Wednesday, October 30, 2013

on favorite kitchen aids.

as brian and i have merged homes before our wedding and made some necessary upgrades, a few new kitchen tools have become indispensable for us. here are my favorites - every kitchen could benefit from the addition of these.
Favorite Kitchen Gadgets
1. kyocera perfect peeler - the only one on which i'll be specific about the brand. for years i have struggled with finding a good peeler. i know that makes me sound like a 50's housewife who needs to get a hobby, but i love baking. and i love roasting vegetables. and for the past couple of years i have skipped peeling (apples), or painstakingly peeled with a knife (here's looking at you butternut squash). i finally decided to do some deep research, took a chance on this, and let me tell you: life-changing. it has peeled apples,  potatoes, carrots, squash and eggplant without breaking a sweat. for the next bridal shower i'm headed to, the invite asked each guest to bring a small kitchen gadget with them, and this is the one i'm bringing. it's amazing - do yourself a favor and pick one up before pie-baking season truly commences.
2. tongs - tongs, tongs, tongs, i love tongs. i have moved from plastic to all metal kitchen tools, and in that transition finally added tongs to my repertoire. if you've ever watched giada on the food network, you see her use for seemingly everything - flipping meat on the grill pan, mixing spaghetti with sauce, plating roasted vegetables, and the list goes on. she convinced me i needed tongs, and boy was she, and i, right. i like tongs because they give you much more control rather than a spatula or spoon. when i can, i substitute using these as opposed to another kitchen tool.
3. bodum 'eileen' frenchpress - while any frenchpress will do, i love the functionality and and beauty of this one. i drink coffee and brian doesn't, and with precious counterspace in our little kitchen, a coffeemaker just didn't make sense. not to mention that i usually grab coffee at work and only make it on the weekends. this solves all problems and looks good enough to bring out when you have guests. it comes in silver, too, but i'm partial to gold. either way, a frenchpress is a great addition for those of us that don't make coffee every day but would like the option.
4. herb mincer - really effective, as in takes ten seconds as opposed to the minute it normally takes to chop herbs. and when you chop those herbs you just get tired and figure - good enough. i know saving a minute isn't that big of a deal, but give me a useful, efficient tool that can do my job a million times better, and i'm in.
5. aerator - brian's sister got us an aerator this year and while it sounds frivolous, we friggin' love it. it makes wine taste a lot better (always a benefit if you have a glass or two a week like us, and not the whole bottle), and it's just fun to play around with. we often do mini wine tastings of aerated and non-aerated wine - silly, but we're adults and it's a weekday. we'll take our kicks where we can get them, ya know? since this is a "little luxury" and not necessarily a need, it could make a great hostess or housewarming gift as well.
6. batter bowl - the one i don't have just yet! i used to have plastic mixing bowls with a helpful little spout as seen above, but moved to metal mixing bowls this year. again, a luxury, but pouring batter into cake pans or forming pancakes is just a mite easier with this - i miss that spout! plus, yes, it's just plain old good looking. i hope to add this puppy to my kitchen soon.
if you have any other "musts" in your kitchen, share them below!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

on my weekend in pictures.

this weekend was decidedly low-key, as they've been lately. i spent it cleaning, writing notes, making a cobbler, cooking dinner, making pumpkin spice pancakes. all the things  one does as the weather starts to slowly but surely get colder and colder and the days shorter and shorter. on saturday brian and i went out for dinner - our last one as fiancees! - to a favorite here in new york city, kin shop. it's always on point and always delicious, along with it being a nice break from all the wonderful italian restaurants we frequent so often. it was brain's first time there and he ate an oyster - granted it was a fried oyster - but still, a small miracle. on our first date brian ordered a burger - hold the lettuce, hold the tomato, hold the onion, hold the mustard, ketchup on the side - and a coke. i ordered eggplant parm and a glass of wine. the past few years we have shaped and changed each other and push and challenged one another in what i think are mostly good ways. whether it's as small as eating an oyster or taking a new job or moving to a new city or starting a family or buying a pair of shoes a little off the beaten path, it's a whole lot easier sometimes to do it with the support of your love by our side - encouraging you, pushing you, cheering you on. i'm looking forward to seeing what the coming years bring us, what changes we encourage in one another, and what adventures we will find ourselves on. all in all, i'll just be happy to have him by my side.

Monday, October 21, 2013

on my weekend in pictures.

this weekend was another low-key one - with less then three weeks to go to our wedding we are doing our best to relax and slow down. saturday i met up with molly and tina for brunch...that ended up lasting quite a few hours due to the bottomless mimosas (oops!) but the food was good, the company was great, and the laughs were overflowing - no complaints on my end. and while brian and i managed to make it out to dinner even though he felt under the weather, by sunday it was clear he was really quite sick. so he spent sunday in bed and i spent sunday watching approximately 6 hours of say yes to the dress, interspersed with writing thank you notes, doing bagel pick-ups, and the every wonderful tasks of dusting and vacuuming. and now back to work (and the dentist) today...wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

on my weekend, kind of sort of, and unrelated pictures.

this weekend was pretty low-key – lots of cleaning, an amazing dinner with a girlfriend, and a huge, huge amount of reality tv. yes, that’s right – brian was out of town (for his bach party!), so i was able to watch approximately 55 hours of reality tv. it was truly a delight. so instead of the usual weekend round-up, let’s just ramble on, shall we?

last night i was out in the west village waiting for some friends, and the west village. oh, the west village. it's the most magical and wonderful of all the new york neighborhoods, and we can all profess to love our east villages, and fort greenes, and park slopes, and astorias, and upper west sides (actually no one says they love the upper west side - stroller city! - but moving along), yet deep down if we all could, we'd live in the west village. cobblestone streets, brownstones as far as the eye can see, ivy-covered buildings, dimly lit bars and cozy restaurants abound. and i sat there and thought - why don't i just live in the west village?! and then a bentley pulled up and the driver leapt out to open the door for the passenger and i was like oh yeah, that's why i don't live in the west village. i'm not a billionaire.
brian and i recently got a new vacuum cleaner and it’s righteous – it also comes with a special attachment just for hardwood floors! can you believe it?! it’s stuff like this though that makes me feel oh so old and a little depressed. after vacuuming i sat down and had a beer with my reality tv show binge because i’m an adult and i can do that and being an adult is fun in cool ways, too. i immediately felt better. take that adulthood!

sweets season, also known as holiday season, is in full gear. first, mallomars are being sold. second, i found a rogue box of entemann’s devil’s food chocolate donuts at target and snapped that shit up. (it really has nothing to do with sweets season as they're sold year-round, but let's keep this thought going). my target never has them and they are the best. the. best. beyond, just so beyond. and what say you – devil’s food or the regular yellow cake chocolate donuts? (yes, you will be judged for your answer).

we recently discovered that our local priest hadn’t sent in the paperwork to our virginia church, paperwork we had given him a month ago. it was super delightful for him to hear from me, and fun for me to use every curse word in my set of vocabulary. two days later the paperwork was in virginia and i went to confession, so i think we’re all good.


remember when i posted a recipe from brian? i really need to do that again. he recently told me he was mixing up ingredients for a salad in a bucket – stuff like that is too good not to share. and how do you mistake a bowl for a bucket? the mystery of the male mind.

we are only a few weeks away from our wedding guys! i feel like i need to do more posts about it. like we’re close enough that we can all indulge me while i turn this into a wedding blog for a hot minute.
i studied abroad in Denmark, which led to a delightful and mature discovery that the word “fart” is a real word in danish – it's not just used to be funny - and it means speed. i recently learned that the town i lived in while studying abroad has set up a fun and informative page for tourists. you can just go to www.lyngbyturistfart.dk to see some of the cool sites. and that’s all I have to say about that.

Friday, October 11, 2013

on some favorite fall accessories.

clothing options this fall haven't done much for me - it just feels like a rehash of last fall. accessories however - well i have really been loving on them. some of my favorites are below - enjoy and have a wonderful weekend friends!
Fave Fall Accessories
1. kate spade bracelet - i've wanted a lucite bangle for years, but the perfect one has eluded me. until now. with the touch of gold, i'm pretty sure this was made for me. it's currently marked down at nordstrom, but i'm waiting for it to drop more because that's how my mama raised me.
2. kate spade gloves - i waver with my feelings for leather gloves on ladies. i mean, obviously if they're opera length, i'm in. but in general, i just don't know. these though, i love. for sure. those zippers seal the deal.
3. j. crew earrings - i got these in white at the beginning of spring and have worn the heck out of them. at least a couple of times a week, these are on my ears. granted i bought them when j. crew had a 30% off everything weekend and i had a gift certificate, but trust - after knowing how much i wear them (and how many compliments i get!) i would have gotten these suckers either way. a best buy for any wardrobe.
4. ann taylor necklace - ann taylor's jewelry section is currently crushing it, and this is one of my favorites (or is it this one?! so many choices!) everything is also 40% off right now. just sayin'. 
5. cape - capes capes capes. i love capes. particularly those trimmed with fur. while wearing fur is not for me, i do admit that sometimes i love admiring it. this is one of those instances. once it snows, this would be perfect to break out of the closet.
6. gigi new york clutch - this clutch is, for me, perfection. i love it's larger size (that's what she said). i love the python texturing. i love that you can get it monogrammed. i love that freakin' tassel. and the color! oh that color green. only problem is it comes in a lot of great colors (burgundy! grey! taupe!) which one to go with?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

on a football recipe.

during one of our trips home this summer, brian and i snacked on some shishito peppers while waiting for our burgers. you know, the healthy part of the meal. seared in hot oil, sprinkled with a little salt and served with a sweet dipping sauce, they kind of rocked my socks off. i had never had shishito peppers before, and i thought - how hard could this be? the answer - not very hard. all you need is some shishito peppers, salt and a little canola oil.
when cooking these, you want to be sure to use canola oil or another oil with a high smoking temperature - olive oil in this case would be no good. pour an inch or so of oil into your skillet and throw in some newly washed peppers, stems still on. be sure not to crowd the pan, and put a lid on the pan in order to keep the oil from splattering, and to make it easier to move the peppers around (just lift the pan off the stove and shake that sucker around while holding the lid in place). my pans have glass lids, making it easy to monitor progress. you could also do this in a large pot, say a dutch oven, with no lid - the sides would still be big enough to protect you and your stovetop from splattering oil, and make it easy to move the peppers around.
after a few minutes, the peppers should be blistering (an example of that is in the photo above, the tiny pepper to the left). let them drain on a paper towel as you start your next batch, and sprinkle with some coarse salt - sea salt or maldon would do the trick. if you'd like, you could also sprinkle a little soy sauce on all the peppers when you're done, but i would do this sparingly. the seared pepper with a little salt is really perfection in my opinion.
these peppers are not spicy, except every once in a blue moon you'll bite into a spicy one (suspenseful!) serve with a dipping sauce if you like (trader joe's soyaki sauce would be perfect) - the peppers are easy to dip and eat thanks to those sturdy stems - however they're great on they're own as well. pair it with a cold beer and you're all set for game-day - just remember to put on your colors, black and gold in this house. enjoy!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

on my {epic} weekend in pictures.

this past weekend was one of my all-time favorites because it was, finally, my bachelorette weekend. some girls plan their wedding for years, i planned my bachelorette party. this also means this post is filled with an inane amount of pictures starring yours truly - but i had so much fun i can't help myself (and they're all iphone quality - yay!)
for the big weekend my friends and i went to miami - oh miami. before i went to miami i thought it would be like vegas - a big party town, a lot of annoying people, and maybe a great restaurant here and there. and then i went a few years ago and damn - mind. blown. miami is easily one of my favorite places in the world - the people, especially those in the service industry, are incredibly kind and helpful, the weather is amazing, the vibe is laid-back and very "you can have whatever you like" - if you want to go to a club or a pool dance party, it's there for you, if you want to lay on the beach and have an amazing cocktail to end the day before going to bed, also an option - the history as seen through art deco architecture and told from those schooled in the stories of the rat pack is romantic and wonderful and gives the city a unique and cool-as-hell vibe. can you tell i love miami? i had to go for a wedding one year, or otherwise i never would have made it. and i'm so glad i did. so don't knock it before you try it - it's a magical, wonderful place, and if you have the time, definitely take a trip down south to see what i mean.
most of my friends were able to make it, which meant the world to me, and our time there was perfection, we really couldn't have asked for more. our hotel (the gale) was beautiful and the people who worked there were wonderful, especially when they heard we were there for a special occasion. the lobby bar made the best espresso martini in the world, the weather was perfect, the pool was crystal clear, the ocean was the perfect temperature, dinner at the yardbird included amazing fried chicken, the martini bar at the raleigh was understated and laid back for our first quiet night there, the rec room was filled with beats to dance to when we partied our second night, and the stars were shining when we visited the beach at 4 in the morning so we could see the ocean one last time. the whole weekend i kept pinching myself - surrounded by my best friends from all my walks of life as we relaxed, enjoyed a mimosa here and there, and soaked up the good weather before winter rears it's ugly head. for a girl who's been planning her bachelorette party since a young age, it was more than i could have hoped for.
i can't wait for november, i can't wait to marry brian, and i can't wait to do it with such loyal and outstanding friends by my side. one month, and one day left - here we go.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

on a birthday party for prosciutto.

last week brian and i went to the best birthday party we've ever been to - a 50th birthday party for prosciutto. chefs from around nyc made little bites that incorporated prosciutto for the event. from pizza to ice cream to breakfast sausage, they had it all. and it was all amazing.
the setting of the party was beautiful as well - a patio filled with twinkling lights on one of the last mild nights of the year (although this warm october week is making me quite happy).
and finally there was this guy, who we watched all night long. he hand-sliced very thin pieces of prosciutto throughout the party, and he kind of amazed me. he explained that it takes about five to six years to learn how to slice prosciutto in that manner, and he was about three years in. he was, however, complaining that the prosciutto had gotten too soft and he just wasn't cutting it well. i told him it still impressed me and he said...are you ready...please prepare for awesomeness...i'm just glad none of the PROSCIUTTO GUYS are here because they would be laughing at me. dudes. there are apparently prosciutto guys in new york, like just a bunch of prosciutto cutting experts that hang out in this city. WHAT?! could you be any cuter AND badass AND amazing?
next mission: find the prosciutto guys. infiltrate their group. become their best friend. who's with me?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

on my weekend in pictures.

brian and i kicked off this past weekend a little early by attending a 50th birthday party for prosciutto on thursday - yes, it was amazing and yes, it's like someone threw a party i could only dream of. we'll be talking about it a little more tomorrow. due to all the festivities, we kept our weekend relatively low key - some shopping, some going to the gym, some farmer's markets, some work, and a lot of enjoying our little brooklyn neighborhood that we fall for a little more each day. finally, on sunday we got to meet up with good old anna, as well as get to meet, in the flesh, laura. getting to meet up with someone who you've known for weeks, months, or years online is kind of the best. we had a blast over brunch in manhattan, divulging more details from our life, discussing our futures, and laughing quite a bit. i know there's a lot to complain about when it comes to the internet, but i have two awesome friends, one in boston, one  in north carolina, due to this tiny, one in a million, blog. and that makes it totally worth it to me.
** if you're ever in nyc feel free to reach out to me - i'd love to meet you too! **

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