Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Extra! Extra!

Read all about it!
In ink, that is.

Although I enjoy the world of the web along with the wonders of ever improving technology, I will never be an electronic reading type. I like pages to turn, the smell of a library and old books, the creasing of a new book jacket being broken in, glossy images in magazines, and even messy post-newspaper reading hands. I'm sad knowing that the printed word is a dying media.

Sorry Steve, I'm just not that into it.

Plus, if the newspaper is extinct, whatever will I use to keep my windows and mirrors streak free?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We All Scream

Watching the "why am I hungry all of a sudden" Food Network show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, I was introduced to yet another crave worthy item to consume:
 Jeni's Ice Creams - Columbus, OH

I mean, just look at some of the creamy creactions:
  • Salty Caramel: Initial notes of burnt sugar give way to mouth-watering saltiness. A perfect salty sweet balance.
  • Queen City Cayenne: Rich chocolate slowly reveals hints of spice. Finish is pleasantly tingly.
  • Wildberry Lavender: Complex. Intense lavender with hints of exotic spices and lots of brambly berry flavors. 
  • Bourbon Buttered Pecan: Subtle corn mash notes come first, followed by rich and savory pecans; a charming hit of Bourbon finishes.
  • Riesling Poached Pear: A surprisingly rich sorbet; pure pear flavor with unique pear texture; sweet Riesling notes shine on the finish.
 At first, I bemoaned the fact that it was not a shop we could travel to by foot or subway or taxi until I realized that they also ship! Hooray! Ice Cream for everyone!

Now, this is not a frugal purchase. At over $10 a pint plus various shipping costs, this is in the decadence category. But, for a special occasion or an original gift, the empty wallet and brain freeze may be worth it.

For those not in the Columbus area and not willing to shell out a day's pay for flavored frozen fat, Jeni Britton (the Jeni) shares some perfected ice cream recipes in THIS Food & Wine Magazine article.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

Another rainy day in New York.

Another cheap, broken umbrella in the trash.
Time for a change.

Literally.
The white splatters on this brellie turn colorful once rained upon. Your own little magic trick.

Related Story of Shame: In the early 90s, "Hypercolor" t-shirts were all the rage (well, for all of 3 months). I purchased a hot pink one to wear to my middle school orientation. I was that cool.

The shirts, which were mostly some garish neon color would change hues based on temperature. Therefore, if someone patted your back, a large hand print would appear in a contrasting shade on your t-shirt. We thought this was totally rad. After all, it was the beginning of the 90s-we had nothing else to worry about. Along with prankish hand prints, certain areas would turn colors showcasing the pre-teen hormonal changes and perspiration. Like I said, totally rad.

I think this memory is causing my face to hypercolor.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

One of the Guys

"Got a pair of new shoes
Polished up and paid for.
Honey, they were made for
Going to town."


What, you don't know the song Got a Pair of New Shoes (Brown/Freed) performed by Judy Garland in the hilarious yet touching 1937 movie musical Thoroughbreds Don't Cry? You really need to get out more. Note to self: I really need to get out more.
Anyway, I spied these snazzy oxfords on the pages of a recent TimeOut NY magazine and decided I approved. Mostly practical, somewhat charming and not quite of this era...sort of like me?

I would pair them with something girly and non-1940s newspaper editor ala this gal:
I think Judy G. would approve.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Go Go Gadget

Life has been busy. I suppose that is good but I've been slacking in the creative blogging. 

Basically...

I watched this and was inspired/entertained:

I ate this and was refreshed:

and I kept myself from buying this:

So the craziness has consumed me but - 

After these messages I'll be riiiiiiiiiight back.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tip Toe through the Tulips

So much fun seeing the Spring flowers begin to bloom. Our first culprits are crocus. Daffodils and tulips will soon follow with lilacs really claiming that Spring has sprung.

I saw the most beautiful bouquet of bright red tulips on an episode of Brothers & Sisters and am completely inspired to have a vase of my own (Sally Field, you are cool in so many ways).

They were so vibrant and fresh. The color reminded me of a favorite red nail polish - OPI Dutch Tulips. Red with a hint of orange, a hint of pink.

...which reminded me I have never been to the Netherlands:
 Bike & Barge Holiday

Hmmm....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy 80th Birthday, Stephen Sondheim!

Side By Side By Sondheim (1976), Marry Me A Little (1980), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983) Putting It Together (1993), and Sondheim on Sondheim (2010) are anthologies or revues of Sondheim's work as composer and lyricist, featuring both performed songs and songs cut from productions.


Just to name a few...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What a Gal

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why we call it 'The Present'."
Eleanor Roosevelt

She was one cool cat.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

How does your fish taste so great?
 Mary's Fish Camp - West Village, NYC
photo: Shanna Rivindra/NYMag

A friend in town and nothing but end-of-the-world type monsoons all weekend. On the last evening of her visit, the rain turned to mist and the three of us ventured out for an evening of food and chat. After a couple of over-crowded restaurants we passed by another packed restaurant but stopped when we realized this was that "fish camp" place which had been praised by a friend of Douglas's.
 It was a bit of a wait and we ended up all snuggled up sharing a table with another newbie group.
Douglas and I both went with the lobster roll. It arrived looking massive and saucy with a mound of crispy shoestring fries taking over the plate. I thought it may end up being a roll that has too much mayonnaise and not enough of anything else, but my taste buds were quickly corrected after the first mouthful. So. Much. Meaty. Lobster. A punch from the sea. All finished with the taste of a buttered bun hiding underneath. Probably one of the best lobster rolls I've ever met.
Photo: Kenneth Chen/NYMag

Another highlight was the side of fried brussels sprouts. They had a sweet/spicy/crispy/juicy thing going for them and were incredibly addictive for a vegetable. Mary's also had an unusual choice of brews and we were tempted by desserts such as peanut butter brittle chocolate sundaes and warm gingerbread but had to save room for the soon-to-be Magnolia Bakery trip around the corner. Poor us. You gotta love the West Village.

One more restaurant checked off the "Must Try" list. It has now been moved to the "Must Get There More Often" list.
I would highly recommend camping out at this establishment.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

3.14159265

In honor of National Pi Day, here is one of my favorite pie recipes:

 I prefer to skip the shortbread crust for a regular or even store bought one. It's lighter and less sweet. The combination of tart berries and smooth apples gives a depth of flavor and a beautiful deep merlot coloring. Perfect in the heat of summer or a cozy winter weekend.

Ingredients

  • Old-Fashioned Sweet Shortcrust Pastry, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 large Bramley or McIntosh apples, cored, peeled and each cut into 16 wedges
  • 4 Cox's, Empire or Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped ginger, in syrup
  • 5 ounces blackberries
  • 1 large free-range or organic egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

First, make your pastry dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and rest it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the butter and sugar into a saucepan and, when the butter has melted, add the apples, ginger and a tablespoon of the ginger syrup. Slowly cook for 15 minutes with a lid on, then add the blackberries, stir and cook for 5 more minutes with the lid off.
Meanwhile, remove your pastry from the refrigerator. Dust your work surface with flour, cut the pastry in half and, using a floured rolling pin, roll 1 of the pieces out until it's just under 1/2-inch thick or looks as if it will cover a shallow 10-inch pie dish. (Rolling the dough between 2 layers of waxed paper will also stop it sticking to your rolling pin.) Butter the shallow 10-inch pie dish and line with the pastry, trimming off any excess around the edges using a sharp knife.
Tip the cooled apples and blackberries into a sieve, reserving all the juices, then put the fruit into the lined pie dish so you have a mound in the middle. Spoon over half the reserved juices, (if desired use all the juice). Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg. Roll out the second piece of pastry, just as you did the first, and lay it over the top of the pie. Trim the edges as before and crimp them together with your fingers. Brush the top of the pie with the rest of the beaten egg, sprinkle generously with sugar and the cinnamon, and make a couple of slashes in the top of the pastry.
Place the pie on a baking tray and then put it directly on the bottom of the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. To serve, slice the pie into portions and serve with a generous dollop of custard.

Old-Fashioned Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
  • 3 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons good-quality cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 large free-range or organic eggs, beaten
  • Splash milk
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
Sift the flour from a height onto a clean work surface and sift the icing sugar over the top.
Using your hands, work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar by rubbing your thumbs against your fingers until you end up with a fine, crumbly mixture. This is the point where you can spike the mixture with interesting flavors, so mix in your lemon zest.
Add the eggs and milk to the mixture and gently work it together until you have a ball of dough. Flour it lightly. Don't work the pastry too much at this stage or it will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short. Flour your work surface and place the dough on top. Pat it into a flat round, flour it lightly, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator to rest for at least half an hour.

This delicious concoction comes from one of my favorite cookbooks based on one of my favorite TV shows created by one of my favorite chefs.


Pie should be consumed today, 3-14 at 1:59pm of course...

Happy Pi Day!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Budding Romance

I know I've put a lot of focus on Spring/Summer related blog topics. I'm more anxious than ever for the playfulness and joy of those seasons and I can't wait to savor the warm and sunny days which will no doubt pass too quickly. I'm hoping to spend some of those days and nights in these (excuse the non-artistic screenshot, I've yet to get photo-fancy & image tech savvy):

I tend to live in flats (mostly so I don't fall into city grates or sidewalk cracks-I actually saw a woman stuck in a sidewalk crack once because of a stiletto-true story) but I would like to try a little more fashionable height. Plus, the wedge platform will provide some balance. The rosebuds are so romantic but the bold colors give them a fresh feel and the cork material keeps them casual. I would like them in every color.

So, the Spring forward theme will probably keep appearing, but I promise I will make up for Winter 2010 another time. Christmas in July anyone?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lost in Translation

Orient Beach, St. Martin

Paw Print

The perfect specimen:
From the Animal Blueprint Company
Check them out HERE

The perfect specimen?
Bryndal - April 2009

I think we all know the correct answer, but what an original and stylish gift idea for a dog lover?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Eat Your Vegetables

Okay!
A peer recently clued me in on a great service here in New York - Urban Organic: A home delivery service of organic produce that is actually quite affordable. For years I have been wanting to participate in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) type of program in order to support local farmers and force myself to eat more nutritious items than Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches and Honey Nut Cheerios. Unfortunately, here in New York City you are often placed on a waiting list, it is a year commitment, and you need to have a consistent schedule in order to pick up your weekly box. I had given up hope and resigned myself to the pathetic (and sometimes disgusting) produce section of our very own C-Town Grocery. But then came Urban Organic!
I'm eagerly awaiting the delivery as I type.
There is a one time $25 membership fee and then they deliver to your door up to once a week. There are a variety of boxes to choose from and you can even omit up to 3 products (like the evil banana) that they will replace with more of something you do like. They provide information, preparation, and recipe ideas along with your box of treats. You can alter or cancel your order up to 3pm the day before and they now have a few grocery and dairy products that you can add on. And best of all, it is all organic.
Here is the contents of our box today:
EGGPLANT
SPINACH
COLLARDS
GREEN LEAF LETTUCE
MUSHROOMS
CARROTS
ROMA TOMATOES
RUSSET POTATOES
KIWI
HONEY TANGERINES
VALENCIA ORANGES
BANANAS
BARTLETT PEARS
RED GRAPEFRUIT
BRAEBURN APPLES

I'm excited to experiment with vegetables that I often overlook. I'm even hoping to add a few of them back into my diet. Even funghi! (aka mushrooms)

I just wonder that if "you are what you eat" I may end up looking like one of these unfortunate people:


Or even this guy:
The Jolly Green Giant - Blue Earth, Minnesota

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Flower Power

Mecca.
Mine is Anthropologie.
An overpriced yet irresistible shopping establishment filled with vintage style kitchenware, luxury bedding & bath, apparel that ranges from adorable to 60's mod to hippy chic, and everything in between. Purses, shower curtains, sandals, art...it is all at:
Anthropologie at Rockefeller Plaza

I think part of the Anthro experience is their ability to create such whimsy and style out of basic items for their storefront windows and interiors. I remember once I walked into a winter wonderland of decoration only to realize that the folksy "trees" and "snowflakes" were all composed of....toilet paper. The store was basically T.P-ed but looked like a million bucks.

Last week, this rainbow of flowers welcomed me into spend money:

 

 

Upon closer inspection, I saw that they were not engineered plastic flowers but recycled plastic bottles:
 

Supposedly they took donations from customers during the month of January to add to these Springtacular displays.
 

So creative. So beautiful. So March.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

State of Mind

Those who know me know I love my home state.
So how apropos would this be?


One of my favorite websites, Shelterrific.com, led me to the Etsy shop Love California where you can grab your own state of choice in different felt colors and custom placed stitched hearts. I definitely would want a New York to keep Minnesota company.


Kitschy? Yes. And I like it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Black & White

Sunday night we saw a terrific new play.

"In 1959, a white family moves out. In 2009, a white family moves in. In the intervening years, change overtakes a neighborhood, along with attitudes, inhabitants and property values. Loosely inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, this pitch-black comedy from Bruce Norris takes on the specter of gentrification in one of America’s most recognizable communities – leaving no stone unturned in the process."

Great writing. Great cast. Great concept.

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