Friday, August 23, 2013

Tomato, Feta, and Basil Galette

All I have to say is if you haven't tried this recipe, you are truly missing out.  Everything from the light, buttery crust to the sweet basil to the salty feta to the juicy tomatoes at their's heaven on a plate.  Pair it with your favorite red wine (my preference is Malbec) and dig in for seconds.  My go to quick and easy dinner all summer has been fresh homemade pizza topped with Giada's marina sauce and fresh basil.  But, this evening, when I found myself without any dough (and no, I wasn't about to make my own at eight pm), I looked up this easy recipe and was not disappointed.  This will definitely make a cameo at our next dinner party...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sunday in the Park

This past Sunday, I met up with a dear friend who lives just outside Boston.  Years ago, while visiting me in New York, she gave my children a lovely book entitled Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.  It takes place in Boston's beautiful Public Garden, a lush green oasis in the middle of the city.  It is an endearing tale about a mother duck who is trying to find a suitable home for her eight ducklings and the obstacles she faces along the way.  My children love this story because the police officer who helps Mrs. Mallard is named Michael (my third born) and the illustrations are both engaging and charming.  So, what better place to meet for lunch with our small children?  We packed sandwiches, fruit and cookies and spread out a blanket underneath one of the graceful willow trees.  We were in the perfect location right across from the lagoon where the ducks and swans were gathered.  My two year old son delighted in feeding the ducks and raced back and forth for yet another piece of bread.  It was an idyllic setting to catch up with an old friend and watch our children enjoy the wonders of this magical park.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Plaid Persuasion

Top: Target (similar here)/ Shorts: J.Crew/ Clutch: J. Crew (similar here)/ Ballet Flats: J.Crew/ Sunglasses: BCBG (similar here)/ Belt: Target (similar here)

As much as I appreciate the ease and comfort of my summer uniform of denim cut-offs and tissue tees, now that the summer is coming to an end,  I feel the need to switch things up a bit.  As I was rifling through my closet this morning, I came across this plaid button down I purchased at Target a few years ago.  In the past, I have worn it untucked over a pair of dark skinny jeans with riding boots and a blazer.  I never thought to couple it with a bright pair of chino shorts and flats.  Perhaps my propensity for preppiness has carried over from my weekend up to New England.  Regardless, this ensemble will definitely be resurrected before Fall arrives in full glory when shorts and wicker clutches will become faint memories as we wrap ourselves up in cozy cashmere sweaters and gather around the fireplace.  I shudder to think...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mac and Chic

My son Matthew has been asking me all summer to make his favorite mac and cheese.  In most cases this would not be a big deal.  There is the familiar blue box accompanied by the pre-packaged bright orange powdered cheese (product) that takes a mere ten minutes to make.  However, this is not the recipe Matthew is referring to.  He is thinking about the elegant mac and cheese that is made with Gruyere and nutmeg.  The one with the tomatoes and fresh breadcrumbs on top.  The one that takes approximately an hour start to finish and uses up lots of dishes.  The one that makes your house smell cozy and inviting.  Yes, this recipe is the one you can serve to grown ups too.  It is so delicious that you place the entire casserole dish in the center of the table because everyone always requests a second helping...and perhaps a third.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Preppy Pause

Striped Tee: Old Navy (similar here)/ Khaki Shorts: Banana Republic (similar here)/ Sandals: Jack Rogers/ Sunglasses: Michael Kors (similar here)/ Tote: J.Crew

This past weekend, I was up in New England picking up my daughter from camp so while I was there naturally I decided to embrace my inner preppy.  I don't own anything resembling seersucker, madras, argyle or khakis dotted with blue whales.  But, I was able to dig up this nautical striped three quarter sleeve tee and these khaki shorts from the archives.  Paired with Jack Rogers sandals and a straw tote, I think I blended in quite well...that is, of course, if one didn't notice my New York plates.  I was careful not to say "cawfee" or "wawter."  And my husband warned me not to mention the Yankees.  However, I think I blew my cover completely when I impatiently honked my horn at the car in front of me that was inching along at a snail's pace.  I suppose you can take the girl out of New York...well, you know the rest...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Signs of Life

With summer coming to an end, I was nostalgically sifting through the many photos I have taken over the past few months.  I realized that I am drawn to signs...some are quirky, some are pretty straight forward and some are signs we see everyday.  Regardless, they each represent something...a special day, a delicious meal, a laugh shared with a friend or a quiet moment all to myself.  I decided I am going to print and frame many of them and hang them around the house.  This way, each time I pass by them, it will take me back to the summer of 2013 when my children were 11, 8, 5 and 2.  When we spent countless afternoons at the pool, evenings at my son's baseball games and weekends at the beach. When we made homemade pizzas together(preferably half cheese, half pepperoni), sang loudly in the car with the sunroof open (favorite summer song: Justin Timberlake's Mirrors) and stayed up late watching movies (I think I know Teen Beach Movie by heart).  I will truly miss our precious time together as my children head back to school in just a few short weeks.  Sure, there are fall sports and apple picking and Halloween to look forward to now.  But, there is something magical about those long, lazy days of summer....

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Beach Weekend Essentials

This past weekend, after another magnificent weekend on Fire Island, I proudly pointed out to my husband how I have simplified my beach style and tapered my beauty routine down to a mere twenty minutes. Long gone are the days that he would wait endlessly in front of the TV as I battled with my hair and piled on the make-up (only to reapply it after sweating under the hair dryer for thirty minutes).  I would like to say that I had some sort of epiphany but truth be told four children, one suitcase and one outdoor shower will compel you to speed it up.  I must say, showering outdoors while listening to the ocean in the distance is heavenly (as long as someone leaves you hot water) and I would much prefer sipping Rose with friends and watching the sun set than fussing over my appearance any day.  It feels good to be a little older, a little wiser, learn to let go and simply be in the moment.  Here is a list of my packing essentials for a relaxing weekend at the beach.  What are some of your must haves?

Denim cut-offs (similar here)/ Tommy Bahama one-piece suit (similar here)/ J.Crew Tees (similar here)/ Gap chambray shirt/ Aqua cashmere sweater (similar here)/ Straw bag (similar here)/ Michael Kors sunglasses (similar here)/ Target scarves (similar here)/ India Hicks Island Living perfume 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Zesty Zucchini

Well, I solved a mystery this evening.  My son, Matthew, who loves anything related to fruit but dismisses most vegetables (on a good day, he will concede and eat fresh green beans...never frozen) willingly ate these zucchini pizza bites.  Perhaps it was the marina sauce or the melted cheese or the convenient size.  Whatever the reason, he tried one (as I held my breath), seemed to enjoy it, and (gasp) he asked for seconds!  This was a true culinary feat in my eyes.  That is, until further delving revealed that zucchini is indeed a fruit.  So, I am back to square one determined to expand his palette to include vegetables.  Perhaps a potato pizza might do the trick....I'll keep you posted.  In the meantime, these will definitely be a part of the appetizer rotation in our household.  Next time, I plan on trying this recipe with eggplant...even if it's considered a fruit.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Something Old, Something New

Tee Shirt: J.Crew/ Boyfriend Jeans: Gap/ Scarf: Target (similar here)/ Flats: Ivanka Trump (similar here)/ Tote: Just Campagne (similar here)/ Sunglasses: similar here)

When I was working as an assistant buyer for Calypso, there were definitely a few noteworthy perks.  Sometimes, I was lucky enough to be able to keep some of the many samples that came our way.  (I still own a ribbed orange cashmere scarf that I treasure to this day.)  I also was fortunate to take home the sample sizes the design department created. (One memorable piece was a brown suede ruffled coat that I wore everywhere in 2002...not incredibly practical for bitter New York winters but I relished the idea that no one else owned one.)  But, the best part of working at Calypso was the access I had to their yearly sample sale.  At the end of the day, the items that did not sell were sold to us employees at a deep discount.  My two prized possessions are a pair of Sigerson Morrison flats and this tote by Just Campagne.  I have been the proud owner of this bag for twelve years now and I still use it quite regularly.  The classic shape, neutral color and impeccable quality have stood the test of time.  Paired with my latest accessory purchase, this fringed summer scarf from Target, I suppose this ensemble epitomizes the term high-low.  I love the fact that this outfit can segue from a morning stroll on the boardwalk with my daughter to coffee with a friend.  C'est parfait.