Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Toy: The Zoku

Milk Pop

My Aunt D. gave us two Zoku Quick Pop Makers for Christmas. You're sure to witness more of my experiments with them if you stick around on Snackreligious, but for starters I made the kiddo a quick milk popsicle. As you can see, it works just fine (though I forgot to snap on the drip guard before handing it over). I didn't taste this particular pop, though. Just for babies!




My morning coffee (and afternoon coffee and evening coffee) is hot chocolate.  I don't particularly enjoy the flavor of coffee and I love not being dependent on the caffeine of coffee or tea (though I do also like tea), so I often drink cocoa when I want a hot beverage.  

I'm sometimes given intriguing flavors of drinking chocolate as gifts.  One of the more recent was this Belgian white chocolate pictured above.  It's smooth and unassuming, heated up in milk (and my favorite office mug). Despite one co-worker teasingly announcing that my frequent breakfast of oatmeal and hot chocolate is "baby food," I'm not giving up this habit.

From the Vaults: A Few Moments at Work...

S'mores S'mores close
S'mores Kettlecorn by Best Darn Kettlecorn

Candies 1
Candies 2 Candies 3
Assorted Brazilian Garoto candies

Hello, Panda 1

Hello, Panda 2
Meiji Hello Pandas


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

From the Vaults: Cake and Bake

I've managed to create a few homemade desserts in the past several months, even with a rug rat taking up much of the time I'm used to spending in the kitchen.


Here's a slice I remember fondly.  It's from a Tres (actually Cuatro!) Leches Cake.  This cake was amazing.  I doubled the recipe and made two -- one for a friend's birthday and one for myself.  Thanks go to Zach for the recipe.

6 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
2 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Topping (leches):
1 can coconut milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream

OVEN @ 350

Use a mixer: Beat egg whites till soft peak, slowly and sugar to stiff peaks, add yolk one at a time making sure to incorporate each one. Alternate dry and wet ingredients. Make sure to do this part quickly (to not lose volume). Put in a greased rectangular cake pan and bake until golden- maybe 25 mins.

To make the milky topping: in blender/processor- combine all ingredients.

Remove cake from oven, while still warm, poke holes all over the top. Use all the liquid.

You can make this double layered by using two round or square cake pans.

Once you poke holes in the cakes and pour all the liquid in, it works well to wrap the pan up really well with saran wrap an put in the fridge to cool. To get the cakes out of the pans once they have chilled, set the pan directly on your stove burner on low for a bit to warm up the bottom. Then when you flip it over it will pop right out! I just left it in the pan, though, and ate it that way.

Frosting: Top with whip cream blended with sugar and vanilla. In the middle of the two cakes (if stacking), spread whipped cream and some sprinkles of cinnamon.

 Plum cake 1

Plum cake 2

Oh, and I managed to turn out a pretty tasty Plum Cake -- honestly, I'd forgotten where I got the recipe, but I think I used this one. Yum.

Nothing ventured...

And we had a plateful of Apple Fritters -- These came from a kids' cookbook I have.  They were only really right when freshly made (and then quickly got soggy), but were quite good at that point.

Just looking at these photos makes me want to get back to my mixer.  Got any recipes for me to try?


From the Vaults: New favorites




I am a creature of habit when it comes to Ritter Sport bars. I tend to stick with Marzipan, Cornflake, and Peppermint. But I am rarely disappointed when I try a new flavor.  Weiss + Crisp is white chocolate and cornflakes. Karamell Nuss is caramel and hazelnut with crispy rice pieces. Both are divine.

Go ahead! Collect them all!


Poetry Tuesday: Talk To Me, Yan Yan by Meiji

Yan Yan

Here's a normal golden egg,
Mostly golden, not quite gold,
Owl-faced, moony-eyed, and
Short on gumption, pride, and light.
Kokekokko no! That's me not being chicken.
Animal instinct's the tallest mammal
And I've lucky-numbered pieces here.
8 inches of snail mail makes for a slow ride.

So - love it on the pale bakery tip.
Not love, love. I'm in like. Like this. It's
OK to try to gallop, girl, astride a
Crispy kinda cracker stick. We're
Stuck and thin, a skinny swim
In -- sorta chocolate cream to dip.
Butter me up, herbivores. Meet me so
I'm sugar light. But then
Think big and bigger, more:
Sweeten me there, chocolate-like.
Meet me back in.
I'm more active at night.


Fun words

Monday, February 27, 2012

From the Vaults: Thanksgiving, 2011

Tgiving 2 Tgiving 1  

A Feast with Friends: Our Thanksgiving Day Menu

Turkey with gravy and stuffing (pictured above)
Dressing (vegetarian)
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Cranberry sauce
Cranberry chutney
Butternut squash salad (made by Dan; pictured below)
Kale salad
Green Bean Casserole (made by me)
David Chang's Spicy Brussels Sprouts (made by me)
Macaroni and cheese
Brown 'n' serve rolls
Homemade ice cream (pumpkin with gingersnaps or vanilla with peanut butter cups)
Cherry-blueberry pie (from this book; made by me; pictured below)
Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding (made by me)
Pumpkin cheesecake
Apple strudel

Tgiving 4  Tgiving 3

Tgiving 6Tgiving 5

Bonus! Baby's First Thanksgiving Menu (8 months old)
Brussels sprout, halved
Green beans
Fresh blackberries with whipped cream
Carrot-bran muffin


Don't Call it a Juice Cleanse.


Though I'm intrigued by many areas of holistic and "alternative medicine" (etc.), I'm pretty suspicious of fasting, cleansing, and [non-drug-related] detoxing.  Most of the time, these three things seem to be crash diets in disguise, and I'm not fond of dieting, either.  It may not be accurate or fair, but I will admit to jumping to the conclusion that many people doing cleanses secretly just want to lose 5-10 lbs.  I do think fasting is interesting as a spiritual discipline and/or form of protest (and sometimes necessary before medical tests*), but I hope I never convince myself to fast, cleanse, or detox to lose weight. 
Call it laziness if you want -- I certainly don't find myself to be disciplined enough to stick to a strict plan when it comes to food -- but I'm also not interested in regimented eating.  I eat basically what I want to eat (and can afford to eat) and I rarely feel guilty.  It's not because I'm not vain or insecure, either, and it's certainly not because I eat only healthy foods (as you can see on this site). If you want to, you can say I'm "just jealous" of the people who drop 6 pounds on "the Lemonade Diet" and feel super-energetic on day 4 (or whatever).

As far as "detoxing" goes, I trust my body to process what I eat and I know it will do a better job if I eat more things that are unprocessed and natural. Doctors seem to agree.  I have no doubt that it is good to eat in a mindful way, but I find it easier to swallow (so to speak) the idea that the best sort of "cleanse" one could do would involve eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.  I haven't read anything that convinces me that it is necessary to fast or cleanse on a regular basis.

All this said (and said and said), I was given (not by the company, but by an unafilliated friend) a BluePrintJuice cleanse drink and BluePrintBar.  And since I am happy to snack on food created for "cleansing" if it means I get a blog post out of it, I tried them both.

The drink? "Yellow Lemon Water Cayenne Agave."  You know, something about the inclusion of the word "yellow" on the packaging throws me off a little.  "Yellow" is not a food.  It makes me think of artificial coloring.  Not sure why they'd include "yellow" in the name. Are there other colors of lemons? Anyway, it didn't taste bad.  I liked the small amount of spice.  The lemon is pretty palatable, like lemonade, and I prefer its slight tartness to overly sweet commercial lemonades.  BluePrint's cleanse program has been described on a lot of other blogs, and most reviewers have described this as one of the better flavors of juice in the program.

The bar? "Cherry Orange Almond Date."  I was prepared to dislike this, as I do not trust "health food bars." I typically assume something "raw, vegan, wheat free, gluten free, soy free, and kosher" will be tasteless and/or terrible, but it was quite good!  The cherry flavor was the strongest, and it was bright and fresh.  Almond and orange both came through well, and balanced the cherry.  I didn't taste the dates as much, but they lent a pleasantly thick sort of texture to the bar.  I like that it doesn't contain any sweeteners, sulphur, or preservatives.

Raw bar

My verdict?  I won't be "cleansing" my system via an expensive program of pre-bottled (but otherwise unprocessed) cold-press juices any time soon, and I don't think I'm much healthier for having eaten the bar (though the packaging tells me that cherry "contains melatonin, which helps regulate sleep patterns, prevents memory loss, and delays the aging process"), but I'd snack on either item again.  Score one for fad diets!

*I always eat a doughnut after my annual physical, to apologize to my stomach for the pre-checkup emptiness.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Not an excuse.

Retreat 2011 (51).jpg

No excuses! I'm working on it, guys.

As a show of good faith, I have started a Tumblr page called "Escape from Snack Jail."  When I don't have time for a Snackreligious post, I'll post a little something via Tumblr (which I can do much more quickly, via my phone) to let you know which "overflow" snacks I'm eating these days.

Thanks for checking in!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tortaria on University

Tortaria lunch

Despite not having many vegetarian-friendly menu options (I eat meat, but not at every meal), I thought Tortaria had potential. And I still think that.  But I went in hoping to have a new favorite lunch spot (though I can't afford to eat there every day), and that's not quite how I feel about it.  After finishing my lunch I'm underwhelmed, yet hoping to try again and, perhaps, like it more.

The Mexican grilled cheese sandwich I was served had good flavors.  It simply, and seriously, needed to be grilled longer.  The bread (why challah, by the way?) was too soft and the whole thing fell apart.  But the chicken chicharrones added for crunch tasted great in there.  My good-sized side order of platanos (sweet plantains) weren't hot enough, and I wasn't a fan of the "piloncillo cascabel and tequila pepper sauce" served alongside, but I thought the tomatillo sauce available near the front counter was pretty good on them.  My horchata was fine, but perhaps watered down?  It seemed thinner than some I've enjoyed at other restaurants.  I was also mildly alarmed when the person serving drinks behind the counter (not the bartender at the bar) didn't know what horchata was.  I guess they call it "agua fresca" there.

I'll return, but cautiously.

94 University Pl
(between 12th St & 11th St)
Manhattan, NY 10003

Related Posts

Related Posts with Thumbnails