NYC Guide: Dominique Ansel Kitchen

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Anyone who knows me knows of my fondness for Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho. I wrote about the bakery a few years ago and have visited countless times since then. Even though it became a big tourist destination and a bit of a madhouse when Dominique Ansel invented the Cronut pastry, it’s one of the few places that actually lives up to the hype. I’m so impressed with how Chef Ansel has continued to grow his business and innovate in the pastry world without sacrificing the handmade quality of his desserts. His creations are incredibly creative but even more important, incredibly delicious!

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Chef Ansel’s newest venture is Dominique Ansel Kitchen, his second bakery in New York. Located in the West Village, the Kitchen introduces a unique premise: more than 70% of the menu is made-to-order. The kitchen is visible from the front of the shop, so you can watch as Chef Ansel and his team bake, assemble, and plate savory dishes, desserts and pastries. Chef Ansel’s thinking is that “time is an ingredient” – as I’m sure anyone who’s ever had a chocolate chip cookie warm and gooey from the oven knows, certain desserts just taste better freshly made! This isn’t a new concept for the Chef – in his original bakery in Soho, they’ve had made-to-order madeleines on the menu for some time. I can attest to the fact that they are incredibly delicious, in large part because they are served fresh (and also baked to perfection!). This new bakery is his continuation and amplification of that concept, and I think it’s wonderful to see something new and fresh from such a talented chef.  Read more ››

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I bought this salted chocolate chip cookie mix from food blogger Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt a while back one day just because I was bored and the packaging was cute (oops). You get ingredients for chocolate chip cookies already pre-measured out (three types of sugar including brown sugar and raw turbinado sugar, ground dried whole vanilla bean, Sheperd’s Grain flour, flaky Maldon sea salt, Guittard bittersweet chocolate) and you just add a stick of butter and an egg. I’m not that huge a fan of chocolate chip cookies, so I was kind of like, why did I buy this. Then the other day I finally got around to using the mix, and it turns out they’re literally the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever eaten – not exaggerating. I have absolutely no idea what makes them so good – my only guess is the high quality of the ingredients and the lack of fake preservatives and junky chemicals. The flavor is vanilla-y and just so yummy, but best of all is the soft texture, where it seems almost underdone but it’s not. I’m absolutely thrilled with them and they took about ten minutes to throw together since everything was already pre-measured and ready to go. This would make a great gift!

Carin Olsson does it again! The photographs in this post are AMAZING. Her composition amazes me and the details she chooses to capture are, as always, beautiful and unique, but something else about these images just shines. The quality of the light and color, the sparkle in the perfume bottles, the crisp clarity of the details. The way they’re bright, but not overexposed, the way the colors stand out and yet are soft at the same time…her images have such a distinctive, gorgeous, and ethereal look…I’m in awe!

The last thing I really need is more tees or tanks, but I have a store credit at Everlane and I am pretty intrigued by their slub cotton tees and tanks. They look so airy and comfortable, for walking around or even for sleeping in. I might try the v-neck and the tank.

I went to an event the other night for which I was embarrassingly underdressed, and guess who happened to attend? Oh, just BILL CUNNINGHAM! First of all, it’s crazy that I was at an event that Bill Cunningham was at, and also crazy that I was so poorly dressed at said occasion. Turns out, jeans and flats aren’t always appropriate…lesson learned. I STILL haven’t found a pair of black pants that I like (my search has been re-invigorated now), and I think I’ve finally came to grips with the fact that I really need a pair of heels. I’ve never worn them, since I’m already so tall, and it seems nearly impossible to find mid-heels (like two inches or under). I’m trying a pair from Sole Society with a 2.5 inch heel. Eek! Let’s see if I can walk in them…

Planning to make a ricotta tart with summer fruit this weekend! It looks pretty easy and seriously delicious. I bought some fresh ricotta that’s imported from Italy from the gourmet grocery store near me to use for it…yum!

That event I was referring to above was actually a book signing at John Roselli Antiques for 40 Years of Fabulous, this incredibly gorgeous new coffee table book celebrating 40 years of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. I’ll be visiting the Show House with my Mom (like we do every year), very soon, and I can’t wait to take some photos while I’m there to share here on the blog. I’ll also be reviewing the book soon, so stay tuned for that!

I recently became aware of Little Miracles, this organic tea and juice company that uses all-natural ingredients free of artificial colors and dyes. They sent me a few of their iced teas to sample, and they’re refreshing and tasty! I liked the white tea and cherry, a mix of acai berries, ginseng, and cherry juice.

Excited to get the new Cupcakes and Cashmere book! It’s focused on home so I know I’m going to love it.

Also dying to see Ex Machina…it looks kind of creepy and cool. Anyone seen it?

Hope you all have a happy and healthy Memorial Day weekend!