via Grown Up Shoes
Yesterday, I longed for my big family breakfasts in Old Tappan. Distinctively the ones we had in the summer months on the weekend. Fresh bagels & on special occasions black & white cookies from the Rockland County Bakery perfumed the house with a scent that awoke us and had us running down the stairs. My father manning the large pancake griddle out on the deck (coffee in the left hand, pancake flipper in the right), with us kids, still wearing our PJ’s (the girls hair in messy buns while the boys struggled with Alfalfa style dos), sporadically filling the seats and fighting over who gets the first stack, while my mother, who’s hair was still wet from her early morning swim, was found inside making the third pot of coffee, devising a creative tactic to employ healthy ingredients into the mix of it all. Morning newspaper disheveled and pulled apart…only to be truly read by Tommy. Looking out to the pool area, the deep-end was dark and the morning light beginning to shine down on the low-end. Flowers in bloom. The sprinklers finishing their last round of hydration. Birds chirping. Conversations tossed back, bickering, banter, memory making…all happening so seamlessly within this steady morning Segedin family tradition. It was the initiative that my parents took to simply provide and care for us. It was so simple, so ordinary, so us. In those times, if we missed it, we didn’t long for it. But now, as years pass & as time together is more seldom than in the past, its a tradition I long for more frequently.
Within my own little life with Michael in Coconut Grove, we have a weekend morning routine…it is just as simple, just as ordinary, and so us, it’s a tradition. This morning,however, I decided I wanted to build upon it. I awoke at 7am and started at it by making strawberry & banana pancakes & coffee and taking it out on our balcony. Michael read up on the latest news on baseball on his iPad & I read through my favorite magazines. Stopping every now and then to engage in conversation on the points of interest of what we were individually reading. Sipping our coffee, looking around, realizing that things like this made us happy & connected as a little family of two. Realizing creating a tradition livens your spirit and creates memories that you will cherish. As simple as it is…it’s a tradition that I want to continue passing on to my family.
Yesterday’s exploration came about unexpectedly. In the late morning, I had a meeting with Carolina Benoit to go over inspiration and concepts for our photo shoot that will be showcasing her spring collection. After we wrapped the meeting up, I insisted I would tour her around Coconut Grove to show her some hidden treasures, especially those that lie in the clothing boutiques. Once we walked onto the streets of the Grove and she began to feel the vibe of the cozy and interactive village, she was smiling ear to ear loving everything that was laid out before her. I didn’t anticipate all that we were about to witness or the things I/we would purchase.
First up or so I thought, we walked to the Design Bar on Fuller Street…until we ran into a store front that was under construction! Confused, I walked into Goldie Boutique (another one of my favorites) and spoke to Marcie (such a sweet woman & a talented make up artist), who went on to explain that the Design Bar moved across the street from Lokal and next to the Bombay Darbar Indian Restaurant and that the shop that is under construction is turning into a quaint cafe!!!! This news sent me squealing with excitement!
Goldie Boutique: This small and quaint boutique offers a surprisingly large selection of different styles. Carolina bought some cute jewelry for her sister at Goldies and I have my eyes set on the more gorgeous green dress that I must return to purchase. Even though I was most certain I would not receive buyers remorse, I still wanted to sleep on it to see if it was something I ‘needed’ to have and when I woke up this morning, I decided it was a must. As I said, Marcie, who was working at the shop, is an artist of make up. She has a little cute corner int the store with a make up station with endless options. If you are ever in the area or have an event to go to and would like to get you make up applied professionally, be sure to check out Marcie at Goldie.
THE LOFT & YR COUTURE: After we left Goldies and said our goodbyes to Marcie, we headed over to The Loft & YR Couture to see Yvoone, who greeted us with the warmest and sweetest hello! The Loft was the first boutique I fell in love with when I first moved here, mostly, because not only are all the designer pieces unique and of great quality but Yvonne, the store owner, is just such a pleasure to do business with. And, instantly, Carolina also fell in love. She knew of all the brands that were carried in the store, some of which, were her favorite. After Carolina made a few purchases and I bought the most comfortable day dress and week night date dress, we skedaddled off to the Design Bar’s new location!
DESIGN BAR: Okay, seriously, the feel and vibe of the new shop design and location reminded me of the aesthetic and ambiance of Portland, OR shops and that alone had me head of heels in love with their new spot in the Grove. We met with Meredith, who owns Kitanim, and she helped us get acquainted with the different aspects of what the Design Bar is made up of. It’s a home goods store, but they also offer decor and floral services for events and small parties. Meredith also went on to mention that they offer floral design classes, in which we could schedule a group class of a few girls and bring our own wine and cheese! And with that, Carolina and I decided it’s a must. Before leaving, I came across a section of toys and saw a yoyo with Michael’s name written all over it that I could not walk away from. Overall, it was such a blast talking to Meredith and browsing around. Can’t wait to go back and find other hidden gems to purchase.
The Olfactory Company: I often rave about this place because there are just so many things to rave about. First and foremost, the owners are so kind and welcoming. Just like many other Coconut Grove business owners, they remember you. Next, they offer an experience. When you walk through the door, you are instantly recognized and greeted with an offer to try an array of teas. Once your tea is fixed, the expedition around the store begins and I always come across something that is peculiar and unique. Yesterday, when we looked around, I stumbled upon Truffle Oil. I questioned the owners if it were a new product they were selling because I could have sworn I never saw it on the shelf before. They said they started selling it fairly recently, but went on to say that the White Truffle Salt flies off the shelf. Although, that bit of information sounds appealing, I just didn’t see the necessity at that particular time, that was until they told us to smell the tester. With just one faint inhale of the spice, I was SOLD! Also, along with the spice came a complimentary gift of Black Forest Girl Egg Noodles, Homemade Spaetzles, which also looked appealing. As I left the store, I texted Michael to tell him that we were no longer eating tacos and that I had a surprise waiting in store for him.
Touch at Go: This shop is a very new boutique that opened on the corner of Main Highway and McFarland Road. They carry a good collection of designers as well and I was able to purchase a beautiful blouse on sale.
I must say, I was pleasantly surprised to see all the changes that happened since I’ve been away. Also, I must say, shopping with Carolina, who is also a small business owner, put things in perspective. The quality of products and service received were at such a greater value then the products and service you receive at most chain stores in the malls. And not only that–it was nice to stroll along the open and airy walkways instead of crowded and enclosed malls
Taken with my IPhone4.
The spice that made a difference: Taken with my Mark II and my 85mm. The white truffle salt is a game changer for those who LOVE to cook.
The end result: taken with my Mark II with my 85mm. Because of stormy weather and because I cooked later into the evening, the only light available was a little area outside my balcony door, so I actually photographed this outside.
Introduction: Okay, so I decided to make Chicken Alfredo with egg noodles. (I definitely wanted to use the white truffle salt with the complimentary egg noodles and I remembered Michael saying he loved Alfredo sauce, which is something I never made him before (I tend to only make pesto sauce!), so it all clicked for me when I decided to change our dinner menu. However, I wanted to add in two of my favorite vegetables to keep it healthy and interesting.
Side note: So, I was in somewhat of a hurry because I wanted to photograph the final product in natural light, so to save some time, I thought to boil the sweet potato for a few minutes before pan searing it in oil and spices. Again, not only does it save time, but it is easier to dice up!
PS. Bare in mind this is my first time writing out a recipe and to be honest when I was cooking, I didn’t intend to share the recipe just the photos!, so I apologize if it is all over the place. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will assist.
Okay, so we begin with chicken preparation!
- Preheat oven at 350 Degrees
- Coat chicken with oil then dip in a bowl of bread crumbs to cover the chicken completely
- Cook for about 30-45 minutes depending on how thin it is sliced. (I usually slice mine thin!)
While the chicken cooks, prepare your sauce & pasta! Are you ready? Because you will be multitasking if you are cooking alone!
- In a deep medium size frying pan, add in 1/4 cup of butter, (let it melt fully), add garlic (as little and as much as you’d like-I’m a garlic fanatic), next add in 2 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream, and lastly mix in 1 1/2 cups of grated parmesan cheese and a small handful of mozzarella cheese!!! Make sure it it’s completely mixed all together. Once it gets to a boil, reduce heat and let it sit while you preform the next step! (remembering to continue to stir every few minutes)
- Boil a small pot of water and also heat two medium size drying pans (one for asparagus, one for the sweet potatoes)! (Multitask!) For the vegetable pans, put a a few table spoons of oil and a dabble pepper and a little garlic. While the water gets to a boil in the small pot & the pan gets warm enough to hear sizzle, prepare the vegetables by skinning the sweat potato and dicing the ends of the asparagus.
- First, cook the sweet potato in the small pot of boiled water for 5-8 minutes, (remember, we want to soften it in order to save time + have a easier time dicing it). While the potato is boiling, pan sear the asparagus with the array of spices on medium to low for about 10 minutes. Next, once the potato gets soft after 5-8 minutes in the boiled water, run cold water on the potato to cool down, once the steam subsides, dice the potato into small squares and toss the little squares into the other medium size pan on medium to high! (You must stay on top of this-flipping the potatoes from side to side to eliminate burning the potatoes. Once both veggies are cooked, add both into the sauce pan! At this time, increase heat of the sauce pan from low to medium-high while you cook the pasta!!! (remembering to stir frequently! You do not want to burn your sauce!)
- Boil the egg noodles for 10 minutes.
Once pasta, the sauce and chicken are all cooked….combine the pasta and sauce into a big bowl, then dice the chicken lay it on top and sprinkle the white truffle salt on top!
YUM. White truffle salt will change your life! I promise. Be sure to go to The Olfactory Company to get some for yourself