Posts Tagged ‘travel’

six week muffins and a quick trip to the bay

April 20, 2010

This past week I booked a last minute ticket home to the Bay Area. While my visit wasn’t under the most ideal of circumstances, it turned out to be a great week. In addition to spending some quality time with the ‘rents, I got to celebrate with Katie for her 22nd birthday, watch Jill and the rest of Cal crew dominate Stanford and Wisconsin at the Lake Natoma invitational races in Sacramento and experience the infamous “Around the Clock” Happy Hour in Berkeley at the Bear’s Lair. My mom, who has perfected the art of taking a butter, cream and/or sugar-laden recipe and adjusting it to be more healthful and less caloric while still maintaining it’s flavor and integrity, shared with me an awesome muffin recipe that I will be very quickly adopting. (more…)

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we’re samissin’ you, amanda

February 19, 2010

Radio silence from 111 today, but here’s a sound bite and picture from Amanda Sperber:

Prize-Winning Samosa Pie goes International!  I made 2 in my flat in London for a dinner party using kale instead of spinach.  Fun Fact: did you know that in the UK they cut right to the chase and label vegetable shortening vegetable fat?

Dear Amanda, can we hire you as our London Correspondent? Love, 111.

Cafe Arzu Stuffs Me Knifeless With Manty And Lagman

February 10, 2010


Queens Boulevard stretched long and wide, its twelve lanes hemmed by convenience stores, Chinese restaurants, and combo law office/taxi driving schools. “Stop!” I cried. The tiny woman and her non-wheelie suitcase scrambled to the median after giving us a relieved finger. We kept going. And going. “So that’s Lefrak City,” my driver said, after a while. Later, “So that’s the circus mural from Annie Hall.” I kept waiting for “so that’s Cafe Arzu.”

Cafe Arzu
is a Bukharan/Uzbek/Uighur restaurant, and it was for the last ethnicity’s food that we were making this epic trek. My father has been the legal counsel for seven of the Guantanamo Uighurs since 2004, and every time he comes to New York, I tell him “there’s this Uighur restaurant we have to go to,” and every time it is too far from midtown. Last night the restaurant in question (Cafe Kashkar in Brighton Beach) was still too far, but Cafe Arzu, in Forest Hills, was not. (more…)

sequel, or, my titles will never be as catchy as claires’

February 4, 2010

This is the street where my Aunt Aurora lives (and my cousin Tina, and my Aunt Jean, three guard dogs, three newborn puppies, and a rabbit). The following post has nothing to do with food, but for anyone remotely interested in what I was up to the month I disappeared, this one’s for you! Welcome to Part II of my travel notes, aka Nicole’s Vacation Photo Dump. (more…)

jiaozi galore

February 3, 2010

Last year I spent five weeks in China living with a family in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, as part of a traveling semester abroad. I was studying public health, and while it was an incredible adventure, China rather was difficult on my stomach. Although American Chinese food bares only a slight resemblance to actual Chinese food, I haven’t had any since being back in the country. So, after almost a year, I felt compelled to spend an evening this week making the dumplings that I learned how to make from the family I lived with in China. Zoe had also spent some time last year in Hong Kong, so the two of us turned 111 Pacific into a dumpling-making factory for the night. This is what I love about dumplings:

1.) it’s an activity

2.) you can put almost anything in them

3.) you can make hundreds, freeze them, and have them for the next month if you so choose!

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(Red) Hook Me In With Cobblestones And Key Lime Pies

January 31, 2010


The spring of my sophomore year, Zoe, Dan, and I went to a party in Red Hook. A combination of social awkwardness and a fully, if eclectically, stocked bar lead me to remember very little other than the cab ride there, and the reason I remember that is it took forever. Red Hook, from then on, was relegated to Brooklyn’s dustiest corners, somewhere between Bay Ridge and Bergen Beach. It was only when I moved to Cobble Hill that I discovered it wasn’t–that in fact, it was right next door. A lucky discovery, as Red Hook is, in my mind, as perfect a neighborhood as you’ll find in Brooklyn, a charming mishmash of civil-war era brick factories adorned with neatly painted signs, sturdy, spare brownstones and cheerful clapboard row houses, deliberately whimsical cafes, and sweeping vistas leading down to the harbor. [UPDATED TO ADD: Apparently, Red Hook, not too long ago, was our nation’s crack capital. But so long as you don’t go too far down Columbia, you should be fine.]

Today, you’re going to go there, and you’re going with a mission: obtain one of Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies (you will see why later on). So, let’s hit the road, yes? (more…)

notes from the underbelly

January 27, 2010

Just five short days ago I arrived back at the apartment after spending the holidays in the Philippines with my family. It was the first time in over six years that I’d made the 20+ hour trip to the places where my parents, and most of my relatives, were born and raised. During this brief getaway I picked up on no short amount of knowledge on the country, its customs, and (most emphatically) its cuisine. My stomach spent a majority of the month in odd extremes of pleasure and discomfort. I was hell-bent on tasting everything in front of me but after week two there’s little joy left in being constantly full. I know, my life is hard.

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