In the Kitchen

Kitchen

Happy Friday, sweet readers. We’ve made it through another week! And in anticipation of another beautiful weekend ahead of us, I thought I’d share another easy and delicious dish to highlight one of my favorite summer vegetables… tomatoes.

Have a last-minute BBQ to attend? I suggest you make this. I made it for my book club ladies a few weeks back and they all begged for the recipe before they left. I promise, everyone will love it!

Tomato and Cheese Tartlett

Ingredients

  • Frozen pie shell
  • 1 Tbs. whole grain mustard
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 1/4 cups Fontina cheese (shredded)
  • Handful of parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Olive oil/salt + pepper
  • 1 egg/water {for egg wash}

Directions

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Remove frozen pie shell from freezer and brush with 1-2 tablespoons of whole grain mustard. Place a layer of the shredded Fontina cheese over the mustard, followed by a layer of the quartered tomatoes. Repeat this twice and finish with another layer of cheese.

Make an egg wash by whisking together 1 egg with about a tablespoon of water and brush the pie edges with a pastry brush. Place in over and bake for 45 minutes till cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

While the tart is baking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and one peeled clove of garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Transfer the garlic infused olive oil to your mini food processor and add in a handful of parsley and salt/pepper. Pulse until it forms a paste.

As the tart cools, spread this parsley/garlic paste on top.

A special thanks to my Mom for this recipe. As the Office Administrator for Sustainable Nantucket, she works alongside farmers and growers who are working to build  a more locally based, self-reliant food economy on the island. This recipe was shared at one of her events a few years back. I know it will be in my recipe collection for years to come!

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Summer Bucket List

Summer

I can’t believe this is the 4th Summer Bucket List.  I must admit, I seem to have the hardest time crossing things off my summer lists. You know why? I really love just lounging on the beach. But, since I’m one for tradition, let’s get started on my 2016 Summer Bucket List.

  1. Go Camping. We are heading up to Vermont in a few weeks so let’s hope I get to spend an evening in a sleeping bag sleeping under the stars!
  2. Get on the Water. And by on the water, I mean, getting myself on a stand-up paddle board.
  3. Create a New Signature Cocktail. During these warm summer nights, I tend towards the same cocktail: Hendricks with a San Pellegrino Grapefruit, elderflower liquor and a squeeze of lime. We have a bar set that just sits on the bar so I need to start muddling away and coming up with some interesting and delicious combinations.
  4. Explore the Other Islands. Block Island, Boston Harbor Islands, Shelter Island, Martha’s Vineyard… it’s time to see what these other islands have to offer.
  5. Host a Labor Day BBQ. This will most certainly happen as we have rented a house on the island for the week of Labor Day. Just ordered the invitations last night so can’t wait to start the menu planning for this. Any suggestions for a BBQ must have?

What’s on your summer bucket list? Would love to hear!

{And should you want to see my prior ones, here they are: 2013, 2014, and 2015 }

Wednesday Wanderlust

Chicago

Oh Chicago! You really are one fantastic city. You have the charm of my beloved Boston and the big city feel of my one and only NYC. Your lake is majestic, your skyline breathtaking, and your people so kind. Thank you for a wonderful Memorial Day visit. We can’t wait to visit you again!

Stay

Stay- Chicago

When K and I decided to travel to Chicago this past Memorial Day weekend, I was torn between staying at the newly opened Soho House Chicago in the West Loop and Public Chicago in the Gold Coast. The decision was made easy when I learned that my request for a holiday weekend at the Soho House was not fulfilled. So Public is was.

With 285 rooms, this hotel is much larger than we typically like to stay at. The rooms are tastefully designed by Ian Schrager and the common areas on the first floor are beautiful, including a coffee bar, a library den and a movie room. However, I must be honest and say I was a bit unimpressed with our experience. We heard our neighbors, the bathroom was tiny and had few amenities {no robes, only 2 towels and lackluster products} and the accent chair in our room was dirty and stained. Thankfully we had lots to see {and eat} so there wasn’t much time spend relaxing in our room.

Eat

Eat Chicago

While I was disappointed with our hotel of choice, the food in Chicago did not disappoint. My favorites include:

Little Goat – Located in the West Loop, Little Goat should not be missed. We had our first breakfast here and loved every single delicious bite. We started with their enormous ooey gooey cinnabun and shared the Kimchee + Bacon + Eggs + Pancakes Asian Styke BreakfastTasty Thing. This is the actual name… I promise! And the service was fantastic. We asked our waiter, who had just been in Boston oddly enough, his not to miss spots. Fortunately, we had dinner reservations at his top spot. Score!

The Winchester – Located in East Village, we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday brunch here. The interior is beautiful and my cocktail of Allagash white and grapefruit juice with a salt rim was delightful. A perfect neighborhood spot!

Doughnut Vault – I’m a total sucker for a good doughnut and the old-fashion buttermilk glazed is all I’ve been thinking about since I left. So good.

Floriole – Located in charming Lincoln Park, Floriole is the bakery of my dreams. And although we didn’t visit on this most recent trip, I have indulged in the pastries at this french inspired cafe more times than I’d like to admit!

Milk & Honey Cafe – Located in the eclectic Wicker Park neighborhood, I would refer to Milk & Hone as the Flour Bakery of the midwest. Great sandwiches, pastries and plenty of room to eat. It really is a place where “fresh and goodness meet!”

avec -Meaning with in French, avec was initially designed as the place to enjoy a light bite before your meal at critically acclaimed Blackbird next door. However, avec has now become the place to go for your meal. A dinner reservation is nearly impossible to get so we opted for lunch, which I highly recommend. The chorizo stuffed dates with bacon in a piquillo pepper-tomato sauce is worth every calorie.

Big Star -The place for tacos in the Windy City. Located in Wicker Park, right by the L, this is a great place for meeting up with friends. They have a huge patio and the beer list is quite impressive.

Piece Brewery + Pizza – Although Chicago is known for it’s deep dish, I’m a thin crust girl so highly recommend this local establishment with musical roots. Just guess who is a part owner? Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick!

The Bristol – Located in Bucktown, The Bristol is that neighborhood spot I wish we had in Boston. Good comfort food, tasty cocktails and friendly staff. You can’t go wrong.

Girl & the Goat – You all remember Stephanie Izard from Top Chef, right? With her winnings, she opened up this Must-go spot in her hometown. If you can’t score a reservation, Little Goat is hers as well.

Ruxbin – “People who love to eat are always the best people.” One of my favorite quotes from Julia Child and the introduction to the menu at this Chicago gem in Noble Square. Ruxbin’s concept is a curated, family style meal. You pick two small plates, two large and two desserts. Meals arrive on the most beautiful pieces of pottery that are available for purchase here. The chickpea pierogi with apple, zurek, celery leaf, and radish bonito has moved onto my top 5 best dishes I’ve ever had list.

Maudes Liquor Bar – Located down the street from Girl & the Goat, this is a romantic spot to grab an after dinner drink and dessert. The chocolate mouse was sinfully smooth.

The Allis – The most well designed bar I’ve ever been to. I literally could move right in. They also offer afternoon tea service. A must!

Another must is a Chicago hot dog. We had ours down on the waterfront from a street vendor but I’m told the best place to go is Downtown Dogs. The poppy seed bun, relish, mustard and celery salt make you realize you don’t need ketchup after all!

A few places that we didn’t make it to but are on the list for next time include: Mott Street, Parson’s Chicken and & Fish, The Hampton Social and Fat Rice.

Do

Besides eating my way through a city, I always like to take in a bit of history and a bit of culture. I highly recommend an Architectural Boat Tour, a walk around Millenium Park and Cloud Gate and a visit to The Art Institute.

And if time allows, get tickets to a comedy show a Second City Not sure I’ve ever laughted so hard in my life.

Can’t wait to see you again, Chi-town!

 

In the Kitchen

Kitchen.jpg

Hello sweet readers! Apologies for my long silence these past few weeks. I wish I could tell you I was off traveling to exotic places but sadly I’ve just been overwhelmed. The change of season often does this to me. Luckily, I’ve been cooking and reading up a storm so have lots to share over the coming days.

For this week’s In the Kitchen I’m excited to share a super delicious and super easy summer dessert. As pictured in the photo above, I used plums and blueberries but you can really substitute any of the beautiful summer fruit available right now: blackberries, cherries, nectarines. Let your imagination run free!

The prep time on this is literally 15 minutes. And I promise, your guests will be asking for seconds!

Plum and Blueberry Clafoutis

Ingredients

  • 6 plums
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Directions

Heat over to 350 degrees and butter a baking dish or cast iron skillet. I use my Emily Henry rectangular baker, which doesn’t need much greasing at all.

Cut 6 plums into 1/4 inch wedges {leave skins on} and toss with blueberries and 1/3 cup of sugar.

Whisk eggs, remaining sugar, flour and salt. Combine milk and vanilla and whisk into egg mixture.

Arrange fruit in baking dish and pour in batter. Bake for 60 minutes or until the clafoutis is just set. To serve, dust with powdered sugar and serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream.