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November 6, 2014 / sweetsavant

Working on getting organized before the holiday season gets into full swing

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October 31, 2014 / sweetsavant

Was that RACIST or just RUDE

If you’ve been following my blog (and you should be) then you know my family and I took a brief trip to New York. We stayed at the Hotel De Point in College Point, Queens so we could be close to my in-laws. The hotel was fairly close to LaGuardia airport in the middle of a community with a mix of body shops and residential homes. Its sort of hard to describe the hotel as its located in a building that houses quite a few other business. When you enter the building you take the elevator to the second floor to enter the hotel. On the ground floor of the hotel floor there is a grocery store and buffet restaurant.

fresh market Hotel De Point

When you enter the building you can take the elevator up to the Hotel De Point lobby OR you can enter the grocery store on the first floor. There’s a buffet in the store as well as a buffet restaurant to the right. Yes, that’s my lovely reflection

buffet hotel de point

This is the buffet in the grocery store on the ground floor of the building. There is a separate buffet restaurant on the ground floor as well but it looked like it had not been open for a while.

From what I understand the other restaurants and business in the building are owned separately from the hotel. We browsed the store before taking the elevator up to the hotel, there was maybe one other customer in the store and a young woman working at the checkout counter. The store employee didn’t greet us or even acknowledge our presence when we entered and didn’t look up from her phone as we left. That was rude but not necessarily racist…I’ll get back to that in a bit.

hotel De Point. Queens New York

But then you step off the elevator on the second floor into the Hotel De Point lobby.

Once we stepped off the elevator on the second floor and entered the hotel itself we were greeted warmly by the staff. The Hotel De Point has a clean, modern design that  my family and I all appreciate. It was like being in a different world compared to the store downstairs.. And the complementary coffee station never hurt anything.

Our room at the Hotel De Point

Our room at the Hotel De Point was clean, comfortable and larger than I expected. Not huge but big enough for the four of us.

We had to venture back down to the store on the ground floor to get some toothpaste and toothbrushes. We received no greeting on our second trip to this store and were treated to complete silence before, during and after making our purchase. No “thank you”… nothing. And this is where it gets just a bit racist… racist is a strong term, offensive may be more accurate. Darkie, oops DARLIE toothpaste is one of the brands they sell.

Racist toothpaste

Racist toothpaste? Let me explain.

So this toothpaste is hugely popular in many countries in Asia. It may not look offensive now, the packaging has been changed click here to see the original packaging and more infomation. It used to be called “Darkie” toothpaste and the picture was an image of what looks like a dark skinned black man or a man in blackface wearing a top hat and monocle. The packaging has been modified but its still offensive to me. On the back of the package under the word Darlie, written in Chinese, it still says “black person”…still offensive.

We left the grocery store and went upstairs to the large buffet restaurant creatively named “The Buffet” on the 4th floor. It was closed but there was a woman at the hostess stand. We wanted to ask her a few questions about the buffet but she just kept saying “Closed, we’re closed”, so we left. More cold shoulder.

Back on the elevator, down to the 3rd floor to KTV for a little Karaoke. I LOVE karaoke. Love it. Love love LOVE IT! I couldn’t wait to bless my family (and anyone within earshot) with a couple of songs.

KTV

KTV- Karaoke

We walked over to the hostess stand where three people that seemed to all work there were talking to each other, no other guests were in sight. Again, silence. We stood in silence for a bit, then I asked the young woman who seemed to be the hostess about the karaoke room rates posted on a sign. Most signs were written in Chinese with a little English so we could have used a bit of help. We received only yes and no answers, like we were in court and she was a hostile witness. We all stood in silence for a while longer to see if anyone would usher us to one of the rooms or help us in any way but we just got a lot more nothing. Clearly we were not welcome so we left, no karaoke for me that night.

The only other place in the building where we were welcomed was the complementary breakfast buffet on the top floor.

roof de point Collage

Breakfast buffet on the top floor with access to the roof top “Lounge”

There’s a breakfast buffet (yes, another buffet) on the roof at the Hotel De Point, not much variety but enough to get the day started off right. Eggs, sausage, pastries, cereals, coffee, juice and freshly made waffles. This buffet was included in our hotel stay. The roof at the Hotel De Point was only open for breakfast at the time of our visit. Apparantly one too many late night parties got the rooftop lounge shut down in the evenings. It was in disarray when were there, not set up for dining but we went out to check out the view.

These were all separate businesses from the hotel so we don’t hold anything against the hotel. We did alert the front desk staff to our treatment and she seemed concerned and genuinely upset about our treatment. The staff at Hotel De Point was lovely, from maintenance to management everyone had a smile and a warm “Hello”.

October 30, 2014 / sweetsavant

Taste of Atlanta 2014-recap in pictures

Taste of Atlanta 2014

Welcome Y’all! It was a BEAUTIFULL hot and sunny Fall day, perfect for walking and eating eveything you can get your hands on

Cannoli from Cibo E Beve. Crunchy, lightly sweet and tasty

Cannoli from Cibo E Beve. Crunchy, lightly sweet and tasty. This was the first thing I tried and it was a great way to start the day

BOO sweetie! Sprinkles cupcakes dressed up for Halloween.

BOO sweetie! Sprinkles cupcakes dressed up for Halloween.

My kids and I enjoying tacos at the throwdown tent

My kids and I enjoying tacos at the throwdown tent

Angry wings and Pineapple BBQ buck fried rice from Aja. I LOVE these little Chinese food take out containers, makes me miss NYC.

Angry wings (how can they be so angry and so delicious at the same time?) and Pineapple BBQ buck fried rice from Aja. I LOVE these little Chinese food take out containers, makes me miss NYC.

Lovely ladies from Cirque Du Soleil Amaluna handed out peacock feathers

Lovely ladies from Cirque Du Soleil Amaluna handed out peacock feathers

The winner of best in taste for Taste of Atlanta 2014-Article 14 for their delicious roasted scallops with spiced pumpkin puree

The winner of best in taste for Taste of Atlanta 2014-Article 14 for their delicious roasted scallops with spiced pumpkin puree

Class is in session

Class is in session at Taste of Atlanta. There were quite a few sessions to choose from

Who brings a chandelier to Taste of Atlanta...Cafe Intermezzo does and it was beautiful.

Who brings a chandelier to Taste of Atlanta…Cafe Intermezzo does and it was beautiful.

Cafe Intermezzo had a table FULL of beautiful cakes, crepes and cheesecake

Cafe Intermezzo had a table FULL of beautiful cakes, crepes and cheesecake

Cooks and Soldiers made my favorite dish of the event. This chargrilled Spanish Octopus with potatoes dressed in Cuttlefish ink. The octopus was SO tender...it was just fantastic

Cooks and Soldiers made my favorite dish of the event. This chargrilled Spanish Octopus with potatoes dressed in Cuttlefish ink. The octopus was SO tender…it was just fantastic

The lovely ladies from M Chocolat and their DELICIOUS sweets. I can not WAIT to visit their shop in Alpharetta for more.

The lovely ladies from M Chocolat and their DELICIOUS sweets. I can not WAIT to visit their shop in Alpharetta for more.

but wait….there’s MORE!

Ink and Elm served some Pickled shrimp with deviled egg sauce and crispy chicken skin

Ink and Elm served some Pickled shrimp with deviled egg sauce and crispy chicken skin

Jim'n Nicks had a TON of BBQ going on

Jim’n Nicks had a TON of BBQ going on

Sugar Shack had a lot to offer at Taste of Atlanta. I had one of those cream filled chocolate cupcakes and it was delicious.

Sugar Shack had a lot to offer at Taste of Atlanta. I had one of those cream filled chocolate cupcakes and it was delicious.

Nahim Thongyoung- Just BEAUTIFUL!

Nahm Thongyoung- Just BEAUTIFUL! Their business card says “chef&entrepreneur” I’ll have to look into them to see what their deal is. The display of food was fantastic

and finally

Makan was our final stop, we acutally ran out of tickets and had to purchace more (we didn't need a whole sheet of 10 tickets so I went half with a stranger who also needed a few more tickets THANKS STRANGER). I was most excited about sampling their food

Makan was our final stop, we acutally ran out of tickets and had to purchace more (we didn’t need a whole sheet of 10 tickets so I went half with a stranger who also needed a few more tickets THANKS STRANGER). I was most excited about sampling their food and they did not disappoint

October 24, 2014 / sweetsavant

Pepper Jelly Glazed Turkey Tenderloin #Recipe

Turkey tenderloin gets smokey with paprika and sweet with pepper jelly.

Turkey tenderloin gets smokey with paprika and sweet with pepper jelly.

Turkey tenderloin is the most tender part of the turkey breast (but I guess you figured that out already). Massaged with a smokey spice rub and glazed with flavorful sweet pepper jelly, it’s good stuff, you should try it.

Pepper Jelly Glazed Turkey Tenderloin

Pepper Jelly Glazed Turkey Tenderloin…wouldn’t that be good on a bun??

I cooked the tenderloin in a cast iron pan but a non stick skillet or enamel coated cast iron would work well.  As the pepper jelly cooks down the sugars caramelize which is great on the turkey but not so good for the pan. The flour in the recipe helps the pepper jelly adhere to the turkey tenderloin, if you’re gluten free you can leave it out.

PEPPER JELLY GLAZED TURKEY TENDERLOIN Serves 4

2 turkey tenderloins (there are usually 2 in each package)Canola or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon smoked paprika (you can substitute chili powder or regular paprika)

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending how spicy you like it)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup pepper jelly

Preheat oven to 375°Coat each turkey tenderloin with about 1 teaspoon of oil.Combine salt, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and flour and rub onto turkey tenderloins. (you can do this earlier in the day to let the flavors seep in or cook it right away of you want)

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in an oven proof skillet. Brown the turkey for about 3-4 minutes per side.

Coat each turkey tenderloin with pepper jelly and cook in the oven for about 18-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165°

October 22, 2014 / sweetsavant

Spaghetti with Tuna and Caper Sauce, quick and easy #recipe

Tuna, spaghetti, spinach

Tuna, spaghetti, spinach and a few other ingredients make a quick and delicious meal

Because sometimes you just gotta keep simple. If you love tuna like I love tuna then you’re gonna love this.

SPAGHETTI WITH TUNA AND CAPER SAUCE serves 4

One 16 ounce package spaghettisaltTwo-4.5 ounce cans of tuna in oil

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons capers

2 cups spinach

 

Boil salted water and cook the spaghetti.In a large bowl mix tuna, mayonnaise, lemon juice and capers in a bowl.

 

Add the spinach and cooked hot spaghetti to the tuna and stir to combine. The hot spaghetti will wilt the spinach a bit.

October 21, 2014 / sweetsavant

Broccoli and Chicken with Cheese Tortellini #Recipe

Broccoli, chicken and cheese tortelli

Broccoli, chicken and cheese tortellini in a creamy sauce make a quick, delicious dinner

This broccoli, chicken and cheese tortellini recipe is delicious and pretty quick to get on the dinner table, even on a weeknight.

A little cream and Parmesan cheese make a thick, savory sauce that clings to the pasta, chicken and vegetables. This dish is a family favorite that gets ‘em to the table in a hurry. This is NOT a sponsored post, I use Barilla Tortellini because its tasty and shelf stable.

Broccoli,  chicken breast and cheese tortellini

Just a few easy steps to make this delicious dinner. Broccoli, chicken breast and cheese tortellini

Broccoli and Chicken with Cheese Tortellini Recipe

Serves 4-6 people

1 package  of Cheese tortellini (dried. Refrigerated  or frozen) I used a 12 ounce bag of Barilla dried 3 cheese tortellini found in the pasta aisle12 ounces of fresh or frozen broccoli florets1 pound of chicken breast½ cup all purpose flour2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt

 

Bring a large stock pot of water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon  of salt to the water and boil the tortellini for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli florets to the pasta water and continue to boil for 5 additional minutes.  Drain and set aside. (You may have to adjust cooking time according to the type of tortellini used.)While waiting for the pasta water to boil start working on the chicken. Slice chicken breasts into strips about 2 inches long by ½ inch wide.Put flour and 1 teaspoon of salt into a plastic bag, add the chicken strips and toss to coat.

Shake off excess flour and sauté  the chicken in oil over medium heat.

 

Lightly brown the chicken on each side, cooking for 5 minutes. If the chicken isn’t completely done it will finish cooking in the sauce. You may have to cook the chicken in batches.

 

Remove the chicken from the pan and sauté the garlic over low heat for about 30 seconds.  Add the chicken broth and cream into the pan and boil to reduce until thick, about 7 minutes.

 

Stir in the chicken, tortellini broccoli and Parmesan cheese, simmer for 2-3 minutes. (The flour we tossed the chicken in earlier will help to thicken the sauce). Add salt to taste.

 

 

 

October 18, 2014 / sweetsavant

In New York EVERYTHING is gourmet

There is so much gourmet in N.Y. Gourmet delis in Queens

There is so much gourmet in N.Y. This gourmet deli in Queens is apparently also a casino…maybe

My family and I took a quick trip to New York over the long weekend. We were only there for two and a half days and yet we saw so many gourmet markets. How gourmet are they? I really can’t say, I didn’t sample the food in any of them. I just rest better at night knowing they’re there.

More gourmet in Queens

More gourmet in Queens and its even open every day!

Gourmet delis in Manhattan

Gourmet delis in Manhattan

I bet you'll get a nice smile at SMILER Gourmet Deli (yeah that was corny)

I bet you’ll get a nice smile at SMILER Gourmet Deli (yeah that was corny)

More gourmet delis in Manhattan

More gourmet delis in Manhattan

Gourmet gets erotic

Gourmet gets erotic

Gourmet is international

Gourmet goes international

Ray's got his own gourmet

Ray’s got his own gourmet deli

and so does Moe

and so does Moe

? Gourmet

? Gourmet

Gourmet on Coney Island in Brooklyn

Gourmet on Coney Island in Brooklyn…well, not today

Even gourmet in LaGuardia Airport

Even gourmet in LaGuardia Airport

so much gourmet I could capture it all

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