Literary Decor

I’ve always dreamed of having a whole bookcase filled with old classics, unfortunately I just don’t read enough to be able to acquire all those books to really make an impact. All of these rooms are beautifully styled but the books in the background are what make the biggest impact.

The photo below is from Merci, a fun concept store in Paris. That is the little cafe off to the side. Isn’t it so dreamy with all those books lining the walls.

I hope you all have a great new year’s eve!

THANKSGIVUKKAH SANDWICH

The last time that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fell on the same day was in the 1800s, luckily for us we will see this event in our lifetime, this year! The next time it happens is apparently in 77,000+ years from now. Pretty crazy right. We must take advantage of these two huge holidays and combine them into one amazing feast, THANKSGIVUKKAH!

Last week my friend Eden from Log On and Eat with Eden Grinshpan (if you haven’t seen the show, watch it, it’s great! Tuesdays at 9:30pm EST on the Cooking Channel) dropped by my apartment to make what she called a Thanksgivukkah Sandwich. Genius, right. This sandwich packs so many flavors your head might pop off. The latkes, the turkey, the homemade cranberry sauce and the fried sage, you just can’t go wrong. If you have some left over gravy throw some of that on too!

Check out Eden’s blog Eden Eats for the latke and cranberry recipes.

 

Amsterdam Travel Diary

Well, Amsterdam was definitely interesting. We were only there for one full day and during that day there was a wind hurricane. It was crazy. There were enormous trees falling all over the place, it was very scary to say the least. I was paranoid for most of the day that a tree was going to fall on us, but in the end nothing happened.

Other than that we LOVED Amsterdam. It was our favorite city on the trip. I definitely want to go back and spend more time there. Surprisingly, the food was delicious. We had our best meal of the trip on the first night in this cute little restaurant called Gebr. Hartering, right on one of the canals. It was so romantic.

The apartment we stayed in was comfortable, chic and a great place to put our feet up at the end of the long day of walking, in a wind storm.

The city charmed us even with its bad weather. The beautiful little row houses, the never ending canals. The food, the people, I can go on, but I don’t want to bore you. I sound like I spent a year there, nope just one day, haha. I need to go back.

These were from a restaurant called Harlem.

Best apple pie I’ve ever had at Cafe Winkel, we went two different times in one day.

 

 

The two photos above are from the apartment that we stayed in. We loved it!

Restaurants
Cafe Winkel – best apple pie you’ll ever have, the hot chocolate is good too.
Gebr. Hartering – best meal of our trip, do the tasting menu.
Toscanini – really delicious Italian food, very all the “cool” people good.
Harlem – little cafe that sells American soul food, the nachos are great.

DIY Hanukkah Dreidel Card

To add some extra flare to my Hanukkah tablescape I made these DIY dreidel cards. The letters that I used appear on actual dreidels. I thought it would be cute to put a different one on each card. It would be nice if you wrote a couple of words or a sentence on the back of the cards for each person at your party.

Materials
– card stock
– scissors
– glue pen
– gold and silver glitter
– a pencil
– template

Directions
– Print out the template in the link above.
– Cut out the dreidel and trace it four different times onto four different pieces of card stock.
– Cut each one out.
– With pencil draw the one letter on each dreidel. I just google imaged dreidel letters and free handed them onto the card stock.
– Put newspaper or a garbage bag onto your surface to avoid glitter everywhere. Take your glue pen and retrace the letters that you just drew.
– Quickly dump a bunch of glitter onto the letter, wait a couple of seconds then shake the glitter off of the card.
– Repeat this step with each card.
-Now it is time to do the border. Trace the outside line of the dreidel card with your glue pen and apply glitter, shake off after a couple of seconds.
– Let dry for 30mins – 1 hour before touching them.

BRIE, BACON & AVOCADO SANDWICH

My husband told me this was the best sandwich I had made him in the almost six years that we have been together. I might have to agree with him. I mean this bacon is just on another level with the maple syrup and cracked pepper. When you add it to the saltiness of the brie and the buttery-ness of the avocado you just can’t go wrong. Try it, you have to, you’ll love it.

Ingredients
1 pound of bacon (1 package), you’ll have extras and you will eat it.
a wedge of brie cheese
1 avocado
2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
pepper
bread of your choice

Directions
– Preheat oven to 350F.
– Cook bacon to liking in a pan.
– Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Put bacon on the parchment paper, drizzle maple syrup over each piece of bacon. Follow by cracking pepper over each piece.
– Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
– Cut your avocado in half, making sure to remove the pit carefully.
– Slice each half of avocado.
– Take two slices of bread for your sandwich and place a couple of slices of brie on the bottom, followed by several pieces of bacon and finally add as many avocado slices as desired.
– Enjoy!

DIY TIE DYE DISH TOWELS

While visiting my hometown of Toronto, Canada I teamed up with blogger Ali Maldoff of Mint Sprinkles to create two colorful DIYs. We spent the day experimenting with fabric dye in her backyard. Both projects turned out amazing. Check out Ali’s blog where she shows you how to make DIY Dip Dyed Shoes, how fun is that! They are super cute for summer.

For my DIY I played with two different color palettes; blue/teal and pink/purple. My favorite turned out to be the pink/purple dish towels, they are vibrant and bring life to my kitchen. Which ones do you like?

Materials:
4 White cotton dish towels (mine are from Target)
4 Fabric dye colors
4 Plastic buckets
Rubber gloves
Stirring stick
Drying rack

Directions:
Follow the directions on the fabric dye packets and mix four buckets of dye, one in each bucket. Fold the dish towels like an accordian length wise.
Dip one half of the dish towel into the first bucket of dye while still holding the towel in its accordian shape.
Depending upon how saturated you want the colors you can leave them in for as long or short as you want. I left mine in for 15 minutes.
Remove from the dye and rinse the dyed side in water (follow directions on your fabric dye packet).
Follow the same steps above for the other side of the dish towels.
Let dry overnight and voila!

* Wash alone in your washing machine a couple of times to insure there is no leftover dye.

How To Make a Cheese Plate

Every monday night I have a group of friends come over to watch Bachelor or Bachelorette, depending on the season. Most of the time I try to make an appetizer or a main course. This week I made a Cheese Plate. I also added charcuterie, fruit and crackers to bring in more textures and flavors to the plate.

I choose four cheeses; one blue, one soft, one hard and one that is crumbly. It’s nice to have options for your guests. For meats I chose a spicy sopressata and prosciutto, both are crowd pleasers. I always try and find interesting crackers for added flavor, these crackers have cranberries and hazelnuts in them. They go perfectly with all of the cheeses. Last but not least, the fruit. Can’t go wrong with fresh figs and honey, champagne grapes and dried apricots. I used a slate cheese board with an olive wood cutting board and layered them for visual interest.

All of the cheeses were purchased at Lucy’s Whey in Chelsea Market.
Blue – Point Reyes Farmstand Co.
Soft Cheese – Moses Sleeper by Jasper Hill Farm
Hard Cheese – Reading Raclette by Spring Brook Farm
Crumbly Cheese – San Joaquin Gold by Fiscalini Farms
Crackers – Raincoast Cranberry Hazelnut Crisps