As much as I enjoy summer and am sad to see it go, I'm starting to get just a leeeeeetle bit excited about fall. More change is afoot for me, and it's all good things as far as the eye can see. I'll be able to officially call myself a student again, which also conjures all sorts of fun thoughts like schoolbooks and pencils and notebooks and erasers and OH that new book smell. I'll be taking graphic design, illustration & calligraphy classes, the former two at School of Visual Arts. I think I've mentioned before that I've never had any formal graphic design instruction, and now that I'm working at Regas, and generally taking my career in a more creative direction, it feels like the right time to get some legit training.
I have many a fond memory of oatmeal for breakfast before school; it reminds me very much of my mother. Back then, my oatmeal of choice was Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar; here's a recipe for a more grown up version I've made using some ingredients I was VERY excited about.
First: Farm to Table Ancient Grain Oatmeal. I saw this super hearty stuff at my local Union Market and knew I wanted it in my mouth. So many reasons that made this one easy to buy: it's a local company (Westchester County), it's organic, and the variety of grains is really healthy. I'm talkin': oats, kamut, rye, spelt, barley and brown flax.
Next: These quite attractive peaches and plums from Terhune Farms, purchased at the Union Square Greenmarket. Not only were they good-looking, they were also just magical on the inside. Sweet but tart & tangy. Yum. On to the recipe!
Ancient Grain Oatmeal with Sautéed Peaches & Plums (serves 2) -2/3 c. Farm to Table Ancient Grain Oatmeal
-1 1/3 c. water -1 peach -1 plum -2 tblsps extra virgin coconut oil (Nutiva is my fave) -1 tblsp raw honey. I like WeeBee; it has tons of flavor and is unfiltered, so still has pollen, propolis & honeycomb in it, which is the good-for-you stuff. I also choose it because they operate seasonally in New York & in Florida, so I feel like it's 'local'-ish for both my hometown & current town . -Cashew milk or almond milk. It gives the oatmeal such a nice nutty flavor. I made my own cashew milk, which is really easy to do and there are TONS of recipes online for. Also, I realize that oatmeal consistency is a HIGHLY personal matter, so feel free to add as much or little as you'd like.
Prepare oatmeal according to package instructions. Warm coconut oil in pan; add sliced & pitted peach & plum. Sautée for about three minutes, then add raw honey and sautée for another minute. Add cashew milk to oatmeal and top with peaches, plums, and some cinnamon & nutmeg. I didn't add any sweetener to my oatmeal, but maple syrup would complement nicely.
Aw, man. The end of summer is definitely palpable. I've been thinking about squeezing every last bit of outdoor time out of the days of lovely warm weather we've got before fall arrives.
I've always been attracted to the idea of outdoor rooms, particularly outdoor bedrooms and sleeping porches. I think watching the Swiss Family Robinson multiple times as a kid has something to do with my fascination - that treehouse was so unbelievably cool.
Here are some dreamy ones that make me want to move to the wilderness and never come back.
Didier is a professionally trained chef from Nice, France turned motorcycle-riding poisonnier in my hometown of Jacksonville. He's known to have the best catch in town, though you wouldn't know it by looking at his shop's humble exterior - isn't that always the way? Lately, when I've visited home, my dad's cooked up Didier's best tuna steaks using this recipe.
Now that it's wild salmon season (you may have seen Mark Bittman's delicious recipe roundup), I wanted to celebrate it with a tasty preparation. I got Didier's recipe from my dad and made a few modifications, opting to use all organic ingredients, substitute Bragg's Liquid Aminos for soy sauce and olive oil for canola oil. I visited the Union Square Greenmarket and picked up fresh organic filet beans & orange cherry tomatoes to pair with it. The verdict? Yum.
This produce was unbelievably good, especially the tomatoes. They have such a nice balance of sweetness and acidity.
Pan-Seared Ginger Soy Salmon Ingredients: 6 oz. wild-caught salmon filet ginger (fresh or powdered) ground black pepper organic soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos (what I use) organic olive oil
Dredge salmon in soy sauce. Season with ground black pepper and ginger. Marinate for 10 minutes if you're using soy sauce; I marinated for half an hour because Bragg's isn't quite as intense as soy sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in pan until cracking hot. Cook salmon to taste - I like mine medium rare.
Filet Beans & Cherry Tomatoes with Lemon & Olive Oil organic filet beans (more fancily known as haricots verts) organic cherry tomatoes fresh lemon organic olive oil salt to taste
Wash beans & tomatoes. Snap ends from beans and halve tomatoes. Boil beans in heavily salted water for 3-4 minutes, until just tender. While this is happening, make a bowl of ice water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beans to ice bath. Warm 2 tbsp. olive oil in pan on medium low. Cook tomatoes for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove & dry beans, then cook for another minute or so with the tomatoes. Serve with salmon filet, adding salt and lemon juice to taste.
FYI, I cooked the veggies first and then added more olive oil to the pan and cooked the salmon - I didn't want the veggies to have the same ginger-soy flavor.
All in all, an incredibly simple but really tasty & healthy meal.