Easter Sunday was a beautiful day in Brooklyn. We met friends for brunch at this newish restaurant, Isa, which is owned (and designed) by Taavo Somer, owner of Freemans in the LES. I immediately fell in love with the interior. Isa is so unique and beautifully designed. It feels rough, but every detail is intentional. In this NY Times piece, Somer calls it primitive modernism and it is so fitting. It has clean, yet natural lines. It is bright, airy and very cozy – like a sophisticated treehouse for adults. Brunch was quite good, but I really want to go back for dinner. Eggs are never really the best barometer for experiencing a chefs talents.
After brunch, we walked around Williamsburg. The neighborhood was so nice and quiet. We stopped by Beautiful Dreamers, a few other great boutiques and of course Mast Brothers Chocolate for Easter treats. We ended up for longer than I care to tell at Radegast Biergarten. Please note my new easter egg clogs – they make me happy!
Conchiglie, ricotta, spinach, shallots, raw egg. Tonight I made the most deliciously simple pasta dinner from this fantastic cookbook. I had to share. Yum.
Sometimes it seems to be the people with the most insane ideas who do the greatest things. Brooklyn Grange got funded through Kickstarter in 2010 with the crazy brilliant idea of building a commercial rooftop farm on an acre of building in NYC. They did it Long Island City and it has been so successful that they are now working on a second location, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where my studio is.
The BNY farm will fill 45,000-square-foot of rooftop and it will supply local restaurants, shops and people like me with fresh, organic produce. I can’t wait.
*Image courtesy of livelocalsource.com
I’ve been a muesli fanatic for most of my life. It is pure goodness. Last year, when I got one of my favorite cookbooks, there was a muesli recipe in it. I had never thought about making it before that. I followed the recipe the first time, but each batch I’ve made since had morphed into something slightly different, yet unique. The great thing about muesli is that there is no right or wrong. It’s simply a matter of preference. One thing that I have kept consistent is the Marcona almonds. They add just the perfect amount of roasted almond flavor and a bit of salt. This batch I made with rolled oats, smashed Marcona almonds, chopped dried figs, raisins, dried cherries, and dried coconut flakes.
I mix everything up and store it in a mason jar. I eat this mixture almost every morning with kefir (a sour, drinkable pro-biotic beverage that I discovered while living in Norway several years ago). If I want to add some sweetness, I mix in a bit of maple syrup or some raspberry jam. It’s also good if you prepare it the night before and let the oats soften a bit.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting and spending six days at the NY Gift Fair with Fatima Fazal, the super talented inventor of this biodegradable, smile-inducing, new way of eating. She just launched her heart shaped, all-in-one cutlery that she calls Iheart-this with this awesome website and video that she and a friend shot and edited themselves. I just want to watch it over and over.
New York is chilly right now even though winter is still a month and a half away. One of the things I love about this time of year is the cozy feeling you get coming in from the cold. I end up drinking a lot of hot tea and eating healthy comfort foods… and drinking the occasional glass or two of red wine. Â Soup is my favorite thing to make when it is cold outside and the possibilites are endless. Tonight I was in the mood for something hearty and noticed that I had a lot of dried lentils in my cabinet, so I looked on my favorite cooking website and found the most delicious recipe, kabocha French lentil soup with homemade croutons. It was so incredibly delicious and healthy that I just had to share it! Yum. I will be making a lot of this this winter.
I pre-ordered Super Natural Every Day and it finally arrived yesterday. I absolutely love the way Heidi Swanson cooks. Her first book, Super Natural Cooking is my most worn out cookbook to date and I go to her blog whenever I need to find something new. Her recipes are easy to make, super healthy and so delicious. Tonight, I made the kale/chickpea salad. It was delicious, and just the sort of thing I’d throw together if I needed to make a quick meal out of stuff I had laying around. After dinner, I spent the evening poring over the pages and bookmarking everything I have to try asap. I’d say I marked about 20 pages. (can you tell I’m excited?)
Finally, the day I’ve been waiting for since I moved to Park Slope in June has arrived. It took some patience and perseverance, but I am now a proud member of the Park Slope Food Coop. Yay!
Today, I made veggie burgers from scratch and I must say they were delicious… and pretty easy. The recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks, Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson. I also just love her blog, where she has way more additional recipes. Here is the Ultimate Veggie Burger Recipe. Yum.
I love coffee. This morning I was dismayed to discover that I have about nine beans remaining of my favorite espresso. Ritual coffee roasts some of the best coffee I’ve ever had and it is all fair trade and organic. Wish it were available in NYC, but until then, I’ll have to order it online or wait and stock up when I visit San Francisco.