Monday, November 30, 2009

Adventures in the Kitchen--Thanksgiving Edition

I'm kind of a klutz in the kitchen. I've been doing my best to expand my horizons lately, both in cooking and in my eating habits, thanks largely to taking part in a CSA farm share this summer and in reading more cooking blogs. One of my favorites is Smitten Kitchen, for its beautiful photography, snappy commentary, and delicious variety of recipes. This Thanksgiving, I decided to stray from the traditional mashed potatoes I've made in the past and tried this sweet potato and swiss chard gratin recipe. Divine!

First, I substituted rainbow chard for the swiss variety. The colors are so gorgeous--how can you resist?

My mom was an excellent suis (sic?) chef, helping me cut and peel all the sweet potatoes.

Look at those greens steam up! Mmmm.

Once all the greens and stems were cooked down and the cream sauce made, I grated some Gruyere cheese and layered all of the ingredients with some spices.

An hour later, I had a bubbling, crispy, cheesy veggie delight! My family seemed to enjoy it, and I hope to make this a regular Thanksgiving staple at our table.

My grandmother's table, all decked out for dinner.

What did you all make for Thanksgiving this year? Anything new?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Winter Coat

Every year, New Englanders dread the coming onslaught of winter and its biting wind, driving snow, and treacherous sidewalks. If I could hibernate for the entire season, I would--burrowed under the covers in my sweatpants, armed with an endless supply of DVDs, books, magazines, and hot cocoa. Sadly, this is not an option. So, in the meantime, I tried to make the best of the coming cold by treating myself to a new winter coat. I searched and searched, looking for something serious: heavyweight, but still sophisticated enough to wear to the office each day. Before I succumbed to the temptation of spending $300 on this Boston winter staple, I stumbled on a one-day sale at Macy's. The gods of outerwear were smiling on me that day--I scored a Michael Kors coat that fit my qualifications, for 40% off its original price (which turned out to be about half of what I almost paid for that Northface coat). Here's a poor quality snap of me in the coat, since I can't seem to find it online:

Luckily, I haven't gotten to wear the coat yet, because we're still in that transitional time of chilly, crisp fall air: a lovely time of boots, tights, and scarves, paired with cute little coats (mine is purple, and I love it). I saw this transitional coat on Modcloth today and fell in love. If only I could justify buying it....

The wooden buttons, the cute collar, and the amber in the middle are my favorite parts. Sigh.

Monday, November 16, 2009

New York Weekend 11/13-11/15

I spent the weekend in New York, with the perfect balance of amazing food, cocktails, and lazing about. Here are some highlights:

Finally--my quest for flat black boots is over!

All the Williamsburg breakfast joints have funky art. 

Dinner at Morimoto: started out with the beef carpaccio--SPECTACULAR. 

I will dream about this tempura shrimp for the rest of my life. 

Yellowtail in a 300 degree stone bowl--HOT. 

Chef Morimoto caught me a sea bass! And it was delicious. So so delicious. 

Next to Normal was phenomenal: highly recommended. 

Spoonbill and Sugartown: Fun to browse the books; more fun to coo at the cats. She has a Hello Kitty pillow! 

And this fellow was sleeping right on those books. 

My Jimmy's milkshake. This was shortly before I "housed it." (The waiter's words. Not embarrassing at all). 

The Bar at 4R

Late night pizza is always better when T. Hanks is in the house.

Sunday brunch on the outdoor patio! 

Reading in the park. 

A warm Brooklyn afternoon in the park in November. Delicious.