Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

A Getaway San Francisco Weekend

April 19, 2010

Before I get on with this post, I just have to state the following fact: I AM BLOGGING THIS FROM A PLANE. That above photo is my view RIGHT NOW. What!? I know! I’m just as shocked as you are. Is this the future? Where’s my hover car? Am I on some supremely boring candid camera show? Yet another reason why Virgin Airlines is my jam: they allow me to feel the exhilaration that comes with blogging at 35,000 feet.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I can get on with this post. Ladies and gentlemen, San Francisco!

So, the reason I’m on a plane in the first place is because I’m coming back from a weekend trip to San Francisco! That’s right. The home to Rice-a-roni, trolley cars, and the Tanner family.

Though the vacation was brief, I seemed to pack a lot into just a few days. Also, a trip like this reminds me how necessary it is to get out of New York, if even just for a little while. I feel like I say that every time I take a day or weekend trip out of NY, but you guys, it’s true! New York, I love you…as long as I can escape you every now and again. Don’t take it personally, New York. You’re still my favorite. You just better not be raining when I get back, or else we’re having words.

The fresh familiar air of California was the sweetest way for me to recharge my sun-craving batteries.

My trip to SF was grounded by one main event: my great friend, MacKenzie‘s, 100th birthday party. Well, “100” collectively: she turned 25 and her dad turned 75. So a group of us gals made the trek, 3 of us coming from Brooklyn and 1 from L.A., and we partied in her Bay area hometown. The party was a blast. It was hosted in the upstairs dining room of her family’s Hunan restaurant (I think every family should have a family-owned banquet hall, they come in handy!).

The soiree fit MacKenzie’s quirky, kitschy, foodie personality to a tee. There was plenty of pig to eat, a spirited “Oh Danny Boy” sing-a-long accompanied by her cousin on the accordion, your typical family life-sized cardboard cutouts, and custom-made pinatas of the evening’s honorees. MacKenzie going to town on her own paper-mached head with a baseball bat was incredibly bizarre. But then again, delicious butterscotch candy came out of her face, so who am I to complain!

Fortunately, our group of girl friends all had a similar agenda for the rest of the trip. Eat, shop, drink, sun, and more eat. Naturally our first stop was a little local food tour led by MacKenzie.

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get in my belly

get in my belly

And the grand finale, a bakery that I absolutely fell in love with. The sweetest little pink and yellow bakery with a variety of handmade sweets. Miette is a sweet-toothed girl’s heaven. If you don’t “aww” over the adorably decorated cupcakes, then I guarantee you’ll at least love the cheerful wallpaper.  The pastries at Miette were a little more formal than the comfort sweets that we make for Fanny & Jane, but certainly got my bakery wheels a-turnin’!

And I couldn’t leave without trying one of these little guys:

a happy camper

And on the last day of my trip, my mom flew up from Los Angeles to spend some time in San Fran with me! She splurged on a super swanky hotel for us to stay the night! The kind of hotel that has random artsy chairs in the dimly-lit lobby and an iPod dock with speakers in each room. So we (I) jumped on the beds, played some backgammon, caught up over coffee, and took nice long sunny walks. It was, simply put, THE BEST.

family time with cousin Tony!

It was certainly a trip packed to the brim. I’m hoping to get in another visit to California this summer. But instead of NorCal, I’d go down to my hometown L.A., to visit my family and friends. And favorite restaurants. Naturally. But until then, I’ll be dreaming of the amazing Cali Mexican food that NY just can’t hold a candle to.

(p.s. Would you believe me if I told you that it took me the ENTIRE plane ride to put this post together? I guess in-the-sky-wifi isn’t as speedy as it’s on-the-ground counterpart.)

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Greenpoint Food Market Brings You Fanny & Jane Tomorrow

April 9, 2010

Get yer Fanny & Jane fix this weekend at the Greenpoint Food Market! Been dying to try our Salted Peanut butter Buckeyes? They’ll be there. Fancy yourself a Classic Brownie Bites person? Those’ll be there too! It’s all happening tomorrow, people!

This is our first food market of the season, and it’s always so exciting to get ready for a market. There are a ton of extra factors to consider that Jen and I don’t have to think about when we are preparing our online orders (like mainly, should we wear our matching aprons or not??). But it’s always so rewarding to meet, not only our fans, but also all the other inspiring vendors that are making great stuff in Brooklyn! It’s a wonderful community of creative and foodie-minded folk. I’m particularly excited to sample some of Slant Shack’s Jerkey tomorrow. Nothing like a little bit o’ salty followed by somethin’ sweet!

The event is “Spring” themed, so it’s sure to be a lovely time. Look forward to seeing you there!

The market is open from noon till 5pm, and then Jen and I are running off to wear our other hats: our sketch comedienne hats. At 9:30 Harvard Sailing Team is performing our comedy show at The PIT. And with all 9 members in town performing together again, it’s sure to be a memorable show! Busy bizzy Saturday. I imagine Jen and I will be running on adrenaline (and large amounts of coffee) until Sunday.

Click here for location details and the official Greenpoint Food Market website.

Click here for a complete list of vendors.

And check out our twitter for updates throughout the day!

Have a great weekend!

We’re Back

February 26, 2010

puppies!

Hi friends.  Thanks for allowing me a few months’ hiatus.  It’s been some snowy days today and yesterday (New York, are these not the hugest flakes you’ve ever seen?), and it’s got me feelin’ all introspective.  And in my introspection, I realize that I’ve quite missed this blog.  I’ve missed posting my photos, and sharing my stories, and giving the latest updates.  So let’s start up again: my name is Faryn, I started a new job in September, I like it, I’ve also started a bakery with my friend Jen, I take pictures of food, lots of pictures of food, I love living in Brooklyn, my boyfriend is funny nice and loving and his name is David, Harvard Sailing Team is the sketch comedy group I’ve been performing with for the past four years, they are my family, I still don’t have a cat but I work daily on warming my roommate up to the idea of a cute little adorable sweet playful kitten pouncing around the apartment and snuggling with us on the couch.  Now you should be all caught up.

I know you’re dying to know about all the meals I’ve eaten, friends I’ve seen, Brooklyn experiences I’ve had, and general life updates (mom).  So thanks for coming back, and I promise some great new posts veddy veddy soon!

Saipua in Red Hook

October 7, 2009
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my autumn-inspired bouquet

No, I’m not speaking in code.  Saipua is the name of a soap and flower shop in Red Hook, Brooklyn (and I found out today from browsing their website that “Saipua” is actually derived from the Finnish word for soap. who knew!).  I’d heard of this sweet family-owned business from my friend Marina, a great blogger and lover of dresses, flowers, and cooking.  And whales.  She loves whales.  Marina ocassionally will mention Saipua’s bouquets and arrangements and feature gorgeous photos of them on her blog.  From following the endless web of links from her blog to others and beyond, I’ve caught wind of the fact that Saipua is fairly adored – it seems that they’ve become somewhat of a local celebrity, and a buzzword for Brooklyn brides on the search for the perfect flowers.

I know that Saipua’s been around for a little while, but now that I’ve been bitten by their bug, I am delighted to discover them for the first time.  To hear of their local and far-reaching success makes me incredibly happy, on two counts.  One, their flower arrangements suit my taste to a tee, and are so simple and gorgeous that I feel they deserve every bit of praise and success that comes their way.  Two, it warms my heart to hear of yet another successful family-owned small business with a solid fanbase and devoted customers.  And they have a boutique in Brooklyn!

So it seemed only fitting that my first trip to their store was with Marina.  This past Sunday was a gorgeous day and everyone was out and about (you would not believe the swarm of people that were at the Atlantic Antic Festival, the largest annual street fair in Brooklyn).  Marina and I met up for an impromptu day in Red Hook.  It was my first time in the neighborhood and I couldn’t get enough of it!  On bike, we explored some New Orleans cuisine at a yummy lunch spot, discovered the hidden waterfront gem that is Steve’s Key Lime Pies, and I spent the better part of my day tucked away, eating a perfect broccoli cheddar quiche followed by a delectable sea salt caramel cupcake (and I also took some scrumptious sweets home for later!) at Baked.  Guys, I could go on and on about this perfect bakery, but not now, another time.  I’ve gotten distracted.  This post is about Saipua!

Soo….we finished the day with a treat: the anticipated trip to the flower and soap shop, Saipua.

Their modestly-sized store is rustic and romantic.  It’s like a little hideaway, in every corner a little mason jar bursting with rich colors and textures that I’ve never seen in a flower.  And the incredible scent (fresh and earthy) seduces you in from the street.  Marina and I had the good fortune of having the store to ourselves for almost our entire visit!  And one of the owners, Eric, couldn’t have been more helpful and kind (if you’re reading this, Hi Eric!).  He was patient as I asked a million questions about typesofflowers and caringforflowers and howlonghaveyoubeenintoflowers, and then he even complimented the little arrangement I finally put together.  (I say “finally” because I was so thoughtfully and delicately selecting the few stems for my mini bouquet that I must have taken at least 15 minutes to pick 3 stems)!  Oh well, when in Rome.  Assembling and picking my own bouquet was highly satisfying.  I recommend it to anyone looking for a random pick-me-up.  It’s cheaper than a manicure and it looks so nice in your home!  You can check out Marina’s sweet bouquet and her photos from the day here.

I hope to go back and visit soon.  Hopefully I can make at least 1 more bicycle trip to magical Red Hook before the chilly weather gets the best of me.  And even when it does get a little too bitingly cold, there’s always the Spicy Brownie at Baked to warm me up.

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my handpicked bouquet from Saipua, freshening up my living room

my handpicked bouquet from Saipua, freshening up my living room

Julie & Julia

August 19, 2009

IMG_9668I had been excited to see this movie ever since I first saw the preview, a little over a month ago.  So my boyfriend and I finally got ourselves together for a date to see Julie & Julia last night, and I. was. thrilled.  I LOVE Meryl and I’m hot n cold about Amy Adams, but regardless of my personal actress preference, I was mostly looking forward to these women’s stories and to getting to know the history of how Julia Child came to be…well, Julia Child.

Smartly, I made sure I ate dinner and was quite satisfied before entering the theatre, and it was a good thing I had that foresight, because this movie is filled with a zillion close-ups of delicious and freshly prepared food, and scene after scene of people taking a bite here or a taste there, and “mmm”ing and “ooo”ing as they gobble up the perfect morsels of food in front of them.  Just visiting the website made me ravenous (for a good time, check out the recipes section).  Frankly, I think they should have special screenings of this film, where they hire a wait staff, you get a tray and utensils when you walk in, and the waiters bring you some of the signature dishes as the characters in the movie are making/eating them.  Does that exist??  Oh my god.  Heaven.

My boyfriend admitted to enjoying it (caring much more for Meryl’s story line more than Amy’s), but he wasn’t over the moon about it…like I was.  As I sorta expected, I felt very connected to this movie, on several levels:

*it’s a story based on a real-life blogger. *takes place in an outer borough of New York. *portrays women expressing themselves through food. *food. *food. *amazing food.

In this movie, it’s All About The FOOD!  Which I dig.  I also realize that it’s pretty meta and a little cheesy for me to be blogging about a film about blogging about food.  But how could I not blog about it??  It ruled!  I’m just sad I didn’t come up with the idea before that Julie girl did.

I’m now actively on the hunt for a killer boeuf bourguignon recipe.

Homemade Plum Pie

August 11, 2009

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Without even having a “Meeting of the Sweet-Toothed Minds” with each other, it seems that Jen and I have simultaneously been bitten by the pie bug.  Even though we haven’t even had the chance to discuss it outright yet, I’d be willing to bet that there will be some Fanny & Jane pie experimenting dates veddy veddy soon (Jen, I’m on rhubarb duty if you’ve got vanilla ice cream).

Jen’s yummy blog post about this farm fresh peach pie, had me salivating all over my keyboard (nice, right?).   And just then, like an answer from the heavens, I was given a slice of pie.  Well, that wasn’t exactly how it went down, but the sheer coincidence in the proximity of days in which Jen and I both ate pieces of pie is pretty unusual, especially considering that we blog A LOT about dessert and this was a first pie post for both of us!

The pie I photographed, and was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of, is a plum pie.  Plum pie.  Now, that’s a first for me.  It was homemade by a generous and wonderfully skilled baker and my new friend, Inbal.  I met Inbal this past weekend during the last days of our Harvard Sailing Team shoot in Long Island.  Inbal stepped in to help with props and to art direct (I’m no good with official titles) our third and final comedy video that was part of a series for a big project we’ve been developing and working on for the past few months.  It was so exciting and helpful to have her on set with us all day, working tirelessly with the rest of the production team to help make our video look dang good, while the rest of us played Bananagrams between takes.

But back to the pie.  I met Inbal and the plum pie on the same night – Chris, Rebecca, and I went to Inbal and Kyle’s (the producer) apartment before the trek out to LI so we could help load up the car with all the camera and lighting equipment.  It was there and then that Inbal presented us with The Pie.  “I made it for you guys”, she sweetly said.  I think she originally intended for us to bring the pie to Long Island for everyone (the rest of the team, who was meeting us there) to share.  I don’t know if it was her own desire to just cut into the pie and dig in, or the fact that I couldn’t take my eyes off the thing from the moment we got there, but needless to say, the pie did not make it to Long Island.  I was good and only took one slice, although I easily could have indulged in four.  The plums were perfectly tart and the crust was soft and custard-y and the presentation was so beautiful and feminine, the way the round slices of plums dressed up the top of the pie.  Holy cow, you guys, it was out of control.

Thanks for the absolutely delicious introduction to plum pie, Inbal!  I might be knocking on your door for the recipe soon!

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Moments with Words

July 31, 2009

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The other day, I took myself on an evening stroll to meet my friend for dinner in Park Slope.  My schedule for that day just happened to work itself out so that I was left with a nice chunk of time to take a leisurely walk.  So I did.  The bizarre summer monsoon that New York has been experiencing lately was a potential threat to my walk, but fortunately it stayed dry for me for those 45 minutes – though, it should be noted that the thick heat and heavy moisture in the air made it feel like I was walking through a jacuzzi.  A jacuzzi that drowned brownstones and strollers.  

On my walk, I ran into this small piece of graffiti:

IMG_0207 I really liked it.  I can’t exactly say why it was so arresting to me in that moment.  Maybe it was the fuchsia.  Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for ellipses.  I’m not really sure.  But the sentiment, “I’m getting closer and closer to everywhere…”, just rang so true and simple to me.  That sentence found a way to apply itself to all aspects of my life, like a magazine horoscope, or a vague fortune cookie does.  I like how it can be read so literally and metaphorically, like, “yeah, if I’m lost, no matter where I end up, I’m getting close to something.  Maybe not the place I was initially intending to reach, but another place, a new unknown place, so that’s okay.”

 Jen has always been very wise when it comes to advice, and since our friendship has grown, she has really helped me embrace the “Let the path show itself” philosophy, both in life and in our new baking business.  As a person who gets off on crossing  through to-do lists, and doesn’t like to let go of control very often, I really benefit from this kind of Zen mentality.  Every once in a while, when I allow myself to slip into that state of mind, I find that I’m better for it: my shoulders relax, my eyebrows un-furrow, and my mind is clear and calm to work on whatever is in front of me at that moment.  It takes some conscious effort to remind myself to go to that mental place, but once I’m there, it’s a much easier place to hang out.  My new short-term goal is to remember that I’m always getting closer to everywhere (metaphorically-speaking).

Our First Cupcakes

July 16, 2009

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Introducing the first Fanny & Jane cupcakes!  Red velvet* with cream cheese frosting, of course.

We were asked to make these cupcakes for a custom order (some people want cupcakes on their birthday…and I don’t blame ’em), so they aren’t an “official” member of our line of sweets just yet.  But I had such a fun time baking and frosting them, that I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw more of these coming out of our kitchen soon!  I’d love to keep playing with cupcake decorating – something simple (no plastic clown heads), but fun (bring on the sprinkles).

I’ve consumed a lot of cupcakes in my day, but I can’t remember the last time I actually made cupcakes, and boy are they just the cutest things ever.  It’s been a lot of cake bites and chipwiches lately, so it was thrilling to see tins of 12 adorable little red individual cakes come out of the oven, so whole and complete and inviting.  I’m starting to remember why New York is so obsessed.

Tempted to keep one for myself, I better be on my way to deliver them!

*And while we’re on the subject of Red Velvet desserts, last night while chatting with Pitizens and selling our sweets at the PIT, Jen and I met, not one, but TWO people who had never heard of red velvet!  What?!  Am I a snob for thinking that everyone has tasted and adored a red velvet baked good once in their life?  I was shocked.  I mean, I know it sometimes goes by different names (Waldorf Astoria cake), but even still.  I felt like giving them our whole tray of red velvet cake bites and telling them to go sit somewhere private, and really take some time to have their very first red velvet experience.  But, then again, I’m also a legitimately crazy person when it comes to sweets, so…

Sweet Revenge

July 15, 2009

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Look, I always love a little something sweet, but sometimes I crave sweets more than other times.  It’s funny, Jen and I decided to venture down the “let’s bake together…and make a business out of it!” path in the first place because of our mutual love and genuine appreciation of eating sweets.  But ever since we started Fanny & Jane, my appetite for sugary goodness has waned slightly.  Ironically, the one thing that might cure me of my insatiable cookie monster ways, is to start a business revolving around cookies and cakes and brownies and chocolate!  I’m just around it so much these days, that I find I’m more likely to reach for that bag of pita chips, whereas before it would have been a tub of Trader Joe’s sea salt brownies.  It’s an interesting lesson for me to learn, that once you decide to turn something you love into your work, it starts to resemble…work.  And it’s not that I’m necessarily harumph-ing my way through baking mini chipwiches, but when I’m staring down the nose of a long night of baking, I wouldn’t mind not seeing a chocolate bar for a few hours.

All that said, I still love me some scrumptious desserts.  Jen has often written about it on her blog (especially since she’s started her delicious Daily Dessert feature!), that one of the many great things about living in New York is that there are so many wonderful one-of-a-kind bakeries and cafes.  In my little pocket of Brooklyn alone, two brand new cafes have opened in the past couple of months!  It’s all so very exciting and inspiring.

One bakery on my long “to visit” list was Sweet Revenge.  My friend, Natalie, gushed about their to die for cupcakes a few months ago, and I’d been meaning to give them a taste.  On a recent sunny afternoon, I happened to be in the west village neighborhood running Fanny & Jane errands, and I had a sweet tooth and a few extra bucks, so I told my boyfriend to meet me and we made a thing of it.  Of their Signature Cupcakes, we decided to split the “Pure”: Mexican vanilla cake with mexican vanilla buttercream.  It was delish.  Moist and flavorful and somehow very light, despite all the frosting.  We enjoyed it sitting on bar stools at their big open window in the front of the shop.  There are many reasons I am itching to go back for more – the design of the place is super cute and I would love to spend some time there with a book (with all the free time I have), they do cupcake wine & beer pairings!, everyone working there was super friendly, and their namesake cupcake, the “Sweet Revenge” is peanutbutter cake, and ganache filling with peanutbutter buttercream.  Whoah now.

The Greene Ice Cream

July 6, 2009

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My two friends, Lisa and Natalie, and I visited our other friend, Shannon, while she was on the job manning the yummy and new ice cream cart outside The General Greene in Fort Greene.  (I blogged about a brunch I enjoyed at the General Greene here).  This ice cream cart’s 6 flavors change daily, so like all good New York mobile food vendors, the Greene Ice Cream has a twitter, so that you know what dairy delight you’re getting into.  Our double scoops of choice…

Chocolate Mint and Salted Caramel Pretzel:

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Green Tea Pistachio Chip and Salted Caramel Pretzel:

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Double Scoop of Green Tea Pistachio Chip:

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At 2 scoops for 3 bucks, this handmade ice cream made by the co-owner and chef of the General Greene, Nicholas Morganstern, is worth every penny.  And I was doubly  inspired when I found out that Morgenstern built the cart himself!  An awesome Brooklyn labor of love.