Friday, December 31, 2010

Rip off!

Went to San Marzano for pizza last night. I had been underwhelmed by their Margherita pizza that I had delivered a few months ago, but was excited to give it another shot. They've got a hip, clean interior that makes you feel pretty swank even though you're only out for pizza.

We got the Pomodoro pizza and the Caprino pizza. The Pomodoro did exactly what we needed it to do: deliver a really good traditional style pizza. The excitement though, came from the Caprino: carmelized onions (dare I say, onion jam?), mushrooms, goat cheese, truffle oil. Twas delicious. Simultaneously sweet and savory. Enough to rip off for tonights appetizer. The onions are caramelizing right now and smell delicious. I added a little balsamic vinegar just to see what happens. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This is what home is like.
Break was excellent. It was so good to go home, eat good food, drink good wine, roll around on the floor in blankets and gab with my family. All with zero intention of getting things done. (So much getting done prior to coming home) Thanks Andersons and Zach :) The major issues on the daily docket were: 

1. What is for dinner?
2. What is our activity today?

Our first dinner together was at the Ambassador Hotel, in Baltimore. Best Indian food ever (Inc'l NYC. No lie). After garlic nan and the Bengan Khas (stewed eggplant tomato amazingness) and Chicken Madras, we experimented with Cardamom ice cream. Smells like febreze. Or lavender. You can feel it in your nose. Quite an entertaining thing to eat.

Clare, Zach and I took on dinner one night, cooking Venison sausages, balsamic marinated portobellos, and Israeli cous cous w/ parmesean, peppers and onions. 
As you can tell by Clare's sweatshirt and Zach's hat,
Mom and Dad are attempting to reduce their carbon

Goes together like peas n' carrots.  

Dad did dinner all of the other nights. A big shout out to him and my mom, as they were the ones to instill a curiosity for food in me. Growing up, my sister and I were always in the kitchen. Chopping veggies. Adding more chocolate chips to the cookie dough. Kneading pizza dough. Watching something rise in the oven. Sifting till our hands ached. We did a crappy job at sous chefing while at home, but did enjoy the seemingly effortless and totally gourmet meals. 

Crabcakes, red lentils w/ poblanos and green beans. Om nom. 

We decorated the tree in record time, guided by the rule that only homemade or tacky ornaments could go up. This was the main reason that Lacey Angel lost to Toilet Paper Roll Santa in the Tree Topper Smackdown. 

2010 Champion, TPR Santa

Homemade ornaments by our cousins.

Sunny the fox in the foreground. His necklace
lights up.
All other time was spent doing something physical (climbing, yoga, bosu) or watching movies back to back because I had already used up all of my energy for the day. 

Final Notes: There were 5 pairs of cat socks and two pair of bike socks exchanged on Christmas morning. Mom can still kick my ass in an exercise class. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hobbies rule

I've been working on a few pieces of jewelry for the holidays and the more I work, the more I think about, critique and really enjoy what I'm doing. The more I want to get back to it each day. This is a good thing. I wish it happened more easily in other arenas (work, for example).

So I decided to bring jewelry making to school.  We started the activity by discussing the value of our own interests and hobbies. It always blows my mind that many of my kids don't know that what they think about and enjoy doing is valuable and important until someone tells them. They can tell you that they're okay at math, like science and need to "work on their reading," but often struggle to tell you what they really like and are really good at outside of their school subjects. They wouldn't tell you that they like reading Calvin and Hobbes, but much rather practice drawing the characters and making the dialogue sound like their friends talking. Or that they could spend hours fixing their Tech Decks. My favorite things to do are cooking, playing outside and craft projects and you won't find any of them posted on the Daily Schedule at the front of the room (though if you know me and my coteacher, they are lurking within each subject).

We talked about how hobbies are an important part of who you are in addition to and often in conjunction with who you are in school. I felt very much like I was leading the kind of discussion my dad had with me thousands of times. What are you passionate about? Find that and run with it. Do what you love and you'll love what you do, right Billy Joel? (His Syracuse Class of 2006 Commencement speech in a nutshell)

So today I shared my hobby (showed them some beaded things I'd made, talked about patterns, sawed some metal) with my kids and then they made their own jewelry for someone in their family. Each kid had someone special in mind and worked quietly (ahh!) and diligently (amazing!) on their necklace or bracelet. They were pouring themselves into their work.

I haven't posted pics of my kids, though I was tempted to because they are really cute when they look proud of themselves. But, I have put their work up. I was very impressed by some and got a kick out of others. Either way, everyone had a blast.

Today was a good day. Everyone had fun. Let's do it again tomorrow. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tis the Season

Xmas in New York. Delightful and full of love. Tingly and buzzing. Highly annoying in some areas and at the wrong time (Union Square Holiday Market, I'm looking at you). Here are some spirited little snip its that I've run into in the past few weeks:

Lookin' sexy in your holiday lights, LES. Proud to call you home.

My classroom door. Thank you, child labor, for the snow flakes.
We are going to need about 1,000 more to get the full effect.

Doughnut Ornaments at Doughnut Plant. They look more like
Dunkin Donuts than the real deal in the case below.

Our Festivus Pole

Santas on Delancey during Santicon. 

I was so annoyed that I had to go to Herald Square today, December 19th.  I was dreading the tourists and the shopping bags. But then I got to the park in front of Macy's and couldn't deny how pretty it is when done up in bows and lights.

A beautiful light installation at Madison Square Park.
It was calling me to go run through it.

I wish I had a backyard with all of  these hanging lights in it.
They feel special :)
Aaaaannd, drum roll please. Best for last. Today there was a fantastic, Gatsby-esque band playing at the 2nd Ave. F/M subway station. I heard it as the doors opened, hopped off my train, watched for a few minutes and got on the next one that came by.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


It took one year, but I just found my go to neighborhood bagel shop. Atlas is a 5-7 minute walk from my apt. Quiet. Cozy. Wood benches. Mismatched mugs sporting airline logos. A mobile made of globes. Friendly people. Just right food. Exactly what the neighborhood coffee shop should be.

Everything bagel (h&H bagel that is) with cream cheese, pesto and tomato. Chai Latte w/ Soymilk. Perfection .

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Astor Center

Top 5 reasons why I love Astor Center, my favorite neighborhood wine and liquor store. (I may have extended what I consider my neighborhood to be to include Astor)

1. They have excellent customer service. It rivals that of Wegmans and Nordstrom. Every employee knows their wine and where it is in the store. They also know when to as someone else. 
2. They have a ide variety of inexpensive wines
3. The wall of boxed wine. From Franzia to Black Box and beyond.
4. They use real glassware for their wine tastings
5. Their wine tastings are generous.

As if I need another reason, they deliver! I opened my door at 8:45 on Saturday morning to a delivery guy with two boxes from the liquor store. Merry Early Christmas to us! Zach got 10 wines under 10 bucks. Genius. 

This is how you prepare for Y2K

Favorite Things

Pork Buns at Momofuku Noodle Bar

Oprah's not the only one with a list of favorite things. Stina's got one too. Here are a few of my favorite edible things that will end any conversation and totally steal the show when they hit the table.

  • Doughnut Plant's coconut creme filled doughnut
  • Momofuku's pork buns
  • Clerkenwell's sticky toffee pudding
  • Freeman's bacon
  • DuMont Burger's DuMac n' Cheese
  • Sugar Sweet Sunshine's Bob cupcake

Doughnuts before brunch are okay if you call them appetizers. 


Prosperity Dumpling, that is. Five dumplings for a buck at a hole in the wall on Eldridge. You just can't beat that. It makes you wonder how that is possible i.e., what is in them that is so cheap... But let's not go there because curiosity killed the cat, which is quite possibly what those perfectly fried, piping hot, delicious little pods are filled with.  I kid.

Dinner for two: $3.00

So hot! 
So good!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Seek and you shall find

I plotted my errands across the east and west villages today. They didn't seem so much like errands/annoying holiday preparation so much as a delightful little walking tour. I walked with my camera in my front pocket, looking for things I like. Here are some of the things I found that I like:

kiehls. red bows. historic trivia
(its the site of peter stuyvesant's pear tree)
free samples. chandeliers. employees
who make you feel special.
red shoes 
the chrysler building and stamps. bonus points because
they are together.

this color combination, iron, and the light fixture at 30 vandam st. 

chess table amid the christmas trees.
or christmas trees amid the chess table?

earrings in chinatown

mismatched tile floor in a boutique on center street


I got one. Or a faux hawk. My hairdresser gave me one while my glasses were in my lap. He picks the cut. Even when I tell him what I want, he picks the cut. Good thing he is a genius with scissors. 
Four days and two new products later, I'm loving it. Channeling Rhianna, Robyn and a little Andy Warhol. 

Preacher Cake

The Preacher Cake recipe comes from Farm Journal Cookbook, a yellow canvas covered cookbook that was one of mom's go to resources. Clare and I made Preacher Cake for birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother's and Father's day, Sunday night dinners... you get the point. We looked for reasons to make it. I remember dragging the kitchen stools over to the cabinets to get the sifter down and asking mom to get the chocolate chips out from wherever she hid them so we could make the frosting. Yes, the chocolate chips were hidden.

Delicately sifted flour. Almond extract. Hot water. Knee weakening chocolate frosting. The knife lives in the pan under the aluminum foil because the edges of the cake always need trimming and straightening.