Monday, May 25, 2015

the novel bakers present...

sunday suppers, recipes and gatherings.

sunday suppers is a food and design community based in south williamsburg brooklyn, their focus is on seasonal fare and simple, thoughtful living. their studio is 1500 sq ft, outfitted with top of the line commercial grade equipment, with 12' high windows and a northern exposure that is perfect for beautiful, consistent, diffused lighting for photography...

selected by the ny times as the top cookbook for 2014, sit back and enjoy while we gather to share a few recipes from this relaxed community of dinners...

i chose to start my day with this simple, but delicious breakfast while working in the garden. we devoured our breakfast bread served with iced cinnamon coffee and macerated minted blackberries. it was so good it was rather hard to want to continue working! please note i will be posting recipes next week for all the recipes shared here today, i have found it to hard to try and track down recipes when so many can be jam packed per post :-)

i spend most of my time on the cold california coast, but this week i am inland, where the temperatures are always warm and welcoming for outdoor dining. i wanted to take advantage of this lighter fare, when its 40 degrees, pure fog and blowing a gale, day in and day out all summer by the sea, cool refreshing salads and ice cream are far from my mind...

the first recipe i was eager to try was homemade ricotta...

as gorgeous as it looks now, it was not nearly as simple as it appeared in the recipe. i had to throw my first batch out, it never curdled... i was so disappointed i had to power down 3 brownies, grab my computer and google failed ricotta. after a brief chemistry lesson i was quick to right my wrongs, but i do think perhaps a little more explanation would have been helpful to those new to cheese making.

to make it even easier then their instructions, i followed another recipe with temperature guides, something i was in dire need of since i don't grasp the concept of proper curdling. heat your milk to 200 degrees, turn off the stove, add your lemon and salt and then don't touch it for 10 minutes. i checked back to find very weak curds, the new recipe said to keep adding a tablespoon at a time of more lemon juice until curdling begins, which was brilliant! i am sure if i had a wee bit of knowledge the recipe would have been something i could have handled, i was just in very foreign territory!

with our luscious homemade ricotta ready to go, i decided to do a simple little picnic on the deck with a mix of wonderful tastes and textures. i strolled the garden in the morning and picked my fresh citrus to try another recipe i found on their website,  broiled citrus and ricotta toast.

for an extra nibble i added pickled grapes...

keeping it light, we enjoyed this beautiful watermelon salad, a very unusual mix with tomatoes, watermelon and radishes in a lemon dressing~

followed up with blueberry balsamic ice cream

i hope you enjoyed your day with the novel bakers and that we may have inspired you to get out there and try new books and recipes~

visit the authors blog for more inspiration~

...thank you for visiting my quiet little life...


  1. In a word..YUM! I was drawn to the breakfast bread too and had a morning boat cruise all planned... so much for best laid plans. Your photos of it in your beautiful basket and served with your cinnamon iced coffee make me want to make some this morning, along with those cute glass pots of berries.

    After reading about your failed ricotta, I'm glad now I bought some. It sounded so easy, I'm glad to know how to remedy the lack of curdling. The broiled grapefruit and orange on your ricotta toast looks wonderful especially with your homegrown citrus.

    I thought the grapes were fun too and we all three loved the salad I see :) Your blueberry balsamic ice cream looks divine and perfect for the summer! Thanks for organizing and the delicious fun...breakfast never looked so good ♥

  2. As always your photos are a work of art Jain, and the recipes you've chosen from the book are so intriguing~tell me, after mastering the art of homemade ricotta was it worth the effort, and is the flavor better than any you've had? The pickled grapes sound like a fun surprise and that breakfast bread and iced coffee, swoon! Can't wait to see the recipes coming up. Thank you for another delightful romp with the Novel Bakers

  3. Welcome back Novel Bakers! Wonderful post today. Everything looks so yum! Can't wait for the recipes.

  4. It all looks wonderful. I've tried to make ricotta cheese too! It took me three tries - so you did better than I did! Don't forget, I'd love to join the novel bakers whenever I can!

  5. As I commented to Mary, you girls certainly know your way around a kitchen! The amount of dishes you prepare to perfection, then style, and ultimately photograph to share on a post is totally amazing to me. Every dish looks yummy. Thanks to the Novel Bakers for sharing Sunday Suppers.

  6. Jain, your photographs and words are a feast, a Sunday supper to savor and remember. You're a damn good writer, cook, and photographer. I just don't know where to begin! The breakfast pastry looks scrumptious. From all these miles away, I can smell the citrus as you wander through your enchanted grove, gathering fruit into your basket. I have never made ricotta--and your adventures are a book alone, a Marlena type, with a beginning, middle, and an end--a happy ending, with pickled grapes and iced coffee and blueberry balsamic ice cream. The tastes and textures are brilliant. I am intrigued by Karen's kitchen--just having a dedicated space like that is the stuff of dreams, especially with the northern light. [I was reminded of the time I went to see a NYC photographer--her loft was in the meat district, and her windows (very much like these) faced north. I promptly forgot about the quality of that light until now. Yet I still crave dappled light. I just do!] I am looking forward to baking and playing. xxoo

  7. Jain, You are tempting me to try more recipes from this book. I made the watermelon salad as I have become hooked on the idea of using watermelon in unexpected ways ever since our picnic week last summer when I made watermelon and cucumber salad and loved it. My salad this time, however, was just not photo worthy! And that's where my adventures with this book ended. I must go back and make more of these foods which you have made so attractive! Linda