NYC – C = Rochester

A few months ago, my BFF (E*) and I flew out to Rochester to visit a good high school buddy (also college friend for me). I’ve never been to that part of New York and it was my first time seeing Niagara Falls! It was a really good, relaxing, and fun trip.

First set of pix is from Heart Island. Long story short– wealthy man falls in love and demonstrates his love to his wife by building her an island in the shape of a heart and a castle as well. Unfortunately, wealthy man’s lovely wife died before he could finish, and he put a full stop to construction immediately because of his heartbreak. 😦

Read more here: Boldt Castle.

Boldt Castle on Heart Island is located in the 1000 Islands cluster of New York. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s true. The thousand islands dressing comes from this area. Tada! Before hitting up the island, we made a lunch stop at Koffee Kove in Clayton, New York. Sorry, I missed out on food pix. It was really pleasant, and definitely an island neighborhood atmosphere, quiet and quaint. Food was clean and simple.

Rochester is also the home of WEGMANS! This is only one of the BEST grocery stores in the U. S. of A. There are very few, but when you do come across one, go ahead and make a meal or two out of it, plus dessert.

Does anyone recognize what these plants are? Apparently they are Nertera, but I have no idea what that is. They look like miniature clementines, like itty bitty. I’m not sure if they’re edible, but I’m leaning towards decorative. Found them in Wegmans…

We picked up an assortment of olives, cheese, crackers, bread, grapes, and paired them with wine we picked up from a local winery near the islands. So delicious~

DINOSAUR BBQ! Our host LOVES this place, and claims it as the best BBQ in Rochester. We believed him. It was pretty fantastic. I’ve tried a variety of BBQ’d ribs now and realize that Carolina sauce is my favorite. The ribs here were more of a dry rub… what’s that one called? Well, anyway, we got a good assortment of beans, mac/cheese, fries, brisket, slaw, corn bread, and ribs. The meat and sides tasted pretty great. I wasn’t a fan of all the sauces, but again, I’m a Carolina girl. 🙂

And of course I have to end with pictures of Niagara. WOW. These are the biggest falls I’ve seen and were definitely worth seeing. We could only do the U.S. side because of time, so I still have never set foot in Canada. I guess that will be for another day. They say the falls look much better on the Canadian side, but I didn’t mind the US side so much. It was still amazing… plus we got to ride the boat INTO the falls!! 😀 Now THAT was exciting and funny b/c we were pretty wet… the rain that decided to fall after didn’t help much either.


All in all, a pretty awesome trip with my Dulaney friends, 1st time to 1000 Islands and Niagara, and some good eatin’ along the way.


Wine & Cheese Reunion

It was long overdue…

Wine & Cheese w/LaNDMAsS

With only two ladies missing from our group (because of distance), we held our wine & cheese reunion at my new casa. Per usual, we ate too much, laughed too much, talked too much, BUT did not drink too much. Now THAT is unusual. A sure sign of age, I believe. How sad…

It was a happy night to be reunited with my UMCP ladies. Yeay Terps! It almost felt like Tipsy Turtle Night…. you had to be there. Enjoy the pix as I won’t bore you with any more words… just your typical fruit, crackers, dip, cheese, meats, pasta (alla Liz), white wine, red wine, juice, and of course, dessert (ice cream-not pictured).


Avocado+Limes= Poundcake

Munchies @ Casa Liz

My love, E*, finally dropped in for a visit. Instead of a healthy dinner, we opted for some yummy munchies from Whole Foods and homemade pound cake. We got the recipe from Edelweiss.

Have you ever seen poundcake so green? Yummy. So, I’ve tasted this type of poundcake before, but I really wanted to see the process for myself. AND I wanted an excuse to use my mini loaf ceramics (from Target, Christmas). It turned out pretty good! Well, because I did not have a zester, the lime zest was a bit chunky and chewy. Other than that, I think it was quite a success. Still, Esther and I concluded that sour cream or buttermilk would have made it softer and moist.

Hm, instead of a real dinner we munched on pita chips, salsa, naan, hummus, chicken tikka masala, salsa verde and washed it all down with Pinot Gris. Yeah, then commenced to gorge on the Cardamon+Cocoa Nib cookies she made. Man, it was like tapas on overload… but kinda sorta healthy junk?


Study Eat Study Drink

Study Session on Capitol Hill/Eastern Market ‘hood

I know, I know! In the last entry I said it would be a while before another post, but this was truly unexpected. I thought I was going to a pretty straightforward study session with the girls, and it ended up being the most spoiled study session ever!

After pulling all 4 wisdom teeth on Friday, I have to say that I am recovering very well. There’s absolutely no sign of swelling except for a slight discomfort in my mouth, and some tension. I’ve been very careful eating only soft foods or liquid. But going into Abby’s posh apartment lounge treated with homemade guacamole alla her beau, Andy, and some stuffed peppers, I could not resist eating some real food.

I slowly chewed 4 chips in the span of 20 minutes while making sure nothing slipped into the holes in my mouth. The guacamole was delicious! And I loved all their serving dishes. Very cute, right down to the Elvis Wine Tags. Kristin provided the soothing red. Considering I was on presnidone (for inflammation), I was limited to one glass.

Then came these glorious stuffed peppers that were actually perfect for my sensitive gums. They were so soft, but not mushy. Great recipe! I will have to borrow it. The peppers were stuffed with ground beef, garlic, tomato sauce, brown rice, and maybe something else I am forgetting.

And you’d think that would be enough, but noooooo… can’t end the night without some sugar:

So simple, yet so delicious. These are shamrock sugar cookies, the kind you slice up and bake. I swear, I think Kristin and I split the whole plate except for maybe two for Abby. Then it turned our teeth green. Nice.

BEST REVIEW SESSION EVER! (and so glad the cultural policy midterm is over :D)


amysING pizza in Tenleytown, DC

So, I honestly do not remember the name of this small plate. It’s either goat cheese or sheep cheese; either way it is with honey and pinenuts. I actually thought it was pretty good. Spread it on some bread and you’re good to go. It was a little bit savory, and a nice touch of sweetness. I think it makes a simple appetizer, not heavy at all (well, depending on the bread I suppose).

We shared the Calabrese Pizza (Tomato, onions, anchovy, fresh mozzarella, parsley, olives) with white wine from the Frascati region of Italy. Both were very good. This is my second visit at 2amys and I think this pizza was better than whatever I got last time. It wasn’t too salty. I’ve gotten anchovy pizza at Pizzeria Paradiso and it was too much. 2amys was definitely better.

I got the Frascati wine because it made me reminisce over my time in Italy. I miss it.

Anyway, good pizza, wine, cheese at 2amys. 4 out 5. (if you haven’t caught on yet, my ratings don’t matter much as i pretty much appreciate all the restaurants i go to, or my taste in restaurants is just that good. eh, but also, just because you go to a typically good restaurant, doesn’t mean everything on their menu is that great.)


Honeywine on the left and a sweet red wine on the right. Sorry, don’t remember the proper name. Both were good. Actually, the honeywine was VERY sweet. I couldn’t help ‘Nita finish it. I loved the red one though. So, one of my LANDMASS girls took me out to dinner for my (belated) birthday. Sweet. Dukem on U Street is one of the better known and appreciated Ethiopian restaurants in DC. I made the mistake of going here one Thursday evening when they had live music. O M G. The music was BLARING; so loud that we could not talk to one another. Good thing me and ‘Nita were out on a Saturday night.

So, Anita was a bit nervous because her sister’s experience wasn’t exactly thrilling when it came to Ethiopian food. I think it was the bread. I prepared Anita by describing the bread as a slightly sour dough with texture similar to sponge. We got the Combination Platter for 2 people. It had the following: Tomato salad, collared greens, pickled cabbage, homemade cottage cheese, spicy Lamb Wot, spicy/mild Doro Wot (chicken), mild Minchet Abesh (finely chopped lean ground beef), regular Tibs (cubed tender beef), and some sort of creamed corn/veggie.

Needless to say, we cleaned the platter. 🙂

Dessert? We planned on TangySweet but due to metro reasons we stayed in U Street and ended up at Busboys. No complaints here! This is their delicious and amazing White Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding with Coconut ice cream. So So So SO good. The bread pudding had that white chocolate taste mixed in with the banana and raisins. I think the raisins turn into a really light caramel color when cooked, yeah? I love how they paired it with coconut ice cream. I would’ve gone more traditional with vanilla. So, I introduced Anita to Ethiopian food and my favorite dessert at Busboys. She called me cultured at first but when I informed her how everyone used that term with me (non-arts friends), she wanted to use a unique term. WORLDLY came to mind… I think that’s a pretty good description. Though, it’s not accurate in traveling terms for me. I must change that. Greece anyone?

I give Dukem 3.5 out of 5 for good Ethiopian food, overly sweet wine, friendly staff, a bit crowded, and fast service. I give Busboys & Poets’ dessert a 4.5 out of 5. I haven’t had enough banana bread pudding to crown it with a 5.

Hm, I love birthdays, don’t you? 😉 Thanks again for dinner+dessert+good company!