Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nectarine, Cheesecake and Gingersnap Tart

If you think that a long walk in the park isn't the solution to most problems, you are greatly mistaken. Well, I suppose it doesn't have to be in the park, but I truly believe that a nice, long walk is the key to gaining perspective. Recently, while I was on one of these contemplative walks I realized that I spent all winter dreaming of summer cooking and baking, but I have spent all summer (thus far) realizing that I have far less time to take advantage of it than I expected. Frustrated with myself, I realized that something had to change. Figuring out how to change things was a bit more of a challenge, because as it turns out, time isn't unlimited.
side view nectarine cheesecake gingersnap tart
The 'aha' moment came later when I realized that although time may be limited, when it comes to cooking it can also be maximized. In my case I realized that not all cooking has to be laborious and complicated, in fact, sometimes it's better when its not. I would compare it to working out, just because you can't have a full work out, doesn't mean you shouldn't go to the gym at all. Perspective, you see? In the midst of all this I called to mind a recipe that I had seen in the winter for Nectarine and Mascarpone tart that called for all of 8 minutes of oven time, and some mixing and slicing. So, the dedicated food blogger within me reevaluated my time and made this at 11 pm; I was in bed at 12. Now that's one way to get a good night's sleep.
gingersnap crust
Being me, I had to make a few changes to the recipe, but overall I stuck with the original. The crust is made of crushed gingersnaps, which add a slightly spicy bite and pair perfectly with the juicy and ripe summer nectarines.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Olive Oil Loaf

I am kind of an iced coffee fiend. Actually, I am an iced coffee fiend and luckily for me (or unluckily, rather) New York City has a plethora of overpriced and delicious iced coffees. I was shocked when I first moved to Montreal and the only iced coffees were these coyingly sweet and very gross "frappes." Then again, who really wants an iced coffee when its negative a million degrees? Hmm...well that is neither here nor there, since I am not actually here to talk about iced coffee today. I am here to talk about a place in New York that serves great iced coffee and even greater Olive Oil Loaf.
abraco nyc olive oil loaf
Abraco, which means 'hug' in Portuguese, is a teeny tiny espreso bar in the East Village serving "housemade semi-sweets and savories." The name is fitting, as you walk in you are literally embraced by the aromas of coffee, fresh baked goods, and homemade frittatas. It has been commended for its iced coffee, but the thing that really intrigued me was all the talk about the food they serve. Olive oil loaf, cured olive shortbread, and a whole slew of other incredible sounding things that I have yet to try. Anyhow, while I was still living through the iced coffee drought of Montreal, I kept reading about this place and knew that once I moved back to New York I would have to go ASAP. It took me about 2 weeks to make it there, but after one bite of olive oil love and a nibble of cured olive loaf, I (like everyone else) was hooked.
slices olive oil loaf
So, true to form, I had to figure out how to make these myself because, well, that's what I do. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the recipe for the cured olive shortbread, but I haven't given up hope yet.