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MCL Squared

Hey! What are you doing here? Go check out the new blog at

http://mclsquared.wordpress.com

(soon to be mclsquared.com)

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Goodbye! (Kinda)

Well, this is it: the last time I’ll ever post on Cooking in Western New York.

It’s been a fun run. In the just over two years (I think) that I’ve been posting, I’ve learned so much about food, reviewing, critiquing, cooking, baking, photography, blogging, tweeting, etc. And I’ve “met” some really great people from around Buffalo and the world over the last two years – both foodies and not.

What happened, really, is that I lost my purpose. The title of my blog was always self-explanatory, but when I was not cooking and not living in Buffalo, I felt like my blog didn’t have a reason to exist; I couldn’t really blog about what I was supposed to. And it was always that idea of boundedness that restrained me too. I am a perfectionist, and I’d refuse to post anything that I didn’t feel was of the upmost quality. I have literally hundreds of food photos for posts that I felt weren’t impressive or perfect enough, and I hated reviewing restaurants, frankly.  Blogging – especially after last summer, as I was enjoying myself (and studying) in London – became something that I had to do, not wanted to do.

But I had a change of heart recently. As anyone who’s followed me at all over the last few years knows, I’m incredibly close with my cousin Megan – the one from the NYC area. And as I leave Buffalo more and more, she’s actually just arriving here (for college). And we have so much in common: we both love food, fashion, self-care, music (aka Regina Spektor)… and so it just seems natural that if I were to blog again, it would be in a joint venture (hi business 101) with her.

And so that’s how it’ll be! Megan and I are in the process of starting a new brand, online persona – whatever – called MCL Squared. For a while now, we’ve self-labeled ourselves as that when posting random shit on YouTube or Facebook (usually an interpretive dance or something). Why? We have the same initials. It sounds cool. And now, it’s going to be cemented in stone. We’re working on a new blog, new YouTube channel, new Facebook page, and more. And along with bringing together all of the things that we enjoy and love, we’re bringing a unique perspective to the Buffalo scene in particular. It’s quite the juxtaposition, actually (and I fucking hate that word): on the one hand, we have myself – Matthew, the cynical kid from Buffalo who’s leaving the area more and more – and my cousin, Megan – the girl who’s coming from a major metropolitan region to the relatively tame city of Buffalo. Together, I feel that we possess an interesting mix of thoughts and views in regard to not only culture, but – more importantly – Buffalo. After all, the #1 qualm Buffalo seems to have is that “its young people are leaving… never to return; there’s a lack of young professionals”. In a few years, we’ll be those young professionals, but for now we’re just two emerging adults: one who’s leaving, and one’s who’s coming back. And we hope you’ll join us for our journey.

#indabufsummer2k11

Just a quick photo post here! My cousin Megan came into Buffalo last week and we ate some good food and photographed some of it. With nowhere else to show off these, this will have to do! Oh, and the title? #indabufsummer2k11 was the Twitter hashtag we used throughout the week (and beforehand) to refer to the trip… we also left it around Buffalo a few places (like on the rocks by the waterfront, the chalkboard at Merge, etc. etc.) 😉

Shaken Iced Coffees with Homemade Caramel – how we started each day

Scrambled Eggs w/ Herbs on Grilled Five Points Multigrain Bread

Homemade Caramel Sauce (for the coffees)
Garlic Scape Focaccia from Five Points Bakery

Continue reading ‘#indabufsummer2k11’

Spring, Life

I haven’t really done any “personal” posts on CIWNY so far, but now’s the time! Over the past few weeks, I’ve been extremely busy: exams, graduation preparations, proms, traversing New York State, etc. With summer right around the corner (first Elmwood-Bidwell Farmer’s Market of the year happened today!), I’m excited to get back to cooking on a more regular basis – something about using fresh, local ingredients makes it much more enjoyable… plus the added free time. Meanwhile, a quick synopsis of my life…

I turned 18 during April, and – being stubborn – my friends and I baked my own cupcakes. I hated the idea of spending upwards of $30-40 on a cake that I truly wouldn’t enjoy as much as my own. So, my friend Devyn (who is on track to become a pastry chef!) baked dark chocolate cupcakes; then, she, my cousin, and I proceeded to frost them the next day. The frosting? Caramelized white chocolate buttercream. If you’ve never tasted caramelized white chocolate before, read this. It’s unbelievably delicious.

Luckily, the Swiss meringue buttercream didn’t break; it turned out perfectly! And dusted with a bit of Dutch cocoa powder, they were picture perfect (literally).

Just 5 days after my cousin flew back home to NYC, I went to Albany to visit Skidmore College, the school I’ll be attending next year. The campus was beautiful – classic but modern and updated. The dining hall was beyond impressive: it features a dozen or so different “restaurants”, all backed by CIA-trained chefs, that offer a plethora of options – gluten-free, vegan, cook-your-own-meal stations, etc. And, in an effort to keep both students and the environment healthy, Skidmore is tray-less; students take one china plate instead of a tray full of food. Less food is wasted, less energy is consumed in cleaning, and students eat less and healthier!

On a related note, I’ll actually be spending my first semester of Skidmore in London through their First-Year-Experience London program. I’ll be living right on King’s Road in Chelsea from the end of August until December. In short: I’m ecstatic! More specific details are coming in the mail within the next few weeks, but I’m already prepping to go!

Finally, I’ve spent my last two weekends going to prom! Organizing a dozen or two people is never easy, but it all worked in the end. Now, onto graduation…

Continue reading ‘Spring, Life’

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My computer’s hard drive broke a few weeks ago, and I just now got around to restoring all of my pictures and things. Still no excuse to have not posted in about a month, though! I have a bunch of new recipes to post that I’m sure I’ll get around to posting this week.

But, in the meantime, I wanted to show off the cupcakes I made for my mother’s birthday celebration, that ended up not happening because none of the invitees could show. Dammit, Grandma! (Kidding.)

I had planned on using Cooks Illustrated’s recipe for yellow cupcakes (the kitchen-sink method!), filling with homemade lemon curd, and making a Raspberry Italian Merengue Buttercream to go with them.

Continue reading ‘Happy Birthday, Mom!’

Food in NYC: Upscale Grocery, Vietnamese, and a Milk Bar

View of Central Park from Top of the Rock

Well, I’m back from Manhattan and all of the 110º weather that came with it! This is going to be a relatively quick update, as I want to get back to more local topics soon (especially with the Taste of Buffalo going on!). While in Manhattan, we visited only three noteworthy foodie locations. It was all we could fit in, really! (Although I do think that we bought water bottles from nearly every street vendor in Manhattan at some point or another…)

Central Park

While shopping in SoHo during our first day in the city, we stopped for a quick visit and lunch at Dean & DeLuca. I had originally wanted to go to the Chelsea Market, but, things don’t always work out. A quick and expensive lunch, that is. After wandering through the store in awe (the produce looked simply incredible, and those heirloom tomatoes…), I settled on a small sandwich (chicken salad on brioche) and a pineapple-orange-strawberry juice.

Continue reading ‘Food in NYC: Upscale Grocery, Vietnamese, and a Milk Bar’


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