Review: Mac at the Little Cheese Pub

Oh, cheese. Delicious cheese! Next time you get a powerful craving, head over to the Little Cheese Pub on 23rd St. (run by Klee Brasserie chef-owner Daniel Angerer and his wife Lori Mason) for some mac & cheese, grilled cheese, or just plain cheese (assorted, on a platter). Of course, if you’d like some sausage, olives, nuts, or even a salad, they’ve got that too.

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Sweets on the Silver Screen: Romantics Anonymous

Food in film: when done right, it plays a supporting role just like any actor, fleshing out characters and rounding out the world in which they live.

Today I played hooky from my day job and saw Romantics Anonymous, a French movie playing as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. This utterly lovely, disarming romantic comedy, directed and co-written by Jean-Pierre Améris, centers on a love story between two painfully shy people, a pretty chocolatier (Isabelle Carré) and the owner of a nearly bankrupt chocolate factory (Benoît Poelvoorde). Their romance, though fraught with awkwardness, blossoms almost from the moment she takes a job at the factory. And of course, the one thing they truly love, that makes them really shine, is chocolate.

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Book Review: Sugar Baby

Oh, man. Just flipping through this book, with its pastel color scheme and delectable-sounding recipes, is enough to give you a mother of a sugar high. It’s not a baking book, exactly, although there are some baking recipes. Instead, it’s a cookbook about sugar. Recipes run the gamut from pastry cream, curds, and meringue to caramels, toffee, brittle, and even candy corn. You’ll also find marshmallows, gummies, nougat, and pulled taffy—in short, everything you’d find in the world’s best, most awesome candy store. PLUS, tarts, cakes, cookies, and more—so you can combine the techniques you learn elsewhere in the book into chic, polished-looking desserts.

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Recipe: Banana Bread–Better than Mom’s

… OK, so don’t tell my mom I said that. But it is better. It’s the recipe I grew up with (from a 1970s fundraising cookbook for the San Diego Old Globe Theater, of all things), with a few minor improvements: full-fat Greek yogurt in the batter, plus a little more flour than in the original to eliminate its tendency toward a soggy center. It’s a dense, moist loaf with a tight, buttery crumb. Obviously you can eat it hot from the oven, or at room temp, but I like it best cold.

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Sweet Science: Could You Be a Supertaster?

Did you know that when it comes to taste, not all tongues are created equal? While about half of us are normal, everyday “tasters,” about 25% percent of people are “supertastes.” Super-human gourmands with extraordinary powers of taste? Well, not exactly. Mostly, supertasters perceive bitter flavors, and sometimes sweet and spicy ones too, more strongly. This means many supertasters can’t stand the taste of kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and other bitter veggies, or strong drinks like coffee or beer; many also find sugary foods to be unpalatably sweet.

(And BTW, the other 25% are “nontasters.” Yes, they can still taste, but bitter foods don’t seem all that bad to them.)

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Review: Blossom du Jour

Okay, while I’m the desserts writer around these parts, I’m also the site’s resident vegetarian, so I thought I’d throw in a review of my new favorite lunch spot.

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This sandwich-and-salad shop is the newly opened little sister to upscale vegan eatery Blossom, and though more casual, the food is just as delicious and well excecuted, with enough variety to keep me coming back on a regular basis. Many of the options on the menu are vegan versions of familiar American classics, like the veggie bacon burger, “Filet No-Fish,” and even mac and cheese, but there are also plenty of lighter salads and wraps.

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Donut Plant Chelsea Now Open

All you people who need a morning sugar rush can now get it from the Donut Plant’s new outpost at the Hotel Chelsea. I walked by this morning around 9 and it was packed. I haven’t made it inside yet, but I’ll keep you posted when I do. In the meantime, dear readers, it’s up to you: If you stop by and have a donut (or four), let us know what you think.

Taste Test: The $20 Chocolate Bar

After reading this article, I just had to have it. Pure white cacao beans, called Nacional, thought to be extinct and rediscovered in Peru. The resulting chocolate intense and fruity, with a “remarkable” lack of bitterness. It’s like something out of a movie–a long-lost treasure found on a jungle adventure. Who could resist?

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Review: Three Tarts

This cheerful Chelsea shop specializes in cute. Their many desserts—including cookies, truffles, parfaits, and of course tarts—are tiny and beautifully crafted by pastry chefs Kiyomi Toda-Burke and Sandra Palmer. The assortment is varied enough to accommodate different tastes, but everything is unified by a singular precious style.

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Lemon-Ginger Trifle: When Life Gives you Lemons…

We all know things don’t always go the way you want them to, especially in the kitchen… And yet, life is full of kitchen miracles, too. Like this amazing lemon-ginger trifle, which began its life as a ruined ginger cake (David Lebovitz’s recipe on Epicurious; delicious, but I had some trouble getting it out of the pan in one piece).

 
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