Name: A-Tooch

Posts by A-Tooch:

  • Biscoff Everything Treats

    September 24th, 2014

    If you’ve ever flown Delta you are probably familiar with Biscoff — those graham cracker-like cookies that are always a better option to peanuts. TFAW were shocked to learn there is life outside of planes for these little guys, and when we received a gratis package we put the new baking ingredient to work.

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    The premise of this recipe was a little of “everything left in the pantry.” While Speculoos or Biscoff spread probably would have been a preferable ingredient to peanut butter, I made do. I will admit, they were a bit dry and not as gooey as I would have liked. I would suggest cutting the baking time by 5-10 minutes or adding some more butter perhaps.

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    Biscoff Everything Treats
    makes 24 mini treats

    1/2 package Biscoff cookies, finely crushed
    1/2 cup mini marshmallows
    1/2 cup HEATH milk chocolate toffee bits
    1/2 cup butterscotch chips
    1/4 cup peanut butter (I used PB&Co. Mighty Maple ’cause that’s what was in stock)
    1/4 cup unsalted butter
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1 egg
    1 cup flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill a 24 mini-cupcake tin with liners. On a stovetop over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar. Once smooth, remove from heat and add peanut butter, stirring until blended. Set aside and let cool.

    Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then fold in the marshmallows, butterscotch chips and HEATH pieces.

    Add egg into your cooled mixture on the stovetop, then combine liquid and dry mixtures. Pour into each of the 24 mini-cupcake tins, filling about 3/4 to the top. Bake for about 25 minutes.

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    A-Tooch Travels: Dubai

    March 5th, 2014

    Well friends, this may just be the farthest apart TFAW have ever been. Just how far, you ask? For a month-long work assignment, A-Tooch is exploring the Middle East, based out of Dubai.IMG_9015

    Hi, Dubai! Burj Khalifa – day and night

    While I’d love to go through culinary differences here, what many Americans don’t know about Dubai is that it’s hugely modern and cosmopolitan, with all of the comforts of home. Yes, even a Shake Shack, Eataly and Rosa Mexicano. Aside from the usual traveling quirks (e.g. a turkey + tomato sandwich on a “bagel”…which they buttered…) there really aren’t many culinary differences. Cuisine options are the same, if not more, than our native NYC and Boston. The emirate is composed of about 85% expats, so true local cuisine is hard to come by.

    Lesson over. Today’s highlight: beverages. Since the UAE is a strict Muslim country, it’s unlikely you will be having a glass of wine over dinner. (Exception: hotel restaurants and bars) To accommodate a largely dry population, a range of delicious delicious delicious fresh juices, smoothies and mocktails are available all over. I am so in love that I may return a sober woman. Maybe…

    IMG_9176 Behold: a ginger, pineapple and mint juice (left) and cooling mango lassi (right)

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    Product Review: Red’s All Natural Burritos

    February 28th, 2014

    Let’s face it, sometimes we are way too lazy to cook. Work day was long, just want to sit on the couch…we’ve all been there. When the day calls for something from the frozen aisle though, TFAW look for the most flavorful and (sometimes) healthful options out there. reds_chicken_teriyaki_We received some gratis coupons for new-to-us Red’s Natural Burritos. Not the easiest to find in-market, but worth a try if you can get your hands on some.

    My favorite was the Chicken Teriyaki — a fresh taste and juicy, savoury combination of ingredients with pulled chicken, veggies and a light sauce. Perfect with some Amy’s Chunky Tomato Bisque (a personal fav for quick dinner).


    A note for the Miss Niss crew out there: the brand only has a couple vegetarian options, which are even harder to find than the products themselves.

    What is your go to food when there’s no time to cook?

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    The New Crab Rangoons

    February 20th, 2014

    There are few people who would admit that crab rangoons are their foodie vice. A-Tooch has never been a big fan of Chinese takeout, so this cheesy menu option always seemed to be her out.

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    When I saw this recipe to “classify” crab rangoons a bit I knew I had to try it. No deep frying and big pieces of crab I knew would be non-imitation crab meat? That’s a go.

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    The New Crab Rangoons
    adapted from Frito-Lay

    8 oz. low-fat cream cheese, softened
    1 tsp. soy sauce
    1 1/2 tbsp. low-fat sour cream
    1/2 tsp. Worchester sauce
    1/2 tsp. hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
    (1) 6 oz. can fancy white crab meat, rinsed and drained
    1 green onion, finely diced
    about 24 Tostitos Scoops tortilla chips (whole grain preferred)

    Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, beat together the sour cream, cream cheese, soy sauce and Worchester. Gently fold in the crab meat and green onion and mix until combined. Arrange the tortilla chips onto a cookie sheet, discarding any broken chips, and stuff each chip with the mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until tops just begin to brown.

    The recipe was super easy and delicious, with fresh crab taste. My only advice is to heat and serve immediately as this recipe is neither good cold, nor does it reheat well. Soggy tortilla chip alert!

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    ‘Tis the Season!

    December 29th, 2013

    Ho ho ho! Welcome to Italian Christmas at the Tooch household.


    We want to see all of your holiday and New Years pictures, too! Head over to and share your favorite pics with us. champagne_toast

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    Brown Sugar Eggnog Cake

    December 20th, 2013

    Somehow, whenever TFAW are in a baking rut the winter season seems to kickstart us back in action. In A-Tooch’s family, Christmas is a multi-day event. Day one came early this year and so did the need for a seasonal recipe.


    In the quest to find an easily transportable dessert (yes, I Googled this exact term), I landed on dense bunt cake recipes. I can vouch for the durability of this cake — it flipped over twice on my cab/train commute in a massive snowstorm. The pecan streusel and warm brown buttery sauce really put this ordinary cake over the top. I made the warm sauce topping once I reached my destination. Super simple and extremely decadent.


    Brown Sugar Eggnog Cake
    adapted from Betty Crocker recipes

    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    4 eggs
    2 tsp. vanilla
    3/4 cup eggnog

    For pecan streusel:
    1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
    2 tbsp. brown sugar
    1 tsp. cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom and side of bunt pan. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, the granulated sugar and softened butter with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly, thenon medium speed about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in flour mixture alternately with 3/4 cup eggnog on low speed until smooth.

    Pour half of the mixture into pan. Combine pecan streusel ingredients in small bowl and sprinkle generously over the first layer of mixture. Fill the pan with the remaining — mixture will not fill to the top and this is OK.

    Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes before remove from pan to cooling rack.

    Before you are ready to serve the cake, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, heat sauce ingredients except vanilla to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

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    “What’s your favorite…” (Part Two)

    December 11th, 2013

    In part two, we continue with the “best of”…in our humble opinions. Here are A-Tooch’s NYC favs. Chow on, friends!

    Manhattan favs according to A-Tooch:

    For Indian food: Bhatti
    The food in Curry Hill (aka Murray Hill) tops that of Curry Row (E. 6th St.) and Bhatti is the best. So is their lunch deal. Arrive hungry.

    For homestyle Italian: Supper
    Skip Little Italy, Carmine’s and anywhere else people direct you. This is as close as you will get to home cooking (at least my Italian home). Prices are reasonable and there’s a wine bar next door for the almost guaranteed wait you will have.

    For trendy: Beauty & Essex
    Hidden behind a pawn shop, champagne served in the women’s lounge… all the necessary rigamarole. Oh, but the food is actually delicious.

    For downtown vibe without the downtown BS (my specialty): ABV
    Foie gras fluffernutter. Need I say more? Beer/wine (on tap!) only so don’t show up wanting vodka shots and leave disappointed.

    For celeb chef: Any momofuku venue, Per Se, Otto or Babbo
    Ok, this one was difficult. David Chang for nouveau, Thomas Keller for classic and Mario Batali for somewhere in between. Right?

    For a New York experience: Keen’s Steakhouse
    Forget what they tell you about Peter Luger’s or McCormick & Schmick, New York means steakhouse and there’s only one Keen’s.

    For the adventurous outer borough trip: Taverna Kyclades
    Astoria really isn’t that far away, let’s be serious. This is no fuss Greek. Lamb and caviar dip. Enough to serve an army. Free wine during your wait (and there will most likely be one).

    Honorable mentions: Agave, Back Forty, Talde

    1 Comment "

    Bagels & Brew – Orange County, CA

    November 6th, 2013

    A-Tooch has been doing a lot of traveling lately. A LOT.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately?), living in New York means it is terribly hard to impress with food in domestic travels. It is almost impossible to impress with bagels or anywhere penned a “bagel shop” outside of NYC.

    Welp, it happened. Behold the Sunrise Ole from Bagels & Brew in Lake Forest, CA. Quite possibly the best thing to happen to breakfast. Egg whites (for good measure), bacon, avocado, salsa cream cheese, pepperjack, tomato and lettuce. A true California item.

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