TV dinner {Parks and Recreation}

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If you want to be my friend, you have GOT to watch Parks and Recreation. Or at least pity-laugh at all my Parks & Rec references. This is one of the few shows I’ve actually watched since its beginning and stuck with… and I still laugh at every episode, old or new. And since the season premiere airs tomorrow on Thursday, September 26 at 8/7c, I had to make a dish to commemorate one of my (dozen) favorite shows. Welcome to the Low-Cal Calzone Zone!

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In Season 4, the ever-adorable Ben Wyatt has a bit of a meltdown. He finds himself unemployed and directionless (like being in your 20’s). Instead of moping about, however, he decides to pursue his “hobbies”… claymation and a new restaurant concept he calls, The Low-Cal Calzone Zone. The claymation… turns out to be a dud. The calzone endeavor also proves to be a dud, but it does provide the genius for the second installation of my TV dinners series!

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TV dinner {Breaking Bad}

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I came to my Breaking Bad obsession late in the series, around season 4 or so. Way after all the hype had been built with massive critical and audience acclaim. But as any Breaking Bad fan knows, this is actually ideal because there’s nothing better than holing yourself up to a Netflix binge weekend with Walter White and Co. Each episode is so full of suspense, so agonizing with fear and turmoil and panic and… well, I hate to use this word but, DRAMA. Not the petty kind where you find yourself consoling one of your girlfriends as she bursts into tears over brunch, but the well-crafted, deliberately timed drama that can only come from good acting and fantastic writing.

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momofuku milk bar exam no. 13 {cheesecake ice cream}

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Ice cream is not a seasonal food but it tastes especially good during the summer, doesn’t it? Eaten in a cool air conditioned room, of course.

Cheesecake ice cream is actually one of my favorite flavors (the graham crackers are a necessity) so I was very excited to make this recipe. While traditional ice cream bases require the technique of tempering egg yolks in heated cream, in this recipe the egg is baked in the liquid cheesecake thus no risk of scrambled eggs in your ice cream.

If you have an ice cream machine, it comes together in a pinch! Unfortunately, I don’t have space in my New York apartment for one so I maximized on my visit home and used my mom’s… it was a mutually beneficial exchange. My mom is actually quite the ice cream fiend– a lean mean Häagen-Dazs eating machine.  One time I found a photo of her in the late 80’s smiling proudly, showcasing a delicious Häagen-Dazs cone in one hand. And a baby (me) dangling in her other hand. The fact that the ice cream took priority only makes me proud to be her daughter.

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georgia aquarium

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On my recent trip back home, my family and I stopped by the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. As someone who complains about the summer heat a lot, I find aquariums ideal. Pretty, colorful animals that don’t smell in a contained cool space… perfect!

Apparently everyone else thought so too because this place was packed on a Tuesday afternoon. Nonetheless, I managed to snap a few gems that captured some of the beauty of these creatures.

There’s no Momofuku Milk Bar Exam today, but don’t worry, I have something lined up very soon! And remember: FISH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD.

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momofuku milk bar no. 12 {confetti cookies}

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These confetti cookies are a cause for celebration… say for a wedding, birthday, graduation, or perhaps the BIRTH OF THE NEW PRINCE OF CAMBRIDGE!

I admit, I have been completely overcome with royal baby fever. I know I know, all babies are precious and unique and AHHH Kate Middleton just gave birth and looks beautiful! Her hair! Her wedges! Polka dots! Am I obsessed? No no… AHHH royal baby’s first princely duties are a-DOR-able!

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momofuku milk bar no. 11 {bagel bombs}

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Sometimes savory is better than sweet. And since it’s been a bit of a sweets overload on this site, this was a great palette cleanser.

These bagel bombs are little pockets of dough filled with bacon-scallion cream cheese and sprinkled with an everything bagel mix of sesame, poppy seeds, onions, and garlic. I cannot express to you how delicious they are! You will want to harbor them all to yourself.

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momofuku milk bar exam no. 10 {carrot cake truffles}

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You didn’t think I let those carrot layer cake scraps go to waste, did you??

Whew! Good, that’s what I thought. Honestly, if you’ve already made the carrot layer cake, there’s no excuse not to make these. But if you haven’t gone through the trouble of making a rather complicated 3-layer carrot cake you should STILL make these. They’re easier to make than the actual cake, and dare I say… I think I liked them better.

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