Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New York City

Here I am coming live from New York which is just a little far from home. I am over here for a two week trip with my brother. We will be in New York for 6 days (including new years eve) and then move on to Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Since I won't be baking for a few weeks I thought instead I would share with you some of the meals, snacks and food related stores we encounter. Please don't expect lavish restaurants and exciting discoveries. We are simple (sometimes very fussy) eaters and are trying to experience as much 'american' food as we can . So that include chain restaurants, fast food and what many might see as a little boring and everyday. We also don't have a huge budget so 5 star restaurants are definitely out of the question. Another thing, because lighting is often so bad in restaurants, and mostly I'm too busy eating to take pictures, most of the photos posted will come form the establishments own website. Although that isn't authentic blogging, my aim is more to share the places we visit, rather then my personal photos.

So what are our food highlights from the last three days?

At the end of our first full day in NYC which I filled with shopping and my brother went to a giants game, we decided to check out the local restaurants near our hotel (The Pod Hotel). We decided on a nice local bar, The Pig and Whistle. I had Chicken Tenders and Fries (which will be a common choice for me) and my brother G had The Real McCoy Burger . It was great food, great atmosphere and what seemed very authentic. This was an experience quite different from the touristy times square.

By the time we had lunch on our second day we were starving! We ran into a deli-cafe downtown, just near Wall St. I have no idea what the place was called but I had an amazing Chicken Parmigana Panini. It was shredded chicken mixed with marinara sauce and basic, grilled with a slice of mozzarella. It was incredible.

The next night told a very different story. It was times square, and chain restaurant goodness at Dave and Busters. I had been to Dave and Busters in St Louis on a previous trip and knew it was a place my brother would love. You get what is expected here, menu favourites that are well made and taste good. I had The Mac and Cheese (with bacon and chicken!). G had the Island Grilled Trifecta, skewers of sirloin steak, chicken and shrimp with a variety of dipping sauces, served with rice.

On our walk back to the hotel I couldn't resist this GIANT black and white cookie from Hot and Crusty bakery in Grand Central Station. It took me two days to finish but was so very worth it. The cookie was soft and crumbly, the frosting just the right thickness, and it seriously was huge.

By the third day, the coldest yet, we were exhausted and needed an early night. We had pizza for dinner, I had cheese, G had pepperoni. We couldn't resist the garlic knots either. You really can't go wrong with pizza, the slices are huge, the prices are great. You can get good pizza just about anywhere in New York, we got ours from Red Stone Pizzeria Cafe near the hotel.

So far the food has been good, but I know it's only just begun. I can't wait to try out even more, check out some markets and food halls and then get back to Australia to cook it all for myself. But for now its into my nice warm bed out of this cold.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Cookies

So the other week I blogged about how I would love to be able to give away some cookies and other baked good for christmas. I wasn't feeling too optimistic about it but miracles do happen. I finally got into the kitchen and made cookies, Chirstmas cookies!! then I wrapped, decorated, tagged and delivered this lovely little parcels of joy. I made two varieties, a basic butter cookie cut into stars (The recipe was from the cookie cutter box) and basic shortbread.

It wasn't all success though. As well as the little parcels, I also made a cookie christmas tree. Sure it all went together ok, and looks good. But fast forward a day to when it was supposed to be delivered and its not such a pretty store. It fell apart, and an emergency gift was needed instead. I'll just leave you with pretty pictures and spare you the future horror.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So I missed it....

Well my blog anniversary came and went yesterday and I missed it. I do have an excuse, I've been out of town for the last 4 days, so I guess I kinda have a reason. If I was one of those super-bloggers I would have pre-planned and had a a post ready to go. But if you have looked at my blog, you should clearly know that I am not one of those super-bloggers! I might whip up a cake in the next few days, but honestly I wouldn't hold my breath! Anyway, thank you to those of you who have joined me even if just for a little while in the last year, and I hope I can continue to slowly slowly get better at this blogging thing, or at least better at baking. Please, keep coming back, and say hi as well!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Simple Chocolate Slice

Simple. Such a delightful word. Its what I strive for. Nothing complicated, easy to understand. But the annoying thing about keeping it simple, is that its not. Some things will always be complicated, no matter how hard we try to make it otherwise. Sometimes we make things more complicated then they are. But there is always something that makes it all better, for me anyway. Time spent in the kitchen is therapeutic, its my time to just be. And then you get the sweet rewards, there real is no better way to keep it real. And simple.

This slice really does live up to its name. Throw the ingredients into the bowl, mix and bake. Expect what the recipe looks like, its not a rich decadent slice, but a great one to have on hand for afternoon snacks.

Simple Chocolate Slice

1 cup self-raising flour
395g condensed milk
1/2 cup choc chips
1/2 cup coconut
20g butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease and line a 20 x 30cm baking pan. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, condensed milk, choco chips, coconut and butter.
2. Pour into pan, bake for 15-18 minutes. When cool, ice with chocolate icing.