Currently Loving End of Summer 2019

Here we are, another season has flown by, and now onto the new same old (a la Alanis, isn’t it ironic?). Tomorrow, we go in to our same old routine but now, a summer under our wings with new experiences and thoughts….so, that said, here is what I am currently loving.

 

1. Lizzo Tiny Desk Concert

 

MAD CRUSH

 

All summer, I was obsessed with Lizzo. I listened to all her songs, read her interviews, and fell madly in love with her. So now, I can’t wait to see her in September at Radio City Hall. She is one flipping incredible musician and loving and personable person — I want to meet her and become friends with her. You need to listen to her interview on Fresh Air and watch the Tiny Desk Concert linked above. Wildly talented.

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Ume Onigiri House

The local community pool in Eugene, Oregon (Amazon Pool) is unlike any other public pool. Sure, there is a random mixture of people (Olympic athletes, White Trash, professors, and a mish mash of kids),  incredible views and greenery, and endless options of fun (high dive, platform dive, loopty-loop slide, tunnel slide, obstacle course, water sprays, sandbox, you name it). But it is the snack grill that is my ultimate favorite. It is not your typical pool snacks — no corn dogs or french fries — but rather hippy dippy Asian cuisine served at Ume Onigiri House. Kombucha, of course, and even better their dumplings and onigiri. Even though Ken is half-Japanese, I had never tried an onigiri until this summer. AND MAN, how I love it. Seriously, if you ever go to a restaurant and see it on the menu, get it. It is essentially a rice ball filled with various fillings — teriyaki chicken is my kids go to, but I have had the kimchi and teriyaki tofu and they are DELICIOUS.

 

Placing the order. Each onigiri costs $2.50 — A STEAL OF A DEAL! That alone makes it amazing.

The kids love it so much that they can barely wait to eat it.

It comes with homemade pickles, spinach, and the rice balls.

Tusia loves to mix hers up…making it a mixture of rice and chicken.

Cruzzie loves the dumplings.

Dumpling dude.

A portrait of feet and onigiri.

Another day, another onigiri dinner.

Basically, twice a week at swim lessons, the kids would eat onigiri for their dinner.

Perfection.

 

So yes, I understand that Ume Grill is unique to Eugene, but wherever you are, go find ONIGIRI. So good and so healthy, too. The perfect little meal.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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CSA Chickens

There is SO much I love about my hometown, Eugene, Oregon, but one of the things I love most is the quality of the food. We get two deliveries of CSA vegetables per week (Turnip the Beet and Wintergreen Farm — my parents have been members of both farms for over 20 years!!!) as well as fresh chickens and eggs from Havurah Farms every other week. You literally don’t have to go to the grocery store except for pantry and freezer items. And the chickens?!?!?! MAN they are good. Who knew chickens could taste THAT good. They come from Havurah Farms and are pasture raised and non-gmo fed. Also, kosher, organic and killed young. You can literally taste the difference.

 

Every other Monday, my parents go to someone’s house for pickup. You get your chickens and eggs, check off your name, and then you are on your way. Old school, honor code. The chickens are killed the morning you pick them up.

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Dehydrated Peaches

Earlier this week, we went peach picking (one of my favorite pastimes in Oregon….  fun, beautiful, and super inexpensive. WIN WIN all around). In 20 minutes, we gathered 35 pounds of delicious and perfect peaches. As much as I love peaches, that is a WHOLE lot of peaches to eat….especially since they go bad very quickly. So within minutes, I made two crisps (a little bit of oatmeal, a little bit of butter, a little bit of sugar and VOILA).  But there was still 30 plus pounds left….so we decided to dehydrate them and they are oh so good.

 

Me and my partner in crime. She weighs just slightly more than the peaches.

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Cilantro Jalapeno Vegan Pesto

The other day, my mom made the most incredible pesto — the typical basil, pine nut, parmesan combination. It was so delicious, I found excuses to eat it (chip, carrot, spoon, you name it). But because everyone KNOWS how to make pesto, I decided to find a more creative (and cost effective) vegan pesto. Instead of pine nuts and parmesan, hellloooo cashews. Instead of basil, welcome cilantro and jalapeno. It is green, healthy, and has just a minor kick to it (next time, I want to add more jalapeno). Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

 

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Root Beer Float

OK, this might be the stupidest and most obvious post ever (or genius, depending on who you ask), but I recently became reacquainted with root beer floats, and I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. Seriously, two ingredients lead to the most refreshing and delicious snack slash dinner. It truly tastes like heaven, especially if you use high quality ice cream and root beer.

 

TWO — just two — ingredients!

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Capitol Fizz

My hometown of Eugene, Oregon is in the center of the Willamette Valley — the new hot spot for wineries and breweries (less of a hot spot for aperol spritzes, sadly). I enjoy going to the wineries on bikes (which I do at least once every summer — it is super fun and also a hard workout) as well as discovering new wines. So when I was in the my favorite grocery store (thank you, Oregon, for selling wine in the grocery store!), I discovered a single serving of sparkling rose wine from the area — it was like discovering a treasure under a rainbow — everything I like in one bottle — single serving! pink! Sparkling! and from the Willamette Valley!

 

This little bottle of sunshine is Captol Fizz by Illahe.

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Currently Loving July 2019

Here we are, (mid) JULY! And here is what I am currently loving this month! And please share with me what you are loving — I love hearing what books, articles, songs, sweatshirts, anything and everything that you are loving oh so much.

 

1. Avett Brothers song “No Hard Feelings

 

Good song — makes me want to cry. But super musical and beautiful.

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Turkey Jerky Sticks

Readers of the blog know that I love gourmet grocery stores. It so happens that I go to the grocery most days while in Eugene. The local grocery store is my dream come true and I could literally spend hours patrolling the aisles to see what’s new and what they have to offer. Last week while jetlagged and bleary from our France travels, I went searching for good, high-protein snacks. I have always liked beef jerky, but never loved it. So when I found these three different brands of turkey sticks, I knew it was going to be a good snack summer. These three are my top favorite and I hope they have them in the NYC stores (and if not, thank you world wide web, not sure I know what to do without you!)…..

 

Top 3

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Paris June 2019 Highlights

Bonjour! My apologies for the slow posts these past two weeks — it was quite difficult to get on the internet to do any posts especially because I had a major computer issue a…..turns out, all is okay with my computer but the head of the charger died — who knew that that was a thing? In any case, I am now back in the USA *with* a working computer, so back to normal post schedules. I wanted to first share with you all some of the pictures and highlights of my time in Paris with the kids — we did go to the South of France for an amazing trip as well, and I will post those later. In the meantime, enjoy these photos!

 

In the Tuileries, one of our favorite activities is the trampoline park. It is an old school little hut with a man that got to know us because we went so often. Everyday when we would get there he would say hello and when we would leave, he would say “See you tomorrow.”

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Bar Pisellino

On a beautiful summery day last weekend, we went with friends-that-are-family to Bar Pisellino, a bar that I had read about and was so excited to try out. If you know me, I have been obsessed with Aperol Spritzes for the past 12 months, and Bar Pisellino not only serves them, but has them on TAP. YUP — Aperol ON DRAFT.

 

Nothing better than summer nights in Manhattan….especially with epic and gorgeous skies as documented by @ken.natori

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Rise Brewing Oat Milk

I live for my hot brewed coffee every morning — and I can’t imagine life without it. But every so often, I want an iced coffee mid day. Not only for the extra oomph and caffeine boost, but also for the flavor. Nothing is as good as coffee (except maybe tequila). I recently found this bottled iced coffee made with oat milk — it’s like all my dreams come true! Rise Brewing Oat Milk Latte –a dessert in a can! Oh so delicious.

 

Slender, petite, and the right size.

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Ralph’s Coffee

After months of hearing about Ralph’s Coffee, I finally made it inside. And it is even more divine and fabulous than I ever imagined — chic, beautiful, and old school glamorous. Located inside the Ralph Lauren flagship store on 72nd and Madison , Ralph’s Coffee is a relaxing and delicious place to grab a drink and snack (Ralph Lauren partnered up with the team at La Colombe to create Ranph’s Coffee’s signature blend). It also helps that the people inside are just as beautiful as you would expect, making for great people watching.

 

Sidewalk art signage. Although the store does not open until 10 am, Ralph’s Coffee opens at 8 am. I can’t wait to go back!!!

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Sakara Daydreamer Dressing

Creamy and oh so dreamy. This salad dressing from my new favorite cookbook “Eat Clean Play Dirty,” is great to make for the week ahead and drizzle on crudites or any salad. It was so good that immediately after I made the first batch, I QUADRUPLED the recipe to have more to grab for any and every salad!

 

Ingredients:

 

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Boston Marathon 2019

This past Monday, I conquered my fear, and ran the Boston Marathon. Ever since last year’s difficult weather and race conditions, I have been very afraid of the Boston Marathon. So on Monday, my goal was not a personal record, but just to have a redemption run. A run where I erased my negative experiences of the previous year, and tried my hardest. And that I did. No marathon is ever easy (or maybe for some it is?), but running 26.2 miles is difficult for me. No matter how many times I do it, it is always a challenge. And on the Boston Marathon course, it is even harder — the Northeast weather conditions are spotty, the start line is far away and requires a marathon of sitting and waiting BEFORE the marathon, and the course itself is extremely difficult with so many hills — TOUGH TOUGH hills. But I did it — I went out there, tried my best, had a fun (yes, I did), challenged myself (ohhhhh yes, that, too), and ran a good race.

 

Expo. One of my best college friends lives in Boston, and so she was a wonderful host and driver. She picked me up at the airport, drove me to the expo, cooked me the perfect dinner, and then drove me to the start line. Thanks, Gigs!

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Prince Street Pizza

I was introduced to my new favorite pizza place by my out-of-town-brother this past week and now I am dreaming of the pizza nonstop. My brother is one of those people that knows everything about a place even when he doesn’t live there. He also loves food, reading about food, and is always right. So when he was visiting this past weekend and suggested trying Prince Street Pizza — I knew that it was going to be good and worth the trek down. And YUP, sure enough, this tiny little pizza shop is where it is at. I can’t wait to go back.

 

Located in Nolita, on Prince Street, this tiny little shop is c harming, crowded, busy, and has oh so delicious pizza.

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Ole & Steen

The Scandis always know how to do everything right. Especially bakeries. One of my nearest and dearest friends is Norwegian, so when we decided to meet last month for coffee, she told me about a new Danish bakery, Ole & Steen. And holy shmoly, is it unbelievable. Everything about it is perfection; the breads are to die for, the pastries, the porridge, the coffee, EVERYTHING. I am not sure what exactly it is about their baked goods, but they are beyond delicious and my new favorite thing to eat.

 

I dare you to go in to the bakery and try to buy one thing. Impossible.

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Spring Break 2019 Part 1

Spring Breeeeeakkkkkkkk! After a long and grueling cold winter in New York City, nothing feels as good as warm weather, sunshine, and the beach. For the first week of our break, we went to Imanta in Punta de Mita, Mexico with my in-laws. It was rustic AND luxurious, eco friendly, secluded, beyond beautiful, and very relaxing. Take a look at the pictures, enjoy the sharing overload!

 

The kids are at a great age where they can play in the pool alone and not be supervised at all times…..The kids loved to go skinny dipping in the pool (good old Hippy Roots!)

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Currently Loving March 2019

Another month is almost over….slow down, time, SLOW DOWN! It is now Spring Break for us, which means, the end of the school year is around the corner and HELLO SUMMER. Until then, here is what I am currently loving this month! Take a look, here is March 2019.

 

1. Evil Genius

 

4 episode TV series on Netflix

 

An easy series to watch in a weekend about a crazy lady and murders and crimes. Dark but not too scary as it is narrated in a witty and upbeat way. And you can’t stop watching because you want to know all the weird things that happen.

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My Go-To Sandwich

Every week, I find myself at the counter of Epicerie Bouloud to pick up my favorite sandwich in the world. Aside from cucumbers and granola (my other go-to foods), I could eat this sandwich EVERY MEAL OF EVERY DAY and be happy as a clam. Not only does it remind me of Paris, but it satisfies all my taste buds — butter, ham, cheese, bread — THANK YOU, GOD.

 

BIG! You can split this….or you can eat it all for yourself! (Like I do!)

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Currently Loving February 2019

Well, geez, February went by in a FLASH! I feel like it just started and now it is days away from being March…..Here is what I am currently loving this month.

 

1. Any podcast with Alex Honnold

 

Alex, you are a dare-devil, but I admire your strength (both mental and physical) and commitment and devotion to making the impossible possible. Lance — not a fan, but you gave a good interview.

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