Friday, July 29, 2011

Red Beet Risotto


A few weeks ago, as the 6 o’clock hour approached I faced the familiar issue of not having any semblance of a dinner plan. I began mentally going through the items in our refrigerator – trying to find inspiration from a potential mishmash of leftovers or vegetables yet to be used. I suddenly remembered a bunch of deep red beets, carefully washed and stemmed after a summer farmer’s market visit and yet to be consumed.

While there are endless possibilities of how I could have prepared the ruby root vegetables for our dinner, an overwhelming desire for something creamy and comforting snuck into my plans for the beets. Risotto. Best of all, everything I needed to create this dish was already stocked in our tiny kitchen and make-shift pantry. No after-work grocery store trip required.

It seems like such a silly decision now – planning to make red beet risotto for dinner while comfortably sitting in my air-conditioned office. The summer heat and fact that our kitchen is never actually cooled by the air conditioning did not enter into my thought process. It wasn’t until after I had slowly melted the butter, sautĂ©ed the onions and drenched the translucent onion strands in white wine when I realized I had 25 minutes of continual stirring staring right in my face. Continually stirring with no air flow on a ninety degree night in a pre-war apartment where the summer humidity sits heavy in the old, cement walls.

But still – despite the heat and sweating and cursing my boneheaded oversight – this is one of my new favorite recipes. The beets not only lend a beautiful red hue, but also offer a lighter, summery taste to an otherwise heavy dish.

Monday, July 18, 2011



Last Saturday, Mike and I ventured over the bridge to walk around the food-only portion of Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg. Talk about a haven for food lovers! A collection of tents offer endless choices of some of the city's best food options to the hungry masses, while the Manhattan skyline glimmers in the background.

The guys at Porchetta offer a beautiful, you guessed it, porchetta sandwich, perfectly sized for walking while exploring:


It is hot in the city. H-O-T. But the guys at People’s Pops knew just the way to cool us down: hand-shaved ice with rhubarb syrup:


Even if you don’t fall head-over-heels in love with The Meat Hook's sausage (it is DELICIOUS), you have to love a grill master who can keep a sense of humor on a hot summer’s day:


There are so many vendors to explore, so be sure to bring your appetite and, preferably, someone with whom you can go halfsies and try twice the goods!


East River Waterfront, between North 6th &7th Streets
Saturdays 9 AM to 5 PM

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bourbon Barrel

© Dolcetto Confections | Allison M. Veinote, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011


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After a long, thirsty wait, Birreria, the rooftop beer garden on top of Mario Batali’s Eataly, finally opened in June. This new outdoor drinking space collaborates with Dogfish Head Brewery, Baladin, and Del Borgo to brew their own beer right on the roof of the building. You might imagine Mike’s pure jealousy as he wishfully peaked through the glass into the brewing operations.

Besides fantastic beer and wine options, the space also offers an incredible food menu, from meats and cheeses to filling entrees, all of which enhance the experience of sitting outside, sipping on a drink, and taking in the view of the Flatiron Building.

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200 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


These past few months, I have so badly wanted clear the appliances off my tiny kitchen counter and make a delicious summer fruit pie from scratch. From cutting the cold fats into the chilled flour, to shaping the pie dough into a crust, to filling the crust with beautiful fruits from the farmer’s market, macerated with just a hint of sugar – I craved the familiar process and it’s beautiful reward.

Even if I hadn't been short on time, I was short on people willing to consume an entire pie. Mike doesn’t care for fruit desserts, which means I would have the task of finishing the whole pie all by myself. Not that I haven’t had moments in life where I could polish off the entire dessert, but I generally try to avoid such situations.

Fourth of July weekend offered the perfect opportunity for me to bake a pie for a big group of friends. The pint of strawberries and bright pink stalks of rhubarb in my refrigerator, loot from a successful farmer’s market trip, just begged to be tossed with a bit of sugar and flour, then gently poured into a chilled crust and baked to golden perfection.

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