Showing posts from December, 2012

World Chocolate Expo

The World Chocolate Expo is sort of a misnomer.  Yes, there is a ton of chocolate glistening and waiting for your enjoyment.  But there are also many fascinating and diverse vendors selling all sorts of goods, perfect timing for the holidays and last-minute presents.  The Expo is similar to the New York City Chocolate Show, but the venue is more spacious (Lexington Armory) and wandering around is way more comfortable and interesting.

We wove up and down the rows meticulously, taking in all the vendors and their offerings.  First, we were greeted by flavored fudges.  I found it intriguing that they served their fudges in vats, not unlike ice cream or decorative gelato.  They had some beautiful and tasty fudge morsels that reminded me of my trip to Fudge Kitchen in Bath and in Oxford in the UK: they have beautiful logs of fudge with awesome flavors (rum raisin, orange, strawberry, etc.) and sell them in fat slices the size of your fist.  I was so tempted to buy some to bring home, but …

Growing Pains

When I was young, I thought I was invincible.  I could eat anything and at any quantity.  I thought I had an iron stomach.  I thought sugar didn't affect me.  I thought caffeine didn't affect me.  Mugs of coffee and tea at night?  Sure, every day!
What happened?!  Last night, I was reminded of my mortality when I had a big cup of coffee after dinner, around 8:00pm.  I was so excited to try out this new french press that Alex gave me, so I made a huge vat of coffee for me and my family.  It was a little more viscous and way stronger than my drip machine - albeit a little messier - and I loved it.  
And then when I went to bed, I had palpitations and tossed and turned.  UGH!!!
In college, I was known to cradle a large cup of coffee for hours until it got cold, usually sitting in the corner of my desk, keeping me company while I did homework.  It could be 11pm and I'd be sipping my coffee that I had purchased 12+ hours ago.  And then, after finishing my homework, I'd roll in…


If you're jonesing for some Middle Eastern food but can't make it to your usual market in Beirut or Damascus or something, we've found an amazing alternative, right here in my lovely borough of Brooklyn.  On Atlantic Avenue and Court Street, there is a delightful market called Sahadi's that could just save you a trip halfway around the world.
Sahadi's is branded as a Middle Eastern market, but I could probably happily shop there for most of the other food in my diet anyway. When you first walk in, there are plexiglas boxes upon boxes of goods that the very friendly and helpful staff will pack up for you in bags.  Spices, nuts, dried fruit, candy, grains, herbs,'s all a melange of different textures and colors and aromas.  Just behind this little fort, there is a salad bar arrangement of all types of olives, bobbing up and down in their brines -  the best one to put in a martini, olives stuffed with feta, olives stuffed with garlic. The feta and garli…

Holiday Markets

My heart flutters a little bit when I see the sea of red and white striped walls going up in Union Square around Thanksgiving.  They make a labyrinth that turns into the Union Square Holiday Market.  When you wander, thousands of other people are also converging on the same few booths so sometimes you get a little crowded, but I love exploring, shopping, and eating at this market and many others around the city in the winter.

Union Square has the most popular market and vendors vie for a booth.  On one trip, I discovered a tiny treasure at the market: La Sonrisa empanadas.  We were just strolling and I decided I wanted to grab one of these to snack on.  $3.50 and a few minutes later, I had in my hand a scorching fried empanada shaped like the namesake "smile" (sonrisa).  They fried it up to order on the spot, which I found remarkable for a stall that's probably 3 feet by 3 feet in dimension.  I settled on a type of empanada only after resorting to my new fav…