AFTER HIDING FROM THE COLD THESE LAST FEW DAYS, it was hard to believe the sun and warmth would come back. But 80 degree days are on the horizon along with ice cream cones, rooftop parties, and outdoor events!

In my latest Stupidly Simple Snacks video, Deborah Smith of Green Pirate Juice Truck makes lemonade the Green Pirate way. To compensate for my lack of industrial juicer, I decided to give GP Lemonade a try at home so you can see the juice action both ways.

On Memorial Day (May 31st), Green Pirate and many of my favorite food vendors like Dessert Truck, Steve’s Key Lime Pie, and Robicelli’s Cupcakes will be parked at BKLYN Yard in Gowanus to celebrate the opening weekend of their summer outdoor event season. Wander in for free and truck-hop with me! amy april 30, 2010

Follow Green Pirate on Twitter @juicepirate

WHAT YOU NEED 1 lemon | half or whole cucumber | 1 or 2 red apples (adding apple makes it sweet) | blender

MUSIC The Pop Heroes Say Hey (I Love You) (Made Famous by Michael Franti & Spearhead feat. Cherine Anderson)

April 30, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Brooklyn, Stupidly Simple Snacks, videos. 2 comments.


Raspberry Bakeshop mini cupcakesRaspberry Bakeshop pistachio cupcake with rosewater buttercream  "Blackberry Hazelnut" mini cupcake with blackberry buttercream frostingRaspberry Bakeshop carrot cake bite

Raspberry BakeshopBrooklyn, New York

I first met Roopa of Raspberry Bakeshop at the Brooklyn Chocolate Experiment in November. There were about two dozen contestants slinging chocolate bites that day, but Roopa’s Thai chili-lime chocolate ice cream and mini hand-rolled cocoa ginger Thai basil cones won the competition and deservedly so! I’d never seen a pop-up ice cream operation run so smoothly, cones so small, or names as long. When I learned that Roopa is a long-time baker, I was naturally keen to try her other creations. Months after looking for an opportunity to sample her posh-sounding Pistachio Rose and Blackberry Hazelnut mini cupcakes, I finally got lucky when one of her orders yielded extras with my name on it.

Roopa’s signature cupcakes combine Indian spices like cardamom in pistachio cake, which is then crowned with rosewater buttercream. While the flavor pairings make for some sophisticated bites of cake, they’re arguably unusual compared to everyday chocolate, vanilla and red velvet cupcakes. I have enough trouble explaining Kumquat Cupcakery‘s lavender lemon cupcakes to potential customers at the Brooklyn Flea so I imagine Raspberry Bakeshop flavors might fall under “Acquired Taste” for the less adventurous palate. (Jason took one look at the blackberry hazelnut cupcake with its yellow cake/purple frosting and assumed it was a lemon lavender cupcake.)

ChikaLicious fans may notice Roopa’s cakes have a similar moist and sponge-like quality. Her buttercream, on the other hand, is so airy it borders on mousse. Exotic flavors – even the not-so-exotic carrot cake – are Raspberry Bakeshop‘s strengths. They’re not classic American cupcakes, but if you’re fond of Asian spices, flavors, and desserts (Think: Pichet Ong), Roopa’s cupcakes elevate the everyday treat and you won’t be disappointed. amy april 28, 2010

Visit to see more flavors! Say hello to Roopa aka @rspberryeggplnt and try the recipes on her blog, Raspberry Eggplant. Two recent posts on Manchego cheese popovers and Drunken noodles sounded particularly enticing…

April 28, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . cupcakes, review. 2 comments.


Matsuri cherry blossom sushiMatsuri in the Maritime Hotel, NYCCherry Blossom Trees at Brooklyn Botanic Garden 2010
MATSURI 369 west 16th st, nyc, 212 243 6400

I’m not much of a traditionalist and I think this keeps me sane. Given my knack for tardiness, I’d be late to celebrate anyway. I rarely get worked up over birthdays – not even my own – and I only celebrate Christmas because Jason does. But one of the (very) few traditions I try to uphold is to see the cherry blossom trees in bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with my mom each spring. So when I received an invitation to sample the cherry blossom menu and eat the petals at Matsuri, my mom was the obvious “plus one”.

From now until May 2nd, Matsuri is offering a cherry blossom menu to coincide with hanami, the annual Japanese cherry blossom festival. Plus! in a partnership with Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Matsuri is offering a complimentary pass to the Garden’s festivities on May 1st and 2nd to diners who take part in the special menu, which features three courses and a cocktail – all with cherry blossoms incorporated.

Matsuri Hanami Menu 2010

cocktail sakura cherry blossom, shochu, plum wine $12

appetizer madai steamed with cherry blossom broth $13

main course pink snapper box pressed sushi with shiso & fish flakes $18

dessert • sakura gelée panna cotta with cherries & cherry gelée $9

• • • •

In true Amy-style, my eyes skipped critical location information in the e-vite. I was convinced the event was being held at the Gardens. Cherry blossom menu? Obviously, I had to go to the source. So I hauled my butt on the F train to Park Slope where my parents live, bussed it with mom to Grand Army Plaza, and marched through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, pausing long enough to take photos of cherry blossom trees.

• • • •

The event was at Matsuri and I only realized this after trying to convince three security guards I was in the right place. While I banged my head against the wall metaphorically, my mother took my mistake in stride as usual. So, as I hope all my stories end, a yellow taxi cab magically appeared at the garden entrance and took us to Manhattan, where I’d just journeyed from and where I was suppose to be. If I had half a brain (or a smartphone), I could have saved myself the trip to Brooklyn. But then I would have missed the view, so maybe being a little lost – and a little late – doesn’t hurt always. amy april 20, 2010

April 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Asian, Brooklyn, event, Japanese, Park Slope. 2 comments.


THOUGH WE’VE BEEN FACEBOOK FRIENDS FOR A WHILE, I didn’t meet pastry chef Pichet Ong until recently when I visited his new restaurant Village Tart during opening week in February. I was starstruck as I’d only read about Pichet in magazines – when I used to read magazines – and passively knew about his days via the Facebook newsfeed.

In my latest Stupidly Simple Snacks video, Pichet and I make parmesan popcorn and chocolate-covered corn flakes for the camera on my Macbook. It’s been a somewhat surreal experience collaborating with the mastermind of glitter-frosted cupcakes. Not only did we cook together on camera, we also just launched his blog, Confessions of a Sugarholic, and have big plans to further his education in social media. Last year, I was plotting to profile Pichet for a food article; 365 days later, he’s a guest star on Amy Blogs Chow, a small food blog by a girl outta Brooklyn. Anything is possible. amy april 1, 2010

Follow Pichet on Twitter @pichetong

WHAT YOU NEED Parmesan Popcorn 1 bag popcorn | 1/2 stick melted butter | 1/2 cup grated parmesan | salt & pepper Chocolate-Covered Corn Flakes 2 cups corn flakes | 1 cup dark chocolate | 2 tablespoons oil | salt

MUSIC Passion Pit Little Secrets

April 1, 2010. Tags: , , , . Dessert, Manhattan, Nolita, Stupidly Simple Snacks, videos. 3 comments.