Ahh, fall. As I’ve said many a time before, I love summer. But there is definitely something about crisp nights, warm cappuccinos in the morning and changing leaves that you can’t help but love. But since I’m not quite ready to let go of summer yet, I wanted to share a recipe for limoncello in case you are in need of a refreshing digestivo on these still-warm days. If you haven’t had limoncello before, it’s basically sweetened, lemon-infused alcohol, usually drunk ice-cold after meals to aid digestion. You can also use it in cocktails, if you wish, or add some seltzer to dilute it a bit.
The recipe itself couldn’t be easier, but does take some time: I let the lemon peels soak for a full month for maximum lemon flavor (since, as you may know, I love anything lemon) and used the least amount of sugar recommended. We’ve been enjoying this all summer, and it’s a great thing to bring out at parties – or to give as (eek!) holiday gifts (not that I’m thinking about that yet.)
On a more serious note: though I did not live in New York City 13 years ago, over the past four years this city has continued to amaze, inspire, and astonish me every single day. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to live here, and to get to know the varied–and incredibly resilient–people who call New York their home. Thoughts go out to anyone who was affected by what happened on that terrible day.
Though autumn in New York City is reportedly the best time of the year, I can’t exactly say that I’m happy about summer ending. Beachgoing, sipping cold rosé, picnics outside, bonfires, all the peaches I can manage to eat…summer is my favorite. So I’m soaking up the last few weeks of warm days as much as possible, and when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. It helped that lobster was on sale (and I only needed one lobster for four very large servings). But it did mean that I had to kill it–but I’m happy to say, there was minimal screaming and Ari only helped a little bit.
That said, if you aren’t so inclined to kill a lobster of your own, you can easily use shrimp instead–just peel and devein, and throw in the pan with tomatoes to quickly cook.
In any case, hope you are all enjoying the last week of summer to the fullest, and have a wonderful long weekend! Any big plans for Labor Day?
First off, thank you for indulging me and for your thoughtful comments on my last post. Still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do, but rest assured, I will let you know.
And now why you’re really here: tacos. More precisely, chorizo & potato tacos with avocado-tomatillo salsa. Comes together in half an hour, doesn’t require turning on the stove, and uses those pesky green vegetables that I love but always hesitate to buy since I’m not sure what to do with them. Plus, you can’t really go wrong with the combination of potatoes and spicy sausage–a perfect August dinner, if I do say so.
I don’t often get very personal on here for a variety of reasons, the most obvious one being privacy. While I like sharing small things about my day (and more often, what I ate for dinner) I can’t imagine that that many people want to know (or care, really) about what I wore, what I am coveting from Need Supply Co (which, incidentally, is an amazing store) and so on. Plus I don’t really like posting pictures of my face.
I’ve been doing some thinking lately about blogging and what a crazy industry it’s become. With social media and new technologies being created every day, it’s still kind of insane to me that people can now dream of being professional bloggers or social media managers – jobs that didn’t exist even five years ago. I don’t begrudge anyone who is able to blog as their full-time job, and I’m certainly guilty of being addicted to social media–but it was feeling like there were just so. many. blogs. And in a world where everyone has a website and personal brand, how do you stand out? How do you make sure that you’re writing about what you want to write about, and not inadvertently just trying to get more “likes”?
I was in Minnesota with my family last week and took the time to unplug a bit (no blogs, much less social media–although I was still on Instagram) and I think it was a much-needed break. I’m still trying to figure out if I want to continue posting the same kind of content here–while I have been cooking a fair amount this summer, I just don’t always feel like photographing it (or at least, doing more than shooting a quick picture with my phone), so you may have to forgive me while I rethink things a bit. And I wanted to ask you: is there anything you would like to see here? Things I should do differently? Similar apathy about the blogging world?
I’ll be back later this week with a great summer taco recipe, and if you’re interested in further reading, I particularly enjoyed these two posts from Wit & Delight and Jojotastic.
Summer is the best time to do the as little as possible to produce. My favorite way to eat peaches is just washed, juice dripping down your chin as you bite into them. Sliced tomatoes need nothing more than a hint of sea salt to be perfect. Roasted corn needs no butter or salt at this time of year. But if you do feel like cooking (and thanks to unseasonably lovely weather in New York, it hasn’t been too hot to cook the past few weeks), I suggest you give these pancakes a try. Light but substantial, they stay fresh thanks to a quick corn and tomato salad piled on top, and are just begging for a poached or fried egg to be added on top.
This is my favorite time of year for cooking, and here are a few other great recipes that use summer produce, should you be so inclined: tomato-basil bruschetta, zucchini carpaccio, and peach cornmeal shortcakes.
I think we can all agree that fried chicken is basically the perfect food. Salty, crunchy, pairs well with anything from waffles to salad…what more do you need? But though I love fried chicken, I had attempted to make it only once before, when Ari and I spent our first Thanksgiving together (cooking a whole turkey for two people seemed like overkill). I used the same recipe as below, but didn’t have an instant-read thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil, so while the chicken tasted good, it was a little too dark on the outside for my liking.This time, I was prepared and was even ready to substitute regular flour for gluten-free (I used this
one, but found I prefer this). It worked out surprisingly well, and I would have been hard-pressed to tell the difference had I not known already.I’ve already waxed on about my love for Thomas Keller, so no need to reiterate it here – but be warned, if you brine your chicken (which you should, to make it incredibly juicy), you need to do so 12-24 hours before you plan to fry it. It’s worth it, I promise. I served the chicken here with a simple slaw of red cabbage, scallions and shredded carrots tossed with a little apple cider vinegar, and watermelon rind pickles.
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making watermelon rind pickles since last summer, when I realized how much watermelon rind goes to waste when you eat the red part. I had also tried them at a great little restaurant in Williamsburg called Rye (get the duck confit), and I’m pretty happy with how well they turned out.
These are what you would call “quick pickles” – you don’t seal the jars, but if you would prefer to use that method I’m sure it would work. Serve with pulled pork sandwiches, chicken liver mousse, or as part of a cheese plate. Read More
Hello from California! If you have been following along on Instagram, you probably know that I have been traveling around a bit and eating A LOT. Highlights include an incredible dinner at Animal in LA, amazing lunch from Sqirl, and of course, so many tacos (we may or may not have stopped in an old west-style town along highway 1 to eat leftover carnitas tacos. At 9 a.m.)
We’re heading up to Napa today to attend a friend’s wedding, but I hope that whatever your Independence Day plans are, they include plenty of food being eaten outside, friends and family, and fireworks. Happy 4th of July!
Ari and I are leaving tonight for a glorious 10 days in California (where I plan to have tacos in some way, shape or form at least once per day), but I wanted to share this very refreshing cocktail with you before I left. As you may have noticed, I’m having a bit of a love affair with gin at the moment, and I think that the herbal notes in the alcohol complement the mint and cucumber perfectly.
Serve this on a sweltering day as an alternative to a Tom Collins, and I’m sure I’ll be wishing for one on the plane tonight.
Hotter temperatures call for lighter meals, generally. I don’t usually feel like a giant bowl of pasta when it’s 80 degrees out (though there are , of course, exceptions) so we have been eating a lot of salads lately. When it’s hot I’m always craving Thai or Mexican food (I think it’s something about the spices),and I think the shrimp and asparagus go really well with a soy dressing. The peanuts add a little crunch, and the lime provides a hit of acidity – pair with a cold beer, and what else do you really need on a hot June night?
Shrimp and Asparagus Salad (serves 3-4) Read More