Archives for category: dessert.

I have a list of letters I need to write… if I can ever find the time…

And while I find these letters of utmost importance to write, I seem to never have the time!  But perhaps documenting them on the world wide web counts as having written them?

  1. WWF (World Wrestling Federation, not the Wildlife Foundation – they’re great):  There is a wrestler (I’m not invested enough to actually know his name) who wears little black undies with red jewish stars, whose shtick is to be straightedge. And every time he loses, a forty-something year old man dressed in leather pants, no shirt, and a bedazzled leather motor cycle jacket comes and pours liquor / beer all over him.  That sends the wrong message to children!  … not that the rest of the wwf sends a great message, but that’s of secondary concern. (*Note: I don’t actually watch the WWF, so my facts might not be entirely correct).
  2. Home Depot: Why is it in the city that never sleeps, the home depot is only open until 8pm on Sundays?  And why was the air conditioning not working?  You’re home depot.  You should be able to fix that.
  3. Murray’s Bagels:  Murray’s takes bagels to a new level…

    a perfectly canoodled bagel.

    of crotchetiness.  They won’t toast your bagel, they won’t hollow it out, and they don’t make mini bagels.  But my favorite thing about bagels (as you recall, I don’t typically like bagels) is the taste of a plain bagel after it has canoodled with the other spiced bagels. So I plan to write Murray’s a letter, not to request that they toast my bagel, or use less cream cheese, but to request that they make canoodled bagels.  Do you think Murray’s will canoodle my bagel for me if I ask?

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Imagethis post is quite delayed… my bad.

I tend to be pretty good at holidays:  I’m certain to wear stretchy pants and a shirt/dress with an empire waste to allow for bloat.  Independence Day has never been a holiday that I gorged on, until this year, so I was unprepared in wearing stretchy pants!  What a feast was had at Perry Street!  I might not be a Japanese tourist, but that didn’t stop me from photographing our feast!

Unfortunately it was too hot and sweaty to meander by the Hudson for the next hour upon completing our dinner (we tried to dilly-dally at the table, but the manager on duty gave us the stink eye) to wait for the fireworks with our bloated bellies.


these arent the real 4th of july fireworks, but im going to pretend they were.


One thing I do not appreciate, however, is that I can see all of the fireworks reflected on the buildings surrounding my apartment, but when I look out the window, the sky is clear!  Stop messing with me ‘Merica!  Who can I write a letter to about moving the barge down (or up) to the two block gap of the Hudson I can see when I lean out my living room window? The list of letters I will be writing is getting increasingly lengthy (will explain at a later date).

But that’s not here nor there. The problem is that my decision making skills on July 4th were incredibly out of wack.  For those of you who know me well, you know I am the most indecisive person ever. So aside from not wearing stretchy enough pants, I also decided it was an appropriate time to bake cookies. At first I wanted to bake momofuku milk corn cookies, but after spending $20 at 3 grocery stores and still missing one ingredient, I decided to change course and bake brownie cookie sandwiches with salted caramel frosting.

My first mistake was obviously deciding it was okay to turn on my oven when it was already 95F degrees outside.  The second was making cookie sandwiches.  The frosting kept melting, and the cookies kept slip-sliding around! I finally got them to set after resting in the refrigerator overnight, but the second I took them out… sigh…

They were still delicious.

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ImageOh Olympics, I wish I knew how to quit you!  You nearly made me miss my train!  But don’t worry, I blamed the “traffic”, I would never blame you.  Your men’s volleyball team strangely has cheerleaders in striped onesies, your gymnastics gym is decorated in magenta – for both men’s and women’s! (way to exaggerate the stereotype!) And you have a sport called “trampoline!”.  (Or the Tramp for all of you stick it fans).  And can anyone explain to me why Dressage is even a sport? Horses aren’t humans!

I have cancelled plans for you, and stayed home eating macaroni & cheese from the pot just to watch you like a true addict.  I have dealt with the racist jokes of the NBC staff, and the time delay that causes Us weekly magazine to ruin the results (even though I am only on Us to hear the updates on the Trampire gossip), but I still cannot stop watching you!

But on the day I made this dessert, you disappointed me Olympics.  Spain lost to Honduras in men’s soccer! Spain lost! Unbeweevable! The Olympics are supposed to be where dreams are made! Spain has nothing- no economy, and the good restaurants are closing; all they had was soccer! And yeah yeah, it was the under twenty-three team, so not a huge surprise, but where was Bojan? Maybe Bojan could have saved you?

So although this dessert was made in honor of my mother, I dedicate this Hazelnut Pudding to Spain. Read the rest of this entry »

ImageThere are many things about me that my friends find funny, and I find bewildering.  I never knew there was a game called “Candy Land” (I played “Kosher Land” at home) until I was twelve; I never ate a hamburger until I was 22; I have never seen an episode of the Simpsons; I’m 50% middle eastern but I do not tan, and I hate cilantro; and surprisingly, despite greatly enjoying preparing desserts, I do not actually enjoy eating them.

One thing that isn’t strange is that I absolutely love chocolate. 

When I was a wee little girl, while my sister was still eating desserts of “plain yogurt with raisins” at birthday parties (my mother had her so fooled!), I went to an adult party, and tasted my first piece of chocolate.  It was given to me by my mother’s dear friend, and I laid it on my tongue and savored it.  As the story goes, I walked up to my mother and stuck out my tongue to show her what I had just found.  It was delightful, and my life was forever changed.  Until I was 15 years old and I decided to “quit” chocolate cold turkey a week before Halloween.  I was a much stronger person then.  Now I don’t even have enough self control to not call someone I shouldn’t be calling, or press send on an email I wish I didn’t send.  Sometimes, don’t you wish you could rescind that email before/after it was read?  Like “poof!” it disappeared! How did that happen? … I hope someone reads this blog post and writes that app… because if anything, it would be an iphone app, right?  But I digress, this “non-chocolate” phase lasted until Valentine’s day 2007, when my boyfriend tricked me into eating some after I got into college… that was a good day. 

I made these for family Hannukah party we held on Christmas Day many months ago.  It seemed a bit sacrilegious to be celebrating Hannukah on Christmas, when we should have been celebrating Jewish-Christmas (i.e. Chinese food and a movie).  I went back to the kitchen just to wash my hands, and when I returned, “poof!” they disappeared… if only my emails could do that… Read the rest of this entry »

After viewing a digital photo my papa took of my grandparents, my grandma replied “oh si, look how old we look!” “you! you look old!” he quipped back.

So I know when it comes to dessert, he will tell it like it is.  The last time I made dessert for my grandpa, a coconut panna cotta with a guava mousse and roast pineapple, he told me “you’ve done better”.  For the last father’s day I will be spending with my family for a few years, I knew I had to make something memorable… something that will stand up to his all time favorite orange jell-o.

After the entertainment portion of the meal, an accordion performance courtesy of my papa, grandpa sat at the table which only had fruit, and said “is that it?! I want cake!”.  So even before my mother was done with her very short (and emotional, duh) toast my grandpa was already spoon deep in his cake.  “how is it grandpa?” I asked before even taking a taste myself: “very good.” He said without looking away from the nearly empty glass. “Very very good”.

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Truth be told, these cookies are not as delicious as I had hoped. I had hoped they would have been a bit more gooey and pliable, instead of crunchy. They have good flavor, and they look beautiful (and isn’t that really what’s important?) but they just didn’t quite please me. They pleased everyone else though, as they gobbled them right up, way ahead of the store bought variety (although jon points out: “they were homemade by somebody!”).  so perhaps it was my innate uneasiness that was not placated by chocolate chip cookies.

Perhaps it was the strange uneasiness I felt due to my upcoming life changes; or perhaps it is because I am a bit of a cookie snob, having matured around the undeniably delicious cookies from levains bakery? And yes, you’re right, these would make perfect cookies for an ice cream sandwich, but for me, they just weren’t right. 

I think that goes with the territory though: they’re called “newlywed chocolate chip cookies”. new couples, old couples, all couples, face situations and overcome disputes and challenges that were unexpected, and not quite perfect. For example: my father bought a child size shirt for his own wedding: an unexpected obstacle indeed! some disputes actually make for a great ending: like the chocolate and salt in this cookie. Perhaps they weren’t right because im not a newlywed? I had hoped it wouldn’t matter that I am a singleton, but perhaps they only make sense when you have someone to share them with? perhaps I should have made them for my boyfriend? Maybe then I would soon be a newlywed instead of a not-likely-to-soon-wed? would it be too creepy to anonymously mail him a box of cookies? (don’t answer that).

There are lots of reasons why these cookies may have not been as comforting as I had wanted them to be, but looking back, their memory will be perfect, as they were shared amongst the best of friends:   I will always have fond memories of these cookies as the crumbs that flew out of my mouth when I giggled uncontrollably at the ridiculous clues we were given when playing the 20 (or infinity) questions car game for ru paul (a woman known for her hotness who is thirty five years old-ish); the cookies we ate around the bonfire after gorging on hotdogs; the cookies wy ate in the back of the minivan while making cookie monster noises; and the cookies we ate while playing ping pong in greg’s garage, like old times.  great times.

I will make these cookies again as nostalgia for these great times with friends; I will make them for ice cream sandwiches; and I will likely make them one day for a boy. and maybe, one day as a newlywed. and maybe, hopefully, then, they will be perfect.

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four years ago i was asked to prepare a small treat for a friends potluck.  knowing a frenemy of mine would be in attendance, i toiled to find the perfect recipe. something that would be sure to impress in it’s a) cuteness & visual appeal b) taste and c) approachability. they were, a hit. cute as a button, tasty and moist.

i  know, i know, jimmy fallon has his opinions on the word moist: “worst word in the english language”. for the record, i agree (i dislike the word “moist” almost as much as i dislike the word “frenemy”) – but there is no other word that fits! “wet-ish” and “balmy” don’t sound so good when discussing an edible treat!

but i digress: several years later i had to issue an apology to an ex, and chose to make him these as well. i believe he forgave me 😉

and again, last week, after messing up my go-to mushroom turnovers, and having rain ruin a “birthday picnic” (which later turned into “birthday fort”) i decided the only remedy would be my go to banana cupcakes with marscapone cream cheese frosting. they were, again, perfect.

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for ice cream!

i always feel like the black sheep of the family when asked of my favorite food.  unlike the rest of my family (and curly), my favorite food is not ice cream.

but on a recent sunday afternoon, when the ladies of my family came over for an early dinner, no one seemed to care what was for dinner, because all anyone talked about was ice cream!  so i was happy to surprise my lady-guests with some miniature ice cream sandwiches.

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it was all very amy sedaris: a pink cake with pink frosting and edible glitter!  i must admit to having worn a polk-a-dot apron while baking and sipping seltzer from a champagne flute: very fancy. i was equally tickled by the idea that for one night between february 12th and february 13th my refrigerator was filled with nothing but porkies-in-a-snuggie (speaking of snuggies, can anyone answer the question of whether or not pajama-jeans are jeans that feel like pajamas or pajamas that look like jeans?), a pink cake, and some leftover strawberry milk!

as small children, my parents used to allow my sister and i to drink strawberry milk only on vacation.  one year at the famed sagamore hotel, my sister and i drank exclusively strawberry milk. this was the summer i realized i was lactose intolerant and that was the sad end of my strawberry milk phase.  until valentines day!

strawberry milk cake!  i might not be able to drink the drink, but i can sure eat cake that tastes like it!

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my best friend, curly, is one of those enviably zen people, with a cinematic lifestyle: gardening, farming, cooking, yoga…the usual la lifestyle. its amazing how relaxed a young lady she has grown up to be, with a mother as hypochondriac as hers (i love curly’s mom). we have hypothesized that my mother is actually hers, after discovering that both my mother and curly’s favorite food group is ice cream.

curly and i grew up 10 houses apart on a very steep hill. we now live approximately 2,796 miles apart, as we have for the past 8 years. but despite the distance, i think our relationship has grown stronger, and we have become more and more alike…a perfect example of “convergent evolution”.

her amazing grandmother bobbi passed away almost a year ago to the day. she was a warm and loving woman, who prepared the most excellent chicken soup. upon hearing the sad news last year, i had wished i lived about 2,794 miles closer to curly, but the closest i could get to her that evening was to have her father over for dinner. that evening we celebrated bobbi’s life over a delicious meal, and bingo (appropriate for a celebration of the life of a floridian jew).

we learned several things that evening: that my father shlo-shlo had never before played the game of bingo; that despite my grandpa’s extreme dislike of bingo, he is unbeatable; and that when you don’t have ice cream, pots de creme can do the trick.

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