Category Archives: Events

The Easter Egg Hunt – Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NYC

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We had a little picnic and easter egg hunt for my 2 year old cousin and all of his friends in the park on Sunday. It was a perfect day for a picnic – 65 and sunny, not a cloud in the sky. It was also good to be able to use all of those natural dye eggs for something other than eating. I made Chicken salad, Curry Tofu Salad, and brussel sprouts with bacon. We also brought a bottle of champagne and orange juice along to make make mimosas. The chicken for the chicken salad I made the night before in the start of my very own master stock, so it has a bit of a soy-orange asian flavor which complements quite nicely with the grapes. The chicken salad is pretty easy to make and you’ll find the recipe below the photos.

Easter Egg Hunt - Brooklyn, NY
Chicken Salad / Brussels Sprouts

Easter Egg Hunt - Brooklyn, NY

Easter Egg Hunt - Brooklyn, NY

Easter Egg Hunt - Brooklyn, NY

Easter Egg Hunt - Brooklyn, NY

Easter Egg Hunt - Brooklyn, NY

Easter Egg Hunt - Brooklyn, NY

Easter Egg Hunt - Brooklyn, NY

Easter Egg Hunt - Brooklyn, NY

Chicken salad
Breast of a Whole chicken, cut in to fine pieces
1/2 cup of mayonaise
1/2 red onion, minced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
20 grapes, halved
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together until well combined

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Fun with Color and Texture – Natural Dye Easter Eggs

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Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs have seriously never been so cool until now. I used to decorate these little guys as a kid and got bored with stickers and crayons and such. But then I discovered making my own natural dyes which gives each egg its own earthy randomness. The process is simple, chop or shred veg and fruit (the ones that usually bleed color) and add it to a pot – red cabbage, beets, spinach, carrots, onion skins, etc. Add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar and water to top off. Throw in the eggs and boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes, reducing the liquid dye. Sift with a fine mesh sieve into a jar and now you have dye which you can add up to 4 cups of water to if needed.

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs

If you want less randomness and more uniform, solid colors, boil the eggs first by themselves then add to pre made dye. Here are some of the ingredients I used:


Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs

Aside from cooking the eggs with the ingredients, you can also make sure some of the sediment makes it into the jar which will help create more random looks. For example, the spinach didn’t yield great results on the boil. But putting the egg in the spinach dye overnight, got me a very cool earthy color and texture. The following are the results I got with the dyes. I’ll explain the process of each one under each image.


Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs
Beets – This is fairly uniform, although my bowl was shallow so one side got darker than the other. It would have been best just to dip the egg in a full jar.

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs
Tumeric with a pinch of saffron – the egg cracked which gave it even more texture. This is one of my favorites!

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs
Yellow Onion Skins – boiled in pot with skins. Love the textures

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs
Spinach – soaked overnight in dye and sediment

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs
Blueberry – yeah, kind of gray. Boiled in blueberries to give it the textures. If you soak it overnight, you’ll have more of a blueish gray.

Fun with Color and Texture - Natural Dye Easter Eggs
Red Cabbage – This is my absolute favorite. You’d think it would be red or purple but red cabbage yields blue tones. Boiled with the cabbage it produces a trippy patterns.

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Great Bars in New Orleans, Louisiana

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Frenchmen Street - New Orleans, Louisiana Of course, the favorite past time of locals and tourists alike is drinking and New Orleans is the best place to imbibe with a great selection of bars. Here is a list of memorable places that I stopped in to have a drink or two (or 10).

Bar Tonique
820 North Rampart St.
New Orleans, LA
(504) 324-6045

This place is a cocktail mecca. They make their own tonique water and have an impressive list of original and classic cocktails that always have a creative twist. The bar is beautiful and is a great place to hang at night or even just a great middle of the day drink place.


Bar Tonique - New Orleans, Louisiana

Bar Tonique - New Orleans, Louisiana
Making of a Sazerac

Bar Tonique - New Orleans, Louisiana
Sazerac

Bar Tonique - New Orleans, Louisiana
Dark & Stormy

Bar Tonique - New Orleans, Louisiana
Bar Dog (not a cocktail, just a dog)

One Eyed Jacks
615 Toulouse Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Chill Bar up front, club in the back. The place hints of Burlesque and sure enough, they do a show there along with live bands a few days a week.


One Eyed Jacks - New Orleans, Louisiana
One Eyed Jacks

Three Muses Jazz Cafe
536 Frenchmen Street
New Orleans, LA

So far, my favorite place for Jazz. Great musicians like Glen David Andrews and Aurora Nealand’s Royal Roses. The food here is just as outstanding as the music. Come early, to get a table it gets crowded fast!


Three Muses - New Orleans, Louisiana

Three Muses - New Orleans, Louisiana

Three Muses - New Orleans, Louisiana

d.b.a
618 Frenchmen Street
New Orleans, LA. 70116
504.942.3731

We have two d.b.a’s in NYC and i’ve always known it to be a place to get an obscure beer or whiskey. The d.b.a in New Orleans is where you go for swing dancing and jazz singers.


d.b.a - New Orleans, Louisiana

The Spotted Cat Music Club
623 Frenchmen Street
New Orleans, Louisiana

Also a great jazz spot on frenchmen street. This is the place to be for Jazz folks. Arrive in New Orleans and make a bee line to this street, great food, even better music!


The Spotted Cat Music Club

45 Choup
4529 Tchoupitoulas Street,
New Orleans, LA
(504) 891-9066 ‎

Very Cool Bar in Uptown. Its made from reclaimed wood from Katrina. The bartender here was one of the sweetest bartenders I’ve ever met.


45 Tchoup - New Orleans, Louisiana

Absinthe House
240 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 523-3181

I almost don’t want to put this place in the list because they were very rude about me taking pictures and actually kicked me out of the place. But, despite its stupid football helmet motif, it is a very old and very cool bar. The bartender was cool though.


The Old Absinthe House - New Orleans, Louisiana

The Old Absinthe House - New Orleans, Louisiana

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Chinese New Year – Nom Wah Tea Parlor

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Happy Year of the Dragon, everyone. Enjoy these photos from Chinatown and a very cool chinese place called Nom Wah. They actually make an eggroll from scratch that is unlike any other eggroll ever. Its an crepe-like egg omelette wrapped around vegetables and then battered and deep fried. Best Eggroll ever!

Nom Wah
13 Doyers St
New York, NY 10013-5104
(212) 962-6047
nomwah.com


Chinese New Year - Chinatown, NYC

_MG_1688

Nom Wah Tea Parlor - Chinatown, NYC
Pan Fried Dumplings

Nom Wah Tea Parlor - Chinatown, NYC
The Original Eggroll

Nom Wah Tea Parlor - Chinatown, NYC
Soup Dumplings

Nom Wah Tea Parlor - Chinatown, NYC
The inside of a soup dumpling

Nom Wah Tea Parlor - Chinatown, NYC
Sauteed Chinese Broccoli in Oyster Sauce (one of my most favorite vegetables ever)

Nom Wah Tea Parlor - Chinatown, NYC

Chinatown - Chinese New Year 2012

Chinatown - Chinese New Year 2012

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Thanksgiving Preparations and the Feast – Day 3

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this is part 3 of a 3 part blog post on my thanksgiving meal – click here for part 1 and part 2.


Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!

The Thanksgiving feast came and went. It was highly successful and everyone left stuffed and happy. The bird turned out perfect. The 48-hour brine, reducing the salt to 3/4 cup did the trick. It was not dry; it was not mushy; it was just right. I understand the bird could just be done in a 24-hour brine with 2 cups of salt, but I wanted to do the 2-day brine, more out of convenience than anything else. I will say that it did eat up a lot of valuable refrigerator space. Keeping the refrigerator organized and accommodating all the pre-prepped dishes, was probably the single hardest task of the whole meal.

Also, while I did a lot of research on the preparation of the bird, I will say that I should have dedicated a little more time to how to carve a bird. I was a bit at a loss. Now we are in the leftover stage and should probably be eating it over the next few days, with the help of 5 others who are our guests for the weekend

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
The turkey coated with rosemary, lemon, and garlic butter, ready for the oven

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
Rosemary, Lemon and Garlic Butter

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
Mashed Potatoes with Dill and Chives

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Gratin topped with Panko and Parmesan

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
The Bird with gravy

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
Green Bean Casserole

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
Corn Casserole (a recipe from my Aunt Alice Berarducci)

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
Brioche Stuffing with Kale and Pears – there was also one with bacon, but this dish was prettier

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
The Bird again

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
My Plate with a little bit of everything

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
Caramel Apple Pie

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
Sous Vide Dark Chocolate and Bacon Ice Cream

Thanksgiving Preparations and The Big Feast!
Sous Vide Salted Caramel Ice Cream

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Thanksgiving Preparations Part 2

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this is part 2 of a 3 part blog post on my thanksgiving meal – click here for part 1 and part 3.

Progress is being made. And a guest chef stopped by in his PJ’s for some late night Ice Cream making

Thanksgiving Preparations - Day 2
Buttermilk Biscuits from Flour by Joanne Chang

Thanksgiving Preparations - Day 2
Sous Vide Dark Chocolate and Candied Bacon Ice Cream (My Own Recipe)

Thanksgiving Preparations - Day 2
Chef Eli stopped by last night to help with the Ice Cream making.

Thanksgiving Preparations - Day 2
Chef Eli stopped by last night to help with the Ice Cream making.

Thanksgiving Preparations - Day 2
Chef Eli prepares the Ice Cream for ripening

Thanksgiving Preparations - Day 2
The Stuffing is Brioche Bread, Pears, Kale and Bacon

Thanksgiving Preparations - Day 2
Close up of the vegetarian stuffing for the lone vegetarian in the house. All of the sides are veggie-friendly, except a stuffing with bacon.

Thanksgiving Preparations - Day 2
Caramel Apple Pie is ready for the oven.

Thanksgiving Preparations - Day 2
The Pie just out of the oven.

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Thanksgiving Preparations Part 1

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this is part 1 of a 3 part blog post on my thanksgiving meal – click here for part 2 and part 3.

Preparations actually started on Monday, although I just did a little vegetable chopping that day. Tuesday was the day that I started the brine on the Turkey. Most recipes call for a 12-hour brine, I’m going for the full 48-hour brine. Of course, the amount of salt has to be adjusted from the 12-hour brine. I adjusted it from 2 cups down to 3/4 cup to avoid too much saltiness in the meat and to avoid the mushiness that comes from a long brine with a high salt content – Everything else will remain the same. I used the Thanksgiving issue of Food Networks Magazine as a guide for my turkey making as this is the first time I will be cooking a whole turkey myself. I did once deep fry a turkey many years ago, but roasting is a lot different. The brine is an Orange-Tea-Bourbon Brine, that smells amazing.

Thanksgiving Preparation
14lb Turkey in an Orange-Tea-Bourbon Brining Bag

Thanksgiving Preparation
The bacon up front is for the Dark Chocolate and Bacon Ice Cream. The bacon in the back is unseasoned bacon for the Brioche Stuffing with Kale and Pears

Thanksgiving Preparation
Two dishes have kale – The Brioche stuffing with Pears, Kale and Bacon and the Butternut Squash and Kale Gratin

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The Highline Food Trucks – NYC, NY

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I don’t know if the NY’ers have noticed but this year The High Line (an old raised freight railroad path that was abandoned and then renovated into a beautiful park that overlooks Chelsea and the Hudson River) has been extended yet again. At the end of it (we will call it the end since it is the last part built) there is a brand new Roller-Skating Rink, A small UniQlo shop and rotating Food trucks. There is only one thing that could make this area cooler – ROLLER DERBY. And yes, they are doing that too!

Between July 28 and September 26, the High Line Rink will be open daily, from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM Sunday through Wednesday, and 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM Thursday through Saturday. West 30th Street and 10th Avenue.

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY
View of the High Line Food Trucks from The High Line at W 30th Street

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY
The Lot – the little beer garden at The High Line Skate Park

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY
Eddie’s Pizza Truck

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY
10″ Personal Pie with Artichokes, Tomato and Spinach from Eddie’s Pizza Truck

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY
The Taco Truck

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY
Pescado Taco from The Taco Truck

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY
Korilla BBQ Truck

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY
Meat cooking on the grill at Korilla BBQ Truck

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY
The Spicy Pork Kimchi Taco at The Korilla BBQ Truck

The Highline Food Trucks - NYC, NY
Ice Cream Sundae from Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck (the pistachio is killer!)

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Parked Food Truck Festival 2011: South Street Seaport, NYC, NY

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Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY

Last year I covered The Parked Food Truck Festival out on Governor’s Island and I wasn’t too pleased as I saw enormous masses of people turned away after waiting entirely too long in endless and confusing lines. This year was such an amazing improvement over the last. Lines were shorter, less chaotic (as less chaotic as they can be in such situations) and the only people who ran out of food were the freshman food trucks that didn’t know what they were getting in to.

All things considered the food was inventive and fun and I had a great time perusing the endless carts thorough the South Street Seaport. Hats off to Mean Red Productions for making this a really great event.

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Red Hook Lobster pound was the first to run out of food last year and this year they did a great job of keeping it going.

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
The Lobster Roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Swedish Meatball Sandwich from Mighty Balls

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Two Pita’s in a Pod Truck

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Falafel Pita from Two Pita’s in a Pod.

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Slider with Sweet Potato fries from GoBurger

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Shaved ice from The Shaved Ice Shop

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Shaved Ice with Caramel Corn

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
SPICY RICE CAKE – Grilled Rice Cake dipped in Korean Red Pepper Glaze and topped with Queso Blanco and Green Onions from Kimchi Taco Truck

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Kimchi Tacos from Kimchi Taco Truck

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Winner of the coolest truck – Fojol Bros. Ethiopian Food Truck

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Lentil Berbere from Fojol Bros. Ethiopian Food Truck

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
Joyride takes caffeine to a whole new level. I like their logo!

Parked Food Festival - South Street Seaport, NYC, NY
The Brooklyn Bridge from the South Street Seaport. Nice quiet place to relax and chat after having a big meal from various food trucks

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Cocktail Hour at St. Barts – NYC, NY

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Last weekend my family celebrated my second youngest cousin’s wedding in NYC. The ceremony was catholic so it was looonngggg…but short while after we started the cocktail hour at St. Barts in Midtown which was absolutely fantastic. I though the reception was also wonderful but it would have been nice to have the entire reception outside on this little patio. There was a bit of rain that day so it wouldn’t have been perfectly ideal for the entire wedding. The h’ordeuvres at St. Bart’s were out of this world – especially the radish with clarified butter.

For those who are tying the knot, I highly recommend this landmark as an elegant and beautiful place with a living backdrop of New York City.

St. Barts Episcopal Church
325 Park Avenue (at 51st Street)
212-378-0222

Cocktail Hour at St. Barts - NYC, NY
The Bride relaxing after a long day getting ready and getting married

Cocktail Hour at St. Barts - NYC, NY
Stephen Mancini, of North Armonk, otherwise known as the Groom, chatting at the cocktail hour. He chose a reggae band for the entertainment and they were delightful.

Cocktail Hour at St. Barts - NYC, NY
radish, beet & goat cheese

Cocktail Hour at St. Barts - NYC, NY
radish with clarified butter (amazing)

Cocktail Hour at St. Barts - NYC, NY
seafood bar

Cocktail Hour at St. Barts - NYC, NY
pepperoni flatbreads

Cocktail Hour at St. Barts - NYC, NY
wild mushroom & red onion flatbreads

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