Snow, Shopping and Sushi: A Weekend Well Spent

Things did not go according to plan this weekend, but I’m not complaining in the least bit. Even though I didn’t get to wear my shnazzy costume (we were going to be Amish), I got to spend some much needed quality time with my men.

On Saturday I woke up to snow. If you’re from the Northeast I’m sure you heard this all weekend, but I’m not ready for winter yet. It was cold, windy, wet and gross, but since Tommy just moved into his new apartment on Friday, we had some shopping to do. Who am I to say no to home decor shopping in the snow, or ever?

Before we got to shopping, the first thing on the agenda was to get my laptop looked at, at the Apple Store. My MacBook Pro has been freezing lately, so I brought it to the Genius Bar where they ran some tests and nursed my Apple back to health. We also grabbed some lunch at Johnny Rocket’s while waiting for the fix. We got burgers with fries and onion rings and split a Strawberry Oreo Crunch shake.  Good food on the go.

Next on the agenda was Ikea, where we got all the kitchen necessities – plates, bowls, cups, silver wear and knives. We also found the perfect corner desk for Tommy’s room.  You really can’t beat Ikea’s prices.  The furniture might not be the highest quality, but their kitchen wear is inexpensive, great quality and cute to boot.

I also picked up something that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time.  I’ve been in love with the Clear Cube since I saw the Kardashian’s had it, but since I don’t have $500 to drop on a plastic makeup box, this Ikea one for $16.99 works for me. Just a heads up, if you want to buy this, you have to ask an Ikea associate for it because for some reason you have to pick it up from the furniture pick up area. We spent 20 minutes walking around looking for it before I pulled up a picture of it and showed it to the sales guy. It was hidden away inside a cabinet in the bathroom showroom.

Munchkin loved Ikea, or at least playing hide and seek in the self service area.

When we were all shopped out, we decided on getting some sushi for dinner. As usual, it was amazing. If you live in the Brooklyn/Queens area I highly recommend Sakura 6 and 7.  Both of them have yet to disappoint  and we’ve been eating there on almost a weekly basis for over a year. Since it was still horrible outside, we nixed our plans for going out and headed home to watch a movie.

Sunday was organization day. We managed to get all the boxes unpacked, the desk put together and all our purchases put away. We also did some couch shopping and some grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and Stop and Shop. Tommy’s apartment is coming together great and with just a few more purchases it will look amazing.

Since it is Halloween, it’s time for me to make my Munchkin an extra special Halloween breakfast. Gotta start the morning right if we want to be ready for trick or treating tonight.

Happy Halloween everyone!!

Did you get any snow over the weekend? Did you dress up for Halloween? Are you giving out good candy tonight? (Maybe Munchkin and I will stop by ;) )

Will Workout for Peeled Snacks

I can home yesterday to two huge packages waiting for me. One was my new wheel, so I’ll finally be able to drive like a normal person instead of on my spare.  As exciting as getting the wheel was, the other box was even more exciting.

Peeled Snacks are organic, dried fruit snacks that don’t have any added sugars or oils. Not to mention that they are super yummy. I got the Family Size Farmer’s Market Trio, which is raisins, cherries and apples and the Organic Fruits Variety Pack, which gives you two individual sized pouches of pineapple, mango, apricot, cherry and apple. They are sold at most Starbucks locations, which is where I tried them for the first time.

I ordered the snacks thanks to a program called Earndit.com.  If you exercise outdoors and have a smartphone or a Garmin to track your mileage, you can sign up and earn points for your workouts that can be redeemed for lots of different rewards, including the Peeled Snacks. Thanks to Earndit, I was able to get all these yummy snacks while only paying for shipping. If you’re a runner, I highly recommend it because it’s totally free and you get to earn cool rewards for getting your workout in.

I ordered these with Munchkin in mind because, just like me, he is a huge fan of raisins, craisins and other dried fruit. They are also a great alternative to candy and other sweet snacks which we will be flooded with come Monday.

Speaking of Monday, who is exciting for Halloween? I know I am! We are going to some Halloween parties on Saturday, so I’m really hoping this snow and rain they’re calling for will not really happen.  Parading around in a Halloween costume in the snow does not exactly sound like fun, especially when I was only wearing a light sweater last year.

On Monday, I’m taking off from school so I can go trick-or-treating with Munchkin. We are going to do the trick or treating in our neighborhood earlier in the afternoon, because we are going out to Long Island to trick-or-treat with Arianna after Tommy gets off from work. It’s her first Halloween and I can’t wait to see the cutie pie in her costume!

I’m also planning on making Candy Corn Cookies and fudge, so I’ll try to be back before Halloween with an update on those.

This weekend is also move in weekend for Tommy into his new apartment, so I have a feeling we will both be running around like crazies all weekend.

I gotta get some laundry and cleaning done so I can start on the fun stuff, baking!

Have an awesome Halloween weekend!

What are your favorite sweet snacks? Do you celebrate Halloween?

Last Glimpse of Summer

Friday started off like many other Fridays with sushi for dinner. It had been a while since we went to our usual sushi place, so it was nice to get back. We were both super hungry so we got veggie dumplings to start, which were quite yummy.

Dragon Roll

After dinner, we ran some errands, and stopped by Trader Joe’s where I picked up Pumpkin Cream Cheese. The stuff is pretty amazing, especially on Pumpkin Swirl toast.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese

On Saturday, we spent the day at the lake.  Since we were getting one of the last glimpses of summer, Munchkin and I took full advantage. A lot of the leaves are already changing colors making the views gorgeous.

We spent a lot of time playing in the sand and running around in the grass, trying to climb trees.

And after we were all played out, we lounged in the beach chair. Just kidding, he can’t sit still for more than 30 seconds.

When we got home, I decided it was time to get baking.  I saw a two ingredient pumpkin cookie recipe on Julie’s blog, but I decided to take it up a notch and made mine with 4 ingredients.

Pumpkin Carrot Cake Cookies

  • 1 box carrot cake mix
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix and pumpkin puree.  Fold in carrots and raisins.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies feel a bit firm to the touch.

The cake mix I bought came with a pouch of fake carrots that you had to reconstitute with water, but I passed on delicious science and opted for real carrots.

After the cookies were baked and Munchkin was bathed, we relaxed in front of the TV to watch Something Borrowed.  I had higher expectations for the movie, but ended up being a bit unimpressed.  Then again, you can’t really expect anything profound from a romantic comedy.

Most of Sunday was spent with my nose in the books, but I’m happy to report that almost all my homework for the week is done!

I did find some time to spend outdoors with my little man and I whipped up an eggplant and zucchini parm.

Sadly, I do not get the day off like just about everyone else. But, I guess I can’t complain because I did just have a five day weekend.

Have a great Monday and Happy Columbus Day! I hope you have the day off!

Did you go anything fun this weekend? Are you one of the luckies who has the day off?

Sailing on a Saturday Afternoon

This weekend included good food, better people and some amazing adventures.

Saturday morning I woke up with only one thing on my mind, French toast.  I received a package from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program on Friday which included a very yummy looking recipe and knew it had to be made ASAP.

This was not your average French toast, this was made with Chocolate Chip Panettone, an Italian sweet bread. The recipe was super quick and easy and the results were to die for. All you need is the Panettone, two eggs, two tablespoons of milk, a tablespoon of sour cream, some cinnamon and a little almond extract. Mix it up, add the bread, fry it up and chow down.

After our bellies were full, we headed into the city to go sailing.  I bought Tommy an experience gift for his graduation through Xperience Days and it included a two hour cruise on the Clipper City through New York Harbor with Craft Beer tasting.

The weather people kept saying it was going to rain in the afternoon, but we had faith that it would hold out. That is, until it started pouring within minutes of us leaving shore.  Luckily, our captain steered us straight out of the storm and it was smooth sailing for the whole trip.

The storm we left behind.

Lady Liberty

We got some awesome views of the sights of New York and tried six different beers from three different local breweries, Fire Island Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery and Southampton Publik House. Two of the six were pumpkin beers which I loved! My two favorite beers came from the Southampton brewery, Pumpkin Ale and Double White Ale. I really hope I’ll be able to find these beers in stores.

Once we were back on dry land, we decided to grab some dinner. We decided on Amber, a steakhouse in Greenpoint that we both pass by on a regular basis, but haven’t had a chance to try yet. Since we are both Polish, we agreed that the place had a very Polish atmosphere, like a restaurant in Poland, but I don’t know if non-Poles would get that kind of vibe from the place.

We started with the Tuna Tartare as our appetizer. It was good, but we both agreed that it would be better with a little more spice to it.

For our entrees, we both got the New York Strip Steak.  I got mine with mashed potatoes and mushroom and spinach.  My potatoes were good, but Tommy’s asparagus stole the spotlight.  It was coated in a very light butter sauce which gave it an amazing flavor.

Overall, it was a good meal, but even though the steak was cooked perfectly to medium, it was a bit charred on the outside for my taste.

We spent the rest of the evening at home spending some time with the little man.  We watched Love, Wedding, Marriage and played some Scrabble on the iPad, while snacking on some Swedish Fish.  If that’s not a good night, I don’t know what it.

Have a great Monday! I’ll be back tomorrow to share our pumpkin picking adventures.

What did you do this weekend?
What’s your favorite beer?

Shopping Successes

Since we woke up to sunny blue skies, Munchkin and I decided to head out to the park after breakfast and take advantage of quite possibly one of the last warm summerish days of the year.  We had a great time running around, climbing, swinging and going down the slides.

We had a very successful shopping day yesterday.  We didn’t make it to all the stores that I was hoping, but I got almost everything I needed at Target and TJ Maxx. On our way out the door, the weather started to take a turn for the worst. We had to run through the Target parking lot to make it into the store before it started monsooning.

 I finally found a pair of boots at TJ Maxx. They’re just plain black suede boots, but for $35 they were a steal. They are also super comfy which is a must for me.

I got some good stuff at Target, as well.  I spotted this shirt dress and knew it had to be mine.

I also grabbed some fall decorations from the dollar section.  These pumpkins were only $2.50 each. I also got some decorations to put up in front of the house, which I’m planning on doing this weekend.

For lunch/dinner I made a chicken veggie stir fry.  I had a bunch of veggies in the fridge that needed to be eaten and a stir fry was a super easy way to use em all.

I served the stir fry over Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice.  It was the first time that I bought this rice, but I will definitely be repurchasing because it was very good.

Now that Munchkin is napping the afternoon away, I need to do some cleaning. We are heading out to Long Island tonight for dinner at Minado’s.  We are meeting up for dinner with Tommy’s cousins and their baby girl, Arianna.

We have some big plans this weekend and they involve boats and pumpkins, weather permitting.

What are your plans for the weekend?
What’s the last ‘steal’ purchase you made?

A little bit of shopping

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a great weekend because I know I did!
We started the weekend very deliciously, with some sushi. It had been almost two weeks since we went out for sushi, which I’m pretty sure is some kind of record. Munchkin is liking sushi more and more as he gets older.  Its pretty funny to see a little guy in a highchair throwing back Alaska rolls. 
On Saturday, we woke up in the Poconos and I was ready to get outdoors.  The weather was gorgeous with a slight chill in the air, the perfect weather to go check out the farm stand. 

My eyes lit up when I saw all of the pumpkins, squash and gourds for sale already.  As much as I would love to buy them all and decorate already, I really want to go to a pumpkin patch and get the whole pumpkin picking experience. 
I did purchase some spaghetti squash, which I will be attempting to make this week, for the first time.  Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t screw it up!
We also hit up the supermarket where Munchkin not only got a free cookies at the bakery, he also got a sticker at checkout.  He was one happy camper!
Saturday night was date night! We decided to go to the movies and ended up seeing Drive.  We were going to go to the movie theater that we went to last time, but its like a half hour drive away so instead we decided to go to the Poconos Movieplex.  It was seriously like the strangest movie theater we’d ever been to.  It looked like it was stuck in the 80s and it totally gave us strange vibes, kind of like in movies when outsiders come into the little town.
Luckily, the locals did not turn out to be zombies and we got out of there alive. The movie, however, was so weird.  It has really good reviews online, but both of us were just really confused throughout the movie. There were a lot of awkward pauses and the ending didn’t really make sense.  I don’t recommend it. 
After the movies we hit up Red Robin..yum! I had a coupon for a free birthday burger, which you get if you sign up for their newsletter.  I had the Oktoberfest burger which was really good. Its had beer flavored mustard, Swiss cheese, onions and ham on a pretzel bun.  I’ve never had mustard on a burger before, but it definitely works and gives the burger a really yummy flavor.
On Sunday, we hit up the outlets to get some new pieces for our fall wardrobes.  I got my first plaid shirt at J Crew and I can’t wait to wear it.  I think it’ll look great with jeans and boots for fall. Munchkin got new fall sneakers and a raincoat with matching galoshes.
I fell in love with a winter coat for Munchkin, but they didn’t have his size in store.  Thanks to my online shopping skills, Munchkin’s coat will me arriving in 5 to 7 business days!
Now I need to catch up on some homework, I know you’re jealous. 
Have a great Monday!
What did you do this weekend?
What’s your fall fashion must have?

Welcoming Fall

Happy Friday everyone! Fall arrived in New York last night and it was kind of entertaining to see who doesn’t watch the weather channel. There were some shivering people dressed in shorts and tank tops on the subway. Another thing I observed on my subway ride home was that no male over the age of 10 should ever wear Crocs, especially not neon orange Crocs.  Not a good look. The train that I take always has a lot of interesting people, wearing even more interesting clothes, because it goes through a hipster neighborhood.

Since I did watch the weather channel, I knew that fall was rapidly approaching and with the temperatures dropping, what is better than a piece of warm, gooey apple crisp. This is seriously the world’s simplest recipe and probably the best apple crisp I’ve made.

Apple Crisp

  • 6 apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon apple pie spice

Heat over to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon apple pie spice. Mix well to coat apples.  Transfer apples to baking dish.  In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Using your hands, kneed the cold butter into the flour and oats to create a crumbly dough.  Crumble the dough over the apples and bake for 30 minutes or until the apples begin to bubble through the topping.  Serve and enjoy!

I probably make more apple crisp than anything else during the fall.  It’s my quick, go to recipe for some good comfort food.

I’m going to be hitting up the farm stand this weekend, so hopefully I can get some nice, in season produce to play around with next week.  I’m really hoping they have squash, but I think it is still to early.  Fingers crossed!

What’s your favorite fall comfort food?
What are your plans for the weekend?

A bit of Fall Baking

This. Weather. Sucks. 
That’s really all I can say.  It’s been pouring since Monday night and I’m starting to get cabin fever. The rain overnight was insane, it was raining so hard that it woke me up. I feel bad for all the people who are experiencing flooding again, only a week after the flooding from hurricane Irene went down. 


To get my mind off this horrible weather, I did some baking.  And we all know that baking makes me a very happy girl.


I pinned this recipe on Pinterest a while ago and felt that the weather is very fall-like outside, some comforting food would totally hit the spot. Since I can never follow a recipe without making changes, I’ll give you mine too.



Peach-Apple Cobbler


Filling:
3 large peaches, pitted and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
3 large apples, peeled and cored, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon apple pie spice


Topping:
1-2/3 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
pinch salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a baking dish. In a medium bowl, stir together the filling ingredients. Pour filling into the prepared dish; set aside.




For the topping, in a large bowl mix the flour, the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add the 2/3 cup cream, mixing until the dough just comes 

together. 



Form the dough into 2-inch balls and flatten gently with the palm of your hand. Evenly arrange the dough rounds on top of the filling. Brush a little cream over the rounds. Bake about 1 hour or until the biscuits are golden and the filling is bubbling.


This is so good that the whole pan got eaten within one day in my house.  

Now I need to tend to my laundry.  I need to start packing because we are leaving for Boston tomorrow afternoon! I’m so excited.  

Have a great Thursday!

What’s your favorite fall food?

The Calm After the Storm

After all the hype about New York City getting submerged in water was, luckily, just hype.  Just to be sure, we made our way up to Pennsylvania on Friday night. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

We started our Friday evening off with some Chipotle for dinner. It was a total chance Chipotle encounter because we were looking for Panera, but found Chipotle in the same plaza and went for it. I got a chicken burrito bowl. We seriously need a Chipotle in my area, real bad.

I also made rhubarb muffins on Friday. They were really, really yummy and I will be sharing the recipe soon.

We went down to Philly on Friday night because Tommy needed to get his car, which he had to leave at home to get serviced.  The plan was to wake up early Saturday and go up to the Poconos.  We woke up to the phone ringing three times in a row on Saturday.  Our plan to wake up early kind of went out the window because it was already 10 AM.  For two people who don’t get to sleep in very often, we took full advantage of the sleep opportunity, even though we didn’t mean to.

As soon as we woke up, Tommy knew where he wanted to get a quick breakfast.

RJ’s Bagels looks like a little unassuming shop from outside, but once inside you find a place where all your breakfast dreams can come true.  Not only do they have really unique bagel flavors, like cranberry oat, which I want to try next time, they have something called the heart attack.

We both had heart attacks, sounds super healthy, I know.  It was egg, cheese, bacon, ham, sausage and hash browns in a wrap topped with a ton of hot sauce.

It was very good and very hot.  My mouth felt like it was on fire, but in a good way.  I also enjoyed a vanilla coffee along side my heart attack.

When we were making our way out of the Philly area, it started to rain, so we knew that Irene was on her way.  The rain got really strong in some spots, but we made it to the Poconos without a problem.

Along the way, we stopped to buy a cake because it was my cousin’s 21st Birthday on Saturday. It was an angel food cake with cream cheese frosting covered in a white chocolate shell.  I also loved the little butterflies on top of it.

We spent Saturday indoors thanks to Irene.  The storm got pretty bad at night, with the winds whipping up and rain pounding against the windows.

We woke up to some damage.

The winds were still pretty strong, but we ventured out to survey the area.

With all the leaves blown off the trees, it looked like fall had arrived early.

We decided to try to make it home in the early afternoon, in case we ran into roadblocks. The drive was pretty uneventful except for one slightly flooded spot.

In New York, it honestly doesn’t look like anything happened, which is a really good thing.

Today, Munchkin and I will be partying hard at his friend Victor’s birthday party. Have a great Monday everyone and I hope everyone is safe and dry after Irene.

Have you ever lived through a natural disaster?
What’s your favorite not-so-good-for-you breakfast?

The calm before the storm

I woke up this morning to the sun shining and a beautiful blue sky, but this gorgeous weather won’t last. Since the weather is supposed to get really bad in NYC over the weekend, we are packing up and getting out.  I will be spending the day bringing in all our outdoor furniture and potted plants, moving all my valuables up from the basement, trying to somehow lift my new washer and dryer off the ground and hoping for the best.

I honestly didn’t think much of all this hurricane talk until they announced that all public transportation will be shut down if the winds get over 39 mph.  The subway has never been turned off, and if they are planning on taking such extreme measures, it’s not gonna be pretty.

Enough worrying, let’s get onto the good stuff, dinner!

Since time seems to be eluding me all week, I made a quick meal before running out the door for school.

Thanks to the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program and Birds Eye, I was able to try the new Birds Eye Voila! frozen meals.

I chose the Cheesy Chicken flavor because it sounded delicious and made me think of it as a healthy version of Mac and Cheese. The meal was super easy and super quick to make.  I just threw in all the ingredients into my wok with 2/3 cup of water and let it simmer.

After doing some stirring, it was ready to serve.  I really liked that the veggies in the meal wer crisp and tasted fresh, even though they were frozen.  There is nothing I hate more than soggy veggies, especially carrots.

So far, I’ve been enjoying school.  My professors are interesting, as are my classes. I feel like the classes I’m taking this semester are things that will actually come in handy in real life, unlike my classes last semester.

After school, Tommy picked me up and we went to the supermarket to pick up some supplies in case this weekend is as bad as they’re saying.  We got to the supermarket around 9:30 PM and it was packed. I had never seen that many people shopping that late.

And where there are that many people shopping, the shelves start looking like this.

The supermarket was out of gallons of water.  All that was left was Voss, which is a bit pricey for emergency kits.

I hope that everyone in the path of this hurricane stays safe and dry this weekend.
Have a great weekend!

Are you in the path of the hurricane? Have you done anything to prepare?
What are you doing this weekend?