Ahem. A year has gone by since I’ve last posted and so many things have changed (for the better). I am now a mom (!) and a homeowner. It has been quite the year and I still can’t believe I’m writing this post sitting in my freshly renovated apartment looking at my sleeping baby. We’re watching Teen Mom OG, so I mean not everything has changed.
Hank is a model
In the pit at Kanye 13 weeks pregnant.
The beginning of my bump.
Blueprint from our new digs.
His first profile pic!
Living room design planning.
7 months pregnant at The Grand Canyon.
And then there were three. Four if you count Hank – which we obv do.
Making my own granola always seemed like a bit much. Who really does that? I mean, I don’t own clogs or actually enjoy hiking. I confess that I do own Birkenstocks, but they are absolutely having a come back. Despite my lack of outdoorsiness – I decided to give making my own a try. The recipe turned out to be super easy, delicious and versatile. You can mix in dried fruit or chocolate to enhance the sweetness a bit. The recipe also allows you to substitute different types of nuts depending on what you have available. Maybe this whole granola thing has me rethinking clogs? J to the K.
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.
When I cook, more often than not I find myself committing to a super complicated recipe that requires some sort of prolonged brine and 15 different spices, most of which I need to purchase the day of. After sitting down to dinner at 9pm, I realize that I probably could have skipped the 1/8 tsp of sumac. Needless to say, I’m trying to become more open to easy recipes that require less prep. I am learning that complicated does not necessarily equal better.
Case in point: this creamy salsa chicken recipe is so easy and seriously tastes great. Serve it over brown rice or quinoa in a bowl with some fresh cilantro and let the compliments roll in.
One of the best things about NYC is the abundance of corner bodegas. I still think about the 24/7 grocery store on 9th Street in the East Village near my old apartment that has e v e r y t h i n g you could ever need. I once counted five different types of almond butter. The bodega situation in Gramercy is not as abundant but is still top notch. Hank and I incorporate a stop at the local corner store for fresh flowers at least once a week. I used to detest ‘bodega roses’ and always ponied up for the hydrangeas instead ($15!) but they would only last three days before wilting. For the past several months I’ve been ignoring my initial aversion and opting for the roses (two dozen for $10, uh deal alert). I’ve really perfected the bodega rose arrangement and it lasts for at least five to seven days. Check out my tips below for making your $10 roses look like they came from the local florist instead of the local bodega.