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)


Dushi Bagels of Aruba

One of my favorite places to eat in Aruba is Dushi Bagels/Charlie's Grill, a sweet little spot in front of the Playa Linda on Palm Beach. The outdoor eatery is famous for not only the Dushi Bagel breakfast (perfect for morning fare), but also their Charlie's Grill burgers (holding it down for the lunchtime crowd). Gotta love a spot that multi-tasks.

Though I touched on my favorite Aruban breakfasts after last year's trip, I unfortunately didn't snap a photo to capture the serious yumminess of the Dushi Bagel. While they aren't quite New York bagels (but what is?), they are pretty darn close and still way ahead of the frozen/Lender's bagel movement. Loaded with scrambly fried eggs, slices of ham and stringy cheese of the seemingly Swiss variety (what kind precisely, I haven't quite figured out yet), this bagel sandwich is the perfect way to start the morning, especially after a jog in the extreme Aruban heat.

And if that mouthwatering photo isn't enough to get you going, check out their serious cheeseburger lunch, served complete with French fries on a wooden board. Talk about making a $9 lunch feel super special and decadent to boot.

So there you have it. A quick round-up of my favorite breakfast and lunch spot, Aruba-style. Just pass the coffee with evaporated milk, and I'm set to tackle any day...if only this were acceptable on a daily basis here back in the States...


Moka's Red Velvet Cake

A couple of weeks ago, Shaun and I embarked on the Cannon family vacation 2010, annually spent at our favorite spot in Aruba with my parents, sisters and family friends (and in case you didn't know, it was also the home of our 2008 beach wedding). Known for year-round fabulous weather, tradewinds, and signature slanted Divi trees, Aruba is also famous for its abundance of delectable restaurants. Though much of the week was spent swimming in blue water, laying under a palapa and cheering on Holland in the World Cup, we also found time to indulge in the local culinary delights that the island had to offer. I know what you're thinking, how did we manage to fit all of that in, day after day.

While I'll be telling you about my favorite local spots, there's something you should know about the Cannons. We love our dessert. So while last year we indulged in fried Oreo's at Smokey Joe's, this year, we stumbled upon a life-altering confection. Yup...I just said life-altering. The only thing sadder than having to wait another year to sunbathe on this One Happy Island is knowing that it's also another year before I get to have Moka's Red Velvet Cake again. It's that good. Multiple layers? Check. Ample sweet frosting? Check. Sprinkles? Check.

Located in the Paseo Harencia, an outdoor mall in the heart of Palm Beach (across from the Holiday Inn), Moka's is a small coffee shop offering gourmet coffees along with homemade desserts displayed in glass-topped cake stands. After all, is there anything else more inviting than beautifully displayed layer cakes?

Instead of the usual cream cheese frosting (of which I can never have enough), this red velvet confection was topped with standard vanilla buttercream, a refreshing and unexpected change from the typical red velvet. Oh, and the three layers of cake with buttercream filling between each didn't hurt either.

Moist and decadent to boot, this cake was even a bit pink and yellow at the edges, a sure sign of its imperfect, yet wonderfully homemade nature.

So there you have it. A pretty fabulous dessert that, admittedly, I may or may not have indulged in multiple times following nightly dinner. Have you ever had a cake or dessert that you just can't get out of your head? Share the goods!

Psst...itching for more Aruba-inspired fun? Check out Aruba tidbits here, here and here. And for more cake fun, try Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, Pink Coconut Cupcakes, Baba Booey's Peanutastic Cupcake, Butter Lane Cupcakes, Key Lime in the Coconut Cupcakes, and Baked by Melissa's Mini Cupcakes.


Aruba Travelogue: Happy Hour at Bugaloe Beach Bar

After laying on the beach all day, coating your skin with sand, salt, and sunscreen, there is really no better way to top off the afternoon than with a great happy hour. Though frozen and fancy drink sampling is a must at as many places as possible, my favorite happy hour destination of the week, and the place I went back to almost every evening, was Bugaloe .

Found on De Palm Pier, between the Radisson and the Riu Palace, Bugaloe had the very best sunset view every evening, not to mention delicious, highly spiked, low priced cocktails - a perfect end of day, pre-dinner activity. With a full menu of food and drink, my drink of choice quickly became the Pink Lemonade, essentially an intensely, yet not too overpoweringly spiked vodka, cranberry, and lemonade concoction. Other fab happy hour drinks include Fuzzy Navel ($3.50), Bay Breeze ($3.50), Mojitoes ($4.50), and Amstel Bright ($3.50).

In addition to great drinks and atmosphere, Bugaloe also boasts live music, my personal favorite is a salsa band from Aruba Salsa who performs every Wednesday night from 7-11pm and also offers free salsa lessons, the latter of which I swear I'm going to talk husband into next year because it just needs to happen. Salsafied tunes included Michael Jackon's Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' and Coldplay's Clocks. Bugaloe also features live music almost every other evening of the week.

Bonus 1: Before the live music started, they played fantastic, fun tunes in the form of Michael Jackson hour-long music blocks.

Bonus 2: On the pier, you'll also find De Palm Tours, a popular excursion company specializing in sunset cruises and island tours (also the sponsor of my aforementioned Jeep adventure).