Sunday, November 25, 2007

summer suddenly seems so long ago...

ahh..summer. Fresh fruit, local organic salad greens, fresh warm air, grilled asparagus, sunsets at 9 pm... Seems like just the other day that we were at jackson and katja's wedding (above picture). We served yummy grilled salmon and fresh yummy salads. They had piles of organic local strawberries and shortbread made with vermont flour and our own handmade butter, we helped them with their champagne toast out under the sun before serving them in the tent during the most perfect summer weather. Katja was pregnant with twins, and so appreciative of every morsel of food we sent her way, and today i was thinking of her--thinking of summer, thinking of those babies, and thinking of all that yummy summer food we once had at our finger tips.
Running a local foods business in vermont in the summer is great fun, planning a local menu in the winter in vermont is another story. Sure, we have most of the staples all sorted out; eggs, cream, chicken, bacon, tempeh, flour, beans, cornmeal, cheese. But what about carrots, kale, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, beets, not to mention organic local salad greens or organic local tomatoes. While we know that these things exist, it is going to take a little extra effort keeping everything in stock and to keep our sources at the ready. How important is it that our greens are local, or that our broccoli comes from a nearby source? Well, considering that the local distributors offer produce mainly from far away places like california, mexico, chile, and peru-it feels like there's no real fair compromise. We know that there are greenhouses in jersey and maryland growing organic greens through the winter--but how do we get it? And alanna and i have been thinking about it for along time--what do we do if we cant get organic local greens in december? offer a winter salad? sure- but what about the sandwiches? How important is the L on the T.L.T (or B.L.T. for that matter)?
As we mourn the end of summer, we are also getting ready to celebrate the end of our first year. On December 21, we hope to have a new winter menu with lots of new breakfast, lunch and brunch choices, as well as open our doors in the evening for our first OPEN HOUSE.
stay tuned, and lets see what happens next...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

hooray for autumn harvests!

Hooray for These Beautiful Autumn Days!

as the weather outside glides in and out of mini heat waves, breezy storms, and damp coolness, inside Kismet we are celebrating autumn! It seems like everything is in season right now, so we have been playing with lots of gorgeous colors, crisp fresh vegetables, and have been enjoying the most amazing flavors. Just the other day we were given a box of acorn squach still warm from the sun because they were JUST PICKED like and hour before! The tomatoes from Cate Farm are so incredibley perfect and juicy, it's amazing! The other day I came into the restaurant as Alanna was roasting dandelion root from Cate Farm and the smell was so intoxicating and re-assuring. Dandelion root smells like a mixture of dirt and caramel, and as it roasts it fills the whole room with a smell that totally calms and excites me at the same time. As the weather cools a bit, smells become very nostalgic. Last sunday everyone who walked in noted the smell in kismet (i was cooking bacon from Winding Brook Farm) and everyone seemed comforted and appetized by this familiar morning smell- and even the vegetarians amungst us noted the calming feeling they felt and the memories that came with th And it seems as summer begins to wane, everyone is comming together with hunger for eachother and with a real want to re-connect and nourish eachother after another busy Vermont Summer.

Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

In Love

growing wee kismet has been about taking risks, making big commitments, working long hours, saying YES alot, and sometimes having to say no.
Because our catering schedule is filling up with summer weddings and events, we have run out of refrigerator room and have had to temporarily post-pone dinner take-out.
We appreciate your understanding and hope that this means you'll come in during our dining room hours (wed-sun 8-3) for a meal (you can get take-out then!).
oh.. and we've been making truffles again.....
see you soon
and congratulations to Katja and Jackson, as well as Nancy and Dave! Thanks for having us at your weddings!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

take-out dinner wednesday may 28- friday june 1

take-out dinner is available wednesday through friday from 8 am to 7 pm. Meals are packaged to be cooked at home, but if you call us 30 minutes or more before you arrive, we can have it all ready and heated for you!
layers of butterworks pinto and black beans, green chilies, raw milk cheese and salsa are baked within a masa harina crust, and then topped with avocado, salad, and sour cream. Served with vermont pepperworks organic hot sauce.
alacarte: $10.00
misty knoll turkey breast gently roasted with organic herbs grown by walking clover farm and organic olive oil. Roasted parsnips, carrots, potatoes and beets and a succulent vermont tomato stuffed with fresh and wild vermont pesto, ricotta and chevre are served alongside thick slices of the roasted turkey breast. This dish is light, flavorful, and abundant with color.
alacarte: $13.00
with salad, dressing, artisan bread, and our own house-made butter $15.00

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

take-out menu wednesday may 23- friday may 25

dinner take-out is a new thing we've been offering here at kismet. Our menu changes every week, allowing us the opportunity to offer the freshest seasonal ingredients through diverse menu options. Our dinners are available wednesday through friday from 8 am till 7 pm. The dishes are prepared for you to heat at home, but if you call ahead, we'll have your meal hot and ready when you get here!
this week's vegetarian entree is a nurturing feast full of color, texture, and locally grown ingredients. Steamed broccoli, roasted beets, mashed potatoes, and fresh herb and cornmeal crusted tofu cutlets. this dish is dairy and gluten free.
alacarte: $9.00
with organic salad and bread: $12.00
misty knoll chicken and spring vegetables in a creamy sauce infused with ginger, fresh mint, and cilantro. This delicious dish comes with rice and hot sauce for those who like it a little fiesty..
alacarte: $12.00
with organic salad and bread: $14.00

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

take-out menu may wednesday 16- friday 18th

call ahead and we'll have it ready when you get here!
dinner take-out wednesday through friday 8 am-7 pm.

This refreshing salad is inspired by our recent heat wave. Silky soba noodles adorned with seared tofu and pea tendrils, dressed with ginger, sesame oil, and black sesame seeds. this dish is dairy free.
alacarte or with miso soup and a side of perfectly steamed asparagus.

(adapted from All About Braising, by Vermont Author Molly Stevens)
Misty Knoll chicken thighs braised with thai star anise, orange peel, and wheat free tamari. Served with asparagus, mushrooms, and on a bed of basmati rice. This dish is dairy, wheat, and gluten free.
alacarte or with organic salad and dressing.


coming soon:

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

dinner take-out menu may 9-11 2007

call ahead and we'll heat it up for you!
in addition to our grain and vegetable bowl, noodle soup bowl, and various soups and salads, this week we will serve:

we set out to make this an entirely LOCAL dish- our own dough made with Tio Grain Farm flour, vermont cheeses, and local spinach, tomatoes, and wild leeks. This dish reminds us that though things may still be brown and dull on the outside, there is lusciousness within just waiting to ooze out!! DIG IN!
alacarte: 9.00
with organic garlic bread and salad with seeds and dressing 12.00

Handmade tamales (your choice of vegan, vegetarian, or misty knoll chicken with green chilies), served with red rice, black beans, and organic mango, avocado, and roasted pineapple salsa!
alacarte: 11.00
with organic salad and dressing 13.00

mom's love dinner take-out!
this week buy a gift certificate
for a mom you know
and earn a free dandelion latte!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Take-out dinner May 2- May 4

Call ahead and we'll heat it up for you!


This week's entree is a celebration of the first leaves of spring. Local and organic Vermont spinach and carrots, organic feta, and flaky filo...hooray for spring!
alacarte $8.00
with salad and garlic bread $11.00

thai chicken with coconut
Slow braised Misty Knoll chicken and fresh spring vegetables in a pleasantly rich coconut cream infused with fresh tumeric and galangal, lime and lemongrass. Served with a heap of organic jasmine rice and sweet chili sauce.
This dish is gluten free, nut free, and vegan.
alacarte $11.00
with organic salad and dressing $13.00

We also have steamed grain and vegetable bowls wqith chicken or tofu, noodle bowls, various soups, treats, truffles, and unique beverages available for take out.

Take-out Wednesday through Friday 8 am- 7 pm
breakfast, brunch and lunch wednesday through sunday 8 am- 3 pm

Monday, April 23, 2007

take-out dinner week april 24-27

Inspired by this great new weather trend, we have created a menu that is full of bright flavors and succulently tender texture.
Each dish is made with organic ingrediants and local whenever possible.

bright and cheery roasted squash ravioli nestled neatly atop soft and succulent braised chard. Our light and luscious balsamic butter vinaigrette accentuated the fresh flavors of this dish.
alacarte $10.00
served with garlic bread and organic salad $12.00

Herb brined misty knoll chicken, mashed potatoes, maple roasted acorn squash, and braised greens.
alacarte $11.00
with artisan bread, organic salad and dressing $13.00

In addition, the grain and vegetable bowl, noodle bowl, various soups, treats, and unique beverages will always be available for take-out. Call ahead (223-TOGO) and we will have your meal heated and ready to-go!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Take out Dinner and NEW HOURS!

With spring here (minus a few snow storms), we have decided to lengthen our hours and begin serving Take-out Dinners (in the spirit of Susan's Kitchen)! WE'RE NOW OPEN 8am-7pm WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY (8-3 saturday and sunday), so you can stop in and visit us at the end of your day now too!
We're updating our website (it's pretty out of ate all ready!), so until then, our weekly take-out dinner menu will be posted here!


big pasta shells stuffed with vermont fresh ricotta, vermont mozzerella and organic spinach and bathing in an organic tomato sauce (vegan portions available). This dish is served with an organic salad, artisan bread, and our own house-made butter.
single servings $12/family size $42

organic corn tortillas wrapped around green chilis, frog city cheddar, and misty knoll free range chicken or the best refried pintos. This dish is served with beautiful red rice, butterworks black beans, organic salsa, and a tangy cabbage and lime salad.
This dish is gluten free.
single servings $12/family size $42

In addition, the grain and vegetable bowl, noodle bowl, various soups, treats, and unique beverages will always be available for take-out. Call ahead (223-TOGO) and we will have your meal heated and ready to-go!

re-usable glass take-out dishes. With a $10 deposit (or $8 purchase), we can provide your take-out in a re-usable heavy duty glass baking dish. Filled with delicious, nutritious local ingredients, these make great gifts too!

Next week:

handmade ravioli......spanikopita......citrus and soy braised chicken......?
what are you craving????

Thursday, April 05, 2007

easter snow

I have a vivid memory of an easter when I was 8 or 9. I lived in East Corinth, Vermont and had a very happy childhood playing outside often with my sister, Raven. We were fooling around on an easter sunday, it was warm and sunny, and I remember that I was wearing shorts..I remember that she shoved me and I fell into a snowbank..That's Vermont I guess!
It has been snowing now fro two days and easter is this sunday. Alanna and I have taken turns being sick over the last month, so although we had once entertained all sorts of grand easter plans for Kismet, this year it seems like a big deal to even announce an Easter Menu. Inspired by the hopeful (hopefully coming soon) colors of spring, we will hae bright green fresh asparagus cooked all sorts of ways with the freshest local and organic eggs. We still have vermont potatoes and we will be roasting them with bright and cheery carrots and beets from cate farm. We have a big list af fantastic crepes too- ones with ham and holendaise, and a specail braised chicken crepe with chevre, pea sprouts, and a lemony cream. La Strada delivers fresh whole wheat crossiants this weekend too- so we will be serving my favorite parisian breakfast (hot chocolate and crossiants), as well as a special benedict. I've been making chocolates too and we'll have awhole array of spring inspired truffles (rose, lavender, and vanilla tangerine to name a few) ready to be boxed up and passed along. I have to admit, though having all of these gorgeous foods around me is uplifting- it's still hard to believe that it's mid-way through april already with inches (and a foot in some places) of snow... Thank goodness for dandelion root all warm and rootsy like caramelized summer goodness in a cup of tea to keep me grounded and flowing. Oh--and chocolate ofcourse-

Monday, April 02, 2007

april showers

Last week we celebrated the completion of our third month! Although each day is still so new and sometimes scary, I think that I am beginning to acclimate to things. This last weekend, for example, though Alanna was sick, mariam, alexis and sarah grace helped to successfully serve a full house for two days straight and it was FUN!!! HOORAYYYYYY!! And as the spring rains have begun to flow, fears of the montpelier flood have passed, and greenhouses around the state are buzzing with the excitement and energy of little seedlings, we at Kismet are nurturing ideas of our new spring menu and our take-out dinner services. At last the winter seems likeley to pass, and inspiration is popping up all over. Couples from around the state have begun contacting us for information about catering their summer weddings, so summer menus and talks about outdoor feasts have been a daily excersize. The whole town of montpelier actually seems alive with hope and plans for summer and food producers from around the state are visiting us with promises of fresh and flavorful offerings comming this summer. Timing couldnt be better, really. Our menu has been the same since we opened in January when there were few local ingredients available, though simple enough, customers have been looking for a little more, and we want to give it to them (you). We've been working on a new menu that (in addition to what we have now) will offer sandwiches made on custom made hoagie rolls, and burgers made on buns, both breads are being offered by patchwork farm and bakery out of Hardwick. We have been experimanting with philly cheese steaks, burgers, and hot subs that we can serve with vermont made chips. Soon pete's greens will aso be delivering vermont's freshest and most flavorful salad greens, so finally we can offer a Kismet salad! Wild leeks are just waiting to burst through the forest soil, and we are ready to make leek confit, frizzled leeks, and leek jam- all of which we plan on using in our new take-out dinner menu (comming soon!!). Like the new extended day-light hours, we will soon be able to offer extended business hours, serving take-out dinner, grain and vegetable bowls, soba noodle bowls, soup, treats, truffles, and dandelion lattes until 7 pm wednesday through friday! Horay for spring, and horray for transiton!

Monday, February 26, 2007

in search of the mighty frog

I knew it was going to happen eventually, I just wasn't really prepared.. A few moments ago I read our first negative review.... I read the three lines over and over again, trying to put it all together. The sad thing is, the review sounded true.
The writer calls himself the mightyfrog, and I long to know who he/she is.. Most of the customers who come in are overwhelmingly supportive; big smiles and lots of praises, but occasionally I wonder just how honest some are especially when I know that something is amiss with the cook that day... Really, I just wish that people would tell us when they don't like their food. The other day, for example, a customer remarked that his food wasn't hot enough. I know now to pay closer attention to the temperature, and am thankful for his help in getting it right. This weekend a customer said that her roots were too dry; no problem, I swept them away and we made new ones, and tossed the whole pot that were of complaint.
I know that not every person is going to tell me exactly what I could do differently to make their meal more enjoyable (and I'm thankful for that), and, at the same time, it is hard to here criticisms second hand. Perhaps one of my biggest fears is finding out about my mistakes while standing in the check-out line at the co-op and overhearing someone talking bad about me or kismet..Or, like this weekend when I overheard a gentleman at a table say he would never come back again!!! Why???I wanted to know right away, and fix whatever was making him unhappy, and yet I had to let it go, he wasn't actually talking to me but to his friend at the table...
I thought if I wrote about this in this blog, I would feel better about the mightyfrog's unhappiness and negative (honest) review. I need for kismet to work. I need to know what our weaknesses are so that we can make it. I guess reading the reviews is one way, but the mightyfrog may never let me make it up to him, and in the meantime how many people will he influence from ever coming in?
well, that's the business I guess

Monday, February 12, 2007

because i love you

As valentine's day approaches, I suddenly feel festive again, and am having to stop myself back from turning everything into cute little presents.. I am tempted to turn the salt pink, cut beets into little heart shapes, stash chocolate in every one's pockets, and sprinkle flowers everywhere... When we opened Kismet, I thought that valentine's day would be our big day- with loads of customers stopping in for our yummy chocolates and fancy truffles, or treating their sweeties to a delicious and nourishing brunch after spending the morning in bed together... But now it seems like I haven't had nearly enough time to prepare.. This last week at kismet has been our busiest yet, and I am, at times, feeling like I am just cruising through the rapids of this whole endeavor. I notice the hour and a half it takes to temper the chocolate, where as just a month ago, it was a welcome meditation had in the silence of the early morning. The stress of doing everything by hand requires a sort of patience and concentration that sometimes means focusing on the quality rather than the quantity. This week, for example, we have about 3 dozen outrageously dense and dark chocolate truffles (meant to be sliced and shared), gluten free chocolate covered yummies and a few of our hard-to-describe salt and pepper chocolate bars. It may not be a full-scale valentine's effort, but this is all in addition to our regular artisan foods and everyday menu featuring our hand-made butters, crepes made with local flour, and brunch and lunch things accompanied by our handmade mustard, ketchup, paprika oil, dressings, fresh pressed juices, and all the other simply perfect creations we offer each day... I still am thinking about making a special rose flavored hot chocolate with pink whip cream and everything... The dandelion latte is perfect the way it is...but wouldn't pink sprinkles on top be cute?
Funny though how holidays (even Valentine's) have so many layers to them.. Whether you are celebrating someone else, or celebrating yourself, remember to believe in all things that are meant to be..Kismet is real...and like a little chocolate at the end of your meal, or a smile when you needed it most, kismet is all yours to enjoy..
Because i love you.
because i love you I will not torture myself to make you chocolate
i will make you chocolate when it feels good and when i am in love with every part of it
because i love you i will sleep well tonight
i will drink a glass of wine and dip cookies in milk and put my feet up
because i love you i will not spend money i do not have out of fear that i am not enough
i will believe in my prosperity by creating you gifts from the center of myself
because i love you, you will know where to find me
i will feed you
feed you full and to the brim with good food and clean water
because i love you i will not act carelessly
i will pay attention
because i love you i will not hide my whimsical pink sprinkles
my heart shaped beets,
my ridiculious heart balloons...

Monday, January 15, 2007

snowy day

Just as winter seems to have truly arrived, I have already begun dreaming about spring and summer. Not that I mind winter, mind you, Vermont Winters are what I've missed most whenever I've lived elsewhere. I love the stillness of the streets when it snows, how the snow outlines every branch and roof line. I even love how it gets dark so early, and how fresh and cold it is outside and how warm it is inside. Hot chocolate tastes better here. Wood smoke smells sweeter. No, I really do love winter, it's just that after nearly 3 months of winter root veges and and meat, I have begun to dream about fresh greens, herbs, berries and wild ramps. I have been making lists of all of the dishes I want to prepare come summer; big fresh salads with assorted lettuces and leaves, new summer goat cheese, berries, and drizzled with maple syrup from the new year; home-made vege burgers with my own aioli, juicy new tomatoes and onions, steamed yellow beets, and crisp butter lettuce; grilled chicken fillets with lots of fresh herbs, sprouts, and micro greens; asparagus crepes; wild leek pancakes and tarts; tender new mushrooms; fresh fruit sorbets; and BERRIES ON EVERYTHING....
Like many other Vermonters, I stare out at the snow and make private internal commitments to spend more time outside this summer, to have a garden, grow more potatoes, plant trees, start herb containers, and find wild food to preserve for next winter. I make lists of the menus I want to offer at kismet, lists of the farms I want to visit, lists of the ingredients I need to source. Even with the snow outside, and beans soaking on the counter, I know that summer will be here soon enough, and sweep me away with it's rapid heat, long hours, and celebrations. I will enjoy these beans, these snowy days, continue my lists, and be thankful for all that I have to keep me warm and inspired throughout this dark season, and still I will allow myself dreams of fresh sage on my lips, lemon thyme crushed between my fingers, and the smell of warm dirt on potatoes...