30 August 2009

Sunday afternoon in Central Park

After a rainy weekend last week and a rainy Saturday, everyone was out in Central Park today. Some of the highlights:

dance skating... I can't get enough. They make me happy, every time I see them I have to stop and watch.

Turtles in turtle pond! First time I saw turtles in the so called "turtle pond" and they were everywhere! Every rock and log near the water was covered with big ole turtles.

View looking south over the Reservoir, such a pretty view.

18 August 2009

Ice Cream you scream

In my family I always get teased for my love of ice cream, especially homemade ice cream, but in a 29th floor apartment it is a bit hard to make ice cream the old fashion way with ice and salt (it can get messy). Last weekend while at Target I saw the counter top ice cream machines and thought it was time to get one (Mom had also recently bought one to fill the time in between making big batches the more elaborate way and had rave reviews). Adrian (a fellow ice cream lover) encouraged the purchase and the next day we had strawberry sorbet. To make the sorbet I simply blended strawberries and mixed with a water/sugar mixture. I was really excited for the sorbet so I don't think I froze the bowl or chilled the mixture long enough and I had to put the mixture in the freezer a bit, but eventually it turned out. It was delicious! And sweet... next time I may leave the sugar out.

A few days later (after finishing off the sorbet) I decided to try the simple vanilla ice cream recipe. This recipe just took milk, sugar, vanilla, dash of salt, and cream. I left the cream out and just used 2% milk. This time with a properly froze bowl, ice cream was forming within 15 min.

The ice cream was amazing! So close to the real thing. It barely made it through the night...
This morning I mixed together the "old fashion vanilla" recipe. It includes the stovetop and an egg, but mostly the same otherwise.

Now I just need to buy some ice cream bowls

14 August 2009

Long Island City eats Italian

As many of you might know I just returned from a vacation in Ireland, Germany, and Italy (which explains my lack of posting the last few weeks). I loved the food the last time I was in Italy and it was just as good this time around. However I was a little more seafood adventurous this time. One evening we had a huge four hour meal that along with lots of wine and liquor included some of the foods below...


Fried fish

Mussels and Spaghetti

Octopus Bruschetta

Frutti de Mare

Tony, one of our tour guides, took us to the previous dinner and also gave us a long talk about what the best Italian pasta, olive oil, coffee, and wines were. He also gave us two pasta sauce recipes. I'm not one to try to cross Tony so I picked up some supplies in Italy and on Thursday night had my own Italian dinner.

De Cecco pasta cooked al dente with Tony's garlic sauce- extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves from Kristen's garden, white onion, and my own twist of dried tomatoes also from Kristen's garden. The pasta turned out great. I guessed on all the measurements and cooked it on low heat. At the last minute it started to burn (when I was taking pictures of the insalata caprese) which made it a little crunchy in places. So next time I'll keep a closer eye on the sauce, but I kinda liked the crunch.

French Bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (not the Tony recommended olive oil, but instead the olive oil from Dag's). The balsamic vinegar is from Italy, but I bought this bottle for 2 reasons. 1. It was one of the cheaper brands at the Food Cellar next door and 2. The very attractive old guy on the label. My reasoning worked out because this vinegar is good!

My insalata caprese. When I was in La Madd Italy the caprese was just mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. However in Tuscany they served it with lettuce leaves as well. So I went the lettuce leaf route to get some more greens in my diet. I also used my fresh basil from my window garden, which isn't the largest, but did add great flavor.

Waiting for the pasta

I also had some of my boxed white table wine with dinner, it was delicious. The entire meal was topped off with American gelato (ice cream).

Next I'll have to attempt Irish fish & chips with mushy peas...

Bontaj Brooklyn

Wednesday night I was the lucky recipient of a coworkers extra ticket to see "BonTaj Roulet" staring Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Band at the band shell in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. We arrived a little late and entered during the lull between the opening act ending and Bonnie Raitt starting. After walking past Keri Russell we found a place in the back to spread a blanket. Bonnie came on and sadly she was the size of an ant from where we were sitting:

But out of nowhere a girl comes up to me and asks if we would like to move to the reserved section up front, that they were trying to fill up the front a bit for Bonnie. She gave us four tickets and to the front we went. New view from our chairs:

Bonnie was amazing and feisty. I knew more of her songs than I thought.

After Bonnie played for awhile "Taj Mahal" came out and played with her. He was pretty awesome and very expressive. They played off each other marvelously and had the entire crowd (all older than me) up and dancing in the aisles. To top the night off I successfully rode the G train down and back, and it wasn't half bad.

09 August 2009

For Marissa...

Spotted in Long Island City at a Live at the Gantries Tuesday night concert...