Posts Tagged ‘family’

Happy birthday, Mom!

Okay, so it’s not my mom’s birthday yet, but it will be in a few weeks and I will be out of town so we decided to have a little surprise birthday party in the D for her this past weekend. Not sure if the *surprise* part ended up working as well as we’d hoped but she still had a blast and so did we. And of course, the best part was the cake. Patisserie Parmentier, which I’ve mentioned before. My mom’s favorite. So I gave John (the cake maker) a call a few weeks ago and asked him to whip up a little chocolate something something with a Phoenix on it. And as you can see, boy did he come through.

Here’s my momma and I think the look on her face explains it all. She is one happy camper. Of course we can see why:

And if case you were wondering what it looked like on the inside (after Michelle took a few bites, of course):

Chocolate cake with chocolate mousse, covered in fondant. Oh man.

Happy birthday (in a little bit), Momma! Hope you come visit me in NYC soon!

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I have a confession to make. I play favorites. Kind of a lot. And one of my favorite couples right now is in the picture above. My cousin Steph and her boyfriend Colin. Two awesome people that when you put together only become more awesome. There’s not enough couples like that.

So I was thrilled to go with them and my uncle D to Dinosaur Bar-B-Q in Harlem on Saturday. I had been there once years ago and felt kind of “eh” about it (I want my rib meat to fall off the bone, and these do not) but I knew if I tried something else I would probably like it. And I did. So please meet my Memphis Style pulled pork sandwich:

Pulled pork is just a great thing. And so is barbeque sauce. And cole slaw.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the mac and cheese (too cheesy, and not in a good way… in like a blue box way) but the potatoes were legit and the cornbread probably would have been too if I had asked for some butter. But I loved my pork sandwich! And I tried some ribs which were actually good, even if they didn’t fall off the bone, and I had some of my uncle’s chicken and that was delicious.

So I do like Dinosaur Bar-B-Q. It’s huge! And here is a picture of my cousin and I:

I love Steph and I’m so glad we live in the same city. And I’m glad I get to see her tonight too, we’re meeting up tonight after work for a good old-fashioned game of trivia. At a bar. Happy Monday!

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Happy Easter! Okay, that was yesterday, but all the same. So my Easter was great. Despite the fact that the Germans left me (lots more posts on their time here coming up!).

Easter is about a lot of things. Jesus, who rose on the third day. Peeps, which are made of sugar. And family, which is love. Family! So how nice was it for me to be able to spend my Easter with my aunt and uncle and some of my favorite cousins? Yeah, that’s right, other cousins: be jealous. Oh, and let’s not forget I got to spend it with cousin’s boyfriend, too. :)

We went to Frank which is kind of lovely. Here’s cousin Michelle with Auntie Joyce:

Unfortunately, Auntie Joyce was a little too absorbed in the ordering decisions to smile for this one. But Michelle is smiling pretty so I had to post it.

BTW I wanted to tell you that I always thought this restaurant was called “A Place to Eat” because of the sign that says that out front (and of which I mistakenly forgot to take a picture of) so no wonder I could never find it on Google! It’s called Frank!

Anyway, we got lots of food. Some highlights:

A tomato/mozzarella appetizer with mozzarella served a way I have definitely never seen before. As you can see it’s extremely gooey. And extremely good. Getting this again.


This was truly good. As well as the chicken and mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes:

And here is some of our table, crumbs and all:

Please note the lasagne verdi in front of me, for which there was only ONE left when we got there so of course I ordered it and of course everybody stole it from me. But I didn’t mind because I stole food from everyone else too. We’re a sharing and caring family. And my Uncle Doug wants everyone to know that although he typically doesn’t like lasagne, he thought this lasagne was the Best Ever. Probably because it was. So there you have it.

Basically this was a fabulous Easter because I got to spend it with some family and hear how they were doing as well as update them on new developments. After brunch, we went to Butterlane and I saw Anderson Cooper on our way there! Then we trolled around Tompkins Square Park with the baybeee. Then I met up with my lovely Julianne for some girlie chat in Battery Park before going to church and seeing some more friends!

So much love this Easter Sunday!

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Alright, alright. Here’s my last “Christmas” post for ya. I love Christmas. I love my family. I’ve gotten to see pretty much everyone in the past few days and it has been lovely. I don’t even know where to begin. My cousins just blew up facebook posting five billion pictures of us hanging out together and I love it all.

I love it almost as much as I love this blanket my little sister made for my mom this year:

Yep, those are dinosaurs and yep, they do represent our family. We’ve got the momma dino and the three baby dinos (of which, I am the stegosaurus, btw). I hope next year she makes me a blanket as awesome as this (hint, hint).

Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and there’s more posts to come from this Detroit trip!

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I love Christmas and I love Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family. Every year we go to my Aunt Sylvia’s for some (or a lot of) yummy foodz and family time and a Christmas gift exchange game. We fight about the rules every year. It’s great.

First, look at the beautiful cake my mom picked up at Mrs. Maddox Cake Shop:

The cake got a liiiittle messed up during transportation which is why it only says “ery Christmas” instead of “Merry Christmas,” but you get the idea.

There’s always tons of food at the family gatherings. Each year there’s some variation but the main staples are always: pierogies, kielbasa, and cheesy potatoes. My family is Polish and we make some great pierogies.

And here’s some of my family milling around the table:

My cousin Danielle likes to be front and center:

And of course we have lots of treats. Chocolate cherry cake:

Pumpkin cake:

Sugar cookies from Maddox:

All the treats:

We played the present game we always play, which my aunt just informed me is called “Dirty Santa.” This year the theme was “favorite things” and we were instructed to bring, guess what, a favorite thing. Some items were: a Sonic gift card, a giant basset hound figure, fuzzy socks, a coloring book with crayons, a remote controlled Ferrari (which my grandma brought, of all people) and a ShamWow. Hilarious.

My gift was something I picked up last week at Artists & Fleas in Brooklyn. It’s a Kreepy Doll from the Kreepy Doll Factory and I thought this guy was the cutest. I love creatures and this was perfect to be a “favorite thing” for me to contribute to the game. And then of course, I fought like hell to get him. I can always count on my sisters to get my back and scheme with me so we end up with what we want.

Look at my baby:

I love him. Oh, and that’s my little sister at the top. Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Ok, this is the last City Mitten: Detroit Edition, at least until Christmas. And I believe I have saved the best for last.

Mexican Village: not only the name of an area in downtown Detroit, but also the name of the best Mexican restaurant I know. And it is not to be confused with Mexican Town.

The last time I went home, I did not go to Mexican Village and I was very disappointed. And believe it or not, Mexican Village is one of only two restaurants I ate at when I was home for this recent long weekend. The other was a Leo’s Coney Island, for which Detroit Coney Islands will one day have a post of their own (hint: they have little to do with the Coney Island in New York and a lot to do with being The Best Thing Ever). But Mexican Village is the ish.

I went to MexVil with my padre and my big sister Emily.

The best thing about Mexican Village is their chips and salsa. The chips are warm and the salsa is like crack. It’s free and they just keep on bringing it and bringing it and we do not tell them to stop. Sometimes we even get some to go. It is aaaaaamazing. Take me there NOW.

Emily always gets a chimichanga with melted cheese on it and I always get the soft chicken tacos because they are not like any other chicken taco I’ve ever had in my life. I have no idea what my dad got – too occupied with the chips and salsa, I guess.

I don’t think there is one friend of mine back home that has not been to Mexican Village with me. It is that good. I once had a birthday party in high school that involved taking a Hummer Limo from my house to Mexican Village. No joke. I think we just drove around after that. Ha.

Every time I go there with my dad, he mentions something about the pictures on the wall. Usually he tells one of us we’re the girl in the picture and makes up a story about the guy, but this time it was, “Is that picture new?” He even asked the girl but apparently the picture had been there the whole time, we just never noticed.

So Emily took a picture with her new friends:

After Mexican Village, we went to the Honey Bee Market, a Mexican grocery store. I had never been before and boy, did I not know what I was missing.

The first thing I saw when I walked in was the chips and salsa display, with salsa and gauc for you to try. Had I not just filled up on the most amazing salsa in the world (and yes, I’ve been to Mexico), I would have tried it but there’s no way I could have handled it.

The next thing I noticed: pinatas EVERYWHERE: sitting above produce, sitting above Mexican things I could not identify.

The reason we went to the Honey Bee to begin with is because Emily wanted some old-fashioned bottled sodas but they also had a lot of Mexican treats, one whole aisle was Mexican candies and cookies.

Mmm, soda pop. I love Mexican Village and now I love the Honey Bee!

And next week we return to our regular programing, City Mitten: New York!

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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! I have a lot of stuff to post from Detroit, so let’s get it started, shall we? I had a great time back in my hometown with my friends and family, and as you can see from the above photo, we had some really yummy treats!

On Friday night we had a dessert party at my mom’s house. I had brought goodies from New York: cupcakes from Butter Lane and a cheesecake from Junior’s. The best part was I didn’t even tell anyone what I was bringing so when I got off the plane with my Junior’s bag, my mom was like, “Ye-ah!” It’s her fave.

My best friend Michelle made this awesome cookie cake (above) from this recipe I had seen online and passed along to her saying, “Please, please, please!” I was thrilled that she actually made it and it was my favorite thing I tried. She made the whipped cream from scratch and it was delicious! My cousin M brought in a giant mocha cake, truffles, and Candy Cane Joe Joe’s (oreos) from Trader Joe’s.

Here’s some of the spread and here is Michelli trying to sneak some frosting from the mocha cake:


Look at the concentration here:

And here’s little B and her big cake:

After everyone had enough sugar to last us the entire week, we gathered around the kitchen table for story time with R:

Good times, good times. And geesh, after looking at all these pictures, who wants to go take a run in Prospect Park? Or, you know, just take a nap. :)

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We have another birthday girl on our hands! Yesterday my cousin Melissa came to the city for the day to finally celebrate her birthday at Gotham Bar & Grill. Gotham Bar & Grill is one of the best restaurants in the city and practically across the street from my office, so I was more than happy to tag along.

Melissa, her friend Angela, and I ordered off the prix fixe lunch menu and we were not disappointed. My selections were:

soupy loupy

butternut squash soup


Papparadelle with veal (amazing)


and, of course,  chocolate cake!

Their chocolate cake is probably my favorite in all of New York, it is just so light! Every time I cut a bite with my fork, I wondered how they make it. I would love to see that. The ice cream was some sort of mocha flavor with chocolate chips, which is another favorite thing of mine. Chocolate chips = love.

So, I love Gotham Bar & Grill is what it really comes down to. It’s such a nice place and the service is impeccable. You feel like everyone really cares and they are trying their best to take care of you. Angela thought going to Gotham was just a regular ol’ thing for me. I wish! I’ve been one other time with my friend Joe, when we split a bottle of wine during Summer Restaurant Week and I was delirious in happiness. Haha. I love these days.

And I’m not the only one who takes pictures at restaurants!

M picture perfect

When she made the reservation, Melissa told them they were celebrating birthdays so at the end of our meal they brought out a little plate with a bunch of mini desserts on it.

birthday treats

Cute but not even comparable to their chocolate cake. An A for effort though, and for everything else. :)

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