Archive for December, 2010

Would you like a paaaaancaaaaaaake? I love pancakes, really.

So a couple weekends ago my friend Melissa had a rental car and she suggested we go somewhere we’d have to drive to for brunch. So of course, I went to the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives page on the Food Network website. Of course! And I found Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory in Jersey City, which is not far from Manhattan, but not somewhere I would ever venture to without a car. And they’re famouse for, guess what, pancakes! So there we were! And we found a parking spot which was a nice small pleasure back in the driving world and we listened to the radio as they played the same songs over and over. It was awesome.

When we got there, there was a huge long wait but as soon as we put our name in two seats at the bar opened up and the lady asked the waiting and starving crowd if anyone is interested and you betchya we were! I mean, I love sitting at the bar. You get to watch all the action happen, for one… and you get to eat! So we sat on bar stools and I ordered some crazy combo with pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage that cost ALL OF NINE DOLLARS! No wonder people live in New Jersey, because there is no way you could get all that for nine dollars in NYC. I couldn’t eat it all and I’m still not over it. Melissa had a ham and cheese  omelet, cause that’s what she does and we both had just stared and stared at the pancake list.

Now, I guess I’m a purist when it comes to pancakes because I was not interested in walnuts or peanut butter or any sort of fruit compte. I am interested in, however, chocolate chips, but only limited to one pancake and I am also interested in sprinkling sugar on top of my pancake and then squeezing lemon on it which is THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD. Thank you, grandma S, for teaching me that.

Pancakes in New Jersey is fun. And then we went to Target.

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It’s about to be a… girl time. (we bout to throw them bows, we bought to swing them thangs…)

So the other weekend was basically nonstop girl time with a gentleman only sprinkled here and there and that was kind of awesome. The picture above is from Alanna’s housewarming party in the West Village, probably the best neighborhood in all of Manhattan. I would love to live there one day when I’m making 8.5 million a year. That’s gonna be GREAT.

Anyway, house parties are fun when your friends are all growing up and actually investing in furniture and making their apartments look like homes. I love it. I also love it when there are tons of treats and some sort of magical punch that is absolutely delicious.

And here I am with some more ladies in my life at The Mermaid Inn, as we often do.

I remember when I first moved to New York in 2007 and  was living in Stuyvesant Town and there was a huge lawn where people would lay out. One time I went to lay out by myself and I was sort of near a group of girls who were just talking about life, boys, etc and I remember being SO jealous. I had just gone from living in East Lansing with my core group of girls from college and the next thing I knew I was navigating this big city by myself, without any girlfriends nearby to call on or meet up with ever. It was really hard actually and I thought, “I wonder when I’ll have that.” Well, it is really nice when you go out to dinner with four other girls at the drop of a hat and you realize, “Hey, I have that!” And you’ve had it for awhile. All this goes to say – don’t ever be afraid to talk to someone or be nice to someone, cause friends are fun.

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Are you sick of looking at Christmas party food yet? Nope? Good. Soooo I mentioned going to a party Christmas Eve at Jeff’s. Well we returned Christmas Day for round two of food, friends, and festivities. This is part of the spread above. The turkey is from Jive Turkey in Brooklyn which is freaking awesome. They sell all kinds of fried turkeys. We had roasted garlic and jerk turkey. YUM! Apparently you can spend seven or eight hours waiting in line during Thanksgiving.

My contribution was this salad. It’s actually a recipe from my Aunt J and I had to make the dressing and coat almonds with sugar to make it soooo very delicious.

Also there was green bean casserole:

This is before it was done being topped with Frosted Flakes. Yep, FROSTED flakes. Ha.

One of my favorite pictures from the evening comes from when all six of us ladies were sitting on the couches while all the guys were working in the kitchen. AWESOME! And we were all wearing different colored/patterned tights.

Aaand here’s the whole crew:

After we had dinner and dessert we played this game called Quelf which was hilarious and makes you do slightly embarrassing things. It was fun. And I thiiiiink that is my last Christmas post so Merry Christmas one more time. :)

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Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas…

So this year’s Christmas was a little off the norm. Usually I’m at home in Detroit with my family but this year there were some different traveling plans and moving plans in my family so I decided to stay in New York. It’s funny because at first I thought it would be a super chill Christmas watching movies the whole time, but turns out quite a few people I knew stayed in town! My friend Missy stayed with me a couple nights (I’m housesitting for some friends) and we tried to keep some of our family’s traditions even though we weren’t with them. For Missy all she needed was some chocolate milk and I needed to start Christmas morning by making cinnamon rolls. Mmm! Also you can see some pretty Christmas cookies from Ladybird (same as Two Little Red Hens) and some cut up fruit. It was pretty perfect.

Missy also made a traditional Spanish tortilla. She’s not Spanish but she’s studied abroad there with MSU and really loves the culture. I really loved the tortilla.

Mmmm. On Christmas Eve we went to my friend Jeff’s apartment for some hors d’oeuvres, eggnog cocktails, and Scattergories.

Who loves Christmas?

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Merry Christmas from some of my new friends. Enjoy your weekend! I hope you all are with your families and eating lots of food. :)

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Well hello there, cake balls. Yep, that’s what they are. White cake in chocolate with sprinkles. They look a little like this:

Missy and I had sushi for dinner last week in Williamsburg and we wanted a little something sweet afterward. We went into a Louie G’s thinking we’d get ice cream but when the man behind the counter asked, “Ice cream or cake, ladies?” we had to ask what our cake options were. And one of them were cake balls! Three for $5. Sold! I wish they were chocolate on the inside instead of vanilla, but they were a perfect little snack with some milk. And perfectly cute too!

Also the main guy, Joe Glaser, is a contestant on Next Great Baker on TLC. Missy asked him for spoilers but he couldn’t give us any. He was cool. Good luck, Joe!

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Oh man, why do I do this to myself? Post pictures of amazing meals when yesterday I pretty much just had soup and a sandwich. Yey. What I would have liked to have was the steamed pork buns and ramen from Fatty Crab on the UWS (above.) I went to Fatty Crab with Kelly and Chloe not this past weekend but the weekend before after seeing The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. Perfect.

Well, hello, that’s me taking a bite out of a pork bun. And this picture also makes me realize that I’ve been wearing this dress pretty much every day for the past three weeks. But that’s what I do. I get something and I wear the crap out of it, eventually retire it and then bust it out occasionally as needed. So right now I’m wearing the crap out of this Madewell dress.

I will say one thing… it’s an interesting experience when everyone at the table has their camera out and is snapping pictures of the food. I’m actually not sure I can handle it!

That above is the chili crab which is AMAZING. It’s crab that you have to pull apart, crack, whatever to get at the meat and it’s soaking in this chili broth and there are also big pieces of bread and it is SO GOOD! A lot of work to eat but really delicious. I will likely go there again and order that again because it was good. Take a looksies:


And there you have it. Also part of Fatty Crab is Fatty Cue in Brooklyn, which I need to get myself over to stat. It’s been on my list for months and months and months now. I just saw on their websites that they are both open on Christmas Day, so there you go.

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Omg. I only wrote one post last week? Well that is embarrassing. And now I’m back on the horse.

So this weekend was a crazy whirlwind and likely one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time. I just went so many places and saw so many people and it was just awesome. Also I have the hiccups as I am typing this.

One of the great things about this weekend is that I met the great Sara who I’ve been wanting to meet in real life and she was kind of fantastic. This photograph is from The Spotted Pig where we actually had a super, SUPER late dinner last night. Eeks. But those burgers!

We also went to other fancy places this weekend like Bemelmans and the Jane Ballroom and right now I am tiiiiired. I think I will sleep for ages. More on the weekend later, but say hello to Sara cause she’s sweet. :)

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I have been a bad blogger. This game feels like a million years ago already but I think it was only last week!

A couple of reasons I’ve been a bad blogger:

1) Blogging is expensive. Ok – only my kind of blogging, because I like to talk about restaurants. And in order to talk about restaurants, you have to go to restaurants… and who is paying for that? This girl! So I had to cool it for awhile. Actually, the past three weeks I’ve gone out to eat a total of maybe three times. It’s been crazy. I have a good restaurant for tomorrow’s post though.

Reason 2) Work. Okay, honestly that’s not as big as reason number 1) but work has been crazy crazy these past few weeks. Side note that sort of relates: I’m kind of dying to eat some oysters right now.

But welcome back to the bloggy blog life of Amanda. I’m happy to have you here.

The above picture is from when the Michigan State Spartans (what up) came to Madison Square Garden to play against Syracuse. There was a lot of orange in that stadium, that’s for sure. And it was kind of gross. And then we got killed.  And it was embarrassing. But I’ll always love my Sparty. Can you spot him down there?

Sparty is such a big man. Kelly and I went down to the sidelines to meet him and get our picture with him, which is something I can now cross off my bucket list (seriously). So that was fun. I also like to take pictures of Missy cheering:

So yeah. I hope MSU comes back to play at MSG again and I hope this time we beat some butt. Go Green!

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Dan’s not going to like this. He’s very particular about his photographs (as are many guys I know… hmm) but as he said, there’s not much he can do if I put a picture of him on my blog. Hehe. You people know what you’re getting into when you go out to dinner with me. Let’s be real.

So there is Dan and myself at The Spotted Pig, aka my new favorite restaurant! I’ve said this to a few people since dining there last week, and pretty much everyone’s reaction to me has been, “What?! You’ve never been there before?!” Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true. I have not yet been to every single good restaurant in NYC. And I probably won’t!

But The Spotted Pig. It is cuuuuute. There’s a downstairs and an upstairs, and the upstairs has a bar too. We had to wait maybe 25 minutes so we had a drink upstairs by the bar before they found us and gave us a table downstairs. There are pictures everywhere and it just has so much character! I remember pointing out that they had strings of lights in the shape of pigs. Pigs! Who makes those!? Anyway, they are famous for not only being cool, but also for their fabulous burgers, which we both ordered.

And here is a picture of Dan’s cheeseburger with a flash (funny because he scoffed at me taking pictures originally and then was all, “Now, you’ve got to take a picture of THIS” when he looked at the inside of his burger).

Oh yeah, those fries are crazy too. HEAPS OF FRIES!

We also had devils on horseback which were figs with pear wrapped in bacon? I think? Delicious. And we also had the sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi with basil pesto which was CaRazy. Flavor!

The only thing I wasn’t as thrilled with was this:

Flourless chocolate cake. Now, I have tried many flourless chocolate cakes and I’ve never really understood why it matters if there is flour or not, but this wasn’t really like a cake at all. It was more of a slice of frosting/fudge if you can imagine. Extremely chocolatey and a good flavor, just not what I expected. For the record, Dan doesn’t really care about chocolate and he thought it was great. He wanted you to know that.

So there you have it. The Spotted Pig is the ISH and the service was impeccable and I would glady, glady return.

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