May 24, 2011

{Sweet Treats} Flower Ice Cream Cone cakes

Sometimes the best ideas come from mistakes. After making two dozen burger cupcakes for the Share our Strength bake sale, I had tons of leftover chocolate cupcake pieces. I had already planned on making my cookie truffles for my twin sisters-in-law's birthday party so I had cake pops on my mind.  Not all of my cake pops were behaving themselves (i.e. they were looking more like blobs than spheres). They started to look like dirt to me and this is where the flower ice cream cake idea took shape.

May 19, 2011

{Easy Entertaining} Quick Party Tips with Kelly Ripa and Chef Tom Colicchio

The phone rings. Your significant other calls to say he's coming home AND he has invited his friend/sibling/co-worker to dinner.  They'll be at your place in 30 minutes. What do you do? Once in a while, my husband will spring guests on me at the last minute and I always worry about what I can make to serve them.

Happily, I was invited to attend Electrolux's Party Ready Boot Camp with the incredibly charming and down-to-earth Kelly Ripa and the award-winning chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio here in NYC.  The event was part of a campaign by Electrolux to support The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.  In addition to trying lots of great tasting food, I learned a lot of entertaining tips (that will help de-stress me the next time my husband brings home unexpected guests!).

May 18, 2011

{Dining Out} David Kinch Pop-Up Restaurant at Chelsea Market

Last week, we returned to Chelsea Market to attend one of the last James Beard Foundation pop up restaurants. We had such a great time at the Laurent Gras dinner that we were extremely excited about returning for the David Kinch dinner.  Chef Kinch's Los Gatos, CA restaurant Manresa has been on our "must visit" list for some time.  Our expectations were dangerously high, and yet our experience easily exceeded them.  We learned about (and ate) new foods and we got to meet one of the few chefs to win on Iron Chef America.

May 17, 2011

{Easy Recipes} Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Though not as glamorous as my Burger Cupcakes and Cookie Fries, the Chocolate Pistachio biscotti I made did help raise some money for the Share our Strength Bake Sale.  Don't tell the cupcakes, but I actually prefer the taste of the biscottis because they're not very sweet. They also go well with a hot cup of tea or coffee.  These biscottis are easy to make and are perfect for people like my husband who doesn't have a big sweet tooth.

May 16, 2011

{Sweet Treats} Bake Sale Burger Cupcakes and French Fry Cookies

Welcome bake sale supporters!  If you stopped by our Share our Strength bake sale at Kiehl's last Saturday or just follow us on Twitter and Facebook, you know that I made these deceptive sweet treats to raise money for a good cause.  Though I'm not a professional baker, I do like to entertain (as evidence by the parties I've styled) and these burger cupcakes and French Fry cookies would be perfect for any kids' party or burger-fanatic's get-together (like my husband and his friends!)

Making this combo is incredibly easy; however, they took me a lot of time to put together. The effort was well worth it as our bake sale raised over $800 for Share our Strength.  Here are my step-by-step instructions, with notes on shortcuts you can take:

May 10, 2011

{Dining Out} SHO Shaun Hergatt $33 Lunch Deal

Have you ever wanted to dine like a Wall Street executive but wished you had their expense account? After hearing about SHO Shaun Hergatt's lunch prix fixe meal special (appetizer and entree $27, 3-course including dessert $33), we were excited to dine in style at only a fraction of the cost.  The interior and atmosphere is sleek and austere, but the food and service is warm and decadent.

May 9, 2011

{Food Events} Bake Sale for Share our Strength This Saturday!

Signage courtesy of Matt Bites
Need a sweet treat? This Saturday, all around the U.S., food bloggers will be hosting bake sales with all proceeds going toward Share our Strength.  (For a list of bake sales across the country, click here.)  Along with a lot of your favorite food bloggers, I will be participating in the New York City bake sale

 If you're in the NYC area, come out this Sat, May 14th to help support us as we raise money for this worthy cause.

When:  Saturday, May 14th from 10AM to 3PM (or until baked goods are sold out)
Where:  Kiehl's flagship store at 109 Third Ave (at 13th Street) in NYC

May 5, 2011

{Sweet Treats} Mexican Chocolate Flan for Cinco de Mayo

I welcome any excuse for a party. So while I've never celebrated Cinco de Mayo growing up in Toronto, I absolutely embraced the idea of margaritas and Mexican food after I moved to the U.S. When one of my gal pals invited me over for an informal Cinco de Mayo dinner tonight, I knew that was just the right excuse I needed to try making something new.

May 4, 2011

{Easy Recipes} Grilled Portobello Mushroom

What are you go-to easy-to-make dinners? For me, when I want to clear the pantry, I make our Vegetarian Chili made with Beer.  When I want something hearty that also make great leftovers for lunch the next day, I make our Farro Salad.  And when I want to make an easy meatless dish, I make Grilled Portobello Mushrooms.

I love grilled portobello mushrooms because they're so rich and filled with umami (that similar flavor when I bite into a good steak).  Like a burger, they can be dressed up any way you like it. And my meat-loving husband loves them too - which makes this recipe an easy choice for Meatless Mondays.

May 3, 2011

{Dining Out} Burger Lunch at 5 Napkin Burger

It was the long holiday weekend and I had to find a place in NYC that took reservations for a group of 8.  There needed to be space for a stroller or high chair and the menu had to include vegetarian and seafood options.  Surprisingly, our perfect spot for lunch was burger joint 5 Napkin Burger in Hell's Kitchen.