The *New* Standard - East Side

February 28, 2014

There's a very small amount of automated mail I actually enjoy seeing show up in my inbox, and new restaurant openings is one of them. This week, I found out there's a new Standard Hotel in the East Village and with that, a new restaurant.

The Standard Grille in the Meatpacking district somehow became a go-to restaurant for CT and I for celebrating. We've celebrated his birthday and our 4 year anniversary there.

I live on the east side, so I'm very excited to hear that a new restaurant from the same group as one of my favorites is opening up in my neighborhood. Narcissa, will be another farm-to-table restaurant sourcing responsibly to hit New York and pulling produce and dairy products from hotelier Andre Balazs's farm Locusts-on-Hudson. Funny enough, the name of the restaurants comes from the very cow supplying their dairy products, Narcissa. 

California raised chef, John Fraser’s will bring a stylistic approach to roasting, rotisserie and slow-cooking that is getting quite a lot of buzz for the restaurant. I've been on a huge fennel kick recently, so I'm excited to see fennel interspersed throughout the menu. Toasted fennel cheesecake should be interesting! 

Here's what I've got on our must-have list:
Otisserie-Crisped Beets Bulgur Salad, Apples, Creamed Horseradish 
Raw Tuna Cucumber-Basil Water, Salsify, Jalapeño Relish
Rotisserie-Grilled Sweet Potato Jerk Spices, Peppers, Tofu Aioli
Whole Rotisserie Branzino Fennel, Arugula, Soft Herb Vinaigrette
Lacquered Duck Breast Gingered Butternut Squash, Cranberries\
Toasted Fennel Cheesecake

Breaking Bad Inspired Decor

February 24, 2014

So I've watched more episodes of Breaking Bad this weekend than I care to admit. When I first started watching it, after the first two episodes I decided that despite the show winning multiple awards, it wasn't for me. Flash forward a month to a snowy weekend, and I'm on season 4 and hooked. For those of you who are fans of the show, the title of the post is a bit of an oxymoron. Breaking Bad does not have style, but the show is set in one of my favorite parts of the country, New Mexico. The beautiful desert scenery is the real influence behind today's post inspiring a southwestern look and feel and houseplant.

Arid climate plants like cacti are the ideal houseplant for a first time plant owner. Their level of required maintenance is low. They are happy with just bright sunlight and water every other week. What I love about this type of plant besides the easy routine, is the variety of shapes and sizes they come in that makes them fun to mix and match for a display. You can pair different shapes and sizes together on a sunny window sill or use as a statement piece in your living room near a sunny window.

Peacock Chairs - Hump Day Home Makeover

February 19, 2014

Well if I wasn't already sure that bohemian chic is my preferred style of home decor, my new obsession with peacock chairs confirmed it. I love that they bring intrigue and juxtaposition to make any room interesting and unique. As with any new piece of home décor I find on my wish list, I love to look into how the item came about. What era it's from, what country it's from.

As you might have guessed the peacock chair has a long history dating back to the age-old craft of basket weaving with wicker and rattan. It gained its popularity in the US and England during the Victoria Era in the 19th century coming from East Asia. In the 1960s and 70s, wicker made its way back into the spotlight as exotic and ostentatious peacock chairs hosting some of the entertainment industry's leading ladies in its lap. 

Stevie Nicks + Christine McVie

For today's Hump Day Home Makeover, I'm sharing how I would style this chair in a room to get a vintage rustic glam look.


Make A Free Cookbook + Gourmandize Interview

February 18, 2014

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope everyone had a great Presidents' Day and are looking forward to a four day week. I know I am. Today, I'm excited to share that a new recipe site, Gourmandize, is featuring my interview as a part of its Blogger of the Day program. Read about some of my favorite go-to meals, what would be in my dream kitchen, what makes a great food photo, etc.
Check it out here

One of the things I have loved about blogging is the consistent sharing of recipes, cooking tips and cooking stories. The best recipes definitely come from a lot of trial and error, so it's the perfect way to keep switching up my routine meals.  To me, Gourmandize came with some major klout since it's from the same creators of the largest cooking website in France, The French really do know how to cook! They are also offering the first 1,000 members the chance to make their own cookbook for free, which I'm really excited to do!

Artist Spotlight - Parima Creative Studio

February 17, 2014

I am always looking for new art to add to my gallery wall collection. Today I wanted to share a new and affordable artist I found recently, Patricia Vargas from Parima Creative Studio. I love how her abstract prints mix bold and bright colors through unique shapes. These prints would definitely liven up any room. My favorite is a new work she shared recently on Instagram called "The Dream."

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes (with Blueberries)

February 16, 2014

I have been on a huge pancake kick recently. These pancakes are so freaking good. They're like pancakes meet french toast. 

For those of you who like me, didn't know who Edna Mae was until finding this pancake recipe, she is the mother-in-law of foodie blogger, The Pioneer Women. And she is getting a lot of rave reviews for her recipe across the blogosphere. 

7 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt 
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup blueberries

Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. On my stove-top, this was about a 4-6 depending on the burner (don't you just love NY kitchens). Make sure to move the butter around so it coats the whole pan.

In a medium sized bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together.

Add in sour cream and mix together gently. I like to stir the mixture a few times, then tilt the bowl and press the sour cream into the flour with the back of a fork against the side of the bowl. It is okay to have lumps in the mixture, but you want to make sure that all the dry ingredients are combined with the sour cream.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla extract together. Then add to the mixture and stir.

Use about 1/4 cup of the batter per pancake. Add blueberries.

Flip the pancake after 2 minutes or once you see bubble starting to appear on the surface. Then cook the other side for the same amount of time. Repeat.

Stack them and serve with syrup and enjoy!

Napkins courtesy of Dot & Army.

Hump Day Home Makeover - DIY Faux Malachite

February 13, 2014

Well it's not quite technically still Hump Day Home Makeover (thanks to the slowness of my WiFi), but I'm gonna run with it...While most people watched and tweeted about how boring the Superbowl was the other weekend …I tackled a new DIY project. 

As I’ve said before DIYing in the city can really be exhausting. Hopping from the East Village to Midtown to LES and back over to Flatiron to pick up supplies, and makeshift supplies at that. In a city that has everything, the lack of craft stores really says it all. New Yorkers don’t craft. I mean after endless marathons of Friends and SATC was anyone every crafting??  Turns out the consistent snow storms have brought the DIYer in me back out. And what better way to easily get my DIY fix than to makeover an existing piece of furniture, my kitchen table. 

I read around different blogs for tips on how to tackle this technique and picked out my supplies - a hand sander, Benjamin Moore Advance paint in an aqua color (Misty Green), polycrylic protective finish in clear, teal, green and black acrylic paints, paint jars, a medium sized brush and two different sizes of fan brushes. First things first, I cleaned the table, lightly sanded it and applied the misty green paint. I let it dry for a few hours and applied 2 coats.
Once it was dry, I mixed a dark green color by combining the green, black and polycrylic together, and another for the teal + polycrylic. To create the malachite look, I alternated between both colors and different sizes of the fan brush creating swiggly circles in loops. It actually was harder for me to get a handle on the technique than I thought, but I think the best piece of advice was to keep your wrist lose and the paint wet so you can adjust swiggles and colors as needed. I started on one side of the table going from top to bottom.
The fan brushes with the dark green and teal colors made a nice pattern over the misty green letting it show through in the design. This really gave the design depth making it look more like the real deal.
In the end, I really love the table and the idea of making it more of a desk and recipe browsing station in the kitchen. 

5 Recipes + Wine Pairings For This Valentine's Day

February 10, 2014

Every Valentine’s Day, restaurants ditch their traditional setups for an army of two top tables ready to face the coupled up crowd. Couples scope out new restaurants and book reservations months in advance with some people even snatching up top spots to later sell them on Craigslist. While going out on Valentine’s Day can be a nice romantic date night, I have always loved avoiding the crowd and cooking up something at home. Pair a delicious and potentially more extravagant meal than a usual Tuesday with a nice bottle of wine and your dodging crowds and saving money. Win. Win.

I’ve pulled together a list of 5 absolutely delicious meals from surf to turf and paired them with a wine that holds up and goes nicely with the flavorings. 


A Room To Build - Men's Study

February 06, 2014

There will be a room like this in my house.
Call me old fashioned...or southern... but I love the style of this room. Everything about it's masculine accents - traditional dark green, gray, and brown walls to its heavy wood pieces, antique rugs, plaid patterns and hunting garb. We didn't have a room like this growing up in my house (I'll chalk it up to my dad not being a hunter), but there will be one in my future home.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7


This Girl's Got Style - Amy Meier Design

February 03, 2014

It is amazing to me that the 45 degrees weather this weekend actually felt warm. When I lived in Atlanta, I would complain about 60 being cold. Not in New York, it hits 40 degrees and New Yorkers are out and about sporting shorts. Shorts! Somehow the weather this weekend tricked me into thinking it was time for spring cleaning, so I did a ridiculously deep cleanse of the apartment. Opening up windows, vacuuming, dusting, you name it. I cleaned it. I also tried out painting faux malachite on our kitchen table, which I’ll share later this week. I have yet to try giving up shampoo, but it’s coming. Turning out to be harder to take the plunge than I thought. Good news is, my expensive shampoo is almost out so that should be a good push.

Today, I wanted to share an interior designer from San Diego that I think has a true talent for mixing both old and new styles. I love that her design style feels rooted in traditional, but yet not stuck in the past. She uses some unique pieces of furniture to complete the look like a canopy day bed or a chaise lounge chair, and highlights the original craftsmanship where possible. See what I mean?

 I started reading her blog this weekend and was really impressed by this kitchen makeover she did for a couple in Solana Beach. I’ve always thought being an interior decorator would be a fun job, but very tough to hit someone else’s style so perfectly. This kitchen is a great example. 
The client’s request? 
He wanted modern and minimalistic, she wanted rustic and comfortable. 
This made me laugh when I read it because each quality seemed to contradict the other. 
But, I have to say she nailed it. 


Check out the rest of her portfolio at Amy Meier Design.
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