Homemade Pizza

To celebrate the “hanging of the greens” in our home, I made a delicious white pizza to go well with our viewing of The Santa Clause.

First, heat your pizza stone with the oven to 450. I recently learned this is the best way to get the bottom of the pizza crisp.

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat pizza dough (courtesy of Fresh Direct)
  • Olive oil
  • Mozarella cheese
  • Ricotta (part skim)
  • Mushrooms (sauteed in olive oil and black pepper, with a dash of white truffle oil)
  • Fresh basil
  • Bake chicken, diced
  • White truffle oil
  • Black pepper

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Assemble pizza and drizzle top with white truffle oil. Creatively get pizza from counter to pizza stone already in oven, and bake for 8-10 minutes.

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Enjoy!

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Christmastime is Here

As I am writing this, I am sitting by our adorable (yet somewhat mini) Christmas tree, sipping the most delicious coffee, thinking about how much I love Christmas.

Hewitt and I started off December this weekend by going to pick out a tree. This is a bit different in Manhattan as 1. not surprisingly – they’re extraordinarily expensive and 2. you physically carry them home. Luckily in this case for us, we were in the market for the biggest small tree we could find to fit in our space, so it was also easier to carry home.

This photo, for the record, is to scale.

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Before:

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And with me still trying to learn about my camera, shutter speed, etc… this is the shot from moment Hewitt turned on our overhead lights.

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And here is one with a bit more normal lighting-

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So there you have it. Christmastime is here!

Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have come across a number of recipes with brown butter in them, and let’s be honest, at the least “brown butter” is extremely intriguing.

I picked this recipe on pinterest to try both brown butter and a new twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie… and let’s just say, I would recommend it.

You can find the full recipe here – I split the white flour half and half with whole wheat, and I  added an extra teaspoon of cinnamon.

The beginning:

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What browning butter looks like. You heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly…

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Until it looks like this! A browned version that tastes almost nutty.

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After letting the butter cool, you blend it into the batter,

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Cookie-scoop the dough,

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And the ending! Take more pictures – cookies stacked, ooey and gooey.

image_5 Hewitt took these to his office, and we all agree – they’re delicious!

A Birthday Well Celebrated

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and Hewitt put together quite a weekend complete with two brunches (my favorite meal), Indian and Thai takeout, James Bond, a giant birthday cupcake from Crumbs and Marea for a delicious and beautiful dinner.

We had brunch at Essex with lots of friends, and Kristen snapped this picture of us that I love.

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We also went to Bubby’s in Tribeca for the first time. I would absolutely recommend the sour cream pancakes! Fluffy and delicious.

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Dinner at Marea was perfect. It’s not exactly the kind of place I felt like I could whip out my iPhone and snap a picture of our lobster and burrata starter (yep)… so you’ll just have to believe me.

AND Hewitt gave me a new camera! Hopefully, this will help my blog photography graduate from iPhone photos, although I am sure they will make regular appearances. I haven’t quite figured out allll the features (there are many), but I have discovered a setting that takes three images practically simultaneously where the “exposure shifts by 0.3EV steps”, or the lighting is subtly altered in each shot.

So now I can get photos like this in a dimly lit restaurant:

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Right? (Can you see the difference!?)

I hope it goes without saying how grateful I am for Hewitt, my friends and family, in New York and elsewhere, who made me feel so loved and special on my birthday. Thanks for being so great. :)

The Engrams Visit The Engrams!

So, I am clearly behind in blog posts, but I blame my birthday and the holiday. And what wonderful occasions they both were!

A few weeks ago now (hard to believe it is practically December!), Hewitt’s parents came to see us in New York. We ate delicious food and took in quite a few sights and museums. Sadly, my camera was out of commission, so I only had my iPhone camera.

Highlights include (but certainly are not limited to) a visit to the World Trade Center Memorial where we caught some of the ongoing recovery efforts from Sandy downtown…

The Museum of American Finance… where we learned about Aaron Burr and the way he dropped Hamilton..

And Jersey Boys! Oh my goodness, what a fun show. I was familiar with a good amount of the music, and my in-laws certainly loved it – it was such a good time.

The thing that struck me the most about Jersey Boys is how happy it made me. How happy it made all of us. It was high energy and full of talent. One of my favorite things (hands down) about New York, however cliche, is the shows. The plays. The ballet. The musicals. There is so much talent and so much excitement, you can’t resist getting caught up in it and affected by it. And you wouldn’t want to resist. I always liked the Four Seasons songs that I knew, but they have an added layer of enjoyment to them now. (Definitely recommend the show.)

We went to American Museum of Natural History on Sunday – which is huge! And basically like living A Night at the Museum. (Which you should see, if you haven’t.)

But we saw dinosaurs and fish and fossils and models of the galaxies, and I was affirmed in the notion that you could easily spend 4 days there and have not seen it all.

We capped off the visit with a trip to Peter Luger in Brooklyn. Oh. my. gosh. I have never had steak like that, nor do I know if I ever will again, but wow. If you’re looking for the best “steak for two, three, four…” of your life, make a reservation, head to Brooklyn, wait even though you have a reservation and indulge. You won’t regret it.

It was a great weekend – I hope they’ll come back to see us! :)

Sounds Like Friday

Currently, there is a spot running in cabs in NYC for Guess’ kids line. And I LOVE the music behind it. Literally, I love it.

Luckily, Hewitt helped me track down the song, so now I can listen to it on Spotify on repeat. All day long.

It’s been a long week, and there are many posts waiting to be written, but I wanted to share this song… because it sounds like Friday.

 

Fall of the Giants

Last week, when Sandy struck and we lost power, you could say that I had a bit of time on my hands.

I decided to tackle my third Ken Follett novel – and his MO is writing, at a minimum of 975 pages. Per novel.

I read The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End a few years ago and LOVED them.

The plot of The Pillars of the Earth hinges on the construction of a cathedral, the people who live in the surrounding area and how their lives intersect. Jack is my favorite character. You should read it – it took me a few weeks because my power wasn’t out and I had less time on my hands, but of the three, this one is still my favorite.

World Without End takes place in the same town but two hundred years later. I supposed you could read them in either order because of this, but you would miss some of the backstory. So read this one second.

Fall of the Giants is different from the other two books in that it’s set just before and during WWI. (Think Downton Abbey, Season 2.) I loved the story, the time in history and many of the characters, but something about it just seemed off.

A few years ago, I took a creative writing class and I think the hardest short story I wrote was the one intended to highlight dialogue. Dialogue isn’t something the reader is supposed to even notice, and crafting conversation in writing that reads and feels like real, genuine conversation is actually quite difficult. Throughout Fall of the Giants, I kept thinking some of the characters lines were just a bit contrived. It’s when you notice that the character is talking, that it’s distracting.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed most of the 985 pages, and I plan to read the next book, it just struck me as interesting how much I noticed the author writing the dialogue.

And although it would be a hard thing to imagine saying – one of my favorite characters in the book (Maud) quoted one of my favorite passages – “Whither thou goest I will go…”