Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow Day Fun

For me, there is only one good thing that can come from winter. . . and that is a SNOW DAY! Yesterday was the first one of the season and boy was it fantastic. Yes, of course it was pretty as everything quickly turned into a winter wonderland. But this fluffy white stuff falling from the sky also allowed me a full day of relaxation and a day to play  catch up on all my house work.  Okay, okay, so maybe housework wasn't my main priority.

Instead, I decided to make this unexpected day of relaxation official with my very own at home Snow Day Spa Day.  After waking up with a splash of cold water on my face, I applied this wonderful product:

Elizabeth Arden: Peel & Reveal

Monday, December 3, 2012

Date Night at Capital City Gastropub

Date night at the Capital City Gastropub  was quite the treat. M and I decided to start ourselves off with two deliciously made cocktails; a dirty martini and an Albany sour. Mmmm!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Four Things

Seeing as how things have been a bit crazy for me lately, I haven't exactly found the time to venture my way out into the cold weather to discover any new hidden food gems . . . or time to experiment with  DIY craft ideas and recipes for that matter.  Therefore, I've decided to share some of the simple little treats that have brought a smile to my face.  



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Day Fun

Yesterday I did my part as an American citizen and headed home to cast my vote for the 2012 Presidential Election!



Monday, October 29, 2012

Sweet Beer Bread

There is nothing I enjoy more than having my house smelling of deliciously fresh baked goods. Seeing as how everyone is in a frenzy over Ms. Hurricane Sandy that is heading our way, I thought I'd do my part in preparing for the "what if's" of this storm's aftermath. Since the supermarket was completely out of the staples last night, I decided to just make my own  bread, beer bread, that is!





For this recipe you'll need the following ingredients:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons honey / agave nectar
- 1 can of beer
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

This recipe is extremely simple, it'll be in your oven in no time! First, preheat the oven to 350F. Then, grease a loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. Place to the side.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guilt Free Chocolate Ice Cream


I love chocolate, just as much as the next gal . . . ( if not a little more). But sometimes I feel guilty if I indulge myself a little too much. However, I've recently discovered a fantastic and not-so-guilty recipe for  chocolate ice cream!
Now when it comes to ice cream I am usually a vanilla girl, all the way . . . but I stumbled across this recipe when rummaging through my favorite blogger's (The Londoner) old posts. So I knew I'd have to give it a try. And I am so happy I did!
I followed the original recipe's main ingredients, but decided to think outside the box a bit and add some of my favorite treats to this wonderful chocolatey creation.

To make the ice cream you'll need:
-3 bananas
-3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
-1 overflowing spoonful of heavenly hazelnut spread (what most people refer as nutella) 
- a few splashes of skim milk (optional)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Instagram Catch Up

Seeing as how I've been a bit of an MIA blogger  these past few days I thought we could play a game. It's called Instagram Catch Up. This way I get to share what I've been up to with you. I hope you enjoy!
 
(1) Lunch out with M. (Two different days) On the days I know my love will be working late or too busy to  remember to eat lunch I like to pop in and surprise him.  I either bring him a meal from home or we go to our favorite  place,  right next door - The Albany Pump Station

Camel Burger (yes, actual camel) with goat cheese and roasted red peppers

Friday, October 12, 2012

Four Favorites

Seeing as how I haven't been up to anything crazy and exciting  these past couple of days I thought I'd make a quick post and share four of the  things that have made me extra happy lately. (Pictures taken from my Instagram. Follow me @kiimberk) I hope you enjoy!


(1) Comfy, too-big-for-you sweaters. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year;  I love when the temperature drops and I have to take  my sweaters, boots, and scarves out of storage.   I love that bundled up feeling I get by just throwing  on a big comfy sweater with a pretty scarf, a pair of leggings and my boots. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fun Times: Friends and Fantastic Food

This weekend I was reunited with my college gal pal, Ms. Katie Jo. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Grand Opening: Albany Distilling Company

Friday was a big day for the city of Albany and two hard working and determined businessmen. Matthew Jager and John Curtin, owners of the city's first licensed distillery since prohibition hosted their grand opening of the Albany Distilling Company.
 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Healthy Tomato Soup

Growing up I wasn't a big fan of soup.  I remember telling my mom the reason behind my hating soup so much was because the heat of the broth made my ears tickle. I know it sounds pretty weird and a bit unusual but still, I couldn't stand it.  To this day I avoid any soup with a broth base, but have grown to enjoy cream soups. However, I know those soups are usually the ones on the fattening / unhealthy side.  Luckily, I came across this healthier recipe for tomato soup a few weeks ago and have been dying to try it. I followed this recipe for the most part, however I changed a few of the ingredients by using roasted garlic, low-fat Greek yogurt, and homemade vegetable broth.

For the soup you will need:
-Two 28oz cans of diced tomatoes 
-One yellow onion
-Five cloves of garlic
-One tbsp of olive oil
-Two cups of vegetable broth (homemade if you can)
-One cup of plain low-fat Greek yogurt
-One cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese (plus a little extra for garnishing)
-1/2 cup of chopped basil (plus a little extra for garnishing)
-Two tsp of oregano
-1/2 tsp of sugar
-Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe is simple and will last you a couple of meals.

To roast the garlic, cut off the top of the garlic head, drizzle a little olive oil so each clove is glistening and sprinkle it with sea salt.  Cover the head of garlic in aluminum foil and place it in the oven on 400F for 35 minutes.  Once the time is up, carefully squeeze the cloves out by pushing from the bottom and working your way up. The roasted garlic will look something like this:




Monday, October 1, 2012

Apple Cinnamon French Toast

When I woke up this morning and realized it was going to be yet another cold and dreary day outside I decided to make a breakfast that would turn this crummy fall day into a slightly less-crummy fall day. And so, breakfast comfort food was a must.  I wanted the house warm and smelling of delicious fall food.  Plus, I needed an excuse for my darling boyfriend to stay home from work just a wee bit longer (but shhhh that's our little secret). So, I decided that my special apple cinnamon french toast was the way to go! This recipe is actually quite simple and doesn't take too much effort or time to make. 

All you need is:
- Two eggs
-Delicious french toast worthy bread (figure 2 pieces per person)
-3 tbsp of half and half
-1 tbsp of honey
-1/2 tbsp of raw cane sugar
- A couple dashes of cinnamon
-A couple dashes of nutmeg
 -3 tbsp of butter

Start by combining the eggs, half and half, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg until all the ingredients are well incorporated.  You will end up with something like this:


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fun Times Are Twin Times

Cait came for a visit to Albany Thursday afternoon and we had a lovely time catching up for the rest of the evening. We started off baking some delicious apple crisp and experimenting with an apple / pumpkin pie recipe we found while surfing the inter-webs.  Unfortunately the pie didn't turn out anything like we had expected. But, the apple crisp was quite delicious.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oktoberfest Beer Dinner at the Albany Pump Station

Last night I made a quick trip over to Germany!  Okay, not really. But by the food I was eating I sure as heck could have been in another country!  The boyfriend and I attended the Albany Pump Station's first annual Oktoberfest Beer Dinner, where we ate ourselves into a German food coma. The entire meal was $50 per person and included tax & gratuity  (a very good price for the amount of food and experience you were getting).  
Upon arriving, guests were asked to head upstairs and enjoy the Welcoming Reception.  At this point, everyone was mingling a bit before sitting down and devouring their four course meal. 

This is where some of the beer magic happens!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lovely Weekend and Homemade Pesto

Yesterday was a great Sunday, filled with relaxation, loved ones, and delicious food.  My boyfriend and I ended up taking a nice little ride to visit his family.  We had the top down on the car, the dog was on my lap, and the wind swirling around us.  It was perfect and so refreshing!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

New York City: Bon Iver

Last Thursday I had an adventurous night in the city! I drove down state to meet up with my twin sister and take a late afternoon train into New York. 
We were heading down to see one of my favorite bands . . .  Bon Iver! For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram I'm sure you already knew I was on my way to the concert (I was pretty excited and wanted everyone else to know too!)



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy Music

Today's post is just a short one about music.  
Yesterday morning I woke up to a song from a band formed in the mid 1970s and lasted until the early 90s; the Talking Heads. Now I don't know which song it was that woke me up, as I was still trying to figure out if I was dreaming while it was playing.   However, I know I've heard many of their songs in the past.  I'm sharing some of their songs with you because they put  me in a great mood for the rest of the day! I hope you listen to them, enjoy them, and have a great day! 

#1: This Must Be The Place
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cheddar Ranch Bacon Potato Slices

After coming home from the gym yesterday morning, I had to prepare for my early afternoon lunch guest.  My friend Joey was stopping by so we could catch up and enjoy some yummy food together (a favorite past time for both of us).  
To drink, we had sparkling water with strawberry basil fancy cubes, similar to the other cubes I've made in the past.  I decided to start us off with a cheese platter of brie, boschetto truffle, and gouda with garlic herb crackers. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Empanadas con mi Titi Teresa

 While visiting my family in Florida, my Aunt and I decided to make one of her favorite dishes . . . empanadas!!! They were so much fun (and easy) to make and came out SO delicious.  Here's how . . .

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Florida Part I

I've been a bit of a bad blogger these past few days, but you can't really blame me because I've just been having so much fun in the south! This is my fourth day in Florida and I am having a fantastic time with my family.

Here are a few pictures to catch you up on all my adventures! 


Friday, August 31, 2012

Mmmmm. Grilled Cheese

Yesterday was an extremely relaxing day; it was my day off which allowed me some extra  time to catch up with all the tasks I've been putting off.

While I was waiting for the mug I made yesterday to finish baking in the oven, I made a de-lic-ious grilled cheese sandwich!
I wasn't going to share this with you, for the simplicity and ease of making this sandwich did not seem worthy of a post.  However, after I took one bite, the cheesy and peppery goodness simply melted in my mouth and made my taste buds explode!  And I knew this would have to be my next post!
I started with my favorite bread; the only bread I have been eating consistently for over a year; Heidelberg Multi-grain Bread.  This bread is softy and a tiny bit crumbly with great texture from all the various grains. 

First, I spread a little butter on the outside of each piece of bread.
 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Personalized Coffee Mugs

Today I decided to try one of the many things I found and instantly fall in love with on Pinterest: Personalized Coffee Mugs. 
I decided to make this particular coffee mug for my boyfriend; he's a big coffee drinker in the morning, so why wouldn't he love a new coffee  mug, right?!

All you need to make this cute gift is:
One coffee mug ( I bought one from the $1 store)
Scrap paper, to test out different sayings / styles of handwriting
A sharpie permanent marker
Nail polish remover (to remove any mistakes)


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fancy Cubes

Today's post will involve a simple trick to make everyday beverages a little more glamorous!

I thought of this while eating lunch yesterday; I wanted something to spruce up my glass of ice cold Pellegrino.  Although this beverage is delicious and refreshing on its own, I wanted a little something extra.

So I decided to make fun, tasty, and fancy ice cubes!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Beauty Products Under $20


I've decided to switch it up a bit and write about something other than eating delectable foods and exploring fun restaurants with friends.  

There are so many products on the market today that help keep us gals (and guys) looking our best.  I, myself have found a few products I've come to love and want to share them with you.  Now I'm not one to spends loads of money on upkeep products, so I've chosen a few that are $20 or less. 

Here are some of my favorites . . .


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sushi Time is Ruby Time, with Joey

Friday afternoon I popped by my favorite sushi place, Ruby Asian Bistro to catch up with one of my best friends from college. Before I go on and tell you how delicious all the food was, I must inform you that this place is my hidden secret and you should feel very special that I am sharing it with you.  I honestly can't remember how I stumbled upon this place, but I'm so happy I did!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fig-a-licious

Today is absolutely gorgeous and it has put me in a fantastic mood!  The sun is shining and there is a slight breeze helping me stay cool. 

On my way home from the gym this morning I stopped at one of my favorite places in Albany, Cardona's Market.  This is an adorable, little family run Italian market that has everything a girl could ask for, and more.  Seeing as how this hidden treasure is right around the corner from my house, I like to treat myself with a trip to Cardona's at least once a week.  

Today I came across some delightful looking figs and automatically decided I had to bring some  of those sweet goodies home with me.  I've never actually bought figs before, but have had them numerous times while eating out.  I guess its time to start experimenting!

Take a look, aren't they just delectable?



Now, obviously my first thought was, What can I eat these with?! And then it came to me... goat cheese! I am a mega goat cheese lover and will try to put it on just about everything!
Fresh fig with goat cheese and a drizzle of honey

Mouth-watering

After this little decadent treat I knew I needed / wanted MORE! So, I paired some figs with a slice of my new creamy Havarti cheese I bought at Cardona's. 

Fresh fig with Creamy Havarti cheese, a drizzle of honey, on a Carr's table water cracker.







Just as I thought, pure decadence! I didn't feel guilty eating a couple of these bad boys because each fig is only 21 calories and they are full of fiber, Vitamin K, and antioxidants! Go Figs!

I finished enjoying these treats outside as I watched my pup run around and play in the sunshine. 

Meet Barley:

Barley all tuckered out and ready to nap!

Tell me...what do you like to pair figs with? 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Twin Time - Lunch at The City Beer Hall

My sister Caitlyn came up to visit late Wednesday evening and spent the night so we could have a full day of Twin Time on Thursday. 
We woke up around 9 a.m. and had a relaxing morning of drinking coffee and catching up, discussing all things girly.  

After Caitlyn raided my closet for what seemed like four hours we decided to go out for lunch and take in all that Albany had to offer us on the beautiful sunny day.  Cait said she was in the mood for a really good salad, so I decided to bring her to one of my new favorite places; The City Beer Hall.  The name may sound deceiving, but check out their website and look at all they have to offer. This gastropub is a true gem for Albany's foodies and beer lovers. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Vacation: LBI

For those of you that don't know where LBI is, it's on the southern coast of New Jersey.  I know, I know... New Jersey?! But you'd actually be surprised to know that LBI is a lovely spot for a family vacation, a trip with friends, or even a sweet getaway with your love. 
We stayed in the part of LBI known as Beach Haven.