Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies make me happy - it's simple as that! When I came across this recipe by Lori Baker in the June issue of Food & Wine I knew I had to take a stab at making them.  It was the first time I "brown buttered" anything and I must say, {my belly} was very pleased with the results.  Check out the recipe below...
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  1. In a medium saucepan, cook the butter over moderate heat until it is browned and nutty-smelling, about 5 minutes. Transfer the butter to a small bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the browned butter with the granulated and light brown sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl halfway through, about 7 minutes. Beat in the whole egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the chopped chocolate. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 1/4-cup mounds of cookie dough onto each baking sheet. There should be 6 cookies per sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for about 18 minutes, until the cookies are just firm and golden brown on the bottom. Transfer the sheet to a rack to cool. Repeat to bake the remaining cookies. Serve the cookies warm or at room temperature.
MAKE AHEAD: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.


I love this shop. I love this shop. I love this shop. I can not stressed how much I love Sprinklesand I'm so happy that there's a location in walking distance from my apartment!  But for those living outside of New York - no worries!  They have several locations across the country plus you can also order these yummy cupcakes online.  MMMMM!
Hmmm....what to pick...what to pick...what to pick...
Sprinkles3Should I go with the Red Velvet?...
...or the Black and White?...
I settled on the Cherry - and I'm glad I did.  I never tasted a cupcake packed with such an instense flavor! I can't wait to go back... Ok...I'm going right now!  
Sprinkles - located on 780 Lexington Ave, NYC (for more information visit www.sprinkles.com)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Monday!

Il_570xN.290695596Modern graphic art by hairbrained schemes.  
The perfect visual perk I need to wake me up on this Monday morning!


Prints available on Etsy

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Pretty Links

I'm so happy the weekend is here!  Perhaps it's the oppressive heat but I am wiped out!  I'm looking forward to catching the opening ceremony this evening but before I head out, I leave you with some happy pretty links!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

London Calling

London calling
Keeping in the theme of HPT Brit Week, today's Etsy Treasury is all about LONDON!
  1. Big Ben Charms by Nicole de Bruin
  2. London Bus Canvas Bag by Victoria Eggs
  3. St. Edward's Crown Charm by SupplyPusher
  4. I Love London Print by KokoHome
  5. London Skyline Tape by Tobyboo
  6. Keep Calm and Carry On Pillow by cayteelynn
  7. Union Jack Cupcake Cases by GreatBritishCakeShop
  8. London Poster by WeaversofSouthsea
  9. Old English Union jack Butler's Buffet by Artisan8
  10. London Calling Print by SacredandProfane
  11. London Guard Print by sandybanner
  12. London Underground Photography by HConwayPhotography
  13. Mary Poppins Necklace by karamboola
  14. London Street Signs by UtopiaHomeAndGarden
  15. Vintage Bitish Phonebooth iPhone case by caseOrama
  16. London 2012 Olympics Print by HaveAGanderUK

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Jones Wood 1 copy
Jones Wood Foundry is a food driven pub which focuses on creating classic culinary plates from the United Kingdom. My husband and I love to frequent this place.  It's so cozy, secluded and right around the corner.
Jones Wood 5The place is always packed with people but once you are seated, you are surrounded in such an intimate setting that it makes it worth the wait.  Recently, we stopped by one Sunday morning right before the brunch rush.  The ambiance was so peaceful and quiet that it inspired me to pictures of the restaurant's beautiful interior...Jones Wood 6
Jones Wood 3
Jones Wood 4
Jones Wood 10
Jones Wood 8
Jones Wood 9
Jones Wood Foundry - 401 E. 76th St., NYC (www.joneswoodfoundry.com)

Monday, July 23, 2012

The London Candy Company

The London Candy Co.
It's Brit-Week on Happy Pretty Things!  With the London Olympics only a week away, I've decided to celebrate all-things English.  I'm kicking off this week on a sweet note with the boutique British confectioner, The London Candy Company.
StoreLocated in the Upper East Side, the London Candy Co. offers a variety of English sweets and treats to curious Americans (and homesick Brits) over here on this side of the pond.  Kid in candy shopThe minute I walked into the shop, right away I knew I had to comeback with my sister.  She recently spent a semester studying in London so a place like this would for sure spark her nostalgic cravings.Candy
In addition to selling yummy goodies, The London Candy Co. also offers Stumptown Coffee, fresh pastries, and a vintage fridge packed with delicous English sodas (pictured below.)Ginger beer
But I think my personal favorite had to be ice the cream.  Organic ice cream makers, Je and Jo, developed 6 British flavors for the shop such as Pimm's Cup and Wimbledon Cup (Strawberry and Cream) and Earl Grey with Shortbread.  I had the Jaffa Cup - orange zested ice cream with orange chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough - so good! Ice cream stand
Je and Jo 2
Be sure to visit The London Candy Company - located on 1442 Lexington Ave, NYC(www.thelondoncandycompany.com)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Pretty Links

Happy Pretty Links
The weekend is here!  The weekend is here!  Finally!  Enjoy some happy pretty links before you start your happy pretty weekend. xo~n

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This week's Etsy Treasury is dedicated to the honeycomb pattern - I love this latest design trend and hope it doesn't go away anytime soon. Check out some of my hexagon favorites I spotted and hearted..
  1. Goats Milk Soap by Summerfield Soaps
  2. 100 Middy Bitty Bags by wrapworks
  3. Beeswax Blocks by YourBeeswax
  4. Vintage Bumble Bee Print by OrangeClipart
  5. Custom Print by MichelleK Designs
  6. Geometric Earrings by chloesvintagejewelry
  7. Honeycomb Bracelet by BellaBijouToo
  8. Bumble Bee and Honeycomb Card by Cheerupcherup
  9. Bee Flask by CosmicFirefly
  10. Laser Cut Wood Coasters by indomina
  11. Honeycomb Hamper by jennarosehandmade
  12. Mini Honey Knuckles Ring by RachelPfefferDesigns
  13. Geometric Necklace also by BellaBijouToo
  14. Silver Honeycomb Ring by SilverBlueberry
  15. Honeycomb Stamp by creatiate
  16. Wooden Honeycomb Puzzle - TimberGreenWoods


Melongings 1 copy
I came across these pillow covers by {me}longings and fell in love. Designed by Chanee Vijay of Philadelphia, {me}longings is an eco-friendly, handprinted textile design shop specializing in pillow covers made from organic fabrics and non-toxic inks.  Check out some of Chanee's beautiful work below...
Melongings 2
Melongings 5
 Melongings 3
To view more of Chanee's work visit www.melongings.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Waffle Tart with copyLately, I've been finding myself getting into the bad habit of not eating a proper meal in the morning.  This is not a good thing and frankly I'm ashamed that I I keep using "not having the time" as a poor excuse.  It seems that on certain days, I wake up with all this inspiration and creativity that I just want to jump into starting my work day...and then I wonder why I crash in the afternoons!  So it's important for me to that start my day right and let those creative juices start flowing in the kitchen first.  Which is how I came about making waffle tarts. (more after the jump!)
IMG_1652Waffle Tarts!  They're quick, easy, super healthy and you can change 'em up depending on the season. Lately, I've been making mine with grilled peaches and blueberries - keeping it healthy, organic and local! Check out my recipe below...IMG_1629WAFFLE TARTS WITH GRILLED PEACHES (serves 6)
  • 6 Multigrain Waffles (such as Vans or Kashi)
  • 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt (I like Fage)
  • 2 Peaches, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds, preferably toasted
  • Ground flax seeds (optional)
  • Mint leaves for garnish
  • 1 tbsp of confectioner's sugar (optional)
  • Maple syrup, agave or honey (whichever you prefer!)
Directions: Throw the waffles into toaster and toast to your preference. (I prefer slightly burnt and cripsy because it brings out more of the flavor.)  Lightly butter and set aside.  Meanwhile slice the peaches and throw them grill pan/skillet and cook for 3 minutes each side or until they are just about tender (with those cool grill marks!) Make is sinful: mix your greek yogurt with the confectioner's sugar OR keep it healthy: omit sugar altogether! IMG_1630Spread the yogurt mixture onto the waffles and then layer the peaches on top.  Next place the berries in the middle (so they don't roll out!)  Drizzle your syrup of choice - I prefer agave. Then, sprinkle almonds and garnish with mint leaves.  Make it healthy: add some flax seeds!  (Optional, but recommended - they add a nice hearty touch!)Waffle Tart

Pip's Place

Pip's Place 1
I love it when new places pop up in my neighborhood especially when they're yummy delicious spots such as Pip's Place on First and 89th! Created by Denise Cumming, Pip's Place is a cakery dedicated to providing wonderful baked treats that are 100% gluten-free!   
Pip's Place 8The sweet shop was inspired by her daughter Olivia (nick-named Pippi) who was diagnosed with celiac disease at the age of fourteen.  Determined that Olivia would not have to give up her favorite treats, Denise learned to create yummy recipes from gluten-free ingredients.Pip's Place 6Having family members myself dealing with celiac, I know how hard it can be to find gluten-free recipes that taste like "regular" food. What makes Pip's Place amazing is that if the sign didn't read "gluten-free" - you would have no idea that the treats are baked with alternative ingredients.  It's that good!  And to me that passes the gluten-free test. 
Pip's Place 5
So if you're find yourself in the Upper East Side, be sure to visit Pip's Place on 1729-31 First Avenue. And for those living outside of NYC, Pip's Place delivers throughout the Tri-State area and across North America. For more information visit www.pipsplacenyc.com

Monday, July 16, 2012


I am loving the new line of stationery cards designed by Gracey Anderson of Paper, Love and Dreams. Based in the Bay Area of Northern California, Gracey creates all of her cards as she says, 'the old fashioned way.'  She hand carves all of her stamps and works with a hand crank printing press that her grandmother made for herself in the 1950s! Check out some of her work below...MumSingle
The Floral Folklorio Collection (pictured above) - inspired by Mexican Folk Art & Papel Picado.
The Drink Up! Collection - wine-themed cards actually dip-dyed in Cabernet Sauvignon!DrinkUpSingle
To view more of Gracey's work, visit www.PaperLoveandDreams.com.


Check out the collection of San Francisco prints designed by Lab Partners.
I really love the color scheme - so mod and retro!  Here are some of my favorites...
You can view more work by Lab Partners at ww.lp-sf.com.