Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Question Is...

What's your favorite food ?

We're entering the last phase of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and "Q" has me stumped. Stumped! I did get the good suggestion to write about quinoa, but it just didn't catch my interest. I'm pretending that I'm a contestant on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and I'm going to ask for a lifeline. I'm asking my blogging audience...

Would you be happy with a hot dog or a pretzel?

Or would you like something a little more upscale, perhaps with tables and chairs? I was taken with this block for the range of choices. On the left is an Italian restaurant, in the center of the picture is a sushi bar and Cafe Metro on the right has salads, sandwiches and coffee. The picture in the window of Cafe Metro is a crab cake sandwich, which is their featured sandwich of the month. It looks so good to me.  

We all know my favorites, and there are still nine more posts to go where I will share more New York goodies. Any mac and cheese fans? What about home-made biscuits with peach jam? Strawberry shortcake? 

We had a glorious spring day today and I enjoyed being outside so much. I visited the library and did a little shopping. I actually found summer pants that fit, which made me very happy. 

I hope your day included things that made you happy, too. I will be back tomorrow with flowers for Easter. As always, thanks for visiting and wishes for a joyous holiday. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

...Like a Big Pizza Pie

I was chatting on the phone this afternoon with my college roommate -- yes, even after forty-five years Jane will always be my college roommate -- and the topic of "P" came up in the conversation. I asked her what she thought I would pick and she very promptly replied, "Of course you're going with the pretzel." The pretzel, sold at almost every cart in Manhattan would have been a great choice, but I am picking the food that I believe is tied with the bagel for THE New York food. As my blog friend, Myra predicted, the topic for "P" is the beloved pizza.

Pizza is everywhere in New York City, everywhere. Sometimes the restaurant is dressed up...

...with cloth tablecloths.

But generally it's very dressed down with paper napkins and the pizza is sold by the slice. 

I chose Pizza of SoHo to represent the thousands of pizzerias throughout New York City. I do need to make a return trip to see if this is the best Sicilian pizza in New York. I think there are a number of contenders for the title. Would anyone like to join me? 

I am a pizza fan and have been since my first visits to Dino's Pizza in West Hartford, Connecticut when I was eight or nine. When I arrived in New York City I was dazzled by the fact you could buy a slice of pizza -- probably fifty cents at the time -- any time you wanted. One of my favorite styles of pizza is white pizza, made without tomato sauce. It's highly delicious and highly caloric, so it's a rare treat for me. I do have several favorite places to eat pizza and will be featuring one of them in "V."

Though not a New York food, I am also a fan of the often maligned Peeps. I couldn't resist photographing these Easter Peeps last week and yes, they are pink! Perfect for a little Pink Saturday fun. 

P is for pink Peeps!

Thanks for joining me for pizza and Peeps fun. Please stop by tomorrow for a "Q"uestion. 

Appreciate all of my visitors and love your comments. Wishing my friends celebrating Easter a bright and blessed weekend. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The World of Takeout...

...and delivery!

When I was growing up there were two ways that we ate. Generally my mother cooked or we went out to eat. There was no thought that we would call a restaurant and they would deliver or that we would pick up food that had already been prepared. If we wanted to eat something we went to the grocery and then cooked it. I don't remember any exceptions until my senior year in high school. I was visiting my friend Joni and her mother ordered Italian food for our dinner and had it delivered. That was over forty-five years ago and it is still vivid in my mind. I didn't know that was possible in Hartford in 1968.

By the time I moved to New York in 1975 everyone I knew kept menus from Chinese restaurants and ordered from them. Somewhere between 1975 and today it became possible for just about every kind of food to be delivered. The paper menus kept by the telephone have been replaced by computers and smart phones. In my working days I also found that on the four block walk home from the subway I could buy almost anything I wanted for dinner and avoid cooking after a long day. Takeout and delivery became the mainstay of New York eaters. 

You may ask what this has to do with "O." "O" is for Ollies, the closest takeout food shop to my apartment, only a block and a few yards away. It stands between a natural foods store with lots of prepared foods and a vegetarian restaurant, where any dish can be ordered to go. There is also Murray's Sturgeon -- the takeout store with the best smoked salmon -- a great favorite of mine -- anywhere. All to takeout and all on the same block. 

 Ollies is to the left, but alas, I didn't get a photo. 

Murray's window a few weeks before Passover. Note the bottom right and "New York Magazine's" Takeout Guide. 

I'm going to do the unspeakable and count this as "M" and "O." I apologize if I have totally confused everyone by switching the order around. I thought about macaron for "M," but I think that's been covered pretty thoroughly in "L" with Maison Laduree. though I did discover a new macaron cafe today just a few blocks away. I think macarons are the fad of 2014. 

It was cool but sunny today and I had a wonderful walk through the neighborhood with my friend, Betsy. I found "W," which made me happy, the new macaron store and actually walked two miles. There are lots of spring flowers at the markets and I am so enjoying seeing all of the tulips.

Back tomorrow with "P," which is in a tie with the bagel -- in the Buttercup calculations -- for the most popular New York food. Any guesses?

As always so glad for my visitors and your comments. Take good care and thanks for visiting. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nuptial Fun

If I wasn't doing the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this post would have been titled "Wedding Fun." But when this handsome couple was right in front of me heading to their nuptial reception and I was in dire need of an "N," I took this as a sign for my "N" post.

They very graciously agreed to post for a picture. Beautiful, beaming bride!

I also happily get to write about their reception destination, Carmine's. This is a family style Italian restaurant perfect for big parties. The food is good, the atmosphere is lively and the portions could feed a very, very large family. I rarely eat here because I don't often go out with a large group, but when I have the event is a lot of fun. 

A fun place for a large party. 

I doubt if anyone is keeping track, but if you are, yes, I have skipped "M." I need a few more pictures for "M" and decided to trade around the letters. I hope this doesn't disqualify me from the Challenge. I will be doing "M" tonight or possibly tomorrow morning and have "O" ready to follow. I read on the webpage for the Challenge that this is part of the A to Z Challenge "where we are exhausted." I wouldn't quite say exhausted, but it is a lot to blog every day with the Challenge and Pink Saturday. 

Our Passover Seder was lovely. There are now two little ones joining us and yes, it's noisier, but so much fun. The weather has slipped back from summer to late winter -- thankfully, no snow -- and I am back to dreaming about going away for some of next winter again. I'd put the idea aside as the weather got nicer, but it came back with the return of my winter coat. 

As always, thanks for your visits and comments. You make my day!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Return to Maison Laduree

One of my favorite posts of 2013 included photographs of Laduree Maison, a pastry shop on the Upper East Side. Their specialty sweet is the macaron, a brightly colored almond meringue wafer with delicious fillings. While I was researching the post I read that another branch of the French pastry stores would be opening in Soho Lower Manhattan this winter. With the winter being what it was I didn't make my trip to visit Laduree Soho until this Friday, but as part of Blogging from A to Z April Challenge I am happy to feature Laduree Soho as our "L." Instead of the gold holiday look this window was dressed in its bright yellow spring finery, but the macarons looked equally delicious.

Laduree Soho is a complete restaurant that is lovely. It was just a little too pricy for a random cup of coffee and a macaron, but it would be the perfect spot for a birthday celebration tea. If you'd like to order a different pastry there is lots to choose from.

But the star of the show is the macaron...

Whether it's the mostly pastel macaron...

...or the mostly chocolate, they all look delicious. 

I hope you've enjoyed our delicious visit to Laduree. I hope you will stop back tomorrow for a very different post for M, and a very different macaron. 

I'm off to finish a few quick errands and some last minute Passover preparation. For those celebrating Passover, wishes for a very sweet Passover -- that's the traditional greeting. For citizens of Buttercupland celebrating Easter, have a bright and blessed Holy Week. And to all, wishes for sunshine, health and happiness. Thanks, as always, for your visits. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

2x the Fun Pink Saturday

It's time for some Pink Saturday fun. I know it's Sunday and getting into Sunday night, but I've taking pictures all week to share. Keeping up with the A to Z April Blogging Challenge and doing a Pink Saturday post has been tough, but I am enjoying both. Many thanks to Beverly, who graciously hosts Pink Saturday every week. She's a doll and not just because last week's Pink Saturday bunnies were the featured link for this week. I was pretty excited when I stopped by to visit this afternoon and the bunnies are thrilled.

I took pictures during my excursions around New York City. They're very different from last week's cute bunnies, but I loved all of the bright pinks I discovered.

This advertisement for Property Brothers was next to me at the bus stop. The bright pink lettering caught my attention and it's a show I enjoy. Drew and Jonathan, can you give my apartment a makeover?   

Later in the afternoon I found these flowers up the street from my dentist's office. 

These pretty in pink flowers were a bright sight on West 58th Street

I know I titled this post, "2x the Fun," but I couldn't resist this bright pink shirt on Seventh Avenue. We'll have to make this post three times the fun. 

Today was another almost summer day and I made an excursion to Astoria, Queens. I could have bought everything I needed closer to home, but I enjoyed the trip. There is one fruit and vegetable market there I especially like and I found the dried figs I was looking for. They also had fresh almonds and I couldn't resist taking a picture to share. 

The almonds are on the upper right.

I hope you had a glorious spring day, too. Please come back and visit tomorrow for a very sweet and elegant treat for "L." Thanks for stopping by and take good care.

K Is for Kosher

I was stumped when it came to "K." I had the good suggestion from my friend's daughter, V., that I write about Korean barbecue restaurants, but as much as I liked the idea I just didn't seem to make the time to get down to the West thirties to take pictures. But as I took one of my almost daily walks on Broadway the word "kosher" popped out at me, and it was clear that "K" was for kosher. It's not a specific food or a place to eat, though there are a number of kosher restaurants in Manhattan.

Eating kosher is a very detailed way of eating, derived from Leviticus 11:1-47 and Deuteronomy 14:3-20. Very simply the major qualifications are that certain foods cannot be eaten and certain foods -- milk products and meat products -- must be separated. Those "keeping" kosher have separate dishes, glasses and flatware for dairy foods and for meat products. On Passover, which begins this Monday night, all dishes and cooking utensils are changed for the duration of the holiday. Passover also has a separate and complex set of rules about what foods can and can't be eaten. We'll be looking at Passover foods in our "M" post next week.

Today was another glorious almost summer day. A quick trip to the post office, our Bible study group in the afternoon -- we read two chapters of Ecclesiastes -- and then dinner with my friend, Mary. If the weather could just stay like this forever!

I'll be back tomorrow with a little belated Pink Saturday fun. As always thank for visiting and wishes for a very sunny Sunday.