vegan pumpkin pancakes for one

Woke up craving chocolate chips…with a half-eaten can of pumpkin in the fridge….what’s a domestic goddess to do? Make chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes, duh.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pancakes for One (Vegan)

adapted from BitterSweet blog

Makes 4 small or 3 large pancakes

  • ½ c whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ c soymilk
  • 2 T pumpkin puree
  • 1 t oil
  1. Lightly grease a skillet and preheat over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together all dry ingredients in a bowl, and all the wet in another. Add the wet into the dry and stir just to combine.
  3. Ladle about ¼ cups of batter onto preheated skillet and cook for 2-3 min. or until bubbles form along the top and edges are firm. Flip and cook for another 2-3 min.
  4. Serve warm.

Notes:

  • This makes a rather large serving of pancakes and would be delicious shared as well J
  • They are so moist, fluffy, and chocolatey, you really don’t need syrup (or even chocolate chips…they’re great plain, although chocolate for breakfast is always a win in my book!)

vegan pumpkin pancakes for one, originally uploaded by monpetitchoufleur.

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what not to order: Nobu nyc edition

nobu nyc

On the flip side of last entry’s bargain find, here’s a tip for what not to do at the famed Nobu restaurant  chain if you’re a poor college student: order sushi.

Two rolls for $20 may not seem too steep, considering it is such a highly-appraised Japanese restaurant, but really, the portions were meager and the taste nothing special.

If you’re going aiming for $20 or under, there are several options on the cold and hot dishes menu (try the sashimi salad, if you’re craving raw fish, I sampled a friend’s, and it was delicious), although the portion sizes are really tailored for ordering more than one item.

Then again, if you’re aiming for $20 or under, why eat at Nobu?

Note: bad marks for the waiter who kept nagging us with a “Is that all you’re going to order?”…we’re college students, not investment bankers.

if you go (don’t order sushi!):

Nobu 57

40 West 57 Street

New York, NY 10019

phone 212.757.3000

Sura Thai Kitchen, nyc

sura thai kitchen, nyc

Three coffee drinks, 4 hours of sleep, 6 hours of testing and one giant sigh of relief later, finals week is finally over! (And on a more bittersweet note, so is freshman year of college. It’s hard to believe how life has changed since last May…so much has happened, and it’s definitely been tough at times, but I wouldn’t trade my experiences (or new friends!) for anything.)

Sleep, the beach, books, an internship in Soho (!), a nice clean kitchen, free time, old friends, new friends, family… yep, there’s a lot to look forward to. Here’s to summer!

Anyway, back to blogging…

sura thai kitchen, nyc

Thai food may well be one of my favorite cuisines. Savory, sweet, and spicy, fragrant with lemongrass, basil, and lime, it’s far from your boring meat-and-potatoes. Thankfully, New York City is full of Thai restaurants, and even better, many of them offer “lunch specials” for just $10 or less, great for college students on a budget.

Take, for example, Sura Thai Kitchen, a great little place with a modern flair between 100th and 101st street, just a few blocks down from Columbia. For just $8, you get to choose from one appetizer and one entrée from a generous list. Thai iced tea or Thai iced coffee will set you back only a dollar more (a great deal, considering it can cost around $3 a glass full price!).

For lunch today, I had the beautifully plated Virgin Summer Roll, filled with veggies and sprinkled with peanuts and a savory sauce, and the Thai Basil, Sunny Side up Egg entrée. It turned out to be a spicy stir-fry of peppers, onions, basil and tofu (you have a choice of meat or tofu, I went for the vegetarian) topped with a fried egg, and served with white rice. A great venture out from the usual Pad Thai (although C got that, and it was delicious too). The only complaint I had was that some pieces of tofu had a very slight soured taste, but only a true tofu-maniac would be able to detect it.

I may not be a Thai-food expert, just a fan, but the food was good and cheap, décor sleek, service prompt, and staff friendly. Worth a repeat in my book! (Plus, it got the approval from some friends from Bangkok.)

Sura Thai Urban Kitchen

www.surathaikitchen.com
2656 BROADWAY 100-101ST
NEW YORK, NY 10025
212.665.8888

NomBoxes Girl Scout Cupcakes Event!

Nomboxes2, originally uploaded by monpetitchoufleur.

Another poster, a bit more experience with freehand drawing, a lot less frustration.

Reese’s stuffed chocolate chip cookies

Reese's stuffed chocolate chip cookies

Mmm. Chocolate chip cookies, you may be thinking. A classic!
But what if I told you they looked like this:

Reese's stuffed chocolate chip cookies

inside? That’s right. These are no ordinary chocolate chip cookies…beneath their plain-jane exteriors lies a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup heart!

Need I say more? Let the recipe do the talking!

Reese’s Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from AllRecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag (I believe 12 oz? Should be 40 count) miniature Reese’s PB cups
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease baking sheet and unwrap PB cups.
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips.
  3. Wrap each PB cup with cookie dough, and place 2” apart on a greased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or cookies are lightly browned.
  5. Repeat until all dough is used (about 4 batches).

Notes:

  • Recipe is top-rated from AllRecipes.com. A very simple, easy-to-make, and delicious cookie. Bakes up evenly and fuss-free; a pretty cookie, bakery quality.
  • Truly surprise center—after baking, couldn’t tell those with Reese’s inside apart from those without!
  • Heavenly warm and soft. They do crisp up after cooling, but underbaking (10 min as original recipe stated, instead of 15) can fix that.
  • Can you really go wrong? And so easy too.

Reese's stuffed chocolate chip cookies

Mini pb cups all unwrapped and ready to go!

Reese's stuffed chocolate chip cookies

stuffing the cookies

Reese's stuffed chocolate chip cookies

reese’s all hidden!

Reese's stuffed chocolate chip cookies

fini!

red velvet whoopie pies

red velvet whoopie pies

When it comes to cooking, I’m definitely a believer in making things from scratch.
So my expectations for this recipe weren’t very high, considering it is based on boxed cake mix and canned frosting.
But after baking, I’m a believer–these whoopie pies are out-of this world–the cookies are crispy on the outside, crackly on top, moist and fudgy on the inside, so rich. Sandwiched with cream cheese frosting, they’re the ultimate indulgence. Move over, red velvet cake!

red velvet whoopie pies

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Adapted from Let’s Dish

Makes 8 very large cookie sandwiches, or about 20 medium ones

• 1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
• 2 large eggs
• ½ c canola oil
• 1 can cream cheese frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 2 cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil.
3. Roll heaping tablespoons (or teaspoons) of dough into balls and place 2” apart on cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 10 min (6-7 min for smaller size), or until tops are crackled.
5. Cool completely before sandwiching together with frosting.
6. Enjoy!

red velvet whoopie pies

P.S.: I’m all into portion control and such, but really, I recommend going all out and making the big ones. Bigger is better!

red velvet whoopie pies

Edited: The recipe is now linked to Lisa’s Sweet’s For a Saturday link party. Check it out!

Lulu Cake Boutique, Chelsea

Raspberry Rhapsody Cupcake, Lulu Cake Boutique

I’m a firm believer that the cupcake trend is not a trend. Sure, bacon cupcakes may be pushing it, but the good-old chocolate on vanilla has been a bake sale staple for decades and will likely continue to be, regardless of economic boom-and-bust, even when the craze for gourmet flavors dies down.

Anyway, a nice side effect of this recent cupcake revival is that NYC has literally become a cupcake Mecca, with bakeries in every borough claiming to make the best buttercream and tenderest vanilla. Unfortunately, as an avid cupcake baker (and a little bit of a snob) myself, I’ve found these claims mostly ungrounded; all too often, innocent little treats are replaced by gargantuan blobs of sugary frosting and coarse cake (i’m talking to you, Crumbs).

To me, cupcakes should be light yet satisfying; sweet, but not overly so, with just the right ratio of frosting-to-cake.
Fortunately, Lulu’s Cake Boutique fulfilled all my criteria, and then some.

Raspberry Rhapsody Cupcake, Lulu Cake Boutique

The Raspberry Rhapsody cupcake I ordered was absolutely delicious, perhaps the best cupcake I’ve had in Manhattan so far. The vanilla cake was moist and fine-textured, the raspberry buttercream smooth and light, and the lemon curd filling fresh and tangy. The frosting-filling-cake ratio was spot-on; and the cupcake itself the perfect size—a real cupcake size, like the kind you bake at home, no more, no less. At $2.75 the cupcakes may cost more than your homemade treats, but are on par with most prices in NYC, the same as a chocolate or vanilla Magnolia cupcake. But where Magnolia’s goes for that homemade feel, with the imperfections in the cake and rustic frosting adding to its appeal, these cupcakes are all class.

If you visit:

Lulu Cake Boutique, Chelsea

LULU CAKE BOUTIQUE • NEW YORK CITY
112 Eighth Avenue (between 15th and 16th Streets)
New York, New York 10011
212-242-5858
nyc@everythinglulu.com

P.S. : Lulu’s also makes a variety of “retro” treats, snack cakes like Ding-Dongs and Twinkies in homemade form. Can’t wait to try the Red Velvet (or curiously named Passionately Kissed) Twinkies next time!