Apparently I am on a dessert kick because all my recent posts have been about dessert — apologies — but this one NEEDS to be shared (again). I posted this recipe seven years ago (yes, I have been doing this blog for a looooong time) and it is so good that I need to remind you about it. Ice Cream Cake made with Ice Cream Sandwiches! I learned this genius recipe hack from my sister-from-another-mister.
Finished product! Look how gorgeous — and they are even more delicious.
I love most desserts (yes, I know, sugar isn’t good for you, but I love it), but especially baklava. It is one of my absolute favorites (along with red velvet cake, key lime pie, blueberry crisps….so many), and yet I have never made it myself. So during a heat wave in Oregon, I decided IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN, and made my first homemade baklava, and let me tell you, it is delicious and I plan to make it again! It is that good!
One of my favorite activities in the Pacific Northwest is to go fruit picking in the summer. Raspberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries and peaches. Yesterday, I went blueberry picking (the season is almost over) and within an hour we had over 7 pounds of fresh, delicious, beautiful, organic and inexpensive berries ($19 for 7 pounds).
I love this one blueberry picking spot — right near one of my favorite hikes — but there are so many different places you can go and get the berries.
OH MY GOODNESS STOP SUMMER, STOP! It is going too fast and *GULP* it is almost the end of July! Here is what I am loving.
1. Never Have I Ever
So yes, the past month I have been with my 75+ parents and my 10 year old daughter, so it is not a shocker that I have been mainly watching teenager shows, but I am OBSESSED with ‘Never Have I Ever.” I love the characters, so charming, cute, loveable. Paxton — I love you.
I know that this sounds totally basic and obvious, but infused fruit ice cubes are incredible; and something so simple adds so much!
Chopping — you simply add tiny pieces of fruit to each ice cube.
I was fortunate enough to spend the last 2 weeks in Southern Spain with my parents, daughter, and Ken (for a week) where we relaxed and explored together. It was refreshing and rejuvenating to leave the US and get fresh air and tastes of a different culture. Here are the highlights:
Every morning, I ran. Over the two weeks, I ran 98 miles. Up hills, down hills, and NEVER on flat surfaces. It was the hardest place I have EVER EVER RUN in my entire life, and I hope that it makes me a stronger (and faster) runner. Each morning, I would dread my run, but I loved it so much afterwards. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to explore my surroundings and really have a feel for the area.
It is almost mid June and so the end-of-school-rush and start of traveling is in full swing. I am trying to pack for two camps, a cross country trip, a Europe trip, and still manage to get the kids to school. Needless to say, I feel like a chicken without a head. All good things, and I am happy to be here and healthy….so here is what I am loving this month.
1. Notorious BIG Metro card
A lover of BIG, I had to get this special metrocard. Going to frame it — love it. Definitely cost more than a normal metrocard, but it will last a lifetime.
In the constant search to find new recipes and things to eat, my-sister-from-another-mister told me about an easy pizza calzone recipe from NYTimes that everyone in the family loved. Not only was it super easy, but also very tasty. I altered the recipe (shocker) to include more greens, but it is one of those recipes that you can do what you want with it, and it will turn out delicious.
I love to braid — in hair, flower crowns, and challah.
Recently, I taught Tusia how to braid and make flower crowns.
One of my favorite places in NYC is Governors Island, a 172 acre island that is 800 yards from Manhattan (a 7 minute ferry ride!). It is the perfect place to spend a day wandering and feels like a vacation, when it is only minutes away from home (well depending on the traffic….). And even better — you can spend the night there! It is an upscale camping experience and is a memorable and truly perfect way to spend the night. Recently, I took my daughter “glamping” on Governors Island mid week and it was the highlight of our Spring.
This is Tusia on Governors Island in 2017. Since then, the green space has turned in to the property for the glamping, Collective Retreats.
Memorial Day weekend here we come, which means summer is around the corner! Here is what I am loving this month.
1. Basiquat Exhibit: King Pleasure in NYC
An absolute must if you are in NYC. 200 never been seen pieces. Well put together, interesting flow, and great commentary and information. Highly recommend!
In my constant search of “the best pizza in NYC,” I landed at L’industrie Pizza in Brooklyn. Ranked by all the food websites as one of the best slices in NYC, we decided to make the trek to Williamsburg to try it out (and by trek, it is really not that far — it is just the mental jump from one borough to the next). And sure enough, it was ever so delicious and worth going to.
We placed the order online ahead of time so that it could be there when we got to Brooklyn. (We knew ahead of time that there would be no seats for us, so we wanted to have a picnic in the car).
I always claim that we are a Manhattan family that spends more time in Brooklyn. For whatever reason, there are so many different activities and adventures to go on there! Last Friday night, we went to the Brooklyn Drive In Movie Theater, Skyline Drive In, and I cannot wait to go back again! It was a super fun adventure for everyone in the family (although I am a rookie at the drive in game, and need to step it up next time with what I learned). Skyline Drive Inn is located right on the East River in Greenpoint with killer views of Manhattan (if it is not foggy….) and plays two different movies on two screens — one current film and one old school film that changes daily.
Skyline Drive In.
This past week, we celebrated my mother-in-law’s 75th birthday, my daughter’s 10th birthday, and the launch of Natori x Kasama rum. YEP, you read that correctly — RUM! Natori is doing a collaboration with Kasama, a rum company!
Look at the gorgeous bottle!
My mother-in-law with my kids — wearing the same print as the bottle!
Even Stevie has a matching print Natori ouftit! And check out my mother-in-law’s tall heels in the background. I wouldn’t be able to stand in them.
The whole Natori family with the Kasama lady — another Filipina!
Ken with the Natori model.
Me and Tusia — unintentionally wearing a floral jacket — I had no idea!
Unique and fun collaboration — but love how two Filipino female brands came together to support one another!
As someone who (1) eats granola all day every day and (2) can never go in to a grocery store without buying a new kind of granola, it is no surprise that recently I came across The Hampton Grocer Granola inside a store, and fell head over heels for it. It is so tasty that I ate the jar in less than a week.
I initially bought the lemon poppy flavor — so good — a different and unique taste.
After a personal recommendation AND reading about it in the NYTimes, we decided to trek to Ridgewood, a neighborhood in Queens, to try out the restaurant Rolo’s. Definitely a trains-plane-automobile situation to get there, but the food and adventure was worth it. The restaurant was started by 3 ex-Gramercy Tavern chefs (an old time favorite and Classic NYC restaurant) and every bite was delicious. If you are up for a different neighborhood and scene, definitely check it out!
And of course, on the 10 minute walk from the subway station, we came across a Biggie Smalls mural, which I love…because I love Biggie and most of all, 90s hip hop.
I have had a difficult 2022 where I have simply had to relearn how to breathe and stay still. It has not been an easy process but I am learning to try to stay in the present, breathe, and be kind to myself. As cheesy as it sounds, my mother sent me several issues of “Breathe” magazine, and I absolutely love reading them and having them remind me of these tools and meditations. I love to sit and read them (again and again and again) from cover to cover, or just a page here and there.
Three different issues, all with the same concepts and tools. It may be obvious and basic, but they are great reminders and terrific for anyone who needs and wants them.
Gratitude — so easy, yet so hard.
Lots of tools to help with self growth and discovery.
Activities, essays, quotes — all great.
So if you find yourself in need of activities, inspiration, a guide to wellness, self compassion, self care, I HIGHLY recommend these magazines full of ideas and care. Just little bits that help ever so slightly.
Yes, another post with what I am currently loving for this month…I couldn’t help myself! Enjoy!
Best movie I have seen in a long time. Obviously, I had heard about it with all the Oscars, but I was never interested in seeing it, until this past weekend, we watched it as a family, and LOVE LOVE LOVE. Must watch (and not the most kid appropriate movie, but we all loved it nonetheless).
For some unknown reason, I had this incredible desire to eat mango pudding. So, I made some! It tasted like summer and vacation!
It’s unbelievable to me that we are almost half way through the year — I have been hibernating the past 2.5 months, so it feels a little surreal, and yet, here we are. Here is what I am currently loving!
1. Trader Joe’s Egg Wraps
A low carb version of a tortilla or a wrap and just as delicious! So good to eat as a savory or sweet snack.
Hands down my favorite condiment is Momofuku’s Chili Crunch. Even though I am terrible with spice, there is something about this crisp that is so good that I can’t stop eating it (and yes always complaining how spicy it is). It adds so much flavor and pizzazz and makes eating more fun!
We go through a bottle per month, so this past time, I stocked up and bought 4 so I never ran out.
As a die hard roller skater, it made me so very happy that NYC opened up its first Roller Skating Rink, Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, this past weekend. So sure enough, the kids and I ventured to skate and dance on opening day. It was such a great hour and I cannot wait to go back — pure simple family fun. Located in the heart of Manhattan at Rockefeller Center, it is a great place to people watch and soak up the energy of the city.
Smack dap in the middle of the city! So much fun.
Over Spring Break, we became pickleball obsessed. So much that we played every single day and even bought our own equipment — which is big news for our family that never partakes in racket sports together….
We were first introduced to the sport at our resort in Mexico where they had a court. Pickleball is basically a small court tennis but played with a wiffleball type of ball.
In a need to have more veggies and green in my life (winter makes me only want carbs), I decided to search the best recipe for Green Goddess Dressing. After a lot of research, I chose the Green Goddess Dressing from the NYTimes and I am so happy with the end result. It is delicious, fresh, and easy to eat with crudites or salads — a great way to add more green to my day.
For the few of you who don’t know about WORDLE, I feel like I need to tell you about it. It is a word game that gives players six chances to randomly guess a five-letter word. If your letter is in the right spot, it shows up as green, and if it is a correct letter but in the wrong spot, it shows up as yellow. So you figure out which letter is in the word and if it is in the correct spot. You have six chances.
The hardest part for me is to try to figure out which five letter word to use….In general, I am not very good at wordle, and am much better at the mini crossword and at Spelling Bee.