Monday, Monday (on a Wednesday!) or more links about what to do with all of those damned apples…

apples

Ok so now it’s mid October, and we spent a recent weekend really living the following locavore dream:

Head down the road to a local farm with close friends and a gaggle of kids, pick waaaay too many apples, grab some produce at the farmstand, stop by the fish market on the way home for the main course, and a delicious dinner (all sourced from within 30 miles or so) is had by all.

But now it’s a week later and we still have So. Many. Apples. Every year I somehow forget that I don’t need 75 apples on my kitchen shelf, so I go crazy picking tons of apples, and then I get home and reality sets in. Because while it is totally delicious, one can only make so much curried apple soup in a fortnight.

So the next two weeks are gonna be all about apples in this house. How shall I cook them? Let me count the ways, whilst you click on the links for the recipes:

Clearly, there will be glazed apple cider donuts.

I am also thinking we should make some magic apple plum cobbler. Because any dish that has the word “magic” in it is alright by me.

For cocktail hour this time of year, one should always consider serving up a nice apple smash.

Mark Bittman helps us get healthy with this lovely apple slaw.

Ummm… did I hear you say caramel apple upside down cake?

And while we’re on the topic of bittersweet candied apples

Last but not least, before you roll into bed stuffed to the gills with deliciousness, I give you braised and bruleéd apples with ice cream. You can thank me later.

Here are some links about getting it together, posted on a Friday rather than the usual Monday. Because late is better than never.

It has been a long time since my last post. All sorts of crazy things are happening in the world (shootings, bombs in Chelsea, Donald Trump for president…) plus summer is really over and school is in full swing. It is time for my autumnal press of the restart button, when I make all kinds of resolutions about how I will be finishing the year strong. Maybe you’d like to join me…?

Here are a few of my plans:

I’m going to keep eating at home most nights with my family. And feeling really good about it after watching the video above.

I’m putting down my phone and reading more books, like The Underground Railroad by Colson Whittehead.

This year I swear to God we’re going to make the whole school/homework/activities thing less haphazard.

I’m going to keep things clean– naturally– with apple cider vinegar.

I’m going to cook more profound food from The Moon Juice Cookbook. Anything that calls itself cosmic alchemy sounds good to me!

I’m going to go see more art: like the Alma Thomas show at The Studio Museum.

I am going to start to learn how to more effectively use all of these digital tools I have lying around the house. And then I’m going to actually organize the unruly jungle that is my desktop.

#stillsummer

summer corn soup

The most delicious, and simple, corn soup you will ever make. Make some quickly before the corn goes out of season…

Just looking at this photograph makes me a bit wistful for the lazy summer days in Maine… But to be honest, the corn is better down on Long Island. So the post-Labor Day version of this soup promises to be even better than the bowl pictured above.

We had a few extra ears of corn from dinner one night, so my husband, who is extremely adept in the kitchen, invented this chowder for the next day’s lunch. I constantly thank my lucky stars that I had the good fortune to marry a man who loves to cook. And now you all can share in my good fortune.

Corn chowder á la Josh

4 ears of corn
2 Tbs butter
large spoonful of sour cream
2/3 cup milk
pinch salt
a bit of chopped dill and bacon for garnish (if you’re feeling it)

Boil the corn for 4 minutes, then cut the kernels off and toss them into a pan with all of the rest of the ingredients. Cook till the butter melts. Throw the whole thing into the blender and blend till smooth. Top with a bit of dill and some broken bits of bacon and enjoy. Makes 3 good sized bowls of soup.

Kids clothes. On sale. Now.

pink chicken

Spotted hanging on the door to the Pink Chicken shop in Amagansett this morning…

So I’m walking to the library after dropping my daughter off at camp, and I see this little piece of adorable-ness hanging outside of Pink Chicken, one of the impossibly cute shops in Amagansett. It’s enough to make me almost want to have a baby (not quite, mind you, but close)…

But what it does remind me is that now is the time to buy all of our kid’s clothes for next summer, because everything is on deep sale right about now. Here’s where I’m going to go just as soon as I finish this post:

sweet william
I am most certainly buying these leggings from Sweet William. At $14, they are practically free.

soor ploom
I NEVER pass up a chance to get something from Soor Ploom, which makes the best best best clothes for little girls. I promise to keep pestering them abut making boys clothes. So far no luck, but I won’t give up.

OTO tut
Over the Ocean is kind of like a porno site for kids clothes and accessories. We all really need to have this little ballet tutu/dress thingy for our daughters, right? Come on… think of the photos…

And then, of course, J Crew, where one should NEVER pay full price for ANYTHING as it was almost certainly go on sale at some point…

Hopefully that’s enough to get you going. Do please let me know in the comments if you see anything especially good out there…

Another thing I don’t really need but totally want, regardless…

HiFi Console by Department

HiFi Console by Department Home & Audio

So I was sorting through a pile of unopened mail and other misc papers that have piled up on my desk, and lo and behold, I come across the flyer for this most perfect incredible subtle wireless new style old school record player plus storage by Department Home & Audio in Chicago. And I fell in love.

And then I realized that there really isn’t anywhere in our apartment that I could put this.

And then I was sad.

But maybe one of you lucky souls out there has been in the market for a record player/LP storage cabinet. And now your prayers are answered.

You can thank me later.

Go see the Martin Creed show RIGHT NOW (if you haven’t already and you happen to be in NYC…)

art - kids
Martin Creed balloon

My daughter, having the time of her life, in the middle of the balloon room at the Martin Creed show uptown at the Park Avenue Armory.

The Back Door, British artist Martin Creed’s show at The Park Avenue Armory is absolutely not to be missed. Which means you have 3 more days to catch it before the building wide installation closes and fades into a memory (and lots of Instagram photos).

There are balloons, a piano that opens and shuts on it’s own, a whole range of videos, a band of musicians that wander through the space making enigmatic songs, huge curtains that move on their own and all sorts of beautiful objects that make you pause and think about all sorts of things. Plus the huge main room has been transformed into a kind of dark internal head space where the “mouth” opens every once in awhile and you can see out through the back door. Hence the title of the exhibit.

Go see the show. Take your kids, who will love the balloons and the curtain and the piano and most of the videos at the very least. And hurry before it’s gone.

To motivate you, here is one of Creed’s videos. Needless to say this was a particular favorite of my daughter’s…

And here are some photos I took of the show…

Martin Creed
The Back Door
At the Park Avenue Armory through Aug 7
643 Park Ave, NYC
tickets are $15, available online or at the door

Quite possibly the best chocolate cupcakes ever…

chocolate cupcake

To be honest, we devoured most of the cupcakes without frosting (they are that good!) but I saved one or two to frost and enjoy in the traditional manner.

The other day, my daughter bounded into the room and declared, in no uncertain terms, that we were going to be making chocolate cake for desert. Nevermind that our dinner guest only eats raw food, or that it was about one hundred thousand degrees out (who wants to turn on the oven?)

I decided to leave her to her own devices, hoping that her mind would wander and that we would be back to watermelon slices in no time, but no such luck. She went online, found a recipe that she decided would be perfect and set out to make up a shopping list.

So we did it, switching to cupcakes when I couldn’t find the cake pans in our mess of a cabinet, and I must admit they were quite possibly the most moist and tender, melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes I have ever eaten. Which made me check out the blog that my daughter found (on her own… my little girl is growing up… sob!) and I now have a new favorite that you should all check out: AddaPinch.com.

We made a couple of changes– we used half cacao powder and half unsweetened chocolate because, well, I had the cacao powder sitting around and I felt virtuous using it at least partially. We also used chocolate frosting instead of the buttermilk one called for, but I’m sure either flavor would be equally delicious and, as I mentioned, we barely used frosting at all as these little cakes were SO MOIST!

You are going to love them. I promise.

Chocolate Cupcakes
by Robyn Stone of addapinch.com

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup cocoa (we used 1/4 c cacao and 1/4 c cocoa)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon espresso powder
½ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup boiling water

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 325º F.
Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. Spray lightly with cooking spray.

Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.

Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.

Evenly distribute cake batter. Each cupcake liner should be about ¾ths full.

Place in the oven and bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely.

Escape in a bottle

apoktheke room diffuser

Mind you, this diffuser comes from Apotheke the scented home products company, not the craft bar. Though both businesses are in Brooklyn and seem pretty great…

A few weeks ago, I was in our local pharmacy picking up a few last minute items for our trip to Maine and I saw these Apotheke room diffusers in their understated cardboard, artisinal, made-in-brooklyn style packaging that is my weakness… and then the scents were things like “woods” and “sea salt grapefruit”. How is a person supposed to resist that?

I went for “woods”, and I now have the most delightfully scented bathroom a girl could want. Not at all overpowering, but it does feel like a much needed escape every time I walk into that room.

And we all can use a little escape in our lives, can’t we?

Yesterday, at some point…

treasures from maine

I have been MIA for a little while… First days of summer aka 24/7 parenting, always take me for a loop, and then we went up to a tiny island off the coast of Maine which is mostly, and gloriously, off the grid. And full of treasures like the ones above.

But now I am back in civilization. In the land of math tutors and financial worries, of the frightening reality of racial violence and dangerously insane presidential candidates. But also of artists and the ocean and gleaming skyscrapers and friends.

Here’s to making the crazy reality we are experiencing into the beautiful future we most want to see.

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Yesterday, at some point is a series of photographs that describe a moment I experienced during the previous day. The posts are meant to be stand alone images, though at times I can’t control myself, and I end up expanding the caption into a more lengthy bit of text. Hopefully the extra information is useful, or at least interesting. If not, feel free to ignore it.