The weather wasn’t great this weekend, but it ended up being a good thing since I got to do a lot of baking, trying recipes out that I had wanted to for a while. Pop Tarts have always been one of my guilty pleasures. Junk food was basically banned in my house growing up and I have a lot of memories going over to my friend’s house down the street being able to eat snacks like Pop Tarts. Even in college I would buy the cinnamon sugar version for myself when I was stressed (although I am not recommending stress eating, even though I do it!). I always liked the cinnamon sugar Pop Tarts the best, finding the fruity flavors too artificial tasting, although most people look at me like I’m crazy when I say that.
On Sunday I went over to my friend Madeline’s apartment in West Harlem to bake. Her apartment is seriously amazing!! She is such a good decorator and all the details were perfect. I want her to decorate my apartment since it’s such a disaster right now. And she is such a good baker! We had a lot of fun making these Cinnamon Sugar Pop Tarts from Smitten Kitchen. Although we agreed that the pasty didn’t have the same consistency as a real Pop Tart (it was much more buttery and flaky), and we sort of ran out of dough for regular sized tarts and had to make some mini versions, they were still delicious! I definitely want to try them again, but with a glaze over the top as well. You can get the recipe here.
The summer always seems to fly by (too quickly in my opinion) and this year I want to make an effort to do some things that I’ve been planning to do. It’s already almost July so I better get on it! I’m a list maker – it keeps me organized at my job and in life. I can be kind of scattered in my thoughts so lists help me focus on my priorities and things that I want to do. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to do all the things I really want to do this summer, but I tried to narrow it down to the top ideas. It will be fun to check back in at the end of the summer and cross off what I did.
Visit Coney Island. I’ve heard mixed reviews about Coney Island, but I’ve lived here over three years now and still haven’t been. This is a top item on my list – I need to go and formulate my own opinion.
Make a pie from scratch. Pie crust has always been intimidating to me. How does the crust get so buttery and crispy? I think I’ve done enough research by now, and I made a Triple Berry Galette over the weekend which gave me some practice!
Try Stumptown’s Nitro Cold Brew Coffee. Apparently this nitro infused cold brew is the new coffee trend. It’s fizzy and has a creamy finish. I’m intrigued. Well I’m at it I also want to try the Stumptown Cold Brew Tonic that uses cherry. More creative iced coffee drinks here.
Go for a run over the Brooklyn Bridge. I would have to do this super early in the morning before it gets packed with tourists.
Eat crab at the beach. Ever since I saw pictures on Instagram of Brooklyn Crab in Redhook I have been dying to do this. I’ve been looking for places on the Connecticut shore, Rhode Island and Cape Cod but can’t find any. If anyone has a recommendation please let me know!
Try boxing! After watching a video of Gigi Hadid boxing, I’ve been wanting to try this, even though I know I would be hilariously terrible. It just seems like a new and fun way to exercise. My friend boxes during the week on the Hudson River Park so I’m hoping to go with her one week.
On Saturday morning I decided to change things up and go to the Fort Greene Park farmers market instead of the Union Square Greenmarket. I’m happy with my decision – they had just as much there but it was more compact and had few fewer people. Anything that’s calmer in NYC is better in my book. At the market I picked up some fresh blueberries, blackberrys, and my favorite: red currants. I love these tiny and tangy berries. Each bite is like an explosion of sour goodness. I had to incorporate them into some baking and I had been meaning to try making a galette (like a beginner’s/novice baker’s pie) even before the latest edition of Bon Appetit came out. I knew red currants would be perfect to offset the sweetness of the blueberries and blackberries. Galettes are SO easy to make, and since I’ve never made my own pie crust from scratch this was a great way to get some practice. I used this recipe from Bon Appetit as inspiration, but made a lot of my own modifications. The results were great and I loved the tanginess that the red currants added to the sweet berries and the nutty crust!
Recipe for Triple Berry Galette with Cashew Crust:
1/4 cup of chopped cashews
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup of chilled butter, chopped into pieces
Blueberries, blackberries, and red currants, enough to make about 1 1/2 cups combined
1/4 cup sugar
Making the dough:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse cashews in a blender until they are the same texture as a meal
Add the cashews to a mixing bowl and combine flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon Mix together. *I mixed by hand, but you can use a mixer too!
Add chilled butter and mix until pea-sized chunks remain
Add 4 tsp. of ice water and combine. Add water or flour if necessary
Mix until just combined and pat dough into a 6” disc
Wrap in plastic and chill
Making the filling:
Toss berries, sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl
Roll dough on floured surface until about 8” wide. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Mound berries in the center of the circle, leaving about 1.5” of border
Fold edges up and around so that they are overlapping. Brush the dough with milk and sprinkle some sugar
Bake 35-45 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and the filling is bubbling
Last Friday I took my first vacation day of the summer (finally!) and Pat and I went to Rhode Island and took a day trip to Block Island. I have to say that we truly outdid ourselves and had a weekend of amazing food, starting with a spontaneous brunch at Noah’s in Stonington, CT. I went to college in New London, CT which is about fifteen minutes away from Stonington Borough, a tiny fishing town right on the coast with beautiful colonial houses and tiny streets. Noah’s brings back a ton of memories for me – from dinners and drinks with all my college friends and their families, and my graduation brunch. The buttermilk pancakes aren’t better anywhere else.
When we got to Charlestown, RI we hit the beach for a few hours which was much needed. I feel like the past couple times I’ve been to the beach this summer it’s rained, but it was so beautiful! After the beach we drove through Misquamicut looking for seafood. At the beach seafood is a must and some of the best places are the super casual, no frills places right on the water. We found Two Little Fish and had amazing lobster roles, fries and slaw. Pat and I both like hot lobster rolls with butter instead of the cold-mayo ones, so we’re always looking for places that serve those.
On Saturday we woke up early for the ferry to Block Island. I can’t believe I hadn’t been to Block Island until last weekend! It was so easy to get there and I loved how being on the island made me feel removed from the rest of the world. Everyone was biking or walking, and there weren’t too many cars. We set off straight to Mohegan Bluffs, which I had heard were sweeping cliffs with amazing views. What I read was right – the views were amazing. Pat and I walked down what felt like hundreds of stairs to get to the beach at the bottom of the cliffs. At the bottom the stairs ended and it was just a steep rocky path that was SO scary! It took me like 30 minutes to get down and Pat had to help me. So embarrassing. Also, all these tiny children were just running up and down the path like it was no big deal! After being at the beach we went back up the stairs and down another barely visible path that opened up right onto the edge of a cliff. It was so crazy! We sat at the edge of the cliff on a rock and ate lunch – probably one of the best views of the day. Block Island also has a bunch of farms so we stopped at one on the way back and it was full of the most random animals – like camels, tortoises, emus, a kangaroo, lemurs, and these donkeys that had zebra stripes on their legs. It was really odd.
We capped off the weekend on Sunday by going back to the Matunuck Oyster Bar and splitting a massive seafood sampler that had oysters, clams, and shrimp. Oh yeah, and I had a Bloody Mary that included an oyster. The past weekend made me realize that it’s important to explore what’s around me in New England! Even through I grew up in New England I feel like there’s so much I still haven’t seen.
I don’t know about you, but this week has been super rough for me already and it’s only Tuesday night. It might be the weird weather or a brain crash after several extremely crazy weeks at work, but I’m feeling foggy for some reason.
I feel like I’m in a weird rut, but luckily I’m taking Friday off to head to Block Island with Pat. It’s a tiny island off the coast of Rhode Island and until I figured out that the high speed ferry there from Point Judith was so cheap (it’s only $25 round trip, FYI it’s like $80 round trip to ferry to Nantucket from Cape Cod) we hadn’t really thought to ever go there. I’m looking forward to biking around the island and exploring the cliffs and beaches. Just have to make it through two more days!
If I had to define this past weekend, it would essentially be defined by the amount of ice cream that my sister and I consumed. She came to visit for a long weekend so naturally I had a bunch of activities in mind. Luckily, we both agreed that it would involve eating, wandering around, and watching Orange is the New Black. On Thursday and Friday (since I clearly hadn’t gotten enough of them last weekend) I dragged Molly back to Blue Marble Ice Cream and Bluestone Lane Collective Cafe.
On Saturday we walked over the Manhattan Bridge, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I’ve done the Brooklyn Bridge a few times but I had always heard about the great views from the less popular bridge. They didn’t disappoint! The other highlight of the weekend was finally going to Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream in the Lower East Side. I had the salted pretzel caramel ice cream, which was a tad on the salty side (normally I like salty ice creams with just a hint of salt). My sister had that too but also mixed it with angel food ice cream which I think cut the saltiness a bit. Morgenstern’s has such interesting flavors and I can’t wait to go back and try green tea pistachio, raw milk, and blueberry labne. Molly and I finished the weekend off with dinner at Henry Public and a delicious and tangy cocktail. I hope everyone has a great week!