Archive for October, 2011

Still Of the Night

Monday, October 24th, 2011

So I’ve just had my first venture in to the world of re-releasing backlist.  My holiday romantic suspense novella, Still of the Night (orginally in the Anthology Silent Night), is now available for download on both Smashwords and Amazon.com.  It should be available on Barnes and Noble and iBooks shortly.  It’s definitely a brave new world.

In the still of the night…

Christmas is coming and Jenny Fitzgerald couldn’t care less. She’s getting divorced, and her life is in tatters. And just when she’s thinking it couldn’t possibly be worse, her husband is killed on the job, an undercover operation gone bad. In the midst of her grief, Jenny is confronted with a killer. A hunter who will stop at nothing to see her dead…

Next up—the Time Travel Trilogy:  Everything In Its Time, Wild Highland Rose, The Promise

And congratulations to winners Terri, Jean, Peggy, Glenda, Arianne, Lara, Lynn, Sandi, Jackie, and Lynn!  They each won a hard copy of my A-Tac e-novella Daring!



Balthazar

Monday, October 17th, 2011

So last weekend, I met friends at Balthazar in SoHo. After exiting a taxi on Spring Street, we literally had to fight our way inside.  There were people milling everywhere.  Clearly a popular Sunday venue.  Once inside we discovered that our friends hadn’t arrived yet, so we fought our way back outside and settled on one of the benches lining the wall that fronts the restaurant.  I have to admit, it was a spectacular fall morning and it was great fun to sit and watch the people go by.  And once our friends arrived we were gratified to find that even though the place was still overly packed, our reservation was promptly honored and we were shown to a lovely table.

Like all New York restaurants the tables were squeezed together and we were a little too close to our neighbors for comfort, but
we quickly forgot as we began to peruse the menu and catch up.  My first thought on entering the cavernous American bistro was that it looked a lot like Artisanal, the Terrance Brennan’s cheesery in Murray Hill.   Which isn’t a bad thing.  Airy and, squashed tables aside, comfortable, the place is all marble, velvet and brass.  With the soaring ceilings of a building converted from a leather wholesaler’s warehouse.

Opened in 1997 by Keith McNally (of Patis fame), Balthazar’s co-chefs are Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr.  Both men have resumes that include some of New York’s finest dining establishments.   And the restaurant is both a tourist draw and a neighborhood favorite.

The brunch menu, with a definite Parisian slant, offered entrees for both breakfast and lunch.  I chose the Brioche French toast with smoked bacon.  And although the French toast had a lovely touch of cinnamon in the batter, I found it dry and slightly overcooked.  My friend however, had the
scrambled eggs in puff pastry with wild mushrooms and asparagus, and it not only looked wonderful, it apparently tasted fabulous as well.  The other egg dishes ordered were tasty as well.

While I’m not sure that I’d make the effort to travel downtown again just to go to Balthazar’s, I’d definitely recommend it as a fun way to spend a fabulous fall morning with good friends.  And I am interested in trying out the bakery next door.  The pastries are supposed to be fabulous!

Balthazar, 80 Spring Street, 212.965.1414, http://www.balthazarny.com



Ricotta Gnocchi

Monday, October 10th, 2011


I love Gnocchi!  My favorite place to have it is at Fiorini, a fabulous Italian restaurant on 56th between 2nd and 3rd.   And although I adore the standard potato version, when we had ricotta gnocchi at Filomena’s in Washington DC, I came home wanting to try and make them myself.   And with a little trial and error, I found a great recipe.  So thought I’d share it with all of you!   I will confess I haven’t managed the art of using the fork to crimp the little “pillows”, but they taste awesome just thrown straight into the pot right after cutting.

Gnocchi Di Ricotta (Ricotta Dumplings)

Ingredients:

1 pound ricotta cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon melted butter

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well. Knead until a dough is formed (if too
loose, add a little more flour).  Cover bowl and let stand one hour.
Sprinkle flour on your work board and hands; remove a tennis ball size of dough; roll gently with both hands to form a long rope about 1″ thick. Repeat until you have used up all the dough. Cut the rolls into 1″ long pieces and set aside on a cloth lightly sprinkled with flour (do not place on Formica or other hard surface).

Cook gnocchi in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water. Water should not stop boiling. After they rise to top, boil gently 2-3 minutes more. Remove with slotted spoon to a large bowl.  Toss gently with  sauce .   Serves 4-6.

We use Alfredo with garlic.  But your favorite will do.   Filomena’s serves their ricotta gnocchi with a creamy tomato sauce.