Friday, June 28, 2013

Weekend Reading

Happy Friday! We have some great plans this weekend so I'm really hoping that the weather holds out for just a few days. It's been a very long week, and I have to admit that I'm not sorry at all to say goodbye to it. And I think eating lots of homemade ice cream will make me forget it faster.  In case you are in need of some weekend reads, below are a few of my favorite finds from the past few days. xo

The cake above is Martha Stewart's 7-layer ice cream cake. I want someone to make it for me. (Note: The recipe uses a store-bought poundcake. Score).

Did you hear that DOMA was struck down?

The Met is going to stop using those metal tabs for admissions since they each cost about 3 cents to make. I always kept mine as a souvenir.

These tips on how to make an icebox cake are perfect for summer.

I love old cookbooks so this story about vintage recipe cards is so awesome.

And finally, I typically find it difficult to write in silence so this site, Coffitivity, has been really great. It provides the perfect background noise for me to concentrate on getting words on the paper (or in the empty Word document on my laptop screen).

Photo of 7-layer ice cream cake is from the new Martha Stewart site

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bookstore Self-Control, or Lack Thereof

Sometimes I just can't help myself when I walk into a bookstore. I guess I could have much worse problems than owning too many books. At least I have some great reading material for the start of the summer.

Books from the top down: Jami Attenberg's The Middlesteins; These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen; and The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Photo Love

I met with our wedding photographer last night and came home with three discs filled with photos. That's right, we have our wedding photos after a mere two months! Anthony and I did a quick click-through last night and they are just beautiful. I think I photograph quite poorly most of the time, and even though not every picture is great, there are some wonderful ones with dear friends and family. And best of all, most of them are candids, which was one of my only requests.

I plan to post about our day soon, complete with photos of the details that made it all so special (and that drove me kind of crazy up until the week before). It took a lot of work to make this event reflect our personalities but I think we succeeded in the end.

In the meantime, I've gathered all of our honeymoon photos and I'm putting together an album and also plan to post a travelogue soon. During our nine days in Canada, we took about 500 photos. So many are blurry around the edges or a bit unfocused (damn iPhone camera!) but just looking through made me want to jump in the car and head north.  We were lucky to spend so much time in both Toronto and Montreal, and there is still so much left to see.

It feels weird to almost be done with this chapter of our lives, the "Engagement, Wedding and Honeymoon" period, but at least we have beautiful memories along with pictures to prove that it all actually happened. xo

Monday, June 24, 2013


The first official weekend of summer actually felt like the first weekend of summer. Translation: I'm super sunburned, and I have a gorgeous 'tan' line started right where my t-shirt sleeves ended on both arms.  I still haven't learned that even if I'm only going to be in direct sunlight for a few minutes, there is a good chance that I will instantaneously turn lobster-red and I should just take a second to slather on some sunscreen.

We used this beautiful weather and a rare free afternoon as an excuse to go on a little adventure. You know how sometimes you live or work right down the street from something but never visit or try it out? Last week, I was reading an article about great beaches in Connecticut when I realized that one of the featured locations is actually in our town. How had we missed this?

The beach was quite empty, a bit unlike the other beaches in town; I imagine that this is kind of what it would be like to rent a private island for an afternoon.  The sand was blanketed with perfect, shiny shells washed up with the tide. They were miserable to cross in order to get to the water but were just gorgeous to look at. 

After a great weekend, it's always hard to get back to the office on a Monday, but we're looking at a four-day work week because we're off to New Hampshire on Friday for a mini-vacation. I can already taste the lobster rolls. xo

A far-away Anthony walking along the shore

Sidenote: I attended Alt NYC last week and cannot wait to share what I learned.  The speakers, the organizers and the attendees were all so amazing and inspirational.  Also, I was about twenty feet from Martha Stewart at one point, which pretty much made my life.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Everyone Loves a Pizza Party

Pizza parties remind me of second graders and bowling alleys.
  Our Father's Day celebration was a bit more low-key than an elementary school birthday party but still had a bunch of the same elements: folding chairs, presents, paper plates and a fun cake.  The fathers in the group (along with the mothers) seemed to enjoy the throwback celebration.

Nothing makes me feel more like an old timey housewife than making an icebox cake.  I crushed the vanilla wafers using the bottom of an empty jelly jar and although I consider that being resourceful, I'm not sure others would agree. The cake needed to be chilled a bit longer; it was the consistency of watery custard, which really means it looked great but was not quite appetizing.

You win some, you lose some, right? After a few bites, I was majorly craving a piece of Carvel ice cream cake. I can't be the only one who dreams about the chocolate crunchies in the middle. Mmm, just one more thing typically found at a bowling alley pizza party. xo

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sometimes Imperfect is Perfect

Sometimes imperfect is perfect, like when you wrap birthday presents for your husband but realize halfway through that you've run out of tape and have to finish with bright pink snowflake tape.

Or when you are unable to fit the wrapping paper around said gifts in any sort of presentable way so you wind up patching it up by adding in a side panel of uneven wrapping paper to create the most misshapen and ugly presents ever.

Or when you make a special cake for him based on his favorite dessert, the black-and-white cookie, and the frosting kind of melts off the cake.

And even when you take your husband out for dinner to a new Vietnamese restaurant and you order two different chicken dishes and then the waiter comes out and tells you that they've run out of chicken, the evening isn't ruined.

I try so hard to make sure everything is perfect but in the end, it only matters that I try, not that things actually go according to plan because, honestly, you can't control everything. Anthony feels the same way, which is a good thing since I can't imagine how he could stand to be with me if he truly expected perfection. Cheers to our imperfect celebration, which couldn't have been more prefect. xo

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Love and Celebration

Cake doesn't seem like enough to celebrate sixty-three years of marriage, but last night, it was all my grandparents wanted. 

We were just glad to be there with them. There couldn't have been a better place to spend a rainy Monday night. They've spent almost their entire lives together, and they tell me all the time that the days went by like a flash. I think that's what happens when you are truly happy with another. xo

Monday, June 10, 2013

Food Hangover

Yesterday I woke up with a food hangover.  You know the feeling--it always comes after a day of eating way too much, but you don't really mind since you had so much fun doing it. On Saturday, a good friend from college came to visit and a group of us wound up on an all-day food quest. We kind of made up our own Fairfield county food crawl, and honestly, it was pretty great.

It all started at Dinosaur BBQ in Stamford, which is right by the newish Fairway Supermarket (according to the sign, it's the most 'unique grocery store,' whatever that means).  I'm usually a grilled chicken kind of girl, and I tend to stay away from beef and pork, but my brisket sandwich was incredible. The sides were delicious too; I mean, how can you trust a barbecue restaurant unless it has really great macaroni and cheese? In case you can't tell, I'd be willing to do one of those weird trust falls with Dinosaur BBQ at this point because their macaroni and cheese was that good.

The weather was supposed to be horrendous but it turned out to be a beautiful, mild day, which totally made the local meteorologists look like fibbers.  We headed over to the new beer garden at Harbor Point and each had a few drinks. I forgot how wonderful it is to sit with friends on a Saturday afternoon with some beer. The beer garden itself is actually an awesome place to visit on a warm afternoon and we all enjoyed the selection; based on the crowds coming in when we were leaving though, it's probably not the kind of place I'd want to spend my Saturday night. Dear Lord, I'm apparently an old lady. Also, I have never seen so many pastel polo shirts and shorts in one place. Most of the guys looked like giant Easter M&Ms.

Afterward, we headed back north to Valencia Luncheria for arepas and empanadas. We ate outside in front of the restaurant at a picnic table along the sidewalk. I seriously loved my chipotle pork empanada. My friend had been jonesing to try the place since he'd seen it on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and he seemed pretty happy with his arepa too.  And I think the waitress who kept calling customers "lover" instead of "love" really made the trip worthwhile.

On the ride home, we stopped at the Shake Shack in Westport. Why not, right?

It should be easier for you to understand my food hangover now. I can't believe I didn't slip into an actual coma.  Way too much food, but the company couldn't have been better.  Aren't impromptu days the best? xo

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Grilling Indoors

I found registering for gifts before our wedding to be a really difficult task. We wound up registering at only one place because everything we needed could be found at Macy's and seriously, we live in a tiny, one-bedroom apartment. Where are we expected to put all of these presents?

There was one thing on our registry that I was coveting big-time and in the end, it was one of only five things that were left unpurchased.  I figured I would just go and buy it after the wedding but a few days after returning from our honeymoon, a box showed up from a good friend (actually, the UPS notice showed up on our door since we weren't home but that's neither here nor there). And of course, she bought us the gift I'd wanted all along.

Tonight, I used the brand-new grill pan to make these amazing chicken jalapeno cheddar burgers. The pan actually left grill marks on the burgers. I'm in love, and I'm totally in the process of making a list of other things I can cook in the grill pan (french toast?).

By the way, these burgers were unbelievable. They were super cheesey and then, I added more cheese on top. Cheddar rules. xo