I’ve been slacking on my Friday blogs posts. I haven’t been inspired to write because I have been busy channeling my inspiration into house projects. I have also been inspired by new restaurants and recipes. Well here is a newsletter of all things good that I hope inspire you as well.
We love dining out and have relatively high expectations when we do. I was tipped off to this place by reading a Facebook post with an article “What to do in Phoenix”. Bink’s Midtown was a restaurant listed that everyone should experience and they are definitely right! It had fabulous ambiance even with the patio facing the busy Osborn Street. The inside has a full bar and quaint dining area.
The food is some of the best in town! Jersey cannot wait to go back and I plan to take my parents here on their visit. The salads and appetizers are full of local produce and most of the main courses come in small cast iron pans. I thoroughly enjoyed the Burrat appetizer while he ordered the Bone Marrow to which he could not stop raving about. For the main course I had the Beet Salad and 5 Spice Duck Breast and he had Amy’s Bolognese which was served with Parmesan polenta. SO GOOD!
This was another restaurant mentioned in the article and it did not disappoint. It is a bit hidden in the back of the Gaslight Square but the food and modern interior design screams - try me, try me. The Mushroom Au Gratin with the fried egg is to DIE FOR!!
New York Fashion Week
If you know me, you know that I’m a New York dreamer. Last year I started following #NYFW on Pinterest to see all the goings-on. It’s true that some of the runway clothes are a little far out but the new trend is Street Style. Regular people showing off their stuff. Here are my favorite Street Style images from New York Fashion Week.
Chicken and Potatoes - a modern twist
If you are scowling at the green olives in this recipe, I promise you will turn it into a smile. I don’t really enjoy eating just green olives but this gravy is SO DELICIOUS! Be sure to have a nice baguette near by because you are going to want to do some dipping! In my Bon Appetit magazine this month they had an article on baked potatoes with olive oil. Awesomeness!!!!
Braised Chicken with Green Olives + Lemon
What you need for the chicken . ..
- 1 chicken, cut up
- Course Sea Salt
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 shallots, sliced into thin rings
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 4 garlic cloves
- 10 large green olives, pitted
- Leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
- Juice from 1 lemon
Generously salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. Place the olive oil in a large cast-iron pan set over high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until deeply browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and brown the second side. Set aside.
Turn the heat to medium and add the shallots to the pot, stirring often until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add a splash of the chicken stock and use a wooden spoon to loosen any bits of shallot or chicken. Add remaining stock to the pot and add the chicken, skin side up, along with any juice that accumulated while they sat on the plate. Scatter the garlic cloves, olives, and thyme sprigs over the chicken. Evenly pour the lemon juice over all. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn the heat as low as it will go, cover the pot, and cook for 1 hour or until the chicken is nearly falling off the bone.
Uncover the pot and raise theeat. Let the pot boil to reduce and thicken the sauce until it’s the texture of great gravy - 5 to 6 minutes. Enjoy dipping that bread!!
For the baked potatoes … cut a slice in both sides of the potato, brush each potato generously with olive oil. Salt and pepper them like crazy and bake for an hour at 300. I put them on tin foil. When they were done I added a smig of butter and put sour cream on the table. YUM.
NOTE: Over the past couple weeks I have been reconsidering not eating chicken again. I have not had beef or pork in almost 10 years now and I gave up chicken for quite some time a couple years back. Mass production makes it very hard on my heart to eat animals. Did you know that Americans consume 8 BILLION chickens in 1 YEAR!!! I generally go 5 days a week without meat on my plate - without even noticing. I may make it 7 real soon.
Short Term 12
I first saw this title on the movies my brother downloaded for me and then I made the connection when reading about it in Vanity Fair. It is so good and so well written. The acting is perfect. After seeing Brie Larson in the United States of Tara you can see why she is being recognized for this movie. I just loved it. I have a new fondness for John Gallagher, Jr. He plays the most loving and understanding man, one we all want.
A Homemade Headboard
I have never had a headboard for the queen size bed I’ve had for years in a spare bedroom. It has had my mom’s gorgeous quilt on it for years and I was looking for a way to modernize it a bit. I used to love watching the home remodeling shows and how they would take things laying around the house and make something fabulous. Well I think I accomplished just that this weekend and I’m FAR from handy!
I have had some boards in my garage that used to be part of some shelves I put up and never had the heart to throw out. I Googled what I was going to need and drug that man of mine to a discount fabric store. There we had them cut a piece of 2” foam to fit the board and bought adhesive, 3 yards of fabric and some buttons - all for $75.
I started the project by using the adhesive to attach the foam to the board. Super simple. Then I wrapped the foam-board with the fabric super tight using a staple gun to hold the tension. Easy enough.
I used my gift wrapping skills to close up the ends. I had to cut most of the fabric off to make it tight and neat - again using a lots of staples to hold it together.
Next the buttons … when I bought them they come in two pieces, the cover and then the bottom with the nail. We were told at the fabric store that in order to cover the button tops and snap the two pieces together we had to have a dye machine. They sent us 10 minutes down the road where a woman did this for $1 button.
Before bringing Jersey into this project (which he is over my projects at this point) I measured where I wanted the buttons to go. I bought 12 and used 11 to create a diamond type divot. I’m far from patient so successful measuring was a serious accomplishment.
Here came the most challenging part of the project…
The fabric store folks told us that the nails would definitely penetrate the foam and attach to the board and we could just use a padded hammer. Not so much. The hammer ended up denting the button covers and the nail did not get through the foam. Plan B - use the stable gun to create the divots. Well after some trial and error - the staples popping out and ripping the fabric - we used those felt rounds you put on the bottom of chairs or on the interior of your cabinet doors. Placing them where we wanted the divot, we ensured the staple penetrated the felt round. Then we pounded the button nails into the divot.
The headboard turned out exactly as I’d hoped. The divots and buttons are holding strong. Success and fun!
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” — Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching