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farewell until july 13th fellow foodies.
click here to see where i’m going.
farewell until july 13th fellow foodies.
Every year I go through a phase where all I want to do is cook. Now I wouldn’t normally call this a bad habit, but this past year it’s been pretty costly. I spent over a hundred dollars on accessories and food products from local businesses in one day, and then as a result, ended up paying $105 to a locksmith because of a certain cake that took precedence over entry to my home. I’m not too sure what’s gotten into me as of late- maybe summer fever is hitting me earlier than usual; I don’t know! But just so I don’t feel like a total failure, I’m going to share with you my most recent culinary feats, in the form of photos, and perhaps in the coming days, recipes will precede this post.
best lunch i’ve had in a while- eggs in a basket, with a tomato basil salad.
pre-candied orange peels
candied orange peels
citrus rhubarb amuse bouche (for my hot v. cold dinner)
Mexican Hot Chocolate Amuse Bouche (for my hot v. cold dinner)
vietnamese hot and cold salad with vermicelli, prawns, and poached chicken (for my hot v. cold dinner)
a very special cake for the class of 2011- black forest cake with rainer cherries, and homemade candied orange peels
a bird’s eye view of le gateau!
Since getting an ice cream maker I’ve been obsessed with making my own ice cream! I think I’ve mastered making chocolate and honey lavender, but as far as fruity flavors go, I hadn’t experienced too much. Fruit ice cream, in my opinion, can only be perfect if the fruit is in season. So with my recent discovery that I’m no longer allergic to blueberries and the fact that I feel like I can’t escape those lovely little berries upon walking into a market, it only makes sense that I would choose to make blueberry ice cream. I had two pints of fresh blueberries in my refrigerator last week, and because I’ve never really cooked with them before, I was unsure what I should do with them. Then I had this intense craving for ice cream. I wanted to make bonbons, but unfortunately they take way too long to make. It only took me ten minutes or so to realize that I should make blueberry ice cream. So that’s what I did, and let me tell you, it’s so much more simple than making chocolate ice cream.
The thing that differentiates my blueberry ice cream from others is that it doesn’t have a custard base. No eggs were involved in the making of this ice cream, so that reduced the cook time by a lot. As a last minute addition, I added some chopped bits of white chocolate- something I needed to get rid of, and poured the mixture into my ice cream maker. After the ice cream had been churned for twenty minutes or so I immediately stuck it in the freezer and left the house to play tennis. I couldn’t sit inside for three hours waiting for it to firm up- I had to do something to preoccupy my time. When I returned home with two of my favorite people, I made some fresh whipped cream, scooped out the strikingly purple ice cream, and topped it with fresh Georgia peaches. The results were so good! The blueberries really shone, and you know what else? It was ridiculously healthy! Below is my recipe for Blueberry White Chocolate Ice Cream. I hope you enjoy the magic!
Blueberry White Chocolate Ice Cream
Makes about 1 pint
2 cups of FRESH MAINE blueberries (I suppose you could use conventional blueberries, but I sourced my blueberries locally)
2 tbsps of water
2 tsps of grated lemon zest
2/3 cup of sugar (divided, 1 tsp)
1 1/2 cups of half and half
1 cup of whipping cream
1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 a vanilla bean
2 tsps of fresh high quality honey
*Remember to rinse your berries and pick through them to ensure no bad ones go into your ice cream– this might be the most important step!!
Put the washed berries into a pot with the water, and heat on low for ten minutes, or until they are tender. Let mixture cool, and then pour into blender, and puree.
Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, add the 1 tsp of sugar with the 2 tsps of grated lemon zest. Mix until the oils from the lemon have mixed with the sugar, and it forms a loose sticky mixture. Cut a slit in the side of the vanilla bean. In a small pot, heath the half and half, the remaining sugar, and the vanilla bean, until the sugar has dissolved. Let that mixture cool, and then fold in the blueberry puree, the whipping cream, the lemon sugar mixture, and the lemon juice. Let this cool in the refrigerator for about an hour, so it is thoroughly chilled. While the mixture chills, roughly chop your white chocolate, if you’re choosing to include it in this recipe.
Prepare your ice cream maker, and pour your chilled blueberry mixture in. About 5 minutes prior to stopping your ice cream maker, pour in the honey and white chocolate chunks, and continue churning. When the machine is done churning your ice cream, relocate it to a different air tight container, and freeze for about two hours. Serve immediately- garnish however you like! I like to garnish with peaches and whipped cream because of the color contrasts, and flavor compliments- but anything will do! This is how summer ought to taste!
after a rather successful date night at Fenway, I convinced Sam to wake up early and venture into the north end with me. ever since i began visiting boston, the north end has always been a favorite place of mine- the crammed streets, familiar faces, and legendary recipes are all quite appealing. there are small boutiques hidden in the attics of restaurants, and street vendors who sell delicious espresso and fried dough. mike’s pastry and modern pastry dish up some of the best cannolis in new england. locals identify with a certain bakery or pizzeria and will stand by them for the rest of their lives. i’ve grown up with mother anna’s pasta and mike’s cannolis thus I’m quite partial to both. but there’s something that i’m leaving out. i rarely explore the north end during the daytime. i had never been in search of a restaurant place or a great cup of coffee before 11am. so when we walked down salem street and came upon Cafe Nuovo- a chic little place, I thought it might be worth it to take a risk.
i was surprised that there was a place serving breakfast on a wednesday morning at 10:45am. but pleasantly surprised i might add. the hostess let us pick our preferred area of seating- so we chose stools that faced a window looking out at salem street. the decor was modern yet approachable, and i felt like i was in montreal once more. our waitress diligently took our beverage orders and we began to peruse the menu.
this is where i became overwhelmed. there were so many dishes that i wanted to try- scrambled eggs with truffle oil, italian vegetable frittata, creamy polenta, and milanese style pork. there was an entire section dedicated to omelettes, belgian waffles, and pancakes. all of a sudden i just wanted every single item on the menu- it was so hard to decide what to get. but when the time came, sam and i decided to SPLIT the eggs benedict with half a maine lobster ($12.50) and a belgian waffle with maine maple syrup and fried chicken ($10.25)- with the obvious side of bacon. as we waited for our food we people watched and engaged in a light-hearted conversation. it was nice being able to enjoy breakfast with someone like sam- we were able to take our time and let the day begin the way it’s supposed to.
the waitress brought us our meals, and needless to say we were impressed. the belgian waffle was perfectly crisp and the fried chicken was pretty light in comparison to other fried chicken and waffles i’ve consumed in recent months. the chicken was moist and seasoned well- all that was needed was a bit of tabasco, and that plate was phenomenal. the lobster eggs benedict was my favorite part though. the eggs were cooked PERFECTLY, and the lobster was served in a generous portion. i don’t know how many claws i got, but i was really surprised that much meat came from one lobster. the hollandaise sauce was nice and savory and was great to dip the left over english muffins into. then of course the homefries and bacon were nice accoutrements and ensured that our meals ended on the highest note possible!
all in all, i loved cafe nuovo. i’d really like to go back again for breakfast and dinner too! if you ever find yourself venturing through the north end, take a quick trip into cafe nuovo, and you’ll be glad you did!