The second stop on our Southeast Asia trip was Hanoi, Vietnam. Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and was unexpectedly my favorite city on our trip. I loved the endless, twisting alleyways full of street food vendors and the excitement I felt when I stepped outside the familiarity of our hotel. The weather was mild in Hanoi, so it allowed us to spend the entire day exploring without having to take our usual 3pm shower break.
Cold pressed juices on tap? Yes please! I sampled several offerings from the Vitality Bar at the new Naturopathica Spa in Chelsea. My friend Lauren, a beauty guru and the marketing manager at Naturopathica, was kind enough to give me a tour of the new space. New York is a city where any manicurist with a kitchen timer and portable massage chair can call themselves a spa. So it was amazing to find myself in a space that truly pays homage to the art of wellness and relaxation.
Sometimes preparing a protein for an entree salad seems like such a difficult step. Why not forget the salad part and just eat this roasted chicken immediately? I oftentimes agree, but recently held out in order to prepare the most delicious salmon salad with cornbread croutons.
All of the ingredients come together in a savory, wholesome way and it’s worth the 8 minute roasting time. I realize that making the salmon is already a big step, so baking cornbread may seem out of the question. That being said you can skip the cornbread croutons or substitute store-bought ones. Jordan had made cornbread for chili the previous day, and I decided to recycle it in this salad.
Jordan and I were both off the entire first week of January and did a lot of lazing around to ring in the New Year. We did manage to get in a couple of good meals, watch two seasons of The Affair and reorganize our closets (my idea!). It feels good to get back to work but I’m starting to miss my DVR.
I love any excuse to entertain, so when Jordan’s friend started dating his new (much younger) girlfriend, I jumped at the chance to have them both over for dinner. I mean how else am I supposed to get to know (read: judge) her? It turns out she was lovely, mature for her 26 years and made excellent conversation about The Real Housewives.
I never try to complicate appetizers and focus most of my attention on dinner. I always have crackers, mixed nuts and good olives on hand, just in case. I supplement these basics with 2-3 good cheeses, cured meats and fig spread. Jordan and I conveniently live upstairs from Malt and Mold, an artisanal cheese shop, so good cheese is never far away. Remember to always leave a small dish out for the olive pits. You don’t want your guests awkwardly putting them on the table or secretly palming them.