Monday, November 27, 2017

Ice Cream Crazy

Finally, writing again. This year has been wild, fast and happily doesn’t plan on slowing down.  

While I have been busy away with being “busy”, I redeveloped a love for ice cream. Maybe it’s just the current trend these days in DC, but I rediscovered a love for this sweet treat in ways I never really thought I would enjoy it.

I only liked two kinds of ice cream as a kid: Mint chocolate chip and chocolate chip cookie dough. No questions asked and nothing more. Now, I am willing to discover anything that will satisfy my taste buds at the time. I even wanted ice cream so much that I made my own Dairy Queen Blizzard this summer.

In any case, here are some of my selections to share in case you haven’t tried or want to get on the ice cream bandwagon too. It’s a good time to hop on.

This über popular brand is finally in DC, and it's definitely a good way to finish a nice lunch on 14th Street. For six dollars, I was able to enjoy three mini scoops of their creations. Mine:

Peanut Butter J
Sweet Cream
Whisky J

J  = Winner

Where: 1925 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20009

I experienced one of those intense cravings for a specific kind of ice cream one day, and the victim was a Dairy Queen Blizzard. Not just any Dairy Queen Blizzard, a Reese’s Cup Dairy Queen Blizzard. So, I got Pinterest-happy and searched anything I could find to remake this treat because let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to drive DC traffic to find a Dairy Queen.

Result: It was 100% accurate and if you want to save it for later, I highly recommend using a Yeti. It made me think of my summers when I couldn’t finish my Blizzards and would stick them in the freezer for later. Highly recommend.


I had my fair share of gelato this year. So much it was almost every weekend I was indulging in some sort of gelato, either at home or outside.

Where did I go?

1. Union Market – Java Cookies ‘N Cream. It was more like a cookie rolled in cream rather than the other way around. J

Where: 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, DC 2002

2. Europe – Will save my results for this later.

3. Weekly Stash – I have to admit, Breyers does a pretty good job with their Gelato Indulgences. I was a little skeptical about them at first, but they are pretty tasty. My regulars were Tiramisu and Raspberry Cheesecake.

4. Café Sorriso – I had the Stracciatella and all I have to say is J

Where: 2311 Calvert Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

Now, this was interesting. I really had no idea what I was getting into. I thought it would be similar to Jennis Ice Cream, but what I ordered ended up being definitely worth your six dollars: Two oversized scoops of ice cream on top of a cone that could barely keep up with the weight.

Pistachio Cannoli J
Salted Caramel

Where: 1407 T Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

All I have to say is that this product is one word: Addicting. As much as I wanted to try their super-popular flavor, Birthday Cake, I opted for Red Velvet Cake instead. I practically felt I was savoring the perfect definition of what a cake and ice cream would be if they were blended together in machine mixer. I might go back to my Breyers on occasion, but I definitely know where to find this delicacy again just in case I cannot live without it.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Undiscovered Family Pie

I always heard of rumors of a family “strawberry-rhubarb pie” that would float around in conversations from time to time, particularly around the summer time or around the holiday season while growing up as a kid. My mother refused to make it, claiming that her mother and aunt made it so much while she was growing up that it made her sick. Therefore, the strawberry-rhubarb pie rumors remained rumors.

Until last month.

I was craving a pie and ice cream terribly and had a couple of hours to kill so I decided to make the pie that I always wanted to try: the strawberry-rhubarb pie.

Sure, I have had strawberry tarts and rhubarb jam but never in combination with one another, and I always believed as a kid that making food with rhubarb was somehow too complex for me. Mind you, this was before I entered the food world as a professional.

I have no idea why my mother never gave in for one moment, because the minute I tried this pie, my heart, palette, and stomach sparkled with delight. I have never been a complete, dedicated fan of pie until I tried this one. The simple combination of sugar, cinnamon, strawberries, and rhubarb evolves into an addicting, sweet and tangy center of awesomeness. 

And the addition of ice cream? I’m not sure if I have any words other than a milky, liquid gold.

If you have any secret recipes that your family has not tried, do yourself a favor and try them. You have no idea what you are missing, because just trying the undiscovered, strawberry-rhubarb pie just made me realize that there are family members that really do have a palette like mine.

If you want to try the pie yourself, try it here.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Malay in Morristown

Southeast Asia has grasped my attention, particularly ever since I started working around some amazing people in Jean-Georges’ restaurants and lived not far from densely populated Asian community in Queens, NY.  Being someone from the southeast United States, I find a few parallels in their culinary communities: spices, tropical fruits, and peanut butter amongst other minor similarities. Therefore, whenever I see or hear of a Southeast Asian restaurant, I am always in for a try.

And that is what led me to Malay, a Malaysian restaurant located in Morristown, NJ. I visited a friend last spring who moved to this town, and we stumbled across this newly opened gem not far from the train station for dinner before a movie. We noticed the packs of people inside so we know we were already up for the experience.

The funny thing about this is that it was so good, that I did not photograph anything. It was one the most eclectic dining experiences we ever had. I remember the dishes so vividly that it took me no time to recollect them as I was writing this post. That’s how good our food tasted.

We started ordering our apps but then we turned to the staff for recommendations on main courses. We were so curious as to what we were going to receive, partly because I haven’t specifically “tasted” Malaysian cuisine in the past.

We basically had the following:

Thai Lettuce Wrap
Mango Salad
Malay Char Kway Teow: Stir fry flat noodles with shrimp, squid, bean sprouts, eggs, soy sauce and chili paste
Salted Fish with Eggplant, the special of that night
Peanut Cookies: The best things ever.

The Thai Lettuce Wraps had an spice that lingered in your mouth for minutes, and the mango salad I know for a fact I cleared the plate. The Malay Char Kway Teow had squid that reminded me of my days in Spain and the Salted Fish with Eggplant was clearly the piece de resistance. It served as a full fish along with vegetables and eggplant complimented the fish in so many ways that will never be forgotten. The butteryness of the eggplant and the saltiness of the fish combined to really create a satiating explosion. Okay, I will say it: It was pretty orgasmic.

The best part though was dessert. Mostly because we did not expect this as we were paying the bill. They gave out some Peanut Cookies along with our check, and we were just expecting some pre-made, packaged cookie. This was a melt-in-your mouth, piece of magic that I can still remember the flavors melting and crumbling in the mouth. It was like combining, cotton candy, peanut butter, and shortbread into your mouth. I would return just to take the cookies again and then go home because they surprised me that much.

This restaurant just proved to me that there is always going to be a hole in a wall that clearly defines its place in the world, and Malay knows how to paint a culinary postcard. If you are ever in the area of Morristown, its definitely worth a visit.

147 Morris Street
Morriston, NJ 07960


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Life of the Single Serving (Favorite Single Serving Recipes)

 The culinary life of a single serving for me is not Ramen Noodles. Nor is it microwave dinners or other packaged, boxed up, frozen, or canned mystery findings. Don’t worry, I definitely do my fair share of frozen pizzas (thank you, Dr. Oetker), ham and cheese sandwiches, and Chinese or Thai. I am also a sucker for chocolate chip muffins or croissants from my local bakery. There are moments where I wish I could make for four or five people in my world, but honestly single servings are just as satisfying, if not more. If I did make for four or five people in my world, I always get sick of the leftovers by the third meal. It’s just not going to happen.

So, for all of the single serving lovers out there, I provide you some of my favorites in courses. Most of these are comfort foods, but at least you can enjoy them by yourself, without worrying about what to do with the other servings of food. Yes, some of them “do” say they are set for four to six people, etc., but I guarantee you that it will take you no more than two, maybe three servings so if it was so good that you just had to have it one more time (and one time only), its waiting for you.

Appetizer: From my first chef I ever got to get to know

Pasta: Mushroom Risotto. It’s so addicting I now have it once a month a least.

Buffalo Hot Wings: If you really need that sports watching day all to yourself

Welsh Rarebit: Basically, it’s a cheese sandwich on crack

Dessert: Big Ass Chocolate Chip Cookie

Breakfast: Pancakes