Monday, September 29, 2008

Rosh Hashanah Wishes

To all of my Jewish readers, L'shana tovah! Wishing you a year of good health, peace, and happiness.

~your allergic diner

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A & J and a bakery named Red Carpet Cakes....

Well, I have to learn to take pictures before people start putting their hands all over things, but I wanted all my bloggy friends to see this. In a post this past January, I showed you a picture of a wedding cake. You can access it here, if you'd like a peek again. What I didn't tell you is that the cake was lovingly made for me as a wedding gift by a good friend who owns a bakery. Every layer was covered with cream-colored M&Ms.

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to throw a bridal shower for a very close friend. We shall call her "A." A is getting married to a wonderful man often referred to in this blog as the allergic fiancee (ergo, he was a shoe-in to be liked). I contacted the bakery, asking my friend to do something special. Boy, did she come through. We ordered a black and white mousse cake for A's mom's birthday (the lie by which we lured her back to NJ), 50 rose-topped cupcakes to fill a cupcake tree, and these little jewels, shown above (again, sorry, everybody was fascinated by them and kept poking at them). She did a tray of petit fors iced with the married couple-to-be's initials. The kick? Not only did everything look gorgeous, but it tasted even better! Don't tell on me, but I squirreled a few away to take home for a snack later.

The thing is, my baker friend has no idea that this blog exists. I want to share her creations with you. She is an immensely talented woman, with a skill and level of creativity which rival anything I've seen on the food network (and yes, I might be biased, but so what?).
Think I'm joking? Take a look at her menus and photos of her work via the link below, and judge for yourself. And if you're ever in New Jersey, she's worth the trip. You're just going to have to take my word for it until you get to try one of her creations (after which, you'll probably just move here)! Oh, a word of caution, this is not a menu to read if you're in the least bit hungry...

Congratulations A on your upcoming wedding, and thank you, Red Carpet Cakes,
Your Allergic Diner

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Allergic Girl Resources hits the big time!

Congratulations, Allergic Girl!!
Link to her prominent CNN article mention here.
Way to go!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Unexpected Birthday Celebration

I apologize for the sporadic posting of the last week or two, but as usual, work is busy. This is one of my favorite pictures taken by NAH. We actually have a whole series as the boat passes in front of the sunset, which I'm hoping to frame and put up in our house.
Let's discuss my birthday, shall we? As luck (and perhaps some skillful planning on the part of my family) would have it, I got to celebrate in Hawaii. What better place for a party? When we got to Hawaii, my parents handed me a list of restaurants, a laptop computer and simply said, "Go to work!"
We have an unwritten code, my parents and I. They like fancy food. I don't. However, we agree that birthdays will be the exception, and I promise never to make them go to McDonalds, if they promise not to make me go to a restaurant where the waiter refolds my napkin on my lap while I'm sitting there (it just irks me, ok?). Especially when they use a knife to take your crumbs off the table while you're still sitting there. I make a lot of crumbs, and I know they're passing judgement on me, I just know it... Every year my mother and I have our annual argument in which she insists that what I really want is a fancy meal in a nice restaurant, and I insist that I don't, and we go back and forth for days. In the past, we've compromised and gone to a steakhouse, and all enjoyed delicious, allergy-proof, and simple yet upscale meals.
This year? Well, I had my work cut out for me. I believe I researched 30 restaurants, and discarded just about every one of them as the result of dishes with macadamia nuts, Italian seasoning, or just too many items with barbecue sauce. I gave up, convinced that my birthday was going to be served by Mr. Sub or his daughter. NAH and I went walking up to Whaler's Village one evening, and I stopped at every restaurant on the way to read their menus. One restaurant, the Rusty Harpoon, had something that was somewhat rare for the area. Chicken dishes. As in plural. As in more than one! I read more closely, and discovered "Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki."
I have had decent luck with teriyaki sauce in the past, though I know sometimes it has unforeseen tomato spices in it, and decided to take the chance. We made a reservation.
At 7:30, on the evening of my birthday, I had one of the best meals I've ever eaten in my life. NAH felt the same way about his prime rib (Sorry, Town & Country Diner!). The restaurant, despite it's name (Rusty Harpoon? Really?), was one of fancy tablecloths and fresh, warm bread on the tables. You could see the ocean, and they had an open kitchen! The allergic parents had a great meal, NAH and I had a great meal, and I was quite content to return to the hotel for the birthday cake (which I've recently re-discovered after years of not eating).
Thanks allergic mom, dad, and NAH! It was a delicious birthday to remember.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Don't judge a book by its cover, or in this case, food by the decor of a restaurant....

Another fantastic NAH picture. We met this little guy on our last day on the island!

When I left you last, NAH, myself, and the allergic parents had heeded the warning of Mr. Blue Lagoon waiter, and we were off searching for another restaurant in Lahaina. To attract customers on weeknights (because there are more restaurants than people, or at least it felt that way), a lot of hostesses would stand at the street entrance to their restaurant.

A young woman of about 16 looked at us and said "Come to Cool Cat's. Voted best burger in Maui 5 years in a row!"


So up we went, to Cool Cat's Cafe, the deck-located restaurant that overlooked front street in Lahaina. The menu was very impressive. You can link to it here, should you ever want to go to Maui. The decor was less so, but I got the feeling that on a busy night with a few cocktails, no one would notice the chipping paint. Cool Cat's had a full bar, with Christmas lights over it, a wealth of tables on the deck in the restaurant section, and inside was an arcade for children. It just seemed a tad overdone, and a bit tired-looking.

However, the food was fantastic. While allergic dad opted for a very spicy seasonal fish, NAH had "Chubby Checker," a grilled chicken/bacon/barbecue-sauced concoction on a bun. It was enormous! Allergic mom had a "La Bamba Burger," on grilled bread and smothered in Maui onions. As for me? Well, I played it safe and had the "Johnny Angel," turkey on sourdough with mayo/lettuce/tomato (hold the tomato!). Everything was delicious, and we were stuffed after eating. Too much so to go for ice cream!

Just speaks to the fact that the decor doesn't always speak to the food. A superb meal!

Thank you Cool Cat's Cafe!

Your Allergic Diner