Tuesday, January 8, 2013

An avett brothers new year

Sorry, I know I'm 8 days late.  Clearly, punctuality wasn't a new years resolution for me.  Still, our NYE was awesome.  How was yours?  S. and a couple friends and I went to see the Avett Brothers live in concert at the Greensboro Coliseum.  The opening act was Amos Lee.  Of course, we didn't really make it in time to see much of him.  Something about pregaming.  ;)

Awful pic, I know, but the seats were really pretty great.  I never thought I'd enjoy a concert for new years, but the band was awesome (and PUMPED), the audience was rowdy but happy, and the company was even better.

Shawn, Jill, S., and Me

Our second new year's together.  Here's hoping for more.
My 2013 Resolutions:
1. Run at least 3 5ks
2. Laugh out loud more
3. Reduce snap judgments
4. Cook one Indian meal a week
How are you planning to change?


Sunday, January 6, 2013

a NYC happy holiday

Phew.  With the hecticness of the holidays, I have been on Santa's naughty list for bad blogging.  Hopefully, with the start of 2013, I will make it back onto his nice list.  But before getting to 2013, I'd like to share some pictures of my trip to NYC with S. to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and Baby P (our nickname for my soon to be niece)!!

Isn't NYC awesome during Christmas?  This is a bar called Rolph in Gramercy.  Unfortunately, its hours were weird and we were never able to actually stay, but I caught a snap!

My brother and S. scarfing down delicious bagels.  We topped them with an avocado cilantro cream cheese, a jalapeno cream cheese, and a tofu scallion cream cheese!  NYC is my food heaven.

Just lounging during our tour near and around Murray Hill, where my brother and sister-in-law live.  These fun benches were surrounding a giant buckey ball statue.  Go figure.

These yummy (and expensive) vegetables, with the mushrooms coming in at $20/lb, were in "Eataly," a newish Italian market with delicious foods and all other things Italian.  The coffees ranged from a few dollars/cup to $100!!

He's always in a hurry (to be corny).
We also got to meet up with S.'s sister and her boyfriend, who came in from New Haven and Connecticut. 

We had fancy shmancy drinks at the W.

This was our lunch (ahem, so what if it happened at 4pm) at Sarita's Mac n' Cheese.  We ordered one with gruyere and igs (YUM) and one with cajun seasoning (which definitely tasted like pizza, but I'm not mad about that.  pizza GOOOOOOOOD).

That evening, S. and I got a little touristy.  Here's us in Zucotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street happened.  Honestly, I prefer the Christmas lights occupying it.

Next stop: World Trade Center Memorial.  The experience was an emotional one, viewing the two large pools framed by the names of those who perished, with the new World Trade Center towering behind them.  The museum hadn't opened yet, but from the outside you could tell they had sectioned off a portion to house the remaining wreckage from the tragedy.  I think what was even harder about it all was that this was a tragedy that happened in our lifetime.  I realized I hadn't been giving other memorials the reflection they deserved after I went here.

We lightened the mood a bit after that and went to Rockefeller Center.  I love that tree.
S. was more excited about NBC, as you can tell.  We took a tour of the studio and saw the studios of Dr. Oz, Jimmy Fallon, and SNL.

We had a smomantic dinner at a lovely vegetarian Korean restaurant called Hangawi.  We had a potato pancake appetizer and tofu steaks and a yummy avocado hot stone bowl for our entrees.  This was a sit down on the floor kind of place, but under the table, for older people they had made a pit for people to extend their legs if they couldn't handle sitting Indian style.  I find it odd when an Indian can't sit Indian style.  But S. is odd like that.  ;)

One of our last stops was the NY Public Library.  Don't judge, you know climbing on stuff is fun.  And this is where Carrie got stood up!  Had to click.

This last picture is of my sister-in-law and her friend's doggy, 4G.  We got to play with her at a holiday party we went to, and my sister-in-law is dogsitting for them.  She loves 4G.  How could you not?  (Also, if my sis-in-law ever sees this pic of her sleeping, she'll kill me, but I didn't have any pics of her because she was working everyday we were there.  We spent a lot of good time together in the evenings, but I forgot to snap pics.)
All in all, it was an awesome trip.  Can't wait to go back when Baby P arrives!  Actually, will be going back in just a couple weeks for my sis-in-law's baby shower.  More pics to come.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'll Take You to the Candy Shop

Earlier this week, my friend Neema and I got together to bake goodies for our co-workers for the holidays.  Somehow, we got a little crazy with it and ended up making five different desserts from scratch!  I blame pinterest.  Though I guess I should thank pinterest at the same time.  We made...

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sugar Cookies

Oreo Truffles
(Adapted from this recipe.)
(dipped in melted milk and semi-sweet chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate)

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Gotta have brownies!

And pumpkin cheesecake mini muffins!
(Adapted from this recipe.)
After two days of baking (yes, TWO DAYS), I packaged the goodies up...
Added labels...
And delivered them at work!  I sure did feel like Santa, and I sure am bummed I didn't bake enough so I could have some too.
OOPS.  Novice baker faux pass.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Bday Boy

Wednesday was my dad's birthday.  He turned 63 and doesn't believe he is doesn''t look a day over 25.  We had a good old time celebrating at my apartment.  I baked him an eggless french vanilla double layer cake with espresso cream frosting and chocolate chips. 
Unfortunately, it looks and sounds better than it tastes.  I tried applesauce and greek yogurt as egg substitutes, and although the cake was very moist, it had a tangy after taste, not something you'd want in an espresso cake.  Ah well, you can't win em all!  I will say the frosting was delicious, and you can't get to the aftertaste if you've never stopped eating.

We skyped my brother in on the singing and while my dad opened his presents.  We got him a Ralph Lauren Sports Coat and Aqua di Gio cologne.  Then, I took them out to Mellow Mushroom for dinner.  It was a great night! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Big Girl Watch

After starting my new job at my law firm, I wanted to treat myself to something nice.  I've been eyeing those big chunky watches for some time now, but I just couldn't justify spending that chunk of change on a watch.  I looked and looked for sales and found out that these watches go on sale at Macy's twice a year: during their friends and family event.  This is the one I was eyeing.  Well, the friends and family sale finally came early this December, and I saved 25% plus an extra 20% for opening a Macy's card.  I NEVER open retail credit cards, but this card made this watch a steal.  I saved $100!

The thing I love most about this watch is with the black and rose gold combination, it matches almost everything!  The rose gold lets you wear brown clothes and even gold jewelry, while the black really brings out silver jewelry.  It was just what I was looking for.
What do you think about chunky, big faced watches?  Do you like the trend?  Would you buy one?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rosemary Mushroom Comfort Soup

S. was sick this weekend, so I made him some of his favorite mushroom comfort soup.  It's basically this recipe, with a few substitutions because I never have thyme or parsley at home, and I like onions. 

Excuse the photography!  This was just a quick snap at the end, but if you garnish it with some parsley or thyme, it really will be a beauty!
2 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil
3/4 small red onion chopped
3 tbs chopped garlic (3 large cloves)
The larger size container of fresh mushrooms (can use any, I used white button)
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tbs flour dissolved in 1 tbs water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Heat oil, butter, garlic, and onion in large pot.
2. Add mushrooms, Worchestershire sauce, bay leaves, and rosemary.  Cook until moisture from mushrooms is gone (about 5 minutes, stirring frequently).
3. Add vegetable broth and stir till mixture boils.  Then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add diluted flour and stir until mixture thickens.  Add salt and pepper to taste, plus cinnamon.
5. Add milk and heavy cream.  Stir and simmer for a few minutes.  Turn heat off.
6. Serve hot with my favorite, toasted rosemary olive oil bread.
Enjoy and hope you feel better!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Plantains are Yummy

Do you like bananas?  Do you like sweet potatoes or butternut squash?  Then you're going to LOVE plantains!  I love all of the above, so I am truly in love with plantains, as they give me the consistency and texture of a banana with the starchy sweetness of a sweet potato or a butternut squash.  The thing is, they are often deep fried, and that does not make for a healthy snack.  I find that sauteing them in a bit of olive oil until both sides are nice and browned is the best method.  It really brings out the sweetness and gives the outsides a nice crispy texture. 

You can drizzle honey over them after they are cooked for a nice, light, dessert, or, if you're in the mood for something more salty, use salt, garlic powder, and a dash of paprika.  These store well too, so you can take them to lunch the next day.  What a great side to dress up that boring old sandwich!
Do you have any plantain recipes to share?