Tag Archives: Friday Favorites

A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of Sorts

A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsIf you follow me on Instagram, you know what today is (mostly because I won’t shut up about it!). I’m headed to Maine, y’all! We are packed into a station wagon and headed north with big plans to do as little as possible.

After living in NYC for almost twelve years, I love getting out of town, but I know plenty of you can’t wait to visit this incredible city. Today, I’ve made a list of my favorite places in NYC (mostly Manhattan and Brooklyn), just in case you ever wanted to know what I love about this place and what we’d do if you came to visit me.A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of Sorts

Museums & Popular Attractions

A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsCooper Hewitt (Upper East Side)
Inside a beautiful old mansion on Fifth Avenue is this incredible museum dedicated to innovative design & sustainability. Nearly everything there is interactive in some way, and all of it can be “bookmarked” for further investigation by renting a special electronic pen at the front desk. I’d try to explain it, but I’m not that smart.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Upper East Side)
A NYC classic! Go for the permanent collection, or to see Camp before it closes. I’ve also been to the Met Breuer, which is located in the Whitney’s old space. Definitely worth a look.

The Frick Collection (Upper East Side)
Go for the art, go for the stunning mansion it’s housed in.

American Museum of Natural History (Upper West Side)
Another must-see! My beloved Hall of Gems & Minerals is closed, but there are dinosaur bones, a whale, a planetarium, and plenty more things to see.

The Brooklyn Museum (Crown Heights, Brooklyn)
This one is definitely worth the trip across the bridge! This is a beautiful building in a stunning Brooklyn setting, and has recently hosted exhibitions on David Bowie, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Kehinde Wiley.A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of Sorts

One World Observatory (Financial District)
I don’t usually recommend paying a bunch of money to take an elevator, but the 360 view and the knowledge of the staff are well worth the cost of admission.

Beaches & Waterside Communities

A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsA New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsA New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsRed Hook Waterfront (Brooklyn)
Red Hook is probably my favorite neighborhood in Brooklyn. This waterside community has cute shops, excellent restaurants (looking at you, Hometown Barbecue), and an incredible waterfront park. It also happens to be home to the best grocery store in Brooklyn, if not all of NYC. This neighborhood is not convenient to the subway; it’s accessible only by bus, car or ferry (or your own two feet), but it’s worth the minimal effort. I took my parents down there for a lobster roll and an ice cream cone a few weeks ago (more on those below), and I think they’d agree that it’s worth the trip.

Coney Island (Brooklyn)
This neighborhood is home to the famous Luna Park theme park, beach and boardwalk. My favorite thing to do down there is to catch a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game.A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsA New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of Sorts

The Rockaways (Queens)
I’ll admit that I’m not much of a city beach person, but I finally made it out to The Rockaways earlier this summer to see what all the hype is about. I ate an arepa, walked the boardwalk, and got my toes in the surf—no complaints. I highly recommend taking public transit (subway or ferry) to get out there. Don’t drive—parking is a nightmare.

Restaurants

Sole Di Capri (TriBeCa)
This small Italian restaurant is one of my favorites in all of NYC. They have a regular menu, but their specials are plentiful and change constantly. I’ve never has anything that was less than spectacular. My only real recommendation is to get whatever salad has the house-made mozzarella on it. So, so good.

Hot Kitchen (East Village)
My friend, David, introduced me to this Sichuan restaurant and it’s seriously fantastic. Get the cumin lamb!A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsA New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsKatz’s Delicatessen and Russ & Daughters (both East Village)
These institutions don’t need my endorsement, but I’m just here to confirm that getting a Katz’s 1/2 pastrami sandwich + matzo ball soup and following it up with a Russ & Daughters raspberry hamantaschen is always a good idea.

Momosan (Midtown)
This is Masaharu Morimoto’s ramen bar. I went with my best friend, Emily, a few weeks ago and we both loved it! Get the tsukemen and the Peking duck tacos.

The Plaza Food Hall (Central Park South)
This is a high-end food court located immediately below the Plaza Hotel. There are many options and all of them are fantastic. Plus, you get to say fancy things like “I’m going to lunch at the Plaza.”

Capizzi (Theatre District/Times Square)
This pizzeria is located just below Times Square near Port Authority. If I am going to the theatre with company, this is almost always my pick. The pizza is good, as is the service, and I’ve never had a problem getting a table.

5 Napkin Burger (Restaurant Row/Times Square + 2 more)
Another theatre district favorite! This is a great place to get a burger, fries, a sundae, or all three (!) before or after a show. Their onion rings are truly something to behold.

Bar Tabac (Boerum Hill, Brooklyn)
French food in an adorable setting in a neighborhood that I lived in for seven years. Their lone drawback is that they only take cash and AmEx.A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of Sorts
Red Hook Lobster Pound (Red Hook, Brooklyn)
After you go check out the waterfront, stop for a lobster roll and a Maine Root root beer. The crispy brussels sprouts are great too.A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of Sorts
Ample Hills Creamery (Multiple Locations)
A super cute & creative local ice cream chain.

Broadway ShowsA New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsI’ve gone to a lot of Broadway shows this year and it has been a ball! You don’t need me to tell you to see Hamilton (but like, it lives up to the hype) or The Book of Mormon (also great—saw it twice), and you certainly didn’t ask for my theatre recs, but this is my blog and you’re getting them anyway.

Shows I *love* that are currently running: Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, Waitress, Dear Evan Hansen, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Shows I like that are currently running: Come From Away, Beetlejuice, Beautiful, The Lion King.

Shows on my list to see soon: Hadestown, Oklahoma!, The Prom (closes August 11th), Moulin Rouge.

How I get Reasonable Tickets
TodayTix is my go-to for tickets. They have Broadway, Off-Broadway, and specialty shows (looking at you, Golden Girls Live!) all at reasonable prices. Highly recommend!

For the really pricey shows (Hamilton, Hadestown, To Kill a Mockingbird) I like to use GameTime, which is an active marketplace. Prices drop as showtimes get nearer—still regretting not taking a pair of $61 front mezzanine tickets to Hadestown the week after the Tonys. Don’t be like me!

If you’re still at a loss, some shows have standing room tickets ($25-$40) available at the box office. Be prepared to stand for 2-3 hours.

Baseball
A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsI love baseball and try to make at least one game a year (ideally when the Texas Rangers play the New York Yankees). I use GameTime to get crazy reasonable seats—seriously love that app.

Favorite Stores

These are the places where I spend my money.

Specialty FoodA New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of Sorts
Zabar’s (Upper West Side)
A NYC institution! Go for the coffee and the babka, or grab a few things at the deli counter and go picnic in nearby Riverside Park.

Sahadi’s (Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn)
This Brooklyn favorite is where I buy all my coffee beans, dried fruit, and cheese. Everything is shockingly reasonable, the staff is sweet, and they make the best hummus, period. I also used to work as a cashier here, and can say that the Sahadi family treats all their employees with the utmost respect. Love that.

Vintage & AntiquesA New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsA New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsPippin Vintage (Chelsea)
My favorite store in NYC. Great vintage and antique clothes, furniture, and jewelry (fine and costume), all at reasonable prices. I’ve never brought anyone there who didn’t totally fall in love with it. If nothing else, go to see the store itself, which is a small house set back from the street. It’s only accessible through a hall of antique mirrors!

Yesterday’s News (Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn)
The best vintage and antiques in Brooklyn. I bought my dresser here, as well as countless unique gifts for all my favorite people.

Used Bookstores

Alabaster Bookshop (Union Square)
A hidden gem around the corner from the famous Strand Bookstore.

Mercer Street Books & Records (NoHo)
A great bookstore around the corner from the Angelika. It makes for a wonderful start or end to a movie date.

Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books (Greenwich Village)
A left-wing community bookstore with grouchy staff that I love.

Random Free (& Cheap) Things

NYC is full of free things to do. Here is a list of ideas, just off the top of my head:
A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsGo to the Brooklyn Flea. It costs nothing to browse.

Picnic in any park.A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of Sorts
A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsWalk the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and/or the Brooklyn Bridge.

Explore Green-Wood Cemetery. Seriously.
A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsGet some soft-serve from a Mister Softee truck.

The Union Square Greenmarket is a great place to spend some time (even if you don’t end up buying anything).A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsGo to the Balloon Saloon.

Tour Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace.
A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsGo take pictures at the Oculus.

Check out the reading room at the central branch of the New York Public Library.

Go take a look at Grand Central Station.
A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsWalk into open churches.A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsTake advantage of summer street fairs.A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of SortsAs you can see, there is literally no excuse to be bored here. That’s why I have to go to Maine.A New Yorker’s NYC Favorites: A Travel Guide of Sorts

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Friday Favorites: Doughnuts

It’s National Doughnut Day! If you’ve been around here a while, you know I love doughnuts, especially the homemade variety. You won’t find any baked doughnuts in my archives because when I want a doughnut, I want it to be fried until golden and dipped in a drippy glaze. Baked doughnuts are just muffins in disguise, am I right?!

If you’re intimidated by the idea of frying doughnuts at home, know that there’s nothing to fear! As with all the recipes on this site, if you read carefully and work one step at a time, you’ll be rewarded with doughnuts that rival anything you can get at your local shop!

These are some of my favorite doughnut recipes on this site 🙂 Look out for a new one coming your way next week!

Friday Favorites: Doughnuts

Overnight Yeast-Raised Doughnuts

The secret to my favorite yeast-raised doughnuts—if there is one—is that the dough is made twelve or so hours before it’s time to make the doughnuts. This allows for good gluten formation and leads to a more flavorful final product. An overnight rise also means that you can have fresh doughnuts earlier rather than later. These doughnuts are soft with slightly crispy edges, and the chocolate dip and sprinkles make them totally Insta-worthy 🍩🍩🍩

Friday Favorites: Doughnuts

Glazed Doughnut Twists

Twists were one of my favorites growing up! They’re made with my Overnight Yeast-Raised Doughnut dough, but instead of being punched into rings, it’s sliced into strips and twisted up before frying. The doughnuts are finished off with a dip in a classic sugar glaze that shatters when you bite in—a perfect contrast to their fluffy interiors.

Friday Favorites: Doughnuts

Blueberry Doughnuts

These are my take on a doughnut shop staple, but they’re made with real blueberries instead of whatever sketchy goop commercial Blueberry Doughnuts are studded with. These cake doughnuts are raised with baking powder and come together very quickly in comparison to their yeast-raised counterparts. That means you can have fresh doughnuts in less than a couple of hours! Oh, and you can have these anytime of year because they work best with frozen blueberries! Thank me in February 🙂

Friday Favorites: Doughnuts

Funfetti Cake Doughnuts

Funfetti Cake Doughnuts are made with the same base recipe as my Blueberry Doughnuts, but the fruit is swapped for sprinkles inside and out 😍

Friday Favorites: Doughnuts

French Crullers

French Crullers are neither yeast-raised nor cake doughnuts—in fact, they’re made completely without leaveners! Instead, they’re made with pate a choux (pronounced “pat a shoe,” the same dough used for cream puffs) which relies on eggs and trapped steam to create airy centers. The classic French dough may sound scary (or maybe it’s the ridgy piped rings), but as with all the recipes on this list, this Cruller recipe is simpler than it looks!Friday Favorites: DoughnutsHave you made these or any of my other doughnuts? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Friday Favorites: Easter

Easter is just a couple of weeks away! I’ve got some festive new recipes coming up next week, but if you’re looking to plan ahead, why not try one of these treats from the archives?Friday Favorites: Easter
Hot Cross Buns

These are technically a Good Friday treat, but this blog has no feelings about liturgical specificity, okay? Okay. No matter when you choose to partake in Hot Cross Buns over the Easter weekend, you’re sure to love these spiced, iced, raisin-studded buns 💗 Friday Favorites: Easter
Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake is the queen of Easter desserts! Mine is made extra flavorful with the addition of dark brown sugar, along with the usual raisins, pecans, and spices. A thick coat of extra-fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and classic piped carrots are the literal and figurative icing on the cake!Friday Favorites: Easter
Carrot Cake Blondies

All that said, not everyone loves the idea of making a layer cake over a busy holiday weekend. If that sounds like you, bake up a batch of Carrot Cake Blondies instead! They’re simple to make and have all the classic carrot cake flavor you love.Friday Favorites: Easter
Funfetti Petit Fours

Carrot Cake is great and all, but my family’s traditional Easter dessert is a big box of petit fours (miniature cakes covered with a thin layer of poured fondant) eaten late on Saturday night. I tried my hand at these confections last Easter, adding a fistful of rainbow sprinkles in the process, and I couldn’t be happier with the cheerful, delicious results.Friday Favorites: Easter
Easter Egg Hunt Cake

If you’re looking for a showstopping finish to your Easter lunch, look no further! Easter Egg Hunt Cake is a towering, coconut-covered vanilla cake that’s filled to the brim with your favorite colorful Easter egg candy. How cute is that?!Friday Favorites: EasterHave you made these or any of my other Easter recipes? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight Meals

Hey there! I hope you’ve been enjoying my annual post-holidays savory food content. While I love baking desserts and am ready to get back to it, I thoroughly enjoy changing it up for a month every year. I still have one more savory recipe coming your way this month, but it’s more Super Bowl-centric than balanced, nutritious, and delicious.

Before we start talking about cheesy dips and chili and guacamole and brownies though, I want to take a minute to acknowledge some of my favorite cold weather weeknight meals from the archives. After four Januaries (Januarys?) as a blogger, I have a lot of them. For this post, I’ve narrowed the list down to the five that I make most frequently. Three of them are soup—depending if you are a #soupseason person or not, I’ll either say “you’re welcome” or owe you an apology…in the form of a big cookie.Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsSopa de Pollo

My iPad keeps autocorrecting “sopa” to “soap” de pollo, which sounds very gross. But this soup is the exact opposite of that—it’s delicious and nourishing with a decidedly Mexican flavor. Oh, and it’s dead easy; the prep takes all of ten minutes. Just put a bunch of vegetables, herbs, bone-in chicken and stock on to boil. Forty minutes later, remove the chicken, shred it, and return it to the pot. And um, well, that’s literally it. Easiest chicken soup ever.Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsEveryday Cassoulet

This might be my favorite weeknight meal on this site. I’ve been making it for eight years and it always hits the spot. I mean, who doesn’t like sausages baked with tomatoes, pearl onions, and white beans?! Like Sopa de Pollo, this meal takes one hour start-to-finish and most of it is hands-off. Everyday Cassoulet is hearty without being heavy, and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. While it’s perfect for any weeknight, I’ve made this recipe for multiple dinner parties to rave reviews. Love that versatility!Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsSausage, Kale & White Bean Soup

If you love the flavors in Everyday Cassoulet, this soup is for you! In this one-hour recipe, Italian sausage, white beans, mirepoix (fancy French word for the combination of carrot, onion, and celery), and kale are simmered together in a tomato broth. This is the kind of good & good-for-you comfort food that I love, especially when it’s paired with cheesy Parmesan & Black Pepper Biscuits!Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsRoasted Cauliflower Soup

I am the sort of person that generally doesn’t care for cream soups or savory dairy-based things (except for this), but this Roasted Cauliflower Soup is so good, it may well change my tune. Made by roasting cauliflower florets until golden and then puréeing them with aromatics, butter, stock and half-and-half, this vegetarian soup is one of my favorites to make and eat. I’m not alone in this—I make it at work at least once every two weeks and it always disappears quickly.Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsPasta Bolognese

Now, you may not think of bolognese sauce as a weeknight meal because it takes a while to prepare, but if you simmer a pot on the weekend and then chill it, you can get at least two family-of-four-sized meals out of it. If spending three hours making sauce sounds daunting, just know that most of it is spent letting the sauce bubble away. When all is said and done, the final product is rich, delicious, meaty magic that will have you wondering why you didn’t make a double batch! I like to keep this stuff in the freezer for when the big-bowl-of-pasta mood strikes. And while I have not yet tried it, I imagine this sauce would make killer lasagna.Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsHave you made these or any of my other weeknight meals? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Friday Favorites: Pie

I have a few questions for you.

  1. Have you watched Salt Fat Acid Heat yet? If not, get on it. Samin Nosrat is a freaking queen—a great chef, a delight to watch, and a woman who eats unapologetically and asks for seconds. If you are into food and feminism (and I hope you are!), you’re going to love this show.
  2. Do you love or hate Chris Kimball? I’ve been listening to the Milk Street podcast all week and I can’t decide how I feel about him. I mean, it’s not going to keep me from watching his show or making his recipes. He seems a little too…let’s say persnickety…these days.
  3. Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu yet? The big day is only 27 days away! I’ve got a few new recipes coming your way (appetizers and sides included!), but aside from the turkey, we all know pie is the most important part 🙂 Here are a few holiday favorites from my archives to get you inspired before the biggest food holiday of the year.Friday Favorites: Pie

Cream Cheese Pie Dough

I started making this Cream Cheese Pie Dough in the spring of 2015 and haven’t looked back since. It’s made with two cold fats, cream cheese and butter, and has a little buttermilk for tenderness. This combination makes for an extra flaky crust—I’ve had friends compare this crust to having a pie wrapped in croissant dough. YUM.Friday Favorites: Pie
Pumpkin Pie

It’s just not Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie! My spin on this warmly-spiced classic involves folding whipped egg whites into the usual pumpkin custard. The resulting pie is lighter than most, but every bit as delicious.Friday Favorites: Pie
Chocolate Buttermilk Pie

If you are into soft, rich, dense chocolate things (and who isn’t?!), this is the pie for you. It’s super easy to put together and bakes up like a dream, and it’s so damn chocolaty it’s ridiculous. Put this one on the menu for sure. And vanilla ice cream. You’re going to want vanilla ice cream.Friday Favorites: Pie
Silky Smooth Sweet Potato Pie

This is a pie I didn’t know I wanted. I’ve always been pretty strict about only eating sweet potatoes in savory applications, but I am here to tell you that I was wrong. So, so wrong.

This pie, made with fresh sweet potatoes and just a hint of spice, is a new favorite of mine. I can’t wait to make it again this year.Friday Favorites: Pie
Black Bottom Pear & Almond Pie

This is one of my very favorite recipes on this site 🙂 Made by layering poached pears and homemade almond pastry cream over a puddle of dark chocolate ganache (AKA a “black bottom”), it’s absolutely delicious. This pie takes a little more work than the others on this list, but it is a guaranteed Thanksgiving Day showstopper.

Have you made any of these or any of my other Thanksgiving recipes? Let me know in the comments or on social media! And don’t forget to check back for a few new pies before November 22nd 🙂
Friday Favorites: Pie