Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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Entries in aruba (19)


La Creperie on Palm Beach

As the summer is rapidly winding down, so are my avid posts about my favorite - and albeit indulgent - Aruban eats. It seems like our vacation was mostly eating, but I assure you, there was plenty of lounging time too. As I sign off from my Aruba travelogue for 2010, I'm dishing up one more sweet eat. It's La Creperie, a tiny hut in the Paseo Harencia serving up both sweet and savory crepes.

I'm always facinated by how crepes are made and I feel confident that if I had this nifty set up in my own apartment kitchen, I could dish 'em up just like the pros do.

Plus, then I'd get to use this mini rake/hoe contraption which is necessary to spread the batter around the hot plate. Let's face it, it really looks like a lot more fun then your standard spatula, don't you think?

Ever since our trip to Germany and Paris in 2006, I have developed an unhealthy obsession with Nutella. So when presented with the option to consume it warm and inside a crepe, who am I to turn it down? Enter my Nutella and strawberry crepe.

Though my first choice was Nutella and banana, I guess I got there late and all of the bananas were gone, leaving only strawberries behind. While I always love a good berry (and anything with Nutella), I'm sorry that I didn't get to try the banana as I'm confident it would have been tops.

But this one was pretty fantastic as well, bursting with warm Nutella and fresh strawberries. In the words of Ina Garten, how bad can that be?

Psst...for more Aruba fun, check out Madame Janette's, Dushi Bagel, Moka's Red Velvet Cake, Dutch Pancakes, and How to do Happy Hour!


Dutch Pancakes at Linda's Pancakes

During our recent family trip to Aruba (where we celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary), indulgent foods were not in short supply, whether surf and turf at Madame Janette's or decadent, buttercreamy red velvet cake at Moka's. Oh and did I mention the gooey, cheesy bagel sandwiches at Dushi Bagel? Well today I'm adding another to the list. Its Linda's Pancakes, an outdoor eatery off of Palm Beach serving up pancakes of the Dutch variety. And since it's no secret that I'm a serious sucker for a good pancake, imagine my excitement over a full dinner plate sized super thin pancake that wasn't quite a crepe yet not quite the thick, fluffy American-style concoction that we've all come to know and love. Color me intrigued. With a multitude of options and one looking better than the next, I opted for a sweet and savory combination of brie, honey and walnuts atop a giant flapjack.

I know, brie? on a pancake? And the answer is yes, a million times yes! The creamy, salty nature of the brie drizzled with sweet honey and a bit of crunch with walnuts baked right into the pancake made this one dish that I was happy to try...and subsequently devour.

But if cheese and syrup just aren't your thing (did I mention that in addition to the honey I felt it compeltely necessary to add sugary sweet pancake syrup on top?), there were a boatload of other option, both sweet, savory and everything in between. Take, for example, this pineapple pancake served with a hefty coating of powdered sugar and a shot of rum. It's the island life after all!

If rum and breakfast just scream ick, Linda's also offers traditional, plain jane pancakes or dressed up fruit pancakes like this pineapple and strawberry covered version.

And while the brie-honey-walnut version was divine, I have to take a moment for Kim's bacon and apple pancake. While it looks simple, the apple slices and bacon pieces were baked right into the pancake itself, taking that whole sweet and savory thing to a new level. Oh, and I should tell you that I've never had a better helping of bacon as the crispy yet perfectly greasy version that was being stored inside.

So there it is...yet another breakfast option on my favorite island. I swear I don't eat like this when not vacationing...


A Tale of Two Tails: Madame Janette's Aruba

While in Aruba a few weeks ago, Shaun and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. Though most nights of the trip consisted of indulgent dinners and desserts (and heck, even breakfast wasn't exactly the pinnacle of health), we saved our favorite island restaurant to celebrate our big day. The place? Madame Janette's, an outdoor restaurant that is nothing short of romantic, gorgeous and decadent to boot.

Dotted with twinkle lights and guitar players strumming, Madame Janette's is really all about the atmosphere. Though I will add a note that since it's outdoors and semi-enclosed, I suggest wearing light clothing and a bit of bug spray.

So many restaurants in Aruba can be a bit pricey and Madame Janette's is no exception. But since we typically dine on the cheap, we splurged in celebration our big 2 years and ordered the Surf & Turf. Yep, it was as good as it looks.

The filet was topped with an oversized pat of herb butter (an item that, in my opinion, could make just about anything better). This is probably more butter than I'd need to consume in a month, let alone atop one bitty portion of beef. But oh was it good. Laced with fresh herbs, the silky smooth butter melted right into the hot filet, making this quite possibly the most decadent piece of meat I've ever laid my palette on. Moving on to the real star of the meal, the lobster tail. A giant, tender piece of er...tail...it was served with clarified butter and that was all it needed to rocket to the top of my favorites list. I know, by this point I was well on my way to a premature coronary. With all of that butter, is it a surprise that we had no room left for dessert? Oh and I should also mention that this followed a giant appetizer of tempura rock shrimp doused in sweet & spicy sauce.

So there you have it. A round up of our big anniversary dinner. Though we've adopted the cook-at-home-more-eat-out-less philosophy since moving into our new place, it was fun to splurge on a special dinner for the two of us. And the fact that we get to spend our anniversary in the place we got married is just the cherry on top of a giant, already-iced cake.

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