Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth Of July Treats

Treat #1 - All smiles on July 4th...
And Treat #2 - If ever there was a more patriotic cookie...

Lemon Sugar Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl; set aside.
2. Combine sugars and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add butter and mix until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and lemon juice. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined.
3. Scoop dough balls onto a prepared cookie sheet and bake cookies until golden, about 15 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl and beat in butter pieces until smooth and well blended.
2. Sift in confectioners sugar and vanilla, and continue beating until smooth.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Market Mondays: Corn Salad

Now that we're in the throes of summer, there is so much to choose from at the Greenmarket. I've been preoccupied picking up fruits and veggies to make my son's meals (I can't believe how much he eats) that I haven't focused on much else. This week though, I decided to make a raw corn salad for my husband and me. I started by cutting the kernels off a few cobs and added quartered cherry tomatoes (both yellow and red), diced avocado and cucumber, sliced scallions, a little lime zest and juice, and a dash of salt and pepper. Super tasty (especially with Food Should Taste Good's "The Works" chips) and incredibly easy.

Unless I missed it, last week was the first appearance of corn at the Union Square Greenmarket
 Organic tomatoes
Cucumbers on ice
Big bunches of scallions for $1.50
 The final salad- great with chips, on fish, or eaten solo

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Solids With Beaba Babycook

My son will turn 6 months old tomorrow- time flies. He signaled a while ago that he was ready for solids, and who am I to deny a hungry little boy? With the help of the Beaba Babycook, we delved into the unknown with ease (thanks Aunt Pat, Kathy and Grandma for giving us everything we needed, and I never knew I wanted, to get started). This compact gadget steams, purees and reheats with lightning speed and minimal effort, not to mention- the clean-up is a cinch. The Beaba Babycook, and living in close proximity to fresh veggies at the Union Square Greenmarket, has helped my budding gourmand get loads of vitamins and nutrients from apples, carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, and zucchini. To say he likes food is an understatement...and we've only just begun.

Apple airplane coming in for a landing
 Going after one bowl of carrots while I fill another
 A little green bean action
 Surprisingly reserved with sweet potatoes
 Licking zucchini off his fingers

Monday, June 4, 2012

Market Mondays: Spring Pasta Salad

For this latest edition of Market Mondays, I made an easy pasta salad with some of spring's best veggies. I sauteed cherry tomatoes, asparagus and spinach in the same pan, added it to cooked pasta (I love stubby mezzi rigatoni for dishes like this), and topped it with fresh chiffonaded basil. A dash of salt and pepper finished off the healthy, market-driven meal.

Plump cherry tomatoes- with summer right around the corner they can only get better
Gorgeous bunches of asparagus 
Spinach leaves- $6 per pound
Mini pots of basil
The finished dish- simple, but packed with flavor 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Avocado Veggie Boat

What is Cinco de Mayo without an avocado starring meal? Below is a simple recipe for a heart-healthy, holiday friendly, avocado boat filled with a veggie salad. The colorful dish is finished with a punch of citrus from The Filling Station's lime infused olive oil.

Avocado Veggie Boat
1 avocado
1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup sweet yellow corn kernals
1 tbsp queso fresco
1 tsp sliced scallions
1 tbsp lime infused olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Halve and pit avocado. Cut one half into small chunks, reserve meat and discard the shell. Hollow out second half leaving a layer of avocado meat around the edges of the shell.
2. Combine avocado chunks, cherry tomato slices, corn kernels, queso fresco and scallions. Toss with lime infused olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Fill hollowed out avocado with veggie salad and scatter remaining salad around the "boat".

The finished boat- a fun Cinco de Mayo meal

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fat Fridays: Las Delicias Patisserie

Las Delicias Patisserie made its debut at the Union Square Greenmarket two weeks ago with an array of inviting baked goods including gluten free brownies, seasonal muffins, cookies in flavors like sweet rosemary & thyme, and kouign-amann (Brittany's buttery, sugar-laden cake). Each item is baked fresh daily with ingredients sourced from local farmers (after hearing this I understood how the seemingly out of place booth fell amidst the veggie heavy Greenmarket vendors) and looks picture perfect.

I didn't make it home with anything from Las Delicias that first week, but this week I was lucky enough to sample the bakery's chocolate rugelach. Like a mini chocolate croissant, the rugelach is sweet, flaky and exceptionally delicious. And that is why I ate nearly an entire, generously apportioned, $8 bag in one sitting. A dangerous, but welcome, addition to the Union Square Greenmarket.

Sugar dusted chocolate rugelach
Two rugelach, side-by-side, one missing a bite

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Reintro To Blogging

I have all the excuses in the world: a trip with way too much packing/unpacking/laundry, sleepless nights while sleep training a 3 month old, a death in the family, endless visitors (everybody loves babies- who can blame them?), birthday parties, and hosting an Easter brunch. It is because of all of these, and just plain old laziness, that I haven't thought much about posting to this blog. I've been so unmotivated that I haven't really cooked- anything. I actually bought a box of frozen "gourmet" cookie dough and have been eating the dough, ball by ball, because I've been too tired to put the oven on and pay attention to baking time. So, with this post and the beginning of May, I hope to start blogging anew. While I get my kitchen in order (and try to figure out this new ridiculous format Blogger has mandatorily upgraded me to while I wasn't paying attention), below are a few of the food happenings from the previous weeks.

The unbelievably delicious dessert from the Home Chefs Of Vail- Chocolate & Peanut Butter - Skippy Semi-Fredo, Dark Chocolate Ganache, Carmelized Graham Cracker "Pop" Crumble 

Empire Cake's (previously Lulu Cake Boutique, but renamed as it is no longer affiliated with the Scarsdale bakery) St. Patty's Day chocolate cupcake with Guinness pastry cream
The bass from an impromptu lunch with a buddy at Gramercy Tavern
In celebration of National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day- 'wichcraft's chunky pb&j- a triple decker sandwich made with greenmarket preserves, chunky peanut butter and pullman white bread
One of the Easter baskets I put together for our guests