Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Boston Walk-about

New England threw us a cool weather curve ball, so we didn't make it the beach this weekend after all. Instead, we did something we do far too infrequently - took a long, meandering walk around Boston.

We started by the Christian Science Church. For months, we drove by this amazing complex without knowing what it was. I was always curious about the inside of the church. Quite lovely.

We ended at SOWA. Good grief, I loved that place! Fried pickles, cute stationery, fresh corn - who could blame me. I started naming everyone I want to take there next time they visit, and eventually Peter said, "You're just naming everyone we know..." True that. But everyone will love it so!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Newport Folk Festival

It started raining - hard - as soon as we arrived in the parking lot for the Newport Folk Festival. We hustled over to the drinks tent to wait it out, and just as Blizten Trapper was beginning, a (sky*) blue sky started to creep overhead, pushing all the rain clouds away for the rest of the night.

This was my kind of concert setting. I've mentioned before my lack of cool musical tastes, but this extends to old lady-like reactions to live music, as well. It's too loud, too smokey, too teenager-y. Embarrassing.

But Newport Folk Festival is a delightful place! The crowd is truly nice, there are ocean views, and the food is fantastic. I kept my eyes peeled for Bob Boilen, but no such luck spotting him. See you next year, Bob?

*Wilco joke!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beach Days

Fun weekend ahead! Tonight we're meeting my sister and her boyfriend at the Newport Folk Festival, and then we have plans to hit the beach! These were taken at Crane a few weeks ago. Such a busy, beautiful day.

This is a random aside, but that's what blogs are for, no?

I love sitting right next to people at the beach. Ideally surrounded by a group of girlfriends (old or young), a family with young kids, and a couple. This creates an ideal environment for eavesdropping. Peter would rather be all alone on a stretch of sand with nothing but the sound of the ocean for company (and my sweet voice talking his ear off, of course).

We compromise by sitting kind of near some people, but not too many. Ha!

Hope you have a lovely weekend ahead! And tell me, what's your beach style? Lots of people, or all alone? Early in the morning, or come at dusk?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Raspberry Gin Fizz

Cheers to Thursday!

I saw this a little while ago and came home telling Peter I needed one of my own.

I asked Peter what he did and took notes. This is what he said:

Muddle 10-ish raspberries and the juice from 1/2 of a lime. Add a splash of simple syrup and a splash of club soda and mix. Pour 1 1/2 ounces of gin into two glasses with ice. Strain the raspberry soda mixture to eliminate the seeds and then split it into the two glasses over the gin. Top with additional club soda as needed and a slice of lime.

(Deb's direction's might be slightly more clear :)

P.S. If you like making cocktails at home - and I'm sure you do! - might I recommend this amazing ice tray? It will make you feel fancy. Also perfect for cold pressed coffee!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Sunday Dinner: Arctic Char and Gnocchi with Beet Green Pesto

When Peter was out of town last week, I made a summery version of this dish for myself. Instead of creamed greens, I made a pesto with blanched beet greens, goat cheese, lemon and a bit of olive oil. Instead of peas, I added some corn cut off the cob, and threw some chopped basil on top. It was so good, Peter and I had it again this week!

I know I don't usually subject you to photos of my salads (which we have almost every day), but this one looked so pretty to me! I think its the golden beets, brightening everything up.

Summer Sunday Dinner: Warm Weather Gnocchi 

  • Field green salad with golden beets and goat cheese
  • Arctic Char and gnocchi with beet green pesto
  • Raspberry swirl ice cream (I skipped the corn this time, and I'll be honest - not my favorite from her book. Maybe the corn makes all the difference?)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Easy Entertaining: Drinks + Dessert

Last week friends came over for the most perfect evening of low-key summer fun. They came by around 8:00 p.m., just as it was getting cool and breezy. Peter made dark and stormies, and my girlfriend brought over fresh berries and cream. We sat outside (it looked just like the above :), chattering away about beach days and what we were cooking lately.

There was no rush to cook and then cool off, since we had all eaten something light and quick before getting together. I admitted that I felt badly not making everyone dinner, but they immediately brushed it off (and I regretted saying that - never apologize when entertaining!).

So, here's what you do (and how you can avoid my mislaid guilt). Invite friends over last minute - no more than a day or two ahead, and all the better, I think, if you can pull something off for the very same night. (We all want to yes to more fun, right?) Put a bottle of wine in the fridge, or pick up a six-pack of beer, or have the makings for one - and only one - fun cocktail. Serve everyone the same thing, and sit outside, or under the whirl of your air conditioner.Toast to summer, and then toast again to seeing friends more often.

Monday, July 16, 2012


I am a lone wolf this week since Peter is out in California filling his brain up with knowledge about the Gilded Age. Don't be jealous! I'm certainly not. I've got big plans.

On Sunday I saw a bunch of girlfriends for a truly epic five-hour brunch. I'm meeting up with book club girls for a picnic on the Common. Later this week, there might be some ladies golf. And I'm totally organizing all my closets :)

After thinking about our move last week, I was struck by how far I've come in the last year building up my community of peeps. Of course, I still wish all my friends and family would move to my neighborhood (and I tell them this every chance I get). But one-year in, and I'm doing okay. Better than okay: I have new friends! If Peter did this trip a year ago, the only thing on my list would have been...organizing my closets. That's a very lonely list. 

I used to say to myself, "Give it six months! Then you'll be established." I have since revised that to a full year (hindsight being 20/20, and all that). That's sad news if you're moving to a new place without many contacts, but I think that time frame would have me go easier on myself in January when I still felt like I had hardly anyone to reach out to for a random glass of wine.

You can hardly find a top-ten most emailed list that doesn't include an article about the difficulties of making friends as an adult, but it is hard to do. I didn't go to any crazy lengths, though - I basically followed the advice given to single people looking for dates. Join clubs, take lessons, meet friends-of-friends for coffee. Yes, I felt dorky at time, but seriously. I felt dorkier when I had no one to talk to about the pros and cons of maxi dresses or the TomKat fiasco :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Berkshire Living

We're heading to the Berkshires this afternoon for a celebration birthday dinner, and then a celebration picnic at Tanglewood with family tomorrow night. I think birthdays should last at least a few days, but preferable in the neighborhood of a week :)

These shots were taken when we were up a few weeks ago to see Garrison, but it will likely be a similar scene: cheese, wine, candy, awesomeness. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! And happy Friday the 13th (a totally lucky day, in my opinion!).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thanks for having me

One year ago, Peter and I were eating bagels on our stoop while a couple of sweaty movers packed up our truck. We headed north, and four hours later were outside our current apartment, waiting for a second set of sweaty movers to arrive and unload our truck. I haven't been back in NYC since.

Do you ever think about all the streets you used to walk on that you never pass now? In D.C., I walked on H Street; on the Upper West Side, I walked on Central Park West; in Brooklyn, I walked on 5th Avenue. Every day. Now, never.

Sometimes I think about the street I lived on in Italy while I was studying abroad. It was on the outskirts of Perugia. Most of my friends were situated closer to the city center. Via Porcini, I think it was called. I wonder if, when I go back there, I'll be able to remember all the twisty turns that lead to that old apartment building; recognize the particular stone wall that indicates I'm on the right path.

*  *  *

Moving to Boston was different than all the rest because I want to stay here. Everything was temporary right from the get-go in other cities. Now we think, "Which neighborhood will we buy in?" and "I want to be at this job for a long time."

I thought it would be feel different, sticky, boring to have these feelings. I have always loved thinking about what's next - probably a little too much. Is this growing up? Or just finding the right spot?

This post took a slightly different turn than I had intended when I set out, because all I really wanted to say was this: Thanks, Boston, for having me. Here's to many more happy years together.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Smoked Salmon, Two Ways

A few weeks back when Peter cooked ribs, he made a smoked salmon fillet, too. Friends of ours warned us about smoking fish - they thought the scent was hard to get rid of and would permeate other foods. We didn't have any problems, though!

The first plate we ate as a snack while waiting for the ribs - flaked smoked salmon with rice crackers, cream cheese, and chives. The second plate we had for dinner a few nights later. It's quinoa, black beans, corn, goat cheese, slices of radish and cucumber, and of course, smoked salmon. I made a lime-y dressing to toss it all together. To enjoy this one, you certainly don't have to smoke your own fish! Trader Joe's is selling an amazing smoked trout at the moment, and I think that would work beautifully.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tall Ships

This is a semi-rare picture heavy post, but I couldn't help it. The Tall Ships were in Boston last week for Navy Week and to commemorate the 200 year anniversary of the War of 1812. Aren't they gorgeous?! It helped that it was a lovely, warm, blue sky afternoon.

They are in Newport, RI now, and then head up to Nova Scotia (the full calendar is here). Highly recommended, if they're headed your way!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sour Cherry Caipirinha

After making roasted sour cherry ice cream with dark chocolate, I still had a few cherries left. Cocktails seemed like the way to go. Dessert, then drinks = my priorities :)

I hope you all had wonderful Fourth of July holidays! We were evacuated from the Esplanade before the fireworks started due to the thunder storms - sadness. So tonight we're heading to a neighboring town to give it another go! Fingers crossed for clear skies.

Sour Cherry Caipirinhas
You will need:

12 sour cherries, pitted (I used this amazing method)
2 half inch slices of lime, cut in half
4 teaspoons sugar
4 ounces cachaca

Muddle ten cherries, lime slices and sugar in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the cachaca and fill with ice. Shake well and pour into two glasses (You can strain it is you want to remove the cherry pieces, but I like them in the glass). Add one of the reserved cherries to each glass. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Two Years In

(Cheers with wedding present wine)

Shortly after we got married, I remember talking with Peter about how long the newlywed stage would last. I thought it might be about two years for us.

Something big shifted for me internally when we got married. Saying our vows made me buzz and bubble up inside, and I felt the hugeness of making that commitment in front of everyone we loved the most. But I'm not sure I really felt like a newlywed in the months and years since. That giddy "Oh my goodness, you're home!" feeling (along with the "Oh my goodness, would it kill you to clean the bathroom?" feeling) came when we first moved in together in New York, three years before our wedding.

I am thrilled we did it that way, of course. When we returned from our honeymoon, we got right down to the business of changing my name, admiring our shiny rings, and drinking lots of left over Prosecco. We were still thrilled to see each other every night, and had long ago figured out the cleaning schedule. It was awesome. But I felt like I was missing the big shift. I spent a lot of time reading about relationships and marriage, looking for secret advice about how I was supposed to act now that we had a marriage to think about.

The shift in my thinking was slow and internal. I share the following not to offer advice to anyone - I'm really in no position to do that - but instead to articulate what I think I've personally learned during this fuzzy newlywed stage.

The first big shift in my thinking occurred when I realized that there was no marriage. There is not an external or tangible thing that Peter or I can focus on or work to improve. It is just the two of us - a tree of love never sprouted up through our now-joined hearts. I can only focus on and work to improve myself by thinking hard about what makes me happy, and where I want to go, and how I can best grow up. Peter can do the same if he chooses (and happily, he does), but I can't really worry too much about his process. When I am working to be at my happiest and best, I must have faith that is the best thing I can do for both of us.

That might sound selfish and a bit harsh. But in my mind, I couple that knowledge with this idea: I know what makes Peter happy better than anyone else in the world. Isn't that an incredible thought? Of course, many friends and family members have a good idea of what Peter loves. But I am the master-keeper of that special knowledge. And that is the thing I can focus on and work to improve. It's a pretty good gig.

Happy anniversary, my sweet.

Monday, July 2, 2012

2nd Anniversary Gift: China

When we were in Paris, I kept my eyes open for something that could work as an anniversary gift. I thought it would be fun for us to celebrate with something we picked up there. 

On our last full day, we went to the Pompidou in the morning, and I found these fantastic heart-shaped gelato spoons in their museum shop. I hemmed and hawed about them. They're not so practical, but they are oh-so-cute. I am thrilled that we pulled the trigger and bought them. 

Later that day, I shopped around a bit while Peter read in a cafe. In Reperages Maison, they had a big table display right in the front of the store of dishware in this darling pattern. I looked at trays and dessert plates, but then it dawned on me that ice cream bowls would be the perfect accompaniment to the gelato spoons. Anniversary gift kismet, says I!

The bowls and spoons are going for an inaugural spin with some roasted sour cherry ice cream :) Yay for celebrations!
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