Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Photo Project: Homemade

The photo theme for April was homemade, and I loved seeing these little glimpses into your lives. It was fun to see your lovely photos but also the inspiring projects and yummy treats you created. Here's my homemade bread, a little flat and sad, but still tasty. Below are some of the more successful works you shared.

Rebecca of A Daily Something created this darling homemade vase.

Ann of Oh Beauty made some tasty-looking granola.

Jennifer of Perishable Item shared her adorable mad hatter hats.

Birte took a photo of this unique clay piece she created.

Melanie of You Are My Fave shared her whimsical fabric flowers.

Kimberly created this print of her bicycle.

Vanessa of Hey, Lady Grey captured her tempting palmiers.

Amanda made a darling paper wreath.

Rachel baked these banana muffins.

And Amy of Reams Photo took a pic of her homemade latte.

If you want to share one of your homemade photos, just leave a link below! I'll announce May's photo theme on Friday.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend in Photos

It was a dinner and movie sort of weekend. Friday night started with an after-work walk from midtown to Chinatown for noodles. We didn't plan on walking, but the weather was so perfect, we just couldn't help ourselves. The two of us had dumplings and noodles all for about $12. So cheap and so good. Then we headed to Tribeca for a film festival screening. The movie was dark and creepy, but the cast (Sam Rockwell!) and director were there, which made it more fun. Saturday night involved another mega-creepy movie and a long discussion about it over a yummy, cheesy meal at Murray's. It feels like New York has finally hit a springtime stride and just being out and about makes for a happy weekend.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thoughts of the Week

A home can be anywhere you make it.

Almost time to bust out the espadrilles.

I daydream about having a kitchen filled with light.

Making French toast with French bread.

Step one, buy these clothes and accessories. Step two, book trip to the French Riviera.

Italy would be okay too.

Speaking of sweatshirts, how to look cute in one.

I'm excited this art exhibition is coming to NYC.

Perfecting iced coffee at home.

Pretty pastry is the best kind.

And please send me photos of your favorite homemade things. I want to share your beautiful pictures next week!

It's Friday. You made it! I hope the trees are blooming wherever you are. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for spending your time here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Derby Bars

derby pie bars
recipe derby pie bars

The Kentucky Derby is next week, and it serves as my annual reminder to make one of my favorite desserts. I usually make my family's version of Derby pie (we're more pecan than walnut people), but to mix things up this year, I made Derby pie bars. You get all the yumminess of the pie but in bigger, more party-friendly form. Cut them into squares or fancy it up by making them into rounds with a biscuit or cookie cutter and topping with a little bourbon vanilla whipped cream (whisk 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar). Enjoy with a mint julep or a glass of milk.

Derby Pie Bars
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

For the shortbread crust:
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed

For the filling:
12 tablespoons (1 + 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons bourbon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350° F. To make the crust, combine the powdered sugar, flour and salt in a food processor. Add cubes of butter and pulse until it resembles coarse cornmeal. (You can also use your fingers or a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter.) Firmly pat the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Bake the crust for about 20 minutes until just lightly golden. To make the filling, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, salt and bourbon vanilla and continue to mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans. Pour batter over partially baked crust. Bake until filling is set and the top is light golden brown, 30 - 35 minutes. Allow bars to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Bars will keep in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Don't Sweat It or Do

Some days, especially when it's 45 degrees, I like to come home and snuggle up in a sweatshirt. I've never been one to wear sweatshirts out in the real world -- okay, maybe to the grocery store sometimes -- but that might change thanks to these finds. And this way, I wouldn't even be embarrassed to bump into someone I know in the checkout line. I would, however, be embarrassed by the pints of Ben & Jerry's in my hands.

[found here: yellow patterned; hello; orange terry; colorblock; white stripe; grey stripe; lace; heart]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring Soup

Fresh is one of those words I overuse when describing food, so much so that I get made fun of for it. I think it's mostly the way I really emphasize the "sh." Anyway, it's a necessary adjective when talking about this soup. The herbs combine with the peas for a bright, happy flavor and color. It's perfect for that in-between spring weather.

Minty Pea Soup
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
4 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For toppings: Chopped chives, grated parmesan, crème fraîche or sour cream

Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and bring to a boil. Add peas, reduce heat, and simmer gently until tender, about 5 minutes for fresh peas, about 2 minutes for frozen. Remove pot from heat. Add parsley, mint, and remaining cup of broth to pot. Purée soup in a blender or with an immersion blender, thinning with water if soup is too thick, until ingredients are combined. The soup will still have a bit of texture. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with your choice of toppings. Serves 4.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend in Photos

Flowers are finally popping up all over the city, which makes just walking around so much more enjoyable. We ordered in pizza, got sucked into an Indiana Jones marathon, took a long walk through lower Manhattan, went to our favorite wine bar, and I bought new glasses after a long search, did some baking and picked up a little bouquet since I needed some of that spring inside with me.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boots, Bats and Besties

I just can't quit with the Austin posts. Thanks for indulging me this week. It was my way of getting over the post-vacation slump. Here are a few more pics, and then I promise to move on with my life. Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Austin Eats

Of course, our main form of entertainment in Austin was the food. I came prepared with a long list of eats and sweets. Here's a rundown of some of my favorite places we hit.

I can't say enough good things about Lick Ice Creams. It's a simple, modern shop with all sorts of flavors made with local and seasonal ingredients. We're talking things like goat cheese with thyme and honey, dark chocolate with olive oil and sea salt, and pecans and cream. And the fresh homemade waffle cones took it to another level.

It seems like good barbecue is easy to come by in Texas, but The Salt Lick really nails it. Meat that is tender, flavorful and cooked to perfection, yummy sides and loads of indoor and outdoor seating. I'm still thinking about that beef brisket. Also, this was our introduction to Texas-sized portions. So much food!

Austin is famous for its food trucks and there are a ton on South Congress Avenue. We opted for a visit to Ms. P's Electric Cock (clears throat). The name may be off-color, but the fried chicken is classically delicious. We also got an adorable mini peach pie and what I've come to learn is the greatest sparkling water ever created: Topo Chico.

Magnolia Cafe isn't fancy, but the food is tasty and cheap. Plus, they never close and they serve breakfast all day! The menu offers a nice blend of Tex-Mex and more standard brunch fare. The pancakes are literally the size of your plate. Jonah and I managed to finish one between the two of us.

I was especially excited to try Gourdough's, Austin's most famous doughnuts. These were intense, huge and many are covered in cream cheese frosting. The Funky Monkey with its grilled bananas and brown sugar was a stand-out. Austin, thank you for being so delicious!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Blogging tips