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.
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.
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!
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.
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
4. Lime Juicer
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!)
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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
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 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.
A friend of a friend makes the most delicious, dense, European style, filling, and healthy gluten-free bread. Like many things cool and hip, the bread from Knead Love Bakery is handmade in Brooklyn. First started as a ‘joy project’ (perfect term), Sarah now bakes bread daily that can be shipped nationally. All the breads are gluten free, nutrient dense and baked in a “high vibe” way. I recently received my first shipment — sesame and wildcard tumeric — and I can’t wait for future orders and trying out all the varieties and flavors.
The other night while surfing the internet, I came across a piece written by The Man Repeller that really struck a chord with me. It was a simple list of things that she misses, doesn’t miss, won’t miss, and won’t forget — all of the feelings during the COVID pandemic that we are all currently facing. I loved it OH so much and so many of her items rang true for me, too. So I decided that, I too, in honor of Man Repeller’s thoughtful post (thank you!), I would sit down, reflect, and write similar lists. I know these are ever-changing, but these are the items that I came up with today:
In the ultimate grocery ordering fail, I ended up with 13 pounds of key limes. Granted, this would be a win if I were having a tequila and taco party (oh please, doesn’t that sound so dreamy????) but since there is no party to be had, I have LOTS AND LOTS of key limes to use! So I went searching on the good ‘ol internet and found this recipe for a key lime pie — thank you Bon Appetit!!!
So sorry for the lack of posts this past week — there was a technical issue that came up (I found out that the subscription of the posts were no longer being sent out — so I had to deal with that, and as you can imagine, it was a slow process to get this fixed!) but here we are now! Back at it again! PHEW, after being in Florida for 5 weeks, NYC for a handful of days, we are now in Westchester where we will be for the next several weeks…..it’s been hard. Days are super long and repetitive. For all of us. But here is what I am currently loving.