Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread

with scallions and garlic

So, I’m ready to tell you about the rest of my Tokyo trip. I would have posted sooner, but I’m still acclimating to “regular life” and my body isn’t a fan of the change, believe me. Well, sorry to my body but I’m in charge here, so I have the final say in what we do and where we go and how we feel. That’s why I have a shiny new prescription for antibiotics and anti-nausea medicine and I’m ready to kick this week’s ass. Theoretically. Anyway, Tokyo! These photos are from the morning we woke up ungodly early to go to the Tsukiji Fish Market. You have the option of waking up at 3am to be in line by 4am in order to watch the tuna auctions at the market, which is A Big Deal and seemingly very special. I, however, do not have that kind of willpower and the idea of waking up at 3am for anything short of catching a flight did not appeal to me, so Kramer and I woke up at the still early but a bit more manageable hour of 5am in order to be at the market by 6. Once we arrived and figured out which direction we were headed, we wandered around for a bit, trying to figure out where the actual market was and where we were and weren’t allowed to visit. We stopped for a cup of coffee and thick piece of delicious Japanese milk bread smothered in butter and jam, then headed out. The outer markets were amazing. You could really buy anything there, from kitchen supplies to cookbooks to specially made knives to dried squid snacks. We wandered back and forth throughout the stalls, grabbing a tamagoyaki (Japanese omelet) for fuel as we perused. I did pick up a pair of beautifully painted chopsticks that I’m sure you’ll see on the blog at some point, but for the most part I was just in awe at how much could be squeezed into such a small space. Sadly, I’ve heard that the market is being moved to make way for the 2020 Summer Olympics, so the fate of some of these small vendors is unknown. I heard that the move in taking place in March, so my best of luck to all of these people, especially the ones who have spent their entire lives working at the market. I hope that the move goes smoothly and that people aren’t pushed out for the wrong reasons.

cheesy pull-apart breadOur Tsukiji Fish Market breakfast in Tokyo.

Our last stop at the market was a place that I’ll probably never know the name of, but as you can see above, it’s worth mentioning. That bowl of delicious sashimi, prawn, salmon roe and uni cost only about $10, and it came with a bowl of miso soup complete with crab legs swimming in it. No matter that it was 7am – Kramer and I washed everything down with a cold beer and couldn’t believe our good luck. I know a lot of people stand in line for hours to eat at one specific sushi restaurant, but I’ve got to say, this bowl was insanely good and I can’t imagine standing in line for hours at the wee hours of the morning for anything better. Kramer and I needed to do a little walking after our feast. We made our way over to the Harajuku neighborhood, which is super cute and adorable, which tons of shopping, fashionable looking people, and most importantly, good coffee. We grabbed a couple of Americanos (just like us, haw haw haw) and a doughnut from The Roastery, then sat and rested our tired, old bones in their adorable shop for a little while. Onward and upward, we did a little more shopping, I grabbed a sweater with a sad bear on it, you know, the usual. We finally found ourselves in a park at the end of the day, where we purchased beers from the park’s vendor (Japan really has its shit together) and sat to watch some fountains before heading home to take a quick nap before the greatest show of our lives at Robot Restaurant. There really are no words to describe Robot Restaurant, but Kramer and I, full of beer and yakitori from making our way through Shinjuku, sat down in their basement studio and had our faces blasted off with complete and total awesomeness. I posted a short video on Instagram, but even that is just a sampling of what you can expect from this place. You may have seen Anthony Bourdain talk about how much fun it is on his show, and I can only echo those sentiments. Go to Tokyo and go to Robot Restaurant. It will make you a better person.

cheesy pull-apart bread

Fighting robots and burlesque dancers aside, this cheesy bread is also pretty good. Has a less enthusiastic sentence ever been written? Obviously nothing can live up to Tokyo in one dish, but I have to say, layers of pillowy soft bread with gooey cheese, garlic, butter and scallions sandwiched in between can do a pretty good job of it. I saw Kelly’s pepperoni pull-apart bread a while back, so I whipped this up based on that recipe and I have to say, it was pretty damn good. I will admit that I did make this last month for a Superbowl party, but life happens, guys! I was busy. At least I am finally sharing it with you now. The recipe may seem a little complicated, but it’s mostly about waiting – waiting for the dough to rise once, rolling it out, shaping it, letting it rise again, then baking. The end product is to die for, and perfect for a fancy brunch or even a casual picnic, as long as you make the bread the day before. My favorite way to eat this is alongside a few runny eggs, or even as a buffer in between bites of spicy hot wings. The choice is yours, but really, take a look at those heavenly folds and bubbles of cheese and tell me that this bread isn’t calling to you.

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Pureed Cauliflower Soup

only six ingredients

I’m back in the US of A! It’s certainly good to be home. Comforting, even. I’m excited to sleep in my own bed, drink strong American coffee and to catch up on hours of my favorite television shows. Having said that, I desperately miss Japan. I fell in love with it, as I was told I would and sort of thought I wouldn’t, because really, people seem to romanticize the hell out of Tokyo so I figured I’d like it well enough but not fall head over heels like I ended up doing. It’s just the best place in the world, I have to say. The people are amazing, the food is unspeakably good, and sweet lord the subways are so efficient and clean (so were Taipei’s, but that’s for another post). I. Love. Tokyo. I already want to go back, but not in the same way that you want to go back when you come home from most vacations. We weren’t really ~relaxing~ in Tokyo. It’s not that kind of a place, but that’s what I adored. It didn’t make me feel wishful, it just felt normal. That’s what’s so exciting about it. It seemed like a place I could actually live, not in a “I wish I were still on the beach” way, but in a way where you start to think about how much stuff of yours you could sell on Craigslist before you’d be able to move into a small Japanese apartment. It’s a little hectic, sure, but you do find moments of tranquility as you speed through the stalls in the markets and the hoards of people in the streets. There are places of refuge, like the temples on the outskirts of the cities, or the quiet restaurants where people slurp up his or her ramen quickly and disperse without uttering so many words. It’s much like New York in so many ways, and then again, it’s the complete opposite, despite being a bustling metropolitan city. I thought that I’d be overwhelmed with Tokyo. People kept telling me that it was “insane”, and not in a fun way, more in a chaotic way, but I didn’t find that at all. It reminded me a lot of home, but with a few differences that make it a city unlike any other. I felt totally comfortable and happy in Tokyo. Sure, it’s busy, but it didn’t feel any more busy than NYC, and hey, everyone there STANDS IN LINE for the (albeit incredibly crowded) subway, so there’s already one victory point checked in the Tokyo column in my brain. You can also get really good food in the subway, and did I mention that the stations are so. freaking. clean. Kramer and I were very subway-focused on this trip, probably just because we were absolutely amazed at its condition. New Yorkers, get your shit together. Visit Tokyo and see what your daily commute could be like if we all stopped eating on the subway and threw our trash away in the proper receptacles. It’s possible to not live like a bunch of dirt bags! Mine eyes hath been opened.

pureed cauliflower soup

Aside from the immaculate subway system (that, to New York’s credit, does not run 24 hours a day), Tokyo had a lot to offer. We arrived super late the first day, a little after midnight, so Kramer and I dropped off our stuff at our Airbnb in Shibuya, then immediately found a bar to grab a beer and some grilled meats in. Then a second bar, where we had offal skewers of liver, heart, chicken tail and more, alongside fried octopus balls (takoyaki), beer and sake. We slept in as best as we could the next morning, then grabbed some delicious, porky ramen, walked around the Akihabara neighborhood, then made our way to the Tokyo National Museum. We headed home for a quick nap, then met up with our friends will and Minaë, who took us to their friend’s amazing restaurant, where we feasted like locals. We had whole fresh scallop on shiso leaves, scallop tartar with nori that we ate like tacos, fluke sashimi, cod liver with pickled plum, grated yam with raw oyster and uni, seaweed shabu-shabu, then that same shabu-shabu broth served with egg and rice, plum sorbet and so much more that my jet-lagged brain cannot currently recall. It was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. and I am so grateful that they took us there. After a street beer (or streeties, as Will says he calls them, because you can just buy a beer at a deli and walk around with it in the street and subway – amazing), we stopped at Minaë’s friend’s bar, Bubbles, before calling it a night. The next day, we bravely woke up early to catch a train to Kyoto, grabbing bento boxes per Will and Minaë’s instructions to eat on the train. The shumai and rice really helped absorb the previous night’s alcohol, along with a little catnap. We got to Kyoto around 11am and just started wandering. We walked through the Kyoto Imperial Palace, then ate our way through Nishiki Market, where we had skewered smoked scallops, eel onigiri, scallion fish cakes and sausage wrapped in rice dough, and did a little shopping. Still hungry, we stopped at a casual sushi place for a little nigiri, then hopped on a bus to Kiyomizu-dera, a temple just outside of the main city. It started to rain just a little, but it lightened up and when the sun came out, it was absolutely beautiful. Kramer and I couldn’t believe that something so perfect was hidden so far up on the top of a mountain. As we explored, a group of school children stopped Kramer and wanted to interview him about why he was visiting Kyoto and where he was from, then they had their teacher take a photo of them with him. It was adorable. On our way back down the mountain, we stopped for some warm sake, then ate soba at Sobanomi Yoshimura, where we watched talented chefs make noodles right in front of us. Exhausted, we got back on the train and slept the whole way back to Tokyo, where plans to grab a nightcap faded as we could barely keep our eyes open after our long day. Not to worry – there’s always tomorrow!

pureed cauliflower soup

As you can see, we did a lot of eating in Japan. Obviously. That’s half of the reason that we went! I’m not ready to fully get back into the swing of things quite yet (I still need pizza, after all), but when I am, this cauliflower soup is going to be back on our weekly menu. I love winter vegetable soups, but sometimes I do not feel like roasting them in the oven, then grabbing a bowl, pureeing everything, then heating it up – that’s two or three cooking vessels and a lot more dishes than I’m ready to handle right now. That’s why this soup from Clean Slate is so awesome – just simmer everything in a pot for around 20 minutes, puree and eat! For a little texture, you can certainly crisp up some cauliflower leaves, which I didn’t know was possible but plan to do again because it’s just so damn pretty, but that’s for those of you who have the time and energy. Otherwise, the soup will keep you plenty happy, especially when you consider that each serving only has 80 calories and 1 gram of fat, yet still packs in 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. That will definitely help make up for all of the takoyaki I ate in Japan. And while I was lucky enough to be gifted a set of these gorgeous Martha Stewart white dishes from Macy’s, you have the chance to get more recipes like these, as explained in my previous post, by winning a copy of Clean Slate! To enter, simply comment here and tell me about your upcoming travel plans for 2015, or Tweet or Instagram a photo of this soup or salmon with the hashtag #cleanslate! I’m extending the giveaway until Saturday, March 1st, so be sure to enter! I love this book and I know you will, too.

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Simple Steamed Salmon

with lemon & avocado

So, as previously mentioned, I’m working my way through Clean Slate by the editors of Martha Stewart Living. The recipes are wholesome, easy to make and can be served easily for lunch or dinner, sometimes even breakfast, any day of the week. I’m a fan! Sometimes when I’m working on a project it can seem a bit contrived, but the recipes in this book are so up my alley that I’m excited to announce I’m also giving away a copy! If you’re trying to eat better in 2015, or just enjoy cooking recipes without too many frills that are healthy, while at the same time pleasing everyone that you make meals for, then this is a book you’ll most certainly get some serious use out of. For example, that Almond Chicken Soup that I posted on Tuesday. Doesn’t it look awesome? And it comes together in under an hour! That’s how most of the recipes in this book are, so if that appeals to you, enter to win! Just share one of these blog photos on Instagram or Twitter, tag me (@crepesofwrath) and use the hashtag #cleanslatechallenge, or comment here and tell me what one of your goals for 2015 are. The giveaway will go on through the month of February, and you can enter every time I post a new recipe, so go for the gold.

simple steamed salmonWandering around Greenpoint.

Speaking of gold, this salmon recipe, I have to say, is one of my new favorites. I make salmon a lot, and I mean a lot, but I never considered steaming it. Maybe that’s because I don’t have a steamer. I usually just throw my fish in a pan or, more often than not, under the broiler, and rub it with olive oil or whatever other seasonings I have on hand. This method, though, calls for steaming the salmon on a bed of sliced lemon, seasoned effortlessly with a little salt and pepper, then serving it alongside a few more lemon wedges, ripe avocado and some toast, my preference is whole grain or something similar, but that’s up to you. I know that Valentine’s Day is coming up, and while this isn’t everyone’s idea of Valentine’s Day brunch, it certainly is mine. My parents would probably flip reading that, because growing up I wouldn’t touch fish, not even a California roll, with a ten foot pole, but now I’d eat salmon for breakfast every day if I could. This dish is simple, but so satisfying and filling, and you can serve it in a number of different ways. Dress it up with a fried egg, or even scramble some eggs and throw them on a bagel with the salmon and avocado. If fish for breakfast isn’t your thing, try it on a salad or on top of some creamy pasta for lunch or dinner. And don’t be afraid if you don’t have a steamer – in the recipe below, I’ll share my “hacked” method for steaming without a basket. It’s easy, I promise. Happy #cleanslate eating!

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Almond Chicken Soup

with sweet potato, collards & ginger

One of the ways that I try to make myself feel better overall is to eat better. For some reason, when I fill myself with beer, pizza and cupcakes, I don’t feel great in the morning. I have no idea why that may be. The cure, though, is to start eating simple, wholesome foods without greasy cheese or tons of processed ingredients. Not that I don’t love digging into a bag of candy or sharing a big plate of buffalo wings – believe me, there’s no where I’d rather be than in front of a plate of wings – but most of the time, I feel healthier and happier when I’ve got some vitamins and minerals in me. Enter Clean Slate, the new book from the editors at Martha Stewart Living. I’m a part of the Martha’s Circle network, along with a bunch of other really talented bloggers, and some of us were given the new book to take a look at and maybe try out some of the recipes. I have to say this with complete honesty – I love this cookbook. The recipes are easy, the ingredients are easy to find and the photos are lovely. Kramer and I ate from the cookbook for a week, and we both thought everything was tasty and approachable enough for simple weekday lunches and after work meals. I swear I am not being paid to promote this cookbook, I just loved it. My friends can attest to this, as they came over and found bookmarks on multiple pages, then proceeded to joke about how there’s no point in adding Post-Its to a book if I’m planning to just cook every single recipe. But I did it anyway, just to motivate myself to cook healthier in the new year – it’s still February, so I can say that, right?

almond chicken soupWeekend breakfast, drinks with Travis, wine with quite the name and more pastrami on rye.

This Almond Chicken Soup was just what the doctor ordered. Its creaminess comes entirely from almond butter, not cream or actual butter. The ginger was perfect for this time of year, where you feel a little worse for wear, the collard greens added tons of fiber and vitamins, and the chicken and sweet potatoes made the soup filling and hearty. Kramer and I ate this for lunch for a few days at work before we gobbled it all up, and even my boss commented on how good it looked. I was especially excited about adding the almond butter to the broth. It made the soup have tons of body without being too thick, and added a lovely, aromatic element that I had never had in a soup before. Almonds are also rich in fiber and protein, so believe me, if you eat this at work at 12pm, you’ll still be feeling good around 3 or 4 when that mid-afternoon snack craving usually strikes. You can, of course, substitute spinach, kale or Swiss chard for the collard greens, but I appreciated their unique texture and the way that they wilted perfectly into the soup without getting soggy (although I think kale would also do this). Add a little coconut milk or red pepper flakes if you want to customize your soup, or maybe even use shrimp in place of chicken – I may go ahead and try this route next time around. However you cut it, I’m a fan of this whole almond soup idea and can’t wait to play with other ways to make it delicious.

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Apple Cider Cake

with cider buttercream

I got a lot of interesting responses to my last post, be it concern for my well being, insistence that a food blog isn’t the right platform for discussing such personal feelings, or praise for being honest. I appreciate any and all feedback, even if it’s negative, but I think at the end of the day the subject of anxiety and the like is being discussed, and that’s all that really matters. I’m lucky to have a wonderful support system made up of people that care, from my husband to friends to my parents and in-laws. Not everybody has that, and I can only imagine how difficult things would be without all of those people. Everyone has bad days or weeks, but the way in which you handle it makes a huge difference, and because I have an outlet like this blog and an incredibly understanding and emotionally available husband like Kramer, I’m able to express myself or curl up into a ball, depending on the day, and move forward. The reason that I want to be open about my anxiety is because I’m not necessarily ashamed of it. It’s always been a part of who I am and there’s no world in which I am going to wake up one day and be totally fine. One of my fears, though, as trite as it may sound, is that this blog turns into something that isn’t me. I don’t go to the farmer’s market every day, I don’t spend every waking minute baking cookies or preparing beautiful dinners. I don’t go out for cocktails every night and I’m not eating uni on toasts or pizza from Roberta’s every night. I know sometimes it may seem that way, but I usually only post the best stuff here because that’s way more fun to read than, “Last night I went to the gym, came home, ate leftover chicken and put the laundry away, then scrolled through Tumblr for two hours until Kramer got out of class.” So, yeah, I do a lot of fun, cool stuff because I do live in New York and there are lots of activities to be had, but I also get sad or bored or annoyed, or sometimes my anxiety gets really bad and Kramer has to coach me through leaving the house. We all have our version of normal and I just want to be ~real~ with you guys. I would apologize for making you read that kind of thing on a food blog, where you probably just want the recipe for this three layer apple cider cake, but, you know, sorry not sorry.

apple cider cakeDonny took a picture of me taking a picture on our walking tour a few weeks ago.

SO. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I will go ahead and share this cake recipe with you, because it’s awesome. I couldn’t resist grabbing a jug of cider from the Union Square greenmarket (I know, I know, totally contradictory to what I just said above, but hey, I do pass by it most days before or after work), but when I got home I realized that Kramer and I weren’t really the type to pour ourselves a tall glass of sweet apple cider, unless I’ve heated it up and added a little bourbon. It just so happened that I had the cider in the fridge during the snow storm that wasn’t a couple of weeks ago, and since Kramer and I couldn’t get to work due to the subways being shut down, we were stuck inside. That left me free to wander back and forth between my computer and the kitchen, hence this cake. I’m terrible at decorating cakes, so my go-to is to just throw three layers together with frosting sandwiched between each layer, forgoing having to frost the sides because I do think that this way has its own appeal in a rustic sort of way. I added crunchy cinnamon-sugar to each layer, which added a nice texture, and the buttercream was made simply with just a touch of apple cider and cinnamon for good measure. If you’ve got a cake to make, feel free to forgo the usual vanilla or chocolate and go for something a little different. It’s February, after all, and we all need a little pick-me-up! This is almost like the apple cider doughnut of cakes and if that doesn’t sell you on it, I don’t know what will.

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Blood Orange Punch

with chocolate bitters

I’m obsessed with blood oranges, so when they pop their head up at the store around this time every year, I’ve got to get as many as I possibly can. I’m already a big fan of oranges, but the blood orange is something special. Its dark red color paired with its incredibly unique both sweet and bitter flavor is something I can’t get enough of (see: there will be blood (oranges), blood orange roasted beets and this blood orange quick bread). Blood oranges, of course, go best in a cocktail. If you prefer something on the bitter side, then blood oranges are the citrus for you. Paired with the classic ingredients for a negroni (campari, gin and sweet vermouth), blood orange juice adds a pop of freshness, then everything is topped off with bubbly seltzer, but I promise I won’t judge you if you’d rather top everything off with a little prosecco and champagne – that’s what they call a good idea. I was gifted these awesome bottles by a friend a work, so I decided to use them to bring some cocktails over to a friend’s house a few weekends ago. Mix, pour and pop the lid on, then fasten the bottles into your holster and come prepared with a bottle of seltzer or bubbly, and you’ve got a party going. There is nothing more adorable than tiny, old-timey looking bottles filled with alcohol. Your friends will also be super excited to not have to bust out their shakers and stirrers and whatever else: the cocktail is already good to go!

blood orange punchInstagram time: all the food from Roberta’s and cocktails at The Pine Box.

Speaking of which, I feel as though this is the week that I could use a stiff drink. I’ve been feeling incredibly anxious lately, and there are times at which I can’t tell if I’m strong for being able to make it through each day relatively unscathed and without bothering the people around me (too much), or if I’m weak for being a whiney baby who can’t go out to meet up with friends without taking Advil for my stress headache and chugging a ginger ale for my nervous stomach. Once I’m doing the thing I’m supposed to be doing, generally I’m fine, but it’s the build-up that absolutely kills me. I start to feel dizzy, and my throat starts to close up, and then I start convincing myself that I can’t breathe even though I am clearly breathing. That’s when I start compulsively checking my pulse and trying to figure out if my heart is actually racing or if I’m just imagining it (it’s usually the latter, to be honest), and this is all followed by trying to take what have been explained to me as “calming breaths” and closing my eyes for a bit and pretending that I am cool and confident. Every single day I wish I were the kind of person who just like, I don’t know, walked around and lived, but instead, I mostly think about the following, in no particular order: Am I’m talking too much or not enough? Does my face looks weird right now? Does this dress make me look fat? Does this person wish that they weren’t talking to me right now? Why can’t I concentrate on this conversation? I could go on but it gets a lot more depressing and I don’t want to bum you guys out too much on this lovely Friday morning. Point is, I have crippling anxiety that sometimes turn into random panic attacks and I bet you do, too! Let’s commiserate and make each other feel better, PLUS hey, it’s Friday (as previously mentioned) and nothing bad can happen to you on Saturday and Sunday. Have a drink with me and relax…or at least try to.

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Almond Flour Bun Egg Sandwiches

with bacon and cheese

I feel like I’ve been struggling to get ~back on track~ diet wise since the new year started. It always sounds so easy to put it off until some future date. I’ll start after the new year. I’ll start next Monday. I messed up today, so I’ll just start after the Superbowl. Etcetera etcetera etcetera. That last one was me – I did “good” yesterday, so hopefully I can continue and not have a stout followed by a slice of pizza by Thursday night. Then there’s exercise. It’s nearly impossible to get to the gym right now, for purely motivational reasons. New York City is currently a land of ice and slush, and the mere thought of packing up my gym shit and lugging it through the subway, to work, then back to Brooklyn again, only to get off at a stop that I do not actually live at, to go to the gym for an hour, having to change and change again, packing everything up again and trudging back out into the maelstrom to get back on the subway and go home is my actual idea of hell on earth. For example, I just checked my gym’s class schedule and there is something called “kettle bell fusion” that I could potentially go to tonight. But that also sounds really hard and I just woke up and I’m still so tired. Honestly, if the big pharma scientists of the world don’t seriously step up their game and create a pill that will make me look like Jessica Biel, I’m just going to give up and start wearing moomoos and use a grabber to pick up my bag of chips and extra large soda from across my apartment because hey, I’m already married, why not? SIGH.

almond flour bun egg sandwichesLunch time dog walking with Bailey, grilled cheezus with Business Insider, lemon cinnamon ginger doughnuts from Dunwell and last week’s snow storm. As always, more on Instagram!

So, because dieting is hard, Kramer and I have found that when we do actually buckle down and stick to a plan, it’s usually of the ketogenic variety because it’s way easier than having to count calories or, really, think about it too much at all. Protein, good, carbs, bad. I can at least understand that. But when you’re on a diet like this, you do really miss bread, especially in the first week or two. Thankfully, there are tons of blogs dedicated to all things low-carb, even a subreddit, of course, which is how I found this recipe for almond flour buns. I tried these with coconut flour, too, but I do have to recommend the almond flour. There are flax seed buns that I also want to try, but from what I’ve read, these almond buns are the best option. They’re definitely not an English muffin, but hey, they’re still pretty good, and they do their job of soaking up melty cheese and runny eggs, which is all the bun is really there for if we’re being honest with ourselves. The only caveat to this recipe is that you really need a muffin top pan or a whoopie pie pan, which, being that this is 2015, you can buy on Amazon for under $15 with free shipping, so why not just get one? Anyway, armed with this extremely specific pan, you can make enough almond flour buns to stuff yourself to your heart’s content. You an even just slather one of these with a little butter to have on the side in place of toast, or throw a little peanut butter and sugar-free jelly on top if you’re feeling something a little sweeter that day. I promise it’s worth trying – anything to make dieting easier, right? Two buns weigh in at 4 net carbs with 10 grams of protein, so there’s no reason not to make them.

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Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies

with honey and cinnamon

Well, the blizzard ended up being a bust in New York, but I still enjoyed cozying up in my apartment, cooking and watching movies. Kramer and I had olive oil roasted beets with ricotta, mint and sea salt alongside roasted chicken slathered in garlic butter, plus we killed a bottle of wine, all while snuggled up in blankets and refusing to move from the couch. It was a pretty good night! On Tuesday, we waited to hear whether or not the subways would be running, and they were, but it was on and off for the L train, as per usual, so instead of spending hours waiting and commuting, we worked from home. I, of course, found some time in between answering emails to bake a cake, because why not? I’m home, may as well! Around 5, we decided to finally get out of the house and meet up with some friends for a quick drink before heading home. Of course, just because the blizzard didn’t really happen doesn’t mean there isn’t still a ton of snow on the ground – snow that is quickly becoming piles of ice and mounds of slush. If you don’t have waterproof boots and live in the city right now, I pity you. Kramer also woke up with an absolutely awful cold this morning. I’m praying that it doesn’t hit me next, but better now than in a few weeks when we’re headed to Tokyo and Taipei! He told me to take some zinc this morning, but I feel like instead of fighting it off like I usually do, I’d rather have the sickness just take hold now instead of coming back at full speed right before our vacation. Sometimes you just have to fall on that grenade.

double delight peanut butter cookiesMy new cookie jar – how appropriate.

I mentioned a few posts ago that Kramer and I went to Vermont with some friends over MLK weekend. It was incredibly fun! I’d never been skiing or anything like that before…and I still haven’t, technically, because I refused to ski or snowboard, but Kramer did enough for the both of us. Instead, my friend Amanda and I decided to blow out of the lodge and head into Wilmington, where we wandered around antique stores, book stores, and, most importantly, fudge stores. Taffy, fudge, books and old cookie jars in hand, we found a taxi to take us the rest of the way home. We were giddy with how we were able to pull off not having to fall on our asses all day on the mountain (although, I guess, if you’re into that sort of thing, it can be fun). The rest of the gang got back from a long day outdoors later on, so I heated up some cider and poured a healthy amount of bourbon into each cup. After dinner, we called it an early-ish night so that the masochists would be able to wake up early and hit the slopes. Kramer opted to stay with the smart people this time (i.e. Amanda and me), mostly because he was so sore he couldn’t move. We slept in, watched TV, and enjoyed the cabin’s in-house sauna (fancy). The evening was filled with spaghetti, card games, and a snowball fight, so I’d say the trip overall was a great success. I don’t know if I’d ever snowboard or ski, but I’d definitely go on another winter cabin trip.

double delight peanut butter cookies

Apparently it’s almost time for the Superbowl, but seeing as how I am not athletically inclined (see my refusal to snowboard or ski, above), I never really think about sports or football food or whatever until the event is upon us. I mostly enjoy watching the Superbowl because I get to eat chips and drink beer and be obnoxious about not understanding the rules. It’s pretty fun. I figure, though, that these peanut butter cookies would be an excellent game day treat. I made them years and years ago, back in 2008, what we’d call “ancient times”, and they’re as good now as they were then. Let me explain: these cookies are based on the one million dollar Pillsbury cookie contest that’s held every year. They are a ball of peanut butter stuffed inside peanut butter cookies, then rolled in chopped peanuts, cinnamon and sugar. They are insanely good. The creamy filling is such a surprise when you bite in that you’ll go back for at least one more. Sure, the process is a little labor intensive, but I swear to god that they’re worth making, especially for any peanut butter lover (see: lubber) in your life.

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