Monthly Archives: February 2012

English snack: Sweet Tart Slices


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My friend shared a recipe with me for Date and Pistachio Honey Slices, from her favorite cookbook “Baking Bible-From The Oven To The Table”. It’s published in the UK, so although all the cooking units have been converted to U.S. volumes, treats like this one have a British touch to it. I Googled it and found the exact recipe here:

Since I’ve already tried what she made using that recipe, and I did not have all the ingredients for the filling, I had to improvise and cut the recipe in half to create my own little snack, that I call Sweet Tart Slices. The adapted recipe looks something like this:

3/4 cup grape jelly (or any flavor of jelly/jam/marmalade/preserve)
1 tbsp. water
3/4 cups cashew nuts, chopped
1/2 tbsp. honey
milk to glaze

1 cups flour
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
5 tbsp. butter
2 1/2 tbsp. cold water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave grape jelly until it’s warm enough to stir in cashew nuts and 1 tbs. honey (I heated the jelly a little too long and it became runny, so I added a teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken it). Let cool.

Combine flour, sugar, and butter in a bowl of food processor, pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add just enough cold water to bind into a soft, nonsticky dough.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to two rectangles. Spread the jelly/nut mixture to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top with the second piece of dough. Press edges to seal together and then impress with a fork. Glaze with milk.

Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until light, golden brown. Brush with honey and cool for 5 minutes. Cut into 6 slices.

I have to confess, the original version is better, even though I’m not a dates fan, you could manage the amount of sweetness with the filling (the honey called for in the original recipe really isn’t that much, particularly when lemon juice is used). With the store-bought jelly, I really have no control over the sugar level. Pistachios are crunchier than cashew nuts, for the next tart, I will make sure to stock up on pistachios! The tart shell is as delicious as homemade can get, in my opinion. It’s going in my book as a base pie/tart/shell recipe, I’m so excited to have found it!


Gunther Toodys: 五十年 代的主题餐饮店


Sat Jan 21 2012

My Yelp Review:

If you crave greasy diner food and nostalgia with 50’s themed props and costume, this is the place to check out. The set-up is not that different from Johnny Rockets, maybe with a little less pricey menu.

To break it down, the The Hang Ten Burger is very similar to Red Robbin’s Banzai burger, but it can’t even compete, that’s why I couldn’t understand why my boyfriend would even consider ordering that, after having tried it at Red Robin’s and knowing how good it is. We ask to upgrade our fries to the Elvis fries, meh, not that special. Probably wiser to stay with regular fries because their sweet potato fries are really good. Probably the best I’ve ever had. Thin cut almost like McDonald’s fries, they were very crispy all the way through. They were alongside a Monte Cristo sandwich which was so doughy you could taste the baking soda! But my first time trying a fried sandwich dipped in jelly was still a somewhat great experience!

To balance it a little, we asked for a Popeye salad, the ingredients were great but the dressing sucked – too tangy, all you taste was sour, sour, sour. Couldn’t really savor it, downed the veggies with a frown. However, the Jalapeno Cornbread Muffin that came with the salad was delish! One of the best I’ve had. The sweet and savory and spicy flavors were held in very well with a perfectly baked cornbread muffin. Mmmmmm, if they have a drive-thru, I’d be using it for just the muffins and sweet potato fries.

We couldn’t leave without trying the shake. Maybe it was wrong to get a fancy Fudge Brownie Shake? Everybody here says the basic chocolate shake is very good. But I remember having much better shakes at Chili’s and Cheeburger Cheeburger.

Andy今天生日,本来在他家有个party,结果无端取消。也罢,正好有张团购券将要过期,想带老爸去见识一下Gunther Toodys diner:一家五十年代主题的典型美国餐饮店。唉,现在的男人都特别扭,到了中午他才说胃不舒服不想去,叫我带妈妈去好了。其实两年前我就跟老妈和大头来过了。

看过六人行的人都应该记得Monica认识那个有点自虐倾向的百万富翁时期在一间叫Moondance Diner的餐厅打工,戴着假发和假胸,还被逼穿溜冰鞋和在柜台上跳YMCA. Gunther Toodys就是差不多这样的一间连锁Diner (米国的重要饮食文化之一;Diner:最早期指快餐车,后来进化到所谓的廉价餐厅;到现在还是有固定的菜式让人一看菜单就知道是Diner!)







照片看不出来,牛肉和芝士中间还夹了块菠萝的,目的是让汉堡更多汁。想学人家Red Robins的Banzai Burger呢。可人家那个除了菠萝还有秘制的酱料充当“润湿”,比它好吃10倍!薯条我也要了升级版的,名叫The Elvis (难道是猫王最爱这样吃法?) 脆脆的薯条上淋满了Gravy肉汁和溶掉的碎芝士。搞屁啊,这样薯条不就变软了!?后来上网查了一下,加拿大发明的这种吃法,叫Poutine,那个才是正宗豪华版的。GT的太过牵强。

Diner food就是煎炸物多,横竖横的我们就给它来多一盘。这个叫Monte Cristo,米国版的Croque Monsieur(有名的法国三明治)。没吃过后者,用前者充当一下。概念跟西多士差不多,两片面包夹着ham and turkey然后点满鸡蛋再放到油里炸,蘸果酱吃。又咸又甜的肥死人不偿命玩意儿:

结论是我还得到别的地方尝试Monte Cristo,GT的苏打粉味太重,三明治本来的味道都被遮盖了,可惜呀。值得欣慰的是炸甜薯(地瓜)条很不错。这个不好做,因为地瓜本来就比马铃薯湿,很多餐厅都选择切粗条,中间炸不透,整个儿软啪啪的怪恶心。GT的切得跟麦当劳的薯条差不多,根根儿都炸得脆卜卜的,洒些他们自制的Seasoning(调味粉),口感甚佳!

终于吃到一样好的了。最后上来的菠菜沙拉用料听起来都很不错,可惜沙拉酱太酸,吃得我们眉头拧紧。幸好附送的Cornbread Muffin(玉米面包松饼)很好吃!哈哈,可是里面呀,含了Jalapeno(墨西哥辣椒),老妈不知道,啃到一小块,辣得差点哭出来!我学乖了,先把绿色的辣椒粒抠出来再慢慢品尝黄油香和玉米香十足的甜滋滋的松饼和辣椒的余辣碰撞出来的鲜味,一点都不夸张!



Recent musings





出书以前他在自己的网站 上就post过很多照片;有在外面买的sandwich,但更多是自制的。书里较为详细地介绍了作者选出来的人为具代表性的三明治的来历,名称,和成分,材料等的变化。虽称不上妙语连珠,读起来还是很风趣的。而且见识长了不少哦!比如英国除了下午茶时间的tea sandwich,原来还有一款俏皮的三明治叫Butty:

*Scanwiches Book Sneak Peak! Chip Butty: Hot Chips, Ketchup, on White Bread. 

Chip Butty: Hot Chips, Ketchup, on White Bread. (photo taken from



最让我心动的是Sandwich Loaf。Google翻译为夹心面包,看它的样子我认为叫“蛋糕面包”更确切吧:

据说这款用面包代替蛋糕,Cream Cheese代替奶油,中间随你加什么咸的沙拉(青豆啊,午餐肉啊,蘑菇啊,蛋,鱼等)都可以的party food很难在外面买到,只能自己在家做了。可要很有技巧才能把它“化妆”成跟个蛋糕一样吧:




"Bacon and Egg" Candies

看起来很像荷包蛋对不对?呵呵,博文的题目是”Bacon and Egg” Candies,是模仿西方经典早餐“培根鸡蛋”的糖果。蛋白部分是化掉的白巧克力,蛋黄则是黄色的M&M糖衣巧克力。培根部分博主用了两根Pretzel Sticks(椒盐脆饼条),个人认为其实可以用真的培根,撕成小碎片就好了。当下不是很流行把培根混到甜食里吃吗?听到到处都在卖培根圣代,培根纸杯蛋糕,培根味甜甜圈等等,虽然我一样都还没试过…


Marco’s & Cirque du Soleil MJ Immortal


Fri Jan 6 2012

My Yelp Review on Marco’s Coal Fired Pizza:

If the food here only deserves 4 stars (or higher depending on the day), the service surely kicks it up a notch to 5 stars. We were very happy to be helped by a non-judging waitress who kept her smile on after we only settled with water for drinks. When I placed the order, she didn’t try to remind us that may not be enough food, until I asked her, which I think is being respectful.

I picked what I thought was the only non-meat salad on the menu: Arrosto (I could be wrong, there might be others…) and it was gone in seconds. Everybody enjoyed it, it’s unusual in that it included both raw and cooked veggies. Off to a healthy start! Then the Manhattan pizza came, the last ingredient – pine nuts – intrigued me, and it turned out to be a fantastic choice. The chicken and basil interacted with each other very well. The second pizza: Sicilia, was recommended by the waitress. What an excellent suggestion! The meats (“Genoa Salame” and “Proscuitto Cotto”) had a nice shaved texture that kept them very tender and juicy. With Marco’s pizza, you can actually taste the freshness of the ingredient. You can also tell the crusts were entirely hand-made. These two important elements create pizzas that may not be loaded with flavors which trick your tongue and bloat your stomach, but rather, subtle after-tastes one can really savor.

The last thing we ordered was Lasagna. Now Lasagna, I do prefer it with a heavy sauce. Marco’s sauce is good, but it doesn’t remind me of Italian food. We still enjoyed it a lot and didn’t have any leftovers!

The best part was that they found out it was our first time here so we got a dessert – Nutella Pizza! – for free! I was curious about it but didn’t want to commit to a whole dessert pie, this was a perfect way for me to sample it. Not that memorable, something you can make at home. And the idea of having carbs for dessert scared me a little.

You really feel welcome at Marco’s, all the young waiters and waitresses are pretty good looking, and growing up in a big city in China, I’m used to restaurants being noisy. So to me, there’s nothing not to love about Marco’s!

一年多以前买的阳光马戏团MJ主题秀的票子今晚终于可以用了。不同以往的是场地居然在Pepsi Center!一般阳光马戏团的表演都比较小型,与观众亲密些。这次搞不好会更像演唱会哦。


Marco’s Coal Fired Pizza是一家挺潮的店,却坐落在Downtown很古老的一栋楼里,呵呵,美国人就是喜欢这种风格吧。一进去感觉有点像回到国内,店里可热闹又喧哗了,可我们觉得很亲切享受,如果灯光再亮些,窗户再多些就更像了,哈哈。



新鲜至极!即使没有topping,干啃饼皮也是一大享受。这不是,叫的Lasagna (意大利千层面)里就有两块饼皮,蘸点烤茄汁,更有嚼劲:



第二个批萨是服务生介绍的。酱料跟上面的千层面一样,上面铺了新鲜蘑菇,朝鲜蓟,和Proscuitto (意大利火腿薄片)。真的很薄,却很juicy,口感特别鲜嫩。


Marco’s的Pizza绝对比千层面做得好。后者的pasta sauce还是太淡了点。不够绸也不够浓,下次不点就是了。

忘了说,这间的服务超好。我们什么饮料都没点,就要了白开水,服务生也没表现出失望。经理过来询问了两次,听说我们是第一次来造访,马上说送一个甜品批萨来我们这桌。太好了!看了菜单后就想试试这个Nutella Pizza(巧克力榛子酱甜饼),但又怕一晚上太多碳水化合物;现在有人白送,就吃一片尝尝呗!




吃饭花了不少时间,在Pepsi Center找到车位之后已经8点,show正要开始的时间。我气急败坏地穿着高跟鞋带他们满大街地跑,一路上听到MJ的音乐,倍感幸福。换票的时候出了些小问题,最后总算赶得及开场时分找到座位。






Snow Day Cooking



FEB 3, 2012


Steamed Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Dinner Roll


Book won from Serious Eats!







Mon Jan 16 2012



早上7点的牙医预约害我们空着肚子,搞定后我有一个大胆的想法:Golden在Lakewood的西北方,不如我们怀着兜风的心情,享受清晨阳光,驶到位于Lakewood东南位置的Greenwood Village里的The Original Pancake House去吃早餐!一直想再回到这个我觉得又远,又很一般的早餐点就是想尝尝传说中的Dutch Baby(荷兰宝贝甜煎饼;这里有对这家店和这道早餐的描写)。





心心念念想吃的Dutch Baby果然没叫我失望,看起来就像枕头一样软。跟平常的松饼不一样的地方是煮法。面糊的材料应该大同小异,普通的Pancake用煎的就可以,Dutch Baby是放在平底锅里现热两下然后再放进烤箱里烘烤,以至于两边会蓬松上涨,看起来让人更有胃口。这家店只提供原味的,可以搭配白绵糖和柠檬一起吃:


Dutch Baby


试过了就知道怎么一回事,其实电脑里存了很多不同Dutch Baby的配方,像是有香橙味的;回头买个可以放入烤箱的平底锅,自己动手弄!我点了个甜的,怎么也得给大头点个咸点。米国人的早餐最兴吃蛋啊,马铃薯之类的。Special菜单上有个Green Chile Eggs Benedict (墨西哥口味的火腿蛋鬆餅)。两个英式松饼,两个荷包蛋,外加牛油果泥,番茄碎,熔掉的芝士和带辣的酱,配烤马铃薯块儿: Green Chile Egg Benedict





My Yelp Review on the Original Pancake House:

I’ve been here twice but I don’t think it’s speical enough for me to travel all the way from Denver to here. The first visit was a few years back so I don’t remember too much (if it was THAT special then I would). The recent second visit was because I really wanted to try a Dutch Baby and OPH is one of the few breakfast joints that serve that. I enjoyed it a lot but I was hoping there were more choices to pick from, like different toppings and even savory kinds. (There, that’d be a reason to come back if ever). My boyfriend got the Green Chile Egg Benedict from the Specials menu, average is all I can say about it. Our server that day, I want to say his name was Jerry, was such a nice kid, always had a smile on his face and very patient with us, even though they were super busy (by the time we left, there were lines inside and outside of the doors!) Their turn around time is quick, they have to, ’cause they only open till 2 every day. Could that be why the place is popular? I can’t think of something from Village Inn that wasn’t as good as OPH. And there are plenty of VIs that open 24 hours~






天气预报说今天会下雪,果然,下午时分开始转凉,天上本来离我们很远的乌云也正在飘过来。但我们还是决定不管三七二十一,去The Melting Pot大唰一顿久违了的瑞士火锅,反正天越冷越适合打火锅!


Melting Pot这个店名是个双关语。大家都知道美国被称为a melting pot(大熔炉,意指什么样的外来人都有,是个十分多元化的国家)。瑞士火锅的特点呢就是采用易溶的材料,比如芝士啊,巧克力什么的。








在这吃饭预算好花个两小时吧。首先上来的是芝士锅,有4,5种不同选择。这次我们挑的是大头的最爱,类似于Spinach Artichoke Dip(菠菜朝鲜蓟车打芝士),配面包,青苹果,生红萝卜,西兰花和椰菜花(下方四格图左上)。其实呀,两个人吃完这么一锅Cheese,什么都饱了吧。这时候会上沙拉,让你“调节消化”一下:






作为广东人,平常在家“打边炉”,我只要蘸姜葱就可以。看到Melting Pot里的各式蘸酱我也挺兴奋的,是不是很像调色板啊?服务生有告诉我们哪个酱配哪样东西,可我懒得遵从,每样一点放到盘子上最后搞混了一起吃更爽!(下方四格图右上)


一轮照啊吃啊我们可没闲着。最后按照习惯我问服务生拿了个碗和勺子想喝汤(他非常惊讶,难道老外打火锅都不喝汤么?)才抿了一口就知道怎么回事了,那汤咸得!完全无鲜味可言。还是比不上中国人呐!这也刚好让我更期待甜品 — 巧克力锅!也有4,5种选择,以前我尝过一个“黑白巧克力鸳鸯锅”,好看到差点没舍得吃:








My Yelp review on The Melting Pot:

I love the melting pot! The ambience of the restaurant, from its old library facade to old wooden floors and walls and stairs fusioned with modern art pieces make it great for special occasions! It’s one of the very few times where I actually enjoy the low light, despite the fact that it ruins my pictures… Needless to say it’s probably better suited for Valentine’s Day and Anniversaries than group get togethers and birthdays, because, well, the place is dim and quiet!

I’ve never had Swiss Fondue anywhere else so I don’t know how Melting Pot’s fondues stack up with other places’, but I just love the idea of the slow, 4-course meal dining style. You will spend about 2 hours here but you’ll keep having more to look forward to. It’s fun cooking your own food and if you’re lucky and get a good waiter, he might even play some tricks with ya! Any of the cheese and choclate fondues I’ve had have been wonderful, salads are good too. As for the main course, I highly recommend paying the extra bucks and getting the lobster tail, it’s totally worth it! If I have to pick one thing to be my most favorite, it’s the sauces. They bring them out like a painter’s palette, each and every one of them is delicious. My tip? Mixed them all together as one big dip and be pleasantly surprised! I wish they let you pack left overs in to go boxes because sometimes you can wear the most loose pants but still be super full in the middle of the 3rd course….