Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Mondays and Fridays work ends at 2:20. Today I had my flip flops on and my bag ready with me when I dropped the kids off in the cafeteria. I love Mondays because I can zip out and get to the gym before it's too crowded OR like today get some errands done.
If you could see inside my bags today you'd see a fabulous lady bug themed baby gift for my co-worker's shower on Saturday and 2 bags of white wine from Trader Joe's. HAHA I won't reveal the gift, incase my coworker reads my blog, but they will love it (I know this bc it's on the registry) and I'm happy it will be with their little bundle of joy for some time. They know they are having a girl and this line of bedding and accessories is so so cute! Lots of pink but not too over the top frou-frou. Lady-bugs are the symbol for a different sorority on my college campus and it was very odd to be buying them after sticking to 5-Pointed crowns, strawberries & turtles for the past almost 9 years.
The stop at Trade Joe's was super quick. I love their wine shop. There's a good selection of both international and domestic wines as well as some yummy looking bubbly (hard to resist a bottle of Veuve or Mumm!!) I picked up a Reisling for my sorority alumnae group's 'recession wine tasting' event tomorrow and a Chardonnay for enjoying at home. I love Reisling so it will be hard to part with it tomorrow but at only $8.99 I'm sure there will be another purchase of it soon. I know nothing about this Chateau Ste. Michelle brand but their website is really great - very user friendly with lots of info about their wines. This bottle is from their Columbia Valley line grown in Washington State. Our goal for the event is to bring a bottle under $10 - so glad I kept to the challenge.
So that's how my shopping bags today had things for babies & for boozing! :) Happy Monday
at 5:55 PM
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I admit - I have not cooked much this week. Some chicken in garlic and olive oil. Some couscous. A vine tomato sliced with dashed of salt. Maybe the simpler things like this are the best.
Perhaps this is why I didn't cook a lot this week. Girl Scout Cookie delivery! I got my 4 boxes and have enjoyed them so so good. I got Samoas (2boxes!) Lemon Cremes & Thin Mints. Joy in a box.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Rule #1 of Home Ec class was "Do not cook barefoot" or something along those lines. So here's a post about new sandals - which I probably will try to break in by cooking in them :) I like to look pretty when I cook!
Love love love the brown paper wrap & lime sticker! Nice touch Piperlime.
Look what UPS finally delivered! Considering all the drama I went thru to get these (Friday was spent waiting around for them...never showed up!) it just figures that one pair has to be returned. Oh well. The flip flops are my favorite and at at their price ($90!) I'm kinda glad to return the other pair. Piperlime often has coupons and deals AND free shipping and returns. Niceeee.
Mystique - love these (note my pretty honeycomb bathroom tile!)
Emma Pink - made for girls with really narrow feet, not meant to be, but they would be PERFECT for work!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
So I have begun the task of Spring Cleaning. Please don't judge me by the photo - it's a work in progress :)
I should preface this post with a few observations about the state of closet space in NYC: most people have little to none. I was blessed in this apt with 3 great closets, each with 2 shelves above the rack. The one by the bedroom is very deep, I can fit shoes and luggage on the floor. So when I first moved in I just had 2 clothing closets and used the other one for coats & my teacher stuff. When the Husband came along I lost the 2nd clothing closet but kept the better one for myself :) Sssh don't tell him! I also have a small 4drawer dresser.
Ok so this is my solution to storage and switching clothes as easily as possible from season to season. ClosetMaid cubical fabric drawers from, surprise surprise, Target. I've had at least 2 for a while now and luckily tonight I found an extra package in my closet. I have one already for linens, one for bathing suits & cover ups and now one for sweaters. I was putting a pile of dry cleaning away when it dawned on me that a fabric drawer would be a great solution for sweater storage! Products can also be purchased online here.
Fabric Drawer filled with sweaters & ready to go up in my closet
While putting the sweaters away I found a pretty light grey-blue sweater with a small hole in the arm. Immediately I remembered I keep ALL those extra buttons and threads that come with a new purchase and BINGO - I have a nice little bit of yarn to bring to the tailors tomorrow. Hopefully they can work some magic. This all made me laugh since my mom and grandma would rather I be able to sew for myself but I too busy playing with the tin of buttons to focus during any lessons they tried to give me. I just loooved the button tin!
my button & thread collection from mostly BananaRepublic & JCrew
Laurel, New York
could have sat here all day - so peaceful
Over the 4th of July weekend last summer I planned a trip out to the North Fork of Long Island. We stayed at a fab B&B, Quintessentials - where the breakfast every morning was worth the price alone! Not to mention a super sweet innkeeper.
One of the activities I planned was a wine tour with Vintage Tours. We had a fabulous day with a large van full of other winos, visiting some really great vineyards & wineries. Jo-Ann, our tour guide extraordinaire was so sweet. Knowledgeable about the North Fork in general along with her wealth of info about wines. Laurel Lake was our first stop of the day. We got a great tour by the winemaker and tasted some really great wines!
One of the many bottles we bought at Laurel Lake was a 2006 Riesling. I can't remember if I tasted it but I'm assuming so. If not, the BEAUTIFUL blue bottle would have drawn me in. I'm a sucker for blue glass. Anyway, the bottle has sat in our fridge since then. We had about a 9 bottles that we purchased that day from different wineries and for some reason I saved Laurel Lake. Last night I opened it and figured out why I save it - AAAAAMAAAAZING. Refreshing with just enough sweetness for me. They describe it like this: "This flowery, aromatic wine blends soft acidity with sweetness, all of which adds to its sipping pleasure." At $15.99 it's worth every penny, in my humble opinion.
The always faithful source, Wikipedia (hi sarcasm) reminds me that Riesling is grape with German origins, best tasted when young for their fruity, honey aromatic flavors, and is a versatile wine to pair with food. Here are some other links with info about Riesling;
For more info about my beloved homeland's wine - visit LIWines.com
pretty pink & green packaging
It's no surprise how much I love coffee and tea - especially while on the go. There's a Starbucks on every other corner here in NYC it seems. As I've been running around this week I've had many many of my beloved Caramel Macchs or Iced Passion Teas. I always have to use one of those cardboard covers when it's a hot drink - my hands are SO sensitive to heat. The sleeve reads "
Monday, April 13, 2009
Interesting story about the "quest for 'quick-fix' dinners" in the Orlando Sentinel.
People are avoiding restaurants but are unwilling to cook more so they are turning to their local discount stores & grocery stores to find prepared meals. The Orlando area has a new Whole Foods and is also finding similar salad bar and hot food stations popping up in grocery stores.
In response to more people shopping for dinner at supermarkets, restaurants are adding to their take out menus and even offering 'cook at home' kits. No matter how easy the directions I don't know if i could duplicate my restaurant favs at home!
As the article pointed out, a big plus of these quick dinners? Less clean up after dinner!
at 9:18 AM
Saturday's Easter Vigil was long - over 2hrs. We needed food as soon as the doors flung open to 5th avenue! We grabbed, I almost cannot believe it, food from a Famiglia near Times Square. Locals usually try to avoid TS as much as possible. And with so many locally owned pizza places & restaurants in general it's not usual that you eat at a chain. When we got there a lot of the Broadway shows were letting out so the area was PACKED. Anyway, I usually just get plain. But I saw this aaamazing looking pie covered with mozzarella cheese topped with tomato slices and basil. Had to have it. So so so good. YUM. When it's good, it's good.
What do you like on your pizza?
St Patrick's, Saturday Easter Vigil
Riverside Church, Easter Morning
Beacon, from our balcony seats
Took a looong early evening nap today. Hence the late night blogging. Also - still on Vacation! Yaaay!
Went to St Patrick's for Easter Vigil Sat. night and then Riverside Church, where we got married, for Sunday morning service. Both were lovely. Former Mayor Dinkins was there and got a shout out from the minister & a round of applause from the congregation Cardinal Egan did not officiate at Vigil, he was resting for Sunday mass. Kinda bummed we missed him. He is retiring & the new Cardinal comes in this week.
Posted a super long review of Beacon where we had brunch today. Long story short - food was great, service was NOT. I don't think they were prepared for the crowd today. I don't know if we'll go back and give them another chance, tho I'd like to at least for the yummy food.
What do you think? Do you give restaurants second chances after a bad experience?
Saturday, April 11, 2009
One more time with the flannel sheets? I got two sets this winter I loved them so much - the penguins just went on the bed, the red & beige snowflakes are in the wash. I love being in bed, I could spend a large part of the day there snuggling, napping, reading, blogging, so I'm really happy with these warm & cozy sheets.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Glyntpottery - great shapes and colors. I love the pale blue wine chiller
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Great article from my local paper Stocking Your Kitchen Pantry
Beyond the basics of oil, spices and salt, chef/writer Danielle Rehfeld suggests keeping legumes, rice, dried fruit (great for snacking!) and imported from Italy San Marzano tomatoes. Great suggestions!!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
It must be some kind of Murphy's Law - I cooked dinner and husband is working late. Oh well.
From my favorite, Great Food Fast, I bring you Roasted Chicken Breasts with Carrots and Onions.
~Chicken Breasts ~Carrots (I used baby) ~Garlic (I used only 3 cloves) ~Onion, wedged
~Salt & Pepper ~Pitted Prunes, quartered ~Couscous, for serving
Preheat oven to 450. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheets - or pan as in my case :). Arrange carrots, onions and garlic around the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
Add prunes and continue roasting until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender, about 15-20 minutes more. I always cook a little longer since I am using a toaster oven.
Serve over couscous, if desired.
Great flavors & a simple recipe. I love my baking pan :)
Ta-da my fabulous new PINK Rabbit wine opener thanks to Winobee's giveaway! I'm so excited for another pink kitchen accessory :) It is in the box so you can see the fun accessories it came with - a foil cutter and a wine pourer with stopper but I can assure you it will be out ASAP! :) And benefiting Breast Cancer Research -- saving the ta-tas, can't beat that.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I cannot say enough good things about the cookbook, Everyday Food's Great Food Fast
every recipe has a great photograph!! which I love. Why would I want to make something I've never seen before? And the recipes are organized by season. Cool and light recipes for summer, hearty dishes for fall and winter. I know it's time for Spring but this is one last winter recipe on a rainy first day of April.
I will admit I was a little concerned with this recipe. I'm not 100% comfortable with red meat, especially when I don't have a regular oven to broil in. Yes this meal was cooked in my convection toaster oven - hurray no injuries or undercooked food!
Chili-Rubbed Skirt Steak from Every Day Food's Great Food Fast
~2teaspoons chili powder ~1teaspoon ground coriander
~1teaspoon light brown sugar ~1/2teaspoon dried oregano
~coarse salt and fresh ground pepper ~1 1/2teaspoons olive oil
~1 and 3/4 to 1 and 1/2 lbs beef skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
I warmed up my oven & pan. Meanwhile, combine spices, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Coat steaks evenly on both sides with Olive Oil. Then coat with spice mixture, patting to make it stick.
I transfered the steaks to the pan, added a little extra olive oil, and set them to broil for about 15minutes. The recipe says 8-10 but my oven & tastes needed the meat a little more well done.
I sided my steak with a yummy mixed field green salad, with tomato and cucumbers, vinaigrette dressing. Would also be great with a creamy dressing to offset the spice from the rub, as is suggested in the book.