Friday, April 11, 2014

Scallion Kimchi // Life in Bloom (Weeks 33 & 34)

Lately, I've been overwhelmed by color. Everywhere I look, life is in bloom again. The trees are budding with tiny pastel bursts. The early evening sky has been an ombre display of muted ambers, grays and blues. Once more, the aisles at our local market are verdant and brimming with piles of spring's early produce. The whole world seems to be coming back to life in a way. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Smokey Carrot Hummus // Welcome Spring (Weeks 31 & 32)

Last week marked the first official day of spring, and I have to be honest: I couldn't be more thrilled if I tried. I've had my eye on the calendar a lot this year, and for good reason. For starters, this has been the longest, coldest winter I think any of us have experienced in many years. But more importantly, the approaching spring season has great meaning to the chef and I this year. Although it is staggering to think about, this spring places us on the right side of the halfway mark to our one year anniversary on 2nd Avenue. As the winter wind begins to die down, the warmer breeze that has ever so slowly begun to blow through the air feels like a constant reminder that another season is behind us, and that we are one step closer to making this little shop of ours really work.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Homemade Bagels // The Institutions (Weeks 29 & 30)

New York's food scene, I think, can be neatly divided into three major categories: the dives, the "of-the-moment" locales, and the institutions. While I'm a sucker for a good hole in the wall, and I can pretty easily be convinced to follow all things shiny ("Oh! A foil wrapper! A shiny, albeit overpriced, accessory! A restaurant with impressive, trendy decor!"), my real favorites in New York and beyond are the institutions. These are the venues that simply swell with history, the places where the staff has served the same tables and prepared the same dishes not just for years, but for generations. They are the types of establishments that refuse to change with the times, where a substitution request will get you kicked to the curb, and where the family who originally signed the lease still has their name on the door. Lucky for me, New York is ripe with these institutions. And even better, recently, I had the opportunity to visit yet another of them. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Orange & Lemon Marmalade Cake // Thank You (Weeks 27 & 28)

This week, all I want to do is say thanks. And eat cake. That's right: I want to say thanks and eat cake and bask in the moment. No profound narratives about life beneath our shop's awning. No reflections about mistakes made or upcoming markets. No bits about new menus or new employees. Instead, I simply want to offer a big round of thank yous accompanied by fat slices of this warm and buttery marmalade-glazed cake. It's sort of my new favorite thing. So there.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lemon Marmalade // A Winter Valentine (Weeks 25 & 26)

As a shop owner, the thought of a snow day just doesn’t have the same appeal it does when you are a kid. I guess that, with age, thoughts of delivery drivers dangerously skidding their bicycles down 2nd Avenue and liability horror stories begin to trump your daydreams of snow angels and round plastic sleds. However, as snowstorms continue to slam the northeast, one after the next (after the next…), you begin to learn you have two options: you either embrace mother nature’s fury or you embrace the fact that you have become the crazy lady who inexplicitly curses at puddles while wearing too many mismatched layers and rubber rain boots. This week, we opted for the first option. After much deliberation, Mayhem & Stout embraced its first (and hopefully only…ever…) snow day.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pickled Chai Grapes // The Issue with Authenticity (Weeks 23 & 24)

This week, we received word that a new shop opened just a few blocks away that boasts a menu strikingly reminiscent of our own. While I do believe in the old adage that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, these past few days, no matter how I tried to busy myself, and no matter how many sun salutations I completed to try to clear my head, a single question occupied all my mental space: had these guys ever been inside our shop, or were the similarities mere coincidence in the purest form?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Olive Oil, Thyme & Sea Salt Crackers // All the Pretty Things (Week 22)

I'm not a fan of pretty things. Not in the traditional sense, at least. I like women with gaps between their front teeth, and cutting boards that look a little bit beat up. I prefer wild growth as opposed to a neatly trimmed hedge. When it comes to food, I'm no different. I tend to shy away from recipes that require precise, scalloped edges, instead leaning toward foods that are a tad more rustic, even if that means those foods don't always look picture perfect on my plate.