Today we go behind the scenes with a TV chef (one of my favorite types of TV). Casey (aka, Casey2Cook) is a successful chef who won a season of Cooks vs. Cons! (BTW, that is my biggest nightmare — being quick and fast in the kitchen). Such an inspiration and I learned so much from the interview. Thanks so much, Casey! And FYI, her partner Steven is Natori’s E-Commerce Shipping manager!
Talented and beautiful, too! Thanks, Casey for this interview and inspiration for all of us.
How did you start cooking? What inspired you to become a chef?
Happy September, happy back to real life! I hope everyone settles in to the fall with ease and peace despite the craze and chaos it tends to bring. I know that I am trying to take one day at a time; better yet, hour to hour. I am not sure how summer disappeared as fast as it did, but I’m happy we created fond and wonderful memories that will forever be in our hearts! That said, here is what I am currently loving!
1. Slides. Yes, I know, shower slides from the 1990s are finally back in. I have been a fan of them the past two summers and have worn them non-stop. I love that they are easy, and go with everything. Although not practical for urban daily city life, I plan on wearing them once again NEXT summer, too. Thank god they are finally in fashion — last year I got a lot of weird looks.
Shower slides. With no shower.
My love of Oregon runs deep; as I am a sucker for anything that comes from Oregon or looks like it is FROM Oregon. So I am giddy that Union Wine (an Oregon company) is now sold all over the country. Union Wine (Underwood) has been selling wine in a can for quite some time and has always been my go-to-dinner-party-gift, but now they sell SPARKLING WINE and RIESLING in a can, and I can’t control my happiness. Last week when visiting my sister in Portland, I visited a grocery store (truly, my favorite hobby) and I came across these new cans and I am sold. Pretty! And you can order them online, here.
I think these are the prettiest cans I have ever seen. SO SO pretty and feminine and fun.
After spending the weekend in Costanoa, we continued our California vacation by spending a couple of days around Stanford University. As readers of the blog know, Ken and I started dating at graduate school at Stanford (although Ken and my brother were best friends and roommates at Amherst for undergraduate). It was extra special to be there with the kids and show them the various places that had an impact on our life (i.e. dating –> love –> marriage –> life –> kids). Not only did we go to Stanford, but my father did as well for graduate school (right after marrying my mother), so this place is special to the whole family, and not just me and Ken. Take a look at the pictures (and I promise this will be our last post on our vacations, as we return to NYC so soon).
My (good looking) squad at the hotel.
Although I love August, the fact that summer is almost over makes me emotional and sad. I love summer so much and knowing that the end is near is always so hard. That said, here is what I am currently loving (and yes, I am trying hard to be “present” and “current”)
August in Oregon. Dry and hot.
Last week, we jumped into the car and drove to Crater Lake. Although I had gone as a child, I didn’t remember my experience and the trip had been on my to-do-list for several years. This year, I was determined to make it happen, and despite the long car ride (Thanks Pups for being our driver), it was INCREDIBLE. A MUST SEE. A MUST GO TO. A MUST A MUST A MUST.
On our drive South, we stopped at Watson Falls, for a quick hike and lunch pit stop. Oregon always blows me away with its natural beauty and divine power. We were all mesmerized with the water, the green, and Mother Earth.
This summer, we have gone to lots of local Oregon farms to pick our own fruit. The best trip was to the raspberry farm, when we came home with 9 pounds. I wanted to make a raspberry crisp but couldn’t find a recipe anywhere, so I improvised and made my own! It was so good that I made not one, not two, but THREE! This recipe is low sugar, tart, but oh-so-good.
First, you pick.
Toosh is officially my picking partner. She never wants to leave.
Last month while still in NYC, my West Coast biffle stopped in for a sleepover on her way through NYC. As always, she gifted us the most unique, thoughtful, and special housewarming gift: a collection of coffee table books. (Her last gift, which I also posted on, is here.) Each book is beautiful, interesting, and special, but what makes them even more special, is that they are so me! Take a look at the selection — I love the idea of presenting friends with a collection of books that they can flip through and read for years to come.
The large heavy stack!
Greetings from Oregon! The kids and I have officially relocated for the summer. Every year, I am a broken record with very similar summer to-do lists. It either means that I set the right intentions that I want to repeat OR that I have goals that I never end up accomplishing….I really hope that this summer, I am able to commit to my list and make it happen!
1. Learn how to breathe.
Waves = calming sound = meditating?
With a blink of an eye, school is almost finished, summer is here, and we are 1/3 done with 2017. So here is what I am currently loving for May 2017!
1. Brunch / Lunch at Russ and Daughters at the Jewish Museum
Salad! Yes please! Delicious. And maybe I like it because it looks like a colorful rainbow.
I love browsing cookbooks so when Salad for President, came out I was ecstatic. This cookbook is full of recipes, interviews and contributions from creative artists / chefs / writers / musicians.
This book is the perfect hostess present (coffee table book?)
In one of those cant-sleep-instagram-frenzy-rabbit-holes, I came across a bakery in Brooklyn with the most beautiful cakes; Broken Tart. I knew the minute I saw the cakes that (a) I needed to follow Broken Tart on instagram (b) I had to have a cake for Tusia’s 5th birthday party. The cakes are not only beautiful, magical, whimsical, and unique, but they are tasty and delicious. The perfect duo (pretty AND yummy).
The cake arrived in the perfect package. Who says not to judge a book by its cover?
Now that I have a new home, and a new place to cook, entertain and lounge, I have been scouring cookbooks and cooking blogs. I found this recipe for a Paloma Slushie from the cookbook “Small Victories“. It is fool-proof, easy, and incredibly delicious.
Part slushie, part margarita. Perfection.
The beginning of April was a complete whirlwind — the night we traveled back from our Spring Break (Puerto Rico, Florida, and Oregon!), we moved into our new apartment. Then, that Friday, it was the Passover Seder at my daughter’s preschool which I have been co-chairing for the past four years (a huge event for 400 plus people). That night, I flew to Paris to run the Paris Marathon. Call me a complete NUT CASE, because all of that on its own is stressful. Put it together, it is insane. Anyways, now I am back and readjusting to life…….and here is what I am currently loving!
1. Flying Tiger Flower Pens
For those of you who do not know Flying Tiger, you need to. It is a Danish store, similar to Ikea, but for home goods and gadgets. It has everything and anything, at super cheap prices. Luckily for me, it is a block away from my son’s school, so I always find myself in there when I am early for pick up. It is great for party favors, silly gifts, and your own home. Check it out!
This pen cost ONE DOLLAR. Isn’t it beautiful?
Although the US has great healthy options (salads, smoothies, greens, etc…), Paris ultimately has my favorite food, which we enjoyed last week at the Paris Marathon. We had great luck with the restaurants we chose and couldn’t have been happier (well, our stomachs are a little bigger, but C’EST LA VIE!).
Sunday Brunch: Our favorite, Cafe Charlot. Not many restaurants are open on Sundays (and Mondays), but this is a classic French bistro where all the cool kids go to brunch for seven hours. We ate and drank for hours on end. The food is delicious, the sun was shining, life was (is) good.
This burger was the best thing I have ever eaten. And this was AFTER my huge caesar salad with smoked salmon. The waiter looked at me crazy when I ordered two main courses, but hey, you only run a marathon every so often.
I just returned from a quick trip to Paris where I completed by 4th Paris Marathon (7th marathon total). It was great fun — both the trip itself and the run, and now I am looking forward to not traveling, not doing long runs, and staying put….. at least for the next couple of months (I have already planned my next two marathons…). Here are pictures of the weekend! (And what day is it today?)
We landed at 2 pm on Saturday, 16 hours before race time. So the only thing we could do that day was go to the Expo to pick up our bibs and get settled for the race next morning. YUP. The race at 8:20 am the next morning! Here is our feast pre-race.
Happy Friday! Before I post an indulging (yet delicious) food item, I want everyone to read the article written by our good friend, Sasha Blair-Goldensohn. Eight years ago, Sasha was hit by a tree in Central Park, and is wheelchair bound. His op-ed in the NYTimes from Wednesday is an eye opener, so please do so. I also highly recommend watching the video that accompanies it. Thanks in advance for reading it.
I am constantly on the search for a “healthy” dessert. While I am well aware of the effects of sugar …..I still love nibbling on something sweet at the end of my meals. Call it an addiction, or a vice, but it is a habit that I can’t stop. So these raw chocolate energy bars are perfect. Raw chocolate, sweet, nutty, gooey, and great.
Romantic rawmantic, yes, handcrafted with love.
Currently on Spring Break…. loving the weather, lack of responsibilities, and sunshine. Also, currently loving….
1. Kerrygold Butter
I mean, I can eat this stick all at once. It is creamy, salty, and oh so perfect. By far the best butter (in the states) that I have eaten.
OK, this is the easiest recipe EVER, but it is so good that I have been re-creating it (or some variation) for the past several weeks. Lunch, snack, dinner, WHATEVER…. I have even eaten it for breakfast! What is it? Basically, roasted veggie with pine nuts, goat cheese, olive oil and salt. I know, glamorous and sophisticated recipe, right?
So green, so good.
Last week I received a present that made me smile! A box of candy! But not just any candy, it was an email saying that I was given a box of goodies from Sugarwish, and that I needed to pick out what I wanted.
First, you receive an email saying that you were gifted some sweets, then you select what you want. Everything I picked arrived in a slick little box.
We just returned from a special 40th birthday party of a very dear friend in the French Alps. It was a weekend of snow, ski, rose, fondue, meat, relaxation, and lots of fun. An incredible experience that we will never forget.
Val D’Isere is located in the French Alps, a three hour drive from Geneva. We landed early morning in Geneva, took a bus to our chalet, got fitted for skis, and went straight to the mountain. No wasted time!
I love crock pots and how you set it and forget it. So this past weekend, when I was able to think straight and could organize a meal 8 hours before dinner time, I found a recipe for a healthy Chicken Tikka Masala from Well and Good. It was super easy, delicious, and healthy.
Honestly, nothing makes me happier than homemade baked goods, creative touches, and a hard working and inspiring mother. And Ilana, the founder and creator of Upper SweetsideNYC is all that. Ilana has created her own business of custom cakes, cupcakes & cookies for kids bdays and special occasions. Not only are the baked goods beautiful, but they are delicious too. Ilana is a fellow mother at my kids’ preschool, and through our morning chit chats and social media, I discovered her incredible talent. Ilana is a true example of a strong, empowered, and passionate woman who dreamed and created her own destiny! Here is an interview: — thank you!
One of the beautiful cakes created by Ilana!
I just bought the most clever napkins ever, introduced to me by my bestie Amy at a brunch she threw. Yet, they are presents not for myself (currently, we do not have our own home, so there’s no need to hoard napkins quite yet) but to have in my stash of presents for friends. These witty and creative napkins by August Morgan are the perfect hostess gift, pick-me-up present, or even a birthday present (who said napkins for your birthday are not the best!). You can buy the napkins as mix and match which makes it even more fun.
A set of four comes in a little nifty box with a ribbon to close it with.
Inspired by What’s Gaby Cooking, I have been making a raw brussels sprout kale salad weekly. Basically, it is shaved brussels sprouts, finely chopped kale, and a variety of nut and fruit to give it some JAZZ.
What would I do without KALE?