Fall isn’t Fall without Homemade Donuts.

26 Nov

Nothing says fall like apple cider (warm and mixed with vodka?) and donuts.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

#ilovedonuts

(Seriously. Love donuts.)

So I made a batch of these for my fall cocktail party.

Homemade donuts

Looks yum, right?

These are more of a cake-style donut, more similar to a fry cake, than the super-sweet krispy kreme donut that most people are used to.

The recipe is from Applehood & Motherpie, which is a famous cookbook from the Junior League of Rochester. (Did I mention that the cookbook is on sale now?)

These are very easy to make – especially when you have a donut pan. I only wish that I had two of these.

I would share the recipe, but as a JLR member – I’ll say pick up one of our cookbooks and make it for yourself! There’s also a sweet cider cocktail recipe too!

Easy Homemade Donuts

Perfect for holiday entertaining or brunch!

November Book Review Roundup

24 Nov

Nothing like nine days on the road to accomplish some reading, right?

Here’s what I read through on my latest work trip.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwon. It’s like the Kardashians meets Kimora Lee Simmons, crossed with a healthy (or unhealthy?) dose of private jets, real estate, and high-fashion – on the streets of Singapore. I was throughly fascinated while reading this book, and entertained all at the same time. Is there really a group of uber-rich Chinese living in Singapore, in real life? Needless to say, check this book out the next time you need a good beach read.

Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding. This one was a bit tougher to get through, but still a quick read. It’s the story of the British war crimes investigator who tracked down the head of Auschwitz after WWII ended. An interesting story, but I must say that I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more drama when the chase was coming to the end. A bit anti-climatic, if I do say so myself.

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls. No big surprises here for a J.Walls novel – two sisters with a deadbeat/crazy mother make a go of it on their own. The story becomes more interesting when they travel across the country to live with the slightly kooky uncle in a recently integrated small town in the south. Oh, and there are emus in this book, which makes the ending much better.

I’m currently in the middle of The Cuckoo’s Calling, which is J.K. Rowling’s latest fiction work, under her pseudonym. Well-written, but I suspect I have figured out the ending already and I’m only a few chapters in. If this is the case, I’ll be a bit disappointed that the mystery wasn’t more mysterious.

Happy reading!

Friday Find: BOND

1 Nov

A while back I posted about this cool handwritten note project, Snail Mail my Email. (Did I mention that I even received one? #awesome.)

While that was a limited-time project, now there’s BOND.

BOND sends handwritten notes (and gifts!) to people, straight from your phone. Their tagline? “You type it, we write it.”

While they do charge $5 per note – it’s totally worth it. Its just about the same cost as a nice card – and you don’t have to write it or address it. Or find the stamp, which is generally my failing.

Plus, you can sync the app with your calendar, email, FB, the like – so you don’t miss an event. The cards they send are simple and classic, clean white stationary with gold embossing.

And yes, there are days when I am so busy I need a service that sends stationary for me. 

Their gift selection is fairly diverse, and it’s best described as the love child of restoration hardware and anthropologie. Prices range from $20 and up.

There is a code for sending a free note – so it’s worth checking out.

And of course, I love apps like this, because #ilovepaper.

 

Fall TV: Now that we’re a few weeks in…

28 Oct

Now that all my shows are back on, I’m doing the standard culling – this girl only has time for so much TV, in between Junior League and Gilda’s Club and work and family and trying to have a social life.

So, here’s what has made the cut for me this year.

  1. Scandal – I can’t say how disappointed I was when I met the “real” Olivia earlier this year, but I’m still addicted to this show. It’s seriously West Wing meets Grey’s Anatomy. But better. And did I mention that one of my managing partners watches this? And he’s a dude. It’s that good.
  2. Law & Order: SVU – I have a cat named Benson. Need I say more? Oh, and the fact that there are countless old episodes are hulu doesn’t hurt either.
  3. Grey’s Anatomy – Watching Grey’s is like wearing leggings. It’s just comfortable. But I can’t say how much longer I can hang in there after the key characters leave. Sandra Oh is out after this season. Sad.

I’ve also picked up House of Cards and Orange is the New Black on Netflix. I know these aren’t anything new, but they are new to me. Plus, Netflix just makes it easy. Kevin Spacey so far in HOC is amaze-balls.

What’s not making the cut this year? Anything on CBS. The network makes it way too difficult to watch shows. I can’t watch on my iPad, and it doesn’t interface with my appleTV. So by default, these ones are OUT. Unless I get desperate, and run out of new episodes of my other favorite shows. Not having cable or a DVR really adjusts the TV plan…but is cost-efficient.

What are you all watching this year?

Friday Find: Paperless Post

20 Sep

So as much as #ilovepaper, I love the convenience that comes with electronic communications.

Yes, I said “electronic communications.” I remember life before the interwebs, people, when computers needed start-up disks and you were sent to the library to learn how to use a mouse. #truestory.

Back to the matter at hand. Mainly, it’s that I don’t have a lot of my friends’ addresses on file. So, come cocktail party time (which is allthetime), it’s easier to send e-invitations.

Enter Paperless Post.

Paperless post Electronic Invitations

No more cheesy e-vites with bad pictures of oversized martini glasses and limited room for copy and important details like “bring wine.”

Finally, a e-invite service that has designs I am not ashamed to send. (Snaps to LKS for turning me onto this one.)

Paperless Post works two ways – there are electronic invites, and you can also select to have paper versions ordered.

The designs are more like real stationary than emails, and you have much more control over the actual design elements — like fonts, type layout, and images.

Did I mention the part where you can include electronic envelope liners and response cards? So much better than an e-vite.

When the invite is delivered, the image is embedded into the actual email, so your guests can literally click the envelope to open it, and fill out the response card. There is an auto-download feature to add the event to your preferred calendar service, and an option to include a link to the location.

Plus, there is a sweet big brother aspect to it where Paperless Post lets you track who has opened your invite, bounced emails, responded, etc. (To everyone who hasn’t RSVP’d for fall beer & wine tasting, I’m watching you…)

Plus, you can track it all in an iPhone app, and set up handy reminders to your guest list. Or do old-fashioned things like export it to an excel doc, if you like to roll Windows97 style.

Some designs are simpler, with just text — which you can select from the varied Paperless Post text library.

Paperless Post card samples

Others you can customize with your own images.

Custom Photo Paperless Post Invites

The catch? Not all the features on Paperless Post are free. The paper invites, for one, cost $. And some of the more premium features on the electronic invites, like the fancier designs or the envelope liners, cost “paperless post coins.”

You receive 25 coins for signing up, and there are a variety of options to earn more. Or, you can purchase coins – 25 for $5.00. As many of the premium features are 2 coins/recipient – it works out to be $5.00 to send 12 of the premium electronic invites, if you buy the coins outright. (Still, this is way more affordable than if you ordered paper cards from a stationary shop and mailed them USPS.)

However, there are enough free designs that you really don’t need coins unless you really want of of the premium designs.

The internet and paper, together as one? I’m sold.

Move over e-vite, Paperless Post is here.

###

Eh, it’s Wednesday. Let’s Dubstep.

18 Sep

Lately, I’ve noticed that I’m having the “eh, it’s XXX day” trend.

Which, is nothing to write home about, except that I could use a little pick me up.

So, because it’s Wednesday, and we all could use something to smile about, and in case you haven’t seen it yet, and in case you have, cheers to the latest Geico commercial.

Original.

And dubstep.

What day is it again?

####

Book Review: The Dinner and Winter’s Bone

11 Sep

So I know I’m a bit late to the game on these books. But better late than never, right? Plus, my mom had downloaded these to her nook so I could rip them onto mine. Perfecto.

So I was on an epic week-long work trip, which included one 24-hour day. NY-MA-WA-NY, complete with a red-eye flight home. Lovely, right?

A friend recommended The Dinner by Herman Koch. She said it was a quick read, since the story takes place over the course of just one evening. During dinner. Creative title, right?

Let’s just say this isn’t a regular dinner. The story revolves around the candidate for prime minister and his brother, who decide that they need to go to dinner with their wives to discuss the “horrible things their children have been doing.”

Not to give it away…but let’s just say the brother is cray cray. Like seriously crazy. And not in the good “oh hey, lets go to a crazy family dinner where someone says something non-PC but its really funny and we all get a little loaded” crazy.

It was a quick read though. But probably not good for beach reading. Or any other occasion where you want something that will make you laugh.

Then I started Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell. You know, the book that made Jennifer Lawrence famous. After you read it, you’ll know that the title is also creative.

It’s winter, and she needs bones for something. But I won’t give it away.

I read through this book really quickly, once I finished the first few chapters. It is set in the Ozarks, and is full of characters, crazy family relationships, and backwoods Hatfields-McCoys style drama.

This one is worth picking up.

Does anyone have other book recommendations? My reading list right now is empty.

###

Summer BBQ Stationary: Swine You Up?

26 Aug

If you remember CP and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, then you already know I had a major stationary fail a few weeks back.

This is said stationary.

Cakerypapery BBQ Finishing Touch

Cute, right?

I do have to admit, after I got over the minor phone number RSVP mishap, the reprints turned out even better than the first set.

I happened to get some new inkadinkado stamps for the occasion, which I used on the outside of the envelopes.

DIY Stampe Envelope

Of course, liners on the inside.

DIY Envelope liner

And then the actual cards? Just a cute invite to a summer barbeque, with the RSVP line really taking the cake.

Cakerypapery BBQ invite

“Swine You Up, or No Shanks?”

I crack myself up, seriously.

And the baker’s twine was a nice finishing touch, if I do say so myself.

DIY bbq invite

As always, #ilovepaper.

###

The Juice Cleanse.

21 Aug

Or, as it’s better known “being hangry for three days.”

hangry: the state of being so hungry you get angry.

In other words, hungry+angry=hangry. (I was a math major, you know.)

Right around the time this post is being published, I’ll be knee deep in the third day of a juice cleanse. (And in an all-day client meeting where donuts, danish, and cuban sandwiches will be served. FML.)

What exactly is said “juice cleanse,” and why am I, lover of all things fried, sweet, or alcoholic, undertaking such an endeavor?

Well dear friends, it was time to get serious about this whole “eating healthy” and “detox” thing.

So, I considered three factors:

  1. I can be a bit lazy. No healthy food? I’ll just have wine for dinner.
  2. I might be a bit of a humble brag and/or competitive.
  3. I work well with things that have rules. Rules are that are easy to follow.

I’ve been thinking about juice cleansing for a while (because the “master cleanse” sounds tres mis) and I really do need to get back on track with eating healthy. And when I considered the above three factors, it just seemed to make sense. I went with a program at my local yoga studio, where they pre-make all the juices for you. (see #1).

For the last two days, I’ve had nothing but four 16 oz. juices and two smoothies a day. And let me tell you, this liquid diet thing blows goats.

Juice CleanseSee? Juice cleansing. While at work. That counts as multi-tasking, right? And no, that did not taste “even better than it looks!”

They say that after day two your cravings for processed foods goes away. FALSE. I would love some cheese fries right now.

They say you have tons of energy and feel rejuvenated. FALSE. I’m exhausted and just want to sleep.

Did I mention caffeine is against the rules?

However, I plan on bragging the shizzle out of completing a juice cleanse when I’m done. (see #2). Which is why I haven’t had a single cup of coffee, diet coke, or anything thats off plan. (see #3).

Instead, I’ve done productive stuff like sand the walls in my closet, prime the closet walls, and write on my blog. Good girl.

I don’t have any crazy stories yet, just that I’m scared to eat solid food on Thursday…wish me luck.

###

Steak. And Blue Cheese.

19 Aug

One of my favorite things (I know, everything is my favorite) is getting a good steak. And then getting something delicious on top.

Like a blue cheese crust.

Filet with blue cheese crust

I splurged a while back and picked up amazing filets at Chez Wegmans.

Did you say fill-ehs?

Add a red wine and shallot demi-glace, and a blue cheese crust. I’m in heaven.

Plus, throw in a side of prosciutto and asparagus topped with parm, and a glass of good merlot, you’re in business.

Did you say mer-lot?

In all seriousness, this was an easy meal to make and it probably cost us under $30. Similar meal at the steakhouse? We likely would have dropped $100+. (It helps that the wine was free. Thanks BK!)

Here’s what you need for the recipe.

To make the blue cheese topping, all you need is panko bread crumbs and blue cheese crumble. Mix about 1/2 cup blue cheese with 1/4 cup panko crumbs, and top the steaks 1-2 minutes before you pull them off the grill.

For the demi-glace (okay, so it’s more like a sauce than a “glace” per say), melt one tablespoon butter in a saucepan. Add a few cloves of chopped garlic, a minced shallot, and some thyme. Saute a few minutes, then add 1/4 cup red wine and just about 3/8 cup of beef broth. Simmer til the sauce reduces, then dress the steak and plates when you pull them off the grill.

Yum.