In My Life, I've Loved Them All

A New York Holiday

My friend Monica is in town for a few days… sadly I am sitting at work while she is traveling all round the city, at least most of what she is seeing I’ve done once or twice already (the MET, Ground Zero, etc). I did have to miss the Lion King matinee, but I’m sure that will be around for awhile ;)

We have been able to share some very fun times, revolving mostly around food :) And I’m not complaining!

Tuesday June 28:
Live Bait
A cute fish resturant by my work, reminds me of a Joes Crab shack on the inside but a touch less cheesy. I had the blackened salmon and it was tasty. They serve you mini cornbread muffins too which were very light and airy, so I probably ended up eating like 6 :p A cool place to visit for a work week lunch.

Cafe Frida
It’s not Tex-Mex or Cal-Mex (i did not make up that term, read it in the NY Times thank you very much)... Cafe Frida is authentic mexican cuisine on the Upper West Side. I enjoyed sizziling Figitas, though i must admit I was suprized when the plate arrived with beef and veggies that were marinated in a sauce. It ended up being quite tasty. However, the beans and rice were nothing to write home about. The chips were fine, not as wonderful as Lauriol Plaza, and… oh wait… we got a very small amount and no refills. Granted, Monica and I both had plently to eat, but still, a good Mexican resturant should replenish the chips! I also had my 1st prickly pear margarita, and it was lovely BUT they cleared my glass before it was all gone! I was NOT ammused. All in all, a lovely resturant that I wouldnt mind going to again if I were in the area. But with so many places to eat in NYC, it seems silly to go to the same place twice.

Wednesday June 29th:

John’s Pizzeria
This resturant comes at the high recommendation of my good friend Zan… sadly, I had to work and couldn’t across town for lunch… but Monica did bring me back a few slices! I had one for breakfast this monring ;)

Lucky for us, it is Resturant Week in NYC, so we’re able to enjoy some fine dining that would usually be out of our price range. Butter happens to be one of Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen’s favorite resturants, sadly we did not see the spindley duo there. We did enjoy a lovely 3 course meal and good service. I left feeling full… not suffed, but perfectly satisfied… which makes one realise how stupidly large the portions are at chain eating establishments (ie FGI Fridays) geesh. Apparently Butter is a hit of miss place for the price… it was a hit for me :D The Bathrooms at Butter are also way cool… very mondern and trendy, though somewhat hard to lock/unlock/open the doors (aka you feel silly you cant work the bathroom)

Pommes Frites
Admit it, you watch the Food Network! Well, if you do, you may have caught the episode of The Secret Life of ... where they go to Pommes Frites! It’s in the Village, and makes authentic Belgium fires (fried twice, so healthy) and have like 30 different dipping sauces :D Very yummy, basically Monica and I walked around after Butter long enough to be hungry again for fries! You can catch the episode on the history of french fries on Food Network 7/25 at 10:30 PM.

Magnolia Bakery

nullI think it is a rule if you come visit you have to go to Magnolia Bakery… they did not have the sugar cookies that I enjoy so much, so I opted for their classic cupcakes. I always seem to remember after I leave that I should have gotten the white cupcake with the non-chocolate frosting… but i always forget while I’m inside and instinctively go for the chocolate. Silly me… but they are just too cute!

Thursday June 30th

Tavern on the Green
I know you’ve heard of it ;) They have a prefix Resturant Week menu as well… we were lucky to get some last minute reservations in! Fingers crossed it doesn’t rain tonight!

Good Deal, Indeed

Today, I had the awesome opportunity to meet Dave Liberman, the Food Network’s newest chef. I’ve been watching his show Good Deal with Dave Liberman since its premier this April. Simple, affordable gourmet cooking for the young and somewhat broke… fabulous :D

Dave prepaired Flank Steak with Dave’s Rub, Roasted Red Peper and Leek Soup, and a Blueberry Pecan Crumble. All were very tasty. I was particulalry impresessed with the crumble.

I also got a signed copy of Daves cookbook Young & Hungry. Awesome!

What a day! It was worth the hour long bus ride through a rather unsavory part of NJ to get to the Short Hills Mall, a high end mall actually. Fairly bizzare, it’s like finding Fashion Island in the middle of Garden Grove. Crazy state.

Note to self: Still need a good grill pan, perferable cast iron, some good industrial knives and perhaps an immersion blender. And an ice cream maker, just because.

Run Ziff, RUN

JPMorganChase Coporate Challange

Today I am joining about 40 work collegues in a race around Central Park. It is a coporate challange, so of course we have been provided with shirts that have ZIFF DAVIS MEDIA plasterd across the back. But, they are a very good quality Nike Tru-Fit running shirt, and ZD is paying all the fees, so I’m not complaining :D

* * * * * *

Ok, it was a great race… apparently none of us realised this wasnt for any particular cause, at all… not huge point besides companies competing against eachother :P I DID finsih the 3.5 miles in under an hour… excellent. But I MUST say, Ziff Daivs hands down had the best shirts. It was a georgeous day to be outside. And I met a lot of new Ziff Davis employes, who I gladly joined for pizza and beer afterwards ;) Excellent.

Playing in the Kitchen: White Chocolate-Apricot Muffins

Who needs the Muffin Man? I made wonderful muffins this weekend from a November 2000 Cooking Light

White Chocolate-Apricot Muffins
White Chocolate-Apricot Muffins

Very tasty. Though having a muffin man around may not be the worst thing ;) Until then, here is the recipe, enjoy!

White Chocolate-Apricot Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces premium white baking chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon sugar


Preheat oven to 400°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through chocolate) in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, butter, and egg; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into each of 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Spoon 2 teaspoons preserves into center of each muffin cup (do not spread over batter); top with remaining batter. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake at 400° for 22 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

A Black Tie (optional) Affair

A big controversy is a brewin’... I shall be attending my good friend Heath’s wedding in July. The invitation states “Formal Suit Required, Black-Tie optional” which is well and good for the male guests… but us females have to dwell on the meaning…

Here is my dress


... It is not only beautiful, but the exact style and color I was hoping to find, and I look amazing in it (was even able to find SHOES to wear with it).
Here’s the rub… it is a summer wedding in mid afternoon. Hours have been spent pondering among friends what the right style of dress to wear really is. Is strapless/full lenght appropriate for the event? Would wearing white be a phopah if you are not the bride? What fabrics are “Black Tie Optional” appropriate? Are shoulders a no no if the wedding is in a church?

Reguardless, I am going to wear my light blue dress and I am going to look fabulous :D

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