Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hello from Hong Kong

Just wanted to send a quick hello from Hong Kong. This is the view from our friends' apartment where we are staying. It's quite dramatic and beautiful. All of my food photos are on my real camera--how old-school, I know. But don't worry, I will upload them soon. The food has been fantastic. We have devoured dim sum and Peking duck, and will have Sichuan today. Tata for now.

Bonjour Asia

Happy early birthday to Will and me. We are off to Asia. Cannot wait to explore Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Thailand. Here's to a great trip filled with adventure, exotic food, and exciting, new experiences. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Maida Heatter, Welcome to Our Home

A dear family friend gifted us with the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and a few vintage Maida Heatter cookbooks--two essential kitchen must-haves. While I didn't know Maida Heatter a few years ago, I certainly do now. She is the dessert queen. I first fell in love with her decadent and chewy brownies and now I'm in love with her Florida Lemon Squares, which I made for my Secret Santa. 

These sweet and tart squares are sandwiched between an oatmeal sugary crust that is to die for.  I seriously want to make a few batches and freeze them just so I can eat them at leisure.

I can't wait to keep exploring these books and picking out some household favorites. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sunday Football: Braised Short Ribs

My Sunday was pretty cozy. Will and I vowed to make time for ourselves and avoid any major plans. Our day basically involved cookbook browsing, checking out our new bookstore Word, grocery shopping, and cooking, while watching Dexter. We watched a little football too. 
We zeroed in on a Barbara Lynch Red Wine Braised Short Rib recipe. It was very easy to prepare. Basically you preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Salt and pepper your short ribs. Sear six minutes on each side. 
In another sauce pan, sauté onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Add red wine, beef broth, and tomatoes. Throw in a few bay leaves, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, and a few sprigs of thyme. Once the  liquid has reduced, add to the seared meat, cover, and braise for five hours. 

We had our short ribs with roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus. We paired the meal with an Italian Monferrato by Kermit Lynch. Pretty lovely for a Sunday. Go football! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Cook Book Stall in Reading Terminal, Philadelphia, PA

Credit: Al Jones
Looking for a fun day trip? Why not head to Philadelphia for a day trip? The city is bursting with holiday spirit. I recommend getting lost in Reading Terminal. There are dozens of stalls filled with an assortment of food including oysters, cheese and meats, wine, honey. 

Make sure to stumble upon The Cook Book Stall. This petite shop has one of the best cookbook collections around town. Jewish/Sicilian cuisine? You got it. The hottest cookbook of the year? Yep. It's there. And if it's not, the charming owner Jill will be happy to assist. The Cook Book Stall is a must whether you're a professional chef, modest home cook, or kitchen novice.

The Cook Book Stall

1100 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 923-3170

Sunday, December 8, 2013

And the Holidays have begun!

We just returned from the annual Christmas party hosted by my family friends in their gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone. It's really one of the parties of the season. Lot's of good friends, wine, and tons of delicious food. It's always fun catching up with loved ones.

One special highlight of the party is the hostess literally bakes hundreds of homemade cookies as goodie bags for guests--what a treat! Did I mention that it also snowed? How cozy. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Debrief

Well, by now we have all survived our first day back at work (hopefully). Like me, you're probably feeling a little puffy and full from carbo-overloading and wine gulping.

We started our Thanksgiving day with bubbly and fine appetizers with my dear friend Caroline at her home. After achieving a buzz at 11am, we went back to my parents' house to cook and graze fireside. We had steamed oysters and clams, pâté, cheese, and samosas (we're very multicultural). 
Our first dinner course was dedicated to Hanukkah, and featured crispy potato latkes and cranberry sauce. Our main course was turkey roasted by my brother and husband, sausage stuffing, and heart attack potatoes courtesy of another dear friend, Vicki. Parmesan and pancetta green snap peas and sauteed mushrooms were the chosen vegetables. And dessert was bread pudding and pecan rugelach that we had to eat the next day due to fullness.

It was such a decadent day, filled with good friends, family, comforting food, and a cozy fire. I hope your holiday was just as delicious as mine!