Friday, August 31, 2012

walloon walloon.

Walloon time! I am jumping on a plane right after work to head up to Michigan. Can't wait! Jordan very generously got me a flight up there with his company's miles and I get three days of Stella quality time. Ben is driving up this afternoon and I am looking forward to the sound of lake waking up tomorrow, quiet mornings, dock time, grilling and for sure some Kilwin's ice cream! Hope everyone has a great Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

subway art.

I love this poster, Missed Connections, by Sophie Blackall that she did for the MTA Arts for Transit Program in New York City. It is on the subways in NYC and it just captures the subway experience so perfectly! The nuns next to the Hasidic, the ball bouncing down the car, the couple making out and the guy checking out the map. Our last couple visits in NY, Ben and I have found ourselves on the subway staring down one of the posters and it provides endless commentary. Just love it!

the wedge.

These Tonal Mini Wedges by Hope for $49 caught my eye this morning! I can't buy them but you should!

the long haul.

I am not great at goodbyes. And, I am especially not good at goodbyes with Ben. Today we start the long distance again as he heads back to Ann Arbor. Yes, it is true, I will see him tomorrow for the labor day weekend in Walloon but I am dreading my apartment tonight without his stuff there. Ironically I will probably miss him most on runs in the morning and of course dinners and the weekends and mornings....but really it is all those shared details in daily life that I end up missing the most.

That said, I am goal 9 months until summer again....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

the last leg.

This is the last of our upstate recap! We left Saratoga and headed south back to Westchester. We drove the back-roads. We stopped at an antique store where I bought two teacups for $5 (more on that later!). We crossed the Hudson and drove down through Rhinebeck and Hyde Park. We stopped at the Roosevelt Library and Museum to take a quick look at the view from the back of the house. Hyde Park reminds me of my Mom, she took me here years ago and we wandered the grounds.

We moved on just down the road to the Culinary Institute of America where we stopped to grab a bite in their cafe. We ended up at the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe and got some grilled cheese and a turkey sandwich. But we also got this Julie Child special with a chocolate mousse, chocolate covered rice krispies and a cream. So good!

We headed to Briarcliff from there and met up with Timmy for a take-out dinner at his house. And, Dodger, Timmy and Amanda's amazing dog came along for the ride and some fresh air to pick up the food!
Our last day was spent in the city with Pete and Claire (recently married...see here!). We took the train to Harlem and then got off and made our way over to see their great upper west side apartment. We then immediately headed to Sal and Carmine for a slice of pizza. Ben has been talking about this pizza for years and I can say, it did live up to the hype.

After, we decided to walk through Central Park and over to the MET to finally see the Tomas Saraceno exhibit on the roof, Cloud City. 

From the MET, we wandered downtown and ended up at Buvette (where Maddie had found months ago).We loved it in there! Beautiful little West Village spot...we recommend it!

And finally, we capped the day with dinner at Locanda Verde. This has been a long time in coming to get here for dinner and it was fantastic!  Our drinks were great, the food was spot on, the inside is very cool but laid back, and we thoroughly enjoyed!
After a quick drink and a run through Grand Central for the train back up north, we were walked out and ready to return to the District!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I just spent a solid 20 minutes on this website, A Portrait of the American Craftsman. In a day when we value specialty products, this is a real tribute to craftsmanship being done. The stories and profiles of each of the businesses are captivating. Pianos to shoes to brooms. I love all of it..including this part from website:

"...along the less traveled backroads and in the dustier corners of our economy, the craftsman keeps an older, slower, more picturesque kind of work alive. The American craftsman still thrives, because when it comes to getting certain things done well and with beauty, a human hand guided by a human eye, ear, and imagination can still be the highest technology of all."

laked out.

We rented a small cottage for a couple days for after we left Lake George. Finding a place to rent anywhere in upstate New York in August was a scramble but we found one on Saratoga Lake. Of course, leaving the paradise of Fred and Linda's house was a transition but we made our way over to Saratoga Springs.

Our little house was plenty nice (though sandwiched between two condemned houses...yikes). Most importantly for us, there were adirondack chairs and we could sit staring at the water for hours! I also went to college right in Saratoga Springs and it is a charming little town. Not to mention, it was Travers week at the race track, so main street was in peak season. We stopped into some of my old college haunts, the Putnam Market, Uncommon Grounds, and Silverado Jewelry.  At the urging of Fred and Linda, we also made sure to stop by Mrs. London's Bakery and Cafe for an almond croissant. Eat your heart out!

We stopped by the Farmer's Market for fresh veggies and produce.

 We grilled every night and watched the sun set.

We also went for some runs around town including a run around campus so Ben could relive my college days with me. And we read our books. 

We also spent an afternoon at the Saratoga track! In all my time, I had never been and since it was Travers week, it was primed for our arrival. The track is beautiful. Picture a smaller Churchill Downs.

 We didn't bet much and our only win was 70 cents but the races were fantastic!

It was a beautiful couple of days with perfect weather! So we hit the road for our last leg of the trip, south to Briarcliff and for a day in the city....stay tuned for more!

Monday, August 27, 2012

jarred up.

By the way, totally forgot to mention a while back that I did go ahead and paint some of my ball jars. I for one don't need more ball jars in the apartment at this point and am on the verge of too many already, nevertheless, for a party or dinner, I love the idea of painting the jars and using them...this was a good test run!

I used enamel paint and just patiently mixed it around the jar. I recommend going on the lighter side so that light can shine through the jars, I went a little too thick on this one.


If you do one thing today, go take a look at these amazing photos, The Last Cowboy, by Adam Jahiel. These are stunning images and make me want to head West!

Lake George.

So, as mentioned previously, Ben and I were at the mercy of my work schedule this year and didn't feel like we could commit to any kind of vacation until late July/August. We knew we wanted to probably head to New York, since we were trying to budget and make the most of limited time. By chance, Ben's good friend, Dave (you might remember him from Napa in this post) and his girlfriend, Laila, invited us to his father's house on Lake George. It was three days of pure relaxation. Let me try to do justice....

Lake George is gorgeous! Huge and expansive. It is a busy lake but has quiet pockets, little islands throughout, and it is surrounded by mountains (or at least what New Yorkers think are mountains!). By day, by night, by sunset...just beautiful.

Their house is also beautiful. It was just finished in February, and the details are impressive. The woodwork and layout. The colors and the thought behind every corner. Fred and Linda are both very  creative in design and architecture and they built an incredibly comfortable, warm, and easy home. It also helps that we felt like we were at camp the entire weekend! The number of toys and activities were phenomenal - water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, swimming, hammock time, and paddle boarding.

Not to mention, we ate very very well. Dave went to the Culinary Institute of America, Laila is an extremely skilled cook, Ben can hold his own in any kitchen, Linda is just as much a foodie, and Fred dominated the grill. The first night, we ate some of the best ribs I have tasted.

And some sweet corn...

Night two was pizza night made on the grill.

And our last night, was taco night. Intermixed with that, was Fred's home-made sorbet and Laila's unbelievable chocolate cake.

We also went on a couple great runs, one of which included a short hike with this view. 

All in all, a great couple days. It made Ben and I miss Walloon a lot. We loved paddle boarding so much that we have talked about getting a couple for the lake. We departed Lake George and headed to Saratoga Lake next...details forthcoming!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

lemon effect.

I can't believe it has been ten long days since I last posted! I went off the grid for a while and only now getting back into the routine. The good news is, there is so much to tell! Ben and I went north...first to Lake George, then to Saratoga Lake and one last day in the city. I promise to tell all about it soon, and in the meantime, I meant so share this lemon cake recipe with you last week!

Joanna Goddard had it on her blog and I made two loaves, one for a Professor at Georgetown and one to bring up to the house at Lake George. It was fantastic and I recommend highly!

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
2⅓ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup heavy cream
Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
1 stick, plus 7 tbsp unsalted butter (15 tbsp total), melted and cooled

1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of two lemons

  • Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. 
  • Butter two 9×5-inch loaf pans, dust the insides with flour 
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Put the sugar and the lemon zest in a large bowl. Working with your fingers, rub them together until the sugar is moist, flecked with zest, and smells wonderfully lemony.
  • Add the eggs and whisk them into the sugar, beating until they are thoroughly incorporated. 
  • Whisk in the vanilla extract, then whisk in the cream. 
  • Use a large rubber spatula to gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. 
  • Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions until combined. 
  • Pour the batter into the pans, smoothing with a rubber spatula. 
  • Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. 
  • Once the cake is in the oven, make the syrup: Stir the water and sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil. 
  • Remove the pan from heat and stir in the lemon juice. 
  • Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and set it aside to cool.
  • When the cakes test done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for five minutes before removing them from their pans and turning them right side up on the rack. 
  • Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper and, using a thin skewer or cake tester, poke holes all over the cakes. Brush the cakes all over with the syrup, working slowly so that the cakes sop it up.