Friday, April 5, 2013

Early Spring Random Bites

I bet you didn't know that I collect aprons.
Well, now you know.

I have a ton of sexy, frilly vintage aprons, but I always wonder how you cook in them, without splattering your top, since the old style aprons only go around your waist.

I prefer a full body apron, one that goes around your neck and ties in the back.
Williams Sonoma makes the nicest and sturdiest aprons for my daily cooking.

I have aprons with my Stacey Snacks logo on them, which are nice, but this gorgeous apron I purchased in Normandy.

It is 100% French linen, with a big #4 printed on the front.  It is very long and goes all the way around your body.

Here's the problem. I love it, but am afraid to cook in it, because how do I wash it after I ruin it with food stains? I am terrible at laundry (a domestic goddess I am not, except in the kitchen).

So, I will just keep trying it on for now, or maybe wear it as a "hostess apron".
Such problems.

We had a memorable meal at L'Artusi in NYC last week.

We sat at the chef's counter and drank small batch Italian wines paired with homemade pastas, blood orange & avocado salad, pork chop diavalo, roasted branzino w/ lemons and olives, and an olive oil cake w/ creme fraiche mousse and raisin marmalata.

Um, HELLO??????

What's for lunch?

I usually make my husband's sandwiches the night before and pack his lunchbox so it's ready to go (plus, I am fast asleep in the a.m. when he leaves for work).

I know you've seen these here before, but this is probably my numero uno favorite sammie. Pan Bagnat from the South of France.
Better made 2 days in advance and pushed down with a brick or soda cans to meld the flavors (covered in foil, of course).

Click here for the recipe.

You know it's spring when.......................

Magic Fountain opens.
This 1950's ice cream counter is an institution in my town. It closes for the winter, and re-opens late March.

Though there are no leaves on the trees right now, the lines will be around the corner on hot summer nights, with families, Little League teams and crazies like me, waiting for their peanut butter chocolate hard ice cream on a sugar cone.
Get in line.

Here is a REALLY GOOD EASY recipe that I found on the internet one night.
It's called Salt & Butter Chicken.

You buy a whole chicken cut up into 8 pieces.

Lay out in a roasting pan and brush on 1/4 cup of melted butter (4 tbsp of unsalted butta).

Season liberally with a big salt you like, (like a Lawry's, or McCormick All Salt seasoning). I used orange sea salt from some foreign land.

Bake in a 400F oven for about 50 minutes.
This chicken is SO MOIST and SO GOOD! One of the best baked chickens I have ever made, and stupid easy.
Make sure you eat the skin (Mil), or don't bother making it.

A little skin ain't gonna hurt ya.


mil said...

Okay... I'll eat the skin.
Nag, nag, nag. It looks sensational.

Anonymous said...

Meet u @the Magic Fountain, Ms. Snacks. I don't even like ice cream, but for some reason, this morning, peanut butter chocolate hard ice cream sounds real good. Wear that stylish French numero IV apron so I can pick you out from the crowd.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Ah, another sneak peek into your glamorous life. :) I had to laugh at the apron part. I collect them, too. I found a woman who makes cute aprons with a velcro neck closure. Love it. I bought a new one that has the cutest print on it, and didn't want to use it for fear of staining it. Wouldn't you know? I got the biggest chocolate stain on it and it won't come out. Arrrgh. Love the stupid easy chicken. I give Craig the skin, because he loves it. Welcome spring!

Debby in Seattle said...

One of the nicest surprises was when Richard went down to Costco Business center and purchased a chef's coat for me and had my name monogramed on it. I wore it last month when I prepared a dinner party for his 5 PCO's and now I wonder if they think "WE" like to play dress-up!2958

NJNY said...

Yay for Magic Fountain! Soft Serve please!
and those "sammies" look divine!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Use the damn apron will ya' and don't worry about stains. They prove you really cook! And life's too short to keep things in storage. When it's beyond its use, go to France and buy another one - with a big number one.

SarahB said...

Right on, Ciao Chow!!! I like the way you think!!

BIG smiles reading this week's Random Bites too....

Melbourne Girl said...

I love the apron and know exactly what you mean about ruining it with food stains. I bought a couple of french linen tea towels in France and can't bring myself to use them because I'll wreck them!
Ughh...nice to look at though.
Stacie that meal at L'Artusi looks AMAZING!!!
Your chicken aint so bad either


Proud Italian Cook said...

You guys are some serious eaters when you go out, you don't mess around, I love it! Linda's right, wear the apron!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I wish you would make my lunch too. All your food always looks delicious.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm afraid to wear my good aprons too. My favorite says Queen of Everything and I wear it with pride. But would never dream of cooking in it!

Maggie said...

Just like the ratty torn and stained pages of a favorite cookbook, it shows you cook. Please put the apron on and make something especially messy! Linda is right - life is too short not to.

Bites from life with the barking lot said...

I love your sandwich too. It's my go to for an airplane ride. I don't smell the tuna and my neighbors are sleeping by the time I eat! Restaurant looks amazing, but what really amazes me is your tiny little waist in the apron! have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Stacey, if you're really not going to wear that gorgeous apron could you frame it for kitchen-art?

That chicken sounds amazing.

ting said...

Loved meeting you at Buvette tonight!! Thanks for the food recommendations and for sharing your anchovy tartine :)

I am totally loving your posts!!

Margaret said...

Hi Stacy :) I so can relate to this post of yours! Laundry is my most hated chore, I always have some kind of laundry mishap! And I would so avoid wearing that apron hehe Made it to Paris last year and I live to return! Your dinner at L'artusi sounds heavenly!! Ohhhh icecreammmy dreammmy icecreammmmmm when we spent a year in Winnipeg 2010 we were at the legendary BDI (Bridge Drive Inn ) at least once a week! Always a line-up!!! I too used to make my husbands sandwiches night b4,( he is now retired :)) tho he'd so often forget to take them!! I always enjoy catching up to your wonderful blog Stacy :) That salt and butter chicken sounds easy and delightful :)Thank-you:)
Margaret from B.C.

Margaret said...

Hi Stacy, I so can relate to your post... laundry is my most hated disaster laden chore! And I would so hate to wear and stain that gorgeous apron! Yummm ice cream ice cream... when my husband and I were in Winnipeg 2010, we were at the legendary Winnipeg ice cream landmark the BDI ( Bridge Drive
Inn ) every week, or more! Your Magic Fountain reminds me of the BDI! Always a line-up!!! Your dinner at L'Artusi sounds heavenly, the chicken recipe delicious!
Margaret from B.C.

Stacey Snacks said...

We loved meeting you and your husband at Buvette last night!
So fun to meet someone who is addicted to food blogs (and GOOD food!).

Hope to see you again!
Stacey (& Henry!)