Taste of Summer

Taste of Summer: Peach Cobbler Taste of Summer: strawberries Taste of Summer: proscuitto Taste of Summer: spring onions Taste of Summer: chaia dc tacos Taste of Summer: whiskey cocktails

A few favorite tastes of early summer:

homemade peach cobbler and vanilla bean ice cream

strawberries fresh from the farmer’s market

thinly sliced prosciutto – served with basil, melon, or burrata 

these bright onions that remind me of the sea

veggie tacos in the park

summer smoke: whiskey cocktails + fire pits

Trying to savor every bit of it. Need more moments like these. S’mores and peaches and beer outside…these things just taste better.

Sunday Pasta: Rigatoni, Spinach, Goat Cheese, Pistachio

Sunday Pasta: Rigatoni, Spinach, Goat Cheese, Pistachio Green Weekend Moments – Sunday PastaSome of my favorite moments with Sunday. Nothing drastically new here, although things do feel a little different since last summer. I like the repetition and routine still. Getting to the farmer’s market early and experimenting with produce; wandering Dupont feels pretty much the same; trying new coffee beans and trying to remember what I like and why; reading…sometimes fiction [The Interestings], sometimes for work [Creating Magic], sometimes stacks of food magazines; repeating playlists with favorite songs from Urban Cone, Smallpools, CHVRCHES, Tanlines, James Bay, Of Monsters and Men; then ending with cooking some pasta for dinner. Mostly I eat alone while making to-do lists for the week ahead. Every so often I let someone in on this, which probably means much more to me than to them. My roof is a lovely alternative setting than my couch if weather permits. Soaking up the final moments of calm, collecting creativity for later in the week.

This was one of my most favorite pasta recently: leafy farmer’s market spinach, creamy goat cheese, crunchy pistachios, bright lemony flavor.

Sunday Pasta: Rigatoni with Spinach, Goat Cheese, Pistachios

Satuée spinach with garlic in olive oil til wilted. Add cooked pasta and a little reserved pasta water. Stir in goat cheese til pasta is coated evenly. Squeeze in a little lemon juice if you’d like. Top with crushed pistachios and cracked pepper.

Eat this outside. With Urban Cone “Weekends” playing. Read the Vacationers. Snapchat a pasta pic your crush to make them jealous. A glass of rosé is necessary too. Enjoy dinner, this time…it’s all yours.

Sunday Pasta: with hot pepper oil, egg, parm, pistachio

Sunday Pasta: with hot pepper oil, egg, parm, pistachio

Sunday Pasta and a perfect weekend | Cupcakes for Breakfast

This is what a good weekend looks like. Pasta and wine out with friends at Cashion’s. Lazy mornings in bed. Fresh fragrant roses. Reading a great quick book with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. Eating more pasta while watching a movie. This time: capellini with hot pepper oil, egg, parmesan, crushed pistachio.

This is my idea of a perfect weekend. Something that doesn’t happen enough. But I love how it transports me. To a quiet place of reflection. To Paris – books and movies that allow me to be there. To the kitchen where I can experiment with simple ingredients to make something new. These are my favorite places for my mind to go. Wandering, dreaming, creating. And I so appreciate these small weekend moments to get there.

Sunday Pasta: with hot pepper oil, egg, parm, pistachio

Capellini with Hot Pepper Oil, Egg, Parmesan, Crushed Pistachio

Cook olive oil in a hot pan with red pepper flakes and minced garlic. Toss with hot cooked pasta, an egg yolk, and pepper. Top with grated fresh parm and crushed pistachios. Eat in heapfulls.

Sunday Pasta: with hot pepper oil, egg, parm, pistachio


Cupcakes for Breakfast: 2015 here we go

Well here we are again. I’m well on my way of being considerate daily of my goals and resolutions for this year. They’re pretty simple, and personal. But they all contribute to being a happier, smarter, more inspired, healthier, creative person. Last year was difficult for many reasons, and it seems like a consensus out there that we’re all thankful for a blank slate. But I grew exponentially in 2014, especially professionally. I won’t forget this. But I’m ready to make life round – fill all the spaces and moments with experiences. Burst at the seams….not in a stressful way. Relaxation is a part of the plan. But take advantage of every opportunity. Do more. See more. Be bigger.

A few simple things will help me feel this fullness. Move, Dance, Reach. I don’t expect to transform into the athletic dancer I was 10 years ago, but I don’t have to. There’s a middle ground and I think it will make me very happy. Going to dance class my favorite non-workout workout. Stretch every night. Plan for yoga. Run down streets you’ve never been down on warm days. Leap, reach, turn, twist. Remind your body that it knows how to be more than scrunched up in front of a computer or asleep. Seek creativity, find my own. Cook more, visit museums, write, find new blogs to explore, get back on pinterest, find a new coffee shop, learn what makes them special, make breakfast on the weekends, draw, read a novel, read about business, connect other creative people, choreograph, make pasta from scratch. This is not for work; it’s for myself. But I can’t wait to see how all of this will impact my creativity at work too. See the world. It’s time to go exploring. I’m taking a break from vacations doing nothing and ready to start moving and seeing things. Weekend trips to NYC and Charleston, a birthday trip to Paris, a little West Coast exploring, the beach and the mountains and the city and foreign countries. Time to just go. Undoubtedly this will help with resolution number two. It’s decided then. Now where should I go? Who’s coming with?

Nikki dancing gi

paris | coffee | pasta | dance

Cookie Dough Truffles

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Cookie Dough Truffles

I spent several hours this weekend making these truffle cookies. Saturday night making the dough balls while watching Bridget Jones’s Diary, Sunday morning dancing in my kitchen listening to Christmas music. Maybe I’m a bit slow getting back to baking which is why it took me so long, but I didn’t mind. It felt calming and creative to work with my hands again. Others noticed and asked me “What’s the occasion?” “Who are you making these for?” “Oh, you’re giving these away as gifts?”

Nope. Just baking. Or non-baking really with this recipe. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard questions like those. I used to bake cakes just to see how many layers I could stack. Or because I was craving fudge frosting. That has certainly been rare recently.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Cookie Dough Truffles

I knew in my own time I would get back to this place. It’s funny, this recipe was actually posted on my blog two years ago but I never made them. They were a fabulous guest post by a blogger friend. I was sad to realize she no longer posts and has left twitter…even sadder that I didn’t notice.

But it’s the end of December so it’s time to celebrate. So cheers to finding a piece of you that you felt like you’ve forgotten. Cheers to all the bloggers, the creators, who have inspired me for over five years. Cheers to the holidays and celebrating all things sweet and joyful. Cheers to making cookie dough covered in chocolate and dusted in gold.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Cookie Dough Truffles

Cookie Dough Truffles

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips for dough
  • 2 cups any chocolate for melting (I used a combo of milk and dark)
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with an electric mixer) cream together butter and sugars on low speed until fluffy. Add in milk and vanilla extract. Slowly incorporate flour, salt, and baking soda until fully combined. Add in chocolate chips.
  2. Cover dough and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Once dough is firm, form 1″ balls and place on a wax/parchment paper lined baking sheet. (I used a 1″ ice cream scooper at this step so all the truffles would be close in size. A tablespoon would work fine too). Place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. In a glass or microwave safe bowl, melt any dipping chocolate (or extra chocolate chips) according to package directions.
  4. Using a spoon, dip frozen dough balls into chocolate and roll until fully covered. Place dipped truffles on a lined baking sheet to cool.
  5. Sprinkle with toppings like nuts, colored sprinkles, shredded coconut, crumbled oreo

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Cookie Dough Truffles