The Eats

I honestly don’t spend that much time at home  – lately the only things I’ve been doing here are sleeping, cooking or working on that calligraphy. December didn’t quite work out as planned in terms of cooking all of the meals that I picked out. But I’m happy to report that I made a lot of them! Quite the feat when I look back at how busy the last few weeks were.

Made Squash & Sundried Tomato Soup – which turned into 2 dinners and about 5 lunchs. Needless to say, I was sick of it by the end of the week. I liked my Celery Root soup far better! Got some Artichoke Dip from TJ’s as well for pita crackers. Mmmm.


This was dinner after the Carrot Christmas Cookie Competition. So much sugar. I needed a huge bowl of greens to combat it. Kale, apples, walnuts, sesame seeds & olive oil/lemon/seasoning dressing.


Carrot’s all eat lunch together. One day one of the guys offered to go pick up Chipotle for everyone – turns out 13 people ordered! That’s a lot of food to bring back on a bike. It was much appreciated though 🙂 And even turned into lunch for two days.


For the Carrot Gift Exchange, I got a yellow whisk & apron from Marisa. Super cute! Already had an opportunity to use it as I made cookies last night. Each Carrot for their Birthday gets to pick out a recipe and then it’s brought in (by the Baking Committee) & we all celebrate. Basically like kindergarten.

So last night after work I got started making Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies. Crazy intense. Made the dough and now it sits in the fridge overnight before I stuff it after work today and bake!

While I baked, I made some veggie pasta with roasted red pepper & artichoke sauce, sesame seeds, pepper and garlic. Mmmm. Yay leftovers for lunch today!





Events of the Weekend

Creative Mornings

Last Friday was another Creative Mornings event in DUMBO. They hold events across the world, once a month, and bring in local speakers to inspire people & tell their stories. This one was the last of the year so they brought in 3 people who are normally in the audience. Each had their own unique and interesting story. They go from roughly 8:30 until 10 and provide breakfast and coffee. It was an early morning waking up at 6am but definitely a great way to start off a Friday  – I went with 3 of the other designers from Carrot. It was also conveniently located right across the street from our building!




Eric’s Nutcracker Performance

Saturday afternoon, Jon & I met up with Aunt Barb & Uncle Joe to see Eric perform in the Nutcracker. We had actually seen the show last year but I was super excited to go again – plus it was Jon’s first Nutcracker, ever! We both loved it! It’s always so exciting to actually know someone on stage. Unfortunately can’t take any pictures in the actual theater so you’ll just have to imagine the gorgeous set & dancing (or look it up on NYTimes – or go see it yourself next year). Got a tour of backstage after the show by David – got to stand on the stage & see Mama Ginger’s dress up close and personal.

Afterwards we all headed down a few blocks to Olea for dinner. We had gone there last year as well and loved it. It’s a part of Brooklyn that I actually hadn’t been to since this time last year so it’s weird to think that I actually live here now! Delicious dinner – spicy feta & beet dips with pita, artichokes, roasted brussels sprouts, pizza with honey & other ingredients that I can’t remember, and eggplant tomato soup with roasted garlic which was amazing!! Thanks so much for dinner & the show, Barb & Joe! Had a great night & we get even more family time next week!

Children’s Christmas Pageant, Grand Central & Coffee Date

Sunday morning was the children’s Christmas pageant at church – so adorable. I made it to church on time and everything – despite the fact that I spent all of Sunday missing my trains by about 30 seconds. Spent some quality time below ground but at least it makes for sweet pictures.



After church I headed on some secret Christmas missions (can’t tell) and then headed into Manhattan (Grand Central) to look for a dress for the Carrot Christmas party (failed). But I got to see Grand Central for the first time! There was a cool Christmas market set up in the entrance and lights all around. I can’t believe I haven’t made it there yet – I always seem to be in the subway passing underneath. But finally got that checked off my list.

After wandering around I headed south to meet up with Katherine & Nicole two people I had known in Middle/High School to talk design. They’re both graduating soon and had some questions about internships and what not. It was super rainy and gross out Sunday so not great for walking around but we found a tiny coffee shop with about 4 seats in it and talked for over an hour.


Finally finished out the weekend with some more calligraphy and hanging out with Jon. I didn’t actually realize how much I managed to pack in a single weekend. It was busy but productive! Had to be since I’m headed home for Christmas this Friday.


Calligraphy Scroll

So here’s the reason that blogging has been put on the back burner since last week (or one of them).

I’ve been working on a calligraphy scroll as a Christmas gift for the Founders of Carrot. It’s really long.


I found out about it last Wednesday, went shopping for supplies with a co-worker that day and then started on it Thursday night. Basically spent all of Thursday night watching (10) episodes of How I Met Your Mother while cutting, painting & writing. In total, I had 4 pages of text to write out (single spaced!).





Thursday night I made a considerable dent in it – about halfway through. Worked some on Friday morning. Skipped Friday night because I was up in Queens at a birthday party/game night with a bunch of friends from church! Eating pizza, playing crazy card games, listening to Christmas music & eating cupcakes!

Picked it back up on Saturday morning for a bit. Took a break for Eric’s performance – covered in a following blog post! Then worked more on Saturday night, Sunday morning and finally finished up on Sunday night around 10:30. Yikes!




It was rather long.


(And was not quite as wrinkly as the above picture suggests – weird lighting, maybe?)

But nothing beats actually watching people unroll it and read through the quotes. There was something crazy awesome about writing down 40+ quotes about why people love working at Carrot.

Carrot Cookie Contest

Last Thursday we had a Carrot Cookie Competition at work. Fifteen of us spent the night baking secret recipes and then brought them to work for tasting & judging. I ended up making a Double Chocolate Peppermint cookie – it worked out really well!

It was the first time that I got to use something other than a spatula to make cookies. Yay food processors! I luckily live only 2 blocks away from the grocery store because I realized part way through making it that I didn’t have any mint. Oops!

Didn’t really follow the recipe for it.. but is that really a surprise?

We all loaded up bowls with the cookies and proceeded to try 15 different cookies – bites, not the whole thing obviously. That put the entire office into a major sugar coma. But good news – I won “Best Holiday Decoration!”







Monday Recap

Monday started off fantastically. The way that you’d hope for every week to start off: relaxed! I think, in part, my cooking & cleaning last night put me in a good mood to start the week so upon waking up I made coffee & drank it on the couch while reading the NYTimes (the weekend edition that takes me all week to read).

Work was good, lots of projects here or there. Most of the major projects for the year have already launched or are getting ready to launch soon (which means they’re past the stage I work on them). At the end of the quarter things start to slow down (which is good!) to give everyone a chance to reset for the new year. We’re starting to implement some new processes for wireframing which should be a good challenge for the next few months. I have to constantly remind myself that I just graduated from college 6 months ago and I need to focus on absorbing as much new material as possible! Of course the idea is to never stop learning but it’s especially important to remember that this is my 1st job out of school and there’s so much growing that’s going to happen. I often forget that I’m as new to this as I am, somedays it feels like I’ve been working full time forever. Full days of work don’t really feel weird at all. In fact, I was thinking about how jumbled and cut up my class schedule was the other day and it seemed hard to believe!

I’m absolutely loving getting to focus on work at work and when I come home I get to focus on other things. I think it will play a huge part down the line in not burning out! As long as I can remember to keep this mindset 🙂

Tonight’s after work activity was a church christmas party up in Long Island City! I headed up there and was shocked at just how many people turned out for the event. Church meets in an Italian restaurant so the owner kindly opened her restaurant just for the party and cooked all of the food! Super tasty food and fun hanging around to chat. They even had a photobooth set up which Jon & I might have tested out. Also loving walking home at night looking at all of the Christmas lights!! Best part of the season.

Time for bed soon – these last 2 weeks before Christmas break are going to be quite full!

What I’m listening to:

Sunday Night Cooking

The best way to spend a Sunday evening is by cleaning my room and cooking a tasty dinner. I love getting to start the week off refreshed and with leftovers! Especially after the craziness of Saturday night and the subway nonsense this morning, I was ready for some relaxing.

Tonight’s dinner was technically on my list for cooking earlier this week but things got busy and I never got around to it.

The recipe was Sun-dried Tomato & Butternut Squash Bisque (full recipe from Manifest Vegan). Except I didn’t use Butternut Squash – substituted Red Kuri squash because that’s what I had on hand.

Sun-dried Tomato and Butternut Squash Bisque 

Yield: 8 servings

  •  1 medium sized butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 leek, tough green parts removed, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes (not in oil), soaked at least 1 hour and drained
  • 2 cups salted vegetable broth
  • 1   2/3 cup low fat canned coconut milk (or your favorite nondairy milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

About 1 hour before preparing preheat your oven to 350 °F,  slice your butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Sprinkle the flesh of the squash gently with salt and then place face down on a baking sheet. Add about 1/4 cup water to the pan and cook 45- 60 minutes, or until the squash’s skin is tender enough to easily be pierced with a fork.

While the squash is roasting, saute the garlic and leek along with the olive oil over medium high heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Once the squash is tender, transfer to a high speed blender (or use a good quality immersion blender or food processor) and puree along with garlic and leek, the sundried tomatoes, vegetable broth, coconut milk, and cumin. Add a little more broth if you prefer a thinner soup. Blend until completely smooth, about 10 minutes. Warm gently if needed over medium heat until desired temperature is reached. Salt and pepper to taste.

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And finally, a puppy picture from earlier this morning that I forgot to post 🙂

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On Waiting

There are occasionally sermons that seem to be directly talking to me. They come at the exact right time, like this morning.

I woke up later than I hoped this morning. I rushed to get ready and stopped by the coffee shop down the block for coffee & a scone before heading to the subway. My G train luck continued and it pulled up just as I got to the subway platform. Everything seemed to be going just fine until we got to the Bedford Nostrand stop where the train prompted stopped and announced we’d have to switch to a shuttle bus. Said bus took its sweet time wandering the streets of Brooklyn and stopping frequently. Needless to say, it was reminenscent of the Bronx bus ride with Jon up to Sarah’s volleyball game a few months ago. At 9:10, I was still in Williamsburg and it became quite clear that getting to church by 9:15 was highly unlikely.

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That’s the point in time where I have the decision to sit there annoyed at the situation and anxious to get off the bus OR I can quickly accept the situation. I chose the later and decided to enjoy my free ride through parts of Brooklyn I’ve never been to (and likely wont return to after seeing them above ground). I drank my coffee, read a little in my book and spent the majority of the time looking out the window. Thankful, at least, that I wasn’t stuck underground.

Eventually I made it to Long Island City where I quickly walked the few blocks to church and got in just in time for the sermon…

On waiting and patience.

Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. There could not have been a better time to be reminded of this especially considering how easy it is to be annoyed about being late all of the time or waiting in line or having it take forever to get somewhere.

I knew that after church I’d have to rush out to get to work by 11 (more on that another time) but I remained focused & not worried about the impending weekend (read: impossible) commute that needed to happen. 10:30 after the last Christmas song I said hi & bye and rushed out the door to the subway. Somehow I made it 12 stops in less than 30 minutes and was only about 10 minutes late for work.

So next time I’m horribly late for anything I’ll remember to just enjoy the ride and be thankful for the fact that, just like the rest of New Yorkers, I can blame it on the MTA.

No Gym Membership Needed

I’m learning that its entirely unnecessary to have a gym membership in NYC. Weightlifting = walking 2 blocks with heavy laundry, carrying a suitcase up and down stairs and grocery shopping. Cardio = running for the train, running up and down tons of flights of stairs and walking just about everywhere.

In fact, at the end of this month when my temporary gym membership expires, I intend on perhaps purchasing a yoga ball and calling it a day.

So here was Saturday:

Jon had to unfortunately work on Saturday night from 5 pm until 1 am. We spent the morning reading the paper, drinking coffee and attempting (and failing) at the crossword puzzle.

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After determining that we’d need google to get any further in the puzzle, we headed out to Soho for lunch at a new cafe that I’ve discovered (Casey and I had gone to it on Thursday night for our weekly hot chocolate girls night). The pictures are from when I was there with Casey, in case you’re wondering why it looks like night time.

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Tasty lunch of a sandwich filled with arugula, goat cheese, pesto, and guacamole. We walked around Soho a bit before heading through little Italy & Chinatown. In fact, that was my first visit to both since moving here. Dropped Jon off at the subway station near the Manhattan Bridge so he could get to work & then I continued walking back towards Soho. Fit in some Christmas shopping while checking out some of the stores and things they had around. So many outdoor craft fairs, Christmas lights and decorated trees! Eventually ran out of places I wanted to check out so I hopped on the subway and went up to Union Square for some more exploring. (Christmas shopping occurred so I can’t tell you exactly where I went).

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Finished there and then decided I had a little more jn me so I could go up to time square. You see, I signed up to get a child a Christmas present through this wish makers program in NYC. I got the letter with the request on Friday night and its due to them by Monday. Therefore, I found myself in the middle of holiday time square madness in order to by a skateboard for a 9 year old boy.

Guys, Time Square is insane.

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Especially during Christmas time in Toys R Us on a weekend. Starting to see why this is a bad plan? It was like a giant ad for why I do not want children right now. Screaming, crying, running around, annoyed parents dragging their kids, high school couples making out on the escalators, Toys R Us employees asking everyone if they wanted their picture taken, toys being thrown off shelves, narrow aisles… you get the gist.

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I picked out and purchased a skateboard after many texts back and forth with Jon (I so don’t have the mindset of a 9 year old boy). Carried the skateboard over to UPS to have it shipped and soon discovered that would be $38 in shipping costs. More than the price of the item. So I made my way back to return the item I purchased only moments earlier and then needed to find another option. Eventually picked out some sweet Legos and was able to push my way back through the store & Time Square to hop on a train home.

Brooklyn never felt so uncrowded and wonderfully quiet.

Dinner Out!

As long as this is wildly out of order, let’s start with the most recent. This week seems to have flown by. It was Sunday night and all of a sudden it’s Wednesday. And Thanksgiving is already more than a week away? Crazy! Things are starting to get more and more daunting as I look on my calendar and realized that Christmas break is less than three weeks out. Just thinking about everything that needs to fit into that short amount of time makes my head spin!

Last night Frances was in town so we got to have dinner after work! We we met up at a greek place near Union Square – super delicious food and even better to get to spend a few hours to talk! For dinner we split some of their small plates – 3 different types of spreads on pita, orzo with a tomato sauce & really mild garlic, dolmades (my favorite greek dish ever) and some octopus (which I didn’t have, but it looks pretty!). The rest of the time we spent catching up and talking about my crazy long Goodreads book list 🙂 Inspired me to start looking for a book club here in NYC, so we’ll see how that goes.

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It also made for terrific leftovers for lunch today & a surprise dolmade waiting for me when I arrived home tonight!

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Thanks for dinner Frances!