Friday Finds

This week has positively flown by!  It's starting to actually feel like spring, and I'm thrilled to finally put away (for real this time!) my winter coat.  Here is what I've been obsessed with this week:

- Pound Cakes are arguably the little black dress of the cake world.  Dress them up with strawberries and heavy cream or go purist and plain.  Ether way they are delicious every-single-time.   Check this out for more ways to style this culinary classic.  I'm drooling over this one!

- One of my good friends recently purchased her first home, and I'm dying to see it!  I love the idea of giving more than just a standard bottle of wine or flowers.  This housewarming gift is perfection.  

- T Magazine is always a pleasure to read, and this recent story from the Men's Fashion issue by Andrew O'Hagan was so well-written, so on-point, so everything, I had to read it aloud to Mr. C., who wholeheartedly concurred.  Everything Mr. O'Hagan writes is pure pleasure.

- I've always appreciated a good hat, but thus far, my wear has been limited to the beach and the slopes.  I'm lusting after this one and dreaming of all the places I could wear it.  

-Just discovered this gorgeous instagram account, and it's making me want all grey everything.  

Happy Weekend!

-MC-


Spring Showers

Every once in a while I love a nice rainy day.  It forces you inside and under the covers and is the perfect excuse get cozy and lazy.  Today's soft drizzle is effectively removing the last bits of snow and has me dreaming of spring.  Each season Mr. C and I create a list of sights we'd like to see, date spots we'd like to try, and things we'd like to do.  Here are just a few things that I'm looking forward to once spring officially gets going:

Image Source:  MIMI+MEG

Image Source: MIMI+MEG

- Picnics.  I'm slightly obsessed with picnics, and this past Christmas I got the best picnic basket ever!  (Similar one here)  I'm so excited to head to Central Park or upstate with this beauty in tote.

- Baking inspiration.  I'm always on the hunt for a new recipe, and I try to create a few "Food Goals" for things I might be intimidated to try.  Currently topping the list - croissants,  these biscuits, and soft pretzels.  Bring on the gluten!

- Tennis - I haven't played, or even attempted to play, in years, but I'd love to pick up a racket again.  

-Polo Match - I've been dying to go to the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic forever.  Hopefully we can get tickets this year.  I have my hat all ready to go.

-Spring Sites - Living in an apartment, I'm a bit starved for flowers.  I'd love to get my floral fix at The Orchid Show

What's on your Spring to-do list?

-MC-

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Friday Finds

TGIF!  Here is what I've been loving this week:

Image Source

Image Source

- This is probably the most gorgeous dessert.   It's basically Spring in sugar-citrus form.

-I've loved Jamie King since forever, and after reading this, the girl crush is stronger than ever. 

-This spread was total eye candy. 

- Michael Kors ads are always dreamy, but these might be the best to-date.  You can view the complete Spring Collection here; I want basically everything. 

- I begrudgingly watched this show and am now entirely addicted. The before and afters are incredible!

-MC-

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Kitchen Essentials

I was recently reading this and it got me thinking, what are my favorite kitchen accessories?  Here are 10 kitchen accessories I can't live without:

Photo Source:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Photo Source: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10

KitchenAid Mixer - Honestly, how do people bake without this?  Available in a rainbow of colors with an array of attachments these mixers can do anything.

KitchenAid Pasta Attachment - I love fresh pasta, but the idea of making it was a little overwhelming.  Enter this wonder!  The three attachments let you effortlessly create angel hair, fettuccine, and sheets for lasagna, ravioli and more.  Obsessed.

Marble Rolling Pin - Another baking must-have.  The cool marble keeps dough from sticking too much, and the handles rotate on their own for easy use.  Plus I love how beautiful the natural marble is on the counter top.

Cuisinart Food Processor - A serious game-changer.  Sure, I don't mind chopping an onion from time to time, but this does the job more precise and about a million times faster.  Plus you can use it to grate cheese (hate that job!), make dough and even pull together quick dips and sauces.  (I use it for pesto constantly.)

OXO Food Containers - I'm a bit obsessed with these.  I put everything in theme - rice, pasta, cereal, coffee, sugar, flour, the list goes on.  The pop tops lock in moisture and are easy to stack inside the cabinet. 

Krups Coffee & Espresso Maker - As dedicated espresso drinkers, we use this gem daily, and I love the coffee pot option for company.

Nutrabullet - I was hot on the juicing-trend for a while, but then I read mixed messages about the real health benefits, not to mention the clean up.  We opted for the Nutrabullet since it's the best of both worlds - you're creating smoothies rather than just juices so you get the essential fiber, but the consistency is smooth and easy to drink.

Mini Food Grater - I use this cute little gadget all the time.  It's perfect for zesting, and I'm a huge zesting advocate.  I'd also imagine it would be great for creating perfect curls for chocolate...

Pizza Stone - We really like to make homemade pizza (this week was all about pepperoni and artichoke hearts with fra diavolo sauce), and pizza stones really do make a difference.  Since we can't seem to master the perfectly round pie, rectangular ones are a better fit.

Immersion Blender - This winter, we've been on a serious soup kick.  Oftentimes a recipe will ask that you blend a portion to give texture.  An immersion blender does the job of a traditional blender without the mess or the fear or spilling piping hot liquid - win-win.  

What are your favorites?

-MC-

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MC Makes: Cinnamon Rolls

My favorite way to keep the apartment warm during the chilliest winter days is to bake.  The apartment smells incredible and you get a sweet treat at the end - double win!  This past week while the wind howled and snow swirled outside, I whipped up a batch of cinnamon rolls inside.  I used this recipe but did tweak it ever so slightly to use less butter and sugar.  These are, admittedly, not the healthiest option out there, but it's all about moderation!  I made mine pretty small so that you could easily have two (ok, sometimes three!) pretty much guilt-free.  If you're considering these for brunch, definitely try this recipe from Joy of Cooking:

Beat 2 eggs

Add 3/4 c 105-115 degree water

Dissolve into this mixture: 1 package of active yeast

Let all ingredients rest refrigerated for 15 minutes.  

Meanwhile blend with a pastry blender:

-4 c sifted all purpose flour

-1 tsp salt

-2 tbsp sugar

- 1/2 c butter

In a large mixing bowl, make a ring of the blended flour.  Pour chilled yeast mixture into the center and work it gradually into the dry ingredients.  Knead until smooth, approximately 2 minutes.  Form a ball and rest it, covered, for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.  When the dough has double in bulk, roll into an oblong on a floured surface to the thickness of 1/4 inch.  

Spread it generously with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.  You can also add chopped nuts, raisins, citron or grated lemon or orange rind if desired.  Roll, taking care to create an even thickness.  Once the dough has been completely rolled, cut 1 inch slices and top with extra brown sugar.

Place each sliced roll in the bottom of a muffin tin (make sure tin is well greased) and let sit in a warm place for half hour.  Bake in a pre-heated oven (at 350 degrees) for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Happy Weekend!

-MC-

 

A Smoothie Moment

Cold season is underway and in attempt to thwart any germs that are flying around, I've been amping up the vitamin efforts with a morning smoothie.  Inspired by smoothie recipes found on The Food Network, but limited by my local grocers stock, I came up with this Pomegranate Cherry Smoothie.  Jam-packed with powerful antioxidants and antiseptic ingredients, this smoothie is as good for you as it is delicious!

Pomegranate-Cherry Smoothie

- 1/2 cup of cherries

-1/4 cup of raspberries

- 2 teaspoons of Coconut Oil (adds a hint of sweetness, plus a ton of health benefits!)

-1 tablespoon of Honey

-1/4 cup of Pomegranate Juice

-1/2 -1 cup water

*A heaping scoop of powered greens for an extra boost.

Mix on high until smooth (and to pulverize those raspberry seeds!). Enjoy!

-MC-

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