Friday, November 29, 2013

DIY: Fudgy Brownies with Chocolate Frosting

Happy Black Friday!

I just got done cleaning up after hosting a "friendsgiving" with my roommate, and I thought I'd share a short DIY for the dessert I made for tonight: chocolate fudge brownies. This is another completely fool-proof method for dense, fudgy, rich brownies, and for the first time ever, I whipped up some chocolate frosting (which coincidentally tasted kind of like brownie batter).

Fudge brownies with chocolate frosting

This recipe is my absolute go-to solution for whenever I need/want to baking something that's easy to share. It's very simple and incredibly hard to mess up, and you can easily make it your own by getting creative with the add-ins. I often make it with chocolate chips, as recommended, but have also tried using dried cranberries, shredded coconut, m&m's, walnuts and now, chocolate frosting — they all came out wonderfully.

As for the frosting, it was my first time making frosting from scratch on my own, so I was a bit weary of how it would turn out, but I was very pleasantly surprised with the result. This is another incredibly simple recipe and tastes much better than the canned stuff.

Chocolate Frosting

1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 milk
3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Combine cocoa with melted butter. Add milk and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Gradually, mix in powdered sugar until your desired consistency.

*NOTE: This recipe yields a lot of frosting, probably enough to frost a three-layer cake, so be careful you don't end up with way too much left over.

Give these a try the next time you have a potluck to attend or host a dinner party (or for funsies). These were a huge hit at my Thanksgiving dinner ;)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quickie: Oh! Taisho

TL;DR: ★★★★★

I've already been to Oh! Taisho so many times that I've lost track. How often does that happen?! (Hint: NEVER)

I have several reasons for why I keep going back for more, but the biggest is that the food is just that good (and fast and cheap and authentic)!

My absolute favorite thing to get here is the okonomiyaki, which is a savory pancake filled with a variety of ingredients. Oh! Taisho's specifically has a lot of veggies and seafood within the pancake, with a layer of chewy dried pork and bonito flakes on top, finished with Japanese mayo and a sweet brown sauce. This massive, thick pancake, which will only set you back $6.75, is heavenly and most definitely does not disappoint.

Okonomiyaki

Another delicious item on the menu is the kimchi yaki udon, which is stir-fried thick noodles with kimchi, pork and a (slightly) spicy sauce. With the perfect balance of salty and tangy, this $7.50 dish is also worth every penny.

Other than the food, the super fast service is also noteworthy. Literally within minutes of ordering, the okonomiyaki is in front of you!

Some drawbacks about this place, however, are the wait and space. On weekends, especially from 7 to 10 p.m., it could take you hours to get a table, and there's hardly a waiting area in this tiny and very loud venue.

But, again, the amazing food and affordable prices keep drawing me back in here. It's indubitably one of my favorite places in the EV!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

FREE SANGRIA!: Calle Ocho

TL;DR: ★★★★★

Great food, service and ambiance! Delicious sangria (read on to find out how you can get a glass for free ;D) with lots of variety. Definitely want to come back for brunch!

Food: ★★★★☆
Ambiance: ★★★★★
Staff: ★★★★★

Price: $$-$$$
Number of visits: 1


Our free sangrias! Fresas and Punta Cana
(81st St. & Columbus Ave.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Holy Macaroni: Il Corallo Trattoria

TL;DR: ★★★☆☆

A cute pasta joint in SoHo, with lots of options. Good food, staff and ambiance, but this place unfortunately lacks the wow factor, allowing me to forget its existence.

Food: ★★★★☆
Ambiance: ★★★☆☆
Staff: ★★★★☆

Price: $-$$
Number of visits: 2

Prince St. & Thompson St.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Update: Doughtnut Plant NYC Is Still Awesome

I came back to Doughnut Plant NYC a few times after my last post, and I gotta hand it to these guys. I've truly enjoyed every single doughnut here.

Valrhona chocolate doughnut, coffee (I want that mug!) and creme brulee doughseed 


Here's what I had since ...
  • Creme brulee doughseed: Lawrence the NYC Food Guy was right. This thing is the bomb. No questions asked — just get it.
  • Carrot cake: This is my absolute favorite! It's so flavorful, thanks to all of the spices, and the cream cheese filling is divine
  • Blueberry: No wow factor in this one, but it's still pleasant (possibly because I love everything with blueberry).
  • Valrhona chocolate: Again, not spectacular but still good, airy and chocolatey.

Blueberry cake doughnut

I've also been following them on Instagram (follow me here!), and they've apparently since added coffee cake and pumpkin flavors, which means I'll have to go again very soon (before they stop making the pumpkin doughnuts!).