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Winter

sunday night bologneseit’s no secret around these parts (or any parts, really) that i looove me some carbs. more specifically, pasta. as in, i’m sure i would be really really thin if i gave up pasta. i would look like a miniature version of myself. and i’d probably have b cup boobs (let’s be real, a cups are out of the question). and while both of those things would be really wonderful for my self image, they’d also make me a sad sack of a person, because honestly, WHO WANTS TO LIVE WITHOUT PASTA?!

not i. i think all those people who swear paleo food is delicious and “going gluten free” is the shit are LYING.

why? because there’s nothing like digging into a giant steaming bowl of pasta. pasta is an antidote to sadness, to madness, to anxiety and to stress. it’s like a hug in a ceramic bowl – and this bolognese recipe is no different. comprised from not just one but three types of meat (bacon, italian sausage, and ground sirloin), it’s sure to create a  serious ‘happy in my mouth’ moment. it also makes your home smell incredible while it simmers on the stove, and makes people think you’re an all around domestic goddess.

see? i told you i could never give up pasta.

one of my favorite things to do on sunday afternoons is to wile away the hours in the kitchen. i can dice, chop, and simmer with the best of them, and there’s something almost meditative about slicing onions and chopping fresh rosemary into teeny tiny bits of flavor. this past sunday, i put on spotify’s “your favorite coffeehouse” playlist (the best, i tell you, i listen to it all day long at work) and got to work, and by 7pm, i’d taken a spin class, taken a bath, cooked this amazing meal alongside a batch of peppermint bark brownies (omg, i can’t even tell you about the goodness), and was ready to plop on my couch for an SVU marathon.

a good sunday, indeed.

so, let’s cook, shall we?

what you’ll need:

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium onion, diced

2 medium stalks of celery, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 lb dry rub bacon, chopped into 1/4 pieces

1/2 lb spicy (or mild) italian pork sausage, casings removed

1/2 lb ground sirloin

4 tbsp tomato paste

1 28 oz can of tomatoes, diced or whole

1/2 cup dry white wine (sav blanc or pino grigio both work well)

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp black pepper

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, washed and chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)

1 tsp fresh thyme, washed and chopped

2 tbsp fresh basil, washed and chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)

2 tbsp fresh oregano, washed and chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)

2 bay leaves, dried

what you’ll do:

start by dicing your mirepoix (a fancy french word for carrots, celery and onions), as well as your garlic.

put a large pan on the stove – a dutch oven like this one is great, but you can also just use a large soup pot if you don’t have anything le creuset-like (you just need to be able to cover the pot to simmer it later on.

sauté  your mirepoix and garlic in the olive oil for about 5-7 minutes, or until soft.

add your chopped bacon and auté on medium heat 3-4 minutes, breaking up the chunks.

do the same with your sausage. then do the same with your ground sirloin – make sure it’s evenly browned (but not fully cooked).

add tomato paste, wine, chicken broth, and your 28 oz can of tomatoes* (i like chopped because i’m lazy, but whole is thought to be better – who knows why?). mix thoroughly, add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes. things are going to start to smell realllly good.

add your herbs: basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, etc. you can really throw in any herbs you’ve got laying around – they’ll add more flavor; it’s hard to go wrong. i love thyme and rosemary, so i always use those, and bay leaves are sort of like a magical ingredient. you put ’em in, simmer, take ’em out, and VOILA, flavor blast.

simmer an additional 10 minutes. remove bay leaves.

at this point, you’re ready to serve – but the longer you simmer this stuff, the better, so long as you do so on really low heat. i let my sauce simmer for about 45 extra minutes, and let’s just say, it didn’t do the bolognese any harm.

when you’re ready to dine, serve over pasta (i love penne or rigatoni to catch all the meaty bits, but spaghetti would look nice too), and grate fresh parmesan cheese atop your delectable dish. now, dig in, enjoy, and try not to guilt yourself for eating so many carbs. what, that’s just me? sunday night bolognese

*some recipes call for no canned tomatoes, just tomato paste. if you omit the canned tomatoes, you’ll end up with a less sauce-y sauce – more meat with a little bit of tomato. i like my meat sauces pretty sauce-y, so i always throw in the extra canned tomatoes (you could use fresh too!)

winter101fauxfuri don’t know about where you live, but it’s been cold as beejesus ’round these parts. i love the northeast, i really do, but sometimes, a girl just wants to wear a sweater and a snood and call it a day. though i have to admit, i do love me some faux fur. i’ve got two (identical; one’s light brown, the other, dark brown) faux fur jackets that i scored for 10 pounds each back in 2006 at london’s portobello road flea market, and beyond the fact that i’m pretty sure they’ve got many a story hidden in their sleeves, they keep me damn warm when the temperatures drop. there’s nothing like a little (faux, of course) fur to snuggle up to when you’re waiting for the crosstown bus on a chilly winter morning. and as the ladies above prove, it’s easy to look tres chic while doing so. now, where can i get me an oxblood jacket?

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morning snow bunny selfies

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madison square park in the snow earlier this morning

the outfit below is a pretty close approximation to what i wore to work this morning in an effort to brave hercules’ wrath. my pink j.crew coat is no longer in stock, but this stadium cloth one, a light peach color, is a close second place. my faux fur snood from anthro has been my best friend this winter; never have i worn something so cozy. i splurged on this club monaco hat with a faux fur pom pom last night after spin class (oopsies, snow shopping!), and while it’s sold out online, you can probably still find it in store. of course, during any snowday, you need snow boots. mine are sorel; i got them on sale at nordstrom rack in preparation for a new year’s ski trip upstate. but i’ve got a big crush on these sperry for j.crew ones with the neon sole. last but not least, a girl’s got to keep her lips moisturized in the frigid winter air. fresh’s cherry sugar lip treatment is my new favorite. it injects a serious burst of candy apple red while being as moisturizing as aquaphor. score.

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anthropologie snood j.crew jacket | club monaco hat | sperry for j.crew boots | club monaco faux fur gloves fresh sugar lip treatment

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{paris}

it’s snowing in new york for the second time in three days, and i couldn’t be happier. while everyone around me is grumbling about the slush and the chill, i’m happy as can be. this morning, leaving my house at 7am, the streets were blanketed in white, and all was silence. there’s nothing like the silence that accompanies freshly fallen snow. inspired by that feeling, here are some of my favorite cities in the snow.

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{the charles bridge, prague}

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{london}

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{the carousel, paris}

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{the flatiron building, new york city}

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{rome}

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{brisighella, italy}Image{cabin, location unknown}

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it’s currently snowing lightly here in new york. a crisp coat of white is covering the naked tree branches, and the sidewalks are streaked in snowflakes. it’s my absolute favorite time of the year; after brunch at the smith, i found myself walking the streets of midtown (of all places!) humming rudolph the red nosed reindeer without any prompting. it might be slippery, and it might be chilly, but new york is coated in the holiday spirit. it’s everywhere you turn, and i couldn’t be happier. good lord, i love the winter. now, if only we could get more than a dusting up in here.

Winter Hats

ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN

i’m a gal who loves a good winter accessory. i have an entire dresser drawer dedicated to hats, scarves, and gloves. i probably own around 15 scarves, maybe as many hats, and at least 4 pairs of gloves (and counting). what can i say? i grew up in the northeast. i went to school in upstate new york. i then moved to new york city, a place that is, deceptively, much colder than you think it’ll be. something about all those tall buildings creates a serious wind tunnel syndrome, and let me tell you, it can be positively FRIGID here come december and january.

i remember last year, in the weeks following hurricane sandy, when we had no heat, or hot water, or power. each day, i’d walk home from work, crossing the line between NoPo (north of power) into SoPo (south of power), where i lived. as the lights disappeared and the skyline behind me blended into the night stars, it got cold. like, really cold. and then i’d trudge the ten flights of stairs up to my apartment, which was also dark and cold. for at least a week, every night, i returned home, lit all the candles i could find, and put on two layers of pajama pants, a sweatshirt, a hat, and big wool socks, and sat with my faux fur blanket snuggled around me on the couch, a comforter on top of that. a tweet from last year post-sandy reads: Trying to stay warm sans heat = currently wearing sparkly rainbow converse, faux fur leopard jacket, plaid scarf + hot pink pom hat. So chic

there’s something to be said for the kind of chill that you just can’t shake, and in the days following sandy, i learned firsthand how that kind of cold works. i was lucky to get power back about 10 days after the hurricane, and heat and hot water soon after that. i don’t ever want to be that cold for an extended period of time, let me tell you.*

that kind of cold means you layer with all you’ve got. it means hats are absolutely essential (they keep the heat in, folks). in other words, if you don’t have a great winter hat, it’s time to go out and buy one. maybe even one of the ten above?

*ps: there are many in this city (and probably in your city, too) who go without the cold weather gear they need to get through the winter. if you’re anything like me, you’ve got extra clothing you don’t wear. please consider donating to your local coat drive, or find a shelter in your area that’s accepting donations for hats, scarves, and gloves. new yorkers, you can find information about the new york cares coat drive here.