Monday, June 29, 2015

montvale's best: fire and oak

I spent last week up in montvale, new jersey for work and a funny thing happened. since I didn't have a rental car, we ended up having dinner at the same place three times in one week! partly because we were exhausted and fire and oak was super convenient, but mostly because the food, drinks, and ambiance were surprisingly impressive. other than the hilton, fire and oak was my home away from home and it felt truly that.

Friday, June 26, 2015

ridgewood [new jersey] reunion

as you know, I recently left a company that I cared a lot about and embarked on a new opportunity which I am extremely excited about! I flew up to new jersey for a week of training and was fortunate to be able to reconnect for dinner with one of my favorite atlanta friends who moved to ridgewood a few months ago.

as she promised, ridgewood is the quintessential american small town. on our way to dinner, we stopped to see baby deer on the side of the road. the greenery and lush surroundings were something out of a storybook. once we arrived in ridgewood, it was block after block of small town charm. we picked finca for tapas and had an enjoyable evening catching up in this adorable town.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

taco pizza

we make homemade pizza at least once a week, usually with sautéed mushrooms and turkey pepperoni. stephen adds a ring of barbeque sauce around the crust, it's so good. last week, I decided to shake things up with a taco pizza. 

it takes a bit more effort to pick up the lettuce, tomato, and doritos, but we happened to have some leftover ground beef that I didn't want to waste so I went for it. I love the sauce on this pizza, the refried beans add such a yummy element. it's an interesting, different taste that's really good and unexpected. the doritos add a bit of a crunch and the lettuce and tomato make it basically like eating a salad, right?!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

saturday night at the ballpark

this weekend we watched the braves vs the mets at turner field. it was a close game and the braves pulled it out! summer nights at the ballpark are the best - beers, peanuts, and baseball. I love that there are many different ways to experience a braves game! 

a few weekends ago we went with some friends and sat at the 755 club the whole evening, eating pizza and drinking wine. a few summers ago, I exclusively sat at the chop house bar, often times standing at the railing for an unrestricted view. this weekend, we had 6th row seats and went with my dad which means... holeman and finch burgers are required. with so many different braves baseball experiences, you're guaranteed to have a good time.

Friday, June 19, 2015

summer potato and herb salad

ever since I had the most amazing spring greens salad at gramercy tavern last month, I have been longing to replicate that light yet substantial salad featuring beautiful greens and fingerling potatoes. I found a similar recipe and edited it just a bit to come up with a very tasty summery side salad. I'll be serving this alongside a salmon filet tonight with a glass of sauvignon blanc.

healthy, light, and delicious summer noshing at its finest! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

parting wisdom: top five lessons from spanx

I wasn't planning to write about my last day at spanx... but it seemed disingenuine not to mention this big life change I'm making. my first job after business school was an international account associate at spanx and today is my last day in the spanx world. while it will be hard, I am happy to say that after two and half years and 7 countries later - I've learned several big lessons and made insane memories at spanx.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

breakfast at tiffany's bridal shower

the shower of the century went off without a hitch! no detail was spared in this surprise breakfast at tiffany's themed shower for my best friend. her mom, sister in law, matron of honor, and maid of honor (yours truly) have been planning for months for our girl and it finally all came together to knock the bride's socks off. she was so surprised and we had a blast.

from the tiffany blue couch rental to the tiffany blue pool umbrella, the mimosa bar to the pearls and sunglasses favors - every aspect was over the top and so thoughtful. and how beautiful is this red velvet cake!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

front page news brunch

recently I met some girlfriends for brunch at a hip place in midtown that I'd never been but had definitely heard of. I was excited to try something new, especially since they [will remain nameless] feature bottomless mimosas. much to my surprise, it turned out to be a total letdown. from the minute we were told the kitchen was severely backed up and they were out of breakfast potatoes, I knew it wasn't going to be a good scenario. our reservation was for 1pm, atlantans can't order booze on sundays until 12:30pm so no one ventures out before then... how exactly did we run out of potatoes in the whopping span of thirty minutes...

ok, ok... before I sound too negative, the good news is that the old favorites never disappoint. front page news midtown is my spot for brunch. imagine the best of the big easy in the middle of midtown atlanta, and that's what you get at front page. from the new orleans ambiance of the outdoor patio, to the build your own bloody mary bar, to the southern menu selections [think mahi sandwich, crab cakes benedict] you cannot go wrong at front page news.

Monday, June 8, 2015

banana nut chocolate chip muffins

soo I am actually not a huge fan of bananas, sometimes I buy them with the underlying knowledge that I'm not going to eat them and then I'll be forced to make banana nut chocolate chip muffins once they've become overly ripe. I mean you certainly can't let perfectly good food go to waste. 

stephen has been traveling and I just happened to have some overly ripe bananas so I whipped up a batch of these muffins to welcome him home and also for my weekly work team meeting. since the recipe makes about 16 muffins, I can easily keep a few at home and still have plenty to bring to work. this recipe can also be made into a loaf, but I prefer making muffins so they can do double duty.

I've been baking these muffins since high school and they always turn out to be delicious. you really can't mess them up and they happen to not be terrible for you since they include 3 whole bananas, light sour cream, and whole wheat flour. the best thing is that while they are decently healthy, they don't taste that way. these yummy muffins are super moist and chocolatey - so go ahead, enjoy!

Friday, June 5, 2015

vegetarian cookbook lust-haves

lately I've been popping into lots of book shops - posman in NYC, sundog and hidden lantern on 30A, to name a few. these days, it seems my gaze is always drawn to gorgeous vegetable-based cookbooks. there's something about the portrayal of bright vegetables in a super artistic way that's got me wanting to whip up a plate of quinoa-beet-radish-cucumber-spring bean something or other. hey, I just bought a vegetable spiralizer so you never know #babysteps.

last week I whipped up a gorgeous summer potato and herb salad (recipe coming soon!) and bought both radishes and kale for the first time. this week, I'm planning to make you can sit with us blog's lemon orzo salad. I am increasingly obsessed with trying new vegetable recipes, I have a feeling it's going to be an impressive summer of trial and error and discovering new veggie favorites. bon appetit!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

happy birthday to my main squeeze

summer birthdays are the best! we started celebrating stephen's birthday last weekend with a rooftop friend dinner on the westside. the weather was perfect and it was sort of an impromptu celebration, stephen didn't want to make a thing of it - so I secretly dropped off sprinkles cupcakes at the restaurant earlier that day. surprise! no one felt pressured to bring a gift or card since most people didn't know his birthday was approaching. sneaky, right. after cupcakes, we headed down the street for a few more drinks and games at ormsby's.

for stephen's actual birthday, I finally got to try my hand at making his favorite treat - strawberry rhubarb pie. did I mention that I've never made a pie before? it turned out to be delicious!


Monday, June 1, 2015

fancy meatloaf wellington

sometimes you really need to cook a fancy kind of meal to remind yourself that you can, in fact, make gorgeous meals when you have some free time. both stephen and I have been traveling quite a bit lately, with one more home stretch week apart. since we had two days home together, it was a perfect time to flex my fancy meal muscles with meatloaf wellington. 

if you have some sort of complex with the term meatloaf, I hear you, just call it swiss wellington and move on. you could accurately call it mushroom swiss cheeseburger pie, but that does not sound fancy. meatloaf wellington is a bread encased loaf of meat oozing with swiss cheese and topped with a mushroom sauce, my mother made it every once in a while growing up and it was a meal I always enjoyed. bon appetit fancy people!