The Perfect Sunday: Marlow and Daughters

031410_NYC_138I have a crush.  The sort of crush you just can't stop talking and thinking about.  Yes, I have a crush on the whole Marlow and Sons, Diner, Marlow and Daughters, Romans empire. We've been spending a lot of time out in Williamsburg enjoying the excitement that comes with exploring new neighborhoods.  Along the way, we've made it a point to acquaint ourselves with other local shops and restaurants.  And while all the discoveries have left us gitty with excitement and very full bellies, our trip to Marlow and Daughters was made extra special thanks to two amazing friends that gave us a gift certificate for our birthdays.

We were torn about whether to be practical or extravagant (ground beef or steaks).  The butcher's consensus was "buy things for yourself that you would normally buy," so we went for two beautiful filet mignons, fresh ricotta, house made pate, smoked goat cheese, fancy fig crackers and a few other odds and ends to round out what was the perfect Sunday night dinner.

Discovered: Smitten Kitchen

smitten kitchen While searching for a cake recipe for a recent dinner party, I came across Smitten Kitchen.  A blog that deliciously documents a woman's mission to create simple, unpretentious comfort food in her 42 square foot nyc kitchen.  Her recipes are straightforward and the photography on her site  is bold and beautiful.  I’ve been eyeing her arugula, potato and green bean salad and her lemony zucchini goat cheese pizza.  Sounds like a perfect summer dinner on a hot day like today.

moment: Evan's birthday brunch

20090807_portland_360 On a perfect Tuesday morning we enjoyed:

Homemade Watermelon Agua Fresca Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Siphoned Courier Coffee Moo's famous banana bread Local blueberry scones Chocolate chip scones with an espresso glaze Olive oil granola Local blueberries, blackberries and raspberries Creamy papas con chiles Homemade tortillas! Scrambled eggs with queso fresca Carlton Farms Bacon Pico de gallo Guacamole

Outstanding in the Field aka Jim Denevan pt. II

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In addition to being a talented artist, Jim created Outstanding in the Field, a world-wide traveling dinner feast inspired by his "farmer dinners" which took place during the mid 1990s at Gabriella Café in Santa Cruz .  At these dinners, Jim would invite local farmers to preside over special meals featuring their just-picked harvest. Lucky for us, these dinners have evolved into dinner parties that take place in any thing from a sea cove to a refurbished barn or a stately museum.

After a tour of the site where the dinner is being held, everyone sits together, farmers, winemakers and adventurous food lovers to experience,  laugh and mostly, honor the committed people whose hard work brings the love and nourishment to the table.  Sounds like a perfect evening to me...

I've already got my tickets to the dinner being held at Queens Farm with guest chef Bill Telepan of Telepan restaurant. Who wants to join?

You can find the 2009 Season Farm Dinner Schedule here

Discovered: The Jewels of NY

flatbread pots-de-creme

My dear friend Bryn over at paper tastebuds did a lovely post about Diana Yen and Lisel Arroyo, the masterminds behind The Jewels of NY, a blog that beautifully intersects their talents in cooking, photography, design and just overall gorgeousness.  Included with the photographs are recipes for those who want to try and create their magic.  Here you can find the recipe for the Chocolate Pots de Crème with Rosemary Whipped Cream pictured above  and below is the recipe for the beautiful Flatbread.  Enjoy!

Caramelized Fennel and Tomato Flatbread Serves 2

1/4 ounce package active dry yeast 1/2 cup warm water 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup for kneading dough 1 large egg 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 3 to 4 campari tomatoes, sliced 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 of a fennel bulb, sliced, reserve about 1/4 cup fennel fronds 2 cloves of garlic, mashed into paste 1/4 cup fontina cheese, grated 1 teaspoon lemon juice zest of half a lemon fleur de sel to serve

In a small bowl stir together yeast and warm water, let stand for about 5 minutes.

Beat together egg, 1 tablespoon of oil and salt, set aside. In a medium bowl, add in 1 1/2 cups of flour and create a well in the center of the flour. Add yeast mixture into the well then add the egg mixture. Using a fork or your hands combine mixture until dough forms. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead until stickiness is gone and feels smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary. Add 1 tablespoon of oil into a bowl, place dough in oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

In a large skillet over moderate heat melt butter then add in the fennel, salt and pepper to taste. Cook and stir occasionally until tender and golden, about 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F

On a floured surface, knead the dough and roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness. Roll the dough loosely around the rolling pin and unroll it over a 19-by 10-inch rectangle cast iron skillet. Brush dough with remaining olive oil then evenly distribute garlic paste, cheese, caramelized fennel, tomatoes, lemon zest, lemon juice and fennel fronds. Bake flatbread for 35 minutes until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and serve warm.

LA bound for a few days...

2299156819_569d03490a photo taken by Jen Maiser at the Santa Monica Farmers Market

I'm heading to LA today to visit some dear friends and take care of a few business meetings.  Every time I plan to travel, I spend far too much time researching new restaurants and adventurous chefs that are spicing things up.   We have so many great restaurants in NYC but, as it has been said many times before, there is just something different about California cuisine.

Here are some of the restaurants I'd like to try:

Rustic Canyon:  Their menu is Farmers' Market-inspired dishes with ingredients that come from local farmers, ranchers, and fishermen who practice sustainable agriculture.  I feel like we don't have enough of these kind of restaurants in NYC.

Huckleberry Cafe:  I'd get the Cumin roasted baby carrot salad with avocado, mixed greens and a citrus vinaigrette

Animal:  Look at this menu.

Fig: On their menu they list what produce has "just arrived," what's "in peak season" and what is "coming soon."  I'd sit at the communal table and order the local halibut with ramps, fava beans and a morel jus.

Lucques:  I think the Sunday Supper sounds like a perfect way to end the weekend and begin a week.

I won't have time to visit all the places I discovered but they'll certainly go on a list for the next visit.  However, one thing is for certain: a visit to the Santa Monica Farmers market.  They have the most amazing produce.  It makes me wish I had a farm, just so I could grow the beauties they do.