Thursday, February 25, 2010

Friend and Artist

I just wanted to shout out my friend Martha, a former Bronxvillian and current Maine resident, because she is a great artist and she finally got connected via the World Wide Web!!

Here's her new blog where you can look at her collection of cute paintings! You can also buy them :-)
This is one that she made for me a couple of years ago...

The Ekaj Collection

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Muffin Madness, Cont'd

The Ann Clairs' Muffin Marathon is still on! I love how I change the name every time!

Tonight was Carrot Raisin Muffin...

To be honest, I wasn't too excited about this muffin because carrot raisin muffin just isn't my fav muff flavor. But I got myself pumped up by telling myself that the muffin top was yet again glossy, massive, and beautiful, and it could maybe be like carrot cake!

First bite: I was grateful that it did not taste like carrot cake as carrot cake is (a lot of times) extremely sweet. Carrot cake is good. I really like carrot cake. But when eating a muffin, I really like to feel as if I'm eating a muffin. And in my mind, muffins shouldn't be as sweet as desserty cakes, but it should definitely satisfy a sweet tooth. It should not feel healthy. It's a luxurious, decadent dessert for breakfast :-) or in my case, the last thing I eat before going to bed...

So the flavor was really good. Not too sweet, but it was definitely carroty enough and had the expected cinnamon flavors of carrot cake. The muffin was moissssssttttt and had a nice balancing tenderness.... who knew someone could describe a muffin this much in depth hahahaha....

Oh and just to be extra weird, I ate this muffin with Cream Cheese. Ewwwww! But so good! So I was craving a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Cream Cheese all day, and I figured Carrot Cake usually has a Cream Cheese frosting so..... why not just combine my desires? And since the muffin wasn't that sweet, the plain cream cheese (as opposed to a cream cheese frosting) was perfect :-)

More weird food habits to be revealed....

Oh! And I also got 2 cookies.... they claim they are homemade, and they always have them like displayed right in front of my face. So today, I got the chocolate chip and double chocolate cookies.

They just didn't seem homemade to me. It was perfectly round. It had that generic chocolate chip cookie flavor. And it even had that typical packaged cookie soft-chewiness! It really wasn't bad, but it wasn't like O-M-G!

Ann Clairs
1130 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, New York 10461
Phone: (718)-409-1171

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cooking For Four!

I rarely cook for more than 2 people. Usually I cook for one. Lately however, Tiny and I have been enjoying our kitchen time so much that we decided to spread the deliciousness to our friends!

Stuffed Pork Chops with Yam and Green Beans

I love vulgar pictures of meat... A Split Pork Chop....

Stuffed with Sauteed Apples and Onions + Cheddar

Stuff It!

The Assembly Line (Flour with Rosemary, Thyme, S+P, Eggs, Bread Crumbs)

Ready for Baking!

End result: Nicely browned pork chops, with a side of roasted yams and Tiny's own Green Beans sauteed with Garlic and Bread Crumbs!

Gooey cheese, Cooked-but-still-had-a-bit-of-crunch apples, and crispy outside....

And leftover Valentine's Day Lulu cake for dessert :-)

We make a good team.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cupid Says Hello...

I think I've mentioned this a million times in my blog but I L-O-V-E Valentine's Day! I just love the idea of being in love, and I think red and pink hearts are the best! So this year I was a little bit nervous because A). Valentine's Day was me and that guy's anniversary and B). He broke up with me 6 months ago....

But not to worry because Cupid sent Tiny :-)

Tiny, and apparently his whole family, are not big Valentine's Day believers. They think that treating lovers special only on Valentine's Day is not where it's at.... Treat your lovers special more often!!

He got me the most beautiful flowers, anyway!

So we didn't really have any big extravagant plans except to make dinner together. Oh and of course I was gonna pick something up from Lulu's! And the best part was that it was Tiny's first time experiencing Lulu's!

Even though we didn't have anything planned, it turned out to be the best Valentine's Day EVER! We got food at Karamba Cafe (It's a hot spot for us... yay for rice and beans!), had an intense game of basketball (I challenged him, but he won), and went food shopping for our dinner... We somehow decided on his Firefighter-Father's Shepherd's Pie.

It was our first time making it, but it's literally layers of meat, veg, and potatoes...

That's some serious Meat and Potato action... Simple and delish!

Then for dessert, I busted out the secret Lulu's cake...

Ahhhh... so cute! Chocolate Cake, Milk Chocolate Buttercream, Fondant, Cute Little Hearts, Big Pink Bow.... It was like my dream come true!!!

I had a huge chunk, and so did Tiny. Milk came along. And we fell into a deep, dark, chocolate coma :-)

We did some serious damage...

Karamba Cafe
185 Main Street
White Plains, NY 10601
Phone: (914)-946-9550

Tiny Can Cook...

I should've known better... Tiny is a firefighter, therefore he has some skills in cooking! He offered to make me dinner one night a few weeks ago, and I thought, "Awww how cute!"...

He wasn't kidding...

Angel Hair With Sausage, Garlic, Tomatoes, and Spinach.

And he was SUCH a natural...

Oh and he's soooo European... he serves salad at the end <3

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Muffin Madness

I've gone muffin crazy! I got muffin #2 at Ann Clairs today... APPLE CRUMB MUFFIN!

Ok I think this is the most visually appealing muffin to me because of the overflow of crumb muffin top! The crumb top was pretty good, it had some chunks of walnuts! And there were some crunchy parts mushed into muffin top madness!


The actual muffin was really very good too! The texture of the cake part reminded me of a steamed cake that is very popular and common in Japanese baking. It's soft, light, and bouncy... not gummy, but like fluffy with some bounce. It was not too sweet, although it was much closer to yellow cake than the banana one obviously, but it was a great flavor for a muffin! My biggest issue is that I wish the apple chunks were bigger... it's kinda like, as you eat the muffin, you get a little sample of the apple chunk and expect a bigger chunk in the next bite. But it never comes. Anti-climactic! Only in the apple chunk department :-)

Will go back soon for Muffin #3! I think it will be Carrot Raisin...

Ann Clairs
1130 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, New York 10461
Phone: (718)-409-1171

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stud Muffin

Besides the fact that I am infatuated with my new stud muffin, Tiny, I have developed a new obsession for muffins! I've always loved muffins, but I am on a mission now to find the best muffins!

I was at school today for a whole 12 hours, so I broke up my day (as usual) by taking a nice walk to CVS and then to Ann Clairs, the local deli here in Morris Park. Or Salumeria... whatevs...

So every time I go in there to get coffee, I notice their display of homemade-looking muffins and cookies. They look really good. But I had never gotten one. This morning, I went to Charlie's Truck, the food truck guy that is there EVERYDAY until 2 PM, and asked what kinda muffins he had.... Blueberry, Chocolate, Bran, but NO BANANA!!! This is the second time this week that I was denied a Banana Nut Muffin! So, fast forward a few hours, at Ann Clairs I asked the girl what kinda muffins they had...

"Apple Crumb, Carrot Raisin, Chocolate Chip, Bran, and Banana Walnut"
I said, "Can you go over that again?"
"Uhhh... yeah... Apple Crumb, Carrot Raisin, Chocolate Chip, Bran, and Banana Walnut"
I said, "Holy crap, ok are they homemade? Because they look really homemade."
Another woman working there says, "Yep!"
I ask, "Are they good?" (I know I'm so silly... I always ask people who work there if things are good!)
The woman says, "YES!"
So I said, "Ok! Can I please have the Banana Walnut?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"
I was so freakin excited.... I brought it back to my car to eat later for dessert, but before leaving the muff in the car, I took a whif... I had a feeling it was gonna be a good night.

So I just ate it. And I am going to say that this is a damn good Banana Walnut Muffin!!!!!

It's light, yet moist, but not dense... It's more banana moist... the muffin top was incred! Glazey but still had a little bit of crunch in some areas! And the huge-mongous walnuts were exciting! The muffin itself was the flavor of ripe bananas-it was sweet but not sugary sweet, and thank god for NO ARTIFICIAL BANANA FLAVOR! Artificial banana flavored things should die.

Oh and another plus of this muffin was the size/shape. It was more on the flat side with large Muffin Top surface area!!!!

So I am now officially on a mission to try all of Ann Clairs' muffins. I think the next one is going to have to be the Apple Crumb. Yum.

Ann Clairs
1130 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, New York 10461
Phone: (718)-409-1171


So, I am slowly coming to terms with my obsession with Lady Gaga. I think she's great! She's so fun, and she's just freaky deaky! Oh... and I really like names that have a repetitivenes to it, i.e. GAGA, Mimi, Lulu.....


Blood Orange Cake

Victor was a little harsh about this cake! It was really good! I love Lulu's tropical-sweet-tangy combos! i.e.- Passionfruit cake, Mango cake, and now this Blood Orange cake!

And my mom was so cute... I walked into her room, and she was walking out with a plate with orangey-salmony-pink stuff on the plate and I said, "Oh what is that?" And she says, "I stole some of your cake...." And she just sounded so like ashamed, as if I caught her doing something bad... and I said to her, "Mom! You can eat whatever is in the fridge/cookie stash!" She loves Lulu's too <3

Oh and sometimes, when I'm really indecisive and don't know what I want to have for dessert, I'll do an insane sampler of things....

Strawberries with Condensed Milk, Slice of Lulu's Devil Dog, and Chocolate Cheerios! (I have an obsession with chocolate cereals. I love that they turn the milk into chocolate milk!)