December 31, 2010

Looking Back: 2010's Best Recipes

2010 is coming to an end tonight, and I must say: I am READY! Bring on 2011! But first, a look back at my 10 favorite recipes of the year. There are a few more worth checking out, but 10 in 2010 had a nice ring to it. ;)

Most of these recipes are actually quite simple, maybe 3 or 4 ingredients, tops. Others require a little more, but they're hardly complicated. And every one of them is worth trying and enjoying! You know me by now--great food can be easy and affordable!

Garlic-chive butter: ABF's signature compound butter. It will transform your breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

December 29, 2010

Holiday Eats: Salt & Pepper Sugar Cookies recently featured an intriguing recipe for sugar cookies--it added cracked black pepper to the rolling sugar!

Seeing as I'm adding more and more sweet/savory combos to my list of favorite foods, I thought I'd give this a whirl.

December 23, 2010

El Mariachi

After a long day of shopping for Christmas presents, ABF & I were looking for a spot for dinner. The streets were nearly deserted in Rockville Centre, and the few restaurants open were packed to the gills!

December 21, 2010

Tabla: One Week Left!!!

My friend Carlota and I stopped at Danny Meyer's Tabla restaurant this week. You have ONE WEEK to go here before it closes for good, and you should absolutely stop in for a fantastic meal.

Giveaway Winners!!!

Congratulations to Crazy Lady and Rosalinda--- you ladies have won the 2 Christmas cookie mixes for the very first (but not the last) Stuff I Ate giveaway! I hope your families enjoy making the cookies as much as they enjoy eating them!

Please send me your addresses ASAP via Facebook or my email and I'll ship them to you both!

Thanks to everyone for commenting--more giveaways to come in the New Year!!

December 18, 2010

Holiday Giveaway: Sugar Cookie Set!

It's time for Stuff I Ate's very first Giveaway! This is an all-in-one day of fun for kids--or kids at heart!

One of my favorite stores, Trader Joe's, has this awesome Christmas cookie set. It comes with the cookie mix, colored sugar sprinkles, icing, and three cookie cutters! All you need to add is some butter and a single egg.

This is the perfect idea for an afternoon of baking fun---and a good clean way to have fun with kids, family, friends, you name it! And there are two up for grabs, so it's a doubly delicious giveaway!

This is just one delicious way to thank all of you for your support, especially over this past year. This blog has been so much fun for me to write, and I truly love each and every bit of feedback I get, from comments on the blog to love on the Stuff I Ate Facebook page. I get such a kick when I hear from someone who tried a recipe and loved it, or from someone telling me they actually take a moment out of their busy day to stop by and visit. That's so awesome!

Now, how do you enter for a chance to win? Just leave a comment below telling me what your favorite Christmas (or winter) holiday activity is. Cookie-making? Sledding? Making snowmen? Drinking hot chocolate by the fire? Oh wait...those are all my favorites. Tell me yours!

You can get extra entries by following my blog and/or 'liking' my page on Facebook (click the badge up on the right or search for "Stuff I Ate" on Facebook). Once you do that, mention it in your commment! If you already are doing that, leave a comment to let me know that, too!

I'll pick the TWO winners by noon Eastern on Tuesday, December 21st and will then ship it to you ASAP...hopefully in time for Christmas, even!

December 17, 2010

Basta Pasta

One a chilly night a (super extremely long) while back, I met Jen and a friend of hers for dinner at Basta Pasta--where they serve Italian food with a Japanese flair. The original restaurant opened in 1985 in Tokyo, Japan, inspired by the wildly-popular "Iron Chef" competition.

I knew none of this backstory until after the meal, so it seemed a little unusual at first. Everyone spoke Japanese in the kitchen while they cooked pasta! Gotta love fusion.

December 16, 2010


While going through my old photos I came upon the road trip I took with Jen a while ago. We piled into a rental car and headed out towards Philadelphia, where she'd put some stuff in storage for her temporary move to Venezuela. I suggested, since we were going to be in the area, that it might be the perfect time to stop by two legendary establishments in Philly: Pat's and Geno's cheesesteaks.

There's an App(etizer) for That!

I think I just found my next new favorite snack, and it's about as simple as can be. You just need 2 ingredients and 5 minutes!

December 15, 2010

Christmas Cookies: Mocha Toffee Truffles

I have hardly done any baking this season--Booo! Fortunately, my coworkers are picking up the slack. My friend Patty is sharing this recipe with us....enjoy!

December 13, 2010

I won! I won!

The Foodie Blog Roll Contests: Winner!

I recently won this duo of Mohawk Valley Trading Company's artisan honeys in a comment contest on Foodie Blogroll, and now I'm turning to crowd sourcing to generate ideas for what to do with them. The honeys, made in upstate New York, are made from blends of seasonal flowers. I'm definitely making a Samantha Sandwich with at least one of them, but what else would you guys suggest for honey? I need to get more creative in my honey use and need your help to expand my repertoire! What are your suggestions for recipes that will showcase this product's deliciousness?

And thanks again to both Foodie Blogroll and to Mohawk Valley Trading Company, who kindly supplied the sweet samples. I can't wait to try and review both flavors!

December 10, 2010

Bad Service at Bocca

Actually, to call it bad is almost complimenting it. ABF & I received such awful service last night at what used to be one of my favorite restaurants, Bocca on E. 19th street. Our server started out quite friendly and welcoming at first. However, after we gave them an coupon (in which I paid $25 dollars and was to get $50 at the restaurant), we never saw our server again until he wordlessly, and without eye contact, handed me the bill.

I'm so livid the next day that I'm actually going into the city on a work-from-home day to tell the manager in person how disappointed I am.

Don't worry...I'll be polite and calm, but I will still make my disgust quite clear. If they offer to make it right, great. If not, well, I'll let you know THAT, too.

December 09, 2010

Another Foodie Friend!

My friend MK has launched her own food blog this week, and I'm so excited to have her join us! The photo to the right is of us from way back when--she was one of my first friends in NYC. Over the last few years she has developed allergies to shellfish and other seafood (no sushi for her boo!), but she's not giving up on having a delicious life! MK's blog will feature recipes for people with food allergies, but it's just as delicious for people who don't have allergies, too!

You may also remember her appearing a few times on this blog, including the time where she brought in homemade cupcakes and kugel last year. YUM!

Why don't you pop on over to her new blog, Epi-Curious (as in epi-pen! Do you like the name? I hope so--I came up with it--ha!!!), right now!

December 02, 2010

Molly's Tea Room

After (reluctantly) leaving Martha's Vineyard, ABF and I stopped in Falmouth, just minutes away from the ferry, and opted to walk around a bit before the long drive home to NYC. We walked along the main strip and saw Molly's Tea House, which I assumed at first was just a gift shop. It was fairly big inside and we decided to stay and grab a bite.

December 01, 2010

Ferry Good Food

On our way out of Vineyard Harbor, ABF & I decided to grab a light lunch/late breakfast. The food options on the ferry were pretty impressive. Not only can you get the usual coffee and chowdah but they even had pizza, desserts, salads, and adult beverages!

November 30, 2010

Back to the Black Dog

One trip to the Black Dog is NEVER ABF & I stopped by one afternoon to try some more sweet treats.

November 29, 2010

New Lane Sundries

Each year on Thanksgiving weekend, Martha's Vineyard has an Artisan Fair. Every craft you can imagine, from hand-tooled leather to seascapes to gorgeous woodworking and more is in the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury.

I especially enjoyed these funky fish! There's also an artist who works with mosaic glass --her work is stunning. But my most favorite stop of all is New Lane Sundries!

November 28, 2010

The Perfect Pub

The Newes From America is always a stop for ABF & me when we visit Martha's Vineyard. It just happens to be a decent, 10-15 minute walk from our hotel, too. And when it's cold, windy, and super-wintry outside, few things sound better than a warm cup of chowder and a cold beer.

Our first visit there was actually the first time I ordered a beer (I'm more partial to wine myself). However, it just felt like a "beeyah and chowdah" night. I ordered the Newes' signature beer, light version, known as the Lime n Light Lager (brewed in Providence!) It comes with a splash of Rose's lime juice. And it was AWESOME. It was light, it was drinkable, and it didn't have any malty, yeasty aftertaste. I will definitely be making this a regular there.

ABF ordered the seasonal beer from Sea Dog (based in Portland, ME), which that week was the Oktoberfest brew. I had a sip of that and was surprised at how layered the flavors were--spicy, hefty, and quite lovely. I found it so lovely that I had a few more sips. ;)

I decided to try something new instead of getting the World's Best Chicken Sandwich, which is what I usually order. I got the chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto and swiss cheese. It came on a bed of mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans. YUM! The mashed potatoes were just so-so, but everything else was delicious.

ABF got the chicken sandwich, which again, is one of the BEST sandwiches I've ever eaten. Grilled chicken, roasted peppers, pepper-jack cheese, and chipotle mayo. YES. I absolutely had TWO bites of this. And swore I'd get it the next time we returned (which was 2 days later).

Once again, no room for dessert--one of our only downfalls when we go there. Dinner is so delicious, and the beer so fabulous, that there's no room left at the inn.

Oh man...what I wouldn't give to be right back there now...sitting in front of the fireplace and loving life. Le sigh.

Newes From America Pub
23 Kelly St
Edgartown, Massachusetts 02539

November 27, 2010

The Black Dog Bakery

One of our first stops on the island of Martha's Vineyard (our annual trip after Thanksgiving Day) is always the Black Dog. Usually it's for breakfast or lunch in Vineyard Haven Harbor...but until this trip, I'd actually never sampled the sweets. We stopped this time at the smaller outpost about a mile outside the Harbor.

The genuinely warm young woman behind the counter was quite welcoming and assured us that the chocolate-chocolate chip cookie was worth my time--she said she eats one almost every day. Sold! ABF got the regular chocolate chip, as well as a plain donut.

We also got some strong & delicious Black Dog Coffee---please notice the differences between my coffee (on the left, with half & half) and ABF's (right, with just a dash of milk).

The cookies were outrageously yumtastic--one bite and I wondered if my mother had suddenly started worked on the Island! The chocolate-choc chip also had walnuts in it--win!

There's plenty of seating, and it was clearly after the lunch rush when we snapped these photos!

The toughest part at TBD is narrowing down your of the best problems to have!

I'll be back for these tempting cupcakes...and more, I'm sure.

The Black Dog Bakery
11 Water Street
Vineyard Haven, MA

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope by now you are happily stuffed with some of your favorite foods, and warm from the glow of spending time with people you really like. Or at least some kick-butt pets. ;)


What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods? Mine are definitely turkey and gravy, as well as that canned cranberry sauce (yes I know it's mostly sugar and I don't care!), but a solid pumpkin pie is important, too. I ate all of these today--hope your day was yummy, too!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

November 24, 2010

My very first-ever Pecan Pie!

I admit it: I have long snubbed pecan pie.

My senior year of high school, this dessert, treacly sweet and inedible to me, was at every single college dinner, awards ceremony, etc. I put it aside and dismissed it as not worth the time and calories. But a while back, and I can't even remember where, I tasted a bite of ABF's dessert (he is a fan) and it was unlike any pecan pie I'd ever sampled. It wasn't so sweet that my teeth hurt, it had depth and texture and wasn't all gooey. Okay, time to tackle this treat after all.

Cherry Pie

This Thanksgiving I made another cherry pie, though I hit a snag or two in my routine. Foodtown no longer carries the sour cherries I normally use. My only option? Pre-mixed pie filling. I didn't know if it tasted good, was sicky sweet, or anything, but time was ticking, so I had to go with it. Also? EIGHT DOLLARS A JAR! What?!?!

November 23, 2010

Sweet Potato Rolls

I baked. So help me, I baked rolls. For Thanksgiving Day! And they were good. Sound the village bells!

On top of the pecan and cherry pies, I got inspired to make these rolls for Thanksgiving, too!

November 18, 2010

TJ's Alsatian Tart

I bought this Alsatian-style tart at Trader Joe's on a whim. It sounded delicious and an awful lot like the amazing one we at The Modern (review here!), so I tossed it in the cart. Gruyere Cheese? Caramelized Onions? Plus it was around 5 dollars--deal!

I was impressed to see it looks almost exactly like the box's photo. Don't you hate it when the actual food is nothing like the picture?

After 10 quick minutes in the oven, the tart was ready. I probably could have baked it a little longer, but there is such a thing as too brown for me when it comes to crust.

I had a (heartily-peppered) slice of this with a cup of Trader Joe's organic tomato soup (LOVELY!) and enjoyed every bite of this tummy-and-soul-warming meal on a cold winter's night. It's light, fresh, not a bit of grease--win-win-yum!

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