RIP, Thé Adoré

Working between Union Square and the West Village in Manhattan, I have a lot of lunch options nearby. Most are either too expensive, bad to mediocre, or just too noisy or crowded to relax. When in the mood to have a lunch date with a book, there’s one place I’ve preferred from the very beginning: a tiny Japanese-run French-style bakery, serving tea, coffee, soups, salads, sandwiches, and pastries.

On Tuesday I was singularly focused on writing a few holiday cards in silence over a bowl of potato leek soup and a Hungarian sandwich (baguette, Hungarian salami, melted cheese, pickles), but I arrived to find the riot gate down and a hand written farewell sign taped to the building. Nooooooooo! My heart sank.

Adieu, Thé Adoré, and thanks. Your calm ambiance, lovely staff, incredible scones and tarts, genmai-cha, lattes, well-worn wooden tables, picture window, and Japanese sensibility will be greatly missed. ♥

Birthday Redux


crispy horse mackerel

It has been a long time. I’ve been to Japan and back, again, and I don’t think I’ve even posted photos from last year’s trip here; somehow priorities shift. I became so consumed with another priority last year that I found myself uninspired even walking through a farmers market. Gah! Thankfully I’ve adjusted a bit, and I’m finding more of a balance. I’d say I’m more balanced and happy than I’ve ever been, really, which is bizarre, as I still only make pit stops at home and at times feel like I’m completely controlled by another being… my calendar. But food is more a part of my life again. Those were dark food times, last year. Ha.

Monday I redeemed a birthday dinner raincheck, and found myself at Blue Ribbon Sushi Brooklyn. Being inside there on that intensely foggy night digging into a cup of chawanmushi was divine (does anyone have a good recipe for it?). I found their offering to be better than what I had in Japan. We had a number of pieces of sushi and sashimi, notably the best uni I’ve ever had – it tasted of melon (pepino melon? couldn’t quite place it). Among the sashimi was delicious horse mackerel, served leaned up against its former structure which was beautifully sculptural, skewered with head and tail curved up as if in motion. When we finished the sashimi, they took the skeleton away, fried it, and brought back the crispy bits you see above. The bones of a horse mackerel are soft enough to eat when fried! Amazing. Really beautiful quality, presentation, and service, all of it, and the food was incredible. I’m thankful to have eased back into stateside Japanese food in such a manner.

I miss Japan so much.

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By the way, the manager of BR Sushi Brooklyn was totally delightful to chat with, and my friend told me later that she makes beautiful ceramics. They’ve inspired me… I’ve been daydreaming all week about quitting my job and making art (or at least making more art when I’m not at work!).

Training Wheels


clockwise from top left: string cheese with za’atar; salad of arugula, nectarine, gorgonzola, tomato, balsamic glaze, freshly ground pepper, and lime juice; greek olive hummus with freshly ground pepper (whole wheat pita not pictured).

It’s been brought to my attention that on the hottest day of the year, my Snow Day Pancakes post remained the most recent, and that just can’t stand.

I’ve been cooking more than last year (when I became obsessed with a martial art and everything else in my life was thrown by the wayside), but I certainly haven’t been making lunches on a regular basis, and I haven’t found the time to enjoy photographing food like I used to.

Friday a friend and I sat in the courtyard of a nearby building with our lunches. The trees offered welcome shade on a hot day, and despite the sounds of construction, it was lovely and relaxing. This lunch (above) felt like a bento with training wheels to me (the comparison isn’t perfect… I can’t imagine forgetting how to ride a bike), but renewed momentum has to start somewhere.


courtyard canopy

Flashback: Summer 2009 (Part 1)


I’ve been missing my family’s cabin of late… I didn’t make it up there in 2010. I recently went looking on an external drive for photos for some friends and realized that I have hoards of food photos from the past couple of years that I never posted. So, here is a taste of summer as it exists at my favorite place in the whole world. Everything’s a little rustic at the cabin. Cooking is done on the grill or on a propane stove, by the light of a kerosene lantern once the sun goes down. I can think of nothing more wonderful than cooking and eating and hiking and swimming and sleeping and waking up and doing more of all of it. This is living.







Good News

I’ve been on a cookie kick. Baking late at night, multiple nights in a row. Scouring the internet for recipes that may help me approach the ultimate oatmeal raisin cookie. After a long and rewarding summer singularly focused on martial arts, I think I might be finding a balance. Fingers crossed.

Do you have a favorite oatmeal raisin cookie recipe? I’m looking for something on the soft/chewy side. The cookies pictured were a slightly modified version of Smitten Kitchen’s Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Ponderosa Lemon Update

I headed back to my local bar with Lemon #3, the smallest of all of them. RC squeezed it for me on their fancypants old-timey juicer, and I got 1.5 Jack Rose cocktails out of it (had to supplement the juice with that of another lemon for the second). A Jack Rose is comprised of apple jack (apple brandy), lemon juice, and grenadine. I’ve only ever gotten one at Quarter, and I imagine it to be pretty gross elsewhere, because the grenadine would make it cloyingly sweet. However, they make theirs in house, and this difference turns what sounds like a nasty drink into something lighter – refreshing and delightful, even.

The first half of Lemon #4 has been juiced and zested – the zest went into the freezer, and most of the juice joined some rice wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon, and various other ingredients in a vinaigrette. I had some on a baby arugula salad with orange peppers, hard boiled eggs, blanched broccoli, blanched green beans, and the last of Lemon #1’s zest. I dumped a good amount into a spelt pasta salad for lunch a few days ago, and there was still some that made it into the fridge in the dijon jar.

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carrot cake with lemon cream cheese frostingcarrot cake with lemon cream cheese frosting

The last of Lemon #1’s juice made it into a pint of rosewater lemonade (subtle, but delicious). I got a report back from D that the fate of Lemon #2 was a glut of old fashioned lemon curd… he used an old lady voice when he described making it and spreading it on toast, but apparently it was wonderful.

A wedge of the second half of Lemon #4 was used on a turkey sandwich: mendocino mustard (spicy honey mustard), arugula, sprouts, red bell pepper, cracked pepper turkey, and lemon juice. It was a quickly thrown together sandwich that was lacking something. At the very least it really could have used some tomato. The remainder of Lemon #4 was turned into lemonade (the juice) and lemon cream cheese frosting (the zest), as I recall. Man, I’m losing track, I’ll have to reference my photos. I did use up most of the lemon dijon dressing drizzled onto sandwiches and such.

Stay tuned for how I fell in love with Lemon #5, and to learn how I manage to honor the other 7 (eek!)! I’m going to have to get cracking.