Friday, April 13, 2012


Peep sushi (aka Peepshi), a modern delicacy, is fun and easy to make. After seeing the recipe a couple years back on Serious Eats, and being motivated to try a hand at it this year, my friend and I tested our "sushi" making skills as we prepared for Easter last weekend. 

There are few ingredients needed - only Rice Krispie treats, Fruit by the Foot and of course, the star of the show...Peeps (in all shapes and hues).

To get cracking on these morsels, first, one has to make the Rice Krispie treats, which are always a snap. I did mine in a jelly roll pan, but they were still a bit thick, so they needed to be pushed down/rolled out a bit to make good "sushi rice."

I had read on another blog that one women rolled our her Rice Krispie treats in between sheets of Pam-sprayed wax paper and that sounds like the route I'd take, should I make them again. They're supposed to be 3/16 of an inch thick and while we didn't break out the ruler, that's pretty thin however you make them.

Once the "rice" is ready, all you have to do is make the "sushi." There are a plethora of ways you can construct the delight and we created both "maki rolls" and "sashimi" with little beds of Rice Krispie treats. I even tried my hand at a rainbow roll or two.

We loved incorporating other bits of candy into this (such as jelly eggs, candy squid and Swedish fish) and the options are unlimited. There's so much to do with this and in addition to decapitating little Peeps, it's a great opportunity to get creative and inventive.

We were very pleased with how enjoyable a craft/recipe this was and equally impressed with how well the Peepshi looked.

I warn that it doesn't taste as good as it looks and between the three ingredients, it could put most anyone into a diabetic coma! The sweetness of everything is just too much and it's definitely recommended to eat only one or two.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Essentials of Thai

Always looking to expand my skill set - especially in the kitchen - I embarked on a lesson in Thai cooking with some friends last week.

With a dry (yet funny) and intense instructor, we were given a brief history of Thai cuisine and culture, the run-down on what we'll be making (and some tips for the recipes) and were sent to work.

Broken into groups of six, each tackled about four different dishes with occasional demonstrations from the instructor (such as how to de-gill a fish, how to cut a mango, how to work with Lemongrass, etc). I picked up a few good pointers and the class was especially helpful with de-mystifying this exotic style of food. While there are a bunch of special ingredients needed, like Palm Sugar, etc. etc., the preperation is quite simple and user friendly. There is a lot of prep work (which is my favorite) and we spent a good amount of time preparing our mise en place.

We made a plethora of  dishes including:

Steamed Fish with a Tamarind Sauce


Summer Rolls

Green Thai Curry with Chicken

Chicken Satay (with peanut sauce)

Green Papaya Salad

Pad Thai

Hot-and-Sour Prawn Soup

We also made Sticky Rice with Mango and Tapioca Pudding with Coconut (but I didn't snap pics of those).

By 10 p.m. we were ready to eat, and boy were we hungry after handling the food and smelling the amazing aromas. We all sat down for a "family meal" and enjoyed all of our creations!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Central Park Zoo

Someone told me
It's all happening at the zoo.

I do believe it,

I do believe it's true.

 - Simon & Garfunkel

There was lots happening at the zoo during our recent trip, last Sunday. From the Sea Lions to the Snow Monkeys, to the Penguins to the Polar Bear, something was going on 'round every turn.

The Tropic Zone, filled with bats, boas, bird and some small (and adorable) monkeys was interactive, immersive and most memorable. As if you were plunked down in a rainforest - right in the middle of Manhattan - guests were privy to bird calls and peeks at what goes on, way up in the trees.

I loved watching this little guy and found myself most fascinated with it's human-like expressions, movements and gestures. It really is remarkable how we're attracted to things in likeness of ourselves. 
And here's a "regal" shot of the money, in pose. 

My husband's new Sony camera (he's an employee of the company for full disclosure) took some amazing shots and the Tropical zone was ripe with options. 

This little Victoria Crowned Pigeon, below, escaped from the trees and was showing off in front of an interested (and photo hungry) crowd.

Next up was the leaping Lemur, which was a little subdued at first (it seemed to be nap time for many of the animals). Once he knew there was a crowd, he started up with some entertaining gymnastics.

Moving across the "earth," we were on to The Polar Circle, which had, as you may guess, the ginormous Polar Bear. While it had a nice home, we noticed it was doing a repetitive swim back and forth and back and forth. It seemed that it needed more stimulation and I felt a bit badly for the big teddy.

I was fascinated with some of the facts about the bears. According to their informative sign, Polar Bears have a lot of physical features that help guard against the icy winds and frozen landscape of their home.

In fact:
- Hollow hairs prevent their fur from matting when wet
- A layer of insulating blubber (up to 4.5 inches thick) helps to keep them warm
- Tiny ears help prevent heat loss
- A single bear can consume more then 100 pounds in a meal

We also got to see a flock of ducks have a total freak out, splashing and crazing about (something I got quite a kick out of).

And we visited the Red Pandas (more closely related to raccoons), who were taking a nap. Also cat napping was Zoe, the Snow Leopard.

Despite the naps, it was a wonderful day at the zoo, a great date-day with my husband and informative, to boot!

Monday, April 2, 2012

SUNY Cortland

When my husband warned me that Cortland, N.Y. is the "town that time forgot," I underestimated that statement. Along for the ride, I accompanied him on a trip upstate for a alumni/student event, in which he was participating.

Situated in central (slightly western) New York state, Cortland is nestled in a large valley and seemingly isolated from the outside world. We arrived on Friday evening and stayed at a quaint and cute motel, which was reminiscent of my grandmother's old house in decor and atmosphere. While my small town of 10,000 felt listless and removed from cosmopolitan life, this one was markedly different. The place feels dated and in need of a revitalization. That being said, the it does boast some gorgeous, historic buildings, which I much enjoyed.

Despite this being the town of forgotten time, it does have a lively college atmosphere thanks to the SUNY campus. But, if you're looking for a bustling downtown or a Starbucks, you won't find it there. What you will find on campus is an awesome vending machine, which is more like an automated grocery store!

Over the course of the weekend, we enjoyed hanging with Rob's college friend (who was also in town for the event), eating yuck pizza, catching some March Madness games, watching a brawl from inside the local diner (which was subsequently broken up by the police seconds in) and walking about.

While I don't need to head back to Cortland any time soon, I enjoyed spending the time with my husband, exploring a new place and being reminded of my fortune to live in NYC.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Florida in Photos: Part II

We didn’t say in Miami for the entire duration and partook in a drive up to Boca Raton to visit family. That was equally as nice, and in addition to some great quality time with the Aunt and Uncle-in-law, we got to the beach (albeit for a short time) and I enjoyed seeing another part of Florida.

Oh, and I forgot to add that my husband got to enjoy his favorite QSR breakfast place...iHop.

The trip came and went too quickly and four days wasn’t enough for me. Just as I was starting to get in vacation mode, I was back at work, just as quickly. Well, until my next adventure, there are some great memories to carry me through!