Sunday, February 27, 2011

2010 in Review: Bakey Bakey

For my May Day/ birthday party I made myself a pretty lemon cornmeal cake with candied violets. This year I'd like to make Smitten Kitchen's chocolate peanut butter cake, though this year's party will be delayed due to school and work conflicts.

And a pretty birthday cake for a friend:

I made stained glass jello:

I baked about 14 batches of cheese straws:

I made english muffins:

I charred eggplants on the gas burner and didn't burn down the house:

I made fleur de sel caramels:

2010 in Review: New York

We visited my sister twice in 2010. This past October's visit was especially exciting because she had recently (well, not that recently) moved to a new neighborhood, Ditmas Park. I love Ditmas Park! It's pretty, and close to the subway, and there are necessities ( like a health food store and a drug store), around the corner.

As usual, we did a lot of walking and eating, both in Manhattan and Brooklyn. For dinner on Friday, we went to The Farm on Adderly in Ditmas Park. We split a selection of fish dishes, which were very tasty. I vaguely remember a nice dessert, too.

In Manhattan we poked around Fishes Eddy, where I bought some lovely teardrop shaped spoons and oogled at some of their larger reproduction glass pieces, like the cake stands, and the jadeite dishes. For lunch, we went to Tabla, an Indian Fusion restaurant which sadly served their last meal on December 30th. We walked off lunch by exploring the TEN floors (wait, are there really ten???) at abc home, which made me want to start looking for a rich husband because they have some very pretty furniture and rugs. For dinner, we went to my favorite pizza place, Di Fara Pizza.

In Brooklyn, I became a new fan of teeny-weeny Mimi's Hummus. The shakshuka (eggs cooked in spicy tomato sauce), was as good as I'd hoped, and the pillowy pita was outstanding. I wish Mimi lived in my neighborhood, though I make a pretty good shakshuka myself. After brunch at Mimi's we walked around the neighborhood. There are also some lovely big houses with pretty details in the neighborhood, like these:






I'm obviously attracted to triangles!

I liked this neighborhood throne. The sign reads: "If you taka my space I breaka you face":

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Catching Up: New York, October 2009

This one is overdue, huh? I'd like to finish with 2009 before I move on to 2010 and 2011. My mom and I visited my sister in Brooklyn and ate our way through the weekend. Here are some highlights:

We began at the Doughnut Plant, at 379 Grand St.
I think we split a Valrhona chocolate glazed, and a chocolate blackout, and a pumpkin. I'm not a doughnut fanatic, but these were tasty. If I ever go back, I'd like to try the tres leches, having discovered an intense love of caramelly foods.


The store is petite and pretty, and features doughnut tiles:

Next, we went to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which is somewhere I've been wanting to visit for years. In 8th grade I wrote a research paper on Jacob A. Riis, who photographed tenements in the Lower East Side in the late 1800s, and I've been fascinated ever since. Visitors are only allowed access by guided tours, so we went on "The Moores: an Irish Family in America." The building, at 97 Orchard St., had been vacant since the 30's when the museum bought it, so the amount of remaining detail is incredible. I'd love to visit again.

After the museum we went to Guss' Pickles. Garlicky pickles were a great balance to donut breath.

The containers of pickled thingies were alluring, but not practical for the day's events.

So we bought a selection of sours and half-sours:

For lunch, we stopped at Vanessa's Dumplings in Chinatown.

I forget what exactly this was, but it was good:

Then we walked by bags of durian fruit, which is so stinky when opened, that many Thai business establishments have "NO DURIAN ALLOWED" rules. Do not try to bring Durian on the bus in Bangkok!

I bought some delicious eyeball fruits, I mean longans.

They look more like eyeballs when you take a bite our of them to reveal the seed.

We walked by a store that makes cream cakes. While I'm sure they are delicious, we couldn't eat anything else. The robotic cake machine is in the front window, and I found it fun to watch. I should have made a movie.

I thought these peppers were an especially nice range of colors:

Next on the list, the Highline, a former industrial train line that was transformed into a garden lined walking path. The photos on their Web site are better than mine.

There's a spot where there's a window onto the traffic below. Whoops, this is a little crooked!

On the way back down to earth, we ran into this character. He claimed that he was promoting Brain Playground Day, though the next day was Halloween. It was a challenge to pass him on the stairwell, good thing his matter was so spongey!

Next, we went to the Chocolate Show. Yum. Here's a photo of antique chocolate bunny molds:

For dinner we went to Di Fara Pizza, at 1424 Avenue J in Brooklyn. I dream about this pizza regularly. Dom DeMarco has been making his pizza here since 1964. It's old fashioned and delicious. He clips fresh basil onto the pizzas with scissors. the wait was long, and it got a little smoky inside, but our pizza was worth it.




And so our Day of Eating ended.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Coming soon. . .

2010 in review. . . Brimfield! Eating my way through New York! Flotsam and jetsam! New neighborhoods! Balancing acts! Cakes! Critters!