Thanksgiving!

thanks turkey

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!! I’m a little backed up in posts, and I haven’t even gotten to my San Francisco material yet. However, I’m skipping ahead to do my Thanksgiving post now, before it gets so pushed back that you’re reading about it at Christmas. XD;;

So this year, I was invited again to my dear friends’ I & N’s place. (You know, I’m never quite sure if I ought to use real names here…if I blog about you, let me know if you mind?) It was as fabulous a spread as it was the year before, both food and company wise! The first thing that caught my eye when I entered the dining room at a quarter to four was of course, this gorgeous turkey pictured above, brined and cooked via a great recipe by Alton Brown. Several side dishes already lined the table, while numerous others were finishing in the oven. There were so many dishes it was hard to keep up!

I tried to take at least a bite of everything, but there’s sadly only a finite amount of food I can throw back in one sitting. There’s much to get through, so without further ado:

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Stella's Bakery

stellas pastry

Yay~ lovely pastries from Stella’s! I’ve been going to this bakery for years, and I really love it. I usually go here for special occasions such as picking up a birthday cake (the Grand Mariner mousse being the go-to flavor).

Of course, they’ve got plenty of other things besides cakes, from breads to flaky savory turnovers. I like their mini pastries because you can taste a bunch of different things without over-indulging. XD These are a few of them: mini eclair, mini cream puff swan, and mini napoleon.

They’ve also got cute fruit tart minis as well:

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S'mores Cupcake

smores cupcake

Anthony Bourdain once famously said that vegans were the “Hezbollah-like splinter faction” of vegetarians. And…I have to admit, that made me chuckle a lot. While I have respect for people who can keep up such a diet, it is just way too extreme for me! What kind of foodie life will it be without real butter, dairy, and all the fatty accoutrements of good eats??

However…

ZOMG there it is, the vegan s’mores cupcake. And it is delicious, WTF. So moist! So creamy! And totally dairy free! HOW DO THEY DO IT?? I really don’t know, but I have to say I’ve found one of my favorite cupcake makers in the city, and it is Sticky Fingers Bakery in Columbia Heights. Mmmm….

Need to try their other flavors too. ♥

Peppermint Penny Cupcake

hello mint

Every so often I get a cupcake craving and I just have to have one. Does that ever happen to you? They’re like miniature cakes, delightful spongy goodness topped with decadent swirls of frosted fun. They’re cute and whimsy…what’s not to love?

Anyway, I got such a craving last Friday, so I headed over to Dupont Circle on my lunch break to Hello Cupcake, one of the fine cupcakeries in town. Specifically, I was on a mission to try their “Strawberry Fields,” their seasonal selection of strawberry cake with strawberry frosting. Unfortunately, I was told that they had actually “discontinued” that flavor. I wonder why the flavor is posted on their website if it’s no longer available? =/

I ended up getting two “Prima Donnas” (chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream) and a “Peppermint Penny” (chocolate cake with mint frosting). The Prima Donna is one of my favorites from Hello. The frosting tastes almost like strawberry candy, with a slight tartness mixed in with the sweet. Peppermint Penny is definitely minty, and the chocolate chip sprinkles on top are a nice touch.

They’re very generous with the frosting here…maybe too generous. The frosting’s really sweet, so a huge mountain of the stuff tends to overpower the cupcake. I think if the frosting were less sweet, I wouldn’t mind the portion as much.

By the way, my cupcakes got knocked around a little bit on the metro ride home, which is why there’s strawberry frosting crusted on to my mint cupcake! And I had to photograph it from the side with fewer chocolate chips, because the other side got flattened in the box. Oops!! XD;;;

24 Jun 2009, 7:43am
afternoon tea:
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Cream Tea

scones

I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve had a “tea.” My friend introduced me to this lovely tradition a while back, when we stopped in to the Carlyle Hotel in New York City for their afternoon tea. It’s a nice little reprieve held mid-afternoon that comes in three courses – sandwiches, scones, and desserts. They’re all quite good, but I usually enjoy the scone course the most because it’s accompanied by the Devonshire cream.

I once had a left-over pot of Devonshire cream that prompted me to do something I almost never do – bake. I called over a friend, and we fixed up some homemade cranberry scones, just to partake in the creamy delicious indulgence that is clotted cream. On its own, it doesn’t taste like much, but when slathered on to a fresh, hot scone with a generous heaping of fruit jam, it is absolute heaven.

15 Jun 2009, 9:44pm
dessert:
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Depachika: A Foodie's Paradise

depachika1

If you are a foodie in Japan, one trip you must make is to the “depachika” – the basement of a department store. Department stores in Japan dedicate their basement levels to top grade food items, where you’ll find tasty foods you didn’t even know you wanted until you set your hungry eyes on them. Word of caution: don’t visit these places when you’re starving, or you just might blow your budget.

These are actually great places to buy gifts to take back with you to your friends and family, and you can count on them to gift wrap everything (and even give you spare bags complete with brand insignia) with your choice of ribbon color.

I don’t think I spent half as much time as I should have at the depachika, because looking back at the photos now, I’m realizing that I hardly ate any of these. (;__;)

My brother took these photos, since I was too busy staring covetously at everything. Most of the pictures here are of pastries, but don’t be mistaken. Depending on department store, you’ll find all kinds of foods, ranging from fish and meats to produce and hot prepared foods. =9

The rest of the pics follow. >>

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