seasonal map

May 29th, 2008

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I recently found this super handy map that let’s you click on your state and find out what fruits and vegetables are in season. Oh boy, I can’t wait for June!

baked

May 29th, 2008

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Since we had a rental car last weekend we thought we’d take full advantage of it and make a trip to Fairway. On the way we passed the bakery, Baked and I knew we’d have to stop. I’ve seen them mentioned on Martha as well as Saipua (who was unfortunately but understandably closed) and let me tell you, it lived up to the talk. We ordered two treats, a red velvet cupcake with cinnamon buttercream and the most amazing baked good ever, a grasshopper bar. I just need to take a second to talk about this bar… just imagine a rich brownie crust under a half inch layer of créme de menthe buttercream all topped with a chocolate glaze. Are you drooling yet? Because I am.

If you find yourself in red hook, maybe at the red hook ballfields or Alma, do yourself a favor and stop by baked for a little dessert.

the fireside cook book

May 28th, 2008

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I share a love of vintage cookbooks with my friend Stacy and lucky for me she gave me a gold star of a cookbook, The Fireside Cook Book by James Beard. After reading The United States of Arugula, I have a better understanding of James Beard beyond the award that bears his name. He was an integral figure in American food history who advocated for “American” food and using the best, freshest ingredients you can find. The book is filled with great recipes as well as nutritional information but the best thing by far about this book are the awesome illustrations. They’re full of character and bold colors that make you keep turning the pages to see what the next will bring. If you ever come across it, snap it up because it’s a must-have. Thanks Stacy!

chili salt & mangoes

May 27th, 2008

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After seeing this post on Chez Pim a while ago, I was inspired to try out the chili salt. I accidentally picked up a green serrano pepper instead of a red chili pepper, but I decided to go for it anyway. It’s a super simple recipe and really jazzes up the mango. Because I used a super hot chili, a little went a long way, but I really loved the contrast of flavor between salty, sweet and spicy. I liked it so much that I decided to use it as a rub on some baby back ribs… I also think it would be pretty tasty on some popcorn.

meet maude!

May 27th, 2008

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Ok, seriously, she might be the cutest thing ever. As you may recall, last weekend we drove to Michigan to pick up our lovely boston terrier puppy Maude. Knock on wood she’s been fabulous. She rarely barks, knows how to snuggle and loves to play. Yay! She’s the best!

grafitti recipe

May 23rd, 2008

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this makes me really happy.

homemade ginger ale

May 23rd, 2008

This week’s happy hour is super happy because we’re going to pick up our lovely pup, Maude. Yay! Since we’ll be driving, this week’s beverage is non-alcoholic, but still tasty; and quite frankly, there’s nothing stopping you from adding a splash of rum to make it a dark & stormy. I saw this recipe for homemade ginger ale in the magazine Imbibe and thought it would be a nice treat. Making my own soda pop makes me giggle a little, because it seems like kind of a wacky thing to do but whatever… the recipe is pretty simple so I decided what the heck.

All it takes is some ginger, sugar, water and a little free time. Once you let it simmer on the stovetop for awhile it will become a syrup that you combine with some club soda or seltzer water. The result is sooo good! It’s got a really clean taste, if that makes any sense. It’s got a great spice cut by a little sweetness and bubbly fizz. It’s by far the best ginger ale/beer I’ve ever had. I’m not joking, you should definitely try this at home.

Homemade Ginger Ale

from Imbibe
2 cups unpeeled, washed, fresh ginger, roughly chopped
2 cups sugar
6 cups water
8 cups club soda or sparkling water, chilled
1. Process ginger chunks in forrd processor or blender until finely chopped. Place in a large stock pot.

2. Add sugar and water and stir. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer of medium-low heat and cook for about an hour until a rich syrup is created.

3. Strain the syrup twice through cheese cloth or sieve into a large jar or pitcher. Set aside to cool.

4. Fill a glass with ice. Add 1/3 cup of ginger syrup and top it off with club soda or sparkling water. Add a squeeze of lime if you’d like. So good!

 

back to the land

May 22nd, 2008

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It seems as though farming is becoming hip… and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I’ve been reading a lot about food and how we eat and why it matters where our food comes from and I find it really interesting. Did you know that transporting a single calorie of perishable fresh fruit from California to New York takes 87 calories worth of fuel? (From Animal, Vegetable, Miracle) Eating strawberries in December just isn’t worth it.

Last week New York Magazine featured an article about Taavo Somer, the man behind Freeman’s and he speaks about his interest in farming and perhaps even opening a farm/bed & breakfast/hangout place in Brooklyn. How exciting would that be? Until then, I’ll settle for visiting the greenmarket every weekend keeping an eye out for the next seasonal bounty.

Image from New York Times