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Archive for the ‘Drinks’ Category

tipple and cookies

A friend who has very discerning tastes in matters of, well, taste, gave me this combination as a gift, suggesting that they’re best consumed together. I couldn’t wait, of course, and tore into the cookie package and had one (numnumnum..what Bing marshmallow experiment?). You don’t have to sell me on salt or brown butter; I make the latter just to have on hand, in case I get inspired. The cookie was scrumptious, but almost the tiniest tad bit too salty (and I like salt! Despite what all those nutritionists have told me during interviews over the years…).

A couple of days later, I did right by her recommendation.

grown-up snack time

And…balance achieved! The sweet, thick port offset the buttery cookies; I could feel the liquid dissolving the salt crystals, a perfect flavor amalgam of richness and bite. I felt like I had made something by having the combination, too, like how Seinfeld used to say about dumping milk into cereal. How’s that for accomplishment.

I’ve been told by pro food people that chocolate and wine don’t go together—both are acidic and mute each other’s flavors—but this is the cocoa-and-wine combo you can get away with and enjoy.

Do it!

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One Swiss Miss, please

I kid, I kid! From Budget Travel, where to go to get the best hot chocolate in the city and shake off the chill.

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Tea up

Ever find yourself thinking, “Hey, I wish I didn’t have to pay $5 a bottle to quaff down this effervescent kombucha?” You could probably add vinegar to seltzer and burn a hole in your stomach, or find inspiration to brew your own from my friends at WellandGoodNYC.com today.

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Oh, the promise of snacktime

Oh, the promise of snacktime

We were in NJ on Saturday en route to visiting family, so we stopped at the giant Wal-Mart-ish Korean food shopping complex in Ridgefield, NJ, called Hmart. A smaller outpost is right smack in the middle of 32nd Street, but this sprawling market is no joke. You want a trip back to your motherland down some food aisles? You’ll take it and you’ll like it.

Above are stacks of Choco Pies, which are treats comprised of two chocolate-covered cake discs smooshing some chewy marshmallow in the middle. I could once hoover up boxes of them, and deservingly, I was quite the tubby child as a result.

Or Oh No, depending on your diet

Or Oh No, depending on your diet

I’ve had Oh Yeses before, but I don’t remember them clearly. On the Haitai website, it’s positioned as a direct competitor to Choco Pies, which is made by Orion: “Unlike The Dry and Hard Choco Pie, The Soft Cake and Chocolate Cream Softly Melts in Your Mouth.” Sounds titillating.

There are lots of little stations set up with workers hawking items for tasting: fish of the week, snacks, and drinks. Below are some pomegranate drinking vinegars (the two bottles on the left), and a persimmon vinegar (on the right) I picked up for the rhubarb pickle recipe. Generally speaking, Koreans form a big market for interesting health remedies, so I think the drinking vinegars are pitched as some sort of detoxifying tonic or a weight-loss aid, but it is also pretty tasty, health claims aside (but not exactly healthy; the label lists high-fructose corn syrup as an ingredient, albeit close to the end). Mix some of the drinking vinegar with some seltzer, and you have an imitation kombucha sans the lactobacilli.

vinegars

The most exciting and heart-stopping part was when we came upon this machine below, which makes slightly-sweet puffed rice discs. The metal device spins out the rice puff, and when it does, it makes an explosive (!!!) pop, literally like a gunshot, and the rice disc hits the plexiglass and chills out until it gets packaged and finds a home in a happy tummy.  I regret not taking a video to amuse you readers—total blog fail! Next time.

This machine will scare any hiccups right out

This machine will scare any hiccups right out

Hmart is located on 321 Broad Ave, Ridgefield, NJ; 201-943-9600. In K-town, it’s at 25 w. 32nd Street; 212-695-3283. And of course(!) there’s one in Flushing: 29-02 Union St.; 718-445-5656.

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I have work to do! Woohoo!

The bad news: I have work to do. This weather makes me want to just sip this back in bed under the reassuring weight of the covers. (Bye-diddly-ho…zzzz… )

Make this version if you don’t want milk for any reason.

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…we ended up with two bags of paratha, one box of Indian mangoes ($30/box this year, yeesh), and this drink made with basil seeds, which I don’t recommend, but maybe it’s an acquired taste/texture? The experience was what I imagined drinking tadpoles would be like. [Shudder.]

Don't drink it in the dark, you'll be in for a surprise

Don't drink it in the dark, you'll be in for a surprise

This 35-minute subway ride also took me back to a dorm in the South Side of Chicago, many moons ago. My lovely roommate, who was part of the South Asian Student Association in college, once brought home one of those giant rectangular aluminum tin trays filled with sugar syrup-soaked fried dough balls, or gulab jamuns, after an event. I grew fond of them quite quickly, and dutifully helped her finish off the tray over a couple of weeks. Or was it days?

These guys helped me study

These guys helped me study

I didn’t have my camera at the store, but we had a good laugh peeking into the freezer case at frozen paratha with the Pillsbury Dough Boy on the packaging (a Flickr photo here). Into what corners of the world hasn’t the dough boy oozed? And it looked white and paunchy as ever, not transformed into a South Asian alter ego, though that would do little to undo any colonial history. And who the heck buys Pillsbury paratha?? Can it be tastier than the ones made locally by a hard-working baker with native street cred?  Please report if you have tasted it.

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Yes, it was an impulse buy

Yes, it was an impulse buy

I had a strange craving this past week for banana bread (Amish Friendship Bread unrealized?), and all the bananas available at the market had that fresh green yellow hue so I was S.O.L. Little did I know, I had other means of scratching this itch, because I walked into Bierkraft in Brooklyn and saw this guy staring right at me. This is normally the type of beer that my purist-beer-appreciator bf would poo-poo. But he ain’t here! Mmmmuuwuuhaha.

I will tell you that it had a very fragrant banana scent that cupped my nose as I took my first sips. But then the scent kinda disappeared into the ether half-way down the mug. And it’s really no substitute for the whole banana bread experience, as in comforting banana-y satiety, but I half-knew that I was buying/buying into a gimmick. As I drained the mug (alone…while watching “In Treatment”… yes, please refer to my blog title), I heard my bf say in my head, “That serves you right.”

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