Showing posts with label Cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cookies. Show all posts

Friday, November 21, 2014

chef after dark

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"taking a cooking class with your husband."  it sounds like a fun date night, right?  while it was a blast to go to, it was hardly a date night.  i guess the point of "date night" though, is to force ourselves out of the house and do something fun together.  so last night "technically" still fit our requirements.  it just happened to be with people we "know" (more on that later) and ended in a hangover the next morning.

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jersey city is a funny place.  people are so welcoming and interested in meeting new people that we all start following each other on instagram and social media before we meet in person.  before you know it, 6 months (or more) go by, and you still haven't met each other in person.  when you finally do it's like
"hey i'm jenn" 
"yes i know, nice to finally meet you in person, i'm renee"
"yes i know, nice to meet you too"
"i love your blue sofa!"
in a round about way, that's pretty much the conversation we had last night.  maybe we never met in person yet, and maybe we've been stalking following each other on instagram for quite some time, but we felt like we already knew each other!  it's sort of weird, right? when i talk about it, it's weird.  but it doesn't feel weird. that's the cool part about it.  social media is a wonderful thing.

anyways, about this cooking class we took! it was hosted by bambino chef and lourdes of the vine.  lou lou from lourdes of the vine provided the wine (and the awesome wine tasting lessons!), while renee of bambino chef provided the rest with the help of chef joyce.  the night started off with some sparkling wine to help us through getting to know one another.  once everyone arrived and suited up, we were split into 2 groups.  hung's group made cheesy savory cookies, and my group made garlic sausage with puff pastry (i forget what each item was called, i'm terrible with my french food!!) once everything went into the oven, both groups started assembling the figs with blue cheese! since it's not fig season, chef joyce rehydrated dried figs with port wine, red wine, and water so we could stuff them with blue cheese, bake, and drizzle with a port wine reduction.

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guys.  it.  was.  so.  good.

the cheesy cookies were amazing (how could you not enjoy it when 2 of the 3 main ingredients were butter and parmesan!?)  the garlic sausage with puff pastry tasted like "pigs in a blanket" to me, but with the nicer meat (i.e. NOT hotdogs) and puff pastry instead of croissants. served sliced with mustard, they were the perfect little one-bite snack.  lastly the figs.  omg the figs.  not a new flavor to us, we've been making pizzas with dried fruit and blue cheese for a while, but when it was in one-bite form with the sticky delicious port wine reduction, i could have eaten the entire plate.

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each dish we made was paired with a french wine.  i've always read about how to pair wine with food, and i've read about how to properly do a wine tasting, but i've never actually done it.  i had never been taught to do it.  last night i learned that swirling the wine in the glass, indeed, does make the smell come out better, and slurping the wine, indeed, does bring out the flavors.  (i felt so fancy doing all those fancy wine things and actually understanding why instead of doing it because that's what i see people do when they get a bottle of wine in a restaurant).

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what a great group of chefs after dark last night!! we were all basically best friends by the end of the night.  maybe the wine helped.  but this is why i love doing things like this.  lou lou and renee weren't exactly strangers to us, but the rest of the group definitely were strangers to us when they walked in the door at the beginning of the night.  by the end of the night we hugged goodbye like best friends.

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while bambino chef focuses on children's cooking classes, kids birthday parties, and occasionally a private party for adults and families, i have to say the first adult class open to the public was quite the success!! 

just wait.... you're gonna see those savory cookies again soon.  like, maybe, on that holiday coming up, that one where it's ok to indulge in butter and cheese.... and nearly everything else.

cheers.
jenn

p.s. can you tell we had a great time? i'm posting this literally hours after the event when i haven't posted in, well, almost 2 weeks! i'm a terrible blogger....

Monday, April 28, 2014

from the weekend

hello friends! how was your weekend? sunday nights should be for getting to bed early to get a fresh start monday morning, right?  well, that's the goal anyways, but i never fail to stay up later than usual making monday "seem" to get here later.  that is, until my alarm wakes me up at a sunny 5:45am (i swear it only stays dark out for an hour on sunday nights)

...and when sundays are filled with purging, putting things up on craigslist, giving things in our home a permanent home, doing laundry, and spending the evening with friends for an always-fancy sunday dinner, i'd have to say sundays are my favorite these days.  i don't feel obligated to get out of my pj's until i need to leave the house (which means, if i don't leave the house, they don't leave my body)  i don't feel obligated to be social. i can enjoy the crazy amount of natural light spewing into my apartment at the peak hours of afternoon sunshine.  and, most of all, i get to spend quality time with that roommate of mine that i normally refer to as my fiancé.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

february date: a brooklyn adventure

my first attempt at topping all other monthly dates failed.  kung fu is an off-Broadway show in manhattan about the life of bruce lee.  perfect, right?  i like shows, hung likes bruce lee.  it was going to be perfect, and tickets were going to be just $70 TOTAL for the two of us.  i ordered them, it was going to be the best surprise ever.  but only 20 minutes after i ordered tickets online, i received an email saying my order has been canceled.  there was a glitch in the system and i would be refunded all of my money.  i tried a second time, and the only tickets available were in march, and they were $75 EACH.  more than double the original price! although if it was a special occasion i may have just bit the bullet, but i was just so angry at the fact that my order was canceled for ticket prices to just go up that i decided it just wasn't meant to be.

luckily though, hung claims that my plan B turned out to be the best date yet (jenn does the happy dance!)  we have had such great experiences at olive oil and vinegar tasting rooms, so i set my sights on finding one in the city.  luckily for us, there's one right in williamsburg! it's called o live, and it's pretty close to a lot of other fun places, so i decided to turn our date into an adventure!

before trekking to brooklyn, though, we stopped at a vintage furniture store in manhattan called furnish green.  i have had my eyes set on a credenza there, and i NEEDED to at least look at it in person.  let me tell you guys, this store has SO many cool things! and in such great condition!  sure, your average vintage store might have a handful of mid-century modern furniture in beat up condition for a price you might find on craigslist, but this place is carefully curated, and only keeps items in good condition.  the pieces might be a little bit more expensive, but i'm no expert at refinishing furniture (let alone stuff that may or may not have a veneer on it), and i'm not about to PAINT mid-century modern stuff either.  hung ultimately made the "adult" decision, and said we needed to pass on the credenza, we don't "need" it now anyways... maybe one day though ;)

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next stop, o live! i planned out our day such that we had to walk to the farthest place first, then work our way back to the train.  although we didn't purchase anything at furnish green, we were on a small "high" of furniture shopping (guys, it's SO fun!). so when we passed all those hipster vintage shops in williamsburg on our way to o live, we couldn't help by pop into some of them.  needless to say, we WILL be going back soon!  we tasted practically every balsamic vinegar at o live before settling on the cranberry pear white balsamic and the vermont maple dark balsamic.  we ran out of 2 balsamic vinegars at home recently, and before this purchase we only had, say, 3 or 4 kinds of balsamic vinegar at the house.  clearly we "needed" more options!

just a few blocks away was a vietnamese bar and restaurant called bia.  i was drawn to this place because my during FIRST time in new york city (looking for apartments, ironically), my friends took me to a place in manhattan (that's now closed) called bia garden.  just like it sounds, it was a TINY beer garden tucked away in the tiny "open space" behind a building somewhere in manhattan (I had no idea where I was at the time, NYC was so overwhelming!) bia had a great vibe, although when we first walked in, we were the only ones there, so i was a little concerned my day date plan was going to be disasterous.  we sat at the bar, we each ordered a guinness, and soon people started strolling in.  i decided on my favorite vermicelli noodles with grilled pork and spring rolls, while hung ordered a grilled pork banh mi sammich, both better than expected! my noodle dish had about half lettuce, half noodles, so it was more like a salad than most places (which serve a huge bowl of noodles with a sprinkle of veggies).  we ventured to the rooftop, which was closed for the winter, but looked like it would be so fun in the summertime! i'll have to remember this place come april or may :)

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(don't make too much fun of our mini photoshoot.  guys, it was 55 degrees and sunny in FEBRUARY!! it put us in a good mood :P)

next on the list was momofuku milkbar! the only time i had tried to go to a milkbar location was after dinner in manhattan, when milkbar is just PACKED.  although the intention was to get dessert, hung may have ordered the best thing on the menu: the volcano.  i'm not sure if it's on the menu all the time (it's not posted online), but this thing was a very chewy bun stuffed with pork, potatoes, carmelized onions, and fontina cheese. not exactly "dessert", but hey, that's how he rolls ;)  we also ordered the corn cookie and the 5 boro cookie, both worthy of ordering again (and again and again).

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last stop on the date was barcade! yes, we have barcade in jersey city too, but because we were so close and the brooklyn one is the original one, i felt the need to at least stop in for a beer.  it is practically the same thing as the one in jersey city (except ours is bigger with more arcade games!)  they have similar craft beers on tap, behind the bar is a big chalkboard wall with the menu and lots of neon beer signs, and no barstools match.  seriously barcade is the best bar to go to with a dive-bar feel with better-than-dive-bar beer (and, of course, all of your favorite childhood arcade games).

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around 3pm we looked up the location of the restaurant for dinner with friends, and found out that it was in williamsburg too! with a few hours to waste before dinner, we explored a grocery store (one of our favorite things to do! don't judge!), picked up grocery store sushi (i'm such a sucker for it), and made our way over to the restaurant.  with still an hour or so before dinner, we popped into surf bar.  this place smelled of nothing but fried calamari, it was crowded, and there was a beach on the floor.  yes, you read that right, sand on the floor, throughout the entire place! when i was lured in with the "hot spiked apple cider" sign out front, i was not expecting sand on the floor.  and, if we weren't heading to a pre-fixe, 3-course dinner soon after, my hands would have been ALL OVER that calamari.

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the rest of the evening was spent celebrating a birthday with out-of-towners, so date day ended at surf bar.  days like this are why i love new york city!!!! i wouldn't have changed a thing!

(except maybe grab more cookies from milkbar... damn they were good)

cheers!
jenn

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

bad bloggers forget to charge their cameras

bad bloggers bring their sony nex-f3's 600 miles home for christmas with 4% battery.

bad bloggers don't take pictures of their parents wonderfully-decorated trees (that look better than mine from being carefully curated for the past few decades)

bad bloggers don't take a single family photo at their significant others house (or get a decent picture with their own family... there was one with my mom on my iphone, but it's certainly not blog-worthy)

bad bloggers leave their readers for an entire week because they have to do christmas-y things (or, maybe that's a good blogger? spending time with family trumps blogging? yes, that's a good blogger thing to do, it would only be a bad blogger thing to do if blogging was my day job... sigh)

however, i did get some photos from the weekend before the camera crashed....
christmas 2012 1 christmas 2012 2 christmas 2012 3 christmas 2012 4 christmas 2012 5 christmas 2012 6 christmas 2012 7 christmas 2012 11 christmas 2012 9 christmas 2012 8 christmas 2012 10 christmas 2012 12 christmas 2012 13 christmas 2012 14 christmas 2012 15

1. fixing the korean soon doo boo that our bodega lady made for us the night before we left for ohio
2. me and mr smiley ;)
3. proud parents
4. he's gonna be a good daddy someday!
5. mr p's pops was having a good christmas!
6. snuggling up before unwrapping presents
7. miss ellie girl
8. mr p's pops and little bro
9. the ladies of mr p's family
10. matching gucci bracelets... thanks mama p!
11. matching christmas socks (thanks to me :P)
12. mussels... MMmmm
13. banh bot loc
14. finally some greens! (i mean, where's the cookies?)
15. spaghetti and meatballs

there was family time, there were mussels the size of your head, there was catching up with old friends (and non-so-new baby... he's only 9 months but he's walking and talking!!) there was a new delicious sweet onion salad dressing (stay tuned for the recipe!), there were homemade spaghetti and meatballs, there was laughter with friends, a night of youtube-watching with the parents (who initiated the youtube-watching marathon), there was skyping with family in florida, and lots and LOTS of hours on the road... 600 miles is too far to live from home (when are we moving to chicago again??)

last but not least, we were introduced to some DELICIOUS locally-made cookies! mr p and i came home to at least 6 packages of flour loves sugar cookes displayed on the dining room table when we got home... after eating at least half of the stash in a day and a half, we opted NOT to take the rest home with us (what were we THINKING!?!?) we might buy some for ourselves soon, the cranberry loves white chocolate ones were to... die... for!!

in true jenn & mr p form, we're busy bees through NYE, and have another 10-hour drive home for another wedding 2 weeks from now... i guess it's the price we have to pay for living in such a great place!

cheers, everyone, and happy holidays :)