This past weekend, in an attempt to have an adventure and do something off electronics, we looked up “best pizza in Brooklyn” (in our 5 borough food scavenger hunt) and discovered Di Fara. So we hopped in the car, drove to a predominantly Hassidic Jewish neighborhood and got some pizza. And yes, it was the BEST PIZZA EVER and I am so glad that we went on this adventure. It was absolutely incredible.
Just a window. Incredible.
Homemade Hummus! I have never made hummus before and in the last three days, this is the second batch. It is so easy and even better, so delicious! A must make!
February is a bizarre month — it is the shortest, feels the longest, yet is gone before I know it. So here is what I am loving this month (before it is March — hip hip hooray, Spring, we cannot wait!)
1. In & Of Itself
Identity is an illusion. I don’t want to say much because it is best to go in to this movie / documentary / performance blind. It is absolutely incredible, 100% worth watching, and afterwards, read this and this. Available on hulu. Powerful.
As mentioned a couple weeks ago when we ventured to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx to eat Italian Food, we visited Queens several times to try out the “Best Dumplings in the City.” I am not a big chinese food or dumpling fan, but these dumplings from Dumpling Galaxy live up to their name and are absolutely incredible. I loved them so much that a week later, I went solo to get some for the family to eat for the Chinese New Year — they are absolutely incredible.
Right now, Dumpling Galaxy is shut down and only serving at a pop up store — a window next to a Chinese Food Market. Dumpling Galaxy is located in Flushing (past the airport) and only locals are there shopping and eating. When we were there, dozens of people ordered dumplings and the flow was nonstop!
One of the perks of living in New York is the random things you can order to your doorstep — the most recent discovery was an avocado dude. You literally order online and he delivers avocados (and limes) straight to your door. They are not just any avocados but the most perfectly ripe and delicious avocado. Since 2014, Davocado Guy has been delivering avocados to restaurants in the NYC area — and in 2019, they expanded to home delivery of avocados to everyone, not just restaurants.
The perfect avocado. You can select which ripeness you want: ripe, semi, and green.
This past weekend, we decided to drive to the Bronx to the world famous, Arthur Avenue. Arthur Avenue is considered the “Little Italy of NY,” yet if you talk to any New Yorker about Arthur Avenue in the Bronx either people have no idea what you are talking about or have passionate feelings about this neighborhood famous for all the Italian cuisine. Truth is, that most New Yorkers have not been to it, including my native New Yorker husband. But with nothing to do over the weekend (thank you, COVID, thank you Winter weather), we decided to take an adventure up to the Bronx to try out some food. We are so glad we did this and CANNOT wait to return — it had so much energy, kind locals, and ridiculously tasty food.
Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.
If you know me well, you know that Fred’s at Barney’s was my go-to restaurant for 11 plus years. It is where we had every Sunday dinner, multiple meals throughout the week, and even many special occasions such as Marathon parties, birthday parties, and special moments. It was our kitchen. We knew the entire wait staff and loved everything about it — it felt like home. So we were extremely sad when Barney’s shut down PRE Covid. It felt like we lost a part of our family and didn’t know what other restaurants to go to. Sure enough, a month later, the music died, and all restaurants were shut down to Covid…..but here we are, back in NYC, restaurants are reopened (currently only outdoor dining) and the chef from Fred’s, opened up his own restaurant “Mark’s Off Madison.” It is located downtown on 26th street and Madison, with Mark as the chef, and many of the same wait staff as at Fred’s. It felt like going home — we were so happy to see so many of the same waiters and think often of the others that we don’t know their whereabouts (Lorraine, Aggie, Jose, Gian Franco, and so many more — we miss you and hope you are all safe and healthy). Fred’s was a special place to us and so going to Mark’s Off Madison felt special, too.
It is NOT warm. Right now, in NYC, there is only outdoor dining, but that didn’t stop us from trying and seeing our old friends.
My favorite blog contributor (and dear friend), Katie, is here to take it away! Katie always has gems, treasures and stories to share with us, and we are all so lucky to have her contribute to this blog. I always learn so much from her — bits and pieces I never knew I needed to know — thank you so much, Katie! Read more to find out all about pomegranates! Promise you will learn so much!
Over half way done with January 2021! Here is what I am currently loving right now!
1. Lost Frequencies & Zonderling: Crazy
I love this song. It is upbeat, fun, feel good. And I also love the video. It just makes you want to dance!!!! Or look at beautiful people dance (as seen in the video).
I am fully 100% addicted to The White Moustache Date yogurt. It is unlike anything I have ever tried and I will climb mountains, swim across oceans, run hundreds of miles — anything — to get to this yogurt. Made in Hudson Valley, NY, this yogurt is made with love, care, and exceptional quality ingredients — you can tell both in the cost of the jar ($6.50 per jar) and taste. It is far superior to generic brand yogurt bought in the grocery store — and is worth every penny.
I always am in shock when I spent $20 on three jars of yogurt — but then when I taste it, I am so happy. It is worth it.
Here we are, the last month of 2020 — and only a little more than a dozen days left. What a crazy and wild year it has been…..so on the bright side, here is what I am loving this month!
1. Mini Adventures with the Family
The past two weekends, we have had NOTHING to do …. as there is NOTHING *TO* do. So we have done mini adventures — walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, exploring a new mural, looking at views of the city, going on drives. All these little adventures seem like nothing, but they are enjoyable, create memories, help us see the world, and most importantly *allow us to get out of the house*. If anyone has other mini adventures in the tristate area, please share! Love to hear ideas!
2. Glossier Blue Eyeliner
I have never worn blue eyeliner before, but I bought this….and especially since I wear a mask most of the day, it is fun to do something unique and different to my eyes. A good pick me up!
3. Considering a Post Pandemic Future
A good article….what are you looking forward to post pandemic? Interesting to think about…
4. Lime Juicer
HANDS down, my best COVID purchase. This might seem like any juicer, but it’s not. It gets more juice than any other juicer and is clean, easy, and not expensive. And worth every cent.
5. Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
These cookies remind me of Christmas and I made them for the first time recently. Love them and brings back so many childhood memories.
6. Murder on Middle Beach
A mini series that I thoroughly enjoyed. After watching “The Undoing” and “The Queen’s Gambit,” this was a good one to follow….now I need a new TV series to watch!
7. 33 Life Lessons
A great article to flip through.
What are you enjoying this month? Do share! I hope you have a great week….final countdown here we comeeeeee……
Recently, I have been on a needlepoint kick. I can’t stop! I can sit there for hours, just needlepointing. It is relaxing, at the same time as being stressful. But in the end, I love the enjoyment of creating something from scratch. In the past two months, I have thoroughly enjoyed making a series of “duds” and “dudes,” and then making them in to coasters. I made each bit of them by hand — they look it, too — but I secretly love the organic, roughness of it. You can tell that someone made them, and I love that part of it. So now, we have fun and wacky new coasters for our home — I just need to have a party (thanks, COVID!)
This is my little nook, where I spent a big portion of the day…..
If you know me well, you know that I love bread and butter more than anything. Not any bread and butter, but really, really good bread, and really, really good butter (deep). The salty fatty kind that just adds so much flavor. I could eat bread and butter for every meal. I know, very European. And SOOOOOOO my parents. My parents are the type that walk to the bakery everyday to get a fresh loaf of bread. I cannot remember a time in my life where there wasn’t a fresh loaf in the bread drawer. Of course, there is always a variety too — raisin bread, rye bread, ancient oat bread, you name it — we all have our favorites. So when I recently discovered 123Dough in Pound Ridge, I fell in love, and also felt like I had become my parents….nothing tastes better than a slice of bread (I like thin slices, I don’t like too thick) with some French Butter.
Look how cute 123 Dough is. It literally just has bread and some condiments — but the bread is fresh, organic, and oh so delicious.
I have been a fan of Mah-Ze-Dhar bakery since I was introduced by a friend in 2013. A lot has changed since then, including a new brick-and-mortar store downtown in NYC and one in DC, as well as some new delicious baked good products. Recently, I received their newsletter and was intrigued by their chocolate chip cookie dough — you freeze this huge log of dough that is over 24 cookies, and then bake them as you need. I instantly bought it because I looooove chocolate chip cookies. I froze it for a rainy day (or in this case, a grey and slow Sunday) and then wam bam thank you ma’am, cut, baked, and voila! So easy, and so delicious!
Directions — so simple.
My kids take a really amazing (virtual) cooking class after school one day a week, where they cook dinner for the family. Although I am heavily involved in every aspect of the class, we all enjoy it thoroughly. I learn SO much and love all the food we have made thus far. This past week, we made ramen AND a carrot ginger dressing to go over iceberg lettuce. I loved the carrot ginger dressing so much that I basically drank it like water…..and am already on the second batch!
Happy mid-October! Here is what I am currently loving!
1. Oreo Commercial
A friend sent me this video to watch and I immediately cried. A must watch. Way to go, Oreo!
Crunchy, refreshing, tasty, light, and nutty. So good, so good. The salad is great on its own, or combined with other Asian flavors. The creator of this salad, my-sister-from-another-mister, likes to add this with her miso salmon, rice, and scallions. I love it alone or with anything. And even better — it takes only a couple of minutes to make!
Mini cucumbers are delicious plain, but even better with this sesame asian dressing.
It sure feels like Fall in New York! Chilly, brisk, windy — aka no longer summer. I always think of the “You’ve Got Mail” quote “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” There is something fairy-tale like about NYC in the fall…so here is what I am currently loving September 2020.
Super Diva — YES!
Doesn’t your heart hurt with the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing this past Friday night? What a legend, a role model, an inspiration, truly a super hero. I can’t stop reading all her quotes and feel sickened and sad by America’s loss. If you haven’t watched the documentary, RBG, available on Hulu, now is the time to do.
As an activity, we went apple picking and brought home 18 pounds of apples — not very much in comparison to the 40 pounds of peaches from a couple weeks ago — but still enough that I knew I had to do something with them before they rotted. I know, seems backwards, buy to get rid of ??? Right, like as soon as I bought the apples, first thought was HOW AM I GOING TO GET RID OF THEM? The best trick is to make dried apples — so super duper easy — but it requires time — almost 12 hours in a low heat oven. A lot of time.
The apple of my eye, holding an apple.
Thanks to my dear friend from Stanford, Katie, who wrote today’s post on what she is loving during quarantine. Not only is she brilliant and smart, the best cook ever, interesting and interested, but she has great taste and style, too. Thank you, Katie, for sharing with us your top 10 best finds during COVID — love you loads! Check out Katie’s other contribution to this blog years ago with her Ice Cream Flower Pots post. Take it away!
While in quarantine, some people have mastered making sourdough starter from scratch, planted a vegetable garden, or otherwise lived their #bestlife, I have chosen in many ways to slow down. Yep. Slow. Way. Down. Being tucked in, cozy at home, can be calming and comforting in so many ways if you choose to see it that way. In these insane past few months, I have found a variety of things that make my life a little easier, a lot happier, and definitely more fun. I am happy to share the best of them in hopes that it might bring a little bit of ease, happiness and fun to your life too. Here are my Top Ten Best finds, thanks to sheltering in place and slowing way down:
Most everything in Oregon is hippy dippy (the remaining bit is redneck), and the state produces an incredible amount of yummy, healthy, unique, and interesting food products. There are a dozen of Oregon items that I can’t live without — Toby’s tofu pate, Emerald Valley salsa, Pok-Pok drinking vinegars, Yumm sauce, Nancy’s Yogurt, Dave’s Killer Bread, etc…..– and I just found a new one! Kale Sprinkles! It is literally a pound of dehydrated kale, mixed in with nutritional yeast and other herbs, that you sprinkle on any food to create a spice and added texture. It is so easy, so delicious, and healthy too. I can’t wait to stock up on kale sprinkles (ps, how great is the name?)
Superfood seasoning mix: kale sprinkles
I have had a lot of questions asked about flying during COVID so I thought I would write a post about my experience! First of all, I know that everyone has their own level of comfort with this pandemic and so one must always do what feels best for themselves and their situation. As we had already flown in April (from FL to NYC), we were not scared or anxious about flying and knew the airline protocols and practices. We felt confident in our ability to protect ourselves from germs and knew that we would be safe.
1. Wear Masks
It is required to wear a mask during the whole process of flying — boarding, on flight, and deplaning. And absolutely everyone adhered to that rule. You saw a whole variation of masks on the planes — some people also had the plastic shield on TOP of the masks, some people wore goggles, some had balaclavas and some people wore gloves. We simply wore our masks and that felt comfortable and good.
California loving. How can one not WANT to fly out here???? We didn’t wear masks on the beach but we were far from people.
Hello from LA! The kids and I started the summer out west with a California adventure before we ultimately end up in Oregon. So far we are truly enjoying the laid-back-vibe, the Pacific Ocean breeze, the sunshine, and just being out here! LA is truly la-la-land and such a beautiful and idyllic place to live — if NYC doesn’t work out, LA here I come! In the meantime, here is what I am currently loving this month, June 2020!
1. Money Heist
Spanish TV series — SO GOOD. Must watch!!! I am at the beginning of Season 2 and I can’t wait to watch it. OBSESSED.
To change things up, I bought a juicer and now, I can’t stop. CANNOT stop. Literally, I dream about juicing and look forward to it first thing in the morning. Because it is somewhat of a pain to clean, I make two batches in the morning — a morning juice and an afternoon juice — and that way, I only have to clean the monster of equipment once. Even though it is bulky, I highly recommend getting this juicer — so easy. In the morning, I have been making a ginger, lemon juice — sometimes adding an apple and a carrot. I love it because you feel the ginger go down your throat and it just feels HEALTHY.
I bought 5 pounds of ginger and it lasted just over a week — yep, a lot of ginger. So much, that I actually googled “how much ginger is too much” just in case I was over consuming ginger….but I think I am good so far….
I have had the tab with this NY Times recipe open for months, so finally I decided to make it (COVID 19—- 19 pounds over normal weight here weeeeeeeee commmmmmmeeeeeee). Super easy, fun to make, and delicious. Randomly, it is vegan too (which just means no eggs in this cake recipe) so my dairy free friends can make this and love it. It is a great cake to make with kids and when you are sick of dishes.