New York Thanksgiving

By grace.g.yang · November 17, 2008
Under: My Life,Recipes

This year, David and I started a tradition of having a big Thanksgiving dinner in New York with our friends before celebrating with our family in North Carolina. Over the weekend, David and I set up our tiny apartment for a dinner party similar to the ones we have at home with our mom and friends. I’ll go over some of the dishes I prepared with step-by-step instructions so you too can have a great (stress free) Thanksgiving. Below are the dishes I prepared (and when I prepared them) – I started preparing a couple days in advance so I wouldn’t be stressed out and could enjoy time with my guests on Saturday:

Cheese Sticks (appetizer) – Saturday, 20 minutes before party
Waverly Inn Biscuits – Saturday, 1 hour before party
Martha Stewart’s Mashed Potatoes – Saturday, 45 minutes before party
Sweet Potato Casserole – Saturday, 45 minutes before party
Cornbread Stuffing – Started on Tuesday, finished on Saturday, 1 hour before party
Green Bean Casserole – Started on Friday, finished on Saturday, 1 hour before party
Buttermilk Brined Turkey – Started on Friday, finished on Saturday during party
Gravy – Saturday, during party
Cranberry Sauce – Thursday
Pumpkin cheesecake – Friday
Truffles – Thursday
Drinks: PAMA liqueur with prosecco before dinner, white wine and Shiraz with dinner

Let’s start with the easy stuff – cranberry sauce.

Cranberry sauce, in my opinion, is great with a bite of turkey, some stuffing, and a little bite of mashed potatoes (and gravy). It’s SUPER simple to make and takes about 10 minutes, so there is absolutely no reason you should serve canned cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving!


- 1 bag of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- Orange zest (about half an orange)

Dump all of the ingredients into a pot:

Turn the fire to medium high and wait for the cranberries to start popping – you can actually hear the cranberries pop! Once they’ve popped, the mixture should bubble like this:

Make sure you stir the bottom of the pan so the cranberries don’t stick to it. The cranberry sauce can be transferred to a container and you’re done!

Tomorrow, we’ll make truffles!

DessertTruck Macaroons

By grace.g.yang · November 16, 2008
Under: Cheap Eats,Desserts,East Village,Midtown East

November is Pomegranate Month and I’ve found another great pomegranate dessert that also contributes to a great cause. Have you been to DessertTruck recently? It’s one of my favorite dessert places in New York (more on that here) and I love going for a little treat once in a while, especially since they’re all only $5! Well, good news – DessertTruck introduced a new dessert, Pama Macaroons, that are made with PAMA liqueur AND they’re only $3:

The macaroons are delicious – the PAMA liqueur and raspberry filling are pretty amazing and the macaroon is light and fluffy. From November 17th – 23rd, all proceeds go to City Harvest, a great organization that is trying to end hunger in communities throughout NYC.

DessertTruck is located at 52nd and Park during the day (from 12 – 4) and moves to the East Village/St. Marks area after 6PM.

Red Mango’s New Flavor: Pomegranate

By grace.g.yang · November 11, 2008
Under: Desserts

Today, I sampled Red Mango’s newest flavor, pomegranate. Red Mango partnered up with Pom Wonderful to bring pomegranate flavored frozen yogurt to the Red Mango family and it will be available to the public on Friday, November 14th. It’s a seasonal flavor, so be sure to head in and try it before pomegranate season is over (around January).

The pomegranate flavor pairs well with pomegranate seeds (one of the toppings available right now as well). Without the seeds, I thought it tasted very similar to the plain frozen yogurt, so if you want the full pomegranate experience, order the seeds as a topping:

November is Pomegranate Month, so be sure to celebrate by getting some pomegranate frozen yogurt with pomegranate seeds at Red Mango!

True Lemon

By grace.g.yang · November 10, 2008
Under: Grace's Picks,My Life,product reviews

In an effort to be healthy, I’ve cut out soft drinks and alcohol from my diet and I’m only drinking water and sodium-free seltzer water if it’s a special occasion. I didn’t drink a lot of soft drinks or alcohol to begin with (well, since I graduated from college), but I’m trying to drink more water because I used to be a diet coke fiend and that’s definitely not good for your body OR your teeth. I’m trying to mix things up since water can get a little boring (and I can only drink one packet of the Propel mix-in before feeling sick from the sugar). Anyway, I have the GREATEST FIND EVER – TRUE LEMON, a crystallized lemon (or lime) powder:

I found it at Whole Foods in Union Square for $3.19 and each packet is enough for a large water bottle (depending on how lemony you want your water to be). True Lemon tastes better than the lemon from the squeezable lemon, it lasts longer, and it’s cheaper! You can also put it on food or in other type of drinks (even soft drinks). I’m a huge fan and I’ve already gone through about 10 packets because it’s a great way to make water (or food) more interesting.

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be posting more recipes, grocery items I like, and other interesting tidbits from cooking at home because I definitely haven’t been eating out as much. Stay tuned!

The Office Mug

By grace.g.yang · November 6, 2008
Under: Grace's Picks,My Life

Did anyone watch The Office tonight on NBC? I was watching (my usual Thursday night activity) and could not stop laughing when I saw Jim drinking from a mug with Andy’s face on it (and a star behind his face):

the office face

UM, DOES THAT LOOK LIKE MY GRACE FACE OR AM I CRAZY? Here’s a reminder of my rating, the Grace’s Pick:

IS THAT A COINCIDENCE….or does a writer from The Office READ MY BLOG?! I DO happen to run into Rashida Jones ALL the time in the west village, but I don’t think she’s ever heard of gracenotesnyc – BUT WHO KNOWS!

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