new york city: what I ate

I visited New York for the first time this weekend with two goals in mind: throw a dinner party and taste a bunch of amazing food. I’ll tell you more about the dinner party soon, but first! All of the delicious things in NYC.

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I had most of an evening to explore and dine alone after arriving, so I took the subway to Brooklyn and found a French cafe called Mominette. They had a garden tucked in the back with twinkly lights and Bocce ball, and I tucked myself in a corner and ordered the oysters and rosé. It got dark and I got a cappuccino and felt very alive. I mosied on over to Miles for a glass of wine and then met my friend at Pearl’s for a whiskey ginger before heading off to sleep. Noted: the city was still very much awake– New Yorkers stay up later than Angelinos.

My favorite meals in New York were at restaurants suggested by locals. Pizza is a thing there, so my friend Mari and I went to Roberta’s on my last night for pizza and wine. I loved their hip space and backyard bar–it was very dive-meets-delicious. We had an eggplant and sungold tomato pizza and tried the carrots with chantarelles at the waiter’s suggestion (which I completely loved). Another local suggestion was Jack’s Wife Freda, where I caught up with an old friend over brunch. The shakshuka eggs were as tasty as they are gorgeous, and paired beautifully with the bloody mary and watermelon juice (pictured below).

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After brunch my friend and I headed to Gasoline Alley Coffee to walk off our challah. I have a huge crush on the little cafes in SoHo and NoHo. There are spots in the city where you could pick one of about a million places and get something really amazing to eat. Another example of this: Smorgasburg. This Brooklyn flea food market has everything you want to taste. I spent hours there trying Mofongo, oysters, bloody marys, lumpia, and boiled peanuts. Try the Swedish coffee bar, Konditori, for a great cup of joe to energize you for the Williamsburg Smorgasburg.

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One of my best friends and food experts in LA told me I had to try Momofuku Milk Bar, which of course turned out to be incredible. My friend and I tried the cereal milk soft serve (served with crispy corn flakes) and the crack pie, which totally took me back to my college days having cereal for dinner and making honey cream pie for a housewarming party.

It was beginning to feel like fall in New York, and I was really thankful to feel some weather. I spent Saturday afternoon eating a chocolate ice cream cone at Odd Fellow’s Ice Cream Co and watching it rain outside, which are two of my favorite things. Also, see that toast? It’s covered in goat cheese and drizzled with truffle honey. Yes, I said truffle honey. It’s created by the guys at The Truffleist, and I’m not arguing–it was amazingly truffly.

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summer bucket list, revisited

Hi guys! Remember when summer was just starting? And I wrote a list of all of the summery stuff I wanted to do? I took that list pretty seriously, because summer is important. Getting sun on your shoulders, drinking all of the beer and cold brew coffee, eating ice cream cones…it’s what life’s about.

I rode a ferris wheel, went to Malibu, rocked hot pink lipstick. I drank gallons of iced coffee, bought a butterfly at Gold Bug, and saw fireworks.

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I watched Indiana Jones at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and watched a sunset at the Yamashiro Farmers Market. I drank wine will listening to jazz on the lawn at LACMA (twice) and cooled off with lots of ice cream.

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I had dim sum in Little Tokyo, brewed and tasted beer, made and ate kimchi. I went home to Indiana, ate a cheeseburger in Michigan, and found beach glass on the lake.

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I’m ending with a bang with a trip to New York City. Remember Mari, Lindsay, and Alex? They’ve all moved from Iowa to Brooklyn, and we’re having a Dinner Party Association reunion. Follow my Instagram for a DPA play by play, and check back for a party post next week!

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cocktail party inspiration

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I do most of my entertaining in a tiny studio (more on that soon), where my couch and thrifted dining chairs get a lot of use. My parties usually flood from the kitchen out into my living room, so having enough proper seating is important. Someday I’ll have a bigger space to fill with all of the pretty chairs, but for now, it’s flea market and pinterest dreams for this girl.

When the stylish team over at Chairish asked me to create an inspiration board around one of their accent chairs, my choice was obvious. Mid-century, teak, and pink, this Danish lounge chair is something I could definitely see in my space. I think it would fit in perfectly with my pink cocktail cart and gold walls in my powder room. This chair makes me want to throw on a pair of Swedish hasbeen clogs and drink a flowery cocktail from one of these gold highball glasses.

Do you have a piece that makes you want to party? Some pretty plates that inspire your dishes? Tell me about it in the comments!

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summer salad + cornbread croutons

If cornbread were to show up at a regular-bread family reunion, what kind of family member would they be? Sweet great-aunt? Odd ball cousin?

These are the things I think about.

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I’ve had cornbread on my mind since last weekend, when a cool new friend threw a Southern food party. I brought booze and cornbread, which (surprise!) the host had already thought of and prepared. After dying (in a really good way) over her Southern shrimp and rice, I shlepped home some cornbread in my purse and began brainstorming ways to use it up.

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The late August heat in LA has made every night a salad and cocktail kind of night. Don’t get me wrong–I love all of those things–but you can only go so long without mixing up your salad game. Cornbread croutons and blueberry vinaigrette, paired with this citrusy cucumber cocktail, were a game changer. Sweet bread and sweet berries, meet sweet summer.

summer salad + cornbread croutons
makes one large salad

for the croutons:

Slice one large piece (about 5 square inches) of cornbread into cubes. Preheat your oven to 400 and toss cornbread with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toast for about 15 minutes until golden brown, tossing every five minutes or so.

for the salad:

This is just a combination of my summer favorites, but feel free to change it up! Here’s what I used:

one pint baby heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
5-6 basil leaves, torn
a handful of goat cheese
a handful of blueberries
a handful of toasted walnuts
five big handfuls mixed greens
blueberry vinaigrette (1 handful blueberries, 1 part olive oil, 2 parts balsamic vinegar in a blender)

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weekend link party!

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photo taken at night + market while dining with this cool designer

speaking of ethnic food in LA, this Indian restaurant is killin it

an interesting read on the importance of solitude

had lunch here today with Haley, rad LA blogger behind Brewing Happiness

digging this shop for cool prints

7 things you need to stop doing to be productive

thinking of ordering some warby parkers! anyone have any favorites?

an adorable four year old reviews French Laundry

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