Lemon Meringue Pie

The Lemon Meringue Tart I brought home from Colson's Colson's  Lemon Meringue TartFor a longest time I didn’t like lemon meringue pie. My dislike began when my parents rented a house in Jamaica and we vacationed there during one of the first birthdays I can remember.Rolled out pie dough

Pie Crust before baking

I use dried beans to hold the pie crust in place during baking

I use dried beans to hold the pie crust in place during baking

When my birthday arrived, I was so excited about the cake. I’ve always had a major sweet tooth and we didn’t have desserts very often growing up so my birthday cake was a big deal. After dinner when it was finally time for my birthday cake, the cook came in holding a….     a lemon meringue pie! I didn’t understand. Where was my birthday cake?

After my parents explained that this was it and I should be happy and thank the cook for being so nice, I started crying. I didn’t want lemon meringue pie.  It was my birthday and I wanted birthday cake. My 4 year old self was not happy. Continue reading

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Easy Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding from the Chocolate Room

The Chocolate Room in SpringOn my friend Lauren’s last night living in Brooklyn we meet up for dinner and then dropped into the Chocolate Room for one more dessert. We kept it simple and got their chocolate pudding. While I was taking pictures of the pudding (I always feel so goofy doing that) Lauren was taking a picture of me photographing my food with her flash. The effect of her flash on my picture makes it look like aliens are abducting our pudding.

Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

I wouldn’t fault the aliens if they did. Its dam good pudding. Originally, I wasn’t planning to do a post about chocolate pudding but after having the real thing at the Chocolate Room;  powdered box type doesn’t compare.  Chopped Chocolate for Chocolate PuddingMaking Chocolate PuddingKeep Stirring!

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Fruit Salad with Pineapple & Mango

Fruit Salad with Pineapple and MangoWhy can’t bodegas ever make a good fruit salad? I won’t name names but yesterday I ordered a fruit salad from my local bagel shop/bodega. Now this store does a phenomenal job on bagels and offers quality sandwiches, soups and salads. There’s always a long line to get to the counter and generally everything’s quite good until yesterday when I ordered their fruit salad. From past experience at similar establishments I’ve learned to avoid fruit salads.Ingredients for Fruit Salad with Pineapple and Mango

Normally, I know better but yesterday I was lured in by those pithy chucks of melon because I wanted something light and fresh to accompany the mac & cheese with greens leftovers that I’ve been having for lunch for the past three days (by the way its still delicious and reheats wonderfully). Three days in and I still love it.

As I see it, the main problem with commercially produced fruit salad is that the honeydew and cantaloupe, which comprise 80% of the salad, are never ripe. They’re so far from being ripe that they’re crunchy and flavorless. The two slices of strawberry and three blueberries that round out the salad just can’t compete against that much bland melon. The other problem is that the chunks of fruit are too big so you can only savior one tasteless piece on melon at a time.Peeled Mango before dicingPineapple peeled and diced

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Passion Fruit Tarts

Lemon Tart from Joyce BakeshopLast summer I moved from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn to Park Slope, Brooklyn. Even though Prospect Heights is only a few blocks away I don’t spend much time there anymore. One of the main things I miss from the old neighborhood, aside from my lovely duplex with a backyard, is Joyce Bakeshop. It’s a neighborhood café/bakery that’s always packed with freelancers working on their MacBooks, kids stopping in for a cookie, and commuters getting their morning coffee.  Their macaroons are top notch and they’ve never failed me for great cupcakes, coffee, and baguettes.

Joyce Bakeshop in Prospect Heights, BrooklynThe local kids love Joyce Bakeshop

When my sweet tooth reared its ugly head the other day I decided to walk over to Joyce Bakeshop. I opted for their lemon tart. I love fruit curds (such an awful name for something so delicious). Generally, I only find lemon curd (think lemon bars and lemon tarts) which is good stuff available commercially but there are many other exciting curd options that you can explore if you make your own. My favorite is passion fruit curd which makes a lovely bright yellow passion fruit tart.Joyce's lemon tart was delicious.

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Flourless Chocolate Cake

The Chocolate Room's Flourless Chocolate Cake

When Lauren sent me a text asking if I could meet her at the Chocolate Room, I knew she’d had a rough day.  For some people comfort food is mac n’ cheese but for Lauren it was chocolate cake. Not fluffy little cupcakes that are fun & celebratory, but the comforting, melt-in-your mouth richness of flourless chocolate cake.

The Chocolate Room, 86 5th Ave, Brooklyn

My friend Lauren was breaking up with her boyfriend of two years, the guy she was engaged to and she needed moral support before doing the deed. The Chocolate Room was our local go-to spot for great desserts and a glass or two of wine. It had been in the neighborhood a long time and being the personable girl she is, Lauren is buddies with the manager and wait staff there. When we entered the manager came over to say hi and he wanted to hear if there were any updates to the Ramon situation.The Chocolate Room at Night

 

It became known as the ‘Ramon situation’ early in the relationship when Lauren concluded that Ramon wasn’t the right guy and maybe she should break up with him but before she did that she needed to talk about it a lot. Many, many hours had been logged discussing the Ramon situation. So one year and six months into it, I was skeptical that she would go through with it until she told me that that morning she’d signed a lease on an apartment upstate. She was moving out of the city at the end of the month and Ramon wasn’t coming with her.

I’ve lived within five blocks of Lauren for six years. She’s the person I text when I want a buddy to go running in the park or explore a new bar in the neighborhood. She has my extra set of keys and watches my cat when I’m away. I was going to need the comfort of the chocolate cake too.  I hate when friends move away.

Ingredients for Flourless Chocolate Cakes

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Olive Oil Gelato

A Pint of  Olive Oli Gelato from Otto A few months ago we stopped by Mario Batali’s Otto for a late lunch. We split a great pizza but what was super delicious and totally unexpected was the dessert. It was so yummy that I’m still thinking about Otto’s olive oil gelato months after having it.The bar at Otto Pizzaiera

I generally I don’t have dessert at lunch but my boyfriend was adamant that I simply had to try the olive oil gelato. He’d already had it and kept saying that it was so good. I wasn’t convinced. Olive oil gelato sounds awful but I thought I’d humor him.

Pouring the cream for the olive oil gelato

OMG! He was soooooooo right. It’s fabulous! Generally I don’t make my own ice cream but then you’re not going to find olive oil gelato in any store and, well, it’s ridiculously good. Continue reading

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