Reunion of the peeps!

After a month apart, we just couldn’t bear it anymore…reunion was in order at Laura’s!! She smoked up this wonderful piece of salmon in a cast iron skillet with dried arbol chilies.  It was topped with red onion, lemon slices, and capers; served along with cream cheese and pumpernickel bread.   April and Laura prepped the goods for dinner.  They mentioned it took 4 hours…okay, so I think they have gotten out of the swing of prepping with speed!! We drank some really nice French red wine and laughed so hard while reminiscing about the memories of school. Dinner was amazing as usual-not that Laura needed to attend cooking school. We all partook in making shrimp, grits, greens, and chickpeas.  Learning to soak beans overnight really paid off because Laura’s chickpea recipe rocked the house!! Everyone went back for seconds. 
This week I continued in my ever consuming hunt for a job and just had to bust out of the house and get my NY food fix on.  First stop, was Cha’an Tea House.  I want to keep this little sanctuary all to myself, but that would totally defeat the whole purpose of this blog.  Let me paint the scene.  You head to the East Village, walk down a very unassuming street, up one flight of stairs, and as the Japanese curtains part, you enter into a little quiet room as The Fugees play “Killing Me Softly” in the background.  I loved the fact that the kitchen was quite as four women baked home made scones and delicious looking lunches.  Cha’an has everything from small appetizers, lunch menu, to desserts.  The tea menu is extensive and opted to go with my favorite Pur-erh.  The oddities of life intrigue me so I ordered the scones at the Japanese Tea house and was told they would take 15 minutes to bake.  Really??? Hot scones, freshly made, not bought at a bakery and sitting in the backroom for days???  Hopefully I hid my happy dance well enough and agreed to just sip my tea and wait.  Soon enough, out they came.  Two lovely warm scones, one with chocolate chips (which were melting) and the other was mixed with Earl Gray tea.  That’s cream and strawberry preserves you see in the picture.  

And my other reunion was with Louise.  We headed to Cafe Gitane on Mott Street. The avocado bread is one of the best.  This wonderful grain bread is topped with avocados, lemon and red pepper flakes.  The hot chocolate there is so pretty, I had to to take a picture.  Louise scored tickets to the Air Guitar Regionals next month.  If you have never seen the documentary Air Guitar Nation, here is a clip to wet your appetite to put it in your Netflix Queue.  

This past weekend I took a tour of Little India in Queens through ICE.  74th Street had all the items you could ask for-grocery store, Jackson Diner, spices, sweets.  It was a fairly quick ride there and all the stores are extremely close to the Metro.  With a stack of Mast Brother chocolate bars to hold me over, I have headed back to Tampa for a week to visit family and get my condo in order to rent out again.  Maybe, just maybe Tampa will surprise me with a food worthy blog- if not- until next week. Ciao-



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3 responses to “Reunion of the peeps!

  1. Gillian

    I love your blog, Melissa. I need to check out the tea place in the East Village – sounds great. Great pictures, too! Love the hot chocolate pic. I have a hot chocolate obsession myself, having sampled it all over the city. I could probably start a blog all about chocolate tastings! Thank you for checking out my blog – I have actually been to Dirt Candy and reviewed on my site Nov. 11th, 2008. Loved it! Even the anti-vegetarians I was with loved it and that says a lot!

  2. Molly Chester

    Oh my, that Air Guitar clip was simply too much. Hysterical! Hi! I went to the Natural Gourmet too! And I found your blog through your comment on Gillian’s site. Had to say hi because I LOVED my experience at That Natural Gourmet. What a great place. Your blog is great. Good to learn about the place you interned… I had never heard of it! Is it new to town? I was in school back in ’06.

    Well, I thought i would share my blog as well:

    Best to you! Molly

  3. Melissa

    Hey Molly!
    Dirt Candy opened up in Oct. She was a grad from NGI as well. Food is amazing. How are things out in CA? I am having a tough time here in NY trying to land a job-it is crazy. Your blog is great. Pics are beautiful. We will have to stay in contact and compare notes. I love the whole blogging thing. Take care-

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