Archive for June, 2010

NYC and the fancy food show

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Remember a couple of months ago I mentioned that NYC was our next travel destination?

Well, we made it!

NASFT fancy food show

Our first order of business was just that – business.

The Fancy Food Show, put on by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT), ran from Sunday through Tuesday where some 2,400 companies came to exhibit (and provide samples – I’ve never been so eager to turn down so much amazing free food – okay, I somehow kept making room for chocolate samples) across some 331,000 square feet of convention space.

As for us, we went to learn and meet people, arriving Thursday and taking educational classes Friday and Saturday before the show formally began on Sunday.

We also went on a specialty food tour of NYC, visiting several city hotspots for the specialty food industry, such as Eli’s and the Chelsea Market.

I loved how the aroma of freshly roasted coffee in these open bins filled this room in one of the markets!

And was fascinated at how much hand selected fresh produce could be packed into this small basement space…

I really liked the tall thin honey jars in the middle right of this display – so effortlessly stylish and simple. And I love different types of honey.

These were such colorful, pretty displays at Chelsea Market Baskets – love the industrial architecture feel throughout the Chelsea Market juxtaposed by the beautiful artistic displays and products.

These were incredible shortbreads – buttery with distinct bursts of sea salt crystals throughout. I wish my pictures were more clear so I could remember the brand name.

Monday night we were able to get away and have one of the most fun (and most grownup) evenings I’ve had in ages.

We started the night with dinner at Lupa, where I had one of the best salads (escarole, walnuts, red onion, pecorino, and some kind of amazing vinaigrette) and pasta dishes (spaghetti, lemon, olive oil, a cheese I do not remember, and hot chiles) I’ve ever eaten.

Then we headed to Broadway to see Mamma Mia! – what fun!

And finally up to the rooftop of our hotel for a nightcap.

The views were incredible of the bright city lights against the inky black sky.

This was the night I felt a bit of the heartbeat of the city. Here we were at midnight on a Monday night and the pulse was racing.

The last day, and we were on a mission – finish finding the people and services to help us get our business off the ground!

It was all a great success and we learned a ton, had some fun along the way, and somehow managed to do it all with Jonathan popping in and out of our schedule (thanks to Brian’s parents coming along to help!).

No recipe this week, but I wanted to share our adventure with you, and I will talk more about our business when we finally have something to show for all this work we’ve been up to…

Hope you are well and enjoying some summer sunshine!

Posted in Indian | 8 Comments »

Frozen yogurt fruit pops

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Frozen fruit yogurt popcicles

It’s about this time every year that I get so excited about all the fresh fruit that is in season that I tend to go a bit overboard. Cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries. strawberries, melons, mangoes… the list seems unending.

What ends up happening in all of my fruit crazed haze is I buy it all – and then of course I can’t eat it fast enough before it starts to become overripe.

Strawberries

Last Tuesday that is exactly what had happened. I had one extra large cantaloupe that was wafting it’s ripe sent over half the kitchen, a bag full of softening cherries, a carton of strawberries, and a container full of fresh black raspberries I couldn’t resist picking from wild bushes growing along the old railroad trail that runs behind our property (and making raspberry leaf tea from the leaves!).

I decided the only way to handle so much ripe fruit at one go was to puree it and make homemade frozen yogurt fruit pops.

These really did turn out so good and so very simple.

I pureed all my fruit, added a quart of vanilla yogurt and a teaspoon of vanilla extract, poured it all into paper cups (just use a ladle so you prevent the mess I made first pour!), froze them for 20 minutes, inserted the popsicle sticks, and then finished off the freeze. My fruit was so sweet and ripe I did not need to add any extra sweetener, though I imagine a bit of honey would be lovely if desired or needed.

I’ve been feeding these slightly defrosted into a slushy smoothie to little Jonathan for the past week. He gets all kinds of excited when I pull one out of the freezer;

“What’s that?!”  he exclaims, eyes wide each time with anticipation (and impatience), “Mmmmmm. I want it! I want it!”

-some of his favorite 21 month old expressions-

Our hydrangeas are in bloom now and our many mulberry trees are littering the ground with their sweet fruit faster than we can collect. I made strawberry mulberry jam recently, though I’m afraid that that hardly made a dent in the overall crop.  I imagine the birds of the yard are thankful we have not been able to keep up as they seem ever fond of the prolific berries.

Now that summer is here we have been busy biking, swimming, and gardening, and I am in neck deep in my business at the moment. I hope to share more about that soon, but right now I simply want to say that I am going to do my best to post at least every two weeks, but I may cut back a bit on photos as I tend to spend what I believe is a bit of an obsessive amount of time reviewing and editing, and I really just want to enjoy this blog without it taking me four days to put together a post!

Frozen yogurt fruit pops

4-5 cups pureed ripe fruit*

1 quart vanilla yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

honey (optional, to taste*)

wooden popsicle sticks

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir thoroughly. Pour mixture into paper  cups or popsicle molds. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes and then insert popsicle sticks and allow to finish freezing (at least three more hours). Once pops are frozen,  place in airtight container, and return to the freezer.

Alternatively, before you puree your fruit, freeze it and then combine all ingredients in a blender to make a yogurt fruit smoothie.  In this case, I would reduce all the ingredients and make just enough for what you want to eat at that time, otherwise you will end up with a large number of smoothies that will need to either be eaten or frozen into pops!

*I used 1/2 of 1 large cantaloupe, 1 pint strawberries, 3/4 cup pitted fresh cherries, and 1 1/2 cups black raspberries.

*if you want to use honey, I suggest starting with a couple of tablespoons and then add more to taste.

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Posted in Sweet | 13 Comments »