Archive for DESSERTS

teeny tiny cupcakes!

photos: m&j

Could there be a more perfect sweet birthday gift for a lady than a box of eensie weensie cupcake minis from Baked by Melissa? We do not think so! With eleven cleverly scrumptious varieties – each that perfect little bite of deliciousness and not a crumb more – a gal can really get a good many tastes for herself,  be a generous friend and do some sharing and even feel quite virtuous all the while because it is, after all, her birthday. Thank you, dear Daryl, for the perfect ending to the ever slightly less than perfect day xoxo

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goat milk caramels

photos: m&j

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What a delightful find at Murray’s Cheese Shop – Big Picture Farm Sea Salt and Pure Bourbon Vanilla Goat Milk Caramels. Handmade in Vermont with the most adorable packaging and name, to match. And, fortunately, with a creamy, soft and silky texture and buttery, sweet/salty flavor they taste even better than they look!

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Sunday Brunch at Whitehall

photos: m&j

We just enjoyed a terrific Sunday brunch with friends at the recently opened Whitehall on Greenwich Avenue between 6th and 7th Avenues, serving what they call the “new British” cuisine (which basically means fresh, locally sourced yummy food and cocktails) in a pretty, new, but made to look worn and old & comfy setting with worn white painted wood, subway tile, super cool ceiling fans and light fixtures with filament bulbs and lots of lovely branches full of spring blossoms right now – just perfect for a weekend meal with a group of hungry foodies. We particularly enjoyed the avocado toast with baby rocket, chili flakes, poached/scrambled eggs with roasted tomato, whisky French toast with roasted pineapple and vanilla mascarpone, baby gem lettuce, poached egg, crispy bacon, ouray cheese, red onion and hazelnuts with pear vinaigrette and the (total rock star) Whitehall burger with cheddar, pickled beetroot, caramelized onions, lettuce, fried egg and house cut fries –  all accompanied by delicious coffee and the requisite spicy bloodies – YUM! The meal was finished off with a fabulous butterscotch (with a hint of the actual – Scotch – whiskey spirit – just a hint!) pot de crème accompanied by the most delicate almond flour shortbread cookies, delicately sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar to share – for that perfect last sweet bite that lets you know the meal is over without totally weighing you down midday (although we could’ve easily eaten an entire, adorable little pot de crème each)! And thank you dear John, Cary, Dave, Bruce, Alexa and Daniel for letting us photograph it all before you dove in!

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to the gffs!

photos: m&j

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It started maybe five or six years ago as an acronym for a casual cocktail gathering for anywhere from three to ten of us – all ladies – at a time when most of us were working at the same ad agency and m was trying out a gluten-free diet (dr’s orders) that was subsequently abandoned (about six months later – also dr’s orders). We’d often start the proceedings with an assortment of wildly delicious and varying seasonal cave-aged cheeses from Bobolink Dairy in rural New Jersey made from the milk of grass-fed cows accompanied by their now infamous, slightly charred, rosemary epees (very low in gluten for those counting) and often a nice hunk of fresh local honeycomb and some sliced pears or other fruit of that particular season. The events were strategically arranged for Fridays after work to coincide with the dairy’s presence at the farmer’s market at nearby Union Square.  Wine would be brought and consumed, or, occasionally Lillet, along with whatever goodies the ladies decided to bring. And, after a few hours of storytelling and gossip and some of the funniest impressions ever (thank you, Cara) we’d often get around to ordering a few gluten-free pizzas to be delivered from the wonderful Risotteria on Bleecker Street (asparagus & gruyere, portabella & truffle oil and Parma ham & mozzarella were the staples). And now, all these years since the ill-fated and barely memorable gluten-free diet was abandoned, the “gluten-free friends” get-togethers, as they were once dubbed early on, are still going strong. So much so, that we still call any party with the group a “gff” short for “Gluten-Free Friday” and any one of the girlfriends a “gff” as in “Gluten-Free Friend.” The pizza from Risotteria is still quite edible, though we’ve all pretty much gotten past that. So much so that, at this most recent gff at JJ’s, we even had full-on gluten-filled cupcakes with the moniker “gff” emblazoned on their buttercreamy tops – many thanks to our lovely Betsy, Alexia, Ann, JJ, Marianne. Jaime, Stacy, Joanne, Roseanne, Cara and Sarah for understanding that this makes perfect sense, even though it really doesn’t  – we love you all!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

photos: m&j

 
As usual, the Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain comes through with their own special heart-shaped valentine cookie that’s rich, crunchy and not at all too sweet, as well as fudge bars, blood orange truffles and adorably soft, sweet & cute, handmade Sweater Toys (made out of recycled sweaters – ours is named “Pierre”!) just in time for February 14th and, not surprisingly, just so perfect – happy, happy!

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toasted meringue

photos: m&j
The much appreciated holiday gift of our very own blowtorch came in quite handy this week when mountains of meringue were whipped up in the Kitchen Aid to frost an impromptu layer cake. Seven-minute frosting is always fun, but with the addition of actual fire, the toasted marshmallow waves and ripples created with the blowtorch conjure up so many wonderful dessert memories – from s’mores around the campfire to that amazing childhood fancy restaurant treat – baked Alaska! So fun to make and pretty freakin’ cool to serve – we recommend toasting meringue the next time cake baking is on the agenda.

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holiday chocolate mice

photos: m&j

We often give these little cuties from Manhattan Fruitier for special “thanks” around the Holidays. And this year we were delighted to finally receive some adorable little dark, milk and white chocolate mice with almond ears and silky ribbon tales, ourselves. So sweet, Diana and Jennalee – thank you so much!

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