Called to the bar at Gramercy Tavern, New York City

gramercytavern3

One of the  great things about New York City is that you can eat at the bar counter at many great restaurants.   As I travel a lot for business, I often end up in some cities during the weekends with no business meals. And that, my friends, is a real luxury indeed.

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The vanilla cupcake – utterly classic, absolutely yummy

6 cupcakes edited

When I finally got around to procuring the Kitchenaid mixer (in red, of course), one of the first things that I made was the vanilla cupcake. It would be my first cupcake attempt, and I was super excited. Using the recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, the first time I made it, and the multiple times afterwards, I’m always happily surprised by how soft, airy and fluffy the sponge is, and how the frosting just lovingly complements the concoction. Continue Reading →

The Elvis sandwich

elvis with bacon

Riding on the wave of my last post, where I disclosed my hubby’s peculiar fondness for dolloping peanut butter in his cheeseburgers, I decided to explore more deeply, this pairing of the saltiness of meat together with peanut butter. It brought me back in time, to a possibly better time when bell-bottoms were très chic, when there was glory in the excess, when Elvis sang, and dearly loved a peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwich.

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Family Food: Buttermilk Pancakes

buttermilk pancakes

Fluffy and tasty even on their own, these are our house pancakes. I’d even pack a whisk into my suitcase just to be able to serve these buttermilk pancakes when we’re travelling.  They’re that easy to make. And they’re that good!

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Breakfast treats: banana, nuts and chocolate chips muffin

Banana nuts chocolate chips muffin

When it comes to breakfast treats like waffles and (American-styled) muffins, I rarely get them from cafés or coffee-shop chains. One big reason is that I can easily make them at home. Another bigger reason is that almost all of the time, the store-bought ones turn out to be quite bad. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Johnny Iuzzini's vanilla ice cream recipe

I’ve tried a host of vanilla ice cream recipes, but love this one—based on Johnny Iuzzini’s in Dessert Fourplay—best for making the vanilla ice cream that I have in our freezer at all times. It’s the first ice cream my son, T ever tasted. His little eyes lit up and he grinned in excitement when he registered its flavour, texture and temperature all at once for the very first time. That moment was truly priceless. Continue Reading →

The Downtown Grocery in Vermont – great meal, great time

The-Downtown-Grocery-Late-Night-Breakfast

I haven’t had that much fun in a restaurant in a long time! The Downtown Grocery Vermont is a ski town during this season, and when I called on Thursday night for weekend reservations, I was surprised that it was already fully booked for Saturday. Fortunately for us, they had a Friday slot available at 745pm. My sister and I arrived early as we were hoping to turn in a little earlier that night, and although we were a little apprehensive about getting seated at the bar because our table was not yet ready, man did we get lucky! Continue Reading →

Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

mac and cheese

This is not gourmet macaroni and cheese. This is not mac and cheese with a crunchy breadcrumb topping, made from a roux base, and garnished with crispy deep-fried sage leaves and shaved white truffles (although I have a weak spot for this deluxe version). This is mac and cheese, where a rice cooker does all the work for you; and with a little light stirring, the result is a comforting, kid and baby-friendly meal in just 30 minutes. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Brined Turkey

Brined Turkey

My brined turkey recipe arrives too late for this year, I know. I’m just quickly filing it away here while the memory of how it was made is fresh in my mind because this recipe, a variation on my friend Sujata’s, is a keeper. Continue Reading →