Cold Process Coffee along the Hudson

Earlier this year I wrote about a coffee tasting that one of our friends hosted with a new line of gourmet coffee beans, Lamill. Well, I’m not going to say that my blog post gave our friend, Eric, the “press” and start he needed to take Lamill to a wider audience, but I will definitely let you think that if you want.

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Eric recently opened Cold Process Coffee & Tea as part of the redevelopment of Pier 57. Pier 57 is a 170,000 square-foot covered, open-air public market. Business are housed  in recycled and creatively refitted shipping containers. The market is New York’s first large-scale concentration of year-round, affordable work/sell space for artisans and other small businesses. Cold Process Coffee & Tea made their debut last month and have plans to be there through October. There are currently 4-5 other booths in the space with room to add more.

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Cold Process Coffee is a unique way of steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period. This lends well to an espresso based iced coffee with more flavor and certainly more caffeine than regular iced coffee.

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On Saturday, Matt and I decided to run down along the Hudson River to Eric’s new “office.” As you can see from the pictures, it is an incredible space (much too hip for Matt and me). The only suggestion I would make would be to add some delicious treats to the menu.  The counter space looked a little lonely and I bet a homemade chocolate chip cookie and would go great with the iced coffee… now I wonder who you could ask to make you some (wink, wink).

It was very inspirational to see our friend taking a passion and turning it into a business. We were psyched to support Eric and definitely encourage anyone to stop by and get your daily caffeine fix. And who know’s — you just might wait in line behind a celebrity!

Brooklyn Fever

Well, its back. Matt and I have Brooklyn fever again. And all it took was one trip to Williamsburg, brunch at Two Door Tavern and some oysters and Smorgasburg. Damn, we are suckers.

Yummy maple lemonade from Vermont.
Yummy maple lemonade from Vermont.
Two of our favorite things, Brooklyn and oysters!
Two of our favorite things, Brooklyn and oysters!
It is an oyster party!
It is an oyster party!
I'm not sure if this is Matt's tough guy face, or his "I just sucked down an oyster" face
I’m not sure if this is Matt’s tough guy face, or his “I just sucked down an oyster” face
Just relaxing at the beach
Just relaxing at the beach
Manhattan in the background
Manhattan in the background

Our lease is up in August… is it too soon to look for an apartment in Williamsburg?

10 Pounds Later

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE Panera. In high school I worked here for about 6 months and to this day, it was probably my favorite job. Unfortunately, when I moved to New York, the closest Panera was over 6 miles away, outside of the city. As a result, whenever I would leave the city of go home for a weekend, a trip to Panera was always on my list of things to do.

So when it was announced that Panera was coming to Manhattan – I freaked. The first store opened earlier this year at on 7th ave between 28th  and 29th. This is about 15 blocks north from my office and 3 avenues west (i.e not very close) but that didn’t stop me. On opening day, I trekked over to the store for lunch. I was so excited I could hardly contain it – well, the fact is, I didn’t. After ordering a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with a massive grin on my face, I announced to the cashier that “I used to be you! I worked at a Panera once. It was awesome.” I thought she would join in on my elated state however, she responded by saying “So does that mean, one day, I will get to be you?” Clearly she didn’t understand that I thought, by working at Panera, she was the lucky one.

While the experience of eating Panera that day was fantastic, I had to come to terms that it wasn’t going to become a daily experience. The store was just too far away.

But then, I saw they were opening another Panera in Union Square – a 2 minute walk from my work. Nearly every day for months, I would walk by the site and peer in the windows to see how far along the construction was coming. Sadly, with union protests the work was slowed. And I was denied my “fresh” bread, soups and sandwiches.

Last week, after returning to the office from a nice lunch out with some co-workers, another one of my colleagues asked me if I had been to Panera yet? I freaked out – not realizing that it was opened. I was so upset that I had already had lunch that day – for a second I thought about making myself throw up just so I could go and eat another lunch but then decided that wasn’t a good idea, not to mention gross.

The next morning, I happily left my apartment without breakfast so I could stop at Panera for a cinnamon crunch bagel and a caramel latte. I know, not the healthiest of choices, but boy did it make me happy. I practically skipped into work.

Needless to say, it was delicious and I can’t wait to go back. So in honor of the 10 pounds that I will inevitably gain from all of the food I will eat from Panera, I am running my very first Giveaway on my blog. Leave a comment with your favorite menu item at Panera and you will be entered to win a 15 dollar gift card to your local Panera! The winner will be announced on Monday.

Happy eating!

Welcome to Summer

I love Memorial Day as it is the unofficial start to summer. Time for cookouts, white pants and eating as much ice cream as possible. I kicked off this season of sun and fun in a big way, but more to come on that later…

Today in New York it is hot. Summer is definitely here. As a way to celebrate, my work-twin and I walked to the lower east side for some mid-day BIG GAY ICE CREAM!

And boy was it delicious. We both had the salty pimp – yup, the name says it all!

I can not recommend this place enough, especially on a day when the “real feel” temperature is over 100 degrees. And if you aren’t near by, look out for their big gay ice cream truck, which is frequently parked in Union Square during the week and in Mid-town during the weekend. Or, for their exact location, just follow them on twitter @biggayicecream

Favorite Things, Mother’s Day Edition

This post was inspired/request/demanded from a loyal blog follower. I was thrilled to received a request for two reasons:

1. It shows that I am becoming a source for trust information (look out Google).
2. It makes blogging much easier as coming up with ideas is 75% of the work.

So here is my list Mother’s Day Edition of My Favorite Things

DIY GIFTS

Candles

I love candles as presents. You really can never have too many because are things that you use up (much like food of bath products). While candles aren’t super expensive, there are a lot of fun and easy DIY candle projects.

Dipped Candles

Tea Cup Candles

Scented Soy Candles

Decoupaged Candles

Diptyque Candles

Totes

A girl can never have too many tote bags, especially if they are cute! And with eco-chic being all the rage, mom can use this for her grocery sopping and farmer market trips.

Cherry Branch Tote

Basic Tote

Minimalist Tote (for the most advanced DIY-er)

Doily Tote (we did something similar for the “welcome bags” at our wedding)

Vases & Pots

Flowers are a solid go-to option, but after a week, there won’t be much gift left. Why not add a little something to your bouquet of flowers with a DIY vase or pot?

 Swirl Vase

Decoupage Pot

Rainbow Drip Pot (good options for kids)

Colored Pencil Vase

Neon Rope Vase

THINGS TO BUY

Nothing like a cute quote to make her smile.

Print (could be a DIY)

Key Chain

Sign

Jewelry is usually a safe bet. Here are a few that celebrate motherhood.

Morse Code Necklace

Fingerprint Charm (perfect for new moms!)

Dogeared

Simple XO Necklace

Name Necklace (another good one for new moms)

Let’s be honest, moms spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Get her something that will make it more enjoyable.

 Agrate Trivate

Mini Colored Colanders

Colored Spatulas

Medallion Table Cloth (DIY? I dare you.)

Recipe Box w/Card Holder

DIY – Dish Cloth

And if you are lucky enough to actually see your dear mother over Mother’s Day, here are a few resources to help you host a Mother’s Day brunch.

 

Mother’s Day Brunch via Cup of Joe, Delish, Real Simple, Epicurious and Martha Stewart (it wouldn’t complete without MS)

And for those of you who break out in a cold sweat at the idea of hosting a brunch, here are NY Mag’s top restaurant picks.

And last, but certainly not least, surprise mom on her special day with a new tattoo!

The Benefits of Marriage

Sometimes I think marriage is man’s ploy to enslave women.

Since getting married I have had to clean up after two people instead of just one. I spend twice as much on groceries and toiletries. I wash double (maybe even triple) the number clothes and dishes. And I have half the amount of space in my closet. I am really not seeing the upside.

But like all things in life, it is easy to focus on the negatives.

This weekend I got to see a lot of the upsides:

Friday

Matt took Abby, her friend and me to the Rangers hockey game. Not only did he provide the tickets and purchase our food and drinks, but he also sat quietly while Abby and I communicated in the way that only sisters truly understand.

Saturday

After morning swim practice (just like the good old days) Matt let me crash his “boys brunch” at Daddy-O’s, home of the best bloody mary ever. Afterwards, I met up with two of my favorite Harvard swimming teammates and then went for a manicure. When I met back up with Matt and the boys, they all complimented me on my newly painted pink nails. It was like having 3, somewhat feminine, husbands.

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Sunday

After a quick workout, Matt and I met up with our third-wheel for a lovely Hell’s Kitchen brunch at Eatery. Afterwards, we went to the movies to watch the highly anticipated Hunger Games. It was awesome – I absolutely loved it! On the way home Matt and I stopped at Columbus Circle to purchase new running shoes. After getting fitted for a lovely pair of black and hot pink New Balance shoes – I proceeded to aimlessly walk around the store.  As I was walking around the store, Matt went over to the cash register and paid for our shoes. Although Matt and I have joint checking, we each have our own credit cards for which we have tried to set a budget. As a result his budget will be taking the hit for this purchase – if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

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When we got home, Matt decided to get our taxes in order – a process that is so much more time consuming and complicated than you think. I thought about making some cookies but then proceeded to lie on the couch watching terrible reality tv.

Suddenly married life doesn’t look so bad.

Bachelor Party vs. Parental Visit

This weekend Matt atttended a bachelor party out in Las Vegas, so my parents came to NYC to we could have our own equally crazy weekend. It was the first time that they had visited New York since my sister left last fall, so the pressure was on a provide a fun-filled weekend. I spent a lot of time researching things to do, restaurants to dine at and cleaning my apartment for their arrival. I also cranked up the A/C to try and counter the 100+ degree temperatures outside. Here is the itinerary that I came up with:

FRIDAY
My parents arrived in the afternoon, their called filled with wedding presents that had been mailed to their house. We unloaded the car and brought eveything upstairs. I was in the middle of watching the Tour De France when they arrived, so we finished the stage and unpacked some of the things that they brought with them. We then jumped in a cab and headed downtown for dinner. I had originally planned to go to Fette Sau, a BBQ joint in Brooklyn that Matt raves about. However, with the hot temperatures, no one really felt like eating BBQ. So instead, I made a gametime decision and took a chance on the line at The Spotted Pig. We arrived just as they started to seat people for dinner and we were seated within 5 minutes. SCORE! After enjoying a delicious dinner consisting of bacon wrapped dates, the most amazing burger and shoestring fries we headed back up to the theater district for the show, Jersey Boys. This show was incredible. I can not recommend it enough. After the show we walked the 10 blocks home in the heat, stopping for ice cream at Holey Cream. We all ended the day tired and very full.

SATURDAY
We woke up, enjoyed some delicious coffee from our Keurig and looked at the hundreds of wedding pictures that our photographers took. It was really nice to relive the wedding and see a lot of things that I didn’t really get a chance to look at that day. Now I just have to figure out what I am going to do with all of these pictures! Then watched the time trial stage of the Tour de France before heading out to one of my favortite breakfast spots, Nook. We started off with the baguette covered with nutella, bananas and strawberries. I enjoyed an egg scramble, while my mom had the french toast and my dad had a slice of quiche. YUM! After breakfast, we took the subway out to Queens to visit the Museum of Moving Image where the exhibit, Jim Henson’s Fantastic World had just arrived last weekend. As a child who grew up watching Sesame Street until the age of 14 (ok, really 28), this was a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

After the museum, we jumped back on the subway and headed to Eataly, a cross between a farmers market and a restaurant. I had never been to Eataly and was dying to adventure in. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

I couldn’t believe how large the space was and how many delicious foods there were. We decided to buy food, as opposed to eat at the various restaurant/counters, and cook ourselves at home. We bought a baguette, a few cheese and meats for appetizers, tomatoes, mozerella and basil for a capreses salad and some pasta and sauce for our main dish. Everything was so fresh and so amazing. It certainly inspired me to make the time to cook – recently, I have spent too much time with the microwave and frozen Lean Cuisines! We spent the rest of the evening just relaxing, chatting and eating.

SUNDAY
Whenever I have guests visit, Sunday always feels like a wash. Their pending departure seems to get in the way of any fun plans, even if they aren’t leaving until the afternoon. We woke up and went to Sarahbeth’s, another breakfast favorite. We then walked around the park and went to Crate & Barrel to do a couple errands. Once we got ome, my dad packed up their bags while my mom assembled my new spice rack for me. After they left I rode my bike for a while on my trainer (i.e. something  that turns your road bike into a stationary bike) and made some cookies. It was a fantastic weekend!

Thank you Mom and Dad for making the trip down. And after hearing about Matt’s weekend in Vegas, I feel satisfied that ours was more fun. I mean, casinos and pool parties don’t hold a candle to Jim Henson and the Muppets!