Sunday, May 30, 2010

Babysitting adventure

We had my 3 nieces over last night while my brother and sister in law went to a wedding. So what to do with 4 girls age 10 and under? Make fresh pasta for dinner of course!

Chris and Hannah kneading the dough.
pasta making

Then the girls got to take turn on the pasta machine.
pasta making
pasta making

Here are the girls about to attack the pasta.
hungry girls

This one was too little to help making the pasta. So she just helped to eat it (sans sauce since I was holding her.)
yum, pasta

I swear Miss T was around somewhere. She was just so excited to have her cousins around that she couldn't stay still for pictures. We all also had garlic bread to go with the pasta. And just in case that wasn't enough carb, I made almond butter cookies and Chris made chocolate pudding for desserts. This is what they looked like full of sugar.
girls gone wild

This is the sauce I threw together while the pasta was being made. The girls seemed to like it, so I know it had to be pretty good.

Creamy Pasta Sauce

1 - 1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1 med onion
10-12 baby carrots (that's all I have in the fridge)
5 cloves garlic
1 28oz can crushed tomato
1 12oz jar spaghetti sauce
1 tsp each dried oregano, basil, and thyme
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
6 oz cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Pulse the onion, carrots and garlic cloves together in the food processor until finely chopped. Saute the mixture in a 3 quart saute pan in olive oil over med-high heat. Cook until the onion is transparent, add the turkey and cooked until it's brown. Add the crushed tomato, spaghetti sauce, and dried herbs. Simmer sauce together for about 30-40 minutes. Add the fish sauce, sugar, black pepper and cream cheese. Add more salt to taste if needed.

I know, fish sauce may seem to be an odd ingredient to add to a spaghetti sauce. It worked just like anchovy to give the sauce a deeper flavor, which I never seemed to keep around.

Monday, May 24, 2010

NYC 2010 - Day 1

Time Square

A couple months back my cousin asked if I would join her in NYC while she's traveling the East Coast. I thought about it for quite a few days. I've never went away without Chris and Miss T for more than a night. And frankly, I feel guilty leaving Miss T to Chris for 4 days while I go have fun. Chris was very encouraging (he really is the best husband BTW) and since Miss T is too young to really appreciate it yet, I decided to go. Besides, the plan was to just eat and shop. How can a girl resists that?

I left on a Wednesday night and took a red-eye in. I hate flying in the middle of the night since I can not sleep on planes no matter how hard I tried. But I also hate losing a whole day flying in the air if I were to leave in the morning instead. So I bit the bullet and took it. It was exhausting but the flight was pretty calm. Got in about 30 minutes ahead and landed at 7:15am. I ordered the shuttle to take me to the hotel came at 8:30am. Of course, with morning commute, I didn't get to the hotel until after 10:30am. I got a really good deal on a hotel called Fashion 26 in the Chelsea area that just opened in April. No luck with checking in early since the place was full but they promise to call me as soon as a room became available. So I left the luggage and started exploring. My cousin is not due to arrive until 6pm or so. I had a whole day to myself to wander. Now if only I wasn't exhausted from not sleeping the night before...

Walked down to Chelsea Market. Wish I had time to go back and buy a few things. Maybe next time.
Chelsea Market

Discovered the High Line. It's a reuse/transformation of an old industrial structure that is converted to a park, 30 feet above the street. They have the first phase opened that stretch from 14th street to 20th street. The second portion is scheduled to be finish at the end of this year/early next year that will extend it to 30th street. Can wait to go back next time to check it out.

Found Korea Town. The whole one block of it. They sure know how to pack businesses in there though. I think there are restaurants up on the 5th floors on some of those buildings. We ended up having lunch there a couple of days later. But on this day, I ended up at a fast food kind of place called KyoChon. They're known for their fried chicken, with coating that includes rice puffs. It was crispy and not greasy. Probably not the most interesting thing I could ate, but at least I can't find the same out here.

The hotel called after that and I went back to attempt to take a nap. For a brand new hotel, I have to say that I have the best service there. Everyone was really nice. They walk me up to my room while explaining and introducing the hotel. The room is not a bad size for NYC. Not as big as the room at the Warwick we stayed at last time, but it's just me and I don't need a big room. I love the bed! I wanted to take it home with me. They have Frette bedding on them and the perfect pillows and comforter. If only I could afford to get a set for my own bed...
Fashion 26 NYC

And this bathrobe only cost $95 if you want one to take home.
Fashion26 Hotel

After a nice nap for a couple hours, I tried to eelax a bit more until my cousin called to let me know she finally got to the her hotel. Dinner reservation was at 9pm at David Burke's Townhouse on E61st street. My hotel is at W26th street. Totally walkable. I think I fell in love in NYC more on this trip because I walked so much more and really appreciate being able to do so. I got to that area a little early so I walked over to Dylan's candy shop for some candies for Miss T. Finally met up with my cousin and her friend there.

Dinner was nice. Definitely the stuffiest meal/place of the trip. I guess the location reflects the crowd. Here are some of the dishes we had.

Tuna noodles and something. It wasn't on the menu online and not on the special menu that I got a copy to keep. Pretty isn't it?
David Burke Townhouse>

Lobster 'steak'.
David Burke Townhouse

Lamb & Octopus
David Burke Townhouse

And the reason why I wanted to come here. A cheesecake lollipop tree.
David Burke Townhouse

It was late after dinner and the lack of sleep was definitely catching up with me. Took the cab back to the hotel. Video chatted with Chris and Miss T a little on the laptop (free Wifi!) and off to bed.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

If I win the lotto...

... Miss T will probably get one of this in her room.

There is no price listed on the web site, but I'm sure it falls in the category of "if you had to ask, it's probably too much."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm Back


My Trip to NYC was great. Once I get a chance to upload all the pictures, I'll do a write up. But for now, I'm happy to be home (especially after my 8 hours delay @ JFK). As relaxing as it was to be away by myself for a few days, I missed Chris and Miss T. Actually, Miss T and I already made plans to go together next time.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Paulette Macarons @ SF

Paulette macarons @ SF

We're not in that area of the city very often, but Chris wanted to trade in one of his Timbuk2 bag for credit towards a new one. The only place to do that is at their retail store so we ended up in Hayes Valley this past weekend. I've heard of this macaron shop before so I asked him to pick up a few since it's only a block away. (I was in the car with a very sleepy girl.) He showed up with a dozen. Not that I was complaining about it. In truth, they are not my favorite macarons. I like the ones from Patisserie Philippe better even though they don't have the same selection of flavors. They are very pretty and would make a lovely gift. Worth checking out if in the area.

Paulette macarons @ SF

Paulette Macarons
437 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-4308