I had friends who had told me about this place, but I never realized it was in Chinatown until I Google mapped the location. Upon arrival, I realized I had passed by this little gem many times before. I was glad to finally be checking it out now though.
I went on a Saturday afternoon, so it was pretty busy inside. It is a small space, with only really “seating” (really just standing) by the window.
They have their menu posted on the entrance wall, and I was surprised by the assortment of options they had. The best part is, when you order a cone or sundae, you get unlimited toppings! This alone makes this ice cream stop great since most places will charge you around 75¢ for toppings.
I ordered at the register and since there were so many people there, I had to wait a while for my order. They make everything as it is ordered, including the waffles which are shaped either for the sundae cup or made into a cone. The waffles themselves even come in 3 different flavors; I went with the Original for my first time.
It was a lot of fun to watch them make every order and see what creations other people requested. I did end up having to wait maybe 10-15 minutes for my ice cream to finally be made, but it was worth the short delay.
They did an amazing job decorating my cone and placing my large number of toppings on top. I love how they made it into a spectrum of rainbowed colors, something I had not expected when ordering.
The waffle was warm and freshly baked, making the combination of it all a heavenly gift. I saw many people sharing the cone with friends and families, but I really recommend getting your own to enjoy because while it may look like a lot, the Eggloo treat disappears fast.
I really look forward to my next visit! I plan on trying the sundae version next time!
So far my recipes have really stuck to the title “30-minute gourmet” in their prep, cook time, and cleanup. Unfortunately, this recipe is just 30-minute gourmet. It can be prepared in 30 minutes, but you will have to kick it into high gear, which shouldn’t be an issue if you have dinner around the corner and need something fast.
With that being said, this recipe also differs from previous posts in that it is not incredibly versatile, but that does not mean it is any less delicious. It is a hybrid between Chinese takeout chicken and homemade breaded chicken. Because it is baked, it does not have the same crunch that takeout might, but it is healthier since it is not deep fried. If you want that crunch, just fry the coated chicken in very hot oil in batches until very lightly browned, let dry on a paper towel, and then fry again until golden brown. This does require a large pot and either tongs or a slotted spoon.
As for this recipe, the sauce is very flavorful and relatively spicy (depending on your tolerance) so I like to pair it with rice and sometimes broccoli to really get as much of the takeout experience as I can. This might just be an old wives tale, but I am pretty sure the spice in the sauce can help reduce cold symptoms, but don’t quote me on that. Also, seasoning the chicken before it is dredged helps give it flavor beyond just the sauce-coated exterior. Especially if you have big pieces, this will help keep those meaty centers from being bland.
Cleanup for this will take at least another 15 minutes, so I suggest planning this recipe appropriately. It can work wonders, but if you are looking for 30-minute gourmet because you will have 25 minutes to make a meal, put this recipe on the shelf for now and come back when you have enough time that you won’t be screaming at chicken to cook faster.
Now for the recipe:
1lb chicken breasts or thighs, cubed about 1-inch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, whisked
3 cups Panko bread crumbs (I use Japanese style)
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 pinch white pepper
1 pinch salt
green onions & sesame seeds (for garnish)
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
8 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons sriracha
6 tablespoons honey
8 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Toss the chicken with the sugar, salt, and white pepper. Place the flour in one bowl, the whisked eggs in a second bowl, and the bread crumbs in a third. In batches, coat the chicken in the flour, soak in the egg, and then coat in the bread crumbs. Line the chicken on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook until lightly brown on the outside and fully cooked, about 15 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk the soy sauce, sriracha, honey, water, and the red pepper flakes together. Add to the saucepan and cook for about 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Set aside over low heat until ready to toss with the chicken.
When the chicken is finished cooking, toss with the sauce. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired and serve immediately.
So, I think it’s time we made something sweet, right? It’s a complete myth that gluten-free baking can only be done well by a professional. There are some things you can make with no flour at all like cookies, fudge brownies, and oatmeal bars. But what happens when all you want to do is have a nice fork-full of cake? All you need is to get a really good gluten-free flour blend. (A little tip: the more unknown the brand, the higher the likelihood that the flour blend will be better. Try to steer clear of the big brands trying to embrace the gluten-free craze.)
This recipe is not entirely mine. I was on a farm in Spain when I first tried it. One of my hosts made it to have with coffee, and I could not stop eating it. So, I obviously begged her for the recipe. The best part is, it’s incredibly simple! My addition to the recipe is the flavors, which can be altered to your liking as long as you stick to the basic recipe proportions.
The secret to making this cake is one thing: a personal-sized yogurt. Not only is the yogurt used in the recipe, but the container is your measurement tool for everything! Amazing, right?
1 Personal-Sized Yogurt (peach)
Gluten-Free Flour Blend (or regular flour for those who can tolerate wheat)
Preheat the oven to 350.
First, dump the contents of the yogurt in a bowl. Rinse out the container and dry it.
In a separate bowl, mix together 3 room-temperature eggs and 2 containers-full of sugar.
Then, add the yogurt and 1 container-full of olive oil. Mix together well.
Finally, stir in 3 containers-full of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
Now that you have your mixture, line a 9-inch circular pan with parchment paper. Pour your mixture into the lined pan and cook in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes (but check on it after 20 and do the toothpick test to see if its done.)
While it’s cooking, slice your peaches in thin crescents.
When it is done, let it cool. Then, spread the raspberry preserves generously over the top of the cake. Finally, layer the peaches on top. When you’re ready to serve, take the parchment paper off the cake and enjoy! Goes best with tea or coffee, and good friends or family.
Although I knew the 1 line could take me all over Manhattan, I had no idea that it could also transport me to Paris. That is, until I stepped into Maison Kayser. Nestled in Columbus Circle, this authentic French boulangerie uses traditional techniques to craft fresh pastries and desserts baked on site daily. French baker Eric Kayser opened his first New York boulangerie on the Upper East Side, and the high demand for his impeccable desserts resulted in more Maison Kayser locations opening across the city.
Walking into Maison Kayser – and out of the torrential downpour outside – felt like walking into heaven. Vibrant and delicate desserts were painstakingly arranged behind a glass case, and a variety of fresh baguettes and loaves covered an entire wall. The women working behind the register actually had to ask me if I was ready because I spent such a long time staring at the pastries in front of me.
Eventually, I decided upon the tarte au chocolat, brioche au sucre, and pain au chocolat aux amandes. The tarte was composed of a chocolate shell filled with a rich chocolate cream and topped with a truffle, also known as the chocolate lover’s ultimate dream. Brioche is a light and airy French bread, and mine was covered with large bits of sugar. My last purchase was a traditional French pastry, reinvented by combining chocolate with a thick almond paste inside a delicate pastry shell. All three of my desserts melted in my mouth and transported me to a picnic along the River Seine in Paris.
Experiencing the quality of the pastries at Maison Kayser is an easy alternative to purchasing an expensive plane tickets to France, and I cannot wait to jump back on the 1 train and do it all over again.
While all desserts are comforting, this may be the closest I come to making a comfort dessert. As the semester is coming to a close, and we finish our thesis and term papers, and gear up for finals, I can’t dream of a better dessert to snack on. Today, we are making pull-apart-cinnamon-balls (aka my version of monkey bread). I only warn you, this can get messy fast, so be careful, be cautious, and get ready for a caramel gooey cinnamon doughy treat.
1 package of pre-made biscuit dough (Grand or Pillsbury)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup butter (½ of a stick)
½ cup of brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a square 9X9 inch pan, grease with butter or Pam
Using the biscuit dough, separate and roll into 16 small balls of dough, roughly 1 inch in diameter.
In a plastic gallon size bag, combine white sugar and cinnamon.
Place balls of dough in the plastic bag with sugar and coat dough until completely covered in sugar.
Line balls of dough in pan.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter and brown sugar in microwave for about 45 seconds.
Drizzle brown sugar over the bough balls.
Pop these bad boys into the oven for about 25 minutes or until they’re bubbling golden brown dough balls.
Take out the final product, and let them sit for 10 minutes.
On a plate or flat cookie sheet, flip over the dough balls.
Best consumed warm out of the oven! They keep up to 2-3 days but microwave them if they begin to get hard. Enjoy.
If you’re a foodie in New York, you’ve probably heard about the Mille Crepes Cake from Lady M. It was once ranked as one of top ten best cakes in America back in 2012. The hype around it never ceased since then.
Joining several other fancy sweets such as La Maison du Chocolat, Lady M has a location on 59th street in the basement of the Plaza Hotel. Both times I had Lady M, I was at the 59th street location, as it is easier to get to from campus compared to the original store, which is on Madison avenue and 78th. However, if you get a chance, I would suggest going to the original store as it has a seating area whereas the store at 59th street has more of an “express” feel.
That said, the food hall located in the basement of the Plaza is a hidden gem in the city and definitely worth checking out. The space is not small but feels extremely compact since there are at least 20 different eateries packed in it. Somehow, the space remains classy despite how busy it gets. The food hall has mostly dessert stores (chocolate, macarons, cakes, you name it) in the center, and quick bite lunch/dinner places (such as a crepe place, a pasta restaurant, and a ramen shop) on the side. The sheer number of choices offered here is overwhelming, especially since every store here competes with each other, trying to be the trendiest and most appealing. With the number of options available, the food hall could easily be a one-stop destination for someone looking for lunch, afternoon tea, and even a light dinner.
Lady M is the first thing you will see when you go down the escalator. It is a circular stand, and it will most likely be surrounded by a long line of customers. As you wait in line, you will get a chance to look at the choices – since the boutique make its cakes fresh everyday, what is in the counter is what you can order. The only exception is if you place orders for whole cakes ahead of time.
The food hall does not have seating area allocated for Lady M specifically, which can also be annoying. Many people here take the cake to go, and the server will wrap the cake up in a nice little white box. If you really want to sit down, you can keep going farther into the food hall, after you pass Luke’s Lobster, you will see escalators on the left. There are around 20 round tables in this area. But beware – since everyone in the food hall are snatching these seats, you may have to look around and wait a bit depending on the time of the day you are going.
Unsurprisingly, the Mille Crepes Cake is a top option for first-timers as well as returning customers. It is a cake stacked with 20 layers of thin crepes, in between which is whipped cream. You just can’t really go wrong with this combination, can you?
The crepes are paper-thin, making the whole cake light despite the fact that it has 20 layers stacked up. It seems like the closer to the center, the more proportion of whipped cream you get. I personally like the texture of crepe better than that of creme, so I enjoyed the outside edge of the slice the most, as I could get more the taste of the crepe.
What is extremely unique about the Mille Crepes cake is how much it resembles a creme-brulee, since the top layer has a caramelized sugar taste. If you like creme-brulee, you will definitely like this original cake from Lady M.
Another type I tried is their Green Tea crepe cake. Which has the exact same form as the traditional crepe cake, but just with green tea powder. And this option is recommended for any Matcha/Green tea lover, as the green tea taste is quite strong.
Lady M is famous for its crepe cake, but it is also innovative and offers a few other types of cakes. Another signature cake that they almost always have available is Checkers cake, which is a combination of chocolate and vanilla sponge cake, arranged in checkers pattern. Depending on the day, they offer other options such as Mocha mousse cake, flourless chocolate cake, and creative cakes such as one called “Mimosa” – which is stacked with plump vanilla cake sponges, giving it an interesting appearance, but it apparently has nothing to do with the drink Mimosa. (bummer.)
For one piece (which is not very big and can easily be finished), a Mille Crepes costs 8 dollars. Even though it is a little more expensive than I hope, it is still in the affordable price range and definitely something worth checking off your to-do-list in New York.
Lady M Cake Boutique
1 W 58th St, New York, NY
For more posts from the Worth the Hype? series by Shirley,
Hop on a flight at JFK with your drink and your bikini because we are taking this sweet tooth recipe down south. Whether you’re going to Miami for spring break, staying in New York City, or going somewhere even colder (you can find me trekking through the landscape of Nova Scotia), this recipe will be sure to keep you warm. Sip it poolside or in a cabin in the snow, and enjoy your spring break because after those midterms, you deserve it.
4 cups of Ice
2/3 cup fresh Pineapple (cut into chunks)
3 oz. Cream of Coconut
4 oz. Pineapple Juice
2 tbsp. Lime Juice (preferably from a fresh lime)
3 oz. Light Rum
Cut up pineapple into chunks.
Throw everything into a blender.
Blend Blend Blend
Add more ice if the mixture is too liquidy.
Pour into a fun glass (or coconut if you’re feeling extra fun) and garnish with a slice of pineapple or a sprig of mint.
You may be in the thick of midterms, or in the middle of the nail-biting cold, but you need to drop everything that you’re doing and try these brownies. If you don’t bake, then forward this to someone who does and enjoy these delightful brownies. From Palm Beach to New York City, this recipe is an undeniable slice of heaven. But there’s a catch.
These brownies will test your patience. They aren’t for the weak. Because once you finishing mixing the brownie batter and baking this dessert in the oven, you have to leave them in the freezer overnight. If you are craving instant satisfaction, this is not the brownie recipe for you. But if you can endure the wait, let the anticipation build—like waiting for Missy Elliot’s album to drop—I promise it will be well worth it.
2 sticks of Butter
8 ounces of Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
½ tsp. Almond Extract (optional)
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. dry Instant Espresso Powder
3 ¾ cups Sugar
1 2/3 cup Flour
Grab a 9×13 in. pan, line it with tin foil, and brush it with some melted butter so the brownies don’t stick. We don’t want to mess up before we begin.
Turn the oven to 400 degrees.
In a double boiler, or microwave if you plan on being extremely cautious, melt the 2 sticks of butter with the 8 ounces of chocolate, then remove from heat and set aside.
In an electric mixer, combine eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, espresso powder, and sugar and beat for about 8-10 minutes.
Reduce speed and add the butter and chocolate mixture.
Slowly begin to add the flour to this mix.
Scrape all of the batter into the tinfoil-covered pan and place into the oven for about 15 minutes.
Flip the pan around, lightly place tinfoil on top of the brownies and bake for another 15 minutes. Take the brownies out when the top begins to crack. DO NOT OVERBAKE!!
Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool. Then place them into the freezer for at least 8 hours. Be patient.
A few hours before you’re ready to serve the brownies, remove them from the freezer and let them defrost.
With a serrated knife, cut the brownies into small bites. They are extremely rich and fudgy. Everyone will want a taste. Enjoy!
We’ve all gone through it. One of the most difficult decisions we will make all weekend long: sweet or savory. Do we decide to have the eggs, toast and bacon for brunch or the french toast with berries and whipped cream? Honestly, you can’t go wrong here, so for this sweet tooth recipe, we are going sweet, naturally.
One of my favorite dessert for breakfast recipes is chocolate chip banana pancakes. These fluffy pancakes are perfect for any morning when the wait at Community or Kitchenette is too long or the thought of leaving your apartment is shattered when you see that the temperature has dropped below freezing. With a hearty glass of milk, whip up some delicious pancakes and enjoy this dessert for breakfast.
1 ½ cups Flour
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
1 ¼ cup Milk
Butter for pan
½ cup Chocolate Chips
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, milk and egg.
Place pan over medium heat. Place butter in pan for non-stick effect.
Using an ice cream scooper or spoon, pour batter onto heated pan to create pancakes approximately 3 inches in diameter.
When bubbles in batter have formed, place banana slices and chocolate chips on batter.
Flip pancake. Wait until both sides are golden brown.
Pro Tip: The first batch of pancakes usually looks funny. Wait for the second batch of pancakes when serving them to friends and family.
Last week, I wrote about my favorite Middle Eastern meal. I’d like to tell you about my favorite dessert, the dessert that I look forward to having every time I go home: knafeh, also known as künefe in Turkey, and kadaifi in Greece. This popular Middle Eastern dessert originates in the Palestinian city of Nablus, which is a historically busy commercial center located in a valley between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. This city is well renowned for its white, brined cheese made from sheep’s milk, known all over the Middle East as “Nabulsi cheese.”
The soft, mild Nabulsi cheese is the main component of the knafeh, which is made by sandwiching a tray-full of cheese between two layers of noodle-shaped semolina dough. Once baked, the knafeh is soaked in a sweet sugar and orange-flour syrup, and topped with some crushed pistachios. Made in big, circular trays, this dessert is served at very, and I mean very, large family gatherings, where everyone gets to cut off a slice from the tray at the center of the table. Enjoying the knafeh in a communal setting is a tradition all over the Middle East. There aren’t many desserts that bring families together like the knafeh does, and it is because of this, and its delicious, gooey sweetness, that knafeh is by far my favorite Middle Eastern dessert.
Craving it once in a while, I find myself heading to Falafel on Broadway for a bite of their knafeh. But, if you want a place that serves an authentic slice of this dessert, take the M60 towards LaGuardia Airport, and stop at Steinway street, otherwise known as Little Egypt, in Astoria, Queens, where you’ll find many Middle Eastern bakeries serving it warm and freshly made. It is also worth making this thirty-minute trip for the great Middle Eastern restaurants and shisha lounges concentrated in the neighborhood.