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it's pancake month at clinton st. bakery

I've waited with baited breath, quite literally, for pancake month at Clinton St.

And this variation is the blueberry crumb streusel. It's garnished with fresh blueberry sauce, vanilla bean whipped cream, and warm maple butter. (Could anything be better?) Every few days the bakery features a new flavor, and I imagine them all to be as exquisite as this one was. In fact, I may have it on my calendar to visit again before the month is over... 

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cheeky sandwiches

Brendan's been raving for a month now about this new lunch spot he found: Cheeky. When Brendan raves, I'm always game to try it because he knows good food, and I like good food.

And he rarely ever raves.

I'm here to say: Brendan's raving is always worth the hype—despite having to trek to a restaurant in the pits of Chinatown. This was one of the best chicken sandwiches I've had—ever. The chicken was perfectly cooked with the perfect flavor (which I often have trouble finding in NYC) and the biscuit was unbelievably tasty, buttered, and not the least bit overcooked (also, a feat to find in NYC). I was nervous about the "cole slaw" and the gravy on the sandwich. I like gravy, but only in its proper place and on a lunch sandwich isn't the place for me. But for the fellow naysayers: I stand corrected, this gravy added the perfect touch. I could have eaten two or three of these sandwiches...but, I was able to exert some self control (and have bread pudding for dessert instead.) To top it off, all of this heavenly goodness—or, the sandwich at least—for $6.50.

Take my word for it, you can't beat that.

which fan are you?

I found these descriptions to be hilariously true and accurate. I think - if forced to choose - I fall somewhere between the foodie and the commercial watcher. Although, there are a couple of descriptions that fit the bill pretty darn well for someone near and dear to my heart...



























































































[found here.]

cajun spiced pork chops

If you're looking for a good pork chop recipe, you've happened upon the right place. I discovered this version a few years ago on All Recipes and it has never disappointed. It's quick, easy and incredibly flavorful (but not too spicy, which I worried about with "cajun" in the title). And, to boot, I can bet that you'll already have most of the ingredients in your spice cabinet. You may be able to get by with only buying a few pork chops at your local grocery store or supermarket.



























1 tsp paprika   
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp rubbed dried sage leaves (I usually leave out this ingredient)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
 4 center cut pork chops

Mix paprika, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, sage and garlic salt on a plate. Liberally coat each pork chop with the spice mixture. (I go ahead and mix these spices with some olive oil too. It makes the mixture stick to the pork chops a little better.)

Heat olive oil and several pumps of non-stick, butter-flavored spray (um, of course I use regular butter - not the flavored spray) in a large skillet over high heat. Place the pork chops in the skillet, reducing heat to medium. Cook until the pork is no longer pink in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. 

eat down. tip up.

Last week when Hurricane Sandy hit New York, much of the upper part of Manhattan walked away completely unscathed. Downtown was a different story. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power for nearly a week including tons of local restaurants and small businesses.

Because NYers really come together in times of crisis, a campaign was started to help those local businesses and restaurants get back on their feet. It's inspring: Eat Down. Tip Up. You're encouraged to eat downtown at these small restaurants and leave a double tip, take a photo of it and submit it to this blog where they're cataloging all of the people joining in this campaign and what restaurants they're helping. What a great way to support our neighbors in lower Manhattan. It has my vote.

























[I took this photo from the Eat Down. Tip Up tumblr. I haven't joined in yet, but I will.]

conversation at the yogurt counter

I had been noticing the new yogurt place, Yapple, in the neighborhood the last few weeks, but hadn't made time to stop in and try it out until last Friday afternoon. I inadvertently ended up there at 3pm with all the teenie boppers, so my conversation at the checkout counter went something like this:

Yapple worker: Hi, do you have your student ID? You get a discount.

me: I have one, I wish I could use it...but...I think it's probably expired by now.

Yapple worker: Expired?! (confused look)

me: yeaaa. I've been out of school for a long time.

Yapple worker: OH...ooooh, you look good for your age!

me: ("for my age"? I didn't say I was 50.)

me: Well. Thank you. I'll take it...


sticky's finger joint

I discovered the best chicken fingers in all of New York City on Monday night: Sticky's Finger Joint. That's a big feat considering I've lived here four years and tried hundreds of chicken fingers around the city, and I just made this discovery two nights ago. That's saying something.

I got a special coupon on Gilt City for a dinner for 2 that included two orders of chicken fingers, two sides, two slaws, 4+ sauces, and two drinks. And, for only $26 when that package normally would have cost over $45. I was pretty excited. But making our order was no easy task with 10+ options for chicken fingers and almost 20 options for dipping sauce, alone!

As we were trying to make our final decisions on dipping sauce (15 min after starting our order), we asked the woman for recommendations. She said, "If you like ranch, ours is really good." She had no idea who she was talking to but this was the moment I became a fan for life. 100% sold.

Sticky's: Before

Sticky's: After

scenes from the weekend
































It was so nice to have a long weekend before the fall gets crazy. I was in New Hampshire for the weekend to celebrate Labor Day and I got to try out a new restaurant I haven't been to before: Parker's Maple Barn. I had a peach-raspberry cream cheese stuffed french toast that was better than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams. Really, it was so good. And, it was served with home fries, which I was very skeptical about that combination, but it turned out to be a brilliant combo. The only bad news is that this was their "Flavor of the Month" so if I go again, I'll be out of luck on recreating this heavenly meal.  Either way, if you find yourself in NH, I would recommend it!

Ironically, I didn't take any pictures of the meal, on the premises of the restaurant. You can see, it's a pretty fun place all around.

big blue bagel. in birmingham.

































I had an after-church Sunday lunch (just like the old days!) with these two gals 2 weekends ago in Birmingham. One of the nicest treats I've had lately. Both lunch and the company! Not to mention, we happened to run into three other dear friends from Auburn during our meal. That made for one happy heart in this girl.

we entered the madness.































How could we not? I'll do just about anything for Hot Now donuts - and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. That includes waking up at 4:50 am to be at Krispy Kreme by 5:30 to beat the crowd. It sounds crazy, but surprisingly, we weren't even the crazy ones.

Last year during a horrible tornado that destroyed much of my hometown, Krispy Kreme was one of the businesses that was completely obliterated. Now - just over 1 year later - Ttowners have apparently missed their donuts something fierce.

On opening day, my mom and I tried at 3 different times to stop for a donut (once at almost 9pm at night) only to have at least an hour wait ahead of us - in both the drive thru and inside. There was a police directing traffic, with traffic backed up half a mile. And according to the local news, 125,000 donuts were sold that day. Needless to say, we finally succeeded at getting in the door on Day 2. And it was worth every Hot Now donut I ate. Especially at 5:30 am.

I know one thing: I unintentionally picked the right week to visit Alabama!

tomozzacado.
































I made up that name, just now. Because, in a mad dash to think of something quick and easy to eat last night, I made up this sandwich. After a quick trip to the grocery store and after throwing together some items in my fridge that I already had, I came up with this delicious, better-than-I-was-expecting combo. If you want to recreate it, it's so simple:

  • french baguette slices
  • sliced roma tomatoes
  • a tiny sprinkle of salt on the tomatoes
  • sliced avocados
  • whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • a dash of pepper on top
  • a light drizzle of olive oil, to top it off

Tomozzacado, it really is the perfect summer sandwich. Enjoy!

a thursday night dinner party
































Despite three blown fuses that resulted in three entire-apartment power outages, I would say our 9A dinner party was a fun time anyway. We pulled out the Girls Night Out "questions to start great conversations" cards and they did not disappoint. After two rounds of questions, dinner and dessert and one last power outage, we called it a night. I'm ready for the next one, already!

best cake in the entire world.
































This is lemon poppyseed cake that my friend Kyo made for her birthday party this past weekend. I wish you could taste how good it was just from looking at this picture. Because, if this is possible, it was even better than it looked. You all know I'm a big cake person, and this one - literally - took the cake. (Gosh, why do I think such terrible, corny jokes are funny?) My compliments to the baker!

And, I put in a request for one of these for my birthday...in 5 months.  It was that good, folks.