to eat / what i ate recently around nyc

(1) Bagel from Tompkins Square Bagels (Can’t get a good bagel in NJ!)
(2) Roasted broccoli is a fave (olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, 425F for 25 min)
(3) Bar Primi fiore di carfiosi pasta (pretty but so-so). They take reservations now, but I probably won’t go back!
(4) Fresh California uni at Chelsea Market‘s the Lobster Place.
(5) Chelsea Market Mokbar bulgogi ramen. Share and get a side of extra noodles. The ho cake and tteokboki was less exciting.
(6) Cauliflower steak. Same process as (2). Cut it less than 1 inch thick.
(7) Roasted chicken using Trader Joe’s brined chicken and used some of this recipe. I need a meat thermometer. Love my Falcon enamelware. So easy to clean!
(8) Hu Kitchen “Benny” eggs benedict with chicken sausage, kale, and jordy cakes.
(9) Shake Shack’s new Shackmeister burger with crispy beer marinated shallots. I still prefer the Shack burger… 

(1) The only Beard Papa’s Cream puff left in NYC also sells Mud coffee. The Paris brest cream puff wasn’t as fresh and cream filled as my memory.
(2), (3) Red Farm is Asian fusion and was a surprisingly good brunch – their shrimp & snow pea leaf dumplings and curry crab dumplings were delicious. The skin was thin.
(4) Harbs is a new Japanese cake boutique. Beautiful cafe, much pricier than Lady M (think $10+ on average for a slice). Their cakes are less sleek and more ambitious than Lady M and tends to tumble over. This slice had tons of berries, chocolate chiffon cake, and some rum.
(5) Simit and Smith — Turkish “bagel” is called a simit. Slim and chewy.
(6) This is a relative of the pomelo — it’s so much more fun to eat when it’s all peeled and segmented.
(7) The Harbs’ spin on the millecrepe has tons of fruit. I didn’t care for the banana.
(8) Seasonal red velvet cake from Lady M did not impress.
(9) Shiny Tea in Flushing Panda milk tea = mini white pearls + normal pearls. The mini white pearls fascinate me. They have the same texture!

weekends / the ideal breakfast

For the not so lazy Saturday mornings…

(1) Fresh strawberry and banana smoothie in the personal sized blender which I’ve had since 2001 – so convenient and one less thing to wash
(2) Tom Cat baguette sliced and toasted with salted Irish butter
(3) A cara cara orange, which is also great segmented with beets and goat cheese

weekends / ringing in 2012 with raclette

Raclette is a type of Swiss-French cheese. It smells unless you’re cooking/eating it. You grill the cheese on a bottom layer. Once it’s at the right melting point, you pour it on top of cooked potatoes, charcuterie, veggies, etc. You can also grill veggies on the top of the grill and/or keep your potatoes warm (depends on your grill). It’s similar to hotpot in that it’s easy to organize and does not require cooking skills.

I’d discovered raclette when I was in Zurich a few years ago and revisited it in Paris at my friend’s housewarming dinner. That friend graciously gifted me a raclette grill, and another friend here offered up his place, which led to a small gathering for a simple NYE raclette dinner.

New Yorkers have it easy. While in Paris, I helped my friend prep and we had to divide and conquer, i.e. go to this store for bread, that store for roses, and another place for wine, etc. We have a grocery delivery service called FreshDirect that has almost everything you need, except the grill and fresh baguettes. The fresh baguettes were easily solved – the market down my street gets daily delivered from TomCat and Balthazar. You can also buy cored pineapple, already cooked beets, peeled shallots, etc. Wash/slice/plate everything else hotpot style and you’re ready to eat!

We also had tons of dessert, both homemade (with a special dose of luck inside) and store-bought. I was so stuffed and could barely eat it! I’m looking forward to another raclette party some time in the near future. Hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve!

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