Here, There, Everywhere: Week 5

One of the things I love most about my job is the variety of projects I get to work on. The last few weeks there has been somewhat of an explosion of awesome new opportunities for us to tackle which has been both thrilling and challenging which is just the right yin and yang I need to keep things moving. I hope it’s the standard for the year to come. Continue Reading →

Here, There and Everywhere: Week 3

There are few things more glorious this time of year than to have a whole weekend that is almost entirely unscheduled. Coinciding with the start of the Olympics and a nasty bug that hit on Friday night meant we spent this weekend snuggled up in our apartment, and it was lovely. Needless to say a little internet perusing happened too and these were the best of the nets. Continue Reading →

A Playlist for Finn: Sleeps

I’ve been creating playlists for Finn pretty much since I found out I was pregnant. I have a list of music I played for him in my belly almost every night for the last two months of his residency, a list of classic rock that I consider essential to his musical development, even a list of pop songs that make him laugh – yeah, if there is a scenario that warrants a soundtrack I’ve started a playlist for it. Continue Reading →

Loretta, I love you.  Not like they told you love is and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything.  It breaks your heart, it makes things a mess.  We aren’t here to make things perfect.  The snowflakes are perfect.  The stars are perfect.  Not us. Not Us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die.  The storybooks are bullshit.  Now I want you to come upstairs with me and get in my bed!

-Ronny “Moonstruck

Soundtracks, Supper Nachos & News

I really should get used to my life being a total roller coaster but nearly 30 years in and it still throws me off a bit when some new big change happens. So for the last 3 weeks I’ve been adjusting to the idea that in a week I’ll be a New Yorker. Yep, with a slightly sad heart and a whole lotta excitement I’m closing the Philly chapter of my adventure, packing up our home and heading to New York. It’s a big leap into a new position and life but one I am more than ready for – in no small part due to the super fantastic group of friends and family who await us there. Continue Reading →

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

I consider myself pretty lucky that my parents always invited us into the kitchen with them when they were making meals. My dad is a recipe kinda guy and was always cruising through cookbooks for ideas to try while my mother loathes recipes and usually just cooked according to taste, memory or curiosity. From the two of them I learned a lot about cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, something I thought every parent imparted on their kids. However, over the years I have realized that is not the case. In fact, most of my friends have a very limited understanding of how to cook or improvise when making a meal. I am always happy to share my kitchen know-how with friends who ask.

Continue Reading →

New To Know: Cloud Control + A New Republic

Cloud Control 

Cloud is the new “the” and sometimes it’s difficult to keep all of the new cloud bands straight so I was a little slow on listening to the stuff from Cloud Control. At some point over the last few weeks their new album Bliss Release come up and more than once I found myself checking on the source of what I was listening to. CC isn’t making anything really wild music but they’re well invested in playing cool retro neo-surf pop. It’s breezy with a fair touch of charming lyrics. The male-female harmonies tend towards the homey sweet end of the spectrum but not in an annoying way, it actually end up being rather soothing. Bliss Release is the first release for the Australian group and it’s definitely a strong showing out of the gate.

[MP3] Gold Canary

Awesome New Republic

Miami’s Another New Republic (aka ANR) snuck up on me. They’re another group that initially I didn’t give enough of a listen to but stuck on my “to review” playlist long enough that they slowly began to grow into my consciousness. Now that I’ve given their newest album Stay Kids a few listens straight through I am embarrassed it took me this long. They call their music “apocalyptic synth-pop” which certainly touches on the weight of the material – this isn’t all fluffy dance music (although they have their moments) – it’s smart lyrics delivered with a well chosen variation of synths, drums and effects to lend the right mood. On the second trip through Stay Kids I definitely felt the comprehensive ebb and flow that it the mark of a well curated album. Now I just need to make sure to catch them the next time they pass through town.

[MP3] New Armor




Sage Rubbed Pork Chops With Rum Cider Pan Sauce & Sauteed Applesauce

I am coming up on my 1 anniversary of eating meat and I feel I’ve only recently started to warm up to the real art of cooking meat. Letting my mind wander back to the many super tasty meals my mom mande for us when I was a kid I’ve been venturing beyond chicken and turkey into the world of pork, sausage and beef. One meal I’ve been particularly hankering for is pork chops and applesauce. I have fond memories of my mom’s nicely caramelized chops with a hint of rosemary always served with applesauce on the side. It was something she always made in the fall which is probably why it’s on my mind. Continue Reading →

Awesome Salad and Stellar Jazz At Cubana Social

Salad and Jazz are two things that are most often taken for granted but when done really really well can be transcendent. This past Saturday I had the totally unexpected pleasure to experience superb salad and jazz at the same time. Yeah, I am fully aware this is a strange combination of things to elicit excitement but it’s one of those thing you cannot anticipate until it happens – like the joy of eating gummy worms in the shower (try it and tell me you doesn’t make you smile).

We had spent Saturday wandering through Brooklyn with friends and by the end there were three of us left standing and we were hungry. So, we decided to head to Cubana Social for their masterful tipples and give their food a taste. As I mentioned this wasn’t a meal I was expecting to blow me away, I was simply following the collective tastebuds. After a brief stop at the bar while waiting to be seated we were shown to a table in the middle of the dining room. The CS space is incredibly well done, just enough design to establish a comfortable “lived-in” feel without looking hokey. The major bonus was even with the high ceilings and sparse decorations sound didn’t crash around; instead it maintained a slight hum that allowed for reasonable conversation without shouting.

Service was quick and kind, our appetizer – a pickle plate – was on the table in no time and within a few minutes of polishing off the very tasty selection of brined and pickled veggies out came our entrees. This is where the salad made its entrance. Originally the Summer Salad had called out to me for it’s use of chive (something I have tons of in my garden and need ideas for) but the beautiful plate that landed before showed off the absoute best of each ingredients. The combination of chive, purple cabbage, pea shoots and watercress with orange slices tossed with just enough vinaigrette to tie it all together was resplendent. All the factor were considered when putting this dish together the subtle flavor of the chive played well with the watercress and the orange added just the right amount of zip. The cabbage and peashoots provided a texture and body most often lacking in a salad. Bringing this all together in a reasonable serving and paired with one of Cubana Social’s brilliant cocktails (I highly recommend the Dill Paloma) would have been enough for me to leave with a happy tummy and praises on my lips. Then the jazz started.

The bartender had mentioned briefly that the bassist for the nights entertainment, the Devin Collins quartet, was the son of jazz great Jaco Pastorius, one of my favorite bass players of all time who passed away in 1987 so seeing him live isn’t really an option. Well, it turns out Jaco’s spirit is alive and well in the hands of his massively talented son Felix. The four fellas who took the stage Saturday night all possessed an enviable amount of talent. This was immediately apparent as they started playing. The mark of good jazz to me is performers who make music that is at once complicated, intriguing and familiar while also entirely comfortable and by this definition the set the Devin Collins quartet delivered this weekend was ace.

What began as an unassuming end to a wonderful day ended up being one of the best dining experiences I’ve had of late. I am eager to revisit the menu and music at Cubana Social again soon.

Cubana Social

70 North 6th Street • Brooklyn, NY 11211

“Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”

- Haruki Murikami