Thursday, October 31, 2013

H-A-Double L-O...

...W-Double E-N spells Halloween!

Do you remember that song from elementary school? Because I do.

In fact, I sing it to myself every time I need to spell Halloween.

Also, for the record, I'm that young adult that forgets she has to buy trick or treat candy because it feels like just yesterday, I was the one ringing doorbells and collecting as many Reese's as possible. Alas, I have entered the adult world {thanks for the reminder, Mom}, so in panic, I ran to the store last night to get some goodies for the little monsters. I also had a slight heart attack at the cost of "on sale" Halloween candy when it's a fact that in 24 hours the Halloween isles of stores across America will be half the price. The perils of commercially-backed holidays, I suppose.

In any case, I hope everyone has a fun and safe H-A-Double L-O-W-Double E-N!

You better believe I will be singing that in my head all day.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Another Ode to NYC

I don't often think this, but really thanks goodness it's Friday! Some weeks just take it out of you, don't they? After seven weeks of traveling every weekend, I'm so excited to stay in the same {albeit} tiny state for a few days of relaxation. My weekend will be full of yoga, cleaning, farmers' markets, and catching up on sleep {a seemingly endless goal}. I could not be more excited for a little peace and quiet.

Speaking of peace and quiet {bear with me}, I was thinking about my trip to NYC a few weeks ago, and how much I love that city. If work permitted, I would love to live in Manhattan. I've always been a city girl, and a part of my soul feels complete with I'm amidst the hustle and bustle of a beautiful city. It's amazing how in such a buzzing place, you can feel like you are in your own universe, miles away from everyday life and reality. Millions of people, yet you can make the city your own world. How special and amazing is that? I think there are only a handful of places in the world that make you feel this way.

Oh, also, how special and amazing is that pic of me chilling on Carrie Bradshaw's front steps? Everyone has to have their touristy moments ;)

Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

{Almost} Naked Strawberry Cake

Now folks, until roughly 3 months ago, I was not much of a baker. No-sireeee. My friends would laugh at me when I would come up with the idea to make a baked goodie. The fall season was always fun at college, as some friends would laugh their little buns off while I would try to make an apple pie in a dorm kitchen. 

Let's just say I have come a loooooong way.

It was my uncle's birthday last month, and the last of the beautiful strawberries were out. I was on a huge strawberry kick, so I thought to myself, what could be better than a fresh strawberry cake for a birthday celebration? Nothing. Excatly. 

I followed this recipe from Martha Stuart for Versatile Vanilla Cake. Let me tell you, this is a fantastic cake. Dense without being heavy and perfectly moist. This recipe is a winner and bookmarked for future use. I didn't want to have frosting that overpowered the gorgeous organic strawberries I found at a local farm, so I opted for a thin layer of vanilla frosting {also a la Martha} on both cakes. Simply frost, layer with sliced strawberries, plunk another cake on top, frost and arrange more strawberries around the edge, and voila. 

You guys, I couldn't have been happier with the result. Next time you're in the market for a fantastic vanilla cake recipe, Martha's your girl.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tulsa Eats: Stonehorse Cafe

I just returned home for a whirlwind weekend in Oklahoma to celebrate America's Greatest Homecoming at my alma mater, Oklahoma State {around these parts, it's otherwise known as the best school in the world}. I'm still on a high from seeing all my friends, Cowboy football, and all the homecoming festivities.

In honor of my recent return, I though I'd share another Tulsa restaurant that I found while visiting back in April. The Stonehorse Cafe was a perfect spot to stop and grab a nibble while shopping in the Utica Square area of the city. I sat right at the bar, and enjoyed great conversation with the bartenders and patrons seated around me {just another reason I love Oklahoma - everyone is so damn friendly}. I enjoyed my Cuban sandwich, but not as much as the atmosphere. If I lived in Tulsa, I could see myself frequenting this little gem after an afternoon browsing Saks :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Aquidneck Growers Market

I am completely over-the-moon for a good farmers' market. I'm lucky to live in an area with abundant farmland - which makes it a perfect setting for local farmers to gather and sell their goods. Aquidneck Grower's Market is just a short drive from downtown Newport and one of my favorite stops on a Saturday morning. The market is sadly ending in a few weeks, but many of the vendors move their shops to other winter markets off the island {which gives me a good excuse to explore more corners of RI}. 

I am always absolutely stunned at how inexpensive and fresh the produce is at farmers' markets. I bought everything in the pictures below for less than $20, and it's enough to keep me fed for most of the week. The lettuce is enough for three large salads, and I have big plans to try out several squash recipes. I have been completely converted into one of those people who loves to take the time to cook with fresh, local ingredients rather than eating something pre-prepared that is highly processed and full of empty calories and fat. 

Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky recently shared her experience with a CSA {Community Supported Agriculture}, and really got me thinking about the possibility of getting one myself. I was able to talk to some of the farmers at the market about doing a CSA next year. I am a huge advocate for supporting local initiatives and sustainable business, so this seems like something right up my alley. Can't wait to learn more and explore the winter markets in a few weeks!

Monday, October 14, 2013

On Vineyard Time


I love the end of summer the best. Things aren't quite so crazy and hectic as they are in the height of the season. People are starting to slowly trickle back to their homes and "real" life. These are the weekends I love spending time venturing into the charming spots along the Cape and the Islands without the throngs of tourists. 

In August, my mother and I found ourselves on the ferry over to Martha's Vineyard for a long-overdue visit. It was the most beautiful day spent poking around shops and backroads, enjoying the sunshine and drinking a few too many glass of wine or two. It was the ideal mother-daughter bonding day. Nothing could have been better. Ma and I even showed up color coordinated. Proof that you inevitably turn into your mother at the ripe age of 25.