A New Years Party via the West Elm website…. oi.
After a week at home in the midwest, I’m about to return to the city to face January and the rest of the winter season. I’ve only been through a few flurries in the city thus far, but I do know that things are about to get cold. and slushy. and mucky. and grey.
My typical uniform for the winter is as follows: black. black. black. black coat, sweater, hat, gloves, etc. Maybe with a punch of grey thrown in for variety. Are you catching my drift? My winter wardrobe doesn’t know what “color” means.
Well, good news is i’ve fallen in love… with a pair of pants. Bright orange patterned pants. What a swift way to stick out your tongue at winter and chant nana-nana-boo-boo.
Because I’m off work this week and sitting on my mother’s couch with a golden doodle curled up at my side, I had time to put together a little board of things I’d use to combat the winter blahs with said bright orange patterned pants. Some of these things are already in my my closet (the bean boots, transport tote, and madewell parka which is the most luxuriously warm thing I’ve ever worn in my life (I’ve even worn the lining to bed once or twice on those extremely cold nights…oops)) and some of them are things I wish were in my closet.
Mostly the essentials… coffee (always coffee), a great book, an extra-warm sweater, an emergency kit including nail polish remover, deodorant, and EARRING BACKS… do you know how many pairs of $5 earrings I’ve picked up at Duane Reade just for the earring backs? I don’t know either, it’s that many… oof. Warm boots, a new phone case, something sparkly for my wrist, something pretty for my wall at home (this is an interior design blog after all) and some lip balm that doubles at hand salve.
Throw in some museum passes or movie tickets and you’ve got yourself a perfect survival kit for making it through a winter in the city (or anywhere for that matter.) ENJOY!
Life updates, Christmas in Brooklyn Edition!
With every new season I spend here in NYC, I swear it’s my favorite. (The babe in all of these photos is my roommate, Sarah)
oh, Hi. This is my bedroom…. with 1,000+ notes on it.
artfood asked: I just read the article on your fabulous apartment on Design*Sponge- congratulations! Your place is so, so gorgeous and you have amazing taste :)
Thank you SO very much! So glad so many people are reaching out, it’s been such a fun little adventure to take part in!
Joanna Goddard likes my apartment!
Pretty exciting considering I think she’s one of the most inspirational people in the blogosphere.
A dream kitchen in Manhattan.
Via The Selby
North Fork of Long Island
Via The Selby
Explorers Club, NYC
Via The Selby
Explorers Club, NYC
If you would have asked me what my favorite Holiday was as a child, I would have, without hesitation, answered Halloween. But now that I’ve gotten a little older, and my tastebuds have decided that chocolate and candy are no longer my favorite food (okay, maybe that’s a lie) Thanksgiving is quickly rising to the top of my Holiday list.
Because my immediate family consists of just my mother, grandmother, and myself, the Thanksgivings of my childhood were always pretty small. But when I started college, something shifted. We began taking in my college roommates and friends who couldn’t get home for the holidays, we combined forces with our Italian neighbors, and our Thanksgivings became an all-out, over the top, celebration of food and friends.
This year is no exception (we’re expecting 20 some people….) and my mom has been handing the reigns over to me slowly but surely every year.
That being said, I’ve been searching for recipes to provide little alternatives every year… Not that there’s anything wrong with the classics, but one can only eat mushy stuffing with celery so many times over the years before an update is necessary.
Here are a few of the recipes I’m hoping to try this year with my family to provide some small but exciting twists on the classics, while still keeping the traditionalists (sorry, Nana) happy.
1) Pretzel Bread Quinoa Stuffing with Garlic Butter Mushrooms. Uh, Hello. I’m going to be honest. I don’t like stuffing. Mushy bread that’s been cooked for hours inside a bird just doesn’t appeal to me… Call me crazy. Anyway, when I saw this recipe the lightbulb finally went on. I’ll never win the battle of replacing my nana’s original stuffing recipe all together, but I think I can make this in addition to hers and maybe sway the masses.
2) Grilled Kale and Radicchio with Almonds and Balsamic-Orange Glaze. Light, colorful, and the new brooklynite in me appreciates the kale. Done.
3) Sweet Potato Biscuits. I’ve made these before, and I’ll make them again. and again. and again. and again. I usually make them with soups and stews (and double the recipe to have enough leftover the morning after for an egg and bacon sandwich) but I think they’ll be a great addition to our holiday menu. Plus, can you really ever have too many dishes with sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving?
4) Sweet Potato Coconut Casserole. Marshmallows + coconut + sweet potatoes. In the words of Saint Martha, it’s a good thing.
5) Pear Cranberry Slab Pie. Of course there will be pumpkin pie at our table (and pecan, apple, and sweet potato) but this looks like a great update to feed a crowd of people who probably are ready for dessert before the first slice of turkey is even carved.
we’d heard rumors about our men’s designer Frank’s Dutch apple pie after he mentioned it in an interview last year. we’ve spent the past several months trying to get an invite to his home upstate in Hillsdale, New York—and just in time for the holidays, we finally succeeded.
It’s my mom’s recipe. She taught me how to make it when I was little; I inherited my love for cooking from her. The Dutch eat apple pie with whipped cream, not ice cream. Dutch apple pie has a more robust crust, which makes for a more rustic pie. The crust is crumbly, not flaky, and there’s an open top finished with latticework.
Yes, weekends upstate are all about cooking, be it for friends or just to try to master a dish. I like a challenge. As soon as I arrive in Hillsdale on Friday night, the cookbooks come out and it’s about preparing a brine to tenderize a piece of meat or soaking dried Borlotti beans for the next day’s bean ragout.
In the city I keep it simple, maybe just a quick stir-fry of vegetables and chicken, or I take an upstate-made pasta sauce out of the freezer. I barely order in.
You have quite a collection of cookbooks…
I love the Nigel Slater cookbooks. They’re full of rustic, earthy, unfussy dishes, and the photography is amazing. I just found a new one when I was in London a few weeks ago. His style of writing makes you feel like you can tackle anything.
I usually take a pie with me to dinner parties, and we’ll have it for dessert—sometimes I’ll bring two. It’s a double-edged sword, because now it has become expected. The second I walk in the door it’s like, “Where’s the pie?”
Any particular music you play while cooking?
In the morning, I love classical music; it’s kind of a ritual, but in the afternoon it could be anything from old New Wave playlists to current purchases. Right now, I love listening to The 1975 or the new Sigur Ros album.
What’s always in your fridge?
Irish butter, eggs, Gruyère. Lately, vegetables from the garden, blood orange Orangina.
Ultimate comfort food?
Mac and cheese. But I make mine with three different cheeses and I put a layer of tomatoes on top—I swear it makes you feel less guilty.
A Vitamix, It was actually a present, so I can’t say I personally splurged…but now I can’t live without it!
Recent splurge for your house?
I just got a new sofa by Stephen Kenn out of LA made out of old army tents. At J.Crew, we make a limited-edition collection of shorts and bags out of old army tents, so there was a nice tie-in. As soon as I saw the sofas in one of our J.Crew Men’s Shops, I knew it would be a perfect fit in my house.
To see how Frank spends a typical Sunday upstate, click here. To explore our entire Wallace & Barnes assortment (it makes up Frank’s preferred weekend uniform), click here.
Revisiting this Winter Picnic from the Design Sponge archives.
I’m back in the midwest this week, and am feeling inspired to try and pull something like this off with my friends… that is, if they’ll brave the frigid temperatures we’re having this week with me.