Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rainy Days=BAKING!!

So... it feels like fall. Official. It's fall... GOODBYE SUMMER! GOODBYE TAN!

The good news is that, yesterday, I felt that need to bake... I LOVE baking. It's really my passion!

But before beginning to bake, I prepared dinner... Friday night is officially budget, cook-with-what-I-already-have night!

So it was a simple dinner of brown rice, tamagoyaki (for Ed), nira-tama (for me... its scrambled eggs with leeks but I added some eringi mushrooms too), and a special potato creation for my potato lover boyfriend.

With simple ingredients of a potato, parmesan cheese, swiss cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper, I came up with this fun side dish!

Slices of potato are layered in a homemade tinfoil cup with parmesan, swiss, and salt and pepper. I then baked it to make it ooey-gooey!

And now onto the good stuff... COOKIES!
I had 2 things in mind while deciding what to bake:
1. Use only ingredients that I had in the pantry.
2. Make cookies.

So with my criteria I decided to make Double Chocolate Chip cookies from Martha Stewart. The recipe can be found here!

Since seeing so many chocolate cookies by the members of Tuesdays With Dorie, such as the Chocolate Chunkers (see these beautiful ones from Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats) and the Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops (see these scrumptious looking cookies from Scrumptious Photography), I knew I wanted to make chocolate cookies.

I split the cookie dough into two bowls. One was with Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Chips, and Walnuts and the other one was without the walnuts...

The cookie dough/brownie batter was SO calling my name!

This time, I was successful in NOT OPENING THE OVEN DOOR BEFORE THE COOKING TIME WAS OVER! That's a huge step for an impatient baker like me :-)

They looked so gorgeous right out of the oven... and they smelled so freakin' good!

Me and Ed couldn't wait until they were cooled so we just dug right in...

OMG... heaven.

I must say this is probably my most successful cookie. I am never fully satisfied with the flavor/texture of a cookie but this was, on my tongue, pure satisfaction! The edges were chewy like the edges of a brownie. The inside was moist and fudgey. There was just enough chocolate chips/peanut butter chips/walnuts. The cookie itself was super cocoa-y and not too sweet. YUM.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


There's something about things that are "hard-to-get" that makes me go on a mission to get them...
The fact that Galloways in Scarsdale is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays makes them such a tease!

This is just a quick post to declare that I am no longer depressed about the state of DOUGHNUTS

Here is a little recap of my recent doughnut experiences.

#1. Mister Donut (Machida, Japan) June 5, 2008

Chocolate Glazed Doughnut

Glazed "Balls" Doughnut

Strawberry Frosted Doughnut

Bitter Chocolate Filled Doughnut

*Final Verdict- Absolutely delicious. Light, not greasy, delicious flavors. Revived my love for dougnuts!

#2. Krispy Kremes (Sydney, Australia)- June, 2008
*Final Verdict- No pics, but we had their Original Glazed and Cinnamon Sugar doughnuts twice while we were in Sydney!! It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO fluffy and glazey and melty!! These Krispy Kreme bad-boys continued my search for more amazing doughnuts!

#3. Barby's Donuts n Bakery (Sydney, Australia)- June 11, 2008

Chocolate Glazed Rice Krispy Doughnut

Chocolate Glazed Cookie Doughnut

Cookies 'n Cream Doughnut

*Final Verdict- They are BEAUTIFUL! Unfortunately, the only good one was the Chocolate Glazed Rice Krispy Doughnut! The Rice Krispies were still crunchy and the crunch was amazing with the contrasting pillowy doughnut!

Present Day Doughnut Dilemma
NO GOOD DOUGHNUTS! Dunkin Donuts sucks, Krispy Kremes are only sold at gas station in my area (a.k.a not fresh, stale), and just basically all other doughnut places have been dissappointing.

But... wait, doesn't Galloways do an amazing GLAZED doughnut?!

Today it was confirmed... yes they do...

Not only that... they do an amazing Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut

Need proof of perfection?

Mister Donut

Krispy Kreme (Australia)

Barby's Donuts n Bakery (Grab Your Fork blog post)
396 Sussex Street (corner of Goulburn Street)
Haymarket, Chinatown, Sydney

Galloways Country Kitchen
69 Harney Rd
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Phone: 914-725-4074

Living on a Budget!

On my dad's recent visit, we discussed a lot of money issues. The conclusion was that I am clearly not aware of how much money I spend. Especially on food. I do not overspend, and I do not waste food, but I was not aware of how much I was spending on groceries alone!

So, on Friday, I decided that instead of me and Ed going out to dinner, I would prepare a funky dinner just using what I had (leftovers, pantry items, etc.)

What was the outcome?

Curry Lasagne
WTF?! Its Japanese-Indian-Italian fusion foooooood!!

I had frozen leftover Japanese style curry from my moms Katsu-Curry party a few weeks back. I had whole wheat penne pasta. I had mozzarella cheese. I had parmesan cheese. Just put it all together and BAM!

Pre-baking- Mix the cooked pasta with the defrosted curry. Top it with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Check out this fun new parmesan cheese! Kraft Grate-It-Fresh Natural Parmesan Cheese

Post-baking- Browned beauty

Cheesey, melty, hot, bubbly, delicious-smelling goodness!

How was it? SUCCESS!!

And to top it off, I had the most money friendly weekend EVER!
We had dinner at home on Friday night because we anticipated going out to dinner on Saturday; and we did. I spent about $11.00 at the Raceway Diner in Yonkers, NY on a Chicken Souvlaki Platter. Already feeling guilty for spending money, I was hesitant about our plans for that night to go to Empire City... the new "casino" at the Yonkers Raceway! AM I CRAZY!? Who goes to a casino when they are trying to save money!? (And guess who suggested that as the event for the night... yeah). Thank God, my conscience kicked in... I decided I wasn't gonna go to Empire City. Instead, I bought a @2.00 Sunny 7's scratch off Lotto ticket at the diner to quench my gambling thirst!


My HP (Higher Power for those of you not yet down with my lingo) was definitely watching out for me... Thanks HP!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Meal Made With 100% Organic Love

So... tonight was the last night that my cousin and Dad are here in NY. Sad... but we definitely celebrated!

Last night, and before leaving for the Yankee game today, I prepared all the dishes so that when we got home, I would just have to stick it in the oven.

Item #1:
Spinach and Feta Meatloaf(Click for recipe from

The layering process was SO fun!

The rolling part was not...

But the final product was a success! (Note: I was too impatient to "let stand until firm up" so I cut it while it was still piping hot. I DO NOT recommend this as it was quite messy. After I let it sit for a while, the cuts were MUCH prettier!)

Item #2:
Potato Gratin
This is a dish that my mom makes all the time. She changes is up slightly with the kinda cheese she uses but basically its just thinly sliced potatoes, layered with milk and grated romano cheese, and the top is finished off with more romano cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Ohhhh.... good color!

Item #3:
Peas and Prosciutto (Click for recipe from Giada De Laurentiis)
First of all:

How beautiful are the colors?!
This was actually my favorite dish tonight. It was sweet from the peas and just salty enough from the proscuitto! The parsley did wonders also! Such a simple recipe (and quick!), but it was such a sophisticated side dish!

"Dinner is served"- Mrs. Doubtfire

The table set up.

And finally...

family <33

Bronx Bombers

First of all, I am NOT a baseball fan. Actually I'm just not a fan of watching any sport on television. However, I LOVE playing sports and I LOVE going to games.
But seriously, how badass is the name the "BRONX BOMBERS"!?

Me, Ed, my dad, and my cousin, Naoki went to the game today and it was pretty awesome!
1. Grand Slam!

2. Derek Jeter tied the record for the most hits in Yankee Stadium!


(My cousin looks so badass)

Our seats were like in the way top section but we still had a great view!

Since none of us were really big baseball fans, our biggest focus was:

NATHAN'S HOT DOGS!... my cousin had to have a NY hot dog before leaving :-)


And of course, Cracker Jacks... what happened to the stick on tattoos that they snuck in there as "prizes"?

The Yankees won! I think... we left after the 8th inning...

Friday, September 12, 2008

BarCar Eatery

I L-O-V-E eating out with my whole family. Why? Because we can order every item on the menu!
This is basically what happened tonight at our dinner at the new BarCar in Fleetwood (Mount Vernon) N.Y. It is apparently owned by the same people as Pizza Pizza which is right next door. And they even share a kitchen!

Overall, this place was awesome! Really casual but still pretty chic. Overall, really good, unique dishes, and very good service!

(Note: Please excuse my obnoxiously "flash"-y pictures... the place was really dark!)

First of all, I really liked that they served soft, fluffy, cheesy breadsticks in a paper cone:

We literally ordered each one of the appetizers on the menu, plus the house salad:

BarCar House Salad- Green & Red Oak Salad, Baby Beets, Fried Shallots, Mint Leaves & Shallot Emulsion

Short Rib- Tender-Braised Short Rib, Pineapple & Sage Sauce, Smoked Black Beans

Grilled Asparagus & Portobello Mushroom- Wild Mushroom Cream & Fresh Chives

Shrimp & Crabmeat Cannoli- Shrimp and Crabmeat Ceviche, Parmesan Cannoli Shell, & Goat Cheese Chevre

Curried Chicken Quesadilla- Pineapple Pico De Gallo, Cilantro Creme Fraiche

House Cured Salmon Napolean- Marinated Tomatoes, Sliced Avocado, Romano Cracker

Buffalo Chicken Spring Roll- Poached Chicken, Julienne Carrots, Celery, Crispy Fried Noodles & Gorgonzola

PHEW! End of appetizers... We enjoyed everything but if we had to narrow our selection next time, I would HAVE to get the Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls (tangy, super crunchy, nice touch of gorgonzola inside!), Curried Chicken Quesadilla (lots of flavors, the cilantro creme fraiche was the perfect accompaniment), and the Short Rib (super tender, perfect flavor as in NOT TOO SALTY! and the black beans and pineapple were the perfect flavors to go with the meat).

Now, onto entrées!

Grilled Tender Pork Loin- Zucchini Flower Sautée, Whipped Potato, Crisp Salsify & Shallot Jus

Roasted Half Chicken- Stuffed with Fontina Cheese, Whipped Potato, Haricot Verts, Lemon Rosemary Vin Blanc

Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops- Tabbule Salad, Endive & Reduced Herb Balsamic

Open-Faced Black Angus Burger- Poached Egg, Mushroom Sauté, Marinated Red Onions, Garlic & Sage Relish, Herbed House Fries

Pan Fried Sea Bass (Tonight's Special)- Bed of Yuca, Grilled Tomatoes

Garganelli Meat Ragu Trio- Slowly Cooked Lamb, Veal & Beef with Porcini Mushrooms

Risotto of the Day- Sausage and Broccoli Raab

In short, BarCar is definitely, without a doubt, a MEAT restaurant. They do meat really well. Unfortunately, they are weak on the seafood... the scallops were pretty bland, the sea bass was, again, good but bland, and the appetizer of the smoked salmon was boring and uninspired. HOWEVER... the highlight entrées of the night were the Grilled Pork Loin (so, so, so tender.... and the sauce was incredible!) and the Garganelli Meat Ragu Trio (this meat sauce was so flavorful and it had like whole chunks of tomato!)

Now, finally... my favorite part:

Olive Oil Cake- Fig Ice Cream, Fresh Figs, Greek Yogurt Cream

Warm Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream and Cookie

Sugar Crusted Sponge Cake- Whipped Cream with Peach Chunks, Vanilla Ice Cream (In the shape of a peach, F.Y.I!)

Dessert was good but not OUTSTANDING. My favorite would probably be the Fig Ice Cream and Olive Oil Cake or the Peach Cream (I didn't care for the spongecake... cute presentation though!)

I would definitely go back because I just really liked the atmosphere, the waiters, the food, and the location (FLEETWOOD!? Random but convenient!). It has a general foundation in American food but they definitely throw a lot of twists in their with the use of fruit and spices.

Try it for yourself...
P.S.- They serve lunch and they deliver!

BarCar Eatery
706 Locust Street
Fleetwood, NY 10552
Phone: 914-668-1100