September, 2008 Archive

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the north fork and its scones

the north fork scone

Right on the heels of getting caught up from our last weekend away we skipped town again this past weekend, this time in celebration of (I was going to say that I hope you’re sitting down for this, but I suspect it is only us who are bowled over by these numbers) our three-year wedding anniversary and our five-year dating anniversary. Whoa.

belovedgreetedbedsidenot having it

I had been angling to go out to the North Fork of Long Island ever since a friend went on and on about what a wonderful place the Table and Inn was. Run by four former restaurant-types, including the fantastic pastry chef, Claudia Fleming, her husband, the everything-else chef, and two former front-of-house managers, the place is cozy and delicious.

In a way, these people are living the dream; away from the frenzy of the New York City food scene, they get to cook the food they want and know the people who supply them with it–mostly from the nearby farms and wineries.

stormyvineyard rainreadyovercast

We got to live the dream, too, so to speak, spending the first afternoon at a near-deserted public beach. (So different from Brighton, you know, New York City’s take on a public beach, I had to giggle.) Saturday, or the day that storms threatened to ruin our weekend, we used the gray day to visit six (6!) wineries and my, my, do I love New York wines. In fact, I find them to be the polar opposite of the current Napa style, so light and bright and delicious, it took restraint to limit our purchases to thirteen bottles of wine. That night, we had a dinner so good at the restaurant, it defies words, though I suspect they’ll slip through in the coming paragraphs and weeks.

Continued after the jump »

Friday, September 5, 2008

the baked brownie, spiced up

the baked brownie, spiced up

If you’ve made as many brownies as I have in my life–and that’s a lot. I mean A LOT. Just ask my hips.–you come to realize a couple things: There are no bad from-scratch brownies.* Seriously, not even the batch that I forgot to add the flour to when I was in middle school, that I am pretty sure my mother still brings up whenever someone mentions what a great cook her daughter is, was destroyed. A little charred at the edges, perhaps, but they still quite tasty in the middle. Because you know we totally ate them anyway.

gratuitous 1

And if you’re me, the other thing you will likely realize is that it is impossible to have any brownie loyalty in this world. I can’t tell you how many times I have made a brownie and declared it the best one yet, and the one that would end all brownie-making experiments going forward. “Fat chance,” smirk the not-yet-auditioned brownie recipes, though I can never tell if they mocking my aforementioned hips, or simply my insistence that I will never have to look any further for Brownie Nirvana.

gratuitous 2

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, September 4, 2008

the duds of summer

stringy

This is me admitting defeat. You see, all summer I have been discussing this “queue” of recipes that I have auditioned and photographed, but never told you about. They’ve sat on my hard drive like a to-do list, taunting me, certain that I’ll never get to the bottom of it. Every time I swear I am going to bang them all out in a week of daily, brief posts, something better comes across our counters and I must discuss that first. Like bourbon peach hand pies. Or a dimply plum cake. You understand, don’t you?

innardsceleryasparagus sliversbaby potatoes

The queue won’t go away and summer is more or less over, which means that it’s time for me to admit that the things left in the queue aren’t that great. Oh, they’re not bad. They’re not inedible. We did clear our plates, though certainly not the leftovers out of the fridge the next day. They’re just not wonderful or magical or seriously, why have you not dropped everything yet and run to your kitchen to get this started. And I think that there are enough recipes out there, and in here, that are show stoppers that it’s not necessary to make ones that drew a big “eh!” from our mouths.

So, in the interest of me zeroing out my blogging-to-do list once and for all, let us get this show on the road:

new potato salad

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

raspberry breakfast bars

raspberry breakfast bars

We had a decadent weekend in the North Carolina mountains, and I never wanted to come home. The air up there is so delicious and clean, I never realized how cautiously I inhale in New York City, not that you can blame me if you’ve ever gotten a curbside whiff on a humid summer day after a long holiday weekend with no trash pickup.

south carolina peacheswaterfall 1mollywe are totally smitten

But up there, everything is a delight. We hiked, we played with the sweetest Schnauzer there ever has been, we ate proper vinegar barbecue, the best peaches in the world (from South Carolina!) and even hit some stores and a craft fair. And oh, how we cooked. Alex and I get a little hog-wild when we see a kitchen bigger than 60-square feet with not one, not two but three large counters and a grill that resides outside. Like, on a giant porch and everything! It took a mighty amount of restraint to not take a tour of the entire smittenkitchen.com archive, but we did make a good dent in just 72 hours, with the kefta kebabs, dimply plum cake, napa salad with buttermilk dressing, pork tenderloin and noodle salad, grilled eggplant with caponata salsa and even the big crumb coffee cake, updated for late summer with a blueberry filling, made a showing.

Actually, it stole the show. I am currently angling an excuse to make it again. Like the fact that it’s Tuesday and I haven’t had lunch yet.

teardrop tomatoesbarbecueah, small townslate cherries

Continued after the jump »