A DIY Crostini Party

My life isn't really the kind where groups of friends just casually pop in and out for impromptu parties (like this DIY Crostini Party I'm about to share with you). I wish that it were, but it's just not the case.

Every so often I read blog posts and articles suggesting all sorts of adorable and Pinterest-worthy casual last-minute party ideas, and I think they're awesome, but the truth is that it's probably never going to happen in my life.

My friends are so busy and awesome that coordinating something like a casual last-minute taco party takes a month. (You know...if I want people to actually show up.)

Almond Yellow Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

What is it about yellow cake with chocolate frosting that just makes it so damn perfect?

Growing up, my mom was never much of a baker. There were a few memorable cakes that she made, but for the most part, I knew that if I wanted cake, I would have to bake it myself.


5 Advice Books Worth Reading

There are a LOT of self-help and advice books out there, but not many of them are actually worth your time. These are a few that I've read, loved, and found genuinely inspiring.

A Date Night Tapas Party

The last time my husband and I went out to dinner for Valentine's Day, we sat next to a 50-something man on a date with his 20-something mistress.

It was AMAZING. We spent much of the meal listening to him say totally inappropriate things to her while casually referencing his wife and kids. Instead of talking, Eugene and I just spent the meal eating silently so as to not miss any of the scandalous talk at the next table over. Occasionally, we'd widen our eyes or stifle a laugh.

Totally hilarious, but not quite the romantic evening we had in mind.


Guava Linzer Cookies

There's this cookie that I'm always craving. It's a giant heart-shaped Linzer cookie filled with raspberry jam and topped with big, sparkly sugar crystals. There are a lot of cookies that look like it, but the one that I want--the VERY SPECIFIC one that I want--is unfortunately, not available in NYC.

A Rustic Winter Baby Shower

Last month, I hosted a winter baby shower for one of my favorite people in the whole world--my best friend Mónica. Would you like to see pictures?

"Pig in a Blanket" Party Favors

This past weekend, I brought some of my friends and family together for a big family style dinner to celebrate my 33rd birthday. The menu? A lavish whole pig feast at DBGB, a restaurant here in NYC, that included appetizers, sides, a whole roast stuffed suckling pig, and a giant baked Alaska for dessert.


Blistered Shishito Peppers

These salty flash-fried shishito peppers are one of my absolute favorite snacks. It's a great dish for sharing with a few friends at a party or over dinner. It only takes a couple minutes to prepare them, so they're especially great if you just want to throw something together quickly to serve while you finish up the rest of the meal.


Chorizo in Red Wine

The absolute first thing I will always order at any tapas restaurant is the chorizo. I love it in everything and served in every way, but my absolute favorite has to be the simply fried chorizo in red wine.


10-Minute Broiled Herb Salmon

If getting dinner on the table as quickly as possible is your goal, this easy salmon recipe is probably going to become your new best friend. It's elegant enough to be the sort of thing you'd order out at a fancy restaurant, but is even easier to cook than chicken.



Book Giveaway: The Arrangement

I was offered a review copy of this book recently. It's called The Arrangement by Ashley Warlick, and it's an imagined account of the life of famed food writer MFK Fisher.

As one of the first to write about the experience of eating (rather than restaurant critiques or recipes), she revolutionized the field, and essentially created the concept of food writing as we've come to know it.

Her life was not always as lyrical as her work (think infidelity, restlessness, scandal!) and the novel weaves all of this into a steamy and well-researched tale about this passionate real-life woman. It's an engaging read with sensual culinary descriptions, and a behind-the-scenes peek at the thoughts and motivations of a complicated woman.

This is the book I've been curling up with for the past several days, and I'd love to give you a chance to enjoy it, too!

UPDATE: This Giveaway is now over. Congratulations to winner Letty. Thank you all for entering!
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