Friday, April 29, 2011

Braided Together

In love with this picture, taken for a crewcuts campaign by fashion photographer, Mei Tao. It embodies sisterhood - how truly entangled best friends can be to the point that the two are like one being. This image elicits memories of grass stained knees, laughter that makes you double over, and waning sunshine on a summer's day.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Humming with Delight

When my roommate's birthday came around earlier this week, I decided that it was time to explore the wonderful world of baking for a second time this month. Her favorite treat is Hummingbird Cake, which is a popular choice in the South and tastes like a combination of banana bread and pineapple upside down cake, topped with cream cheese icing. I was up for what sounded like an interesting challenge.

After reading that the cake can be very sweet and rich, I made some adjustments. I substituted unsweetened applesauce for oil, skipped one cup of sugar, and used whole wheat flour. Making do with what I have in my New York City pad, I used two rectangular pans instead of three rounds, ending up with two small double layer cakes.

In they go!
Heaven in the form of cream cheese icing
Happy Birthday, Laura!
Layers of yum
For those of you who have never heard of this delight, do give it a try. It turned out delicious, light, and flavorful. Using whole wheat flour made it much more bread like, but the applesauce kept it moist as can be. Next time I would use double the pineapple for more fruit bites and go overboard on the icing. Other possible additions: raisins, carrot, and nuts in the cake or dusted on top. I'm happy to add this treat to my short and sweet recipe collection.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Full of Life

April 15: In a world so hectic, I often forget to stop and smell the roses. I get caught up in my head and my busy schedule and fail to see all of the beauty around me, this incredible journey. It takes a sweet text, a smile from a stranger on the train, a great joke that makes me laugh 'til my belly hurts, and I will find myself overcome with the profound realization that this is the life - all crazy and funny and happy and spontaneous and full.

"Do what makes you happy. Be with who makes you smile. Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live." 


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baker's Dozen

While I love eating and dessert is my favorite, I'm not a huge fan of baking. Maybe it's the need for perfect proportions, maybe it's that the mixing has to be just right, but most of my treats have come out leaving something to be desired. So today when I was bitten by the rarely visiting baking bug, I decided to put a little more effort into making something tasty. I picked Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies from EatingWell and got to baking.

I added dried cranberries to the mix
Heading into the oven
I was so pleased with the finished product. The baking time was perfect, and I actually calmed myself long enough to let the cookies cool before moving them off the sheet. They came out chewy, filled with chips and fruit, with a lovely toasted quality. The amount of sugar had already been lowered in the adapted recipe, but I would do even less next time due to the cranberries. And best of all? It was easy! These will be my date to the next potluck.


Monday, April 4, 2011

My Fair Lavender

Spring has arrived, albeit sporadically, in the Big Apple. For me, this means a new pair of flats, a floral blouse, one summer dress to long for as it hangs in my closet, and a new nail color. Forever a purple girl, I picked out Essie's Nice is Nice, "a whimsical light lavender." It is perfect for the in between season - adding a colorful touch to layers of black work clothes or an extra punch to my weekend wares - and in a few weeks, I can't wait to see how it pops against a white bikini as I lay shadeside.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Relatable, Attainable, Grin Inspiring

Last night, while flying across the country from a trip to visit my long distance love, I ate up the latest issue of Glamour. Like so many issues of this magazine, it was filled with interesting and smile provoking articles and tidbits, but nothing so good as this month's Glamour List. 12 Things Every Woman Deserves in Life - a simple and wonderful mix of whimsical, romantic, and inspiring. Glamour is loved because of its ability to instill self appreciation and acceptance in women everywhere by sharing the simple fact that we're alike in so many ways - 12 Things gave other readers the same boost of happiness. Today, I went through my stack of past issues and started a new, heart warming collection.