Archive for July, 2016

Resorting To Ruffles

July 28, 2016

Designers have been showing their resort collections, offering a glimpse into what they might be offering for Spring 2017. We’ve mentioned before that the shirt is back in a major way, with crisp stripes and novel sleeve details adding interest to a classic category. For resort, we are seeing a return to tailored ruffles adorning band collared shirts.

Giambattista Valli adds rows of ruffles to his white shirt, topping a whimsical pineapple printed white denim skirt for his younger line, Giamba.

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Giamba

Karen Walker uses ruffles to soften the edges of her camo printed shirt with billowing sleeves:

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Karen Walker

Zimmermann adds cascades to a crisp striped shirt and pairs it with a lace trimmed skirt:

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Zimmermann

Eyelet ruffles top a ruffled trimmed skirt adding a touch of romance to the look:

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Zimmermann

Pindots on deep indigo get adorned with rows of ruffles and tucked into oversized chinos for a play on masculine and feminine at Karen Walker:

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Karen Walker

Cinq a Sept puts the ruffles on the V- neck sweater that matches back to the satin shirt underneath for a new twist on layering the classics:

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Cinq a Sept

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Save Those Scraps

July 26, 2016

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When peeling and trimming vegetables, a lot of waste is created. Carrot tops and peels, and ends of onions; the list goes on and on. Rather than throw them away, why not start a scrap bin in the freezer and use it later to make stock? This concept also applies to chicken bones, or shells and skin from seafood as well. Just be sure to store them separately. When it’s time to make stock, toss in your scrap bag of vegetables and either the chicken, meat or seafood bones, and you’re good to go!

You will not only help save the planet, but you and your stock will be just a little richer in the process!

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Unrecipe Of The Week: Shrimp + Watermelon

July 25, 2016

Watermelon Shrimp

Last weekend, we went to a Mediteranean restaurant in the Village, and shared a few small plates and a bottle of rosé. The standout dish of the evening was grilled shrimp and watermelon. The combination was refreshing on a hot summer’s night, and completely delicious. The shrimp were grilled with fresh lemon and herbs, and drizzled with a little feta cheese. Each one was served atop a perfectly cut cube of watermelon, making the dish as visually exciting as it was flavorful.

We couldn’t wait to try to whip up our own version at home. We thought this was good enough to be put on a pedestal, so we perched our shrimp atop a column of watermelon. If you want to speed up the process and serve it as a main course, go ahead and cube the watermelon in a bowl, drizzle it with aged balsamic vinegar, and crumble some feta on it. Serve the shrimp on the side.

Watermelon Shrimp

Grilled Shrimp + Watermelon:
For the shrimp: Peel and devein the shrimp. Rinse and pat dry.

Mix together the juice of one lemon, a large “glug” of olive oil,  a clove or two of  finely minced garlic, some dried oregano and fresh thyme leaves. Add the shrimp, and let them marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The shrimp will start to “cook” a bit from the acid in the lemon. Don’t over marinate, or they will become mushy.

Remove the shrimp and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Grill (we used a grill pan on the stove top) for a couple of minutes on each side until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Do not overcook!

Assembling the dish: Drizzle a bit of aged balsamic vinegar* onto a serving plate. Line up the watermelon cubes on the plate and perch a shrimp on top of each one. Squeeze a little more lemon on them if desired. Crumble a bit of feta cheese over the top, and enjoy!

* aged balsamic vinegar is usually sold in a smaller bottle than the regular type, and has been aged for a much longer period of time. The result is a sweeter vinegar, and an almost syrup-like consistency.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Just Tarting Around

July 20, 2016

Last Saturday, I hosted a tart making class, through a wonderful new site called Keenobby. Keenobby offers an array of classes and experiences with their elite group of “expertainers.”

My class, held in my own kitchen, focused on the tips, tricks and techniques for making delicous, and visually stunning tarts. The five students, none of whom had ever made tarts before, embarked on an afternoon of rolling, cutting, filling and baking their creations. The outcome was impressive, with my students giving me a run for my money! Check out some of the photos from the day, and see their masterpieces for yourself…

To view available classes, visit Keenobby. To request a class in tart making, or any other type of cooking and baking, leave a comment below.

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Preparing the apples for apple filling

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The dough making demo

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This is how we roll

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Tart artists braiding and cutting shapes for upper crusts

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dough scraps

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Apple tart, headed to the oven. Impressive braid work for a first timer!

 

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Rectangles and minis with leaves and lattice

Pie art ready for the oven

Tart- art… ready for the oven

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Fully baked ideas!

A proud baker presenting his tart

A proud baker presenting his tart

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My bluberry demo tart

 

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My apple mini tart ready to bake

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: The Chill Factor

July 19, 2016

 

7091300904_compWhen making dough for pies, biscuits, or scones, it is important to use cold ingredients to get a rich, laminated outcome. Those little chunks of butter that haven’t fully mixed into the dough melt during baking, helping to create those layers that are the cornerstone of flakey, melt-in-your mouth baked goods. While many recipes suggest letting butter and eggs come to room temperature before using them, these baked goods are the exception.

Some people go to great lengths to keep those ingredients icy cold. They do everything from freezing the bowls and the blade of the food processor, as well as the ingredients. One friend, whose kitchen cred is very high, swears by grating frozen butter into the flour mixture to get the tiniest, coldest and most evenly distributed fat into the laminated dough. For pie crusts, I use ice water to ensure that the liquid doesn’t bring the temperature of the ingredients down.

 

7091300899_compWorking with metal bowls and a stone counter top also enables you to keep the dough chilly while forming it. Remember to handle this type of dough as little and as delicately as possible to avoid gluten formation. Gently patting it together, and only re-rolling the scraps once, keeps the dough open and craggy, which equates to layers of flakey goodness once baked.

Photos: Indigo Jones Eat’s biscuits shot by Glasshouse Images

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Is It Me, Or Is It Hot In Here?

July 14, 2016

 

4940200880_compI don’t have much to say today.

The air conditioning has been broken for 3 days now and counting, and it is going up to 90 today in New York City. Due to the tall buildings packed side by side without space in between, we don’t get much in terms of a breeze. We are all feeling a little wilted today, to say the least.

One might say this situation is for the birds. In fact, just this morning, a bird flew into the open kitchen window and we can’t get him out. Just to give you a sense of imagery: 25 foot ceilings, open floor plan, white upholstered furniture. This can’t end well.

On the bright side, the repair company called, and the part has arrived, and they will be out to fix the air conditioning tomorrow. A friend has graciously offered their apartment for solace if we can’t hack it one more night. In the meantime, I don’t have much to share today that is insightful, or even moderatly interesting, since I am distracted with life’s minutiae. The good news is, that my tart making class for Saturday is still on! The event was sold out, but someone just cancelled, so there is room for one more.

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If you would like to join us in my ( air conditioned!) home to learn the tips and tricks for making beautiful tarts, go to Keenobby to sign up. It will be lots of fun, and cool, even with both ovens on!

I am planning to get some great photos from the class to share with you next week, so stay tuned.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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A Cut Above: Food Cuts

July 13, 2016

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There are lots of ways to cut food; julienne, dice, and chiffonade. You can grate it, shave it, mince it, cube it or brunoise it. Anyway you slice it, food is food, right?
Wrong! The cut of the food plays a role far greater than aesthetics. Cook time, texture, and how the seasoning is absorbed and distributed is effected by the size and shape of it.

A recent article on NPR’s The Salt takes the issue to the experts. Chef Brendan Walsh of the Culinary Institute of America states,”If you put a vegetable that is more rounded in your mouth, your mind is generally going to be thinking about something that has more of a succulence to it. Something cut in squares is going to be a little bit more toothsome, with a jagged edge, and will give the impression of something rugged or tough. Your mind will think something is flavorful if it is smoother.”

Bill Fuller, of the big Burrito Restaurant Group contends that texture and aroma are different depending on how the food is cut.  “Flavor is the taste of what is in your mouth, but it is also partly textural,” he says. “If you slice a radish really thin, you just get the flavor without the snap, pop, crunch, which is really an important part of the radish.” He also states that shape can effect the aroma of the food, which contributes to the flavor. Fuller says, “With a tomato, if you slice it and spread the slices out on a plate, you’re going to get a lot more of the tomato smell than if it’s quartered and piled up,” he says. “So you’re getting a lot of tomato aroma when you eat. I think a wedge of tomato doesn’t taste nearly as good as a slice of tomato.”

Food science plays a big role in aroma. When you cut into a fruit or vegetable, cells are broken open which release an enzyme that produces a chemical reaction. The more you cut the item, the more enzymes you release. For example, the more finely one cuts onions or garlic, the more flavor is released. The size and exposed surface of the food deterimine the cook time, and how much searing, browning or charring will occur.

Whether it is about texture, aroma or how quickly it cooks, the experts clearly agree…it’s time to sharpen up those knife skills to make your meals a cut above the rest!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Rusty Pans

July 12, 2016

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I noticed that some of my older metal tart pans were getting a layer of rust spots on them. The pans are perfectly good, but nobody wants to eat rusty crusts.
The solution: baking soda to the rescue!

Dampen the pan, and shake baking soda on the rusty areas. The soda should stick and act like a paste on the pan. Make sure the rusty areas are fully covered, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
Use steel wool or a brush to remove the rust, and rinse well to make sure the baking soda is also removed, and fully dry it with a towel. Lightly oil the pan to prevent the rust from returning.

Some swear by using a raw potato to scour away the rust. Cut a potato in half, and use the cut end and either dish soap or baking soda to scrub away at the rust. If the potato starts to get a bit slimy, simply slice off a little add more soap |soda.

To keep pans from rusting, do not put them in the dishwasher. Wash them by hand, and towel dry them thouroughly before storing.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Asian Cucumber Noodles

July 11, 2016
via the garlic diaries

via the garlic diaries

We love our vegetable noodles around here. In fact, if it weren’t for zucchini noodles, I would be lost. But sometimes, even the novelty of zoodles wears off.

Tonight, I spiralized some fresh cucumber to act as the layer beneath my sauteed shrimp with garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger.  The cool cucumber “noodles” (cuddles?) were a refreshing change on a very hot summer night. Tossed with a bit of sesame oil, salt, rice wine vinegar and a dash of soy sauce, they brought another flavor profile to my sometimes meager repetoire of foods.

Cold Cucumber “Noodles” With Sesame Oil:

Spiralize a cucumber into long thin ribbons. Salt liberally, and place in a strainer to drain for 20-30 minutes. This allows the cucumber to give off the excess water that might otherwise dilute the subtle sauce.

When ready to serve, toss with a little sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar and a dash of soy sauce. Adjust the seasonings, using a little srirachia or hot red pepper flakes to add a little heat if desired. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and enjoy!

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Meat-sicles

July 7, 2016

 

via New York Post

via New York Post

Last winter, health conscious foodies bestowed the virtues of bone broth, thought to be a magic elixir that makes skin glow, eliminates inflammation,and helps joints move more freely. With temperatures soaring into the 90’s this week, a steaming mug of soup is not on most people’s radar screen. That’s why these savvy chefs took their collagen rich brew and turned it into popsicles.

Springbone Kitchen, touted as a purveyor of artisanal bone broths and wholesome fare, (can you be anymore hipster?), got the idea to create a carnivore’s popsicle. The meaty flavors are balanced by a blend of pomegranate juice, coconut milk, raspberry puree, and a touch of maple syrup.

Would you give it a try?

The pops are $4 each and are available at Springbone’s Kitchen | 90 West 3rd Street in Greenwich Village, NYC.

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