Thursday, April 30, 2015

breakfast bake

i'm going to go ahead and say that this is a guest post from my 
beautiful mother since she basically made this entire dish. 

what did i do? take pictures.

i'm an amazing daughter, i know!!!

recipe via my mother's
modified just slightly below

serves 6

a couple notes on this recipe:
i loved the IDEA of this recipe. a breakfast bake that has all the 
fixings of a standard breakfast meal, just baked into one dish. 
both my mom and i would have loved a bit more flavor throughout. 
i would be generous with the fresh herbs as well as the amount and variety of veggies added. 
i also believe the sausage really added a lot - both in flavor and texture.

other ideas for additions
use sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, toss in zucchini, 
serve with salsa and make it more of a mexican dish

12 eggs
6 baby potatoes, cut into quarters
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 red pepper, chopped
1 head chard, kale or spinach, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 cup chopped herbs of your choice (chives, basil, tarragon, etc)
we just used basil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
salt and pepper
we also added 2 cups cooked, crumbled sausage


1. preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. bring medium pot of water to a boil and add quartered potatoes. 
cover and cook for 10-12 minutes until mostly softened.

3. saute chopped garlic and onions in a large frying pan 
with a dollop of butter or olive oil over medium heat.

4. after a few minutes, add mushrooms and peppers. 

5. when veggies are mostly cooked through, 
sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add leafy greens.

6. drain potatoes and add them to the bottom of a greased 9x13" rectangular baking dish.
 add sauteed veggies and sausage (if using) over the potatoes.

i would have seasoned these potatoes a bit before tossing them in the bottom of our dish

7. whisk eggs in a bowl with salt, pepper and chopped herbs. 
pour egg mixture into baking dish, spreading it evenly.

8. dollop with ricotta cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until middle is no longer gooey. 
broil for another minute or two, if desired, for a crispier crust.

i found that broiling ours made it set up just a tad bit more than i wanted 
and didn't add much texture or flavor BUT totally personal preference.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

best things to do in NYC!

there's nowhere in the world like New York City.

every single time i've visited i left feeling energized, 
inspired and full of amazing new memories.

here is the list of my favorite things to do in NYC

Classic Sight Seeing

1. Times Square
must go at night (also fun during day)

2. ice skating during winter 
either at rockafeller center or central park - there is also a rink at bryant park

3. see a broadway show
you can get great/cheap tickets day of - just go to the box office to ask

4. 30 Rock OR Empire State Building
both have great top of the city views - but you only need to do one (not both) 
some people do 30 rock so you can see the empire state building

5. Central Park
you can pop into the park from any direction, 
but one nice way to do it is to take the subway to the north end 
of the park and then walk down - it gives you the full view of everything.

6. 9-11 Memorial
(you'll want get tickets ahead of time online)
i wouldn't put this at the top of the list, unless you are really interested. 
BUT, it is a powerful experience and one that you need to see eventually.

7. Grand Central Station
one of my favorite buildings!!! 
great just to walk through - there is a really cool bar called 'Campbell's Apartment'
also search for the 'whispering corner'

8. Brooklyn Bridge
visit while in the financial district - really pretty to walk across (especially at sunset!)
if you get across, the brooklyn bridge park is really pretty too!

9. Statue of Liberty
never been all the way out to it - heard it's a trek, long lines, etc.
BUT if you are near brooklyn bridge you can walk down 
to the park and see the statue from Manhattan.

Bonus Site Seeing

10. The Plaza
definitely a must just to walk through 
(right by the entrance to central park)

11. The Hi-Line
LOVE the hi-line - it's like an elevated walking path/park thing. 
i would take the subway to the south end and then walk it all the way back into the city. 
pretty at night - but better during daytime or dusk

12. Gotham West Market


classic NY cupcake shop 
(they claim they started the cupcake craze 10 years ago, 
but Sprinkles in LA claims the same thing) 
right next to 30 rock

2. Laduree - for the best macarons! :) 
this is on the east side of central park (just in case you're walking in that hood)

4. Eataly
LOVE this place - it's a little market with restaurants in it.
definitely worth a visit.

my fave restaurant i went to in NYC 
(right near the friends & sex & the city apartments)

6. Babbo
super popular.
good for a celebration dinner of sorts.

7. Met's Rooftop
from may-october, the Metropolitan Museum of Art features an amazing exhibit on it's rooftop.
go to back of museum, take elevator up, have cocktails while looking over central park!


Upper East Side - so stinking pretty!

what did i miss? 
what would YOU add to the list of your favorite things to do in NYC? 
i would love to hear! :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

favorite chopped salad

i have been making this chopped salad for years.
and everyone seems to love it. 
i haven't taken it anywhere that someone hasn't requested the recipe.
SO, here it is :)

my GO-TO chopped salad.
that's perfect as an entree or an appetizer
and one that is endlessly versatile.

modified from this cookbook that 
has sat in my mother's kitchen for years

this recipe makes 4 dinner size salads,
or roughly 6 appetizer salads.

it also saves well for days (see tips below).

salad ingredients
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
i only had arugula on hand
1 package cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
2 peppers (red, orange, yellow or green)
i like to use orange and yellow to add more color
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 cup diced dry italian salami
i have also used spicy and peppered salami
1 cup diced smoked turkey breast
1 cup diced mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped green onion

dressing ingredients
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar


1. in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, peppers, garbanzo beans,
salami, turkey breast, mozzarella, basil and green onion, and mix gently.

2. in a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients until combined.

3. pour most of the dressing over the salad and stir gently.
it should be completely coated but not drenched.

4. place large handful of romaine in your serving dish and
top with a couple large scoops of your chopped mixture.

5. enjoy!

unless i plan to consume the entire salad in one sitting, i always keep my lettuce
and my chopped salad mixture with dressing separate so it doesn't get soggy.
the salad keeps well for days and i just keep adding it to lettuce as i eat it.
also, it's amazing without lettuce as well :)


Monday, April 27, 2015

monday morning mashup

2. obsessed with this DIY flower wall
3. tips for having a well traveled home
4. how beautiful is this watercolor cake?
5. trending: large industrial windows
6. a perfect addition to your summer beach bag
7. all the tools you need for a legit home bar
8. who wants to take these calligraphy classes with me?
9. trends you need to phase out of your man's closet
10. the next cookbook on my lust list

Thursday, April 23, 2015

easy cucumber feta appetizer

because i love to cook
AND i'm slow in the kitchen
B and I often eat dinner post 8pm.

the problem is that both of us are hungry at 6pm.
coming up with easy appetizers has been a lifesaver for those days 
i want to cook for hours before putting dinner on the table.

these are my new faves, and SUCH a versatile little snack.
(we actually ate so many of these we weren't hungry until 10pm. LOL!)

recipe inspiration via bitedelite

2 cucumbers
3 oz fresh feta
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper


there are two ways to make this delicious snack,
either in a boat style, where you scoop out the middle of the cucumber and fill it with goodies 
OR slice the cucumber like a little cracker and place the goodies on top (pictured above). 
i've made this snack both ways and thoroughly enjoy both. you pick your poison :)

for the boat style...

1. cut cucumber legnthwise and remove the seeds.
cut a small strip off the bottom of the cucumber half so it will sit level.

2. use the other half of the cucumber and dice into 1/4 peices.
combine diced cucumber with feta cheese, basil and salt and pepper to taste.
fill cucumber boats with the mixtures and sprinkle with more pepper.

for the cracker style...

1. slice 3/4 of one full cucumber into thin slices
(not too thin - you want them to be easy to pick up!)

2. continue with step #2 from above...
placing the mixture on top of your cucumber slices to serve.

3. enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

how to: build a terrarium

happy earth day!

today, we're making terrariums!

what you'll need
container of some sort
small potting pebbles
a variety of succulents, cactus, etc.


1. clean out container and prep it for potting

2. fill bottom of vessel with one layer of small rocks to help with drainage
(this step is optional, but if you're like me and overwater your plants - i would highly suggest it!)

3. add layer of succulent/cactus potting soil
(you don't need to over do it here - you can always add more later)

4. take plants, pulling off any excess soil from their original container
and dig them into the soil. fill your little pot to your liking.

5. place somewhere with bright light and water once per week.

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