Friday, August 24, 2012

Shishito Peppers

What a day and it's not even close to over. If you live in the NYC area or happen to be watching the news this morning you already know about the shootings near the Empire State Building, which happens to be a block away from my office. It makes me sad that there are people in the world who have no regard for human life and angry that these things happen at all, but with increased occurrence lately. And it serves to remind me how fragile a sense of normalcy can be. With everything under control outside by noon though I was antsy to get out of the office, anxious to continue back to the what I had planned for the day, and just clear my head away from midtown, especially before the claustrophobic evening rush.

I wandered down to the Union Square farmers market and took in the plethora of fresh vegetables and flowers, then turned North and wandered around Eataly. If you haven’t been, it’s worth a trip but go with a plan and don’t go hungry. I’d been treating myself to a weekly Friday Eataly excursion lately and have been surprising myself by getting out of there with less than $20 spent and some pretty good finds for dinner. Last week was perfect pillows of gnocchi, heirloom tomatoes and a surprise acquisition of shishito peppers. This week I walked out of there with a wedge of sharp Parmigiano Reggiano, nearly a pound of sugar snap peas (which I LOVE to snack on raw, but also for a mint pea pesto for dinner) and I basically cleaned them out of shishito peppers. All for a little over $12.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tomatoes with Miso Dressing

It's hard to believe it's mid-August. I have so many trips and adventures planned for the fall through the winter that I'm so looking forward to but I've had to wake up and be in the moment. Summer is here right now, and it's a season I love but before I know it it'll be over. But while it's here I'm going to enjoy all the best parts of the season. Outdoor concerts and movies, baseball games, boat rides, as many beach trips as possible, exploring my city and of course enjoying the produce of summer.

Since the move it's been hard to get back to my weekly Saturday morning farmers market trip. Even if I was just picking up one little ingredient or something unusual and fun to make my week brighter, it was helpful to just walk around to see what was truly in season. So it had completely slipped my mind that I'm completely missing out on tomatoes at their peak, until I visited my favorite Izakaya where we had a gorgeous heirloom tomato salad with miso dressing.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Buttermilk Pie

With this pie, I take back everything I've ever said about not liking sugary sweet desserts. This is it. The one and only where I can't get enough, that overwhelming sugary vanilla custard that's only slightly offset by the pucker-y lemon buttermilk. From my earliest memories this was my favorite pie, the pie that sealed my love for pies in general, but a dessert I make sparingly because I know my self control would not be able to hold back and my waistline would hate me for it. But sometimes, especially on quiet summer weekends, you have to indulge.

If you aren't familiar, buttermilk pie is a southern dessert. It's similar to chess pie but doesn't include any cornmeal, though I see the appeal of the extra added texture of crunch. It's got that beautiful tang from the buttermilk, another favorite from my childhood, that's almost brought to a completely different level with the complementary lemon, while cooking the top forms a delicious browned crunch. Once chilled it's irresistible, completely addictive. It's special occasion, a once in a summertime blue moon pie but so worth the extra hours at the gym.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pebre... World's Best Condiment

Pebre is a Chilean condiment, but it wasn't until my parents went back there a few years ago and found it everywhere in the same way you'll find salsa on every Mexican restaurant table in San Antonio that it made it's way back to the states and into my parents' home as a permanent fixture. It's like a pico de gallo shot with a ton more acid, the South American, chimmichurri-esque note. When I'm home in the summer I can basically count on it always being a staple in the fridge, and it's nice to have it in my New York apartment too, another touch of home that works so well with the fresh northeast summer produce.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cornflake Chicken

I wasn’t initially intending to blog this meal but I received  requests from my sis for the recipe and besides being on the healthier side, it was pretty darn tasty so I figured why not. This was actually my first attempt in making cornflake chicken which is surprising because in college it was one of my favorite meals served at my sorority house (besides breakfast-for-dinner night there and who can argue with that).

My sophomore year of college I lived in my sorority house. It was a great experience, the perfect transition between the overcrowded personalities in the dorm and the lonely independence of apartment living. My favorite memories were a mix of wonderful and bittersweet. Heading out to class on jersey days. Friends crowding in my room during rush breaks to catch an episode of Sex and the City. Groups getting ready to go out, the electric excitement running through the house before a mixer or party. Girls packed like sardines into the downstairs hallways during tornado warnings. Everyone sitting in the living room, locked in shock, watching as 9/11 unfolded before our eyes. And through all that we had an amazing group of women who day in and out would prepare all our meals, would laugh and cry along with us, and solidified that it wasn’t just a house, but a home.


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