A passion for food + fashion

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Garlic Scape Pesto

In Food, Out of Town on June 30, 2010 at 5:53 am

Most days hearing the words “garlic scape” will send me into orbit faster than just about any two words in the English language, thanks to a gentleman I once knew who lived to pontificate about cows nibbling on garlic scapes. Precious doesn’t begin to cover it. But here in Vermont, ALL I want to talk about are garlic scapes. They’re the green shoots or stalks that grow out of the garlic head and are much milder in flavor without the bitter bite. My sister-in-law Kate likes to chop them up in salads, which I love. My new favorite discovery, however, is garlic scape pesto! I bought a jar from Singing Cedars Farmstead at the Dorset Farmers Market on Sunday and am smitten.

We’ve tossed it with mozzarella and farmstand cherry tomatoes, and slathered it on toast.

And today, I made an epic sammie with garlic scape pesto, sliced turkey, cherry tomatoes and swiss on toasted whole grain. If you have a favorite garlic scape pesto recipe, I’d love to try it when we get back home. I’ve found a few inspirations online (some with pinenuts, others with almonds) so hope to be able to perfect this new fave.

Greetings from the Green Mountain State

In Out of Town on June 29, 2010 at 9:17 am

On Friday we flew from LAX > ORD > ALB, where my mother-in-law picked us up and drove us by the light of the full moon an hour an half to my inlaws’ home in Manchester, VT. On this visit we are staying in the Pink Room, which is part of the original house built in 1790. Look at the beams. And the fireplace. I can’t remember when I’ve slept so well!

As tempting as it would be to hole up in this peaceful oasis, we’ve been spending all our time out of doors, even in the warm rain. Tiny G has visited a nearby farm to see the chickens and sheep (on Friday we’re hoping to return to meet the newborn piglets), and has been keeping an eye on a chipping sparrow nest in a topiary on the patio.

There have also been farmers market and farm stand visits and a certain jar of garlic scape pesto that definitely deserves its own post, so check back!

Wimbledon Whites

In Fashion, Media on June 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I love Wimbledon not just for the Pimm’s spritzers that beg to be enjoyed, but for the crispness of the tournament’s dress code for players. Elsewhere I’m usually bored by Federer’s staid wardrobe choices, but here he looks the height of classic chic. Love the subtle pinstriping in his shirt:

Let’s get a closer look at that bag though. Huh. Who knew Federer was such a diva?

Speaking of divas, Venus credits Tina Turner with the inspiration for this lacy fringed frock:

Which will undoubtedly ruffle a few feathers. And speaking of ruffles, Sharapova strikes gold with this pretty little dress from Nike, apparently inspired by English rose petals. Love.

Work in Progress

In Design, Media on June 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Sorry for ducking out like that. I’ve been sick as a dog fighting a wicked summer cold for almost a week now. During the midst of which I’ve been researching and writing an upcoming column for Bon Appétit (thank the lord I wrote my tasting notes before I lost all sense of taste and smell). Which is why I haven’t had time to finish unpacking my office or hang pictures on the walls or take photos or any of that fun stuff. But even amid the chaos, when I sat down yesterday in my sparkling new office chair and pulled up to my newly arrived and assembled George Nelson Swag Leg Work Table, I was ready to write. Would this sublime desk, by osmosis, make my prose any prettier? I wondered. “Might be more effective if it were a Nelson George desk,” replied my esteemed colleague Eric Asimov of the New York Times. As with yesterday’s column on American Gewürztraminers, the man has a point.

Happy Father’s Day!

In Drink, Food on June 20, 2010 at 10:00 am

Nothing says “Happy Father’s Day” like a 54-quart steel-belted Coleman’s cooler!

Alphabet City in Laurel Canyon

In Food, Media on June 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Earlier this week—before I got struck down with the mother of all summer colds—I found myself high up in Laurel Canyon on a perfect June night at the treetop home of my friend Dana, who was hosting a book party for Jon Paul Buchmeyer. In Buchmeyer’s tell-all memoir, Alphabet City: My So-Called Sitcom Life, “a series of publicity jobs created madcap storylines, including a mishap with Whoopi Goldberg’s Oscar, a mistaken identity as Tyra Banks’ Turkish boy-toy, and finishing school lessons in the gossipy halls of publishing giant Condé Nast.” While Buchmeyer read from his book, an assembly of Condé Nasties past and present nibbled on a whole roasted pig from Eva’s Lechon and soba noodle salad and sipped Moscow Mules. Reason #1014 why we love LA nights…

Grilled Red Onions with Balsamic and Lemon Thyme

In Food, Recipes on June 15, 2010 at 10:03 am

Did you know that red onions are a rich source of flavonoids and phenolics, which means they are great antioxidants? We like to throw red onions in the mix whenever possible, and Mario Batali’s Thick-Sliced Onions with Lemon Time is one of our favorite summer grilling recipes. They are great alongside a grilled buffalo New York steak.

Thick-Sliced Onions with Lemon Thyme

Adapted from Mario Batali’s Italian Grill

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh lemon thyme

2 pounds large red onions

About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat a gas grill for direct cooking over high heat.

Combine vinegar, garlic and thyme in small saucepan and heat until fragrant and just beginning to steam; don’t let it boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut onions into 1/2-inch-thick slices and lay out on baking sheet. Brush on both sides with 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place onions on hottest part of grill and cook, unmoved, for 4 to 5 minutes, until just charred on first side. Turn and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more, or until softened and lightly charred on the second side. Transfer to baking sheet or platter.

Whisk remaining 1/4 cup olive oil into vinegar mixture and drizzle over onions. Serve warm or at room temperature.

What to Pack…

In Baby Love on June 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

After an absurd amount of time hemming and hawing over a lunchbox for Tiny G (I settled on the above LL Bean model, the same one I carried more than 30 years ago), I’ve now focused my angst on what to fill it with. Who knew that the thought of packing my soon-to-be preschooler’s lunch could cause such anxiety? It didn’t help that my friend Shelby said, “If you think that teachers and other mothers won’t judge you based on what you pack for your child, um, think again.” I love the brutal honesty of the confession, especially since it validates my paranoia. And so I sent an email asking for lunch inspiration to a dozen friends with preschoolers and got the best responses! Over the next few months I’ll post some of these great ideas, starting with this simple one based on one of Shelby’s go-to’s. We did a test run last night for dinner and every last bite disappeared.

Tiny G’s Turkey Pinwheels

Tiny G is obsessed with hummus, which is lucky for us as it’s loaded with healthy fat and protein. My friend Shelby uses havarti instead of hummus and serves with apple slices and veggie chips. Snap peas would also be fun as a veggie option.

1 whole wheat tortilla

1 tablespoon red pepper hummus

1 slice organic roasted turkey breast (no nitrates, no antibiotics, no msg—Applegate Farms has a great product available at Whole Foods)

Spread hummus over tortilla. Place turkey slice on top. Roll up and slice into small pinwheels.


On Top of the World

In Food, Out of Town on June 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Few things compare to a Lost Arrow sandwich (turkey, Swiss, lettuce, tomato, cranberry mayo) from Degnan’s Deli, eaten 5 miles above the Yosemite Valley floor. This past weekend my family gathered in Yosemite, an annual tradition my father’s family has honored since 1949. It’s my very favorite weekend of the year, and even more so now that my husband and I are there with Tiny G, who was tearing around the park with his grandparents like a munchkin possessed!

On Friday morning, my sister, our friend Michelle and I hiked to the top of Yosemite Point. It’s a killer—in many ways more challenging than Half Dome—and I’m still feeling the effects today. I read that it is the equivalent of climbing stairs straight up the distance of over two Empire State Buildings. See that high point to the right of the falls (below)? That’s where we ate lunch.

And let me tell you, nothing beats one of Michelle’s homemade chocolate chip cookies 7,000 feet above it all!

Nor an icy cold brew waiting for you back at the cabin…

Mansion on Turtle Creek

In Food, Media, Out of Town on June 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm

© Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas TX

This past weekend my husband and I flew to Dallas, TX, for a dear friend’s 40th birthday bash. I fully expected the weekend to be a blast. I mean, come on, this is Billy Fong we’re talking about. But what I didn’t expect was how much I would LOVE the city of Dallas. And who wouldn’t, checking into the Mansion and being greeted at reception with a cookie and iced latte?

Every last detail of this hotel is first rate (it’s a sister property to the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara), and the hotel’s restaurant boasts the only Michelin-starred chef in Texas, Bruno Davaillon. My husband and I chose to celebrate our anniversary dinner there on Friday night before joining the party on the terrace to fête Billy. I think it incredibly rude to photograph food in a posh restaurant as it disturbs the experience for other diners. However, since we were eating so early and alone in a corner I asked our server if he would mind and he said snap away! So here is a taste of a most memorable meal, starting with oysters served with a spicy cocktail sauce and wasabi caviar. What I love is the gorgeous bed of rock salt and peppercorns on which the oysters were served:

Then there was this grilled asparagus and mushroom risotto with shaved parm and meyer lemon emulsion. I love risotto passionately, but find that only about 1 out of every 10 you order is worth it. This was one of those sublime risottos that keeps me coming back for more.

I might start getting emotional if I talk too much about my main course, it was so beautiful. Coconut poached Maine lobster with madras curry and hearts of palm:

Meanwhile my husband turf-ed while I surfed, and he was every bit as smitten with his duo of braised short ribs and prime filet with potato fondant and MARROW BUTTER.

And then it was out to the patio to celebrate. Here’s a sneak peek at the chic of Billy’s entourage. L to R, Minnesota ballroom dancing champion Anna, NY art consultant Meredith, the Birthday Boy, and PaperCity‘s Dallas co-editor and social editor, Brooke Hortenstine.