A Year in Review

November 18, 2011

A Camera in the Kitchen turns 1 tomorrow! I cannot thank you all enough for your support and enthusiasm you’ve expressed to me. It’s been such an amazing year capturing and sharing the art of dining. I’ve dug through my archives to compile some of my favorites that I think best reflects this. From tasting California’s fresh fruit while dancing at the Coachella Music Festival, to chowing down on a burger in Montana after a day of snowshoeing in the Beartooth Mountains, or grilling Wahoo from Aruba’s local fish market in celebration of a friend’s birthday.¬†It has been such a learning experience for me, and I only hope to bring more exciting things to the site in the year to come.

Above all, I’ve learned a meal is more than just satisfying your hunger, it’s about the experience, the culture, and most importantly the people you are surrounded by. Whether grabbing take out for an evening home with the roommates, or sitting at a cafe in Reykjavik with new friends, I always make the most of the moment, and the meal, and that’s what I aim to capture here. I hope my photos inspire you to take time in your own life to appreciate the moments shared over that dish. You may get too full for that last bite of pasta, but you can never be too full of great memories.

 

 

Some of the dinner parties we've hosted-- big and small

Travels to Iceland, Montana, California, Miami, Beacon and Newport

Travels continued through New Jersey, Montana, Iceland and Brooklyn

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

Lunch in Miami

October 26, 2011

I escaped the cool weather this weekend and spent my time soaking up the rays at Miami’s beaches and rooftop pools. My friend, Victor, and wonderful host, was kind enough to prepare lunch on Saturday. My new favorite snack, fried plantains, are delicious topped with anything from goat cheese and mint, to pico de gallo and queso blanco. We also had tasty hard boiled eggs with paprika, cayenne pepper and curry powder, and he whipped up some seasoned ground turkey wraps. Certainly enough to keep us filled until dinner and give us a taste of that local Miami flair.

Fried plantains with goat cheese and mint

Plantains

Fried plantains with Pico de Gallo and Queso Blanco

Hard boiled eggs with paprika, cayenne pepper and curry powder

Onions

Cilantro

Seasoned ground turkey, goat cheese and pico de gallo wrap

Seasoned ground turkey and Queso Blanco


Bakkabrim

September 26, 2011

Last but not least from my tour of Iceland, this organic cafe in the town of Eyrarbakki might possibly be my favorite place to start your morning– or spend your afternoon. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open the day we were there, but I was able to explore. The entire surroundings were so amazing, just untouched natural beauty with a small, welcoming organic cafe dropped in the midst of it all. I could have sat out on the deck all afternoon. Like taking a step out of reality, it’s as if you’re entering a children’s fort in the backyard, a place to forget about your worries, breath in some of the freshest air possible and take it all in, realizing how exhilarating and beautiful life really is. I wish so badly I could have tried one of their drinks, but as my father has always told me, “You’ve got to save something for the next time.”

Because I was so intrigued by this place, I did some research, and here’s a great article about Bakkarbrim from a very cool Icelandic website. Check it out!

Organic Cafe

The deck

The view

Fjorubordid

September 23, 2011

It’s said that people risk their lives in bad weather en route to the village of Stokkseyri for just a few spoonfuls of lobster soup from Fjorubordid. So of course, we decided it would be the ideal place to have lunch on a quiet Monday afternoon. With little more than a few neighborhoods, a closed gift shop and a church, surely this charming coastal town’s restaurant is the spotlight. Offering stunning views and a menu of delicious breads, soups, salads and seafood, we left town stuffed as can be and checked off Stokkseyri on our to-do list.

Lobster soup and sides

 

Some of the best bread dipping sauce-- sundried tomato, sweet garlic and tzatziki

 

Country side salad-- Mozzarella cheese & tomatoes, fresh green salad & slices of marinated beef

 

Lobster soup

 

Fresh homemade bread with tomato spread

Hotel Ranga, one of the world’s top destinations for viewing the Aurora Borealis and Southern Iceland’s only 4 star resort, has everything you could possibly want for a relaxing stay in the countryside, not to mention an outstanding dining room and extremely friendly service from everyone. The hotel’s rustic luxury accomodations sit on wide open land overlooking the East Ranga River. Their chef prepared his modern Nordic cuisine with local ingredients of only the freshest quality, and brought out a beautiful array of dishes. ¬†Although the weather conditions weren’t conducive to check out the Northern Lights, on the positive side, it’s just one more reason for me to start planning my return trip.

East Ranga River at the hotel

Dining room at Hotel Ranga

Smoked Puffin served with beerbread crumble and "cumberland" sauce

Hotel Ranga's Wine bar

Icelandic Cod served on a bed of nuts and local barley with whitewine sauce

Local wild salmon with sweet potato and white chocolate puree, lobster foam and local strawberries

Local wild salmon with sweet potato and white chocolate puree, lobster foam and local strawberries

The hotel's porch

The best chocolate cake dessert

Icelandic Mountain lamb and lobster combo with potato terrine and blueberry demiglaze

Icelandic mountain lamb and lobster combo with potato terrine and blueberry demiglaze

International Suites

Every book I read about Reykjavik told me the best lobster soup around is at Saegreifinn, so we made it top on our list of things to do. The Old Harbour is a beautiful little area tucked into the city, and after spending a morning walking around we took a lunch break to fill ourselves up. It was just as good as everyone had said. The seafood shack, started by a retired fisherman, served top notch lobster soup, fresh homemade bread, and delicious grilled scallop kebabs.

Lobster Soup

 

Lobster Soup

Fresh bread and butter

 

Grilled Scallop Kebabs

 

Lobster & Scallops

Blue Lagoon

September 6, 2011

Our first stop in Iceland was to the famous Blue Lagoon for a spa day. In a dream-like setting, you can’t get more relaxing than bathing in their natural geothermal pools, getting in-water massages and putting on mud masks from scooping up the natural minerals. For lunch, my friend and I tried out their restaurant’s buffet. Being in a country known for their seafood, we sampled a variety of dishes ranging from minke whale sashimi to herring and dill cured salmon before heading back to the pools for more relaxation.

Minke whale sashimi and the spa's natural geothermal seawater pools

Dill cured salmon

Skyr, an Icelandic-style yogurt

Salad

White pasta with chicken and carrots

Sushi of the day

Braised Cod

 

Herring

Dinner with Friends

September 1, 2011

My friend, Leslie, and partner in crime for dinner parties, recently took up a holistic health practice. With training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she’s ready to roll and the girl to call if you’re looking for a health coach. You can check out more of what she does at her website. Lucky for me, I got a preview of some of her meal plans last night. We had a great dinner with a few friends to catch up before we part ways with our holiday weekend travel plans. For apps we had curried lentil and pea dip, pita chips with sweet curry seasoning and spicy corn avocado salsa. As if we weren’t full enough from that, for dinner she brought out turkey meatballs, sprouted quinoa with golden raisins, sliced almonds and citrus vinaigrette, a spiced carrot, ginger and tofu soup, and a spinach salad with pineapple dressing and whole wheat croutons. Last but not least, prune and oat cookies for dessert. Of course the lovely floral arrangements for the table were created by Jess, using only the best farm fresh flowers from the Union Square flower market.

Sprouted quinoa

Pita chips with curried lentil and pea dip

Spiced soup and turkey meatballs

 

Turkey meatballs and quinoa

Jessica's floral arrangement

 

Soup with sage and corn avocado salsa

 

Pita chips and flowers

 

Do or Dine

August 18, 2011

Saturday afternoon I biked to Brooklyn to visit a friend who recently moved to Bed Sty– not exactly a neighborhood I’m most familiar with, nor do I usually think of when I want to go out for a great meal, but hidden behind the doors of what appears to be an old, run-down Indian fast food joint, is actually a recently opened restaurant, Do or Dine. With dishes like deep fried deviled eggs or the controversial foie gras doughnut, it’s worth the trek out for an evening. The owners and wait staff have fun with the place, giving off personable charm to their customers. It’s BYOB, so drinks won’t drain your wallet, and the back patio is a great place to spend an evening.

Lamb Breast, with cumin and lime

Octopus tacos topped with nori strips

Prawns with cherry tomatoes in clam broth

Deep fried deviled eggs with bacon and culantro

Smoked salmon spread

Foie Gras Doughnut