Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

with maple drizzle

Do you remember the day when you learned that you were no longer in college and alcohol was no longer your friend? I was very rudely reminded of this fact over the weekend. I went out with some new friends on Saturday night and, well, we may have had a couple of extra drinks. Pair that with the fact that I had two glasses of white wine in the afternoon because it was such a lovely day…and yeah. My brain wanted to jump out of my body and pair up with someone else on Sunday morning. I was in such bad shape that I ordered pancakes for breakfast, which I’ve never done before. I spent the remainder of the day on the couch, watching old episodes of The Mindy Project in an effort to sooth my soul. I remember in college we would go drink for drink all evening, wake up in the morning and be ready to do it again. I think around 23, though, all of that changed, and I was welcomed into the world one morning with this strange new feeling called a “hangover”. It’s your body’s way of telling you that no, you are not invincible, and yes, you are getting old. The price of a good time, I suppose, is severe pain the next day. I feel like I need a green juice and coconut water and another evening snuggling up on the couch until I’m fully recovered. I never want to see alcohol again! It is now my sworn enemy. Until Friday night, I’m sure.

Maple Apple Upside Down CakeThe baby Doc Martens I got for my good friend’s baby, the reason I felt like death on Sunday morning, lunch at Bar Primi the afternoon before and my attempt at a hangover cure (I’ve heard Marmite helps)!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a copy of Joy the Baker’s new cookbook, Homemade Decadence, and I was super excited to flip through it, pick out a recipe and start baking. The photos are beautiful and the recipes are an inspiration, so I highly recommend picking up a copy if you haven’t already. There eggselent (do you see what I did there) brunch recipes, boozy cocktail recipes (please, not right now), classics like lemon bars and new twists on the classics, like buttered popcorn rice crispy treats (say what). There are also loads of big, beautiful cake recipes that I can’t wait to dive into, like the cover’s chocolate-peanut butter pretzel layer cake – can someone please make this for my birthday next month? I decided to start with something decidedly simple, though, as I had house guests at the time but still wanted to whip something up.

Maple Apple Upside Down Cake

This maple apple upside-down cake is the best thing you could possibly make to put you in the mood for fall. Fresh autumn apples paired with a rich maple syrup drizzled over the cake is irresistible, especially if you throw in a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. My guests and I enjoyed the cake at home, then I brought the rest into the office to share – everyone seemed to remark on how tasty it was. I love that this cake doesn’t require too much work or any fussing with making a batch of frosting. It’s made in one pan, and the carmely, mapley drizzle is almost better than frosting, anyway. Joy always says that caramel is the best addition to any dessert and I agree. This upside-down cake will stay moist and delicious for a few days after it’s baked, so it’s perfect for a weekend brunch dish, made a day or two before, or for days after alongside a cup of good, strong coffee. It’s finally chilly outside, so get in the spirit of the season with this cake!

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Spicy Green Chili

with hatch chiles

Around this time last year, one of my friends had an early “Friends-giving” at his apartment. If you’ve never been to one of these, it’s basically an excuse to have two (or more) Thanksgiving dinners – one with your friends and one with your family on the actual day…unless you’re me, who hosts an Orphan Thanksgiving each year with all of the people who don’t actually go back home on the proper holiday. Anyway, Kramer and I, true to form, got there right on time, which nobody ever seems to do and it always makes us the first ones at the party, i.e. the early people. Even when I TRY to be fashionably late, I’m still the first guest to arrive. It’s my curse. Since we were free, our friend Adam put us to work doing some prep while he and his roommates cooked. He put me on hatch chile duty. I had never cooked with hatch chiles before, but all I had to do was clean them, skin them and remove the stems and as many seeds as possible. Adam had already roasted the peppers, so it was just cleaning and chopping, but you could smell the spicy peppers even in their straight from the freezer state. I was super excited to eat them, and as I had anticipated, they were, in fact, delicious. They are the right amount of spicy combined with plenty of fresh pepper flavor – something that is honestly quite rare in the pepper world, I’ve found. There aren’t many varieties that are both flavorful and spicy enough to pack a punch. I convinced Adam to hand over some of his treasured peppers (that he had brought to New York straight from his home state of New Mexico, mind you), and I was able to use my bounty in a macaroni and cheese dish on Thanksgiving. Needless to say, it garnered rave reviews.

spicy green chiliDrinks with a view, the Italian from The Meat Hook Sandwich Shop, peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes from Two Little Red Hens and meeting Danny Tamberelli!

It’s hatch chile season again, so when I saw them for sale, I got really excited to roast and cook with them. This isn’t a traditional chile verde, which is made with pork shoulder, but rather a quicker, more weeknight friendly version that you can make while you put away groceries or prep lunches for the rest of the week. I doubled the batch of roasted hatch chiles, because I wanted to do what Adam did and freeze them for another use, and my apartment definitely smelled spicy, to say the least. I was worried that Kramer was going to jump out of his chair when the aroma his his eyes and nose, but we both like a little kick, so it wasn’t that bad. Some hatch chiles are spicier than others, mind you, and this batch was particularly hot. After the chiles are roasted, I pureed them with some fresh tomatillos, garlic and shallot, then added that mixture to ground beef and ground pork. Add a healthy dose of cumin and oregano, along with some lime juice, and 30 minutes later, you’ve got a chili that is simply irresistible. Kramer and I ate this for lunch for a few days with a dollop of sour cream and one more squeeze of lime juice. If you don’t want to have to watch this or stir it as it cooks, go ahead and make the green sauce, then mix everything together in your crock pot and let it simmer away all day while you’re at work or working on other things – it will be just as delicious with half of the effort.

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How To: Build a Cheese Plate

with charcuterie

Our friends Adrian and Kelly were here for 10 days, so today I need to get myself together and start working on eating like a normal human being again. You know how it is when you have guests visiting – you go to all of your favorite restaurants, bars and sandwich shops. Then, if you live in New York City, multiply that by a thousand. There aren’t enough days in the year, let alone in 10 days, to visit all of my “favorite” spots. In the last couple of days alone, we went to Arrogant Swine to attempt to get some BBQ, but since it was their first day open and the lines were long, we acquiesced and went to the still delicious Mabel’s Smokehouse for ribs, brisket, mac and cheese, collard greens and pulled pork, followed by a drink at the Wythe Hotel for the beautiful view. The next day, it being their last day and town and all, we got sushi at Bozu, then drinks at Larry Lawrence, Duck Duck and Featherweight, because why not? Featherweight is the best place to say goodbye to friends over fancy cocktails, a bowl spiced bacon mixed nuts and an intimate ambiance. The next day, when I got to work, I made sure Adrian knew to walk over to The Meat Hook Sandwich Shop for an Italian sandwich and a roast beef sandwich – thankfully, he picked one up for Kramer and I to split when we got home, too. That’s the best gift a house guest could possibly leave for us, and Kramer and I happily chowed down on our sandwich when we got home from work.

How To Build a Cheese PlateAn epic bacon, egg and cheese on pumpernickel, me eating at French Louie, El Barto graffiti in the neighborhood and drinks at Featherweight.

I love a good cheese board. I’ve always got a random assortment of cheeses and meats at home, because whenever I see them at the store I can’t help but throw one or two items in my basket. Sometimes I’ll even assemble a little charcuterie plate for Kramer and myself to eat for dinner. I love having a little of this, a little of that, and experimenting with different flavor and texture combinations. Recently, Sargento released a line of Tastings cheeses, which are perfect for the kind of everyday snacking I’m talking about here, or a great way to buy the perfect portion of cheese for a dinner party charcuterie and cheese platter. If you’re new to picking out cheeses for these sorts of things, the packaging on Sargento Tastings gives you a clear description of what you can expect from each cheese, and they’re not going to leave with you a ton of leftovers – the sizes are exactly right for the average cheese board. I’ve definitely been faced with a leftover cheese problem after a party or even on my own after buying too much cheese, but if you don’t have the time to use up those tasty leftovers in something like macaroni and cheese or some grilled cheese sandwiches, the Sargento Tastings options are the way to go. I’m a big fan of buying local cheeses from around New York, so to be honest, I was a bit wary of Sargento branching out into the artisanal cheese game, but I was really surprised with the quality of these offerings. The havarti was rich and creamy, the asiago was sharp with a nice bite, and the pepper jack was perfectly spicy. If you’re not quite ready to venture out to your farmer’s market and wander into the wide world of all the different kinds of cheese options available there, your local supermarket is sure to have these Sargento Tastings right in the dairy aisle, ready to start you off on your cheese tasting adventures.

How To Build A Cheese Plate

As previously stated, a cheese board isn’t something that you have to make only when you’re hosting a party. Sure, it’s always an impressive thing to display when you’ve got people over, but after a long day of work and I don’t feel like breaking out cutting boards, pot and pants, or whatever else, I like to just throw some olives, cheeses and meats on a plate, alongside some crusty bread and maybe a dip like honey or apple butter, throw something on TV, and snack. To be truthful, this is my favorite kind of dinner, and I’ve done it with just about anything. Kramer and I have gone all out before, going to a speciality deli for nice meats and cheeses, or we’ve gone the other way and made a big plate of sliced pepperoni, a little deli turkey and string cheese. I’m not above anything when it comes to snacking, and a glass of red wine or a nice beer alongside it all certainly doesn’t hurt. If you want to go out all out, though, I’ve put together a brief outline of what I like to see when I’m going to town on a charcuterie board. You want to have all the essential textures: creamy, crunchy, crispy, chewy – the works. You need some basic flavor profiles, too: smoky, buttery, spicy, earthy…the list goes on. Surprising your palate in this way makes you go back for seconds, thirds and fourths – believe me. There’s no right or wrong way to put these elements together, but as long as you’ve got some nice colors, flavors and textures on display, you will be in cheese board heaven. I always have a charcuterie plate or cheese board out as an appetizer for my Thanksgiving dinner, by the way – it’s a great way to whet everyone’s appetite without filling up before the main event.

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The Best Romaine Salad Ever

with candied walnuts & pecorino

It’s been quite the weekend. Our friend Adrian and his girlfriend Kelly are here visiting after working in Alaska for the summer. It’s always fun to have guests because it gets Kramer and myself out of the house and exploring more than we would normally do when we have nobody to show around. They got in this past Wednesday, so we had to hit up Roberta’s to show them our favorite restaurant. Thursday was Mile End Deli, and Friday was Williamsburg Pizza, followed by a friend’s birthday party on a roof with an awesome view of the city. On Saturday, I did a little baking and Kramer worked on homework while Kelly and Adrian brunched with friends, then we went with Adrian and our friend Danny to Han Dynasty for some Szechuan deliciousness. Wontons in chili oil, dry pot lamb, double cooked pork belly, sausage fried rice and cold noodles in chili oil, alongside a few Tsing Taos was just what we needed before doing a little Saturday night bar hopping – first Forrest Point, then Alaska Bar, then Tutu’s for a DJ set by out friends Lily and Joel. Needless to say, we slept in on Sunday. Like, really slept in, enough so that pizza joints were open when we were ready to eat so we ordered in a pie from Best Pizza for a little comparing and contrasting. We had to get a side of garlic knots, too. You know, for variety.

the best romaine salad everPizza, cauliflower, matzoh ball soup, DJ Lily Vanilli, Prospect Park and Chinese food.

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful fall day in New York, so we headed out to Prospect Park to wander around. Adrian and Kramer started to get jealous of all the people having a seemingly even better time than us due to having the foresight to bring a frisbee, so Adrian randomly asked a guy if he had an extra frisbee. Believe it or not, the guy gave Adrian the frisbee he was using, saying it was really cheap and hard to throw. Undeterred, Adrian and Kramer made quick work of testing out the man’s review. He was right, but they carried on anyway because once you have frisbee fever, you have to toss one around for a minimum of 10 minutes before moving on. We made out way out of the park, then to Zombie Hut for a drink or two, followed by one of my other favorite spots in the city, Pok Pok NY. Our friend Matt joined us, and obviously we ate well – smokey eggplant with shrimp, plenty of fish sauce wings, spicy boar collar, spare ribs, curry noodles with mustard greens, and crispy broken crepe with mussels. After a nightcap at Harefield Road, we went home to watch Saturday’s episode of SNL and have a piece of maple apple cake that I made from Joy the Baker’s new cookbook before calling it an early night, as we all needed a good night’s rest. Tonight I need to hit the gym and sweat out all of the amazing food I ate this weekend, and I definitely need to have a salad for lunch. Sigh – back to reality.

the best romaine salad ever

As previously stated many times before, including in this very post, I adore Roberta’s. Kramer and I even splurged on eating at their sister restaurant, Blanca, last month. It’s not just that I think they make great pizza, but they are always serving absolutely incredible vegetable dishes. From the charred, crispy eggplant with breadcrumbs and roasted, creamy cauliflower that we had this past week, to the delicate carrots with a little marscapone or ricotta that I think of whenever I suggest that someone eat at Roberta’s, their vegetables make me incredibly happy and I try to order as many of these dishes as possible when I visit. Oh, and their ribs – their ribs are a revelation. Roberta’s is able to take really simple ingredients and do a great job at elevating them beyond what anyone would think they were capable of, and I promise that’s not overselling it. If you’re ever in Brooklyn, or New York in general, you have to eat at Roberta’s at least once, order as many vegetables as you can, and you’ll see what I mean. Another example of them taking something simple or commonplace and turning it into something completely new is this romaine salad. It’s got the basics of a Caesar salad – crisp romaine, creamy dressing and a crunchy “crouton”, although it’s unlike any salad you’ve had. First of all, they use candied walnuts instead of croutons, and a roasted garlic dressing with real, whole anchovies. The salad takes a little bit of effort to put together, but I promise you that it’s worth it. Do a little prep on a Sunday to have lunch or dinner ready for the rest of the week, and you’ll thank me later. The dressing itself is worth making, for this or any other salad. I’ve made it a few times since, and it’s never failed to make any salad better. Thank you Roberta’s for making me and my husband love Caesar salad all over again!

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Concord Grape Muffins

with crunchy tops

I don’t think I really understood the difference between concord grapes and any other grape until I tried one last year. Yes, it was only one year ago that I discovered that concord grape wasn’t just what they called fancy grape jelly. These are the best grapes that you’ll ever eat. It’s weird to think so highly of a piece of fruit, but you really have to splurge on some of these babies. They’ll probably be a little pricier than your average black seedless variety, but believe me, it’s sooooo worth it. Concord grapes are incredibly sweet, but at the same time, they seem to have a complexity of flavor that is almost unbelievable. They literally taste like candy. I kept these in my fridge for a little while, trying to decide what would showcase their amazingness the best…but I got busy and therefore sort of lazy when it came time to incorporate my beloved concord grapes into something tasty. So I chose muffins, because everyone loves muffins and honestly, I hadn’t made muffins in a while. These were the real deal. Kramer suggested that I overfill the muffin cups, which I did (nervously), and all worked out well. The muffins were huge, the tops were perfectly crunchy, and each bite was bursting with juicy, delicious concord grapes. I think it ended up being the best way to showcase them after all. Kramer and I split one, or two, who’s counting? Then I gave them away to some friends and Kramer’s co-workers, otherwise I would have certainly devoured them all myself.

Concord Grape MuffinsMe, the man himself and my friend Tony.

This past Tuesday night, I was invited to attend the 2015 New York Michelin Star Gala. Does that sound exciting or what? I was thrilled. Kramer had class that night, so I took my friend Tony, who is also into nerding out about celebrity chefs and food. We saw the handsome Eric Ripert in the flesh and listened to him speak French as he stood in front of us, I got to actually talk to Carlo Mirarchi, of Blanca fame, and we drank Macallan 18 like real classy broads. It was amazing. I felt so sheepish ordering a glass of 18 year, but the bar was pouring so I was there. We ate, too – sea urchin with seaweed puree and crispy quinoa from Jungsik, buttery potatoes with caviar from Jean Georges, chicken and shrimp dumplings in an insane broth with black truffle from Atera, hamachi with marinated kombu, beets and wasabi from NoMad, smoked eel and foie gras terrine with brown bread and apricot mostarda from Lincoln, BBQ pork belly with creamed corn from Telepan, roasted sunchoke tortellini with oxtail and truffle from River Cafe, and shelling beans with mushrooms and smoked ham hock on miche bread from The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, which I will be able to speak more on later when I have photos to share. It goes without saying that we were spoiled beyond belief, and I relished every single second of it. I’m already going through the 2015 Michelin guide to decide what spots Kramer and I have to hit up this year, especially the bib gourmand restaurants, where you can get an excellent meal for under $40 – quite the steal in NYC!

Concord Grape Muffins

So aside from stuffing myself silly, which I am really good at, by the way, Kramer and I have friends in town this week and I’m really looking forward to doing fun touristy stuff with them. Obviously most of the “stuff” includes eating good food and having some cocktails – my specialty. Last night, we all went to Roberta’s for a ~welcome to Brooklyn~ meal and of course, enjoyed ourselves quite a bit. Kramer and I had the best eggplant that I’ve ever tasted in my entire life (par for the course), deliciously charred cauliflower and my favorite, their famous sticky, smoked ribs. We also stole a slice of pizza and pieces of crusty bread with salted butter. A few glasses of wine later, we watched South Park and went to bed. I am proud of myself for showing some restraint last night and actually getting a solid 6+ hours of sleep, so let’s see if I can do the same tonight despite whatever late night alcohol and food temptations may await.

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Bacon, Egg & Cheese Migas

with kale & leeks

I have been straight up sick as a dog all weekend. It’s been absolutely miserable. I can’t remember the last time I was this sick. Usually, I’m feeling kind of crappy for a day or two, but this has been a full throttle head/sinus cold that makes me want to die. I’m finally feeling a bit better this morning (although right as I’m writing this, my nose is starting to run again), but my eyes still feel a little swollen for some reason and I’d rather not speak to save my voice. I knew it was going to happen on Friday, but I went out to a friend’s party anyway and had a few drinks, though we still called it an early night around 10ish. I woke up on Saturday morning with the hounds of hell at my doorstep. I spent half of Saturday laying on the couch whining, blowing my nose and taking medicine to knock me out, then the other half was spent cleaning out my pajama drawer and prop closet because I was so bored. Kramer had homework to keep him occupied, and when he’s doing that I usually cook, but cooking was out of the question as to not spread my germs to him or anyone else, so I cleaned like a crazy person because sitting on the couch and not being able to watch TV is SO. BORING. I had to get out of the house, so I took a lethal dose of Tylenol Cold & Flu and we went to Nitehawk to see The Skeleton Twins, which was amazing – I highly recommend going out to see it. After the movie, though, I was wiped. We were home by 8pm, watched another movie and went to bed. On Sunday, I was feeling even shittier than before. I woke up at 3am and went to sleep on the couch because I couldn’t breathe and didn’t wake to subject Kramer to my constant nose blowing and tossing and turning. Thankfully the college kids next store had ended their party and I slept until 8am or so, then spent the rest of the day looking at Kramer from the other side of the couch and crying, “Whyyyyyyyyy?” until I decided to again, clean out the drawers and cabinet in the bathroom and go through my make-up drawer to get rid of more stuff because I was so bored. Kramer went to dinner with friends, and since I didn’t want to make them lose their appetite by blowing my nose and going “Ughgngngngh” every five minutes, I stayed home, ate take-out mole de olla and caught up on Top Chef Duels. I’ve got a ton of exciting stuff coming up this week, so pray to Jared for me that I feel better soon!

bacon egg and cheese migasHuertas’ vegetable migas with tomatoes and corn.

Let’s talk about migas. Migas literally means “crumbs” in English, which I find to be absolutely delightful. It is one of the signature dishes at a restaurant called Huertas in the East Village, and it’s one of my new favorite breakfast (or dinner) meals. I was introduced to this spot by my friend Tony, whose friend and roommate is the general manager, and even without this connection, I was blown away by the food here. On Tuesday nights, you can go and have pintxos, which are basically tapas, at the bar, and it is awesome. You go, have a few drinks, and waiters will walk around with trays of different delicious items, like chorizo and carrot skewers, marinated anchovies with olives, stuffed piquillo (sweet peppers), smoked trout salad, tortilla española and more. I went a few Tuesdays ago and was totally stuffed on $1 pintxos – not a bad deal! After that, Nate asked if I’d like to come by and take some photos. Duh! Of course I would. I shot (and ate) two kinds of migas: one with fried eggs, tomato and corn, and another with poached egg, small, seasonal turnips and fennel. Both were excellent. Some friends joined, and we also split an heirloom tomato salad, soft scrambled eggs with shrimp, thick cut pimentón bacon and my favorite, the fried calamari sandwich with ink aioli. We had a couple of cocktails, too. Not only is the space beautiful, as the images below will prove, but the food is fantastic and the service is impeccable – I know this because the first time I went, it was without the knowledge that Tony knew the GM and I was just there to eat. I hope you’ll check Huertas out, whether you live in the city or you’re just here for a visit! Side note: they have a 5 course tasting menu for $55 a person, which in this town is a total steal.

bacon egg and cheese migas

So, back to migas. As previously mentioned, it means “crumbs”, which is derived from the fact that you traditionally use day old bread to make this dish. If you’ve eaten migas in the US before, you’re probably imagining the Tex-Mex version, which is made with strips of corn tortilla, which while delicious, is not the same as the Spanish version at all. Huertas refines their migas a bit more than the average bear, and while I’m not a professional like they are, I tried to do the same with mine. I started with crispy bacon, then added in some leeks. I took those out of the pan, then added in roughly torn bits of leftover brioche, along with a bit of butter, and after those toasted, removed them, too. Next in is the kale, which I cooked until wilted and a bit charred, then I tossed everything back together again, added in a little cheese and topped it all off with a fried egg. For presentation’s sake, I plated this dish with the fried egg on top, but if I were just making this quickly after work or first thing in the morning on a Saturday where I’m absolutely starving, I’d probably either fry the eggs directly on top of the kale and bacon, or I’d whisk the eggs together and pour them over everything for a kind of scramble – either way is sure to be tasty and the perfect way to hit the spot for a fantastic brunch dish or an easy after-work meal. Migas is an excellent way to use up those leftover ends of bread and whatever extra vegetables you happen to have laying around in your fridge, so I hope you’ll give it a shot some night after work this week or maybe as a special brunch dish this weekend! Buen apetito!

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Turkey Club Pinwheels

with bacon & tomato

Again, I have more photos from the end of summer to post. This time, our friend Matt was gracious enough to host a barbecue at his place. I’m the pushiest person in the world when it comes to BBQs. I love being outside, eating and throwing back a couple of drinks. There’s honestly nothing better in the world, unless you can do all of this and have a beach or pool nearby…but I don’t demand it. Kramer and I don’t have an outdoor big enough conducive to having people over for outdoor grilling. We have a balcony, yes, but it’s small – it can probably hold out 6 people if we really want to push the limit, which I don’t because it’s a New York City balcony. I dream of the day where Kramer and I have a real backyard or front yard or decent roof space or something. But for now, I’m fine pleading with my friend to pleeeeeease have us over to use their grill. Matt kept it small, which was perfect for food prep, and we just hung out in his nice back patio (or should I say ~partio~), hammocks included! Kramer loved the hammocks, obviously. We did lots of grilled chicken thighs and drumsticks, all of which were super spicy and, if I don’t say so myself, delicious, especially when thrown on top of a potato roll. Matt also picked up sausages from Graham Avenue Meats, which are always awesome. I’m already missing being outside so often, but this weekend is supposed to be unusually warm, so I’ll have to take advantage of that. I almost wore tights this morning, but I hate wearing them so much that I figured I could stand to be just a little bit chilly if it meant freedom for at least another day.

turkey club pinwheelsJust some dudes having a good time.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. We’re going to a friend’s housewarming party tonight, which starts at a reasonable time for once. Every time I’m invited to a party, the invitation is something along the lines of, “HEY GUYS! LET’S MEET HERE AT 10PM!” How do you start your evening at 10pm? Or are people still in college and they spend time at home pre-gaming before going out? But then if you pregame, how are you awake and alert by 10pm if you started drinking at 8? It’s beyond me. I am an old grandma and that’s fine. When my friend set her party for 7:30pm, I knew she had me in mind and I thanked Jared for it. That means that I can still hold grand delusions that I’ll be asleep early enough to be well rested for the gym on Saturday. We’ll see. I always say that I’m going to go to the gym on the weekend and I rarely do. It’s so hard to peel yourself off of the couch or get up early enough to work out before going out for some other activity. But Kramer has a ton of homework to do this weekend, so maybe instead of sitting next to him on the couch, poking him and asking him when he’ll be done, I should go to the gym and use the elliptical for the required 20 minutes. Blech. Gym.

turkey club pinwheels

I made these turkey club pinwheels for a freelance job I did for Vlasic Farmer’s Garden. I loved the photos and the recipe so much that I wanted to share them with you! They’re clearly very simple – there’s not much of a recipe, to be honest – but I adored the little club sandwich stack on top of the pinwheel. Kramer and I ate these throughout the day while I was working on other projects and he had homework to do. You can use whatever deli meat and cheese combo you like, but the bacon and tomato skewer on top is key. These are perfect for making ahead of time and eating for lunch throughout the week, for bringing on a late fall picnic or as a hearty, casual party appetizer. My dad used to always get something similar to these from Costco when I was a kid, so they really take me back! Wrap some up for yourself and tell me that it doesn’t do the same for you.

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Apple Pie Biscuit Turnovers

with cheddar

I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of September. How did that happen? When did that happen? We’re all going to be scrambling to buy holiday presents before you know it. Ugh. Can’t it just stay 65 degrees and sunny and September? That sounds lovely. Unfortunately, time passes and we have to buy presents and endure New York winters and wake up before the sun is out. Boooo. Whatever, let’s make some biscuits. Apple pie biscuits, even. Maybe these ones, that remind me of apple turnovers more than anything. I saw them on Joy the Baker a few weeks back and the idea really stuck with me. I think that’s because you don’t have to do anything individually here. You make a batch of dough, roll it out, add your apples, cut it into squares and bake. It’s a deceivingly simple recipe that looks like you spent hours working on. And since I had some cheddar cheese hanging around the fridge, I added some of that in the mix as well, because slightly salty and sharp cheddar pairs beautifully with sweet apples and a buttery crust. I’m constantly on the search for a perfect biscuit recipe, and while this is certainly a deviation from the norm, they were a delicious way to transition into fall.

Apple Pie Biscuit TurnoversLauren was really into Taboo.

Since it’s finally fall, I figured I’d share the remaining random photos I had from this past summer. One of our favorite haunts is The Zombie Hut in Brooklyn. I love their pretty backyard, the fact that they are open early enough for good weather day drinking, and best of all, their festive tiki drinks are mostly only $5, even their signature frozen drink with a shot of booze in the straw (that’s right). Plus they have board games and all that for big kids like my friends and me. We try to hit this spot up a couple times each summer and this last time we went because the Battle of Brooklyn reenactment was canceled (quitters). You have to make the best of every situation, though, and that usually means you should get an electric blue cocktail. Here’s to next year, Zombie Hut.

Apple Pie Biscuit Turnovers

Speaking of making the most of any situation, last night some friends, Kramer and I went to Trivia AD’s Lost trivia night in honor of the show’s 10 year anniversary. To give you the long and short of it, we did not shine. We came in third, I believe, out of five. The disappointment was palpable, but we rallied. I would like to point out that the top team was comprised of an assembled group who met online and not an organic group of friends, and that’s basically cheating, but I digress. It was still a super fun night and the scores were all incredibly close. I demand a rematch. Even if I have to organize it myself. Who’s in for a night of aggressive nerds and Lost trivia/group shaming? You know my info.

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