this friday night in particular was worth celebrating. i:
1. finished my first full week of my new job
2. made it to memorial day weekend, with three glorious days of freedom ahead of me
3. i bought a new apartment, free and clear, all mine, in the chelsea area of new york city.
i floated home as i walked down 44th street, stopping at the chelsea garden center and finding, oh joy, a small pot of thai basil, the one herb i’ve been unable to locate for my new kitchen garden. my office closed at two PM and i took advantage of the afternoon to clean up the apartment, the kitchen, to set up photography projects for the summer, and best of all, scout some seriously delicious tasks to keep me busy all weekend.
i began with a simple and delicious friday evening meal. while snacking on my favorite appetizer of fresh mozzarella and sliced proscuitto, i delved into giada de laurentiis’ new book, everyday pasta, and came up with a perfect springtime dish: lemon cream chicken with penne. since today was the first really hot day of the year, blasting through 90F on the thermometer, the lemon with the light sauce was an ideal way to go. the only thing i did wrong was to get a bit overzealous, as i always do, with the cayenne pepper...
dessert was equally simple and sublime. turning to that old seasonal standby, emily luchetti’s passion for desserts, i pulled out a recipe that had been languishing on my to-do list since last summer: strawberry ginger sodas. now that we’re finally entering strawberry season here in the US (although not here in new york city for another few weeks), i felt secure picking up a quart of berries from the supermarket and bringing them home with me, where i blended them into a puree and mixed them with a can of ginger ale. i topped this off with a few small scoops of orange sherbet (store-bought, but don’t tell anyone) and sipped pure summer heaven through a straw.