We celebrated Kramer’s birthday all weekend – I had a great time, personally, and I hope that the man of the hour did, too. On Friday night, we headed out to begin the festivities. We stopped at Madison Square Eats for a beer and to enjoy the weather a bit, then headed over to DBGB Kitchen & Bar for dinner. It was still gorgeous outside, so we were able to dine al fresco, which made the meal just that much better. We had bone marrow, a seafood plateau with butter poached escargot, oysters, mussels, clams, lobster, and shrimp, then I had a medium-rare burger with pork confit and tomato jam while Kramer had incredibly delicious Thai sausages and another type that I can’t remember the name of, but I do remember that it had bacon and mushrooms inside of the sausage. We also took full advantage of the restaurant’s excellent draft beer selection – Kramer had one called What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (or something similar) that was slightly sweet and actually smelled a bit like grapes. After our indulgent dinner, we headed over to Under St. Mark’s Theater for a comedy show (featuring our good friend Morgan). Saturday we slept in a bit, then got brunch at Walter Foods, where Kramer had eggs benedict with a crab cake instead of an English muffin – if that’s not genius, I don’t know what is. We walked off our breakfast (or at least, attempted to) by heading over to Smorgasburg for some iced coffee and people watching, then ran around Williamsburg trying to find grapefruit bitters and returned home empty handed. We honestly tried 4 or 5 stores, with no luck whatsoever – who would have thought that it would be so hard to find artisanal bitters in Brooklyn? After some delivery from Roberta’s and a few episodes of Shameless, we went over to Burnside to meet some friends for drinks, fries, and fried cheese curds. We spent most of Sunday trying to recover from our weekend – bagels for breakfast, SNL, and then steaks for dinner, cooked up by Kramer himself. Another successful weekend, come and gone, but this week is already looking great, what with the beautiful weather and GoogaMooga to look forward to on Saturday.
I saw these Reptar Bars online at Adventures in Cooking a while back, and thought that they were the most brilliant things I’d ever seen. I was a huge Rugrats fan when I was a kid, and truth be told, was always a bit angry that nobody ever made Reptar Bars a reality. Thankfully, the internet pulled through for me, as it often does, and showed me that Reptar Bars were, indeed, possible. Not only that, but they are easy to make! Just melt some chocolate, spread some marshmallow fluff and caramel on top, and layer with another sheet of chocolate. You can add whatever you want inside the bar – I opted for simplicity, but use your imagination and create the candy bar that Tommy Pickles would have loved to eat. I brought these to a party and I think that everyone loved the look of the bright green marshmallow oozing out between two layers of milk chocolate. You can make these in true bar form, or, if you’re like me and are cooking for a crowd, just make them in an 8×8 pan and cut ‘em up. Either way, everyone will love this no-bake treat.
The start of Kramer’s fabulous birthday dinner at DBGB: bone marrow.
Birthday brunch at Walter Foods.
- 24 ounces (or 2 bags) milk chocolate chips
- ½ cup marshmallow fluff
- green food coloring (I prefer the gel kind)
- ¼ cup melted caramels
- Line 2 8×8 pans or 4 miniature loaf pans with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick spray. Over a double boiler, melt your chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth. You can use the microwave or a regular pot if you don’t have a double boiler (although you can make one by finding two pans that fit inside of each other and filling the bottom one with about 2 inches of water, bringing to a boil, and setting your 2nd pan on top), just be careful and stir constantly, as the chocolate has the tendency to burn.
- When your chocolate is fully melted, pour half of it evenly among your pans (for example, I used 2 8×8 pans, so I used ¼ of my chocolate for each pan) and place the pans in your freezer for 5-10 minutes, until firm. While the chocolate firms up, melt your marshmallow in the microwave for 15 seconds or so, just to make it easier to stir, and stir in your food coloring until it is bright green. Melt the caramels in the microwave, too, for about 15-20 second intervals, stirring until melted and smooth. Working quickly, spread your fluff evenly among your pans, then drizzle your caramel evenly among the pans. When you spread the fluff, be sure to leave at least ½-inch of space around the edges of the chocolate – if you don’t do this, your chocolate will force the marshmallow out through the sides and make a mess. Pour the remaining chocolate on top, then place in the fridge or freezer to firm up. Cut into bars or serve whole and enjoy. These will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge or a cool spot for up to 1 week.