Monday, January 14, 2013

Chocolate Truffle class in NY

Please check it out! Review of the Class

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Our Site is Relocating - Moving!

Oh, well... this is time. My blog is continuing and will go on; however, it will be at a new address!! Please come and see our new address!! OUR NEW BLOG ADDRESS Thank you for reading and following us over to the new website!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Morrone Pastry Shop and Cafe - Arthur Ave, Bronx

Earlier I had mentioned in my blog, my journey up to check out Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Because I went on a Sunday, there were limited stores/shops that were open. One gem that was open was the Morrone Pastry and Cafe. This place can't be compared to the other local pastry shops by me, because no one else was around, BUT, I found it to be simply super.

I tried a variety of pastries... the cannoli, the lobster tails, and several others I don't remember either the name or the spelling. While not every item was similarly delicious, the cannoli (despite being prefilled) were excellent in my experience.

I recommend this bakery without hesitation, and will seek them out whenever i'm in the bronx and looking for something sweet to eat.

Hidy Ochiai's Karate - Vestal, NY

Vestal, just outside of Binghamton, NY, is home to Hidy Ochiai. Hidy Ochiai is a truly great Man. I had the great fortune of studying Karate with him from 1978 through 1982. Sensei was a truly charismatic individual and for most of my life he was one of my very greatest of influences. I personally watched him guide, teach, and affect so many people in the most positive of ways.

There are many martial arts teachers in abundance today. Many of them are incredibly skilled now, many are technically superior, but Hidy Ochiai is truly a rare, powerful, empowering teacher of the highest order. Not a day goes by, that I don't think of him, and I am always so grateful for the opportunity to have learned so much from him.

Thank you with the utmost respect always Sensei.

Lobster Roll Favorite - Lobster Smack

In the past few years, lobster rolls have begun to show up with greater frequency here in the NYC area. Most are just mediocre in my opinion, and most too small a portion for the 18 dollar and up price the vendors are charging. Well, here on Houston Street, i've been testing out a location that has enticed me into showing up five times over the last two months. Lobster Smack is a brightly lit and clean, sparsely furnished location that delivers to my mind, the best Lobster value in the city.

Lobster Smack is located at 90 West Houston Street. From other reviews i've read online, it appears that they may have had some initial problems at start up, but fortunately i've been going there since all the problems have been ironed out. The lobster is truly fresh and wonderful here. I'm a big fan of the old bay seasoning. They offer a variety of seasonings which I haven't tried yet. The lobster roll is tasty, a good sized portion and almost HALF the price of other locations in the city. Wow. I wonder how they do that, and in addition to rolls, they make lobster quesadillas, soups and mac and cheese with lobster, and a few other variations on a theme.

I am very much a fan of their lobster bisque. I think it's delicious. While I personally haven't gotten beyond lobster rolls, my son has tried the quesadilla and the lobster mac, and he's quite enthusiastic about Lobster Smack, as well. So, if you've got a hankering for a fresh tasting lobster roll, I think you owe it to yourself to try out Lobster Smack.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ivy Bakery - Pie Crust Class

Many of my readers know that one of my favorite places to grab dessert is Ivy Bakery, on Houston Street, here in Manhattan. I travel there frequently for my favorite pecan pie, or to grab some cookies, or cup cakes. Cory, my son, loves many of the other delicious pastries created here, by owner Daniellan Louie.

A couple of weeks ago, Cory and I, were lucky enough to attend one of Daniellan's group classes. She is known for making great tasting desserts, and often teaches private classes, at her bakery, but she has decided to start some group classes. The one we attended, was on making pie crusts!

The first pic shows some of the ingredients we start with. We learned how to make 3 pie crusts, using butter, or shortening, and oreo cookies. The next picture shows Cory trying to use some of the specialized tools to mix in the flour and the butter. Daniellan is a terrific teacher, very patient, very encouraging and detailed.

I believe that what makes Daniellan's teaching unique and special is the ease with which she shares tips and stories of how she has learned things and how she does things in the bakery. When Cory was a bit too thin, rolling out the dough for the crust, Daniellan very calmly gave hints as to how to salvage and make what seemed like a lost crust into a very viable and usable crust. Her explanations are very concise and well thought out.

Cory and I had a really terrific, fun time learning at Daniellan's class, held in Ivy Bakery. The final pic shows Cory and Daniellan with their completed pie crusts. It was a very successful event! More classes are planned at Ivy Bakery, and I highly recommend anyone interested in baked goods to check out Daniellan's creations. I'm awfully happy I did, and Cory and I are fans of Ivy Bakery!
Last week, Cory took his pie crust skills over to his friend's house, and they spent the afternoon making different pies. We are very grateful that such a talented chef is willing to share with us.

Little Italy in the Bronx - Arthur Avenue

Had a rare opportunity to be in the Bronx this morning. I decided to check out Arthur Avenue in the bronx, home of the "Little Italy" in the Bronx. Unfortunately, on Sundays, many places were closed. Despite that I took a walk around and still was able to get a feel for the neighborhood.

There is a park there at the end of the neighborhood. Really, more of a small triangle with a sculpture of Columbus there.

On Arthur Avenue, there are a cluster of fancy looking italian restaurants. There is the "market" which is well known and has been featured in many cooking shows. There are many bakeries within short walking distance. I did decide to drop in on a bakery called Marrone's Pastry Shop. Oh, my... the cannoli here were truly delicious.

For sure i'll have to come back another day, perhaps on a friday or a saturday. I bet it'd be crowded on a weekend night, but it'd be more interesting to look around at that time.