Just a quick hello and wanted to share with you these amazing sculptural jars from
Minneapolis-based now Philadelphia-based artist Ben Fiess. I saw these a while ago on Design*Sponge, but Ben has since come out with even more beautiful colors and sizes. I have been wanting one of these to grace the shelves of my apartment for a while, but alas, might have to hold off for now. If, however, you are so inclined you can find them online at the gorgeous Brooklyn shop Leif.
Tag Archives: Brooklyn
Just a quick hello and wanted to share with you these amazing sculptural jars from
I don’t really have an excuse for my absence here over the last week, but if I did it would be that the batteries for my camera are currently dead and I left my charger at a friend’s apartment. So until I get that back (I’m hoping by tomorrow) here are a few pictures from recent happenings, including a few from my trip to Minnesota (chickens! Wesley!) and from New York (trip to Rockaway Beach — and Rockaway Taco — a 1920′s party on Govorner’s Island, and movies at Brooklyn Bridge Park) as well. I’ll be back soon with some great late-summer recipes, I promise.
As I am figuring out what exactly I want to do with this blog, I think I would like to do some smaller posts. Not necessarily restaurants, or recipes, or even posts with too many words. I have been trying to take more pictures on my phone since I don’t always have my camera with me, so here are a few pictures from recent weeks (using Instagram, of course):
I’m pretty sure that trying to be a vegetarian is an obligatory part of any Wesleyan student’s education. And many, I’m sure, succeed. I attempted to be a vegetarian the first semester of my freshman year and was actually pretty successful — until Thanksgiving, that is. The turkey, ham, and my mom’s excellent stuffing were just too much. Ah well. I don’t think it was meant to be anyways — I love barbecue and fried chicken FAR too much to try to give that up. Not that I’m knocking those who do choose to be vegetarian — I actually quite enjoy tofu and I think that in many cases the environmental impact of eating meat can be too much.
However, this is not a post about the moral implications about eating meat. Rather, this is a post about excellent barbecue, at a marvelous place in Williamsburg called Fette Sau. Not vegetarian friendly — you literally order meat by the pound. Options are limited, but that’s alright with me. All of the meat is smoked for hours on location (a rare feat in NYC), and you can choose from a few options and rotating sides. Go with the brisket, pulled pork, and ribs. Just trust me. For sides, the German-style potato salad is a perfect foil for the smoky meat, and the baked beans are cooked with the burnt pork ends, making them wonderfully smoky and hearty. The meat is served with doughy rolls and the long tables are scattered with various barbecue sauces, including a spicy one and one laced with mustard. Fette Sau (which, appropriately, means Fat Pig in German), also has a great whiskey selection and multiple beers on tap to wash down your meal. Go on a night when you can sit outside, as the four long inside tables are always packed. You’ll know you have arrived when you smell smoky, succulent pork wafting onto the street — and how can anyone resist that?(Clearly, not me, since I went twice in the span of a week.)
Imagine this: pizza smothered in crème fraîche, thinly sliced potatoes, green onions and, of course, bacon. Sounds like a dream, I know. But it’s real! I promise. And you can find this, and several other types of non-traditional pizzas at Pete Zaaz in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I am of course always excited about new and good food within walking distance of my apartment, and Pete Zaaz certainly does not disappoint. I have now been there a few times and the baked potato pizza is a clear winner so far, but pretty much everything I have tried has been great. Many of their pies have rather outlandish combinations (like the current “Pretzel Parm” with garlic béchamel, smoked gouda, and fried chicken) but they absolutely work. On our last visit, we also tried the Reuben Stromboli, a smart take on the Reuben sandwich with corned beef, spicy mustard, and sauerkraut stuffed inside a stromboli.
Though they don’t have a wood-fired oven, each pizza is made to order and still ends up nicely charred in their convection oven. The other great part about Pete Zaaz is their garden in the back — since the interior is rather narrow and has limited seating, the back provides a lovely and more open setting to enjoy your pizza. And it’s BYOB — so really, what more do you need? Word is that they are going to start having movie nights during the summer as well, which would really just put it over the top. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: instead of grated parmesan or red pepper flakes to add to your pizza, Pete Zaaz has instead created its own spice blend, consisting of a few herbs, spices, and — crushed Cheeze-its. Genius.
On a side note — I am FLOORED by all of the wonderful comments on my previous post on my grandmother’s rhubarb pie recipe. THANK YOU all for your incredibly kind words — I love sharing recipes with all of you, and it has been so lovely to “meet” new people and discover new blogs.
Since moving to Crown Heights in November, I have gotten a few “huhs” as responses when asked where I live in Brooklyn. However, if you haven’t visited Crown Heights lately, I would highly recommend a visit. More affordable than Park Slope and Prospect Heights, and fairly bursting with new businesses, Franklin Avenue seems to be hopping at all hours of the day. Even though I have only lived there for a few months, I have already enjoyed being able to walk to great restaurants and coffee shops in the neighborhood (a feature sorely missing from my last apartment). The newest of these is Bar Corvo, which, if you are familiar with Brooklyn geography, is technically in Prospect Heights as it sits on Washington Avenue.
Situated in an old building that has housed many a restaurant, Bar Corvo has integrated older aspects of its design, including original wallpaper and glimpses of the many-layered painted brick walls, as part of its decor. The food is northern Italian, perfect for A. and I (who studied abroad in Bologna). We went late on a Friday night, and there was still a wait at 9 pm, which, in this area of Brooklyn is not the most common. I enjoyed a spritz of prosecco and aperol (my favorite drink while in Italy, and hard to find here) while we waited in the narrow bar area. The long dining room is divided into two sections — the first includes the bar and pasta bar, with 15 or so seats lined up alongside, and the back is comprised of a large communal table and smaller individual tables. It looks like there is also a garden, but since temperatures in NYC have dropped back down to the 50′s, we didn’t venture back there.
We had a pretty hard time deciding what to order (do we get a pasta and a main course? Or two appetizers and a pasta??), but in the end we opted for the semolina gnocchi with wild boar ragù, the pork chop with polenta and kale, and a side of the house-made foccaccia. Not the lightest of meals, but certainly delicious. The gnocchi were light and airy, nicely complimented by the complex and earthy ragù. The polenta was perfectly creamy, offsetting the horseradish-covered pork chop very well. My favorite, however, was the foccaccia. Never one to pass up a bread basket (I could never do the Atkins diet), this foccaccia was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, simply seasoned with fresh rosemary and fleur de sel — which A. is now obsessed with. Since we ate there last week, he has actually said the following to me several times: “Do you know what would be perfect with this? That fleur de sel!” — whether he was talking about pesto (post to come shortly) or vegetables. It was excellent.
Being rather full, we decided to skip dessert, but I look forward to coming back (especially in summer) to sit on the back patio and enjoy a glass of prosecco. A little slice of Italy, only a few blocks from my apartment — doesn’t get much better than that.
I’m not quite sure how this happened, as I come from Minnesota — land of lutefisk, not so much of barbecue. But somehow, over the last year or so, I have become kind of obsessed with southern food. This isn’t really a new trend, especially in NYC where (lucky for me and Ari) there are tons of great options for barbecue and fried chicken. (I mentioned a few in a previous post). However, I’m always looking for options that don’t necessitate getting on a train, and that’s where Little Brother comes in.
It opened last winter in a tiny, industrial space on the strange wasteland of Atlantic Avenue and Clinton Avenue next to the excellent Hot Bird bar. The first time I went was in January, and it was freezing. Even with our mild winter, we ate with our coats on. However, the food certainly helped warm us up, and their simple menu is the perfect length to order a few things to share. I’m a fan of the barbecue chicken and barbecue pork sandwiches (always with extra spicy barbecue sauce), which comes with pickles and vegetable slaw on top. The prices are reasonable enough to warrant ordering a couple of sides, of which I highly recommend the french fries (though I may be biased. I could eat french fries every day. Seriously) These, however are a whole different ball game. After they are fried, they coat them in the same spice rub they use to marinate the meat, and the result is a sweet-spicy-tangy kick that complements the crispy fries perfectly. The collard greens are very good as well, although i thought they could have used a little more flavor. Overall, a great place to go when you want a cheap dinner and don’t wnat to venture too far from your apartment (at least for me). An added bonus: in warm weather, you can order the food to eat at Hot Bird and enjoy it outdoors with a cold beer next to their fire pit.
To many who live in NYC, the Brooklyn Flea market is not necessarily the best, or the cheapest flea market in the city. For my money, that title belongs the 25th Street Flea Market, which has a very eclectic selection of vintage wares in all price ranges (my last find was a vintage mirrored vanity tray for $20!). However, the Brooklyn Flea does have some advantages over the other flea markets in the city 1) food and 2) its winter location.
First off, the food. For anyone who has visited Dough in Bed-Stuy, I need say no more. This amazing doughnut shop has a stand at the flea with all of their regular flavors (my favorite is lemon-poppy). During the summer, there are lots more vendors, including the excellent Mile End, McClure’s Pickles, and People’s Pops. I did, however, have an excellent brisket sandwich from Lonestar Eatery, accompanied by plenty of hot sauce, pickles, and creamy potato salad. There are still many other options for food, including tacos and porchetta, but the downside is that the tables are set up in a rather dark basement setting (hence why I didn’t take any pictures). Continue reading
As today’s temperatures are reaching almost 50 degrees, I couldn’t resist making a trip to the farmer’s market at Grand Army Plaza this morning. Of course, I always love the market best in the summer, but there is something very comforting about the apples, root vegetables, and hearty greens that are available now. I also wanted to try out my camera a little more in a setting outside my kitchen. I’m still very much learning about all of the settings and options, but below are a few of my shots from the market.And when I got home…
Alright, finally: the recipe. When I was little, one of my favoite “breakfasts” was the incredibly sweet lemon-poppyseed mini muffins from the supermarket. I’m not quite sure why my mother let us eat these as they were bascially dessert. In any casee, this dessert was inspired by those muffins, but is a slightly more sophisticated take. I made this the other night when I didn’t have my camera, so forgive the instagram photos. This recipe was taken from one of my favorite food blogs, Always With Butter, but I made a few tweaks, including changing the cirtus from orange to lemon. I also was far too excited to eat it when it came out of the oven, which explains why the glaze pretty much melted into the cake. In addition, I would use more powdered sugar next time to make the icing thicker. Still good though.
Lemon Poppyseed Cake (adapted from this recipe on Always With Butter)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8×8 baking pan. Sift first three ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Best butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix well. Mix in flour mixture and poppy seeds. Pour into prepared pan, and bake for one hour or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely. Whisk powdred sugar and lemon juice until you have a thick glaze, then pour over cooled cake.
I am very excited to say that I have now upgraded from a point-and-shoot to my first DSLR camera! (it’s a Canon Rebel t1i.) Of course, I still have to figure out how to use it, but that’s all part of the fun. Hopefully this means that my photographs will improve. For now, it has been really interesting learning about light manipulation, shutter speeds, and photo composition, not to mention many other aspects of food photography. Here are a few of my first attempts (taken near my apartment):
Now, what you are really here for: banana bread. I personally think this is an excellent recipe (and will make your kitchen smell heavenly), and actually, I bought some bananas specifically for the purpose of letting them rot so that I could make this. Perfect with a cup of coffee on a cold January morning This bread is actually better the day after it is baked, so be sure to make it a day before you need it. Of course, it’s pretty delicious straight out of the oven as well.
Banana Bread (modified from Bon Appétit)
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup solid vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9x5x3 inch metal loaf pans. In a large bowl, beat sugar, shortening,and vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with milk in two additions each. Stir in mashed bananas. Batter will be very thick.