Posts Tagged ‘Spring’

Spring Flowers + May Showers

May 25, 2016

Spring seems to have passed us by. Everytime I think it is safe to put the sweaters and boots away, the temperature dips, and the skies open up. With Memorial Day just coming up this weekend, it’s time to think about summer!

In our quest to find springtime, we have become obsessed with edible flowers. We used them to garnish a blueberry tart this weekend, and now we want to put them on absolutely everything! Avocado toast with tiny little pansies? Crostini with mini violets? Salads tossed with colorful blooms? What a way to make day to day foods look festive, and dare we say fancy?!

We even added them to our ice cubes, creating beautiful crystaline blocks that will make even sparkling water seem special.

Flower ice cubes

Simply rinse the petals and freeze them in an ice cube tray until ready to use. We added a couple of blueberries here and there for variety. To avoid cloudy ice, use purified water to eliminate the chlorine and impurities found in tap water. Many people suggest boiling and cooling the water, and repeating, before pouring the water into the trays. We used filtered water, and got fairly clear cubes void of any unwanted flavor.

Flower ice cubes

The flowers you use need to be selected for more than just their beauty. It is important to use organic flowers that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides, to avoid unnecessary chemicals seeping into your food. Even more importantly, you must select non-toxic blooms that are completely edible. Some examples of those are violets, dianthus, nasturtiums and hollyhocks. Other flowers, such as roses,chrysanthemums, tulips and lavender have edible petals only.

 

Flower ice cubes

We purchased ours from Windfall Farms at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City, who had an incredible selection of fresh, beautiful and pesticide free edibles. They are at the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Photos: Spencer Jones | glasshouse assignment

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The Pollen Vortex

April 13, 2015

 

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We are finally nearing the home stretch, where the words “polar vortex” will recede into the shadows for a few months as we finally enjoy the coming spring season.

The bad news, is that our prolonged winter is causing a whole new set of problems, referred to as the “pollen vortex.”

Instead of the gradual blooming we usually see at this time of year, the prolonged winter has caused everything to seemingly bloom at once, exacerbating the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Even those of us who are not diagnosed with allergies, are feeling the effects of high pollen counts in the air.

While perscription antihistamines are the usual treatment for seasonal allergies, Dr. Mitchell Gaynor suggests that certain foods will help ease the symptoms. In an article on the website Well + Good, Dr. Gaynor outlines the following suggestions:

Magnesium rich foods, such as kale, sunflower seeds and spinach open the airways and help you breathe a little easier.

Vitamin C helps combat the sniffling, itchy eyes and runny nose of allergies, by lowering the histamine level in your body. Eat citrus, bell peppers and tomatoes to up the C quotient in your diet.

The plant based antioxidents called bioflavonoids are also histamine reducers. Eat brussels sprouts, mango and garlic, and drink some green tea to reap the benefits.

Quercetin is a nutrient that suppreses the part of the immune system that causes allergies and is another histamine reducer. While onions, parsley and sage are good choices, its an apple a day, ( preferably Granny Smith ) that will help keep the allergy doctor away.

Visit Dr. Gaynor’s website for more information about diet and his upcoming book, The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle.  

photo: Glasshouse Images

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

A Sprig of Spring

March 12, 2014

Oversized corsages showed up on the runway for Fall 2015, adding a retro element to coats and suits. Why wait for next year, when you can bring a bit of much needed spring into your wardrobe, while you impatiently anticipate the change of seasons?

Dries Van Noten added orchids to the shoulder of his not so basic black dress.

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Fendi pinned a corsage on his fur shrug worn over a simple zip front coat.

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Celine added a floral touch to contrast buttoned outerwear.

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Unrecipe of the Week: Crab and White Bean Salad

April 1, 2013

This beautiful salad inspired by Mario Batali, is filled with springtime flavors, and hearty ingredients. The white beans and crab make it filling enough to serve as a light main course, as well as a starter.

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For the salad:

Drain and rinse 1 can of cannellini beans and place in a bowl. Add some finely diced red onion, and about a teaspoon or so of diced fresh rosemary and marjoram. Add the zest and juice of a lemon, season liberally with salt and pepper and chill until ready to use.

Before serving, mix in 1 pound of lump crabmeat, and drizzle with mint oil. Add a quick grind of fresh pepper and enjoy!

For the mint oil:
Blanch about ½ cup of fresh mint leaves in boiling water for 15-30 seconds. Drain and squeeze dry.

In a blender or food processor, puree the mint with ½ – ¾ cup of olive oil. This can also be done a couple of hours in advance and set aside until ready to serve.

photo: indigo jones

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Easter-over

March 30, 2013

Tonight we are celebrating “Easter-over” a hybrid of Easter, Passover and a celebration of spring. It’s an opportunity to indulge in the flavors and traditions of the holidays, and the diversity of the guests. The rules are simple: it’s my made up holiday,and  it’s appropriate to serve anything I feel like making, within the confines of the season and the holidays. That could mean matzoh balls and pork chops, or gefilte fish and fried chicken, but it’s not either one of those.
This year, I have mixed it up, and for those of you who follow us on Facebook, or Instagram, you have been getting hints of things to come.

Here are a few “works in progress”, as our Easter-over feast comes together:

A beautiful mess of food scraps. What were they from?

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Personally, I loathe raw, red onions, and will surgically remove them from my food if they are there. Sometimes, a recipe really needs a little jolt, and these do the job well. They look pretty, don’t they?

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Nothing says spring like daffodils and asparagus!

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Apples, walnuts, honey, cinnamon….what could this be?

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Yum,chocolate! That’s a little almond flour you see. This one just happens to be gluten free and passover approved!

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Maybe a little white chocolate bourbon cream to put on top would be nice…

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Spring lamb is synonymous with the season. This one has a rosemary,garlic coating to keep it moist and flavorful. The meat is sitting on a bed of baby fingerling potatoes, which should get crisp and tender as the lamb cooks.

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Did we get you hungry yet? If you’re in the neighborhood, dinner is at 7!

photos by indigo-jones.

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

March 28, 2013

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This Sunday is Easter, a sacred Christian holiday that has somehow become synonymous with bunnies, chocolate, and colored eggs. Like Christmas, the commercialized aspects of the day have turned it into Everyman’s celebration of spring.  The drugstores, grocery stores and toy stores are filled with bunnies; some stuffed, some chocolate, and some made out of a nasty colored, chemical laden marshmallow mixture. The colored eggs, when not formed from plastic and designed to hold some of the above, are made at home.

There are many ways to dye Easter eggs. Some hard-boil them; some poke a hole and blow the contents out, leaving a hollow egg to embellish. They can be painted, drawn on, covered in fabric, yarn or colorful tapes. There are decals and decorating kits, produced just for this purpose.

I prefer to create eggs that can be eaten. And I sure don’t want to eat something that has been dipped in possibly toxic dyes and vinegar.

Why not consider making naturals dyes, derived from real foods?
Here are a few ideas for creating edible dyes in beautiful hues to enhance your Easter basket:

Chick standing by broken egg, studio shot

Blue:

Boil 2 cups of chopped red cabbage in a quart of water. Add ¼ cup white vinegar. Strain before using.

Alternatively, cook blueberries in water and vinegar for a purple-blue cast.

Lavender:

Mix 1 cup of Concord grape juice with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

Pinks and reds:
Simmer 2 chopped beets with ¼ cup vinegar and 3 cups water. Strain before using.

Cranberries can also be used instead, to create another red hue.

Yellow:

Mix 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of white vinegar. Bring to a boil and add 2 teaspoons of turmeric. Allow it to steep for at least 10 minutes before using.

Green:

Mix the yellow dye and the blue dye together to create a new color.

Orange:

Mix 2 tablespoons of paprika with 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of vinegar and allowing it to steep before using.

Alternatively, mix the red and yellow dyes together to obtain the perfect color.

Allow the dyes to cool before using. The longer the dyes are allowed to steep, the deeper the hue will be. The dye should look darker than the desired shade before using. The longer the eggs are soaked, the deeper the color. Experiment with other colorful foods to create beautiful, edible eggs.

Happy Spring!

photos: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Easter-over

April 8, 2012

Today we are celebrating “Easter-over”, a non-denominational hybrid of Passover and Easter. The beginning of the meal features classic matzoh ball soup, leading up to a salad of mache and figs, herb roasted leg of lamb, roasted new potatoes and vegetables, and ending with an array of Passover desserts.

This year, in addition to the sponge cake, made from my grandmother’s recipe and cooled upside down on a glass bottle, there are homemade coconut macaroons with a tiny chocolate center, and chocolate matzo brittle.

Matzo brittle is a fairly recent concoction, and not the type of thing I would normally make. I balk at things that start with processed ingredients, and with no disrespect to our state’s acting first lady, the idea of “Semi-Homemade” is unappealing. Yet, something made me want to try this one, and I am glad I did!
It is easy, yet a little messy, and absolutely addictive, regardless of what your heritage might be!

Matzo Brittle

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Cover 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil, including the edges.( you will thank me for this later) and then lay a piece of parchment paper on each pan.

Lay out sheets of plain matzo, using broken pieces to fill any gaps.

In a heavy sauce pan, melt 2 sticks of butter, and 1 cup of brown sugar, stirring until melted together. Allow the mixture to bubble up for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove it from the pan and pour it over the matzo, covering each piece evenly.

Put the pans in the oven, and bake for about 15 minutes. The mixture will bubble up.

Remove the pans from the oven, and sprinkle each one with a bag of chocolate chips. Pop back in the oven for about 5 minutes, and then use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the matzo.

Allow to cool, and then break into pieces.

Try not to taste it, or there won’t be any left for the guests.

To all of our readers around the world,Happy Easter-over! May you enjoy a wonderful celebration of the Spring season surrounded by friends and loved ones.

Enjoy!


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