August 24, 2011

New Kitchen

The girls are 18 months old now and are very much into turning the knobs on the stove, peering into the oven and "helping" me cook. It was time for a play kitchen.
We have a tiny space at the end of our counter and I wanted one that would fit and still be fun. I also wanted wood and for it to have a realistic, contemporary feel. After a long night of scouring the web, I landed upon this very helpful review from the folks at ohdeedoh.
The Educo Gourmet Kitchen fit all my requirements and was within my budget - score! A few clicks later and it was on its way. Assembly was a breeze and it seems very sturdy and well made, I am hopeful that it will survive triplets.
When the girls got up this morning, they saw it from down the hall and made a bee-line for it. I had this dish set that we received as a gift and also bought them this coordinating cookware set. I wanted to go with metal or wood, but let's face it, plastic hurts a lot less when it hits you in the head or lands on your toe. Green Toys products are made from recycled plastic and are cute and durable; I'd recommend them.
Internets, this is why I had children.

July 20, 2011

{from my kitchen} goat cheese ice cream with roasted red cherries

goat cheese ice cream with roasted cherries

It is no secret that I love ice cream. As soon as I saw the recipe for goat cheese ice cream with roasted red cherries in my epicurious e-newsletter I knew what I would be doing over the weekend. The recipe comes from Jeni Britton Bauer from the much loved Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in Ohio. Splendid doesn’t even really begin to describe how awesome this ice cream is though. I can see why she has such a following. Even without the use of a traditional custard base the ice cream was really creamy and the goat cheese lent a bit of tang which was the perfect counterpoint to the sweet, roasted cherries. It’s an unusual but magnificent combination. I’m going to have to click on over to Amazon to get my hands on her new book to see what other cool combinations Jeni has up her sleeve. My summer must be filled with more ice cream!

July 18, 2011

Meet Sophia

Sophia has been a long time coming. If memory serves me correctly she was first cut out at the same time as the weekender bag. That must be at least three years ago now, but it could be more. Sophia was my filler project. It was what I worked on when I couldn’t figure out what I really wanted my next project to be. I would iron on interfacing or sew a seam or two and then move on to my next big project.


I finally ran out of seams to sew and my filler project is now complete. Meet Sophia. She will be a great companion to my weekender bag.

July 15, 2011

Frequenting the farmers' market

week 1 haul

week 2 haul

My trips so far to the farmers’ market this year have been highly successful. I’ve left with farm fresh eggs, kale, sugar snap peas, cabbage, cherries, beets, and summer squash. But, there is one product I am obsessed with: arugula. This is without a doubt the best arugula I’ve ever had. The peppery bite is fantastic and the taste is so very fresh. The most I’ve done to it is squeeze a bit of lemon juice and a drip or two of olive oil over it and that’s when I’m not stuffing whole leaves into my mouth as I prepare the rest of the meal. I’ve worked to ration it out so that I can have at a tiny pile each day before my next trip. It doesn’t work. Within a day or two it is gone and I’m hoping Wednesday arrives quickly so I can get my next fix.

July 13, 2011

Let's talk meat

Culinary Institute of America

Behind the Meat Counter is a course at the Culinary Institute of America that I had been eyeing for a year or two. Each time I was about to register I would talk myself out of it: too expensive, too far away, not the right time. Blah, blah, blah. I’ve decided that this is the year I stop thinking and re-thinking all the big things I want to see and do and just DO THEM.

So it was that on a hot June Saturday morning I found myself on the campus of the CIA. The CIA is in a breathtaking location. These are some lucky students who get to look down on the Hudson River and its surrounding lush valley every day. I, however, spent most of the day in the basement in a chilled classroom and it was awesome!

Chef Schneller was a fantastic teacher. Humorous and helpful he made butchering large primal cuts look like a piece of cake. (Which I guess it would be if you had grown up at the side of your butcher father and continued in the profession yourself.) For demonstration he would break down large cuts of beef, talking us through the steps, and describing each of the smaller cuts as he went. Then we got to work with our own set of knives.

First up was learning to French a rack of lamb. With just a few simple cuts and a piece of butcher’s twine we had neatly cleaned our racks. Then the big butchering happened. We each broke down our own primal pork loin; they weighed in at over 40 pounds each. From that huge cut we learned how to remove the ribs, the tenderloin, the shoulder steaks, and the loin. By the time I finished mine I had amassed 4 steaks, a rack of ribs, a tenderloin, two pork roasts, 9 thick center cut shops, and scrap for grinding. And we weren’t done yet. The final butchering was breaking down a chicken. I learned the easy way to take out the backbone and how to leave a piece of the wing attached to the breast for a “fancy" presentation. Phew!

And all that meat came home with me! Samples of the beef Chef Schneller broke down, our lamb, our pork, and our chicken along with ground beef, pork, and lamb they made from our scraps found their way into my cooler. It was a very heavy cooler and my freezer is packed with more meat than I typically buy in six months. I’ve been having a bit here and there and it is crazy how proud I am to be eating meat that I butchered up myself. Very proud indeed.

July 10, 2011

Triple Threat Margaritas

Sunday sipping
Because weekends with 17 month-old triplets require fortification. I used this recipe for homemade sweet & sour mix but modified the actual margarita recipe to make it a little less sweet and a little stronger.

Triple Threat Margaritas
3 cups sweet & sour mix
1 cup tequila
1/2 cup triple sec
juice of 3 limes

Add ingredients to a medium sized picture and fill with ice. Stir and serve in salt rimmed glasses with a slice of lime, preferably within sight but out of splashing distance of the water table. Invite friends and repeat.

June 22, 2011


aperol spritzers

Oh, summer, how I want to gobble you up this year! Let’s make plans.

**long evening strolls**random stops for ice cream **frequent stops at farmer’s markets**al fresco dining**lounging in the shade**iced coffee and Arnold Palmers**summer cocktails**new skirts**new sandals**playing croquet**ponytails**cooling off with popsicles** berries warm from the sun**homemade bread and butter pickles**learning to grill**colorful toes**running through a sprinkler** outdoor concerts and plays**