Monday, November 23, 2009

Pears, Pears, and more Pears!

ello all. Its me with yet another post on pears. I can't help it, they seem to be showing up wherever I am! Today I woke up ready to trek to the hospital in Brooklyn Heights for my EEG. Stupid me, my appointment is actually next Monday and not today. But all was not lost as I made my way to the charming Montague Street to make a quick stop at Garden of Eden, one of my favorite grocery stores. They have a wonderful variety of fruits and veggies and the best cheese counter short of Murray's! With all that said, I wasn't surprised with the variety of pears they had to offer and had to indulge in a couple. I picked up a D'Anjou, Bartlett and a Forelle as well as a block of me and the Boyfriend's cheese of the moment, the Monte Veronese. So far I am loving the Bartlett -- it's sweet, it's soft, it's very juicy and has that "pear-ish" scent that you imagine proper pears to have. I urge you to go out and pick up a couple of pears to taste. I lugged 6 pears and a bunch of bananas home in my tote and I don't regret it at all!

Click here for a very informative site on Pears.

{Bartlett is the one cut, Forelle is the slightly orange/reddish one in front and on top, and the D'Anjou is the green one hiding in the back}

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Coco Before Chanel

esterday the Boyfriend kept true to his word and took me to The Paris Theater in Midtown to see the movie "Coco Before Chanel." I won't give too much away but I love Audrey Tatou and thought she played the part very well. The story is actually quite moving and I'm still thinking about it today. I highly recommend it to any girl who has dreamed of Chanel and would suggest you watch it at The Paris Theater. It's so clean and set up like a real theater, complete with heavy curtain drops and a mezzanine!

Oh and thank you to the Boyfriend who endured 2 hours of girly film for me and who, without a second thought and in one swift movement, bought me a new cup of apple cider after I dropped my almost full one all over him.

This one is another version of the story that I watched previously.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Latest Find: Fragrant Pears

'm fully aware that this post may not be the most exciting but I just had to write about my recent discovery. I was at the market today, shopping for groceries long overdue, when I ran across a somewhat familiar sounding fruit, the Fragrant Pear. I vaguely remembered a friend telling me that his friend from China would always look for Fragrant Pears and buy them by the bunch whenever found. Out of curiosity I put a couple in my cart and mosey'd on. Little did I know the wonders of this fruit! The Fragrant Pear has only been imported into the U.S. in the last couple of years and are grown in a small region of China. This fruit bears a strong resemblance to the Asian Pear is but much sweeter and juicier. I'm not a huge fan of the Asian Pear (I know, my fellow Koreans are gasping as they read this) but the Fragrant Pear provides a satisfying taste for this non convert. Unlike the Asian Pear you don't have to peel the skin as its soft and thin exterior makes it easy to bite into. It's also crispy, juicy, and sweet and I think I'm in love! This is the perfect fruit for a snack or for desserts.

Click here for a very informative NYT article about this fruit.

{Photo courtesy of Rasa Malaysia}

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh How I Love You Martha

hristmas is near and my bank account and wallet are shaking in fear of what is to come. I love buying gifts but this year I'm going to have to budget wiser and keep the purse strings drawn just a bit tighter. In lieu of purchasing gifts, this was sent to me from Tasha over at New Beautiful. We've decided to handmake each other gifts for Christmas this year and seriously, those people over at Martha's workshop are geniuses. Here are a few of my favorites:

{Hard Flower Barrettes}

{Leather Planner}

{Felt Slippers}

{Button Necklace}

And my absolute favorite: The No Sew Tote. Watch the video here and you will be just as amazed as I am!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photographs of the Moment

{Astoria Bridge by Sacred Lotus}

Recipes of the Week!

ust when I thought I was finally catching up with my life I take a look at the calendar and see that there is only one week until Thanksgiving! I can't believe it, time sure flew by! November has been quite a busy month for me. I volunteer 2 days a week for a couple of hours at a non profit organization in Brooklyn and I tutor a 7th grader in New Jersey. The commute alone is very long and eats up a large chunk of my days. Plus, the boyfriend and I have had 3 groups of visitors within a month (2 back to back for a total of 10 days) and we also went to Puerto Rico less than a month ago! Whew!
One of the ways I regroup is by cooking. I won't have a chance to do any of that until this weekend but I'm looking forward to trying some new recipes. I want to try a new pumpkin bread recipe, the Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread, and stock up on some jars of my own marinara. This time, I'm going to take a stab at incorporating this recipe with my own.
But til then, take a look at Heart of Light's post on making your own pasta. It sounds so amazing!

{Photograph from Heart of Light}

Thursday, November 12, 2009

J'adore Wedding Blogs

ellow bloggers, I have a (non) confession to make. I am a wedding junkie. Ok...that's putting it a wee bit harshly. I'm not quite obsessed, but I do enjoy reading wedding blogs and seeing how people personalize their own weddings. But please understand, I do not read wedding blogs daily, or even weekly. I don't like everything about weddings, I do not have a secret file stashed away with my own wedding ideas, and I do not pick up wedding magazines at Barnes and Noble. I just really like anything about wedding invites, photos, and tablescapes.
I have a couple of friends who are planning their wedding and wanted to post some of my favorite wedding blogs. Below are a few:

I love The Classic Bride--her writing is sweet, her style is simple, and she is, in fact, very classic. I would say my style is close to hers--the vintage feel mixed with a classic/clean look and a dash of intimacy that brings its own charm.

I love Style Me Pretty. Love. This site has all the best photos, features a wide variety of weddings, and truly brings a lot of inspiration to the table. Plus, they make sure to feature all the vendors responsible for creating such beautiful weddings.

100 Layer Cake is similar to Style Me Pretty, featuring amazing photos and color schemes. They provide color boards with ideas that will definitely get you thinking. I love these guys as well. So pretty!
I know there are a lot more wonderful wedding blogs out there, but these 3 are definitely at the top. Below are a few others in case you need more ideas:
:: Rock My Wedding :: Very different. Very chic. Very cool.
:: Etsy Wedding :: Great place to go if you are looking for one of a kind wedding trinkets.
:: The Preppy Wedding :: The name is self explanatory.
:: The Sweetest Occasion :: This is also a gorgeous site filled with a ton of DIYs and other great ideas. I love her projects...she really brings DIY wedding decor to a whole new level!
:: Brooklyn Bride :: A site that provides creative ideas and solutions for the modern bride.

What are some other great wedding sites?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Friends and Family Sale at Bloomies!

very time I think of the word "Bloomies," I think of the Friends episode where Rachel is at a party and Danny (the yetti) tries to set her up with someone. When Rachel tells him that she works at Bloomingdales he says to her, "My mom calls it Bloooomiieess." Do you know what I'm talking about?
Anyway, here to announce Bloomingdales Friends and Family Sale!! 20% off almost everything and anything in the store! So if there's something you've been lusting after, swooning about, and drooling with desire for, now is your chance! I haven't been shopping at all since this past March (although I did buy a pair of jeans from Old Navy and I'm sure some random doo dads) and this was my prime opportunity. Carpe Diem! Viva la France! I'm getting carried away.
Anyway I purchased some Marc by Marc sunnies for $64 and I will also be purchasing a wallet or bag for a good friend of mine as she has been extremely generous with me and providing free treatments for my headaches. I'm also thinking of something else for me as a "you passed the bar!" gift. I always told myself that I'd buy me a real adult gift when I passed...and I think a watch is quite adult....but finances are tight my friends so we'll see. Enjoy! (you can use it online)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cream-less Carbonara

reetings all, it's been quite a while since my last post! This week has been quite an eventful week and it feels like I haven't had a second to stop! But here I am, back and ready to post about my most recent conquest.
I wanted to try something new but relatively simple and healthy. I was up late one night and Oprah had an episode about her favorite recipes and Tom Cruise's Carbonara was a huge hit! Who knew, Tom and cooking? But all that cream makes for a really high calorie meal. The solution came to me during my search and voila! Cream-less Carbonara from recipezaar.
I generally improvise when following a recipe based upon what I have in the kitchen and what I want to use up before it goes to waste. I also added broccoli just because I had bought a bunch the night before. The bacon is an applewood smoked bacon, fresh from the butcher. The cheese is Monte Veronese, unpasteurized and made from cow's milk in Italy. It's got a firmness to it but not nearly as hard or dry as Parmesan. In fact, it's quite creamy.
The result:
This isn't the greatest picture but I was so hungry that I wanted to dig in as soon as possible! Some changes I would make: I only used 2 slices of bacon, I would recommend at least 4-5. Also I would grate a lot more cheese for more flavor. I found this dish to be a little on the dry side, but with some of the pasta juices and the wine, it should be fine.

Recipe is as follows:
Ingredients: {serves 3}
* salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 1 lb pasta, spaghetti
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/4 lb pancetta, chopped
* 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 2 large egg yolks
* freshly grated romano cheese

First, put a large saucepot of water to boil. Once boiling, add a liberal amount of salt and pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and pancetta. Brown pancetta about 2 minutes.
Then add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir up all pan drippings.
In separate bowl, beat yolks, then add 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup)of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to pasta.Drain pasta well and add directly to skillet with pancetta, garlic and oil. Pour egg mixture over pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg.Remove from heat and add a big handful of cheese, lots of pepper and a little salt. Continue to toss and turn pasta until soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with extra Romano.