Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Cards

Last year I ordered Minted.com holiday cards decorated with one of our newly received professional wedding photos. I revisited the site this year and opted for a non-photo card called the Merry Ribbon design in orange.
Merry Ribbon Holiday Non-Photo Cards
I left the card pretty much how the sample looks and even though I loooooved the backing and envelope liner options, the total price per card was just too much for me (even after a 20% discount). Plus if I'm really ambitious, I have some leftover paper from wedding stuff that I could use for liners.
Cute liner option
Back options
This year I also scaled back on the # of cards. Last year I waited until the last minute and hurriedly sent out cards to a bunch of folks. I'm also debating whether to keep the "2011" off the card in case I do have extra. Then I can save them for next year.

Are you doing holiday cards this year?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap: a Dog, a Frog, and Some Meatballs

Alright, I know Thanksgiving is "over" and it's on to Christmas / Cyber Monday, etc. I couldn't help but share our first Thanksgiving in our new neighborhood.

We woke up to a bright and almost warm fall morning and headed to check out the parade! Since you have to wake up at the crack of dawn for the prime seats, we settled for standing mid-block and watching a few floats pass us by. Seeing Snoopy go by really just made my Thanksgiving!
here he comes!
and there he goes...
Afterward, we walked to check out the remaining balloons waiting in the wings including childhood faves - the Smurfs and Kermit! Buddy, however, was so distracted by the squirrels running around teasing him.
Hubs being "cheeky" 
For our Thanksgiving meal, we joined the hubs' family at Telepan, a neighborhood restaurant that is his family's favorite! Homey and warm, we felt very welcomed by the wait staff while the maitre'd and chef also came out to say Happy Thanksgiving. Even better was the meal that accompanied the hospitality. Here are a few pics to share:

The amuse bouche from left to right - a gruyere cheese puff, apple slaw, and mushroom soup. It's hard to choose favorites but since the cheese ball oozed cheesy goodness, I'll pick that one :)
My appetizer was a burrata mezza luna in ... a mushroom and parmagiano broth and mini meatballs. O. M. G. So delish.
And of course I couldn't pass up on the organic turkey with brussel sprouts, sweet potato and yukon potato mash. The turkey was cooked just right and juicy and flavorful hiding a tasty stuffing underneath.
Finally, traditional Thanksgiving day dessert - apple pie in the form of two fried but light dumplings with a few dollops (wish it was a bowl) of caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream.
I was so amazingly full at the end of the meal, I could barely stand when it was time to leave! Overall it was a great holiday with cool fall weather, good food, and always good times with family! For me the highlight though was seeing Snoopy in person

What was the highlight of your Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Small Business Saturday - $25 back on your Amex!

Register your Amex card for a $25 statement credit TOMORROW! Spend at least $25 at a small business (your local deli, bakery, wine store, restaurants, dry cleaners, boutiques, etc.) and get a $25 statement credit on your registered card.

Register here and for more details
Where will you spend your $25? I plan on visiting the bakery (mmmmm) or somewhere for brunch :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you happiness and full bellies with your friends and family!
Buddy not checking out the Kermit float!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Times


Happy Thanksgiving week!

Now that the Lobster fam is settled on the Upper West Side, we're a stones' throw from the inflation of the balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade the night before. Nothing says Thanksgiving like a GINORMOUS Snoopy over New York City.
Source
We will follow the route in this handy dandy inflation map on Macy's official parade site
Macy's
Then after a long, happy, filling Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, I'll relax with a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Very Gaga Thanksgiving.
abc.com
What's your Thanksgiving tradition? Anything new?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Good Eats NYC: The Leopard

Last month, my in-laws invited me and the hubs to dinner at The Leopard des Artistes in the space formerly known as Cafe des Artistes, a mere stone's throw from Central Park. The Leopard serves yummy Southern Italian food and despite the more formal atmosphere (v. my usual haunts), we had a relaxing and delicious experience! Since I was unable to take my own photos, the below recap shows professional photos from various reviews :)

See here the pretty paintings! Note how no one is distracted by the artistic nudity.
Photo from The New York Times review
For the art buffs, some history from The Leopard's website:
"Rich in history, the landmarked Hotel des Artistes is the largest “studio” building in New York City. It was originally designed by George Mort Pollard and developed by Walter Russell as an artist’s cooperative apartment building in the beginning of the 20th century.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Want Truffles!

Thanks to Serena at Big Apple Nosh for sharing this giveaway! I've entered and now so should you!
I want truffle ectasy, Don't you? Enter Now!

If I won, I would amp up my Truffle Mac & Cheese which I made last year for Thanksgiving. It was a hit and I can't imagine how much more of a hit it'd be with real white alba truffles! I drool.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Good Eats now in NYC!: Ladurée Macarons

During our trip to Paris, my travel buddy and I ate 20 macarons in 2 days. Is that too much? To give you some perspective, that's about $40 in cookies. Blame it on the exchange rate OR blame it on the deliciousness of Ladurée.

Oh, macarons, so pretty...the smooth round top of the almond meringue, the crusty "feet", the ganache filling peaking out between the two cookies.
Photo courtesy of my sister
I've had a few macarons in New York and they don't come close in comparison to the Ladurée macarons. My travel buddy and I loved them so much we stocked up on the last day to bring a suitcase full back for our family and friends (and ourselves of course!)

The Ladurée macaron is chockful of textures. When you first bite it, you break into the crisp outer shell. Then a slight chewiness of the cookie, followed by an even chewier bite of the filling paired with a burst of flavor from the middle. You can taste the almond bits in the cookie. The fillings taste fresh and made with real  ingredients - framboise (raspberry) made of real raspberry with real raspberry seeds.

Fast forward a few months from my Paris trip and now there's a Ladurée  in NYC! On a recent visit on a Sunday afternoon, the line for the French delights was out the door. Granted the store is pretty small so it's easy to create a long line. I waited about 30 minutes before I got to my cookies - the same flavors available in Paris with the addition of Cinnamon Raisin - maybe something seasonal for American palates? I stuck w/the tried and true favorites - Rose, Black Currant, Raspberry, Pistachio, and Salted Caramel. I suspect the cookies are imported because it's like I'm being transported back to Paris.
Cute Halloween display
How much for that cookie in the window?
Priced at $2.75 each, these macarons are not an inexpensive treat. Then again, what's $2.75 when your taste buds are transported to Paris?

Have you tried macarons? What's your favorite flavor combination?

Ladurée New York
864 Madison Avenue between 70th and 71st streets
New York, 10021
(646) 558-3157

Monday, November 14, 2011

Belated Summer Post: Beach Buddy

This post is very late but I can't help but share as we're nearing the end of the year (already?) and I'm looking through old pictures. Buddy and I went to the beach this year and guess what. He LOVES sand but HATES the water. Here's what happens when you combine the two:

Happiness is exploring...
 With your friend who looks just like you...
Happiness is the freedom to run!
And smelling the fresh sea air
Unhappiness is being chased by waves...
And trying to dry off after the humans test your "swimming skills"

Unhappiness is wet fur.
 Thank goodness for fall!