I've always had a fascination with maps - as a tool, as a gateway for the imagination, and - most relevant for our purposes here - as a design element. I recently scratched my map aesthetic itch with the above wooden sign from the excellent Alchemy Home Decor, which got me thinking about other ways that maps can be incorporated into home decor. Below, a few suggestions:
Throw pillows to match, also from Alchemy Home Decor.
This beautiful framed world map comes with push pins so you can track your travels (or make a wish list).
A pink globe! Or blue, green, gold, grey or black. So no matter what your room's color scheme, you'll never be lost in it.
I'm obsessed with this gorgeously colored print from Mark Ashkenazi.
Stationery gets in on the map fun with this greeting card collection from Rifle Paper Co.
Of course, much of the aesthetic appeal of maps comes from the sense of wanderlust, adventure, and connection to place that they inspire. So grab a thoughtfully designed and purposely crumpled map from Huset and get up and go travel!
Speaking of which . . . we will be in Hawaii for two weeks! See you when we return from the Aloha State!
We made these tacos from Epicurious last week for Cinco de Mayo, and since tacos are good all the time, I figured you wouldn't mind a belated post about them. These manage to pack a good amount of flavor while still being vegetarian and moderately healthy.
Start by charring two poblano peppers. You can do this over a stove burner using tongs to rotate the peppers over the flames until they're blistered evenly, or if you're grilling, I imagine throwing these on the grill would work too.
See how much I love you? I let you see close-ups of my dirty stovetop just to demonstrate how to blister a pepper, something you probably could have figured out without photographic proof that we live like Pigpen from Peanuts.
Let the peppers cool to the touch, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
We also diced: 1/2 red onion, two cloves of garlic, and 1 box of cremini mushrooms.
Heat some oil in a heavy-bottomed pan until very hot, then spread out in a thin layer the kernels from one ear of corn. Let the corn char for about 30 seconds then remove the corn from the pan.
Add more oil to the pan and aute the onion, peppers, and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Once your vegetables are soft, add the mushrooms and continue cooking. Once the mushrooms have cooked through, add the corn and stir.
Turn off the heat and add about half a cup of queso fresco, cubed, and half a tablespoon of fresh chopped mint leaves (original recipe calls for epazote if you can find it, but recommends mint as a suitable substitute, and it suited us just fine).
You can use bottled hot sauce or ready-made salsa, but since we were already cooking, we (I mean J, really) made this excellent, also from Epicurious, salsa, which called for roasted tomatoes and fresh cilantro and is just perfect. This recipe makes for way more than what you'll need to top your tacos, but that's what chips are for. (Mmmm!)
Now make your tacos! We used corn tortillas, heated in the toaster oven (more time-efficient if you need a couple of tortillas than my preferred method, straight over the flame on the stovetop with frequent flipping to prevent fire and test the speed and heat endurance of your fingers).
Scoop some of the vegetable mixture into the tacos and garnish with salsa, fresh avocado, and more cheese (if that's your desire; the recipe recommends cotija). Break out the cerveza and enjoy!
*I've never seen Twelve Angry Men, but it's always on my mind when it comes to jury selection. Amy Schumer's recreation was pretty perfect.
*Investigative journalism from the New York Times on the exploitative practices of nail salons in the city.
*Fascinating piece with beautiful writing on Tourette's Syndrome, competitive running, and a young girl at the intersection of both.
*A sweet letter from John Steinbeck to his son on falling in love.
*Adorable mini citrus cakes!
*Because it's Friday and we could all use a cuteness overload to take us into the weekend, here is a video of a monkey petting puppies. So many puppies! Which to pet next? You're welcome.
With sunnier skies these days, I can't bring myself to have another mug of hot coffee. I could pay two dollars every day to get an iced coffee in a plastic cup from the cart outside the office - or, I could get it together and cold brew my coffee (spoiler alert: I've been choosing option two).
In addition to saving money and plastic cups (since we're using reusable containers here), brewing the night before saves time in the morning, and the coffee is so good it gives me something to get excited about in the morning (when usually all I do is whine about having to go to work).
What you'll need: ground coffee (for a French press, use a coarser grind than for espresso or a drip coffee machine), water, a French press (no French press? you could probably strain it through a couple coffee filters), a refrigerator and a vessel for your brewed coffee.
I use four scoops of coffee to about three cups of water, which fills my press. Then I let it sit in the refrigerator overnight (10-12 hours will do the trick), then press and pour in the morning. Coffee goes into a jar with a lid and then into my bag and I'm off to work with a bounce in my step and two bucks burning a hole in my pocket.
Extra credit: Make an extra batch of coffee and freeze into ice cubes to be added to your freshly cold-brewed coffee. Also, a dash of cinnamon added to your ground coffee before you brew it will perk up cheaper coffee (or live with someone who works at Whole Foods and brings home leftovers and doesn't drink coffee so you get them all to yourself).
In no particular order.
The Park Avenue chocolate cube, from Park Avenue Winter, when I pretended to be a lady who lunches and made the most of a Monday off from work coinciding with Restaurant Week. Our table of four highly qualified diners got five desserts - this was the one for sharing. I'm not entirely sure what it consisted of, aside from a week's worth of chocolate intake and a very impressive little slide.
An aerial view of The Cube. Not pictured: the sticky toffee pudding I greedily gobbled down, no sharing.
A Ladies' Appreciation Day for the books, culminating in Gramercy Tavern's: Chocolate Cream Pie for Two (says the menu, we didn't dare disagree), Sesame Brittle, Bourbon Cream and Blood Orange Frozen Yogurt. Literally all of those things are in my Absolutely, Yes column.
Sorry for the sub-par quality of the photo; not sorry for the decision to have pancakes for dinner. February is Pancake Month at Clinton Street Baking Company and it is A Thing, and these pancakes - pistachio frangipane with burgundy cherries and roasted, crushed pistachios - were maybe the only thing worth venturing out into that bitter, bitter cold (ok, and the company too, but the pancakes were a real draw).
All the Peter Pan Bakery donuts.
The beautiful, ombre purple and rainbow sprinkle birthday cake Vivian surprised me with last year. The pictures don't do it justice, and also, it was delicious.
Seriously, so impressed. And also, the buttery goodness!
The Secret Breakfast ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe's (yes, in San Francisco). There's so much bourbon in it that it's too melty to be served in a cone, which is why my ice cream was served in a bowl and wearing a hat.
One time I made half a birthday cake. It was whole-good.
1) I maybe take too many pictures of foods.
2) I have a sweet tooth. Enjoy this sweet start to the week (and it's ok to have dessert with lunch. It's Monday).
*An incomplete list.