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Archive for the ‘Only in New York’ Category

I’m pleased to bring you another of Grace Gotham’s delicious and always healthy recipes.  If you’re a follower of this blog, you know how crazy I am for Jersey tomatoes and how all summer we have simple salads of tomatoes, onion and basil or Caprese salads.  Once the tomato season faded, I used to think of salads as not much more than a bowl of greens or an Iceberg wedge with Blue Cheese dressing.  That was then and this is now!  Grace has created a beautifully balanced salad that works well throughout Fall and into Winter.  The flavors are as crisp and vivid as the colors of the harvest ingredients in the bowl.

Autumn Salad

Autumn Salad

The following is a description of this salad“Delicious Autumn salad. Chopped baby spinach, Gotham Greens Blooming Brooklyn Iceberg Lettuce, julienned, Honeycrisp apples, roasted curry butternut squash*, golden raisins, toasted almonds, and homemade lemon-curry vinaigrette”

*(You can make the Curry Butternut Squash according to one of many recipes online.  You may like yours to be more sweet than savory.  Foodnetwork.com, Epicurious.com and several other web sites have recipes for Curry Butternut Squash.)

Dress this salad with Grace’s Simple Lemon-Curry Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/8 cup rice vinegar, zest of half a lemon, juice of half a lemon, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon sweet curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon hot curry powder, liberal pinch of Maldon sea salt. Whisk until emulsified. (I use a latte milk whisk to emulsify my vinaigrettes. It’s faster and easier!).

Lemon-Curry Vinaigrette

Lemon-Curry Vinaigrette

Follow Grace Gotham Gourmet – Tassel to Table Cuisine on Tmbler – https://www.tumblr.com/blog/gracegothamgourmet

Or check out the Tassel To Table page on her website: GraceGotham.com

Grace Gotham is a self-described Burlesque Artist & Bawdy Chanteuse and gourmet cook and food photographer, (and good friend). She is a pretty and pert Texan transplanted to New York City where she resides with her husband.  You can check out her performance schedule on her web site as well as her gourmet cuisine.  I look forward to featuring Grace Gotham’s Gourmet Tassel to Table Cuisine each week. 

 

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My friend, Murray, was wandering around the Upper East Side the other day and happened to walk by a couple of Brownstones that were decked out for Halloween.  Take a look at ghostly ghoulies!

Driving Miss Daisy Mad

Driving Miss Daisy Mad

A Bad Case of the Blues

A Bad Case of the Blues

Pretty Scary Lady

Pretty Scary Lady

Aren't They Cute?

Aren’t They Cute?

 

The Family Ghouls

The Family Ghouls

Dracula Swooping In For The Bite!

Dracula Swooping In For The Bite!

 

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

 

The Red Dead

The Red Dead

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We LOVE Halloween in this house!  I have been a Halloweenie my whole life.  Every year, coming up with an unusual costume or make-up, making the kid’s costumes and later in life, having the best time dressing up and turning our apartment into a mini-spooky house!  Tonight was no exception! We’ve spent the last two days, digging out some special effects we’ve accumulated over the years and setting up our scenario.

There’s a ghoul hanging on the outside of the door, that should be a warning to all of what to expect if they should dare to enter! I took before and after photos of my husband;

Handsome Pete

Handsome Pete

Scary Pete

Scary Pete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The lights were all out, there was a strobe light on the floor, a fantastically horrific soundtrack screeching and howling in the background, candles lit everywhere, candy in a basket, and we were ready for the kids to arrive.  Peter spent the morning creating this fabulous Jack O’ Lantern.

Sinister Pumpkin

Sinister Pumpkin

He also put together a fiendish looking but kindly gent named George.  George doesn’t look so well, his complexion is quite gray, it’s possible he’s dead – he never says a word!

Ghastly Ghostly George

Ghastly Ghostly George

This little old crone sat off to the side observing all the comings and goings;  We must have had at least 7 Frozen Princesses, a couple of super heroes, a banana and a pirate.  Wednesday Adams and a couple of other TV characters appeared at the door;  Some of them would not cross the threshold and for the life of me I can’t imagine why there were afraid!

The Old Crone

The Old Crone

 

A Glam Ghoul

A Glam Ghoul

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You scream, we all scream ice cream!  Clearly one of my favorite childhood rhymes and knowing my passion for ice cream, I must be a case of arrested development. 

In case you’re wondering I do know how to spell fatty, however  this particular ice cream treat reminded me of the past few years fad-obsession with bacon and this year’s fad – it’s got to be salted to be good (read sea salted dark chocolate, salted caramel everything including Starbucks!).

So what we have here is:  A waffle cup with sampler trio (whiskey fudge rebellion, drunk and salty caramel, and maple bacon) sprinkled with candied pecans.

OMG

OMG

Luca & Bosco is an ice cream and dessert company based in NYC. They strive to make people happy through food – my kind of people!   Their ice cream has integrity, and is made from all natural ingredients, organic whenever possible, less sweet and packed with flavor – one taste and you will know the difference. They’re seriously talking about a deliciousness to make your eyes roll back because it tastes so good. 

Run by co-founders Catherine Oddenino and Ruthie Vishlitzky, Luca & Bosco’s mission is to bring deliciousness to people’s lives one scoop at a time.

Catherine is the mom of Luca, a 5 pound, white Maltese. Ruthie is the mom of Bosco, a chocolate Lab. They are the inspiration for the name and the reason we make ice cream cone shaped dog biscuits. We don’t want our canine friends to be left out of the ice cream fun.

Wow!! I have to take a trip down to the Lower East Side to stop in for a taste of some of the unusual and distinct ice cream flavors offered at Luca & Bosco.  Although today’s feature is the waffle cup sampler with a trio of fantabulous ice creams, Luca & Bosco have such exotic flavors as:  Carmelized Banana, Chocolate Brownie Chunk, Goat Cheese, Milky Tea, Rosemary Olive Oil, and Earl Grey with Chocolate Freckles.  On second thought maybe I shouldn’t even consider a visit.  I might go into sugar shock!

Luca & Bosco is located at 120 Essex St. New York, NY.

 

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It’s not every day that you get to meet a mysterious silent film star!  I was lucky enough to meet the beautiful and mysterious Belle De l’ombre.  Believe it or not she actually lives here in New York City in some very posh surroundings.  But of course that’s only fitting for such a raven beauty.  Her name is as beautiful as  she is and it translates to Beauty Of The Shadows!  She is a true movie star from the silent film era and as you can see from this photo she carries herself as the star she is.  With a little bit of luck and research I was able to obtain some footage from one of Belle’s many films.  Take a look for yourself and I’m sure you’ll agree this little Glamour Puss is as elegant and mysterious as her name implies.

http://kokovoko.net/bandw.html

Beauty of the Shadows

Beauty of the Shadows

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I grew up in a household where dessert was not a regular menu item.  Once in a while my mother would bake a cake or pie, however, on Sunday we were treated with ice cream as dessert after Sunday dinner which was around  one o’clock or two o’clock.  Right smack in the best part of the day.  I had already devoted the morning to a quick breakfast and going to Mass and now I wanted to spend the afternoon doing something fun with my friends.  Well at least we had ice cream!

Last week I was down in the West Village getting my hair cut and afterwards since it was such a glorious Fall-almost-still-summer afternoon I thought I’d wander around a bit and lo and behold I looked across the street and there was the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop.  And that name rang a bell and I remembered that this summer I read an article about the 10 Best Ice Cream shops in New York City.  Well time for the taste test!

I went in and was surprised at how small it was but then again I guess most of the business is take out.  I couldn’t remember anything about the article or why this place was noted.  Looking around and up at the chalkboards, I searched for a list of flavors – there was none!  What kind of place is this.  One sign said Vanilla, Chocolate and Flavor of the Day which happened to be Dulce de Leche (not a fan).  There were signs for Shakes and some Specialties.  I tried to see what the people ahead of me were getting and it looked like it was soft serve ice cream.   Mmmm

I just ordered a twist of chocolate and vanilla, really not quite my usual BUT I was unsure about what the specialties actually were.  I have NEVER tasted soft serve ice cream that creamy and rich.  It was dense, the flavor ran deep, it was delicious! 

When I got home I read the article and found out the shop is famous for a concoction known as a Salty Pimp ! Turns out it is a delectable chocolate-dip covered  vanilla ice cream cone combined with Dulce de Leche and Sea Salt.  I may not be fan of Dulce de Leche ice cream but the thought of it on top of vanilla ice cream and under a chocolate shell…Wellllll

In retrospect it was a mistake not to order the Salty Pimp ONLY because the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is too far away for me to just stop by.  However, I will definitely be looking forward to my next haircut!

The Salty Pimp

The Salty Pimp

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WTF?

WTF?

I don’t know whether to pick up the last couple of days of Ice Cream week at Pbenjay OR tell you where I’ve been and why!

Well, promises made are promises to be kept and I said I would explain why I just disappeared for a couple of days.  I was all set to post Thursday’s Top Ten list of ice cream flavors but didn’t get to write it before we left for the Shore.  I figured I could write it when we got there.  Never assume! 

Getting everything out of the apt, onto the cart and into the car is not fun thing it’s cracked up to be and Thursday was a WTF day!  I wheeled the cart out to the curb and took one look at the car and GULPED! The right rear fender has a huge dent in it. Oh shit! That was the mildest of the curse words that flew out of my mouth! I mean really, I am rebuilding this car fender by fender and bumper by bumper as it seems to be magnet for the most careless, rude, mean-spirited people that have hit my car and NOT ONE HAS EVER LEFT A NOTE ! There’s a real F U hit and run attitude prevalent in New York City.  I was just sick over this latest offense and thinking about yet another $250 deductible.  Naturally I asked Peter about it and he related the story of how he went to get the car from where it had been parked on another street and as he approached the car, a young man who was tinkering with his bike asked if this was his car because he thought it had been hit by a truck that had tried to park behind it and couldn’t fit and drove off.  Yeah he couldn’t fit – guess he knew that when he bashed in my rear fender!  This was not auspicious beginning of the trip or weekend.

We left New York a little after 3pm AND that was a mistake AND not the first time we’ve done such dumb thing and as a due reward for our stupidity it took us an hour to go from the UES to the Lincoln Tunnel.  I’m going to blame the late afternoon Starbucks for my very uncomfortable  situation;  we moved along excruciatingly slow and I wondered if I would make it to the service area about 2 miles outside the tunnel on the New Jersey side.  Ay yi yi…. I don’t need to fill in the blanks.

We were carrying things into the cottage and I remark to Peter that there must have been some rain here because there was a pile of mud and debris in our walkway (this always happens when it rains).  All of sudden Peter says, “hey there’s no power on”!  “WTF”!  I quickly open and close the freezer and my worst fears are confirmed.  Everything is defrosted, still a little chilled but definitely the frozen fruit is soup.  I call my friend Jane who owns a hotel in town and ask her if the power went out in town and she says no, not that I’m aware of.  I cross the street to speak to my neighbor and ask if he has power? Yes he does. BUT then goes on to explain that severe thunder and lightning storms along with 5 1/2 ” of rain fell on Monday and Tuesday AND the house 2 doors down from mine got hit with lightning.  Mmmmm – Peter goes to the basement, flips all the circuit breakers and nothing happens. I am so panicked about all the food in the freezer, we contemplate packing up a bag and taking it to the hotel but then we realize our neighbor’s house is empty because work is being done so we scoot over there to see if her refrigerator is on and empty.  We relay pass the food from our house to the neighbors over the fence.  I am stacking my soggy food in layers in her freezer with some freezer packs.

We call Jersey CL&P and tell them it’s an emergency, and we wait, and we wait.  Finally, a burly man with a big truck shows up.  Five minutes later he leaves…after he flips the MASTER CIRCUIT BREAKER switch.  REALLY??!! Really? In all fairness (and this part is hard), that switch stops halfway and in order to reset it, you have to push it past that point and pull it back.

Okay we have power, the food I think may be salvageable is next door and we still have to eat.  I start dinner and turn on the TV which for some reason I can’t seem to sync with the cable box.  Peter tries and he can’t do it either.  I think I’ll call Verizon but the phones are dead – I assume they are recharging – NEVER ASSUME.  And there’s no internet access.  So I call Verizon on my cell phone and for the next 30 minutes the technician tries to talk Peter through many steps to reboot everything only to discover ultimately that the big main box that was behind the wine rack, behind the cookbooks and behind the cake tin housing lots of tools is dead.  And that was only found out after trying to follow a cord out that box which ran behind the bookcase that held a ton of videos and its top shelf had several framed photos that kept falling as we tried to move the bookcase and then follow the cord behind the radiator which does not move!

Finally the techie and Peter realize making a service appointment is our only option. It’s now after 9:00 pm on Thursday night and the first appointment we can have is between 8am-noon on Saturday – WTF!  We have a house guest arriving tomorrow, we have no phone, no internet, no cable TV.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. We are up and ready by 8am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Verizon repair man. At 8:15 am my cell phone rings and a cheery voice greets me with the news that although our appointment was to be between 8am-12pm, he wouldn’t be able to get there until between 1pm-2pm.  I tell him that is totally unacceptable and rattle off the reasons why and tell him to call his dispatcher and call me back.  He doesn’t so I call Verizon and the poor customer service who picked up the phone got an earful from me.  He kept repeating how they were over-booked and I kept repeating my litany of how long I have been a Verizon customer, how this house has been without all Verizon services for almost a week. Ok he’ll call the dispatcher and call me back.  He calls back and gives me this song and dance about how he spoke to the dispatcher but there are 5 jobs to be done blah blah blah.  My response is that I don’t care that there are 5 jobs just me in a time slot that is before noon.  I remind him that I have a text confirming that appointment.  He tells me that we don’t know how long the appointments will take to which I say that’s not true since every appointment was made for a specific task.  Finally after about 10 minutes, I ask him to connect me to a supervisor because I don’t need to yell at him and I realize there’s nothing he can do. OK he’ll get a supervisor.  At this point I hand the phone to Peter because if you can catch more bees with honey rather than vinegar it’s time to give the phone to Peter since I’m really worked up.

Twenty minutes later, Peter is trying his best to convince the supervisor who is handing him the standard party line which we are not buying.  I motion to Peter NOT to give in because at this point, it’s like a game as to who will say “uncle” first.  We’re holding firm!  Finally Verizon says he’ll call one of the service men and see if he re-route him. 

Now it’s time for breakfast al fresco!  We eat and wait.

Yay he’s here!  He actually showed up at 10 minutes to 11am.  He said he had been instructed to come to us after he completed the job he had been on.  In less than 10 minutes he replaced the battery pack and we were back in business.  Before he left we checked all three components of service and all are working. 

The moral of the story is if you make enough noise, if you hold firm, you will be a loud wall BUT you just might get what you need!  So now that I have computer access, I’ve been typing for about an hour relating this tale of electronic deprivation and now maybe I’ll be able to finish my ice cream week.  And for the record I had the best dish of sea salt caramel vanilla ice cream tonight!!!

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