Archives for January 2014

What I’ve Been Eating Lately

And now, for a quick look at some of my favorite recent eats around the city:

IMG_20130827_083434_015 Pomme Palais macarons

Disclaimer – I work for this joint. But I’ll be damned if these macarons aren’t outstanding. Wow…they are made fresh, every single day, by a marvelous staff who painstakingly fills each crunchy almond cookie with fragrant raspberry jam, nutty pistachio ganache, or fudgy chocolate. You never get a stale one, because they are replaced every single day without fail. And a fresh macaron – chewy, crispy, light, and intense – is perhaps my numer one favorite sweet treat. These are among the best in the city.

IMG_20140112_123147_467 Vodka slice at House of Pizza and Calzones

I could shoot myself for not taking a beauty shot, but hey, at least the underskirt was captured, right? Besides, pictures could never capture the intense, cheesy wonderful nature of this slice. The vodka sauce is very creamy and sweet, with only a mild tang from tomatoes. It’s so rich next to the milky fresh mozzarella that covers the slice. Yet, it isn’t flat or boring – the sauce is generously spiked with oregano and the paper thin crust provides a wheaty, earthy backbone. I can’t recommend this slice enough – it may have replaced sausage and onion as my all time fave slice flavor!
IMG_20140113_131432_835 Anything at Viand

How many diners are there in this city? About a gajillion, right? But how many good diners are there? I have been to like 4 – and this is one of them. The place is pristine, with good service and they never look at you weirdly if you come in alone and just want to sit and read a trashy magazine…or a Pulitzer Prize winner…because that’s what I read. The salads are fresh, with no limp or slimy veggies, and there are curly fries.

Curly fries, people.

Get an omelette, get a turkey club, get a slice of homemade pie, and whatever time you get it, it will be fresh, delicious, and delivered quickly.

Long live the reliable diner. 

Dairy-Free Mushroom and Pancetta Bisque

My sister has developed lactose intolerance.

This means no more fondue night. No more grilled cheeses at 2 AM after a night of going out. Pizza must be consumed in moderation and macaroni and cheese can only be enjoyed with a side of Lactaid.

However, there are a couple of tricks we can use to make sure that she can still eat SOME of her favorite foods.

Mayonnaise based dipping sauces.

Coconut milk ice cream.

And, of course, tofu in creamy soups.

Stop gagging – I said stop it!

Silken tofu is creamy, thick, and – best of all – a flavor sponge. It has no taste whatsoever and totally absorbs whatever seasonings you add. Blend it up and it is a damn good approximation of cream in things like sauces and soups.

Luckily, she isn’t allergic to pork:

Dairy-Free Mushroom and Pancetta Bisque

mushroom soup

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs. assorted wild and domesticated sliced and cleaned mushrooms

handful of rosemary and thyme

1/2 lb. pancetta

2.5 cups chicken stock (yes I used concentrate and no, it wasn’t as good…are you happy now?)

1 lb. silken tofu

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 glug sherry vinegar

1 glug Marsala wine

2 tsp. cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste (At least 2 tbsp. each)

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

olive oil, as needed

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1. Sautee the pancetta in a medium pan until the bits are brown and crispy, like bacon. Pancetta is cured with garlic and herbs, so  the scent that invades your kitchen should be nothing short of magical.

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2. Ad the mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Sautee for about 10 minutes, until the shrooms are tender and the onions are glossy and translucent. You may need to add a little oil her to make sure there is enough fat to brown the ingredients.

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3. Add the Worcestershire, the vinegar, the wine, the seasonings, and the herbs. sautee for another couple of minutes. The mushrooms will release a lot of water.

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4. Now, blend the stock and tofu with a blender or stick blender.

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5. Add a spoonful of the shroom and pancetta mixture, and blend more. I do this because I like lotsa shrooms in the soup, but not too many. Blending some of them takes care of that.

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6. Add the broth mixture to the pan and turn the heat down VERY LOW. You don’t want to ring this to a roaring boil or the soup will break. I mean, it will taste good if it breaks, and there isn’t anything grainy about the texture, but it doesn’t look as good. Don’t ask me how I know this.

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7. Heat GENTLY until the soup is hot, and then taste for seasonings.

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8. Serve with vegan or real cheese and sour cream, and enjoy.

This soup is fabulous, if I do say so myself. It would be even better with a hit of truffle oil, but hindsight is 20/20. The mushrooms are so meaty and savory and the cayenne adds an almost fruity hit of spice that enlivens the soup. the wine is rich and the vinegar is tangy – don’t forget that Worcestershire to bring the salt. And the texture – wow. Creamy, buttery, and totally appropriate for a lactose loving palate. Topped with some sharp parmesan and cool sour cream, its’  really a satisfying winter night’s dinner.

Or the vegan stuff works too.

After all, I’m almost a health food chef now.

Please pass the pancetta.

The Greatest Cooking Shortcuts

If you couldn’t guess by now…I’m pretty lazy. 

I love spandex pants – no zippers to zip.

I love spoiler websites – who wants to sit through the entire LOTR trilogy, anyway?

And I LOVE cooking cheats.

I’m not one of those cooks who thinks that you need to can your own jams  and butcher your own hog to make a a homemade meal truly authentic. I’m not quite the Semi Homemade Nightmare that some celebrities are (nor am I subtle), but there are a few products that I just LOVE using to make my meals faster, easier, and more accessible. Here are my faves:

Worcestershire Sauce

Stuff from heaven, nothing less. This is salty, savory, umami in a bottle. It’s made from anchovies, garlic, about a million spices, and other things, and let me tell you…it’s the missing ingredient in almost anything. It’s the key to my shortcut Caesar dressing, the star in every single burger, and I wouldn’t go near a Bloody Mary that doesn’t use the stuff. I never use anchovies – just use this potent stuff. it makes everything taste much deeper and richer, like you have been boiling stock all day just for your last minute bouillabaisse. Don’t leave home without this.

Canned tomatoes

If you have a bumper crop of tomatoes and a bunch of time on your hands, by all means, put up your own tomatoes this week. However, if you have no desire to stand around the kitchen in the heat, boiling, seasoning, sterilizing, and washing for hours, then just buy the stuff in the cans. Nowadays, there are so many varieties of canned tomatoes—imported, Mexican, organic, and fire-roasted to name a few—that there is no reason that you can’t find the tomatoes you need for your recipe. Even when tomato is the star, store-bought canned tomatoes offer the same tang and acidity of home-canned ones. The low sodium ones are especially useful, so you can doctor them up yourself. I use them in salsa, in tomato sauce, and even roast them with plenty of garlic, basil, oregano, and olive oil. 

Canned Stock

I know, I know that homemade is best. And if I had a huge suburban freezer, I would totally just make a huge batch and keep it frozen year round to always have wonderfully gelatinous, rich stock at my disposal.

But, sadly, I have only a tiny NYC fridge.

And I like watching The Real Housewives more than I like boiling soup bones.

So boxed stock makes it into my soups, sauces, roasts, and purees. It often gets a bump from fresh herbs, but come on…this shortcut is a no brainer. 

Pre Shredded Cheese

If I am making dinner for 3 or 4, sure I will grate the stuff fresh – it tastes much more vibrant and fresh, and it doesn’t have all of those weird ingredients that keep it from clumping. But when I am making 60 mac-and-cheese cups for the preschool party or 2 huge trays of tamale pie, I’m going with the pre-grated stuff. It might not be great, but it is quite good.

Cookie Dough

Because ain’t no one complaining about a freshly made cookie, no matter who made the dough.

The World’s Best Foie Gras

This article recently appeared at Tanja Ellis Culture Home. However…how could I not share it with you all here? It’s my favorite subject and I really want my favorite readers to enjoy it (that’s y’all). So, without further ado…the world’s priciest way to raise your cholesterol:

Foie gras is one of the world’s most coveted foods. For those who love it, nothing compares to the rich, meaty taste of foie gras. From lollipops to the classic torchon, here are the world’s ten best foie gras dishes.

Rendang and Apple Foie Gras at Frangipani, Kuala Lumpur

Frangipani’s rending and apple foie gras exemplifies Kuala Lumpur’s fusion of Asian and Westernized cuisines. Aromatic curry in the rending combines with caramelized apples and a phyllo dough sphere to complement the seared foie gras. This fusion dish seems destined to become a modern classic.

Foie Gras Lollipops at Amber, Hong Kong

Though one might not expect dessert before the main course, that’s what is on the menu at Amber. Here, a foie gras nugget is concealed within a candied shellac of raspberry and beet, topped with gingerbread and beetroot.

Le Burger at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Tokyo

Eating Joel Robuchon’s famous French food in Tokyo is not only delicious, it is totally whimsical. His “Le Burger” tops a juicy beef patty with pat of seared foie gras and sweetly caramelized bell peppers that take the American comfort food classic to a wholly new level.

Foie Gras Nigiri at Maido

Japanese expatriates in Peru have invented Nikkei food, which is the blending of Peruvian and Japanese cuisines. Nowhere is it done more exquisitely than at Maido. Try the foie gras nigiri, which consists of sushi rice placed under a tiny lobe of seared foie gras. Seasoned only with sea salt, this collision of tastes, textures, and cultures comes together seamlessly.

Cromesquis de Foie Gras at Au Pied de Cochon, Montreal

Martin Picard’s casual restaurant is an ode to all things foie gras, but the standout dish is the cromesquis de foie gras. Two golden brown cubes arrive at the table, with instructions to let them cool for a few minutes because the interior is piping hot. A thick, crispy breading surrounds a molten interior that is rich, buttery, and the essence of foie gras.

Foie Gras Crème Brulee at Sage, Las Vegas

This gamble that Chef Shawn McClain makes in Sin City pays off in spades. The foie gras is whipped into a light, creamy mousse that is then given a sugary, crackly top. It’s sweet, savory, and utterly addictive.

Foie Gras Soup Dumplings at Annisa, New York City

Chef Anita Lo has made her mark on the culinary world by fusing Chinese and French techniques, and her seared soup dumplings with foie gras have been on her flagship restaurant menu since day one. Thin skin dumplings are filled with a meaty broth then topped with seared foie for the ultimate umami experience.

Foie Gras Crunch at Osteria Francescana, Modena

The foie gras at this modernist restaurant is cooked into a smooth torchon and then filled with aged balsamic vinegar and rolled in toasted nuts before being served in “ice cream bar” form.

Foie Gras Confit at Benoit, Paris

This classic bistro’s foie gras, cooked gently in its own fat, is rich beyond compare. Served with warm brioche, the foie is positively buttery and perfectly executed.

Foie Gras En Croute at Le Relais de la Poste, La Wantzenau

Set in the city of Strasbourg, this small hotel-cum-restaurant serves traditional French cuisine in a serene setting. Get the baked foie gras and you will receive a golden, flaky pastry that cuts open to revel an entire velvety foie gras. Just book a room ahead of time, because after indulging in the the specialty of the house, you won’t be in the mood to go anywhere.

Make the Most of NYC Living With These Eating Events

If you don’t live in NYC, there are a lot of things you have over us.

Mexican food.

The price of buying a home.

Kids who know what grass is.

But there are a few things that make this busy, expensive, smelly city worthwhile.

Namely, events like these – I am going to try to hit some up this weekend, and so should you, if you can! (I wasn’t compensated for posting about these-they just look and sound delish!):

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Get in touch with your Austrian side at Cooking A Capella’s Schnitzel, Spaetzle, and Strudel class. Austrian food is the best – it’s hearty and utilizes lots of butter, bread, and potatoes – basically, it’s just what you need in this arctic weather.  At this class, prepare to “make Jagerschnitzel (a breaded pork cutlet with a bacon-mushroom sauce) homemade spaetzle with cabbage and cheese (made by hand with a spaetzle board) and apfelstrudel mit vanillesauce made easy with phyllo dough.” Anything that says “mit vanillesauce” is going to be delicious. Plus, you get 10% off if you buy tickets here.

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Brooklyn Night Bazaar

Why is Smorgasburg still getting all the press when this place is somwhere you can go without a hangover or worrying about the weather? Head to Williamsburg, and from 7 pm to 1 am, listen to live music, buy clothing and knick kancks from assorted vendors, and…of course…pig out. Enjoy street tacos from Oaxaca Taqueria, my favorite brisket from Delaney BBQ, and what many consider to be the greatest ice cream around, from Ample Hills Creamery. Buy a SuperPass and get 2 free drinks, skip the line, and – oh yeah – enjoy playing glow in the dark mini golf! Bring cash and don’t forget to hit up the bars in the bazaar.  after all, it’s party night!

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Ayza Couples Night

if you are single, go with a friend and make out a little. It’s worth the potential awkward day tomorrow to get this chic chocolate restaurant’s free Jacques Torres truffles at the end of your meal. You have to eat anyway, right? Why not make it a dinner filled with reasonably priced wine, tasty meat and cheese plates, and then chocolates from the city’s most esteemed chocolatier? Just follow these instructions and don’t forget a chocolate martini to go alongside.

Cheeseburger Salad

This isn’t what I would call a new recipe. I have seen it around more blogs than I can name. Really, it’s everywhere.

But just because I know about it doesn’t mean that YOU know about it.

So here is my version…it has a lot of kick, a minimal amount of work, and…oh yeah…it’s paleo (because you know who is still eating like a caveman).

Paleo Cheeseburger Salad (adapted from Andie’s awesome recipe)

Ingredients:

1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded or chopped

2 tomatoes or a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced

a handful of cornichons, sliced

1 bunch scallions sliced, white parts especially

1/3 cup shredded vegan cheese

1 lb. sirloin

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

a douse of hot sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tsp. champagne or apple cider vinegar

a couple of squirts of  American mustard and ketchup

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1. Turn the pan on medium high and throw the meat, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in there. Saute it till it’s, ya know, mostly brown. Break it up with your spatula – like you are making chili. Yeah, that’s the way. When it’s done, turn off the pan.

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2. Combine all of the vegetables.

3. Combine all of the mayo, ketchup, mustard, and vinegar, and taste for seasonings. I like a hefty amount of ketchup, you may be more of a mayo gal. It’s all up to you.

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4. Toss the beef, drippings and all, onto the salad. Add the dressing and cheese, mix well, and serve immediately.

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My fiance called this “tres Taco Bell.” And honestly, I was humbled and honored. To hear that from a man who on most days would give his right arm and both of his eyes for a Doritos Locos Taco…well, that’s just something else. This has a wonderfully trashy taste to it – its meaty and crunchy and cold and melty with cheese. The dressing is so decadent – I am embarrassed to say that I could eat it off a spoon, and sometimes do. This meal isn’t low-fat, but it is ideal for low carbers or Paleo eaters.

And for the 5 of us who still eat bread, it tastes awesome on a slice of sourdough. 

5 Unconventional, Unbelievably Tasty Sandwich Toppers

I love a sandwich.

I mean, I honest-to-goodness love me a sandwich.

I crave sandwiches more than almost any other food. PB and Js, BLTs, hamburgers, fried egg, grilled cheeses…any sandwich you can name, I want and have made.

That’s how I know what makes the best sandwiches. It isn’t the meat. It isn’t the veggies. it isn’t even the bread.

It’s the unexpected topping.

I’m not talking eggs, hot sauce, or mayonnaise. I’m talking out of the box toppings.

So, from sweet to savory, here are the best ways to take your sandwiches to the next level.

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Membrillo

This Spanish quince paste might just make you forego fig jam forever. It’s sold fresh in slabs and has a very gelatinous, almost stiff texture – you slice it and it must be room temperature before it spreads. Quince is very sweet with a bright, citrusy note. It’s like cooked pears combined with figs and lemon juice. It’s the perfect way to spice up your grilled cheese sandwiches. It would be incredible on a steak sandwich with Gorgonzola and arugula – the heat melts it so it brings out the high, light notes and intensifies the sweetness. Put this with any cheese or pork product and you will be thrilled.

Potato salad

Hear me out…have you ever HAD potato salad on a sandwich? It might sound gross but it really makes sense. What is it, after all? Mayonnaise, diced onions, and salt…all sandwich ingredients. And then, of course, cooked potato…that’s where the genius comes in to play. Leftover potato salad is properly mushy and spreads perfectly on soft bread. It adds texture to a turkey sandwich and is wonderful when warmed by slightly scrambled eggs. Even make it the star of the sandwich on soft potato bread – a potato-ception. And it really takes BLT’s to the next level.

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Canned asparagus

What is canned asparagus good for, you may ask? Not much. But it does make a fantastic sandwich topper. It’s soft enough to mush into a spread, and mixed with cream cheese or mayonnaise. It can act as the main ingredient for a tea sandwich, but it’s fantastic on a turkey sandwich layered with thinly sliced red onion and mustard – it provides a light, vegetal taste without adding the crunch of lettuce. It’s just mushy, fresh, asparagus taste…it tastes better than I make it sound, I swear!

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Balsamic Vinegar

I put this on a lot of things. But, man, does it bring a sandwich to the next level. It brings out the acidity in a grilled cheese with tomatoes. It adds sweetness to a warm leftover roast chicken and sauteed onion sandwich. It lends the perfect sense of umami to a fried egg sandwich – far better, even, then soy sauce in this case. If you take the time to boil the vinegar down (I will show you how to do this soon), all the better – the flavor concentrates and event he cheapest stuff turns syrupy and tastes wonderfully sweet and tangy. But even the cheap bodega stuff brings out the flavors of your sandwich when sprinkled on. I can’t say enough about balsamic on sandwiches.

Potato Chips

What, like you haven’t ever done this?

Wait…you haven’t?

Stop reading. Now.

Go to the kitchen and get the bag of emergency chips – you know, the ones you are saving for the next Law and Order: SVU marathon.

Now make yourself a  sandwich. Any sandwich will do, but one with meat is really good. Especially roast beef. And cheddar. Don’t bother with too many veggies, but some shredded iceberg is fine. Now put those chips on there  – hopefully sour cream and onion. Layer your soft bread on top and bite in.

Bliss.

Crunchy. Soft. Meaty, Sharp.

You can thank me in the morning.

What are your favorite unconventional sandwich toppers? I need some new addictions!

Slow Cooker Low Fat Carnitas

As promised, I am breaking out my slow cooker this year!  I present to you a recipe that is not only easy, it is lean and it is insanely flavorful.

Carnitas is basically Mexican pulled pork. Traditionally, it’s slowly cooked for hours with a very fatty cut of meat and tons of herbs and spices until the meat breaks down into juicy pieces. Then, it’s fried in its own fat until some pieces are juicy and tender and others are crispy and crackly. It’s often served in warm tortillas with tart tomatillo salsa.

This is the easier, leaner version. And it’s fantastic, if I do say so myself.

Don’t skimp on the fresh orange juice – it totally transforms the taste of the pork. And also, don’t expect it to be as delicious as carnitas made from a fattier cut of meat – fat is always best. But considering how tight my jeans are, loin is really a better choice here.

Besides, I topped it with quite a hefty amount of guac and Greek yogurt, so I got my fat in that way.

Booyah.

Slow Cooker Low Fat Carnitas:

carnitas Ingredients:

1.5 lbs. pork loin, cut into chunks, fat left on

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 large onion, cut into thick slices

juice and zest of 2 oranges

1/2 cup of beer

2 bay leaves

3 smoked chipotles in adobo, plus the sauce from the can

2 tbsp. each taco seasoning(including salt), coriander, and cinnamon

toppings: scallions, lime juice, cilantro, guacamole, etc.

IMG_0617 1. Dump all ingredients except garnishes – yes, ALL ingredients – into your slow cooker. Turn it on high and let it cook for 6 – 8 hours.
IMG_0620 2. When it is falling apart and tender, it is done. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. You can eat this like a hearty Mexican stew or…
IMG_0631 3. You may refrigerate it over night. Just ignore that grease that hardens on top. It’ the flavor and there is so little fora huge amount of meat that you really need it. I recommend letting this sit for a night because, like most slow cooked food, this gets much better with some resting time over night.
IMG_0635 4. Shred with a fork, a la pulled chicken, then reheat gently in a saucepan.

IMG_0637 5. Serve with accompaniments and enjoy.

This is why the slow cooker rocks. It makes a vibrant, healthy, wonderfully tasty meal with almost no work at all – just some very simple prep. The beer makes the pork tender and savory and the chipotles add a smoky, gentle heat. The orange juice is a key player here. It adds a sweet, fresh tang to the meat – that’s why lime juice, which echoes the citrus, is so great as a garnish. The meat is very tender, like short ribs, and though it can be a little dry (because it has almost no fat), it’s ideal in a burrito or taco salad.

IMG_0642 Spicy, soft, meaty, and low fat, to boot…if this doesn’t convince you to buy a slow cooker, I don’t know what will!

NYC’s Best Lazy Buffets

I happen to love a good buffet. The hedonistic, gluttonous, slightly(more than slightly?) trashy experience of eating mountains of sushi, prime rib, eggs Benedict, and “gelato” until your stomach is distended and the clock has turned from AM to PM.

But…there is something a  little better than the standard buffet, which also includes lines, sneeze guards, and less than optimally heated food.

That would be the lazy person’s buffet.

Where the endless food is just brought to you. You don’t even need to get up from your chair. Expandomatic pants are all that’s needed.

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Churrascaria Plataforma

Have you ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse? Because if not – and you eat meat – you have been missing one of life’s greatest pleasures. A pleasure that starts with cheesy, puffy yuca rolls, like doughy gougeres. That progresses to a massive salad bar filled with vegetables, pasta,  spicy bean stew, and other items. A pleasure that reaches its savory climax in the parade of meats. Servers come to your table and slice you different cuts of freshly roasted meats – as much as you can handle. Literally – you have a little token that you make red when you want to stop eating, but as long as it’s green…you keep getting fed. And this stuff ain’t hot dog meat, either. We are talking smoky pork chorizo, garlicky rubbed steak, salty and wonderfully rare prime rib, Parmesan crusted juicy pork chops, and every kind of rib you can imagine. Don’t forget the bottomless mashed potatoes, fried bananas, and french fries. And don’t forget to come early…you can stay as long as you want and with food this tasty and at a price this reasonable-you will want to eat as much as you can.

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Moti Mahal Delux

This New Delhi export makes the UES the best brunch neighborhood in town. For just $15, you get intricately flavored, delicately balanced Indian food – as much as you can handle, and then some. Pungent bhel poori, creamy tikka masala, buttery dahl, fragrant saag paneer, fresh naan…and the menu changes every weekend. If you gett he brunch special, you get what the Michelin-recommended chefs want to make that day. And if they would eat it themselves, why wouldn’t you eat it? The food is not heavy or salty – it’s complex in flavor and texture, and is highly recommended for the most discerning Indian food connoisseurs (not that I’m discerning, but I have had a lot of tandoori in my life…just saying). Do NOT miss out on the gulab jamun for dessert – the yeastiest, warmest, softest doughnut I have had in  many a moon. As added bonuses, service is excellent and the menu is very vegetarian friendly.

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Mish Mosh at Sugar and Plumm

Not a buffet, but it might as well be…do you SEE the size of this thing? Vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, potato chips, gummy bears, chocolate candies, whipped cream, blondies, and chocolate sauce…and a spoon.

Or 2 spoons if you want it to be more of a meal with loved ones and less of an ode to lactose tolerance and gluttony.

Whatever floats your boat.

It isn’t cheap, but it is insanely decadent (LOVE those salty chips!), and where else can you go at 9 PM and see an entire menu filled with desserts, fit for an out-of-town guest (for those times when a diner just won’t cut it)? It’s over the top, but then, that’s just what buffets are.

Especially lazy person’s buffets.

I’ll meet you at the table.

Moti Mahal Delux on Urbanspoon

2014 Foodie Resolutions

2013 was awesome in so many ways. I had some tremendous personal and professional strides, and I was really luckier than I deserve.

 But, I want to make 2014 even better. Richer. Fattier.

So, here are my 2014 resolutions:

1. Experiment with other proteins

Duck. Pork. Elk. Bison. Why don’t I cook with these proteins more? I eat them in restaurants and enjoy them – if I can read a recipe, I can cook them, right? They are healthy and easily found – why not spice up my usual steak or chili with a new type of meat? Buh bye beef, hello other proteins.

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2. More slow cooker recipes

Because how AWESOME is this thing?! Yes, it’s fantastic to create and cook complicated recipes, but how often can we cook those? Once a month if the house is clean and you aren’t occupied, and you have $100 to burn. Quite frankly, people like easy-to-prepare meals – I know that I do. Slow cooking results in flavorful food that is easy to cook, often inexpensive, and intensely flavorful. Expect me to drag out that Crockpot more and more this year.

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3. More desserts

I have a salt tooth, we all know this. But I spend too much time and money on ice cream, gross packaged cookies, and the like. I have an ice cream  maker, a thousand baking pans, and access to chocolate chips and flour. Even if it’s just me finding recipes and directing you to them, I think it’s worthwhile to sweeten up this blog!

4. Fewer mediocre reviews

Because this blog in’t just a space filler for me. It’s a labor of love, it’s a source of work, and it’s valuable information (if it isn’t, just let me live in rapt delusion…). Why tell you about a place that’s merely okay?

NO.

I am going to either write about great places or horrible ones.

Because this isn’t a mediocre blog. It’s a great one…or a horrible one?

5. Season of yeast. Again. Shut up.