Archive | November 2011

saturday brunch

Last weekend the house was chock-full of visitors.  J’s dad came to town, and lots of eating ensued.  Much of this took place at restaurants but J hosted a brunch on Saturday for all of us, including my sister, brother-in-law and nephew.  The meal had to be gluten-free since Dave has celiac disease, and Lenny has a phobia of carbs.  J went with a pumpkin polenta (gluten, but not carb, free), sausage hash and eggs.

{gluten-free brunch}

He forgot to include these sauteed tomatoes, which he had prepared the night before, so we ate them with leftovers on Sunday night instead.  I think they look extra pretty simmering in our caribbean blue pan.

One of my favorite things about living upstate has been hosting.  For one thing, it’s just so nice to finally have the SPACE to do so.  Secondly, although our activities don’t differ much when we’re alone (eating, hiking, fire building, repeat), there’s something special about showing someone around, and we always end up doing more of the things we love rather than allowing laziness to creep in.    In addition to taking Lenny to some of our regular spots, we discovered two new hiking trails and went to an amazing restaurant that we had been hearing about but hadn’t yet visited.  By Sunday night, instead of having the blues, we felt like we had really made the most of our time off.  It didn’t hurt that the weather was picture perfect all weekend.

{tea town reservation}

{like father, like son}

I expect that our upcoming trip to Los Angeles/Paso Robles will provide opportunities for lots of scenic and food-related (Thanksgiving!) photos, especially since J just got me a DSLR camera as an early birthday present!  He really outdid himself this time, and even though I yelled at him for spending the money, I cannot wait to learn how to use it.  In the meantime, I’ve taken a few shots of our dinner tonight despite my lack of real photographic skill:

{pork leftovers}




weekend in the kitchen

Now that we live upstate, Jordan usually tackles a few big recipes on the weekend and makes food to last us through the week.   This makes prep time very minimal when we walk through the door starving at 7:30 pm.  In our old apartment, we’d get home much earlier and I’d pace around the house like a crazy person begging for a bite of something (salami?? olives??) while J spent what felt like hours in the kitchen preparing a nice dinner for us (in reality it was probably closer to 30 minutes, but I become slightly irrational when hungry).  Now, he can actually take on some really time-consuming recipes and even spend much of the day in the kitchen without harassment while I do something sensible like laundry.

Here are the highlights from last weekend:

{sweet potato fries}

recipe from

{poached eggs, sausage, tomato}

recipe from

{butternut squash and apple risotto with toasted walnuts}

recipe from book “Hudson Valley Mediterranean”

{bacon wrapped pork loin stuffed with fruit compote}

recipe from Bon Appetit magazine

Despite this fall-inspired menu, it looks like the season is wrapping up around here (at least the foliage part).  Although the weather has been picture perfect since that crazy snow storm, the bright yellow trees I have grown used to gazing at from our dining room window are now sparse and will soon be no more.  We took a hike yesterday to get our last dose of color.

{hudson highlands state park}

{naked trees}

I should add that we cut our hike short due to hunger, and stopped by our favorite bbq joint for pulled chicken, brisket and beans.

fridays off

Fridays off are the best.


{cooking with ipad}

{neighborhood stroll}

{last few days of foliage}

{late day Manhattan}

ad hoc at home

And….we’re back!

We have now survived both a hurricane and a freak blizzard at the lake, and it’s only been 3 (relatively mild) months.  Winter should be interesting.

Despite our loss of power and homelessness this week, J still managed to cook quite a lot at his aunt and uncle’s apartment.  First, he made a delicious mushroom tart (not pictured because with my cell phone camera it just looked like a large not-so-appealing hamantashen).  On our last night there, as a thank you,  he finally tackled two recipes from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller: Sauteed Tarragon Chicken, and Roman Beans with Shallots and Butter.

I actually found the recipe for the chicken online here:

As it turns out, the beans he bought were entirely different from what the recipe called for.  The recipe specified Italian flat beans (what the heck are those?).  We later discovered they look like this:

No matter.  It was awesome and definitely a repeat dish.  We had leftovers the next night once we had finally gotten back  up here (yay!), accompanied by red wine and a roaring fire.  It’s so nice to be home.

corn and potato chowder, and snow

While I trekked into the Bronx last Saturday for work, Jordan planned a feast back at home.  Rain turned to sleet and that soon turned to snow, and before we knew it we were in the midst of a freak (October!)  snowstorm.   By the time I was back at the lake, the roads were a mess and it felt like January.  It was quite a sight – orange and yellow leaves covered in white.  My favorite part of living up here is that the backdrop makes everything extra beautiful.


J couldn’t have picked a better day for corn and potato chowder with crumbled bacon on top.  He combined two different recipes from a Hudson Valley cookbook I got him to whip up this treat.

Dinner that night was  sauteed kale over pumpkin polenta (recipe from the same Hudson Valley cookbook) but I couldn’t get a decent photo because our power was out by then (the polenta was already made, and our gas burners still worked, so the kale was sauteed by candlelight).   We spent the night in front of a raging fire, listening to tree limbs snapping outside as the foliage buckled under the weight of heavy, wet snow.   On Sunday,  after using leftover snow to flush the toilets and to water our plants, we packed up the car with all our food and drove into Manhattan to stay with family for a few days until our water and heat returned.