Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!

My house is stocked with candy so I think I'm all set for Halloween! Now I just have to remember I can't eat it all :-)

I'm sure I will want to have this cocktail on Sunday nite after I've opened my door to all the kids a billion times.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ganache Cupcakes

Is it me or does it seem like I'm always baking something lately?! I started a new job last month and a co-worker just got married. I figured what better to say Congratulations than with some homemade treats....

Recipe here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tabletop Thoughts

I've been thinking about my Thanksgiving table setting lately. I know it seems far away at the moment but before we know it we'll all be feasting on mashed potatoes and carving the bird!

Here are some table photos that I'm going to use for inspiration this year when I'm getting ready for turkey day.

(photo - Country Living)

(photo - Country Living)

(photo - HGTV)

Seriously, does Martha Stewart ever not doing something perfectly?! Wow.

(photo - Martha Stewart)

(photo - Pure contemporary)

(photo - Simplified Bee)

(photo - Style Me Pretty)

Here's hoping I can even come CLOSE to these gorgeous table settings....

Monday, October 25, 2010


Guess who is back on TV with the new season of his show Avec Eric?!

I'm a little late in delivering the news because Episode 4 is premiering this week so don't waste time setting your DVR.

He's was a guest judge on Bravo's Top Chef this past season and has done episodes of Bourdain's No Reservations. Now I can watch him each week in his very own show. Yes, I'm in heaven.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wedding Bells

Aren't these a-freakin-dorable? Mini wedding cakes! Williams-Sonoma sells the pan to make 'em.

I have wedding on the brain because M&R recently got engaged!

CONGRATULATIONS and BEST WISHES to the happy couple :-)

Basic Comforts

My body is craves comfort food this time of year like *clockwork*. Somehow my stomach knows that these crisp, cold mornings mean my brain is thinking of foods like clam chowder, pot roast and LARGE casseroles of mac and cheese!

I haven't spent as much time in my kitchen as I like lately, but hopefully that will change in the coming weeks. I need to make stuff like in the photos below pronto:

My husbands favorite mac and cheese is this recipe which is sorta low fat (for mac and cheese anyway). He's been asking for it and I know it needs to make an appearance verrrryyy soon.

I'm desiring more of a full on fat diet busting version with crunchy topping on it like the one above. I guess I need to stop looking at food photos on the internet.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fresh Seafood

Wow - I'm realllly behind on posting. Sorry. Life gets busy sometimes?!

Went to McCormick & Schmick recently and loved what I had. I'm super excited about my delicious entree because the last time I went to this restaurant I felt really let down. However, all prior visits were yummy. I guess every restaurant is allowed to have an "off night."

The food was back to being spot on - Shrimp cocktail app was juicy and tasted like the ocean:

and my entree of fresh sole from Maine (or maybe it was Massachussetts?) was so buttery and parmesean-y that I wished I had more!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Caramel Apple Donuts

Recently I mentioned that I wanted to get my fall baking on and this past weekend I did with some Caramel Apple Donuts! I've made donuts before but this was a different recipe. Always fun to try something new.

I should mention a couple of things:

1. This original recipe is for cupcakes (not donuts) and I think they would work better as cupcakes. A little too sticky for the donut pan...but still delicious!

2. The caramel icing would be better drizzled on top instead of as full icing. Other than that, I will make 'em again and again.

The recipe is here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkins, Leaves and Acorns

Lately I've been sort of obsessed with baked goods. Maybe it is the crisp fall weather? Maybe it is the fact that my hubsband adores pumpkin recipes? Or maybe I'm just looking for excuses to bake up the things below.

I think these mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (recipe from Every Day with Rachael Ray) just stole my heart. How cute are these classic cream-filled cakes with a pumpkin twist?

I don't want to walk to Williams-Sonoma, I want to RUN there now to buy some of their baking pans. Look at the quick bread you can create adorned with plump pumpkins and festive autumn leaves. Suh-weeeet.

This molded pan from Williams-Sonoma makes mini cakes in the form of fall icons, so you can enjoy bite-sized pumpkin and acorn treats. Honestly, I couldn't justify owning an acorn cake pan, but I want it anway! (sorry Michael)

One of the best parts of fall is yummy baked goods -- the smell, the warmth, and the delicious tastes! YUM! I can't wait to bake something.

(All Photos from Pixtal Peep)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mom's House

I mentioned yesterday that my mom made us dinner and I've also said before what an awesome cook she is.

She really outdid herself last night making an appetizer salad from Barefoot Contessa with tons of roasted squash. And then the real star of the evening.....a main course of Ellie Krieger's Sweet and Sour Brisket over noodles that was crazy crazy good.

Perfectly set table. Perfect autumn dinner. Thanks mom.


My mom made us dinner last night (which I'll get to tomorrow) and she made dessert too, of course. Best part? Today I had leftovers!!!

If you are a fan of lemon, try this recipe for Poppy Seed Cake and add lemon juice just like my mom did. It was scrumptious.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Family Dinner

Visited a tiny restaurant and wine bar on the Upper West Side recently called Vai and I thought it was a gem. They score high marks overall for tasty food, good knowledge of the menu and attentiveness. Also, the staff was very accommodating to our rather large party.

An appetizer of Rosted Clams with Andouille, Chili and Garlic Confit had just the right amount of spice and was full of flavor:

An entree of Papparedelle with Veal Sausage Ragout and Parmesean was both traditional and comforting. Did I mention it was succulent also? :-)

The Grilled Rib Porkchop with Carmelized Onion and Agra Dolce Sauce was a real standout. Super delicious:

Not only did we get to dine on good eats but we got to hear all about my big brother's recently trip to the Amalfi Coast. Ahhhh, heaven.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Magically Delicious

I know, I hear something is magically delicious and right away you think of Lucky Charms cereal. However, I'm using the term to describe the homemade oreos I baked recently. On a brisk fall morning I wanted something completely indulgent to eat to get me through the rest of the work week and these were perfect. Recipe here.

I promise they are uber simple - watch.

Make batter in food processor:

Drop onto cookie sheet and bake:

Fill with yummy white icing and you are done. Oreos! Hooray!

Now eat. And ENJOY :-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Guessing Game

Can you guess where we ate by these photos? If you read regularly I'm sure you are sick of hearing about the restaurant!

(Give up? Answers here, here and here!!)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


If you like German fare then you must visit Helmer's in Hoboken. The combination of authentic German food, a vast variety of premium Imported beers on tap, and the pub like relaxed atmosphere made this one of the best hangouts I've been to in a while.

My smoked pork chop dinner with handmade spaetzle was outstanding. The smoky flavor of the whole dinner totally left me wanting more and the fact that I could taste the butter drenched on my spaetzle means I will return very soon. To me there is no better flavor than butta!!!! I opted for the sauerkraut on the side which was smooth and almost far the best sauerkraut I’ve ever had.

I believe the German word for yes is "Jå"...and if you asked me if I'd return to Helmer's again and again, I'd shout JA! JA!

This salad appetizer complete with slices of bacon wrapped wurst was super delicious (and maybe a bit nutritious too):

Oh smoked pork and buttery spaetzle, how I love thee:


Monday, October 4, 2010

Long Lines

We were in Hoboken recently strolling up and down Washington Street when we spotted mobs of people in very long lines. Turns out, they were waiting to get in Carlo’s Bakery probably to catch a glimpse of the Cake Boss himself.

I’m sure you all know him, but for those who don’t – Buddy Valastro (the star of Cake Boss) is the lovable and inspiring master baker and cake decorator on the TLC hit series. Since losing his dad at a young age, he has a strong desire to achieve his father's dream of making Carlo's Bake Shop a household name. The show chronicles Buddy and his family working together on master cake creations for people like Oprah, Rachael Ray and the New York Giants.

Time didn’t permit for me to wait in the long line to get into Carlo’s Bakery, but if it did...I certainly would have given Buddy a giant hug.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Autumn Desires

As cooler weather approaches, my desire for all things summery is surprisingly starting to fade and I’m instinctively drifting towards fall decorations and comfort foods. Here’s a list of my must-makes in the coming weeks....

Caramel Apples – I’ve always wanted to try to make them at home since the commercial ones are full of corn syrup. This might be the year I actually do it!

Maple Syrup Scones – sound both comforting and deliciously perfect for autumn.

Spooky Ghost Meringues - Cutest ever and Michael likes meringues!

All recipes and photos here.