Wednesday, June 29, 2011

picnic by the lake

It was such a gorgeous afternoon, my wife and I both took off of work a little early to go have a picnic. We picked up some beef franks from the local meat shop, put together a few sides, made iced tea, and topped of the picnic basket with yesterday's tart. We drove to a little park along side the nearest lake and sat contently on a blanket in the shade. It feels so good to finally have summer!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

yes, more strawberries

Ok, this is the last of them. The strawberries are all used up. No more strawberry blog posts, at least for awhile. But man, do I wish I could keep having this strawberry tart for dessert every night. I'm voting it my favorite dessert of the summer so far.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

strawberry heaven

To my surprise we've actually made a considerable dent into our strawberry supply. We're not sick of them yet either, since we're eating them in many different ways. Last night the oven ran for 8 hours on low while we slept to make strawberry leather which turned out great- a tasty fruit snack with no added sugar or anything.

My wife also made strawberry ice cream, of course. The recipe she used this time is hands down the best so far- it tastes extra creamy, but it's hardly fair to compare since we're talking about fresh-from-the-field strawberries here. Even more fun, she made a pint (and decorated its container) as a present for her coworker's birthday tomorrow.

Then, an believably delicious smell wafted from our kitchen, as a strawberry coffee cake came out of the oven. Oh my, I could not wait for this to hit my mouth. Sure enough, it was delightful, so much so I had two big pieces.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

strawberry fields

Today my wife woke up to the idea of picking strawberries. It is finally a nice day outside, so it sounded like a perfect idea to me. After a short pit stop at the farmer's market in town (where I picked up some amazing peanut brittle), we drove to a nearby berry farm for a good ol' fashion late-morning berry pick.

$13 for a 10 lb box of the ripest, most perfectly shaped strawberries you can pick yourself seems like a steal, as a quart in the store is like $4 typically.

After picking our box-full (and sneaking a few bites in the field) we made our way back home, discussing what we should make with all of these berries. My wife of course plans on making all kinds of treats with them (cakes, pies, etc). I plan to shave them up onto my Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes for breakfast- I can't wait.

At home I immediately had the idea to make strawberry lemonade, as I noticed we still had some lemonade left in the fridge, and I had seen a sign for it at McDonald's yesterday. Made with the Magic Bullet- mmm, very delicious and fresh tasting. (The main reason I add the strawberry garnish is to make her smile and impress her)

Of course, we started dipping strawberries into Nutella immediately for a snack as well.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

homemade ricotta

Taking inspiration from the food my wife tried at the Brooklyn Flea- ricotta and prosciutto on a baguette, she decided to try making her own version for dinner last night. I had the pleasure of planting my butt on the counter in the kitchen, drinking half a bottle of wine, watching her work her magic. This picture, believe it or not, is the ricotta cheese sitting in cheese cloth.

I tell you it was fantastic. It might be the best tasting cheese I've ever had. So flavorful. Only a few simple ingredients- lemon juice basically creating whey from milk/cream/salt (from the recipe on Smitten Kitchen of course).

I'm not sure how there was so much flavor from these simple ingredients, but you'll have to try it for yourself to find out.

While the cheese was dangling in the cloth, I watched her make "Buckeye State ice cream" which came from a cookbook I didn't catch the title of. It's made with natural peanut butter and dark chocolate chunks. I'm used to JIF, so I wasn't accustomed to so much oil on the top of the peanut butter jar, but it's natural so it must be normal.

I said "don't we still have the salted caramel ice cream you made in the freezer." My wife responded, "Yes, but we don't want to run out of ice cream." I can't argue with her. We ate the salted caramel flavor for dessert, but I also tried a few spoonfuls of the pb/chocolate ice cream for a sample. Very peanut buttery, but very good.

If my post seems extra long today, it's because of that half bottle of wine I drank...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ready to magically bulletize

My wife received a Magic Bullet from her brother a few years ago as a gift. It works pretty well actually. Last night I found the bullet full of fruit- strawberries, grapes, bananas, raspberries, and oranges, sitting in the fridge. She had it all ready to go to blend the next morning for breakfast. So cute.

Monday, June 20, 2011

egg frittata

Don't worry, not much will change with regard to how the content of this blog is gathered. My wife isn't going to put extra effort into baking/cooking/crafting things just for the sake of blog material now that she knows about it, trust me. She couldn't possibly make more things than she already does anyway. She'll just see me taking a picture of her stuff and say "oh gosh, do you have to?"

Here's an egg frittata she made for dinner this week. Super delicious.

And it's ice cream season again. She made this 'Nutella ice cream' and it hadn't been in the freezer for very long yet, so it was very soft and drippy, which required me to eat it faster which I didn't mind at all.

She's made three batches in the last 5 days. After the Nutella flavor, she made "roasted strawberry and buttermilk" ice cream which I can't even describe, and now I'm dipping into some "salted caramel" ice cream which is rich and amazing. "I thought it might be too rich for you, and that you couldn't handle it." she said. She couldn't be more wrong about this.

funny thing

Now all of a sudden my wife wants me to use my blog to advance her own interests! :) Apparently, in order to win a trip to Paris I'm supposed to post this link here, as part of my entry into the drawing: My wife says she never takes part in these type of giveaways, but a trip to Paris was too much to resist.

So there it is! Go enter yourself into the drawing as well if you'd like. I promise not to cheapen the content of this blog on a regular basis, but I have to admit I'd love to get back to Paris again!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

one year later

Well, we're back home from NYC. And yes, I told my wife about this blog on our last night there! She was confused and surprised, but couldn't stop giggling. She sat at the computer reading it straight through for a long time, continually giggling. Just giggling.

"I'm so embarrassed" she says, over and over again. Because there are no identifiable pictures of her, she isn't 'too' embarrassed. :) Whew! What a relief! She then started putting two-and-two together, and realizing why I was extra nosy this year.

So, the cat's out of the bag, a year after my first post. I'm glad she likes the blog, and I'm happy I could go the full year without too many big gaps in my posts. It's a lot of work to keep up a blog!

My wife asked if I was going to keep it going. I said "only if you keep being you!" It's our 5th anniversary, and here's to many more.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

winding down

Tonight is our last night in NYC. It's been a super fun trip for sure, although the weather did its best to try and spoil it. We became quite skilled at taking advantage of the nice weather when we had it, including taking in Central Park, the High Line, Brooklyn Flea and other 'outside' activities, while mastering the subway to find 'inside' activities (mostly eating and drinking as much as possible).

View from Central Park (loved the soft grass under my bare feet)

View from Brookly Flea (delicious food and fun stuff to buy from the Hipsters)

View from High Line (lots of tourists, but that's what we are I guess)

We've had lots of different pizza, but plan to head back to the first place we ate it, as it was my very favorite after sampling the best NYC had to offer. (I'm not being selfish, we ate at my wife's very favorite last night across the Brooklyn Bridge)

Oh yeah, I'm also going to tell my wife about this blog tonight too! Yikes! I'll let you know how it goes after we are back at home.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

hot fun in the summertime

The first couple of days in the city have been HOT, but still amazing. Actually, day two at 85-90 degrees felt like a dream compared to day one at 100. We took it pretty easy that first day, exploring the Soho area during the day, and hitting up the "first pizzeria in America" late that night, which just so happens to be two blocks from our apartment. Easily in my top 5 favorite pizzas I must say. Coal-fired and fantastic.

Yesterday we walked all the way up the island to Central Park. We crossed the first bakery off our list by grabbing a cookie at Levain Bakery on 47th over in The Upper West Side before taking the subway back down to Soho to rest. That evening we saw Chicago, taking in the sights and sounds of Times Square before and after. Absolutely crazy, that place.

The perfect way to end the evening was to dive into a Shake Shack burger, fries, and shake. Mmmmm. My wife said it might be the best burger she's ever had. It was definitely up there for me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

nyc baby!

We're here! Just landed in our studio in Soho after an extremely hot cab ride- 100 degrees today here in the big apple. It's going to be hard to leave this fun little loft, and the a/c, but we've got exploring to do!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

grad party weekend

As I said, my bro-in-law's graduation party was held this weekend. It was a great party, lots of people having fun well into the evening.

Fun food table, complete with chalkboard menu and hand-made banner. Check.

Hand-crafted flower holders used as tablecloth weights. Check.

Rented popcorn machine popping away, accompanied by bags of salty peanuts devoured by all. Check.

Unbelievable dessert table that is the talk of the party. Check. ...desserts that were baked over the course of two days, while the husband washed dishes frantically to keep up with the needs of the baker. Double check.