The inside of that case is what I imagine heaven to be like. This is Ferrara Bakery & Cafe in New York City. This place is, in a word, awesome.

After our dinner in Little Italy at Pellegrino’s, we did a bit of walking around/digesting. Our plan was to go to Ferrara’s for dessert and coffee, but my dad wanted a cookie or two before the rest of us were ready to eat more. He wandered into another bakery (I don’t recall the name, but I do recall that it was pretty much empty at 7PM on a Saturday), and this is the conversation that ensued between my dad and the owner:

Dad: Hey, can I have 1 pignoli cookie?
Owner/Dummy: No
Dad: No? Really, why not?
Owner/Dummy: We don’t sell only 1, the minimum is a 1/4 pound.
Dad: Okay, how much is a 1/4 pound?
Owner/Dummy: $3
Dad: Okay, give me 1 pignoli cookie and I will pay you $3
Owner/Dummy: No
Dad: Really? Alright.

First of all, what bakery refuses to sell someone a cookie? Even worse, what bakery owner who is actually demanding a minimum purchase of cookies, won’t sell a person one cookie for the price of their minimum? I guess there was a reason his bakery was empty and Ferrara’s was packed to the brim. I mean seriously, does this make sense to anyone???

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This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie was Four Star Bread Pudding and was chosen by Lauren of A Baking Blog AKA Upper East Side Chronicle.

I will start out by saying that I am not a bread pudding lover in general, and neither is Nick. However, I have been wanting to make this recipe for a few months now, ever since we went out to dinner at Central Michel Richard and Geoff ordered some sort of chocolate butter bread pudding for dessert. It was so delicious and I realized how decadent bread pudding could be. I actually bought bread shortly after that dinner to make this bread pudding, but I never got around to it.

So I was super excited when I saw that this recipe was picked. I have to say that it did not compare to the bread pudding from Central, but it was pretty damn good.

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When Nick and I were in New York with my family over Passover we all decided to go into the city one day to see a Broadway show and go out to dinner in Little Italy. It was a day of fun, food, and shopping with my parents and sister, and my honey of course.

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Yesterday I was reading a post from Aggie of Aggie’s Kitchen where she said that she is getting a free cheese each month from Ile de France and then blogging about it. I was jealous. Cheese, for free, every month?!

Her first cheese was Saint Andre. First of all, I am in love with cheese (who isn’t?). And second of all, Saint Andre is up there in my top 2-3 favorite cheeses of all time. It is so creamy and delicious, it is basically almost butter. We have even featured it on our site with our bacon and potato ciabatta bread.

So, I am directing this post to whoever is in charge of giving free cheese to bloggers at Ile de France. Here at imafoodblog.com, we would happily eat and blog about your cheese each month for how ever many months you wanted to send us free cheese. If not, that’s okay. We will still buy your delicious cheese. :>>

This is a ridiculously good and easy recipe, which I adapted from a recipe I found in a Weight Watcher’s cookbook. I make this at least once a month for dinner, and it is always so hearty and satisfying. The chicken breast is seared and then boiled in flavorful chicken broth, so it comes out nice and juicy, served alongside a pungent vegetable saffron rice. I don’t know much about Spanish cooking, and I am sure that this is not necessarily a traditional Arroz Con Pollo, but it is too good to care about some pesky authenticity.

I was actually inspired to make this after watching the Arroz con Pollo Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and me and my sister pranced around rolling our r’s saying “Arrrrrroz Con Pollo” for days. I couldn’t get it out of my head, and when I saw a recipe only a few days later, I knew I had to make some. (If you are looking for something more authentic, I think the above Throwdown link should do it for you).

I hope you find some time to make and enjoy this tasty and healthy chicken dinner.

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This week’s Craving Ellie in my Belly is Lamb Stew with Orange and was chosen by Farah of Confessions of a Novice Baker.

We are lamb lovers so I was happy to see this recipe picked, though you could absolutely substitute a stew cut of beef in this meal. This turned out to be a hearty comforting Sunday night meal. I used a butterflied leg of lamb from the butcher. I kept closely to Ellie’s ingredient list for this recipe, except that I left out the mint because I didn’t have any. I am also quite proud of myself for so successfully supreming an orange for this recipe.

However, I did change the process a bit. I seared my lamb cubes, but I then removed them from the pan and sautéed the vegetables separately. Then I added the cumin to coat the veg and deglazed the pan with the red wine before adding the remainder of the ingredients. This is the way I generally cook a pot roast and I think it makes sense to do it with a stew as well.

My stew cooked for almost 2 hours and the lamb was super tender. This was the first time I had beans in a stew and I was surprised at how they were buttery and tender without getting mushy. I served it with crunchy oven roasted potatoes. We loved this stew and I would definitely make it again. This was a great recipe picked by a wonderful blogger! Thanks Farah (and Ellie ;))

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