The Holt’s Apple Butter

Having now lived in NYC for almost a decade, I don’t know how many times I’ve said to myself something to the effect of “I’m <insert colorful descriptor> done with this place”.  The frequency of such complaints is inversely correlated with falling temperature and positively correlated with the rising rent – which happens right about this time of year.  After such declaration, the “NYC Triple Threat” invariably happens where we meet some incredible people, walk past some amazing piece of architecture, and / or have our minds blown by some experience. It’s as if New York is telling us: “You don’t know what you’re talking about.  Stay just a little while longer”.  Rinse and repeat, the love-hate relationship continues.

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Post Birthday Detox – Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes

What is life without celebrations?  Not a very fun one!  I’m an advocate of adding bows and kittens to everything and anything whenever possible.  While neither bows nor kittens (regrettably) made it to this occasion, a very manly birthday week for Preston finally concluded with #IAmAMan events as follows:

  • Bacon breakfast (aka Classic Pesek Family Brunch) + Mom Pesek’s banana bread
  • Eat like a boss at Red Hook’s Hometown BBQ. This shiz is for realz, they do not mess around with their meat. Get their brisket sandwich, cry a little because it’s so good, proceed to order everything else on their menu to go. DON’T FORGET YOUR SAUCE. I freaked out so much I didn’t even take photos
  • Win IKEA, like a boss. We passed the ultimate couples test and survived our maiden couple voyage to Red Hook IKEA. Our marriage is going to work.
  • Haul reclaimed pine joist from Big Reuse NYC (into BBQ scented ZipCar). Currently being worked (hazardously) on our window ledge / stoop. #YOLO
  • Have minds blown by Tree of Codes with Jamie xx at the Park Avenue Armory. Just because #IAmAMan doesn’t mean modern dance can’t be in the mix, gender is so passé.
  • Eat carrot cake (from Amy’s Bread) & be merry!

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Yurtin’ for Certain

I can’t believe summer is finally over, what an incredible few months it’s been. We started this season strong with our epic trip to Asia which signified 1. Preston’s first visit to Hong Kong, my birthplace and 2. my first proper visit to Japan, a place I’ve wanted to visit for years. Feeling creatively rejuvenated after after our trip Asia, I finally got motivated to sell everything in my storage unit.  For 2 long years, I was just not ready to let the unit go because that furniture in it represented a significant time of independence but that “stuff” was doing nothing to help us create a home together.  We had to de-clutter our lives and move onward and upward!

To end the summer strong and celebrate “Mission: Storage Unit Evacuation“, we spent last weekend yurtin’ / glampin’ on Loomis Hill overlooking 9 mile swamp in Waterville, NY. A farming town 2 hours west of Albany, corn fields, hay bales, and wild goldenrods flowers abound. And since I planned the trip, no backpacking was involved, there were no tears, definitely a bathroom, and … with a charcoal grill at our disposal also meant BBQ’ing like a BOSS! Continue reading

Angie's Cucumber Garden

Smashing Cucumber Salad

I was chatting with my BFF the other day brainstorming on recipe ideas for the abundant supply of cucumbers from the farmers market (and her garden, thanks Angie for the header photo!!!).  Not wanting another “oh so typical” salad that would put me in chopping misery, she reminded me of this delightful little side cucumber salad commonly served in Chinese restaurants.

This super simple recipe doesn’t require a million ingredients, takes only 5 minutes to make, and splendidly highlights the crispiness of the cukes that so defines summer.  The Kirby variety is recommended since it has thin skin and crunchy flesh, its size is also perfect for the preparation process – smashing!

Smashed Cucumber Salad

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Purple Okra with Sweet Corn and Tomatoes Stir Fry

Summer exists in its own time warp it seems, how do longer days make a shorter season anyway?  This August, I am trying hard to stay present, savor every ray of warm sunshine, and not jump ahead mentally from summer to winter (there’s still fall to look forward to!).

Speaking of savor, there are still so many awesome summer vegetables to be had, like OKRA.  I like them every which way they come and in all its slimy goodness … yummm! I know the sliminess can be a turn off to some, which brings me to this most super summery summer recipe of all time (well, maybe second to the chipotle corn soup): Purple Okra, Sweet Corn, and Tomatoes Stir Fry.IMG_1180

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