Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pics from the North Woods

The first batch (of many) pictures from New Hampshire.

1.) Driving along Rt. 116
2.) Trees outside my train window as we (creeped) through Vermont
3.) Railroad crossing sign in "downtown" Whitefield, NH
4.) Old sign on building, Whitefield, NH
5.) I'm pretty sure there aren't any chickens in the coop anymore
5.) More sunset along Rt. 116

Monday, June 18, 2012

Headin' north.

So. Here's the thing.

As I write this, I am sitting on a train heading north. Very north. Like so-far-north-in-New-Hampshire-I'll-be-almost-in-Canada north.

Why am I doing this, you ask? Why in the world would I be heading out of the city so soon after returning from two months of living in Connecticut?

Well, for one thing, New York gets really hot in the summer, especially when your apartment does not come with an air conditioner.

And New York gets really crowded in the summer. I'm almost positive there is a a city-wide mandate stating there must be at least one double-decker tourist bus for every twenty people, regardless if those twenty people actually want to ride on said double-decker tourist bus.

(I'm not doing a very good job of being a spokesperson for my city. I'm sorry. It took almost an hour for my cab to work it's way through midtown traffic this morning, and those double-decker buses were the only thing I could see through the windows. In the future, I will spread my ire over a whole swath of traffic-stalling-tourist-traps instead of just harping on one.)

But back to my north-bound train. Sometimes my job leads me to live a bit more transiently than usual, and this is one of those times. In just five (more) short hours, I will be at the foothills of New Hampshire's White Mountains and ready to spend the next 10 weeks of my life making theater for the good people of Whitefield, NH.

This probably means that I won't be able to write as much as I'd like, and this really probably means I won't be able to feature a ton of new slices I find throughout the land, and this definitely probably means I won't be able to bake any new and glorious creations.

However, I've just learned that the official state fruit of New Hampshire is the pumpkin.

So I'll be damned if I don't find at least once slice of pumpkin pie.

One last look at the city

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Slice of the Week - Once Upon a Tart

I'm working in the tony neighborhood of New York's SoHo this week, and amongst the cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, stunningly overpriced boutiques and even more stunningly overdressed tourists, I snacked at a tart shop I'd been dying to try.

Charmingly named Once Upon a Tart, this quick-bite restaurant gives good face. It's cloyingly cute, there are the requisite cafe tables and chairs set for streetside dining, and the menu is handwritten on chalkboards above the counter. The allure ends right about there, however. I had perused their online menu beforehand and knew they served both savory and sweet tarts, and was going to decide which to get when I got there. The sweet tarts were presented beautifully on display trays in the window and on the counter, but the savory tarts were wrapped in plastic, piled inside a case, and left to look like they were made three days ago. So...I went in the sweet direction and ordered a blueberry walnut tart.

Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but a restaurant's charm will only get you so far if a.) you serve your food on a paper plate with a plastic fork and b.) you don't offer to heat up said food. I'm ordering a pie (tart). Some people like warm fruit pie. I am one of those people. I would like the option of choosing whether or not my pie is to be heated.

That being said, it was a decent tart. Not the greatest, for the blueberries were most likely frozen and re-baked at some point in their short little lives, but they had a pleasantly sweet and tangy taste, they paired wonderfully with the bitterness of the walnuts, and the tart's crust was great - flaky, sweet, and completely complimentary to it's supporting contents. It was also incredibly rich, and I made it about 3/4 of the way through the 6" tart before calling it a day.

I can't say I'll be back for another tart anytime soon. At $6.50 for one tart, I should be getting silverware, table service and a glass of water (but I'll settle for any of the three). There are a zillion cute and overpriced cafes in SoHo, and I think I'll see what they have to offer.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Stunning weather + free evenings = long walks and a happy me.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Walking west on 31st Ave.

Pretty pink flower

Walking north on Vernon Blvd.

Pretty pink houses in SoHo

Sunset in Socrates Sculpture Park

All photos taken with my iPhone 4GS and edited in PhotoToaster and Snapseed.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lemon and Lavender Icebox Pie

While the weather may have cooled itself off tonight, this week's 80+ temperatures reminded me that summer is definitely here. And since I finished off the last of the Thin Mints last week, I needed a new  frozen treat to keep me cool. Luckily, I found this list of the Huffington Post's 60 favorite pies and got straight to work.

28 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups lemon juice
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
8 egg yolks
1 tsp lavender extract (want to make your own? click here)
1 graham cracker pie crust (the recipe called for a homemade crust, but I used a store-bought in an attempt to keep the oven off and kitchen cool)

How to
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk together the lemon juice and condensed milk. Beat the lemon zest into the egg yolks, pour into milk mixture. Add the lavender extract, stir until smooth.

Pour mixture into the pie crust and bake for 20 minutes or until edges are set and center is jiggly.

Let the pie cool on a wire rack for an hour, then loosely cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 6 hours.

Place pie in refrigerator about an hour before you intend to serve it, this will help the ease of cutting slices and won't give your guests a brain freeze. Add some lemon slices in a pretty pattern in an attempt to make a really easy pie look all fancy and time-consuming ;)

Lemon and Lavender Icebox Pie

This pie was inspired by and adapted from this recipe.