Saturday, July 31, 2010

a few awesome things...

Good evening, my dear friends. I do hope all is well and good with you and your world. I've had a crazy 2 weeks and neglected the blog. I can't speak officially yet, but after Monday I will explain why I've been so out-of-the-loop. But I'm back to semi-normalcy, which is the closest I'll probably ever get to sanity, and ready to type about life, love, and other mysteries (that was a shout out to Lauren and our 'Point of Grace' obsession, circa '97).

I'll start with my herbs (emphasis on the 'h', please). Take a look...and please notice my ridiculously adorable watering can.
A closer look:



Sadly, since taking these pictures, my neighbors punta of a cat has found his way to my fire-escape and eaten/dug-up my flat-leaf parsley AND lavender. I know this because I caught the damn cat (whose litter buckets are currently housing those lovely weeds in my backyard) digging them up. I've managed to salvage both, but they're now looking a bit puny. Ugh. Cats.

Moving on, Dave and I attended a Brooklyn Cyclones game at, wait for it....CONEY ISLAND!! We went with some friends, ate some deliciously salty soft pretzels with coarse-grain mustard, drank some domestic brews, and had the distinct privilege of enjoying between-inning entertainment from circus performers and carnies (if you've ever been to Coney Island, you'll know the caliber of which I speak). IT. WAS. MAGIC. Not to mention the fact that they continually blasted COUNTRY MUSIC!?!?!? For a hot second, I thought I was at a Birmingham Barons Game...except this was in the background

Next up on the agenda: Good Beer at BAM 2010. This is a killer event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, hosted by Edible Magazine. Some of Manhattan and Brooklyn's most beloved restaurants participate. They prepare a simple dish and pair it with a beer from either a local brewery or an independent home-brewer. Dave's friend and co-worker (Brad) is an amazing and extremely talented home-brewer, and since Gramercy Tavern participated, they chose one of his beers to tailor their dish around. The end result was RIDICULOUS!!! Homemade hush-puppies with a pickled sweet-corn and roasted red pepper relish on a bed of freshly-grated aged parmigiano-reggiano cheese. They made these bad boys to order and served them on a piece of slate. The heat from the hush-puppies melted the cheese beneath it. It was sinful; take my word for it. The exciting part was sampling it with the beer, which Brad named 'MadCap'. He uses 100% Brettanomyces, a wild yeast. Because of that, the beer has a funky nose but is really light, almost effervescent, with tropical fruit flavors. IT. WAS. RIDICULOUS. I was so proud. Their table was swamped, and everyone (beer connoisseurs, mind you) were RAVING about it. Needless to say, it was pretty awesome to be with the 'cool kids' that night.

The second floor during set-up. GT Exec. Chef Michael Anthony working his magic.


On a similar topic, I have to brag on my hubby. Dave is entirely too modest and would never dare. He's been promoted at Gramercy Tavern. It's a big deal. One of the most lauded restaurants in the city and country, and he's moving up the ranks so quickly! He recently completed his advanced wine seminar. It was an intense exam: blind tastings, essay, take-home portion, etc. Anywho, it takes several weeks to get your scores back and he swore that he failed it. However, I will have you know that out of all the people that took that exam (several participants from all over the city and various restaurants) Dave scored a 96% and was the 4th highest! His knowledge is a bit ridiculous now. We'll try a new varietal and I just have to keep my mouth shut because everything I have to say sounds soooooo remedial after his critique. So proud of him. Big things are happening for him in the NYC culinary world, and I could not be more proud.

NEXT UP: My dear friend, Adam and I had an amazing Saturday afternoon at the P.S.1 Warm-Up party. P.S.1 is a satellite location of MOMA, serving as an exhibition space rather than a collecting institute. They host these crazy parties every Saturday during the summer. Click here to check-out the website. Words can't describe. We had a blast: killer dj's, bands, contemporary art, crazy installations, and beautiful people.

Also, my nephew is the most amazing human I know. We spoke over the phone the other day. He's a bit confused as to exactly where NYC is, but assured me that he'll 'be in the spaceship soon to come visit...' Currently, he's going through an extreme Tim Burton phase and refuses to take off his Iron Man mask. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Pardon the hula outfit...I bought that for him when I was in Hawaii. My sister had stored it in a box. She was reorganizing, he saw it, and insisted on wearing it. I don't think I need to reiterate, he's the coolest human I know...

Lastly, I'm sincerely missing my dearest friends who live a long way away. Kara, Cristin, and Lauren, you are my sisters and I think of you at some point everyday. Love you and can't wait for the day that I can build a compound and make you live next to me...or at least vacation there...XOXO

And this is how I will end my Saturday...partnered with some Tennessee Williams and The Black Keys. PERFECTION!

Cin Cin!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What the kitty litter is going on here?!

Soooo, as you now know I'm on a mission to make-over my yard, primarily so I can host outdoor parties. This is my mission. It WILL be completed by next week. Well, I got a little sidetracked at the farmers market on Friday and decided I needed to plant an herb garden on my fire escape, which I did. They are flourishing, by the by...Anywho, this kept me from getting out in my yard to weed-whack until Saturday. I put on my cutest gardening outfit--linen overall shorts from Anthropologie, a wide-brimmed hat, and my oversize sunglasses. ADORABLE! very Carrie Bradshaw meets Martha Stewart, ahhh, but I digress...Back to the matter at hand. What, Morgan, did you find upon walking into the sunshine-soaked, grassy-goodness of your yard? I FOUND 3 BUCKETS OF SCOOP-AWAY KITTY LITTER BEING USED TO HOUSE SOMEONES TOMATO PLANTS!! Don't get me wrong; I'm all for 'going green' and being resourceful, but couldn't we at least peel off the labels?? or paint the thing?? or do ANYTHING to maybe disguise that it's a bucket full of cat turds??

Forgive me. It's not healthy to be so upset by this...but really?!? scoop-away?!! I mean, it's one thing if it's in your own space, but a shared space?? So, of course, my first thought is not 1) ewww or 2) wow, that natural fertilizer is really doing those plants some good or 3) it smells like cat crap out here. No, my first thought was, "How in the hell am I supposed to have my garden party surrounded by tacky litter buckets complete with photos of 'Fluffy' scooping away her fecal waste!!!!!" I know I'm vain. I do. And I don't need you to remind me. But who is ok with buckets of litter all over the yard??? I'll tell you who, my neighbors, who never go out there except to water these special plants, and seem to do nothing but sit in their apartment and journal.

So, I started to weigh my options. I thought, I'll just go get plastic pots ($5 max.) and re-pot them. Then I worried I could/would accidentally mess-up the root system upon transfer. If my neighbor doesn't already despise me for being too perky, too clean, and too active, then killing those lovely plants would certainly seal the deal. So, in an attempt to salvage any civil interaction we already have, I now believe my only option is to wrap the buckets in nice, holiday-neutral, wrapping paper, and hope that my guests mistake them for 'festive buckets'...I'll let you know how that goes.

Have a Happy Tuesday, everyone...I'm off to pour myself a glass of homemade Sangria, listen to some Stevie Nicks, and read my new issue of Food&Wine. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We're baaaaaaack!

Yes, Ladies and Germs, we're back and we mean business. Life has gotten in the way of our parties and postings for the last few months. I was cast in musical that had me in lovely Little Rock for 2 months and a series that had me filming in the city before that. Meghan's been conquering the fashion world, not an easy task. So you could say that our plates have been a bit full, as of late. But hey, no complaints here! Now that summer is in full swing, we have a laundry list of cocktails/parties/recipes/projects that we MUST complete.

Summer is my season. It brings me endless amounts of joy! The produce is ridiculous (you should see all the goodies at the GreenMarket in Union Square), seemingly everyone is in a good mood, sunflowers abound, the gardens or patios at our favorite local eateries are open and full of people gabbing, noshing, and sipping some local brew or handcrafted cocktail. It feels very European...In my humble opinion, it's what dreams are made of!

Now, one of the huge perks of living in our hip little neighborhood is that most apartments have a YARD!!! I don't need to tell you how huge this is to New Yorkers. My yard is shared between all the tenants in the building (6 apts.). As the newbie to the building I was hesitant about jumping out there and taking over the landscaping, placement of outdoor furniture, etc. However, since it appears that no one in my building wants to go outside, I'm diving in with the help of Meghan and her green thumb. Her yard is fab. She has it all to herself. She built a little outdoor living space. It's pretty incredible. *photos to come* I'm not going quite as far since I have to share with my 6 neighbors and whoever they might invite over. While they never go out there now, I have this sneaking suspicion that once weeds are whacked, some flowers planted, and a grill is in sight they just might come out of the woodworks. I'll keep you updated on our progress. This will give you an idea of what I'm working with....only it's a little worse...

Anywho, as many may know it's HOT AS A FOX outside! Seriously, 102 degress...not cute. So, before I even started work on the yard I needed to whip up something light and refreshing for a mid-day snack/hydration. Cue the southern staple: Chicken Salad and Iced Tea. Only I put a little twist on them both, making them a little more Williamsburg and a little less Bridge Club luncheon. The end result: Thai-inspired Chicken Salad (with red onion, celery, granny smith apple, walnuts, curry, fresh cilantro, mayo, and sriracha-spicy goodness!) and Iced Chamomile Mint Tea. I served my chicken salad over a bed of local arugula dressed simply with fruity olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Delicious, contemporary, and oh-so-light-and-refreshing!

Perfect way to beat the heat...

Stay cool, everyone!