July 2014 archive

Last Night A Doughnut Saved My Life

Growing up, I was conditioned to think doughnuts were a rare treat, almost a reward for the laziness of my parents when they didn’t want to find a better breakfast on the road option. My mom and dad grew up on Winchells Doughnuts from Culver City strip malls, which may be the way less popular West Coast version of Dunkin, which also sucks. This was of course back when they would spell them donuts, because they were an appropriate price of $1.50 and tasted like dense cake nastiness with crusty pink frosting. We’d go to this spot “Wendys’” that had the apostrophe all wrong like that on Venice Boulevard and I would always kindly decline.

This changed now that I am in Brooklyn one day when a fancy doughnut caught my eye. I wish I had never met said doughnut, because nothing has been the same, the frequency in which I eat doughnuts is something I will not put a number on, but ya…..

My new obsession was born from three different establishments, Dough, Dun-Well, and Doughnutplant. If you aren’t a doughnut fan, the right decision would be to not try these because they will change your mind, or just go for it like I did.

Dough

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This Bed-Stuy bakery stocks local coffee shops around town, and conveniently, that includes Dillingers next to my house, and Brooklyn Roasting Company next to my work.

Faves:

1. Cafe au Lait (this one is perfect, it has a coffee icing and sort of coffee cake crumbles on top)

2. Dulce de Leche (somehow perfect level of sweet, has almond shaving toppings)

3. Cinnamon Sugar (can also take #1 spot when you are wanting something ~lighter~)

Least Faves:

1. Hibiscus (was so pissed off I didn’t like this sickeningly sweet beautiful pink treat)

2. Passion Fruit (again, these fruit flavors suck)

3. Mocha (this one is just too much for me, the chocolate frosting is too much)

Dun-Well

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Faves:

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly (YAAAAAAAS)

2. Pistachio (not overly sweet, topped with real pistachio bits)

Was Less Obsessed With:

1. Sweet Butter & Rosemary (maybe I need to try this again)

2. Regular Glazed (when did we become so basic)

3. Blueberry (sensing a fruit hatred here which is weird)

Doughnut Plant

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I haven’t had a bad experience here yet

1. Peanut butter Banana Filled (wow this is perfect and somehow not super sweet, has peanut pieces on top)

2. Peanut butter Jelly (again, same sweetness as the favorite sandwich, but amazing texture)

3. Creme Brûlée (apparently they invented this, enough said, though pricey for a small one)

4. Pistachio (another small one, but great)

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Me yesterday, using a meeting in LES as an excuse to get Doughnut Plant (pictured: peanut butter banana)

 

Pulled Chicken Tacos Topped with Chili Mango

I love tacos. Be it roach coach or some bougie Korean fusion, I could eat them everyday, and do pretty frequently. Maybe it’s because I’m from LA, or love spicy things. Everyone in NY is all about their pizza, but I would give up pizza for tacos in a second. I betrayed my taco loving ways for a bit in favor of the much denser burrito in San Francisco, but I’m back. I’ve always struggled to make the tacos I cook at home as tasty as the ones I’d buy out, the meat just never tasted as flavorful and just tasted like

I finally have (yes I said it) perfected tacos from home. Below I will teach you my ways.

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Incredibly graphic close up taken 1 second before inhaling these 

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Watermelon Mint Cooler – The Perfect Summer Drink

In the last year, I’ve gotten really picky about booze. I’m at the point where I’d rather just sip water than drink a well vodka soda at a bar just because I want something in my hand (this took YEARS). Aside from having 90% less hangovers, this has lead to me experimenting with cocktail recipes. On Sunday I made Drew and I these perfect summertime cocktails after we walked around in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I think this is my favorite Summer cocktail, and it is very easy to make, with inexpensive, easy to find ingredients.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sliced seedless watermelon
  • Mint leaves
  • Vodka (I used 42 Below- an inexpensive but tasty choice)
  • Seltzer/soda water (no sugar- yay)
  • Sweetener (if you’d like, I used very sparingly) I used Rose Royal lavender lemon simple syrup which I bought from Catbird, one of my favorite stores here in Brooklyn.
  • A muddler
  • Straws (I originally chose purple because they looked cute with the simple syrup but opted for red as you will see later – striped paper straws would have been ideal)
  • A cocktail shaker, ideally, if not, no big deal

Also: you can use gin or rum in this cocktail if you prefer. I’ve made it, or variations of it, with both. Mojitos are made with rum, but I do prefer vodka because it is less sweet. But whatever you’re into.

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A Stripper Grabbed My Top Knot in Toronto

Learned a lot of interesting things while in Toronto, for example, the 6  refers to being in Toronto because the city’s two area codes both include 6 in them. I arrived late on Thursday and left early evening Sunday, a relatively short trip, but managed to pack in a mix of hustling around and relaxing in the hotel.

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The thrive was real

We stayed in the Hyatt because NXNE paid for it, but we were able to walk around or catch quick cabs to venues. NXNE is something Toronto is super proud of, and while it was a lot of fun, was even more low-key than small scale city fests such as NYC’s CMJ or San Francisco’s Noise Pop. Despite timing my trip around the festival, I had a lot more fun checking out local restaurants, bars, and going on some weird Torontonian (I was actually convinced this is the term- correct me if I’m wrong) adventures (hint: strip club).

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Took this horrifying photo of Drew in our hotel window

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5 AM in Toronto (is when I was eating poutine)

Drew and I headed to Toronto for the first time a few weeks ago for NXNE, their version of SXSW to hang out with some of our Canadian friends, because Drew was on a panel, and I wanted an excuse to go on a trip. Below is an account of everything I ate, because I am the type of person who emails ten people for suggestions before I go anywhere.

Cheese curds had me like…

Toronto is actually super easy to get to from NYC with just an hour long flight. My roundtrip flight was $215 and left at completely reasonable times. I arrived later than Drew and took a shared ride shuttle from the airport to our hotel because it was $18 vs. a $60 cab (book online to keep it as inexpensive as possible). Once I figured out where it was picking me up, this was super easy and I would highly recommend it.

Pro but obvious tip: don’t use your phone in Canada except on wifi or your phone bill will cost the equivalent of a flight to Paris, which is a much better use of $800 imo.

I had high expectations for Toronto after everything I’ve learned from Drake’s discography, and wasn’t let down. I did a lot of fun things and most importantly ate a lot of good food. Let me break down the food part of it for you.

Smokes Poutinerie IMG_2298-1 I referred to this place by an internet friend. I went my first night and lost my poutine virginity. We chose one that had chicken, bacon, peas, mushrooms, ON TOP of the usual cheese curds and gravy. At the time, I was thinking it was so dope, but you will see if you scroll, I soon learned the true ways of poutine. tldr; this is good but has too much extra shit on it, I just want the OG curd vibes. More food below (more…)

Back in the Blog Game

It’s been a while since I’ve been writing just for myself. I’m on a bit of a break from my freelance hustle and have finally got my website and blog back up. This time, I’m thinking it will be a bit different from my previous blogs, with more of a focus on what I actually spend my day to day doing. Lately that’s been making food, trying to figure out mixology (no it isn’t as douchey as that sounds), traveling, and going on adventures around NYC.

My current easy food obsession is making baked tortilla chips. I use 2 Mexican corn tortillas per person that will be snacking (which is 100 calories), slice them into triangles using scissors, pour a spoonful of coconut oil over the pieces (around 150 calories per spoonful, which will easily work for 3 servings) and spread them out on a baking sheet. I sprinkle sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne over them, and bake on 350 for 15 minutes. Then I set it to broil for 5 minutes for some extra crisp.

So if you’re into any of this, sweet. Feel free to reach out to me about anything you’d like to see covered @linalovesit