2009 nyc wine & food festival: alton brown demo

Being an engineer, I’m obviously a geek. Being a foodie, I obviously love food. Naturally, I love Alton Brown, his show Good Eats, and his way of explaining why we do this, why we do that, and where such food came from. I found out about the wine & food festival a little late this year and I was lucky to find tickets still on sale for AB’s Sunday morning demo. It was held at the Comix comedy club on 14th. I got there fairly early since I was down the street at Murray’s Bagels. There were already people lined up, about 15-20 people in front of me. Even though I was an hour early, it passed fairly quickly since it was a beautiful day, I just had a NY bagel, and I had a great conversation with a local cook who was in line in front of me.


AB walked into Comix about 15-20 minutes before they let us in, and there were the “oohs” and “aahs” coming from the AB fanatics as soon as they saw him. He’s awesome, yeah, but c’mon now guys.


I managed to end up sitting in the middle, 2nd row. AB came out and said he didn’t want to cook for us cause he didn’t want to say “here’s how we cook a steak, (sizzle)” (crowd laughs). I’m glad he didn’t. Instead, he put together a lecture entitled “10 Things About Food I Feel Pretty Darned Sure About”. He told funny accounts of his life and some good points and current food issues that not many people may not realize.


Though he didn’t cook, it was a great lecture/discussion and I had a great time.

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murray’s bagels


Every time I need breakfast in NYC, I think of a NY bagel. After having bagels at several places around the city, I’m pretty sure Murray’s Bagels is my favorite. It’s not that close to my bus stop at Penn Station which is why I haven’t gone as much. Last Sunday morning I went to Murray’s for the second time.

I managed to make it there just before the morning rush, there were only 4 people sitting in the restaurant and there was no one in line. I didn’t quite know what kind of salmon I wanted on my bagel…it was a tough decision. I eventually gave in to Norwegian salmon. They have all different kinds of smoked fish here – I like the variety here, as most places I’ve been to have Nova lox and that’s about it.

On that cool, crisp Sunday morning, I sat happily on the front bench, enjoying my heavenly breakfast of Norwegian salmon with scallion cream cheese on an everything bagel.


I grew up in the NYC suburbs and I don’t think that fish on a bagel in the morning is that weird…though, I know many that do. I just have one thing to say. Try it before you think so! It’s magical. It’s too bad that great bagels are hard to come by outside of the NYC area.

If only I could have a Murray’s bagel for breakfast each week…

Murray’s Bagels
500 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011
212.462.2830

P.S. They make tofu “cream cheese” too, I really wanna try those as well as the whole wheat everything bagels.

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s’mac


This past weekend, I went up to NYC to visit some friends and to attend an event for the 2009 Wine and Food Festival. Before hitting up the bars on Saturday night, my friends and I grabbed some dinner at S’MAC (stands for Sarita’s Mac and Cheese). There is a room for take-out and a room for dining in. We wanted to sit down but couldn’t due to the packed dining area.


Ever since I found out about this place, I’ve been dying to try it. Think about it. Mac and cheese is an amazing comfort food. A restaurant serving all different kinds of mac and cheese and allowing you to choose what kinds of cheese and mix-ins to put in! What a foodgasm!


Anyway, I got the Nosh size (the smallest) and my cheeses were gruyere and brie. The mix-in’s were andouille sausage, slab bacon, and shiitake mushrooms. There are so many choices for mix-in’s that I definitely woulda taken my time but my friends had ordered already and I was put on the spot. I don’t regret the choices I made though.


The mac and cheese looked great. It had a nice toasty, crisp top crust concealing creamy, delicious mac and cheese goodness underneath. Ahhh, I can’t wait till we meet again, S’MAC.

S’MAC
345 E 12th Street
New York, NY 10003
212.358.7912

P.S. Sorry for the blurry photos, damn iPhone….

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cooking: vanilla cherry chocolate cookies

After many busy weekends, I finally had a chance to catch up with some DVR’d tv shows. I watched a couple episodes of Ask Aida with Aida Mollenkamp, one of them being an all cookie episode. I’m not much of a baker…at all… but at the end of this episode, I felt the need to make some cookies! They were pretty easy to make and definitely boosted my baking confidence. I’m definitely going to try baking more now…

Here’s the recipe. Also, there’s a typo and it doesn’t mention adding the vanilla extract, which should be added after the eggs.

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cooking: mushroom bourguignon

Yes, I saw Julie & Julia. I have never had beouf bourguignon prior to watching the movie and throughout the movie, they seemed to project Julia’s beouf bourguignon as the holy grail. Of course, I felt the need to try it after seeing it. I will save my first beouf bourguignon experience for a later post. Seems a little offtopic, but this is partial reason for why I made this choice.

So last night, I had no idea what I wanted to make (except for the fact that I wanted to make a meatless dish) so I scoured the internet and came across Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for mushroom bourguignon. Instantly, this was my chosen dish to make.

For the specifics of what I used, I used sherry, cremini mushrooms, whole wheat egg noodles, and I topped it with chiffonade-ed (does that make sense) Italian parsley EDIT 01/18/10: I also used cipollini onions instead of pearl onions. It wasn’t too difficult to make and it only took me a while because of prep. The mushroom bourguignon came out to be very tasty, though I think my ratio of pasta to sauce was rather high. I’m definitely going to have to make this again!



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