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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Roasted Peach Ice Cream with Honey & Balsamic Vinegar

That’s it folks, there is no doubt that fall is in the air.  We finally had our first sub-60ºF day yesterday and first harvest apples made their appearance in the market, son of a peach!  The truth is, September / October in New York is actually the best time of year, the air is crisp, everyone’s refreshed from the summer break, and it’s also my husband Preston’s birthday!!!!! 

I for one am not ready to embrace fall harvest just yet even though Preston’s favorite treats are pumpkin punkin and pumpkin… while summer needs to wait for its churn again (how many ice cream and peach puns can I work in a post?!!), I think it needs a last hurrah.  Sunshine and warmth may not be captured in a bottle but peaches are miraculously still in the market, and it can definitely be made into ice cream.

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Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Tomatoes

FINALLY feeling normal after our 1 year wedding anniversary / belated honeymoon trip to Hong Kong and Japan, we had to take a break from sorting through the 3000+ photos we took, which I hope to share you with one day.  As much as I know we are going to sound like SUCH  snoots, we had a hard time ‘adjusting’ to the food in NYC after the incredible meals we had for 3 weeks in Asia, but honestly some home cooked meals are in order to begin our post vacation ‘cleanse’.

With that, what better place to get our groceries than at our neighborhood farmer’s market?  Check out these Komet tomatoes plump and glowing in red in the speckled sunshine! It was hard to resist buying them even at $5.49 /lb (gulp)….Such as farmer’s market goes though, you never know what you might find. To make up for those pricey red beauties, we passed by Monkshood Nursery selling some amazing looking organic GIANT zucchinis ON SALE for $1 EACH!!!! Holy crap.

Komet Tomatoes

$5.49 / lb Komet Tomatoes

Giant Zucchini !

Giant Zucchini !!!!! Courtesy of Monkshood Nursery

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Gift Great Hair – Homemade No-poo & Conditioner

Happy holidays everyone!!!  I can’t believe the end of 2014 is nigh.  This has been a seminal year for me and the husband as it signifies our first marital Christmahanakwanzika together!  In lieu of buying material things for the holidays (and in general), we have made the conscious decision to shed the clutter in our lives and minds.

But… gifting can be fun.  Which brings me to my perfect procrastinator, yet super practical, 5 minute (no joke) gift idea – a gift of great hair.  Who would say no to that?

Homemade Shampoo and Conditioner

Homemade Shampoo and Conditioner

I came across this homemade solution a few months ago when I was desperate for hair products that are organic yet effective.  Since I had all the ingredients readily available, I figure, why not?

No-poo Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup of Water

Conditioner Ingredients:

Other Materials:

  • Ketchup / Mustard squeeze bottle or an old shampoo bottle
  • Essential oils, if you’d like. Here’s some guidance on properties of essential oils for hair

Directions:

  • Mix No-poo / Conditioner ingredients in their respective bottles. Shake well.
  • To use No-poo: Wet hair and scalp thoroughly. Squeeze enough baking soda solution on scalp till you feel scalp is well drenched, massage and let sit for a few minutes. Rinse. Your hair should feel squeaky.
  • To use conditioner: Pour vinegar solution onto clean hair, massage and rinse. For extra shine, rinse with cold water (closes hair cuticles)
  • Do a happy dance. VOILA. It is THAT SIMPLE

Now you may think this is weird, I did too. I also know that the solution doesn’t foam like commercial products out there, but here’s my “why not” logic:

1. Baking soda is a known cleaning agent. It’s a mild abrasive and attractant (picks up dirt), and it is also alkali, which deodorizes. No brainer! In fact, after you apply the baking soda “shampoo”, you’ll notice that your hair is SQUEAKY CLEAN.

2. Apple cider vinegar has the same acidity as your hair, thereby restoring the alkali environment that the baking soda shampoo created. It also works to naturally de-tangle your hair and binds closely to your hair cuticle.  Ooooo, silky AND shiiny hair.

3. It’s works! It’s natural! It’s magic!

I have been using this solution for a few months now and have experimented on my husband (lol), we have both noticed a big difference in the health of our hair.  I have received more compliments on how bouncy, voluminous, and shiny my hair is over the past few months than I have in past years (even my hair stylist said so, therefore it must be true)!

This has since been recommended and passed onto many friends and family of ours and we’ve heard some pretty great feedback.  Now, this solution shouldn’t be used every day as it is pretty potent, so definitely listen to your scalp and adjust as needed. And try not to get the vinegar in your eyes, it WILL burn.

On that note, HAPPY OWLIDAYS and see you all in 2015!

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