Archive | November, 2011

Spiked/Spiced/ Sloshed/Sloppy Cider

29 Nov

A hit at fall parties has always been a special hot cider recipe.  It is easy to make for a large group of people and is always a crowd pleaser.  The recipe below is for about 10 people and you can just increase the amount from there.  We usually make it in a big lobster pot and let it boil away. Added bonus: It always makes the house smell AMAZING!

If you have kids, a fun project is putting cloves in the apples so they look like medieval torture devices.


  • 1 gallon of apple cider
  • 2 apples (you want something firm… I usually use granny smith but anything works as long as it’s not super soft)
  • 1 orange, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons of whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • ~4 tablespoons of cinnamon (I do this to taste since it depends on how strong the cinnamon is and if they added cinnamon to the cider you bought)
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon allspice (or more to taste)
  • Spiced Rum
  1. Pour cider into a big pot and bring to a simmer
  2. While it is heating, poke cloves into the apples
  3. Add the cloved apples and the sliced oranges to the pot (it doesn’t have to be simmering yet, just add it whenever you are done slicing and assembling)
  4. Add the brown sugar and spices
  5. Let it simmer for at least 1 hour (the longer it simmers, the better it is)
  6. Taste it along the way and spice it up as you like it. If it’s not sweet enough, add more brown sugar.
  7. When you are ready to serve it, pour it into a hot cup and then add as much rum as you would like (don’t add it until right before drinking or else all the alcohol burns off… and what’s the fun in that?)


Tabata Ramen

22 Nov

I have a soft spot for ramen.  After years of looking at it as an unfortunate staple of my college diet, I realized that the dried version was like comparing homemade, sharp cheddar macaroni and cheese with bread crumb topping to Easy Mac.  While I had flirted with ramen in the past, I fell head-over-heels for ramen when I went to Ippudo.  I dream about that ramen.  But it’s a fair distance away and usually has a wait (unless you know the secret), so when a new ramen place opened up close to my office, I decided to give it a try.

Tabata Ramen is on 9th Avenue between 39th and 40th Streets. They have a number of ramen options, including soy, salt, port, etc.  I went with a pork broth and got it with the egg and pork belly.  It was tasty, but it was no Ippudo.  In fact, I think Ippudo has spoiled me for the rest of my life.


There was a veggie option with tofu


And spicy options, which got an enthusiastic thumbs up from  my coworker.


And if you’re not into ramen at all, you can get various meats over rice.


Overall, this was fine, but it wasn’t awesome. I also find myself chugging down water for the next few hours after eating here.  It didn’t taste overly salty (or fake) but my body was definitely lacking in hydration both times I ate here.

I’m not going to go out of my way to eat hear again… might as well save my ramen cravings for the king.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10

HK Brunch

17 Nov

I am still undecided about my feelings about HK.  It is close to my apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, so I find myself there on occasion.  It feels a bit like a place with an identify crisis.  At times it’s a cafe, at times it’s a club, at times it’s a trendy restaurant, at times it’s a gay club.  No matter what it is, with garage door sides and a large leather curtain that you enter through, it always has a cool look.  I have had great drinks there, amazing appetizers and lousy meals (in the same sitting), some decent lunches, and some very long wait times.

We went there for brunch and it left me with a bit of indecision still as to whether or not I actually LIKE this place.

My cousin ordered the belgian waffles.  These were well cooked and delicious.  In my opinion, it’s a bit hard to get a belgian waffle really WRONG… they are just hard to find in a lot of places.  This one was fine, but it was no Wafels and Dinges (but really… what is?).


2 omelets were also ordered.  Both seemed well cooked, but again, not special.



I got the poached eggs with red wine sauce over wild mushroom asparagus hash. This was… weird.  Very tasty but the execution was all wrong. First, when I think hash, I don’t think soup. This was soup with a pile of veggies, a poached egg, and some red wine cabbage on top.  Delicious soup and vegetables mind you, but still soup. When you open a poached egg, you want the yolk to run into a delicious sauce that is absorbed by great ingredients.  When I broke this open, it was like someone threw yolk into soup. Because it was soup.  I’m still confused.


Overall… I’m confused.  I don’t know how else to put it.  This wasn’t as our bad as our entrees last time, but wasn’t nearly as good as the tuna tartar app.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10