Gluten Free NYC – Bistango

One of my best friends is visiting me this week from Minnesota. She’s recently been diagnosed with a wheat allergy, so we’ve been exploring gluten free options in NYC.  On the recommendation of  a GF veteran we had dinner at Bistango in Midtown East on Tuesday night.  I cannot say enough good things.  We met and chatted with the owner who was incredibly friendly and helpful. He talked with my friend about her diagnosis, empathized and offered to be a resource if she has any questions in the future. Not surprisingly with such an attentive proprietor, the staff was upbeat and knowledgeable and the service was superb. But all of that paled in comparison to the food. The GF bread and pasta were so good that my friend thought she had been brought the wrong dish, she couldn’t believe something GF could be so amazing. In fact, she confessed later that she almost cried, it had been so long since she had truly enjoyed bread and pasta. If you are GF (or really, if you have any food allergy) and are in NYC, I highly recommend checking it out, you will not be disappointed.

Bistango Ristorante

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Well-Heeled Wednesday: Seychelles Shoe Crush

I really like Seychelles shoes.  They’re a little bit vintage, often adorable and fairly comfortable.  I’ve had a couple pairs of their heels over the years and they hold up well, too.  All that, and this spring they’ve come out with what I think is the perfect pair of heeled sandals.  I have at least four weddings to attend this spring/summer and I’m thinking if I choose wisely from the colors, I might get a pair that sees me through all of them.

Pretty in Pink

Yellow is also very pretty.

Grey and Yellow — one of the very best color combos.

And finally, an awesome vibrant teal.

Gifting: Geographical Cufflinks

Triddles recently posted an awesome roundup of geographically themed jewelry. Like Triddles, I love  accessories that represent important places. In fact, I think they make the perfect gifts. When Andrew and I were engaged and I was searching for a wedding present, I wanted something that was meaningful to both of us and timeless enough that Andrew would love it for years. I ended up selecting New York City map cufflinks from Sherry Truitt Studios. Andrew and I met and fell in love in New York but were married in my home town, Des Moines, Iowa, so the cufflinks served a dual-purpose.  They reminded us both of the city where our relationship got its start and brought a little of our adopted home to the Midwest for wedding day.

091011_NICAND00037Image By Rick Collins Photography

There are tons of creative geographical cufflinks on Etsy.  How about cufflinks featuring a photo of his favorite stadium from whitetruffle?

NY Yankee Cufflinks1

Or cufflinks made from the bleachers at his alma matter from BerkleyMade?

Berkley

Or he could show his hometown pride with transit tokens from Subway Cufflinks.

BostonMTA

I’m confident that whatever option you choose, you can’t go wrong with a gift that represents a place close to his heart. Happy gifting!

Style Roundup: In which I try to like color blocking.

Colorblocking seems to be one of those trends that never really goes away.  I guess that’s fine, but I generally find it pretty boring.  Every time one of the designers on Project Runway (Mila, I’m looking at you) starts gushing about color blocking, I fast forward.  That said, I found this BCBG dress online over the weekend and am coming around a bit.  Admittedly, my affection for this dress is 99% attributable to my love of navy and yellow.  But still, I feel like I am making progress.

CB1

So I started looking around Pinterest and discovered that there are a number of color blocked dresses I like.  For example, if I was still working in an office, I’d certainly be overwearing this:

And these shoes from C.Wonder?  Delightfully old lady.

And, I love this chevron striped sweater.

I generally don’t wear chunky jewelry, but I really like this bracelet Oliver Bonas.

Conclusion?  My problem with color blocking may just be a problem with people talking about color blocking.

Sunday Night Suppers: Zucchini Two Ways

Our Sunday Night Supper club met for the second time yesterday. To avoid conflicts with the Oscars we got together during the early afternoon, the ideal time for a late brunch. Our club operates as a potluck, the hostess is in charge of the main dish and beverages and the remaining ladies bring dishes that compliment the main event. Yesterday’s smorgasbord featured a basil quiche, arugula salad, ginger glazed sausages, Tuscan lemon and zucchini chocolate muffins, West Virginian pizza rolls, ginger fruit salad and, my contribution, a zucchini-pineapple bread.

ZuchPineappleBread

The zucchini-pineapple bread was absolutely scrumptious. Dense, moist and perfectly sweet. It definitely earned a permanent spot in my recipe file. I’m trying to be more rigorous about not wasting ingredients, so Andrew and I enjoyed zucchini-potato pancakes with eggs for dinner. It was an easy, healthy meal, perfect for a Sunday night. We may have spoiled the healthiness a bit by indulging in a heaping serving of zucchini-pineapple bread for dessert.  Hey, we have to use up the leftovers somehow!

zucchini-potato-pancakes-eggs-oh-x

Image Credit: Oxmoor House – Original Image at My Recipes.com

Zucchini-Pineapple Bread
Cooking Light, June 2008

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • Baking spray with flour (or just plain old Pam)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, salt, and next 3 ingredients (through ground cinnamon) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
  • Beat eggs with a mixer at medium speed until foamy. Add sugar, zucchini, oil, egg substitute, and vanilla, beating until well blended. Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in pineapple. Spoon batter into 2 (9 x 5–inch) loaf pans coated with baking spray. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.* Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
  • This recipe makes 2 loaves.  Freeze the extra loaf, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and heavy-duty aluminum foil, for up to one month. Thaw at room temperature. Slices are good microwaved at HIGH for 10 to 15 seconds.

*After 8 years of baking in temperamental NYC rental apartment ovens I have learned to always vigorously underestimate the baking time. It’s better to check the oven every two minutes for the last ten minutes of baking then wind up with burnt goodies.

Yield: 14 Servings per loaf (I recommend slicing down the middle and then into 7 slices)

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 5
Calories: 167
Calories from fat: 32%
Fat: 5.9g
Saturated fat: 0.5g
Monounsaturated fat: 3.3g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1.7g
Protein: 2.4g
Carbohydrate: 26.5g
Fiber: 0.7g
Cholesterol: 15mg
Iron: 0.9mg
Sodium: 151 mg

Zucchini-Potato Pancakes with Eggs

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups shredded potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 small)
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 T mixed herbs – either Italian herbs or other mixes you have in your cabinet. I used an herbs and garlic mix I have from a Puerto Rican spice store.
  • 4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh salsa (optional)
  • Fat free sour cream (optional)
Instructions

  • Shred zucchini and peeled potato using a food processor with a grating attachment.  If you don’t have a food processor you can shred using a micro-plan zester/grater.  You can also purchase the potatoes already shredded (just look for refrigerated hashbrowns), but I figure if you are already shredding the zucchini why  not shred the potato and save a few bucks.
  • Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; heavily coat pan with cooking spray. Using the 1/4 cup measuring cup that you measured with create 8 patties. Form the patties with your hands so that they stick together. Place patties in pan. Cook 5 minutes; turn and cook 4 minutes or until potato is tender. Remove pancakes from pan, and keep warm. If necessary, repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture.
  • Reheat pan over medium-high heat; heavily recoat pan with cooking spray. Crack 4 eggs into pan; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and coat tops of eggs with cooking spray. Cover and cook 3 minutes or until whites have just set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard or until desired degree of doneness. Slide 1 egg onto 2 potato pancakes. Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Yield:  2 Servings

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 11
Calories: 444
Fat: 13g
Protein: 31.2g
Carbohydrate: 48g
Fiber: 3.2g
Cholesterol: 372mg
Iron: 2.8mg
Sodium: 784mg

Sunday Morning Reads

Posts we’ve enjoyed this past week:

A beautiful ode to New York.

Spruce up your home with some fresh cut flowers. Awesome tips for arranging flowers at home.

Fun DIY Confetti Throwers. What a cool idea for a wedding or party!

Creative budgeting idea complete with a cute wallet card

Slate and the universal injustice that is reclining airplane seats.

Such a pretty roundup of blue and white china.

Bookcase hidden passageways at Bookriot, I would kill to have one of these in my home.

Yum! Banana Bars with Browned Butter Icing from Bake or Break.

For the crazy cat people – Round up of cats that just can’t handle it.  26 would TOTALLY happen at ColeyDi’s.

Minor Obsession: Colorful Cookware

One of the first presents my husband gave me when we were dating was this deep green Le Creuset dutch oven. I was still fairly new to the kitchen and it was my first truly beautiful piece of cookware. It’s still amazing years later.

GreenLeCrueset

Little did Andrew know, he was starting an obsession. I love colorful kitchen toys. I can’t get enough. Appliances, serving platters, pots and pans, mixing bowls, spatulas, I believe everything is more fun in a vibrant shade. Here are a few beauties I would have in my dream kitchen.


Colorful Mixing Bowls

Mix up something delightful in these Joseph Joeseph mixing bowls.  I think the measuring cups are the perfect added bonus.

Owl Measuring Cups

Add a little silliness to your prep time with these red owl measuring bowls from West Elm. I don’t think you can ever have enough mini prep bowls. They are perfect for measuring and corralling chopped ingredients.

BlueStockpotMaking soup in this blue Le Creuset stockpot would brighten up any winter day. We host an annual soups party every December and I’m always keeping an eye out for pots big enough to handle a double batch – they allow me to cook for a crowd without messy boil-overs.

Kitchen AidI have a forest green Kitchen Aid and there is no reason for me to purchase another, but I am completely obsessed with this lime green professional grade mixer. This is one small appliance I would be proud to have on my countertop.

YellowPiePlateGo from oven to table with this sunny little pie dish. Who knew you could make dessert even more fun?

Red CasseroleServe up your tater tot hot dish in this gorgeous red casserole from Crate & Barrel.  If you insist, it would work just a well for something a little less Midwestern.

Wouldn’t these brighten up your kitchen? Which are your favorites?

Synchronized Art

How darling is this synchronized swimming print from Rifle Paper Co.? I first discovered Rifle when I received one of their adorable personalized wedding invitations from a friend. I love how playful and unapologetically sweet their designs are. Truthfully, I would purchase just about anything in their store, but this print is my absolute favorite. I was a synchronized swimmer in high school, a fact that I’ve received more than a little grief for. Despite the teasing, I whole-heartedly defend synchro. How can you not love a sport that combines strength, flexibility, and most importantly sequins? I can’t wait to hang this silly reminder of my high-school “glory days” on my wall.Swimmers

Well-Heeled Wednesday: Ugg Ansley Slippers

Uggs2

I love a pair of sky high heels. I covet fancy flats. But I work from home and most days I live in my comfy clothes. Still, just because I’m clad in stretchy leggings and a hoodie doesn’t mean I can’t accessorize. These lovely slippers are the perfect compliment to my work day uniform. Cozy, warm and adorable. My pair is bright purple, but they come in a variety of colors including several neutrals if you’re looking for something a little less ridiculous.

Uggs

P.S. The kitties also adore my slippers.

Style Roundup: Geography Accessories

Necklaces shaped like states (as well as anything shaped like states, really) have been on the scene for a while now.  And while I still love both of my South Dakota necklaces, lately I’ve been on the lookout for accessories that convey a sense of place without being quite so literal.

These coastline rings from Hannah Louise Lamb are the perfect example.  Customers choose a section of coastline and its outline is then hand-etched onto the ring.  Customers are also given choices of metal and width.  The rings are gorgeous and could even stand in as unique weddings bands.  Lamb’s online store also offers personalized cuff links and brooches.

coast1

Sara Pfau’s you are here store on Etsy offers similarly sentimental options for fans of lakes and islands of the Northeastern states, including this delicately awesome version of Lake Champlain.

champlain

This year, for Christmas, my mom bought me a constellation necklace from Victoria Camp Designs that features Ursa Major (the Big Dipper).  I love it both for its simplicity and because the big dipper is the first constellation my mom showed me how to find in the night sky.  Etsy has a lot of different options for constellation necklaces so it’s worth doing some searching.  That said, I’ve been very happy with mine and Camp’s prices really can’t be beat.

Big Dipper

I’ve been a subway commuter in three different cities over the past decade and I know the affinity that develops over countless hours shuttling from home to work.  The fugudesigns store on Etsy capitalizes on that with this cool bracelet that shows the stops on Chicago’s Red Line.

Red Line

For those who simply want to show off the look of their hometown, Aminimal Studio offers intricate necklaces and earrings that show off the city streets of a wide range of cities.  Here’s their take on LA:

LA

And finally, three jane offers 14K gold necklaces engraved with any location in the world.  Use it to celebrate birthplaces, proposals, homesteads, celebrations . . . really, anything would be gorgeous.  The back of the gold plate can also be engraved.

Map 1