December 30, 2010

Sabrina's (again)

Man I must be on some sort of brunch obsession right now (the 3rd post out of 5 to be about brunch?) Seriously, I promise to mix it up after this. But then again, is there anyone who doesn't like brunch?

After a night of much discussion and card playing with some old Parli alums, (all of whom I was lucky enough to finally meet!)  I woke up craving the bacony/egg combo (yet again). My friend having never visited the Philadelphia must of Sabrina's decided that that would be the place we would go. Conveniently enough, I also had my car so we hauled ourselves out of bed over to the original Sabrina's location on 9th and Christian (which I must say is so much more well decorated than the other location on 18th and Callowhill, the place that I visited the fist time). All of the brunch specials were adorably named for the winter holiday season and they were absolutely delicious (so delicious that it might be even better than Rx).

Unfortunately, these pictures came out rather out of focus (i blame my hunger and impatience to eat), but it is probably  because I still need  more practice with my new single focus lens. Luckily, the food looked so good that I don't think its too much of an issue :)

So the brunch specials we had aren't up on the website and I can't remember the festive names of all of them but I do remember that this one had cranberries, gingerbread cookie topping, ricotta cheese, a bunch of nutmeg...needless to say it was GOOD.

Originally, my friend wanted to order a burger (I know, crazy), and then the table behind us ordered this. He took one look at it, looked at the waiter and said "I want that".  Dunno what it was called but it was some sort of chicken cutlet sandwich and it came with paremsan fries (yum).

Ok this one is super out of focus (sorry!). Egg white frittata with turkey bacon.

And this one was mine! Egg sandwich with turkey bacon, arugula, red onions, mozzarella cheese and tomato mayo. And I am not ashamed to say I devoured it all.

30 minutes until the last day of the year! I will try and get in one more post tomorrow before the New Years (!!)

December 29, 2010

RX Part Deux

The last time I went to RX, I ordered the basic eggs brunch and it was the best brunch I ever ate (oh yes even better than that french toast stuff). Ever since that brunch I have been meaning to recreate it (and secretly dreaming of it when I can't have it).... crunchy, toasty bread (not that icky white stuff), golden potatoes, big salty and bacon and eggs cooked to perfection with a runny yolk.  Enjoy :)

Making the potatoes: cut into little cubes, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper & cayenne pepper, bake in an oven for ~20 minutes and then broil on low for another 5.

My friend went with the sandwich route..meh...

I think this looks much more brunch-y.

December 28, 2010


I started reading eat, love, pray the other day which means I've been thinking about Italy nonstop since, especially Italian food...well mostly gelato and pizza because that's what she talks about...  but also just Italy in general or anywhere that's warm and has an abundance of of foreign boys and delicious eats. Anyways, since I am still stuck here in Pennsylvania where there's all this white stuff on the ground, I decided to make biscotti. Not really the same but we do what we can. A quick lesson on biscotti: they came from the Italian city of Prato, is always traditionally made with almonds, and the word is actually plural version for the word biscotto (so don't be adding any s's to your biscotti).

But first a quick update! As promised, ice cream sandwiches!

Ook. on to the Biscotti.
adapted from Smitten Kitchen's almond biscotti. yields ~ 2 dozen (her recipe here)

3 cups of flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tbsp orange liqueur
1 tbsp orange zest
1 cup of chopped almonds

mix melted butter, sugar, eggs, orange zest and orange liquor 
sift dry ingredients: flour, salt & baking powder and add by batches to wet ingredients. 

mix mix mix until dough forms.
Form into 13" x 5" x .5" logs (length, width and thickness). Bake in oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and cool for 25 minute
Cut into 1 inch wide slices, flip over on its side, and bake for another 12 minutes.

The first time I saw someone make biscotti was Giada on the Food Network, and she dipped hers into white naturally, I had to dip my biscotti into chocolate too.

And because chocolate wasn't enough (and I had chopped nuts left over), I also added in nuts. 
Unfortunately I started running out of chocolate, I drizzled the rest over the remaining half. 

Happy Eating!

December 25, 2010

Memories on Christmas

A few brief snapshots of Christmas and other randoms. A memory box gift for my father. A doll from my grandmother from many Christmases ago. A corsage from prom.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and that hoping that everyone has the opportunity to spend some time with loved ones and friends.

Can you say chocolate?

My dad went to Aldi the other day and bought an entire box of chocolate. Not like a gift box box, no like those cardboard boxes you get from Costco that used to hold apples or oranges. Big boxes. Needless to say, it was a lot of chocolate which meant a lot of baking involving a lot of chocolate.

 First up: chocolate frenchness.

Alrighty recipe time. Problem is I don't what to call this, it looks like a brownie but it is cake or some version of it. My friend gave me the recipe and he called it fondant but it's not icing. Apparently fondant is french for something but it doesn't mean cake :/ Sooo I googled it and still nothing, which leads me to believe I'm either crazy or just spelling it wrong. Regardless, it is delicious and it is the richest thing I have ever eaten in my life.

- 2 bars (~4 oz each) of dark chocolate
- 4 eggs separated
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup of butter ( 1 stick)
- 1/8 cup of flour

Melt the chocolate and butter on low heat. Take off the stove to cool.

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. [alright funny store time. the first time I made this with my friend, I separated the eggs too fast and the yolk fell into the eggs whites. Even though I made a a very diligent attempt to scoop out the yolks, it wasn't enough and the egg whites wouldn't whip up even after 10 minutes. mini fail.]
Mix the yolks, sugar and flour into the chocolate mixture and then fold in the egg whites.

Pour into a buttered pan. Everyone I know uses Pam but there's something about a zero-calorie butter spray that kind of freaks me out so I stick with good old butter. Thanks for the influences Paula Deen.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to pull away from the pan.
Next up truffles. And that means another story. Ever since I was 12, I always made truffles for my dad for Christmas because 1) he the hardest person to shop for since he detests sports 2) making truffles doesn't deplete my bank account and 3) it is the one tried and tested dessert that I konw my dad will eat.

The firs time I made them, it was the most difficult cooking adventured I had ever attempted. Mostly because the cookbook made it seem like dipping ganache into melted chocolate was the easiest thing in the world. wrong. the chocolate kept melting the ganache and I wound up with a big pile of chocolate goo. After a few tries  I finally learned how to actually melt chocolate properly, how to get the right ganache consistency and how to dip them into chocolate. Except then I got lazy and started dipping them into coco powder. heh.

Crushed walnuts, shaved dark chocolate and coco powder.

Mad the ganache with tempered chocolate and hot cream. (pouring hot cream over chocolate thereby melting the chocolate). I think I used 1 bar of chocolate with 1/2 cup of cream.

Chilled the ganache in the fridge for about 1 hour

Scooped out the chilled ganache and rolled into balls. Unfortunately, we don't have one of those fancy scoopers so I used a tablespoon and my hands.

Dipped into the dippings and voila!
Into the tissue paper they go.

I wanted to make some with a green tea filing but I left the macha powder at school. harumph.
Alrighty last recipe. Good old chocolate chip cookies. I was all baked out but my friend still wanted to make cookies and she had never made anything from scratch (!!!). So I made her made these while I gave directions. Used a simple recipe from smitten kitchen and they turned out prettyy yummy (find the recipe here).

Only problem is my parents don't eat cookies and I still have a dozen and a half of cookies sitting in the cookie jar. My solution? ice cream cookie sandwiches. tasty and they last! But I will have to wait until tomorrow to make the sandwiches since all of the stores are closed today.

Some extra large cookies for a not so large cookie sheet :p
And the last (but I think best) part. Took some more foodie pictures the next day with all of the desserts. We have this sun room that's all windows which is just amazing because it is just loads and loads of natural sunlight (even when its yucky and cold out). So whenever I have any food pictures to take and its still daylight out, I take all of the food over, plop it on a chair and snap away.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday break! And thank you to my amazing pledge sisters for all the holiday wishes :)