July 23, 2009

Cupcakes: The new cure to Hump Day

It's our little secret, okay? :)

Mini Hummingbird Cupcake courtesy of Cupcake Truck and Yelp. You can't go wrong by setting up foodies at happy hour with free cupcakes.

Also, a friendly wave out to Cupcakes Take the Cake.

It's been a good cupcake-filled day.

July 21, 2009

Park Sketches

Black ballpoint pen: Bryant Park and Central Park

Summer weather in NYC

You don't need to mess with dinky man-made sprinklers when the skies decide to bless you with free never ending ones!

July 20, 2009

Weekend Re-cap, Take II

I shouldn't really call it a weekend re-cap since it incorporates weekdays. But alas, I am a creature of habit.

Some highlights were...

+ Tapas on Tuesday and Thursday.
+ Harry Potter and all the unnecessary romance shoved in there.
+ Dim Sum in Chinatown at Golden Palace. All your normal dim sum stuff, mixed in with good 'ole NYC snarkiness to start off your morning! Hello, sunshine.
+ dessert wine tasting at the Union Sq. Greenmarket.
+ Siren Music Festival. Only caught the set from Frightened Rabbit, a swedish band, but at least was a nice day out.
+ Park Ave Summer Restaurant Week dinner. Full review is here.

And a nice picture to round this post off:

D'aw. A cute puppy I saw on the way to work one morning.

July 13, 2009

Weekend Re-cap, Take I

Friday J'10

I got a surprise half day when the office shut down around 3pm, just in time to meet up with an old internet friend. We sat and chatted at the City Bakery, home of the Pretzel Croissant. My rule of thumb is that a food has gotta be good if it has its own web page full of devoted followers.

I wish it looked this good IRL.

Then we headed to White Castle, a place I've been wanting to try since I saw Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. I already heard from many sources that it wasn't all that great, but I wanted to try to mediocrity of it for myself as a H&K fan, darn it. For $0.69, I'll get over it.

Next up, Garrett's Popcorn's NYC location right by Penn Station. I'm biased because a friend works there, but seriously as a non-popcorn lover I still found myself compulsively snacking on my bag of caramel popcorn all the way home. Nutrition? P'shaw!

Home for a short reprise, and then it was off to Chickpea for some spinach and broccoli baked falafel (Haha, attempt to be healthy) and Bereket Turkish Kebab House for cheap Indian food with my Meetup group. The night wrapped up wonderfully with a midnight screening of Casablanca, which I'd never seen before.

Saturday J'11

Today's plans were a bit last minute, but turned out okay after all. I had brunch at The Smith, known for sharing the same owners as Jane. So, one of these days I should try the infamous french toast. That day though, I was craving one of their signature dishes, the Poached Egg with Spinach and Caramelized Onions on Potato Waffle. Since it was Saturday brunch, the $13 price tag didn't include a drink or anything, but just the item a la carte.

That afternoon was spent wandering around the newly opened Governors Island. It used to be a military base, and the buildings reflect that past. There is Fort Jay, a hospital, barracks, and even Castle Williams. The center of the island is a gigantic hill, and there are picnic areas. It's a strangely peaceful island.

The night events were fun, sans the short downpour and my falling down a flight of stairs. I hear black and blue all over is easy to match with at least.

Sunday J'12

I was a busy bee on Sunday! Haha, that kind of works, since Melissa means "Honey Bee". Okay, no more lame jokes.

So a cucumber walks into a bar....

Just kidding.

I met up with a friend to go to the Target High Line Street Festival. According to the website, this event "will feature internationally-acclaimed artists, inflatable sculptures, cowboys, story-tellers, marching bands, swing bands, salsa bands (some on a roof-top stage), and an exciting array of hands-on activities including a special Target “Hi from the High Line!” photo postcard experience for kids of all ages. While there, it will be hard to miss the World’s Largest Lemonade Stand"

Cowboys and yuppies and amoebae, oh my!

It was fun strolling along the newly opened High Line. We were dying in the heat, but luckily there were many glasses of lemonade and ice cold watermelon to the rescue! There were also hats, silkscreened T-shirts, postcards, balloon amoebae (see above), and other fun booths. Target had their act together.

Actually, before we headed to the festival, we made a quick pit stop at Chelsea Market. I've been dying to check out Fat Witch, Sarabeth's, Eleni's Cookies, and L'arte del Gelato for a long time. We ended up getting rainbow cookies from a bakery that I don't remember, sampling Fat Witch's brownies, and getting a small cup of Gianduia and Dolce di Latte gelato. My verdict is that while these establishments are great to stop by if you're in the area, I'll be sticking to my staples in the East Village. I've yet to try anything that can pull me away from Momofuku Milk Bar.

Puppycake? Yes ma'am.

We left around 3:30pm to go catch a little of the Bastille Day celebrations on 60th street. This was more like a standard street fair, which means it was mostly food. We got a tasteless and "hole-y" nutella crepe from Bar Brenton and an equally lacking flag-colored white chocolate macaron at The Macaron Cafe. Should've opted for the Payard pastries that everyone else was carrying around.

At least you LOOK pretty!

A quick stop to Dylan's Candy Bar to wrap up a day of sweets, and to use their bathrooms to change for dinner. Nothing says class like changing into an evening gown in a candy store! Mm, there's nowhere else I'd rather be. Except maybe a chocolate bath.

So why did I change at all? Because I was going to Aquavit for Restaurant Week! My companion and I ended up not doing the RW menu after all. We opted for the Pre-Fixe menu, found here. Reviews will come later, but for now feel free to just peruse the menu. At night, I saw Cheri at the Paris theater. On a side note, there's a Cooking Mama game for the iPhone. Want!

Monday J'13

Tonight I just went to see How Green was my Valley at Bryant Park with some friends. Nothing too special happened, but it's funny how enjoyable a night can be with just a blanket, some pizza, and Mister Softee sprinkles ice cream. Click here to find out more about the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival.

July 5, 2009

Happy Fourth of July

What a day to start off this blog-thinger on.

Today I woke up at 11am and decided to finish baking the tarts I started last night. I adapted an old recipe from USDA to make it for a sweet pastry shell.

  • 1 c u p flour
  • 1 /2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
Baked at 425 for around 10 minutes. I used a cupcake pan, filled halfway. I really had no idea what I was doing there, but decided to go by feel. I think it still turned out okay. I did have a problem with burnt edges, but that happens a lot to me. I made a blueberry tart/pie filling that I found online with just some cornstarch, sugar, and blueberries. This is a college dorm after all, and I don't have all the supplies on hand that I wish I did. Okay, enough baking info.

I went out to brunch at Joe Jr.'s because I was craving Good 'ole American food. There's something special about paying $10 and under for a gigantic meal that's not mindblowing, but just satisfying.

We headed down to Battery Park for a free concert featuring Conor Oberst and Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) as part of the River to River summer series. It was nice being able to just lay down and sun-nap for a little while listening to live music.

At 6pm, we left to go to Penn Station and head over to the West bank to see the annual Macy's Fourth of July fireworks, which took place over the Hudson this year to celebrate the 400th yr discovery of the Hudson River. It was super crowded, but we managed to nab a spot by 40th street. A few friends came and joined us later on, and much snacking and picture taking ensued.

At promtly 9:20pm the fireworks began. It was a great 30-minute display.

We went back to a friend's apartment and had red white and blue (organic) cake while watching The Alamo. A nice nighttime walk back to Union Square brings me to where I am now: 3am, tired, but happy.

h a p p y 4th <3>