Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I've been having a super busy week at work and thus am in desperate need of some relaxation. Here a few things that calm me down when I'm at my craziest.

1. Baking something to share like this banana bread I made tonight from some just-right-ripe bananas. Bonus! The apartment always smells great. Recipe and photo spotted on Smitten Kitchen.

2. Treating myself to a manicure/pedicure combination - the most affordable of which are in NYC and come with a free back rub.

3. Solving the equation to the perfect night in (girly movie interchangeable).

4. Snuggling up under a cozy, kitschy blanket. This animal version also comes in a cute tomato and raindrop print. Spotted on A Cup of Jo.

5. Slinking around my apartment in sexy lingerie (sometimes while I eat ice cream out of the carton). These pieces from Topshop are pretty and affordable.

pedicure image from here

Monday, February 22, 2010

Marching in

I can't believe February is less than a week from its end! I must admit I am thrilled at our current NYC turn towards warmer weather, but I've been so busy this chilly month, I've nearly missed out on two must-do food festivals!

I have just a few days left to fit them in and with the way this week is looking to shape up, I'll be in need of a little extra sweetness soon.

Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant has just four weekdays left of it's pancake month. Stop in tomorrow (Tuesday) or Wednesday for fresh blackberry, pecan streusel and warm maple butter cakes or Thursday and Friday for crunchy banana pancakes with cinnimon-chili chocolate sauce. I drool.

The City Bakery
is also winding down its hot chocolate fesitval but you still have time to sip a lucious cup of Arabian Nights, Ode to the Polar Bear, Beer and Brown Sugar, Shangri-La or Banana Peel flavors. I have no clue what Shangri-La could be, but clearly it borders on Utopia and I'm in.

Photos from top: iamawanderlust.files.wordpress and

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Friendship is sweet

My Valentine couldn't be around this year, so what better way to celebrate a day of love than with the girls I cherish the most!

This year, my gals and I had our first annual Valentine's Day potluck dinner and I took the opportunity to use the cake decorating tools I got for Christmas to make a special cake.

I confess to taking the easy way out with a box of Betty Crocker vanilla bean cake mix, but my new baker-quality pans made the cake come out perfectly golden and moist.

My cake-leveler made it easy to stack the two layers and then on I was on to icing! I used the recipe here substituting half the shortening for butter and using only six cups of sugar instead of eight.

The whipping cream made the icing light as air and after dying it a pretty shade of pink, my new tools helped it spread as smooth as butter!

I then piped out a NYC skyline and added "Single in the City" to celebrate my friends and I being young, new to Manhattan and having the time of our lives!

The cake was delcious and a wonderful way to top off a night of fabulous food, even better friends and lots of laughs!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kiss the cook

A few years ago I picked up a vintage 1950's apron, much like this one, at an antique store. I love the delicate, lacey look of old aprons like this and this, and soon I began a small collection, picking up a frilly apron or two when I spotted one I couldn't resist.

As beautiful as these pieces are, it seems women in the '50s were able to keep themselves and their kitchens quite tidy while prepareing a meal, as the sheer, dainty aprons from their generation don't do much against an electric mixer spewing flour across a room.

I know this, because I am an unfortunately messy cook, who spends more time on clean-up than actual meal preparation! As such, I've also found that I've needed to add a few modern aprons to my collection with full-frontal coverage to avoid the spills, drops and drips that otherwise would cover my clothes.

If you're like me, and need a protective shield while you cook, or you just like the look of a pretty apron, here are a few modern models you can pick up.

Stay tuned for my post tomorrow when I'll show you the Single in the City Valentine's Day cake I baked for my friends!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you are celebrating with any of your loves ... a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, parent, child ... whoever gives your heart that warm glow and brings a smile to your face.

Photo from A Bryan Photo

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

"Though the children stayed away for many moons, the beautiful mother always left the window open for them to fly back. I do like a mother's love, don't you?"
- Wendy Darling

Top image my Mom and I. From top to bottom, image from Julie Harris Photography, image from Getty Images ,all other images from Flickr - photostreams from top to bottom - tindelarosa,tobyotter,cromacom.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

First snow

... and first post of 2010!

As evidenced by my previous entry being a sad case of pre-holiday season, it's been awhile readers! First Christmas took me by festive-storm, then New Years saw me sipping champagne away from my laptop and the whirlwind that was January has now put me at Valentine's Day's door.

But on the eve of a major NYC snowday, I'm making my vow that despite the extra sleep it may cost me, I'm back in the blogging game and hopefully better than ever.

And to start-off, in celebration of all NYC public school students already anticipating tomorrow's day home, here is a lovely photo from the fine little blog, Fine Little Day. Check it out here. Sweet snowflake dreams!