Archive for May, 2011

Almond Scented Apricot Jam

I’ve been doing a lot of jams and preserving this past month, if you haven’t noticed already. But there is a reason for all of my madness. Every year Alex and take a summer trip to Provincetown, MA for vacation, and it just so happens that this year there will be a craft market taking place the day after we arrive. So I signed up for a booth and am crazy excited. Not only will it be a great way to promote the blog, but by participating I will also help give back to a community I love very much. A percentage of all the profits made from the fair are being donated to the Provincetown Soup Kitchen, which is one of the least funded organizations in Provincetown.

So needless to say, I’ve been going crazy getting ready for my big debut.

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The Perfect Spring Fruit Tart

There are not many things better than a homemade fruit tart. Flaky crust, creamy custard, and fresh fruit. But you know what’s even better? A fruit tart that can be made in under an hour. I know I’m not one to take the easy way out when cooking, but I’ve gotta say, this is one easy recipe for the books.

I’m personally not a huge fan of Paula Deen. Her recipes usually contain a nauseating amount of butter, that even I can’t bring myself to eat –and I eat just about everything. But this fruit tart of hers? Absolutely delicious. By using a mere stick-and-a-half of butter for the pastry crust, its richness balances out quite nicely in contrast to the lightness of the fruit. So if you’re looking for a quick, easy, and absolutely beautiful dessert, look no further. Check out the recipe over at The Food Network. I’ve already made this a number of times in the past, but I made it again just this past week for Alex’s boss’ birthday, and he said the entire thing was gone in less than 5 minutes.

Note: I usually switch out the limeade concentrate for lemonade concentrate, and the lime juice for lemon juice. I just prefer the tartness of a lemon as opposed to limes. But to each their own.

Astoria Food Swap

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This weekend was the inaugural Queens Swap here in Astoria, Queens. The festivities took place at Queens Kickshaw, a great new café/grilled cheese place in the hood (that just received a fantastic review from New York Magazine).

The turnout was fantastic. With some 22 swappers in attendance, the abundance of food was awesome, and slightly overwhelming. After much deliberation, I settled on bringing my black onion relish and strawberry rhubarb jam. Both were a big hit and I came home with tons of new goodies.

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Recycled Container Gardening

The other night as I was whipping up some grub for dinner, I went to throw my empty tomato can in the recycling bin and paused. I had just picked up a little thyme plant earlier in the afternoon and knew I still needed a container for it. And then it clicked—why not use this tin can as my flower pot? I’ve been looking to creatively expand my little fire escape garden and this seemed to come along at the perfect time (no pun intended). All it needed was a little drainage, and it would work wonderfully.

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Radish Pickles

It’s radish season in New York and boy are those little bundles of crispy red bulbs gorgeous. And the best part about any fruit or vegetable being in season is the fact that they are crazy cheap. I just bought 2 pounds of radishes for about $3. Not bad, huh? Even better is the fact that you can make 4 8-oz. jars of pickled radishes out of them. And you probably already have most of the things in your cabinet you need to make a batch.

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Swapping Out Your Cabinet Hardware

It’s true what they say: A little really does go a long way. Replacing cabinet hardware is a great example of this, and can really transform a piece, making it feel brand new.

Now, I know my bathroom isn’t much to look at, as is the case with most New York City apartment bathrooms. But the boring silver knob that adorned my bathroom vanity was definitely not helping. So with 2 minutes of my time, and one common tool, I swapped the drabby old knob out for a cute, simple one from Anthropologie.

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Rosemary Olive Oil Sea Salt Crackers

There is nothing better than a really good cracker. It’s the vehicle to so many delicious toppings—cheese, relishes, dips, spreads—the list goes on and on. But a boring, lackluster, or (heaven forbid) stale cracker? Well that can really ruin things. Can I get an amen? So I decided to put the store-bought crackers down and try my hand at making my own. Yup, homemade crackers are my new thing.

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