Monday, July 28, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Joe's Shanghai: soup dumplings

The past couple of times I've been to NYC I have tried getting into Joe's Shanghai. There was always a line out the door, and at least an hour-long wait. So when we happened to be in Chinatown on a Monday afternoon, imagine my delight! Famous for the "soup dumpling," Joe's Shanghai is a bit of a New York establishment...

I should have done my research ahead of time. Instead we went in without a clue (like most tourists.) We were seated at a round communal table, and given chopsticks and some green tea. The menu was somewhat baffling. Although the restaurant is known for the "soup dumplings" these items were not prominently featured on the menu. I flipped through for a while before asking the waiter for help. I was given a cross 'you-look-Chinese-but-can't-speak-the-language?' stare and after much confusion, the waiter made my order for me.

The Xiao Long Bao or, "little dumplings basket," arrived fresh in a bamboo steamer. They were round, symmetrical things, that supposedly resemble a pagoda shape. Observing my neighbors, I decided the best way to eat them was to plop a dumpling on my spoon, nibble off the top, drizzle in some of the vinegary sauce, and then suck the meaty broth from the steaming pouch. Afterwards I could munch away at the delicious little crab and pork meatball and the yummy doughy wrapper.

Other specialty dishes at Joe's Shanghai include, the shredded turnip shortcake, a variety of seafood options, braised duck and Shanghai fried bean curd (this one was delicious!)

Please note: Dine carefully on the "soup dumplings" as these little pouches of steaming hot liquid can result in severe tongue burning!


Joe's Shanghai
9 Pell Street
New York, New York 10013
Phone: 212-233-8888
Fax: 212-233-0278

Image by cartoonist, Robert Zimmerman lifted from

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Joy of Painting: Bob Ross

One of my childhood memories consists of sitting in front of the T.V. and watching the folksy guy with the fro paint landscapes in under an hour. Bob Ross, from the Joy of Painting, was one of those reverse chic gurus whose soothing voice was once compared to Demerol. He would contend, that given half an hour, just about anyone could paint a landscape following his instructions for, "happy little clouds" and "pretty little mountains." He made it look SO EASY.

Imagine my surprise when I took my first oil painting class...

...the colors all muddied together and despite my best attempts, no "happy little trees" or "happy little streams" or even any "happy little accidents," magically materialized. Ah well, maybe I didn't pay close enough attention when I was little.

I recently found this YouTube clip of Bob Ross, "happy little outtakes." Not to be irreverent (I still loved his show!) but I find it weirdly entertaining:

Image lifted from

Monday, July 14, 2008

Love these Mod Cloth dresses!

In plaid the color of changing leaves, this retro-flattering dress by Stop Staring will leave people wondering where in the world you bought it. With a kicky pleated bottom and cinched in waist, pair this with a trench coat and heels for sassy perfection!

Inspired by classic Hollywood stars like Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe, this classic pin-up dress channels glamour and style wherever you go. Pair with heels and a clutch for a look thats red-carpet ready, or flats and a tote for picture perfect picnics in the park.

Mod Cloth: a perfect place to find vintage and vintage inspired clothes!

Images and descriptions lifted from

Friday, July 11, 2008

B&G Oysters

One of the South End establishments I've always wanted to visit is B&G Oysters...and today, I got the chance!

For my birthday, my awesomest bro took me out for a luncheon at this cool, minimalist spot. In the backyard patio, beneath white cloth canopies, we shared a communal picnic bench with fellow foodies. A glass of cold, sparkling Prosecco started things off.

We began with a half dozen freshly shucked Wellfleets. Topped with a dab of horseradish sauce, a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of vinaigrette, these little blobs of deliciousness tasted fresh and sweet with an amazingly smooth and silky texture. I could have eaten TWO dozen of these guys. Remember the story of the Walrus and the Carpenter? Now I understand the ending to that poem.

We followed our oysters on the half shelf with the fried softshell crab with pepper soffritto. The crab was perfectly cooked - light, crispy and very tasty (especially with a scoop of the brightly flavored pepper mix.) For a main, we went with what our table neighbor had been eating (it looked too good to pass up): the fabulous chilled lobster salad with tomato, avocado, cucumber and fennel. For some reason lobster and avocado go really well together. How this most excellent concoction ever came to be is anyone's guess. My bro speculated that long long ago, a lobster climbed out of the sea and up into an avocado tree, clipped off a piece of fruit and then fell (along with the avocado) into the awaiting jaws of some creature down below. And thus was born the lobster and avocado salad...

...but I digress. For dessert we went with the creme fraiche panna cotta with citrus tuile, and rhubarb coulis. It was certainly delicious and flavorful, although I prefer my panna cotta with less gelatin. The tuile was a bit soggy, though still very tasty.

The next time I go to B&G (and believe me, I WILL be back) I think I might just gorge myself on oysters. The lobster roll looked pretty amazing, pilled mile high with fresh lobster meat. That would be reason enough to go back as well.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Midnight Snack

Whittard's White Hot Chocolate with dark chocolate sprinkles. Mmmmm!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tres chic!

I love these adorable tea towels by French collective, Atelier LZC! Find them at Bunny Maxwell along with an array of other funky chic housewares. Definitely check out their collection of wallpaper, designer rugs and fun dishware!

Images lifted from

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Leave it to Martha to come up with the most ridiculously perfect Fourth of July desserts...Images lifted from

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Clumsy Coasters

Sloppy with your drink? Clumsy Coasters will give the illusion that you just made a mess. Flexible, clear trompe l'oeil coasters come 4 to a package.

Now your cup can runneth over again and again!

Image lifted from

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

World's Largest Swimming Pool

The last time I was in South America I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and trekked through Patagonia. Little did I know that I was missing one other helluva site:

The World's Largest Swimming Pool is located off the coast of Chile. It is more than 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres, has a 115-foot deep end, and holds 66 million gallons of water.

This monster pool uses a computer-controlled suction and filtration system to keep fresh seawater in permanent circulation, drawing it in from the ocean at one end and pumping it out at the other. It costs 2 million dollars a year to maintain.

Pretty fantastic if you ask me (or a fantastic waste of money?)

Images lifted from

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry

Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry is a website of pure genius. It's a place where people can buy/sell/trade/give away their ex jewelry (ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, same sex exes - all exes are welcome!)

Face it, we've all got something stashed away from relationships past: a charm bracelet, a heart pendant, a pair of earrings. You never wear it, but can't bring yourself to throw it away? Here's the forum for you!

Each posting requests details about the item AND the breakup. The fun part is reading about why you are getting rid of it. Just no names or personal contact information about the ex. Other than that, anything goes:

“If it wasn’t weird to wear another man’s God jewelry around your new boyfriend, I’d keep this one”

"At least he gave me diamonds

Left overs from a short marriage, no need to wear them anymore, hope they make someone else happy"

Hmmm...Ok, well some of these are a little depressing, but if you can get past all that you might spot some good deals!