new work

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wanted to share some photos from a loosely Vietnamese themed shoot I did in the spring. this was super fun to work on, mostly because in the back of my mind i knew mark & i were planning a trip to Hong Kong and Vietnam in the fall – which we’re just back from. more on that soon!

also, check out this little video of the chicken pho shot being put together here.

 

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make it: korean chicken tacos

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Delicious recipe alert! The korean chicken tacos from gp’s It’s All Good are really very, very good. I wanted to make something for a romantic dinner-at-home that was relatively healthy and where I could do most of the prep ahead, since I knew I’d be out during the day. So the day before, I made the salsa, the korean barbecue sauce, roasted the chicken, and made the quick cucumber kimchi. I recommend making the slaw the day of – by the time everything else is out and the table is set, the flavors of the slaw will have had a chance to combine. I think it turned out fab. The slaw is great as a salad on it’s own, or with some of the chicken mixed in and topped with a fried egg(!)  – also known as my breakfast a couple days later.

I didn’t grill whole chicken breasts/thighs per the recipe – I roasted them off the day before and shredded the meat, and the next day warmed it through with the korean barbecue sauce just before assembling everything. That just worked a little better for my do-it-ahead plan. I also added a little lime juice to the korean salsa, but everything else what pretty spot on as-is. I really detest typing out recipes that already exist… some other bloggers have written it all out which is very nice. I’ll just say, try to find the gochujang, or red pepper paste, that the korean barbecue sauce recipe calls for. Don’t substitute sriracha, it’s really not the same thing. And Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves work really well as a wrapper, if you want to skip the corn tortillas.

I have quite a bit of the salsa left, and may try roasting some fish in it, Provençal-style. It’s basically tomatoes and onion… with the addition of some olives, lemon and parsley, and a nice fish like halibut or cod, it might turn out rather nice.

winter citrus salad

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one of the few things i really love about this time of year is that citrus gets really good. when the high in NYC promises to be something crazy like 18 degrees, peeling a clementine or segmenting a cara cara orange over my salad honestly makes me feel like i’m somewhere beautiful and warm. it tricks my brain.

last winter, i kept ordering the citrus salad at one of my favorite restaurants over and over. it disappeared from the menu once spring hit, and i’ve been pining for it ever since. this is the version i make at home… it has a few additions, but it’s ever so lovely and quite easy, too.

you’ll need:

1 each cara cara orange, blood orange, navel orange, ugli fruit, and pink grapefruit

1/2 of a small fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a mandoline

3 tablespoons greek yogurt

2 tablespoons pickled cranberries, halved (see note)

1 tablespoon honey

small handful arugula

sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper

good olive oil

garnish with:

hulled hemp seeds

reserved fennel fronds

to assemble:

mix greek yogurt with honey. set aside.

with a small, sharp knife, cut away all citrus peel, including the white pithy part. i like a combination of segmented citrus and sliced citrus for this salad, and would suggest segmenting the grapefruit and ugli fruit and slicing up the rest. put all prepared citrus into a bowl with the sliced fennel, arugula, and pickled cranberries. toss with your hands to combine.

transfer to a plate. spoon the honeyed greek yogurt onto the side. add sea salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with nice olive oil. give a generous sprinkle of the hemp seeds and tear some fennel fronds over the top, and you’re done. this salad creates its own vinaigrette as the juice from the citrus mixes with the olive oil, salt and pepper. it is so, so good, and pretty cleanse/detox friendly, if you’re into that this time of year.

a note about the pickled cranberries: skip them if you want. but i love the tangy-sharp crunch they add. here’s a quick recipe:

place 4 oz. of fresh or frozen cranberries into a container with a tight-fitting lid. bring 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons each of salt and sugar, and 1 teaspoon each of black peppercorns and juniper berries to a boil. pour over cranberries and let sit for 2 hours or overnight. use the leftovers in any sort of quinoa or rice bowl, in a green salad, with leftover chicken, etc.

 

photo credit: laura kinsey

 

 

 

 

reading list

it feel like i’m always buying a cookbook. that said, there are always more that i’m dying to get my hands on…

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lately all i want to eat is thai, vietnamese, chinese. dumplings, noodles, spring rolls. korean bbq and hot sauce. i didn’t grow up eating a lot of food like this, but i’m on a mission to incorporate this style of food into my repertoire. every page of this book is gorgeous. every. page.

mypariskitchen

david lebovitz’s blog is a treasure… it’s more or less chock-full of everything i’d ever want to know. i scoured it deep this summer and last while planning long-weekend trips to paris. (thanks for this recco, by the way…) so it’s a no-brainer that i need this book.

this cookbook is so exciting that it has it’s own video! which i’ve watched about 17 times, because i also love the apartment. i don’t know if i really need a lot of the recipes in this book (does anyone really need a recipe for avocado toast or a grain bowl?) but it looks stunning all the same.

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obviously. if you don’t already own yotam ottolenghi’s earlier cookbooks, ottolenghiplenty, and jerusalem, get those while you’re at it. you need them.

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last on my list, for now at least, is this book. it was a great pleasure to be one of the assistant food stylists on this book. quite possibly the most fun two weeks ever! being around so much beautiful food, gorgeous props, and nice, talented people was a real treat.

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farmers market finds

gherkinsuntil this summer, i had never seen these before – don’t they look like teey tiny watermelons? during the last couple weeks of august, i kept seeing them out at Balsam Farms in Amagansett. the farm stand had them labeled as “gherkins… or mini sour cucumbers from mexico”.

well, when i see the word gherkin, i think of pickles which i hate so i totally ignored these the first time around. the following weekend they were still there and my curiosity got the better of me. as it turns out, they taste just like a super-crunchy cucumber… delicious. i’ve been throwing them in tomato & mozzarella salads and eating them plain.

some very quick internet research yielded this: they grow on a vine called melothria scabra, and are sometimes also called mouse melon. isn’t that cute?

 

make it/ illustrated: lemon ricotta stuffed squash blossoms

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stuffed squash blossoms… ever try them? they seem really complicated but there’s not much to it. and they’re all over the farmer’s market at the moment. illustrator erin mcgill shows us how with another fab illustrated recipe…squash blossoms

 

explore: paris, part one

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so finally… some paris photos! i love taking photos, i just hate dealing with them once they’re uploaded. this part always takes me a while.

in june i spent three glorious days in paris before heading south to cannes for one week. it was my first trip to france since 1999, and so much was different. last time, i was about a year out of school. i stayed with my sister, who was there as a student and had way too many roommates in a strange apartment filled with inflatable furniture. it was still great, but… this time i was with mk, we stayed in the marais (here; see photos from the neighborhood above) and my goal was simply to eat eat eat, shop a bit, and relax.

well, we were super successful at eating. (and the other stuff!) but mostly at the eating. i’m talking gold medal. (translation: i made myself borderline ill.) it was totally worth it.

i’m not super at-ease, though, taking photos with my big camera in restaurants. it seems so obtrusive to me…plus there is the small fact that i’m really a hobbyist when it comes to photography, not a professional. i like to experiment and learn about my camera outside, where i’m not bothering anybody, but inside… i know i don’t have the right equipment and i’m guessing at the settings more often than not. so i stick to my iphone and instagram for those moments in a restaurant when i just absolutely have to get a photo, and have re-capped some of the food centric pics below. (and you can always follow me on instagram for more…)

as for where we ate? i’m really proud of what we fit into three days… it started with a stunning lunch at Le 6 Paul Bert, (chosen after reading this) after which i decided i really needed to get four eclair from L’Eclair de Genie. not one, to just savor and enjoy. four. a sampling, if you will. i took a bite of each back at the hotel room, decided i might die, and took a nap.

later we found ourselves at the wine bar of Frenchie, drinking a great white wine and holding out for a table, which we finally got! (at the wine bar, not at the restaurant itself – another time.) tip: get there around 7pm, and you might only wait around 90 minutes for a table. but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable wait! our table ended up having a view into the kitchen, and the food was excellent.

another day, another lunch… at Le Meurice, located within the very fancy Hotel Meurice. this was a three-star Michelin meal, and in a word, superb. the kind of meal that makes all subsequent meals suck. this three-hour affair involved duck, foie gras, pasta, octopus, a fried oyster…. and a lot more. needless to say, dinner at the very lovely Spring restaurant underwhelmed – but simply because it followed Le Meurice! judged on it’s own merits, it’s excellent. i believe this day also involved a chocolate pistachio croissant from Du Pains et Des Idees, the best cappiccino of the trip at Ten Belles, and ice cream from Amorino. i also believe this is the day i started to feel like i might be overdoing it. no wonder i could barely eat by the time we got to spring…

i don’t want to make this post too long so i’ll save shopping bits for another time. i also, for the first time ever, created a google map specifically for the trip. i’m obsessed with making maps now, and might post it here if anyone is interested…? there’s a lot of stuff on there i didn’t have time for, so it’s kind of a wishlist in a way, but i love looking at it.

paris_food_IGrow 1: the meal and the scene at Le 6 Paul bert

row 2: snippits from Le Meurice… how amazing is that “apple” dessert?

row 3: inside L’Eclair de Genie, the Frenchie bar menu, and a huge line of people outside a falafel shop in the marais. i was tempted.

row 4: snaps from the newly redone food hall at Le Bon Marche

row 5: pistachio chocolate croissant, the best cappuccino, and great packaging at one of the many sweet shops i poked into.

 

(all photos by laura kinsey for bklynprairie.com)

 

sandwiches

RTL_pretzelsandRTL_grilledcheeseRTH_chickensalad_0607i worked on these images with my friend Alex, who moved to SF last week. i’m excited for him but will miss collaborating… it was always such a good time. these are from at least a year ago, but it’s fun to go back and critique. what would i keep/ edit/ fix/ redo, that kind of thing.

also, these are giving me some serious ideas for lunch this week.

make it/ illustrated: strawberry lassi

strawberry recipeif i can still get my hands on some farmers market strawberries this week, i’m going to make this strawberry lassi with coconut milk. it’s light, frothy, and even borderline healthy. looks totally perfect for this hot weather we’ve been having!

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illustrations by erin mcgill. recipe from last month’s issue of ba (see here)

paris!

so here’s some news: i’m leaving for paris and cannes in nine days. the last time i was in paris it was 1999, and since things have undoubtedly changed a ton, i am so, soooo excited. even though it was a beautiful weekend here in nyc, i totally fell down the rabbit hole (aka the internet) doing an astonishing amount of paris research. ninety-eight percent of it food based, of course.

here are a few things i’m really looking forward to:

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HiP-Paris-Blog-Carin-Olsson-Éclairs-111. so forget macaron, everyone is ga-ga now for éclair, and i’m dying to try them at L’Eclair de Genie, which happens to be right down the street from the our hotel. danger.

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2. okay, i guess i’m not immune to the charms of a macaron. i know Ladurée is just wonderful and all, but it’s fussy image has never resonated with me, so i don’t feel that concerned with going there. plus, we have one in new york now if i ever change my mind. i do, however, want to try the selection from Pierre Hermé. the flavor combinations are supposedly vast and extremely creative.

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3. i admit this sounds a little strange, but i keep reading that the roof bar at the Holiday Inn, Le 43, is fantastic. and it’s reservation only. what? am i crazy to want to try it? supposedly the view can’t be beat and the cocktails are killer. i like both of those things… so we’ll see.

frenchiewinebar4. frenchie! i hear it’s impossible to get in, but i am going to give it my best shot. at the very least, i’ll elbow my way into the adjoining wine bar. i’m good at that.

5. well, the fifth thing was going to be the Musée Picasso, but it is closed for renovation till the end of the year. i can’t cry too hard, though. it’s paris, and there is always another museum, right? maybe the Musée de la Poupée, which has over five hundred antique dolls on display. no? (even their website is totally creepy!) okay, maybe Musée d’Orsay or Musée de l’Orangerie will give me my art fix.

(image credits: top two photos by paris in four months, via HIP Paris; third macaron photo by linternaute.com; fourth macaron photo by du-sacre-au-sucre.blogspot.com; fifth photo via HIP Paris; sixth photo courtesy of the Frenchie website.)