The Only Thing Better Than A Warm Pumpkin Scone

Alice's Tea Cup pumpkin scone with cream and jam…is to have someone to share it with. What would a food blog be without readers who also love to eat? That said, thank you for following, for reading, for watching. Who knows where the road will go? Not me. But wherever it ends, I hope there’s a table laden with all our favorite foods surrounded by friends and family. Happy New Year, Everybody ♥ amy • december 31, 2010

Photo taken at Alice’s Tea Cup, 156 East 64th Street, NYC. (212) 486-9200

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December 31, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Holiday, random. 5 comments.

And The Winners Are…

Real Simple Magazine December 2010 coverStupidly Simple Gift Selection 2010
Today is the day! Last Friday, I shared my Stupidly Simple Gift Guide and hosted my first holiday gift bag giveaway compliments of Real Simple magazine. The rules were as follows: You had to live in the States and had to name your favorite Stupidly Simple Snacks video. It wasn’t a competition, but it was fun to see which videos were most popular. It was a close race between Sweet Potato Fries and Wine Cocktails with Joe Campanale. All comments were assigned their chronological number, duplicate entries counted as one, and ten winners were selected with the help of random.org. Without further ado…

1 Connie, 4 Alexis, 9 Hali, 11 Nicole, 15 Kenny C, 18 Kevin, 21 Renn, 28 Brian Lew, 33 Sonia, 34 Emily

The winners have been contacted by email. Thanks to everyone who entered and happy Friday, guys! amy • december 17, 2010

December 17, 2010. Holiday, specials for abc readers. Leave a comment.

HOLIDAY REVERSE S’MORES & 2010 in Retrospect

Stupidly Simple Snacks 2010 episodes
(Photos: Stupidly Simple Snacks on YouTube.)

I RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM MYSELF THIS WEEKEND. For those unfamiliar with FutureMe.org, it’s a website that lets you write and schedule an email to yourself far into the future. Sure, you can schedule the message to send next Thursday, but that defeats the purpose of reflecting on where you are today in, say, a year from now. Here are a few notes I wrote to myself in December 2009:

“I had a driving lesson at noon and did pretty well. My road test is on Monday and I’d really like to pass this time…” and “By this time next year, I hope I will be working at a company with which I’m utterly in love.”

It took three tries, but I did finally get my driver’s license – only to not drive at all in the past twelve months. As for that job I was looking for – I found it in Stupidly Simple Snacks and Foodspotting. I had other hopes for the 2010 me, of course, which included: Visit India and Italy, learn French, and buy a DSLR camera – none of which I did. Despite the lack of travel to the eastern hemisphere, however, it was fun to look back at the old, slightly younger Amy who wanted – and still wants – to learn French, to see the world, and capture it through a big lens. Some things don’t change, which is great. Otherwise, what would I have to aspire to in the next 365 days?

At this time a year ago, I had only six snack videos. Today, there are thirty-five Stupidly Simple Snacks floating in web space and, because of them, I’ve made new friends, began working for a company with coworkers I cherish, and have come across great individuals who love food and can’t cook either. Luckily, I’ve met talented chefs, restaurant owners, bakers, and bloggers who have shown me that good food doesn’t have to be complicated too.

To celebrate the holidays and everyone I met through Stupidly Simple Snacks, I present my latest video with my new friend Mari Tuttle, the owner and chief baker of Mari’s New York. Mari makes artisanal treats like fudgy brownies and other decadent sweets that you can find online, at the Limelight Marketplace, and in upscale department stores around the States. We make HOLIDAY REVERSE S’MORES for the first time here. I think my second attempt might involve larger marshmallows, but you get the idea. After all, there’s always next time! This philosophy extends to chocolate-covered confections and new years. amy • december 13, 2010

HOLIDAY REVERSE S’MORES

SERVES 1 or many

WHAT YOU NEED
1 bag of marshmallows
1 chocolate bar (3.5 oz) or 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
4 crushed graham crackers or crushed peppermint candy
frilly toothpicks

MUSIC Ike Turner Kills Fascists • City Lights

CLICK FOR MORE HOLIDAY CHEER…
Amy Blogs Christmas Reading Wish List
Stupidly Simple Gift GuideReal Simple magazine giveaway

December 13, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . brownies, Dessert, Stupidly Simple Snacks, videos, YouTube. 3 comments.

STUPIDLY SIMPLE GIFT GUIDE + GIVEAWAY

Stupidly Simple Gift Selection 2010

I BOUGHT JASON A CHRISTMAS SWEATER YESTERDAY. I didn’t set out to get one, but the opportunity to make him look ridiculous presented itself and I couldn’t resist.

In the spirit of last minute gift shopping, I present to you my Stupidly Simple Gift Guide. (See my Reading Wish List too.) Nearly everything here can be ordered online, so you needn’t leave your apartment for anything. Plus, I’m hosting a Real Simple magazine giveaway because you deserve gifts as well. See what you win and read the rules after the gift guide…

1. CHAMBRE DE SUCRE {fancy sugar}
I don’t add sugar to my tea or coffee, but your sugar addict of a friend might. These handmade sugars are beautifully packaged and imported from Japan. They’re the perfect complement to a gift of coffee beans or box of Kusmi Tea. FIND THEM online.

2. BREW-IN-MUG {no fuss mug + infuser}
I prefer tea brewed from loose leaves over teabags, but loose leaves are a hassle when you’re not brewing a whole pot. With this mug, you essentially brew a mini pot for one. It’s understated, easy to clean, and, truly, the vessel of choice for smart tea drinkers. It comes in many colors; mine is red. FIND IT at Sur La Table.

3. LIDDABIT SWEETS {chocolate + candy}
Liddabit‘s candy creations are masterminded by two culinary school friends who make their concoctions out of a Brooklyn kitchen with a small army of sweets makers. I just learned how to make caramel sauce this year (watch the video), but Liddabit lollipops, candy bars, brittle, and more are made with local and seasonal ingredients for a sweet snack that’s hard to recreate at home. FIND THEM online and in stores.

4. FOODZIE.COM TASTING BOX {surprise food package}
After seeing photos of these tasting boxes on Foodspotting, I wanted them for myself. Each box contains hand-selected food samples from Foodzie producers who are hand-picked themselves for producing superior products with care. If you love an item in the tasting box, you can visit Foodzie.com to order the full-size version at a discount. FIND IT online.

5. CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA BOOTCAMP {learn to cook in 5 days or less}
In the fall, I was invited to experience culinary boot camp for two days at the Culinary Institute of America. While it kicked me in the ass, I picked up some chopping skills and learned to make burrata! In addition to boasting graduates like Anthony Bourdain, the institute offers a wide range of courses for those who wish to expand their kitchen skills without committing to longterm training. Ranging from two to five days, boot camps ran the gamut from PastryMexican Cuisine to Flavors of Wine Country. Plus, there’s no denying that scenic Dutchess County, where CIA is located, is the prettiest setting for a food-centred weekend getaway. They also have locations in St. Helena, CA and San Antonio, TX. LEARN MORE on their website or call (800) 888 7850

6. TELL TALE SOCIETY {treats from a soon to open San Fran shop}
To prepare for their Spring 2011 store opening, Tell Tale Preserve Company is inviting food lovers to join Tell Tale Society to receive monthly deliveries filled with “seasonally influenced preserves, confections, cookies and cakes, both sweet and savory” to get a taste of what’s to come. Take a peek at the December bag. Given shipping costs, it’s pricey, but the presentation and artisanal goodies will win over anybody. FIND IT online.

7. GROVE BAMBOO {iPhone 4 case}
People gravitate toward Jason’s Grove Bamboo iPhone 4 case like moths to a flame, so I’d be remiss to not recommend it for the iPhone nut in your life. Jason becomes a pseudo celebrity when he takes his phone out at brunch (for Foodspotting purposes, obviously) and when he plays Angry Birds on the train. Everyone asks: Where’d you get that? The case is slim and lightweight, so it’s not clunky like most plastic cases can be. The best part? You can customize the etching to show off your own artwork or favorite quote. FIND IT online.

And now… for you! Enter my Real Simple gift bag giveaway and ten randomly chosen winners will receive:

Stationery from ABCD Design
Sugar gifts from Chambre De Sucre
Assorted caramels from Liddabit Sweets
Real Simple 869 New Uses For Old Things book
Real Simple Best Recipes: Easy, Delicious Meals book
Essie “Real Simple” nail polish
Pottery Barn frame and more…

The rules are simple: 1. Live in the States and 2. Tell me which Stupidly Simple Snacks is your favorite and what other snacks – or guests! – you’d like to see. Leave your comment in the comment box below. Ten winners will be chosen at random and announced on December 17. Good luck and happy holidays! amy • december 10, 2010

CLICK FOR MORE HOLIDAY CHEER…
Amy Blogs Christmas Reading Wish List
(video) Holiday Reverse S’mores & 2010 in Retrospect

Photos from, in order: Chambre De Sucre / Puritea Lounge / Liddabit Sweets / Valentina Vitols on Foodspotting.com / me / Tell Tale Preserve Company / Grove

December 10, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Holiday, specials for abc readers. 41 comments.

AMY BLOGS CHRISTMAS READING WISH LIST

Reading Inspiration by AmyBlogsChow.com 12.2010

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR. If you don’t believe it, then listening to Andy Williams on repeat, like I did this weekend, will convince you it’s true.

Consider what you like most about December. I love that those who have limited vacation days can take a break; that efforts to be charitable are renewed; and foods that are usually color neutral, like cupcakes, suddenly break out in green and red hues. And while I can be cynical at times, somehow December reminds me of this: Even if Santa never delivered the boxed collection of Sweet Valley Twins books when I asked for it back in the day, the books will show up one by one in my little sister’s bookshelf in later years. And, by the time that happens, you’ll think – who really needs 2oo young adult novels once you’ve read them all anyway?

With that said, there’s no time like the present to share gift ideas for all ages. This is my reading wish list. They’re recommendations I’d make any time, but I package it up nicely here for the holidays…

1. CREATIVE, INC. I’ve always wanted older sister(s) and am always seeking work guidance, so, in many ways, Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho‘s “Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business” fulfills my desire for both. Sharing sound business advice to anecdotes from freelancers who’ve been there, the book resonates not only with creative pros, but any artist who’s ever entertained the idea of striking out on her own. GET THIS FOR Your jewelry making girl friend Libby, interior decorator and stylist friend Jami. BUY IT online.

2. FOOD LANDSCAPES In this beautiful hardcover, British food photographer Carl Warner creates miniature scenes out of things you eat. Each chapter focuses on a different landscape with the story behind its construction. In Carl’s world, parsley becomes trees, clouds are cheese, curtains are made from dried lasagna, and an ocean is created from sea bass, mackerel, and herring. Watch the video by food. curated. featuring the photographer in action. GET THIS FOR Your ten-year-old niece, anyone with a coffee table and/or imagination. BUY IT online.

3. OH JOY! BLOG As I mentioned above, I have always wanted an older sister. But since it’s a bit too late, I’ve taken it upon myself to adopt role models on the web instead. While there are many bloggers whom I admire, Joy cheered me on early in my blogging days, so there’s no denying I’m thankful for her support and think she has great taste. Joy’s website showcases the most delightful things in life: Sweet treatsinterior designfashionaccessories, and the palpable love between Joy and her stylish husband, Bob. READ FOR Inspiration, a pick-me-up, to peek at new design trends, and to gape at some of the prettiest photos on the internet. VISIT ohjoy.blogs.com

4. EDWARD BEHR’s THE ART OF EATING MAGAZINE I have to tell you, I’ve never picked up a single issue of The Art of Eating. Word has it, however, that no food writing is better than that which appears in those pages. Maybe it’s for a more sophisticated audience; I can’t say. All I know is that it eludes me and I think I would be more intelligent if I read it. Perhaps it’s like The Economist or New Yorker for food and wine lovers. I hope to find out eventually. GET THIS FOR Your professor, yourself. BUY IT online.

5. HOUSE OF BRINSON Susan and William Brinson are high school sweethearts and the wife-and-husband blogging team behind House of Brinson. Though their website is just a few months old, I have a feeling it will become a destination for readers who crave a gourmet’s take on eye candy. Thanks to William’s sumptuous photography, each post stands on its own and deserves a place in print someday, which is not to say the recipes aren’t tried and true. They are, and I had a second helping of their delicious butternut squash lasagna on Thanksgiving to prove it. READ FOR Escape, gorgeous food photography, recipes. VISIT houseofbrinson.com

6. THE ART OF NON-CONFORMITY I have been following Chris Guillebeau’s world travels and musings on his blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, since 2008. So when I learned he would be in New York to promote his new book, I asked if he’d like to guest star on Stupidly Simple Snacks. He did. We made Unconventional Snack Bars and every attempt after the first has been a complete success. GET THIS FOR Your world-traveling best friend, a new college graduate, yourself. BUY IT online.

amy • december 6, 2010

MORE HOLIDAY CHEER ON ABC…
Stupidly Simple Gift Guide + Real Simple magazine giveaway
(video) Holiday Reverse S’mores & 2010 in Retrospect

December 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Holiday. 2 comments.

STUPIDLY SIMPLE DEVILED EGGS

SOMETIMES, STUPIDLY SIMPLE SNACKS ARE INSPIRED BY MY FRIENDS’ SUGGESTIONS. Other times, my talented guest stars share their secrets. Of course, then there are those snack recipes which are the product of pure guesswork. My deviled eggs recipe, however, was not one of them. By combining knowledge from three well-known personalities, I made DEVILED EGGS the Stupidly Simple Snacks way. Video instructions from Chef John of Food Wishes guided the hard-boiling process, Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Work Week showed in this video that there is, apparently, a way to peel eggs without peeling, and then there was Martha Stewart’s Creamy Deviled Eggs recipe, which seemed like a good one to follow. I didn’t follow it strictly, naturally, because I am a person with a limited attention span and mild aversion to shallots. I’d eat them if I had to, but if it means getting dressed and heading to the supermarket, then that would defeat the purpose of Stupidly Simple Snack-ing and that just wouldn’t do. amy • december 5, 2010

Follow my MASTER GUIDE TO DEVILED EGGS on my other favorite website, which is Foodspotting, of course.

STUPIDLY SIMPLE DEVILED EGGS

SERVES 3 to 4

WHAT YOU NEED
6 eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons aged white wine vinegar
hot sauce
salt & pepper
1 tsp baking soda

MUSIC Danni RosnerIn The CityiTunesFacebook / Myspace / TwitterYouTube

December 5, 2010. Hungry Nation, recipe, videos, YouTube. 10 comments.