Baked apples

Baked applesI backed up some of my websites and one of them was a personal site I had three years ago. This picture was among the files I had. I experimented on a lot of recipes using our oven that time, and I thought it would be fun to bake an apple. The apple was sliced and cored to the best of my ability, sprinkled liberally with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar, then placed in the oven for, oh, I don’t know, 20 minutes, I believe. I don’t even remember what temperature I used, sadly, but whatever it was, it was enough to make the apple slices very juicy and soft.


Magnum Classic and Almond

Streets’/Selecta’s Magnum ice cream is one of those food items that spark heated debates–one camp says it’s the best damn ice cream available right now while another camp says there’s really nothing special about it. There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to the Magnum. Ice cream these days, huh?

Anyway, the Magnum has been around for some time now but it has only recently reached our shores and, based on my observations, it’s causing quite a stir. Upon tasting it, I have to say that I’m really not that surprised with the attention it’s getting.

The Magnum, in my opinion, actually tastes good. While it’s not the be-all and end-all of desserts, one can see that there’s something to the hype. Compared to some ice cream bars, the Magnum is indeed superior; it tastes richer and creamier. For me, the chocolate coating alone is worth the price. But how superior it is really depends on one’s personal experience. And if you don’t like it, no one’s really forcing you to buy it. Overall, I think the Magnum simply tastes like really proper ice cream.

New Zealand Natural

New Zealand Natural, SM Fairview
Tj and I saw this branch of New Zealand Natural open upĀ  in SM Fairview a few weeks ago. From afar, we thought it was a booth promoting New Zealand tourism. Then we realized it was an ice cream place. Little tidbit I picked up during a quiz night I attended last week: New Zealand consumes the most ice cream per capita than any other country in the world. Cool.

We had a big meal this afternoon, but fortunately, I still had room for dessert, and New Zealand Natural was there, waiting for me.

New Zealand Natural, English Toffee

I ordered a kiddie cup of English Toffee (P75), and I was marvelously pleased with it. A little too sweet, but what can you expect with toffee? The ice cream really was very creamy, and I’m looking forward to sampling all the other flavors, like chocolate and Spotty Dog. New Zealand Natural could very well be one of my new favorite ice cream places.

Louis’ Lunch and Ashley’s Ice Cream

The story goes that a man entered a small restaurant and asked for a meal that he could eat on the go. The restaurant’s owner, Louis Lassen, slapped a beef patty in the middle of two slices of bread, which gave birth to America’s first hamburger. That was in 1900, and today, people flock to Louis’ Lunch every day for a taste of history and freshly made burgers. That’s exactly what we did last weekend, when we drove out to New Haven to see what all the fuss was about.

Louis' Lunch, exterior

Louis' Lunch, interior

You can’t miss the building. Even if it’s small, it stands out with its very appearance, and also by the number of people waiting outside. It’s fairly small inside, so there’s not a lot of room for people who are waiting for their orders. The available food items are written on chalkboards and some of the items are deliberately misspelled: for example, creem instead of cream and appul for apple.

Ordering your food is easy enough. Choose from either a hamburger or a cheeseburger, then specify if you want it with tomatoes or onions. The meat is cooked medium rare, but you can let them know if you want it cooked a certain way. And that’s about the only customization you can expect for your burger. As they reminded people, they’re not Burger King for them to let you have it your own way.

The biggest challenge we faced was the wait. I reckon it might have taken 30 minutes or more for us to get our food. There were a lot of people waiting and more coming to get burgers to go, and the cast iron grill there could only broil up so much meat. So you can imagine we were pretty hungry by the time our burgers rolled out.

Louis' Lunch, burgers

The burgers don’t come in buns but in regular bread, which is nowhere near sturdy enough to hold the hunk of beef, but that just makes the eating fun. The meat was tasty, but it wasn’t as juicy as regular burgers; I chalk that up to the broiling. What was good to see that the burgers really were served freshly cooked, although it would have been nice if we got our food much sooner.

After all that meat, we absolutely had to have dessert, so we headed down to Ashley’s Ice Cream, which has been the winner of a lot of local best ice cream awards.

Ashley's Ice Cream, New Haven, CT

My sister had chocolate frozen yogurt, my other sister and her husband shared a child-sized cup of Butter Crunch, and I had my own child-sized cup of Nutella Chip. Child-sized servings in this country always puzzle me–the alleged child for which the servings are offered always seems to be a really huge one. Not complaining in the case of this ice cream, though–it’s creamy and just yummy.

Louis’ Lunch
Address: 261-263 Crown Street New Haven, Connecticut 06511-6611
Phone: (203) 562-5507
Web: Louis’ Lunch

Ashley’s Ice Cream
Address: 280 York Street New Haven, Connecticut
Phone: (203) 776-7744

A yummy crepe at Cafe Jolie

I’m currently in the U.S. where I’ll be writing about as much food as I can, leaving Tj back home to write about whatever he’ll be munching on. Just a few days ago, my sister took me to have some dessert at Cafe Jolie in Manhattan, New York. The place is not fancy-schmancy, but it’s simple and charming, and it’s also known for it’s low-fat, organic ice cream. We opted to have a crepe, though, and chose the Decadent, a crepe filled with strawberries, banana, and Nutella.

Decadent, Cafe Jolie, Manhattan, New York

Decadent, Cafe Jolie, Manhattan, New York

I really love how the Nutella didn’t overpower the entire thing compared to a crepe I had at Le Creperie which was not only filled with Nutella, but heavily topped with it as well. I’m hoping to return to Cafe Jolie again at some point and see what their ice cream’s like as well.