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Spring in the City: Our Current Favorite Warm Weather Fare and Drinks

 

As they say about the third month of the year, “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.” For many of us, March can feel like a fickle month—one that starts off with anything from a snow blizzard or rain shower, but ends with the anticipative feeling of blue skies, warmer weather, and longer days (Thanks, daylight savings). While the jury may be out on how to label the month of March, one thing is certain amongst city goers: there’s nothing better than springtime in New York City. Between the cherry blossoms in Central Park and Brooklyn Botanic Garden, to the slew of men and women dining al fresco throughout Manhattan, there doesn’t seem to be anything more exciting than watching the Big Apple in full bloom.

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At Deborah Miller Catering and Events, we’re constantly inspired by what this city has to offer, and love to infuse seasonal ingredients and flavors into our homemade dishes. It’s important to eat seasonally not only because of taste and flavor, but also because you get a wider variety of foods and help support local, sustainable farmers. Since we’re now teetering on the brink of spring and all that comes with the celebratory new season, we’ve put together a few of our favorite Springtime-inspired food and drink pairings—no winter layers required!

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This time of year we can’t get enough of local spring veggies, such as carrots, asparagus, radishes, spring onions, and sugar snap peas. For a seasonally-scrumptious salad, we love the look and taste of a Panzanella, otherwise known as Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes. Not only is this dish a great spring or warm weather starter, but it pairs really well with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc with light citrus notes. If you’re feeling like something other than the white grape, or just something bolder, a Pimm’s Cup will satisfy your warm weather craving. This quintessential springtime libation mixes lemony soda (or ginger ale), fruit, cucumbers, mint, and a shot of gin.

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Pimm's Cup:

2 Oranges 
2 Lemons 
1 Cucumber 
2 cups of Pimm's No. 1 
4 cups Sprite, Ginger Ale, or other lemon-lime soda
6 to 8 large sprigs mint, crushed gently, plus a few loose leaves

Another one of our favorite springtime starters (and dishes in general) is playing up toast with bright, seasonal herbs and fare. Using regular or gluten free bread, we’re never not coming up with different ways to spice up this tried and true recipe (avocado toast anyone?)  But if there’s one menu item we’re always nuts for, it’s definitely the radish. One of our favorite spring recipes is an herbed goat cheese and radish tartine. It’s simple, fresh and out of this world good.

Springtime Tartines
4 slices of regular or gluten-free bread, toasted
1 raw garlic clove
3-ounces goat cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
4 sprigs fresh dill
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley,
4-5 radishes, sliced thin
Freshly cracked pepper
sea salt 

For your springtime spirit, these radish and goat cheese tartines pair really well with a crisp dry rosé—perfect for a springtime afternoon picnic in the park.

Bonus: as an alternative, we also love goat cheese, peas and mint spread on toasted bread as another fun, warm weather starter

In general, New York City in the spring is inspiring because there’s a sense of blissful optimism in the air. Things are just a bit more cheerful (probably because it’s also the unofficial start to Wedding season) and there are a ton of great events, concerts, and festivals to attend. What we also love about this time of year is that the start of spring commences one big, seasonal excuse to celebrate with friends and family—and what better way to celebrate than with a seasonal NYC brunch?

An NYC weekend must, brunch is the perfect time to enjoy the rising temps, all while sipping on a refreshing, flavorful drink. One of our favorite recipes is a seasonal take on the classic “Tom Collins” cocktail, the Rhubarb Collins. This boozy brunch drink is both flavorful and the perfect shade of springtime pink.

Rhubarb Collins
2 ounces St. George Terroir Gin

1 ounce Meyer lemon juice
1 ounce rhubarb
Soda water
Sprig of rosemary

To satisfy your springtime sweet tooth, we love our Strawberry Shortcake shooters with fresh strawberries. Not only is this sweet treat one of the best seasonal desserts, but it makes for a perfectly pint size package for that picnic in the park!

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Between fresh starters and snacks to boozy afternoon libations, these springtime inspired bites and spirits are the perfect way to welcome spring into your backyard (or NYC patio or fire escape). Check out the Deborah Miller Catering and Events blog next week we’re talk about how to throw the perfect garden party—regardless of how “green” your thumb is!

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