Archive for November, 2011

passion fruit breakfast

photos: m&j

Okay, it’s not technically local or seasonal here in NYC. But one nice thing about this time of year is that the tropical fruits start to show up at the grocery store and our hands down favorite is the aromatic and mouth-puckeringly delicious passion fruit. So easy with a house full of relatives – enjoy it spooned over yoghurt or just eaten out of its own, wrinkly, egg-like bowl – what on earth could be sunnier when it’s just plain freezing out? Makes us want to move to Sydney!

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delicious roasted veg

photos: m&j

Easy and pleasing to serve to a table of hungry guests: slow roast seasonal veggies of your choice taste great with olive oil, salt, pepper, zesty lemon rind and some lovely fresh sprigs of thyme to compliment their own wonderful flavor.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

photo: m&j

Nothing like a home made gift of pumpkin pie – thanks for the delicious treat Josh, Libby & CeCe!!!

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11.11.11 11.11.11 celebration!

photos: m&j

At 11:11 on Friday, November 11th, 2011 we each made a special wish and celebrated our favorite and most magical number in quintuplicate with close friends, delicious chocolate ganache cupcakes from Inatesso Cafe in Battery Park City and a little toast of bubbly!

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post-Halloween cocktail snacks

photos: m&j

Who doesn’t like a little savory snack at cocktail hour? We love the idea of making the most of what’s local and seasonal by whipping up some roasted pumpkin seeds – perfect for any fortified occasion!

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roasted pumpkin seeds

photos: m&j

The extra added bonus of making our jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pies this season is the bounty of crunchy, savory seeds we get to roast up with a little butter, olive oil and lots of delicious Maldon sea salt!

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a 26-year-old work of art

photos of journal: m&j, Illustration and all artwork: Marvin Davis

This gorgeous treasure of a journal from an Italy trip taken in November, 1985, belongs to our dear and fabulous foodie friends, Marvin and Cathie. We can only imagine what a grand adventure they took – in the Henry James style – one that allowed them to eat at all the finest restaurants that Rome, Venice, Tuscany and Milan had to offer, while still reserving the precious time to relax, sip wine, sketch and just do nothing and “be” the Italian way. Marvin, your drawings are beautiful and the two of you are our culinary adventure heroes!

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Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor

© Artisan Entertainment, 1987

Reviewing this masterpiece recently, we were again captivated by the awe-inspiring world of China’s Emperor of 10,000 years behind the walls of the Forbidden City. Bernardo Bertolucci has articulated such a brilliant and timeless chasm between the ancient and modern worlds, as China transitions from its last Imperial Dynasty to its eventual communism in this unique and still stunningly beautiful epic film. Not surprisingly, this film won 9 Academy Awards and was the first film to ever be allowed to shoot in the Forbidden City – with fantastic performances by John Lone, Joan Chen and Peter O’Toole and Oscar-winning Cinematography by Vittorio Storaro, Art Direction-Set Decoration by Ferdinando Scarfiotti, Bruno Cesari & Osvaldo Desideri, Costume Design by James Acheson, Film Editing by Gabriella Cristiani, Music/Original Score by Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne & Cong Su, Best Sound by Bill Rowe & Ivan Sharrock and Best Adapted Screenplay by Mark Peploe & Bernardo Bertolucci. Bertolucci also won for best Director and The Last Emperor won the Best Picture Oscar for 1988 – a must-see for all cineastes and a great one to look back on every decade or so for all of us who enjoyed this gorgeous movie the first time around.

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ladies lunch

photos: m&j

We’ve been obsessed with eating at the new restaurant, Peels on Bowery and 2nd Street – opened by Taavo Somer and William Tigertt (the owners of fabulous Freemans on Freeman Alley) – since we learned about its existence. In particular, we were excited to try their wonderful and original array of desserts made by baker, pastry chef and dessert goddess/pixie extraordinaire, Shuna Lydon. And these items did not disappoint. Her concoctions, in particular, the Blackberry Eton Mess Fool with crunchy meringue, yogurt, blackberry compote and verbena ice milk – a host of distinctly unique flavors and textures that wouldn’t normally be put together – somehow works not just well, but stunningly. It’s an intellectual combination that is very special – as every flavor stands out, yet melds together and compliments each other perfectly. The hot fudge and salted caramel sundae is no ordinary fare either – with Spanish peanuts, handmade pretzel chunks and fresh brownie bits – all topped by a fresh whipped cream with nary a hint of sugar for the perfect sweet/salty, crunchy/creamy balance … it was love at first bite for both of us. The other big surprise standouts were a super light, fresh shrimp salad with avocado, radish, wild arugula, pink grapefruit and just the right amount of tartness and heat in the jalepeño vinaigrette as well as an assortment of amazing handmade super-sophisticated soft drinks tinted with vinegar called “shrubs” – delightfully prepared and served over crushed ice by the charming bartender. We ordered the strawberry, cranberry and beet. Yes, we just typed ‘beet.’ And, shockingly, the beet was the big taste test winner with a blend of rosewater, vinegar and that earthy “beet-y-ness” that was truly out of this world in a must-try kind of way. There are a lot of wonderful items on the menu at Peels that we didn’t have the room or the time to try today. But, rest assured, we will be back for the shrimp & grits, grilled cheese and fried chicken sandwich, as well as the 3 in 1 cream pie, monkey bread, horchata and a long list of delicious sounding grown-up, evening-time cocktails galore – this place has got it going on in spades!

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unique eats and unique sweets

Both Unique Eats and Unique Sweets on the cooking channel have really captured our attention – traveling across the US, each show takes a theme like Delis or amazing desserts and finds the most interesting, contemporary and delicious purveyors and restaurants. They’ve already helped us find a few places to eat that we’ll be blogging about soon!

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