Bonaparte and I headed into Astoria this past weekend.
This view of the Brooklyn/Queens Expressway from the passenger side is looking mighty familiar these days!
We went to visit Roman at his apartment.
Lazy Mom was so excited to see her sons that she could not focus the smart phone camera too well. That wasn’t smart!
Jake came in from Brooklyn and all four of us headed out to a great brunch at “Sugar Freak” restaurant. I’ll get to that later.
What a forced smile! He’s basically saying”ANNOYING mom–get that camera away from me”!
Anyway, it dawned on me that I hadn’t made any baked goodies in a while. It’s summer. I hate—and I mean HATE to use the oven during the months of July and August. September also falls into the category of no oven as well because the September heat and humidity can be just as bad, if not worse than August. Believe me, I will use the oven during those months, but I scale down on—especially with my baking! Things start cooling down by September’s end. Gradually, I get back into baking with happiness and a passion with Christmas being my absolute pinnacle!
When the kids were young, I would bake during summer vacation and send all sorts of baked goods into their classrooms at the beginning of the school year. I’ve become extremely lazy and slothful during these empty-nest years!
Yeah–I’m pretty much slothful lazy mom–except unlike THIS sloth, I’m better dressed!
Late Friday afternoon I was stuck on the Schuylkill parkway. I was driving back from Philly and had a baking epiphany! And so I decided to make a pit stop at Wegman’s to get some ingredients to bake a nice big batch of cookies to bring to Roman.
I picked up some eggs, butter, chocolate chunks, pecans, and pretzels. I would compromise a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and use my own add-ins.
Then something happened as I approached the line to pay. My slothful laziness hit me in the form of another one of my bright ideas!
I didn’t have to “BAKE” at all!
I went back to the aisles until I found an insulated cookie sheet!
I purchased this GREAT cookie sheet. ALWAYS use the insulated ones–they make for more even baking and the cookie bottoms don’t get burnt!
Next, I went over to the paper goods aisle and purchased a roll of parchment paper!
Besides baked goods, parchment is GREAT for cooking fish and has tons of other uses. I’m never without.
I went home and proceeded to make cookie batter.
After breaking the pretzels in little pieces, and mixing in the chocolate chunks and pecans, I went into the pantry and took out white chocolate morsels to add to the mix.
The pretzels add that to-die-for saltiness to the sweetness of the chocolate chunks and white chocolate morsels. The pecans–they just add more texture and flavor!
I lovingly mixed sugar and eggs together. Added the vanilla. Added the mix of chocolates, pecans and pretzels.
Adding the eggs ……
…and the batter is complete. My willpower is always gone when a batter is completed. I cannot help serving myself a taste–or eleven!
Then, I scooped individual mounds of cookie onto my own Silpated cookie sheets. I popped the sheets into the fridge to harden the dough overnight.
Forgive me–this is corn cookie dough ready for the fridge. I forgot to take a pic of the chocolate chunk ones–but you get the idea!
Next morning I placed the mounds of dough into plastic zippy bags.
The dough hardens so that you can place the individual scoops in a plastic bag and freeze. No need to defrost before baking!
Cookie sheet, parchment paper, cookie dough in bags, and well-thought instructions that I wrote onto a sheet of paper made a great little gift!
I placed the cookie sheet, the parchment paper, the cookie dough and the instructions in a cute bag. Made a nice gift!
The more I thought about my creative thinking—the more I was giving her royal laziness a pat on my back!
Really—think about it. Had I baked 36 very large cookies, chances are half of them would have gone uneaten. THIS lazy way, allows my son to bake small amounts at random!
Bad a Boom!!! Or should I say Bad “Mom” A Boom!
Laziness aside, my point is that I could have just opted to “fuhggetaboudit” altogether and just wait till the cool weather returns. THEN I could complete the task and deliver the goods. But—there is always a solution and that solution can be turned into a positive thing—right?
Besides. Mothers are the busiest women on the face of the earth!
Back to brunch!
Astoria, Queens used to be known for its many Greek restaurants. Then something happened. Astoria evolved into a foodie haven—or heaven! There are great little restaurants on every street! It’s a great place—and since rents are so astronomically high in Manhattan, along with Brooklyn now becoming hip, chic, and the place to be, Astoria, as well as other communities in Queens are coming into their own.
Anyway, we are huge fans of Louisiana cuisine—especially Cajun!
My stellar photography skills–you CAN see the Sugar Freak sign under the awning–I just didn’t want to disturb the outdoor diners!
Sugar Freak is a very popular restaurant. I hadn’t waited on a line in ages. But the twenty minute wait ended in a great, GREAT brunch! Here are some photos of our meal for you to drool over!
We started out with Kir Royales (which were a great bargain at Six bucks.) AND we ordered Brunch Oysters. Oysters slathered in a delicious Hollandaise sauce with bacon. Again, I’m sorry that the oysters are missing from this pic, but I wolfed them down so fast! They were so delicious–I even slurped the sauce. Besides being a sloth, I’m also a pig!
I had the three poached eggs with Jambalaya. I’ve been to New Orleans many times and THIS Jambalaya was the best I’ve ever had!
Jake had the same as me, but with scrambled rather than poached eggs.
Roman had the Sugar Freak breakfast. Eggs. Grits. Boudin. Gravy and a biscuit! I tasted the grits and they were out of this world great!
Bonaparte went with the Eggs in Purgatory–poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce with sliced baguette. Hey. He’s French–baguettes follow him around. The Eggs in Purgatory was “Heavenly”!
The service was the only area where I’ll add my constructive criticism. Our server was really wonderful. She took our orders, checked on us a couple of times, and thankfully, left us alone. My critique lies within the bussing staff—and I blame management for this. Please—and I beg you; do NOT clear the dishes off the table until EVERYONE is finished with their meals. Aarrrgghhh! That drives me batty. Nobody wants to be rushed. We are not staying in the restaurant all day. I realize management’s goal is to turn a profit, but diners do NOT want to feel pushed out. Tweak this little issue and you have one fantastic restaurant!
Even so, if you get the chance and are out and about in Queens try to make it to Sugar Freak—you’ll have a great time!
Take it from Lazy Mom–unbaked cookie dough and a trip to NYC’s Astoria make for a fun day!
XOXOXOXO!!! For some reason going to brunch brought back memories of years ago–when my friends and I would spend hours at brunch in NYC–and I was reminded of this great Michael Franks song “Eggplant”–it’s an oldie but Greatie!!!