Thoughts on a Monday

Wow, the weekends always seem to fly by! The hydrangeas that I brought back from the yard in Cape Cod died, which seemed to signify that it was time to get out of vacation mode and back to real life.

Last Thursday I went to La Birreria at Eataly for the first time. The rooftop is so cool! I love going to Eataly just to browse around because it makes me feel like I’m back in Rome (where I studied abroad). My weekend was pretty relaxing too. I went to the farmer’s market near my apartment and then met up with my friend for brunch at Rintintin. Afterwards, I strolled aimlessly around the West Village with some other friends who were in town from Boston for the weekend. The heat has finally arrived in full force in NYC and it’s SO HUMID!! I was drenched in sweat after about five minutes.

It was nice having nothing to do this weekend, since in August I’m going to be traveling almost every weekend. Exciting news – I booked a trip to Oregon in mid-August to visit my cousin who lives out there. I’m so excited to explore Portland, the Oregon coast, the mountains, and the Columbia River Gorge. I’ve been able to do some planning for that over the past couple days, and I also started watching Chef’s Table on Netflix, a documentary series about chefs around the world. I highly recommend if you’re interested in cooking!

Here are some more interesting discoveries from the past week:

– “Why Women Apologize and Should Stop” from the New York Times. Unfortunately, I’m exhibit A of this problem, and since reading this article I’ve made a concerted effort to stop saying sorry to people, whether it’s my friends, co-workers, or random people. Why should I say sorry for not doing anything wrong? I hear women saying this to people all the time (particularly men) and it’s something we need to start thinking about.

– “Secrets of the Ring Road: Iceland’s Epic Road Trip“. I’ve been wanting to go to Iceland for a while and am hoping to plan a trip for next summer. This article only validates why I must go!

Huckleberry Shrub recipe from Bon Appetit. I’ve never heard of shrubs, which apparently are fruity vinegars made from berries that can be mixed with seltzer or a drink. Definitely a recipe I’d like to try soon.

– “Yes, Animals Can Think and Feel” from National Geographic. I’m a huge animal lover and this article is fascinating!

Harry Potter logic puzzle. Enough said.

– “30 Recipes that Reduce Kitchen Waste” from Food52. When I’m cooking I’m a huge waster of food. These recipes made me realize exactly what I’m wasting and what can be done with the food I’m throwing out.

– “The Difference Between $200 Jeans and $20 Ones” from Refinery 29. I went through a jean phase a couple years ago when I bought a lot of expensive jeans. Since then I haven’t really been doing that and I just buy something on sale or jeans from Urban Outfitters. This article breaks down exactly what you’re getting/not getting depending on how much you pay for jeans and was really insightful.

– “Ultimate Road Trips” from National Geographic. Featuring a ton of cool places I had never even heard of! Plus one of the trips is in Oregon.

 

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It’s Been a While…

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I have seriously been the worst at posting on here, but I am going to make a concerted effort to be better and to post on a consistent basis. I still have been taking just as many photos, so I’m hoping to get everything caught up over the next couple of weeks. We’ll see.

Big news – at the end of April I moved to Brooklyn Heights. Since then I’ve taken an embarrassingly large amount of photos. I swear that people probably see me and wonder why I am sketchily taking pictures of their apartment building. I can’t help it! Everything is so pretty and the addition of the warm weather just gives me more reason to explore my new neighborhood. Also, summer Fridays have kicked in at work, making each weekend that much better. On Friday, a group of us at work left and immediately went to the Shake Shack in TriBeCa. I haven’t been there in over a year and forgot how amazing the black and white shake is. Yum. On Saturday, I met with my two friends for brunch at Bluestone Lane Collective Cafe in the West Village. I’ve been dying to try this place forever and it was amazing. I had an iced latte and the avocado smash – it must have had 3 avocados! My sisters is visiting this weekend and I may have to drag her back so I can get a better photo. Afterwards I saw the Entourage movie – which I have been waiting for for two years and is my guilty pleasure, even though I know it’s terrible.

This morning I made a Coconut Bread from Smitten Kitchen that’s so good! It’s very subtle and delicious. You can get the recipe here. The only change I made was using coconut milk instead of regular milk. Afterwards I took a stroll to Vinegar Hill to meet a friend and it was interesting getting to explore that area a bit. It’s so quiet down there but I love the charming cobblestone streets.

I’m going to try to keep up a regular routine with this! Especially since I feel like I should be doing something more productive than coming home from the gym after work and watching 10 episodes of a random show. Although, Orange is the New Black is back next week and I can’t wait. Hope everyone has a good week!

Adventures with a Cast Iron Skillet

About a month ago my mom gave me a speech about how we should all be making our food and eating out of cast iron skillets. I have to admit that whenever I order a dish at a restaurant, it is instantly more appetizing when it comes out in a steaming skillet (ie baked eggs at the Penrose), so I caved and bought one for myself. While I haven’t used it as much as I should be – being on a cleanse at the moment isn’t really helping – the several meals I have made have been great. And I don’t mean that in a bragging way – I actually enjoyed my dinner more than I normally do. I am a big fan of eggs and the cast iron skillet allows for easy compilations of eggs + whatever else you want. Below is a picture of one of my first attempts at making eggs with kale, onions, avocado, and chives. I’ll be documenting as I make more.Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Recipe: Arugula & Prosciutto Flatbread with Pomegranate Balsamic Glaze

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I’d tried making flatbread several times before but for some reason I never felt satisfied with the outcome. The crust would either be too doughy or too dry, and the toppings I chose were always underwhelming. My recent visit to Otto Enoteca Pizzeria a few weeks ago gave me the thought that there is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to make something almost as good as what I had there, at my own apartment. Borrowing from the pizza I had at Otto, I went out over the weekend and bought the ingredients: fresh whole wheat dough, grape tomatoes, red onions, arugula, and prosciutto. In place of parmesan, I used La Tur cheese from Murray’s, which is a combination of goat, sheep, and cow cheese (and extremely amazing). I felt that something was lacking so I made a balsamic reduction using the pomegranate vinegar I got from The Filling Station and leftover pomegranate seeds. I baked the dough first with olive oil, onions, and tomatoes, and then added the arugula, cheese, prosciutto, and reduction at the end. I was surprisingly impressed with the results! The pomegranate balsamic enhanced the sweetness of the dough and tomatoes, yet balanced the bitterness of the arugula and the saltiness of the cheese and meat.

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Recipe: Summer Tomato Salad

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Last weekend I went to the Union Square Greenmarket and picked up some colorful cherry and grape tomatoes. I just love the different color variations of fresh summer tomatoes. They were definitely overpriced (at $5.00 a pint) but clearly worth it, ever since I saw Bon Appetit’s recipe for this sliced tomato salad. Later that night I chopped up the tomatoes into quarters and halves, cut up some fresh basil, and added some mozzarella. I tossed the mixture with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of balsamic. Result = heaven.

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Homemade Chipwiches

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Over Fourth of July weekend I found myself very nostalgic for my favorite childhood summer treats. Thus, my desire to make Chipwiches was born. For me, there was nothing better than waiting for the ice cream truck to drive by during summer and then biting into a delicious Chipwich: two chewy chocolate chip cookies sandwiched around vanilla ice cream that was rolled in even more chocolate chips. Yum. Chipwiches are becoming trendy again in New York. Just look at shops like CoolHaus and Melt NYC, which create awesome spins on chipwiches with unexpected flavors. I just stuck to traditional chocolate chip cookies, using this recipe (from Martha Stewart, obviously), except with only half the amount of butter. Bakers tip: if you cut butter in half when making cookies, they come out amazingly chewy! I used pistachio ice cream inside, froze them for a bit, and then they were good to go, served with some root beer and an American flag straw, of course. I would have liked to make my own ice cream but I was crunched for time. There’s always next time though!

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