Banyan Tree Mayakoba

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Catey Lou and I traveled to the Banyan Tree Mayakoba for the long MLK weekend.   This was our third trip to Mexico and we were hoping to continue our string of good luck with Mexican vacations.  The Mayakoba resort area is not far from Playa del Carmen and only a 40-minute drive from the Cancun airport.  All in all we had a fantastic trip and despite one flaw we would definitely return for another stay. Continue reading

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No-Knead Bread

Bread
I have always loved to bake.  And to eat.  There are numerous pictures of me as a child with cake batter or cookie dough all over my face, and I haven’t stopped since then.  Cookies are my specialty, although I have dabbled in it all.  However the one thing I had not tried until last January was bread. Good ‘ol yeast bread.  Just the thought of working with yeast scared me, and there were all of these scary words associated with baking bread, like proofing and rising and kneading.  So I just never attempted it, until a long weekend visiting my aunt when she taught me that I didn’t need to be afraid of bread.  That is was surprisingly easy.  And I have been unstoppable ever since.  I am obsessed with baking bread!  The smell of fresh bread baking is intoxicating, and I feel so satisfied when it comes out of the oven.  However if the thought of the whole process still scares you, I have the perfect recipe.  No-knead bread, inspired by Jim Lahey and America’s Test Kitchen.  It makes the perfect fluffy white bread with a thick crackly crust, and you don’t even have to knead the dough!  Ok, you do have to touch it, but only a few times, I promise!  All you need is time, because this dough needs to sit for 12-18 hours, and then another 2 hours before it bakes.  I really think this recipe will change your (baking) life!   Continue reading

Squash Toast Girl

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One of my top 5 favorite dishes in NYC is the roasted kabocha squash toast at ABC Kitchen.  It might even be number 1 – it’s that good.  I have been known to go sit at the bar alone and order squash toast.  The flavor is just unbelievable – the toasty olive oil soaked bread is spread with creamy ricotta, and then topped with the magical squash mixture.  It is sweet, salty, and spicy all at the same time.  The fresh mint on top adds a beautiful pop of green and a fresh finish.  The first time I introduced the dish to my husband, he insisted that we only needed one order.  He was obviously wrong, and we had to order a second one to come out with dinner.  It is seriously that good!  On a recent visit, I was lamenting the fact that this restaurant is not in our neighborhood.  If it was, I would go all the time just to sit at the bar and get the squash toast.  I would become a regular, and they would call me squash toast girl.  Strange goal, I know, but I think it would be awesome to be known as squash toast girl.  This dish is seasonal, so go try it soon to avoid disappointment.  Continue reading