Clinton Street Baking Company
(Lower East Side)
The Clinton Street Baking Company was on my list of places to visit, and I managed to stumble upon it one morning. It was fate.
In fact, it was fate that I would eat one of the most amazing French toast breakfasts I’ve ever had. The French toast was actually thick pieces of rich, eggy brioche. It was lightly pan-fried, and then doused in bourbon-laced caramelized bananas and pecans. As if that weren’t decadent enough, it was served with real maple butter.
They’re also famous for their buttermilk biscuits. Unfortunately, I was so stuffed full of sinfully good breakfast that I didn’t try a biscuit.
It’s a teeny tiny place. If you have the luxury of going during the week, take it. It will be busy then, but nowhere near the madness that weekends probably bring.
Clinton Street Baking Company
4 Clinton St
New York, NY
Happy pi(e) day, everyone! The anticipation almost killed me, but it’s finally here.
Last year’s pie was so delicious that I’m repeating it. It’s a chocolate cookie crust, sprinkled with toasted peanuts and caramelized bananas, covered with cream cheese peanut butter mousse, and topped with dark chocolate ganache.
Also in the works is a deep-dish, double-crust apple pie. Just because. It’s classic, it’s delicious, and who doesn’t love apple pie?
I bought a bunch of bananas on Sunday. I tried to pick them strategically: one bunch of almost ripe ones, and one bunch of not-so-ripe ones.
Well, none of the bunches are ripe. And I’m sitting here giving them the eagle eye, because clearly the energy contained within my laserbeam eyes is enough to ripen these bananas.
(I’ll circumvent the inevitable comment about putting them in a paper bag by saying that yes, bananas ripen faster if you put them in a sealed paper bag. The porous paper bag still allows them to vent – that is, not rot – but still traps the ethylene that is emitted. Ethylene makes bananas ripen. Ergo, trapping the bananas in ethylene makes bananas ripen faster.)
However. I choose to stare at bananas in a bowl, rather than at a paper bag with bananas in it.
What will inevitably happen is that they’ll reach optimum ripeness, but by this point I’ll have grown bored of my little game. I’ll discover the bananas when they’re just past the stage that I’ll eat them, at which point I’ll refuse to eat them. Instead, I’ll let them proceed on their merry way to spotted, mushy banana-for-banana-bread territory.
I love brunch. Actually, I love breakfast but I’m rarely able to enjoy breakfast. And on the weekends, I love to sleep in – which means that breakfast becomes brunch.
Anyway, I’m having my two oldest friends over for brunch today. By oldest, I mean that I’ve known one girl my entire life, and the other since I was eight. We don’t see each other nearly often enough these days, so I’m looking forward to seeing them.
I’m making French toast with boozy bananas (dark rum or orange liqueur? I can’t decide) and honey-glazed bacon. We’ll finish with lime-ginger sorbet, and wash everything down with mimosas.
The combination of good friends, food and stories – it’s going to be fabulous.
My friend Natalia is from Peru, and a few weeks ago she asked me if I had a good panettone recipe. I don’t – more on that later – and was curious as to why she wanted one.
Merry Christmas, my lovelies!
For the past five or six years, Christmas day has looked like this: lying around in my pajamas alllll day, eating popcorn, and watching movies. The Christmas movie rotation includes My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (the original cartoon, not the Jim Carrey version).
This year, I’m dog- and house-sitting. This means that I’ll have to get dressed and feed her, and while I’m up I may as well head to my parents’ place and make them brunch. I’m thinking waffles with boozy bananas. Maybe some bacon for the salty-sweet thing. That should do it.
Sometimes I confuse myself. For instance, when it comes to strawberry or raspberry jam, I insist that the seeds be in it. Seedless raspberry jam is no fun whatsoever. But then today, I made myself a banana-blackberry smoothie. Given what I just said about raspberry jam, you’d expect me to be all over the seeds, right?
One sip into the smoothie, I got distracted by the seeds and had to get the strainer. That’s right kids, I actually strained my smoothie. I’m high-maintenance like that.