Friday, January 30, 2009

Papaya King

I stopped at the Papaya King for a dog yesterday - I hadn't had lunch, I didn't want to sit down, and I needed something quick. Manhattan's answer to fast food is Papaya King. Now, when I was a kid, we'd stop at a hot dog stand after being out on the boat. 3 hotdogs for buck! Papaya King isn't quite that cheap, but $1.90 for lunch in Manhattan - can't beat it.

While I was chowing down in the standing room only dining area, I read about how this location is one of Anthony Bourdain's top 10 places in NYC. I can see why - they really are the best dogs in town.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


While out visiting real estate open houses I try to take in the neighborhood. Part of the fun is imagining walking by these store fronts everyday. I was walking on a side street and was surprised to come upon this window filled with cupcake animals (frogs? worms? monsters?). In person the colors are so vivid, and their little mouths are pink inside. I walked around the corner to the front of the bakery, and I realized I could have filled my memory card with photos of the beautiful art. I chose to leave some photos for next time :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A New Home!

We've heard that the owners have accepted our last offer!!!!

Now we just need to make it through the board approval and bank approval (which should happen)!!!

Congratulations to us!

Single Serving Size

One thing I like about NYC is that you can actually get single serving sizes of things you really want now, but don't want hanging around the apartment later.

Case in point - my local Gristedes has single serving Haagen Daz ice cream cup. I don't have to buy a whole pint - I can actually have just the 1/2 cup serving and that's it! Woo!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Putting in an Offer on a Home in NYC

Today I put an offer in on the property that Rick and I liked. I've already found out that the initial offer was not accepted. Interestingly, the owner just said "no" without making a counter offer. The realtor tried to feel him out, but didn't get too much. So I made another offer. We'll see if this one is accepted :) If not, there are 2 other apartments we like in the building.

Interestingly, you don't have to put any initial deposit down with your offer. In NH it is expected that a couple thousand are put in escrow along with your offer. In NYC, this is not the case, but you do have to outline all your assets. Not sure I like that so much, but I guess I don't have a choice :)

Hopefully by the end of the night we'll have a deal :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Home Shopping in NYC

I spent yesterday going from open house to open house. Rick joined me for the last building as it was the second look-see. There was one additional open house than I expected there and it was a place that both Rick and I thought we could call home. It's a large 1 bedroom (Mahattan standards) in the Gramercy neighborhood - on the east side and a little south of mid town, it has a pretty view of the Chrysler Building, and Rick could walk to work. And of course it is at the top of our budget, and it would need renovation, but it is certainly as nice as our apartment now. Ok, maybe almost as nice, but certainly functional until I get a job at any rate :)

So, some of the interesting parts of shopping for a home in the city - I think all the places we looked at were co-ops, and the co-op board must approve you for the purchase. They want to see that you have 2 years worth of mortgage and fee payments in savings. Yeah that was my big surprise yesterday. In this building, from what I understand, that is essentially all they are looking for, other than the personal references and information about employment etc (which we had to provide just to rent our current place).

Other surprises were that it takes about 3 months from the agreement (where you've agreed what the price will be, and any concessions) until closing. In NH closing would be in less than a month.

It would be nice to have a place to call home - it's really amazing how ownership makes a difference emotionally. Knowing that your payments are essentially going to stay the same and that nobody is going to kick you out is key. And of course being able to actually alter the interior to make it your own will be nice.

So - I'm up at oh-dark-thirty because I couldn't sleep and figured I'd get up and continue to crunch numbers :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Riced Cauliflower

I learned about this rice substitute when reading Living Low Carb by Fran McCollough. This was the first low carb book I ever read, and I enjoyed the foodie perspective and the amazing ideas, like this rice.
Take a head of cauliflower, run it through your medium shredding disk in the food processor - the result looks like rice :) The key to riced cauliflower is to be sure that you don't over cook it - then it will be mush - you want it to be cooked but have a little bite so it acts more like rice :) I usually nuke it in a large pyrex measuring cup for 4 minutes or so. Also, I cook it as I need it - I rice the whole cauliflower, then keep raw "rice" in the fridge until time to cook it (unless it's incorporated in a casserole).
The bonus is that a cup of brown rice is 218 calories and a cup of cauliflower rice is 25 calories!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Suzee's Low Carb Zucchini and Rice Casserole I

I found a couple recipes that inspired this one. I made it for Rick and it was pretty good, but much better a day or 2 later :) I have some ideas for the next version, which is why I named this one version one! Even if you are not eating low carb, this is a nice low calorie dish too.

4 cups sliced zucchini
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup "riced" cauliflower
1/2 cup 2% cheddar cheese
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
1 clove garlic minced
1 egg and 2 egg whites beaten
cooking spray

Preheat oven 350.
Put the zucchini and onion in a pan and sautee until tender.
Use a potato masher to mash slightly.
Combine the "rice", cheddar, sour cream, 2T parmesean and eggs.
Stir some of the zucchini mixture into the egg mixture to temper it, then add all of it.
Spray an 8x8 pan, and pour the mixture in.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the remainder of the parmesean on the casserole.
Serves 4 :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Out with Friends at Jack Dempsey's

Tonight I went out to catch up with friends from my previous job. It was interesting that mid town was a good 10 - 15 degrees warmer than the upper east side. We met at Jack Dempseys - Jessie calls and gets one of their party rooms for these occasions. It's quite nice since we get the room to ourselves and everyone can chill and chat, and we even get our own private bar tender. We had been hoping for the room downstairs because it has a pool table, and that always adds a level of excitement to the gathering, but we got the second floor room. It is also nice, just no pool table. Anyway, it was good to catch up and have some fun :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Boneless Turkey Breast Roast

I've found this "new" cut of meat here in New York - a boneless turkey breast roast. I'm going to cook it tomorrow, but I'll be looking for some recipes on line to see any suggestions. It comes tied like this so I won't be stuffing it. Maybe next time :) And there should be plenty for turkey sandwiches this week too. I'll let you know how it goes as long as I don't burn it like I did the cauliflower last night....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Miss America Reality Show

I'm watching the Miss America reality show on TLC, and they are on the show with Clinton Kelly focusing on fashion.

All I can think as I watch these girls - what would I do if I were there? I earned half of the money to pay for my bachelors degree via the Miss America program. I never made it past Miss NH, but I had so much fun!!!

I congratulate the Miss Amercia corporate group for trying to find a way to make the pageant, which is the biggest college scholarship program for women in the COUNTRY, more relavent to the every day girls and women.

Watch these shows on TLC!! Support Miss America!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mid Town Lunch at Patrick Conway's

I went on an interview today, and it went really well! I called Rick after to see if he had time for lunch, and made time to eat with me. He chose Patrick Conway's. We have eaten here before - very yummy burgers and fat cripsy fries - but today we were interested in eating a little healthier.

Rick had the cob salad - it was beautiful and large with lots of veggies, grilled chicken, egg, blue cheese and avacado. He enjoyed it and I enjoyed my nibbles :)

I ordered the French Onion Soup, and I'm sorry to say I was disappointed. I tried to determine if I was disappointed because all the soup I've had thus far really has been quite fabulous, and although it was, this soup was quite unextraordinary.

Presentation = The soup came in the traditional soup crock with melted cheese over it, on a plate with a doily to catch spills. 3***

Broth Flavor = The broth was bland and watery. 1*

Bread/Crouton = The bread was not toasted, and soggy. 2 **

Onion Content = Not many spoon sized onions which were softened. 2**

Cost = $7 - Average price. 3***

Total = 2.2 Stars

If you make your way to this location, do be sure to order either the salad or the burger - they are really good!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ann just shared this

This 5 minute video is one I want to remember, so I'm posting it here. Enjoy.
This picture is of the day of our yard sale in Portsmouth, one of the many times my friend supported me when I needed her.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Patti LuPone in Gypsy

This afternoon I took the 5 to 59th street and switched to the R to get to Times Square. I'm on my way to see a matinee of Gypsy on Broadway!

It was snowing when I left and I thought, hmmmm, seems like when I go to Times Square it's always snowing. At least it was last time :)

The St James Theater is just up Broadway and a left on 44th Street. There are a lot of theaters on this street, and it is exciting to walk with all the other broadway lovers to the show.

It is a very old theater and it reminded me of the Music Hall in Portsmouth prior to it's renovation. I sat it the second to last row of the Theater and if I looked across I was at the same level as the chandeliers :)

This show was absolutely everything you would ever want in a Broadway musical and MORE. Patti LuPone was AMAZING. It's kind of sad that after all the Tony awards it has won it is scheduled to close, but I guess it gives Patti a chance for a break and the opportunity to do the next amazing thing.

I may have to go back to see her again. It was really that good.

The story was a sweet one - if you aren't familiar with Gypsy, essentially LuPone's role is one of a stage mother of 2 daughters and all the things that happen as they grow up. She loves showbusiness.

If you get a chance to get to NYC before March, this is the show to see. It will close after that, but I'll still have my memories :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Big Tree Comes Down Tomorrow

I was looking for a place to skate today. I brought my skates back with me the last time we went home, and I figured I'd try to go out this morning and do a little gliding. I looked up Wollman Rink and Rockefeller Center on line, and at Rockefeller Center you can skate for $5 during lunch (11:30 am to 1:00 pm). Bonus! And, tomorrow the tree comes down, so today is a good day to go.

I pulled out my skates, and tried them on. Holy crap - I can't even get my toe in them. Grrr. I guess my feet are a bit larger than they were back about 7 years...

Well, now that I know the tree comes down tomorrow, I still have to go!

You can see how the plaza is practically barren. Even the ice is empty. Looks like early January is a great time to visit New York City. I'd imagine just after New Years would be a little better as more decorations would be up, and the shopping would be great. I got a couple of nice deals myself today :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

TV When You Can't Sleep in Manhattan

The other night I woke up at o-dark-thirty, and I didn't want to wake up Rick by continuing to toss and turn, so I got up and turned on the TV. Although we are living in the city that doesn't sleep, most TV at 3:30 am is pretty crappy.

Then I came upon 2 shows back to back that really looked interesting. First I watched Perfect Day - a show that visits some remote location in the world, sometimes does a little tasting of local specialties and then cooks a few local dishes. Then I came upon Cool in Your Code - what a fun show! This show takes a neighborhood or zip code in NYC, and highlights the interests, shopping, activities and restaurants in the area. Really, just illustrating what makes the neighborhood unique.

So as a result, I have a couple new TiVo options, and I don't have a new food dehydrator or a new piece of fitness equipment guaranteed to make me a size 8! Much cheaper!

Zocalo at Grand Central Terminal

Today I met Rick for lunch, and we went back to Zocalo in the Dining Concourse of Grand Central Terminal.

I have to say - the Shrimp Tostada Salad is one of my very favorite dishes in all of NYC. The greens are a mixture of shredded dark green lettuce with shreds of fresh cabbage and cilantro leaves, and they are tossed with seeded, chopped tomatoes and cubes of mild cheese with dots of green in it - a queso fresco. The salad is lightly dressed with a fresh cilantro dressing, and mounded on a medium tostata which has been spread with a nice bit of fresh guacamole. If that is not enough, fresh chilled shrimps are placed on top of the salad and a bit of creme fraiche is thinly drizzled over the top. Oh my - so delicioso!

Today Rick chose the steak tacos - today it came as steak cubes on the tortillas - I snuck a taste of the meat - it was well seasoned and very tasty - but not as tasty as the shrimp tostada salad!! We drank water and lunch was $35.00 with tax and tip. Yes, pricy for lunch, but did I mention that the shrimp tostada salad is one of my favorite dishes in NYC? It's worth a stop if you find yourself in Grand Central Terminal and you'd like a place to sit and eat :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you Julie, from The Sporadic Cook, for your kind comments about my blog :) I often visit Julie's blog, as I do all the blogs on my blog list (see left). She's always cooking something, eating something or trying something new and interesting!

To accept my award, I'm pleased to nominate the following 7 blogs:

Judy at Cheery Tomato Productions - fabric artist, photographer and philosopher

A Good Appetite - Lots of recipes, travel and stories about family and tradition

Rick at - techie tips, search industry data and the cool clustermaps link

Kristin at the Upper East Side Scene - fabulous restaurant reviews and things to do in the Upper East Side of Manhattan

Faith at I Pray to Gouda - lots of interesting recipes, and a stationery lover

Shelley at I'm Changing My Name to Ouisa - Disco lover, singer and comedienne

Robert at Raw Exposure - a NYC photographer collecting beautiful images

These awardees just need to follow these simple rules to receive this award and pass it on:
Add the logo to your blog
Link to the person from whom you've received the award
Nominate seven blogs of your choice
Leave a message on the nominees' blogs

Please do enjoy the links for these awardees :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Blackened Fish Burrito at Cilantro on the UES

Rick and I were a little antsy today and decided to go out for a late brunch. It's a gorgeous day today - about 40 and sunny, and there isn't a lot going on. Even the offerings at the movies weren't grabbing us. Mexican food - that was grabbing us. I always think yumm - guacamole, but somehow I never seem to get any!

We walked over to Cilantro's and picked up an Onion on the way. We ordered a couple of diet cokes, and perused the brunch menu. I remembered a phone call from my parents on New Years Eve sharing with me that they were at the Palm Street Pier and that there were some fish tacos coming their way. fish tacos here, but there is a nice blackened fish burrito! I ordered that, and Rick ordered the philly cheese steak quesadilla. It was good to get out, read some of the jokes in the Onion and fill our tummies with something that didn't make the kitchen messy!

My New Desk!

Rick and I went for a stroll around the neighborhood yesterday, and I brought him to Pier I so he could get a new dish for his shaving soap. Yay! They had them there for $1. Such a deal.

While we were there we came upon this nifty little desk. It has a flip top, and a nice size so it could be used for lots of things if we decide to move to a new space. BTW - nice size is another word for small :) It's called the Santosa Writing Desk, and it has a great spot for my laptop :)

Next I'll be looking for a chair - something that swivels I think :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Roast Pork and Sour Kraut

Happy New Year!

Given everything going on with the economy, I decided I needed to follow the advice of my father's German born family. Eat pork and sour kraut on New Years Day for a prosperous new year!

Reading other blogs and web sites, it seems the southerners really go for the black eyed peas for a prosperous new year - one food network chef has what she calls a "Money Salad" which is not too unlike my chopped salad. But nobody seems to be talking about the pork and sour kraut tradition. When I was growning up, my mom kindly made all different preparations of pork and sour kraut every New Years day. As kids we only had to have one small bite of the sour kraut, but you know kids. Even a small bite came with lots of whining and complaining. One year my mom even went so far as to make a chocolate sour kraut bundt cake. It was pretty good too, as I remember. The kraut reminded me of coconut as really you just had the texture at that point. Now, why didn't people say you could have German Chocolate Cake for a prosperous new year??

I ordered a boneless roast from Fresh Direct. They sent me this enormous piece of meat. I rinsed it and spread some olive oil over the top. Then I crumbled some of the rosemary and thyme from my herb wreath I bought at the Union Square Farmers Market. I used quite a bit as I have lots - probably a couple of sprigs of each. The flavors together were divine. I'm not a huge rosemary fan, but when it is paired with thyme it has a whole different flavor. I roasted the meat for an hour, and then added baby veggies I got from the Grand Central Terminal Market. Baby zucchini, and patty pan squash, and teeny brussel sprouts and hericot vert. They were all bite sized and fun for a holiday. Rick asked for mashed potatoes with sour cream and I made those as well. He liked them a lot! Less calories to add sour cream than to add butter :)

So, hopefully as a result of eating pork and sour kraut, as well as love and luck, we'll have a prosperous New Year. Hope you do too!