Monthly Archives: March 2012

My Not So Strange Addition

Hi, I am the Bite-Sized Blonde and I am addicted to Crack. Well, I’m addicted to Crack Pie, which just so happens to get its name from the addiction it is sure to bring on.  If you are not intrigued, you should be.  Crack Pie is what can only be referred to as the ingenious love child of Christina Tosi, the unbelievably talented and deliciously inclined Pastry Chef at Momofuku Milk Bar.  So, back to the crack.  This is the pie that all pies aspire to be.  The crust is unlike any you have tried before, it is crunchy enough to balance out the gooey center but it maintains an element of chewiness that will pleasantly surprise your textural taste buds.  This crust won’t fall apart either – so say goodbye to your pie anxiety – which will forever be known as anxpiety, because you don’t have to worry about a messy pie, which I think we can all agree is a major buzz kill.

Not only does this pie come equipped with the most serious crust in town, it is filled with pure heaven.  The filling is made of butter, cream and sugar and resembles the inside of a pecan pie, minus the pecans.  It is sweet and creamy with a subtle hint of saltiness that will have you screaming.  Think Harry met Sally, but less acting.

As if the pie wasn’t reason enough to visit Momofuku Milk Bar, they make some of the best cookies in Manhattan.  Take it from a Cookie Connoisseur.  The cookies are out of this world.  I have three favorites; I know you aren’t surprised I couldn’t pick just one.  The Corn Cookie is totally unexpected, but that’s not what makes it so good.  It’s the perfect combination of a corn muffin and a sugar cookie.  It’s light and airy but oh so substantial, and needless to say, it’s chew-chew-chewy.  This cookie might be unexpected, but after one bite, you won’t have any idea why.

Another unexpectedly awesome cookie is the Cornflake Marshmallow Cookie.  The cornflakes add an unanticipated element of crunchiness to the cookie and the marshmallows melt into the cookie batter so beautifully.  The cookie is flecked with chocolate chips to round out the flavors.  This cookie is unparalleled, even up against the Compost Cookie.

The Compost Cookie, which is trademarked obviously, is an addictive combination of all things delicious, including coffee beans and chocolate chips, and lots of butter and sugar.  Of course, if cookies aren’t your thing – well, you should go see a doctor.  But, in the meantime you can still enjoy some of Christina Tosi’s delicacies, including Cereal Milk Ice Cream and Cake Truffles.

Christina Tosi is the Queen of Chewy.  Chewy pies, chewy cookies.  Chew Chew!! All Aboard.  First stop Chewy-Ville, next stop…well probably rehab? Someone is going to have to pry that Crack Pie right out of my hands.

Momofuku Milk Bar
milk bar east village
251 E 13th St.
New York, NY

milk bar midtown
15 W 56th St.
New York, NY

milk bar upper west side
561 Columbus Ave.
New York, NY

milk bar brooklyn
382 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY

Spring Cleaning

So, it’s the first day of Spring.  What are you thinking? If you are anything like this Bite-Sized Blonde there are two simple words that come to mind….Spring and Cleaning.  Sure, Spring Cleaning might not sound exciting, but then again, you’ve never spent Spring with me before.

If it’s time to clean, then it’s time to take out the trash.  And you know what they say about trash…One man’s trash, well, it just might be delicious.  White chocolate trash is one of those irresistible snacks; it’s like confetti with different flavors and textures.  Smooth white chocolate, mixed with crunchy nuts, salty pretzels and sweet cereal create a snack that will have you warming up to the idea taking out of trash more often.  White trash is truly the epitome of junk food; but if this is trash, then I’m okay with my tummy being a garbage can.

White Chocolate Trash

Ingredients
1 ½ cups of Peanut Butter Cheerios
1 ½ cup of Rice Chex Cereal
½ cup of unsalted peanuts
1 ¼ cups of salted mini pretzels
1 12 ounce bag of white chocolate chips

Directions
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Then, measure out all of your dry ingredients and mix together in a large bowl.  Add the chocolate chips to a separate, microwave safe bowl.  Place the microwave and cook for two minutes, removing the bowl every thirty seconds to stir.  Once the chips are about halfway melted remove from the microwave and stir until fully melted.  This will help the chocolate maintain its sheen.   Once the chocolate is fully melted, add the cereal mixture and toss. Coat evenly.  Spoon the mixture onto the baking tray and place in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.  Remove the tray from the refrigerator and break the trash into small to medium size pieces. Serve and Enjoy!

A Side that Won’t Hurt Your Sides

Faux is not a word I generally include in my vocabulary.  Let’s be real, this Bite-Sized Blonde keeps it real, and that’s the way I like my fur and my food.  Faux-fur…more like faux-pas.  But there is one faux that is definitely more friend than foe and that’s faux fat.  Faux fat – as defined by the Bite-Sized dictionary is a term used to describe something luscious but low-cal; also see deceivingly distending.

I’ve been known to throw caution my waistline to the wind and eat what I want when I want.  You only live once to me really just means you eat what you want.  See here, here and here.

But sometimes, as luck will have it, some of the most dynamic recipes end up being figure friendly and seriously kind to your behind.  Case in point, Banging Brussels sprouts.  Brussels sprouts are trendy these days, probably because they are hearty and filling but light and leafy, not to mention de-li-cious.  The short, but impactful, recipe below is approachable and totally unexpected, and what you’re left with is a dish that is familiar but extraordinary.

Apple cider vinegar is an underrated ingredient.  It adds an element of tanginess that will keep your taste buds on their toes.   The crème fraiche and mustard mixture adds an element of creaminess that screams fat; but it’s faux! One tablespoon of crème fraiche is about 55 calories. Mixed with 1 tablespoon of mustard, only 30 calories, this dish is low cal – high taste that is sure to impress.

Banging Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients
16 ounces of Brussels Sprouts
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbs. Crème Fraiche
1 tbs . Grained Dijon Mustard
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Wash the Brussels Sprouts. Some of them might have a long stem, so trim the sprouts that do. Make sure not to cut the stem off entirely, or the sprout will fall apart! Cut the Brussels Sprouts in half. And place in a plastic Ziploc bag with the apple cider vinegar and let sit for approximately 10 minutes. Place the Brussels Sprouts on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt. Place in the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until they look well done. They should be dark brown and crispy. When they are completely cooked, remove from the oven. In a medium bowl, combine the crème fraiche and Dijon mustard and mix well. Add the Brussels Sprouts to the mixture and toss. Coat the Brussels Sprouts well.  Serve, enjoy, grab a fork and let the guilt be gone!

Rolling in the Deep

I was uber excited to hear about Sushi Shop opening.  This sleek and modern French import planted itself onto Madison Avenue a few short weeks ago.   Well known throughout France, this fast food sushi chain boasts over 90 stores in Europe.  With an extensive menu accompanied by mouthwatering glamour shots of fresh fish, this place had me more than intrigued; it had me anxiously awaiting its opening.  So, with high expectations, and an empty stomach, I made my first, and last, trip to Sushi Shop.

Let’s see, how can I explain the disappointment that is Sushi Shop? I got it.  Have you ever gotten a gift, wrapped so beautifully, that you were expecting something spectacular, and I mean really freaking awesome?  But, then when you opened it, you realized it was just kind of average, like an ill-fitting cotton t-shirt.  Well, that’s kind of like what Sushi Shop was for me.  A present wrapped so beautifully I was expecting magic.   Those damn glamour shots.

It wasn’t my high expectations that had me disappointed though.  Even if I hadn’t read about this place weeks ago, studied the menu intensively, and drooled over the pictures, I would have been less than thrilled with lunch.  The sushi was average at best.  I sampled much of the menu, from the pre-packaged platters to the a la carte pieces.   Yes, I did just say pre-packaged sushi.  But it’s more complicated than you think.  During the day, Sushi Shop is a self-serve restaurant.  Okay, okay, the more I think about it, I’m beginning to question my original excitement too.  You can choose from pre-packaged platters, supposedly made moments before you arrive or you can order a la carte, which is made on the spot and brought to your table.  The good thing about the pre-packaged platters:  they come with sides and you get your food immediately.  The bad thing: they totally lose their appeal of fresh sushi.  It might be the freshest sushi in the world, but put it in a paper box with wasabi in ketchup packets, and you lose me too.

One of the rolls I was most excited for was the Foie Gras; I know, I know, another obvious lapse in judgment.  The foie gross was rolled in preserves, then seaweed and rice, and then nuts for crunch.  It was exactly what I would imagine the love child of peanut butter and jelly and sushi to taste like, minus the love.  Not only were the flavors were in disagreeable contrast, the pieces were too large.  Halfway through one piece I almost lost my lunch.  If you decide to ignore this warning and try the foie gras sushi, do not, and I repeat, do not, use the soy sauce.  Seriously, don’t.

The a la carte pieces made a better impression.  The spicy scallop roll was petite.  And sure it was good.  But was it great? No, no it was not.

I also order the TNT roll, which was a combination of tuna, cucumbers and other tired sushi ingredients.  Another average roll.    Last, and definitely least of the a la carte sushi, was the tuna on crispy rice.  If you have ever eaten this dish at a good restaurant, like Nobu or Koi, you know that the rice is supposed to be warm and actually crunchy, as opposed to room temperature and slightly tough.

The side dish was noteworthy, I guess.  Carrot, orange and cilantro salad.  Yes, this is as boring as it sounds.  Oh the poor person who had to peel all those damn carrots.  Note to self – never serve carrot salad.

The entire experience wasn’t a bust though.  The service was truly fantastic.  From the faux-hostess who greets you upon arrival to the bussers, each and every person wants you to enjoy your experience dining at the Sushi Shop, and you feel that.  Unfortunately, service isn’t enough to impress this Bite-Sized Blonde.

And so another one bites the dust…

Sushi Shop
536 Madison Avenue
New York, NY