Key lime jonesing

It’s not often that I wish I was in Florida. Usually I’m perfectly happy being far from it. But yesterday, on my lunch break at work, as soon as I walked out into the blaring sunshine and high temperatures of what felt like a preview of another New York summer, I found myself wishing I was in Florida. In Key West to be exact. In a hammock in the shade, somewhere near the water, with a fat wedge of key lime pie to be even more exact.

mermaid

Big Gay Ice Cream’s Mermaid Sundae. Hellooooo, summer.

I love Key West and its laid back, mellow vibe, hippy residents, and kitschy charm,  but more than anything else about it, I love the city’s most famous desert, my favorite Florida treat, key lime pie. Since boarding a plane to the Sunshine State wasn’t an option, I got my fix at Big Gay Ice Cream in the West Village instead, where I ordered the Mermaid Sundae.

A heaping cup of creamy vanilla soft serve, thick swirls of bright yellow key lime curd, crushed graham crackers, and velvety swirls of  fluffy whipped cream were exactly what I needed to take the edge off a hot afternoon. Sure, there was no hammock, no ocean, and certainly no laid back vacation mode, but that perfect combination of sweet, tangy, and tart flavors, and the creamy, smooth and crumbly crust  textures of Big Gay Ice Cream’s salute to the key lime pie was all I really needed. Everything else I just closed my eyes and imagined was there.

Advertisements

I’m a Puddin’ person

I don’t know what it is about pudding— maybe it’s the smooth creaminess, the variety of flavors, the way it takes me back to childhood and packed lunches—I don’t know, I just love it. Always have and always will. At the ripe old age of 27, I still buy Snack Packs and Jell-O pudding cups. (There’s Jello-O creme brulee rice pudding in my fridge, as we speak.)

Chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and butterscotch pudding. A classic is a classic for a reason.

A few months ago when I heard about Puddin’, an East Village shop specializing in— yup, you guessed it—  pudding, my inner child and inner fat kid high-fived each other, and then we all made plans to go.

The way it works at Puddin’ is you can get  simple cups of pudding in all the classic flavors, including chocolate, vanilla and  butterscotch among others, or you can add toppings into the mix (sweet add-ins like salted caramel sauce, candied nuts, or red velvet cake to name a few), OR if you’re like me and you get semi-overwhelmed in the face of so many tasty choices, you can opt for one of Clio’s signature parfaits. (Clio, in case you were wondering,  is the brains behind this whole Puddin’ operation. I kind of want to be her friend.)

The Banana Cream Dream: the stuff dreams are made of. (Or is that just mine?)

My boyfriend, like a lot of adults, I suspect, only feels lukewarm about pudding. Sure, he’ll eat it if it’s there, but he won’t go out of his way for it. So I dragged him anyway.  Playing it safe, he ordered the classic parfait with layers of thick, cool chocolate and creamy butterscotch pudding alternating between fluffy layers of whipped cream. I, with my ever raging sweet tooth, ordered the banana cream dream, which with its layers of real banana pudding, soft chunks of banana bread, crunchy graham cracker crust crumbles, and airy whipped cream, was absolutely every bit as dreamily delicious as its name implies.

So I guess, really, I do know why I love pudding so much.  Cause plain and simple, it’s awesome. And if you need a reminder of that, a visit to Clio’s Puddin’ is the perfect place to start.

Puddin' by Clio on Urbanspoon

S’mores alla coconut

It had been years since I last had actual s’mores. Probably not since the time I went camping with friends in college, and did nothing but sit in a tailgate chair inhaling copious amounts of lighter fluid-fed campfire smoke and eat all sorts of junk food. I can’t even remember the last time I made them at home. Probably some time in my childhood.

But when I saw an in-store display for marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate and graham crackers, I knew I had to revisit the old camp classic. What really sold me on the s’mores idea though, was the kind of marshmallows on display. Instead of the plain ol’ white kind, these were covered in toasted coconut.  Sold.

The ingredients

Continue reading