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stephania

stephania

Monday, 29 July 2013 17:05

Finding the Next TND

Hi all! 

 

Colleen and I are currently taking some time to figure out what's next for Thursdays. 

 

Stay tuned. 

 

Happy cooking & crafting! 

 

xo,

 

stephania 

nycphotobooth

 

Thursday, 16 May 2013 18:15

TND: Greek Easter/Passover Dinner

Happy Thursday! A few weeks ago my darling Jewish boyfriend, Dave, and I had a combined Greek Easter/Belated Passover holiday dinner.

photo

 

We've been having many conversations lately about what it means to have a reformed interfaith relationship and this was our first attempt at really coming together and combining our two family traditions. We both dug out our family recipes, I got on the phone with my Uncle Greg for grilling instructions, and we spent two full days preparing for our giant feast. Our friends arrived one by one, I put on Shovels & Rope (because obviously that is the perfect Greek Easter/Passover music), we poured wine, and it began.

greekeaster-IMG 1259

After some of the more complex discussions we've had about what our possible, future family would look like we took all that we had learned thus far and came together and shared our favorite traditions with our nearest and dearest. We spoke Hebrew and Greek and ended the night with our favorite American dessert, s'mores.

greekeaster-IMG 1254

greekeaster-IMG 1253

greekeaster-IMG 1279

 

By the end of the night, we were all making plans for the next one.

 

Enjoy!

 

stephania

 

 

Grilled Greek Lamb
by Stephania Stanley

What you need: 

  • lamb (1/2 lb per person)
  • olive oil
  • fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper

What to do:

Coat the lamb with olive oil and generously salt and pepper both sides. 

 

Assemble charcoal around the edges of the grill (so that the heat will be around the edges of the grill and not directly in the center). Place an disposable aluminum pan with 1" of water in the center. Heat up the grill. Grill lamb until the center of the meat reads 140°F. We grilled a butterflied 7Lb lamb and it took a little over an hour. 

 

Once the lamb is ready, let it rest for about 20 minutes and slice diagonally in 1/4" thick slices. Pour the liquid from the aluminum pan into a serving bowl (now au jus) and add a spoonful or so over the lamb when serving.

 

Thursday, 18 April 2013 17:20

TND: The Perfect Iced Coffee

It is finally feeling like spring around here and it seems like overnight you can spot bright yellows, pinks, and reds all over the city. We've all taken out our peep toe wedges and have even been able to wear dresses without tights...it's just lovely.  I'm already starting to crave BBQ (specifically BBQ ribs with mac 'n cheese) and this week I've developed a strong craving for iced coffee. I hate the thought of buying coffee each and every day, but have tried and failed miserably to make a really good iced coffee over the years. It's either not cold enough, too weak, or far too sweet, so I decided to do a little research to find out the best way to make it at home and just as good as my favorite spots in Brooklyn.
 
I found that there are two ways to approach iced coffee: hot drip and cold drip. The cold drip is less acidic and slightly sweeter and then the hot drip is a stronger cup of joe. Being that Ophelia keeps me on my toes every waking minute, I went with the latter and found the perfect balance of cold, strong cup of coffee.  I like my coffee on the stronger side, but feel free to add milk and sugar to taste. 

 

The Perfect Iced Coffee
by Stephania Stanley

iced coffee IMG 8349

What you need: 

  • coffee ice cubes (make a fresh cup of coffee the night before and use it to make coffee ice cubes throughout the week)
  • 8 tbsp coffee
  • 6 cups water
  • milk and sugar to taste

What to do:

I used a french press to make my coffee, but a drip coffee machine will work just fine. Make your coffee with the extra scoops with your chosen hot drip method. Once the coffee has brewed, fill your heat safe coffee glass (or cup) half way with ice and pour the brewed coffee. Give it a couple of stirs and enjoy! 

 

Thursday, 04 April 2013 16:56

TND: Officially 30 and Plantain Adventures

Aaaaand we're back! Colleen and I have safely returned from our 30th birthday vacations. We are both officially the big 3-0 and it feels fantastic (although it felt way more fantastic on a beach in Miami). 
 
miami-runningpath
(Our running path for the week in Miami.)
 
After the girls departed Miami, I hopped on a plane to meet Dave in Culebra, Puerto Rico. We spent the week snorkeling, hiking to remote beaches, and eating lots and lots of plantains. We spent my actual birthday in a rain forest and capped the evening off with wine and guava and brie stuffed croissants (yes, they were as heavenly as they sound).
 
We got back to Brooklyn late Sunday night and I must admit that it's been a bit tougher than I imagined coming back to NYC. Rather than feeling rejuvenated, Colleen and I are both feeling a little bummed and uninspired since our return. I decided that it feels like the day after Christmas, except times 10. You know what I mean? You have all of that excitement and build up and then the actual event is absolutely perfect and then afterwards all you can think is...ok so what's next? It's also always difficult to part from my Thursdays crew. They have all become like sisters to me. I am truly grateful to have the privilege of having such intelligent, witty, beautiful women in my life. Who knew that when I moved into Collins at IU at 18 years old, that I would be living directly across the hall from women who would become lifelong friends?
 
While I'm still missing my time away, I thought that I would bring a little bit of Culebra here and make plantain chips. These are incredibly easy to make and are fantastic on the side of black beans and rice.
 
Enjoy!
 
stephania  
 

Plantain Chips
adapted from Gourmet; November 2008

350609
Photo: Ditte Isager

What you need: 

  • 4 cups vegetale oil
  • 2 lbs green plantains
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

Peel plantains and cut off the ends. Using a sharp knife cut very thin, vertical slices. In a large non-stick skillet, heat about 1/2 the oil (depending on the size of your skillet) over medium-high heat. You want to get the oil hot enough so that the plantain slices will fizzle as soon as you place them in the pan. Working in batches, place about 12 slices of plantains into the heated oil. Turn frequently and fry until they are golden brown. Place on a sheet of paper towl and quickly sprinkle salt and pepper. Repeat until all plantain chips are cooked.

 

Thursday, 21 March 2013 18:51

TND: SXSW Street Style

It's 48 hours until I'm flying down to Miami for my back to back vacations in Florida and Puerto Rico and I can barely contain my excitement! It's been March madness around here with work and I cannot wait to go dancing with the ladies and finish off the week with Dave on a quiet beach in Culebra. This week at Thursdays we're all about getaway gear, so I thought I would share a bit of street style that I shot for DailyCandy last week at SXSW in Austin. Where better to get a little inspiration for our warm weather wardrobe than in Austin?! It was a hell of a week and I must say that it wouldn't have been even close to as enjoyable as it was without Dave (who was also there for work) and my kickass NYC editor, Jordan Blumberg. 
 
Jordan and I covered Austin from head to toe seeking out our favorite picks of SXSW street style. We saw stripes, bright hightop sneakers, and loads of mini leather backpacks. Here are just a few of my personal favorites. To check out the rest (including Jack Nicholson's daughter!) hop on over to DailyCandy.
 
Next week we'll be reporting from Miami! If you wanna see what we're up to, I'll be documenting the whole thing from Instagram here
 
xo,
 
stephania
 

 IMG 5512-Edit

Jordan and I met this girl at Feathers. An amazing little vintage shop down on S. Congress.

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streetstylesxsw
Obsessed with her little fringed black leather bag!

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We loved her look! She is an acress from NY. Check out her Marlow & Sons tote bag!

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This may be my favorite piece of jewelry that we saw all during SXSW. The diamond engagement ring was her great grandmother's and they were able to find the wedding band that fit perfectly at an estate sale.

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Amber actually works with Dave and we knew we wanted to shoot her street style all week. The girl always looks good. We were finally able to catch her on the last day. She quickly went off the walkie talkie, detangled the numerous cords, and stepped out so that we could photograph her. 

amber1

 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 07:21

Our Favorite Things: Getaway Gear

In just four days Colleen and I will be in Miami celebrating our 30th birthdays with our original Thursdays crew, Emily and Kate. After a crazy week in Austin shooting street style at SXSW and running the NYC Half Marathon I could not be more excited to have a cocktail with the ladies with the warm sun shining on my face. After some much needed girl time, I'm hopping on a plane to meet Dave in Culebra, Puerto Rico. Now Miami and Culebra aren't exactly the same kind of vacation so in order avoid packing a suitcase that's impossible to carry (and getting that look from Dave), I need to figure out some essential getaway gear that translates from flashy over the top Miami to low-key, romantic Culebra. Here are a few of my favorites that have made it to the top of the list. You can find more on our Pinterest board here.

 

our_favorite_things

favorite things-getawaygear

 

 

1. Mara Hoffman 2. Steven Alan 3. Madewell  4. Dolce Vita 5. Elizabeth Cole Jewelry

 

This week we're sharing little pieces of inspiration from our lives. I love turning to the to the ever so talented, Sara Lowman, to give me a little inspiration for my space.  Whenever I'm feeling a little stuck and just don't know how to make even a simple shelf look the way I had imagined, I turn to Sara for a little help. Sara can take an ordinary looking space into something so beautiful and serene that you can hardly believe that you lived any other way.
 
Enjoy! 
 
Stephania 
 

Tie Up Your Room with a Little Trim

by Sara Lowman

I thought I’d share a detail that I sometimes work with because it might help some of you looking to make curtains work with your room scheme. I had a client who loved a fabric that we wanted to use for curtains, and while it was beautiful, we needed a way to tie it into the rest of the room. 

I’m not one for frills or unnecessary decorative details, but I thought that by adding a tape (basically a gros-grain ribbon), it would help to bring the scheme together. By adding the tape to the leading edge or the bottom edge of the curtains (or both), it makes them feel a little bit more special and allows you to be more creative with your fabric choices. I think we were successful, and I hope you do too. 

Room Scheme: 

RoomSchemeFabrics2

To bring more color to the curtains, we added Gros-Grain (aka a tape):
Grosgrain2

I like to add the tape to the leading edge and bottom of the curtains:
CurtainDetail with Grosgrain2

It’s a little detail that really helps to bring a room together. In this case, we used curtains in place of closet doors to add softness and a textile layer to the room: 
ClosetDoorwithCurtains2

 

Wednesday, 06 March 2013 19:07

TND: Meeting the Family

Today my darling sister, Hillary and her boyfriend, Brian, are coming to Brooklyn for a little visit. This is a big visit because she is finally meeting two very important additions to our lives.  The first is this little stinker right here.
 
riley-3months--2215
 
Our little niece, Miss Riley Madeline. The second is to meet my boyfriend, Dave (I won't embarrass him with a photo....yet).
 
We've got a packed weekend planned beginning with dinner at one my favorite haunts, Back Forty, a trip to the Whitney to see this exhibit on Saturday, and brunch at Dino to eat some ricotta pancakes.  And somewhere in between there Hillary and I will find plenty of time to try and one up each other with embarrassing stories. Do you do that with your sisters? We somehow almost always regress to the ages of 12 and 10 or maybe 8 and 6 if we're really feelin' sassy. We give each other grief with same three stories we've had up our sleeves for years and yet they never seem to get old. Beware if you're ever at the dinner table with all 6 of us with our parents. We zing each other back and forth until finally someone crosses the line (usually with an embarrassing makeout story) and we all exclaim "ewwww! Gross!" and the poor guest either does his best to laugh it off or just takes a big gulp of wine (along with our bickering, wine is in never ending supply at our house). We're a big family with everyone in everyone else's business, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
 
To celebrate my sister's arrival, I thought that I would make one of her personal favorite Thursdays recipes, Mocha Brownie Pie.
 
Enjoy! 
 
xoxo,
 
stephania
 

Mocha Brownie Pie

by stephania stanley (adapted from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook; 2000

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What You Need:

  • 1/2 package of fudge brownie mix
  • 1 package of chocolate instant pudding
  • 4 tsps instant coffee granules (or 4 tsps of extra strong brewed coffee)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 large eggs whites
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 cups of whipped cream
  • semi-sweet chocolate bars or cubes for curling topping (optional)
  • pie crust 

Note:Feel free to experiment a little with the garnish. I used peppermint chocolate to garnish to add a little something to the sweet whipped cream. 

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl combine brownie mix, 1 tsp of vanilla, and egg whites.  Stir to mix.  If you are using the instant coffee granules, combine 2 tsps of coffee granules and 2 tsps of hot water in a small bowl.  Stir until granules have dissolved and add to the brownie mixture.  If you are using the strong coffee, simply add two tsps of the coffee to the brownie mixture.  Stir until smooth.  Pour mixture into pie crust and bake for 25 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean).  Remove from heat and place in the fridge.

While the brownie layer is baking, use an electric mixer to beat the milk,  1 tsp coffee (granules or brewed), vanilla, and pudding mix in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Next fold 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream into the pudding mixture.  After the brownie layer has cooled down to at least room temperature, gently spread spoon the pudding mixture over the brownie layer.  Combine the last tsp of coffee (granules add to one tsp of hot water or simply add brewed) and fold into the last 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream.  Gently spoon the coffee whipped cream onto the pudding layer.  If desired, use a vegetable peeler to make chocolate curls from the chocolate bars.  Finish the pie by garnishing with chocolate curls.  Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  

Happy Wednesday!

This week we're all about Our Favorite Things. We love supporting local boutiques, farmers markets, butchers, and most especially bakeries. In fact I love our little artisan bakeries so much that I did an entire roundup of my favorites a couple of years ago. In the last year or so, I've really grown to love biscuits. As simple as they are, I really look forward to heating up a butter biscuit from my favorite local bakery, Bittersweet, smothering it with jam and pairing it with a mug of French pressed coffee. For this week's Food Network post, I wanted to find a recipe  that I would realistically want to make during the work week, wasn't too unhealthy, and was just sweet enough to satisfy my relentless morning sweet tooth. After spending a little time on the magical World Wide Web, I found it - Biscuits stuffed with strawberry jam and whipped cream.

Enjoy!

 
stephania 
 

Winter Shortcake Stuffed with Jam & Whipped Cream
adapted from Bon Appetit; January 2013

 

What you need:           biscuitsfinalIMG 2742

  • 2 Cups of BA Biscuit Mix 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and sliced into 1/2" thick pieces
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup dried figs, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbs raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup jam
  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream, whipped
  • all-purpose flour, for dusting surface

What you do:

    Preheat oven to 425°F .  Combine biscuit mixture and butter into a food processor, until it's similar to coarse meal. Transfer to bowl. Add buttermilk. Stir to mix. Add figs and zest. Stir to combine. Flour a flat working surface. Transfer dough to floured surface and kneed for 4-5 times. Dust your rolling pin with flour and roll out dough until it's approximately a 7" square and about 3/4" thick. Slice dough in half. Slice each half into 4 rectangles. 

    Transfer shortcakes to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and then sprinkle with raw sugar. 

    Bake shortcakes for 13 - 15 minutes or until just golden brown. Let them cool for 15 minutes. Slice each piece in half and and fill with jam and whipped cream. 

     

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        Thursday, 21 February 2013 19:58

        TND: Yia Yia's Baklava

        Happy Thursday! Last Sunday, I helped Dave host soup night at his house - a dinner tradition he started with his friends in college where they all get together, make soup, and catch up. Sounds a little familiar, huh?  Dave chose a Greek lentil soup recipe and I decided to stick with the theme and make my Yia Yia's baklava from our Greek family cookbook that she titled Greek Cooking for Americans (I like to pronounce this with a Greek American accent in my head, but you don't have to). The book is a collection of all of my great grandmothers cooking, translated into English, and then handed down to each woman in our family. I love this book. I like picturing my papou with his brothers and sisters all sitting around together at the dinner table in their small hometown of Sydney, Ohio eating their special treat. Or sometime I like to picture my Papou going to his father's ice cream shop, Purity, after school to help out. I wonder if they ever served this recipe to their customers along with a big scoop of American vanilla bean ice cream.  My favorite memories of eating my Yia Yia's baklava are always sitting at the little island in my Yia Yia and Papou's kitchen with my feet dangling from the tall stool and a big scoop of ice cream on the side served in the original Purity sundae dishes. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world sitting at the counter and still do.
         
        I hope that this recipe brings a little joy to you too! 
         
        Enjoy!
         
        xoxo,
         
        stephania 
         

        Yia Yia's BaklavabaklavaIMG 2049
        by Penelope Kookootsedes

        What you need:           

        For the syrup (needs to be made at least one hour ahead of time):

        • 4 cups sugar
        • 1/2 cup honey
        • 2 cups water
        • 1 stick cinnamon
        • 2 tbsp lemon juice

        For the pastry: 

        • 4 cups walnuts, ground
        • 1/2 cup sugar
        • 1 tbsp cinnamon
        • 3/4 lb butter
        • whole cloves
        • 1 lb filo

        What you do:

          For the syrup:

          Bring all ingredients to a boil.  Let it cook for 10 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature (I used the refrigerator to speed this up). 

          Mix walnuts, cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

          Place a sheet of filo in the pan.  Brush it with melted butter. Continue until there are 6 layers of filo.  Then sprinkle nut mixture over filo. Add a sheet of filo, butter it and sprinkle walnut mixture over it.  Continue until the walnuts are used up.  Top with 6 layers of filo. 

          Cut in diamond shape, about 1 1/4". Put a whole clove in the center of each piece. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes and then lower heat to 350°F and bake for one hour. 

          Pour cooled syrup mixture over baklava and let it sit for at least one hour (preferably overnight). Serve room temperature or warmed. 

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