Wednesday, March 30, 2011
While the season of spring may have technically begun, and I have started spotting the vivid green stems of buttery daffodils ferociously sprouting from the still semi-frozen earth, the temperatures in NYC have struggled each day to bid farewell to the winter chill. Helplessly still bundled in my puffy winter jacket, I cannot help but let my mind wander back to the warm sunshine on my face just a short two weeks ago in serene Kiawah Island, South Carolina. In order to allow you to daydream alongside me, I figured I would share the large collection of photos I seem to have acquired from the trip. It is almost like I knew I would need to be reminded that I, in fact, did not have to wear a winter jacket for one week in March.
We arrived on Kiawah Island loaded down with luggage, golf clubs, and a rather insane amount of food and drinks. Our "home" for the week was 5137 Windswept, a beautifully decorated villa, overlooking the ocean. From my bedroom balcony, I had a perfect view of the spanning island and her massive, soothing blue ocean.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.
For this challenge, I decided to incorporate chucks of quality, bittersweet chocolate, resulting in a decadent slice of coffee cake. The thin layer of meringue melts seamlessly into the cake, leaving only a trace of fluffiness where it once covered. While a slice of this sweet treat would be delicious at any point during the day, I most enjoy it with an afternoon cup of coffee.
Posted on 3/27/2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I peaked out my window this morning and was greeted by a gray, rainy sky, as flakes of white snow danced with plump rain drops.
I miss South Carolina. I miss sunrise runs along the beach, sandy afternoon games of beach bocce ball, and being gently lulled to sleep by the softly crashing waves outside my window. I miss the sunshine, the peach iced tea, the lazy afternoons, the big glasses of wine.
I want to go back to the slower pace, sand between my toes, no winter jacket required kind of life.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
This St. Patrick’s Day, I will not be avoiding the many city bars and their overindulgent patrons on my walk home from work. And since I am surrounded by palm trees, golf courses, and the ocean, I am not necessarily craving a heavy dessert to celebrate the holiday. Luckily, this kiwi sorbet is just the perfect compromise – a naturally green sorbet, so refreshing with just a kiss of sweetness.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Goodbye dreary, cold, crowded Manhattan. Hello Kiawah Island: sunshine, ocean breezes, and t-shirts. I do not even mind working on vacation, as I answered emails this morning in one of these lounge chairs, with the soft rhythm of the ocean waves in my ear.
There is not a winter coat in sight.
Friday, March 11, 2011
As part of my birthday gift, my parents sent me the unexpected keepsake of my very first cookbooks. I remember spending hours scrunched up in my yellow beanbag chair, flipping through the recipes from the varying eras of the American Girl Dolls. My Daddy even included photos and a detailed account of the Mother’s Day dinner I prepared, using recipes from these very books.
It has been unbelievably fun to go back through these books, the very sources of inspiration that helped spark my love for cooking and baking. These treasures will be a wonderful reminder that no matter my age, flipping through cookbooks and stepping into the kitchen will always provide the same joy from my childhood.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Today draws my twenty-fourth year of life to a close, as my twenty-fifth year is knocking on the door. Hello mid-twenties, nice to meet you. Please explain these dark circles under my eyes.
The truth is, I am happy to bid farewell to 24 – the toughest, most stressful year in my short life. It was a year filled with what seemed to be one trial after another; it pushed me to my breaking point and then relentlessly kept pushing. But it taught me one important lesson: when I had no fight left in me, my family and friends were there to offer encouragement and remind me to keep going. And while 'keep going’ might seem to be silly advice, you would be surprised how much that simple reminder means. It always seemed to be silently followed by a “I believe in you. I believe great things await you. Go earn them.”
So this morning, as I opened my eyes to a grey, rainy birthday sky, I felt the warmth and sunshine from the love of my family and friends over this past year. How blessed I am to now have a dream job and such wonderfully supportive people to share it with.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Would you believe I detested beer before I met Mike? It’s true. Cost-effectiveness aside, I could understand no reason college students would willingly consume the watery, bland, canned beverage. But Mike knew just how to convince me to join him in his love for craft beer – he played to my ever-present sweet tooth by introducing me to dark, malty beers with a hint of chocolate. Over the years, my tastes have continued to expand and I now join Mike as he tastes various beers much like fine wine. Mike is even now an accomplished home brewer and I willingly allow a good part of our living room to house his brewing equipment and beers.
Needless to say, we love discovering new stores carrying a wide selection of craft beers just as much as we love finding a bar with a great selection on tap. A few weeks ago, we found both of these pleasures at a new storefront – Good Beer NYC. Part beer store, part relaxing bar, we were thrilled to peruse the rows of bottles with a pint in hand.
Good Beer NYC
422 East 9th Street
New York, NY 10009
Hours: Mon-Sat 11 AM to 10 PM, Sun 12 PM to 7 PM
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Let’s be honest: white bread gets a bad rap. Utter the word ‘white bread’ and our thoughts drift towards processed, flimsy slices of sad little loaves sitting in their plastic bag on the grocery store shelf. Commercial bread absent of whole grains and – most importantly – taste.
But try resisting the urge to plunge your knife into a homemade loaf of white bread, just plucked from the warm oven. You suddenly have the control over just how thick you want the slices for your gooey grilled cheese sandwich or morning slice of toast, smothered with sweet cream butter and fruit preserves. There is a certain pleasure obtained by enjoying a thick, homemade slice of white bread; an enjoyment unable to be replicated by the loaves that have for so long blinded us to how white bread really should taste.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Milk Bar is the sweet side of David Chang’s Momofuku empire here in NYC. The storefront is small, but efficiently packed with long, tall tables where patrons stand as they enjoy their acquired treats. While you may find some typical bakery items on the menu, items such as compost cookies, slices of crack pie, and cereal milk shakes quickly alert the customer that something unexpectedly delicious is about to be passed across the counter.
Momofuku Milk Bar
East Village: 207 2nd Ave., NY, NY 10003
Hours: Daily, 9 AM - 12 AM
Midtown: 15 West 56th St., NY, NY 10019
Hours: Daily, 8 AM - 11 PM