And here is a picture of a comparable tree! Still looks pretty good from a few feet away!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
And here is a picture of a comparable tree! Still looks pretty good from a few feet away!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Thanks to Reynold's for selling their oven bags and making turkeys delicious for families across the country. Seriously. We had a 14 pound turkey that cooked in about 2 - 2.5 hours. We let it rest until ready for carving and it was perfect. And for those that worried about the beautiful browning of the skin, it wasn't a problem for us!
The only negative to this cooking process? We were too lazy to take the entire turkey out of the bag so we simply carved it while it was still inside the bag. It made for less messy cleaning but we lost some of the OOOH and AHHHing effect of seeing the whole turkey.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Cheesecake:9 inch graham cracker crust
2 packages of 8 oz cream cheese (I used a lower-fat version)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (or a little more for more pumpkin flavor)
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of ground cloves
Optional: vanilla extract
Directions:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar. Add the spices/salt/vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Beat in the eggs until the mixture is creamy. Pour the batter into the crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the center comes out clean with a toothpick. It should poof up a little like a balloon when it is done. Let cool before decorating with whipped cream.
I made my own whipping cream by beating heavy cream, sugar ream and vanilla extract. It was really easy to decorate by creating my own piping bag with a ziploc bag and cutting the tip off the corner. Voila!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Here are some general tips for making the filling that I found from reading different recipes. It starts out with a basic 1 pound of ground beef, 1/2 onion chopped, salt and pepper to taste, and 2 tablespoons of curry. Simple enough. I actually used an entire small onion because I like to have different filling texture in my mouth. Plus I love the taste of curry, so I added in an extra tablespoon of curry along with dashes of garlic powder and pepper.
Lastly, and here is the secret, adding a binding ingredient such as mashed potatoes or bread crumbs to the filling makes a world of a difference. We mashed two small potatoes and cooked it with the beef mixture. It was fantastic! This prevented the beef from becoming too crumbly. Others have used added yogurt but I wanted to keep it similar to the Indian samosa.
And here is a picture of the making of the beef pastry. Spoon in 2 tablespoons of the filling on one side of the dough. I cut the pastry dough into squares and folded them into triangles. Don't worry about overstuffing the pastries since it is always better to have more meat inside than less. I used a fork to help seal the edges and give it a nice look.
And here they are, all finished and ready to be frozen in my freezer! We cooked some right away at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, which was not necessary (almost got a little burnt). But watch your oven carefully since it just needs to be reheated. You may want to brush the pastries with an eggwash before putting them in an oven, for a nice pretty golden color.
Enjoy! I can't wait to enjoy my pastries in the upcoming days!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Look! Ticker tape! Er....your old tax forms.
The last float in the parade. It was hilarious that it collapsed before it went down the parade line.
The crowds! This is my only chance to view the players....by jumping up and down through the heads and cameras.
Monday, November 9, 2009
We were given a solid square of chocolate and a short pamphlet on the different chocolate varieties. Mine was milk chocolate in a butter biscuit, my absolute favorite. There are different sizes in their chocolate bars, with the standard size being 100g while a king-sized bar is 250g.
Here are some of their enticing flavors: Cornflakes (how freaking neat would that taste?!), Cappuccino, White Whole Hazelnuts, Caramel Nuts, Butter Biscuit, Marzipan, Peppermint, Raisins & Hazelnut, Whole Almonds, Yogurt...Oh which one should I try first?!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Purchase your Holiday Cards, Photo Books, Mugs and hundreds of other products at Kodak!
Here are coupon codes for 40% off your order at the Kodak Gallery. If none of them work (only one per order), please leave a comment and I will post up additional codes. Expires 12/1/2009.
44 West 63rd Street (btwn Broadway & Columbus)
New York, NY 10023
Ever since our weekend trip to Boston, we have been searching for equally delicious seafood restaurants in Manhattan. Forget the chain restaurants (aka McCormick's and Red Lobster)! We want good chowda, raw bar and grilled lobster!! So did Ed's Chowder House deliver?? Hmm it came pretty close. Read the following review closely before your first visit!
Pros: With the name 'chowder' in the restaurant name, we *had* to eat the chowder. And based on previous reviews and the waiter's recommendation, we had to eat "Ed's loaded shellfish chowder." This is a New England based chowder and then filled with a big chunk of scallop and shrimp! There were unmistakable chunks of clams as well and it made it all delicious! We were almost full from just eating the loaded chowder. Almost. Next, we tasted the Scallop Ravioli with white wine sauce & herbs ($12). Normally, I'm not a fan of scallops but the wine sauce and herbs made this dish absolutely to-die for!! I am definitely going to eat this again in my next visit. Our next appetizer came from the bar-menu. We wanted to try the jumbo lump crab cake from the entree section but we didn't want to order it as our entrees. So luckily we knew (from reading other reviews, hehe) that we could order ONE crab cake which is from the bar menu. Omigosh, this was also delicious - chunky crab meat over a delicious sauce. Sigh, heaven.
Cons: The cons are mostly relegated for our entrees. And it's only because we were so full from our appetizers that we couldn't really enjoy our entrees. I ordered the peppered tuna steak frites with herb butter ($28). Did not love it but only because they overcooked my tuna - I wanted it rare. Jander ordered the moist grilled lobster over a bed of julienned vegetables ($16 per pound with a minimum of 1.5 lbs). According to previous reviews, this is a very popular dish. However, they failed to warn us about the amount of butter used in the dish. They must have melted at least 3 sticks of butter in that one plate!!! And the worst part is, even the vegetables were cooked in butter. Seriously...I could feel my pores oozing with butter after tasting a bite of lobster. I would recommend trying the simple lobster.
Note: The entrees in the menu are divided into 'simple' and 'composed.' The composed items are cooked in a sauce and come with vegetables. And the simple are without sauce/vegetables. Given our experience with the sauces in their entrees, we will go with SIMPLE in the future!
Overall, we found the food delicious and the patrons in the restaurant a bit pretentious. It's definitely a fancy type of restaurant with the average age in the 40's range. Previous reviews have noted the lack of food knowledge by the waiters. Luckily we did not experience that...but I did notice that there were many 'hosts' in the restaurant. At first, I mistook them as guests in the restaurant because I've never seen so many male 'hosts' in a restaurant. They wore blazers and nice pants so I figured they would be patrons. Last observation, since the restaurant is inside the Empire Hotel, I had to 'leave' the restaurant to use the bathroom. I cannot wait to go back here and try their other appetizer options!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Sara G. Strauss. She is a local designer based in Brooklyn and makes unique whimsical pieces. Her style is to infuse a twist to traditional style. Here is the necklace that caught my eye. It was a bit short for my neck and I did not want to wear it like a chocker (do I have a thick neck? haha). But Sara was super nice, she asked me how long I wanted the necklace and then whipped out her tools to add in 2-3 inches of extra chain. Voila! Won't it look absolutely fab against a neutral v-neck sweater?
And here is the pair of earrings that caught my eye...there is actually a third link to the pair of earrings (another bellflower and stone) but I thought it was too long so I asked the designer to remove it. Again, customized jewelry! As my friend said to me "That is totally you! And the original length is totally me." I am so glad I purchased these two pieces...and I wish I brought more because the prices were so good!! (Shhh, don't tell my husabnd that).
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Want to hear more about my fun night? And see pictures of my jewelry purchases? Oh and did I mention the awesome beer and food pairing event? Stay tuned for my next post!
Monday, October 19, 2009
And the best part of the event for me? It was free and there was a gift (swag) bag worth over $100! Here are some of the notable items: animal print purse, glam business card holder, tarte eyeshadow, day moisurizer, Tepper Jackson card wallet among other coupons such as a $50 make-up consultation at Paul Labrecque salon & spa.
Click here to see future tour dates! The GOT book tour may be coming to a city near you!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
41 St. Marks Pl., New York, NY 10003
Surprisingly I didn't have my camera so I couldn't take pictures of the food, but trust me when I say...we would've finished eating everything on our plate before I take out the camera! So before I begin, the restaurant is very non-descript on the outside. There is a blackboard sign with the name of the restaurant, but otherwise it is easy to miss. This place is apparently quite popular for brunch, and it is quite easy to taste why...the food was fresh and tasty. Here is a link to a menu I found on-line but there were a few things that were not listed. Diana's Breakfast (two eggs any style with labana cheese, hummus and pita) was quite popular among patrons. My fellow eating buddies ordered the popular pumpkin pancakes cinnamon yogurt. The freshly squeezed orange juice was also a highlight at this restaurant. Yum yum. Lastly, there is a brunch option that has smoked salmon over a potato pancake and hollandaise eggs....highly recommend that as well!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Here is what the tote bag looks like before it is assembled. Looks like quite a mess, eh?
After a few zips, the bag is fully assembled! The one on the left is a hip-banging purse and the one on the right is a messenger bag. And the best thing about this bag? If I don't feel like using it, I can unzip it roll it up into a ball. And because the zipper is so light-weight, the entire bag is very light - awesome for those travel trips.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Also at the Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown. According to our tour guide, the smaller the store sign in Chinatown, the better the food and service!
Dessert at Grill 23 and Bar restaurant. While this restaurant is right next to the Salvation Army, don't let that fool ya. A dress code is probably required even though we showed up in shorts, sneaks and sweatshirts!
And here is their version of creme brulee. Sadly not the best that we've had.
This was rated the best dish in Elephant Walk by Stuff Magazine. The seared Tuna was delicious, and part of their French dishes.
This was our meal at the Union Oyster House, during our Freedom Trail walk. I had the lobster roll sandwich (picture not shown) but I thought the fried oyster sandwich was really yummy!
Finally, where is the search for delicious seafood without a picture of a lobster?!! Well here you go...run to Quincy Market and park yourself in the bar stool and enjoy a fresh steamed lobster, chowder and corn for $18.50.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Even though the name of the company is Yes to Carrots, there are other product lines that are specific to different skin types, such as tomatoes, carrots and a special one for exfoliating skin.
The last picture are the gift bags that we gave to our guests! Each one contained a lip butter (similar to chapstick), a headband used for preventing hair on the face, and samples of their cream and facial washes. According to one guest, she said her face felt "rejuvenated" and "refreshed" after using the samples!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Here's a picture of my half-eaten cheesecake before I realized I didn't take a picture of it! It was soon devoured after this picture was taken.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Here is a picture of the frozen tofu pouches. Just make sure you defrost before using.
And the secret to making sushi rice? This bottle of sushi seasoning. There's no need to mix vinegar and sugar anymore!
Make short-grain rice using your normal method. Mix in 4 tablespoons of the sushi seasoning to a bowl of rice (to taste). Fan the rice while mixing in the mixture to cool the rice! Sprinkle in white sesame seeds into the sushi rice (optional).
Looks yummy and is very easy to make!!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Can you spot him in this picture above? He's standing in front of the flag.