Archive for August, 2011

Currently Obsessed with…. State Prints from One Canoe Two

Texas print

I saw these yesterday on Design Mom and I want, I want. At least the Texas print, and maybe several, grouped together to represent the states Chrissy and I have lived in. They’ve colorful, cute, and very affordable.

State Prints — original art turned into a letterpress print — by One Canoe Two. $15.

California print

Weekly Menu, August 28-September 3

So we made it. I admit the hype about the storm, which I paid no attention to until Friday, finally got to me; I was nervous last night. At about midnight, I was walking around the dark house, alone, watching the trees bend 45 degrees in the rain. Wondering: will our 101-year old house, which has withstood a tornado (a block away) and an earthquake already this year, fall apart in a hurricane?

My nerves manifested themselves in a three ways: time spent on our various electronic devices (reading Facebook and Twitter, watching the radar, checking news updates and answering texts from concerned friends and family), and cooking and eating.

All the sweets, here for the taking

Friday, I picked up slices of peach pie, chocolate pecan cookies and red velvet cupcakes in Manhattan, and on Saturday made a run to our local Trois Pommes for more peach pie, blueberry pie, a red velvet AND an almond twinkie (yes, twinkie), brownies, peanut butter cookies, and seriously I can’t remember what else. Melisa roasted a whole chicken, and made French onion soup; I made various fruit and vegetable salads. Come on over and help us eat the leftovers (we also have plenty of wine, vodka, fixings for margaritas, and distilled water to serve)!

Tomorrow in the sunshine, let’s just say a long run is planned. But for today, I’m kneading pizza dough and thinking of chasing my iced coffee and sweets with salted buttered popcorn and a movie with the kids (done & done).

***

All the excitement did provide distraction from the fact that this is the last true weekend of the season. This week’s menu is an homage to many of my favorite summer things. I’m not ready to let it go. So more fruit, more tomatoes, more corn.

Weekly Menu:

Sunday: White Pizza with Roasted Garlic, Fontina, and Goat Cheese with Crunchy, Lemony Kale Salad and Melon with Cured Black Olives

Kale Salad. It really is good.

Monday: Grilled Skirt Steak (trying a La Esquina marinade from their forthcoming cookbook) with Charred Corn Tacos with Radish Zucchini Slaw (via Smitten Kitchen)

Tuesday: Orecchiette tossed with Roast, Marinated Tomatoes, Grilled Corn and Fresh Basil

Wednesday: Salmon Grilled on Cedar Planks with Cool Potato Salad, Sautéed Summer Squash and Tomatoes

Thursday: Shrimp Fajitas with Cabbage Slaw

Friday: Dinner out with Melisa to celebrate my birthday on Saturday. Where to go? Might be the garden at Vinegar Hill House or the one at Hudson Clearwater. Hmmm.

Saturday: My birthday!! I am off the hook for cooking, but looking forward to dinner Chez Gillespie.

Speaking of birthdays: here were two we just celebrated:

This one is called: "Fancy French Cake for a Five Year Old"

Seven year old strong!

Here’s to a September full of sweet summer days.

August 27 – 28: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

High Line

High Line / photo by: join the dots

We walked the new section of the High Line this week — dying to go back, do it again, and have lunch at the food trucks parked under the 30th Street entrance. There’s shade and picnic tables — easily manageable with the kids.

But it’s an outdoor activity — wonder what Irene will have to say about that? An earthquake, a hurricane — things are wild around here this week, and I’ve got a twitchy, unpredictable mood to match. Still feeling out of sorts post-sabbatical. Will it ever pass?

Anyway, weekend linkage:

* more on the High Line food trucks. Just say “taco.”

* inspiration: a vintage farmhouse dining room transformation.

* Design Mom’s Work Life Balance Project (love her tips.)

* OpenHouse NY 2011 Preview List.

* culinary fun for the kids at Taste of Brooklyn.

Happy weekend! Hope Irene treats you right!

(photo: join the dots)

 

Home Shortlist: The Things We Can’t Live Without

More Gwyneth Paltrow inspiration!

(And as an aside, I’ve been trying lots of recipes from her cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, and they’ve all been easy and delicious. Hits with us *and* the kids. Sorry to disappoint all you detractors out there….)

Anyway, Gwyn‘s in Elle Decor this month sharing the things in her home and home life she can’t live without — a bathtub in her bedroom, Coro tumblers, seasonal flowers, Charles Edwards star lanterns, and more. There’s a lot we love — and get a little daily lift from — in our home, too. (We could do endless other lists about more personal items as well — must-have perfume, lipstick, handbag, etc. — but one thing at a time.)

Here’s what made our shortlist for things we love/can’t live without at home:

Framed French dinner menus — they hang above our kitchen sink, all vintage-y, sweet, and oh-so-pretty. We framed the menu from our wedding, too — personal and memory-evoking every time we look at it.

French dinner menu

Alora Fragrance Diffuser — when buying something new for the living room or rearranging the furniture on a whim isn’t realistic, flipping these sticks upside down to release a burst of your favorite, fresh scent makes you feel like the room just got a mini-makeover.

Alora Diffuser

Dark-stained wood floors. They’re dramatic, they’ve worn well, and they covered a ton of imperfections in our floors when we renovated, which made replacing them all with new boards unnecessary.

dark-stained wood floors

Patterned window films. We have these on our bottom windows in the bathroom and we love them! They disguise what you don’t want to see — the siding on our neighbor’s house comes to mind — and still let in all the sunlight.

patterned window films

Double-basin farmhouse sink. It’s big, it’s pretty, it’s functional, it’s from another old Brooklyn house, so it’s local goods. It is actually my favorite thing in the entire house, hands down.

farmhouse sink

Different paint colors in every room. When our contractor was ready to paint after our remodel, he asked just to make sure: You want all white everywhere, right? Uh, no. Sorry! But color adds so much warmth to a space! Try it. You’ll like it.

paint colors

A daily baguette. This is a holdover from our trip to France in July and, I have to say, fresh bread adds a lot to the day. The kids love it, too — and they seem to know instinctively that it’s way better than the sliced stuff that comes out of a plastic bag from the grocery store.

baguettes

Zyliss garlic press. Feel like you spend half your life chopping garlic? Us, too. But this handy little gadget speeds up the process by a lot — you don’t even have to peel the garlic! Seriously. Just pop a clove in, press it, and out come the minced pieces — with the papery bits left behind in the press. (Thanks for turning us on to this one, Kim!)

Zyliss garlic press

Tell us — what’s on your shortlist? What are the home essentials you can’t live without?

Weekly Menu, August 21-27 (Paris Parens)

Well, we really are back. Almost three weeks now, and still everyday, I miss our carefree lives overseas. I’ve been reluctant to post again, not wanting to break the spell of our magical month away. Keep it sacred. And yet, here we are in the City, back to reality. More on that later.

Our last two days in Paris we didn’t write about. Probably because we were too conflicted about our departure.

Paris was beautiful. Just as it was when we arrived, but hotter at the change of July to August. We cabbed it to Appartement Blanc on a Sunday, dropped our things, and went out in search of fun. We found it in the Tuileries, at the trampolines. Ten individual trampolines. Two Euro for five minutes of jumping. I would have paid more. The kids loved it. Brilliant, brilliant idea. I may quit my job and bring it to New York.

Jumping, jumping, jumping

Next stop, the amusement park in the Tuileries, where the kids honed their bumper car skills, among other thing. And then home, for dinner out on the square.

The next day, we woke up early(ish) and headed to our local cafe for pain au chocolat, fresh squeezed o.j., cafe creme and espresso. Our last day! Melisa and I wanted to take the kids to the pyramid at the Louvre. And we wanted to walk.

This plan was met with some resistance from the train fetishist, but walk we did, through the Right Bank, and to the Louvre.

Waiting for the metro, in the Marais

On the way discovering some gorgeous streets, shops, passages, like this one:

Here’s the obligatory picture of the kids in front of another monument.

At the pyramid

There was down time.

Time for everyone to get in something they need.

Including our budding photographer Magnolia (or was this Jasper?).

Time for more monuments. Here’s one of my favorites: Notre Dame.

And the resolution of the gelato v. glace smackdown: we declare a tie.

It's all good.

We had a great day!

And then we were off the next morning, too early, too soon. We had just arrived; how could we be going home?

Back at Charles de Gaulle

I took some comfort last week in the words of someone new I met. Try to make a little of every day a vacation. Why wait for those precious weeks every year?

Weekly Menu:

Sunday: Great day on the beach! Chasing it with our version of Diana Kennedy’s Shrimp in Adobo sauce, with rice, avocado, and scallions.

Monday: Pasta with fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil and parmesan, side salad with CSA lettuce

Tuesday: Skirt Steak marinated and grilled with summer squash

Wednesday: Date night for Melisa and I! The kids will have burgers on the grill.

Thursday: Chicken Fajitas with grilled onions, mushrooms, fresh salsa and guacamole

Friday: Grilled whole fish stuffed with scallions and herbs and tomato/cucumber salad

Saturday: Might be time again for pizza on the grill! Melisa and I are partial to a white pizza and the kids like margaritas

May your week be filled with starry nights, sunny days, and melon and olives!

August 20 – 21: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

summer camp

This is M. on her way to summer camp at Curious Jane (she’s loved it, by the way, highly recommend for next summer.) Chrissy‘s been taking Jasper to the bus for pick-up in the morning to Park Explorers, which has also been great, as he’s thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day. Everyone happy and tired = good times for the moms.

Anyway, I do pick-up for both kids in the afternoon, and our route home takes us past 8th Avenue and 8th Street in Park Slope, site of the first apartment I ever stayed in in New York City when I came here to look for a job in book publishing in 1991. I pointed it out to the kids, who’ve been fascinated by the idea that I could be staying in a strange apartment without them or Chrissy, and instead with two guys named Keith and Doug.

I’ve realized this week that means I came to New York twenty years ago exactly — it was August, 1991. In fact, I think there’s a good chance it was even 20 years ago this very week. That brings a few things to mind.

I could go on.

I won’t.

After our glorious month away in July, we’re back. Really back. And while I don’t know that I’m quite ready to get out there and take on the city with the kids, I’m starting to think in that direction.

Via Mommy Poppins, here’s what looks good to me this weekend:

* The Muppets Take Manhattan and Jim Henson’s Fantastic World at the Museum of the Moving Image

* Word for Word Kids: Night of the Butterfly at Bryant Park

* Winnie-the-Pooh’s 90th Birthday Bash at the Children’s Center at the New York Public Library

And what’s more on my mind?

Getting to know An Expat Mom Living in Paris.

Deciding whether or not I need this striped Lazy Maze Tunic by Bordeaux from Anthropologie.

Sampling for myself Gwynnie’s recipe for Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ sauce; I made the sauce yesterday and the kids gobbled it up with the chicken last night; tonight we’re throwing it on the grill for the moms.

Twenty years. OK.

Happy weekend!

 

Currently Obsessed with…. Dining at Buvette

Buvette

Despite the fact that I’ve eaten French cheese and duck rillettes, have been wearing Petit Bateau and Bensimons, am buying a baguette daily, and have salted French butter (!) in my fridge, I find myself…. still very much back in Brooklyn and no longer in France. Sigh.

So when I read about downtown French eatery Buvette in the Cheap Eats 2011 issue of New York magazine, I was ready to get my American butt there ASAP. Luckily, I had two willing dining companions on two different days last week to accompany me. Yay! (Bisous, Christina and Chrissy!)

Buvette is where the duck rillettes were consumed, and, oh my, but they were delicious. As were the rest of the charcuterie (terrine de campagne, blue cheese), and other things we sampled — salade d’epinards, ham and melon, and more.

And the space (former longtime home of The Pink Teacup) is adorable! Every detail: The long marble bar, the pretty pastries, the snug tables, the small, sweet water glasses, the blackboard map showing the wine list by region, the bicyclette out front. The combined effect is almost transporting.

Almost.

They serve all day long during the week, 8am through late supper. Weekend brunch is coming soon. I haven’t tried any of the egg dishes yet, but I can’t wait to! They sound fab.

A word to the wise mom and dad, though: Leave les enfants at home for Buvette, unless you’re just stopping in to pick up a pain au chocolat and coffee. This is one for the adults.

And a note on pricing: Buvette serves tempting, well-priced small plates, but the small plates, plus wine, etc., add up. Although it was in the Cheap Eats ish, I wouldn’t really call it “cheap.”

Definitely worthwhile, though.

For more pretty pictures of Buvette — and to see some other NYC restaurants and food you may not have encountered before — hop on over to Eric Isaac’s photography blog, Snap Food.

And get yourself and your honey to Buvette. Have being in France fantasies. Enjoy. And tell me what you thought.

Buvette is located at 42 Grove Steet (between Bleecker and Bedford).

Buvette

photo: Snap Food / Eric Isaac

Buvette

Buvette

Other obsessions:

Porch Crawler Cocktail from Frankies Spuntino

Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves

Bloch Ballet Flats


Who I Am

Categories

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 40 other followers


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 40 other followers