Wednesday, February 22, 2012

{ excursion } NoHo, SoHo, and caffeine jolts

1. friend's adorable shit tzu - 2. style stalking in Washington Square Park - 3. Sur La Table's Nespresso machine - 4. cute cup, disgusting coffee - 5. SLT's colorful whisk! - 6. sale items that were too unwieldy to carry around the city (sigh) - 7. street artist - 8. man style stalking; navy blue top and bottom, gold chain, loafers - 9. the Crate & Barrel of SoHo - 10. aroma - 11. iced latte, before it was stirred - 12. stirred, along side a frozen coffee drink and brown sugar packets - 13. friend! - 14. see me? - 15. future food blogger? - 16. so dirty. - 17. amazing store with amazing things but even with the discount, the shit was too expensive for, us, students! - 18. Paris Baguette's chocolate twisty thing that is so delicious - 19. kate moss, da queen - 20. hi, again!

I'm so lucky to have a friend who just likes to walk around the city, taking pictures, talking, and doing nothing in particular. While in NoHo/SoHo, food wise, I had half of shot of espresso, a 16 oz. iced latte with two brown sugars,  and half of those delicious chocolate twists. Flaky with chocolate chips. Not pictured... we went to All Saints, H&M, Zara, and a vintage shop. Lots of inspiration. I'm still jittery from the coffee. It's been hours since I drank some. This is why I don't drink it often. Whoops. xo n

Monday, February 20, 2012

banana bread and why my pictures are blurry

banana bread

Before we move on to the banana bread, let me just flat out tell you that these are pics from my iPhone. After I baked these, I couldn't find my dSLR's connector to my computer so I was like "womp" and just took pics with my phone because I couldn't be able to upload the nice pics anyway. I was wrong.
I found my cord an hour after. Okay, cool. Moving on...

Banana bread is probably the simplest baked good The only words to describe it are moist and slightly sweet. I used this recipe from Orangette before and was bestowed with great success, even though I forgot to add the water and used only half of the topping. This time, after I followed the recipe almost word for word, it came out even better than before. How can you trust me? Well, I "accidentally" ate a 1/4 of a loaf. The loaf was magically sliced up into the slices, the cinnamon sugar beckoning me. Oops.

banana bread

Usually, I prefer my sweet breads to have chunks of nuts. This time, I totally forgot about the bag of walnuts in my fridge. If you want crunch, add two handfuls of toasted walnuts. To be honest, I didn't need the crunch, after all! The crackly top (see below) satisfied me.

banana bread

Look at that top! (You can see a few grains of raw sugar that didn't seep into the soft bread. Oops.) When you poke a toothpick through the surface, you hear the faintest crackling of the broken crust. Crackly crust and soft, barely sweet bread. Perfection. You'll be finding me cradled up with a cup of steaming tea and a slice of this every day. Much love and enjoy your week!

P.S. Only 15 Twitter followers from 100! Follow me on Twitter: @whatnicoleate

Notes: Substituted 1/2 cup of the AP flour for white whole wheat flour. Decreased the amount of sugar to 3/4 cup. Used 10 tsp agave instead of 12 tsp (1/4 cup) honey. 

{lust list} pre-spring

1 / 2 3 4 }

I've been loving neon and lace lately! It's February but I'm prepping for spring. What's on your lust list?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

a birthday cake and recipe networking


Lately, I've been on an "everyday baking" kick. I made carrot cake sandwich cookies last Saturday, a pear crisp with cranberries on Tuesday, and roasted chickpeas this morning. Then, I made my first ever celebration cake.


It's a birthday cake for my mom. To be honest, I've been planning this cake for weeks! Lame, right? I was thinking about smitten kitchen's best birthday cake. I then realized I didn't have two nine inch cake pans; I only have one. Oops. Luckily, I came across Big Girl Small Kitchen recipe for a one layer yellow cake with a peanut butter filling. I had a big tub of sour cream, just chilling in my fridge, begging to be used, so smittenkitchen's chocolate sour cream frosting seemed fitting.


BGSK yellow cake + BGSK peanut butter filling + smitten kitchen's chocolate sour cream frosting = a delicious, yet messy, birthday cake.

Notes: For the cake, I substituted 3/4 of the AP flour for white whole wheat. The sour cream should be 3/4 cup. The flour, sugar, baking soda, powder, salt, butter, and sour cream mixture was realllyy dry; I had to add more dollops of sour cream to moisten it. I "kneaded" the mixture with my hands. I was afraid the cake would become tough but it was fine! It's not my favorite yellow cake; I will most likely replace this cake recipe with another one.
For the filling, I only had 3 tbsp of peanut butter left in the jar. It still tasted delicious.
For the frosting, I halved everything and I still had a bit frosting left, even though I ate globs of it while I was making it. Instead of light corn syrup, I used 6 tsp of agave. Agave is similar to corn syrup because it prevents crystallization, or something like that. I dunno.
I baked the cake. While the cake was baking, I made the frosting and popped it in the fridge to chill. When the cake was taken out and completely chilled, I whipped up the filling. I sliced the cake in half, horizontally, and slathered on the filling. I saved a little and put it in a small Ziploc to pipe on the lettering. Finish it off with the chocolate frosting and it's done! Pretty simple and it tastes delicious.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Hey everyone! I'm going to make this post short and sweet. (I'm half-watching the Super Bowl.) 

(classic black on black displayed by this fashionable lady) 

(loving this sweet, romantic side of Valentino)

(cucumber cups with spicy crab - cool and hot. love it! original here)

(happy nutella day! how did you spend it? original here)

(they played the game for you, U. i bet you're grinning your face off!)

Congratulations, Giants! I'm a Jets fan but my late friend absolutely loved the Giants so I cheered for them this time. It's been a month and a week. It's a heart wrenching that I can't text him about this. He taught me (almost) everything I know about football. Love you and rest in peace, kid. xo

Enjoy your week, everyone, and cherish your loved ones.