Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nutty Banana Oatmeal Cookies

You have ripe bananas on your kitchen counter. You're craving something sweet. You need something on the go for breakfast tomorrow morning. You need a snack. Now. What do you make? Banana bites. Here's a fool proof gluten free heart healthy recipe that will leave you drooling when you're preparing it and guiltless while you're chowing down half a batch. 

Nutty Banana Oatmeal Cookies (makes 12-15 large cookies) 
3 ripe bananas
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped 
1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins 
1/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
2. Mash bananas in a large bowl.
3. Fold in oats, nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips. Mix well.
4. If batter is too runny, add more oats a tablespoonful at a time. 
5. Line on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 

✓ whole grains
✓ fiber
✓ fruit
✓ unsaturated fats

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Did anyone notice that since I've been back in New York that I've been writing fewer and fewer recipe reviews? In the city that never sleeps, I seriously feel like I have been getting less and less shut eye because there just isn't enough hours in a day for it! And without enough hours in a day, I also have less time to set aside to do some serious cooking. But fortunately the trade off is that I get to eat all the wonderful things in my city.

Luzzo's in the East Village has a coal burning oven, which really makes all the difference in making Neapolitan style thin crust pizza. But the magic of the thin crust is that it isn't only crisp, but it is also fluffy... like biting into a cloud. I shared 2 large pies and appetizers with 3 other people, and let me tell you it was just enough, but we all wanted more of the mouthwatering pie. I highly recommend the two pies we ordered:
  • Diavola - tomato sauce, mozzarella, spicy salami, basil
  • Michele - mozzarella, sausage, prosciutto, mushrooms, truffle pate, no tomato sauce

 Luzzo's does not skimp out on ingredients! Both of the pies were generously topped. The Diavola had a great tangy tomato sauce, and the Michele was so fragrant and flowing with truffle. I couldn't tell you which one I enjoyed more (probably the Michele because I am partial towards truffle). But again, even though the toppings and flavors were all so on point, the star was still the fluffy airy crust. You have to try it yourself to understand just how mind blowingly life changing it is. 

The seating is a little cramped and the wait can be a little long, so I recommend either going early or making a reservation with a party bigger than 4. I promise you won't regret it. 

211 First Avenue
New York, NY

Thursday, June 5, 2014


If you’re in Manhattan, to say that your choices for Taiwanese food are quite limited is an understatement. Despite the fact that pork buns are quite attainable around the city, gua baos, or the Taiwanese equivalent to a burger, take a bit more searching for. But if you’re ever in the East Village, BaoHaus would easily be the pick for both a pork bao (bun) and a Taiwanese fix.

Started by Eddie Huang and his brother Evan in 2009, BaoHaus specializes in, you guessed it, baos. Here you can get a traditional gua bao, which is a generous slice of tender slow cooked pork belly with pickled mustard greens, fresh cilantro, and powdered peanuts in a steamed bun. The pork belly is cooked in the famous hong shao style with soy sauce, rice wine, rock sugar, ginger, and star anise. Hong shao pork is said to be Mao Zedong’s favorite food, so of course this gua bao is tastefully deemed the Chairman Bao. But Eddie of course adds his own special ingredient to achieve a mouth watering caramel flavor in his hong shao pork belly: Cherry Coke.

All the other baos on the menu are not as traditional as the Chairman Bao, but serve as the perfect medium between traditional cuisine and modern youth culture. Take the 4/20 special for example, which is Cheetos fried chicken with spicy cabbage pickles, lemon garlic aioli, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro.

Visiting BaoHaus is an experience in it of itself. Though gua baos are known to be fast food, the buns at BaoHaus are made to order, so prepare for some waiting time in the intimate tagged up sitting area. But because Eddie Huang is probably too busy filming Fresh Off the Boat with Vice and designing Nikes, don’t expect to rub shoulders with him when you go in for some baos. 

The 4/20 Bao is available only Monday thru Wednesdays

A 4/20 Bao and a pair of Chairman Baos

238 E 14th Street
New York, NY