We sampled a lot of amazing food while in NYC for the Good Housekeeping cook off, and while the contest hosts were careful to supply us with a stream of healthy (and delicious) fare, when we were off on our own we were not quite as health conscious. My only regret–we never did make it to the Pop Tart store in all of its pop-tart-culture glory. We did, however, spend a couple of hours browsing in the foodie haven that is Chelsea Market, and we picked up some fun stuff.
If our hotel room had been supplied with a kitchen–even a hot plate–I would have gone wild here. As it was, we spent some time tasting various salts, olive oils, and vinegars at The Filling Station, soon available online at: The Filling Station The Ghost Chile-infused salt was mind blowing, literally, and a few grains left searing heat on the tongue for several minutes. I instead purchased some of the lemongrass-infused salt and longed for the blood orange olive oil, but didn’t want to pack it to fly. The Filling Station is eco-friendly in that the containers may be brought back and refilled to reduce waste–so, next time I am in NYC, I will stop by for a salt refill…
We had relatively balmy weather for the trip, but it was still a warm afternoon and we were trying to avoid the lure of the fresh crepes being served up at Bar Suzette. For a cooling and less-filling treat we stopped at People’s Pops, which makes small-batch ice pops and shave ices using seasonal produce and amazing flavors like roasted peach with ginger. After browsing the daily flavors we went with a watermelon and lemongrass pop (I guess I was in a lemongrass kind of mood) and a “Straight Up Corn” ice pop:
The watermelon pop was lightly sweet and luscious, with pulpy bits of fresh lemongrass scattered throughout. The Straight Up Corn tasted like—corn. Straight up. It had chunks of fresh sweet corn:
It was interesting, but it kind of reminded me of drinking a Jone’s mashed potato and gravy flavored soda. A little mentally jarring. Harrison, however, gave it a thumbs up, which left more watermelon pop for me. Here he is, chilling post-pop:
We had other memorable food encounters during our visit–including Lindy’s cheesecake (cooking friend Teri says we should have gone to Junior’s instead–next trip…), great pasta at Carmine’s, and all of that beautiful and healthy food at the Good Housekeeping events, including a chilled melon and cucumber soup with grilled shrimp. The healthy food probably balanced out the cheesecake and sweetbreads–right?
The cook off was held in the Good Housekeeping test kitchens in the beautiful and intimidating Hearst building, and while I did not walk away with a win, it was a great experience. The Hearst building was amazing–it was the first Leed’s-certified building in NYC (which means it is quite environmentally friendly), and it has mind-reading elevators with no buttons on the inside. OK, they don’t read minds, but they are programmed on the exterior and it is pretty “open the pod door, Hal” while you are in there, lacking all button control. Here is the lobby area (that is rain water running down beside the elevator, which is recirculated as a cooling element):
Beautiful view from the green room (the other side of the building overlooks Central Park):
The wonderful Danielle, from the production crew, hanging out with us in the green room, plus the snack table (not all healthy–killer brownies one day):
It was great fun to cook in the test kitchen and work with the production crew, and it gave me a lot of insight into how much work goes into producing a magazine and a television show. It was a memorable experience, and I do love New York (not as much as San Francisco…but I do). Here we are at the reception with judge Sara Moulton and Good Housekeeping’s Food Director, Susan Westmoreland:
I will be back to seasonal recipes soon, but for now I will leave you with my adaptation of a People’s Pop Ice pop, as well as a big congratulations to Rya Meo, who was the randomly-selected winner of my last giveaway–congrats Rya! More giveaways soon, so stay tuned.
“Person Pop” Peach, Basil and Honey Ice Pops
4 large, ripe peaches, pitted, peeled, and chopped
juice of one small lemon
1/4 cup honey
handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into ice-pop molds and freeze overnight. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.
Thanks for reading,