Sunday, May 10, 2020

Homemade Croissants


Being a mother myself, I love Mother's Day. It's the one day a year where I (try to) sleep in and am brought breakfast in bed. Breakfast usually consists of a latte, a croissant, and maybe some juice or fruit. The bed tray also has some homemade cards and a small vase with flowers from the yard. Yes, my kids usually end up "sharing" the croissant, and despite my husband's every effort to the alternative, I even let them have the first bite, but it's a morning moment of pure happiness, and I soak in every second.

Now this year, Spring of 2020, was posing a bit of a problem. Typically my husband runs out to pick up said fresh croissants, but that wasn't really an option... so, what else do you do? You attempt to conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro - how hard can it be to make homemade croissants? (insert nervous face emoji)

Using a Bon Appetit dough recipe and this technique, try it I did, and conquer it, did I? For sure! To be honest, there may be no going back... Albeit, it is slightly time consuming, but not really that difficult. But these days we've got nothing but time. 

INGREDIENTS:
2 Tablespoons of Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of Salt
2 1/2 cups of Flour
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) of Butter, chilled
Ice Water

Friday, April 17, 2020

Cherry Blossoms outside DC


When we moved from DC, I thought that was it for our annual Spring coming of the Cherry Blossoms. Little did I know that I'd find myself seven years later living in a house with a lovely matured cherry tree in my yard. Happy Spring to everyone!



Thursday, April 16, 2020

Everyone is making bread right now

We are living in very unique times right now, to say the least. The ability to go to the grocery store or bakery on a daily basis has no longer become a norm, but rather a limited experience. In these times, we are all trying to manage on just the necessities to get by. And one of those necessities that has been around for mankind survival for centuries, is none other than the lovely loaf of bread.

More often than not, when you ask people what they are doing in their around the clock hours at home these days, I'd say maybe eight out of ten are making bread.

Now I already had a homemade bread recipe and process, but these days I have had the time to perfect it. A friend passed along Mark Bittman's Food & Wine No-Knead Bread recipe, and it has become my favorite. It's super simple, the only caveat is that you need time, but these days, time at home is aplenty...


INGREDIENTS
4 cups Flour 
1/2 teaspoon Instant Yeast
2 teaspoons Salt
2 cups Water (at 70 degrees)
Dutch Oven *

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Friday, January 24, 2020

Maker's Shirt in NYC

Despite its newly recent appearance street-side in Midtown on Madison Avenue, New York, New York, Kamakura Shirts (a.k.a. Maker's Shirt) has been around for a long time. And what is so special about this new, but not so new face? Try one, you'll see - they're quite special. It's my husband newest go-to shirt, and just might be yours too.


First, despite not necessarily being custom made (although you can custom make to order), when they take your measurements and choose the right shirt, it actually is the right fit. A fit the way a dress shirt should be. It looks good, but it also actually feels good. Happiness restored. Confidence restored.

Secondly, it comes to the thread count... Now what exactly is this thread count that people are always talking about? Well, thread counts are the number of threads woven together in one single square inch. The concept being that the higher the thread count, the more thread used, equating to the softer the feel. Practically speaking, you can have too high of a thread count, where you may increase the technical thread count, but you do so by diminishing the actual strand of thread itself, blah blah blah... So why this tangent? Kamakura Shirts takes pride on its 300 thread count shirts, handmade specifically for Kamakura Shirts, and it is pretty much the ultimate thread count while maintaining the highest quality. 


There's Tokyo Fit or NY Fit, which more easily translates to a shorter or longer shirt. And then there's Casual Fit or Traveler Fit, which again mostly translates to iron or non-iron. A dart in the middle or two darts on the side - all I'm saying is that there are options, and just the right kind of options.

Tried, tested, and true - don't be shy, pop in (or go online) and get your Maker's Shirt today. They fit like a glove, or really they fit just exactly how a shirt is meant to fit you.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Original Miracle Melting Snowman

Looking for any last minute gifts? OMG, the Original Miracle Melting Snowman is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!



Fun for people of all ages, you build your snowman, wait, and watch him melt. Build him again, and he melts again. Keep building, take turns, have fun with it. Leave him over night and he really turns into a puddle. It can last for hours and days, so fun!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Halloween with Man's Best Friend

This week I revisited a post from Halloween past, courtesy of BuzzFeed. For your viewing pleasure, here are a few great pics proving that dogs really will do almost anything to be a man's best friend...

FAST FOOD

FLUFFY AND HARRY POTTER

THE JUSTICE LEAGUE



Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Filson Dog Leash




With the new addition to our family, I have found, like many Filson products, this dog leash to be unstoppable. Run, don't walk, to get yours now! #madetolastalifetime



Thursday, October 10, 2019

Bialetti Espresso Press


Many years ago after my husband and I rendevued throughout the streets of Italy, I became an espresso drinker, of course. And not only was I an espresso drinker, but when I came back home, I realized I was quite a picky espresso drinker. So I ended up testing out coffee shops and espresso makers, and ultimately fell in love with the Bialetti Espresso Press.

Fast forward a few years and my poor espresso press broke, by no fault of its own, purely by user error. I once again dabbled in using some of the espresso makers and richer coffee makers that we had on hand, but none of them took me back to the streets of Rome as much as my Bialetti. Add it to the list of so many great things that are made in Italy.

So buy another one, I surely did, and promise to take care of it, I will!


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Braised Duck with Dried Fruit



Now that it is finally getting colder in the Northeast I’ve been thinking about warming Fall meals and there is nothing that says early Fall like braised duck with dried fruit.  Serve it with a side of polenta or cheesy grits for an unforgettable entrée. 

Ingredients: 
Four whole duck legs
Cup of dried fruit (raisins, apricots, prunes)
Chicken Stock
Salt/Pepper
Red Wine (French table wine will do)
Olive Oil

Preparation:
-      Add enough olive oil to coat a 12 inch skillet (cast iron is preferable). 
-      Sear duck skin side down and flip once, sufficiently browning both sides.
-      Add stock and wine until duck legs are a quarter of the way submerged. 
-      Season with salt and pepper (teaspoon or more each).
-      Add a cup of dried fruit and put heat down to medium low, cover, and cook for one hour – one hour, fifteen minutes. 
-      Remove each leg to serving plate, drain skillet for liquid and reduce on high to make an incredibly flavorful, medium thick sauce. 
-      Plate polenta/grits and drizzle sauce on entrée. 
-      Pair with medium bodied Cote du Rhone. 

Bon Appétit! 


Thursday, September 26, 2019

Lilly in October

Yes, Lilly Pulitzer tends to be most popular in the summer, but who says we can't flow into Fall? With the unofficial color of orange for October, this print makes me extra eager for the season: