Travelling in Style: NYC

I'm not sure how long I'll stay in New York state, so while I'm here I'm trying to take advantage of my proximity to some of the major east coast cities. This spring we're hoping to spend a weekend in NYC, which I've only been to once before--and that was a for a half day high school field trip, so its safe to say that I know nothing about the city. As always, Kyle and I did extensive research on where to stay. Of course, hotels in NYC are ridiculously expensive, so ultimately our choice will be dictated by budget. But in my dream world, we'd stay at The Greenwich Hotel. In fact, in my dreamworld, we would live in the Greenwich Hotel.


Wednesday Wishlist

With this tribal-inspired look, my philosophy was to keep the outfit simple and pile on the accessories. 


Book Nooks

These interiors make me want a stacked-to-the-ceiling bookcase and a mod chair to keep it company. And I love how the bookcase is the focal piece of the room pictured at bottom--its so much more elegant and welcoming than a tv as a center piece. I'm going to go dream about sinking into that velvet couch with a good book......

Photos: Cococozy/Lonny Mag/I forget (oops!)


Eggs Florentine with Smoked Paprika Hollandaise

There are two reasons I've traditionally avoided eggs benedict: 1) I'm vegetarian, and they usually incorporate some sort of meat product, and 2) the sickly pale yellow-ness of hollandaise sauce just never really turned me on. But world, rejoice! With this recipe I've solved both of those problems.

First, you will need to assemble your ingredients (this recipe serves 1):

1 english muffin (I used wheat)
5 cups fresh spinach
2 tblsp vegetable oil
4 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup butter, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
fresh lemon juice

Now let's get cooking! First, we'll need to poach the eggs:

Bring the 4 cups water and 1/4 cup vinegar to a boil. Crack each egg individually into a bowl, then slide carefully, one at a time, into the boiling water. The vinegar is a crucial ingredient here, and is what keeps your egg together in one nice piece! Boil for 3 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towl, and keep water boiling while we make the hollandaise and cook the spinach:

Put your egg yolk in a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over (but not touching) some simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn't get too hot, or your yolk will cook! Whisk the yolk rapidly for 1 minute or so, until it gets fluffier and lighter in color. Add the butter pieces and continue whisking as they melt. Remove from heat and add smoked paprika and lemon juice to taste. That's it! To cook the spinach, first heat 2 tblsp vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add the spinach and sautee until the leaves are wilted.

Now we can assemble things!

This is easy. Toast the english muffin and top with the sauteed spinach. If your poached eggs are cold, slide them back into the boiling water for 30 sec to heat through. Put the eggs on top of the spinach.

Now spoon the hollandaise sauce over the tops of the eggs. Add cracked black pepper and salt to taste.
Just one more step.....



Weekly Roundup

 1. New photos and a new book from Josef Hoflehner, whose black and whites (above) just blow me away.
2. The blogger behind my favorite blog, Destined to Design, started a magazine that is sure to be great.
3. The Makers, a photo chronicle of artisans in Brooklyn.
4. These enchanting string gardens and flower walls.


Weekend Getaway

I recently relocated from Chicago to a small town in upstate New York. When I left, I thought I was ready for a simpler, quieter place to call home. As it turns out, I wasn't at all. I miss the bustling of the city and the million things there are to do....such as go to a coffee shop that serves beautiful cappuccinos and just spend the morning by a window people watching. Fortunately (and unfortunately) my fiance is still in Chicago, so I get to go back and visit frequently. On my last trip we walked (walked! not drove! oh, city life) to Intelligentsia, one of Chicago's finest coffee roasters. The cappuccino was almost too beautiful to drink, and I took a few photos of it before I did.

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Global Dinner Party

Although I'd like our every day dinnerware to be white (we're still shopping around for it), I think it would be great to have just a few pieces with color for fun occasions. Right now I think these would be lovely--imagine an afternoon get together with ice tea and a summery salad, and your table is filled with this eclectic serveware. Wouldn't it be perfect? Clockwise from top left: tablecloth/ moroccan glasses/ salad bowl/ dinner plates/ serving utensils.

Update: 25-30% of all items on Horchow today only!


What happened to Isaac Mizrahi for Liz Claiborne?

If you browsed around any department store back in 2009, you may have noticed that Liz Claiborne was given a total makeover via the designers at Isaac Mizrahi. It was a beautiful thing--a creative amalgam of 50's silhouettes (I'm always a sucker for them), pops of color, and Parisian aesthetic. The line wasn't available online, but the Liz Claiborne site promised that their online shop would return after its style makeover. So I waited. And waited. I waited through 2009, and then through 2010. And then, after falling in love with an incredible pair of Isaac Mizrahi colorblock flats recently, I went back to the Isaac Mizrahi site and was reminded of the Liz Claiborne collaboration. But upon checking out the new Liz Claiborne site (which has finally debuted) I was beyond disappointed. The first words that greeted me: "Liz Claiborne, exclusively at JCPenney." Yes, JCPenney. The brand has taken a big tumble, and now I am left to forever lament that I never bought a single item from that 2009 collection.

At least I scored the IM colorblock flats for 60% off.


Les macarons

These colorful little guys keep popping up everywhere. Not to be confused with our American-style coconut version, the french macaron seems to be surpassing the cupcake as the dessert du jour. Frankly, I've never been a big fan of cupcakes--they're sugary sweet and rarely ever chocolatey, nutty, or creamy enough for my taste. So perhaps this change is a good one. The only thing is that I've never actually tried a macaron, and I doubt that there is any place in my little upstate New York locale that sells them. So I think I'll try making my own. For guidance, there's this book and this one. And David Lebovitz has a post about them with some helpful hints on technique. Do you have any macaron advice? Such as how to get that amazing rainbow of colors?


Modern Hides

No, they're not just for Texans anymore! Cowhides keep appearing as a decor theme in modern rooms. I think they give a bit of hominess to a look that could otherwise come off as cold. I personally love the look of animal hides, and have one of my own. Its positioned strategically half-under-half-out of my bed...unfortunately, the rest of my room isn't tidy enough to merit sharing a photo with you.

Photo credits,clockwise from top left: Destined to Design, Emmas DesignBlogg, At Home At Home, Destined to Design, Creative Flats


Wednesday Wishlist (a few days early)

 I'm anxiously awaiting summer, and thinking of all the lovely things I'd like to have when it comes. I'll be getting married and going on my honeymoon this year, which must be making me feel a bit ritzy, because I'm really gravitating towards black and gold. Clockwise from top left: Sigerson Morrison sandal/ leather hobo/ black caftan/ Alex Monroe earrings/ black maillot

Oh summer, please come soon.


Travelling in Style: Navarra, Spain

I came across Hotel Aire de Bardenas while looking for a place to stay on my honeymoon in La Rioja. This austere accommodation sits isolated on the plains outside of Tudela, and it has me convinced that when it comes to architecture and design Spain has got everyone beat.  An outdoor bathtub? I'm sold! Would you want to spend your honeymoon here?