Wedding: Wine & Chocolate

S&S’s wedding weekend continues…
Between the ceremony at St. Christopher and the reception, all the guests were invited to Rustico on Love Point (how appropriate!) for wine and cheese and chocolate.  Right up my alley!  I tried 2 of the reds and a white, starting with the Sierra Collado above.  I really liked the red by the little roast beef toasts, I think it was the shiraz.  Anyhow, loved having glass in hand and catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while!

And look at the chocolate lobsters and buckeyes!  You know I couldn’t say “no” to these.

 Guests spilled out to the patio area, lingered in side, sipped and ate.

Wedding Weekend: Sarah & Steve

Wedding weekend.  A beautiful weekend.  The setting was perfect, the couple was obviously happy, and it was a crowd of friends and family.  My dear friend Sarah got married this weekend in Maryland.  It’s crazy for me to think how long we’ve known each other now.  Nearly 10 years, since it’s 10 years since we applied to Darden, and we were roommates that first year.  Sight unseen, just an exchange of emails and maybe a phone call.  And clearly worked out quite well.

The flowers at the church and the reception were gorgeous.  I couldn’t help but take a few shots.  And the bridesmaids bouquets were pretty in pink.

 We were right on the water, so sipped champagne while the sun set.  

And I’ll have a whole week of posts because I can’t just sum it up with these pictures. More to come!

Pumpkin: Trader Joe Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix

This is my test of the TJ’s pumpkin bread mix.  I actually wasn’t allowed to buy the mix.  It went something like this:
“If you make it, I end up eating it all”
So to be supportive, I just sampled the pumpkin bread with chocolate chips at the sample station (three samples, I’ll come clean).  That counts as enough for a pumpkin report out, right?

Last year I bought three boxes to stock up.  I do really like it, but love 2 recipes: one from his mom and the other from my mom.  Clearly, moms are good at homemade pumpkin bread.  I may have to make so I can report back with the recipe!

And I’m off to Maryland on Friday for Sarah’s wedding!  Lots of picks to come, will be a great weekend with some very very good friends.

Apples Are Fall

It couldn’t get any more “fall” than bins of apples.  I grew up in Ellington, CT.  We apple picked all the time, riding the tractor up to the orchard (or just walking), and filling a tote full of apples.  As it became September, then October, new varieties were ready for picking.  I took it for granted, apparently, because people spend hours trekking out to NJ or Westchester from the city for the same experience.  Just more crowded.  Good ‘ole Johnny Appleseeds.  I think some of the orchards have become developments and it’s not quiet the same experience, but good memories.

Pumpkin: Pumpkin Doughtnut @ Doughnut Plant

Our Sunday mornings usually start with a walk to the Doughnut Plant on 23rd Street, where we pick up our doughnuts.  Then we head over to Lavazza at Eataly for coffee (and our doughnuts).  If you remember on Friday during my pumpkin macaroon post, I mentioned that I really hoped they were making pumpkin doughnuts.  I actually checked the menu on Saturday, but no luck.  

But as we approach the store, I see the sign…

And it’s confirmed inside when I see the display case and the girl is putting up the flavor signs…

I’d say it was more of a overall fall “spice” with notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, and goodness.  There were some toasted seeds on top of the glaze, which were delicious.  Overall, a good way to start my day.  I like the yeast doughnuts.  Nice and light, with a sweet glaze.  I may have to give the pumpkin cake doughnut a try, that might be more of the pumpkin I was looking for.

Madison Square Eats, Get There Soon!

In the fall, the pedestrian area near the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park becomes a little festival of foods.  For about a month, vendors sell their goods.  And people like me buy them to eat.  For the most part, it’s all food and beer, but the spice table was too colorful not to capture.   Marimekko also just moved in next to Eataly, so they must have provided the umbrellas.  I recognize the print.

Both trips involved just wanting a snack as we were walking through.  Two weeks ago, we stopped for a vegetarian bun from Hong Kong Street cart.  Today it was a snack on the way to Restoration Hardware and ABC Home in Union Square.  We’ve had the pretzels from Sigmund at the cart outside of the Met, today we tried the Truffle Cheddar.   Sigmunds is in Brooklyn if you want to visit the original location.

I love the activity, the people eating, sitting in the pedestrian friendly area…but you better head there this week.  It closes up this Friday.

Pumpkin: Macaroon

I love October because I think it gives me a license to eat all things pumpkin.  Cookies, candy, drinks, muffins, bread.  Anything.  So lets get started with the pumpkin items!

I just started out on my pumpkin eating adventure today.  I was supposed to make Attempt #2 to Lauderee for the macaroons today (look back at Attempt #1 in September).  But the threat of rain stopped AK and me in our tracks, and we just walked a few streets to Macaroon Cafe. 

So cute!  I mean, I’ve been here before for lunch.  But was reminded how cute it is.  And they had pumpkin macaroons.  So of course I had to get one.  Just the right cookie and amount of filling.  Not too sticky or gummy.  So doubly delightful treat today:  pumpkin AND the start of our official macaroon tasting adventure (not that I wasn’t already on one, I will always eat one given the opportunity.  

What I’m really waiting for is the pumpkin donut at Doughnut Plant.  Please make one for me.

Zoe’s Chocolates

In September I was at my friend LC’s for Sarah’s bridal shower.  I was lucky enough to be there when she opened the box of chocolates she received as a thank you gift.  I proceeded to taste a few from Zoe’s Chocolates of Waynesboro, PA and Frederick, MD.

There is really nothing I have against any chocolate.  Sweet and creamy, salted, filled….I’ll pretty much eat them all.  Too dark and I’m not as excited, but I’ll eat it.  

But Zoe’s were really very very good.  I honestly think I could have devoured the entire box.  Zoe comes from a long line of Greek chocolatiers, and the business is still family run.  Sarah has a special connection to Waynesboro as this is where her husband-to-be hails from.  You can find them in Whole Foods in MD and select stores in other states.  As a side note, I like how Whole Foods will feature local brands.  Not that I’ve ever bought a Mast Brothers chocolate bar from Brooklyn (where they literally sailed the cocoa beans from South America on a sail boat, I’m not kidding).

She makes lots of yummy flavors like pomegranate, honeycomb and orange flower.  Thank you, Sarah!  I will see you soon for the big day!

Caramel: herbin’ spoonful

More caramel sauce.  What’s wrong with that?  I picked up this litte jar at the Hester Street Fair earlier this summer.  After sampling a few flavors, I picked up the Chai right from the the owners of the business.  They use the same basic ingredients in all of their caramel:  organic cane sugar, organic cream and butter.  Herbs and spices come next.  And it’s made with love in Brooklyn.

It was tasty, especially warmed and over ice cream with Morello cherries.  My favorite way to eat caramel sauce these days.  I’m a huge fan of the Fleur de Sel from TJ’s, but this was a nice change.  It was a little spicy.

Check out their site:  Herbin’ Spoonful  and catch them at the Hester Street Fair.