Monday, December 30, 2013

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS

I love weekends where I get to spend time working on projects around the house and playing chef while making delicious treats for M and I to share. This weekend was a great combination of both work and play. M and I spent a relaxing Friday night in and ordered a bunch of sushi from my favorite sushi restaurant in Albany, Ruby Asian Bistro (check out a past visit here). 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

BAKED ARTICHOKES WITH LEMON TRUFFLE AIOLI

I love creating recipes that transform greasy fried foods into light and crispy dishes that are just a little bit healthier for you.  But to be completely honest, it's a very rare occurrence that I actually write out a recipe. I love cooking - I think it's the most passionate hobby I have...but, I suppose for the most part, it comes naturally to me. I add whatever ingredients I think will work best, taste as I go and make edits when necessary. Luckily for me, my father's side of the family is absolutely amazing in the kitchen. I grew up watching my pops cook and picked up some tricks along the way.

My latest recipe idea stemmed from my recent visit to Bread & Bottle where I discovered their Roasted Artichokes. Although my recipe did not turn out exactly like their's, I am extremely happy with the crispy outcome.


Monday, December 16, 2013

BAKE FOR YOU GRAND OPENING | 540 DELAWARE AVENUE

Who doesn't love cookies, cupcakes, and brownies? Last Wednesday I was invited to attend the ribbon cutting and grand opening of Bake For You, where I was able to try some of the delicious homemade goodies. The bakery has been open since 2009  where owner, Linda Kindlon worked out of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, until she recently relocated to the DelSo Communty of 540 Delaware Avenue. Her shop is now located next to The Cheese Traveler, one of my favorite places in Albany, and The Yoga Loft.
[Please excuse the quality of these pictures, I was having a small camera malfunction...whoops]



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

BREAD & BOTTLE IN RED HOOK

I decided to take a trip down to Red Hook over the weekend to get my hair cut and have a quick visit with my twin.  Alexa joined me for the ride and we decided to make a day of it. We ended up at Bread & Bottle for a  late lunch.



Friday, November 8, 2013

FRIDAY FAVORITES

I spend a decent amount of time browsing the web throughout the week. So I thought I'd share some of the favorite links I've discovered with you....


Thursday, November 7, 2013

WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE

I've discovered my new favorite treat!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

THE GROCERY | TROY'S LATEST ADDITION

I finally made my way to The Grocery!


Monday, November 4, 2013

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS

I had a lovely time this weekend so I thought I'd take a moment to share some of the highlights with you. 
It started off with a relaxing morning just taking some 'me time'. I made myself a delicious treat for brunch. A black bean quinoa burgers topped with a fried egg, roasted red peppers, and fresh mozzarella, over a bed of sauteed kale. 



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BLACK BEAN QUINOA BURGER

When I get a food craving there is nothing I will not do - I simply must have it. Just the other day I had a food craving while sitting at my desk waiting for 5:00 p.m. to come.
I wanted a burger. I needed a burger. So, I made a burger, of sorts.
I wasn't in the mood for a greasy beef burger, so I decided to make a black bean quinoa burger instead.
I altered this recipe and jazzed it up a bit with some extra toppings: cheddar cheese, bacon, lemon mayo, and a fried egg!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

TROY CHOWDERFEST

Earlier this month the girls and I decided to spend our Sunday at the Troy Chowderfest to explore and taste test all of the different chowder options the local chefs constructed in their kitchens. Unfortunately we didn't take the advice of those who attended in years past. We had to wait to purchase tickets to taste the chowder samples and then waited in even longer lines for these tiny samples.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

IT'S THE SIMPLE THINGS | PART TWO

Remember the last time I shared some of the Simple Things that gave me a little bit of happiness and put a  smile on my face (here)?  Well, I'm back to share a few more of those moments with you!
Lately I've been feeling pretty bogged down with stress, lots and lots of stress. Stress from work, finances, personal issues, and so much more. But every now and then I get a sense of relief when I realize things could always be worse, I'm so lucky for what I have, and there are so many people that care for and love me.


Photo taken by Alexa Bernstein

Friday, October 11, 2013

BONEFISH GRILL'S MEDIA PREVIEW DINNER

Earlier in the week I received an e-mail asking if I'd like attend the Bonefish Grill's Media Preview Dinner and ribbon cutting.



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

FALL TO-DO LIST

For as long as I can remember fall has been my favorite season of all. I couldn't imagine growing up and living in a place other than Upstate New York where I get to experience the beauty of ever season. As kids, my sisters and I, along with the neighbor kids would create a giant maze out of the fallen leaves and run through the colorful path all afternoon long. I'm especially looking forward to fall this year because I have a bunch of things I want to accomplish on my to-do list. Here are a few of them...
 



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

COZY FALL SWEATERS

 Guess what? My favorite season of all is upon us! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the various aspects of every other season, but fall has always been my favorite time of year. I love the crisp weather, beautiful colors, and the comfy sweaters (obviously)!
Here are my top 11 sweaters that I'm currently pining over. 




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

KINDERHOOK FARMERS MARKET

M and I headed down to Columbia County last weekend for some distillery work & fun. 




Sunday, September 22, 2013

TROY RESTAURANT WEEK: THE ALE HOUSE

The city of Troy has been celebrating Restaurant Week since Monday evening. I decided to make a spur of the moment reservation at Daisy Bakers so M and I could have a nice date night. But unfortunately plans changed and we ended up going to The Ale House on River Street instead.

You can tell before stepping foot into the place that its a neighborhood joint. The regulars were deep in conversation at the bar with their beers in hand and sports up on the tv. We were told to sit anywhere and opted for a table in the corner. The servers were nice, but the food.....
The room was too dim to take a decent photos, but I tried my best anyway.


Friday, September 20, 2013

FRIDAY FAVORITES

It has been an extremely busy week for me, but I wanted to share just a few interesting finds the Interwebs had to offer me the past couple of days. 



Thursday, September 19, 2013

MENCHIES FROYO

I was in the mood for a delicious treat after my lunch the other day and needed a little something to satisfy my sweet tooth. I rounded up some of the girls at work and we headed out to Menchie's for some froyo.


The Lovely Abby, Suzy, and Alexa

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

THE SIMPLE THINGS

Every once in a while I like to take some time to appreciate the simple things in life. I feel like I'm always rushing around or working, which sometimes keeps me from just taking a moment to enjoy some of life's little pleasures. So I've decided to share some of the things that have put a smile on my face over the past couple of weeks.

My good friend Alexa makes the most adorable handmade cards and frames that she will personalize just for you. I asked her to use her crafty imagination and create a beach themed thank you card.
I absolutely love it. If you would like something personalized for yourself check out her Etsy page or contact her via Facebook or Twitter.


  

Monday, September 9, 2013

OLDE ENGLISH PUB BRUNCH

After having a late night on Saturday I was definitely in need of a considerable amount of food to start my Sunday off right. Alexa, M, and I headed down to the Olde English to try out their brand new menu on the first day of serving brunch. We arrived early enough to snag a nice table out front where we enjoyed the perfect weather and watched passersby enjoying themselves as much as we were.


 

Monday, September 2, 2013

LABOR DAY | LIFE HAPPENS

Happy Labor Day SLT readers!
I hope you are all enjoying your day off, no matter what you're doing.
I wanted to share a song I've been listening to non-stop for the past week or so. Not only is the song beautiful and fun to listen to, but it was created by the most adorable couple on earth.
Brandon and Leah - Life Happens


 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

WISH LIST #2


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PERSONALIZED COFFEE MUGS


I decided to make an updated post on personalized coffee mugs. The mugs I made last summer were getting a bit old and I wanted a customized set of initial mugs for M and I to have for the house.
To make some personalized initial mugs of your own you'll need:
Two plain mugs



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

GRILLED PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED FIGS WITH BLUE CHEESE

Figs. Stinky Blue Cheese. Prosciutto. Need I say more? 
I just love the flavor combination these three ingredients create. They balance each other in just the right way... I'm pretty sure figs, blue cheese, and prosciutto are best friends. 
To create this simple dish yourself you'll need:
A heated grill on low. Make sure you spray with oil before lighting so nothing sticks.
A few slices of prosciutto. I cut each slice of prosciutto into four individual pieces, so do your math and find the perfect prosciutto / fig ratio. Make sure you have an extra slice for yourself...to nibble on while you're making this, of course.



Thursday, August 22, 2013

HESSIAN FRAM'S FAMILY FARM DAY

This past weekend I headed out to Hessian Hill Farm for the Family Farm Day to help M out with the Distillery. We set up a table to do tastings for all of the guests. My friend Alexa came with me to help out.




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

LONG BEACH ISLAND | FAVORITES

I guess you can say I'm still having the post-vacation blues. I want to be back on the beach, with my feet in the sand, soaking up the sun, while sipping on a spicy Bloody Mary. 
In hopes to help me get over them (or maybe just to torture myself some more) I thought I'd share a few of my favorite photos and memories from vacation that I haven't shown in past posts.
Yes, as usual most (but not all) of them will contain food. 
To start, a cheese and veggie platter after a day at the beach.




Sunday, August 18, 2013

HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY

HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY TO ME!



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

LONG BEACH ISLAND | A WALK ON THE BEACH

This summer is the third year in row that I've spent the first week of August on LBI with M and his entire family. We spend all week relaxing, laughing with each other, and taking in all of the beauty the beach has to offer us. I truly feel blessed and so grateful that I am a part of it all and will remember this time for the rest of my life. 
For the past couple of nights I've taken some time to walk on the beach and reflect on all that I have to be thankful for. 
It's so quiet and peaceful with just the sound of the ocean waves splashing against the sand and looking at all of the remnants from the day's beach goers washed up along the shore.
(This is a long one, full of pictures!)



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

LONG BEACH ISLAND | PINKY'S

I am officially on vacation and I'm as happy as a clam. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

DIY Flower Hair Accessory

As you know from my previous Wish List Blog Post I've been wanting a floral headband for quite some time.  But after seeing this DIY tutorial I figured, why buy something that I can make myself?! So, I stopped by the craft store and picked up the supplies. My lovely blogger friend, Alexa, from the Miss Rosie O  blog came over and we channeled our inner crafter to make them! 
So they're not actual headbands, they're floral bun wraps. Which is even better, because my go to hair style is a top knot and I'm always looking for something to spruce it up a bit. 


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sunday Brunch In Albany: Iron Gate Cafe

Now that I have a full-time job, (like a real grown up) I love to relax and enjoy my weekends even more than I ever have in the past. Which means I tend to sleep in and stay in bed as late and as long as possible. Peeking my head out from under the covers just enough to sip some coffee is acceptable as long as I don't spill, right? 
I'm also a huge fan of weekend brunch. Just being able to sit down in a cute restaurant or tiny cafe, while drinking an extra spicy Blood Mary and enjoying a delicious brunch dish sounds wonderful, doesn't it?!
Since my mom was coming to visit and I hadn't seen her in quite some time, I wanted to take her to a place I knew we'd both enjoy together. So, we hopped in my car and I drove a couple of minutes to the Iron Gate Cafe. I've been here once before this past fall and it was love at first sip... and bite.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wish List # 1

Just the other day I was talking to one of my girlfriends about some of the 'things' I wanted to purchase at some point in the future. So...to keep my thoughts wants on track I've decided to start creating regular wish list posts.

1) Wildfox Pajamas 


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Albany's Best Subs And A Picnic In The Park

One of my favorite things about summers in Albany is having a picnic in Washington Park. After being stuck indoors and staring at a computer screen all day yesterday I wanted nothing more than to be spending the evening outside enjoying the beautiful sunny weather. And whats better then enjoying a picnic in the park?!
The answer is nothing.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Troy's Confectionery Wine Bar

On Saturday I decided to just relax and treat myself to a 'me day'. Which meant giving myself a manicure and facial (with some of my favorite products) while catching up on a few of my favorite shows(current favorites: Mistresses, Rookie Blue, and re-watching Grey's Anatomy). Later in the day I met up with my lovely friend Alexa (make sure you check out her adorable blog) where we went to The Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar


Monday, July 8, 2013

Twin Time: Millerton, NY

I recently made my way down to Millerton, NY where I spent the day with my darling twin. Just walking around, enjoying the sun and taking in all the adorable little town had to offer us.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Simple Little Treat Catch Up

Since I haven't blogged in a while I thought I'd do a catch up post on a few of my favorite things since my last time. A couple weekends ago I went to THE CONFECTIONERY and instantly fell in love. Within one week I made it there twice...but can you blame me? What is better than creamy brie, salty cured meats, and buttery chardonnay? (The answer is NOTHING). I promise to do a full on post of this gem in the near future!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Smorgasburg

After a late night (early morning) at the gala we slept until noon, trying to recover from the night before. Eventually I realized I was wasting my last day in the city. So, I jumped out of bed, showered, got dressed, and met up with my darling friend Aurora. We hadn't seen each other in...well...I honestly cannot remember. Aurora is one of my very dear friends from high school, we were locker buddies. Now that she's a big girl living / working in NYC she is one very busy bee! We had planned meeting up with each other a few weeks earlier and decided we would spend our time catching up on each others lives at SMORGASBURG, which if you haven't heard of it yet...is God's gift (to this planet). 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala

Once I woke up from my cat nap early Friday evening I started getting ready for the Gala. I decided on a simple black cocktail dress which had a bright gold zipper down the back. Since the dress I wore was so simple I accentuated the gold from the zipper with black and gold jewelery. 



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New York City - Friday Afternoon

This past weekend M and I headed down to New York City where we attended The Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala at the New York Public Library. Matt and his business partner were invited to the event thanks to Governor Cuomo, who was kind enough to pay for all of New York's distilleries to attend (thanks Gov'na!). 
We arrived in the city around lunch time, which was early enough to drop all the makings for about 700 cocktails off at the library before the deadline. With a bunch of time to kill, we parked the car and walked around until we found our lunch spot. M and I opted for Caliente Cab Co. which had an outside seating area that was perfect for enjoying the warm sun and one of their large margaritas, obviously.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Taste of Albany & Champagne on the Park


With warmer weather underway, the Capital Region has been having an increased number of events each week and I am loving every minute of it! At the beginning of the month we attended A Taste of Albany, which is a culinary showcase and benefit for the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless. Not only was this all for a great cause, but every aspect of the evening was absolutely wonderful and delicious. There was so much amazing food, wine, sweets, beer, and spirits at this event that I was constantly finding myself surprised at the tasty treats I discovered around each corner. Here are a few of the photos I was able to snap....


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April Catch Up: Part 1

For the past couple of weeks I've been a busy little bee.  I think it has something to do with my new job, after staring at a computer screen all day my eyes and brain are exhausted and want to do nothing but relax.  That being said, my weekends have been pretty full with friends & fun times, amazing food & fabulous memories! 
Rather than going day by day, or sharing every special moment, I've decided to combine the past couple of weeks by doing a two part 'catch-up' post of what I've been up to!
I hope you enjoy!
When my darling twin Caitlyn came up for a visit we had every intention of making a delicious dinner at home...but then our mutual love for sushi took over and we ordered in tons of sushi, salad, soups, and appys!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Adventures Through The Helderberg Hill Towns

M had some business to attend to this past Sunday so Barley and I decided to tag along and take the trip to the 'Hill Towns' with him. When people up in Albany refer to this area as the Hill Towns....they're not kidding! I thought we were just going for a quick drive up a little hill and call it a day. But, boy was I wrong. There were hills, upon hills, upon hills!

I started getting a bit antsy in the beginning of the car ride, convinced we were entering some sort of scary murder scene from a horror movie. I eventually realized that wasn't the case. It only took an adorable family of wild turkeys which oddly enough...made me feel a little better...? They were at the bottom of the first hill so we weren't expecting them, otherwise I would have taken a lovely family picture for you!

Our destination was at the end of a windy road where there were three large barns. The view of the barns from the road had me a little skeptical at first but once we walked a little further the view spoke for itself.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Visiting Hudson: Part 2 - Strolling Around Town

After our delightful brunch date last Saturday, I decided to stay in Hudson for a few more hours and not rush back to Albany right away. Cait and I began our travels up and down Warren Street...Our first stop was Dogs of Hudson so I could pick up some treats for my little boy! Before I could actually take a look around the adorable doggy shop this beauty caught my eye...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Visiting Hudson: Part 1 - Swoon Kitchenbar

This past Saturday I took a nice drive down towards Hudson to meet up with my twin. Going a couple of weeks without seeing her is like living without my left hand...impossible! So we set a time, picked a place, and our twin time began! Caitlyn is everything BUT a morning person and even though we met at 11am she still demanded a caffeine fix before we even started to catch up! And so we went to The Cascades...Cait ordered herself a cappuccino and I opted for a latte.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Experiencing the Roaring 20's

Last Saturday I spent my evening traveling back in time to experience the 1920's the right way....at a speakeasy!
The Ten Broeck Mansion hosted a 'Puttin' on the Ritz Benefit' to support both the Albany Historical Association and the Ten Broeck.

Photo property of The Ten Broeck Mansion by id29

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wild Game and Beer Dinner

Earlier in the week I went to the C.H. Evans Albany Pump Station's 
Wild Game and Beer Dinner.
Luckily for me it was the day before my birthday,
so I decided to plan the festivities around this lovely dinner
by inviting my darling twin and her boyfriend up to join Matt and I.

The beer dinner provided generous amounts of food and was served family style. 
 The feast included:
-A welcome reception full of snacks
(set up to keep everyone occupied until the other guests arrived)
-Three 'main' courses
- A dessert course
-And five of the Pump Station's most popular beers
 (obviously to keep us fully hydrated throughout the evening, duh!)
The dinner was reasonably priced at $70 per person
(with tax and gratuity included). 

The welcome reception started as each person  was handed a Vienna Lager by the assistant brewer, Sam.  Out of all the snacks, I went  straight for the smoked wild boar baby back ribs.  I've never had wild boar ribs before and they very interesting... in a good way, of course! The meat was tender with a unique flavor  that complemented the sauce perfectly. There were two platters overflowing with fruits, cheese, duck galantine with pistachios and truffles, a game pâté, and a variety of crackers to pair with it all.  I enjoyed both very much; duck galantine and game pâté aren't something you snack on on a regular basis, so I made sure I had my fair share before we sat down for dinner.  There was also some out-of-this-world game sausage with a side of  coarse grain spicy mustard.  It was SO good!  Everyone mingled, chatted, and nibbled on the goodies until it was time to sit at your table and prepare for the dinner ahead! Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to snap any photos of the food at the welcome reception because  my hands were too full with so many goodies...  Hopefully next time they'll have some extra tables out!

While we waited for the first course to arrive at our table Cait and I decided to snap some photos. 

Caitlyn and I

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Special Night In: Mussels with Bacon and Blue Cheese


For a relaxing night in I like to make one of my all-time favorite  meals: 
Mussels with bacon and blue cheese.
Not only is this an absolutely positively scrumptious meal, 
but it is also extremely simple to make.
To serve two hungry tummies all you need is: 

2 pounds Prince Edward Island mussels 
3 large shallots (or 1 large onion) chopped fine 
4 or 5 strips of bacon, diced
1 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
3 cups white wine - ~ 1 bottle of wine (including a glass for you)
  1 large pot
 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sunday Funday: Brunch With My Loves

Okay, so I've been a little behind in my blogging lately, but I promise, I'll be better! Remember how I said I'd tell you how the brunch with my two lovely friends went?  Well here it is!
I woke up extremely hungry and my tummy was craving some delicious homemade breakfast food. So Katie and I  went to the store early in the morning to make sure we were fully stocked with the essentials: bacon, eggs, toast, berries, champagne & orange juice for mimosas, pretty flowers for the table, and of course, more bacon.

Pretty pink & orange tulips in my homemade vase

Monday, January 28, 2013

Decadent Dinner Date

This weekend was full of friends, fun times, and food...really, really, really, good food.
It started with a late dinner at the Pump Station  with my best friends from college; Ms. Katie and Mr. Joey. We started off with fried calamari; extra crispy, extra marinara sauce, spicy cherry peppers, topped with a decent amount of delicious balsamic reduction drizzled over the entire plate.