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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

a beautiful fall day in nyc

the weather was absolutely beautiful in nyc on saturday.  it was a gorgeous fall day.  it actually felt like summer.  after we had lunch at the urban space food market in the garment district, we walked all around the city enjoying the nice weather.

it was much too nice to take a subway anywhere, so we walked and walked and walked.  we walked over 150 blocks (talk about having sore feet) but it sure was good exercise!

^bryant park was especially busy.  everyone was taking advantage of the beautiful weather.  there was a little girl's birthday party by the carousel, people were sunbathing on the lawn, and there was even a juggling class going on too.^
^the flatiron building and the empire state building^
^view of the plaza hotel from central park^
^after walking all around the city, we stopped at jacob's pickles in the upper west side for dinner.  it has been on our list of restaurants to try for a while, and we were happy to find that the wait for a table was not too long.  they are known for their homemade pickles and biscuits.  we shared an order of chicken and pancakes (a fun twist on chicken and waffles) and we shared the honey fried chicken sandwich with homemade pickles on a homemade biscuit, served with cheese grits.  the portions were absolutely huge and everything was delicious.  we walked out of there totally stuffed!^
^we passed by lincoln center on our way home.  lincoln center is always lovely, but it is especially pretty when it is lit up at night.^

love, laurie

Monday, September 29, 2014

nyc: urban space food market in the garment district

we took a trip into nyc on saturday, and while we were there we just had to check out the new urban space food market in the garment district.

for one month (from september 15th to october 17th) local chefs and restaurants line broadway between 41st street to 39th street from 11am to 9pm daily.  this pop-up food market is right in the heart of the historic garment district neighborhood, and there are so many amazing things to eat there: lobster rolls, dumplings, dutch pancakes, belgian waffles, wood-fired pizzas, empanadas, tacos, meatballs, burgers, curry, whoopie pies, cupcakes, gelato . . .  just to name a few.

we stopped by the food market for lunch on saturday, and sampled some of the treats they had to offer.  the weather was absolutely beautiful, which made it especially nice to eat lunch outside.  we couldn't have asked for a nicer fall day.

^wood-fired pizza makes me weak in the knees.  it is by far my favorite style of pizza.  the pizza from roberta's did not disappoint.  it was absolutely wonderful.^
^who can say no to a lobster roll?  we shared a maine style lobster roll from red hook lobster pound and it was insanely delicious.  what a treat!  the pieces of lobster were huge and the seasoning was just right.^
^we tried a lemon grass chicken taco and a vegetarian black bean taco from domo taco.  both were so good!  they sure were messy, but they were so good!^
everything at the food market looked so good.  i kept eyeing up the empanadas and the gelato too.  we wanted to try even more, but we were stuffed.  i guess we will just have to go back again!

love, laurie

Friday, September 26, 2014

farmers' market season

we love going to our local farmers' market.  it's much less expensive than the grocery store, and you just can't beat buying fresh local fruits and veggies directly from the farmers themselves.  it doesn't get much more "farm to table" than that.  we made out especially well this past week with a ton of red peppers, pimiento peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and beets.  (everything was under $10!)  we have been putting our farmers' market goodies to good use (along with the apples that we still have left over from our apple picking adventure) in our juicer, in salads, and in stir fry.  yum!

have a great weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, September 25, 2014

10 great food documentaries

we have been on a documentary kick lately, especially food documentaries.  they are so interesting and educational, and they have certainly changed the way we look at what we eat.  here are 10 great food documentaries that are definitely worth watching . . .

food, inc. a detailed look inside america's corporate-controlled food industry

food matters examines how the food we eat can help or hurt our health

fat, sick, and nearly dead chronicles a man's personal mission to regain his health by vowing to only drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days

fat, sick, and nearly dead 2 presents realistic solutions to make long-term sustainable improvements to eating behaviors and overall health

hungry for change exposes secrets the diet, weight loss, and food industries don't want you to know about deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more

farmageddon the stories of several different people who formed food co-ops and private clubs, and how they were raided by state and local governments

vegucated follows three meat and cheese loving new yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks

forks over knives examines the claim that most of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods

fed up examines america's obesity epidemic and the food industry's role in aggravating it

fast food nation examines the health risks involved in the fast food industry and its environmental and social consequences

what are some of your favorite documentaries?
love, laurie

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

healthy snack: apple slices with peanut butter and yogurt topped with granola

i share a lot of recipes here on the blog, and i thought it might be helpful to also share a few simple healthy snacks that we like to make.  so, i decided to start a new series called healthy snacks.  to kick things off, here's a healthy snack that is super easy to make and incorporates apples.  tis the season for apples!

i sliced a honeycrisp apple and removed the seeds.  i spread natural peanut butter on some of the slices and vanilla yogurt on the rest of the slices.  (almond butter or sunflower butter would be great instead of peanut butter too, and you could use any flavor yogurt you like.)  then i sprinkled some granola on top of the peanut butter and yogurt.  the granola adds a great crunch and balances the whole thing out.  yum!

happy snacking!
love, laurie

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

the first day of autumn

happy autumnal equinox!  today is officially the first day of autumn and it definitely feels like fall.  the sun is shining, but the air is crisp and cool.  i love this season and all of the colors, smells, and tastes that come with it!

love, laurie

Monday, September 22, 2014

hair cut

it's been six months since the last time i got my hair cut, and it was looking pretty sad and neglected.  summer sun, chlorine, and salt water really do a number on my hair.  so, on friday i got my hair cut!  since i have a tendency to only get my hair cut about twice per year, i opted to get it a little bit shorter this time.  (you can see how long it got in this post.)  it's a nice change.  it feels so light and healthy!  tomorrow is the first official day of fall, so getting my hair cut was a nice way to say goodbye to summer and to welcome autumn.

happy monday!
love, laurie

Friday, September 19, 2014

three years old!

we sure love our sweet kitten.  this month leko turns three years old!  it's really hard to believe that he is three already.  i love looking back at old pictures of our little furry baby.  he sure has grown so much since we first brought him home.  we are so grateful to have him in our lives.  he keeps us entertained, and he is such a lover.  we will definitely be celebrating his birthday with lots and lots of tuna fish!

have a great weekend!
love, laurie

ps: when leko turned one and when leko turned two

Thursday, September 18, 2014

a little date

after work on friday night, we had dinner at stroudsmoor.  ryan's parents had given us a gift certificate last year for our anniversary, but we were so busy this past year that we never had a chance to use it.  ryan found out that there was an italian/seafood buffet on friday, so we thought it would be a great chance to use our gift certificate.

as always, there were so many wonderful things to eat there.  we totally stuffed ourselves full of great food, and then found out that there was pumpkin cheesecake for dessert!  luckily we were able to take the pumpkin cheesecake home in a doggy bag to enjoy the next day.

i didn't bring my camera with me, but ryan managed to grab a few photos on his phone while we were there.  it was so special to have dinner together at the same place where we were married four years ago.  (the last time we were there was two years ago for our anniversary.)  we had a great time and it was such a nice little date!

love, laurie

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

baked pumpkin doughnuts with brown butter and apple cider glaze topped with pecans

the seasons have officially transitioned from summer to fall here in our neck of the woods.  however, the temperatures have been so cool lately that it has felt way too cold to be autumn.  where is my nice fall weather hiding?

as we transition seasons we transition our food too.  we're setting aside the strawberries and peaches of summer and picking up autumn apples and pumpkins.

to welcome fall, we made a batch of baked pumpkin doughnuts this weekend.  i just love baked doughnuts.  they are so easy to make (maybe a little too easy) and they don't have all of the heaviness and grease of fried doughnuts.

these doughnuts are wonderfully cakey.  the spices really stand out and complement the pumpkin so well.  after we baked the doughnuts we dunked them in a brown butter and apple cider glaze.  before the glaze set, we topped the doughnuts off with toasted pecans.  wow!

we shared them with my parents after we went apple picking and to roba's farm on sunday.  they were a great fall treat!

ps: if you're looking for another great fall doughnut recipe, try our baked apple cider doughnuts too!

baked pumpkin doughnuts with brown butter and apple cider glaze topped with pecans
prep time: 15 minutes
baking time: 13 minutes
yields: 12 doughnuts
adapted from shutterbean

doughnut ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

topping ingredients:
2 tablespoons salted butter, browned
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons apple cider
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  sift the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt together into a large bowl.  in the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, egg, oil, and vanilla.  gradually add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until combined.  spoon the batter into a piping bag and cut off the tip of the bag.  squeeze the batter into the molds of a greased doughnut pan.  fill about 1/2 way full.  bake for 13 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the doughnuts comes out clean.  once baked, allow the doughnuts to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove them from the pan and allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

to make the glaze: melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until browned.  pour the browned butter into a bowl with powdered sugar, apple cider, and vanilla.  stir until it reaches a smooth glaze consistency.  dip the cooled doughnuts into the glaze.  place the doughnuts on a wire rack with either aluminum foil or waxed paper under the rack in order to catch the dripping glaze.  top with chopped pecans.

love, laurie

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

roba family farms

after we went apple picking on sunday, we made our annual trip to roba family farms.  it's one of our favorite traditions to go every year.  we love walking around the farm, seeing the animals, getting lost in their cornfield maze, and picking out pumpkins.  it was a great fall day at the farm.

love,  laurie

. . .

previous trips to roba family farms: 2012 and 2013