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Peach-basil-berry sangria.

While this summer has been filled with rosé and vermouth, I couldn’t let it go completely by without making at least one sangria, no?

You know those weeks that all but guarantee to be intense and rough and you know you can get through them but it’s going to suck the entire time? Last week was like that for me, and I’m happy to report that I actually did make it through most of it not much worse for the wear. It helped that we had plans over the weekend to serve as a motivator to stay focused and as an incentive when the work was done, but in the meantime my intentions to post about this sangria had to take a backseat while I tackled the task at hand. Read More

As creative as we like to get in the kitchen on weekends, I have to admit that we are pretty susceptible to falling into dinner routines (or ruts, depending on how you look at it) on weeknights. If work is keeping us really busy it becomes much easier to stick with what we know and bang out dinner without much thinking, but too much of that will leave me feeling rather uninspired, and there’s something to be said about closing out the day with a delicious meal that isn’t just the same old, same-old. Read More

Apricot-ed Pork with Tomato and Stone Fruit Salad

The arrival of August brought with it significantly more comfortable weather than one would normally expect this time of year, but more importantly coincided with the arrival of The Mind of a Chef’s third season on Netflix. We had DVR’d as much of the season as we could last fall, but of course with the move we had to give up the box and either wait not-so-patiently to appear on our streaming networks or bite the bullet and buy the season outright. (We probably would have done the latter if PBS didn’t break up the DVDs by chef, which is kind of annoying on their part, but so it goes.) Like season two the episodes are split between two chefs, with the first half devoted to Edward Lee (he was on the ninth season of Top Chef) and the second to Mangus Nilsson (his restaurant in Sweden is ranked 25th-best in the world as of 2015). They both bring some really interesting worldviews to the series, whether it’s ice fishing in the pale blue dawn or taking us through favorite haunts in Queens, and their styles of food are both so different from what we usually make that it’s so much fun to immerse yourself and binge-watch the whole series at once. Read More

Pizza with pesto Trapanese, mozzarella, and sausage

Pizza is not something we make often during the summer because we try to avoid turning the oven on high for long periods of time, but with the weather not being so swampy or hot over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, we decided that Friday would be the perfect night to have the first pizza night in what seemed like ages. I had the idea of putting some pesto Trapanese on one pie instead of doing either a canned tomato sauce or just using fresh tomatoes on their own, and then Michael decided that the thick slab bacon and baby leeks usually available at the Teet would do well for the second one. Read More

Tomato, Mozzarella and Plum Salad with Pistachio-Lemon Vinaigrette

I promise I’m not going to whine about how hot it’s been here, because I whined plenty when it was too cold and I want to be thankful for the many bright and sunny days we’ve had over the spring and summer so far. I will say that I’m thankful that a cold front blew in yesterday  (and when I mean blow, I mean blow because the winds howled last night) and I can open my windows again.

Unlike in Stamford where we’d hide in our less-than-optimal air conditioning and only venture out to go food shopping and maybe spend a few hours at the local beach, we haven’t let the heat stop us from going out and about, especially on the weekends. (I just have to make sure that I don’t try to apply sunscreen to my face post-workout without allowing some time for evaporation, because OH MY GOD MY EYES.) Granted, during this most recent weekend our main reason to go out was to go to the Rare and Obscure Beer Festival at Max’s Taphouse which was both a lot of fun and the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate after a two-mile walk over there, but still–the fact that we’re not just cloistering ourselves in air conditioning during these heat waves is progress for us. Read More

Oysters three ways: ponzu sauce (top), freshly prepared horseradish (middle), and spring onion-moscatell mignonette (bottom).

Almost two weeks ago I took the Acela up to New York for a work event, and while most of the trip was extremely packed with meetings and activities, I was able to squeeze in a little time to both revisit some favorite places and cross some others off my “restaurants to visit” list in the city. The first thing I did after dropping off my bags in my hotel room was to hit up Fairway to both stock up on vinegars as well as get some room essentials that would not require me to use the well-stocked but extremely expensive minibar in my room. I then had the very difficult decision to make as to where to get dinner, but with the weather being kind of gloomy I stuck with places within easy walking distance: the main course was the steak frites at Les Halles on Park Ave, and then for a nightcap I treated myself to some oysters at The John Dory Oyster Bar which was conveniently located off the lobby of my hotel. Read More

Almond Mussels

It was a couple of weekends ago now on one of the few lazy Sundays we’ve had in a while and I was completely lacking any inspiration on what to make for dinner that night. I knew we were going to have steak because Michael had been letting one dry out for a day or so in the fridge (not so much dry-aging but just letting some of the moisture of the steak soak into a paper towel–it does make for a really good at-home slab of beef) and so really I needed to think of what could go well with that. Neither pasta nor bread/toast felt right for that night, so I started flipping through A Kitchen in France and immediately landed on Mimi Thorisson’s almond mussels.

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