My mum has a theory about useful useless kitchen delights. These are little kitchen products that are super cute and technically useful but most of the time serve little purpose and are rarely used. Like this cutest Calzone Mold from Williams-Sonoma which I purchased recently. Among my list of other useless-useful kitchen utensils I possess a cupcake cake mold, grapefruit spoons (I never eat grapefruit) and Hello Kitty Toast Cutter. But I am really excited and have high hopes for making use of this calzone mold since I do make pizza frequently.
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I think I reached my absolute record for not posting anything which makes me cry. On the inside. I have 8 days left till I finish this semester and a 32 page book, a website, a 15-page paper and an exam to finish. I have not even had time to step in my kitchen! I miss it. I promise that this week, I will make it up with 2 (maybe I shouldn’t go that far yet but 1 new post for sure) posts with amazing recipes so check back in.
Yesterday the craziest day. It started out when the account manager at the magazine I work at asked me if I wanted 2 VIP tickets to the Taste of Park Plaza. Not knowing what that was, I googled it. Welcome to Paradise foodies. 11 participating restaurants offer food and drinks with all the ticket money proceeding to The Greater Boston Food Bank.
There were also a series of appealing prizes put up by these same restaurants BUT only if you got a stamp at 10 of the participating restaurants. Unable to undertake this challenge on my own, I enlisted a soldier. Alecia, a committed but not raging vegetarian, had to push meat aside and consume sides at drinks drinks at an unreasonable speed- a mission that she indeed accomplish. Since we showed up to the event an hour late, as competitive as one can be to win grand prize of a stay at Park Plaza and 2 Red Sox tickets (mind me that neither me nor A even remotely care for baseball) , we had to run through all the restaurants trying to get stamps (and stuff our faces with food and liquor) in just an hour and a half.
At Pairings we sat at the lovely patio, at MJ O’Connors we had the most delicious clam chowder, at Maggianos we almost had a food coma from the family style buffet that they had laid out but it was at Fleming’s where all the fun began. A noticed a girl, accompanied by a young man, wearing the most beautiful shoes. Obviously she had to ask about them. The young man admitted to having got them for his lady friend and referred us to Nordstrom. A minute passed and we had to leave to Melting Pot where yummy cheese and chocolate fondues were awaiting us with a chocolate martini.
When we got to Smith and Wollensky, we ran into the same couple. We had a few laughs in the elevator and then bumped again when getting food. “What are you guys doing after the after-party?” the young man asked. “You should come to MJ O’Connors to see me on Master Chef on Fox.” Me and A laughed. We haven’t heard that one before. “How will we know who you are? You might look different on tv,” we said. “I will be wearing the same shirt,” he replied pointing to his orange/brown/red plaid shirt. “Maybe he wasn’t kidding,” me and A whispered leaving the restaurant.
Curiosity got better of us after the after-party at Whiskey Park. He wasn’t kidding. Meet David Miller, the contestant of Master Chef. With his entire supporting crew watching the show, we were the odd ones out. “How do you know David?” we got asked. “We met him 30 minutes ago,” was our honest answer. People looked doubtful until during the commercial David confirmed that we really did not know one another. Let me tell you what I learned about David. He knows how to chop onions, how to cook an egg and he has moved on to the next round.
After the show me and A left the bar and went home to uncover what was in our heavy gift bags. Lots of happiness it turned out in form of a classy wine opener, beer opener, Food and Wine magazine, gift cards and discounts to restaurants, rum bottle, beer glasses and indoor and outdoor cooking and warming gel (if anyone knows what I am supposed to do with this one, please comment and let me know). How I do love charity work.
While I have returned from Mexico there are no new recipes for me to post. My friend is still visiting and so I have been taking her around the restaurants in Boston. I promise that soon enough I will post something delicious.
While in Mexico, I have gone into a guacomole/pico de gallo/fajitas/tacos coma. Our all inclusive 8 restaurant/bar resort fed us enough mexican food to last me for the next year to come. In addition to tanning, eating our stomachs out and going out, I have realized one of my biggest dream. I went swimming with the dolphins. Above you can see Fiji who swam with me, kissed me and rode me on his belly.
Now I am back and Boston. Be patient with me and I promise to post something amazing soon.
There are those days when you know you need chips and dip. Whether it is when you are sitting on the couch on Wednesdays drooling over Top Chef or while you are cooking a dinner on an empty stomach. I have a lot of recipes that involve spinach, artichokes, chili meat, crab…the list goes on. But my favorite go to dip is the simplest. In a baking dish add 1 layer of sour cream. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and add a layer of cheddar cheese. Add a layer of sour cream, a layer of your favorite salsa, and top with another layer of cheddar cheese and taco seasoning. Place in a preheated over (350 degrees) and cook for 5 minutes. Top with fresh tomatoes and lettuce and enjoy. TOP CHEF tonight!!!
So far so good. 2nd post and it’s only Wednesday. This is my fastest and easiest dessert recipe to make when I am craving something sweet and simple after dinner. Usually a scoop of ice cream or a candy bar doesn’t satisfy my craving and so I make this. Just mix your favorite brownie mix with all the necessary ingredients and throw into the oven. Take the brownies out of the oven, cut into pieces and add a good amount to your plate. Top the steaming hot brownie with vanilla or mint ice cream and enjoy! The mixture of the hot chocolate and the cold ice cream is simply divine. And now off to watch Top Chef DC!
So yet again, I have another product crush. These Cool Beans are awesome! “Love the chilly goodness of iced coffee, but not the way melted ice waters down the flavor? Your java jolt will keep stronger longer with Cool Beans made from real coffee,” Fred promises. Not only can they be added for extra flavor (and caffeine content) to your iced coffee but they also make the cutest decorations to go into your espressotini drink for that extra kick. The ice tray is made from silicone and is safe to put in the dishwasher. For less than $10, this is such a fun product for the summer.
So Top Chef Masters is officially over and Marcus Samuelsson has been announced the winner. I am so not happy about this! I don’t think that he deserved to win the title of Top Chef Master. His food was hardly innovative and his attitude just wasn’t great. Overall, this season of Top Chef Masters was a little disappointing. The host Kelly Choi said even less than last season (I didn’t think it was possible), a lot of competitions seemed borrowed from last season as well as from previous top chef competitions and the judges’ choices seemed a little off throughout.
Having said that, some of the chefs proved themselves to be amazing masters of their gourmet art. Susur Lee was one of them. Susur Lee, the executive chef and owner of several distinguished New York restaurants, became my favorite from the very beginning. Having lost his first quickfire challenge, he came back with the highest score in the history of Top Chef Masters in his second challenge. Lee’s creativity and mastery, combined with the hilarious accent and absolutely no filter (the Sopranos comment, huh?), he prepared food that was both new and familiar to the audience. His use of ingredients was fresh and his methods of cooking were unexpected. To me and Anna, he seemed the most worthy of the title. Maybe I’ll even venture into asian cooking under his cookbook tutelage. So who is excited for the upcoming of Top Chef Washington?
So as you all know, I have an obsession with buying a little useless but absolutely charming kitchen appliances. When I saw this Mini Donut Factory, I almost squealed a little. Do I really need this amazing but destructive piece of machinery after which I won’t be able to fit into any of my jeans? For $19.99, I feel like I do. Hmm food for thought…