Happy 3.14159265359.. Day! I’m not normally nerdy enough to celebrate the day (let’s be real now, the true reason I don’t celebrate is because I actually don’t love pie – minus Pearl’s summer blueberry pie… two and a half months away from my tummy). I don’t love desserts and I rarely bake because I don’t like to measure things, which generally causes a disaster in baking. But my team at work celebrates the day so I felt obliged to participate. I decided to make a no-bake pie to minimize failure.
32 oreos ish (if someone steals one or two while you’re cooking, you’ll live)
two packs of JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
half a stick of butter (melted)
2 cups of milk
1 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip (go with extra creamy)
As I don’t bake very often, I don’t have any of the right tools. I read online that it’s easiest to crush oreo cookies in a food processor but why would I have one of those when I have knife and hammer skills? As you can see, I laid out Oreos in a ziplock bag and hammered them into crumbs. A lack of resources inspires innovation, guys. Do as you like as long as you break the cookies up. Continue reading Pie for Pi Day! Oreo Crust Triple Layer Chocolate Pie…→
ChikaLicious Dessert Club (not to be confused with the Dessert Bar across the street)
204 E 10th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
So, after my meal at Dieci, I decided we still needed to have dessert. It was LAW’s birthday after all. Have sweets for a sweet year? Birthday aside, I really just wanted to try ChikaLicious. Chikalicious Dessert Club is right down the street from Dieci. The Chikalicious Dessert Bar, on the other hand, is another establishment across the street from the Club. It’s a fancy, well-lit beacon that stands out against the dark, gloomy 10th street sidewalk. It serves a prix fixe with amuse, choice of dessert, and petits fours for $16. True dessert-lovers, definitely check it out. But we didn’t go there. The Bar looks a bit too serious for us non-dessert lovers. We went to the sister Cafe that is way more casual. No reservation needed!
For some reason, LAW always orders the apple crisp whenever it’s on the menu. Is it a guy thing? This is the cinnamon apple crisp with vanilla ice cream ($7). The apples were still somewhat crunchy, not fully softened and gooey, which made the dessert taste more real. The apples were tart, while the crumble top was quite sweet and very cinnamony. Vanilla ice cream was standard fare. Overall, a good, classic dessert that certainly satisfies a craving… but I probably won’t order it again.
THIS, on the other hand, I will order again, and again, and again. This is the mille feuille, one of the Dessert Cafe’s best sellers (according to the server). The crepe layers are delicate and not too sweet. The whipped cream is super duper creamy and spread thinly between each layer. I love that the ends of the crepe are not cut off so that they just fall off in a cascading pattern. This makes the ends have a bit more texture too. It’s pretty and tasty. Ugh, I could have this spongey dessert right now. I rarely crave dessert.
Seafood, seafood, seafood. I often crave great seafood but rarely find places worth going to a second time. I’m not too sure I would go to Prima again but the food was pretty amazing. Prima is a tiny restaurant hidden on 1st and 1st. The space is tiny. The seats are tiny. The food is tiny too. But the food is deelicious and incredibly fresh. Think Upstate but with a nicer ambiance. And instead of beers at Upstate, you order cocktails at Prima. I ordered the Prima Mimosa ($10), with Little Blanc, Raspberry Puree, Yuzu Juice, Rose Water, and Prosecco. The drink was light, sweet, and slightly tart, like a grown-up sweet tart.
For our apps, we shared the crab cakes ($14) with radish, pickles, and tartar sauce, and the octopus ($14) with aromatic oil, nicoise olives, feta, and preserved lemon. The menu said crab cakeS so I left it that way in my description, even though in my photo it clearly displays a singular crab cake. Sure, the cake was good and filled with way more fresh crab meat than flour but $14 for a tiny tiny cake is a bit too much, don’t you think? Particularly because the crab cake wasn’t anything special. I can get that at any decent seafood chain. The octopus, on the other hand, was worth trying. Octopus is often too rubbery but when made right, is chewy and tender. The preserved lemon, a common Indian condiment, added more than just a slight acidity, as a fresh lemon would. Preserved lemons are intensely lemony, almost like a lemon syrup without the sweetness.
I’m so sorry I’ve disappeared off of the world wide web. I’ve been traveling for the past month, making stops in Moscow (a nine hour layover where I sampled watered down borscht, cold meatballs, and limp crepes), Beijing, Hong Kong, Cherating Beach in Malaysia, and Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve also gotten a little lazy. Not lazy in that I haven’t been eating of course. Almost every meal I’ve had in the past month was delicious and planned (Moscow aside). I’ve also learned a few new things from Mama Shi. Purple Yam Mochi is one of them. It’s a great simple little dessert to make and share. If you haven’t had a purple yam before, you have to go get some. It doesn’t taste particularly unique, but its color is so purple and saturated that it seems unreal. I didn’t add any food coloring to my play-dough-looking dough up there. Like most purple foods, it’s also very good for you. It’s high in potassium, B6, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
It’s super duper easy to make. Buy a few purple yams, remove the skin, and steam for 15-20 minutes until soft. Mix in with water, a tiny bit of sugar, and mochi powder, which you can buy at any Chinese supermarket. I only add a tiny bit of sugar because I like to make the filling a little sweeter. The filling I used this time is a black sesame filling. I always have a ton of black sesame soup (芝麻糊) packets lying around so just used that, mixed in some sugar, flour, and oil, and sauteed until super fragrant. Trust me, the whole house will smell great. You can also refrigerate any extra filling for future use. Add a bit of filling to a small handful of the dough, roll into a ball, and squash flat between your palms. Mochi powder is great because it doesn’t stick to your hands.
10 Columbus Cir, 3rd Floor
(between W Central Park & Broadway)
New York, NY 10019
Bouchon apparently means “stopper” in French. Not quite what I was expecting out of such a pretty word. Bouchon? Bouchon. I could say it all day. Boooo-shaaaungg. Beautiful, just beautiful.
This lemon tart was equally beautiful. The crust was not too sweet and was crumbly, which is only ever good when it is a crust (crumbly cookies? No, thank you.). The gooey lemon center was probably more tart than expected but only because I always tend to prepare myself for the worst: overly sweet pastries. Why would you get a lemon tart if you wanted something super sweet? Bouchon understands me. The tart was very lemony, creamy, and had a nice sharp zest to it. The top was covered with a fluffy marshmallow meringue. Continue reading Bouchon Bakery: Lemon Tart and more→
Ninth Street Espresso
341 E 10th St
(between Avenue B & Avenue A)
New York, NY 10009
This cookie is an explosion of textures and flavors; not the NYC scary bomb kind of explosion, but rather, a wondrous explosion of complementary flavors (remember how Ratatouille – the cooking rat – escaped into an explosive abyss of deliciousness when he combined tasty ingredients? Nevermind.)
THIS COOKIE IS AMAZING. It is technically a shortbread (aka. buttery heaven) but unlike typical shortbreads, it is very chewy. Each bite of this chewy buttery treat is also interrupted by the crunchiness of tiny pieces of almond. The center is filled with a sweet raspberry jam that has become divinely gooey from the baking process. The Jane Street Jam is really an interpretation of the classic Pepperidge Farm Verona cookie. I always love a good remix.
Ninth Street Espresso actually doesn’t make these cookies on site. They get their cookies from Downtown Baking Co. Check out more of Downtown Baking Co.’s delicious cookies here. The oatmeal chocolate chip one looks amazing…
230 E 9th St, 2nd Fl
(between Stuyvesant St & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
I love green tea and matcha and all related desserts. This is the second time I have been to Cha An and was equally satisfied as the first. The tea house is very small and is decorated with simple wooden furniture. We ordered my favorite matcha latte and black sesame creme brûlée. Since we usually choose to splurge on dinner, and thus rarely decide to go somewhere just for dessert, I decided to splurge this time and also got this green tea roll. Continue reading Cha-An: Green Tea Roll and Sake Ice Cream→
These little treats are definitely take up a slice of my childhood memories. My friend’s mom would always bring them to school parties and birthday parties. They are crispy and chewy and slightly sweet. My mom didn’t really know how to make American desserts so I could only have them on special occasions. I assumed that these were difficult to make because they gave me bursts of happiness in every bite. I realized when I was a bit older they are actually SUPER easy to make and only lazy moms probably brought these to potluck functions.
Anyhow, was craving my childhood today and made a sweet and salty version by using salted butter. Mmm…