Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pistachio Macaroons - Mike's Pastry, Boston

A few years ago, I discovered what may be the best cookie I'll ever eat.

Mike's Pastry is an extremely popular bakery in Boston's North End (the line runs out the door after dinner on the weekends). While they have great cannolis, impressive butter cookies, and beautiful marzipan items, their pistachio macaroons are a hidden gem.

Some may find them a little too sweet or too rich (two things I've never experienced), but these things are amazing. They are covered in powdered sugar, the outside is just barely crunchy, the inside is chewy, almond-infused, and spotted with pistachios. Next time you're grabbing a cannoli, make sure you pick up a few of these cookies as well.

Mike's Pastry on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 11, 2008

Late-Night Dinner

If you're like me, you'll frequently find yourself hungry around 10PM, ready for dinner, but lacking one key ingredient: motivation. After a busy day of doing whatever it is that you do, who wants to cook? Sure... you've heard of folks who write up a menu and go shopping on Sunday night for the whole week... but where's the challenge in that?

When I'm faced with this problem, here's my solution:

Step 1: Fry two eggs in a nonstick pan with Pam. I like to break the yolks and leave them just a touch runny. Meanwhile...

Step 2: Make some toast, or better yet, toast an english muffin. Slice the fried egg in half. Stick a butter knife under the center of the egg and fold it in half, yolk-side out. Put this on top of your toast or english muffin.

Step 3: Top with salsa. I happen to like Newman's Own Black Bean and Corn salsa (which I happen to NOT like on chips) for this purpose. Additionally, I add some jalapeƱo peppers. Eat it open-face style.

Do you have any ideas for the quick, late-night dinners?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pickles Rule ~ Olives Drool

I've gone ahead and said it, Pickles Rule. As far as my immature follow up comment, in 4 decades I have only met one olive that I have said "mmm, wow" over. Don't get me wrong, I highly respect Olive Lovers, anyone who can eat them in bulk gets a high rating in my book. But the title comment still stands.

I consider myself an amateur connoisseur of pickles... being raised in Central New Jersey, the land of bountiful diners and Eastern European immigrants, pickles are as common an accompaniment as a napkin or fork to a well balanced lunch. As a kid, I used to love getting a pickle out of the barrel at the Square Deli. Deli pickles are supreme - they have that amazing combination of girth and crunch.

I found this list of pickles from Wikipedia most fascinating... Types of Pickles: Gherkin, Kosher dill, Polish, Lime, Bread and Butter, and Swedish. I'm sure that everyone has their favorite "flavor" of pickle. Under the right circumstances, I won't turn down a gherkin or snub a bread and butter pickle. I think all pickles are created equal, although I'm more partial to the savory garlic variety. I MUST have relish on my hot dog (blog entry on hot dogs to come some time soon), but what really moves the brine-o-meter for me is the consistency of the pickle.

The crunchy refrigerated pickle is the bomb - everything from the snap of the bite to the full texture it has when you chew it. I have a fondness for 'fresh' pickles, ones that are just past being a cucumber with a strong hint of pickle - like a cute little baby, it's innocent and new. Nothing is worse than a bendy pickle, or one of those communal food service pickles - it's sacriledge to have taken the life of a cucumber for such a horrible end.

Share your favorite type of pickle here!