Friday, June 26, 2009

Decor Porn

Since things have been rather food-centric around here, I thought I'd shake it up with some decor porn to close out the week. These hand-polished acrylic tables by Decorati are absolutely driving me insane--they're the perfect intersection between Moorish shape and modern design. I've never been one to hide my complete obsession with Moroccan- and Middle Eastern-inspired design, and this is exactly the kind of product that speaks to those passions. These can tie together a room, merging the ethnic with the contemporary and creating something that's ultimately very chic. Let's face it, it's love at first sight.

Tangier Tables and more available here, price on request.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Link of the Day

Red's swamped this week, so this will be a short one. Today's link comes via eat me daily, where Kaci Beeler's food-themed paintings are taking front seat. They're really well done, with lots of great detail and color work--to be honest, I'm surprised I haven't seen more people doing still life paintings of great food, when still life paintings of fruits and vegetables have always been so prominent. Here's the link to some great shots, and more info on the artist. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Budget Finds -- Calf and Half Creamer

Nearly everyone in my extended family has a porcelain white cow creamer that looks exactly the same (like the one above), and somehow we were always convinced that ours was the original, the first one to be handed down from my grandparents--the rest were just copycats. It was with that in mind that I found such utter delight (excuse the pun) in this creamer, an unintentional allusion to my childhood kitchen memories. I've always enjoyed the design of glass within glass, such as with these double wall glasses, and thought this udder-shaped creamer was just perfectly up that alley.

Calf and Half Creamer, $19.95, available right here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Geek or Chic -- Big Moai Tissue Dispenser

It's been a while since we've had a geek or chic entry around these parts, so it was in good time that I found this crazy product. It may not fit in a kitchen, but would it fit in your bathroom? Perhaps this says more about you than you think. I'm not sure much more needs to be said, but what do you think? Geek or chic?

Big Moai Tissue Dispenser available right here for about $42.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Recipe Lust: Carrot Cake Cookies

I've been feeling really guilty about all of the intense eating that I've had to do over the last few weeks (poor, poor Red, right?). That may be why this particular recipe for carrot cake cookies at The Kitchn called out at me--not only does it satiate the sweet tooth but it naturally does away with much of what's unhealthy about cookies and sweets. Butter is kept to a minimum, some likely replaced with the applesauce; meanwhile, cream cheese frosting is substituted with a blend of yogurt, honey, and cinnamon. I'm not one to skimp on the fatty ingredients usually--I figure if I'm going to treat myself, I may as well do it right--but this actually looks really tasty, and inconsequential.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Food Porn

I know I've been a little food centric (and even sweet-centric) lately, but can ya blame me? This week, a new branch of my newly-favorite bakery is opening up in Tribeca, and though that doesn't particularly convenience me all that much, it does make me want some goods! Billy's bakery is pretty well known for its icebox and banana cakes (above), but their cupcakes are pretty darn impressive too. Banana must be a thing for Billy's (is alliteration?) because their banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are the most unexpectedly delicious confections I've had in quite a while. If these pictures don't do it for you, I highly suggest you try them for yourselves!

Billy's Bakery is now officially located at:

184 9th Avenue
Between 21st and 22nd Street


75 Franklin Street
Between Broadway and Church Street

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Link of the Day -- Threadcakes

I'd say a good 3/4 of my friends have a strange appreciation for the t-shirts from Threadless, and frankly, if I wore t-shirts more often, I probably would too. They're always cleverly designed and have a strong presence of adorable animals. What more could you want? Well, it turns out that Threadless has launched a competition for its foodiest fans--Threadcakes! It's a challenge to see who can best represent a Threadless shirt on a cake, and people have done some pretty awesome stuff. The winner is based off one of my favorite designs, one that a friend of mine used to wear on a regular basis. Check it out here, as well as all the runners up!

[via Serious Eats]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Budget Finds -- Cheese Accessories under $25

The weather wouldn't be a good indicator of it around here, but we're making swift strides towards July 1. In any other sphere but this one, July 1 may not mean more than Canada pride, but the strange maple-infused day also happens to be Red's birthday! And what does Red's birthday bear if not a wonderful gathering filled with wine and cheese? With only a weekend in between now and the tentative partay, I've got cheese accessories on the brain!

These adorable porcelain flags can be stuck into cheese--beginners will use fat erasable markers to scribble names of cheeses, while advanced eaters can use the back side to supplement names with tasting notes (how fancy!). At under $12 for a set of 6 right over here, it's a pretty good deal, too. (The DIY version I usually rely on is even cheaper, but not as pretty--two blank squares of thick paper, like cut down index cards, taped around a toothpick.)

But what cheese party is complete without great serveware? When my friend Q bought me individual cheese boards complete with wine-glass carrying indentations, I knew the parties would elevate to whole new levels of cheesiness (meant only in the best of ways, of course!). For something really cheesy, though, try these--a funny little set from Target that's selling for a reduced price of $22.49.

With all this money saved on accessories, you can feel free to splurge on the cheese!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Good Enough to Eat... Again! -- Super Fast Crab Salad

I walked up and down the aisles at Trader Joe's yesterday looking for just the right thing to stock my lunch supply this week--anything but cold cuts! Disparaged, I came home with plenty of dinner and snack options (pomegranate greek yogurt, anyone?) but nothing for the lunches. I had brunch leftovers to tide me over for a day while I regained some inspiration. With the pressure on, I hit the stores again today, and alas, came up with a new idea. But then there's the problem--my ideas are always generated mid-store, and with no internet in my pocket, the recipes can only be generated in my head as far as memory can take me. That's how I came up with the simplest crab salad.

Red's Super Fast (And Not Unhealthy) Crab Salad

What You Need
1 package of imitation crab meat (if you're not on a budget, splurge!)
1 package of slaw mix (shredded carrots and cabbage)
3 tbsp light mayo (I used the Smart Balance kind that's actually good for you)
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Approximated total cost........$7.00
Cost per serving.....................$3.50

What You Do
1. Cut crab into smaller, more manageable pieces.
2. Add mayo, slaw mix.
3. Add lemon juice and spices. It's really that easy.

Next time, I'll get a little fancier and try the pictured version by Gina, a healthy Latin-inspired recipe with avocado, right here. And if I'm really feeling fancy, I'll throw in some julienne mango as well!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Design Porn: Alphabet Drawers

Earlier today, a friend left some love on the blog that she herself said was no budget find. What it turned out to be was perfect decor porn, worthy of being shared with all of you. Not only does this beautiful handmade chest of drawers feature my fervent love of typography, but it's inspired by the very printing blocks that I've blogged about (and gushed over) on eatmywords. I question its ergonomic function, but I have no doubt that this would be the perfect centerpiece for an uber-organized home office. Let's just not look at the price tag.

Alphabet Drawers by Kent and London, available for purchase (for the lucky and wealthy) right over here.

PS. Thanks for sharing, Alison!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Bubble Battle Returns!

I haven't posted about NYC goings on in quite a while, perhaps because of the ever-lasting gloomy weather, perhaps because I've been too busy to notice! Either way, one of my favorite annual events is happening tomorrow, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to share the secret with all of you. Each year, a collective called Newmindspace puts together a series of crazy, wacky, out-of-the-box events that get great turnouts all over the city. They include the massive yearly pillow fight, light saber battles, and this--my absolute favorite. The annual Bubble Battle! Thousands gather in Times Square to blow bubbles at one another, reliving a little bit of our collective youths and remembering what it feels like to be 6 years old again. It's tomorrow at 6:15--and I hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Budget Finds -- Three Tiered Pedestal Plates

I wrote not too long ago about the simplest ways of effortless entertaining, and how utterly charming they can be. It's a thought that's stuck in my mind, and a goal that I'm setting for the future (in whatever period of time it may imply)--I'd love to develop sets of pretty, pseudo-coordinated dishes, ones that sort-of kind-of match my serving wares, but only just so. And anchoring the whole thing will be a two-tiered dessert tray, where I can display my dainty mini tarts and brownie bites. (Who knew so much effort went into being effortless!)

After spotting a tiered white and green plaid tray at Kmart for just $6 earlier today, I was curious to see what other budget options were in the spectrum. (Had the darn thing been in a more aesthetic color/pattern, it would have been mine!) The extra $16 go a long way for this option, leading me to a clear glass triple-decker that can be taken apart and re-stacked in a few different configurations. Seeing as that it can function as two mini-stackers and a cake tray, I think it's a marvelous purchase. And to be frank, I'm having a much harder time resisting this one than the $6 plaid set!

Three-tiered Pedestal Serving Plates at Target, $22.49, available here.

(By the by, apologies for my disappearing act yesterday! Red's been beyond swamped. Sad face!)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Recipe Lust -- Pasta Salads Galore

A few months into work with little semblance of a cafeteria or reasonably priced lunch options to rely on, I've started to hit a wall when it comes to packing lunch. I'm not the kind of person who can just eat a sandwich every day, and I've met my limit for hummus and veggies as well. (The last time I did that was after a summer spent in Israel--didn't eat anything that resembled chickpea spread for literally three years.)

The biggest problem for me is that my office, believe it or not, lacks a refrigerator, which means that lunch options diminish rather quickly (and that my new-found obsession with yogurt doesn't translate well for office lunch, rats). When I found a "Bombay Salad" at my local supermarket (pasta, chicken, mango chutney, curry, raisins, and celery), I got hooked to the idea of making inventive, unique pasta salads as a solid lunch option with nearly endless variations. My first attempt to recreate the Bombay was only semi-successful, but I think I've now found some recipes that will require a little less guess work. Here's the short list, for your experimentation and enjoyment!

Greek Orzo and Shrimp
, via Bon Appetit
Grilled Lemongrass Beef and Noodle, via Gourmet
Noodle Salas with Mango and Gingered Cucumber, also via Gourmet

[photo via]

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Link of the Day -- Ice Cream Pudding at Coldstone

Just when you thought you'd heard it all, some weirdo in marketing comes up with a nutty idea that a bigwig CEO decides to run with. Take, for instance, Coldstone's new product, an ice cream concoction that somehow melts into such thick ice cream soup they're calling it pudding. Apparently, it's part of a collaboration between Coldstone and JELL-O, which I don't even want to know what kinds of chemicals would make that possible, and I can't say I'm interested in trying it, but it's just strange enough to post over here. But perhaps I'm being closed-minded. Sometimes these things end up being much better than they sound! Thoughts, anyone?

[via Metromix]

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Budget Finds -- Bottletop Basting Brush

We've been talking BBQ a lot around the office, be it because of the up-turning weather, the fact that we may be getting some BBQ clients on the roster, or the sheer love that everyone in this office has for all things BBQ. Regardless, it seemed like perfect timing to stumble upon this little gadget, a bottletop basting brush that helps sauce up those ribs without the mess. I recently read that it's not worth owning kitchen gadgets that serve just one purpose, but when they cost less than $5 a pop, I see no problem with breaking that rule. This little baby is only $3.99 right here, which makes it a seriously budget-friendly grilling accessory. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Link of the Day -- In-Pool Pong

On the one hand, I wish I could say I was too classy for beer pong. But on the other, I've always been the split personality foodie--as much as I love upscale fine dining, my favorite kind of food has always been down n' dirty BBQ, and I can't ignore the side of me that really loves simple, lowbrow drink and dining. Beer pong falls into precisely that category--even though I don't partake on too regular an occasion, it's always a welcome way to unwind with friends in the most casual of ways. When I saw a short blurb on inflatable beer pong tables for in-pool summer play in amNY this morning, I knew it would make the perfect link of the day. Now to find an appropriate pool!

Want your own portable beer pong table? Check out this site, but be warned--they don't exactly have a classy side ;)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Recipe Lust -- Chili Lime Peanuts

Last night I met with a talented group to start piecing together a magazine that I'm working on in my spare time. You'll hear more about that some other day, but what I really wanted to share was the idea of simple entertaining. Our gracious host has an apartment that's plenty of space for one, but perhaps not so much space for a group of 6. She made great use of her tiny 2 person table by serving lots of small appetizers--cheese and crackers, tappenade, edamame, and so on. It was a beautiful way to entertain, and easy at that! In thinking about the possibilities of small scale/big impression entertaining, I came across this wonderful recipe for Chili-Lime Peanuts--seems like a great way to pack a filling snack into a small bowl. I'm guessing multiple batches may be necessary, though!

See the full recipe here. Enjoy!
[photo via]