Filed In: Eats

big apple overview.

There is something about New York City that gives me what feels like endless energy and the greatest ambition + after living there twice, it has truly become my home away from home. Jason and I spent time in the Big Apple this month for some work and some play, and I couldn’t help but share our go-to spots!

13177442_10108179930814954_9215644557296226777_n

Friend of a Farmer // 77 Irving Place

This is my favorite breakfast spot with the freshest ingredients – their zucchini bread, array of scrambles, and almond milk lattes are to die for. Not to mention, they serve the best blueberry pancakes I have ever tried. It is the coziest atmosphere with two fireplaces in the snowy winter and outdoor seating when the weather is pretty. Must try!

Butcher’s Daughter // 19 Kenmare

For all of you health lovers out there, this is your place. Not to mention, it is the most adorable spot in all the land. We love going there before dinner for a little appetizer or a pick-me-up elixir shot (my fave: the vampire slayer). Other must tries: avocado toast bites, the spicy kale salad, and the deviled eggs.

Cafe Cluny // 284 W 12th St

Jason introduced me to this adorable little cafe a few years ago. It is a romantic gem of a place in the heart of the cozy streets of West Village. The food is impeccable. Not many words are needed for this eatery except GO for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or all three!

13244628_10108179930989604_3784913934894037721_nMaman // 239 Centre Street

To. Die. For. This may be the most darling coffee shop with the yummiest match almond milk latte and the best almond milk latte (except for the one at the T Room in Dallas, of course). They also have fresh and delicious bakery items + a fantastic brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Yes, please!

Cafe Lalo // 201 West 83rd Street

For all of you You’ve Got Mail lovers, this is a special spot to visit on the Upper West Side. Positives: it is not touristy; it is absolutely delicious; it is the coziest escape from the hustle and bustle as it sits high on the street + they just provide a great cup of joe. All you need is the daily newspaper to start the day off right or your bestie as you break from the city walking.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

The Plaza Food Hall // 1 W 59th Street

Hi, Home Alone fans, this one is for you or just for anyone that loves an adorable underground food hall after a Central Park stroll. They provide everything your heart can imagine: fresh juices, overflowing lattes, bars that serve breakfast, crepes and macaroons. I most especially love this cozy yet bustling nook before I start my day.

Catch // 21 Ninth Avenue

This is a hearty and memorable seafood spot in the Meatpacking District accompanied by the coolest decor and atmosphere. Jason and I always love going here on a date when our energy is up and are desiring an intimate, yet conversational dinner. They have the yummiest drinks, too!

I am going to stop here, but if you want to look up my other listed favorites, here are a few:

Lure: fun date spot

Mercer Kitchen

Bubby’s: best kale chopped salad

The Smile

Lovely Day

The Red Door Spa

Le Labo: make your own perfume + best personal gifts!

The Clay Pot: a darling jewelry shop

P.S. Check out this rad video our friend Jesy made recording our #NYCnights

10 RECIPE LINKS

Half Baked Harvest - green detox salad

We love finding new recipes to test out in our kitchens. Below are 10 links to tasty and healthy (ish!) recipes that we either have tried or plan to try. The image above is from the Half Baked Harvest– how amazing does that green detox salad look? Yum.

1. Fennel salad with goat cheese and pine nuts- light and perfect for a summer night

2. The tasty mean green detox salad that is pictured above

3. These fries (baked) are the definition of comfort food- baked garlic cilantro fries

4. I love recipes from Barefoot Contessa and this risotto dish looks so good

5. Avocado toast with a baked sweet potato slice instead of bread- genius!

6. A tasty chicken pad thai recipe with vegetable noodles instead of rice noodles

7. Soft granola bars made with peanut butter, oats, and a few more tasty ingredients

8. Dreaming of enjoying this banana bread on a Sunday morning with coffee

9. A dairy free pasta dish made with green ingredients (like avocado) that we love

10. The perfect chicken chili recipe for a cozy night at home

 

Shop cute kitchen accessories below:

Kale Caesar Salad

Kale Caesar Salad

Impress your guests with this salad while you secretly know that it is the easiest thing in the world to make. This is my go-to for greens when having people over for dinner.

  • Kale
  • Caesar Salad dressing (I love the Annie’s brand from Whole Foods, but you could totally make your own!!)
  • Croutons (Wholefoods actually had bruschetta in the bakery section that I bought and crumbled up- so good)
  • Shaved parmesan

— Wash the kale and put in a big salad bowl. Top with the parmesan and croutons and finish with the dressing. Serve with salad tongs and enjoy!

A little something sweet

a little something sweet // lolo mag

Hello, easiest dessert ever. We were having people over the other night and I was randomly inspired to create a dessert. Sweets aren’t really my thing (weird, I know) but others enjoy a little something sweet after a savory meal, so I decided to give it a go. I scoured the kitchen and came up with this. I’ll spoil the ending and tell you that all of our guests LOVED it. The taste ends up being just the right amount of sweet and the different textures work so well together.

Here are the simple ingredients + directions:

Creme Fraiche + Toppings

Ingredients:

Creme Fraiche

Blackberries

Slivered almonds

Coconut flakes

Honey

**We used organic ingredients + raw honey, but it’s totally up to you of course. I made 10 small-ish servings and used 2 of the small containers of Creme Fraiche from Whole Foods and about 3 packages of blackberries in total. 

Directions:

1. Spoon desired amount of creme fraiche in each ramekin.

2. Top each with several blackberries.

3. Sprinkle slivered almonds and coconut flakes on top.

4. Drizzle with honey.

Yes, I promise, it is THAT easy. And everyone will love it! Hopefully.

xo Melissa

Kale Risotto Recipe

I have always been a risotto girl- not really sure why, but I just love it so much. If it’s on the menu (especially when paired with scallops) I am most certainly going to order it. However- It can be very rich and I also heard that cooking it can be a real pain, so I had always stayed away from cooking it myself. Until I found this recipe from Strawberry Plum!

What I love about this recipe is that most of the cooking process happens in the oven, which makes it a baked risotto recipe I suppose. The important part is that it does not require that intensive stirring that stove-top risotto entails.  I have cooked Strawberry Plum’s recipe (with chicken thighs) two times now, but I’ve also experimented a bit and ended up with a kale risotto version that I just adore. It makes a great side dish, is so easy, and is not too rich! Success. Below are the ingredients + steps. Happy Cooking! -M

Risotto recipe

Ingredients:

2 cloves of Garlic – chopped

1 bunch of scallions – or less! 

1 cup Arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups chicken stock

Rosemary (2 or 3 springs)

Parmesan cheese

Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Saute garlic + scallions in olive oil- preferably in a cast iron skillet! If not, any pan that can go from stove to oven is fine. The sauteing will take about 2 mins!

2. Pour rice into pan and ‘toast’ it for about a minute. This is also a good time to add in the rosemary as well as a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

3. Pour in the wine- simmer until the rice has absorbed most of it. 

4.  Add the chicken broth then place the entire pan in oven for about 30 minutes.

5. While the risotto is baking, sautee kale (in olive oil) in a separate pan. This should only take a few minutes! 

6. Once the risotto is done, use a potholder to remove the pan from oven. The liquid should be absorbed, but the rice should be creamy.

7. Stir in the kale and top with Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

kitchen essentials + the cutest gifts.

The Kennedy household is full of OCD tendencies quite equivalent to “Monica” characteristics for all of you Friends watchers. For me, that equates into a major love for organizing (especially the kitchen). Even when comfy seating is available in the family room, I have come to realize the kitchen seems to be the communal place, right? Sitting on the counter or on the bar stools seems to make for better conversations.

With that in mind, I think the kitchen is the most important place to create a comfy vibe + the organization only makes it easier when you want to whip up some homemade cookies on a whim. See some of my favorite pieces I spotted this week that are already purchased or sitting in my wish list + see the line up of adorable organizational canisters below.

the cutest appetizer plates in all the land.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.44.33 PM

I just bought two of these storage bowls this morning.
Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.15.24 PM
these weck jars are my heros. I have purchased a few from here too.
Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.14.30 PM
we are addicted to these copper mugs + how darling would these be for a gift? Not to mention, they look adorable on a bar cart. See ours here and in the photo below.
Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.12.50 PM Home Goods-28 Home Goods-23
when I have extra homemade cookies or leftover donuts from Sidecar, I love storing them on a cake stand or on a domed sweet stand.
Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.12.17 PM
this is the perfect latte cup.
Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.10.46 PM