Cupcakes Capone

Misadventures in Cooking, Dining & Exploration

Monday, April 18, 2011

Crab and Corn Chowder

Chowder... I think of grey, damp New England days and wellingtons in rain puddles. Not until I moved North did I really have a grasp on what chowder was or is supposed to be. It's a stew, typically containing seafood, that's thickened with cream.

Although it started out a lovely day in NYC, by the time we left the post office mailing ridiculous amounts of money to the government, it felt cold, damp and in desperate need of some chowder.

This recipe is from Rachel Ray's Comfort Food. It was so simple.. some sautéed celery, bell pepper, bacon and onions. Season with a little old bay. Add 3 cups heavy cream, 2 cups chicken stock. Once simmering, add hash browns, crab and corn.

I made some cheddar corn muffins to crumble up in it.

Woe begone taxes!!! More chowder to warm the soul.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sleep with the fishes...

It has come to my attention that Cupcakes Malone is caught up in some deadly cupcakery. Soon she could be busted by Steakhouse Sal and Muffins Luciano. So from this day forward, she will be known as.... drum roll please....

Cupcakes Capone!

They'll never catch me now ;)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Grandma's always here

Warm, ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven can heal scraped knees, turn a frown upside down and immediately transport you to your grandma's kitchen, no matter where you are in your life.

I was feeling very under the weather today and was in need of a warm hug. I opened the pantry and there it was.... like a little golden bag of sunshine: Tollhouse chocolate chips.

Many may quibble over the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I think Tollhouse has it pretty down pat. You can get all fancy with imported chocolate, various types of sugars, and of course, nuts or not to nuts. In my opinion, some things are best left just as is... Simple. Warm. Comforting.

In less than 15 min, sheer happiness is at my fingertips... I'm 7 years old, sitting at my grandmother's house with a plateful of cookies and I'm watching the Smurfs. All is right in the world.

Love you Grandmother

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Oh la la! Chocolate eclairs

There's always a dish that intimidates a cook, regardless of how seasoned they are in the kitchen. For me, I fear pork loins, homemade bread and certain pastries, particularly eclairs.

Eclairs are the epitome of a pastry: puffy dough, creamy filing and a decadent chocolate glaze to finish it off. I see them in the bakery and marvel at how pretty, and surely complicated they are to make .... Wrong!!!

The magic behind this classic dessert starts in the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. Any witch, wizard or muggle can whip this sweet delight up in less than an hour. And even more amazing? The dough, pate choux, is the same to make cream puffs and profiteroles! So master this dessert and really you've learned three :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stoup: chicken and chorizo

What is stoup? Part stew, part soup = stoup. For women that like a dainty soup, but men craving meat and potatoes ... Make a stoup.

I chose a chicken & chorizo stoup, recipe compliments of Rachel Ray's Comfort Foods cookbook (btw I still haven't found a throw away recipe yet). This stoup has chunks of sautéed chicken, zingy chorizo, onions, red pepper, roasted tomatoes, kidney beans and red potatoes - told ya it was a meat and potatoes dish - floating in a salty, yet simple broth.

Once simmered to perfection, ladle into a soup crock, top with crushed tortilla chips and pepper jack cheese, then place in broiler until cheese is melted. Garnish with a little cilantro or a dollop of sour cream.

Such a nice departure from Campbell's soup ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sweet & Salty takes the Cake

Yes, a post has been long overdue, but I'm going to make up for it in two words:


I thought I was just the weird kid in the lunch room cafeteria that liked dipping Ruffles potato chips in her Jello puddin' cup, sausage in peanut butter and stuffing handfuls of Sno Caps and movie popcorn in her mouth! This action would normally garner odd stares and occasional pointing. Come to find out, I was just satisfying my craving for something a little Salty, Sweet. 

I thought I had died and gone to heaven, when I came across a recipe in Food & Wine: Best of the Best Cookbook (from my entry, So Many Cookbooks!for a Sweet and Salty Cake. We paired it off with a scoop of Dulce de Leche Ice Cream drizzled with the salted Caramel Sauce.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Shake, a Steak and a Cake...

Having lived in New York City several years now, I am often asked by friends, family, random visitors, "Do ya have any recommendations for food?" I find that I always list off the same places time and again, which makes me think.... Don't I eat anywhere else? The answer is yes, but only the very best stick with me. New Yorkers are loyal to their dining establishments and have a lot of pride in being able to recommend a truly great restaurant. Because in the end, it's our reputation at... steak. 

So here is my top recommendation for a perfect day of gut-busting, palate tingling New York fare at it's best... and pretty, darn affordable

LUNCH: Shake Shack
Whether you're in Madison Square Park checking out the Flat Iron building or up at the American Museum of Natural History hanging out with some dinosaur bones, you will no doubt notice the infamous line for Shake Shack.

Known for it's legendary burger, the ShackBurger, is 100% black angus beef  that is ground daily, cooked to medium and served up between lettuce, tomato, American cheese and a buttery potato roll. If you dare, dig into some salty crinkle cut fries (smothered in cheese for me) and wash it down with their famous frozen custard.

DINNER: Schiller's Liqour Bar

Oh Schiller's, how can I count the ways I LOVE THEE!!! Located in the trendy Lower East Side, this French brasserie has the BEST steak frites! Note: I have been to Paris and eaten steak frites at the "home" of steak frites... and it still doesn't compare. Don't feel adventurous and get chicken or salmon, get the damned steak frites! For those of you who are confused.... it's is a succulent sirloin steak grilled to perfection served with frites, a heap of salty, shoe-string french fries. Here is where you do get to choose: your steak is served with your choice of a Bearnaise sauce, herbed butter or Au Poivre (a sinfully rich peppercorn and red wine reduction). 

As for the rest of the menu, the calamari is a tasty appetizer with a fiery dipping sauce, while the Mac and Cheese is loaded with creamy cheeses and thick-cut bacon. The wine menu is no fuss and to the point: Cheap, Decent and Good. I like the way they think... Excellent steak frites, great wine, cool decor, great prices and quintessentially New York... eat here... I do all the time. 

DESSERT: Junior's Cheesecake 

New York cheesecake. Tourists flock to the city to eat it. Needless to say there are A LOT of crap, knock-offs. If you're near Times Square, you'll probably notice a handful of people carrying orange and white striped bags that say Junior's. This is the home of the "MOST FABULOUS CHEESECAKE" and is THE NY CHEESECAKE!
Ask just about anyone in the city and you'll get the same answer.

Now there are some ground rules... order the Original. I know that Strawberry-topped or Raspberry swirl sound fun, but if you are going for the true taste of NY Cheesecake... get the Original. It's light, fluffy, but creamy at the same time.... it's not going to come close to any other cheesecake you've eaten. Originating in Brooklyn, Junior's has been in business for over 60 years and it all started with the Original. Personally, I am not a fan of cheesecake, except for Junior's. So much so, that I actually had in flown down South for one of the desserts at my wedding.... and you know a Southern gal is NOT gonna have at her wedding unless it's truly the best.

And that's my perfect dine for a day in NYC. But hey! What about breakfast? you ask. Hit up just about any dinner in NYC and they got breakfast covered... eggs, bacon, home fries, omelettes, waffles, french toast and the best cup of "crappy" coffee you'll ever have. So, bon appetit!