eat. shop. love. nyc.

Chocolate-covered strawberry football cupcakes
August 1, 2011, 9:56 am
Filed under: Cook, Eat | Tags: , , , , , ,

In the spirit of the upcoming college football season, I thought I’d share my friend Sera’s football cupcakes from her last Superbowl party. Chocolate-dipped strawberries with icing laces! How festive and football-y is that?

You should see the hamburger cake she made for her bf’s birthday. Uh. Maze. Ing.

If you want her to whip up some custom cupcakes/cakes for your next fete (bdays, bridal showers, baby showers, weddings), leave a comment or tweet me and I’ll send her a note for you. She is one half of the sometimes-on Project Cupcake.


Spicy devil deviled eggs recipe
November 9, 2010, 8:06 am
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Who doesn’t love deviled eggs? The fun thing about deviled eggs is that you can really play around and experiment with different variations on the theme without messing them up too badly. A little mayo, a little mustard, something crunchy for texture, a bit of spice… and voila!

So I was trying to come up with a creative Halloween-appropriate finger food for a mini get-together I was having prior to Halloween barhopping on the LES. I thought why not dress up deviled eggs as little devils?

I decided to use some red food dye for color, a mix of hoisin sauce and sriracha to draw on the faces, and cut and dyed little carrot pieces for the horns (celery would also work). I’d do a couple things differently the next time around, though. For one, I wouldn’t bother to dye the outside of the egg whites – dying the yolk creates enough red for the face, you actually can’t really see the outsides anyway, and it dyes everyone’s fingers red. I’ve omitted the step in my directions below. Secondly, I’d use celery for the horns instead and chop a little bit of it for the yolk mixture to get a bit of crunch and to get that celery taste. If you’re not a celery fan, a tablespoon of finely sliced green onion would probably also do just as well in the yolk mixture and you can use carrots for horns. Recipe and step-by-step photos after the jump! Continue reading

Spiced cranberry ginger punch aka Witches’ Brew
October 21, 2010, 8:04 am
Filed under: Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I was glad to see that the Witches’ Brew punch was so well-received at Hobby, even if no one could see the ice hand floating in the punch because I was too lazy to buy a punch bowl for the occasion. I now see the error of my ways, and I will be sure to shell out for a punch bowl next time I go to the trouble of making ice hands so you can witness them in all their gruesome glory.

For now, the recipe for the punch, which I modeled after the recipe I found on Epicurious (surprise!) by Kemp Minifie. I’m going to rename it “spiced cranberry ginger punch” because that’s way more descriptive than “Witches’ Brew.” Though “spiced cranberry ginger punch” is a mouthful.

Ingredients (Yields ~2 gallons of punch):

  • 4 to 6 cinnamon sticks – I used 4 2-inch sticks and found myself wishing for a stronger cinnamon taste so I’ve upped the recommended amount of cinnamon.
  • 12 to 15 whole cloves
  • 2 fingers of shredded ginger – I just used a peeler to shave off thin slivers of fresh ginger. For a stronger ginger kick, use more.
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 quarts of cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
  • 1 2-liter bottle of ginger ale, chilled
  • 1 2-liter bottle club soda or seltzer, chilled
  • 1 bottle of dark rum – spike to taste. I ended up using close to an entire bottle of rum and got something like 40 people pretty tipsy, and it tasted deceptively un-boozy but packed a serious punch (no pun intended).
  • Ice

Preparation of spiced syrup

  • Bring cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger, water, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep, uncovered, 1 hour.
  • You can refrigerate the spiced syrup, covered, for up to a week. Strain out the solids before use.

Preparation of punch

  • Combine cranberry juice, seltzer/club, ginger ale, spiced syrup, and rum in a punch bowl. Stir to mix. Add ice and serve.
  • Note: if you want to turn this recipe into individual cocktails, just keep to a ratio of 1/2 cranberry juice, 1/4 seltzer, 1/4 ginger ale, spiced syrup and rum to taste.

Bloody severed finger cookies recipe
October 20, 2010, 8:34 am
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The turnout at Hobby last night was great! I had a blast listening to Leo pontificate on jazz, James schooling us on paragliding, and Abel talking about traveling the world on the cheap. For those of you who attended, my sincerest apologies for what was, at best, a rather scatterbrained stream of consciousness loosely guided by slides that didn’t say much of anything. At the very least, I hope you enjoyed my finger cookies and the punch.

I’ve gotten a few requests for the recipe, so I’m going to post the recipe that I used, which is slightly modified from this one by Clare Crespo. As always, I went through all of the other cooks’ reviews and tweaked the recipe according to their suggestions, which is why you’ll find I reduced salt, increased flour, dipped almond slice nails in jam, refrigerated before baking, and baked with almonds in. I added extra vanilla because I like it, and the bloody chocolate was my own idea, though I’m sure I’m not the first to have come up with it. Recipe after the jump>>

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Bastardized (but easy peezy) tinga de pollo tacos
January 13, 2010, 8:39 am
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If you are a Mexican food purist and take issue with degrees of authenticity in cooking, please stop reading this post. You will be offended. If you are a Mexican food enthusiast and busy cook who is too exhausted and too hungry to do a whole lot of work after getting home from work, read on for my bastardized tinga de pollo (stewed chicken) taco recipe.

I first came across tinga de pollo in Mexico City at a quesadilla kiosk in Coyoacan on the Avenue Hidalgo. The chicken was moist, flavorful, and needed no cheese, served simply sandwiched between the halves of a pan-grilled corn tortilla. I fell in love at first bite.

When I returned to NYC, I vowed to recreate the best quesadilla of my life, but in taco form. I did a bit of research. Tinga is a general term that refers to any meat (beef, chicken, or pork) that is shredded and stewed in a spicy tomato sauce.  Tinga is Spanish for “chicken.” It can be served in warm tortillas as tacos, on tostadas, in quesadillas, or as a meal with a side of beans and/or rice and tortillas. Unfortunately, I found that stewing chicken and making salsa verde from scratch takes time, and I am not always in the mood to spend that time. (If you want to do this from scratch, click here for a great tinga de pollo tostada recipe.) I took some dramatic shortcuts, but the end result was still tasty and superfast, and it’s great for a weeknight build-your-own-taco dinner party. Recipe after the jump. Continue reading