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Monday, November 3, 2014


I've made a BIG move.

I started this blog about 5 years ago.  A lot has changed in that time.  I've figured out a focus for the content I want to produce, attempted to hone my writing, and discovered a love for the whole blogging experience.  Basically, I've GROWN and I wanted to evolve the blog to reflect that.

Drumroll please...

I bought a domain and built out a website!  It has taken weeks and weeks to set myself up, but I am feeling great about it.  So from here on out please visit Peaches to Apples.  You'll find all the same content there (all posts from this blog have been transferred over) plus some new fun features.  

I'm very excited about this new step in my blogging journey and hope you'll join me for the ride!    

Friday, October 31, 2014

Inspiration Station: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

The Dish:

Dating a vegetarian could be a deal breaker for a guy (it may even be one for me) so Andie tells Ben she doesn't eat meat to scare him away...and then scarfs a hot dog in the back of the hippy restaurant after crying to the waitress that her boyfriend thinks she's fat.  It's enough to drive away any dude. I always hope I come off as the cool girl Andi really is - the one who can take down a burger and likes sports but can wear the heck out of a dress.  But just in case you have a ::gasp:: vegetarian friend, you, like Andie, should pretend to like the meat-free meals.  Thankfully, you won't have to fake liking this farro bowl, inspired by Andi and Ben's meal but looking and tasting much better than the gruel they eat.

Start with farro as your base (I found a quick cooking kind at Trader Joe's - only took 10 minutes!).  In a pan, saute portobello or cremini mushrooms, garlic, fresh spinach (or kale), and shredded/julienned carrots.  I also wanted to add zucchini but the store was out and it turns out I didn't need it.  Top it all off with a drizzle of avocado crema (avocado, sour cream, and cayenne, blended) and some salt and pepper.  I was a slave to bad lighting and a faulty piping bag so my bowl doesn't look picture perfect, but it tasted great.

The Doodads:

  1. You'll need an easy to care for plant so your love fern doesn't die.  If you're like me and don't have a green thumb, check out Apartment Therapy's list of hard to kill plants.  My fave is the ZZ plant.
  2. Get a fun deck of cards for family games of B.S like these by Jonathan Adler.
  3. Ben loves that Andie likes the Knicks and she looks pretty killer rocking a jersey instead of a slinky dress for their date.  Nowadays, the Nets are a hot NYC team and that black jersey would look pretty good.
  4. Andie makes sure puppy Krull the Warrior King is decked out in bling ("just a little frosting").  It's always good to give your dog a fun collar but I would gravitate towards a bow tie instead of diamonds, like this one I found on Etsy

Thursday, October 30, 2014

3 on Thursday

There is a ton of work being piled on my plate right now, and my stress level is definitely creeping up there.  I'm actually welcoming my over-booked weekend because I think all the people and activities will offer a nice distraction.  Now if I can only figure out my Halloween costume...nothing like waiting til the last minute, right?!

  1. On a recent Tuesday night stay-in date night, I switched my usual wine for beer so Albert and I could toast with his monogrammed mugs.
  2. One of the best parts about going apple picking was the crisp I made afterwards.
  3. Last weekend I attended my first ever professional football team.  I am by no means a Jets fan and would typically align myself with other teams, but I loved getting into the spirit.  Yankees are big pro football tailgaters - crazy to me, considering how cold it gets up here! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Boulton and Watt

After Pickle Day Albert and I wandered til we found a good brunch spot, with the goal being bottomless brunch.  Nothing jumped out at us until we got to the edge of the LES and saw Boulton and Watt, a spot we had each been to a couple times and enjoyed as a bar.  But now we were in broad daylight and unsure if it would work as a place to eat.

Not only did they have food, they had a large, thoughtfull menu and were doing a booming business.  What I thought was a bar first and restaurant second may actually be the other way around.  It also kept with the pickle theme as they feature tons of pickled veggies as snacks and a few different pickleback versions.  We'd been pickling it up all day so we decided to chill and just order normal brunch.  Albert ordered the full English breakfast, which came with two eggs, house-made pork sausage, bacon, stewed beans, wild mushrooms, and a hash brown cake.  Tons of food for $16.  I ordered the braised short rib and bone marrow benedict, which was served on a hunk of country bread instead of english muffins.  It was delicious.  Though I was feeling carnivorous that day, I was still impressed to see plenty of inventive vegetarian options on the menu like a cauliflower souffle, fried oyster omelette, and frittata with goat cheese, braised leeks, and wild mushrooms.  We didn't end up finding a bottomless brunch deal, but the cocktails were only $5.  Typically a bottomless deal may work out to $10-$15 on top of the entree price and though you may end up drinking more than two or three, they won't be as strong as the drinks here.  The mimosa, for instance, includes gin so your $5 will get you pretty far.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

LES Pickle Day

When the whole weekend is busy, why stop at Sunday?  That was kind of how we ended up at Pickle Day two weekends ago.  Unsure of how to spend the day, I went to Time Out New York to see if there were any events.  When I saw the listing for Pickle Day I figured it would likely end up being something small like three stalls but didn't care because it would at least get us moving.  We could check it out and if it turned out to be nothing special we would just hit up brunch.

When we arrived in the Lower East Side we found way more than three stalls.  There were actually about three blocks of stalls.  In addition to booths of pickle purveyors like Divine Brine and Pickle Me Pete (15 picklers in total), plenty of the neighborhood restaurants set up booths where they sold snacks featuring pickled ingredients.

I started with a hand roll from Blue Ribbon Sushi.  There were four versions, each with a different type of picked veggie.  I went with the mustard green version.  Because the ingredients were simple, the seaweed flavor really came through and I thought it paired well with the pickle taste.  Next up was Black Tree where Albert got a pickle pot that included pickled fruit in addition to the typical pickled cucumbers.  I've never had a pickled blueberry but I didn't hate it.  You got to choose what type of fruit infused brine to drizzle on top and we went with apple.  It added a hint of sweet to the vinegar base.  The third stop was Krupa Grocery which made the strangest sounding concoction that I had to say I tried it.  It was a beet stained pickled egg that was filled (like if it had been deviled) with chicken liver pate and topped with cocoa nibs.  The brine was a little sweet and the filling was somewhat salty and rich.  I was so nervous to try this one but I was impressed to find it kinda worked.  Since we were still planning to go to brunch we limited ourselves to only one more stop at Sour Puss Pickles where we got a large garlic dill pickle to gnaw on.  They were stronger than half dones but the garlic and dill flavors were still subtle - no puckering when you eat these.

I can't wait to go back to Pickle Day 2015 because there are so many more vendors I want to try.  I love that the Lower East Side is celebrating its Eastern European heritage...even though most pickle production seems to have moved to Brooklyn and is done by hipsters instead of old Jewish folks.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Reads

  1. The majority of people do not negotiate for a better salary.  When you think you're worth more than the offer, here are the 5 things that will get you the better deal.
  2. With Ebola research being fast tracked, why do we still not have an HIV vaccine?
  3. What's in the mind of a school shooter?  A man who almost committed such a crime lets us know what he was thinking.  Though published just before the latest shooting in Washington, the timing is now particularly relevant.
  4. By the time you finish reading this article, you'll be sitting up straight.

30 Before 30: #12 - Go Apple or Berry Picking

Apple picking is not much of a thing where I'm from.  As you creep closer to North Georgia you may find corn fields and hay rides, but in the Lowcountry that stuff is a bit harder to come by and apples are not one of our major crops...which would make picking them nearly impossible for a weekend activity.  But here in the Northeast it's all anyone does in the Fall.  I have become so jealous of all the cute Instagram pics that invade my feed in September/October.  All the girls look so great in their cozy flannel and I can't resist a small child standing next to an oversized pumpkin.  I had to get in on the action.  At this point the activity has become cliché but I don't care; I had a blast.

On a cool autum Saturday I headed to New Paltz, NY with some girls from book club.  I was a bit hungover but I could not miss my last chance to go apple picking before my 30th birthday so I grabbed a large iced coffee and a bacon egg and cheese and headed to Port Authority for the hour and a half ride upstate.  Side note: this was the first time I've ever gotten to use the phrase "I'm going Upstate" and I liked how it sounded.

A short cab ride from the bus station took us to Jenkins & Lueken Orchards and dropped us off at their general store.  Here, you can buy apples and pumpkins that you didn't pick yourself (but...why?) as well as local goodies like homemade peanut butter (I picked up some of the chunky monkey variety with chocolate chips for Matt), apple butter (got a jar of this for Matt's bday as well), jams, pies, sausages, and ciders.  We immediately grabbed some apple cider doughnuts (a specialty) to share.  Like everything else there, they were very inexpensive, just $1.25 for three.  They are the airiest cake doughnuts covered in cinnamon sugar.  We held of on the rest of the shopping until after the other activities.  Most people must drive up there on their own (vs. the bus/taxi method we used) because there were no paths to get to the orchards and fields.  We looked like silly city girls trying to cross the small highway.  We first walked through the corn maze (not much of a maze...more like...just...corn, but cool, nonetheless) and then took a little hayride.  It was finally time for the main event!  We went back to the store to pick up our apple bags and pickers and were warned that it was the end of the season so there wouldn't be much left on the trees.  We were not deterred.  We were mostly in it for the experience and only needed a couple bags to make a few pies.  It's not like we were stocking up for the winter.

After getting enough apples and some extra items from the store we had a taxi (that we called in advance) take us back into town.  New Paltz looked like a town right out of an ABC Family tv show.  Very quaint with a hippy skew.  I would definitely recommend an apple picking excursion combined with a bed and breakfast stay and a tour of a nearby vineyard.

Apple picking was a success and definitely something I would do again next fall!

Date of Completion: 10/18/14


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