Autumn Recipe: Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Posted on October 30, 2011. Filed under: Astoria, Recipes |

Thanks for reading for the last four years. Here is a recipe send-off I hope you enjoy…

In a quest to find the perfect holiday treat, (keeping in mind that I do not like pumpkin pie) I discovered this delicious recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Altering the ingredients slightly, I omitted the salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. I also used salted butter instead of unsalted and Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips. The success of the recipe lies in the quality dark chocolate. This recipe demonstrates the perfect contrast between the soft taste of the sweet pumpkin with the intense flavor of the dark chocolate. The pumpkin puree adds a special texture to the cookies that make them come out of the oven fluffy and soft.

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) soft salted butter
  • 1 cup  white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spread butter onto cookie sheet so cookies will not stick. Mix the eggs, puree, butter, vanilla, and sugar together. Add the mixture of dry ingredients in a separate bowl. When finished sifting dry ingredients, fold into puree. Mix all ingredients until lightly fluffy, add chocolate chips. Scoop about one heaping tablespoon of mixture on sheet three inches apart. Bake for about sixteen minutes or until golden orange.

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

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Halloween in Astoria: Featuring a Werewolf and Frankenstein

Posted on October 30, 2011. Filed under: Art, Astoria, Entertainment, LIC, Movies |

I think the scariest part about this Halloween weekend are the five inches of snow and ice on the ground. Or could it be the monsters that will make an appearance at the Museum of Moving Image today?

Mike Marino (think: Black Swan) master make-up artist will transform an otherwise normal human being into a werewolf at 2:30pm today. Maybe you can even get tips on how to create your own ghoulish get-up.

If you cannot make this afternoon’s werewolf demonstration…

Frankenstein will be hosting an evening at the museum on the big screen at 7:30pm. Following the 1931 film featuring Boris Karloff will be a conversation with Sara Karloff, the actor’s daughter. Get the inside scoop through her family’s home movies on what it was like having a creepy monster for a dad.




Scary photo of dead dude emerging from the soil brought to you by The Joy Victory.

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Curry Chicken Salad You’ll Fall For…

Posted on October 19, 2011. Filed under: Astoria, Brunch, Indian, Recipes |

One of the things that I like most about food is what I like most about Fall, the ever-changing colors.  The early sunsets blanket the city buildings in a golden glow of pumpkin orange and falling leaves blot the sidewalks like puddles of deep red wine.  Here is a recipe for one of my favorite fall feasts. My “Famous Chicken Salad” is a colorful assault on the eyes as it is a swirling of spices in the mouth. Enjoy!

“Famous Chicken Salad”

About four cups of chicken (I like to buy a rotisserie chicken)

3 celery stalks

1/2 small red onion

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Tumeric to taste

Cumin to taste

Mix all the chopped ingredients together, stir in the mayonnaise, sprinkle the spices to taste and fold together. Can be served alone or in the company of bread, wine and good friends.

Finely chop onion, celery, and cilantro...

Add walnuts...

...tumeric and cumin to taste...

... and voila!

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Autumn Cocktail 101

Posted on October 15, 2011. Filed under: Astoria, Wine Tasting |

There’s nothing like relaxing at home on a lazy fall afternoon sipping a homemade cocktail, or 10! I first met Joe Thompson, area man, drink master and musician in the summer of 2010. His mixing expertise was noted in the 2010 fall edition of Edible Queens.

While doing a photo shoot for the Notable Edibles article, I was fortunate enough to see the master at work in his own home, preparing a neighborhood favorite he calls “Harvest 718”. It is a warm and sultry mix of citris and spices simmered on a stove top for drinking on those chilly days of fall.

Harvest 718 (recipe first published here)

½ stick butter
½ gallon apple cider
2 ounces butternut squash purée
2 ounces bourbon
½ ounces honey
Mulling spices: cinnamon, 
cloves, star anise
Angostura bitters
Orange peel

In medium saucepan over low heat, brown butter. Stir in cider, squash puree and mulling spices; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Let cool.* In shaker, combine 4 ounces of the cooled cider mixture, bourbon, honey, a dash of bitters and ice; shake to combine. Rub rim of glass with orange peel before pouring in the cider mixture.

The Harvest 718, a simmering stove-top delight.

A warm drink to accompany your favorite seasonal treats.

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Autumn in New York… or at Least in Queens

Posted on October 15, 2011. Filed under: Astoria, Grocery, LIC, Shopping, Specialty Food Markets |

The ides of October brings forth a beautiful sunny day and the Socrates Sculpture Park Greenmarket. I was happy to see that the market is still going strong every Saturday through November 19th with all of your favorite Autumn necessities. Grab a gallon of apple cider, some pumpkins for carving (or experimenting in the kitchen) and potatoes to make that seasonal stew. The best part about doing your food shopping there is that you get to enjoy the cool sculptures and great city views.

Mr. Pumpkin sits happily, waiting to become a jack-o-lantern.

He who lives behind glass doors should get curtains...

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Hell Gate Leads to Music and Art this Saturday in Astoria!

Posted on September 30, 2010. Filed under: Art, Astoria, Free, Great for Singles, Music & Dance |

Astorian Lizabeth Nieves has been busy these days. Here is the email I recieved about her latest project at Hell Gate Social:

Astoria Music and Arts Presents: Suspension of Disbelief – Art with Live Music at HGS

(Art curated by Lizabeth Nieves)

Come experience Art the Astoria way – not with wine spritzers and cheese plates, but with rock and roll and beer on tap!

On Saturday October 2nd, we’re coming to Hell Gate Social and we’re bringing music AND art with us:

8pm – the Astoria Debut of exciting local artist, ***Jessica Goehring*** ( Inspired by the abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning and neo-expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jessica Goehring paints contorted, sometimes exaggerated human figures.)

9pm – the smooth assurance of pro-fessional R&B songstress ***Nadia Kazmi***.

10pm – everybody’s favorite hometown bluesman – ***Mat Snow & the Way it Was***

11pm – And sonic psychedelia provided by ***The Static Rising***

12pm– ***DJ B-ANG***

***Drink Specials between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.***

No Cover

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Celebrate Fashion’s Night Out in Queens

Posted on September 1, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, Entertainment, Fashion, Shopping |

Celebrate Queens fashion in Queens at Kristee’s Boutique in Astoria!

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Free Brunch and Yoga by the Waterfront in LIC!

Posted on August 20, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, Free, Health/Spa, LIC, Outdoor Recreation |

This weekend you can enjoy a free Sunday morning yoga class on the LIC waterfront. Stretch and relax in the sun from 9:15am-10:15am Sunday August 22 and afterward enjoy  healthy brunch at The View. Here is what the press release says about the event:

TF Cornerstone Partners with Long Island City’s The Yoga Room for Free Waterfront Yoga Classes with Front Row View of the Manhattan Skyline

TF Cornerstone is partnering with the popular yoga studio for their “Yoga in the Park” series. On Sunday, August 22nd yogis and aspiring-yogis alike will enjoy an energizing and strengthening free class from 9:15am to 10:15am at Pier 1 of Gantry State Park Plaza located at 474 48th Avenue, Long Island City. Followed the class, a fresh and nutritious brunch will be provided by TF Cornerstone in the private courtyard of their neighboring luxury building The View located on 4630 Center Boulevard . Free yoga mats will be supplied by TF Cornerstone to the first 100 in attendance.

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