26 June 2011

The First Pancake

Gay Pride, Christopher Street
(This weekend is Gay Pride Weekend in New York, and, in celebration of equal rights for gay couples in New York, I've decided to change the usual food picture on top to something more appropriate.)
It’s been more than a year since I wrote something for the blog, and I’ve missed so many things: the blog’s anniversary, the requisite New Year’s and birthday posts, and celebrating the successes of many people I’ve met through this tiny corner of the blogaverse. But the last 365 days have given way to more important, life-altering milestones; so many firsts, which just like the excited parent with a camcorder I’ve wanted to write about, but hadn’t, because I was too embarrassed or because it was too personal (shocking, I know, that I wouldn’t share it anyway).

I fell in love for the first time last year. With it was my first date (at the overripe, blackened banana age of 28), my first kiss (the details of which are too mind-blowing to be expressed with my puny words, but you know someday I’ll try), and while no labels were being thrown around, the first guy I would call my boyfriend, or at the very least would have wanted to, had my first relationship not ended. It was devastating, and friends from all over the world physically and in writing rushed to comfort me, their friend in arrested development, well-meaning but utterly confusing. “Chalk it up to experience,” “You weren’t in love- it was just your first,” “There’ll be better ones, you just don’t know it yet.”

22 June 2010

Dulce de Leche Eclairs

Éclair Confiture de Lait
Dulce de Leche Eclairs (with title)
A few days ago I was at the cooking section of Kinokuniya bookstore. I was one of the non-Japanese minorities there, and if you've shopped there before you'd know that finding non-Japanese, non-Asian, non-white shoppers are even rarer. But there was one that day roaming, and I wondered what he was looking for. He finally settled in the cooking section and asked another shopper (Japanese female) for assistance. He was holding up the Japanese version of the lovely book Everyday Harumi and was asking her if it was a good choice to get to learn Japanese cooking, etc., even though the text was completely in Japanese (I wanted to butt in and say that it has an English version published by Conran Octopus).

28 May 2010

Chocolate Revel Bars

Revel Bars (with title)
"You put too much meaning into things," a friend of mine once told me good-naturedly (and with a touch of concern). I didn't disagree. It was my thing, even though I tried so blessed hard for it not to be a thing with me. For better or for worse, it's how my brain is wired. And to be honest, it's a really difficult way to go through life, especially when your friends do a lot of things that don't really have any motivation or agenda. It always has to be about something with me.

22 May 2010

Empire State of Mind (New York Part 4)

Swing Band at Union Station
Click on any image to take you to the Flickr page to see it bigger. Also, you might want to check out my tutorial on Curves for Photoshop. My most favorite tool ever.
I must confess, I don't really like Alicia Keys. I think "No One" from As I Am is her only song that has artistic merit and originality BUT that doesn't mean I don't kind of like one or two songs from each album for pop value. Empire State of Mind doesn't pick up until the bridge but there's a certain sense of hopefulness amidst the crazy/glamorous life of a New Yorker in the lyrics that I like. The sacrifices you have to make for the American Dream and all that. Above is a snap from what I believe is Union Station (14th Street) of a swing band complete with dancing couple. The couple was fun to watch but all of a sudden the saxophonist started losing it and I just had to take a pic!
MacDougal Street and Hummus Place
For obvious reasons while I was in New York, I was obsessing about cheap eats and I'd heard about Hummus Place and since I'd never eaten hummus before (GASP!), I thought it would be a good place to start.

17 May 2010

French Vanilla Flan

Flan à la Vanille
Vanilla Flan (with title)
Though my trip to Las Vegas was a few years ago, a lot of what I saw there became emblazoned in my memory (and noooo, it wasn't strippers or anything like that). For some reason when I went to Paris back in 2004 (way before I learned to really love food, much less cook), I didn't go to any Patisseries. Seeing one after another in Las Vegas whet my appetite for even more Patisserie, but again I skipped something that I really wanted to try - the flans.
Pastry Display at Lenotre 3
On the top shelf, you'll see the Flan Peche, with that irresistible deep brown burnished film on top of the custard.
I didn't really obsess about them because they weren't a standard in most of my cookbooks, which were in English, and I didn't want to make other pastry that resembled it, because I wanted to know what the real deal was like first. Right now I realize I must sound crazy. Who goes ga-ga over custard?! It's the golden film on top, I tell you...