WEEKEND READS

What am I looking forward to this week? Brooklyn  will be on my doorstep in TWO DAYS. I told you last week that the book changed my life, and when I heard that they were making a movie….well, I could barely contain myself. Unfortunately, going to see it in theaters proved to be much more difficult than say, if I wanted to see Zoolander 2, so I resigned to wait until it came out on DVD. AND THAT DAY IS FAST APPROACHING. I’ve been re-reading the book in anticipation of comparisons, and literally crossing out the days in my calendar. So stoked.

Here’s what else I’ve been reading this week:

Using food to fight the power? I’m all about it! How Suffragists Used Cookbooks as a Recipe for Subversion

Do you dye Easter eggs? I haven’t done it in agessss, but I might start this year now that I’ve seen these awesome minimalist designs! So rad.

Learning to arrange flowers is on my eternal to-do list. Here’s a fun article about supermarket flower hacks!

Donut + Macaroon= The Macaronut is upon us. Silly? Yes. Delicious? I’m thinking also yes, yes, and yes.

I’m  definitely teetering on the line between ‘too much’ and ‘just enough’ clutter every single day of my life; Strike the Right Balance: Having Just Enough ‘Good Clutter’ .

Have you pre-ordered Sweeter Off the Vine yet?? Yossy Arefi is one of my favorite food photographers/bloggers ever! You HAVE to buy this book. March 22nd, get here faster!!

 

How’s your Sunday going? Mine’s rainy, and I’m feeling very sleepy/content.

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WEEKEND READS

An Ode to Downton Abbey

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Why is it that you have to go away?

Indefinitely, I’d love for you to stay

But at least I still get to press “play…”

ONE LAST TIME

Guys, I’m totally not ready for Downton Abbey to be over! It’s been my staple January show for FOUR YEARS (I got in on the fun two years into the game), and I’m just not ready to part with it. Sure, I know shows can’t last forever, but six seasons just doesn’t feel like enough. And what I don’t want is for the finale to end and everyone just goes about living their lives, leaving me to use my own imagination as to how each person gets on. I’d rather the finale last four hours tonight and just show me how every single person lives a super long, happy life, then passes away. Or at LEAST to show what happens to Downton during World War Two. Perhaps they take in some children from London? I feel like there’s good material there. At any rate, I’m not ready to say goodbye. Are you?

Let’s procrastinate the inevitable adieu of one of the greatest shows on television together.

Here are some of my favorite reads of the week:

-Brooklyn the movie may not have won last week at the Oscars, but it won every award in my book. Here’s a nice comparison of Brooklyn then vs. Brooklyn now. P.S. Have you read the book? Get on it. Brooklyn: A Novel changed everything for me.

-Prepare yourselves: Marimekko is coming to Target NEXT MONTH. TOO AMPED.

-I’m in the market for some new specs, and was looking for companies that are different from the usual suspects. Thanks, Brit + Co!

-This beats 4 pretzels in a foil package any day: Air France + Daniel Boulud = Best In-Flight Meals Ever.

-I always love a good food photography app, and this new one by the LINE Corporation, “Foodie,” looks promising! Have you guys tried it yet?

 

Happy Sunday/ Happy Last Time That We’ll Ever See A New Episode of Downton Abbey…Day!

Fried Green BLTs

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I think we all love a good BLT. I mean, it’s a classic. But have you ever felt like you weren’t getting that extra element of crunch? Sure, the bacon is supposed to pull triple duty as the salty, meaty, crunchy component to that sandwich, but still, sometimes you just need more. How about frying the tomatoes? Perfect.

On a particularly pleasant day, it’s good to throw on your sun hat and shades, and your perfectly dainty fan to keep the heat at bay, and enjoy a nice, Southern-style sandwich out on the back porch. You’re meant to enjoy food in warm weather, and you’re most definitely not meant to spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing it.

These fried green BLTs are not only a super-fast, very fresh lunch option, they’re also totally perfect for a spontaneous summer picnic. They hold up and travel very well, and I may just be imagining it, but I think they actually taste ten times better when eaten al fresco. That might just me though.

All you need is an egg, unripe green tomatoes, some cornmeal, a little vegetable oil, some nice crispy bacon, some baby spinach, a little mayo, and fresh thick-sliced bread (don’t forget to toast it!), and you’ve got a totally fresh take on a pretty traditional sammie. Now all you need is a tall glass of ice-cold sweet tea to wash it down, and you’ve got the perfect summer day. Aaaaaahhhhhhh.

Fried Green BLT

 

FRIED GREEN BLTs

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • Salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 1 pound unripe green tomatoes, sliced (Note: I’ve found that using a serrated knife not only makes it easier to cut the tomatoes, but it also keeps them from getting mashed, releasing too much of their juices, and bruising)
  • Canola or Vegetable oil
  • 8 thick slices of your favorite bread, toasted
  • Mayonnaise
  • Baby spinach or arugula

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with two layers of aluminum foil. Lay your bacon on the foil, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until it has reached your desired level of crispiness. Once out of the oven, drain your bacon on paper towels.

Fill three separate bowels with flour, your egg and water mixture, and cornmeal. Season the cornmeal with plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper. Dip each tomato slice in the flour, then the egg mixture (shaking gently to remove any excess) and then finally into the cornmeal, making sure that every bit of it is covered. Place the slice on a wax-paper lined platter or plate. Repeat the process until all of your slices are perfectly coated.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil until it is shimmering. Add the tomatoes, and cook over medium-high heat, turning once, until golden brown and crispy. This should take about five minutes. Drain your tomatoes on paper towels.

To Assemble:

Lay four slices of toasted  bread on a cutting board, and lightly spread some mayonnaise on each. Next, add at least two slices of tomatoes on top. Next, cut your slices of bacon in half, and add two halves of each on top of the tomatoes. Top with a few spinach leaves.

Now, if you like open-faced sandwiches, then you’re done! If you like a classic sandwich, top each with another slice of toasted bread, and cut in half. Enjoy!

SOURCE: Delish

Loretta’s Last Call, Y’all

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Wednesday I went out with my old pal Melyssa, who I’ve known since pretty much the beginning of Sophomore year. She’s the person I turn to when I want to check out a new restaurant, so when she sent me an article announcing the opening of a new Southern eatery in Fenway, I was beyond stoked! I had yet to find an authentic Country experience in Boston, and I’d all but given up hope. Enter: Loretta’s Last Call, the only place in Boston that tempted me to pull on my cowboy boots in 90 degree weather.

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The whole restaurant is a tribute to Honky-Tonk, right down to the giant jukebox with Country classics, and the hundreds of records and pictures on the walls. There’s even a stage all lit up for live music. We picked a night where there was no fellow in a ten gallon hat serenading us with a twang, but it just gives us an excuse to come back!

I was impressed with the menu even before we got there.  Along with mouth-watering dishes, the drink menu was off the charts! If you’re a fan of whiskey, Loretta’s is your place. But Melyssa  and I were in the mood for a good cocktail, and after much deliberation, we decided on The Dogwood: grapefruit juice, moonshine, elderflower liqueur, and garnished with a lemon. And of course it wouldn’t be appropriate for a good home country restaurant to not serve their specialty drinks in Mason Jars! The Dogwood was perfect, refreshing, and exactly what you need on a hot summer’s evening.

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Now, let’s get down to the food. No one makes good Southern food better than my grandmothers, let’s just be honest. They’re the reason I believe in whole milk and butter in everything that I make. But since my Grammy and Grandmama both reside in Nashville, Loretta’s is where I’ll be going when I need a good buttermilk fried chicken fix.  Generally, Melyssa and I are big chatterboxes, but once our food was served, all you could hear was the music. It was crispy, it was a little spicy, the meat so tender, and utterly satisfying. And I have to say, I’m very impressed. I can be a bit critical when it comes to food I grew up with, so I don’t give my compliments lightly. Out of all the Southern establishments I’ve patronized in Boston, I’m only wiling to make the trek to Fenway from now on. And if you’re in the mood for some good biscuits, might I suggest the Fried Buttermilk Biscuits with Maple Butter for dessert? Share it with a friend. You won’t regret it.

One thing I would like to note very quickly though: once our food was taken away, it really seemed like they were trying to hurry us out, even though the restaurant was pretty empty. Sure, there was a home Red Sox game that day, but it wasn’t over yet, so there was no rush from hungry baseball fans. We came to relax and take it all in, so in the future, let us sit for a bit, eh? We paid, and we liked it there!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, talking about the South for so long has made me miss Nashville, and so I’m going to go cry in a corner listening to some Patsy Cline for a while.

 

How was your weekend??

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Cupcakes and a Movie

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I had my first Cakeology experience downtown and I have to say: DELICIOUS. Not only do they have beautiful full-size treats, but mini cupcakes as well. I tried two, and I WILL BE BACK.

 

Also, finally, FINALLY saw Belle after reading about it in Entertainment Weekly for a few months now! Go see it if you love period pieces (and you know I do.)

 

Here’s the trailer:

 

Happy Thursday!

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Weekly Links I Love (Feb. 1)

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I come across a LOT of articles and recipes throughout the week that I inevitably end up posting on Facebook, and clogging up everyone’s news feeds. And while one posting of delicious food is appreciated by the masses, twelve by the end of the day doesn’t always go over so well.

I believe that in order to be a good blogger and build a community, you have to share the love. There are so many people and things that inspire me, just as I hope to inspire at least one other person.

So here we go, the links I loved this week:

1. Potter Frances Palmer’s 5 Kitchen Essentials from the Hand and Heart

I love everything on The Kitchn, but this particular article spoke to me this week. Frances Palmer is a really well known ceramist (her pieces are unbelievably gorgeous, and I want them all) who truly believes in the beauty of handmade products. In this article, she talks about the importance of finding good kitchen/studio tools, and sticking with them. You don’t always need the latest and the greatest when you have tools that you cherish and keep coming back to.

2. Tuesday was National Pancake Day, so in honor of NPD (The nickname will catch on, just wait.) here’s a recipe for Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes. They’re healthy, so you can use as much maple syrup as you want. (Right? That’s how that works, right?)

3. Joy the Baker (aka Joy Wilson) is one of my favorite bloggers of all time. This week she took a trip to Uganda, and wrote a series of posts about her work there. This particular one, What it Means to Boil Water, really stuck out. It’s a must-read for sure.

4. While I could lie and say that I spend my days reading really complex pieces in the Economist, the truth is, I spend an unhealthy amount of my day on Buzzfeed. What can I say? Most articles are short and sweet, and a daily dose of “Laugh out Loud” laughter is good for the soul. I’m really missing my best friend Emily, and Ways Long Distance Bffs Survive is perfect.

5. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is an online series hosted by Jerry Seinfeld. It is clever, funny, and SO entertaining. Plus, he’s introduced me to some really great places to both get a cup of coffee, and delicious pastries. I can’t believe I hadn’t started watching this sooner. This week Jerry met up with Tina Fey, a personal funny lady hero of mine. This show makes you feel like you’re there with them, and I just can’t say enough good things about it. Here’s a great article to go along with it from  Gothamist.

What’re you up to this weekend?

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Be My Valentine?

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In all honesty, I’ve never really been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I think it puts too much pressure on us,  and if you’re single, it’ll make you feel a teeny bit lonely if you let it. But the one thing I’ve always loved  is all the cute things you can buy to celebrate the day. It’s also one of those holidays that fully embraces novelty. You want those salt and pepper shakers that make a heart when you put them together? Go for it. You want that tea set with a million hearts painted and heart-shaped handles that would be useless and tacky any other time of the year? Throw it in the cart. And the most delicious part of all: the candy you can buy at half the price the day after the holiday.

So thank you, Valentine’s Day, for inspiring my favorite shops to make adorable products that I can’t resist. And for making it so my beloved Dove Dark Chocolates come in the shape of hearts, and in bulk.

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Sweetly Sipping Tea Set, ModCloth // Heart Knee Cableknit Over-the-Knee Sock, Urban Outfitters // ‘Love’ Hand-Carved Book Shelf Art, Nordstrom // Valentine Spatulart, Williams-Sonoma // Coming Up Rosy-Cheeked Rouge in Crimson, ModCloth // Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook, bookstores

Go on, get shopping!

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The Christmas Playlist

I’m late on this, as I’m sure you’ve had thousands of Christmas playlists in your face since November 1, but I’m not too late for the actual holiday! The truth is: I listen to Christmas music all year long (that’s what headphones are for, … Continue reading