcakes.  So I had 3 kinds in 1 day.  

Ok, so we actually picked up Tonnie's minis on Friday.  But I tried it on Saturday.  Tonnie's is bit of a "design your own" cupcake kind of place on 122nd street and Lenox Ave.  A bit of a field trip for A and me.  I had to leave her in the car so I didn't get towed, but told her not to die as I left her with the windows up because I couldn't figure out how to turn the car back on to get the windows down.  This is what you get for the non-driver who picks a different zipcar every time (this time it was the red Prius).  Anyways, at Tonnie's, you pick a cupcake, add a frosting and some toppings.  The place was hopping at 3 pm. We picked up a generous donation of 250 mini cupcakes and headed back to midtown.

Then there was our good old friend, Magnolia Bakery, who donated a few dozen.  This time I sent one of my volunteers to make the pick up.  These were really tasty.  I think the minis are better than the full size.  Moist cake and the right amount of frosting.

Finally, there were Fanny Cakes that were individually boxed.  I am assuming they have some sort of shelf life of more than a day.  Cute, not as tasty, though.  Cake was a little dry and the frosting was not frosting like I like it.  

Lots of cake, that's for sure.  What I really want is a nice Carrot Cake Cupcake with cream cheese frosting....mmm...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Singapore Takeout: The Meatpacking Version

M read about the Singapore Takeout this past week.  I ran into a colleague this weekend and she said she was heading as sell.  So we walked through to check it out, since it's really not that far away.  It was a pop-up in Gansevort Plaza in the Meatpacking, serving traditional Singapore food.
I had the Laksa, a coconut curry based dish.  M had the Buah Keluak, or the beef ribs.  With a little seating, some waters and a beautiful fall day, we were happy campers.  And did I mention this was a free event?  Granted, I did hear about Singapore with a video in the background.  But it was really good, lots of spice and taste.
The area they made the food in was a converted shipping container.  So, pretty cool.  A nice little Sunday lunch activity before we moved on to Soho for some browsing. Where I attempted to find jeans, but gave up and decided I needed to focus another day.  I've given Gap and Joe's a try.  Next up is Madewell and Paige.  Why is it so darn difficult?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Book Club: Established Oct 2007

Book Club.  Wine Drinking Club.  Catching Up Club.  Life Event Club. I think it's become all of these.  Since October 2007,  we've been meeting and drinking, through break ups, new jobs, weddings and babies.  I was invited by a colleague and friend, who went to undergrad at UVA and then Wharton with a bunch of Wharton ladies.  And that's how I found my way in.
We eat, we drink.  Laura hosted this past month.  I went early to watch her whip up pizza rolls and baked tomatoes. And it was a hit because we ate everything!  It was her sister's birthday, so we could have cake, too.  Every first Tuesday of the month. Earlier this year, it just sort of went away, so a few of us would email and wish it would come back....and it did this spring when a brave soul offered to open her home to us again.  

Birthday Cake
We've read so many books now, 43 in total.  We read everything. Hunger Games to There is Something About Kevin.  Sometimes the book discussion is 15 minutes, but we are sure to get it in.  I think I'll make the book list a separate post, it's fun to look back.  And I'm so proud of having read all of them (yes, I'm a good student like that).

September 2010 Book:  Paris to the Moon

Monday, September 12, 2011

Morning: Breakfast, Coffee, Friends

One of the things I enjoyed this weekend was getting up at LC's house (after sleeping well in her guest bedroom), coming downstairs, and having coffee and breakfast at her kitchen table.  The coffee was already brewing.   There are windows in the corner of her breakfast "nook", so when you open them all up, the breeze blows in.  It was just so relaxing.

Saturday we had a little McD's, Sunday we went the sweet route.  Mr. C brought us back treats, what a nice guy!   Ahhh, good friends make a good weekend.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sarah's Getting Married!

One my very good Darden girlfriends, Sarah, is getting married!  She deserves only the best, so it was so nice to start the wedding celebration with a shower and girl's time this weekend in Washington DC.  

Champagne, cheese, sweets, good friends, faces I haven't seen in years...it made for a lovely morning and afternoon.  The weather was sunny and we were on a cute little cobble stone street with yummy food.  Yes, of course there are food pics.
After the shower, we gathered for spa time and more champagne.  And then dinner and a little sparkling rose to toast.  The celebration will continue in October at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club.  Only 6 weeks away, but not soon enough.  I miss my time with the girls.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Paletas from La Newyorkina

We walk the High Line a lot.  For a leisurely stroll on the weekends, or on the way back from the gym.  So I see quite a few people eating La Newyorkina's Paletas (Mexican Ice Pops).  More than just a few. 

After an entire summer of no pops, I figured having a visitor in town was a good reason to explore and get one.
Monday's Flavors
Fanny Selling Pops

According to Fanny's website (she's La Newyorkina), paleta is from the word "palo" which means stick. She makes some really neat flavors.  We went for one Passion Fruit and one Tamarind.  It just sounded interesting, so had to get it.

They are very flavorful.  You know when you get a cheap pop and you suck the juice out and it's just tasteless ice left? Not here, it's all juicy.  She makes Hibiscus, Coconut, Key Lime...

I was told to sprinkle a little of the sweet chili on it to enhance the flavor, so of course I did.

La Newyorkina is all over the city, so catch her while you can!
Website:  http://lanewyorkina.com

Monday, September 5, 2011

Macaroons at Laduree: Attempt #1

Lauduree, the premier French macaroon shop in Paris opened it's first North American outpost on Madison Ave just last week.  The lines were long Day One.  And when we were in the neighborhood on Saturday I suggested we just run by since we were only 2 blocks away.  Run by.  Run in.  Just sample a few.  No way, not with this line.  So we longingly looked in from the sidewalk.

I love the couple at the front of the line to get in.
So, will try again since the office is not that far.  And I'll provide the full report on French macaroons.  Of course, we had the discussion that they all taste good.  Which I can't disagree with, frosting sandwiched between meringue cookies is great, no matter where it's from.

Until then, here are macaroon posts from earlier this year.  As you can see, I do try and sample them around town:  
April 2011:  Macaroon Cafe on 59th Street
January 2011:  Bisous Caio on the Lower East Side

Posing Pepper Farmer

We were afraid Irene had wiped out our Greenmarket growers, so ventured there Saturday afternoon to check in on our favorite agricultural men.  Our favorite growers didn't have lettuce, curly leaf parsley, carrots or celery.  The batch they planted 2-3 weeks ago to be ready this week was wiped out.  And they weren't sure about the vegetables planted to come in a few weeks.  If the water gets in there, it can just rot the growing veggies in the ground.  But they have about 500 acres in Goshen, NY, so quite a bit did survive.  

This is my posing grower picture.  I snapped the peppers above and he asked if I wanted him to pose.  Sure! Then he asked if it was going to be on TMZ.com.  Sorry, no, but it is going up on Jillie of All Trades.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Myers of Keswick

There is probably the American version of the Myer's of Keswick in London for Americans living there.  The tiny shop that stocks the favorites that you just can't get in your new home.  It's south of the Meat Packing on the way to the West Village.  M loves the Cherry Airwaves gum.  The gum with the slightly medicinal taste in a chicklet shape with the hard shell.  They didn't carry it for awhile, but maybe they were keeping track of how many people were asking for it.  Because when we stopped in yesterday, it was there!
But every time we come in there, it smells like home.  They bake all sorts of little meat pies and they make sausages.  Oh, I bet they are good.  I think Fall will be the time to finally give in.  But they've also go the favorites:  all kind of English chocolates, Yorkshire pudding mixes and of course, Marmite.  I'd like to get a jar just to try it.  Even for an American like me, I do love this shop.

As you can imagine, they were all over the Royal Wedding this past spring.  And there are other holidays where they are clearly making and wrapping up the traditional meals of that particular day.  I don't know what they are, but when we find ourselves in the store around Easter and Christmas, I can smell the goodness.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

SBUX all the way to OBX

Richmond, Va area:  green iced tea
Needless to say, we made a lot of stops from DC to the OBX.  Quite a few at Starbucks. I started out with a grande skim latte outside DC.  Moved on to a green iced tea around Richmond.  Around Norfolk I moved on to the black iced tea.  A, my college roommate and car buddy, had 2 along the way as well.  Of course, every drink necessitates another stop along the way. 

What's funny is that I really never go to Starbucks. There is one in the base of our building where I'll meet people during the day.  I do go to the ING across the street for a Peet's.  But hey, I was on vacation and wanted to sample the offerings.  And I did, again and again.

Norfolk, VA area:  black iced tea
May as well capture the outside, too
A's Passion Lemonade


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