Bagels bagels bagels!

IMG_1977When I started this blog my first post was going to be about bagels. A few years later I went to culinary school and lived in New York, and have written about anything but bagels. Now I have moved to the west coast and I am finally going to talk about them…and how much I miss New York. Perhaps it the homesickness but for the past few weeks I have been craving bagels and on the west coast they really are not as good. Is it the water? Maybe…but since I did not use this same recipe in New York and I did not bring water from New York (regretting this) I have no good answer as to why there is a difference.

As far as recipes go, I have tried quite a few and have found so far that my favorite actually comes from The Joy of Cooking. These bagels are chewier and denser–qualities I look for in a bagel. I stuck with plain and sesame for this round but you can easily add any topping of your choice.

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Muscles and mussels

I am entering the phase of a new adventure-traveling across the country with my partner who is off to study wines. We decided to make a few stops to visit loved ones and eat food. Our first stop: the lovely city of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh has become more popular in recent years, having been named one of the most livable cities in the US. I lived there after college for a few years and have always had a soft spot for my first self created home. It has such a community feel to it. Small businesses support each other while trying to make the city an even more creative space and it is so cheap!

Every trip to Pittsburgh requires a stop at Point Brugge, a restaurant in the Point Breeze area of the city. Point Brugge has hands down the BEST mussels I have EVER had. I was curious ,having not been there in a few years, if the mussels would be as good as I remembered them since expanding my palate. I was happy that they were and that my partner who is very critical of all foods devoured them as well. Of course as he says “anything that is one part flavor and two parts cream is bound to be delicious.” We ate them so fast that I forgot to take a picture to share.

Riding in the car for 10 to 15 hours a day is surprisingly hard on the body. I decided to try to keep myself healthy by enlisting on the couch to 5k program. I have never been a runner but was inspired when a friend of me told me she started running marathons after following the 9 week regiment. I am only on week two and very skeptical as I am usually out of breath by the end of a minute and a half but stick it out until he end anyway. I have to run off that two thirds cream after all.

Food for tonight: Southern fried chicken in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Next stop: somewhere between here and Colorado.

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Doctor Who?

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The past few weeks have been full of changes, I started a new job, I have been apartment hunting, I’ve been commuting 4 hours a day while apartment hunting… I’ve been enjoying getting to know the trains. Really.

Before all the stress however, there was a day of peace and enjoyment. The best start to any holiday season: the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. Now I know that if you are not a Doctor Who fan you will just not understand the kindred feeling you get as part of a group watching an hour of television together. Knowing that there are thousands of people all over the world that are appreciating something at the same time as you makes me wish we made more of those connections over things of real importance (like say, peace or poverty, or hunger, or…well the list goes on). On a creative note, it is very inspiring to see something continue to grow and surprise after 50 years.

So, having come home the night before the showing after the interview for the earlier mentioned job with just enough time to buy ingredients, I decided that 4 hours was more than enough time to bake, cool, ice, and fondant a cake. So here, in honor of the 11th (or 12th?) Doctor Who. Here’s to you Matt Smith. What a run.

*This cake was inspired by one found on Pinterest

Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgivukkah

This is most likely the only time in my life I will be able to have good reason to make a menorah in the shape of a turkey. As Channukah and Thanksgiving are coinciding with each other this year, I felt it was only appropriate to make a tribute to this once in a lifetime event.

Thinking I was clever I have been talking about making a menurkey for months but alas, somebody out there already copyrighted the term.

Hudson Chocolates

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I do not usually ‘review’ here but yesterday I had my first experience with Hudson Chocolates and I have to rave. Chef Migoya is always outdoing himself and as an artist in another life I have to say I am consistently impressed. Not only does he make the smoothest ganache fillings but his eye for design is unbeatable in my opinion. He finds ways to use every day objects and turn them into chocolate masterpieces. Take his honeycomb bar for instance, I am pretty sure his silicone mold was originally produced as an oven mitt.

He finds new ways to out do himself with the panning machine as well. Take his pear and walnuts for example. Having the ability to create some of their own chocolate they replace the milk powder with blue cheese powder and coat dried pears and candied walnuts. While a little on the pricier side I highly recommend any of his products for gifts this holiday season. The amount of work that goes into each piece of chocolate is unrivaled by any chocolatier I have seen.

I opted for the modernist collection which I am working my way through as we speak. It is going far too quickly for my liking.

http://www.hudsonchocolates.com

Day of the Dead Cookies

IMG_1276I have to say, halloween gives a very limited color scheme to play with so when I decided to play around with royal icing, the Day of the Dead gave me more inspiration. I suppose this time of year just reminds me of my trip to Mexico and the bright colors help me through the chills of the season. I used a slightly altered Rose Levy Beranbaum royal icing recipe and had some fun with my new skull cookie cutter.

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Pumpkin Muffins

IMG_1188 - Version 2It is that time of year! Pumpkin rolls, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin spice, pumpkin carving, I don’t know about you but I want pumpkin all the time these days. In fact I am having pumpkin, apple, and sausage stew for dinner as I write this.

When I started my job, my boss gave me a packet of recipes. The following was never one we used at work but I decided to make them special for brunch. Not too sweet, but plenty in pumpkin flavor, these moist muffins are a great start to a crisp fall morning.

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