Happy Friday*

Truffled Tator Tots from Anise Gastro Bar in Tampa

1. I wanted a new desk for my office – so that meant a trip downtown to Ikea. I bought this unfinished kitchen table (it would be way too small for a kitchen table – but a perfect desk) and threw on a few coats of mint green paint. It turned out adorable and I love that I have a “custom” mint green desk for under $100 including paint!

2. The whole reason I just told you about the desk, was to explain why we were downtown. What I REALLY want to talk about are those Truffled Tater Tots with Lemon Parsley Créme Fraiche from Anise Global Gastrobar. Jorge and I were downtown at Ikea late and decided we would just grab dinner there instead of trying to fight traffic home. We had heard of Anise and were excited to get a chance to try it. Those Truffled Tater Tots were so perfect that I almost growled at Jorge when he took the last one. The Chinese BBQ Pork w/ Pickled Radish Sticky Bunz (picture here) were also divine. If you are ever in the Tampa area — you have to stop in. They are new on the scene (only open 6 months so far), but I know they are one of our new favorites.

Candles by Victoria

3. It’s still hot and sticky down here in Florida, so I have been pretending like it’s Fall through the use of candles and decorations (like my new pumpkin wearing a top hat). I bought some of the Candles By Victoria after hearing SO many of you rave about them when I asked what your favorite Fall candle was on FB. I ended up going to the website and seeing that they are based out of Texas and knew I really had to try a candle or two…Texas people really like to stick together…even Texas people that haven’t lived there in years. 😉

But anyways — I got my candles by the end of the week and I am seriously blown away! I have never had a candle smell so strongly (and I mean that in a good way). In 10 minutes, it had the entire downstairs smelling like Fall! The candle above is Maple Butter Pumpkin Frap (found on page 4 of the candles section). I also ordered ‘Under The Harvest Moon’ and ‘Zucchini Bread’. I don’t like one more than the other – they are all amazing and way better than any Yankee Candle I have had.  (PS According to their FB page, they are currently working on a new website – so it will be easier to navigate the 867 fragrances soon.)

Pork Buns

4. I went last week to a huge Asian market in Orlando and I seriously spent $80. I’m not even sure how I spent that much since everything is so cheap there. I bought some amazing homemade kimchi for kimchi pancakes and enough wasabi peas for a century. But the thing I spent the most money on? Frozen Chinese Style Pork Buns. They are the ones in the photo above. I bought 10 bags of them! They are my absolute favorite thing to get at Dim Sum and I just couldn’t stop myself from loading up my cart. I am ashamed to say that since Jorge has been gone, I have eaten them for dinner 3 days in a row. My obsession is a little embarrassing.

By the way, in case you don’t have an awesome bamboo steamer, I bought mine off Amazon It was the same price as in the store! However, I did buy my parchment steamer sheets in the store and they are not cheaper online. But if you can’t find a good Asian market near you – they also sell parchment steamer sheets on amazon. Now you can become as pork bun obsessed as me!

AllYou Magazine 10/2013

5. It’s SO fun to see something of yours in actual print. I obviously have an online approach to things, but just like seeing my cookbooks in print…it’s awesome to see something printed in a magazine! So if you get AllYou magazine, turn to page 70 to see my smiling face looking back at you! If you don’t get it — you can find the recipe for Homemade White Chocolate Butterfingers here on the blog from last year. 😉

6. I got my hair colored yesterday and am now a member of Team Ombré! I did a mixture of Balayage Technique and Ombré — that way there is no abrupt line of color. My hair now goes gradually from a warm brown to caramel on the ends. It’s so fun and fresh…and I know most people like to go darker in the Fall, but I was ready for a change. The best part about Ombré? The roots are meant to happen. Yay for not having to touch up my roots every 6 weeks!

Brody 9/18/13

7. Brody got a new haircut today. It’s the same one he always gets, shave all over and a mohawk on top. He was so exhausted he could barely even keep his eyes open. He was only there a couple of hours — you would think they had him running laps! I just had to show you guys because he looked so insanely cute.

8. I am off to NYC today for an impromptu long weekend. I am going to meet Jorge who is there for 3 weeks for work. I talked about my insane jealously already, so we don’t have to cover that again today. Anyways, I am having a real tough time deciding on what I should pack. It says 70’s in the day and 60’s at night. To me that means cute boots weather, but I’m worried to New Yorkers that means shorts. So I am warning you all now, if everyone is in shorts and you see a chick in brown riding boots and ombré hair — it’s just me. Please don’t point and laugh at the Tampa girl.

9. Lastly, What is your favorite restaurant in NYC and what is your favorite thing to do? Jorge and I are looking for things that are a little less touristy, because we will be back in December with our friends and will be doing those things then.

While I may be out of town, there is still a new post tomorrow. I am sharing a recipe for Nutella Pumpkin Swirl Muffins! Make sure and check back in — You don’t want to miss it! Oh and thanks in advance for all your NYC recommendations!

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24 Responses to “Happy Friday”

  1. 1

    Mimi @ Culinary Couture — September 19, 2013 @ 1:27 am

    Show us a picture of your new hair! P.S. Brody looks adorable!

  2. 2

    Ellen — September 19, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    Hi. My kids live in NYC & we go frequently. Restaurants we like:
    Malatesta–Home cooking Italian style
    The Little Owl–good food, great ambiance
    Lupa–tiny, Italian, good
    I Sodi–best pasta I’ve had! Tiny space
    Market Table–good, trendy American food
    Fiat cafe–good Italian food, cheap!
    Little Cupcake Bakeshop–save room for dessert! Just a block from Fiat–both in Nolita

    Have a great time!

  3. 3

    Ellen — September 19, 2013 @ 8:35 am

    To do:
    Free Tours by Foot–we went to Harlem, Lower East Side. Both very interesting.
    World Trade Center site–you have to go; so moving; bring Kleenex
    Tenement Museum–very interesting, especially if you have relatives who immigrated
    Ellis Island–ditto

    These are a little different from the usual treks.

  4. 4

    Ellen — September 19, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    Go to Chinatown–Joe’s Shanghai–get the soup dumplings. You won’t regret it!

    Everyone will be wearing boots! Go for it. Take layers–might feel chilly when you start out, but it gets warm when you’re walking. Take comfy shoes–lots of walking!

  5. 5

    Eva @ Eva Bakes — September 19, 2013 @ 8:55 am

    If you don’t want to buy parchment rounds for your bamboo steamer, you can always put down a layer of (washed) napa cabbage instead. Then set your pork buns on top of the napa. That’s how my (Asian) parents always did it. :)

    • Jessica replied: — September 19th, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

      Thanks for the tip Eva!

  6. 6

    Dawn P — September 19, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    One of my favorite places in NYC a few years ago was Jane. They had the best Toasted Ricotta Gnocchi. I begged for the recipe, but they wouldn’t give it up. 😉


  7. 7

    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — September 19, 2013 @ 9:17 am

    Love the restaurant Crispo (located in West Village near Union Square)–and Sarabeth’s is a really fun brunch spot. I love visiting the Highline and farmer’s markets too! Have a great trip!!!

    PS. Brody is ridiculously cute.

  8. 8

    Andrea — September 19, 2013 @ 9:35 am

    Definitely go to Governors Island if the weather is nice! There’s an awesome old-fashioned French Carnival going on there. You get to the island by free ferry from South Ferry in lower Manhattan. It was so much fun and so charming!

  9. 9

    Leah | So, How's It Taste? — September 19, 2013 @ 9:45 am

    Definitely get a cookie from Levain Bakery! I really love Pio Pio. It’s a Peruvian restaurant and the food is so good! I have a series of NYC eats posts on my blog if you get bored and want to see what else I ate!

  10. 10

    Anne — September 19, 2013 @ 10:45 am

    The San Gennaro feast is going on…it ends Sunday. It’s an awesome festival with great street food (zeppole’s and rice balls) and fantastic Italian restaurants in the area. I would make it a point to go there, its a lot of fun!

  11. 11

    Anne — September 19, 2013 @ 10:46 am

    Oh the feast runs along Mulberry Street between Canal & Houston

  12. 12

    jessica lynn — September 19, 2013 @ 11:37 am

    Okay, now I really want to see pictures of your painted desk and new hair!!

  13. 13

    Beth — September 19, 2013 @ 11:50 am

    Can I just say that i LOVE your dog! Cocker Spaniel, right? My Sadie (black and white cocker spaniel) gets the EXACT SAME haircut! Shaved all over with her fuzz left on top! It’s her signature look. LOVE IT! :) I just love their velvety soft fur when they just come from the groomer…. I could ruffle them all day long! Can you tell I love dogs! 😉

    • Jessica replied: — September 19th, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

      Yes he is a Cocker! Aww your Sadie sounds adorable!! 😉

  14. 14

    Marilyn — September 19, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

    Two excellent restaurants in NYC: DB Bistro Moderne on the east side, and Gabriel’s on the west side near the Lincoln Center. Bon appetit!

  15. 15

    Stacey — September 19, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

    If you’re going to Chinatown, you must eat at Wo-Hop on Mott St.! Downstairs, preferably.

  16. 16

    Mel Meister — September 19, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

    Hi, Where is the Asian market in Orlando? I’m in Deltona and would like to check it out.



  17. 17

    Mel Meister — September 19, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

    If you are ever in the Longwood area (north of Orlando), check out The Hourglass Brewery on S.R. 434 and Ronald Reagan (427). Awesome craft brew!

  18. 18

    Mallori Watson — September 19, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

    Momofukus bakery if you have not tried it yet. Their cereal milk soft serve has such a nostalgic flavor it take you to a warm happy place :-)

  19. 19

    Pam — September 21, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

    Next trip try Enoteca Maria on Staten Island and see which Nonna is cooking that night. Or hop over to Hoboken to either Zafra Kitchens (Cuban) or the sister restaurant Cucharamama (South American) and be sure to save room for dessert!

  20. 20

    Jess — October 4, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

    Oh my your dog is adorable!! LOL

  21. 21

    I might like pumpkin… — September 24, 2014 @ 6:01 am

    […] I have to admit, I usually go with candles at Bath & Body Works or Yankee Candles. However, after reading rave reviews on Jessica’s blog last year, I decided to give Candles by Victoria a […]

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