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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

With teachers from Colombia and India, Zoe was really struggling to pin down ONE ethnicity that may represent herself or our family. We are kind of a hodge-podge of ethnicities – but since Purim happened so recently, Zoe really wanted to make hamentashen and carry an Israeli flag around during her ‘Rainbow Song’ for International Day. She belted out her song and ate everything that the other kids brought in – bean cakes from China, Irish soda bread and empanadas to name just a few!

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Jewish and proud!

Jewish and proud!

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On Christmas day we stayed indoors for the most part because that warm spell was broken by the coldest snap ever! Our friends invited us to their house for a little dinner, and because Lea and Mia’s mom is from Germany we felt a little bit of German Christmas in the air. The exception of course was the ‘Simon’ game under the tree – that was a piece of my own past!

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making cheese 'carnations' with the cheese cutter..

making cheese ‘carnations’ with the cheese cutter..


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and OH  how we LOVE to fondue for dessert!

and OH how we LOVE to fondue for dessert!

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What napkin? I don't need a napkin...

What napkin? I don’t need a napkin…

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In the South End of Boston there’s a cute little bakery that makes the yummiest little sugary scones and muffins… it’s going to be my new go-to breakfast joint when I’m back in Massachusetts!

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My dad has been unwell, and things have been stressful. I had to leave “my littles” behind in NYC and go ahead to Boston for a few days. Coincidentally an old friend lives nearby and offered me a room to stay in. Her company and her inspiring house kept my mind off of hospital stress; offering a reprieve from it all.

Efharis Alepedis is an old friend and a phenomenal jewelry designer. Her sister Betty Alepedis-Stoukides makes gorgeous paintings and leather jewelry from Greece – where she lives fulltime. And Effy curates all these amazing things in her home in such a sunny way, I had to photograph it all. I do love her ongoing collection of jewelry by new designers… so inspiring! The cut leather necklaces and paintings on the wall are Betty’s. The sea urchins and silk worm cocoons are Effy’s favorite materials to work with. And all the other pieces labeled with pencil on the wall (and cut wood necklaces and bee/honeycomb ring on the table) are work by young designers that Effy and Betty find and enjoy. One of my all time favorites is the white china plate that she hangs in her kitchen. With perfect disks cut out of it, the resulting necklace hangs next to it.

I couldn’t help but include a shot of the streets and houses around her home… so ‘New England’ .. I felt like a kid in my old neighborhood again.

See some of Effy’s beautiful finished pieces here

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Remember our hot chocolate outing from last year? Well we were out and about again in Soho and came across our favorite fancy hot chocolate shop, Marie Belle. Their hot chocolate is literally like drinking a chocolate bar that’s been melted down into a fancy tea cup. The kids love it and I love sitting under the chandeliers and pretending we are in Paris! Check out their Blue Box collection here – I can stare at these illustrations on chocolates all day.

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After checking out Ezra’s march around the block I had to race to Zoe’s school to see her and her friends in their costumes, having a little feast of fruit! She inadvertently picked a book character as well … she was ‘Pinkalicious‘ for a day. And later joined her brother for the Jackson Heights Halloween Parade – to march down our main street and collect candy.

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Remember we ran into Smorgasburg here and here? The Smorgasburg trend is spreading … and we are glad it is! We gorged on chicken and waffles (Uncle Anthony’s idea) – some fish and chips for the kids, steak sandwiches and shrimp spring rolls. Washed it all down with mango lemonade – yum! – and then on to more scooting. We are hoping that by showing them all this good food, they’ll crave some more and will come back again and visit.

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We took Jake and Tali uptown to see the Museum of Natural History, and then got THE MOST AMAZING PIZZA EVER at Primo Pizza 84. I’m not kidding, this vegetarian pizza is even better than the pizza I’ve had in Naples, Italy! Phenomenal!

everyone gives Teddy Roosevelt a hug

everyone gives Teddy Roosevelt a hug

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chilling under the whale

chilling under the whale

Primo's 'eggplant rollatini pizza; with perfect scoops of ricotta.

Primo’s eggplant rollatini pizza; with perfect scoops of ricotta.

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in the 'core of the earth' at the subway station under the museum.

in the ‘core of the earth’ at the subway station under the museum.

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I’m pretty disappointed that we couldn’t return to the Hamptons Barn (where my husband and I were married, and where we have frolicked with family and friends in past summers). We had a summer full of work, and Jewish holidays came earlier this year.. making it near impossible to get out there for tomato season (and ya know how I love my tomatoes!) We did however try like h*ll to get out there for some pumpkin picking – although this year was not as warm as Octobers of the past so we really felt like we were harvesting crops before the winter cold comes! Hank’s warm Pumpkin Spice Donuts really hit the spot when it’s cold outside.

Have a lovely weekend!

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If you remember a while back my brother married in Florida. His wife Tricia has a family who lives not too far from us near Yonkers, NY. They invited us to sit in their garden and eat a lunch like they do when they spend their summers in Italy: al fresco. The tomatoes were amazing – and their garden has copious amounts of little peppers that Ezra insisted on eating right off the plant (and then drinking a gallon of milk to take the burn out!) Tricia’s dad was so impressed that he wants to “keep him for a week” to help with gardening and to enjoy the vegetables; an invitation that E will never turn down! And Zoe loved eating figs right off of the tree.

For now (sadly September is over but..) I’ve been inspired to enjoy all the tomato dishes I can. And that mozzarella – I have to find some of that fresh mozzarella from Stew Leonard’s – buono!

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