So Long June

I swear that I do more than just eat, eat, eat.  Although, this weekend’s marvelous happenings would say otherwise.

IMG_5098_Fotor_Collage

Friday was spent with a sunset on the west side of Manhattan with my coworkers.  I had actually never been to this part of town (~68th and the water) and it was picture perfect.  I would love to go back and run the west side all the way down to the Highline or even go back for lunch one day.

IMG_5104Morning run around Battery Park

Saturday ended up being a lot of sit around and wait.  I was bouncing between some lease and rent drama to waiting around to show the apartment to a few potential subleasers.  I swear, the whole process of being a big kid really isn’t all that glamorous.  My PSA for the day – stay young as long as you can.

However, all the pain of being stuck in one place was rewarded with a trip to Brooklyn to see my new friend Marnie.  Together we chatted for hours and made two different types of nut butters.

IMG_5227_Fotor_Collage

~ Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt Almond Butter  &  Lemon + Honey Cashew Butter ~

Nut butters truly have been on the rage lately and so I’m thinking with the right amount of marketing and the perfect flavor niche, we might be able to go into business.  Ok reality check.  Let’s just say we have a good project for holiday gifts and enjoy mixing up flavors on our own 🙂

IMG_5236 We also decided to try our luck at one of the hole in the wall spots of Brooklyn.  This Mexican joint was a recommended tortilleria and boy was it a hit.  Not only were the ingredients delicious (I had tacos – chicken + enchilada or “spicy pork”) but the prices were beyond reasonable.  I guess this stems from the fact that we are getting used to outrageous Manhattan prices – try $12-$15 for a decent salad.

IMG_5220

All about the blueberries – whether they are fresh, frozen, or blended into a smoothie, it’s time to ramp up those antioxidants. Scrumptious results thanks to the Peas & Crayons recipe here.

IMG_5225

My Sunday started off with a spin class led by Jen and then a homemade brunch.  I’ve been able to attend more spin classes recently and love having Jen as the teacher.  Always good playlists, which to me can make or break a class.

From working out, I went to indulge in a whole bunch of homemade food.  My friend Mia happens to have a bunch of friends in the city and thought it would be fun to make our own Sunday brunch.  Between the mega fruit salad, stuffed french toast (gold-star worthy!), eggs, bacon, and scones, I’d say it was a huge success.

IMG_5239

The remainder of Sunday was spent exploring a food convention, prepping the week’s food and cookies for coworkers, finishing up season 1 of “Friends”, and re-organizing the apartment.

IMG_5118

With that folks, we say goodbye to June and hello to a brand new month. So long June, it’s been real.

What was marvelous about your weekend?

Advertisements

June’s Friday Favorites

It’s the final countdown! Until…THE YEAR IS HALFWAY OVER?!?!?! I normally don’t like it when this type of mixed punctuation is used but oh my goodness I cannot believe we have almost finished off six months.  That makes it up to almost one year in the big city.

IMG_0116Back to baseball season…almost a full circle on the east coast

Anyways, they say everything happens for a reason.  I found out last night that my favorite gym class was being cancelled or rather re-established for paying clients.  It bums me out to lose something that I enjoyed.  It was a way to make friends and it was a place of familiarity.  But, when one door closes, another one opens.  I’ve gathered some great contacts and now have the opportunity to explore other gym classes.  I have the chance to work out in the mornings and explore the city at night.

But onto some fun things 🙂

IMG_5009Running along the east river trail and just running in general.  I’ve been able to get this bum heel of mine out and about a few times and it feels glorious.  It’s not like running the trails at home or some of my go-to paths but even running along the waterside and ending up at the Statue of Liberty is pretty darn neat.

I’m going to have to start running in the early morning because the heat and humidity is creeping up on us.  That whole humidity thing is totally new to me.  So far I haven’t melted but it’s not like we’ve had a heat wave yet.

tumblr_leervbN26R1qb8xspo1_r3_500Blogging – yes.  Cooking – yes.  Homework – no.  I do think grad school is in my future but please, don’t make me go back to homework and tests just yet.  I’m loving the fact that my afternoons and weekends are mine.  I don’t feel this need to constantly be studying.  Just studying life 🙂

93af93778c107d62b7ead1831a10d6c7(source)

This weekend is looking to be pretty nifty with baking, blogging, and nut buttering.  Who knows, maybe some other surprises are in store.  Just about going with the flow.

IMG_4485

Speaking of flow (of the ocean), I can’t wait to be seaside by the shore this time next week.

“Always do the things you fear the most. Courage is an acquired taste, like caviar.”
– Erica Jong

Travel to Tarrytown, NY

It’s not every day that you take a trip to visit a great literary figure’s estate.  However, when your mother happened to be an English major and English teacher, this stuff happens.  One of the items on our to-do list during her stay was to visit the great Washington Irving’s estate up in Sunnyside, New York.

IMG_5183IMG_5185

Irving is best known for writing the short stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hallow” (both of which I am guilty of not reading…yet).  He was not only an author, essayist, and biographer, but also a historian and well known 19th century diplomat.  As a matter of fact, he was one of the first well-known and respected American writers across the Atlantic in Europe.

IMG_5142

I had considered traveling up to Sleepy Hallow last fall for a spooky-themed half marathon, but felt intimidated by the directions.  The trip north is actually much more manageable than I had first anticipated.   Simply make your way to Grand Central – 42nd Street and find a ticket booth for the Metro North Train.  Locate the Hudson line towards Croton-Harmon and off you go. (~$18.50 for round trip/per person)

IMG_5150

IMG_5151

IMG_5157

Recommendations had been given to stop at the TarryTown train stop, which we dutifully followed.  In our minds, we pictured a quaint main street with cafes and a deli where we could create a picnic lunch.

IMG_5156IMG_5193

While the town was indeed cute, we found ourselves struggling for lunch options.  Again, we were searching for a cafe or deli with to-go options and maybe it’s just a California thing.  Thankfully we did walk past an Italian deli where we picked up two sandwiches.

IMG_5190IMG_5184

The other dilemma was that Tarrytown was a solid hour’s walk along the busy highway or exorbitant cab fare from the estate.  We wanted to sit and enjoy our lunch on the estate, so we settled for a $12 cab ride.  The issue with cabs is that they don’t fall under the NYC rules and regulations and can charge pretty much whatever they please (I’m honestly surprised they didn’t charge us $20).

IMG_5159IMG_5164

Once on the estate, the view is breathtaking.  So different from the crowded city of Manhattan.  Greenery overwhelms the estate with hundreds of plant species, all meant to model the romantic style of landscaping.

IMG_5171The tour itself was quite lovely and informative.  Each guide is dressed in time-period garb (hoop skirts for the women and woolen getups for the men…so glad I’m not a guide).  Fun note about the tree above – this beauty has been around since 1776.  Imagine that!

IMG_5175

IMG_5179

What’s funny is that my mom and I almost decided to spend the night up here.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely location but seeing as we had pretty much accomplished everything we set out to in about 4 hours, that would have been a loooooong night.

IMG_5187_Fotor_Collage

Obviously the gift store is one of the most interesting parts of a tour. Here we found the typical array of books, coffee mugs, ornaments, and yes, shot glasses.  Who knows, maybe Irving was a fan of whiskey.

IMG_5166IMG_5169

This time we decided to test our luck with the other train station, Irvington, which was only 1.3 miles away from the estate, and a much more manageable and scenic walk.

IMG_5192IMG_5191

Funny enough, when we entered this Main Street, we found 3-4 delis, which would have fit our needs perfectly.  Oh well, a lesson learned and at least we were able to explore another New York town.

IMG_5180

Also, now that I know how to get out of the city, I will certainly be making the trip north for this fall’s pumpkin festival.

Washington Irving Estate
3 W Sunnyside Ln, Irvington, NY 10533

IMG_5167

Admission by Timed Tours Only
10:30am, 12pm, 1:30pm, 3pm
(Also 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 3:30pm on Saturdays & Sundays)
Visiting Sunnyside – Tours
Adult: $12 ~ Senior (65+): $10 ~ Child (3-17): $6

IMG_5197

“One of the greatest and simplest tools for learning more and growing is doing more.” – Washington Irving

Everyone Loves a Farmer’s Market

Garden fresh produce, gourmet granola, and delicious poultry, fish, and meat right in your backyard. I remember the first time a farmer’s market was established in our little town back in California.  It must have been around the time I started high school and unless we were out of town, I made sure to visit each and every Saturday.  I even made friends with the berry man and he would help me practice my Spanish, even if it was only for 10 minutes every week.

IMG_5060

Turns out there are more than enough markets to choose from in and around the island of Manhattan.  I like to treat myself once in awhile to a trip to Union Square spot, a hub for all the funny characters from the city.  You have your yogis, fresh produce snobs, and oh so many college students (after all, it’s near NYU).

IMG_5062

I tend to arrive with $20-$40 in hopes of not spending any more than that. Otherwise I would end up with oodles of produce that I couldn’t consume and end up broke.  I also like to balance out my shopping between the local grocery store, Trader Joe’s (if I can find the time and patience), and the weekly market.

IMG_5061I love the seasonal products such as apple cider and pumpkin doughnuts, fresh figs, and summer berry scones. 

IMG_3790

More often than not, I take a trip to the market just to people watch.  To be honest I have trouble picking from the stalls, unsure which apple looks more delicious or which head of lettuce is more reasonable in price.  One has to accept the fact that some vendors will be more expensive due to the local of their products and the methods in which it was grown.  The whole food debate of cost vs. health and how both can be obtained in a reasonable manner.

IMG_5063

There was one time where I finally decided to purchase a bag of mixed greens, only to arrive at the register and be told it was $30 for only two handfuls of lettuce.  Um, I’m sorry, did I hear that properly?  Yeah, that was quickly disposed of back into their respective bins and I was on my way.

IMG_5057

Manhattan Farmer’s Markets

Union Square Greenmarket
E 17th St & Broadway 10003
Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat – 8am-6pm – year round

Tribeca Greenmarket
Greenwich St. & Chambers St. 10007
Wed & Sat – 8am-3pm, year round

Tompkins Square Greenmarket
E 7th St & Ave A 10009
Sun – 9am-6pm – year round

Tucker Square Greenmarket
W 66th St & Columbus Ave 10023
Thu, Sat – 8am-5pm – year round

Columbia University Greenmarket
Broadway between W 114th St & W 115th St 10025
Thu, Sun – 8am-5pm – year round

Grassroots Farmer’s Market
145 St (between Edgecombe & Bradhurst) 10031
Tue, Sat – 9am-4pm (Jul 13-Nov 23)

West 42nd St Greenmarket
42 St between 11th and 12th Ave 10036
Wed 8am-6pm (Jul 10-Nov 27)

IMG_3787

El Diablito Taqueria

Looking for some solid Mexican food without the wait?  How about something to satisfy those post-run or post-bar munchies?  Boy do I have the place for you.  And yes, it’s time friends to graduate from the days of Taco Bell and into the real world.

The discovery occurred a couple weeks ago when I went to support a college friend of mine in her beginning improv performance.  She had taken a 8-session course at the well-known Upright Citizens Brigade and so kindly invited me to attend the final performance.  After the show, I met up with her and the rest of the group and we all went out to celebrate.

IMG_5090

After a round or so of beers, we realized it was time for some lunch.  It was almost 2:30pm, yet no one (besides myself) had eaten all day.  As any wise individual knows, drinking on an empty stomach is a no-no.  So we set out in search of food and found ourselves at  El Diablito Taqueria.

IMG_5091

While this appears to be the one and only menu (less choices = better cooking, right?) They are more than happy to customize your order.  I loved how vibrant the colors were on the interior of the restaurant, how unassuming it would be from a simple glance from outside.

IMG_5093Some people either continuing their buzz or drinking the Mexican brews simply to feel thematic with their meal.  From what I could see the only beverages offered were that of Mexican beer or Jarritos, the flavorful Mexican sodas.

IMG_5095

My friend Michelle’s torta – a sandwich filled with guacamole, beans, cheese, lettuce, and your choice of filling

I practically grew up eating Cal-Tex-Mex 4 or 5 nights a week, so my view of Mexican food is a bit distorted.  However, I guess you could say I am also pretty picky about my Mexican food coming from California.

When I go out to eat, I look for something that I can’t necessarily make at home, something that overflows with flavor, and something that will leave a lasting impression.

IMG_5096

This divine creation certainly hit all three of those categories.  The Huarache was something I had never encountered and thus obviously something to order.  It was a corn flat bread (thicker and spongier than a corn tortilla) and topped with black bean puree, chopped lettuce, crema fresca and your choice of filling.

For a little under $9, I left quite content and honestly ready for a nap in the spring sun.

El Diablito Taqueria
60 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003
Menu ~ Order ~ About

Summertime with Momma in the City

That’s right, not only is it officially summer, but Momma Fuelling was in town for a fabulous girl’s weekend ~ shopping ~ eating good food ~ exploring and more.

IMG_5047_Fotor_CollageThursday night we met up with some family friends and ate oodles of delicious pizza and gnocchi at the ever so popular Eataly.  I’m truly blessed to have these guys on the east coast since they are pretty much my east coast family.  I love it!

IMG_5120

First thing Friday morning, we set out to New Jersey to visit Hoboken.  The real search was to find a jewelry store that my mom’s college friend had started.  Apparently it was called Anastasia’s Accessories but sadly has since closed down.

It was not a total fail since I had never been to Hoboken and we soon found ourselves outside the famous Cake Boss Bakery.  Obviously we had to get in line and see what the real atmosphere was like.

IMG_5047_ Fotor_CollageJust look at those monstrous cookies and cakes!  All the fondant!

Since it has become such a big deal, that there is a line outside the bakery and a man giving numbers for when you enter the store.  After we picked up our sole cannoli (later to be put in the freezer) we headed back into the city to do some shopping. 

The rest of Friday was spent cleaning my apartment top to bottom.  No really, Madre, bless her, got right in the tub with a toothbrush and cleaned all the grout and tile.  Doesn’t that sound fun?  But really, I don’t think I’ve seen my place this spotless and it’s sort of incentive to keep it up.  I did try to pick up a bath caddy but had the most difficult time getting it to stick to the wall.

IMG_5007

Friday night was a night on the town ~ A quick dinner at TGI Fridays (keeping it classy) before watching Motown the Musical.  I was so looking forward to the music as much of it was on the local stations I listened to growing up.

IMG_5047_Fotor _CollageTHE BLACK & WHITE COOKIE ~ Two flavors living in perfect harmony (homage to the Seinfeld episode)

A New York classic that may have been consumed three days in a row.  It’s safe to say I’ve found a new favorite dessert (or just add it to the list).  I had to include the picture of cookies at Pick-A-Bagel where they create separate cookies, for those who like one flavor over another.  My mom and I were laughing all the way home about this.

Both Saturday and Sunday started off with a light jog down the east river trail.  Even though we were walking all over the city, it was helpful to start off on the right foot and of course work up an appetite for the fabulous food we planned to indulge in.

IMG_5045

Literary adventure on Saturday – a trip north to Tarrytown and Sunnyside, NY where we visited Washington Irving’s estate (post to come soon…I’m sure y’all are dying for some English gossip 😉 but really, it’s a neat trip).

IMG_ 5047_Fotor_Collage

Then for dinner we went to Pete’s Tavern where O. Henry (author of Gift of the Magi) was a regular.  My mom had spotted the tavern back in November and kept telling me to test it out.  I had no clue what she was talking about even though I walked past the place almost every other day.

It’s safe to say I had one delicious burger with sweet potato fries and my mom had the most amazing turkey burger.  I have no idea what seasoning or sauce they used but I was hooked!

IMG_5047_Fotor_ CollageWe wrapped up the weekend with another run along the east river trail (got to get this girl back in shape…slowly but surely) and then dressed up for brunch at The Boathouse.  I have certainly lucked out with weather because it was another brunch to remember.

IMG_ 5198_Fotor_Collage

Today she heads home and it’s back to work I go.  Looking forward to the summer days ahead and hopefully a Fourth of July fete.

“Family is not an important thing.  It’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox.