Saturday, January 31, 2009

When In The Big Apple...

After a couple weeks of forgetting about my blog I'm back again. I've misplaced the camera so I haven't had a chance to take any shots of anything i have made this week. So today I will pick up on my Honeymoon food streak.

I waited 23 years to see New York City and I had 3 separate trips canceled almost last minute. Needless to say at this point I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to see and do. A small culinary adventure point we had made for ourselves was to hit up a few of the popular stands and try the famous treats of the city. It was so much fun running around seeking them out. The only place i wanted to go to that I never made it to was the A. Carnegi Deli and B. Katz Deli. I was down for either or but ended up getting to neither. A late night walk to the MAXIE deli on the last evening was in order to get the long awaited, New York Corned Beef On Rye.

Here We Go!

1. First Stop- The Black And White Cookie!

Seinfeld had it right, this cookie is neither a cake, or a cookie. But eating it cautiously, black and white icing at the same time makes for one hell of a yummy treat. We picked these up in Times Square at the Roxie Deli.

2. New York City Pizza- The best!

We didn't make it to the 11th street Rays, which I'm told is the "real" one. But the one in Times Square and just around the block was A.O.K scrumptious. Very cheesy, very greasy. Just like it should be.

3. Corporate Juice Pimps

They make one hell of a smoothie. Jamba juice was a place we stopped in more than once as my husband has a serious smoothie lust. The first time I had a peachy smoothie. It was nice but it didn't blow me to the moon. They were handing out samples that day of a very delicious little smoothie I tried on the next stop in. No idea what it was called but it has strawberries, Bananas, soy milk, oatmeal and peanut butter. It was awesome. I'm not a big smoothie drinker..or in this particular case eater. But I plan to figure this one out at home.

4. The New York Hotdog and Drink Combo- Grays papaya

When I was much younger I saw the Movie Fools Rush in. In it Matthew Perry tells Salma Hayek that his favourite part of New York is Grays Papaya Hotdog, and for his birthday she has a box of hot dogs sent to him in Nevada. Since then I really wanted to try them and this famous Papaya juice. We took a considerably longish walk to the nearest Grays papaya stand and got the recession special. 2 hot dogs and a medium drink for $3.99. Not bad. The juice was delicious and even creamy. The Hotdogs were fabulous. The restaurant was open, and covered in garbage that had fallen out of the over full bins. Maybe next time we can hit the more uptown location.

5. The New Yorker Sandwich- I think... Corned Beef On Rye.

This sandwich was big. So big. So juicy. I had to take half of the Beef out because trying to get my mouth around it was giving me lock jaw. I was disappointed my first NYC CBOR wasn't from KATZ or CARNEGIE but it was still delicious. Hubby didnt have one due to 2 weeks of rich eating leaving him at maximum capacity. Next time, we will make it to KATZ.

There you have it. I think we did pretty good in our treat adventure. Of course you can see we ate terribly but hey, how often do you get to have a tiny culinary adventure?

The other restaurants we ate it were:
Bubba Gumps- good fun, great waiter
SWIZZ- adorable little fondue restaurant
Roxie Deli- overpriced but delicious breakfast
Heartland Brewery- Fun tiny beer sampling restaurant- food not awesome
The Met Basement Cafe- awesome fun selection- delicious coconut cupcakes

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lickety Split Pea Soup

There is an awesome little shop just around the bend from me called The Bean Ladies. I first became familiar with them at Kempenfest, then the Canadian National Exhibition, then at the Barrie craft show all in a few months. They sell awesome roasted soy beans in all kinds of awesome flavours, along with pre mixed soups.

I shopped there for some stocking stuffers for some fam and friends at christmas and picked up a soup for myself. Lickety Split pea Soup! It was fast, easy and pretty tasty. Very thick but we like that. Next time I stop in I'll grab this again and maybe try one of their other soups.

Lickety Split Pea Soup

1 Package Bean ladies Lickety Split Pea Soup

1 Cup cooked Ham, cut into bite sized bites

1 medium onion, finely diced

1/2 cup carrot, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
6 cups water
buttered croutons
sour cream

This recipe can take one hour in a pot on the stove or 5 hours in the slow cooker on high- whichever way you like. Rinse the mix of peas and lentils well and place in your pot with the ham, carrot, celery, onion, water and seasoning pack (included in the package).

Stovetop Method: Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour
Slow Cooker- Cook on high for 5-6 hours (mine took 5.5)

When soup is finished garnish with buttered croutons and a dollop of sour cream. We added a multigrain tomato sandwich because we are beats. This was so easy and nutritious and all in all a good little comfort food.

Next Post: New York food adventures

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Top Five Honeymoon Dinners

I got married in June and for a honeymoon we chose to take an Eastern Caribbean cruise from New York. The Caribbean Princess has a really wonderful Italian chef who's name escapes me today. This is Hubby and I's list of the top 5 non dessert dishes we ate.

#5: Pot Aux Roux?

The hubby chose this dish as his main on seafood night. I'm not a huge crustation fan but he is, and he was ecstatic with this dish.

#4: Steamed asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and pancetta

This was really nice. It was decadent and savory, I will definitely be imitating this one day.

#3: Cocoa Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Champagne Risotto and Ratatouille

This pork was so tender and sweet, the cocoa was such an awesome ingredient to use, I have only ever seen recipes that involve cocoa and meat. What a treat! The risotto was so perfect, so sweet and my first taste of ratatouille was even more exciting then imagined. The movie seems to have really boosted it's popularity.

#2: Shrimp Diavolo

Shrimp simmered in a hot pepper and tomato based sauce with both tasty and adorable polenta and your everyday steamed broccoli. This year is my first year enjoying and actually ordering shrimp

#1: Garlic and Goat Cheese Souffle

The most amazingly delcious,tart and garlicy thin I have ever had the pleasure of eating. This souffle was featured on the Chef's showcase menu. It was so good that all we both could think about for days was this delicious masterpiece. As God is my witness, I will make this one day. I will never be able to live in a world where I don't get to eat one of these annually!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Cakes For All

3 posts this week! Score! Just a small picture full blog featuring a few cakes I've banged out. I am by no means a cake decorator of professional sense but I like to play around. Hopefully I can take some classes in the next year to help me step it up a notch. In the last year I have made a few cakes I have been considerably proud of. One from this pile is from 4 years ago and my first bachelorette cake ever.

Cake One: The Dick Cake
made this cake for my big sister's bachelorette cake. I was made fun of for this one, as I drew it freehand and managed a vein
texture. This shot is before the writing was piped on, as i screwed it up.

Cake Two: The Boob Cake

I made this cake for my buddy Jeff's birthday. I was pleased as punch when I went to the Bulk Barn because they always have so many colours of dye. I found fleshy colours and it really made the cake.

Cake Three: The Baby Cake

My Friend K.T's son turned one and she trusted me enough to ask me to make his cake. I made this Elmo cake. I was really busy at work that week so to save some time and frustration I commissioned an UN-DECORATED cake with cream filling from Costco. I'm not sure how but I messed up his nose a bit. Elmo has an oval nose and I Sort of made the top of his nose go into the eye as opposed to over it. Eh, it was still a damn cute cake!

Cake Four: The Cup Cake

For Christmas last year my Aunt bought my sister and I both these Wilton cupcake-cake mold. It was super cute and the possibilities are endless. I actually used the top piece mold 2x to craft my boob cake!

Next Blog: The cutest and craziest cupcake book I have ever seen.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sugar High Ham

Two days, two blogs. What a role!
Matty and I had most of the family away during the New Year break and so the kitchen was available for play time. One thing we never really made in our house was glazed ham. Perhaps this can be contributed to the whole being Italian thing as we tend to be chicken and beef and *sigh* lamb and rabbit people. But whenever someone had us over for dinner and made us Glazed Ham I was always excited for the change.
I had leftover pineapple from the new years pizza and so I referenced some "how-to" glaze recipes online and spun up this ham glaze. In the end, this was really nice but maybe a little too sweet. Next time I may need to hit it up with some vinegar to knock it back a peg. I served it with my cheesy cauliflower mash which was delicious and considerably nutritious, sweet potatoes and grilled tomato. I felt pretty good about it, next time more leafy greens needed.


1/2c Brown sugar, packed
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

1 tbsp Frank's Red Hot
1/4c Pineapple Tidbits
1/2c Pineapple juice (from can)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp prepared garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

1/4c Coca Cola
2-4 lb cooked ham

Mix all ingredients discluding the coca cola and ham (of course) in a container and whisk together. Can be used immediately but if you have a couple hours to let it sit, you should give it a whirl.

Cut small diamonds into the ham and rub the garlic into it, pushing in as far as you can. Be careful not to tear it open. Stab the ham 6-8 times with a toothpick as long as possible and pour over coca cola.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour sauce into a saucepan and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer and reduce by half, about 15 minutes. Pour half of the hot glaze over the ham, letting it drip from the top down the sides.

Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. Pour remaining glaze over ham and bake for another 30 minutes until golden and sticky looking.

Remove ham and let it rest, covered for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Easy, just takes a little while to cook!

Cauliflower Mash!

clean and cut up a head of cauliflower into small florets. Steam until just more than fork tender.
Mix with butter- 1 tsp garlic salt - 1/4 c grated cheddar and mozzarella mixed-pepper to taste. Mash up the cauliflower and mix well until it becomes numerous small bits but stop before you get to a mashed potato consistency. This is meant to be pretty chunky. Enjoy!

Next Post: Christmas Breakfast? Something from last year? Naughty cakes? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Happy New Year! A Foodsie Resolution

Happy New Year! Seeing how it is that time of the year where you are supposed to make a resolution, I made a couple small ones. I didn't set one huge unsustainable goal, instead I set a few small personal notes for myself.

1. Attempt to tidy up a little more everyday, because the hubbster and I tend to let the apartment get away from us. Who wants to spend their whole Saturday off cleaning?

2. Cook Cook Cook! We're currently waiting out the building process of our apartment and staying in a loft apartment, sans KITCHEN. With only a microwave, a rice cooker and a bar fridge to keep some milk and condiments cold, we eat out more than we like to admit. We can however have access to a kitchen off and on so I have managed a couple New Years recipes. My resolution was to cook more, eat out less, try new things and eat healthier.

I started a kitchen journal and so far so good. (Thank's for the tip Michael Smith!) In it i made a list of things I really want to try to make this year. Here goes!

Polenta- Pad Thai - Butter Chicken - Sushi - Roast Chicken - Pizza Dough - Pasta Noodles - Borscht - Miso Soup - Yorkshire Pudding - Brownies - Red Velvet Cupcakes - Green Tea Cake - Buttercream - Pie Crust - English Trifle and more!

The list in my head is much bigger of course, but these are just what stood out in my mind. They also give me more blog goals, as I will post whenever I get through one.

On New Years I only had 6 guests, 8 including us. I kept it easy and pretty quick.

The Menu:
Meat Lovers Pizza- Bacon, Pepperoni and Ham
Hawaiian Pizza- Pineapple, Ham and Pepperoni
Family Cheeseball- delicious tradition!
Veggies & Dip- Roasted Garlic and Cheddar by DEB'S DIPS

***Next Blog: Sugar High Ham and Cauliflower Mash - Stay Tuned!