February 28, 2011

{Brunch in NYC} M Wells

I love brunch, but my husband doesn't.  He thinks that eggs, toast, juice, and fruit is so easy to make at home, he doesn't like to go out and pay NYC prices for it.  But when a brunch menu offers tartare and bone marrow, he'll gladly leave his preconceived notions about brunch and hop on the 7 train with me to Queens.

February 24, 2011

{Easy Entertaining} Oscar Party Ideas

Table setting courtesy of Food Network magazine
The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are only a few days away!  If you're hosting a party, I've compiled a bunch of great ideas to dress up your tables and dining area.  The Food Network magazine has some easy ideas for an Oscar party. My favorite one is their simple table setting with napkins folded to look like the award envelope.

February 21, 2011

{Brunch in NYC} Clinton St Baking Company

It was 9:30AM on a Friday morning and there was already a crowd waiting outside Clinton St. Baking Co.  Happily, I was meeting up with Hong and Kim (Ravenous Couple) who were in town for a bit, along with NYC-based Christine (Fresh Local and Best) and Marc (No Recipes).  So we caught up for a bit, enjoyed the unusually warm weather, and awaited what would be a tasty, homey brunch.

February 15, 2011

{Easy Recipes} Roasted Bone Marrow

In the spring of 2007, we took our first overseas trip together to Paris, France.  We had rented an apartment in the 7th arrondissement. It was a small studio apartment, but it had a balcony overlooking both the Eiffel tower and Les Invalides.  We loved staying in this neighborhood - buying groceries at the supermarket, finding the crunchiest baguettes at the bakery, and drinking the tastiest bottle of wine (that only cost us a few Euros). One of our favorite memories of the trip was our final meal. It was at a neighborhood restaurant where we seemed to be the only tourists there.  Since I spoke some French, I ordered for both of us. We had only been dating for 6 months so I wasn't sure if we were completely food compatible.  When the plate of bone marrow I ordered was served, he smiled and dug right in. I knew we were meant to be.

Since then, we have enjoyed bone marrow with bread crumbs in Philly, bone marrow with pasta at Marea, and bone marrow with scallop crudo nearby on the UWS.  But that bone marrow dish in Paris will always be my favorite.

February 14, 2011

{Easy Entertaining} Valentine's Day Table Setting

Happy Valentine's Day!  Despite loving dining out in NYC, we prefer to stay in for Valentine's Day. To set the mood, I put together an easy and inexpensive table setting for two.  With the weather surprisingly balmy today (50 F), the idea of spring soon approaching was my inspiration.  So even when Valentine's Day is over, the ideas from creating this table setting can be used to make any dinner at home just a little bit more special. 

{Steals and Deals} Free Custard at Shake Shack TODAY!

For today only, if you stop by any Shake Shack location, you can get a cup of their Bee Mine frozen custard for FREE!  (It's usually $3.25 for a single dip cup)  

February 13, 2011

{Easy Recipes} Chinese New Year Baked Red Bean Sticky Cake (Nian Gao)

Chinese New Year was on Feb 3rd and we were lucky that the celebration continued for us.  Yesterday, lovely food bloggers Jackie and Ken hosted a Chinese New Year pot luck (if you follow us on Twitter, you saw the #CNYPL tweets detailing the event).  From pot stickers to red cooked pork to banh mi (with homemade pate!), there was an abundance of Asian dishes that left no one hungry. 
Being nostalgic for food my mom and grandmother make, I decided to make Baked Nian Gao, or Chinese Sticky Cake.  The cake has a texture similar to mochi.  My grandmother would make a traditional steamed version for family gatherings (Kian from Red Cook has a great recipe and includes a good explanation as to why it's part of New Year celebrations), while my mom makes one that is baked.  My recipe is based on my mom's baked version (it's easier than the steamed version), but I add red bean paste and incorporate Chinese brown sugar (which my grandmother uses in her version).

February 9, 2011

{Sweet Treats} Hot Chocolate Tour of NYC

While my husband is the coffee fanatic (leading our coffee tour of NYC), I love a hot mug of hot chocolate to warm me up on a cold, wintry day.  With NYC hoping to reach the high 20'sF (or just below 0 C) today, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite hot chocolate spots.

February 7, 2011

{Press} Our NYC picks featured on The Daily Meal

We love providing suggestions on where to dine in NYC, so when The Daily Meal asked us for a few of our favorites, we were more than willing to share.  Like our NYC visitors' guide, this list on The Daily Meal is just a quick look at where we like to dine and take our friends and family.  Take a look and let me know your thoughts!

February 5, 2011

{Easy Entertaining} Super Bowl XLV: Steelers vs Packers Jell-o Helmets

Like many people in the U.S., we'll be heading out to a Super Bowl party tomorrow.  I wanted to bring something fun, so in addition to the salty snacks and comforting chili (either turkey or vegetarian), we'll be bringing these fun Jell-o helmets (that may have a touch of vodka).

February 4, 2011

{Easy Recipes} Mom's Turkey Chili - Perfect for Game Day!

When the weather gets snowy (as it has on the East Coast since Christmas), we comfort ourselves with a hot bowl of chili.  For a quick weeknight meal, I usually make a vegetarian chili.  To change it up, we recently made my mother-in-law's meaty turkey chili.  She's been making this chili for the past few years and her grown-up children love it.  It's a perfect comfort food - and tastes even better the next day.  So with the big game on Sunday, we thought that this would be a nice recipe to have on hand. Enjoy!

February 3, 2011

{Sweet Treats} Valentine's Cupcakes and Cocktails

Recently, my husband and I were treated to a pre-Valentine's date (with 40 other people!) courtesy of Driscoll's (the berry people) and Chambord (the raspberry liqueur people).  Cathy Riva, a celebrity party planner, guided us all through a 3D cupcake decorating session.  Usually the thought of decorating cupcakes (especially in heart form) would send my husband running the other way, but complimentary drinks and good company (Jackie from The Diva That Ate NY and Marc from No Recipes were also there) enticed him to come.

February 1, 2011

{Easy Recipes} Tomato Tart with Olive Tapenade

After enjoying a memorable dinner at The French Laundry on our honeymoon, we had to buy Thomas Keller's French Laundry cookbook as a souvenir.  Thus far, this beautiful book has been a lovely coffee table piece, but this year I vowed to make something from it.  I decided to try one of the easier recipes in the book, Heirloom Tomato Tart with Nicoise Olive Tapenade, Mixed Field Greens, and Basil Vinaigrette.  I ended up making a simplified version of Keller's original recipe (based on what I had on hand and the time I had to make dinner - note to self, reserve a whole weekend to attempt a French Laundry recipe!). The end result was a lovely tomato tart that my husband devoured, mainly because of the olive/anchovy topping.