Bronx Blackout

Because my sister saw my style set Winter Whites inspired by the October snow storm that we New Yorkers just experienced and left this comment in my email…

How about a power outage-inspired outfit? ’cause we are in full blackout mode here in the Bronx…and it SUCKS! Westchester, Staten Island, and 1600 houses in the Bronx…according to Con Ed 😦

I HAD to make a style set for her…

BRONX BLACKOUT

Because I received such a great response to my cost friendly style set For Jen, do note, that everything aside from the boots are fifty-five dollars or less! I always believe in spending more on your shoes as you will be wearing them far more often than any of your other garments.

ENJOY!

Bronx Blackout
  1. Dorothy Perkins tux jacket, $40
  2. Denim skinny jeans, $25
  3. Oasis ruffle top, $25
  4. Ash shoes, $429
  5. All Saints slouch beanie hat, $55
  6. Ring, $20
  7. House of Harlow 1960 spike earring, $49
  8. Essie nail color, devil’s advocate, $8

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Winter Whites

Inspired by the massive amounts of snow fall currently coating Manhattan…I hope these style sets will inspire you…

WINTER WHITES

As a painter, I learned that there are many VARIATIONS OF WHITE. The more you play, the more sophisticated you will get! That said, I am a huge believer in mixing those mixed tones, there is absolutely NO NEED to be so literal when it comes to clothing.

Let’s play!

Winter Tones

 

  1. 3 1 Phillip Lim wool blend pea coat, $750
  2. Viktor Rolf long top, $695
  3. Richard Nicoll wool pencil skirt, $800
  4. Michael Kors stainless steel watch, $250
  5. Teardrop earrings, $160
  6. Seychelles wedge bootie, $100
  7. Radley genuine leather handbag, $71
Winter Nudes
  1. Wilfred Shrunken Chevalier Blazer, $195
  2. 3 1 Phillip lim, $395
  3. 7 For All Mankind embellished jeans, 210
  4. Giambattista Valli floral shawl, $980
  5. Forzieri leather glove, $116
  6. Maison Martin Margiela heel booties, $408
  7. MICHAEL Michael Kors michael kors jewelry, $250
  8. Zadig Voltaire yellow gold jewelry, 225
Winter White and Gold
  1. Long sleeve button shirt, $365
  2. Wildfox Couture oversized cardigan, $368
  3. 7 for all mankind jeans, $108
  4. Vince Camuto bangle bracelet, $88
  5. Bangle bracelet, $16
  6. Gold jewelry, $58
  7. H&M wedge heel boots, $30
  8. Essie pearly white


Fig & Olive

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Fig & Olive is a truly delicious Mediterranean restaurant with several locations all around Manhattan.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Funnily enough, the quality of the food differs greatly from location to location.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

The quaint Uptown location is incredible…the ambiance is absolutely fantastic!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

CHEERS to flavored olive oil!

The slow service is forgivable because the food is INCREDIBLE!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Every element is EXTREMELY FLAVORFUL

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Down to their version of a bread basket, the flavor experience is NOT TO BE MISSED!

By transforming their bread basket into a tasting platter—one where you sample three different kinds of olive oil from three different locations around the world—they are emphasizing this noted flavor expertise.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Rosemary Bread with Assorted Oils

Beyond flavor, there is a great deal of attention paid to presentation.

Photo Credit: Franklin Williams

Fig Gorgonzola Tartlet: Warm Gorgonzola, prosciutto, fig, walnut, arugula, scallion, tomato on a fine puff pastry

The food is almost too pretty to eat. But again, those flavors make it impossible not to!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Warm Goat Cheese In Fig Leaf: Warm goat cheese and lavendar honey wrappedin fig leaf, served with fig chutney and black olive crackers.

The fig appetizers in the images above were UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS…if there weren’t several eye-catching choices on the menu, I would go back solely for those!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Fig & Olive Salad: Romaine hearts, mesclun, fig, apple, manchego, dolce gorgonzola, tomato, walnut, olive, scallion, 18 year old fig balsamic - Arbequina Olive Oil.

I highly recommend this stylish restaurant for a chic couple, a group of friends, or a couple going on a second date…NOT FIRST.

Again, while the slower service is great for conversations, if you are on a first date that you can’t wait to get out of, YOU WILL BE STUCK.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Paella Del Mar: Black tiger shrimp, sea scallops, garden vegetables, artichoke tapenade, saffron rice, Pimenton & Oregano - Hojiblanca Olive Oil

Overall, a truly flavorful and delightful experience…

ENJOY!

Uptown Location:

808 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10021
(Between 62nd & 63rd Streets)
212 207 4555

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Fresh Apple Jam

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Now that we have gone a second year in a row, it is safe to say that APPLE PICKING has become an ANNUAL Fall activity for myself, my husband, a couple of our friends, their dog, and who ever else we can get to join in the fun!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

I HIGHLY recommend going!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

There is little better than enjoying a crisp fall day with friends surrounded by an endless supply of food ;)…

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Yes, it is SO much fun…in the moment…

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Then you get home…and wonder…

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

“What can I do with a bag full of apples?”

______________________________________________________________________________

Here’s what you do with them…

As promised in my Wilklow Orchards post, here is my APPLE JAM RECIPE!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #1: Set aside a large pot filled with water to boil.

Apple jam is the PERFECT way to savor the flavor of Fall for months to come.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #2: Select several apples.

It is also a great way to remember your apple picking day!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #3: Feel free to mix the types of apples that you use.

I know that for me, every time I eat my jam it brings me back to when I picked the apples OR to whom I gave the jam to. Either way, it always makes me smile.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #4: Roughly peel your apples.

While there may be a few steps here, the actual process is very easy…

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #5: Chop the apples. NOTE: If you prefer a chunky preserves OR don't own an immersion blender, FINELY chop your apples as they do not shrink or mush in the cooking process.

And, too delicious to miss…

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #6: You will need six cups of apples.

So…GET COOKING!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #7: Put all six cups of apples into a pot.

UNLESS, you are one of the lucky ones who get one of my yummy jars :).

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #8: Add half a table spoon of butter to your pot of apples.

In any case, this jam making process will only take you about forty minutes from start to finish.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #9: Add half a cup of water to your pot of apples. and bring to a boil. NOTE: if foam forms on top of your apples, briefly turn down your heat to calm it down.

FORTY MINUTES, that’s not even a full tv show these days…

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #10: Add in 1.75 ounces of pectin. NOTE: about half of the bag featured in this photograph.

Well, not longer than the hour shows.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #11: Add in two cups of white sugar, two cups of packed dark brown sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a half of a teaspoon of nutmeg WHILE STIRRING CONSTANTLY. Stir for about ten minutes while apples soften.

So play some music and set aside some time for yourself—some YOU TIME.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #12: (optional) use an immersion blender to smooth out your jam.

The beauty of this “you time” is that when you present your final bottle of jam as a gift…

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #13: Using a ladle, scoop up your jam and put into jars. Make sure to leave a half an inch space at the top for safety purposes. Close your jars and submerge them—USING TONGS— in the pot of boiling water. Let them sit for ten minutes. THEN, pull them out—USING TONGS— and place them in your sink to cool.

It continues to bring you pride and joy. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving! Especially, when the lucky recipients of your jam share it with their friends and family!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #14: (optional) DECORATE! If you are making these as a gift, I suggest using twine to hold your labels on. It gives a rustic feel that goes well with the industrial metal and glass look that the jars already have.

Oooh, these also make for great PLACE CARDS

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #15: VOILA! Done! Now you have an extremely thoughtful, beautiful gift for friends and family.

Instead of using a branded label, tie on a name card…

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

And VOILA! Now, you have a place card that doubles as a yummy take away for your guests…

Photo Credit: Michelle WilliamsANY excuse for a seasonal brunch with friends!

THE Grocery List:

Portion Size: 6 500ml Jars

  1. Apples (6 cups) (optional: mix types)
  2. Water (1/2 cup)
  3. Butter (1/2 tsp)
  4. Pectin (1.75 ounce)
  5. White sugar (2 cups)
  6. Packed Brown Sugar (2 cups)
  7. Cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
  8. Nutmeg (1/2 teaspoon)
  9. Ball and mason jars (6 500ml)

MY TOOLS

Kitchen Click and Buy Recommendations :

Calphalon:

  • 6-1/2-Quart Soup Pot
  • 2-Quart Chef’s Pan

Cuisinart:

  • Immersion Blender

J.A. Henckles:

  • Paring Knife
  • 8″ Chef Knife

MIU

  • Flexible Cutting Board

RSVP:

  • Canning Ladle

Halloween From YOUR Closet

NOW, since I did it for the ladies…here it is for you guys…

Buying bagged costumes has never really made sense to me. Now, to be fair, I am not a huge Halloween buff, but when I do partake, I typically like to wear items that I would be either happy to wear again OR already own.

By the way, this ALWAYS makes for a more creative, interesting costume…which leads to winning prizes, great memories, and LOTS of compliments!

SO…here are a few ways to play with what you own.

SCARECROW

INDIANA JONES
Indiana Jones

DON DRAPER

Burberry, $235
Barneys New York Striped Two-Button Suit, $1,695
Forzieri Silver Plated Mat Round Cuff Links, $86
Black leather pointed shoes, 55
C2 by Calibrate Tie, $33
Be Goody Pencil Cigarette Hb, $2

Don Draper
I would LOVE to see the fantastic ideas you come up with!


Fresh Fall Fettuccine

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #1: Wash your tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers.

Food is all about the experience. I LOVE this one. Particularly because of why it was invented…

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #2: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Loosely chop your vegetables. Place the eggplant, ONE bell pepper, and zucchini on a tin foil covered tray. Then heavily sprinkle with coarse kosher salt. THEN place in the oven for 15 minutes.

You see, a couple of weeks ago, I posted on Facebook that I needed more girl friends. I was then overwhelmed by the response from the ones I already have…it’s just that many of them don’t live in the same state as me. This immediately spawned the idea of a visit.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #3: Set aside a large pot filled with water to boil.

Laura, a girlfriend who I met years ago through my husband, decided to come visit for the weekend. In tow, she brought us a gift of fresh vegetables from Cape Cod along with an INCREDIBLE bottle of wine from one of her local vineyards.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #4: Pick out and "de-shell" 5 large cloves of garlic. Toss them into your food processor and puree. NOW, take your loosely chopped tomatoes, second loosely chopped bell pepper and add those into the food processor...AND...puree.

Immediately, we decided to cook an EXTREMELY FRESH dinner together.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #5: NOW, it's all about seasoning to taste...SO...use these measurements loosely. (1) 3 tablespoons of oregano, (2) 3 tablespoons of basil, (3) 2 tablespoons of white sugar, (4) 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, (5) 1 tablespoon of onion powder, (6) 6 tablespoons of tomato paste, (7) salt and pepper. THEN, puree.

Mmmm…the fun part was adding the spices and herbs and getting to taste the sauce over and over again.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #6: Add your now roasted vegetables to your homemade sauce and let sit together so that the flavors meld.

One thought to note is to make your sauce a little on the sweet side. When you add in those roasted vegetables, they will absorb some of that sweetness for a really really nice balance.

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #7: Buy freshly made spinach fettuccine.

As for the pasta, I would recommend purchasing it for sake of ease and not spending hours working on this meal. Now, if you feel like spending that time…GO FOR IT! I’m sure it will be amazing. I, on the other hand, trusted the capable hands of my local gourmet grocery store, Agata & Valentina

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #8: Add into your now boiling water for 5 minutes.

AND…the pasta was PERFECT!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #9: THEN, mix—with tongs—the vegetable full sauce with the pasta in a large bowl...AND...serve.

VOILA! Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!

Photo Credit: Michelle Williams

Step #10: Mmmmm...look at it from another angle AND eat! CHEERS!

Mmmm…look at it from another angle and see all of those yummy vegetables…DELICIOUS!

Thank you, Laura!

THE Grocery List:

Portion Size: 3-4 People

  1. Tomato (x4)
  2. Green bell pepper (x2)
  3. Zucchini (x1)
  4. Eggplant (x1)
  5. Spinach fettuccine
  6. Garlic (6 cloves)
  7. Salt
  8. Pepper
  9. Onion powder (1tbs)
  10. Garlic powder (1tbs)
  11. Oregano (3tbs)
  12. Basil (3tbs)
  13. White Sugar (2tbs)
  14. Tomato Paste (6tbs)

Halloween From YOUR Closet

Buying bagged costumes has never really made sense to me. Now, to be fair, I am not a huge Halloween buff, but when I do partake, I typically like to wear items that I would be either happy to wear again OR already own.

By the way, this ALWAYS makes for a more creative, interesting costume…which leads to winning prizes, great memories, and LOTS of compliments!

SO…here are a few ways to play with what you own.

GLINDA THE GOOD WITCH

Glinda The Good Witch


SANDRA DEE

Norma Kamali top, 300
R13 black jacket, $1,595
Juicy Couture pants, $900
Rupert Sanderson sandals, $1,095
LORD TAYLOR gold jewelry, $250
Diane von Fürstenberg genuine leather belt, $336
Revlon Crayon Yeux Eye Liner Pencil N°1, €9,40
T3 SinglePass ‘Twirl’ Professional Curling Iron, $99
Be Goody Pencil No Smoking Cigarette Hb, $2

Sandra Dee
AMELIA EARHART

I would LOVE to see the fantastic ideas you come up with!