Archive | February 2012

lately

Here is some of what’s been going on around here lately.

{blueberry pancakes with peach preserves}

Jordan’s famous blueberry pancakes topped with Robin’s famous homemade Amagansett peach preserves.

{scrambled}

Jordan has not yet gotten the memo that processed meats are evil.  Here we have chorizo sprinkled atop scrambled eggs and sausage from Hemlock Hills farm on the same plate.  Scrumptious.

{snake bite cake}

This was another Food52 find. The chocolate cake was made with Guinness. The cream cheese frosting was supposed to be made with pear cider, which J couldn’t find. Instead, he decided to infuse it with some lavender mint tea that we had laying around the house. And he says he can’t improvise…

{flowers}

Flowers for poor, sickly me.  Thank you sweetie.

vacation planning for foodies

I am the trip planner whenever J and I travel.  I get a strange sense of comfort and satisfaction from reading guide books and ruminating over itineraries, maps, and hotels.  This is especially true in the case of Japan, since I know (or more accurately, knew) my way around, and since I have a laundry list of places that I am aching to revisit.  Within about a week of booking our trip, I had almost entirely mapped out our journey and finalized our hotels.  You could say I was more than a little excited.

When it comes to food, however, I encourage J to do the research and tell me where he wants to eat.  To him, every vacation is about food, first and foremost.  And while the culinary experience is a big deal for me as well, I don’t quite relish the idea of reading through countless posts on Chowhound and the like in order to find the most beloved foodie destinations.

Putting aside the  challenge of navigating Japan, and particularly the labyrinth of Tokyo, I created a Google Doc for us to collaboratively plan our adventure.  I have filled in where will be each day, with a column for “activities”, and another column for J to fill in, called “eating”.  Here he can pull together his sources for the best food in a given area.  The challenge, of course, will be in our ability to find these restaurants once we’re there, but we’ll cross that bridge later.

J started his research with the cities of Kyoto and Osaka.  So far, he has bookmarked a chain called Yubanzai Komame-ya, specializing in yuba, a delicacy composed of fresh layers of the skin of soybean milk (in other words, tofu skin);

{komame-ya set}

and Giro Giro, offering a modern take on Kaiseki (a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner), which has been widely well-reviewed.  People particularly are drawn in to watch the chefs at work.

{giro giro restaurant}

Of course, we don’t want every detail planned in advance.  I hope we can wander aimlessly and let our noses guide us to some great hole-in-the-wall places as well.

catching up

I may have been too busy to post anything over the last few weeks, but that doesn’t mean J has been slacking in the kitchen.  On the contrary, I have many highlights to share.  And, although J will swear up and down that he is a terrible baker, many of this post’s goodies are baked ones.

{lemon custard sponge cake}

This lemon custard bread has my name written all over it.  I typically love anything lemony, especially in the dessert category.

{biscuits}

J made these homemade biscuits to pair with a soup (picture not found).  I think I tried to resist eating them for about 5 minutes, and then I had to give in and eat them for the rest of the week.

{smothered in sausage gravy}

And now smothered for weekend brunch, just to make them extra healthy.

{blueberry scones}

J begged me to make these blueberry scones (because I was already feeling terribly about myself over all the lemon custard and biscuits).  I will never be able to eat a Starbucks scone again.  Amazing.

{mayo-less tuna salad}

Finally, something healthy!  This tuna salad with olives, peppers, artichokes, basil (recipe from food52) is the best I have ever had in my life.  I could eat it everyday.  There are so many flavors going on, and the basil gives it a hint of sweetness.  Served with kale and quinoa salad, one of J’s go to recipes, always fantastic (and lemony).

{monkfish}

Our friend, Amy, visited us this past weekend, and J knew that brunch the next morning would be pretty naughty, so he went easy on us with dinner.  It was healthy and delicious, and made us feel a little less guilty about dessert.

{dessert}

We finally finished off the scones, which is both happy and sad.

{potato scallion pancakes}

Brunch prep: this is basically a giant latke, from J’s Thomas Keller book.

{brunch: potato scallion pancakes topped with eggs, sausage, salad}

The finished product.

Needless to say, we could use a good walk today to make up for the damage we’ve done.