June 2010

If it’s June, everything must be coming up roses, and they sure were the central attraction this past weekend when I catered a High Tea for Brooklyn’s own Narrow Botanical Garden, a volunteer run community botanical garden run by my buddies Jimmy Johnson and Ritchie Haugland. What does one serve at a Brooklyn High Tea? Well, tea, of course, but with the sweltering temperatures we experienced in Brooklyn this past week, Sparkling Pink Limeade, was more like it., so I made a batch of my Mexican Sparkling Limeade from Daisy:Morning Noon and Night, and stirred in a cup of raspberry puree (minus the seeds!), and viola! Delicious, refreshing and pretty to look at as well!

Yummy Sparkling Raspberry Limeade

Guests were treated to an assortment of finger sandwiches, which included Truffled Egg Salad on Pate Choux, Roast Beef, Cabrales Cheese and Caramelized Onion on tiny Potato Rolls, and even a Black and White Fig with Triple Crème Goat Cheese, Arugula and Candies Almonds on Baguette (my muse got carried away with me!). We even trew in some Cucumber Sandwiches with Maitre D Hotel butter, as well as that New York Staple: Smoked Salmon and Chive Cream Cheese with Red Onion and Capers on Pumpernickel party bread.  Everyone came up for seconds and even, thirds, so I am confident that they were well pleased.

Jimmy and Ritchie gave tours of the gardens after everyone finished their refreshments, through the rose gardens, the active beehives, and the Koi pond. They saved the best for last, though, and proudly showed off their brand new vegetable garden which boasted a rainbow of Swiss chard, a cornucopia of different tomatoes, and a Citrus Basil that I definitely be using to make Mojitos with! Definitely an awesome way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Jimmy lectures
The Narrows Botanical Hives
The Koi pond
Ritchie boasts his vegetable garden

Another really fun event I attended was the 2nd Annual Paella Parade at the NY Water Taxi Beach at South Street Seaport. I was part o a judging panel that was to taste paellas from 10 different NYC restaurants competing for the Prettiest Paella, the Most Creative Paella, the Best Use of Ingredients Paella, and lastly, the crowd was allowed to choose the Crowd Pleaser Paella. I loosened a notch on my belt, and prepared to take one for the team!

The winners included Yerba Buena/ Toloache for the Prettiest Paella, Tapeo 29 took the Most Creative as well as Crowd Pleaser. I’m happy to share my recipe for my Three Bean Paella, which although it has few ingredients is not lacking in flavor at all. Nothing says “PARTAY” like paella!

I’m also looking forward to head out to Philly where I’ll be doing a book signing at the Central City Williams Sonoma in June 24th, so if you’re out that way, make sure you stop by and say hi! I have a feeling Philly is never going to be the same again!

Well, that’s how I’m starting out the summer-pretty good start, right? I’m looking forward to traveling around a lot, so I may get a chance to meet many of you-I can’t wait!

See you in July!

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