Archive for the ‘love’ Category

A Fine Night for a Picnic

March 10, 2010

*This evening was sponsored by The High Line and Trader Joe’s*

Yesterday’s high of 55 degrees and low of 42 degrees had all of New York City in a wonderful mood.  The air was crisper, people were smiley-er, coffee was sweeter, and the subways were still fairly smelly and unreliable…but not as bad as usual!  The random patches of dirt-covered snow hadn’t even fully melted from every sidewalk, but everyone was out on park benches with their ice cream cones and their lighter jackets.

My sweet boyfriend met me after work with a bag full of Trader Joe’s goodies, and we snacked and strolled along The High Line for an hour before I had to go to Harvard Sailing Team rehearsal.  One of the entrances is right near my office, and after last night, I promised myself I would take advantage of escaping to The High Line more frequently.  I hadn’t been back since I blogged about it in the summer, and it’s interesting to see how the place changes with the seasons.  It’s still just as magical, but the overgrown dried-out grass (see first photo) added an eerie feeling that reminded me of what the original abandoned railway tracks must have been like before they revamped ’em.  But there is just something so peaceful about being at eye level with many of the surrounding buildings.  When we perched on a chaise lounge, I looked up at the sky, and I swear I saw at least a star and a half.

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So Fresh

December 2, 2009

Never underestimate the power of fresh flowers.  I’m convinced that having flowers, or any living plant, in the house, has magical healing powers that leak into your subconscious and release endorphins.  Like going to the gym.  Except you don’t have to put on sweatpants.

A few weeks ago, my sweet boyfriend came home from a catering gig with a “little treat” for me.  I groggily hop out of bed (it was 2am), and am taken aback by a huge-ass bouquet of flowers sitting on my kitchen counter.

This thing was a monster!  It was from a big fancy shmancy wedding reception.  It is the biggest bouquet I have ever seen.  And to think, David carried this big heavy thing home for me.  >blushing<

So, the next morning, Shawna and I giddily began disassembling this big white flowery poof and carefully crafted smaller bouquets to scatter all around the house.  The fumes, or the seductive magical power of flowers (see above) must have gotten to our brains, because we started singing little songs and giggling and throwing petals in the air as we noticed all the flowers that soon seemed to take up every inch of kitchen counter space!  It was a riot.

It was a blast.  The week of life that we got out of these beautiful flowers, was an aromatic and happy one.

I know it’s only the 2nd of December, but I suppose I should start thinking about resolutions.

My first resolution for 2010: keep flowers in the house!

A Monday to Ourselves

October 19, 2009

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*all photos courtesy of David’s iphone.

As I mentioned in this post last week, ever since I started my new full-time job three weeks ago, my free time is very precious, since it is fewer and farther between.  Thanks to Columbus day last Monday, I had the entire day freeee!  Luckily, David and my schedules miraculously coincided (I guess even Apple store specialists can catch a break on Columbus day), and so we took the entire day to venture around Brooklyn and Manhattan together, free as boids.  Because of our crazy schedules and multiple extra curriculars, the chance for David and I to both have a free day with not a thing on the books is very rare.  Sometimes when this happens, the realization can be so surprising and exciting for me, that I get overwhelmed by all of our potential day options (let’s finally go to the Statue of Liberty!…let’s go to that museum we keep talking about!…we have to try this new restaurant for breakfast, that new place for dinner, and the other cute little cafe for a snack!…)  But micro-planning a day like that can, not surprisingly, have the opposite effect of the desired relaxation we’re both hoping to enjoy together.  So we chose to celebrate with a semi-structured-loosely-planned-not-over-the-top day…and we started off by affording ourselves the beautiful luxury of sleeping in a little.  Then we grabbed a deelicious brunch at egg–a Williamsburg breakfast hotspot that I’d been dying to try, next we quietly spent some time (with several brazen, and hungry, geese) on the shore of the East River Park.  We finished the day with a massage in the city, and finally sat down to a homemade dinner and watched “I Love You, Man”.  It was bliss. 

I’m craving that freedom to be outside and eat good food and spend time with my boyfriend, as I sit here at my desk on this rather quiet Monday.

Autumn in New York

October 14, 2009

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This tree on my block confirmed it: it’s happening!  My favorite season is here!  I’m dusting off my scarves and bringing out my mom’s chocolate chip pumpkin cookie recipe, and counting down the days till Thanksgiving feast.

The leaves are changing.  It’s official, people.

\”Autumn In New York\” by Billie Holiday

Friday Feel Good Tunes

October 9, 2009

Just bought myself tickets to see Raphael Saadiq in concert!  The show isn’t until December, but I am so SO excited!  I was introduced to his music by my best bud, Shawna, who described him as “the happiest music to walk around the streets of New York to”.  And I happen to agree.  He’s got such a wonderful retro sound that I just can’t help bopping along. 

Here’s a sampling for your enjoyment:

I convinced my boyfriend to join me (I’ll be making sure to upload Saadiq’s album to his iphone so that he is well-versed by the time the concert rolls around), and we decided that it would be a little treat to ourselves in honor of our (HOLY SHNIKEYS) FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY, which is on December 17th.  I honestly can’t believe that it’s been four years!!  To be fair, I guess I’m jumping the gun…we’ve still got 2 months till we hit that four-year mark.  But still.  L’chaim to us, honey!

And happy Friday to everyone!  Thanks for the 3-day weekend, Columbus.

Pizza, Broadway, Burgers, and Funny People

August 10, 2009

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The big surprise birthday plans I had for my boyfriend turned out to be a great success!  For dinner, I decided to stick with what we know instead of taking a big risk, so I went with pizza.  After Time Out NY recently declared it #1 on their list of “Top 20 Best New Pizzas in NYC“, I took him to dinner at Keste Pizza and Vino.  As far as ambience goes, our date at Motorino still clocks in at numero uno for me (you can read about that delicious dinner here), but the pizza itself was right on the money: chewy crust, sweet tomato sauce, and melty pads of fresh mozarella.  

At dinner I clued him in that the after-dinner activity was tickets to the musical “Jersey Boys” (as much a gift for him as it was for me).  He was so surprised and excited, he couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of dinner.  I get a thrill out of giving good gifts, so his animated response was especially gratifying for me.  We’d both been wanting to see this show for quite a while.  One, because I’ve heard such great things from everyone who’s seen it, and I love all those songs from the 50’s.  And two, because our friend is playing the starring role of Frankie Valli!!  After pizza and tiramisu, we shimmied over to the theatre and soaked it all up and cheered on  our uber talented buddy…from kickass seats in the 8th row (thanks, Jarrod)!  

And then, on David’s actual birthday, he had free reigns to plan the day.  Opting for simplicity (as opposed to the big group trip to Six Flags his friend and I were trying to organize for him…maybe next year), he went with burger and a movie (last minute cupcake appearance courtesy of Shawna Rosen and Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery).  The burgers were huge and yummy, but there was something wonderfully reminiscent of childhood birthday parties in going to an afternoon movie with a big group of friends.  I almost wish he had picked a kids movie instead of Judd Apatow’s “Funny People”.  I could always go for a hamster spy flick.

Birthday Boy(friend)

August 5, 2009

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He’s looking rather devious here.  This was from last year’s birthday’s breakfast in bed (I’m big on that).  I’m big on birthdays in general.  Some people like to really play down their birthday and others like to make a big stink.  Not surprisingly, I fall into the second category – I prefer a fan fair.  Not just when it comes to celebrating my own birthday, but I also like to make a big production out of the birthdays of the people I love.  I just can’t believe that everyone wouldn’t want their birthday to be a big grand hoopla!  But I suppose that’s my own issue.

Now, not to toot my own horn, but I gotta say it will be difficult for me to top what I did for my boyfriend’s birthday last year.  It was a day full of surprises.  You’re dying to know what we did?  Okay.  I’ll tell you!  🙂

First I made him b-fast in bed (standard.  a classic).  Then we went for a couples massage (our first time!).  Then we took an elevated gondola to Roosevelt Island to have a quiet and eerie picnic (back in the day, the island used to house the city’s main prison, a smallpox hospital, a disease research laboratory, an insane asylum, a fort and a lighthouse!).  After noshing on grapes and salami and baguette, we came back to the east village for a surprise party with a ton of his friends.

This year I don’t have an entire day planned, but I do have something exciting up my sleeve.  We are going out to celebrate tonight (his actual birthday is on Friday), but since tonight’s activity is a surprise, I can’t reveal any details here yet – sorry, David!  Looking forward to our special date tonight.

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**Jen has generously given me the night off from Fanny & Jane tonight, but if you have a hankering for your Wednesday-night sweets, she will be selling our red velvet cake bites and other delectible edibles at the PIT tonight!

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…

Birthday Bacon and Berries in Bed

July 13, 2009

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Waking up at 7am to make breakfast in bed for someone is a bajillion times more bearable when you’re an army of five.  With the combined efforts of myself, the boyfriend, the roommate, the birthday girl’s sister and her friend, we whipped up this little morning treat in minutes flat.  The birthday girl, Shawna (my wonderful friend and other roomie) woke up to buttermilk chocolate chip pancakes, fresh strawberries, bacon, orange juice, and creme de Reddi Wip.  Despite our banging of spatulas against pans and the smoke that quickly filled the kitchen, she was completely asleep and surprised when we bursted into her room.  Her first words?  “At least my boob wasn’t out of my shirt when I woke up…”.  Classy, Shawna. 

I’ve known Shawna since 4th grade, and this is the 14th birthday I’ve celebrated with her.  We’ve come a long way from the Make Your Own Sock Puppet birthday party in her backyard, and the burgers and ice cream sundaes at Ed Debevic’s (a Los Angeles favorite – 50’s themed diner where the tradition was to stand on the tables and dance to “YMCA” every hour), and the Sweet 16 birthday celebrated with a bonfire on the beach in San Diego, and last year’s never-ending pool party Jaegermeister fest.  

Having made the big move from our home in the west 9 months ago, to your new home in Brooklyn, I couldn’t be happier that we’re celebrating this one together in New York.  Happy birthday, friend!

Three And A Half Years: Part II

June 18, 2009
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straightened my hair - oo la la

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complimentary glasses of prosecco!

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our friend, dan, the waiter!

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plate-o prosciutto

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Fortunato Brothers - italian bakery

Fortunato Brothers - italian bakery

marzipan bonanza!

marzipan bonanza!

As promised, here are photos from last night’s pizza dinner.  Not until I was uploading these did I realize that we didn’t take any photos of the actual pizza!  It was honestly too delicious to stop chewing, wipe the marinara from my fingers, and whip out the camera.  I guess I could have taken a picture of the slices I wrapped up to go, but what’s the fun in photographing leftovers?  Instead, I will leave you with a descriptive recap of Motorino’s pizza experience, and let you conjure up an image in your head:

Fresh from the oven, the pizzas arrived at our table, literally dominating the entire plate.  These things were large and undoubtedly in charge.  Beautiful disks of white fresh mozarella, sitting atop a warm blanket of sweet marinara and drizzled Italian olive oil.  And the dough?  Don’t even get me started – soft and fluffy, with bubbles made black from the wood-burning oven.  It seemed like each slice went on for miles, still I savored every bite.  I have nothing but praise to sing of these pizza pies.

I hope that description ties you over until you get to have your own hands-on Motorino experience.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I ordered the Margherita DOC and David got the Soppressata Piccante, and we split a plate of prosciutto).

David and I had a lovely time.  And the staff was delightful!  The owner (and/or chef…I’m assuming?) came over at the beginning of our meal, exuberantly congratulated us (the way only real Italians do) on our anniversary, and insisted that we have something to toast with.  He happily poured us each a glass of delicious bubbly prosecco on the house, and shared with us that he just celebrated his 1-year anniversary.  I think he thought we were a married couple…ruh roh.

After dinner David and I were absolutely stuffed, but being now that I’m “in the biz” (that “biz” being the bakery business), I’m making it my personal responsibility to seek out new dessert places at every chance I get.  Tough gig, right?  Fortunately, I got a tip from one of my co-workers, who, when she found out I was going to be in that area of Williamsburg, insisted that I check out Fortunato Brothers.  Well, I wasn’t about to pass up such an enthusiastic recommendation.  And even though we were too full of pizza to even dream about dessert, I’m glad we stopped in.  Fortunato Brothers is an Italian cafe and pasticceria that is best described by New York Magazine as a place where, “If Tony Soprano lived in Brooklyn, this is the bakery where he’d pick up a box of cannoli for Uncle Junior.”  It was everything I wanted it to be – old men sitting outside and bickering in Italian, and all!  While I’m not a huge fan of marzipan (that’s more my Uncle Marcel’s territory) the impressive array of artfully crafted marzipan made to look like eggplant/corn/tomato/an apple with a worm crawling out of it,  is well worth the trip.

I don’t often find myself in an Italian bakery – I’m more of a cupcake/chocolate chip cookie/key lime pie kinda girl – but being in Fortunatos re-opened my eyes to all of the bakery possibilities that Jen and I have in front of us while we imagine our own space for Fanny & Jane.  Fortunately, we live in New York, where we have the opportunity to visit every kind of bakery imaginable, from mochi balls in Chinatown to jamaican buns in Crown Heights – we’re not lacking for dessert variety.  It’s just very exciting (and frankly, at times, intimidating) to imagine our place in all of it.

David, thanks for a lovely anniversary!