1. Ice Cream Festival & Tomato Tasting at New Amsterdam Market :: This Sunday from 11am to 4pm celebrate summer in Manhattan with some of the best ice cream this city has to offer. Vendors include The Bent Spoon, Robert's, Early Bird Cookery, Marlow & Daughters, MilkMade Ice Cream and Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. From 12-3pm, there will also be a Tomato Fest Benefit going on where you may taste an astounding variety of tomatoes at their prime. All proceeds will be donated to the New Amsterdam Market and to the New York City Food Systems Network: couldn't ask for a more delectable way to support some great causes!
2. Epicurious Farmers Market Tour :: Head over the Union Square Greenmarket today and tomorrow to check out Epicurious.com's stand where you can browse countless summertime recipes on their new iPhone app, taste-test a little chocolate and receive a free eco-friendly tote bag to boot.
3. Kelvin Natural Slush Co. :: Because it's going to be steamy weekend here in the city (and because the guys in the truck are pretty darn cute), scout out the Kelvin Slush truck around town and grab a gourmet, all-natural icy treat that's bound to remind you of childhood summers. Choose a unique flavor base like Spicy Ginger, Tangy Citrus or Green & Black Tea and then pair it with real pureed fruit and fresh herbs. The strawberry-basil-tea combo comes highly recommended. Find the truck's location on Twitter - @kelvinslush
4. Brooklyn Kitchen Labs :: If you're wondering what to do with all that mouthwatering seasonal produce you picked up at the greenmarket (post-Epicurious's farmers market tour) or at New Amsterdam Market, a class solely devoted to tomatoes or to canning and preserving might be your answer. Just this week, I took the canning class with Kelly Geary of Sweet Deliverance. Her tri-star strawberry jam, and the step-by-step techniques demonstrated to make it, rocked! Check out upcoming class listings here.
5. Sam's pick of the week - burrata :: Why do we love this silky, creamy type of fresh mozzerella? Because it’s scrumptious and what could be better paired with the juicy crop of heirloom tomatoes that’s hit farmers markets across the city. The opportunities are endless with these two ingredients. Take some toasted ciabatta bread or any crusty Italian bread, sprinkle it with garlic, rub in the juice from the tomato so the flavor absorbs, spread on a generous amount of burrata and eat! Also works well with pasta dishes, homemade pizza and even tossed into a salad.
*Who's Sam?! Please meet our newest contributor, Samantha, who's a budding young foodie and clearly knows good cheese when she tastes it. She'll be including a favorite food or ingredient - and some ideas of what to do with it - each Friday.
And to leave you with a morsel more of weekend eating inspiration, here are a few photos one of my clients was kind enough to send me. Check out Chris's awesome array of summer's best after a very successful trip to the greenmarket...and his gorgeous heirloom tomato, basil and feta tart that followed. Delicious (and sneakily healthful), thanks C! Have pictures of some delectable, seasonal dishes you've been cooking up? Send over your favorite summer food photos (and the recipe if you've got it) and we'll post one each week with your name on it! For the remainder of summer, each week's chosen entry will receive a free copy of my new book, The Cheater's Diet! Email your pics to: email@example.com