Thursday, July 17, 2008

Easy Jam Tart from David Lebovitz

Hey, now I know what I can do with all teh preserves I get over the summer!
Easy Jam Tart - David Lebovitz

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Stainless Steel Lunch Containers

I forget which blogger linked to this page about stainless steel containers. I got my 3 round ones at Goodwill, and then supplemented with some Daiso finds. We've ordered books from Japan, how much harder could it be to get these?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

RIP Montrachet

It was the first restaurant in New York I actually had a job, after moving from San Francisco on the strength of a single meeting and a phone call. Not a boy, but a restaurant, where there was, in fact, no job waiting for me. Shell shocked, I sat in my friend's bathtub in a converted warehouse in Brooklyn, smoked some cigarettes, and then got up and went to see the New York friends of my San Francisco friends. Drew hired me, and since I'd sublet my SF apartment and couldn't run home, I stayed.

The first day at Montrachet, the purchaser asked me to help him check in a produce delivery, and I asked him if he wanted to send it all back. He looked at me like I was crazy - this was what produce was in the bad old 80's, in New York City - strawberries with white shoulders like a debutante at her first formal dinner, bushels of green beans fine at first blush, but secretly starting to shrivel and rot, waiting to slime an unsuspecting hand reaching in.

I worked on the floor as well as in the kitchen (money, baby) , and was baffled by how quickly these people melted for a smile from their lowly bus-girl, especially the couples so clearly out on a big important date. The California in me was still right at the surface and I couldn't help it. Everyone was so...worried or something. Even the clearly fabulous and famous people streaming through the doors were wary, tense. All they wanted was someone to be a little kind, a little gentle.

It's been a lot of years, and honestly I haven't thought about eating at Montrachet since the 80's, but it's a little sad to think of it gone. The other primal restaurant of my new New York life Florent is closing, or maybe even closed already. Open cook's hours, with blood sausage (I think John Clark did the recipe there?) and poached eggs, and the club kids I was used to eating with in the middle of the night.

Little by little we fade away, the chef me and the restaurants where I was that person.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What you don't see

Today, we are thisclose to renting a real house, with 3 bedrooms, still in our school district, everything we'd been hoping for. So I'm really happy.

And at the same time I'm so sad, for her and her and her. I go around our little corner of the world so often feeling like I'm peeking over the fence at all these people with deeply normal lives, where a mis-timed automatic sprinkler getting the newspaper wet is the biggest struggle of the day.
Then I read blogs and realize just how lucky I am, and how I am seeing nothing more than the outside of everyone...

(moved from I Just Wear the T-Shirts)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

OK, as inspired by CityMama, I'm putting meal planning Sunday on the blog. We go to the Mountain View Farmer's Market every Sunday, and fill-in from local stores after I make up the week's meal plan. These are the parameters I work with, in the order of importance:

Dinner: at home 6 days a week, with one night either out or at the best restaurant in town.

Lunch: Daughter takes her lunch to school usually 3 times a week, and the other two days she has hot lunch. I also need to have something in mind for myself and the baby that works as a bag lunch since we're most often eating at a park. Leftovers play a starring role in most of our lunches, but no one's complaining (yet)

Breakfast: Eh, the usual rotation of cold cereal, oatmeal, scrambled eggs and toast, swedish pancakes (I have a fabulous blender version that's great for school mornings). I've been enforcing the "one fruit or veg minimum" at breakfast - when we have time spinach with garlic is great piled on toast & topped with scrambled eggs. Usually these days it means banana sliced into the cereal...but this time of year I can hand them strawberries and pretty soon cherries and peaches.

I'm thinking the format for these weekly posts will kind of go through what I think about when I plan out our meals - what's left in the fridge, what I got at farmer's market or in the CSA box (just a fruit one this year, probably starting in a month?) , how much time we have for prep & meals, and then the weekly plan, followed by posts of what we *actually* end up eating. My other contributor (aka my husband) is working on some kind of file system for all the recipes, but for the time being, I'm just going to put them in the relevant posts.

Leftover in the fridge this week:
fresh leaf spinach
dandelion greens
two vinaigrettes - one citrus based, the other mustard & red wine
goat cheese

Got at the market:
3.5 pound salmon roast
Acme levain
Acme herb slab
butter lettuce
broccoli rabe
dandelion greens
1/2 flat strawberries
chopped olive spread

Got at TJ's
heavy cream
olive oil

Got at Piazza
Niman Ranch beef stew meat

This week we have the in-laws visiting, and cooking at my sister-in-laws works best since there're too many people to fit in our small condo.

So, starting with Sunday:
  • Butter lettuce wedges with the green goddess dressing from the Chez Panisse Vegetable cookbook
  • hamburgers (I grind the meat myself ala Zuni) on toasted Acme herb slab with the usual condiments, onions and organic cheddar from TJ's
  • oven-roasted organic russets from TJ's (also ala Zuni)
  • strawberry shortcake made with organic Seascape strawberries from the farmer's market, organic cream from TJ's, and biscuits from the Chez Panisse Dessert cookbook
So I'm a California girl, what can I say....

Uhh, my thoughts refused to gel, and swimming lessons mean I have to have everything ready to be eaten about 10 minutes after we get home, so I bailed and we ate at work.

Taking dinner to my sister-in-law's again.

  • I'm probably going to split the salmon roast and maybe oven-steam it (?) Low temp oven with a pan of water, indescribably moist and delicious and lots of margin for error (hard to overcook). You need nothing with this fish but salt. Otherwise I'll pan-fry it, but the stove I'm working with is really wimpy so I'm a little cautious of this approach.
  • Lemon risotto with thyme, I have lots of home made chicken stock in the freezer, and I'll finish it with some parm.
  • Blanched broccoli
  • sauteed spinach with garlic
  • A starter using two bunches of asparagus, 3 avocados, maybe some romaine spears and...think,think,think!!
Another swim lesson, plus this is the day I work at my daughter's school leaving me not so much time for food prep. In my perfect world this would be the soup & sandwich night. But I didn't get any soup made, so I think I'll split the difference between what the grown-ups like and what the kids like
  • breakfast for dinner for the kids: eggs, toast, bacon, jam, fruit salad with strawberries, bananas and apples. So there's no veg, oh well, I'll make it up to them later.
  • Dandelion salad for the adults: with poached eggs, croutons, bacon lardons and a warm mustard-y vinaigrette. I pretty much follow the recipe from Nancy Silverton's Sandwich cookbook, which also has great sandwich ideas (no, really?!?)
See how it's basically the same ingredients, but made differently - God, I kill myself...

Ballet til 6 pm, so again gotta have it thought out and prepped beforehand. I know the girl will wail a little, but I'm making
  • pasta with broccoli rabe sauteed with garlic. Italy via Chez Panisse again, though I made this for years at all the Italian restaurants I worked.
  • and....? maybe I'll pick up some Niman pork at TJ's, cut each portion into 4 thin slices, pound and pan-saute them.

6:15 call for the school play, so we'll see. Probably a big ole snack of pbj's, yogurt, whatever's floating around...The olive spread from the farmer's market with goat cheese on toasted Acme is probably what I'll be having...

EVERYTHING in the whole wide world is happening on this day: I'm selling at the PAMP sale, my daughter's going to a mid-afternoon birthday party then performing in the school play again, and her other grandmother is in town....I'm going to let the other grown-ups take care of food this day. Only thing I know for sure is we're having ice cream at Rick's after the play.

I know I didn't cover lunch, but this post seems really long already so I'm going to wind it up, and I'll cover my deep thoughts on lunch later.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Homemade Magic Shell!! And with flavoring options! Now I just need to find the coconut oil...