Monday, September 7, 2015

Holding On

I did not plan to be silent for so long.  It just happened as I have been savoring the last moments of the cherished life I have known for so many years.  Addison graduated from college with his Masters of Architecture and is now working in another city.  Maddie graduated from high school and is off to college far from home.  In an attempt to hold on to the last remnants of a life I hold dear we took a trip to New York City.  One last hurrah before a new season in our lives begins.  

New York City is so big, vibrant and energetic.  Day or night it pulsates with life.  It is both exhilarating and a bit exhausting, but fun and exciting.  The architecture is truly awe inspiring. 

And when New York City gets a little overwhelming there is always a park nearby to escape to for a bit of peace or to rejuvenate.

I wonder what it is like to have a corner office in the Flatiron Building?  Is the furniture triangle-shaped?

Much to our delight we were accompanied by our dear long-time friends Jane, Collin and Elizabeth.  Jane is a friend from college who is part of my annual girls' weekend.  Her children, Collin and Elizabeth, are close in age to Addison and Maddie.  While we don't live in the same city we have done our best to spend as much time as possible together over the years.  Watching our children grow up and develop their own friendships with each other as well as with us has been a delight.

Lucky for us Collin worked in New York City this summer so we had our own personal guide.  He is definitely in the know with all things trendy and cool.  He took us to some undiscovered gems. Although I have been making avocado toast at home for years, Collin introduced us to an elevated version at Café Select.   For a nice twist there is a layer of roasted tomatoes under the creamy avocados.  It is the ultimate comfort food.  

New York City at Fourth of July is dressed very patriotic with flags flying everywhere and buildings beautifully lit.

Thanks to the kindness of the family Collin stayed with we had a front row seat to the festive fireworks over the East River.  The view was spectacular.

I got almost as much enjoyment out of the reaction of a friend of the family as I did to the fireworks themselves.  As each firework exploded in the sky she let out a cheer of excitement.

Of course no trip to New York City would be complete without going to the theatre.  An American in Paris did not disappointment.  The multi-talented cast was superb.

Even though we are not in Paris, I just can't leave New York City without a quick trip to Ladurée. We stopped by to pick-up macarons for our long drive home. 

But we were pleasantly surprised to find two of our favorite pastries as well - a Raspberry Passion Fruit Tart and a Strawberry and Pistachio Saint-Honoré cake.  What a treat!

Once back home and closer to the big changes ahead I needed a little comfort so I tried to recreate the satisfying avocado toast of Café Select. This recipe is very loose and easy.  It is all about a sprinkle of this, a pinch of that, add more or less to your taste.  I like a nice dense whole-grain loaf of bread, but substitute whatever you like.  There is no right or wrong, interpret as you please.

Roasted Tomato Avocado Toast

1 lb. (16 ounces/453g) ripe tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ripe avocados
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional
loaf of whole-grain bread
pinch of sugar
splash of balsamic vinegar
cherry tomatoes, optional
additional cilantro for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Wash and dry tomatoes.  Cut the tomatoes horizontally in half.  Squeeze gently to remove seeds or use a spoon. Put cut side down on the baking sheet.  Peel the garlic cloves, leave whole, put on the baking sheet.  Drizzle tomatoes and garlic with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until very soft and the skins are slightly brown.  Allow to cool.

Rough chop the tomatoes and garlic and put in a bowl.  Add a pinch of sugar, a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix.  The tomatoes can be done ahead of time leave at room temperature if using immediately.  Or store in a tightly covered glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Cut the avocados in half length-wise remove the seed and put the insides in a bowl.  Squeeze half of a lemon in the bowl add the chopped cilantro if using.  Lightly mash the avocado and stir to combine.

Cut the bread in thick slices, toast and drizzle with additional olive oil.  Spread each piece with the tomato mixture and top with the avocado mixture.  Garnish with additional cilantro and cherry tomato halves.  Serve.  Makes 6-8 pieces of toast.

No comments:

Post a Comment