Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for August 2011

Outstanding in the Field – Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

with 2 comments

Awesome night last night.¬† I have a million pictures to share so I might as well just get started.¬† ūüôā

First, here is¬†OSF’s mission:

Our mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure ‚Äď literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999 we have set the long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors: a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table. Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the site, we all settle in: farmers, producers, culinary artisans, and diners sharing the long table.

Jim & Katy – the founders

Ben – the farmer (he quit his job at e*trade to become an urban farmer)

We went on a tour of the farm with Anastasia (who grew up in the West Village and just learned how to farm three years ago when she was hired).  This is her in front of the chicken coup.

The “kitchen”.¬† Dan Kluger from ABC Kitchen was the head chef, but he was stuck in Barbados due to the storm.¬† Food was still amazing.¬† I can’t even imagine what it would taste like if he was there.

One of the three tables set for forty people.

Our table Рits a tradition for everyone to bring their own plates so the setting is unique.  The food was served family style.

The view from my seat

well, and . . .

the better halfs

more of the farm

Now onto the most important part Рthe food (and wine)!  All of the wine was supplied by the Shinn Estate Vineyards in New York. 

The first course was passed appetizers when we first got to the farm.  The appetizers included: roasted eggplant toast with peppers and lemon, spinach and goat cheese pizza and roasted squash with parmesan and lemon.  They were served with a 2007 Brut Sparkling wine.

The second course, which was at the table, was an heirloom tomato salad with chilies and basil.  The bread was freshly baked and delivered from Sullivan Street Bakery in the city.

Some of the tomatoes came from the Brooklyn Grange while others came from Maxwell’s farm in Jersey.¬† This is Bill Maxwell giving a little speech about his farm and answering questions.

Second course was a strawberry and goat cheese salad with mint, lime and arugula.¬† Lynn Fleming from the Lynnhaven Farm in New York (who provided the goat cheese) also gave a little speech and answered questions.¬† I didn’t get a picture of her . .¬†. I was so busy stuffing my face with this amazing salad.

The third course was grilled housemade chicken and pork sausage with warm field greens, crispy prosciutto and sherry vinaigrette.  This was served with the Shinn Estate 2010 Rose.

Fourth course (getting full yet?) was steamed halibut with goldbar zucchini and nasturtium vinaigrette AND grilled broccoli rab with ginger and scallions. This was served with a 2010 chardonnay.

The fifth course (yes, i¬†just said fifth course) was cold fried chicken with potatoes and whole grain mustard salad.¬† Which was served with saut√©ed corn (fresh from the cob), manchego¬†cheese, jalapeno and lime.¬† This was served with the Shinn Estate¬†2008 “Wild Boar Doe” (cute play on the name).

And if you could handle it (I could!!) desert was homemade glazed doughnuts AND and a peach and blackberry crostada (with homemade creme fresh).  This was served with the Shinn Estate 2010 Wickham Pear Cider.

Awesome food.

Awesome friends.

Awesome night.

I. Love. NY.

Written by bevanddara

August 31, 2011 at 10:59 am

Posted in Food

If I send pictures from e-mail, my phone and my camera is that mixed media?

leave a comment »

You will probably have to do quite a bit of editing since pictures came from so many sources.¬† Don’t be surprised, they are all quilt related pictures.

First, a wall hanging made by Cindy B. that I quilted.  The quilting in the white area is my new favorite-curved cross hatching. (Picture from my camera)


¬†Next is Claudia’s Dear Jane.¬† She has finished and assembled the middle 169 blocks.¬† Yeah Claudia!!!¬† I guess most people come up with names for this quilt.¬† Claudia is calling hers Uncle Jane, she has had enough of this quilt, and is refusing to piece the border triangle blocks. (The following are Phone Photos)

The reason there has been so much written in my blog about this quilt is that several members of the Brandon Piecemaker’s¬†Guild started this quilt 10 years ago.¬† A few of them are pushing to finish the quilt by the 10th anniversary of their start, which is next February. Here’s the actual Dear Jane, for new blog readers.

Claudia is featured, again, because she finished the funky monkey quilt. 

I thought I was going crazy, I couldn’t find a picture of¬†the most adorable Boston¬†Terrier Quilt.¬† I KNEW I saw it somewhere, can’t believe¬†despite my searches to and from the ends of the internet, I couldn’t find the quilt.¬† Just when I was beginning¬†to give up hope of finding the quilt (and becoming convinced that I had imagined the quilt and therefore¬†was crazy)¬† Dear Janice knew exactly the quilt I was talking about!!! She even had a picture!¬† Okay, it’s a closeup, but one can get the idea from the picture. And now, maybe someone in blogland knows who made the quilt. And despite all this, if Caitlin wants a simple green (cause we won’t know the baby’s sex) with words written on it, I’ll be happy to make that.¬† (Although, the BT is a very, very cute pattern.) This was the photo from an e-mail.


¬†I’m still drooling after hearing about your meal tonight.

Written by bevanddara

August 30, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Posted in Quilts

Scarf Time

leave a comment »

There is a hint of fallness¬†in the air in NYC . . . so now instead of a maxi dress obsession I’m currently obsessed with scarves.¬† Look how cute this scarf is that Heidi wore¬†in Cali the other day. Looks pretty cool over a plain white tee-shirt.


She has a few other good ones in her closet – like this one.

Remember when she obsessed over Anthony Ryan’s scarf.¬† Wonder if anyone ever made her one.

Also love this one that Ms. Lohan wore the other day.

Also love this LV one that everyone seems to have.

Today I’m wearing¬†this one today.¬† Thought it looks farmish . . . which is appropriate for my dinner this evening on a rooftop garden in Brooklyn (Outstanding in the Field)!¬† Should have plenty of pictures to share with you tomorrow!



Written by bevanddara

August 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Me (and Mike, Jeannine, Danny, Chet), Myself and Irene

leave a comment »

Yes, this is categorized under “Dara’s Weekend Adventures”¬†because it certainly was one.¬†

Friday night I met Mike downtown at the Seaport Beer Garden for a glass of wine and to come up with our evacuation plan (since our water and electric was going to get cut off in less than 24 hours).

Then to dinner in Brooklyn at the seafood and tequila shack, then over to Vicki and Dave’s for some “End of the World Cocktails”.¬†

Saturday morning was all about preparation.¬† Mike bought a million cases of beer, ten bags of ice, all the peanut butter and water¬†that the drug store had on hand.¬† I grabbed PJs, my laptop, a bottle of wine¬†and my cell phone charger (necessities, you know?). Chet grabbed his dinosaur (that his mommy got him a few days ago –¬†its his¬†FAVORITE toy), his bones and food . . . and we were on our way to our evacuation location – The Upper East Side.

Not before checking out the preparation in our area.¬† Look at the gym!¬† I couldn’t even work out before evacuation.¬† ūüė¶

Saturday night, after getting settled at Dan and Jeannine’s, we went to a Mexican place for dinner and met up with more friends – Jeff and Joanna.¬†

Sunday morning Mike and I went to explore the neighborhood with Chetty and grab some coffee.  The ONLY place open was a Dunkin Doughnuts with no food Рjust coffee (and one very miserable worker).  I should have taken pictures of the scene Рit was like a movie blocked off the street РNO ONE was out Рeven at 8am on a Sunday morning.  Crazy. 

After breakfast we all went to Central Park for a walk.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on the couch watching Something Borrowed (even the guys got into that one), cooking shows and Jackass 3 (not recommended for people who easily throw up) while reading the Sunday Times (that came to us on Saturday!).  Danny and Jeannine are both from big Italian families so, of course, they kept us well fed throughout the day.  Procutto, mozzarella, basil omelets with fresh berries for breakfast , artichoke dip with carrots and pretzels and capreses salads with freshly made iced tea for lunch. Dinner was (with Jeff and Joanna too) linguine with rock shrimp (and homemade tomato sauce!) . . . AND chicken piccata with asparagus and salad.  Dessert was gelato (dark chocolate and caramel cookie crunch). 

We got home around 9pm. The¬†only¬†remanence of¬†hurricane¬†Irene were the flashing clocks on our appliances due to the¬†power getting turned off.¬† We’re very lucky to 1) have such generous friends to take us¬†in¬†2) for getting through the storm completely unscathed.

Written by bevanddara

August 29, 2011 at 11:32 am

Forget Fashion-PR 5-Bev’s take

leave a comment »

Let’s be honest, Michael Kors¬†and I have given up on this season ALREADY.¬† Where to start.

1)All team challenges should begin with a magnum of champagne.¬† Did you notice that each team of two had an additional “designer” chosen¬†strictly for their “pickuponess” quality?¬† The misfits Becky, Bert, should have formed their own team.¬† Perhaps then we would actually have some interesting designing going on.


2.) How did Josh (aka Crybaby) make it back in the show?¬† Of course Sad Sack (Cecelia) should have gone home, but last week’s auffed designer should have come back.¬†

3.) All black fabric should be removed from Mood. I’m sick of every outfit being black.¬†¬† It’s really hard to see on TV.

4.)Like you, I had no idea who the guest judge was. 


¬†I know I’ll sound like an old person, but she’s a model?¬† Couldn’t she at least combed her hair?¬† Maybe her pants are silk or satin, but they look like old lady sweat pants. (Now you probably recognize her-she’s¬†the ¬†presidential¬†candidate whose¬†picture was recently on the cover of Time magazine with this same expression.)

4.) What is with Heidi this season.  Did she actually wear a sequined jumpsuit?  Excuse me was it a romper? She wore high heels to run around the armory, and sneakers with a sequined outfit?


5.)¬† Back to the judging.¬† How did Eyebrow Josh win for the outfit you like, when it was obviously The Beauty Queen’s design.¬† AND why were there 2 winners, especially considering my previous comment?

I’ll admit, it’s still my favorite TV show, but it’s time for some interesting designing.

Written by bevanddara

August 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Posted in Fashion

Project Runway Episode # 5 – Dara’s Take

leave a comment »

I absolutely love this dress and would buy it in a second.¬† I probably wouldn’t wear sneakers with it, but I see how it works.

I still think Laura is going to win, but my top 3 is no longer applicable since one of them has been eliminated.¬† Pretty disappointing that Danielle sucked so much.¬† I’m going to have to replace her with Anya, who is (amazingly) totally blowing me away.¬† I not only want the dress shown above, that she (er, Becky) made I want the dress she’s wearing in her profile picture (below).

So am I the only person in the world that never heard of Erin Wasson before last night’s episode (she was the guest judge)?

Well, coincidentally she has just (as of Aug 24th) turned into a clothing designer (or collaborator I guess Рwith Zadig & Voltaire).  Here are some pictures of her new line Рnot my cup of tea but good for her.




Written by bevanddara

August 26, 2011 at 9:50 am

Posted in Fashion, Project Runway

Gardening is about patience

leave a comment »

Croatia is spectacular.  Who knew???

Most plants in Florida grow and flower quickly.  This baby has taken 4 years to bloom , it was worth the wait, and water, and fertilizer. The flowers are actually more pink than they appear.


 The plant is about 36 inches tall.


  If you look at the bottom of the plant, the round things are palm tree seeds.

¬† I’m not finished with BT pictures because¬†I love the dogs in this picture.

¬† (I could not make this picture any larger.¬† I really do need a lesson in proper picture addition to the blog.¬† Thank you for being such a Sweetie and fixing the pictures so our readers don’t think I’m inept.)

2-Putt is upset that Boston Terrors, Silkie Terriers, and Chihuahuas have been featured in the blog. 

¬† There WILL be a¬†project runway blog tomorrow.¬† It’s bad when every judge rolled their eyes!

Written by bevanddara

August 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Posted in Flowers, Pets, Uncategorized