Weekend's always seem longer when there's something special on the calendar for a Friday night. In fact, it's like a gifted addional few hours in the day (or it certainly feet that way.) The week was a short one for us since returning from Utah on Wednesday afternoon. A dinner date that's been on the books for almost 2 months now to one of those elusive out of the city places (in Sleepy Hollow ---spooky!---no less). The most farm to table of all farm to table restaurants. No scratch that, this is no restaurant. This is an *experience. From start to finish, our evening with the Keighreys at Stone Barns was unreal. Think gazpacho shooters that smelled of a heavy stout yet was sweet mushroom in flavor. Mini vegetables served on a nails forming a midget fence of sorts. Fois gras and dark chocolate sandwiches. A tree of salted, dried kale. A bevy of palate cleansers that were just as delicious as the speck and steak de parsnip. Every course different for each table of guests. Perfectly timed wait staff delivering these amazing delicasies to the table. Four hours that just flew by in a snap. Dare I say.... the table having the most fun and group laughter of anyone else in attendance. A night that was simply a TREAT. Thanks J & M....you guys are the best.
We're kindof in a hearty hot meal mega mode here these days. And by that I mean we are having a kitchen love affair with the le creuset. That poor enameled cast iron soup pot doesn't stand a chance next to this piece. The weather is turning from brisk to "oh yeah, this is winter in NYC." 28 degrees but SUNNY, I'll take it (let's not forget the Pittsburgh winters, my god no wonder my Mom has one of those light boxes). From chicken noodle to hearty vegetable, spicy turkey chili and my new fav, lentil...it's gearing up to be a soup-er kind of early 2012.
This morning, Martha Stewart posted some 60 soup recipes to try out this winter. Arm twisted, Martha. Done.
Ps: Dont mind the cupcakes in the background ;) I'm a sucker for carrot cake and cream cheese icing...
Layered Pumpkin Loaf complete! Football on TV, the balcony door open, a crisp breeze....a Sunday with all the fall fixings just right :)
I love a good foodie quirk at a restaurant. Whether it be a bite size complimentary dollop of gelato between courses or a warmed hand towel to end the meal experience, the catch-you-off guard effect and small courtesies aimed at the diner's happiness always are so unexpected and very much appreciated. A few I've made note of recently:
*Barclay Prime (Philly). Before your steak is presented to you, the waiter rounds the table with a sliverware felted tray. Would you like the Wustof or Chroma? Furitechnics or Laguiole? I felt really special.
*Tipsy Parson: Bite size spicy cornbread with honey butter brought out before the meal. I love a basic breadbasket like most, but how smart are they to list the cornbread on the menu as an official "side" and then bring out compliments of the chef before dining?
*Ditch Plains: Lobster rolls and crab dip are one thing. A jar full (think: 12-15 pieces) of salt water taffy brought with the check is another. Totally satisfies the "I just want a bite of something sweet" to finish the meal.
*The Smith: Perhaps my favorite simple gesture of any decently priced go-to restaurant....sparkling water served w your meal in green glass bottles. So often we dont go for the Pelligrino simply for the tripled price tag.
Eating out and the whole dining experience in NYC is one of the most social elements of our week. And...like many things in life, small gestuers go a very long way into making it a memorable one. Cheers!
I'll stop with the alliteration once I regain my writer's brain and find my eloquence again. I'm hoping this doesnt take too many months but until then, Friday Favorites is what you get. (What I would give to have to write a Yanzek 10th grade english paper right now to discover my words again....play the game. Play the game.) ANYways.
Fridays are almost as good as Saturdays. And for that, I like to celebrate things that make me smile. I hope to continue to do this so in a few years I can laugh at myself and be all like "Really, Sarah, really?!?" and allow for some perspective around here in apt 7B. Without furture adu...
Lululemon Run:Turbo Crop
I've been a mega fan of Lululemon for about 2yrs now. It's pricy stuff but is the most comfortable, flattering and lasting workout gear I have ever owned. It also washes amazingly well and while spending $86 on a pair of workout crops is ridiculous, I am washing and wearing them 2-3x week. Money well spent, I say. These Turbo Crop ones are my new favorite. I haven't "ran" in them, but have worn them to bikram a few times now and they wick the moisture better than the regular Wunder Crops and hit a bit higher on the calf which is more flattering for my shape. I love them. Lululemon, can I be your beta-tester for new gear? :)
Benson Ferry Old Vine Zinfandel 2008
One would think my everyday dinner/post-dinner/party wine would be from a vineyard we've visited. There is something about indulging in a big glass of California red wine from a winery you've been to and sat on the property taking in the air of the Valley (oh my gosh I am there in my head right now.) But this wine, the BFOVZ08 is just the most heavenly wonderful, affordable and fantastic wine I have come accross. It is $12.99/bottle which is easy on the wallet and you dont mind opening a few bottles at a time for a dinner party. It's smooth, has soft tannins and a bit of fruit....and it is just so CALIFORNIA. That is my only way to best describe it. Get yourself a bottle (or case!) and let me know what you think. (This wine was recommended to me by my Uncle Dan's bro-in-law Allen Narkiewicz. Allen, you rock. And your wife does too! :)
This is for my New York ladies. Those of you who even follow this thing have heard me RAVE about my love for Mario Badescu. Recommended to me by Miss Lindsay D, this spa is my go-to facial place. I use the term "spa" loosely. It is a nothing special, fairly bare bones facility but their products are heavenly and their facials do the trick for only $65 a pop! I definitely have a glow afterwards. The husband even notices:) Dont get caught up in the extra masks or treatments as it ends up taking time and money away from the basic VERY GOOD and cleansing/extractions/2 masks facial. The MB product line is reasonable, too, as they are able to provide for a premier product by keeping their packeging costs to a minimum. No fancy labels or jars here. So you get a $50 product for $25. Have I sold you yet? If not...does the fact that they give you like 10 free samples everytime you buy online or in store? I hope that helps.
Homemade Greek Salad. Lee laughs at me because I've been making and eating this salad at least 5x/week. Crisp with a bit of tart, cheese and crunchy. I'll take it!
*1 large cucumber
*Handful of tomatos
*Diced red onion
*Juice of one lemon
*One large squirt of Dijon mustard
*2-3 tbspns EVOO*Sea salt, fresh ground pepper, dill to your likingPair it with southwest salmon and a chilled sauv blanc! Salivation station. (OMG I need to stop...)
This is kindof embarassing but I have been wearing this JCrew skirt to work pretty much 3 days a week. For the past month and a half. And I most likely will do so all summer. The beauty of my job is that I never see the same offices in one week so it really isnt an issue of style more of function. I love it though. It is breezy and khaki always has a spot in the workplace even if it is painfully beige. It makes me wish we had uniforms back in high school...wouldve made the whole situation SO much easier.
During my bachelorette party wknd in SF/Napa last November, my girlfriends and I stummbled upon this amazing little jewelry boutique called Jest Jewels. At the time I had been on the hunt for the perfect pair of big gold hoops (as directed by my go to style galpal, Kristin) that were delicate and super thin...and they had them! Statement necklaces galore and all the "as seen in" jewelry you could possibly want (for a reasonable price, to boot!). Flash foward to this past week when crusing the streets of SF with Lee and we happened to be on the same street again. This time, I've been searching for a medium sized pair of "diamond" hoops....and they had them. The exact pair I wanted. For $25. I win. I dont know why I get such pleasure out of a simple find like this but because of it I will now always check Jest Jewels when looking for a specific piece. Bound to have it :)
Moving forward...I've started to make myself green juices for breakfast every morning. I mean, what else am I doing with this top of the line immersion blender anyways?? They arent that gross and when I tell you I feel energized through the most dreaded part of the day (1-3pm) without needing/wanting a cup of coffee, I consider it a huge accomplishment. My favorite blend is this with pictoral evidence of the finished product from this morning:
*1 cup unsweetened almond milk
*1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
*big handful of organic spinich
*handful of organic blueberries
*1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
*2 ice cubes
......Dont knock it til you try it out for a week.
And finally, I need to take a moment to say how much I love New York. I've been on the grumbly grumpy side of the discussion about this city of mine for the past few months, bitching and complaining about our lack of space, the cost of our small space, inability to have fresh air and trees and good salt of the earth people around. And then we've had a few weekends away in different cities and Ive returned with a renewed sense of appreciation. For what is at our fingertips and for the pulse that this urban lifestyle brings to me and our family of 2, I am back to saying thanks.
Sarah: one part of a family of THREE with my husband Lee and sweet girl Morgan, simply wanting to chronicle the path I'm on and the path that will come to be. For now it's NYC urban mamaville where everyday is a new adventure! (Actually, just getting to the post office is an adventure.)
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