Thursday, July 15, 2010

Moonlighting


Before starting this business six years ago, I worked a corporate job in Manhattan and I spent each moment of my commute fantasizing about starting a family and a business.

When I finally made the transition, my husband Tom not only supported our new family until I got the business off the ground, but he helped me with every aspect of my new venture. For years, he worked triple duty as a union electrician, my baking assistant & business partner and hands-on father to our new daughter.

Almost two years ago, I had the pleasure of returning the favor when he made the decision to leave his day job to pursue his own dream - to be a photographer. Tom Ciriello Photography is now a reality and I'm having a great time moonlighting as his assistant on photo shoots!

These are some shots from a wedding we did this week-end.

If you want to check out more of Tom's work, you can visit his website and blog at www.tomciriellophotography.com.





Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fireworks and a Feast


After weeks of working without much of a break, I vowed to take some time off this Fourth of July week-end to celebrate my daughter's 5th birthday and to spend time with family. The highlight of my time off usually involves food and this week-end was no exception.

My contribution to the fireworks picnic included sliced beef tenderloin sandwiches with watercress and horseradish mayo on baguettes, cookies (of course) and this absolutely delicious potato salad that I sort of made up as I went along.

The idea behind the potato salad was to ensure that it could sit out in the heat for a couple of hours without poisoning anyone, so a mayo-free recipe was in order. After scoring some gorgeous, local new potatoes at the farmers market, I opened my pantry and found whole grain mustard, olive oil and tarragon vinegar. A few snips from my deck herb garden and I was all set.

Here's the recipe!


Dijon Herb New Potato Salad

Ingredients:

1 Bag (about 1.5 lbs.) New Potatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
Chopped fresh herbs (I used chives and scallions - green parts only)
Tarragon Vinegar (white wine or champagne vinegar is also good)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes can be pierced with a fork (about 15-20 minutes). Drain and return potatoes to the hot pan, off the heat. Cover with kitchen towel and allow to dry in pan until cool enough to handle, but still warm.

The rest I did right in the pan I cooked the potatoes in - I'm all about saving dishes!

Quarter the potatoes, add salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind, you can always add more later so don't go nuts), 2 TBS olive oil, 1 TBS tarragon vinegar, 2 TBS whole grain mustard and the chopped herbs. Mix gently and taste for seasoning.

Add more of any of the above ingredients to taste. Potato salad can be very personal.

This dish is best served at room temp and it gets more flavorful as it sits. Right before serving, I like to add a drizzle of olive oil over the top.

Notes:
  • The skin of new potatoes are very thin and edible, so no peeling is required.
  • For the mustard, I like the French Maille brand - because it has a pronounced white wine flavor and not an overpowering mustard flavor.
  • Use any herbs that you like - I just happened to be growing chives and green onions (scallions).
  • Flavor will penetrate the potatoes much more effectively while they are still warm, so add the seasonings to the potatoes as soon as you can comfortably handle them.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!