Tag Archives: Dessert

The Sweetest Thing

I’ve heard a lot of diet tricks. Drinking a cup of tea staves off hunger. Chewing a piece of gum can satisfy a post-meal sweets craving (seriously, Biggest Loser?? Gum?). An apple, full of fiber, makes you feel fuller.

I think these tricks are crap. When I want a piece of coconut cake, no stick of gum is going to make me think, “Man, now THAT was a meal-capper!” And when I think these tricks will work and I don’t bring a little sweet treat with me to work for after lunch, I end up at the vending machine gorging on Twix and getting evil glares from my boss, who undoubtedly thinks I am some kind of sugar addict. So I thought, there must be some sort of less-sweet dessert recipe out there that will satisfy my sweets craving and also not have 1,000 calories per bite.

On the menu:
Dark chocolate brownies (Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s Dark Chocolate Brownies)
Disclaimer: these are not your typical Duncan Hines fudgy, oily brownies. If you’re looking for a square of decadence, this is not it. But these are chocolatey, they are cakey, and one little square is enough to make me feel contented and sufficiently sleepy at 3PM. And that’s all I’m asking for.

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
6 oz. plain yogurt (one small container)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler, or in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. In another separate bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add yogurt, applesauce, vanilla, and oil to eggs and sugar. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the other liquid mix. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until the batter is completely moistened.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
*I had to use a slightly smaller baking dish, and ended up baking these for 45 minutes, so do keep an eye on them. If you bake them for too long they will be dry and inedible. Gross.

As I said, these are not your Betty Crocker standbys; but they are sweet and cakey and only my thunder thighs will know the difference.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking, Recipes

Peachy Keen

As I mentioned, I’m trying not to chunk-ify in the month of June, so here is a quick and simple and DELICIOUS dessert idea that my lovely friend Becca came up with to satisfy my crazy sweet tooth without killing my new health plan.

On the menu:
Grilled Virginia peaches with cinnamon and sugar
Serves 2

2 ripe peaches
1 Tbsp butter
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Slice peaches in half and remove the pit. Heat up grill, or grill pan to medium/high heat. Spread butter on face of peaches and place face-side-down on the hot grill. Let grill for around 2 minutes. Remove from grill and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon while still hot.

Easy as pie, right? And honestly… it IS a pie! A peach pie. Without the buttery crust and 8 pounds of sugar. You could also make this even healthier by spraying the grill with cooking spray and leaving out the butter, or by using just cinnamon instead of the brown sugar and cinnamon. Peaches have so much natural sugar that comes out even more when you heat them, that you barely even need the extra sweetness. As a man in a coffee shop once told me, “You don’t need all that sugar! You’re sweet enough already!” And so are you, dear readers. So are you.

2 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Recipes

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” -Erma Bombeck

Just a quick post to shout out a delightful little bakery in Williamsburg that could easily be transplanted to the English countryside or a quaint little town in Northern California. Not only was the ambience perfect for a sunny Saturday, but the flavor combinations of the baked goods were mind/tastebud blowing.

Action shot!

Bakeri 150 Wythe Avenue, btwn 7th St and 8th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. The assortment of baked goods is incredible, and they also serve sandwiches, coffee, and other assorted drinks.

On the menu:
Hazelnut rosemary chocolate chip cookie
Pistachio raspberry muffin

Verdict: Sweet, cakey, salty, post-brunch heaven. I mentioned in a previous post that I am not opposed to dessert after brunch because it is technically a midday meal and technically I’m an adult and I can do whatever I want so THERE. Ahem. You might not think rosemary in a cookie would be so tasty, but the consistency was spongy but dense enough to hold up the flavor, and the chocolate was a nice balance to the salt. The muffin was sublime: the pistachio flavor pervaded and the raspberries were a nice sweet aftertaste.

Leave a comment

Filed under New York Restaurants

Did someone say free dessert?

If you live in New York, you want to see this

Leave a comment

Filed under Miscellaneous, New York Restaurants

Letter from the Editor

Dear friends and loved ones,

If you are getting married in the near future (and I know some of you are), and you have invited me (and I know some of you have), then I implore you: serve this at your wedding. Pretty, pretty please. I promise if you do, I will bring you a way nicer gift than I had originally planned.

photo c/o Momofuku.com/milk-bar/

In case you were unaware, as I was until today, Momofuku Milk Bar (one of my favorite places on planet Earth), makes wedding cakes. Oh yes, they do. And friends, loves, nearest-and-dearest-to-my-hearts, if you’re not down for a whole wedding cake, you can order slices of Crack Pie as wedding favors. Nothing says “thanks for celebrating my union” like a slice of Crack Pie.

Seriously.

Nothing.

And if you can’t manage to serve this tower of perfection at your own wedding, maybe you could set me up with a single friend who will soon propose so I can thus serve it at my own. Deal?

Thanks and all best wishes for the future,
Lauren E.

Leave a comment

Filed under New York Restaurants

My Brush with Fame (or “The Day I Stalked the Food Network”)

After the unbelievable support from WordPress on Monday, I got a surge of confidence. I am surely bound for stardom, either as the smaller, cuter, slightly-less-off-putting Guy Fieri (taste testing diners for a living? YES PLEASE) or as the smaller, cuter, slightly-less-off-putting Rachael Ray. Today my horoscope told me that I’d meet someone who would help further my career. And the Food Network happened to be filming a segment at the Treats Truck parked right near my office. I figured I’d bump into a producer, pitch my idea for the best new food show ever, and be on TV in a matter of weeks.

The Food Network's Adam Gertler filming a segment on 38th St and 5th Avenue in Manhattan

I’m not famous… yet… but it was cool to see them filming. And I figured, “Heck, while I’m already RIGHT by the Treats Truck… might as well give them some business.” I purchased the Kitchen Sink Crispy Square, which I have to say was SLIGHTLY disappointing. It tasted like there was peanut butter mixed into the marshmallows holding the crispies together, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I think I was hoping for something like Momofuku Milk Bar‘s Compost Cookie, which has potato chips, coffee grounds, and probably some angel’s tears mixed in. It is heaven in cookie form. This crispy treat was “meh.” But lovely looking, no?

See the Whopper? Beautiful.

1 Comment

Filed under Chefs, Miscellaneous, New York Restaurants

Jean-Georges Nougatine

Sometimes, even as a lover of food, I forget why New York is great. It’s loud, its manic pace is constant, and as the weather gets warmer, the city gets smellier. I’m ready for a change. But then, out of the blue, I have a New York moment and I remember why there is no place like this place and how I will never be able to find another like her.

Jean-Georges with a Lady Who Lunches - a blurry camera picture because we were trying hard to be classy and discreet

When I sat down at a Jean-Georges restaurant near Central Park on Wednesday for lunch and Jean-Georges himself walked out of the kitchen, I felt like 13-year-old-Lauren would have felt if Jonathan Taylor Thomas had walked out of the kitchen. I’m not ashamed to say I got butterflies. He’s just that good.

Nougatine New York Magazine praises this little sun-filled restaurant at 1 Central Park West as “possibly the least heralded and most overlooked restaurant in town.” My good friend Becca invited me to lunch as payment for a cake I made her (seriously, does baking have its perks, or what?) and on the hottest day of an unseasonably warm April, we sat down for a posh meal where the dining room is run like a well-oiled machine and the Ladies Who Lunch throw birthday parties with Tiffany blue boxes as table favors.

On the menu:
Warm Beets and Rich Yogurt
field mache and lemon oil
Shrimp Salad
with avocado and tomato champagne vinegar dressing
Salt and Pepper Calamari
with citrus-chili dip
Roasted Red Snapper
with broccoli raab and sweet garlic-lemon broth
Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin
with miso butter and roasted brussel sprouts
Creme Caramel
with sacristan (puff pastry twisted and dipped in sugar) and citrus
Jean-Georges Warm Chocolate Cake
with vanilla bean ice cream
[the prix fixe meal allows you to choose 2 small plates plus a dessert for $26]

Salt and pepper calamari

Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin (blurry because I barely had time to snap this picture before I dove into the deliciousness)

Verdict: To. Die. For. “What’s in that, crack cocaine?” I wish I could say my dining partners and I said this only once. Everything was so delicious, warm, inviting. Each bite left all the right pleasant notes in my mouth. The portions were perfect, and I left the restaurant feeling sated and glowing. Forget the temperatures outside. I was radiating sunshine from inside. The prices at Nougatine are far more reasonable than any of Jean-Georges’ other restaurants in Manhattan, but it’s still not a cheap meal. I make it a point to seek out affordable, delicious meals in New York so believe me when I tell you this: if I had only $100 to spend on one final meal in New York City, I would take it to Nougatine.

Red Snapper

The famous Jean-Georges Chocolate Cake with vanilla bean ice cream

Leave a comment

Filed under Chefs, New York Restaurants