I’ve been asked to write more “life updates” versus just blog posts highlighting a recipe or place I’ve traveled to. I’m so excited to share what I do during the week, even though it’s not always super thrilling. So here goes my first post of many to come!
As many of you know, I like to keep my weeks very busy. From going to the gym, taking Polish classes, volunteering and work, it seems like I never have a free moment to breathe. This past week was no different, although I did get to end my week in New York! (Sorry I forgot to save my photos other than from New York–I’ll get some more next week!)
What better way to start the week off than to watch the Bachelor with one of my best friends, Sarah, while eating Tiramisu and drinking Rose. We both agreed that this is the best Rose we’ve had–it’s the 2016 Etcetera Rose from Chateau Grand Traverse. It’s got a Pinot Noir base, with some Merlot and Cab Franc, and is very smooth but not too sweet.
Every Wednesday, I volunteer at Angels Place, a non-profit organization that provides a Christian-based home and services to adults with developmental disabilities. We have a “Cooking with Kasia” program that we do, where the women at the home help me choose a meal that we make together so they can improve their cooking skills. Since one of the women is gluten-free and another is on a low-carb diet, it’s not always easy to find a meal that works for both them and the rest of the women in the home. But it also pushes me to make food that’s outside of my comfort zone, so I can grow in my cooking skills too! This week, we made French Onion Soup. The recipe is very simple to make and can easily be converted into a gluten-free soup. This week, since our gluten-free woman was not there, we didn’t change the recipe at all. The only part of the recipe I struggled with was choosing which wine to pick for the recipe! I went with a Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which proved to be a great choice both in the recipe and as a post-meal treat.
On Thursday, my mom and I made a delicious Lamb-Stuffed Eggplant dinner. I’ve been trying to make more recipes from a new cookbook I got–Jewlish. It has a lot of Jewish and Middle-Eastern inspired recipes from a husband-wife team in Tel Aviv. So far, I’ve only made two recipes, the Stuffed Eggplant and Salmon Paella, but I’ve loved them both and can’t wait to make more meals from the cookbook!
On Friday, I embarked for New York! Unfortunately, it proved to be one of my most stressful travel days yet. A snowstorm, Storm Mateo, came in from the Southwest and cancelled all the morning flights out of Detroit. Although my flight was still scheduled to be “On Time” at 5pm, many flights continued to get cancelled or delayed throughout the day. Somehow, by the grace of God, I managed to make it out with only an hour delay due to de-freezing the plane and a long runway wait. It was a difficult hour, since we were stuck in our seats on the plane and I had to go to the bathroom for the entirety of it, but we finally took off and I got to pee! Win-win.
The weekend was so much fun too! I got to spend it visiting two of my college friends, Emma and Bode, who now live in the city. We spent the weekend eating, drinking and hanging out in the Big Apple and it was one of the best weekend I’ve had in a while. I stayed at the Park Lane Hotel, which is squeezed right between the Ritz and Plaza. Luckily, I was upgraded to an executive king, so I got to wake up every morning to full views of Central Park! Since we’re both big foodies, Emma and I had a great time exploring new restaurants in the city. My favorites were:
- Westville Hudson: This place is known for their veggies. Each entree comes with two. I got to try four since Emma and I shared ours. I actually loved all of them. We got the brussel sprouts, snow peas, asparagus and artichokes. We stuck to our greens :).
- Flex Mussels: You have to try their everything donuts! We got a sampler plate, which had a sample of each of their donuts. My favorites were the smoked salmon and scallion donuts, although the cheddar jalapeno and bacon donuts didn’t disappoint either! Lobster rolls are also pretty good, though they’re not a traditional New England one and comes with sauce, celery, etc.
- Bedford & Co: I had my first bottomless brunch here (don’t judge me–I always have to drive home after brunch in Detroit!). Emma and I definitely took advantage of it, with three bottles of champagne over the course of 1.5 hours. I had the salmon benedict (DELICIOUS), while Emma had the California Bowl (also delicious but smaller portion).
- Pizza Rollio: Loved it so much that I went twice! There are two NY locations, one in the Plaza and the other in Chelsea. I went to the Plaza location, since it was closer to my hotel. Their pizza truly has the thinnest crust in all of NY and fresh ingredients make it a undoubtedly tasty choice!
Besides restaurants, I did a little shopping too. Since I hate paying for shipping on anything, I made sure there was room in my suitcase to bring back as many products as I could. This time, I went to:
- Laduree: I’ve never had a better French Macaron. I first tried then while I was in Paris a few months ago and thankfully, I found a shop in New York. There’s actually two locations, one on the Upper East Side and one in Soho. So, naturally, I got over a dozen to bring home.
- Kusmi Tea: This little tea shop is located in the Plaza, just like Pizza Rollio. The Plaza actually has a lot of good shops and restaurants (Luke’s for Lobster Rolls and the Champagne Bar for…well Champagne). Although I can get free shipping on the tea via Amazon, I wanted to try out some new flavors and the shop let me smell the flavors. I got: Spicy Chocolate, Anastasia, Kashmir Tchai, St. Petersburg, Prince Vladimir and Polish Blend Earl Grey. Though I’ve had some of them before, a few were new. So far, I love all of them, though the Spicy Chocolate could have a stronger flavor.
- Rain: MY FAVORITE BATH PRODUCT PLACE!! AND IT’S SOUTH AFRICAN! If you’re curious where I get many of my bath bombs, bath salts and foaming soap from, it’s here. Their products are all natural and made from South African plants/flowers/etc. I’ll write a post soon about my favorite products from them, since there are so many…
Overall, I had such a fun weekend. It was great catching up with my friends. New York never ceases to amaze me. From their restaurants to shops to churches (St. Patrick’s and St. Ignatius are my favorite for Sunday Mass), New York is always a good time. I can’t wait to go back!
‘Til next time–