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Office Crush - Bobbi Brown

A recent NYMag article highlighted the renovation of Bobbi Brown's Soho HQ. Designed by the fabulous John Eaton [design director at Bobbi Brown], the offices are simple + classic and I have a major office crush on them.








My favorite part is how Eaton created an open yet workable space within each office. It's the perfect combination of individual space paired with room for collaborative work.

I am in love with the metal industrial banker's desk in the first image.

The original article from NY Magazine can be found here.

New Year's Eve

So you've decided to have that New Year's Eve Party after all? But really, who doesn't love a little spontaneity, because I surely do! The only problem with planning a bash at the drop of a hat is gathering all the essentials.

Need a little last minute NYE party planning inspiration? Well, look no further. With these easy go-to's, you can start planning that party without chaos ensuing. Welllll, there might be some chaos, but at least the party will be planned oh-so fabulously ( + just in the nick of time).

So stop worrying about finding that champagne recipe and start thinking about with whom you'll share that midnight kiss. Wink wink.


Over at Haute Chocolate [images from here] you can find a collection of perfect party printables for covering champagne and wine bottles as well as scripted confetti that can be thrown or added to cake toppers and placed atop some sparkly cupcakes.




EAT

What New Year's Eve party would be complete without a few goodies to nibble on? There's always the easy go-to of a baked brie with red pepper jelly atop crostini. Instead, try this Herbed Goat Cheese + Roasted Beet Tarte [picture + recipe from here].




DRINK

Now for the bubbly! When all my siblings and I get together for the holidays at our parent's, we are almost always drinking this Cava cocktail (Cava is the Spanish equivalent of Champagne). It's delicious and refreshing and so easy to make. Purchase two bottles of St. Germain's and eight bottles of Cava for sixteen to twenty people.

Del Fresco
per glass

1 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liquer
3 oz. Cava
1 Smashed Basil Leaf

Smash basil leaf in between your palms and drop into champagne flute. Add St. Germain's, then add Cava. Toast and enjoy!



Pumpkin Pie



Yes, yes, I know that Thanksgiving was two (almost three) weeks ago, but here I am, studying for final exams dreaming of this delightfully spicy pie. I should probably get back to work, but not without sharing my recipe for my favorite seasonal pie ever.

Enjoy your December and get excited for many much more appropriate seasonal posts to come in the next few weeks!

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles



Now that Thanksgiving is over, we're supposed to be trading in our spicy pumpkin flavors for cool peppermint, but I'm having a bit of separation anxiety. I'm just not ready to let go. Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors and I would use it all year if I could. Maybe not in the summer. What better place to put a little pumpkin in than a minxy cookie filled with sugar, spice, and everything nice. What's not to love? I love sweet eats as much as the next gal, but sometimes I could use a little spice in my life and these cookies are the ticket.


Birthday Cake Pancakes


Happy birthday to me!!! 

Disclaimer: it does not need to be anyone's birthday to make these.

Yesterday was my birthday and I love birthdays (who doesn't??). The best part of my birthday (besides the presents) are all the birthday sweets! On my way home from work the night before, I stopped at Magnolia and pick up a vanilla cupcake with milk chocolate buttercream to eat at midnight and start my birthday off with a bang. For breakfast, my roommate, Maria, and I made birthday cake pancakes. The recipe that I came up with is a mix of a traditional pancake recipe and my vanilla cupcake recipe. They have the lightness of a great vanilla cupcake mixed with the fluffiness of a buttermilk pancake. Super amazing and definitely made my birthday that much more fabulous. These are so much fun and can be decorated any way. Pancakes with icing, sprinkles, and edible glitter at 10 am? I am so down.


Pumpkin Spice Bread


It is (finally!) starting to feel like fall here in the city. And by fall, I mean not 80 degrees in October. It happened. It was awful. Now it's finally cooling off and I am ready to bundle up (hooray for sweater weather) with a mug of tea and a cranberry scented candle. Okay so maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself. But if it was in the mid 50's, the leaves had already changed, and a slice of pumpkin pie and a hot toddy were at home waiting for me, I really wouldn't mind. Because that sounds freakin fantastic right now. I love October (birthday month!) but I love the holidays so much more. I could definitely fast forward to Thanksgiving right now. I think I'm coming down with a case of holidayitis. It's a real thing and I got it bad.

So in order to celebrate the beginnings of this crisp and colorful season, I made pumpkin bread. How appropriate right? The only thing better would be gingerbread...men...decorated like Santa. Okay this is not good. But at least I have my christmas wrapping paper already in my cart on Amazon. No joke.


Apple Spice Tarte


Happy October!

October is my favorite month of the year. The weather finally starts to cool off. The leaves begin to change. Sweater weather. Halloween and my birthday. Plus the new month brings some of my favorite ingredients  like apples, pumpkins, pecans, and all those fall spices (think nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger).

To celebrate the start of October, I made one of my favorite brunch/dessert treats. It's as perfect in the morning with a spiced chai as it is with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream at night.


Rocky Road Cookies


I love ice cream. I know that these are cookies and not, in fact, ice cream, but go with it. If Half Baked and Phish Food aren't available (I'm a bit partial to Ben & Jerry's), then it's rocky road all the way. So instead of ice cream, put the marshmallows and walnuts in some delicious double chocolate cookie dough and voila! Rocky Road Cookies!

No Bake Cookies



























The Buttercream is backkkkkkk!!!!

After a wonderful summer spent instructing sailing on a scenic lake near Augusta, Maine, I have returned to the metropolis, aka the much more populated region of NYC, for my junior year of university. This past summer was one of the best I have had. I spent it with my dear sister, Alexandra, whom I haven't seen in quite some time. She lives in Miami... and I'm much farther North. I was outside everyday and I have a fantastic tan, sooo let's see how long it lasts. I made loads of new friends from all over the world, but now I am back and ready to bake.

Currently I'm dripping with sweat because my apartment is not air-conditioned and New York decided it would fabulous to have a little 90 degree hot spell. So it's amazing that these cookies even hardened. I'm sure my next post will be much more weather appropriate. I'm thinking frozen margarita popsicles. You feel me?

Without further adieu, here is my recipe for No Bake Cookies:


Carrot Cake + Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting




My family was celebrating my father's birthday last night. I made barbecued pulled pork sandwiches, open faced on honey wheat rolls, topped with caramelized onions for dinner and my dad's favorite cake for dessert, Carrot Cake. It's a simple two layer cake iced with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting that is to die for.


Naughty Cookies




Ladies and Gentlemen,

I give you the Naughty Cookie. A milk chocolate cookie baked with chocolate chips, pecan pieces, smooth caramel, and toffee bits. A cookie so wickedly divine that it must be related to the Slutty Brownie. In fact, it's the slightly less promiscuous cousin.



Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies


It's finals week for me. Every semester during this time, I stock up on food and snacks that I know are going to get me through all my studying without any sugar crashes. I took a much needed break from studying for my Business Law final to make these. I wanted something sweet, but not something that was going to give me a sugar rush and cause me to crash in an hour. Not very helpful when trying to memorize the Statute of Frauds. I love these because I can eat them with my coffee at the library in the morning and not feel bad about having cookies for breakfast. I actually feel a bit rebellious, doing things my mother never let me do as a child. Jokes. These are way healthier than most children's breakfast cereals. Plus, with the added protein, these will keep you going way longer than any other cookie, perfect when spending hours at the library studying for final exams.


Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake



Finals week starts on Monday. I was in the middle of studying when I felt like baking a little something and had coffee on my mind and in my mug. So, I took a little break from the books to make these muffins. They are so delicious that I've already eaten two while writing this. It's my own twist on a classic coffee cake recipe. I love the addition of the apples and brewed coffee to the cake batter. It really sets these muffins apart from the usual coffee cake. I love anything that's a bit different and these are amazing!



German Chocolate Cake



With Mother's Day coming up, I cannot wait to make my Mom's favorite cake. German chocolate cake also happens to be one of my favorite cakes too, so it's a definite win-win! I have made quite a few variations of this cake over the years, but this one is my favorite. The cake is rich and decadent and the frosting adds a wonderful bit of coconut and pecan. I usually make the frosting and assemble the cake ten to fifteen minutes before I am planning on serving because it is amazing hot off the stove!


Red Wine Sangria



I know what you're thinking, this is not a dessert! This is one of the first really warm weekends we have had in NYC, it's going to be 67 degrees out today! As the weather is so beautiful, today calls for something refreshing and of course alcoholic. This is one of my favorite Sangria recipes. If you can, try to get blood oranges, they're at the end of their season, but sometimes are still available. Even without, it's amazing. Time to pull out the lawn chairs, head up to the roof, drink some sangria and get my tan on before finals start next week!


Slutty Brownies



As we were growing up, our mothers taught us to be wary of all sorts of things: drugs, alcohol, the effects of improperly blending tinted moisturizer. One thing our Mamas never warned us about: The Slutty Brownie.


Double Chocolate Cupcakes




















I was in the mood to bake something chocolatey this afternoon. Not for any particular reason, it is just a regular old Thursday. I had some free time, which I should have probably used to study and catch up on reading for class, but baking sounded wayyyy more fun. Most people go on Facebook or pinterest to procrastinate, I bake.

These chocolate cupcakes are delish! They are fudgy and wonderful. Especially if you under bake them by a minute or two. The cupcake recipe is my personal recipe and for the chocolate buttercream, I used the recipe from Magnolia Bakery's cookbook (located at the bottom of this post, below recipe for cupcakes).


Cinnamon Walnut Banana Bread
















Why, hello there! It is spring break for this girl and I am super happy. I am currently on the beach in the tropics, laying on the sand in a bikini while smoking hot native men are cooling me down with palm fronds and feeding me mango. Not true, but how I wish that were true! I am actually drinking tea in the kitchen of my parents' house in Atlanta, Georgia with my apron on because I just made the most delicious banana bread. My favorite part of being at my parents' house is the kitchen. It's beautiful, with country white cabinets, 4 times the size of my NYC apartment kitchen, and it always has any ingredient for baking everything. Coming home to bake is my vacation. Plus, it's always more fun getting to share goodies with the family instead of them just sitting in my kitchen. This banana bread recipe was originally my mother's and is amazing. For the bananas, the riper and blacker the peel, the better. Is blacker a word?


Red Velvet Cupcakes + Cream Cheese Frosting





















So I know it's been almost a month since Valentine's Day, but I finally got around to posting these cupcakes that I made. Red velvet cupcakes, in my opinion, are amazing and can be enjoyed anytime of year, but are perfect for Valentine's Day! I even decorated them using pink liners that had red and white little hearts on them, red edible glitter and gold dragees.

I used to make these with a vanilla buttercream, but recently switched to cream cheese frosting because it's not as sweet and balances out the flavors of the red velvet cake better.

Chocolate Chip Cookies



When I was a little girl, so many of my favorite memories involved baking with my family. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins, anyone and everyone. One of my favorite things to bake was (and still is!) chocolate chip cookies using my dad's famous recipe. This recipe seriously makes the most heavenly cookies in the world. 

Sometimes I will add variations like coconut, walnuts, or toffee bits. Around the holidays I will swap the vanilla for peppermint extract and add in chopped Andes mint chocolate bits in place of half of the amount of chocolate chips. I know it sounds really odd, but they are amazing! 


Peanut Butter Cups
















This is a Friday night that just couldn't come fast enough. After a crazy long week chalk full of difficult assignments, all I want to do right now is curl up on my couch in some yoga pants, drink some tea, and watch last night's season finale of Suits. (No worries, it's coming back over the summer, but I don't know if I can wait that long to get another dose of Harvey Specter). Spring Break is 14 days away, but before I get to relax, I have three midterms and a few papers due. In order to cope with all the work I am going to have to do this weekend, I want chocolate. And peanut butter.

If you're like me, then you love that salty sweet combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Saying no to a Reese's peanut butter cup is insanely difficult. However, it's freezing and windy outside and I am not up for a trip downstairs to the bodega to pick up a Reese's. Also, I'm too lazy to walk down and up four flights of stairs in my five floor walk-up. So I decided to make my own. Really, it's not a good thing that these are the easiest thing to make in the world (besides toast), because I am going to be making them all the time and that's really not a good thing when swimsuit season is fast approaching.

This recipe can also be made with almond butter, or for a super chocolatey experience, nutella.