I don’t know about you guys, but fall is basically equivalent to PUMPKIN in my mind (which is funny because a few years ago I was thoroughly convinced that pumpkin was disgusting even though I’d never tried it)
I mean, you have to admit that pumpkin is pretty weird and slimy.
but once I tried it there was NO going back. I think I’ve basically tried every pumpkin flavored thing there is by now.
(cough cough the starbucks pumpkin spice latte was disgusting haha)
but the actual BEST thing is the pumpkin pie oh my at shake shack– it’s literally a big cup of custard with a whole slice of pumpkin pie whipped in.
I WOULD LITERALLY TRADE MY FIRST BORN CHILD FOR ONE RIGHT NOW BUt they don’t come out until november :,(
I guess I’ll have to settle for these pumpkin chocolate chip bars
which are, in all honesty, almost as good as the shake shack thing
And in a blink of an eye….summer’s gone! Is it me or is the length of summer inversely proportional to your age? Seemed to stretch endlessly when I was 9…now I feel it’s over before it begins sometimes. What’s a girl to do except savor the memories and bake some zucchini cake?
Happily we are back in NYC and back to Meatless Mondays. *DIGRESSION* Hey y’all – if you have not jumped on the MM bandwagon, please do! Basically it is a pledge to not eat meat on mondays but if you google it you will get all sorts of cool stats about all the great things that will happen when you don’t eat meat for only one day!
Newton’s III Law! For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction!
Nyckid informed us, about 7 years ago, that since her school did MM so would she. And as you can tell from her posts – that kid has a mind of her own. So meatless monday we became. The first back to school MM meal – since I was not quite back into NYC mode – was a quick zucchini frittata. And somehow we had WAY too much shredded zucchini.
heeeeeLLLOOOOO and welcome BACK to another episode of “nyckid and njkid make overly elaborate cupcakes!!”
Let’s reminisce on the salad days of our blog now, shall we? If you’re a true biscuitwaller (??) then you would most definitely recall that time that I stayed with my best frand (we shall call her njkid) at her house in new jersey, and went to sailing camp for two weeks. When was that even? Like 8 years ago? (feels like it lol). Well anyways it was pretty great! We were totally proficient sailors from the beginning (except for that time we capsized), but when we weren’t sailing, we were going nuts over the book hello cupcake and basically trying to make as many ridiculously decorated cupcakes as we could in the span of two weeks. To be honest, we’re not much different now than we were then!
Except for the fact that we’re 47x cooler now (obviously).
well ANYWAYS, during that two week period of time, njkid’s mom had slyly mentioned that she would love for us to make her the garden cupcakes for her birthday (sept. 4) one year– yet sadly, this had never happened until recently, when we had the epiphany that we could totally make them this year!
I have a confession to make. I have been having a torrid love affair with condensed milk. For many many years. I’m not sure my husband realizes this about me.
I just cannot resist it’s sweet milky delishiousness and search for ways to incorporate it into my daily diet (DANGER). Luckily I have failed at this. It is just not used so much in american desserts. Over the years I have found some condensed milky things that I adore and that let it shine like the star ☆ that it is:
Key Lime Pie
Tres leches cake
Tres leches donut from Donut Plant (not confirmed if it is actually in there but knock me down if it isn’t)
Dulce de leche
Really? I could swear Dr. Ross must have some condensed milk in him somewhere….
Fittingly enough I believe it is my first memory. My mother – as I have mentioned before – is a pretty accomplished cook. And her specialty used to be Indian desserts, many of which involve condensed milk. My Dad has never met a sweet he didn’t like (hence 47 years of marriage!) So whenever she made something milky and sweet and creamy – as most indian desserts are – she would give my Dad and I the empty can of condensed milk to share. The can was never quite empty since condensed milk is so viscous so we would have some quality time taking turns with our spoons scraping down the sides at the little kitchen table in Collingswood, New Jersey. And we would do this often. And that was how this love affair began. I was 4.
I am now, well, a couple of years older and I can safely say that my attraction to all things condensed milky has not waned. So when I flipped through Fany Gerson’s Paleta’s cookbook the other day the Lime popsicles caught my eye because:
a.) what sane person wouldn’t want to eat key lime pie in ice cream form??
b.) 1 whole can of condensed milk? Nuff said.
I didn’t even really look at the other recipes. I bought the book and made the pops the next day. Then I read the rest of the book. I still would have made the same pops first.
A few weeks ago, we had some lovely house guests out here in the land of isolation (aka new jersey)! Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to find a package from them- containing none other than the smitten kitchen cookbook! (do they know me or do they know me)
Of course I immediately had to put down my AP global summer reading (sorry neanderthals) and spend the majority of my day flipping through the book trying to settle on the perfect recipe to share with you guys!
(may I add that, after finding me on the couch inside, reading my cookbook around lunchtime, my dad proceded to say “come out side you’ve been inside all day… you’re turning into such a teenager !!” um what kind of teenager indulges in COOKBOOKS over the summer hm dad hm)
Anyways I was of course lured into pretty much every recipe (probably due to the fact that deb’s photos are FLAWLESS)– although I would’ve liked to try the cheesy breakfast buns with dill or the big breakfast latkes, our kitchen inventory here in nj is pretty lacking compared to our stocked pantry in the city. However, when I flipped to the dessert section and the first thing I saw were the popcorn cookies (!!!), I knew I’d found a winner because:
a: it is literally a basic cookie base with popcorn added. thus, nothing fancy
Ahhh…well into the dog days of summer and while I dread the back to school orchestrations and everything that follows it this fall I am starting to feel like I miss NYC. This year we have been ensconced in a house for the past month in South Jersey that my husband saw and just knew belonged to him somehow – sort of like me and those motorcycle boots I saw in Paris. So here we are. And although he had visions of tree houses and unsupervised bike rides and lazy summer days spent on the tire swing – HE is in NYC most of the week.
Well, someone’s got to work.
Me and the three kids have been livin’ the country life which in addition to the activities mentioned above also include – hauling garbage to the curb every thursday and recycling every wednesday, cleaning out the 1000 leaves that fall into the pool daily, swatting 32 flies a day, painting over the seemingly endless rooms that have elaborate 80’s sponge painting designs, being stung by HUGE black hornets, driving 20 minutes to get ANYWHERE and setting a house alarm every night so the house feels less Blair Witch and more Little House. I know, I know – these are first world problems. They are also missing NYC problems. I don’t drive – I walk. I don’t need to travel more than 10 blocks to get anything. I don’t have to haul my garbage further than the elevator door. I don’t lock my door at night – I have Dexter downstairs. I don’t believe NYC has a population of black hornets. Out here everything is Bizarro! That’s ok. I’m adaptable. I’m flexible. I’m ohming…
I have found yoga here. And the supermarket is the size of 4 city blocks! And my parents are 15 minutes away. And no one cooks better than my Mom. All good things. When I am away from NY for a while one of the things I miss most is opening my front door and seeing the NY Times laying on my doormat every morning. I know – you can get it online! Not the same folks. If you love the NYTimes you need to feel it in your hands. And then have to wash those hands after reading it. My Dad very sweetly brings me his copy – usually a day late and sometimes just crumpled up and laying on my front door step if he finds me not home. I love it all the same. I’m not sure when but recently there was a recipe for Blackberry Crumb Muffins. They seemed so healthy and not-healthy all at the same time that I had to make them. I also have a revolving door of guests and if I can leave these out for breakfast next to the Keurig I can catch a few more zzz’s. The New York Times never disappoints.
This country living is exhausting! NYC here I come!
Nanaimo bars- pronounced naNYEmo – are a 3-layered dessert named after Nanaimo, a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
BUT you guys already knew that, right?!!11/!
(no you didn’t)
(unless you are canadian)
Anyways, my mom stumbled upon these exotic canadian delicacies whilst perusing food52.com the other day. As soon as she saw them, she glanced across the room, caught my eye, and through our telepathic communications we decided right then and there that we had to make nanaimo bars that night.
but anyways, that night we set out on our odyssey to find the ingredients, which turned out to be harder than we thought it would be since we are staying in New Jersey until the end of the summer.
After going to Wegmans, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods (which for some reason had unsweetened coconut in bulk and bags but no sweetened coconut??!) we were somehow still lacking a few ingredients
(I guess that goes to show you how often people make nanaimo bars in south jersey lol)
so unfORTUNately our good camera died right before I started making these so my step-by-step pictures are a little
BUT I did take some profesh pics of the final product (as can be seen above) so I guess they cancel each other out, amirite??
你好朋友们！！OK yes I know I’m not getting away with a 你好 considering the elephant in the room is that I haven’t posted for A YEAR
The only excuse I really have is that last year was my freshman year at a new school, so I decided it would make more sense to spend my time adjusting to my school and interacting with humans than being the secret middle aged woman that I am and running a food blog.
But don’t fret, my veggie straws, because I am back! And I’ve created a checklist (that hopefully I’ll stick to):
post once a week, yo
um take pictures of food that are actually APPEALING
maybe get people to read this blog??!
So yes good let’s see how long I can keep this up! On another note, I just got back from studying for a month in China! Meaning I have lots of interesting food experiences to share, yo!
So basically I was studying on a college campus for a month, the downside of which was crappy cafeteria food. THe above picture is fried rice and some cute little chinese bread thing. AND
THe cutest little yogurt things which made eating the same thing everyday WORTH IT
However, I did venture outside of cafeteria food! Some interesting finds at the Chinese mall incluDED
this looked like a cute little bakery but turned out to only have weird chinese desserts (you know, like red bean glutinous rice balls)
(i never actually bought anything from here but its still kind of my favorite place ever bc i mean its called breadtalk)
I also found that, throughout Beijing, these little yogurt things were served EVERYWHERE. I never actually tried one tho?!
Some “”old beijing snacks””
weird foaming drinks??
DEEP FRIED SCORPIONS ON A STICK EGAD
(WHICH I DIDN’T EAT EITHER)
inside of kfc woo!! (which there were only 281324 of in china)
guy selling lotus root on the street!!
adventures at the 早市, or morning market (equivalent to the farmers market in america!)
chinese birthday cake oreos!! (I probably shouldn’t mention that I INHALED THIS WHOLE BOX)
This was at a 小吃店 (small local restaurant in china)– one of the differences between a 小吃店 and a restaurant is that there are no menus so you have to go up to the counter and order (STRESSFUL)
Here’s what we ordered! Some youtiao (fried bread), some fried doughnut-y balls (that you dip in sugar before you eat!), and some beef steamed buns (niuroubaozi).
389275138x better than cafeteria food I can tell you THAT.
There was this one tea chain all throughout Beijing that had the BEST bubble tea omfgag;ELIGHALS;IGDKsg
SO this happened when we ended up in some sketchy sechuan restaurant in the mall, and as you can see in the center of the picture THEY WERE SELLING CHICKEN CLAWS ON A STICK
we somehow managed to avoid ordering those but ended up ordering THIS
IT WAS AN ACCIDENT
((i think those are tentacles))
these dumplings were pretty good tho (and tentacle free)
some more BAOZI (bc delicious)
and the cutest little soup keychain AW
Everyone knows milk tea is swaggalicious but I’ve never seen it pre bottled like this until china?! Anyway this twas really good
woman making us dumplings @ some random food court in shanghai!! (idk why shes giving us the stink eye in this picture lol)
THESE WERE SO GOOD
they were basically scallion pancakes but covered in sesame seeds ??
OH AND LASTLY
IF YOU ARE EVER IN CHINA
GO TO HAAGEN DAZ
BC IT IS NOT LAME LIKE IN THE US
ITS SO COOL WOW
YOU HAVE A WAITER AND EVERYTHING
AND THEY LIKE SEAT YOU DOWN
WITH LIKE FANCY LITTLE WATER GLASSES
AND YOU ORDER FANCY ICE CREAM PLATTERS OFF THE MENU
So until like a year ago, we had this awful blender. It didn’t even deserve the name of blender it was so bad. We should have just called it blen. Or der. But anyway, point in case, it was really bad. Like so bad that smoothies were a rare treat because nobody would ever dare use our blender because they’d end up with lumps of unidentifiable banana mush in their drink or chunks of undigestible ice and smoothie leaking out the bottom of the machine all over your counter and on your feet which would kind of just ruin the whole smoothie experience.
But one day, we were in one of those huge suburban stores that sell 12 kinds of everything in bulk and… we saw it– a vitamix! It was high up on a pedestal radiating glorious sunlight and the clouds parted and the angels sang. We bought it instantly and took it home and made exactly 98172 smoothies at that very moment, none of which caused anyone to call 911 because they choked on a lump of banana or something.
Now although the vitamix could blend up anything that didn’t necessarily mean that all of our smoothies actually tasted decent (cough cough celery smoothie cough). So in order to prevent any future smoothie disappointments, here’s my basic smoothie making process:
Get a vitamix! Ok well you don’t really need to blow 200 bucks just cause I said so but honestly if you’re blender sucked like ours did just go buy it. Really.
What if I told you that you could throw an avocado pit and a whole lemon into it and it would pulverize it. Does that convince you? mmhmmm, thought so.
Okay. Anyway, now that you have a vitamix, onto step two:
Basically what I do is just scrounge around in the fridge and pull out anything fruit-related. Here’s what I found:
– pineapple cubes
– farmer totman yogurt
– a peach
– some grapes
– a box of strawberries
– the leftover wrinkly blueberries that I didn’t eat the other day in hopes that someone else would but apparently they didn’t.
– oh yeah and a rebellious banana that somehow escaped the picture.
Okay! Tip: add the liquids in first (ex: yogurt) unless you want your blender to make velociraptor noises.
Wooo! Fruit time! Pineapple and bananas!
Grapes and peaches! Wooo yeah let’s pretend I’m this healthy all the time! And that I don’t eat a loaf of bread for breakfast everyday.
More fruit! And throw in some milk if you think you went a little overboard with the fruit and don’t wanna eat your smoothie with a spoon.
Aaaaand now add some ice! Which totally counteracts the extra milk and makes no sense now that I think about it!
Whatever. Just blend dat stuff up.
Pour it into some cups…
And drink it! Before the ice melts and the yogurt gets all funky.
Ok folks! Here goes our attempt at posting blogs more frequently!
Some of you may remember that I receive a box of goodies once a week from a farmer up in Massachusetts. I have found that it’s a great way for my kids to experience new veggies and understand the farming cycling. It’s always a surprise to see what we get! The deliveries for this season started the first week of June and so far we have gotten some wonderful items – zucchini blossoms, organic cheeses, miso tamari, beautiful swiss chard in a rainbow of colors, chinese cabbage, lots of mint, thyme and cilantro, baby garlic, two kinds of radishes and some green stuff that I’m not even sure what it is! Waiting to see what the rest of the summer brings!
Last week the Good Farmer also included a bag of dried organic red kidney beans. Since I am not going to India this summer (re: recent pretzel post – baby!) I thought I would try and brush up on some of my Indian recipes. So I made some rajma (red kidney bean curry) and it came out delish! So delish that I had to send Farmer Totman a picture of the pot full of beans. He asked me to do a little write up for his blog so I’m going to cheat a little here and just link (right there) to his blog, ok?