Friday, June 28, 2013

June Photo Project: Home

The photo theme for June was home and what I love most about these images is their simplicity. They all make me sigh and say, "ah," which is just the sort of feeling home should give you. Here's a photo of me in my pajamas, stealing a few morning moments before heading to work. Here's what you shared:

Becca of The Daily Muse shared a photo of her workspace with a view.

Vanessa of Hey, Lady Grey snapped a pic of one of her regular cups of coffee.

Rebecca took a photo of a sunny spot in her garden.

And Hollie of n'est-ce pas? sent me this picture of a sheet drying on the clothesline.

If you want to share one of your home photos, just leave a link below! I'll announce July's photo theme next week.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Buoy Beauty

buoy products

Buoys are one of those completely practical things that I find so much beauty and charm in, which is why I'm glad to find them in forms that are more applicable to my non-seafaring lifestyle. I may even start a collection because why not, whatever floats your boat. See what I did there.

[found here: ornaments; dress; bracelet; bottle opener; phone case; boxers; bat and ball; watercolor painting; dog toys]

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Bought It, I Like It: Polka Dot Tote

I could live out the rest of my days in just stripes and polka dots and be happy, which is why this tote bag from Portland-based designer Anna Joyce immediately appealed to me. I love the leather handles and the way those charcoal-colored dots are scattered across the canvas. It's handmade, high quality and just the right size. You can find it here or on my shoulder for the rest of the summer.

This series highlights items I've purchased with my own money that I think you would like too.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Salad

I love recipes for cold salads in the summertime. They're the perfect solution for all those picnics, cookouts and potlucks on your calendar, and I'm a big fan of anything you can make ahead of time. This simple orzo salad from the latest Real Simple is one worth adding to the repertoire.

Mozzarella and Orzo Salad
Recipe slightly adapted from Real Simple

1 cup cooked orzo
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup snap peas, halved
8 oz. container of bocconcini (mozzarella balls), halved
1/2 cup of chopped basil
1 teaspoon of chives, chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook 1 cup of orzo per package instructions. Let cool. Toss with halved grape tomatoes, halved snap peas, halved bocconcini and fresh herbs. Add olive oil, grated lemon zest and lemon juice, toss and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. Serves 4.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend in Photos

How was your weekend? We had more time with Jonah's parents before they headed back to Seattle. We love showing them around our neighborhood, so we checked out the latest work at MoMA PS1 and 5 Pointz and had some of our favorite food, including lots of ice cream. It's always fun to have family in town. It makes us feel like we're on vacation in our own city.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thoughts of the Week

Double the mojitos, double the fun.

Maybe I'll finally give painting a good solid try.

Neon and chambray: summer wardrobe essentials.

This would make all food look prettier.

The phrase "cute as a button" makes a lot of sense now.

A happy appy-tizer.

I gotta give props to a biker bride.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of egg recipes.

And by the way, it's not too late to win a cookbook and make some pickles. And send me your pictures of home before next Friday. Pretty please!

Happy Summer! I've been acting like it's summer for weeks now, enjoying too much ice cream and long walks after work, but I'm glad it's official now. Have a lovely weekend, you wonderful people and thanks for spending a little of your precious time with me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Take a Seat

These metal bistro chairs by Fermob are the same ones you can find throughout Manhattan in public spaces and parks, and if I ever have a real backyard, I would want them in it.

[photos courtesy of Flora Grub Gardens]

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Strawberry Icebox Cake

I made a couple of icebox cakes last year (key lime and pumpkin), and I decided it was time for another one. Luckily, there were some strawberries in my fridge crying out for the same treatment. These cakes are great for summer entertaining, light, not requiring an oven and just so stinkin' adorable.

Strawberry Icebox Cake

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pint of strawberries (you may want to pick up an extra pint so there's no chance of running out)
2 packages almond wafer cookies (you'll need about 42 cookies, I used Anna's)

In a large bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla together with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Set aside. Remove stems from strawberries and slice lengthwise.

On a serving plate or cake stand, arrange cookies, slightly overlapping in a circle, and place 1 cookie in the center. The amount of cookies will determine the diameter of your cake. I used 7 for the outer circle and ended up with a cake 7 inches across and 3 inches tall, which contained 6 layers of cookies. Cover cookies, almost completely, with whipped cream, spreading evenly. An offset spatula helps, as does rotating the plate while you spread the cream. Then arrange a layer of strawberries, slightly hanging over the edge of the cream. Use the less pretty end pieces in the center of the cake where they aren't visible. Repeat, alternating cookies, cream and strawberries until you run out of cream or you're happy with the height of your cake. I finished the cake with a layer of cream and waited until just before serving to top it with the final layer of strawberries.

Cover carefully with plastic wrap (you can stick toothpicks in the top of the cake to keep the plastic off of it) and refrigerate overnight. Decorate with the final layer of strawberries before serving. And if you have leftover ingredients, make a few icebox cookie sandwiches!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Frocktails: Summer Sip

blue and green frocktail

Since I was in Savannah last week, my mom decided to play photographer, I attempted to be a modeler, and it all took place in a real-life backyard instead of my apartment living room. So yay for a summer frocktail! I'm pretty smitten with Anthropologie's emerald ripple dress. The colors, the stripes, the full skirt, it has Saturday night summer uniform written all over it.

For the cocktail, this blueberry-infused vodka lemonade recipe served as my inspiration, but I've always fancied myself a limeade sort of gal. You can just add the alcohol-soaked fruit to your limeade or go full throttle and mix in the blueberry-infused vodka for a tasty, gorgeous pink drink. I'd recommend the latter ... even if it doesn't match your dress.

boozy blueberry limeade

Boozy Blueberry Limeade
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Blueberry vodka
2 cups vodka
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

3/4 cup lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups water
mint for for garnish

Put the fresh blueberries in the bottom of a jar or sealable container. Gently mash up the berries, add 2 cups vodka and store in the fridge for at least 12 hours to allow the blueberries to infuse into the vodka. The vodka will turn cloudy right away and turn purple the longer it infuses. After 12 hours, strain the vodka and set the blueberries aside.

To make limeade, combine one cup of water and 3/4 cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and make sure sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Combine with 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice and 2 cups of water. Chill in refrigerator. Makes about one quart.

Fill glass with ice, several of the vodka-infused blueberries and two parts limeade to one part blueberry vodka. Garnish with mint.

Dress found here. Frocktails is a monthly feature for fashion and libation inspiration. See past pairings.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekend in Photos

We had such a fun, happy weekend! A food and flea market launched in our neighborhood on Saturday. That, along with the regular appearance of a gourmet ice cream truck on our street, makes us feel like our neighborhood has finally made it and has us excited for a summer of good eats. Jonah's parents arrived for a weeklong visit on Saturday night, and it was such a treat to celebrate Father's Day with family. We spent all afternoon walking around the city. How was your weekend?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Life Lessons

I owe a lot of my sensibilities and taste to my dad, so when Jonah came across this old Onion headline: "Cool Dad Raising Daughter On Media That Will Put Her Entirely Out Of Touch With Her Generation," it made me smile. My dad's love of good art, good food and good company were all instilled in me at an early age. But I think it takes growing up to fully appreciate all those things that made you a weird little kid, like knowing the words to "Tangled Up in Blue" at age seven. Happy Father's Day to the dads out there and thanks for the wisdom in its many forms.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Quick Pickles and a Cookbook Giveaway

quick pickles
making pickles
confetti pickles

Growing up, I would spend most summer days at my Grandma Hazel's house, and at the start of summer, we'd go to the farmers' market and load up on cucumbers to make pickles. Southern Living's new cookbook Little Jars, Big Flavors is filled with enough small-batch recipes to keep me busy all summer, but in the spirit of tradition, I thought it would be appropriate to kick things off with some pickle-making. These simplified refrigerator pickles are so bright, happy and flavorful. They'd make a great hostess gift and would look so nice alongside the hot dogs and hamburgers at your next cookout.'

Update: Ruth of This G.R.I.T.S. Tale is the winner!

Want a chance to win a copy of Little Jars, Big Flavors? Just leave a comment below before noon on Saturday, June 22nd. For an additional entry, like The SoHo on Facebook or let me know if you already do. One winner will be chosen at random. Open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!

Quick Confetti Pickles
Recipe courtesy of Southern Living's Little Jars, Big Flavors

1 English cucumber
1 medium-size yellow squash
4 tablespoons canning-and-pickling salt, divided
1 long, slender medium carrot
2 pink, purple, or red icicle radishes or 10 standard-size radishes
4 dill sprigs
1 cup cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoons dill seeds
2 cups water

Wash vegetables. Score cucumber and squash lengthwise with a fork, leaving furrows in the peel on all sides. (This makes scalloped edges when vegetables are sliced.) Trim stem and blossom ends of cucumber and squash; cut into 1/8-inch slices. Place in a colander in sink; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons salt, and toss gently. Let drain 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel carrot, and cut carrot and radishes into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Toss together with drained cucumber and squash. Place 2 dill sprigs in each of 2 clean (1-pt.) jars or nonreactive containers with lids. Pack vegetables in jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Bring vinegar, next 3 ingredients, remaining 2 tablespoons salt, and 2 cups water to a boil in a 1 1/2-qt. stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Pour hot vinegar mixture over vegetables to cover. Apply lids. Chill 24 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.


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