Tag Archives: butter

Go big, or go home

15 May

New York

This weekend, after spending the past two weeks digging myself out of boxes and cleaning products, I ventured out in to my beloved NYC and actually explored.

With my camera.

Ground-breaking, right?

However, it felt… Amazing. Like I was back in business. After a really lonely winter and struggle with the blues, I’d like to think that I’m waking up again, which, coincidentally, matches the coming of summer. I’m not gonna sugarcoat things; the past few months have been rough. Real rough. I lose all enthusiasm for school and dealt with a copious amount of stress and dissatisfaction at work. Ask any of my friends and I was one negative nancy.


But, this weekend I felt like the old Amanda, er the new Amanda… The more lively Amanda, I guess.

What better way to celebrate the gorgeous weekend than a little excursion to get monster donuts. Donuts that have a loyal (albeit cultish) following. My friends and I made the trek to the Doughnut Plant, a Lower East Side doughnut shop that has a damn good reputation for delivering fatty, sweet doughnuts. The line was long, but not as bad as expected for a Saturday morning. However, I should warn you that the shop is teeny tiny. One man working the register, and at least a dozen customers excited to nosh their brains out.

While I love a good cake donut, this time I was all about the yeast kind. They had a range of flavors including Vanilla Bean, Coconut Cream, Valhrona Chocolate, Cashew, Fresh Mango, Creme Brulee, and so many more. Resisting the urge to get them all, I settled on a true winner: the Peanut Butter-glazed doughnut with Blackberry jam filling.


Oh. my. god.

It was heavenly. No, seriously. I heard angels sing. The salty crunchy peanut butter glaze combined with the sweet blackberry jam was exactly what I wanted. Not to mention, the actual monster-sized donut was pretty stellar. Soft, with a fried outside, but moist inside. It is sad to see a donut fall flat and thankfully, the Doughnut Plant’s did the exact opposite.

Next time, I plan on trying the fresh mango flavor because I just can’t imagine what mango + donut actually tastes like.

Till then, I will dream about the epic donut I had.


Many loves for today

14 Feb

My current loves:
Cinnamon-spiced coffee with a touch of cream
the new Kings of Leon cd
My leopard-print ballet flats
Pink donuts with white sprinkles from the local donut shop
Nearby friends
Faraway friends
Pretzel M&M’s
My new gorgeous necklaces from this magical shop
Never Let Me Go
Romantic dresses from the Elie Saab Spring 2011 Couture show
This, always and forever

I don’t care if you are married, pregnant, single, divorced, dating, desperately single, or none of the above. I hope you take a minute on this overly pink/red holiday and know that you are loved.

Happy Valentines Day! Go eat some cake :)

Home is good for the heart

20 Dec

I was on edge all day last Thursday. An antsy traveler, I couldn’t wait to get on the plane and be home. Although, if I may be fair, I was a little sad to leave New York. In only a few months, my heart has opened to New York, to all its little folies and fun quirks. Especially now, during the holidays and chilly weather, the city is bursting with energy. However, with my bags packed, I boarded my JetBlue flight, cocktail in hand, ready to grace my hometown.

I can’t put in to words how happy I was driving through my little neighborhood. Even though the weather was gloomy, everything looked bright and luminous to me. The first thing I did was collapse on my GIANT queen bed, fully clothed and observed the silence. Not one horn, siren, or angry shout could be heard. And it was lovely. The next thing I did was smother my oven in kisses. Crazy, yes, but true.

After a deep and refreshing night’s sleep, I woke up with a sudden craving for biscuits. Humble and savory, it made for a good partner with my steaming cup of coffee. I am not a traditional biscuit gal; I prefer muffins or scones. But, on this morning, I couldn’t quell my desire for a buttery biscuit.

I chose this baking powder biscuit recipe from my beloved “Baking Handbook” by Martha Stewart. Instead of the traditional whole milk, I used buttermilk as it provided a little tang with each bite. Without yeast, they aren’t as fluffy as I’d like but that was to be expected. If you are still planning your Christmas menu, I would recommend these biscuits because of their basic ingredients and quick preparation. Next time, I’d add some rosemary or perhaps cheddar cheese. Nothing like some cheesy goodness!

You can find the original recipe here.

pie, perfected

7 Dec

Baking pies isn’t necessarily about the finished product. It’s about the process. The mixing, the shaping, the rolling, the pressing. It’s a simple yet fulfilling process. On a cold, blustery day when the clouds have blocked the sun out and knee-high socks are a must, baking a pie is the only imaginable activity.

I realize that this post is about two weeks late, considering pumpkin pies hardly make an appearance after Thanksgiving. But it was too good not to share. Thanks to Ken Haedrich, my pumpkin pie was one of the best desserts we’ve eaten in months. Nay, years. I’ve tried Dorie Greenspan’s pastry dough, but that recipe left me wanting more. More taste, more crunch, more something. Ken’s all-butter pastry dough was the answer to all my unresolved pie questions.

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lost, but not forgotten

15 Mar

I can’t believe it has taken me over 3 months to share this recipe with you all. Man, I should be fired. You’d think that this recipe was awful or something. But actually, it’s the opposite. This icebox butter cookie was so good that I basically forgot all about it until I was plowing through my archives.

“What is this?” I asked, loud enough that my next-door-neighbor’s dog barked in response. I guess it’s expected to forget this recipe though, especially since I was busy making Chocolate Frangelico Trifles and deliciously rich fudge cakes. A simple icebox butter couldn’t compare to the greatness of chocolate.

But, while taking a bite of dry, salty storebought cookie I realized the importance of a damn cookie. Mastering a simple, butter cookie shouldn’t be such a task but it seems that store nationwide are incapable of getting it right. I blame it on two things: cheap products and fake ingredients. Let this be a lesson folks: all natural is best. Which is why, when in doubt, always turn to Martha.

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goodbye 22, hello 23!

18 Dec

As I get older, I become more indifferent to birthdays. Remember when you were a kid, and you thought that your birthday was the best day of your life? The earth practically revolved around you. No one could argue with you because HELLO! It was your birthday, duh. This year, I decided that it was time to revert back to my childhood glee. I guess it helps that my last day of college coincidentally falls on the same day as my birthday. It’s the universe, giving me permission to run amock! 

When I look back at this past year, one word pops in to my mind: rough. I think I read somewhere that beginnings are normally scary, endings are sad, and the middle is the best part. 22 was filled with both beginnings and endings. New jobs, lost friends, graduation, tough classes, budget woes, etc. I feel like he past 12 months has been all about transitions. From kid to adult, college student to grad… It’s enough to make my poor head ache.

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