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Apple Cake

_MG_7490It’s definitely getting to be the time of year when curling up with a hot cup of coffee and a good book sounds most appealing. I’ve stated my love for summer many a time, but there’s something about the crisp air coming in through windows cracked open, when you can wear sweaters and ballet flats but don’t need to worry about a heavy coat just yet.

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_MG_7491This cake, which I actually made to celebrate Rosh Hashana weeks ago when Ari‘s mom was in town, was the perfect way to usher in fall. I love cakes that only use one bowl, and this still feels special enough to serve at a dinner party–but it tastes even better for breakfast the next day.

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White Bean & Chorizo Soup

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It’s been a tough couple of weeks around here, hence the lack of posting. But things are slowly starting to feel more normal (booking flights to Paris for early next spring definitely helped), and I always find that in times of stress or heartache, cooking makes me feel better. Something about the routine of chopping onions, simmering broth and de-stemming kale lets me know that things will be all right, and that sometimes, a bowl of hot soup really can help._MG_7449

Maybe it’s the definite smell of fall in the air, but I’ve been wanting chorizo in everything lately. Versions of this soup have been on almost weekly rotation for the past month or so, and I think it makes a perfect, hearty meal that you’ll be able to make through the winter. _MG_7455

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Home Design: Modern Pastels

Image via newzealanddesignblog.com

Though it’s been a while, I think I’m going to try to get back into more home design posts. Though we don’t have any plans to move (or redecorate) any time soon, I’ve found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest and am loving all of the pastels I’ve seen lately. No longer reserved for kid’s rooms or Easter eggs, pastels are making a comeback. Thanks to modern shapes and geometric prints, baby blue, light pink and mint green can brighten up a room and add a pop of color without being too overwhelming–read on for some of my favorite products.

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Limoncello

_MG_6673Ahh, fall. As I’ve said many a time before, I love summer. But there is definitely something about crisp nights, warm cappuccinos in the morning and changing leaves that you can’t help but love. But since I’m not quite ready to let go of summer yet, I wanted to share a recipe for limoncello in case you are in need of a refreshing digestivo on these still-warm days. If you haven’t had limoncello before, it’s basically sweetened, lemon-infused alcohol, usually drunk ice-cold after meals to aid digestion. You can also use it in cocktails, if you wish, or add some seltzer to dilute it a bit._MG_6670

_MG_6669The recipe itself couldn’t be easier, but does take some time: I let the lemon peels soak for a full month for maximum lemon flavor (since, as you may know, I love anything lemon) and used the least amount of sugar recommended.  We’ve been enjoying this all summer, and it’s a great thing to bring out at parties – or to give as (eek!) holiday gifts (not that I’m thinking about that yet.)

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On a more serious note: though I did not live in New York City 13 years ago, over the past four years this city has continued to amaze, inspire, and astonish me every single day. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to live here, and to get to know the varied–and incredibly resilient–people who call New York their home. Thoughts go out to anyone who was affected by what happened on that terrible day.

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Tomato Lobster Pasta

_MG_6657Though autumn in New York City is reportedly the best time of the year, I can’t exactly say that I’m happy about summer ending. Beachgoing, sipping cold rosé, picnics outside, bonfires, all the peaches I can manage to eat…summer is my favorite. So I’m soaking up the last few weeks of warm days as much as possible, and when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. It  helped that lobster was on sale (and I only needed one lobster for four very large servings). But it did mean that I had to kill it–but I’m happy to say, there was minimal screaming and Ari only helped a little bit._MG_6654

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That said, if you aren’t so inclined to kill a lobster of your own, you can easily use shrimp instead–just peel and devein, and throw in the pan with tomatoes to quickly cook._MG_6665

In any case, hope you are all enjoying the last week of summer to the fullest, and have a wonderful long weekend! Any big plans for Labor Day?_MG_6663

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Chorizo-Potato Tacos

_MG_6528First off, thank you for indulging me and for your thoughtful comments on my last post. Still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do, but rest assured, I will let you know. _MG_6509

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And now why you’re really here: tacos. More precisely, chorizo & potato tacos with avocado-tomatillo salsa. Comes together in half an hour, doesn’t require turning on the stove, and uses those pesky green vegetables that I love but always hesitate to buy since I’m not sure what to do with them. Plus, you can’t really go wrong with the combination of potatoes and spicy sausage–a perfect August dinner, if I do say so. _MG_6532_MG_6521

 

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Some Thoughts

 

IMG_1845.JPG I don’t often get very personal on here for a variety of reasons, the most obvious one being privacy. While I like sharing small things about my day (and more often, what I ate for dinner) I can’t imagine that that many people want to know (or care, really) about what I wore, what I am coveting from Need Supply Co (which, incidentally, is an amazing store) and so on. Plus I don’t really like posting pictures of my face.

I’ve been doing some thinking lately about blogging and what a crazy industry it’s become. With social media and new technologies being created every day, it’s still kind of insane to me that people can now dream of being professional bloggers or social media managers – jobs that didn’t exist even five years ago. I don’t begrudge anyone who is able to blog as their full-time job, and I’m certainly guilty of being addicted to social media–but it was feeling like there were just so. many. blogs. And in a world where everyone has a website and personal brand, how do you stand out? How do you make sure that you’re writing about what you want to write about, and not inadvertently just trying to get more “likes”?

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I was in Minnesota with my family last week and took the time to unplug a bit (no blogs, much less social media–although I was still on Instagram) and I think it was a much-needed break. I’m still trying to figure out if I want to continue posting the same kind of content here–while I have been cooking a fair amount this summer, I just don’t always feel like photographing it (or at least, doing more than shooting a quick picture with my phone), so you may have to forgive me while I rethink things a bit. And I wanted to ask you: is there anything you would like to see here? Things I should do differently? Similar apathy about the blogging world?

I’ll be back later this week with a great summer taco recipe, and if you’re interested in further reading, I particularly enjoyed these two posts from Wit & Delight and Jojotastic.

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Corn Pancakes with Corn and Tomato Salad

_MG_6506Summer is the best time to do the as little as possible to produce. My favorite way to eat peaches is just washed, juice dripping down your chin as you bite into them. Sliced tomatoes need nothing more than a hint of sea salt to be perfect. Roasted corn needs no butter or salt at this time of year. But if you do feel like cooking (and thanks to unseasonably lovely weather in New York, it hasn’t been too hot to cook the past few weeks), I suggest you give these pancakes a try. Light but substantial, they stay fresh thanks to a quick corn and tomato salad piled on top, and are just begging for a poached or fried egg to be added on top._MG_6501

This is my favorite time of year for cooking, and here are a few other great recipes that use summer produce, should you be so inclined: tomato-basil bruschetta, zucchini carpaccio, and peach cornmeal shortcakes. _MG_6500

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken

_MG_6495I think we can all agree that fried chicken is basically the perfect food. Salty, crunchy, pairs well with anything from waffles to salad…what more do you need? But though I love fried chicken, I had attempted to make it only once before, when Ari and I spent our first Thanksgiving together (cooking a whole turkey for two people seemed like overkill). I used the same recipe as below, but didn’t have an instant-read thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil, so while the chicken tasted good, it was a little too dark on  the outside for my liking._MG_6492This time, I was prepared and was even ready to substitute regular flour for gluten-free (I used this
one, but found I prefer this). It worked out surprisingly well, and I would have been hard-pressed to tell the difference had I not known already._MG_6494I’ve already waxed on about my love for Thomas Keller, so no need to reiterate it here – but be warned, if you brine your chicken (which you should, to make it incredibly juicy), you need to do so 12-24 hours before you plan to fry it. It’s worth it, I promise. I served the chicken here with a simple slaw of red cabbage, scallions and shredded carrots tossed with a little apple cider vinegar, and watermelon rind pickles.

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Watermelon Rind Pickles

_MG_6464I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making watermelon rind pickles since last summer, when I realized how much watermelon rind goes to waste when you eat the red part. I had also tried them at a great little restaurant in Williamsburg called Rye (get the duck confit), and I’m pretty happy with how well they turned out. _MG_6472

These are what you would call “quick pickles” – you don’t seal the jars, but if you would prefer to use that method I’m sure it would work.  Serve with pulled pork sandwiches, chicken liver mousse, or as part of a cheese plate._MG_6474 Read More