I'm Aimee Astillero. I like food, fashion, hip-hop, film, vampires and other bizarre things. Thanks for finding me! :P

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DESSERT: Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding from Dessert Truck

Now I understand why this heavenly dessert won the Throwdown With Bobby Flay Challenge... It's so amazing, so chocolatey, so decadent and sinful at the same time. I love how this Chocolate Bread Pudding was served warm with a pool of rich vanilla anglaise and fresh cool whipped cream on top. It was so sweet and gooey... I swear I finished it in record time. I just kept eating every spoonful until I reached the bottom of my disposable bowl (and you bet I scraped that sucker clean!). As rich as it was, I had no regrets eating this treat and if I did have any regrets- it is not buying two and trying the one with bacon anglaise! This dessert from a truck is amazing and I don't care if it's a bit expensive ($6) it was definitely worth my buck. Glad to have finally tried it and to see the Dessert Truck back on the streets with their amazing gourmet desserts! I must try the Warm Molten Chocolate Cake next!

You can find @DessertTruck at their usual location at 3rd Avenue between Astor Place and 9th Street ;)

Link: Dessert Truck Works

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Friday, October 22, 2010

EATS: Ippudo NY in the East Village

I've been craving for ramen for weeks now... so I ended up going to dinner with my friends to Ippudo NY for a last minute post birthday get-together. I've been dying to go here for awhile now but was always intimidated by the wait time. I thought going on a weekday would be wiser instead of a weekend and I thought wrong. Regardless of when you decide to go, you will be standing in line! I'm impatient and I dislike killing time but after I was seated and my food came, I realized why this noodle spot is definitely worth the wait...

The Appetizer Menu

Tori Karaage - Marinated Deep-fried Chicken with Spicy Chilli and Sweet Mayo Dipping Sauce! It was crispy and yummy! I like how it's small chunks of bite-sized chicken. The sweet mayo was my favorite. :)

Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls - Self Explanatory! It was a nice cheesy treat. I didn't think an appetizer like this would make the cut at Ippudo but it's a good addition and inventive! 

Hirata Chicken Wings - Wings with Ippudo Black Pepper Marinade! The chicken was soft and the sauce was finger licking good.. :-X

The Ramen Menu! I like how you can add more ramen by simply saying "Kae-dama" :) my kind of place!

My friend Justine's Shoyu Ramen with a side of Kakuni (Braised Pork Belly).

My Dish: Miso Ramen w. Onsen Tamago (Poached Egg)! I opted for the more traditional ramen. The broth was amazing and the noodles were perfectly cooked. The pork was fatty and soft but I do wish I had more meat in my serving. I guess I should have ordered the extra side of pork belly. There were crunchy vegetables that provided texture in every scoop full of ramen noodles but what I loved most is the ball of Shredded Ginger right in the middle. It provided so much flavor for the broth. Without this- this would've just been just any other Miso Ramen. I would rank this ramen experience as my #2 (my heart and #1 still belongs to any Momofuku Noodle Bar). Delicious though! 

And of course, I was surprised with Green Tea Ice Cream for dessert accompanied by really loud singing! It was so embarrassing! Haha

Overall, the food is amazing and I can't wait to go again! I would love to try the pork buns next (I hear a lot of people raving about it) and other appetizers. I don't doubt their ramen, I'm sure whatever I order next time will content me. I also love the ambiance.. this place is very hip and modern. The waiters are very friendly and attentive so you won't have to worry about having a bad experience. The only thing I stress is the wait (there are no phone reservations, just walk-ins) but if you're willing to taste some kick ass ramen, you'll be willing to wait... ;)

P.S. Thanks again to all who celebrated with me on my Birthday!

Ippudo NY
65 4th Avenue
(between 9th and 10th Sts)
NY, NY 10003

Ippudo on Urbanspoon
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DESSERT: Little Cupcake Bakeshop in Bay Ridge

Since my favorite bakery in Staten Island was closed on Monday, I headed over to Bay Ridge in Brooklyn to try Little Cupcake Bakeshop. I wanted to get a cake for my birthday but decided that buying individual cupcakes would probably best. I figured, if I have a whole cake in my fridge, I'd end up eating it all and that's not good! Hah. So I picked up some after dinner goodies:

My Picks!

Carrot Cupcake

Chocolate Cloud Cupcake

Red Velvet Cupcake

Blue Velvet Cupcake

Vanilla Cupcake w. Chocolate Buttercream

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding
Out of the five, I chose the Chocolate Cloud Cupcake. The fluffy merengue icing enticed me to pick this one. The icing definitely makes this treat delicious. However, the devils food chocolate cake wasn't great- I definitely had better ones than this one. I felt like it was too dry and the cake felt too hard. I'm used to moist and fluffy cakes. However, I also tried the Banana pudding and it iss to die for! It was very rich, creamy and buttery. The nila wafer cookies in between balanced the richness of the heavy cream and added some texture to every bite. This one is so far my favorite from the Bakeshop.

The location is great and the cupcakes are mediocre for $2.75 a piece. If you're looking for plain dessert but not mind blowing then Little Cupcake is your spot for dessert and hot or cold beverages. But in all honesty, the bakery is reminiscent of Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street from the decor, the lay-out and even the staff dress (which I prefer- sorry!). Supposedly another location will also open on Prince Street in Soho for all you Manhattan dwellers to try if Bay Ridge is too far from your reach.

Little Cupcake Bakeshop
9102 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209


Little Cupcake Bakeshop on Urbanspoon
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Monday, October 18, 2010

MUSIC: Its Overture - Classic Rap Vol. 1

Check out this amazing Classic Rap Vol. 1 from RiVerse from Its Overture. Its been awhile since I heard some good mixing with a clever playlist, dope beats and smooth transitions to back it up. Loved the Clipse joint the most with the Alchemist beat as well as the epic ending with ODB's The Stomp. This Rap mix is definitely for the Rap dweebs out there and simply speaks for itself. Dope! 

Classic Rap Vol. 1 by Its Overture

1. Bobyahed2dis - Redman (+) Save Their Souls - Hamilton Bohannon
2. The Planet - Gang Starr
3. Whole City Behind Us - Kanye West
4. Streets Of New York (Acapella) - Rakim (+) Heart Of The City (Instrumental) - Kanye West (with elements of Escape From New York - Sadat X w. Pete Rock)
5. Trouble Man - Inspectah Deck (prod. Pete Rock)
6. Sucka Nigga (Instrumental) - A Tribe Called Quest
7. For You - Little Brother
8. Royal Flush (Accapella) - Andre 3000 (+) Goldmine (Instrumental) - Dr. Dre
9. Lyin King (Instrumental) - Nine (+) Apocalypse - Wyclef
10. Audiotorium - Mos Def (prod. Madlib)
11. Make Em NV - J Dilla
12. Represent (verse) - Big L (+) Moses Theme - Frankie Bleu (sample used for “24 Hours To Live”)
13. Click (DJ Premier Intro)
14. Thirteen - Organized Konfusion (+) How We Rock (Instrumental) - DJ Premier
15. Poisonous Darts - Ghostface
16. Made You Look (Acapella) - Nas (+) Illy (Instrumental) - El-P
17. When The Last Time (Acapella) - Clipse (+) Get At Me (Instrumental) - Alchemist
18. Return Of The Mac - Prodigy (prod. Alchemist) (+) Beatnuts Forever (Instrumental) - Beatnuts
19. None Of Y’all Better (verse) - Jadakiss (prod. DJ Premier) (with elements of No Mercy (Instrumental) - Alchemist)
20. The Stomp - Ol Dirty Bastard (+) The Edge - David McCallum


EATS: Cebu Bar & Bistro in Bay Ridge

I celebrated my Birthday dinner with my family last night and we decided to go to Cebu Bar & Bistro in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to try something new. I remember going to this location when it was Mambo Italiano back in the day which was an Italian family restaurant that we loved going to... but I'm glad this new eatery replaced it because its gourmet bistro food is simply amazing! You have the option of dining in or enjoying a drink or two at the bar. Cebu Bar & Bistro has a great menu with much to offer.
The Entree Menu for the evening. 
The Appetizers:
Complimentary Bread with Remoulade Dipping Sauce
Grilled Steak Skewers with Dijon Dipping Sauce - This appetizer was so delicious. The Steak was soft and cooked medium rare and the Dijon sauce was a little tangy and spicy. SO GOOD!
Fried Calamari with Marinara and Tartar Sauce - it was perfectly fried and lightly battered.
The Entree(s):
Dad ordered the Seafood Paella. The Rice was perfectly cooked and the seafood was fresh. It had
Calamari,  Clams, Mussels , Shrimp, Peas and Chorizo. I think the best part of this dish was the Spanish Chorizo because it was nice and spicy. The dish portion is HUGE (enough for 2)!
Mom ordered the Striped Sea Bass with Mussels on herb broth on a bed of Spinach with Cherry Tomatoes and a side of Toast. This dish was light and the fish was perfectly cooked. The chef also added wine to the herb broth which made the sauce very flavorful!
My Brother Lorenz ordered the 10 oz. Steak Frites Au Poivre.  The Fries were crispy and the meat was delicious in its medium rare form. The heavy cream based sauce was a good touch of flavor for such a meaty dish.
Mr. Fox ordered the Double Cut Pork Chop with Grilled Hot Cherry Peppers, Asparagus and Roasted Peppers. The Pork Chop was delicious and tender but the Hot Cherry Peppers overwhelmed the dish a bit because it became too spicy after awhile. The Roasted Potatoes were tasty and was baked to perfection.
I ordered the Chipotle Chicken. The dish came with two lightly fried Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Mashed Potatoes slathered with a Chipotle Cream Sauce. The sauce was great and was definitely the star of the meal! It a little spicy and rich in heavy cream. The Chicken was fried to perfection and was not too thick. The mashed potatoes were buttery and creamy was able to tone down the spiciness of the Chipotle sauce. I loved my dish! The portion was just a little too big for me so I ended up with a doggy bag at the end of my meal.
The table shared a side of Mac and Cheese. It was perfectly cheesy and baked in the oven with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. It was DELICIOUS. This is how Macaroni and Cheese should be done!
The Desserts:
Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich - Yes, you saw it correctly- that's a Pound Cake my friend! Not a cookie! This dessert is pretty amazing in theory but was way too rich for me. A Pound Cake is too much in my opinion and should be enjoyed by itself. Perhaps if it was a little thinner in slice then it would've been enjoyable. 

The Chocolate Molten Cake - this dessert was so delish! A perfect ending to my meal. The Chocolate Cake was warm, sweet, and gooey and the Ciao Bella Vanilla Ice Cream just made it better with every bite.  It was addicting and soooo good!
Overall, the food was delicious! You bet that we were really stuffed at the end of the night with all the food that we ordered. It's a bit pricey but from experience I know that an entree dish is good for two people to share. Lighting was also a bit too dim for my poor eyes and the food wait took awhile to arrive which made it a mediocre experience. Nevertheless if you have time and you want to try something different from the usual Italian restaurants in Bay Ridge, then this place is for you. Also heard that they have affordable and amazing weekend brunch... I'll have to try it out one weekend! 

Cebu Bar & Bistro
8801 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Thank you for all the Birthday wishes via phone call, text, Twitter and Facebook! :)

Cebu on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 17, 2010

MUSIC: A Fresh Beet from Schrute Farms

 So recently I've been watching The Office and have been super hooked to this incredible show. Then yesterday I was listening to Mick Boogie and Terry Urban's Sirius Radio show, "The Press Play Show" and heard this blend of Lil' Wayne's "Hustler Musik" acapella (from The Carter II) with The Office's theme song! OMFG how genius is this and where the hell was I when it dropped 6 months ago?! I'm really digging this joint produced by Los Angeles producer Clockwork- anything Hip-Hop combined with a clever movie or tv show theme is a plus to me (like Jayelectronica's "Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)" and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). What a great blend and a definite plus in my iPod playlist! Anyway, we all know that Dwight K. Schrute loves beets, but I'm sure he'll love this beat even more! ;) HAH!    

LINK: Hypetrak

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Follow Me @Foodspotting.com!

I can't help it, I LOVE food. I take pictures of the food I've eaten and store it on my iPhone and computer as my trophies... Is that sick or what?! Well I think it's pretty normal if you love food right? Well guess what- I've discovered a new community with this same belief through Foodspotting... :P

I discovered the Foodspotting app for my iPhone last week and I've been hooked ever since! Do you usually twitpic your food like I do? Then this app is for you! It's like everyone's twitpics of just FOOD! Its super easy... just sign up, 'spot' your food, upload your picture through your phone or web, name the food, add the name of the restaurant or establishment and you're done! It's a virtual diary of the food you eat and the restaurants you've eaten in.. simply genius! Also, if you're like me and have a hard time deciding what to eat for take out- you can search for food that are near you or search for specific restaurants to see what people have already tried. It's a great tool to help you make a foodie decision. I love it! 

I like this app so much that I've uploaded pictures of ALL the food on my iPhone and got ranked #4 this week! Check me out on the picture above! ;)

So what are you waiting for? Download this fun app and make sure to follow me @FoodspottingThis app will get much better as more food enthusiasts join to create a greater food library! 

LINK: Foodspotting

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Monday, October 11, 2010

RECIPE: Mr. Fox's Meatloaf

We had a weird craving for meatloaf this weekend so Mr. Fox and I decided to freestyle our own recipe and attempted to make our own version by combining both Italian and Classic meatloaf recipes that we found on the Internet. I must say, it was pretty good for our first run and came out really tasty. We were afraid that it would taste bland but to our surprise the meatloaf was bursting with flavor and our culinary experiment was a success! We couldn't just make meatloaf for dinner so we also decided to make oven roasted potatoes for a side dish and both paired of real well. Here's our recipe:

1-1/2 .lb Ground Beef (we used sirloin because it is less fattier)
2 Large Eggs
1 c. Italian Flavored Breadcrumbs
4-6 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
1/2 Onion, chopped
1/3 c. Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1/3 c. Fresh Basil, chopped
1/3 c. Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Ketchup (Optional)

-- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
-- Take a sauté pan and place 2 tbsp of olive oil until it's hot. When hot enough, place the chopped garlic, onion and red bell pepper mix on the pan and stir until cooked. Put aside when finished and let the ingredients cool on the pan.
-- Take a big mixing bowl and break up the ground beef with a fork. Add the two large eggs and a cup of Italian flavored bread crumbs and mix accordingly.
-- Take the cooked garlic, onion and red bell pepper mix and add it to the meat mixture and mix.
-- Add chopped Basil and Parsley on the bowl and mix again.
-- Season the meat by sprinkling Salt and Pepper (to your liking) on the bowl and mix.
-- Take a baking loaf pan and spread the meat mixture on the pan. (NOTE: We used 5 individual baby loaf pans for individual serving and portion control). Make sure not to over fill your loaf pan and leave some room. Place loaf pan on a flat baking sheet or pan and place inside the oven.
-- Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 mins (depending on your oven) until brown and cooked.
-- Let pan cool for 15 minutes
-- Slice, Serve with or without Ketchup and Enjoy!

6 Medium Sized White Potato (quarter sliced)
4 Cloves of Chopped Garlic
1/3 c. of Chopped Fresh Parsley
3 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

-- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-- Grab a mixing bowl and place cut potatoes.
-- Drizzle Olive oil.
-- Add chopped garlic and parsley on the mix.
-- Season with Salt and Pepper to your liking.
-- Mix ingredients with spoon accordingly.
-- Grab a baking sheet and spread potatoes evenly.
-- Place in oven to cook for 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on how crispy you would like them turn out.
-- Cool for 15 minutes.
-- Enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

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