Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let Me See That PUMPKIN Roll

Although I'm obviously somewhat of New Yorker now (own a Yankees tee and all), my roots are pure Southern. Where I come from, we use three main ingredients in our cooking: cheese, sugar, and buttah'. Lots and lots o' buttah'.

Here is a fam-favorite recipe that combines all three! It makes a perfect dessert for any holiday.

pumpkin roll

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

to do:
in large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating with an electric mixer until thick and light yellow in color. add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended.

in separate bow, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. add egg to mixture, mixing well. spread butter into greased and waxed-paper lined 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pain.

bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. remove from oven. cool for 15 minutes. place cake on clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. cool 10 minutes longer. from 10-inch side roll cake up in towel. set aside.

while cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling. beat together cream cheese and butter; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth.

unroll cake. evenly spread filling over cake. roll up cake (without the towel). wrap in plastic wrap. cover and chill at least 1 hour. slice before serving. keep leftover slices refrigerated...if you have any leftovers, that is. enjoy!

until next time.

recipe from diana rattray

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Festivities

Here are some ideas for the little kids AND big kids for celebrating Halloween this year --
New York City style, of course:
If you're looking for a place to take the munchkins, check out "Halloween with the Dinosaurs" on October 31st from 2PM to 5PM at the American Museum of Natural History, located at 79th Street and Central Park West. Admission is $10 per person ($9 for museum members). Over thirty of the halls inside the museum will open for pumpkin carving, crafts & trick-or-treating. Plus, there will be live band performances and characters such as Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog. (Gosh, I'm happy that kids still know who those two are!)

If you prefer to venture out Friday night, take the kiddies to the Children's Museum located at 212 West 83rd Street near Broadway for their Halloween party. Regular admission applies.

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will have their Halloween "Spooktacular" on both Saturday the 31st and Sunday the 1st. Stilt walkers and interactive scarecrows ( greet you at the door. Face painting is from 11:00AM to 4:00PM and the magic shows (wait. magic shows?) are from 12:00PM to 2:00PM. Kids can also enjoy a haunted house and a pumpkin patch. As posted on their website, the first 100 kids who arrive on Oct 31st & Nov 1st will get a free trick-or-treat goody bag. RUN! Regular admission applies there as well.

So if you're a big kid and you want to attend something that will make you purchase a Hello Kitty nightlight in order to sleep, check out the tour of the Merchant's House Museum, built in 1832, located at 29 East 4th Street between Lafayette and the Bowery. It is the sole 19th century house in the city that is completely preserved - a landmark home to ninety percent of its original furnishings. According to their website, if you happen to have an "experience" with any ghosts during the tour, they ask that you please share it with the staff so they can add your tale to their collection. So, ya know, if you happen to get in a long political debate with a see-through person, write it down.

If you're up for a little candy corn-clubbin', click here for the long list of parties. Looks like many celebrities will be hosting this year including Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon, Real Housewives Kelly Bensimon & Jill Zarin, 30 Rock's Katrina Bowden, Tyson Beckford (sign me up!), O'Neal McKnight and DJ Josh Madden.

And finally, you can always watch the Halloween parade that goes up 6th Ave from Spring Street to 21st Street.

I lived in the village during the past two parades and I warn you, anything goes. (insert smiley face with BIG eyes). If you prefer to watch from a distance, it will also be broadcasted on NY 1 from 8-9:30PM.

May everyone have a fun and safe Halloween this weekend!

postscript: if you missed the nation's biggest dog parade in Tompkins Square Park last weekend, you can click here to see the guaranteed-to-put-a-grin-on-your-face photos.

until next time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I Have an Agenda Problem

Nope, I don't have trouble getting things done and keeping track of my agenda. Heck, that's my job - keeping the business agendas of my seven bosses straight. Yes, I said seven. You can call me Snow White.

Nope, I don't have bad intentions or any hidden agendas.

I have a problem when it comes to the tangible object called an agenda - otherwise known as a planner, datebook, diary, Filofax, calendar, myentirelifeinanotebook.
One of the many things I inherited from my mother is the need to make lists. Lots and lots of lists. For everything. I was the child that sat at the kitchen table and made up to-do's, including but not limited to: "figure out how to draw a giraffe, find a t-shirt to put on Baby Louie (my oversized-Himalayan-inbred-monster-of-a-cat. please note that I had more than one cat named Baby Louie as a child.), ask Mom if she can make cookies, brush Baby Louie, ***4pm - Home Improvement!" Little did I know that later in life the actual task of making such lists wouldn't be so fun since they involved things like paying bills and buying toilet paper (ya know, to put in the toilet room. heh.) Once life consisted of such responsibility I found myself on the constant search for the perfect system of organizing my life.
If I didn't write it down, I would... forget! *shudder*

Some people keep everything stored in their blackberrys, iphones, some type of PDA device -- totally not for me. Somewhere down the line I racked up quite a bit of bad karma with technology (I really need to stop cursing at the printer) and thus, the second I rely completely on any gadget to store my life it will completely die and everything will be lost forever including my sanity. So, I stick to some form of paper calendar - but how do you choose? Some are so gi-normous that you end up being the big oaf lugging around a planner that can't even fit in your purse. What's worse? A tiny planner. Like what the hell is THAT going to do? I see women pull out these itty bitty leather squares from their purses as if they're about to perform a magic trick ("watch it disappear between my fingers!"); they force the pages open and attempt to write their list in a miniature box . They can't even fit their palm on the page to hold it down and their fingers crumple up in pain in attempt to write "need milk". Yeah, it's cute. Yeah, it can fit in the inside pocket of your purse. But, can you actually read what you write down? That's what I thought.

After years of ditching datebooks & calendars only a few months into a year because they just weren't cutting it, I have finally found one that has made me happy all-the-livelong-year. Voila!

Look at all the pretty colors!
You can find these at Kate's Paperie. 9.25"x7"

In addition to monthly views, the planner also shows each week at-a-glance and provides pages for addresses/personal records/expenses and so much more. With plenty of room to keep straight all the million little details life contains, you simply can't go wrong.

You can also "snazz" it up by purchasing Henri Bendel's special edition of the agenda sold at their store.

(Okay, the one on top = tiny planner = dumb purchase that will give you carpel tunnel syndrome. I'm talking about the one on the bottom.) For 2010, they have patent red, a cream patent with a Bendel scene --- and a fabulous black sparkly version - that I may or may not have already purchased. Wink.
Agenda problem solved. Crisis averted.
until next time,
*pictures by glamour and kate's paperie

Monday, October 19, 2009

New York Cares, Do You?

This past Saturday was New York Cares Day. Volunteers all over the city came together to enhance one hundred and seventeen public schools by painting, cleaning, organizing & decorating. My friend, Anne, forwarded me information a couple months ago indicating that NY Cares was still looking for mural artists. I promptly sent in my registration, excited
to find a volunteer project that combined my love for art and my love for kids & education.
I must admit that I ended up putting forth much more time and effort into this project than I had anticipated. I spent many evenings reworking sketches for a principal that had a "fun technology-infused vision" he couldn't necessarily articulate. Despite that frustration and the five hours spent on a lonely Friday night sketching out images on walls whilst dangling from a ladder, I must also admit that this was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in the city. (Okay, perhaps it's tied with the time a little ol' lady asked if I could hold her arm and walk with her 5 blocks, after which she insisted on giving me a lollipop that may or may not have been from 1972.)

After prepping the rooms/mixing colors early Saturday morning, a group of ten other volunteers helped me paint the two classrooms and by mid-afternoon the murals were complete.

Yes, it was a lot of work, but the simple fact that over 88,000 kids in New York City arrived at school this morning to find updated and cheerful learning spaces makes all of our efforts so very worth it. The herds of eager volunteers throughout that particular school - and throughout the entire city - proves just how much New York cares.

To learn more about New York Cares and how you can contribute, please go to

until next time,

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Hate My Radiator

First of all, welcome to my blog! I graduated from college in 2007 and am in the process of learning what it's like to be a grown-up, a triumph I highly recommend avoiding for as long as possible. I do not necessarily know all that I intend for this blog, but I hope it can at least provide a sort of "inside scoop" on my life as a young woman in New York City -- or better said, a little lady in the Big Apple.

Now on to more important things -- like how much I hate my radiator.

There comes a time each Fall in NYC when your landlord or superintendent deems the temperature cold enough to turn on the heat. On such day, you wake up circa 4:00AM to a very loud and disturbing noise. In your delirious state, you search your shoebox-size-of-a-room for the intruder you're certain has stolen your trusty tool bag (a gift you received from a concerned relative after you confessed you used a hot pink stiletto as a hammer), emptied its contents and gone to town with smacking every object in your vicinity in hopes of terrifying you before actually killing you.

If this is your first cold season in your city apartment, then it may take longer for you to realize that there is no actual intruder.

Good luck with that.

If this a repeated offense, it will soon dawn on you what is actually making that horrid noise.
Yep, it's that makeshift surface you've been using all summer as a strategic storage space.
Yep, it's that object under which you will never be able to keep clean no matter how hard you try.
Yep, it's located way too close to where you sleep.
Yep, it's your radiator.

In addition to the clanking and hissing radiator, you must also now avoid the few hot water pipes that run floor-to-ceiling in various nooks of your apartment. Normally, they are tucked away in places you don't usually go -- like that corner of the kitchen that has the weird smell you can never quite identify.

Or if you're like me, you may not be so lucky.

I recently moved into my own tiny apartment on the border of Chelsea and the West Village and although this is my third winter in NYC, it's my first in my new place. I really do love my apartment, but I do have to endure a bit of "quirkiness" in lieu of paying even more of a fortune for rent. One such quirk is the fact that I have a room with a purpose entirely dedicated to the toilet. Not surprisingly, I call this room "the toilet room". The bathroom, a completely separate room on the other side of the apartment, contains the shower and sink. The toilet room contains the toilet --- oh and four walls, one of which my legs are forced up against --- oh and suitably, a hot water pipe. Perhaps they (not really sure who they are, but someone had to do this to me) could have placed the hot water pipe behind the toilet or maybe they could have realized that the 2x3 foot room may not be the prime spot for a heat source. Undoubtedly they decided it would be more fun to think of us all roasting while using the loo. It's a surprise the landlord didn't advertise the layout as having a "toilet room and sauna all-in-one"! The hot water pipe runs inches from the built-in toilet paper dispenser, located directly next to where you already have to somehow position your legs. Not only do I now have to stumble up the two stairs and back in to the coffin-sized room every morning, I have to do so carefully so as not to burn myself on the scalding hot water pipe! You better not grab for the toilet paper too fast, ladies and gents, because that innocent-looking fixture WILL burn you. And with me being a "little lady", it's even more of a sight to see my 6'3" giant-of-a-boyfriend make such attempt.

So yes, I hate my clanking/banging/hissing/clicking radiator. And yes, I hate the not-so-conveniently placed hot water pipes. And if you're unfamiliar with anything other than central heating, you guessed it - I hate you too.

until next time,
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