LIFE GOALS

New York City, I want to hold your hand.


New York City. I love you. 

If I could be your lover I would. 
I would take your hands in my hands. 
And I just wouldn't let go. 

Because only in precious Queens will perfect boys take you to eat Indian/Chinese food in restaurants with disco balls. And to eat Thai food in gardens. The train to get there is so long. 


And only in Brooklyn will you go to random Hawaiian themed parties, and talk to boys with sad eyes, while eating sugary frozen pie from the Momofuku Milk Bar at 3am. Or go to Roberta's pizza with Olivia, 



and eat green covered pizzas, and poppy seeded gelato that tastes like sparkles. 



Or make your way through a cheese plate with a kind stranger/friend who tells you that she has "never fallen in love slowly." And get drunk on nice beer and brazilian music in your friend's basement kitchen. 



Because only in Manhattan will you eat dollar slices of pizza, and cheeseburgers and drink stella and talk about where it is you are/aren't, and get lost in plates of cold spicy noodles, and soup dumplings, and puerto rican ham sandwiches and perogies and cups of coffee and mango lassi, and drink more beer and eat two kinds of cheesecake in one sitting, and just love it all. 



However, there are no breakfast tacos in New York. 
So I'm back in Texas. 
So full, and also so hungry. 
A friend once told me, that maybe it's love when "you want to hold someone's hands, but they are already holding yours." 



New York City, you held my hand before I even tried to reach out. 

So blessed and so grateful. 




*****

Artichoke Basille's Pizza
328 E 14th St
New York, NY
(212) 228-2004

Mission Chinese Food
154 Orchard St  New York, NY 10002
(212) 529-8800

La Taza de Oro
96 8th Ave  New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-9946


Roberta's
261 Moore St  Brooklyn, NY 11206
(718) 417-1118

Xian Foods
67 Bayard Street
New York, NY 10013 


SriPraPhai 
64-13 39th Ave
Woodside, NY
(718) 899-9599

The Corner Bistro
331 W 4th St  New York, NY 10014
(212) 242-9502

Veniero's Italian Bakery
342 E 11th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 674-7070

Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 E 7th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-2314

Diner
85 Broadway
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
11249

Smourgasburg

East River State Park
(90 Kent Ave at N. 7 St)

Blue Ribbon Sushi
119 Sullivan St
New York
(212) 343-0404

Madman Espresso
319 

E 14th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-2233

Velselka
144 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-9682

BaoHaus
238 E 14th St  New York, NY 10003
(646) 669-8889

The Gray Dog90 University Pl
New York, NY
(212) 414-4739


Station166 N 7th St  Brooklyn, NY 11211(718) 599-1596


new york city finds me.

Beloveds, 

I am in New York City. 




And I am eating bagels and arepas and pastries and so much coffee. 
I've breakfasted, brunched, lunched and suppered. 
I ate sea urchin that tasted like the ocean was giving me a kiss and I drank sangria that tasted what nectar must taste like and I ate biscuits and pickled beets and fried chicken all in the same meal. 
I ate a croissant that came in an actual puddle of butter. 
I ate pizza with crust that was more of a crisp than a crust. 
I ate scrapple. I still don't really even know what scrapple is. 
Margaritas with fresh squeezed orange juice. Campari and prosecco with lime. 
Bread and butter. 
And I ate macaroni and cheese from a box one day when I was too tired to go out and feeling childlike and lonesome. 



What is this life. 



I think I am very happy for the first time in what feels like a very long time. 

I don't feel like looking back and discussing what has been.
And I don't feel like looking forward and asking what's next. 
I just want to be

I read this quote a while ago, from one of my favorite musicians, a man who goes by the moniker Shakey Graves. 
He said, 

"I am what I am, and with this old knowledge of new places I stand on the verge of wandering the earth until I am found. 
I am soon to be found."



I love this.
I believe it. 
I have believed it for so long. 
That you can be found. 

You are never so lost that you cannot be found. 

Whether it is by New York City, or a person to hold you, even just sharing a meal. 

You can always be found. 




And right now, I feel found. 


Places to Eat in New York City and Brooklyn 

Marea
240 Central Park S  New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-5100

Egg Restaurant 
135 N 5th St  Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 302-5151

Marlow & Sons
81 Broadway  Brooklyn, NY 11249

(718) 384-1441

Jacob's Pickle
509 Amsterdam Ave  New York, NY 10024
(212) 470-5566

Momofuku Milk Bar 
561 Columbus Ave
New York
(347) 577-9504


Ost Cafe
441 E 12th St  New York, NY 10009
(212) 477-5600


Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 E 7th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-2314Epicerie Boulud 
1900 Broadway  New York, NY 10023

(212) 595-0303
Petrossian Boutique and Cafe
911 Seventh Ave
New York, NY

(212) 245-2217

Lighter-Than-Air-Chocolate Cake


Hello Beloveds, 
Yesterday was my birthday. 
I’m 20. 


Now is such a difficult and strange time, and the past several months have had me all achey and breakey. Growing pains. 
Somehow, yesterday, the sky was tremendous and blue and I felt this delight and calm settle over me. I don’t know if it was the weather, or the fact that I was very tired, or just because I’m no longer a teen. 
But I was so happy. 
I am still so happy. 

A friend asked me what my intention for being 20 is. I told her, I said, "Gratitude and forgiveness. And I want to write better songs." 

That’s all. 

The future is strange and dark. No one, no one, no one knows what is coming next. And yet, somehow yesterday, under that blue sky, I felt a lightness and freedom that I have not felt for a very, very long time. 

It’s all going to come out in the wash, falling down and picking myself up again, with a song in my throat, I go forward. 

We go forward together. 

Thank you thank you thank you. 



Lighter-Than-Air-Flourless-Chocolate-Cake
via SmittenKitchen.com 

My mother baked me this incredible cake. It’s like eating a chocolate cloud. And gluten free! 

To make four cake layers:
12 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
6 tablespoons water
12 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder

For filling: 
2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier* or Rum of Some Kind or Other 

Make cake layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease four 9-inch circular cake pans and line bottoms of circles with a piece of parchment paper.
Melt chocolate with water in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring. Cool to lukewarm.
Beat yolks, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 5 minutes in a standing mixer or about 8 minutes with a hand-held mixer. Fold in melted chocolate until blended. Beat whites with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks (you will need an enormous bowl for 12 egg whites).
Gradually add remaining 2/3 cup sugar and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Fold one third of whites into melted-chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Spread batter evenly over four baking pans and bake until puffed and top is dry to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating cakes between racks to ensure they bake evenly. Transfer pans to cooling racks and if necessary, loosen edges with a knife.
Sift cocoa powder over top of cake layers and place a piece of waxed paper over the top of the pans. Place a baking sheet over paper and invert cake onto it, gently peeling off wax paper lining. Place layers in the freezer for about an hour, until they are firm enough to be carefully lifted without breaking.
Make filling: Beat cream with powdered sugar and Grand Marnier with cleaned beaters until it just holds stiff peaks.
Fill and stck cake: Bring first cake layer out of the freezer and arrange on platter, cocoa side down. Spread one-quarter of filling evenly over the cake. Bring the next cake layer out of the freezer, placing it gently over the filling, again cocoa side down. Repeat this process until all layers and whipped cream are used.
Keep cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. Two hours should be more than enough to assure that the layers are no longer frozen.
Dark chocolate grated into curls with a vegetable peeler makes for an excellent garnish.
* You can substitute the following for Grand Marnier: 4 tablespoons Cognac and 1 teaspoon vanilla; 4 tablespoons cocoa and 1 teaspoon vanilla; or 4 teaspoons instant-espresso powder or instant-coffee granules dissolved in 4 teaspoons water plus 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Blueberry Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

This morning at 8:20 am, my cousin Claire sent me my weekly inspirational text: 

LIGHTEN THE FUCK UP.

She texts me this every Monday, religiously. That is just how beyond fantastic she is. 



It is the most important thing in the world to remember. 
I was having such a fine day today. I slept in. I went for a beautiful walk. I felt a lot of love for humanity and life and trees and just everything. 
I thought about the change from summer to fall, and how it's almost a physical feeling: you feel it in your bones. I thought a lot about how I need to find some new dreams to fit the new season. And then I started thinking too much, and suddenly I got overwhelmed with school and with life and how little I know, and how many people I talk to in a single day, and how much there is to learn, and where am I going and what am I doing and what will I do tomorrow and the next day and I want to talk to everyone and do everything, but I also need to read books and write and sing and how do you fit all of this into a day when things like Facebook exist? 

I don't know. 

The thing is, I want to be the kind of girl who simultaneously talks about Botticelli paintings AND rides a motorcycle.



And I had the realization that I'm just not that girl yet. 

I was feeling pretty terrible, until I remembered about LIGHTENING THE FUCK UP. 

And then I began to laugh. And I thought back to this weekend, which was kind of a dream, but also very weirdly wild, and I thought about all the crazy people I know, and I thought about this fantastic cake I baked late last night, just because I wanted to. 

And I remembered that things really aren't bad. 
Perfect? 
Never. 
Actually, that's a lie. 
Things are actually perfect when you eat this cake. 

But just because you do not know what is coming next, it does not mean that things are bad, and just because you are uncertain, it does not mean things are bad, and just because you are young and occasionally do ridiculous things that you maybe say you regret but actually don't, it does not mean things are bad. 
So just LIGHTEN THE FUCK UP. And bake that angst right out of your system. 
Right. Now. 



xoxo


Raspberry or Blueberry or Blackberry Buttermilk Cake
via SmittenKitchen.com who adapted from 
Gourmet, June 2009

I used blueberries and blackberries instead of raspberries as the cake originally called for. This is divine. A very tender, and very perfect everyday cake that takes minutes to whip together, and even fewer minutes to devour. 

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (146 grams) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large (57 grams) egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) fresh raspberries OR blueberries OR blackberries OR both

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup (146 grams) sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter (see Note) raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.