Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Game Day Cookies

Recently my friend Rachel hosted a game day party at her house for the  Florida vs. LSU football game.We both went to the University of Florida and try to meet up every Saturday to watch the game together.

We usually go to "The Gator Bar"...for the UF fans of Los Angeles, but this week Rachel decided to host the party at her house. I of course wanted to bring something for us to munch on other than beer.

She is the queen of dips and meatballs...(her buffalo chicken dip is ridiculous!) so of course I offered to bring something sweet.

I was thinking of doing something that would incorporate our team colors -(orange and blue); but then I remembered that second grade science fair project of dying cookies to see which one the tester perceives to be more desirable based on the tacky color of the cookie.
Since I didn’t think dyed orange and blue cookies would be visually appetizing, I decided to make something a bit more sophisticated. Perhaps a recipe that incorporates a team color?!…..= Orange cookies!
These are quite delicious, and everybody ate them all up! Chomp Chomp! Gooo Gators!


1 cup butter, softened

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons grated orange peel

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup finely chopped blanched almonds


In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and orange peel. Combine the flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in almonds.

Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.Yield: 6 dozen.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

Well I cannot believe a year has gone by since I started this blog.
It seems as though I have come full circle!
My first entry was blueberry muffins…
A year later.. I decided to give these another try.
I used a different recipe however..which listed butter as an ingredient this time around. ; )  (sorry mom)
Whether it was the butter or my cooking skills…these muffins are fantastic!
They taste just like a fancy $6.00 muffin you would buy from your local bakery; except you have the satisfaction of knowing, YOU made them yourself.
Enjoy, and thanks for reading me for the past year!

Cook's Illustrated Blueberry Muffins
Lemon-Sugar Topping
1/3 cup sugar
2-3 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon

2 cups (about 10 ounces) fresh blueberries, picked over
1 1/8 cups (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups (12½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk * - I used whole milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
*If buttermilk is unavailable, substitute 3/4 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk.

1. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon (I used my potato masher) several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
3. For the topping: Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.
4. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.
5. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until combined, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not over mix.)
6. Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly).
7. EXTRA STEP ALERT: Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using small spoon, gently swirl berry filling into batter. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins. 

8. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving. Makes 12 muffins

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Strawberry Froyo

Before missing out on all the great ripe fruit of the summer, I thought my next flavor should be strawberry frozen yogurt..aka froyo!
There are tons of farmers market’s out here and they appear to specialize in strawberries. 

There seems to be at least 5 separate strawberry vendors each week at the market.
My mother actually mentioned that she wanted to send me this  ice cream maker in time, so that I could take advantage of the delicious juicy strawberries we have out here in CA.
I didn’t have one crisis while making this delightfully refreshing treat!
I found two recipes I liked for strawberry froyo, and decided to take a bit from each recipe.
One recipe listed vodka as an ingredient..
I was a bit perplexed but I thought what the heck! I actually have a bottle of vodka in the freezer..therefore it is this froyo’s lucky day!

16 ounces strawberries, rinsed, stemmed, and chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vodka (optional)- I use tablespoons - : )  ..also optional! ; )
3/4 cup whole milk- I only had my fat free milk so I used that instead
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoon pure vanilla

1. Slice strawberries into small pieces. Toss in a bowl with sugar and vodka (if using) until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hrs, stirring occasionally.
2. In mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the milk and  1/3 c. granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes on low speed.
3. Stir in the yogurt, berry purée (I didn’t mash or puree because I don’t have a puree machine..so I just put the entire bowl of  strawberry mixture in) and vanilla extract.
4. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. The frozen yogurt will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the frozen yogurt to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Low Fat Chocolate Sorbet!

For my next feat with the Cuisinart I wanted to try making sorbet.
For my first sorbet I decided to make a low fat chocolate sorbet I came across on this blog.

It is very similar in consistency and exact taste of one of my favorite eateries- Rita’s Italian Ice! (their chocolate flavor)
I didn’t melt the chips all the way…so it has some crunch to it too!
This will definitely be my go to guilt-free chocolate indulgence! (when I want something guilt-free that is!)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2-4 oz. chopped dark or semi-sweet chocolate, or chocolate chips

Combine the sugar and cocoa in a medium saucepan. Put it over med-high heat and stir in 2 cups water. (Make some of that water coffee if you want, or stir in a teaspoon of instant coffee or espresso – it will intensify the chocolate flavor without adding fat.) Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes. Take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir until it melts, or better yet, until it kind of melts but leaves some chunks.
Let the mixture cool, then refrigerate until it’s cold. Pour into the ice cream maker for about 20-30 minutes.  If you want to firm it up, put it in the freezer for a few hours.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vanilla Ice Cream

The Thursday before carmaggedon I was sitting at my desk typing away…until the UPS man came to the door. Package for Margaret..."oh that’s me...whoa what is that, it’s huge?”
Yup it was a huge and unexpected gift from my mother: a Cuisinart ice cream maker!!!..(that is me after I just opened the box- see how happy I am!?---->)
I love ice cream and frozen yogurt! I really thought about jumping right into it and making cookies and cream or mint chocolate chip ice cream.. but I thought, " No Marge, keep it simple and basic for your first time using the machine."
So in sticking  with my stay in cook all weekend theme- the ice cream maker came at the perfect time. I figured after the monkey bread we could have our own little ice cream party. I bought candy, sprinkles, waffle bowls-the works.

There are only 4 ingredients...you stir them together,then pour the mixture into Cuisinart, and the machine does all the work for you.
There will be no flour or baking soda for me to clean up.
I thought "This will be a breeze…what could I possibly do to mess this up?"
Well instead it turned into an episode of I Love Lucy.

You see I was so consumed with how the aerator fit into the machine that I completely forgot about the freezer bowl. (this part fits in the machine but is kept in the freezer)
Mind you the directions for cleaning the Cuisinart specifically state... in bold letters: do not get water or wash the base of the machine, if necessary just gently clean the machine by wiping the outsides of it with a cloth…
Well so much for following directions.
As I said I placed the tricky looking aerator into the Cuisinart..it didn’t seem to stand still unless I placed the lid on right away.- so I did. I then turn the machine on, poured the mixture into the Cuisinart turned around to clean the bowl I made the milk mixture in…
ALL OF A SUDDEN I felt a wet cold substance on my toes…I look down...and it is the vanilla mixture...I look to my left...and see a waterfall of vanilla ice cream flooding my counters and kitchen floor.
After using a few inappropriate words… I suddenly realized what I forgot! I forgot to take the freezer bowl out of the freezer and place the freezer bowl into the machine!

I turned the machine off, grabbed about 5 beach towels, and didn’t know really where to begin..
I threw two on the ground, one on the opposite counter, transferred the leaking Cuisinart to drain out…siiiiiince I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO WASH IT aka not get it wet whatsoever!!!
As I was scrubbing the ground, the mixture poured from the counter onto my head….(I have a very tiny kitchen!)
It was literally everywhere!

After I cleaned everything and everywhere I possibly could, I was too scared to turn the machine on … I really didn’t think it would recover from all the internal mechanical damage.
Therefore I thought it best to take a break and go for a jog; and perhaps mentally prepare how I was going to tell my mother I just broke the generous gift she gave me.
Thankfully luck was on my side this day; the machine survived, and I successfully made my first batch of vanilla ice cream!

1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 tblspoons pure vanilla extract

In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Makes about fourteen 1/2-cup servings

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread!

Every weekend Ty and I have pizza. Whether we make it, go out for it, or order in..we share a pie religiously every single weekend!
This particular weekend was Carmageddon!- when we were required to stay put in our own neighborhoods for the weekend due to the 405 being shut down.

The city officials made it seem quite mandatory, and made a big hoopla about it. (click here for a bit more info if interested!)

Therefore I took it upon myself to make dinner that Saturday evening since I literally couldn’t do anything else… I had all day to stay inside get creative and cook.
I looked up fancy meat and salad recipes…but my gut kept telling me: “how dare you not eat pizza! Just think of another way or type to make!”

Luckily I stumbled upon this recipe, which immediately brought back soooo many childhood memories of slumber parties at my house …and waking up to the smell of butter, bread, and cinnamon!- Yup –Monkey Bread!
Ah the good old days, where your metabolism would allow you to eat this, with a side of pancakes and eggs! : )
When this recollection first popped into my mind, I thought about making it for breakfast Sunday morning…however it’s the only morning I sleep in….

But how could I not make it for dinner Saturday evening as well? It’s two of my favorite things rolled into one!- MONKEY BREAD ANNNND PIZZA!!

Although it may not look like the most sophisticated meal..it is severely delectable. We finished this dish in about a day… (I know I know..whaaaa? how?)
We had the majority for dinner; and then picked at the leftovers the next day as we lay by the pool. We wouldn’t tell each other. But every time we went upstairs to “check on the dog”, or “fill our drinks”..we grabbed a piece of monkey bread..and soon enough..it was allll gone.
<-----that is Roscoe..wanting some of the bread

I took the long route and made my own dough; but not my own sauce (shhh don’t tell my mother!)
I phoned my mother for her pizza dough recipe; she swears it takes about 2 to 2 1/2 hrs to rise.
But be warned…I made the dough, set it aside..went for a run..came back 50 mins later, and the dough had risen so high out of the bowl it was taking over my cabinets!
In a flurry I unfortunately didn’t take a pic (next time) but instead washed my hands and punched the dough, telling it to get back down into that bowl..because I was not ready to make him (the dough) yet! Gosh darnit!
I suggest, including a salad on the side…it will help alleviate the guilt!; )

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp. butter
2lbs of pizza dough (enough for 2 pizza pies)
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes 
(you'll need 48 pieces)
48 slices of pepperoni
2-3cups marinara sauce, warmed for serving

1.  Heat garlic and butter over medium heat just until the garlic begins to brown. Remove from heat and let sit.
2.  Lightly brush the inside of a bundt pan (or other oven-safe dish) with garlic butter.
3.  Pull off large marble sized balls of dough and flattten. Top with a slice of pepperoni and a cube of mozzarella.
4.  Wrap the dough around the pepperoni and cheese, pinching well to seal.
5.  Very lightly brush the pizza ball with garlic butter and place into the bundt pan ( i brushed the pizza balls with the garlic butter!)
6.  Repeat until all of the dough is used.
7.  Cover and let sit for 30 minutes, while preheating the oven to 400.
8.  Bake for 35 minutes, until the top is very brown.
9.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes or so..
10.  Turn out onto a platter and serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

V.v.V Sugar Cookies V.v.V

Oh me oh my, am I behind on blogging about my consumption!
I made my spin teacher sugar cookies, because… well why not?
As you can see, I made them red and shaped like a crab. Why you ask?…It’s an inside joke between us! 
I would explain the many definitions of the crab...(its symbol being: V.v.V)..but then this wouldn’t be an inside joke anymore, would it?!

The one good thing about making sugar cookie dough rather than chocolate chip, or another kind of chunky cookie is that you can shape, mold, or cut them out however you like.
So get creative!

Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
*to make crab sugar cookies, your additional ingredients will be: crab shaped cookie cutter, red food coloring, frosting pen, and chocolate chips!

1. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover; chill dough at least 1 hour, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 400. (* to add dye, knead red dye into dough)-Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets, or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely before icing. Makes 5 to 5 1/2 dozen 3-inch cookies.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cake Boss

Every Thursday there is a farmer’s market across the street from my office building.
There is an array of fruit, vegetable and flower vendors, as well as ethnic eateries.
Every Thursday for the past 4 years of working at my company my boss purchases his weekly cupcake from the Blue Cupcake stand.

I agree with my boss, that Blue Cupcake makes the best cupcakes I have ever tasted! Her creations and flavors out weigh those of the mogul cupcake shops, such as Crumbs and Sprinkles! (sorry guys!)
My boss takes his Blue Cupcake Thursday’s very seriously; if he is not here on a Thursday either I or my other co-workers are required to pick up his favorite cupcake for him, so he may have it upon his return! His favorite is their strawberry cupcake.
Last year for his birthday the office pitched in and had Julie (the owner) of Blue Cupcake make my boss a giant strawberry cake!
This year however, since I have taken up baking as a hobby, and sadly enough, Blue Cupcake is moving to Colorado (my boss is so distraught!) I took it upon myself to bake him my own special creation for his birthday cake.
I don’t think I will ever try to imitate the cake of this decadent strawberry cupcake. It is just too moist and perfect, and I know anything I ever attempt to make or try, will be a disappointment.
Therefore, knowing that he loves the light texture and flavor of her cake - I decided to make a light fluffy lemon cake and incorporate a strawberry buttercream frosting!

I adapted a lemon cake from a lemon layer cake with lemon cream frosting from the blog: The Virtual Goody Plate…and created the strawberry frosting, using a standard vanilla buttercream recipe!
This cake is perfect for summer, and my boss and his family really enjoyed it!

Lemon Layer Cake
2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk
2 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
* I added 1 tablespoon of vanilla (because who doesn’t like vanilla in their cake!?)
* I also added 2 tblsp. lemon zest!

* I actually had to make this twice in order to have two round cake pans worth. Maybe it is just me…because the picture I adapted this recipe from sure as heck displayed a “layered cake”; but as I poured the batter, it only filled one pan.
So maybe if you prefer, simply double the recipe…or make it twice like me..to be safe…maybe you will have more batter than I had for the first round!

1. Preheat oven to 375. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms of each with rounds of wax or parchment paper. Butter paper and dust pans with flour, knocking out excess.
2. To make cake, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. (and lemon zest-optional).  In a separate bowl stir together milk and lemon juice (mixture will curdle and that's a good thing.)..also add vanilla extract here-optional!
3. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour, mixing at low speed until just combined.
4. Divide batter between pans, smoothing tops. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes, then invert onto racks, remove paper, and cool completely.

Strawberry Vanilla Buttercream
1 cup butter, softened
1 tbl. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
5-8 cups powdered sugar
1 cup of fresh strawberries, chopped

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with strawberries, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Granola continued...

After I shipped off my fathers care package of treats to him on Friday, I realized I still need to think of something to make for the father’s day celebration I would be attending out here on the west coast…for Tyler’s father.
Since I had just gathered an abundance of granola bar recipes-crunchy, soft, not so crunchy or not so chewy…I had granola on the mind.
I also recalled to myself that every time we house sit for his parents there is a plethora of granola and bran cereals in their pantry.

*light bulb moment!* - well of course! Make Jeff granola cereal, made by yours truly!

 As with the bars you can get very creative here. There are no strict rules. It is your cereal so add what you would like to the oats!
For Jeff, I used- chopped pecans, almonds, and dried cranberries!

So sweet and simple! Once the granola has completely cooled, store in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks. Makes up to 5 cups! 

Homemade Granola Recipe:
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
¾ cup sliced or slivered almonds
½ cup- 1 cup chopped pecans
¼ cup wheat germ-optional
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil or 2 tbls. unsalted butter; melted
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 cup dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, apricots, and/or raisins)-optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Either butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, nuts, wheat germ, ground cinnamon, and salt.
In a small bowl, stir together the oil (or melted butter), and maple syrup. Pour mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated with the liquid.
Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 30-45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly. (The browner the granola becomes without burning-the crunchier the granola will be).

Place on a wire rack to cool. You will notice that the granola may still be sticky when it is removed from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools.
Make sure to break up any large clumps of the granola while the mixture is still warm.
Once the granola has cooled add the dried fruits.
Again, once the granola has cooled, store in an airtight container or plastic bag!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!!

As I grow older I realized I have become that nagging daughter that father’s dread. I don’t feel that I have always been this way; just more so as I approach 30.

I mean I will be honest I am the only child so I am sure I have been a handful throughout the years, or whined about other concerns or materialistic items..but I have never been so naggy about my parents being healthy until recently.
At times I am sure it is annoying...but it is out of LOVE!..and isn’t that my job as the daughter? : )

Anyway as you already know from my mother’s day entry, I live very far away from my parents; so as with mother’s day I thought it best to bake something for my dad and ship it, for Father’s Day!
For him I decided I wanted to make him something for breakfast. I notice when I am home that he often grabs a couple of cups of coffee and then jets off to work, leaving him very hungry by 11am for lunch. I really believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and sets the tone for your eating habits for the remainder of the day.
Therefore I decided to make him a hearty and healthy breakfast treat: Homemade Granola Bars!

Since I didn’t know which he would prefer, I made both chewy and crunchy …plus he could have a variety to last him for about 2 weeks!

I hope you enjoy them daddy! Miss you and love you lots! Xoxo

I adapted the crunchy granola bar recipe from the Joy of Baking site. (click for recipe)
I did not use the sunflower or pumpkin seeds as directed. Instead I decided to go with all the scraps of nuts and chips I already had in my pantry.
* which brings in another great reason to bake granola bars..1. They are healthy, 2. You can get rid of left over add-ins you have available in your pantry! (baking and cleaning house..all in one!)
So I followed this recipe using the following add-ins:
½ c. dried cranberries, ¼ c. white chocolate chips, 1 c. sliced almonds, ¼ c. raisins, ½ c. milk chocolate chips, plus ½ cup wheat germ!


For the soft chewy granola bars I used a recipe from the site Kitchen Stewardship.
I had a lot of batter left over after placing as much as I could in my pan. Therefore I took a trick I learned from a mommy and me site. Instead of baking her granola in a large pan, she had her kids place the batter in lined muffin tins, pressing the mixture down with your hands or a spoon:
This recipe is quite simple:
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour or spelt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter, softened*
1 cup honey
Add-ins-1/2 cup walnuts; ½ cup milk chocolate chips
Lightly butter a 9×13-inch pan.  In a large mixing bowl combine butter and honey first:
Then add all ingredients except add-ins.  Beat hard until combined.  Stir in add-ins.  Press mixture into pan — really jam it in there so your bars don’t fall apart.  (You can use your hands!)  Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into bars.  Let bars cool completely in pan before removing and serving.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Devouring NYC!

It’s been about a month now since my trip to NYC to visit my bestie Stephanie for her birthday!
But I thought before heading off into Memorial Day weekend I’d share a few of the delights I got to taste during my stay:

(Friday)Once I was shuttled into the city and onto the doorstep of Steph’s apartment, I was greeted with my first New York bagel (of the trip) from H&H bagels. So fresh, and warm, right out of the oven..no toasting necessary, just slice and eat!

For lunch we headed into Brooklyn to meet up with my buddy Bronson. He took us to lunch at DuMont’s, on Union Ave. in the Willamsburg area. this place is cute with a classic look to it. They are known for their burger, however I had the grilled eggplant and artichoke sandwich; Steph had the huevos rancheros, and Bronson had the pulled pork tacos!:

For dinner we had reservations at The Stanton Social.
We arrived an hour beforehand, to chat and sip on their marvelous martinis...literally went down in 3 sips : ) 
A few bites we dined on at the social:
Maryland Jumbo Lump Crabcake 'Corn Dogs’ (pictured); pulled pork sliders;
Red Snapper Tacos - creamy avocado & spicy mango
French Onion Soup Dumplings;
Old School Meatballs; Chicken N Waffles (pictured); Mac N Cheese (pictured); and of course doughnuts for dessert!

(Saturday)A cure for the martinis, wine and champagne the night before, lunch at The Burger Joint..hidden in the swanky Le Parker Meridien.
Perfectly cooked burgers; no substitutions or exceptions-served on fluffy buns with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and, of course, ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise. Slim fries, that taste like McDonald’s fries..mmmm mmmm!

A few hours later…time to stop for a snack... where else would one go..other than-Magnolia Bakery of course!

Dinner with friends at Punch-amazing sangria

Sunday morning we headed up to the Essex’s area early, to find the infamous Doughnut Plant:

As you could conclude...by the looks of this picture..I never got my donut from there. The line wasn’t moving an inch..we hung around for about 20 minutes or so..but we had to jet off to Essex’s restaurant for Steph’s birthday Sunday Funday brunch! (pictured) Crab Cake Benedict:
potato pancake topped with house cured salmon gravlax, salmon caviar & poached eggs:
Brunch wasn’t until 330pm…so late night New York pizza by the slice was the perfect thing to have for a late dinner.. in the midst of traipsing around the city bar hopping!

And last but not least late night bingo party at the Standard hotel in the meatpacking district…champagne/vodka punch bowl!!!!
Needless to say…sweets come in all different shapes, sizes, and consistencies! ; )

Have a great and safe weekend!