December 27, 2011

{Easy Entertaining} Festive Blue Holiday Dessert Table and Chobani Giveaway Winner Announced!

Happy Belated Christmas/Hannukah/Festivus/Holidays everyone! We just returned from a quick, but wonderful, visit to my hometown of Toronto. While we were there, my mom told me we were also surprising my dad with a "Congratulations on your (sorta) Retirement" party (sorta since my dad will still be working part-time with his employer - they can't let him go! =) )

So I wanted to put together a fun dessert table for him but because it was a surprise, I decided on a "Winter" theme so he would think it was a table for our Christmas party. Unfortunately, I only had a day to put everything together. And since I was in Toronto, I was without my stash of pretty paper, fancy hole punches, and color printer.

I scrambled and improvised. It's not as festive as last year's dessert table (which I also had a lot more lead-time for in addition to being able to bring supplies from NYC), but I think the dessert table turned out well.  Read on for tips on creating a quick and easy dessert table.

December 21, 2011

{Dining Out} Lunch date at Momofuku Ssam Bar

Duck Sandwich  with iceberg lettuce, spicy mayo, peppadews ($12)
Yesterday was our last day in the city before heading off to Toronto to spend the holidays with my family. So Jeff and I both decided to take the day off (for last minute packing and errands) and treat ourselves to a leisurely lunch at Momofuku Ssam Bar.

We easily got a table when we arrived around 12:30pm. For lunch service, you have to order from the counter in the back space that used to be Milk Bar. After you order, select your own seat and your food is then brought to you. If you love duck and pork, this is the place for you!

December 20, 2011

{Easy Recipes} Yogurt Biscuits + Chobani giveaway + Dolce Gusto winner announced!

For a quick weekday breakfast, yogurt's my go-to dish-to-go. But I also enjoy how versatile yogurt can be. For a healthier Caesar salad, I use plain Greek yogurt instead of dressing. For baking, much like pumpkin puree or applesauce, yogurt is a great healthy substitute for oil, shortening, or butter.

So when Chobani offered to send us some yogurt and fulfill a giveaway to one lucky HLFD reader, we happily agreed. We love the lemon, mango, and pineapple flavors, but use plain Greek yogurt most often.

I've been fighting a cold now for about a week, so I decided to bake some biscuits to go with the French Onion soup my husband was making for me. I used a recipe found in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (a great resource that every kitchen should have!). I love making biscuits - they're so quick and easy to make. These ones were best served hot with the soup or with jam and hot tea.

Read on for the recipe, details on our Chobani giveaway, and the announcement of the Dolce Gusto giveaway winner!

December 15, 2011

{Sweet Treats} Laduree macarons on the UES

I do have a weakness for macarons - the beautiful, brightly colored French desserts. (After all, I've toured Macaron Day twice here in NYC). So when Jeff mentioned that Laduree, a Parisian patisserie whose only North American location was just across the park from us, had opened a few months ago I knew I had to make a visit!

December 13, 2011

{Giveaway} Dolce Gusto Piccolo coffee machine

Dolce Gusto Piccolo coffee machine. Photo courtesy of Nescafe Dolce Gusto
 Having a tiny kitchen means that we have very limited counter space. So any kitchen gadget that we opt to have around has to be compact, useful on a daily basis, and have multiple uses.  That's why we're fans of the Dolce Gusto Piccolo coffee machine.

This cute little guy doesn't take up a lot of space and is great for a dinner party because you can serve a variety of different drinks (hot and cold coffees and cappuccinos). And the multiple uses? Well, I like using it for hot water - perfect for teas! You do have to watch the pour (it doesn't automatically stop), but that helps you adjust how strong you want your coffee.