Favorite Fragrance Oil Scents

For the past several weeks, I have been on a fragrance scent kick. Essential oil blends that smell divine versus perfumes full of harsh chemicals and overpowering smells. Here are my top three fragrance oil scents — I honestly can’t get enough of them.

 

Big little small; all divine.

Big little small; all uplifting, clean and bright scents.

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Healthy Molasses Cookies

I love chocolate cookies, but even more, I love ginger cookies. So when I stumbled upon ginger-molasses-healthy cookies on goop, I knew I had to make them. Shockingly, I followed every single ingredient and step, but they miserably failed (turned into liquid and melted all together). So, the next day, I altered the recipe, and now they are perfection. Sweet, chewy, not not overly sugar-y, spicy, and peppery. NOTE: You must refrigerate the cookies for at least 12 hours, so you have to think ahead in terms of timing.

 

End result: spicy perfection. I am giving myself a high five because the second time around, they were absolutely perfect.

End result: spicy perfection. I am giving myself a high five because the second time around, they were absolutely perfect.

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Mint Malt Balls

One of the best desserts / gifts / party favors I have in my little “rolodex of presents” is the Mint Malt Balls first introduced to me by event planner extraordinaire, David Monn. He put them in our hotel goodie bags for our wedding (10 years ago) and since then I have been a big fan. Yet, one can only hoard so much candy, so I eventually forgot about them. Fast forward to David Monn’s Book Party, and there they were. Green malt balls in little containers on every table throughout the entire New York Public Library. BINGO, sold, addicted all over again.

 

Pretty green, perfect sphere, DELICIOUSNESS

Pretty green, perfect sphere, DELICIOUSNESS

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Superhero Muffins

As I mentioned last week, my new favorite cookbook is “Run Fast Eat Slow” by Olympian Shalane Flanagan — I literally can’t get enough of it.  My most recent obsession is the “Superhero muffins,” as I have made four batches in the past two weeks (no joke). They are moist, filling, sweet, delicious, and healthy. And refined-sugar and gluten free.  And they make you feel like a superhero.

 

Run Fast. Eat Slow. (Not Run Slow, Eat Fast).

Run Fast. Eat Slow. (Not Run Slow, Eat Fast). Basically, all you need in life is a stick of butter and some veggies.

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Healthy-ish Desserts

I love dessert. Almost as much as I love my family. But I don’t like to eat too much sugar because I get jittery, emotional, and always have a sugar crash. So, when I don’t have time to bake my own health(ier) dessert, than I go to my local stores to purchase healthy-ish desserts. Here they are:

 

Yes, they are packaged food and store bought. But I like to think that they are healthier than a snickers bar, and made with higher quality ingredients in a more thoughtful process. But yes, you are so right, it is always HEALTHIER and better to make your own food at home, where you know exactly what is going into the food. But, YOLO (you only live once), so sometimes it is nice to just grab and go.

Yes, they are packaged food and store bought. But I like to think that they are healthier than a snickers bar, and made with higher quality ingredients in a more thoughtful process. But yes, you are so right, it is always HEALTHIER and better to make your own food at home, where you know exactly what is going into the food. But, YOLO (you only live once), so sometimes it is nice to just grab and go.

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Scrumptious Banana Bread

The other morning when I was at my good friend’s house, she had just pulled banana bread out of the oven (how she makes banana bread while dealing with two kids on a school morning amazes me to no end!). She offered a piece, and although I had already eaten breakfast, I couldn’t say no. And HOLY crap, this was the best banana bread ever. Thankfully, she sent me the recipe and here it is!

 

This is how I bake....6:30 am on a Sunday morning, in my pajamas, totally disheveled, with my little baking partner (my 4 year old), with flour all over myself. But at least I am wearing FEATHERS undies.

This is how I bake….6:30 am on a Sunday morning, in my pajamas, totally disheveled, with my little baking partner (my 4 year old), and flour all over myself. But at least I am wearing FEATHERS undies. (I promise you this photo was not staged — Ken took  a photo of me because he said it looked ridiculous with the hand print).

 

Ingredients:

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Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee

I am a big believer in having quick-easy-access to coffee. Sure, I love my morning hot coffee in the morning (but not if I have to make it — thank you, Babers, for prepping the coffee maker every night). But after my first (of two) cups of coffee, I want something quick and effortless. I am also a coffee snob which makes it that much more difficult. Thanks to Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee, I get everything I want just by opening up my fridge.

 

Big jugs of coffee.

Big jugs of coffee. Actually they are coffee concentrates, so they can be diluted. It depends on how jacked up on coffee you want to be.

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Food Truck Wedding

My sister got married this weekend in an amazing wedding in Portland, OR (yes, we just relocated the family back from the West Coast the weekend prior… lots of travel!)  It was beautiful, heart warming, emotional, and fun. I am so #blessed (#sorrynotsorry) that I love my family as much as I do — my sisters, brother, and parents (obviously, my husband and kids too)– so much that I just want to be with them all the time (which makes my re-entry to NYC all that much more difficult).  Outside of the event and family, the highlight of the wedding was my sister’s WEDDING FOOD! BEST WEDDING FOOD EVER EVER EVER.  And not just any food, it was FOOD TRUCKS. Yep, food trucks at a wedding. And it was AWESOME. There were three food trucks for the main meal, and one food truck for dessert #Winning.

 

hawaiian

Hawaiian Cuisine? Yes please! This truck was from 808 Grinds and served an assortment of meats, rices, and sides. My favorite dish was the Fried Chicken.

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Blueberry Hazelnut Crisp

With a flat of blueberries in our house from our local CSA, I went on a hunt to find the best blueberry pie recipe. That said, searching “best blueberry pie” on the internet does not necessarily lead to the best blueberry pie, especially when I add words such as “low sugar” or “healthy.” So instead, I went the old fashioned route and asked a friend for a recipe. Needless to say, this much more experienced baker (read ‘older’) instantly emailed me her go-to-blueberry crisp recipe. So I made it (but of course, with some minor adjustments) and IT IS SO DELICIOUS.

 

The result.

The result.

 

Ingredients for Crumb Crust and Topping:

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Roasted Broccoli

Hi all-

 

Sorry about the hiatus.  I had the below post scheduled for Friday, but it didn’t seem right to post anything given all of the craziness going on.

 

Particularly coming from a mixed-race marriage/family, I wish I had something intelligent / insightful / constructive to say.  But all I feel is sadness and helplessness.  It feels like we are in a bad movie right now, and my fear is it’s only going to get worse.

 

The only thing I know I can do is to hug my kids and talk to them about race and everything that is going on. And to pray for all of the families and friends directly affected.

 

——————————-

 

 

Last month, while spending a weekend with dear friends, I was served (lucky me) the most scrumptious broccoli I have ever eaten in my life. I didn’t care that there was anything else being served, the broccoli was TO-DIE-FOR. It was a grilled broccoli recipe from Barefoot Contessa. Here it is.

 

A green forest

A green forest

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Air Fryer: Homemade Chips

My mother is multi-talented.  In addition to being a great chef, she is also a flamenco dancer, champion knitter, embroider, biker, and nia participant. In the kitchen, she is known to experiment, and loves to buy random kitchen gadgets to try different cooking techniques. She owns a dehydrator, a Vitamix (who doesn’t?), more pots and pans than imaginable, and…..an air fryer…..yes, an air fryer. What *is* an air fryer? An air fryer fries your food without the grease and fat. Last night, we opened it and made potato chips (seemed like an easy recipe to try without too many steps or ingredients!)

 

A BIIIIIG machine...not NYC apartment friendly, but good for Oregon where there is a lot of space!

A BIIIIIG machine…not NYC apartment friendly, but good for Oregon where there is a lot of space!

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Russ & Daughters

The new Russ and Daughters inside The Jewish Museum is a must eat and must see destination! This past Sunday, when my father was in town, we had the chance to go to Brunch with the family and celebrate my side of the family’s heritage.

 

Located in the basement of the museum, it is in fact sub-terranean, but still a great location to visit even with no windows.

Located in the basement of the museum, it is in fact sub-terranean, but still a great location to visit even with no windows.

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Black Bean Flourless Brownies

Moist, delicious, and oh-so-healthy! Store in fridge.

 

Yup, you read it correctly, say WHAAATTTT? Black Bean Flourless Brownies? Black beans in a brownie????? With or without rice? Just joking (about the rice), and yessers, I am serious about the black beans in the brownies. I was intrigued by the recipe from A Clean Bake, so I made the recipe, found myself interested in how weird they were, and then realized I had eaten more than my share #oops. So here is the recipe: (Note, when I made it, I must have been overly tired because I literally doubled the amount of black beans #gassy and forgot baking powder and salt…. I think that is what happens when I try to rush/bake between kid activities and my tutoring gig. Mind you, even though I forgot all that and put way too many beans in, everything was delicious!)

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Thai Cabbage Slaw

The perfect crunch, taste, and salad. I can't wait to try more of Mark Bittman's concoctions.

My obsession with Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix Cookbook continues. I can’t speak highly enough about it and EVERYONE must get it for their kitchen STAT. It makes meal-planning easy, and spices up our family dinner repertoire. My most recent find (there seems to be a new one every week!) is the thai cabbage slaw — DELISH what what!!!

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Mexican Spice Tajin

Last week when I was in Mexico (actually we left this morning at 4 am, #triste), I discovered Tajin and instantly became hooked. It tasted so good; that I had to put it on anything and everything. Truth be told, I was a little scared of looking at the ingredients because it was so addictive and good that I was convinced it had MSG. Reluctantly, I checked, and NO MSG, and instead, all natural ingredients (big sigh of relief).

 

Tajin. Vive la Mexico.

Tajin. Vive la Mexico.

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Salted Almond Butter Freezer Fudge

Add salt.

 

I am a devout nut-butter eater and like devouring nut butters in ANY form. So when I came across this Salted Almond Butter Freezer Fudge recipe, I instantly ran to the kitchen to make it. I love love them, and I so shared them with a fellow friend / parent from Cruzzie’s school. Later that day, I received three text messages from three other moms, requesting the recipe (friend #1 shared with friends #2-4). They are loved by all!  Enjoy!

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Hu Kitchen Granola

Recently, the Upper East Side has become more hip with good restaurants and stores (not that it makes the UES hip or cool… but it’s moving in the right direction….). My favorite addition is Hu Kitchen. Back in the day, I would take the subway downtown to Union Square, just to go to Hu Kitchen and get my hands on some cashew cream mash (think frozen yogurt, but not).  Now that there is a location close-by, I go there weekly to get my fix of granola, crack bars, raw brownies, and drinks. As a granola snob, I can safely attest that their granola is TO DIE FOR.  INCREDIBLE. And made with healthy, pure and raw ingredients!

 

Paleo Granola!

Paleo Granola! Say what??? SOLD SOLD SOLD.

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Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix

My mother is one of those people that always knows the bohemian cool, beautifully crafted, hip food products, way before anyone else. I am not saying she is a New Yorker fashionista (she is not), but she is very much in the know with all things West Coast cool and East Coast significant. When she visited us two weeks ago for Ken’s 40th birthday party, she gifted me a cookbook (she has more than 300 cookbooks at home — no joke) which is sooooooooo cool that I can’t stop reading it! Mark Bittman was a New York Times food columnist who created a book with a matrix of possibilities. It is unbelievable — everyone must have it for their kitchen! It also makes a perfect hostess gift for a friend. Take a look!

 

Kitchen matrix. How clever, imaginative, and smart.

Kitchen matrix. How clever, imaginative, and smart.

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