Monday, June 17, 2013

Best New of the Week

plus other great things the internet gave us

image via La Modella Mafia

"But has that instinct led you astray?"
"It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is."
Best News of the Week goes to Kanye West.  His child was born over the weekend, and his album drops tomorrow.  I can't say anything better than he did himself; so suffice it to say that everyone should read this interview.

In other news...

There are some crazy food trucks out there

One bride explained the beauty of DIY

Reading is cool and cool people read

Turquoise is the perfect color

France, naturally, held the World's Largest Dinner Party

Essie's summer collection looks amazing

Steven Spielberg submitted Schindler's List to place out of Film 309


Kids at weddings are hilarious.

Worst news of the week goes to publishers dumbing down digital versions of classic books.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Easy Father's Day Gift: Magnolia's Famous Banana Pudding

after all, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach

While my mom and I are big chocolate people, my dad has never been crazy about it. He's always been more of a fruit person and absolutely loves bananas.  When I was living in New York, I discovered Magnolia Bakery, famous for sparking the cupcake craze.  While, the cupcakes are good, there are so many other amazing things behind their counter; and, I have to say that the banana pudding is definitely worth writing home about. 

 As luck would have it, I received the The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook (available on Amazon) before I left NYU and was able to take a little bit of New York home to my parents in Richmond.  Homemade whipped cream is a simple grand gesture that really goes a long way, so if you're looking for a cute way to show your dad just how sweet he is, this will definitely do the trick!  Get the recipe below:

image via tumblr
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
3.4-oz package instant vanilla pudding mix (Jell-O brand if possible)
3 cups heavy cream
12-oz box Nilla Wafers
4 cups sliced ripe bananas

In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined (about 1 minute).   Add the pudding mix and beat well  (about 2 minutes). 

Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl with a 4-5 quart capacity. (Glass shows shows off the dessert beautifully.)  Arrange one third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. 
Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. 

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours, but no longer, before serving.

Makes 12-15 portions.

image via Pintrest

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

French Open Recap

les nouvelles de Roland-Garros

Did you see the French Open finals this past Sunday? I only caught the men's game, but there was no shortage of action in Paris.  Not only were Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer duking it out in the rain, but several protesters ran onto the court with lit flares.  Just watching it on TV, I was terrified; I can't even imagine what their families must have been feeling, but luckily no one was hurt. They finished the match with Nadal taking his eighth win at Roland-Garros and making history as the man with the most titles from any one Grand Slam tournament.  After getting knocked out of the first round last year, Serena Williams redeemed herself and beat out Maria Sharapova to take the ladies' title for her 16th Grand Slam title.  In case you missed it, here are a few of my favorite photos floating around tumblr. Next up, Wimbledon!

Monday, June 10, 2013

National Iced Tea Day

the house wine of the South

image via tumblr

Happy National Iced Tea Day!  Is there any drink as versatile and refreshing as iced tea?  Whether you brew it in the sun, buy it in a can, spike it, sweeten it, drink it with lemonade, or just leave it alone, nothing is better on a hot summer day.  So, in honor of the occasion, let's all raise a glass to the South's favorite drink.  Cheers!

image via tumblr

image via Cupcakepedia

image via tumblr

image via tumblr

image via tumblr

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Best News of the Week

plus other great things the internet gave us

 Best News of the Week goes to brunch!  Not only was it National Doughnut Day this past week, with free treats for all, but The New York times named brunch one of "The Best Historic Innovations."  Honestly, I couldn't agree more.  Any excuse to eat tacos for breakfast, doughnuts for lunch and to drink cocktails before nooncount me in!

Have you heard about the cronuts craze?

In other news...

This little corgi got stuck in a tent and the resulting footage is adorable

You can pay for coffee with kisses in Australia

Father John Misty either has a perfume coming out or is fucking with us all

Anthropologie has the cutest sleeping bags

Porn stars took off their makeup for Huffpost

Jack White swooped in and saved the day for one historic Detroit venue

The secret to creating the perfect Pintrest photo was revealed

These photos of actors laughing on set will definitely put a smile on your face

Backyard kitchens exist and I need one, please and thank you

NPR temporary tattoos are now available

This what some of your favorite architects' personal homes look like


New Yorkers can now window shop with ebay.

Worst News of the Week goes to the chocolate price fixing conspiracy in Canada, involving Hershey, Mars, and NestlĂ©.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Il pleut!

everything sunny all the time always

Do you ever take your dog for a walk in the rain?  This is the second day straight that's it's poured here in Greenville, but Bandit doesn't seem to mind going out if it's just sprinkling.  We don't have yard, and I feel so bad for keeping the little guy cooped up inside all day; so, I try to take him out no matter what.  Luckily, I don't mind the rain like I used to!  It's fun to go out and splash in the puddles, and it sort of feels like you're breaking the rules because your mom isn't ushering you inside like when you were little.

I used to be the kind of person that was ecstatic to be laying out in the sunshine but would bunker down with a movie and a blanket the second it started raining.  I dreaded anything that would force me to go outside and walking to class in humid, rainy Williamsburg during college was the worst. Then, I found this article on A Cup of Jo, which talks about different cultures' approaches to "bad" weather and completely changed my perspective.  

Apparently in Scandinavia and Denmark, parents take their kids outside every day! It doesn't matter if it's rain or shine (or even snow!), they just bundle up and enjoy the moment. My favorite quote was one from one of the writer's Danish friends, who said "In Denmark, you can't be afraid of the weather...Otherwise you'd wait six months to go outside again." For some reason, that really struck a chord with me. Right when I read that, I decided that I wasn't going to let a little rain dampen my spirits. Isn't it interesting how something as simple as the weather can perceived so differently in other parts of the world? Check out the full article here, it's short, sweet and definitely inspiring!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cooking Your Way Through Pintrest: Greek Lettuce Wraps


I found this recipe on Pintrest for Mediterranean Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos from Martha Stewart that for some reason or other I kept putting off making (aka: Justin made steak).  I finally got around to cooking these tonight, and they were so good!  Despite being light and full of veggies, they were really satisfying and savory.  Justin isn't crazy about onions or tomatoes, so he sat this one out.  Luckily, I was able to taper this into a really great dinner for one, while putting my own spin on it!  Obviously, most of the ingredients don't come in a single serving, so when I made mine I just kind of guessed on the proportions; and I ended up having the perfect amount of leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  The measurements below are approximations for what I assume a single serving would be, but feel free to double up and make extra for yourself or a friend!  

1 chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon Mediterranean spice
2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
2 tbsp red onion
splash red wine vinaigrette
3 tbsp Tzatziki 
3 butter lettuce leaves
1/2 tomato
3 tbsp feta 
1 avocado   

While warming up your grill, season chicken with Mediterranean spice.

Once warm, place the chicken on the grill and brush the top side with 1 tablespoon of Balsamic vinaigrette.  Half way through cooking, flip the chicken and brush the other side with the remaining tablespoon.  Once cooked through, chop and set aside.  

Chop the red onion and place it in a bowl; add a shake or two of red wine vinaigrette to coat.

Wash the butter lettuce leaves, and chop avocado and tomatoes.

Assemble the wraps using the leaves as a base and starting with the onions on top, followed by a table spoon of Tzatziki on each, then the chicken, tomato, avocado, and feta.  Roll up and enjoy!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Best News of the Week

plus other great things the internet gave us

image and story via A.V. Club

Best News of the Week goes to Philip Seymour Hoffman for being responsible.  A week after he started using heroin, he realized he had a problem and checked himself into rehab. Bravo, good sir!  Did The Hunger Games go to his head?  Was being a secret agent of the revolution too much for him?  We'll never know.

In other news...

Denmark appears to have solved any and all economic issues

The genius behind Lana Del Rey's luscious locks opens up about his work

Grumpy Cat has a movie coming out and his lawyer has a really cool job

Science finally proved fatigue is worse than being drunk

We're all jealous that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith aren't our parents

Hannibal got renewed for a second season

Baguetting is now a thing

Man Men conspiracy theories are running rampant.

Worst News of the Week goes to the bad economics of your favorite bar or restaurant.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Farmers Market Finds

certified South Carolina

This morning, I woke up early to go to the farmers' market downtown, and it really blew me away.  I feel like it's been rained out four of the six past weekends, and I wasn't here for the other two that were sunny; so, this was my first time going to the market.  It was so much bigger than I was expecting! Nearly all of Main Street was blocked off and filled with vendors.

I had heard to get there early, so I arrived shortly after 8:30 a.m., when it opened–but even then, there were already a ton of people there. My first stop was at the Soby's on the Side tent, where I had quite the dilemma picking out what to eat for breakfast. I ended up getting this amazing pain au chocolat for only $2, which took me right back to France; but, next time I might have to go for the shrimp and grits.

After that, I just made the rounds and took in the sights. I mostly snapped photos of the flower vendors, but they had tents for everything–wet pasta, seafood, honey, candles, hot sauce, bread, pie, meat and even some local art!

And, all the tents had these Certified South Carolina signs, so you knew you were shopping local.

There was even a bluegrass band playing, which had all the kids dancing.

I ended up getting peaches, strawberries, black eyed pea salsa, jalapeno cilantro hummus and pepperoni bread.  I've already sampled a little bit of everything, and it's all delicious.  If you're thinking about going I have two suggestions: walk by every stall because you never know what you'll find (food or prices!) and get there early.  This last one is especially important because even after only being open for an hour, a lot of the vendors were already selling out of items.  There's always so much going on downtown in Greenville :) I definitely can't wait to go back and see what's in season next weekend!