Monday, September 08, 2008

iKEA Swedish Almond Cake!...

First time I had this was a few wks ago back when I was visiting family in CA--when my bro and his gf took me to Ikea for BREAKFAST....and *tasty!* it was O.o So, on Sunday when I drove w/ Carolyn to the new Ikea in Redhook I had to buy a whole cake ^_^
It's very moist, light, not very sweet--bordering on NOT sweet--but just perfectly tinged with a sweet flavor. There's also, surprisingly, a complete lack of that strong almond extract essence that I'd normally expect with anythign 'almond' (i.e. almond buttercream...see SSS entry).
Also bought the chooooooocolate version! This plain white one--from the ingredients page I guess it's just buttercream? but much gooey-er than the cupcake buttercream frosting which I'm assuming is just not whipped, more oil, *way* less sugar. YAAAAAY!
I lub me some Ikea...I lub me some Ikea food.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Went to Celeste on 84th and Amsterdam last month w/ Carolyn!! YAAAAAAY to Carolyn moving back from Espagna (I hadn't seen her in like 5-6 yrs!), and yay to Celeste. Jun took me here a while ago and ever since our office relocated uptown I pretty much go here as much as I can.
Italian gets thrown around here a lot so it's great I get to practice (sorta, when I'm not too meek or caught up to start tossing phrases out here and there). The ownder is a lean faced man with bony features, longer affable man that I guess goes to the fishmarket all the time so much that the Sushi chefs know him (just not by name!).
I only recently got into mussles--this is a basic garlic and white wine sauce but the quality of the mussels are amazing (which makes the owner's little stories believable, and endearing vs. some ridiculous braggadoccio BS!) It has a tinge of sweetness, succulent, well seasoned but lightly seasoned so u really just get...the quintessence of the mussels in what you're slopping around in ur mouth as opposed to stuff that sits in the yummy broth you're sucking down.
I had the Homemade Papardelle Special which is reminiscent of their old Shrimp Papardelle (which now comes with cabbage, goat cheese, and i forget what else). CLOSE UP!!...
But this incarnation has scallops, asparagus, and a light tomato marinara sauce. The pasta really is something to experience (well, the paparedelle anyway) b/c u can more plainly feel the different texture of hand-made/rolled/whatever pasta versus the shit u just pop in and boil at most restaurants.
Carolyn got the Butter-sage cheese ravioli that Julia's gotten too. It was def tasty and the sage was strong but pleasantly so b/c i feel like i don't get to really enjoy sage in a lot of things, and not as a focal point. (pumpkin ravioli @ fig & olive still def rocks my socks!!)
The thing I like about Celeste better than Pisticci's is that Celeste has more distinctive and rustic flavors, a little more pungent in comparison--but I mean the two are so restrained in their seasoning and composition, everything works together well and stand on their own. It's simple, and clean--just Celeste is a little more hearty, but...Pisticci's has so many different and refreshing ideas in their dishes! It's like talking about 2 very diff things joined by an effortless composition of tastes and fantastic ingredients!

...i like to finish my plate :D