Friday, April 29, 2011

The Manmosa

I don't know if you know this, but Easter is kind of girlie. Or at least, that's what some guy friends were saying in the days leading up to Easter brunch (some of those guys showed up in lavender and pale pink...just sayin'). So, in an effort to make Easter a bit more manly, my roommate suggested we serve Blue Sunrises instead of mimosas. A Blue Sunrise, it turns out, is a drink that she and some of the aforementioned guys invented on a cabin weekend as a way to drink beer in the morning by mixing it with orange juice.


The Blue Sunrises were a hit, only I kept calling them "Manmosas" since they were on the menu to make brunch a bit less girlie. We used Blue Moon beer (hence the name Blue Sunrise), but I'm sure any wheat beer would be fine. If you make these, play around with the proportions. I liked about 70% beer to 30% orange juice, but a lot of the guys were filling the glass nearly full with beer and adding just a splash of juice. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April showers

Screen shot 2011-04-28 at 11.05.20 AM

It's been a wet, rainy spring in New York. Wouldn't these L.L. Bean rain skimmers be such a
cute way to keep your feet dry on rainy spring days? And especially on those humid, rainy days of summer when the last thing you want to do is put on boots. I have extremely claustrophobic calves, so I'd definitely rather wear a rain shoe than a rain boot. Plus: yellow!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weekend in Easter brunch








After a week-long forecast of rain on Easter, the weather turned sunny and warm, just long enough to enjoy a leisurely brunch with friends to celebrate Easter. I made a ton of cold-brewed coffee (too much, actually, we're still drinking the surplus) and brought out yellow striped straws for the occasion. It finally feels like summer (humid in April?) spring is here!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Last minute Easter ideas

Screen shot 2011-04-22 at 12.29.32 AM

Make some Hot Cross Buns. See if you can do it without getting the song stuck in your head.

Screen shot 2011-04-22 at 12.29.32 AM

Make confetti eggs: fill hollowed eggs with confetti, and one with glitter. Have an Easter egg hunt, then smash the confetti eggs over people's heads to see who "won" the glitter egg.

Screen shot 2011-04-22 at 12.29.32 AM

Whip up a batch of bright, spring-y lemon curd. Eat it on scones, biscuits, or muffins at Easter brunch. Or just right out of the jar.

Screen shot 2011-04-22 at 12.10.37 AM

Decorate eggs without getting your hands messy, or smelling like vinegar. Use string, beads, buttons and washi tape like these lovely eggs in Styled magazine.

Screen shot 2011-04-22 at 12.29.32 AM

Yes, Peeps will be half price in a matter of days, but Rachel's homemade ones are so much prettier.

Screen shot 2011-04-22 at 12.29.32 AM

Hunt down an assortment of eggs. How much fun would it be to dye an ostrich egg? If you have kids, I bet they'd be fascinated with all the different types of eggs.

And if you're in NYC and looking for a place to celebrate Easter, my church has two Easter services and a Good Friday service tonight. I'd love to see you there!

Photos: (1) The Pioneer Woman, (2) Robyn Kessler for Oh Happy Day, (3) The Pastry Affair, (4) Trent Bailey for Styled Magazine, (5) Heart of Light, (6) Jamie Magazine

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I wish...

...that I had thought of these bright, cheery flower cone invitations. The lovely Melanie of You Are My Fave dreamed these up as a festive way to invite people over for a "Spring Is Here/In Your Face, Winter!" party (love that idea too).



It would have been a fun way to invite people to the Easter brunch my roommates and I are having this weekend. Well, except for the logistics of hanging one on 50 doors all over Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Surprise boxes


My friend Bethany has been working insane hours lately.* As in, she may as well be sleeping at her office. Up until about a year ago, I worked similar hours (until I quit! but that's a story for another day) so I know how soul-sucking it can be when your life is only work. When you go straight from work to bed, straight from bed to work, and there's no life in between. In short, my friend was in need of some serious cheering up. So I made surprise boxes.







Inspired by Jordan's surprise balls, I got five small boxes (from here) and filled them with fun little treats that I knew she'd love: lollipops, bright nail polish, stickers, Cadbury mini eggs, and pink streamers.  Then I used letter stamps to stamp the days of the week onto the boxes so she'd have a little box of cheer to open each day of the week. I love the idea of doing something like this to lead up to someone's birthday or an anniversary. Five presents are better than one, right?

*Full disclosure: Bethany was working crazy hours when I thought up this idea. The same day I thought of this little project and went shopping for the supplies, her work (finally) slowed down again making her much less in need of cheering up. I decided to make the boxes and give them to her anyway, because even a regular work day is more fun with yellow nail polish and pink streamers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend in pictures

{candy organizing for a project, friday}

{rainy day nail polish organizing, saturday}

{suburban-ish day in brooklyn, sunday}

{martha washington geraniums, sunday}

I spent a lot of time organizing this weekend. Sorting candy for a baking project on Friday, and organizing just about everything I could get my hands on on Saturday. It turned out to be the perfect day to do some spring cleaning/organizing because the weather was dreadful, and it's just terrible when you have to miss a great spring day because of spring cleaning. Thankfully the rain gave way to sun on Sunday, so my roommates and I set off for "suburban Sunday" (in Brooklyn, where we keep our suburban stores in these parts). We loaded up a cart with plants to beautify our garden, then headed to Ikea for Swedish meatballs and browsing. How was your weekend?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Marshmallow "cake"

I've said before that making homemade marshmallows is, in the world of baking, as close as you can get to magic. And I have one friend in particular who is particularly devoted to my brand of magic (well, not just mine. give her a marshmallow from just about anywhere and watch it disappear). So for Kate's birthday, I decided to attempt a marshmallow "cake."


She's been subtly (and also not-so-subtly) hinting that she'd like an almond marshmallow for quite some time. So I mixed up a batch of my standard marshmallow recipe (this one) and added almond extract until the kitchen started to smell like what I'd imagine an almond grove might smell like. I topped them with toasted almonds. Never one to leave well enough alone, I made another batch and flavored it with salted caramel sauce.

I whipped these for an extra long time so they'd be extra tall and fluffy, and make a nice tall marshmallow "cake." Happy birthday, Kate! I'm glad you're so easy to please :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Friday


Here's a photo of Katharine Hepburn skateboarding, because she is awesome.

Rumor has it this photo was taken on the set of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, which came out in 1967. Wouldn't it be fun to think that a young crew member had his skateboard on set and Kate asked if she could give it a go? She was so feisty.

Happy weekend, everybody.

Photo via Kottke

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Parisian crepe party


My roommate Megan went to Paris for the first time last year, and fell in love. She still dreamily reminisces about the amazing crepe place near her hotel, and the crepe-maker who wore stripes everyday. While we couldn't give her a striped Frenchman for her birthday (although we probably should have tried), a few friends got together to throw her a Parisian-themed birthday brunch complete with crepes.


I broke out all the lacy, Parisian-feeling things I owned for decor. Including the lace ribbon I used to make a garland of Eiffel towers. To make the garland I printed out a drawing of the Eiffel Tower, cut it out, then traced the outline onto black paper.


I bought a new non-stick pan for the occasion and churned out crepes as quickly as they could be eaten. It's pretty simple to make crepes ahead of time. They just need to be kept in a low oven while you're waiting to serve them. And they are, of course, extremely versatile and can be topped with whatever you fancy. Including berries and whipped cream in the color of the French flag.


Vive le crepe!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekend in pictures

{almond marshmallow making, friday}

{surprise! a blurry elvis costello, friday}

{wedding dress inspiration in a very important yellow folder, saturday}

{quite possibly the best bridal shop ever, saturday}

{a little west village strolling, saturday}

{bare ankles weather and sunshine, saturday}

{discarded cowbell, spectating at a half marathon, sunday}

{birthday tulips and a marshmallow "cake," sunday}

When the weekend starts with Elvis Costello taking the mic, unscheduled and unannounced, singing A Slow Drag With Josephine then a Hank Williams tune with the real opening band, I'd say that's a pretty sure sign it's going to be a really good weekend. Besides an amazing concert (Amos Lee was the headliner, though it turned out to be a very good idea to have arrived early), there was giggly, girly wedding dress shopping, West Village brunching, supportive carbo-loading (I did not run a half marathon, but ate like I did), cheering for the friends who ran the race, and a birthday brunch for a lovely friend. All in all, a splendid start to April.

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