I have a boyfriend who is constantly away, leaving me alone for weeks and months at a time. It’s been the nature of things since we first met almost five years ago (eek!) and while I hate it, there is one occasional upside to it. Being alone, like I am right now while he’s in Italy again, means getting to call the shots on dinner every night. No questions about where the protein is or if I have a veggie to go with my main dish or if I used the butter that “tastes like chemicals.” (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter according to my butter connoisseur boyfriend.)
Ice cream: it’s what’s for dinner
It’s not that I eat like a pig every night (or else I’d become one of those tragic people who become fused to their couches and have to have walls removed in their homes to be taken out via crane) but every once in a while when the mood strikes, and because there’s no one to stop me, I say, ” You know what? I think I’ll have ice cream for dinner tonight. Nothing else. Just ice cream.”
Who says dessert can’t be dinner?
That was tonight’s train of thought, anyway. It was actually an attempt at being healthy though, that got me there. I had dropped by West Village health food market Health & Harmony in search of something to bring home when I wandered into the freezer section. And there I saw Laloo’s goat milk ice creams, in black mission fig, no less. As if the goat milk part wasn’t intriguing enough, I was totally sold when I saw figs involved.
So I bought it, took it home, dug a spoon into it and plopped down on the couch where I polished off the whole pint while watching the latest episode of Gossip Girl. Extra creamy and soft like a velvety frozen yogurt, with the subtle tang of goat’s milk and the jammy sweetness of juicy, ripe figs, it was a damn fine dinner if you ask me. And with an ocean between my boyfriend and me, there was no one to tell me otherwise.
Is it just me or does everyone have freakin’ baby fever these days? Good grief, babies are popping out everywhere! From friends, coworkers, old classmates, celebrities (Blue Ivy anyone? What what!), even on the damn PATH train! But not from this girl. Not with my fear of stretch marks, cracked nipples (oh, the horror) and screaming children with steaming diapers.
But recently, I did meet a love child I was excited about: the sweet love child between a cupcake and creme brulee. Yea, I know. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it, when two great things come together to make a really fantastic thing. That’s what happened at Molly’s Cupcakes in Greenwich Village, where I first had the creme brulee cupcake.
Oh baby! Creme brulee cupcake, yum.
Now, this particular cupcake isn’t a creme brulee flavored cupcake. It’s not a cupcake with a mound of icing that tastes like creme brulee. It’s an actual cross between the two sweet treats to make one new and improved super dessert.
Creamy custard core? Yes, please.
Instead of the usual plop of frosting on top (which I have to admit is usually my favorite part), this particular cupcake has the same sugary shell that creme brulee has, made from caramelized sugar, and with the same oh-so-satisfying snap when you crack it with a spoon. Underneath is a moist, buttery cake, much like a traditional cupcake, and to tie everything together a sweet core of creamy custard with the smooth silkiness of a creme brulee.
Now, that’s a bundle of joy.
I’m gonna come clean about something: I kind of really don’t like Little Italy. The spaghetti and meatballs (not Italian), the guidos (obnoxiously not Italian), the greasy haired waiters standing on the sidewalk trying to lure customers with “Ciao bella!” (Listen buddy, it didn’t work in Italy, it sure as hell isn’t working on grimey ass Mott Street.) All of it just bugs me.
But now that I’ve been to Parm, the Torrisi spinoff located smack dab in the middle of Little Italy on Mulberry Street, I’m willing to overlook everything I dislike about the neighborhood because here’s my next confession: I’m kind of obsessed with Parm.
The best calamari I've ever had
When I was in college, I had a serious love affair with Krispy Kreme, especially when their famous “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign was lit up. When I walked into Parm and noticed they have a similar sign, this one advertising calamari, I got that same giddy rush. The sign is modest though, because if it were up to me it would read, “THE BEST DAMN CALAMARI IN THE WORLD. HERE NOW.” Seriously, that good. Battered and fried to a perfect not-too-chewy or rubbery consistency, Parm’s calamari are soft and juicy with chunks of spicy fried peppers added in for an extra kick. And while it comes with the classic tangy marinara sauce, Parm’s also comes with a delicious Tabasco infused mayo. Continue reading
Maya end-of-the-world prophecies aside, I think 2012 is gonna be a good year. I have no idea what it might have in store for me, but if my first meal of 2012 is any indication, things are going to turn out just fine. They’re going to be delicious, in fact.
Bleary eyed, with a slight hangover and a serious case of bedhead, the beau and I ventured out of the apartment well into the afternoon for brunch at Minetta Tavern (which thankfully I had had the presence of mind to reserve in advance since this particular Keith McNally Greenwich Village bistro is one of those New York restaurants with a charmingly obnoxious way of being impossible to walk into without a reservation.)
Can't go wrong with a classic Bloody Mary