Motivational Monday….Kintsugi

Embrace your imperfections…it’s what makes you, you!

I just thought this was cool….Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing ceramics with gold, silver or lacquer… acknowledging the flaws and history of an object…finding good in them. Sounds like a good metaphor for life!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Weekender

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted…Aesop

Tomorrow is Random Acts of Kindness Day! After the craziness & sadness this past week, why not stop and do something kind for someone this weekend. You’ll make someone’s day.

Happy Friday…make it a great weekend!!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…A Small World

I interrupt your Monday morning to bring you a smile….read these lyrics to “It’s a Small World” and really think about them…..and then watch this adorable video 

It’s a world of laughter
A world of tears
It’s a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all

There is just one moon
And one golden sun
And a smile means
Friendship to ev’ryone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It’s a small world after all

It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world

Have a FABULOUS week!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

 

Foodie Friday…French Onion Panade

I love Sunday mornings and looking out the window to see The NY Times waiting for me on my driveway. I know, I could read it on my iPad or phone, but I love the tangible feel of flipping through the actual paper….just like I’ve gone back to reading actual books, as opposed to my iPad or phone.

Anyway, in The NY Times magazine this past weekend there was a recipe for French Onion Panade (pronounced pah-naad) by Samin Nosrat   that looked amazing. I love French Onion Soup and this looked like a French Onion bread pudding with some broth thrown in. I decided to make it for the girls who were coming for mahjongg this past Wednesday night….and Taylor & Dan were here picking up Rowan. There were only 6 of us, so I halved this recipe. Next time I might use beef broth, which is how you make a traditional French onion soup, just to compare…but this one was even better than I imagined. It’s a bit time consuming, but worth it!

Here you go..

1 large, stale loaf crusty sourdough bread (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/3-inch slices
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pounds (about 5 large) yellow onions, thinly sliced
Fine sea salt
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
¼ cup white wine or dry vermouth
5 to 6 cups chicken stock
12 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
3 ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 325.
Toast bread on baking sheets, flipping slices as they get lightly golden color and dried out. Set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 425.

Carmelize the onions. Set a large Dutch oven or similar pot over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons butter and olive oil. When butter has melted, add onions and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Once the onions cook down a bit and release some liquid, remove lid and increase heat to medium high. Continue cooking and stirring regularly until onions are tender and dark golden brown, about 45 minutes total. Turn off heat, add vinegar and wine and stir to deglaze. Taste, and adjust salt and vinegar as needed — the onions should be sweet, savory and pleasantly tangy. Spoon onions into a heatproof bowl, and set aside.
Return pot to stove. Add stock and 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Taste, and adjust salt as needed — it should taste like good chicken soup.
Place both cheeses in a medium bowl, and mix to combine.
Butter the inside of a deep 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Line the bottom with a layer of toasted bread, breaking up pieces as needed to form a solid layer. Spoon half the onion mixture evenly over the bread. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese mixture, and season with pepper. Continue layering with bread, the remainder of the onions and another 1/3 of the cheese. (The recipe says to “Top off with a final layer of bread” but I finished with the cheese on top.

Ladle 3 cups of stock over the panade, then wait a minute, and allow the bread to absorb liquid….(I just poured the whole thing over) without overflowing. Dot the top layer of bread with remaining butter, then cover with parchment paper and foil. Place baking dish atop baking sheet to catch any overflow, then slide onto the center rack. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and parchment, sprinkle with remaining cheese (I had already put the cheese on top, so I just removed parchment & foil) and return to oven for 15 minutes more. Bake until golden brown.
Remove panade from oven, and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cover, and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat to serve

C’mon, how amazing does that look?! It was delish! I served it with a simple Caesar salad.

Bon Apetit!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

ps…someone asked me if I ever got glasses at Fabulous Fanny’s after this post…oops, forgot this pic

FUNKY!

Dancing at Dawn

I’ve wanted to do this since I first heard about it back in early 2015….as their website says “DAYBREAKER is a social movement that gets people together for dancing during the morning hours. ” I’m on their email list and get notifications every time there’s an event, have forwarded the info to my niece in SF, daughter-in-law in NYC and friend in Paris, but I’ve never been in the right city at the right time…until a few weeks ago.

I got up early and took the 1/2 hour subway ride over to the west side of Manhattan, to the Highline Ballroom. What a cool venue and the vibe, as you can imagine, is electrifying as you wait in line with a bunch of other enthusiastic morning people just waiting to start their day on a happy note!

C’mon how much fun does that sound to just dance unabashedly before you go to work…..with a few hundred people?!

You have two choices….sign up for just dancing from 7-9am or include the pre-yoga at 6am. I don’t do yoga, so opted to dance from 7-9. It’s only $25 and some of the money is donated to charity. This event, for the first time, was sponsored by AFLAC and over $7000. was donated to children’s cancer research. It also included a song and dance from multi-talented Matthew Morrison…you know him from Glee; the Grammy nominated band Kaleo (never heard of them before this)…and, yes, the Aflac duck made an appearance too! There were also some refreshments to partake of from some food sponsors, so we all enjoyed Kombucha, water, some frozen confection, to name a few. After talking to a few people on my way in who had been many times, apparently most are held outdoors, on rooftops, in parks, on boats…so this was much more of a concert-y vibe than most. I thought it was a blast!

I started on the ground floor for the “dance through the decades” theme and then noticed there was a balcony. Being short it’s always more fun to be on the balcony, so you can enjoy all the action. Above, you can see how it wasn’t that crowded at 7am on the floor…..

…and it got more crowded as time went on (Matthew Morrison above)

It was one of the founder’s birthday, so crowd surfing was in order! This was towards the end.

The Aflac duck took the stage for the paparazzi….

….and there were babies with protective headphones!

I had a blast and can’t wait to go again…hopefully in LA next! As they say in their email sign-off

“…with love and mischief”

My sign-off is pretty great too….

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

 

Motivation Mondays….Who cares!?

The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.

Be who you want to be, without guilt or regret!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday….Every Child

Thanks to my friend, Gina, for this apropos grandma gift for my fridge! A nice reminder that we should invest in our children, and by doing so, there’s always hope for change in the future….it takes a village!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

A Walk on the LES

That stands for Lower East Side in NY-speak. Kate & Jude went on an outing together (at 3 wks old..go Kate!) and Austin was at work, so I thought I’d head into the city for a couple of hours.

Whenever I see any place (restaurant, excursion, etc…) I link it to my Pinterest account….not just NY, everywhere or anything I want to do. It’s the easiest way NOT to have to remember all the things/places I’m interested in trying. It’s also great for saving decorating ideas when you need inspiration.

So, I “pinned” the restaurant Dirty French a few years ago and finally got the chance to try it out. The space is awesome, attached to the Ludlow Hotel and right around the corner from the iconic Katz’s Deli  and Russ and Daughters. I arrived a little after 12:00 and the restaurant itself was literally empty, so I opted for the lobby bar (almost same menu) with it’s comfy couches for lounging and large fireplace….so cozy.

I needed to eat something healthy-ish, so opted for the Roquefort/beet salad….but then ruined the “healthy” with their pommes frites. The salad was FABULOUS, the pommes frites a bit on the greasy side and not my idea of pommes frites….I prefer the crispy shoestring pommes frites.

I read my book for a bit and just relaxed, enjoying the ambience. (FYI..warning….it’s a bit pricey)

Cute side patio

I’ve been wanting some new glasses (I kind of collect them), so I headed to my favorite eyeglass store, Fabulous Fanny’s….just a few blocks north in the E. Village. It’s a tiny store with drawers and drawers of vintage-y frames. I’ve been known to linger for an hour or more just trying on different options. My idea of fun shopping!

I came across some great street art along the way….

and then made a stop at the busiest Trader Joe’s I’ve ever been to for some Pizza Monday stuff. You literally get a cart, get in line for checkout and shop as you wind your way around the store. Weird at first, but actually pretty efficient. I was getting up to the front of the line and there’s an employee walking the line saying “can I get any last minute items for anyone?” I realized I would like to have some gorgonzola, so she got it for me while I remained in line. Sweet!!

As always, PizzaMonday was so much fun…great seeing my niece, who attends Barnard, and some of Austin & Kate’s friends. ….and just staring at cute little Jude!

A little chat between big brother, Prince, & baby Jude

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational/Wonderful Wine Wednesday

I went to The Lost Vine near my house with some friends a couple of weeks ago and this was the wine we had. It was such a lovely message…and a great picture on the front …and a decent Chard…that I had to take a pic to share!

Happy Wine Wednesday!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Mondays….Hugs!

 

One of the best feelings in the world is when you hug someone you love and they hug you back even tighter.

Happy MLK Jr Day!….I hope our country can get back to his ideals and end the craziness that our current President has brought to our lives.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!