The Heart of Winter

February 15, 2013

Last weekend we saw our first significant snowfall in awhile. There’s nothing quite like waking up on a Saturday morning and venturing through the neighborhood as the sledders, skiers and snowshoers come out and transform Central Park into a great outdoor adventure. Feeling a bit lazy by the afternoon, I pulled together a meal for the apartment to enjoy thanks to Zabars. It included a couple pastas to warm us up– pesto and three cheese with mushrooms, our favorite rosemary bread with sun-dried tomato tofu spread and a side of asparagus.

Sun-dried tomato tofu spread

Sun-dried tomato tofu spread

Pesto pasta and asparagus

Pesto pasta and asparagus

Rosemary Bread

Rosemary Bread

Three cheese and mushroom pasta

Three cheese and mushroom pasta

 

Pesto pasta

Pesto pasta

Upper West Side

Upper West Side

Rosemary bread with sun-dried tomato tofu spread

Rosemary bread with sun-dried tomato tofu spread

 

 


 


 

 

Crillon Le Brave

July 26, 2012

The fresh air and rolling hills, the winding stone corridors, the hourly chimes of the bell tower and the to die for menus are all part of Crillon Le Brave, the quintessential Provencal destination. What was once ruled by Henri IV’s fiercest generals during wars of the 16th century has now evolved into one of Travel + Leisure’s top European hotels for 2012. And well deserved, my time spent there could not have been better. Lounging poolside, a relaxing massage and the impeccable service was all quite lovely, but of course my favorite was the fantastic food shoot that took place with the help of chef, Phillippe Zemour. After our morning at the market, it was down to business in the kitchen. Known for their elegant and refined style, the menu is all locally sourced offering a true flavor of southern France. Although it was difficult to leave, it’s certainly on my list of places that I no doubt will return to once again.

Setting the table on the terrace

Crackelin marinated red mullet and squid, nicoise socca and fennel aioli

Crackelin marinated red mullet and squid, nicoise socca and fennel aioli

Artichoke

Gratin of fish soup

Fricassee of seasonal vegetables, fingerling potatoes and bearnaise reduction

Roasted bull fillet, fricassee of seasonal vegetables, fingerling potatoes and bearnaise reduction

Hotel entrance

Roasted shop veal, green asparagus from olivier’s garden, stuffed potato with white truffle

Terrace view

Bocce ball

Roasted shop veal

Pool area

Asparagus

Fresh bread and rosemary

Seabream in salt crust

Seabream in salt crust

The view

Vegetables from the garden in barigoule refreshed, bacon shavings from bigorre, coriander reduction

Crackelin marinated red mullet and squid, nicoise socca and fennel aioli

Fresh vegetables

Fried cherry with basilic

Fried cherry with basilic

Apricot tart

Apricot tart

Sunday Family Dinner

February 29, 2012

This weekend I was back in Syracuse spending time with the family. Sunday was the perfect winter day with crisp blue skies, a few inches of freshly fallen snow, a fire in the fireplace and the aroma of my father’s Northern Italian dish for dinner filling the house. We started with a couple fresh loaves of Columbus Bakery bread, followed by an antipasto platter with lettuce, tomato, greek olives, cucumbers, salami, ham, provolone, blue cheese and topped with a white balsamic vinaigrette. The main dish was homemade marinara sauce with tomatoes, chicken stock, fresh garlic, onions, zucchini and a touch of sugar. After simmering for a few hours with the chicken breast and thigh meat, it was poured over fettucini and garnished with parsley and parmesan cheese.

Marinara sauce with chicken and fettucini

 

Antipasto platter

 

Columbus Bakery bread dipped in olive oil

 

Grating parmesan cheese and Columbus Bakery bread

 

Antipasto platter

 

Bread and Pasta

 

White balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

 

Pasta and bread

 

Antipasto

Homemade in Red Hook

December 10, 2011

My roommate and I took the ferry over to Red Hook last weekend, an eclectic little community in Brooklyn, and one of my favorites. Stumbling upon Homemade, we couldn’t help but go in for a quick bite to eat. It’s warm, welcoming and has great food. I love their attention detail, like the leather and wooden tie around the coffee carafe. Sitting on the comfy white couch, we split the delicious special, charred filone with a ricotta spread.

Bread and Cheese

 

Bread, cheese and unlimited coffee

 

How could you not want to visit this place?

 

Our mess of food

Cold Weather Favorites

December 7, 2011

With the cold weather approaching, I shot some of my favorite meals to warm up to. Anyone who’s spent time in Syracuse can tell you how Pastabilities’ Hot Tomato Oil could quite possibly be the best dipping sauce that exists. I always try and bring some extra back with me whenever I visit the area. Other favorites for those cold days include my father’s homemade chicken noodle soup and Wegman’s chicken potpie for a quick pre-prepared meal that tastes just as delicious as if you made it yourself.

Pastabilities' Hot Tomato Oil and Sun-Dried Tomato bread

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

Wegman's Chicken Pot Pie

 


Troyer’s Country Store

December 2, 2011

A few miles outside the village of Cazenovia takes you to the simplistic and amazingly delicious life of the Amish, where people come from all over to stock up on everything this country store, Troyer’s, has to offer– breads, meats, pastas, candy and anything else you’d expect in your local grocery store, but at prices that can’t be beat, and far more fresh. It was the perfect place to get what I needed for my picnic lunch. My mom and I left with our mission accomplished, more bags than we could carry and continued the drive through Syracuse’s countryside.

Herbs and seasonings

Troyer's Country Store

Fresh bread straight out of the oven

Homemade gummies

Store Interior

Fresh pasta

Oktoberfeast

November 2, 2011

My friend Donna and I cooked up a seasonal menu the other day featuring some of our favorite ingredients like pumpkin, sage and cranberries. It was one of those quintessential autumn days with crisp blue skies and cool temperatures, so I enjoyed my afternoon outside making my way to the farmers market and then taking the ferry over to Long Island City to relish in the beautiful day.

Cranberries and Maple Sugar Candies

Butter & Sage Pumpkin Ravioli

Farmers Market Ingredients: Ardith Mae Fresh Chevre and Bread from Hot Bread Kitchen

Pumpkin Nut Bread

Butter & Sage Pumpkin Ravioli

Cranberries, Apples & Pears with Bread & Fresh Chevre

Pumpkin Nut Bread

Bread & Fresh Chevre dipped in Pumpkin Bisque

Cranberry Chutney on Bread

The Kneaded Bread

June 20, 2011

Quite possibly one of the best places around to get fresh bread, this local spot is a must stop for anyone driving through Port Chester. My friend, Leslie, who happens to be a long time favorite customer at Kneaded Bread, brings me by here every time we’re in town, and I end up spending the days following loading up on carbs. They also have great pastries and sandwiches.

Fresh bread

Provolone Bread

Country and Provolone bread

An assortment of breads

A Daytrip to Italy

March 13, 2011

Well almost. At least as close as I’ve ever come to Italy without actually hopping on a plane. A few friends and I ventured to Arthur Ave in the Bronx on Saturday. I have heard great things about the authentic food selections available, but have yet to make the trek uptown. And it was well worth it. We quite possibly may have eaten enough in that one afternoon and evening to compensate for an entire week’s worth of food. Hence why this post has an overabundance of photos, I couldn’t bare to leave anything out. After carting back as many bags as possible, we prepared a meal of some of the best cheeses, meats, calamari, pasta and desserts.

Fresh Bread

Cosenza's Fish Market

Oysters on the half shell. We only bought 3 rounds. They were that good.

Casa Della Mozzarella. After purchasing 2 1/2 pounds of cheese, they gave us more fresh mozzarella in case we couldn't wait until we got home. Amazing,

Biancardi Meats behind the scenes where all the prep goes down

Biancardi Meats

Borgatti's prepping some fresh pasta for us

Arthur Ave Market

Provolone, Mozzarella, Sliced ricotta cheese, bread and tomatoes topped off with fresh basil from the farmer's market

Focaccia and fresh mozzarella

Canolli from Egidio's

Tomatoes and Ricotta

Frying up some calamari from Cosenza's

Late Autumn Picnic

November 28, 2010

Strolling through Syracuse’s Sunday morning flea market, I found amazing vintage Native American fabrics that inspired me to have an afternoon picnic with fresh bread, cheese, fruits and my great-grandmother Hazel’s cheese grater, before heading back to the city and work tomorrow morning.

French bread & pears

Cranberries, Challerhocker cheese, apples & pears

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