Queen Bee Eats for a Day

Mermaids, Bees, and Nachos June 28, 2010

Filed under: Food Adventures,Restaurants — queenbeeeatsforaday @ 4:00 am
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Bumblebee Ride at Coney Island

What a strange title for a post, right?  But that’s exactly what we experienced last weekend!

June 19th marked the annual Mermaid Parade at Coney Island, which is an experience to say the least.  Sand, surf, sun, mermaids, and everything else in between!  The parade includes anyone who wants to participate – little girls’ birthday parties, groups making a statement (think “boycott BP” for this year), mermaids-at-heart.  It’s Coney Island at its best.

If you haven’t been to Coney Island, let me describe it to you. Imagine a carnival, sideshow, boardwalk, amusement park, and beach all mixed into one.  It can be fantastic or a little too much, depending on your mood.  It is also very loud.  Coney Island is home to the infamous Cyclone (a rollercoaster that’s been there since 1927) and Nathan’s Famous (origin – 1916) hot dogs.

The idea of a hot dog, a quintessential New York snack, was much more appealing to us than the Cyclone, but that’s just me.

After an hour on the train with some crazies dressed as pirates (did I not mention that pirates are also common to the parade?) We arrived in time to see the last half of the parade and then eagerly headed over to the site of Nathan’s, right off the boardwalk, along Surf Avenue.  Then we saw the line…maybe 150 people long.  It was hot and we were hungry, so we decided to save Nathan’s for another post which brings us to the nachos…

San Loco Ballpark Nachos

We still wanted something to eat that fit in with the theme of the day – fun, campy, not-entirely-healthy – so we stopped off at San Loco in the Lower East Side.  San Loco’s self-proclaimed Gringo-Mex menu is great!  Ordered a

couple of taco locos, Pacificos, and the star of the show – a small order ($2.60) of the Ballpark Nachos, complete with tortilla chips, squeezee cheezee nachco cheese sauce, sour cream, fresh jalapenos, taco sauce, and ground beef.   Totally bad but oh-so-good.  Yummm.

End of the Mermaid Parade 2010

It was the perfect punctuation to a day spent in the summer sun, mish-mashing with mermaids, pirates, and rollercoasters.   We’ll be heading back to Nathan’s on a less crowded day.

 

Tweet Tweet Twitter June 27, 2010

Filed under: Welcome — queenbeeeatsforaday @ 1:47 pm
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Do you hear tweeting?  Are you twittering?

Yes, that’s right, we’re now on Twitter!

Go ahead and follow us and join in the fun.  You can find us at http://twitter.com/queenbeeeats or @queenbeeeats.  You can also click the Twitter button in our sidebar.

Happy eating!

QB

 

The Cutest Ice Cream Shop Ad EVER! June 23, 2010

As I wait for our “official” blog photographer to send pictures over for what was scheduled as the next post (keep your eyes peeled for “Mermaids, Bees, and Nachos”) I came across this advertisement.  And since it also happens to be the cutest ice cream shop ad EVER, we had to share it.  Check it out:

After watching this absolutely brilliant ad, I had to find out more about this Lake Street Creamery.  The first thing I noticed on their site was that they

“don’t just sell ice cream. [They] are dedicated artisans bringing you unique flavors in ice creams, gelatos, sorbets and the floats made thereof.”

They also claim their ice cream will turn you into a god.  Mmmmm!  I love everything about it so far.

From the looks of their menu they’ve got innovative and exciting flavors like Donut, Earl Grey, and California Zephyr (Tahitian vanilla, Meyer lemon, and fresh mint!)  With fresh ingredients and small batches changing everyday, I can’t wait to try them!  And with reasonable prices (about $4 for a scoop), there’s no reason not to.

Aside from their smart marketing and fun campy content on their site, they are in Los Angeles!  Which means that our other resident bee can check them out immediately (or wait for me to get there in August – which I might add would be the bee-utiful thing to do…)

Oh, and I should probably mention that this isn’t really an ice cream parlor in the traditional sense of the word.  Lake Street Creamery is a mobile unit that posts their daily locations via Twitter and their site and can apparently be booked for special events.  How fun!

We will let you know when we’ve tried this.  In the meantime, has anyone had the experience of cute kittens and Lake Street Creamery?

 

Thai Toddy June 19, 2010

Filed under: Coffee — haleyhoneybee @ 12:23 am
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The concept: The Cold brew or Toddy Style said to be the best way to make iced coffee. This style makes a less acidic and bitter version of brewing coffee. Interestingly, it was developed by a chemical engineering student at Cornell University.

The chemistry:  Coffee contains many fatty acids and certain oils which are only soluble at a high temperature, this is what gives coffee its characteristic bitter or acidic ‘bite’. Because you aren’t exposing the beans to high temperature these fatty acids and oils are not released. Cold brewing is approximately 67% less acidic than hot brewing methods.

picture taken before I went to sleep

The technique: Cold brew process (Toddy Style)

  • 13 hours before you want drink the coffee
  • coarsely grind coffee beans, letting the ground coffee bloom (or sit) for 1 hr
  • place grinds into french press (this process is usually on the strong side, but you dilute it later)
  • for more flavor you can add a pinch each of cardamom and cinnamon, and a piece orange rind, if you want
  • fill with cold water, pouring a circular motion will help get all grinds get wet
  • don’t stir, but you may nee to tap the grinds to make sure they ‘re all wet
  • leave plunger up, letting the coffee grinds sit in the water overnight

The cool thing with cold brewing is that the coffee stays good for a up to two weeks when stored on the fridge, so you could use your biggest size french press. If storing, you’ll want to transfer the coffee concentrate into another container and discard the ground coffee. You can use this for feeding you garden, acidic loving plants adore coffee.

picture taken the next morning

The variations:

  • For iced coffee drink: 1 part coffee to 3 parts water milk or cream
  • For thai coffee : add one tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk for each 8 oz. of iced coffee
  • This process can also be followed for making iced tea.

the final press

 

What the Heck is Pine Nut Mouth? June 14, 2010

Filed under: Weird Food News — queenbeeeatsforaday @ 12:57 pm
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Source - wikivisual.com

How often do you add pine nuts to your salad or recipes?  If you’re like a lot of foodies out there, the answer is probably more often than not.  And you’re probably one of those people that add a little more than just a small handful of these tasty little suckers to whatever dish you’re making.

Now, think about how often you’ve experienced a bitter, almost metallic taste in your mouth that you just can’t shake.  It’s not all that rare, and no matter what you do, you just have to deal with that foul taste in your mouth for a little while.  Have you ever thought that it could have been caused by the pine nuts?

But, what is strange is that others who have eaten the same thing as you on the same day don’t have the same experience.  So what’s up? It’s called pine nut mouth.  (Sounds a little dirty, doesn’t it?)

Pine nut mouth is poorly documented, so there’s not a whole lot of research on it, though there are a few articles in food magazines and blogs out there.  So, that means there are only a bunch of theories out there as to why pine nut mouth actually happens. We’ve put together a couple of them for you so you can come to your own conclusion.

Could they be toxic?

As a leading environmental chemist and toxicology expert at the University of Idaho, Gregory Moller was asked about pine nut mouth.  He mentioned that because there are so many different species and varieties of edible pine nuts out there some may be slightly toxic to some people thus resulting in pine nut mouth.  This actually comes down to a mild allergy.  There are about 29 varieties safe to eat, so if you’ve experienced pine nut mouth, perhaps try a different variety.

Are they too old?

Another interesting possibility about the cause of pine nut mouth comes from a Belgian study that was actually published in the European Journal of Emergency Medicine.  This study suggests that when someone experiences pine nut mouth, they have eaten nuts that have oxidized, which means they should not have been eaten.  The study also indicates that most occurrences of pine nut mouth happen after eating pine nuts from China, though that has yet to be proven.

Is it you?

Dysgeusia, or changes in taste, can occur in people for a variety of reasons.  These reasons could range from something you ate to a more serious health problem.  This can also happen during pregnancy or as a side effect of taking medication.  Sometimes, perhaps in the case of pine nut mouth, dysgeusia can also go completely unexplained.  If you’re worried that the funky taste in your mouth is more than a little pine nut after-effect, check with your doctor.  (It’s probably not, but we do have to warn you!)

The overall conclusion is that you shouldn’t worry too much about pine nut mouth.  It won’t kill you and you haven’t been poisoned by any heavy metals.  Just remember, there are plenty of pine nut varieties out there, all of which have incredible health benefits, so you may or may not ever experience the fun of pine nut mouth.  But if you do have a funky taste in your mouth all of a sudden that you just can’t lose, think back…have you eaten any pine nuts lately?

 

Look at My Dinner March 24, 2009

Filed under: Cooking Adventures — queenbeeeatsforaday @ 2:52 am
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look-at-my-dinner

yumm?!

This image was emailed to me last week by my sister, Jennifer.  She made her own dinner, garnished it, and took a picture.  The email had the simple subject, “look at my dinner.”

I think that our blog has inspired her, which is what it’s all about – being adventurous, trying new things, and having fun with food.

Granted, this is a jar of spaghetti sauce (Vodka sauce), but the fact that she thought about(and followed through) making a meal instead of eating at Chipotle for the tenth time this week makes me think that there’s hope for her yet!

Way to go, Jen!

XOXO
QB

 

Economy Minded Luxe Lunch March 23, 2009

Filed under: Food Adventures,Restaurants — haleyhoneybee @ 6:21 pm
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In light of the current economy, we are curbing our out of the house eating. Sometimes it seems unjustified to pay beaucoup bucks for only a moderate meal. But there are times that it is enjoyable to eat out – my hubby and I love Saturday lunch dates. So we decided to adventure out for a lovely afternoon, and pay mind to our ordering.

I shall begin…but I’ll need to take a moment to close my eyes, a and salivate for a moment, mmm, the taste memory is fantastic. We went to Canaletto in Newport Beach, an Italian restaurant.  For our meal we ordered the Antipasto di Pesce, small plate samplings of their seafood appetizers. I should note that all the dishes themselves are on the lunch menu, but the sampling antipasto is actually listed on the dinner menu (we had checked out the menu online), there was no problem ordering it however. The small plates each came out one by one when ready, sized perfectly for two to share, and price accordingly. The antipasto is $15 pp, but the meal was far more luxe than the $30 price tag (for 2) would suggest. I should also mention that each of the appetizers if ordered alone are priced between $10 and $14, so to get e bit of all of them is well worth it. But none of this is giving the meal justice…let me describe the dishes that arrived…

Ostriche Fresche – Seasonal fresh oysters with lemon and cocktail sauce
Carpaccio di Spada – House-cured swordfish carpaccio with sliced fresh artichokes, capers, and micro-greens
Sardee in Saor – Fresh sardines fried and marinated with sweet and sour onions (so similar to a herring snack my hubby had a few summers ago in Amsterdam)
Baccala ‘alla Vicentina – Imported dry cod baked in milk with onions, capers and garlic, served over soft polenta (the description does nothing for the taste – more creamy than salty, warm and delectable)
Calamaretti Fritti – Baby squid lightly floured and deep-fried; served with grilled polenta and spicy marinara sauce
Polipo con Patate – Warm octopus and potato salad with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice (the octopus was no where near it usually chewy self, it was tender and scrumptious)

It was a leisurely late lunch, and a lot of wonderfully different food. I have no pictures, but no fear, I’ll be going back and I’ll snap some. ~ HHB

 

Let them eat (gluten-free) cake

Filed under: Cakes,Cooking Adventures,Recipes & How-Tos — haleyhoneybee @ 5:43 pm
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As a wedding present for a childhood friend of my hubby, we are making them some cakes to serve at their wedding. We could call them wedding cakes. And this has become a cake baking adventure for many weeks.

Strategy:img_6676

  • The betrothed have very adventurous taste buds and are non-traditional in a fabulous way.
  • Instead of just one cake, we decided to make cakes of various sizes, each with a unique cake stand/plate (most of which are vintage).
  • The Bride has gluten intolerance so care must be taken. For the wedding day only one of the cakes will be GF but for the cake tasting I baked them all GF so she could partake. (This would be a good time to mention that my Mama is allergic to all things wheat, and buckwheat, and totally Celiac…so I have a bit of practice)

The cakes that made the cut for the tasting (recipe links in progress):

  • Black pearl layer cake with ginger vanilla fresh cream frosting
  • Cranberry snow cake with white chocolate Swiss butter cream frosting
  • Lemon Curd layer cake with lemon Swiss butter cream frosting
  • Passion fruit layer cake with passion fruit Swiss butter cream frosting
  • Honey spice cake with cardamom cream frosting
  • Honey spice cake with a thick sugar glaze (made the cake twice because I wanted to try it with garbanzo flour)
  • Molten chocolate mini-cupcakes

img_6666

*Note on the alternative flours used: The first five cakes were all made with a white rice flour blend, for one of the honey cakes I used a garbanzo flour blend, and the cupcakes only call for cornstarch.

There was also a red velvet cake with a cream cheese frosting, but that one was nixed during a previous trial – after much research on classic recipes, in the end it didn’t have enough oomph.

 

Fettucine Alfredo – Quick and Easy

Filed under: Recipes & How-Tos — queenbeeeatsforaday @ 1:22 am
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fettucine-alfredo

It’s funny that the things you didn’t love growing up kinda grow on you as an adult.  A few years ago, I had such a craving for fettucine alfredo and decided to learn how to make it.  Looking back at my years at home, my mom would make this dish and I would dread it.  Today, while it’s still not my favorite Italian dish, it ranks quite high.

It’s super simple to make and chances are, you already have everything you need in the pantry and fridge.  It is the perfect dish to make when you don’t feel like cooking but you also don’t feel like any take out.  Give it a shot!  You’ll be ready to eat in less than a half hour.

adding-cheese

The Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried fettuccine
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • A pinch of nutmeg, optional
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

before-tossThe Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Cook the fettuccine until al dente. When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

2. As the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the shallots and sauté until tender.

3. Add the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the nutmeg here if you choose to.

4. Cook the cream mixture, stirring occasionally, until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

5. Put the pasta, along with the reserved cooking liquid, back into the pot it was cooked in. Heat this over medium-high heat.

6. Add the butter-cream mixture to the pasta and half of the grated Parmesan-Reggiano. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan-Reggiano and garnish with parsley.

Serve immediately. This recipe yields about 4 to 6 servings.

XOXO
QB

 

The Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Meal March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!  Hope you’re wearing lots of GREEN!

the-table


Two weeks ago, my sweetie and I were in Gainesville partly for business and partly for pleasure.  I had scheduled a work trip to coincide with the same week of the Morrissey concert in Jacksonville for which we had tickets.  (The show was cancelled.)

corned-beef

 

As serendipity would have it, the other bee, Melissa, was also in town for work and my sister, Jennifer, was free, so what better way to celebrate our meshing schedules than to invite ourselves over to Donald and Erica’s for an early St. Patrick’s Day meal – Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Potatoes.

cabbage

 

We paired dinner with some Trader Joe’s Shiraz (surprisingly good) and a couple of beers.

 

potatoes

 

Melissa provided a quick, simple, and lovely conclusion to the meal in a dessert of fresh strawberries and cannoli accompanied by some really terrific Sweetwater (locally roasted & organic) decaf coffee Donald brewed.

 

dessert

It was a fun night filled with lots of food and friends.  I think we all had a really great time and can’t wait to do it again!

Here’s the Recipe –

New England Boiled Dinner

Ingredients –

4-5 pound corned beef brisket
1 head green cabbage, cut into wedges

8 red skin potatoes, halved
2-3 tbsp dried pickling spices

Directions –

  1. Place the corned beef in a large pot and fill with cold water.  Add the pickling spices to the pot – sometimes the corned beef will come with a packet of spices but it’s usually not very much.  Let the beef simmer for 3 hours.
  2. Next, add the potatoes to the same pot and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the cabbage and let simmer until the cabbage and the potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Finally remove the vegetables and the corned beef from the pot.  Thinly slice the corned beef perpendicular to the grain of the meat. Serve with a variety of mustards or horseradish sauces.

Everything was really delicious and cooked to perfection!  After seeing how it was done, it seems like a super easy way to make a lot of food for a hungry crowd!  Thanks again, Erica and Donald!

XOXO
QB