Friday, August 22, 2014

Last weekend, we went to Belltown Orchard in CT.






My very first time picking blueberries!! I don't know how much we were able to gather, but it was aaaa LOT! we chose only the biggest plumpest blueberries (which wasn't hard because most of them were).

Oh and peaches! coming from GA, I LOVE peaches. They are definitely my most favorite stone fruit! We picked about a dozen and by the next day, some of them were starting to soften. 
White and yellow peaches and some nectarines.
Delicious! very Juicy and not at all mealy! once we were home in NY, I put them out on our counter til they were all soft and transferred them to the fridge. 

I had all kinds of plans to make cakes, cobblers, gallette, etc. 

Pffft. they never lasted enough for me to cook'em. Ema and I ate most of them for breakfast since I can keep the skin on and Ema (now 9mo) would gnaw on the flesh little by little.

Oh joy.

I will come back next year for sure! And I'll be sure to get two dozens of peaches so i can slice and freeze some for cobblers in the winter :)


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Quinoa




I couldn't even say Quinoa.



Wasn't a big fan because I don't like "diet food" and assumed that it tasted horrible. The only times I had it was when it is in the buffet line for salads. Tasteless... little pearls.

I went to NJ to spend some quality time away from the city with my family, and who knew, my NJ family has been eating quinoa like... Gweneth Paltrow (I first heard of Quinoa was when she was on a TV show talking about her cookbook).

It Truly is a super food. cholesterol-free, low fat protein! Who doesn't need that? So my husband bought a package of Quinoa, and we have made it twice so far, inspired by my cousin's recipe.

We just put whatever we have on hand in there. This picture, I happened to have 3hour tomatoes, So I chopped it up. What else.... blanched cauliflower, corn, cilantro, avocado, left over roasted chicken breast... I think that may have been it. But I do see how the possibility is endless here.

dressing was simply just mixture of lemon juice, lime juice, honey, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and chopped cilantro. If I had basil I would have used it. I noticed that herbs goes a long way when you are trying to eat healthy :)

I can see myself making variation of these with sweet potatoes and goat cheese with bacon vinaigrette, prosciutto and poached pear with ... i don't know blue cheese crumbles! 

So no recipe here, really, just toss and mix!




  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bent spoon, NJ



Bent Spoon.


Ever heard of it? it's a lovely little creamery in Princeton NJ.
During my amazing one week visit to my family's, Sara and I went three times...
What?
These are relatively small scoops ;)


So here are the flavors I picked.


 Strawberry Mascarpne and
Hazelnut(bottom)



Sweet Basil and
Hazelnut



Greek yogurt with walnuts (drizzeled with honey)
and milk chocolate and hazelnut


Aye.... VERY VERY GOOD INDEED.

I love making Ice cream at home. I do.
But little creamery like this is nice to visit once in a while :)

what is it that makes these fresh, small batch ice cream so much better than those of bigger franchise? Better ingredient, local ingredient, attention (love) it receives in the process...

Warning: on weekends, the line goes out the door onto the block. it goes by pretty fast, but week days are better, if you are in a real hurry to taste these!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sugared pecan

I love Pecans.
My husband thinks its the weakest of nuts.
What??!

I'm only partially from the south and it's one of my favorite.
They are Nutty, sweet, maple-y, and Im sure it's good for you in some ways :D

I saw this recipe on TV, and thought... "how could that be bad??? butter, sugar, pecans...."

So I went on Amazon and ordered 2lbs of Pecans and made these! the only thing I did differently from the original recipe was that I salted the whole thing. I used salted butter, AND added a big pinch of salt when they came out of the oven and still piping hot and soft.

**When you make the pastry cream for the banana pudding, you use only the yolks, and my recipe used three egg yolks, which was perfect becasue these nuts need three egg whites :P

These are SOOOO good!! I was so pleased with the final product. I put it as a topping for my banana pudding too!
My plan was to put some on top of banana pudding, give some away in cute glssine bags, and use the rest for butter pecan ice cream (which would have been just a good vanilla ice cream with these pecans mixed in). 

Oh but you could guess the actual ending to these pecans.... none made it into the ice cream... They are just that amazing!










Sugared pecans -Trisha Yearwood
Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups pecan halves
*big pinch of salt for the end

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with sides with aluminum foil. Pour the butter onto the lined sheet. In a large bowl, mix the egg whites, sugar and cinnamon. Add the pecan halves and toss until they are fully coated. Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the pecans every 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
 
 
 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Isola

Restaurant review: Isola

When parents come visit for a week in NYC... that is the prime time to try the restaurant I would normally hesitate going into :) 
On their last night in town, I asked what kind of food they wanted to eat, and they said Crudo. 
We had already gone to Sushi Yasuda, so they had their fare share of Japanese raw fish. They wanted something creative and new.




So I believe I just went on yelp and typed in Crudo in NYC. 
a few places popped up, but with my gut feeling and other ppl's review, I decided to take them to Isola.

I high fived myself so many times that night. This restaurant was a peeerfect choice for my parents!
We ordered MANY dishes. many small plates, and just branzino as a big main dish, and two deserts. We had two kinds of crudo, like three veggies, one or two cooked seafood dish.... and EVERYTHING was delicious. 






I was pleasantly surprised with their pricing too. No, their portions are not large, but I have gone to many restaurants in NYC that would charge you double for their dishes! their flavors were delicate and entertaining... I thought if I were to come with my friends, we would just order bunch of small plates and be completely happy paying maybe 35 per person? not bad at all.

Their sea food is super fresh and service is friendly.  It's attached to a hotel lobby, so if you have a little one, it's still an OK option because you can just take them out to the lobby for some "site" seeing and exercise :)



Crudo

While I couldn't get a reservation at a few other restaurants on my list that night, this place was more than accomodating. 

Isola... I will come back for you.

p.s. the lighting was .... dim, so pictures did not turn out as decent, but take my word for it, they were delicious



Panna Cotta was to die for!