Monday, August 29, 2011

Hiding from the Hurricane.

I am thankful that the damage sustained to our area from the hurricane was significantly less than expected. My thoughts go out to those who had a rougher experience with this storm than we did. I just returned to my apartment to find absolutely no damage whatsoever. I am very grateful. 

Our evacuation plans brought us to Bergen county, where two of our best friends, Ron and Christina, live with their gorgeous little one- Baby Ronnie!

He and Joe have fun together...

On Saturday morning, Christina whipped up some french toast and blueberries for breakfast. So simple, but so satisfying! 

She also made iced coffee! THAT's what friends are for. 

After breakfast, Ronnie and I played around a bit.

And then we swung by their family's farm in Old Tappan, NJ, where Ron works with his father, Papa Ron. Stokes Farm sells at several Greenmarkets in NYC, including Tucker Sq (near Lincoln Center), Union Sq and Tribeca. They also have a produce stand on their farm, which is where we visited.

Once again, I snatched up baby Ronnie (I SWEAR I'm not trying to steal him...).

Little Ronnie's cousin picked me a beautiful flower!

I drooled over the gorgeous produce for a few minutes...

And then we swung by Amato Bread for lunch. 

Behold the world's most epic Italian deli sandwiches. 
Piles of fresh mozz, eggplant cutlet, roasted red peppers, capicola, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sopressata and love, smooshed onto the most decadently fresh hero I've ever eaten. More, please.

After a food-induced coma for us (and a nap for Baby Ronnie), Christina and I headed into the kitchen to whip up homemade heirloom pizza for dinner. 

OK... So we cheated and bought dough...

But we made up for it with Stokes Famous Heirloom Tomatoes! I never, ever liked tomatoes until I spent a few summers working at Stoke's Farm's Greenmarket stand- after conceding to try an heirloom tomato, I became obsessed, and have been ever since. 

The boys stepped aside and let Christina and I get to work!

I'm so accustomed to cooking in my tiny, cramped Brooklyn apartment that cooking in Christina's gorgeous kitchen felt positively luxurious!

We selected a few of the tomatoes based on flavor and consistency (some meatier ones to balance out the more delicate). 

With the winners! :)

This variety of heirloom is ripe when it's greenish yellow!

Christina and I get down to business rinsing and coarsely chopping! 

Heirlooms are also referred to as "ugly" tomatoes because of their imperfections, but don't let their appearances fool you- they're beautiful in your mouth!

 After cubing the tomatoes, we tossed them in a bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh garlic.

 Baby Ronnie supervised. 

 The tomatoes went in a saucepan, where they stewed on medium heat. 

I got to work on the dough. Fun fact: my mother owned a pizza shop once, and I am a MASTER dough handler. :)

 We prepped the dough with an olive oil, garlic and herb drizzle. After pressing the excess liquid from the tomatoes, they topped the pizza along with some mozzarella, parmesan and goat cheese. Into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes...

 ...annnnnnnnnndddd..... perfection. 

 I know, Baby Ronnie, it's a thing of beauty, isn't it?

Served with a side of heirloom tomato soup- maybe I can get the recipe from Christina?

Heirlooms are in season NOW! GO. BUY SOME. You'll thank me.

There are still a few days to enter my Bondi Band Giveaway!