Food makes me happy. And cooking for friends, gardening (on a little piece of a Brooklyn deck right now), and sharing tasty ideas makes me even happier. So I figured what better way to spread some of this happiness than to start sharing my food, recipes and tips with friends -- some of whom I haven’t met yet. I hope you enjoy...

Monday, August 29, 2011

(strawberry-infused) Tequila!

Suggested listening while reading this post (but of course):

I picked up some beautiful strawberries at the store just before Hurricane Irene hit, but didn't have specific plans for them... so why not make some strawberry-infused tequila?  We had a bottle of Sauza Blanco that could use a little sprucing up -- and there's not much that's easier to do than infusing liquor.  I quartered about a quart of fresh strawberries, added them to a mason jar and covered them with tequila.  In two or three weeks I'll be making up some fun cocktails... I'm thinking maybe a strawberry tequila lemonade with muddled basil?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oh Yes, I Can Can

Suggested listening while reading this post (trust me):


I was at the greenmarket this weekend and picked up some kirby cucumbers and white cipollini onions.  I've been having fun canning lately, which is easier than most people might think once you get the basics down.  I started pickling yesterday morning, got a little carried away, and ended up canning a bit more along the way...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Capturing Vermont in a Brown Paper Bag

Suggested listening while reading this post (it'll help set the mood):

I just got back from a long weekend in Vermont with my husband and friends who were sweet enough to host us (thanks again Alexis & Rob!).  I came home with some pure Vermont maple syrup from a neighbor's farm (Newell Hill Farm in West Wardsboro), wishing I could savor our time in the country just a little longer.   And so I thought I'd pack a lunch that reminds me of the trip.  I ended up with a warm, earthy, comforting meal that seemed to capture Vermont perfectly.   It actually smells (almost) like the country in our little Brooklyn apartment right now.  Mmm...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Peas Out

Suggested listening while reading this post:

Yesterday I competed in "Some Like It Cold", the soup competition and fundraiser for the claque ( hosted at the Huckleberry Bar in Williamsburg. 

Not only was the entire process a ton of fun, I learned a lot along the way.  Turns out making 3 gallons of soup is a very different process than making a couple bowls for dinner. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Shell Shocked

This is actually my first blog post... ever. 

I'm competing in my first cooking competition... ever, on Sunday in Williamsburg.  It's a cold soup contest called "Some Like It Cold" (, and the proceeds from the event benefit a locally-based arts and performance conglomerate called The Claque (

I entered the competition the other day and knew right away what I was going to make: my chilled pea and garden mint soup.  I've been making it for a while now.  Cold & delicious -- should be a winner. 

The only problem with making a shelled pea soup in August is that shelling peas are at the end of their season here in New York.  You can still get great tasty little orbs, this just makes picking the best ones really important.  So I headed over the the Green Market at Union Square early this morning.  A few weeks ago you could find shelling peas at a bunch of stands, but today only Migliorelli Farms had them.  Fortunately Migliorelli always has really great produce.  So I came upon their 5 bushels of peas and started picking... looking for pods with smooth, soft, bright green skins.  The skins on pods that are a little past their prime get drier and a little wrinkly.  Most importantly though, the peas on the inside of older pods loose the sweetness that makes them such a special seasonal treat.

12 POUNDS and $50 of hand-picked peas later, I headed back home to Williamsburg on the L train.  Now I'm working on the fun part -- shelling all these guys.  I'm lucky I guess in that I really like to shell peas.  It's kind of peaceful (or peas-ful, haha).  Still, I'm about 4 pounds in and I'm wondering how relaxed I'm going to feel after a few more hours of this.  I'll keep you posted...