KIT…Keeping In Touch

Image

 

HALLO! BONJOUR! HOLA! CIAO! …. Hello from our long hiatus and welcome back! It has been some time and I hope you are doing well. My last post was written a little over 1 year ago, right before Tim and I went to India and since then there have been a lot of things to catch up on (India for one:). I want to start by pointing out the obvious, the blog’s new look! … Over the next bit of time I will be working on a few changes that you might notice. Feel free to let me know what you think and what your opinion is on the new appearance:) Also, I will catch you up on the last year and a half, or so. There have been a few travels, good food and some pretty good accomplishments and self-discoveries, all with the photos to document it along the way. Thank you again for reading, it is so nice to be back!

xo nicole

 

Advertisements

A Brief Interview With Cape Cod’s “Most Interesting Man”

IMG_0847

We interview Tim Perry, owner of the growing business, TUCC, talented musician and overall a “very interesting man.”   He tells us what he’s up to this winter, his favorite foods and his culinary hopes for the future.

NP:  Tim I see you have taken up the Ukulele.  How did you decide upon taking up this island instrument? Is it because Cape Cod is a man-made island?

TP:  That was definitely some of my inspiration, but I would have to say more of my inspiration was from Israel, the Hawaiian superstar, who is no longer with us.

NP:  What song are you currently learning on the ukulele?

TP:  I can’t say I’m focusing on one particular song right now, but what I’d like to learn is “Martha” by Tom Waits.

NP:  What sound would you say most describes the Cape, would it be the Ukulele?

TP:  I would have to say the sound that most describes the Cape is leaf-blowers, because that’s all you hear in the nice areas.

NP:  Ah yes, so true.  Tim, as a year round resident on the Cape, what is your favorite time of year living here?  And what is it you like to do best here on Cape Cod?

TP:  My favorite time of year…. well I used to really like the fall, but I find myself liking summer more.

NP:  Really, why is that?

TP:  Because I don’t have to work as much as I used to in the summer and it’s kind of fun with all of the people, all of the hustle and bustle.

NP:  And what is it you like to do best on the Cape?

TP:  Go over the bridge and go to Boston.

NP:  Now Tim, since we are a food blog, what are your favorite types of foods to eat, and do you have any favorite spots locally?

TP:  My favorite types of food are beer and I love Mexican food probably the most.  Any Spanish style food, Central American food, especially their breakfasts I love the most.  Burrito Loco is one of my favorites for something quick.  For sit down, Brazilian Grille and for something light and healthy, Bangkok Kitchen.

NP:  Obviously the Cape is known for it’s seafood, however where is a location you would like to go to solely for the food?

TP:  Well I’m excited to go to India for the food, but since I’m already going that will be off my wish list soon.  I would probably have to say France.  When we were there for just a few days we went to the markets and the food was so good and so fresh.  The people just buy their bread for the day and their cheese for the day.  At the supermarket, you could get a really awesome bottle of wine for like 2 or 3 euros.  It blows away anything here in the states.  Also too, I like their manner of eating.  They start their day with a big cafe’ au lait and a croissant, then they have a mid-morning snack and a two hour lunch.  Then go back to work and work for a little bit and finally go home and have dinner or go out and have dinner.  The thing I like about that, is that it’s neat how lifestyles shape around food.  It shapes their timing for the day.  In the states people just grab their food and go, which is just the culture. I think it makes food a little less meaningful.  However food is the base of life, it’s where it begins so it’s kind of neat that the French take time out for it.

NP:  Interesting.  So about your trip to India, what is a dish you hope to eat there?

TP:  One dish is the dosa, and a dosa is kind of like a giant burrito, but not really.  It’s a little more airy inside but it’s like a big funnel of bread, flat bread that’s wrapped but with some space in there and there’s meat and all kinds of spices and sauces in there.  I had them in Toronto, where there’s a little Indian area there and I really loved them.  I’m sure they made them quite authentic, but it would be really neat to have them in the country origin. Another thing I’m looking forward to trying is really fresh paneer cheese in a dish.  I think that would be nice.

NP:  Sounds delicious.  One last question, who is the best cook in your opinion?

TP:  That would have to be my wife.  Everything she makes is delicious.  It’s funny because she used to make the best meat dishes, but since she is a vegetarian now, she makes great vegetarian dishes.

NP:  Thanks for taking time out of your very interesting schedule to talk with us.

5K Hot Chocolate Run!

This past weekend, my husband, our dog and I entered our very 1st 5K.  I had been slightly training with my running partner… Tim however was convinced to join last minute…. leaving 1 day for the preparations.  Sir Hartigan got picked up at the 1 mile mark and was really the star of the show (all the cheering for him really kept me going). The race was held in Northampton, Massachusetts and supported by many local businesses and 5,500 local runners and walkers.  The cause was Safe Passage which provides shelter, counseling & advocacy for the women & children who experience domestic violence. The race was a huge success and a man in a banana suit won the race…. and we were happy to have completed it!

ready for the race!

ready for the race!

all bibbed up!

all bibbed up!

warrior tim

warrior tim

running with the star of the race!

running with the star of the race!

…. A side note about western mass is that many of my fave coffee/tea shops are there.  Here’s one that is so delicious!

shelburn coffee roasters

yum

i decided to invite goodwill:)

i decided to invite goodwill:)

... and more good will

... and more goodwill

… so if you are EVER in shelburne falls, greenfield, northampton area it is worth it to make a special trip to Shelburne Coffee Roasters for some yummy treats…. while you are there you may even see the Coz (Bill Cosby that is).

*np

 

 

 

Ratatouille for Breakfast

What to do with leftover ratatouille? Bake it with eggs for a delicious breakfast! Last night’s dinner has become this morning’s  breakfast for champions with a little more flavor.  Here’s the recipe I used taken from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, October 2010 (I divided my leftovers in two small ovenproof dishes with two eggs each, but here is the inspiration):

Recipe for Ratatouille & Baked Eggs:

– 3 cups Ratatouille

– 8 large eggs

-Coarse salt & ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 3/4 cups ratatouille in each of four 2-cup ovenproof baking dishes set on a rimmed baking sheet. With the back of a large spoon, make two indentations in ratatouille in each dish. Crack one large egg in each indentation. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Bake until egg whites are set, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with toast if desired.

 

Ratatouille for Breakfast

 

Bon Appe’tit!

*np

 

 

Vanilla Extract

The art of making vanilla extract is really the art of putting vodka and vanilla beans into a glass and letting it sit on your shelf for about 3 weeks. And when vanilla beans are 50% off at the grocery store…that is when you become a real Michelangelo.

Making vanilla bean extract is super easy!

Making vanilla bean extract is super easy!

Here’s what you’ll need:

– 3 vanilla beans

– 1 cup vodka of your choice

– 1 glass jar with a tight lid

Here you go….

1.  Using a paring knife slice each bean lengthwise, leaving one end intact.  Scrape beans out of pod and into your glass jar.  Place vanilla beans into glass jar.

2.  Pour your 1 cup of vodka and make sure beans are completely covered, then seal with lid.*

3. Give your glass a shake!

4.  Store jar in a cool, dark place for about 3 weeks, then revisit and enjoy! Congratulations! You did it!

*rumour has it that a little spoon of simple syrup gives it a sweet lingering aftertaste…. so why not?

*np

Super Simple Syrup

Instead of paying $5 for a bottle of this, why not whip some up while your boiling tea? or making dinner? or washing the dishes? or cleaning the kitchen? or just standing in the kitchen?… really it’s so easy and will only take literally five minutes of your time.

vanilla bean extract with it's friend simple syrup!

vanilla bean extract with it's friend simple syrup!

So while you are doing any or even none of the above….. here’s what you can do to make Super Simple Syrup.

– 2 parts sugar

– 1 part water

1. Bring water to a boil.

2. Dissolve sugar into water and stir constantly,

3. Once dissolved completely, remove from heat and let cool. (Don’t let it boil to long or it will get too thick)

4. Bottle or use!

5. Refrigerate when done.

Extremely Savvy & Simple.

*np

Handi Pies!

Here was my stab at the classic hand pies…. the crust was flaky and buttery while the inside was spicy & hot…. I used the Kale-and-Sausage Hand Pies recipe in Martha Stewart’s new Everyday Food magazine and substituted Tofurky sausages for the spicy, faux sausage taste….. result, delicious handi pies!! Below is the recipe taken from Martha Stewart Everyday Food November 2011 page 22, altered slightly for vegetarians:)

Handi Pies!

Handi Pies!

Recipe for Kale-and-Sausage Hand Pies:

-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for rolling

-1 cup unsalted butter (I substituted Earth Balance buttery spread)

-1 1/2 tsp. fine salt

-1/2 cup ice water

-1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

-10 oz. italian sausage (I substituted Tofurky italian sausage & chopped it really small)

-1 medium onion, diced medium

-1 Granny Smith apple

-1 bunch kale (3/4 lb.) tough stems & ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped

-1/4 cup golden raisins

-coarse salt & ground pepper

-heavy cream, for brushing

1. In a food processor, pulse flour, butter, & salt until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.  With machine running, sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water; pulse just until dough holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 1/4 cup more water, 1 tbs at a time); do not overmix.  Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, & refrigerate 30 minutes (or up to overnight).

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high.  Add sausage & cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add onion & cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add apple, kale, & raisins & cook until kale is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Remover from heat; season with salt & pepper.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to an 1/8- inch thickness. With a large round cookie cutter or small bowl, cut out eight 6- to 7-inch rounds and fold over filling to form half-moons. With a fork, press edges firmly to seal. Place pies on baking sheets and brush with cream.

4. Cut a small vent in each pie and bake until golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

*np

the NYC

A chapter and post all to it’s own is NYC….. a food lover’s  delight (obsessive delight perhaps?).  So my husband and I have recently been leaving our 6 hour commute in the hands of Mega Bus …..and traveling is so easy.

We have so much time on our hands (it is a 6 hour bus ride) that we get so much done…..Newspaper read? Check. Long nap? Check. Audiobook finished? Check. Watch an episode of Midsomer Murders? Check.

By the time our bus gets into the city we are usually about to die of hunger from our busy schedules.  This time when we stepped off the bus though, we couldn’t have been dropped off in a better spot….. a bustling vegan lunch spot, aka Loving Hut! YUM!…. looks like the universe is trying to tell us to take the bus more often:)

Luv Hut NYC

Loving Hut NYC *yum yum*

Tim's Mean Bean Burrito

Tim's Mean Bean Burrito

Nicole's Amazing Vegan Buffalo Chix Mac n Cheese!

Nicole's Amazing Vegan Buffalo Chix Mac n Cheese

The food was amazingly delicious!  We will be back for more next vegan escapade….

We spent the afternoon rambling around Chinatown, way off the beaten path of Canal Street, to find ourselves yet again surrounded by vegetarian options…. maybe the universe was really just saying ‘come to New York’…. just kidding.  Anyhow while Tim was eating dumplings with the locals I was ordering vegetarian dim sum for myself…. and yes it was so good!

Veg Dim Sum House

And what would a sensory New York visit be without some classical music and incredible dessert….?  Agreed.

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

BABYCAKES!!!

BABYCAKES!!!

yum yum & more yum

yum yum & more yum!

Well, seriously, if you are ever in New York and haven’t tried Babycakes, please, please do…. it was fab!

*np

1st Post!!! …..Sixties Night

Sixites Night!
Upside-Down Plum Cake *vegan*!

Well why not start the 1st post with cake?  My good friend just got married, her shower theme being “1960’s” and I thought what else would January Jones bring her gal pals, but an upside-down cake?!  I thought plums instead of pineapple would be a little more alluring to those not upside-down cake savvy, with the help of a fabulous Martha Stewart recipe (I replaced the sour cream with dairy-free sour cream and substituted the eggs with replacer and it went off without a hitch)….. The party went fab and I got the thumbs up from her grandmother:)

*np