Author Archives: Linda Roy

Favorite Food Quotes

Favorite Food QuotesI was going to go all alliterate on you and title this “Favorite Food Quotes for Fathers”, but two things occurred to me. First, food quotes are not just for fathers anymore. And second, that would pigeonhole this timeless little gem of a post as something seasonal and we don’t want that, do we? No, we don’t. We want to be able to refer to its wisdom time and time throughout the year as our whims dictate.

But Father’s Day is just around the corner, so I wanted to throw in the seasonal shout out. Yo, Dads out there! Fire up the grill and get your grill on.

Is it fair that Dads and guys in general get the grill stereotype thrown at them all the time? And what about us feministas? Can we not throw a little sizzle on that shizzle? If the Enjoli girl could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan back in the 1970’s, can’t we bring home a Porterhouse and throw it on the grill after marinating it in a nice balsamic glaze in glorious 2015?

Hells yeah, we can!

Okay, so back to the food quotes.

Whilst perusing my favorite time suck pastime of late, Pinterest, I found a bunch of inspirational and tantalizing quotes that I think speak volumes for us all in our communal love of food, and I wanted to share some of them with you.

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You can’t properly enjoy your meal if you’re distracted by life. I said that. 😉

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That’s how I cook too. I always liked that W.C. Fields.

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Also, try standing on one foot and eating a pizza. That works wonders for strengthening your core.

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It’s true. And I can say that because I just came from Burger King.

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Who are we to disagree with this logic?

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Or this?

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Oh Julia, we love you so…

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So much that you get two quotes and the last word. Because cake.

And this is a bakery blog, after all.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there and happy eating from Alecia Bakery NYC!

Favorite Food Quotes - Alecia Bakery NYC Blog

Patrón Cafe Dark Chocolate Orange Coffee-tini Cocktail

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Photo by Linda Roy 

Chocolate. Coffee. Tequila. In a pretty bottle. Patrón’s XO Cafe Dark is my favorite libation at the moment. Of the Patrón line of tequilas it is also one of the most affordable.

Chocolate and coffee both pair well with orange, so I decided on Triple Sec. It’s not too sweet, just a nice hint of orange.

ingredients

2 oz Patron Cafe Dark Cocoa
1 oz Triple Sec
3 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
to make

  • Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.
  • Pour into a cocktail glass filled with ice and squeeze some fresh orange juice into glass.
  • Garnish with orange peel.

It tastes like a decadent fruit-filled dark chocolate from a box of Godivas!

Fond and Not So Fond Memories of Dining Out on Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is notoriously the worst day of the year to dine out, and yet, most of us know we’ll end up doing it anyway. Mom deserves a night off, right? In many cases, it’s dear old Dad at the helm, or grill, as it were. But 9 times out of 10, he’s going to opt for something a little fancier and easier on him as well. After all, he’s worked his tail off all week; he deserves a break too!

I’ve been a mother for 15 years now, and I remember my first Mother’s Day fondly. My father-in-Law treated me and my sister-in-law and our families to a cook-out at his house. It didn’t matter that the burgers were the standard hockey puck variety or that my sister-in-law admonished my child at the dinner table right in front of us. When my father-in-law presented us both with matching T-shirts from Sears, that didn’t matter either. It was the thought that counted, and being pampered for a day, told to just sit, relax and enjoy the glass of wine that accompanied my crunchy entree was enough.

The following year, when my decision to enjoy a quiet day with my little nuclear family clashed with my husband’s plan to take my father-in-law out for Indian food erupted into World War III, sure I pouted, but I also remembered what a nice first Mother’s Day I was given the previous year, and so I relented. All was forgiven over Chicken Korma and Mango Lassi’s at our favorite Indian eatery.

What followed were both planned (by me) and impromptu Mother’s Day celebrations, all memorable in one way or another. There was the year we decided to wing-it and head to the Cape May zoo with no dinner plans whatsoever. That was the time I found myself at an Arby’s with a beef and cheddar in one hand and a red carnation in the other, courtesy of the roast beef empire, of course.

Another year we ended up at Pizzeria Uno for a second red carnation, a divine deep dish, a glass of wine for me, and a headache for my husband, as we wrangled our kids through a day they’d rather be spending in front of video games. The celebration aimed at all things motherhood was kind of lost on them.

Still another year, we took a long Sunday drive to New Hope for some antiquing and a fight over stale pizza on an over-crowded day in what is becoming one of the most overrun quaint towns on the East Coast. What were we thinking? That’s easy – we weren’t.

As we travelled further and further outside the confines of handprint-laden pottery and “I Love You Mommy” homemade cards and into “Why do we have to go out to dinner” territory, the husband decided it might be a good idea to go out without the kids. That was the year I walked into a Macaroni Grill with a heavy heart and an empty stomach, only to experience some of the most bizarre customer service known to man, juxtaposed with funky atmosphere, while being seated at a table directly adjacent to a guy dressed in a wife beater, black knee socks, a gold chain that would make Flavor Flav blush and his wife, sporting a luminescent, yet transparent mu-mu and bedroom scuffs. Hey, this is Jersey. Whaddya’s want?

I couldn’t believe I was spending Mother’s Day without my kids. Not even two bottles of wine and molten lava cake ala mode could console me. Still, my husband had good intentions. If his wish to give me a celebratory dinner unencumbered by complaint and overpriced, uneaten mac and cheese went mostly awry, at least I know his heart was in the right place.

There was the hungover Mother’s Day following a fabulous soireê at a friend’s New York loft, where my family met me that sunny Sunday morning for a walk through Central Park and overpriced deli sandwiches, and my favorite Mother’s Day to date; the one spent at the art museum, followed by dinner at an out of the way Mom & Pop Italian restaurant in the village called Rocco’s. The waiters wore tuxes and spread a table cloth out under my then, 4 year old son to catch stray pasta. They treated him like a prince and me like a Queen. Afterwards, we strolled through Washington Square Park and stopped by the fountain to watch a troupe of fire-eating sword swallowers do their thing. Now that’s my kind of Mother’s Day. Offbeat, unexpected, totally unpredictable and delightfully twisted. Because while I appreciate life’s finer things, I’m also offbeat, totally unpredictable and slightly twisted myself.

I’m no precious snowflake.

This Mother’s Day, I don’t know what’s in store. I have no plans, nor do I have any particular inklings, food wise or otherwise. I might just spend the day out in the garden drinking margaritas or taking a nap in the hammock. The one thing I do know is that thoughtful handmade gifts from my children are to be cherished, meals and time spent together is memorable, and the joy of motherhood is a treasure.

And no two Mother’s Days are the same. Kind of like mothers. And snowflakes.

Here’s wishing you and your Mothers a Happy Mother’s Day too!

Homemade Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread That’s Even Better Than Nutella

chocolate hazelnut spreadPhoto by Symic / CC BY

Yesterday over lunch, Alecia Bakery NYC’s fearless leader, Lin, mentioned that chocolate-hazelnut spread (also lovingly known as Nutella) can be made at home.

And that it tastes even better.

My head practically exploded. For some inexplicable reason, I never considered making it at home, nor did I fathom the possible reality of something that could taste even more heavenly than jarred stuff procured from a grocery store shelf.

Of course it makes total sense. With the exception of homemade Indian food (and that is strictly the opinion of my high-maintenance children who prefer pricey take-out), there is little in the epicurean universe that doesn’t taste better when made at home.

So naturally, I had to immediately google the recipe, because a) Nutella is expense, yo. b) I want the better tasting stuff, duh c) This would make a most excellent gift, all packaged up beautifully in a small mason jar. (Think Mother’s Day)

After researching a number of recipes, the best, most wholesome recipe, in my humble choco-hazelnut loving opinion, is this one from Epicurious. There were others involving sweetened, condensed milk, for instance, but I like that this one involves just six wholesome ingredients that for the most part, are readily available in your fridge and pantry right now.

Also, the recipe is simple, with the exception of the skinning of the hazelnuts. So I highly recommend seeking out skinned hazelnuts if at all possible. Use a food processor to get a smooth consistency.

Why not whip up a batch for the family, and for Mom? This recipe makes enough for four 8 oz. mason jars. That’s enough to also score points with your Mother-in-Law! With the addition of a pretty bow and a vintage-looking tag, it makes a delicious, Pinterest worthy gift.

ingredients 

2 heaping cups (about 10 oz) skinned hazelnuts

1/4 cup sugar

1 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup (1 stick) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

to make 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread hazelnuts out on a rimmed baking sheet or ovenproof skillet. Roast, shaking sheet once for even toasting, until deep brown, 13-15 minutes. Let cool completely. (If nuts have skins, rub them with a kitchen towel to remove.)

Grind hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor until a smooth, buttery paste forms, about 1 minute.

Place chocolate in a medium size metal bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water, stirring often until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan and add butter, whisking until completely smooth and incorporated. Whisk in cream, salt, then hazelnut paste.

Pour into jars and allow to cool.

The spread can be made up to 4 weeks in advance and chilled. To soften, let stand for at least 4 hours. It will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days.

 

Peep-a-Palooza! 12 Peep Facts

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Photo by Island Capture / CC BY

1. Peeps once had wings.

2. They were once made by hand and took over 20 hours to make – with a pastry tube!

3. Over 5 million peeps are made every day.

4. Yellow is the original color.

5. They now come in red, white, orange, red, blue, lavender pink, chocolate, green and something that looks like tan.

6. Yankee Candle makes a peep scent.

7. They will explode in the microwave if you leave them in too long…which is more than 10 seconds.

8. The eyes are made of non-toxic edible wax.

9. 1.5 billion peeps are eaten each Spring.

10. each peep is 32 calories with 0 fat grams – all sugar, baby!

11. There are over 200 peeps fan sites.

12. Peeps and Company is an online store that sells all things Peeps of course! Lots of fun peep-a-phernalia! Check them out here.

Featured photo by Josh Kenzer / CC BY

Chocolate & Stout Ice Cream for St. Patrick’s Day

Untitled designIt’s St. Patrick’s Day and that means green beer, corned beef & cabbage and lots and lots of bag pipes. But what if you’re in the mood for something a little different this year? Are you a fan of stout? I am! I love my Guinness, and years ago, I had the most amazing Guinness ice cream served with pretzels at one of my favorite restaurants, Chef Michael Symon’s Lola. Below is a version I came across in a fantastic book of new and traditional Irish recipes called The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook. Give it a try and let me know what you think! I think you’ll like it. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

5 1/2 oz semisweet dark chocolate (at least 88% cacao content) broken into small pieces

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups stout

1 cup heavy cream

grated chocolate for garnish

 

to make 

Pour the milk into a saucepan. Add the sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate.

Pour the egg yolks into a heatproof bowl and beat for 5 minutes, or entitle beaters leave a faint trail when lifted from the mixture. Stir some of the warm chocolate mixture into the egg yolks, then gradually beat in the rest.

Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently boiling water. Stir continuously for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches a temperature of 185 F, or is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be careful not to let it boil.

Strain the mixture through a fine strainer into a pitcher. Stir in the vanilla extract. Sit the bottom of the pitcher in iced water until cold, then cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Pour stout into a saucepan an bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer briskly for 8 minutes, until reduced to 1 cup. Pour into a pitcher, let cool, then chill in the refrigerator.

Stir the cream and chilled stout into the chocolate mixture, mixing well. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Churn and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Churn and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a shallow freeze proof container with plastic wrap and freeze for about 2 hours, until beginning to harden around the edges. Beat until smooth to get rid of any ice crystals. Freeze again, repeat the process twice, then freeze until completely firm.

Move the ice cream to the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving to soften and serve in chilled dishes topped with grated chocolate.

Pretzels make an excellent salty accompaniment to the sweet chocolate!

Makes about 3 1/2 cups