Monday, October 25, 2010

English Roast Potatoes

Growing up I always loved family dinners on Sundays. In my Granny's house there was always an abundance of food, a mix of Caribbean, English, and American. One of my favorite side dishes from Sunday "lunch" as Caribbean people say was English roast potatoes. My aunt used to prepare it and she always had me help her with the preparations. I'm not sure how my aunt came into making this recipe but it more than likely has something to do with her having family in England. Back to the good stuff...when they came out the oven,those little quarters of potatoes bronzed and glistening I couldn't help but sneak a couple before dinner..they were soooo yummy! Today I'm all grown up but still love making these little roasted gems and yes I still sneak a few as soon as they come out the oven.

* this recipe makes alot so cut down if you don't have a large amount to feed.

English Roast Potatoes
5lb bag of red potatoes, quartered and boil till fork tender
1 packet of onion soup mix
1/2 cup olive oil
black pepper to taste

- Heat oven at 400 degrees
- When your potatoes finish boiling, strain them and add into a large bowl
- Pour olive oil over potatoes along with soup mix and black pepper, toss
- Spread on sheet pan and baked until golden about 45 minutes

This is before it bakes

This is how it looks on a dinner plate

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yogi Skin Detox Tea

It finally that time year where blustery winds have began to blow and the air is much drier, all of this can take a toll on skin and leave it looking dull. I go through this problem every skin is typically oily but around this time it gets very thirsty for moisture and craves the sun to give it that bronzeish glow. I usually resort to sticking with my bronzing powder or a glitter cream to add a little sparkle to my skin tone. Around two weeks ago while walking through Whole Foods I went over to the tea section to see what they had on sale for the week and they actually had my favorite yogi brand of tea 2 for $7 so I bought four boxes and one of them was the skin detox. I am not one to believe that a tea can do much for ones appearance without a healthy diet and exercise regimen but this one made me a believer. I drank the tea as my main liquid along with plain water for about a week and a half and numerous people noted the change in my skins appearance.  Everyone asked if I just came back from the Caribbean or just noted that my skin was glowing. Amazon list the product description as:

"Our skin reflects our diet and lifestyle choices: it's the mirror to internal health. It's just as essential to cleanse from the inside; by reducing internal impurities, you can have clearer, glowing skin. Skin DeTox, a new cosmeceutical tea from Yogi, is specially blended to support a healthy skin care regimen. This special formula combines antioxidant-rich organic green tea, a popular ingredient in topical skin care products, with the time-honored detoxifying herbs used in our other detox teas, including yellow dock, burdock root and dandelion root. Oregon grape root, a powerful detoxifying herb used by herbalists for various skin conditions, helps give the skin a truly healthy boost. Includes fragrant rose petal and hibiscus, used in Ayurveda to cool and soothe the skin, entice the senses with a fresh, floral scent and lend a refreshing, intriguing flavor. Discover beauty from within in a deliciously cleansing brew of Skin DeTox!"
I definitely do not regret using this tea and I encourage you to try it as well..winter is coming and we could all use a little sun even if it comes in the form of a tea bag.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hudson Terrace Wine Tasting

Wine seems to be moving up with Americans as the drink of choice and I couldn't be happier. I am not a self professed wine snob but I do consider myself a oenophile. I wasn't always a wine drinker, but for my degree I am required to take at least one wine class. The intro wine class is what started my love affair with wine. For those who don't drink wine I must tell you that wine has its own culture, something that I find so intriguing. There is a proper way to drink which includes a specific glass, and if your a snob a certain way of holding your glass. Wine requires all your senses to truly enjoy. I loved wine so much  that I took the advance glass as well, and no I cannot name every wine region off the top of my head or the grape varieties but I just enjoyed the experience.  On to Hudson I finished my last wine class in the spring of this year but in an effort to keep up with wine culture I wanted to begin attending tastings. I didn't want to go to the tasting I saw on TV that looked like a room full of old snobby people sipping and spitting, but something more relaxed and fun. The answer to my problem came in the form of an email in May from The email was advertising $12 tickets for an informal tasting at Hudson Terrace, and from the details of the email and the reviews online it seemed like a hip, young, and trendy place to "get your wine on".  I bought three tickets so that I could take my sister and a friend with me. So your probably saying "you bought these tiks since June..why are you now writing about it????" Well...this summer just seemed to fly by and I couldn't get to Hudson Terrace until just before the tickets expired. A few weeks ago  my sister, my friend Simone, and myself made our way out to the wine tasting. The first thing I want to say is that you must go if you have a chance this place is beautiful. Hudson Terrace is a rooftop bar located on West 46th Street and Westside Highway. When I arrived there was no line so I walked right in and was greeted by the staff. There is a list with all reservations where your name has to be checked off to go into the wine tasting. After we checked in the girls and I made our way upstairs. Thankfully we were on the early side so I was able to fully scope the place before the crowd rolled in. I love the decor that makes it look like a rooftop getaway and the fact there is a separate bars for wine and for other beverages. Every wine tasting features six wines and you can choose what you want to drink so you are definitely not obligated to drink in a certain order or even drink every wine. The bartenders also give you a significant amount of wine to drink (no skimping here!) and best of all no spitting buckets! The music added to the great summer afternoon ambiance, the DJ played popular American dance music and the volume wasn't overbearing so that you couldn't talk to people. My only gripe is that there needs to be more unreserved seating. Most booths were reserved for people buying bottles that start at upwards of $300, and the remaining booths were taken early so most people had to have your eagle eye out for a place to sit. Other than the seating issue my company and I had a great time at the wine tasting and would love to attend another one.  If you are in NY it would be a great after work event to check out and and other discount sites usually have half price deals on tickets.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chocolate Surprise Shortbread Cookies

Since I could not think of anything more creative to name the cookies  will stick with chocolate surprise. This is a take on my favorite shortbread cookie, but with the alterations it comes in as a cross between a sugar cookie and butter cookie without all the extra ingredients such as eggs, baking soda, etc. The cookies came about from hours and endless calories of experimentation. These cookies are too yummy for words, they just melt in your mouth and the chocolate is truly a welcomed surprise and if your a coffee drinker I recommend that you sit down with a few and your favorite cup of espresso.

Chocolate Surprise Shortbread Cookies
1lb unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
4oz Ghirardelli semi sweet baking bar

1. Combine sugar and butter in mixer until fluffy, add in vanilla and beat for one more minute
2. add in flour and mix on medium low until combined.
3. Using a cookie scoop or your hand, scoop half of the dough you need for one cookie, add a piece of chocolate to the center then cover with some more dough to finish the cookie.
4. Continue shaping out all your cookies and lay them on a sheet pan to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
5. While the cookies are in the fridge preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare your baking pan. (if you have a large enough fridge you can lay you cookie balls to chill on the sheet you will bake it on)
6. After 15 minutes have passed remove your cookies from the fridge and bake in the oven until cookies are browned on the edges, about 15 minutes.
7. remove pan from oven but don't remove cookies right away, allow cookies to sit for about a minute to firm up and then remove with a spatula. 
8. Cool cookies on a rack and then move to cookie jar or container.