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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dinner in the Park

Long over due post...from a fabulous dinner in the park!

Is there anything better than dining al fresco? I love it. I love that first weekend of Spring when the sidewalk tables suddenly appear. I love when you no longer need the cozy red fleece blankets that Serafina on B-way keeps on their chairs, just in case. I love when Spring finally hits and you can sleep with the windows open, snuggled up like a taco in blankets.

THIS post, however, is NOT about cool awesome Spring weather.

It's about hot, sticky, humid weather and what that does to my top floor apt.

The word sauna comes to mind. This apt becomes a sauna.

A few weeks ago, during our first taste of summer, we had enough. We went outside and up the block to the park, where it was at least 10 degrees cooler. Nothing like laying out on a blanket and watching the sunset, listening to the jingle of the ice cream man, seeing all the families enjoying the playground...

Here's our rather eclectic dinner of small bites...
brown rice california roll, humus and crispy bread, olives & a fruit salad for dessert
I love olives. Love them. Green or brown I do not care. The market here has them in giant buckets for you to scoop out. At least 6 different kinds. Without fail there is always a little old lady standing at the olive buckets helping herself to a quick taste. These beauties are kalamata olives. So salty, so good. Watch the pits!
And a great fruit salad for dessert. Kiwi, blueberry, strawberry & mango. Delicious.

Stay cool friends...


Monday, May 24, 2010

Grocery Surprises

I was tweeting with some new friends today about the grocery store. Despite the fact that I get delivery now I really do love going to the market.
But not in my neighborhood.
Everyone is pushy, loud and usually on their bluetooth.
Space is a novel thing in the city so even though I have a 'normal' looking grocery store with a parking lot and all, it's crowded. Always.
There's self-serve check out - which I usually love. But I'm always behind slow people. I can't deal. So I delivery.

Last week the poor guys from Peapod carried up 3 bags worth of beverages. My bad. I usually try to space the heavy stuff out. And why am I even buying bottled water?!? Oh well.

I know I know...everything comes in plastic bags! I hate it too. I'd much rather a reusable bag.
As with any delivery there's the chance for errors. Sometimes you get the wrong stuff or items are missing. Usually it's stuff I don't want (I'm looking at you frozen bag of gnocchi in the freezer). But this week....ummm we hit the jackpot! Strawberry ice cream & pizza!

Can you think of a sweeter mistake? I can't.

Hope to be back again soon this week with another post...


Thursday, May 13, 2010

On Chinese and Diners

I'm still here promise! This special carton has been my life the past few weeks. T working late = Chinese food. It's hard to plan and cook a meal and then have only myself to eat it with.
T - I know you read this - I've been missing you & can't wait to have you back. For real.

And when it's not been Chinese, it's been pizza or chips & know great, girly comfort food. Nothing good for me but whatever.

This week T has been home at a decent hour but I'm not holding my breath.
Tonight I thought I'd cook but nothing in the fridge was edible. Note to self - clean out the fridge asap.


(not my pic, duh)

I love the diner. Grew up with 2, maybe 3 in my town. The Diner has everything - mozzarella sticks, burgers, breakfast 24/7 and amazing desserts.

I'm not a huge fan of our local Diner...but it will do. Maybe because there's no amazing funny memories in it like the ones from my teens & child years. Tonite there were college kids having dinner at a big booth and I got very nostalgic for days gone by. Heading to Paradise Diner in Hometown for sundaes after a concert at the local HS. Or drunky in college going for fries and cherry pie. Ohhhh memories!
But it's a good diner. The staff is friendly, the grub is good.

The minute my food came I was mad I hadn't ordered something else tho. Does that happen to you? My burger was great but I immediately really really wanted pancakes. So a giant piece of cheesecake was consumed to...well deal with my indecision. Because nothing makes you feel better about decisions, good or bad, than cheesecake.

Next week I hope to get back to real blogging. Possibly a post about my birthday last week...we shall see.

Stay full & happy friends!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

The NY Times has a great little slide show where people talk about the food they associate with their mother.

I can't talk about my mom and not mention food. She cooked because her mother did.
I got to stand on a chair turned around backwards so I could watch and see everything she did in the kitchen.

So what food do I associate with my mother?


When I was young my mom took the Wilton cake classes with a friend. She made some beautiful creations! The book with the great recipes for cake & frosting are still in with the kit we take out at birthdays. She learned how to make roses, clowns and the basket weaves. And luckily for us girls she made...the doll cake.

Now a days there are fancy molds to make this an easier task but mom did it old school like in the video.

Every year I got to choose the color of my doll cake. Shades of pink, purple or yellow. It was so awesome. I was and still am a huge girly girl so having a birthday cake of a doll in a big frilly dress fit me to a T. I always wanted my doll cake to be a bride. "No" mom would say "you have to wait till YOU are a bride. You are little girl still. But someday..."

August 2007, my bridal shower

So mom, this Mother's Day thanks for those slices of cake. The best things DO come to those who wait.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wine Wednesday

This week's Wine Wednesday includes a dinner review! Yay!

Saturday night was hot. Enter table on the sidewalk at Campo.

True story: a year or so ago, we were in this neighborhood, arguing over where to eat. I was hungry & had a headache, never a good combo. I believe even stomped my foot like a 5yr old. Ooops. We went to Campo on a whim and made up over the good wine & good food.

Saturday, luckily no arguments. Just really happy to be enjoying the beautiful night together.

The wine list is not on their website but I believe this links to the bottle we had. I love Montepulciano D'Abruzzo. I don't usually love red wine but for this, and with good italian food, I say yes for red.

Watching tons of Barnard & Columbia kids walk by. The Cocktails are named for them! Love the pretty flower box.

Menu wise there is something for everyone. A lot of local and organic ingredients. Delicious bread, cheese, veggies...and lamb chops.
Clean Plate Club!
Everything was so good. Can't wait to go back!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Saturday Brunch

It's no secret. love Brunch.

Saturday, after a trip out to Brooklyn for the Cherry Blossoms that were all gone (sad panda) but luckily there were some beautiful Peonies, we headed back to Manhattan and stopped off at an old favorite for brunch: Little Frankie's.
Little Frankie's is responsible for the cute chalkboard pic on the upper right corner of this blog. I really do love this place that much.
Husband use to live in this neighborhood and on weekends I'd hike down via 3 different subways and over 200 blocks!!, and we'd brunch here. There are some amazing spots for brunch but this is clearly a favorite of mine.
I could have sat there alllll day with my 2 friends - English Breakfast Tea & a Bellini.

We got there super early so we were seated in the back room, which also includes a little outdoor space, as close to a garden as some in NYC will ever get. A bunch of girls were seated there, chowing down post-workout so we let them have their space. My seat was by the french doors that separate the room so I had a little lovely breeze. Above our table, the giant skylight and some really great plants & hanging lanterns.
Lanterns are my most favorite was to light a space or to just decorate a space. Used them at our wedding instead of floral arrangements.
There are tons of old photographs on the walls as well as mirrors, a great way to open up a small space.
The food here is so so so good. I've had dinners before, everything from the pasta to the pizzas. Ingredients are fresh, wine is stellar and the staff is helpful, sweet and, at this brunch, left us alone to linger and enjoy.
What did I get?
Baked Eggs, italian style.
I know I know I know, it looks like a mess.
A delicious mess.
It's just 2 eggs, well done, sauce and cheese. And a thick crusty slice of bread.
So simple, but so good. That is what makes good food great: simple, fresh ingredients. Because sometimes, simple is better than fancy.
Loved it back then in the dating says, loved it Saturday. Will dream about it until our next trip downtown.

My 3 photos don't do the place justice so check out more here.
And check out Lil'Frankie's when you're in town, or one of their sister restaurants. We LIVED on delivery from Frank during the winter of the broken ankle.

What do you love to have for brunch?


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weekend Review!

A few posts to come about the great brunch & dinner we had Saturday.
So in the mean time...picture post!

peonies at the brooklyn botanical gardens
the mighty hudson, as seen from inwood (the very top of the island of manhattan)
i'm on a bridge!