Check out my newest ditty for Martha Stewart about what to do with your apple haul…
It’s been a busy Spring thus far, gearing up for an even more frantic summer (moving to NYC, weddings abound, and lots of travel!), and family trips and obligations have had me constantly on the go.
A few weeks ago, my family did back to back trips to Park City, Utah and Houston, TX, where we unsurprisingly engaged in epic amounts of eating and drinking. Here, two picks for each locale:
Park City, Utah
Adhering to the schedule of a 9 month old–albeit the most delightful baby on the planet–, can present problems dining out. Luckily, Purple Sage, located near our rental house offered gourmet comfort food (think veal meatloaf and terrific parmesan-poblano grits)–all available to go. Delightful, delicious, and located right on bustling main street.
*image courtesy of Purple Sage
High West Distillery and Saloon
In addition to their terrific whiskeys and my personal fave, the pre-batched Boulevardier (all made on-site), High West is also a great place to visit, and even stop for a meal. We came in during the bustling lunch rush, and enjoyed delightful cocktails and tasty noontime fare.
*image courtesy of High West
A quick note: I’m fully aware of how exciting the Houston dining scene is, but sadly because of a packed schedule and one day feeling under the weather, my food intake was shockingly down. Therefore, I’m just mentioning two of the places I particularly loved. I’ll be back to Houston, no doubt about that.
Common Bond Café and Bakery
Common Bond is one of those magical baked goods-scented, light and airy places that you want to stay all damn day. After an early flight into Houston, we popped in for some very fluffy croissants and coffee. It’s effortlessly chic, has glorious pastries, housemade breads, and savory goods, and really proves the maxim “everything’s bigger in Texas”–a coffee shop of this size in New York? Don’t think so.
*image courtesy of Yelp
Jackson Street BBQ
It’s a crime to visit Texas without enjoying some barbecue, and the fare at Jackson Street didn’t disappoint. Although it opened recently, in the summer of 2015, Jackson St clearly comes from a long tradition. The collards, potato salad, and sausage were my favorites, and the ribs were supremely juicy and smoky. That fried thing on the left of my plate? Fried mac & cheese, of course!
Since I’m trying to save money this year, which is not a habit I am entirely familiar with [likely because a) I have no impulse control and b) I don’t make enough], I’ve been having lunch at home. With my ahem flexible schedule, I’m able to cook lunch chez moi. This also runs the risk of me not seeing anyone all day, but there you have it. Concessions for saving that cash flow.
Usually my lunches consist of chopped romaine and a mass of random items found in my refrigerator. Take a gander at a recent lunch:
Driving between New York and Washington, D.C. last week, I found myself in a number of gas stations along the Eastern seaboard. I always enjoy perusing the selections, and usually pick up a bag of pizzeria-pretzel Combos (and a scratch ticket) for my troubles.
This trip, I noticed a theme in many of the roadside snacks: highly questionable sweet and salty flavor combinations. Behold, some of the weirder items I encountered, simultaneously horrified and intrigued: Continue reading
As I’ve widely established, breakfast isn’t my thing. But, as hunger is also not a good look on me (glaring, anger, hatred, passive aggression, aggressive aggression), I have learned that I have to eat something pretty hearty in the morning to avoid homicide and heartbreak. Like a true celeb (or person who likes to have good digestion), I start the day with lemon water. Also don’t judge me for this, it works! I’ve even started putting in some apple cider vinegar because I’ve been really yoga-ing it up lately. Anyway, after my hippie juice is finished, I eat breakfast, and lately it’s been overnight oats.
Why? Firstly, oatmeal is awesome and can even be savory and secondly it keeps me FULL until lunch, so I don’t start finishing jars of artichokes and 5-pound sirloin equivalents of beef jerky at 11:30.
The night before, I use this recipe from Buzzfeed (I know), and, as my mother likes to say, “Bob’s your uncle and Fanny’s your aunt”. Which, from my understanding, means and there you have it.
Tart Cherry Overnight Oats
Makes 1 serving
⅓ cup rolled oats (Men: ½ cup rolled oats)
¾ cup plain, 2% Greek yogurt (Men: 1 cup plain, 2% Greek yogurt) [0% Fage works for me]
⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon honey [I skip this and use Maple Syrup because Hello…]
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon dried tart cherries (no sugar added)
10 raw almonds (Men: 20 almonds), chopped [nixed this because I’m already nutty HA]
Combine all ingredients except the almonds in a small airtight container. Stir together, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
When the oats are ready, garnish with the chopped almonds [if you want to], and serve cold.
When it comes to birthdays, a homemade cake is non-negotiable. With my brother and sister-in-law’s days of birth arriving in rapid succession, I spent some quality time with the hand mixer. I let my sister in law choose her flavor (red velvet), as my brother has had the same favorite cake since…forever. Interesting fun fact about my brother’s cake, it’s an orange cake from a family cookbook we’ve had sine the 1970s (my dad gave it to my mum back back back in the day.) I had to convert everything into standard measurement, but as usual, it was worth it. I remember my mum making this cake all throughout my childhood, and I love baking it today.
Orange Cream Gâteau from the Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook, 1978 Edition
*note: I’m doubling the recipe, because I found that it was not enough for 2 9-inch cakes
1 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup butter
2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream fat and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together, then grate the rind from the orange, and fold in with the dry ingredient. [Combine the wet and dry ingredients–this step is missing in the original recipe!] Divide mixture evenly between 2 well greased [9-inch baking rounds]. Bake in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Turn out and cool on a wire tray.
Make the buttercream: Beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the sifted confectioner’s sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the juice from the orange before all of the sugar has been incorporated.
Sandwich the cake together with the buttercream. Coat the sides and top, swirling decoratively.
I chose to decorate with some yellow sprinkles and chocolate pieces, all in the letter “I” for my brother!
My sister in law is a chocoholic, so I was pretty surprised when she requested red velvet cake. I used a New York Times recipe I’d just seen, and it came out pretty perfect. They paired the cake with an Ermine icing, but I just went with regular buttercream. The yellow sprinkles look a little weird here…
- ½ cup /113 grams butter, at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons to prepare pans
- 3 tablespoons/22 grams cocoa powder, divided
- 1 ½ cups/300 grams sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters vanilla
- 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon/6 grams salt
- 1 teaspoon/5 grams baking soda
- 2 ½ cups/320 grams flour, sifted
- 1 cup/236 milliliters whole buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters vinegar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans by buttering lightly and sprinkling with 1 tablespoon sifted cocoa powder, tapping pans to coat and discarding extra cocoa.
- Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time and beat vigorously until each is incorporated. Mix in vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, make a paste of the remaining 2 tablespoons cocoa and the food coloring. Blend into butter mixture.
- Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Alternating in 2 batches each, add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter mixture. In the last batch of buttermilk, mix in the vinegar before adding to the batter. Mix until blended.
- Divide batter among 3 pans and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a rack completely. (Can also be made in 2 cake pans.)
- To assemble, remove 1 cake from its pan and place flat side down on a serving platter. Drop about 1 cup of icing onto cake and, using a flat spatula, spread evenly over top. Remove the second cake from its pan. Place flat side down on top of first layer. Use remaining frosting to cover top and sides of cake.
Some pretty exciting things have happened to those closest to me, so I wanted to celebrate by using our brand-new hand crank pasta maker. Embarrassingly enough, this was my first time making pasta, and after one egg-yolk eggsplosion (apparently when you make a well in the flour, it’s got to go deep), it was actually relatively smooth sailing. As per the Frankie’s Spuntino book, I kneaded the dough for 8 minutes straight (whew!), then let it rest before rolling it out.
We cranked and cranked, and produced some pretty decent (albeit very thin) noodles. After some time unfurling the noodles, I whipped them up with a favorite River Café recipe of peas, prosciutto and lots of butter and Parmesan. Now, to resist the urge for homemade pasta every weeknight.