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Bantam Bagels Offers a Gift For Graduating Seniors!

Bantam Pretzel Bagels

Being a bit of a foodie, but also someone who is not very experimental when it comes to my own cooking, the thing I miss most since NYC went into lockdown is eating a variety of foods. Fortunately, there are many tasty frozen food options (especially when you are looking for breakfast foods that are different, tasty, and also convenient) and one of my favorite discoveries is Bantam Bagels stuffed bagel bites. I was first turned-on to  Bantam Bagels delicious mini stuffed-bagels at the Summer Fancy Food Show in 2018, where I was blown away by the innovative taste of oven- toasted bagels stuffed with scrambled eggs and cheese. Two thumbs up, for sure!

bantam bagel bites photos by gail worley
Bantam Bagel Bites Booth Display from SFFS18

If you’d like to give Bantam Bagels a try, and happen to be among the Graduating Class of 2020, check this out: through May 22nd, Bantam Bagels is running a campaign for graduating seniors. To celebrate graduation, and the stuffed Bantam Pretzel Bagel (pictured above), the company is giving three (3) Graduating Seniors a chance to win a year’s supply of Mini Stuffed Bagels!

Here’s How To Enter:

  1. Post your Senior Picture — or nominate a friend with their photo — on Instagram
  2. Tag @bantambagels and use hashtag #bantamsforayear
  3. Tell us why you/they deserve to win this reward in the caption!

This Pretzel Bagel stuffed with Cheddar Dijon Cream Cheese is Oprah’s personal favorite, so you know it must be good. Please share this post with any graduates you know, and wish them good luck!

Cooking With Gail Presents: Easy Quarantine Chili!

the best classic chili
Image Source

If you are a single person, and you’re like me, you plan most of your meals around what you find in Trader Joe’s freezer section, supplemented with a few weekly meals at restaurants, and lunch procured from the office cafeteria. So, I don’t have to tell you that grocery shopping and meal planning for our new Covid lifestyle is challenging, and, frankly, it sucks. I’ve bought as many groceries in the past five weeks as I have for each preceding week of this year combined. Just being serious.

There is only one thing I can really cook, and that is Chili. When I first moved to NYC I was dirt poor, so I taught myself how to make a huge vat of chili, so I could freeze some it and thus enjoy multiple home-cooked meals that would stretch my budget. Once I started making decent money, I abandoned cooking from scratch almost entirely. But . . . everything is different now, and cooking is a skill that has value, even if you are sheltering-in-place on your own — which I think of as  living on the prairie, but with indoor plumbing. A few weeks into isolation, I got a craving for chili, but it had been so long since I made any that I could not even recall my recipe. Dashing to the computer, I Googled “easy chili with beans,” and the first result that popped up was this recipe called The Best Classic Chili courtesy of Amanda Finks from her website The Wholesome Dish. This recipe is especially awesome because it can be made from ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. Let me walk you through it.

Chili Ingredients Photo By Gail Worley
Above Image and All Other Photos By Gail

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper – optional
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

Instructions

Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and place it over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chili Ingredients Meat and Onion Photo By Gail Worley

Add the ground beef to the pot. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.

Chili Dry Ingredients Photo By Gail Worley

I like to combine all of the dry ingredients in one bowl, as seen above, so I can blend them together thoroughly before adding to the meat. Once the meat is brown, add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, tomato paste, and optional cayenne.  Stir until well combined.

Chili Cooking Photo By Gail Worley

Tomatoes and Meat Photo By Gail Worley

Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), drained beans, and tomato sauce. Stir well.

Chili With Beans Photo By Gail Worley

Bring the liquid to a low boil. Then, reduce the heat (low to medium-low) to gently simmer the chili, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chili Simmering Photo By Gail

Remove the pot from the heat. Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. I like to serve mine on top of fluffy white rice!

White Rice Photo By Gail Worley

In addition to the chili ingredients listed in this recipe, you may also want to have these things as toppings.

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • sliced green onions or chopped white onions
  • saltine crackers or oyster crackers
  • diced avocado

You can also make cornbread or garlic bread to serve with this delicious meal! As you can, see the chili takes almost no time to prepare and the result is truly the best chili you have ever tasted. Just check out the hundreds of five star reviews on the site!

Leftover Chili Photo By Gail Worley

This recipe makes six generous servings, so you have enough to share with a friend or neighbor who might really be in need of a wholesome and super delicious home-cooked  meal right about now. At any rate, you are going have leftovers for days!

Chili in a Bowl Photo By Gail Worley

Enjoy!

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Marshmallow Macarons from Dana’s Bakery!

Pink Marshmallow Macaron by Danas Bakery

I first discovered Dana’s Bakery and their fancy and fabulous Macarons at a Summer Fancy Food Show a few summers back. When it comes to imaginative baking and creative flavor profiles, nobody does it like Dana’s. Just in time for our first Easter spent in nationwide quarantine, Dana’s Bakery has announced their special Pink Marshmallow Macaron! Each box includes 12 bright pink macarons with sweet marshmallow creme filling, rolled in sugar sprinkles! Always gluten-free and kosher, available for April in their Build-A-Box and Variety Pack. Visit This Link order!

Home Delivery of Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh’s Spirit Singani 63 Benefits NYC Bar Staff!

Steven Soderberghs Singani 63 Image By Gail Worley
Coming Soon to Your Apartment

As citizens of NYC (and the globe) struggle to find a groove of normalcy in the Covid-19 Shelter-in-Place reality, it is not just isolated walks in the park that will help to get us through with our sanity intact, but also home delivery — specifically home delivery of food and booze. Here in Manhattan, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh’s branded spirit Singani 63 (also known as the national drink of Bolivia) and NYC cocktail den The Garret have teamed up to comfort you. Next time you place a Seamless order, take note that The Garrett is offering 750ml (approximately 25 ounces) “Staff Support” bottled cocktails available for Delivery throughout Manhattan. All proceeds will benefit the bar’s out-of-work staff. The Garret also offers lunch and dinner menu items.

Cocktails at The Garret
Image Source

In addition to the Singani 63 bottled cocktail, The Garret offers a ready-to-sip Old Fashioned, Negroni, Donkey Horse, Margarita and other favorites. Each of the eight available cocktails, priced at $50 per bottle, simply need to be poured over ice and are ready to serve. The featured Singani 63 “Staff Support” Bottled Cocktail is a take on the classic Vesper Rouge, containing Singani 63, Gin, and Lillet Rouge (a lightly spiced, bitter aperitif wine). Order now via Seamless! Cheers!

Pink Thing of The Day: Retro Cocktail Tray With Pink Elephants

Vintage Cocktail Tray By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

This vintage metal cocktail tray is absolute perfection and a dream to own for any fan of mid-century modern design! Embellished with a design of assorted Pink Cocktail Glasses and a boarder of prancing Pink Elephants, this 5 x 7-inch tray, officially known as  a “tip tray,” was originally sold in sets of four. Currently, lucky collectors can find them in stores that specialize in vintage pop culture collectibles, and on eBay and other auction sites.

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Oversized Party Goblet

Pink Oversize Party Goblets By Gail Worley
Photos By Gail

If you enjoy drinking and are about to celebrate your final days as a Bachelorette, turning 70, or being the World’s Best Mom, maybe your party needs a few of these bright pink party goblets that I spotted in a bargain store in the Financial District (no, that is not an oxymoron). I think these are selling for $3.99 each.

Pink Oversize Goblets By Gail Worley

 

Pink Thing of The Day: Box of Strawberry Frosted Shredded Wheat Cereal

Strawberry Frosted Cereal Photo By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

Here’s another entry in this rad blog that I invite you to file under “Things You See at Kroger.” This box of Strawberry Frosted Shredded Wheat Cereal caught my eye when I was grocery shopping with my sister while visiting California at Christmas. Because the search for Pink Things observes no Holiday!

Ziggy Stardust Beer!

weird and gilly ipa photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Ziggy played guitar
Jamming good with Weird and Gilly,
And the spiders from Mars . . .

Hey Bitches, check out this beer I found at the new Trader Joe’s that just opened two blocks from the Chickpad! Weird & Gilly (named for two members of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust-era band, The Spiders from Mars) is a single cut, double dry hopped IPA whose flavor is described as “soft, doughy and slightly tangy malt, [with] bright citrus, pine resin hops, and tropical fruit.”

I was told that it “tastes pretty good.” A four-pack of 16-ounce cans sells for $14.99!  We’ll excuse the fact hat the label font is actually modeled after of the lightning bolt across Bowie’s face from the cover of Aladdin Sane, because nobody seems to get that right.

Crispy Cheese Quesadilla at Old Town Mexican Cafe

Crispy Cheese Quesadilla By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

Growing up in Southern California, I developed a passion for authentic (“California style”) Mexican food, because — and I mean this sincerely — even the simplest Mexican cuisine, when done right, is the best comfort food in the Universe. When I moved to New York City, I was horrified by numerous aggressively bad excuses for Mexican food, such as goat cheese quesadillas and enchiladas made with flour tortillas, which, just no. Thirty plus years later, New York City boasts a handful of decent-to-very-good Mexican restaurants, but nothing can compare to anything you can find at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, located in Old Town San Diego. Behold, the Crispy Cheese Quesadilla, one of Old Town’s specialties. This restaurant is famous for making its own flour and corn tortillas, and this unique, open-faced take on the quesadilla begins with a freshly-made, large flour tortilla, which is grilled to a flaky crispness before being smothered with mixed cheeses and served hot to your table with a side of sour cream. Mmmmm, deliciosa!

Old Town Mexican Cafe Menu By Gail

Loaded Potato Pancake at Juniors in Times Square

Loaded Potato Pancake
Photo By Gail

Do you dig comfort foods like loaded potato skins or loaded baked potatoes? If so, then you might be intrigued to know that the Loaded Potato Pancake is a thing that exists. I discovered this decadent fried delight when I visited Junior’s Restaurant in Times Square with my friend Jamie last week for a post-theater snack, and I was blown away by its extreme tastiness. Seriously; I am going to be talking about it for the rest of my life.

If you are not fortunate enough to live near a Junior’s, and you would like to try and emulate the Loaded Potato Pancake at home, here is what I believe you must do.  First, make a huge potato pancake with shredded potato and onions, and fry it until it is golden and crisp. For your potato pancake to taste as insanely delish as Junior’s, the onions will need to get very crispy, so that they add a sweet crunch when you bit into it. Next, top the pancake with a generous portion of cheddar cheese (guideline: there is no such thing as too much cheese), and,  if needed, melt the cheese with a brief pass under a broiler. After that, you can sprinkle the cheesey goodness with crispy bacon, and top with a dollop sour cream and fresh chives. Et Voilà! Enjoy!