Friday, March 30, 2012

Something Old, Something New, Something Blue

{Morning coffee + muffin at my apartment}

It was only when I went to post on my blog today that I realized that it's been exactly one year since you've last heard from me.  While there's no good excuse for not having posted in so long, I can only promise you that I am back.  Back making a mess in the kitchen, back taking too many pictures of the evidence + back sharing my culinary stories with all of you! 

My career path has been anything but traditional + has recently taken a different turn for the better.  Since I've changed directions professionally I no longer have an excuse to devour WAY too many blueberry muffins at the delicious coffee shop around the corner from my old office.  When I was going through some major withdrawal this morning after having not had one for the last 3 weeks I decided instead of heading 10 blocks downtown to pick one up, I would head 2 avenues west to the grocery store + get ingredients to make my own.  


Blythe's Blueberry Muffins {adapted from My Father's Daughter }

Grocery List


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted + cooled 
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk


2.5 cups fresh blueberries

Dry Goods

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder

Spice Cabinet

1/2 teaspoon salt

Additional Supplies

12 cute cupcake liners {I love these for Spring}

Game Plan

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk butter, eggs + milk in a bowl.  Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder + salt in another bowl.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients; fold in blueberries.  Divide batter evenly among muffin cups + sprinkle remaining teaspoon of sugar on the muffin tops before baking. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until muffin tops are golden brown + cake tester comes out clean.

{The ingredients}

{Daily serving of antioxidants}

{About to bake!}



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Brunch with the best{ie}!

I have been suffering from a case of spring fever + the 30 degree weather combined with the occasional snow showers we've been experiencing lately aren't exactly the cure.  Despite the frigid temperatures I've felt the need to flee my apartment + meet up with friends whenever I get the chance.  On Sunday I made plans to catch up with my best friend at my new favorite brunch spot + apparently one of my famous neighbors had the same idea.  

I have been food crushing on Gabe Stulman since The Little Owl but am even more smitten with his solo ventures because in addition to the ridiculously delicious food there is an uncanny population of Wisconsin folk that flock where ever he sets up shop.  From the wait staff to the customers almost everyone you talk to has a Wisconsin connection or lives with in a 10 block radius of his Sheridan Square empire.  Meeting both of those specifications I can't help be feel right at home at Joseph Leonard, named after Stulman's grandfathers.  The cozy tables + neighborly atmosphere make for a sublime place to brunch + map out your Bleecker Street shopping strategy.

{My avocado toast + poached eggs}

{Joseph Leonard @ the corner of Waverly + Grove}

{Katie's goat cheese herb omelet}

{Pics of Stulman's family adorn the walls}

{Brussel sprouts + siracha, my latest obsession}

{Friends + neighbors gathered for Sunday breakfast}

{Martha Stewart pop up pie shop we stumbled upon for dessert!}


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hola Viejos Amigos!


It has been an embarrassingly long time since any of you have seen my smiling face {please see above to reacquaint yourself!}. There's really no good excuse other than I have been working + traveling a ton.  During my hiatus I did manage to sneak away to Mexico for a week of obscene guacamole consumption, voracious poolside book reading, happy hours beginning immediately after lunch + delectable nightly dinners on the beach.  Due to my state of total relaxation my picture taking was lax to say the least but here are few shots to make you feel like you were there too! 

While there has been radio silence on my blog I have surprisingly done a little cooking + will post my very belated bounties if you don't mind them being a little out of date! In the meantime I promise to dust off my pots + pans, pre-heat my oven + get back in the kitchen more regularly.


{drinks @ my favorite restaurant}

{no explanation needed!}

{candy vendor who provided me with my afternoon sweet treat. I wonder if he'd be willing to wheel over to Union Square!}

Friday, October 22, 2010

Secret Single Behavior

In season 4 of Sex and the City there was an episode where Carrie + Aidan {swoon!} move in together + Carrie complains she can no longer engage in her "secret single behavior".  I never really thought much of this until I entered singledom + rediscovered what it felt like to do exactly what I wanted, exactly when I wanted without having to consult anyone else.  I was reminded of this luxury last night after I had a really long day at work + decided to cancel my plans for the evening + retire to my apartment instead.  Little did I know the recipe for the perfect evening was waiting for me inside my mailbox when I got home.  Between the latest issue of US Weekly + my latest Netflix receipt, I was all set.  

Upon entering my apartment I immediately changed into my favorite yoga pants + my Dad's old Notre Dame sweatshirt, twirled my hair up in a bun + started on dinner.  This is where the secret part comes in....I secretly love eating honey nut cherrios for dinner + do so more than I'd like to admit.  When I first moved to NYC cereal was a great inexpensive option for dinner, but now I make more than enough money to eat whatever I want + still find myself craving it after a long day.  When dinner was "ready" I sat down at my kitchen table to eat + read {I use that term loosely} US Weekly, a task that can be completed in 20 minutes, tops!  After dinner I popped in my movie, crawled into bed with my pups + ate Tootsie Rolls for dessert as I watched "Into the Wild".  This time around I am savoring every moment of secret single behavior full well knowing it's not going to last forever.


Secret Single Girl Dinner

Grocery List

skim milk

1 banana

Dry Goods
2 cups honey nut cherrios

Game Plan
Add 2 cups of cherrios to cereal bowl + slice banana on top.  Add skim milk to taste, I prefer to add very little to keep cereal crunchy.  Best served with celebrity gossip or fashion magazine.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My iPod, The Remix

I first became interested in music when I was 2  + my Dad would put on records in our family room + I would dance around to the Stone's "Waiting on a Friend" or Toto's "Rosanna".  I became obsessed with music at 4 after hearing Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon" + insisted my dad play "Colour By Numbers" repeatedly whenever I was around.  I then fell deeply in love with music at 11 when I discovered Pearl Jam's "Ten" + realized that the right song at the right time could quite possibly cure anything.  As a kid I went from having the most records on the block, to the most cassette tapes, to most CD's + of course now have a vast collection of Mp3s.  My taste has gone from Top 40 to grunge to it's current day status as a mishmosh of everything.

After my breakup it was no surprise that I immediately turned to my iPod when I couldn't fall asleep a night, needed to release a little steam running, was traveling back and forth to stay with friends in the city to escape my house in suburban New Jersey or even just as an attempt to distract myself from my aching heart {dramatic, right?!}.  When I began to shuffle through my iPod I was in for a rude awakening when I realized that my library was overrun with love songs after having been rather smitten for the last 4 years.  I immediately began downloading songs like Chevelle "Send the Pain Below", Destiny's Child "Survivor", Kelly Clarkson "Since You've Been Gone" get the idea.  By now I think I've stabilized +  am back to having a well balanced collection of a little bit of everything. Here are 23 {my lucky #} songs I've been listening to lately:

Rock on!


Monday, October 18, 2010

One of those days....

{tasty brunch spot in my hood}

Saturday was one of those days I did nothing I should have done {drop off my dry cleaning, pick up dog food, hit the gym} + instead did exactly what I wanted to do.  I awoke to a perfect autumn day that forces you to ignore your nagging to do list, get out of your apartment + soak up every second of it.  It was the first time since March the weather called for me to pull out my newest pair of boots + slip on my favorite Marc Jacobs jacket to go pick up a coffee + the New York Times on my way to the dog park.

After the park I met up with my bestie for an extended brunch, to make up for all the face time we missed out on while she was in Sweden for the week.  From there we meandered around to some of our favorite stores + stumbled upon the most precious handmade street fair, where we oohed + ahhed over all the cute things.  After shopping we decided a few cocktails were in order so we met up with our other bestie to toast to the good life + indulge in some of our favorite comfort food.  Since we polished off a cheese burger with truffle fries, mac + cheese + a slice of "birthday cake" {with ice cream of course!} , going dancing later that night was the perfect solution to balance out our caloric intake. 

We parted ways to head home to our respective apartments + get ready, then reconvened downtown to meet up with more of our friends to dance the night away.  As if we didn't already pack enough into one day, our friend Amos insisted we go to the best karaoke place in New York to finish off the night. When I got home for the evening I looked down at my watch + realized it was almost time to get up + quite possibly have one of those days all over again.

{frothy coffees}

{french toast}

{stamp shopping for Katie's Etsy shop}

{sweet sign we saw in front of a west village brownstone}


{truffle fries=nirvana}

{birthday cake is appropriate whenever you have a taste for it}

{late night karaoke in chinatown}


Friday, October 15, 2010

Genetic Predisposition

Without fail I utter the words "I could really go for a sweet treat" approximately 30 minutes after I eat dinner every night. While one might think this is a bit odd both my cousins Katie + Krissy have the same daily ritual.  When I was trying to think about where this behavior may have originated I immediately thought of our Grandma Dorry, who religiously ate a sweet treat EVERY night before she went to bed.

 Wednesday would have been Grandma Dorry's 84th birthday + our family in Chicago gets together every year for a special dinner to celebrate her life. Since my cousins + I are split between New York + San Francisco we can never make it.  This year Katie, my New York based cousin + I decided to have our own celebration, order dinner + make one of our Grandma's favorite sweet treats, caramel candies.  To complete our night we video chatted with Krissy in San Fran to catch up, reminisce + laugh a lot.

Riding in the taxi back to my apartment that night I couldn't help but be a little sad that it has been 4 years since we've actually been able to spend my Grandma's birthday with her.  As I felt tears begin to well up I was reminded of the sweetest treat of all, my family, who all in our own special way allow her legacy to live on through the traditions that she taught us + other traits we are genetically predisposed to.


Fleur De Sel Caramels {adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook}

Grocery List

1.5 cups heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter

Dry Goods
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Spice Cabinet
1 teaspoon Fleur De Sel {plus extra for sprinkling!}

Game Plan

Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil, allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.
In a deep saucepan (6 inches diameter by 4 1/2 inches deep) combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the caramel is a warm golden brown color. Don't stir - just swirl the pan to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly at the end!
In the meantime, bring the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon fleur de sel to a simmer in a small pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat, set aside and keep warm.
When the caramelized sugar is the right color, slowly add the cream mixture to the caramel - it will boil up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Be patient with this step and it will get there. Very carefully (it's hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate until firm.
When the caramels are cool, use the parchment paper to pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Starting at 1 end, roll the caramel up tightly until you've rolled up half of the sheet. Cut the sheet across and then roll the second half tightly. You will have 2 (1 by 8-inch) logs. Sprinkle both logs lightly with fleur de sel, cut each log in 8 pieces. Cut parchment papers in 6 by 4 1/2-inch squares and wrap each caramel in a paper, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature.