Hello friend, I hope you’ve had a wonderful week!

Beginning this weekend, I’m sending out a little recap of my Instagram posts with added content, backstories, and more photos.

I love Instagram but there’s always so much more to share, so hopefully you’ll find these occasional weekly reviews fun, helpful, inspiring and beautiful.

Labor Day was a wonderful kick-off to fall wasn’t it?! We cleaned our garage after Ron discovered a small snake. I HATE snakes and we knew even though the little guy hid in a crack, that we couldn’t let him stay. So I ran to the store to get some sulphur, Ron sprinkled it all around the cracks and finally a shop-vac got the thing out of the crack and out of our vicinity. Yay for a husband who is strong and bold when it comes to these things.

I’ve been making peach pies like they’re going out of style this summer, and have decided it’s my all-time favorite dessert. The girls have been learning pie skills as well which has been fun. Peaches have to be in season to make a good pie, and I like mini pies made in small tart pans with crust only on the top.

There was a time I made all pie crusts from scratch, never again! Trader Joe’s frozen pie crusts are my go-to solution, they’re delicious and save so much time.

Here’s the little recipe that never fails to make your mouth shout YES, it’s adapted from my Grandma Troyer’s peach pie which makes me very happy when I think of her, an incredible woman who loved Jesus and her family so much.

Peach Pie (makes about 4 small tart pies)

5 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced evenly

2 T. Sugar

1 T. Flour

1/2 t. Cinnamon

Dash nutmeg and dash salt

1/4 t. Almond extract

Mix all above ingredients together. Grease your tart dishes lightly with butter. Pour peach mixture into tart filling each one full. Dot the top with small slices of butter (maybe 1/2 t per tart). Cover with strips of pie crust. Bake at 400 until golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream (Haagen Dazs of course!)

Last Tuesday, direct from my kitchen table, I presented a 90-minute webinar, “The Leader as Innovator — Designing Your Dream Job Now” for the IMA Academy.  If you missed it you can listen to the content here.

Grateful it got high reviews since I really love helping people find fresh inspiration and ideas for loving their work more. 1,300 attended and several sent such sweet notes, thanking me for the practical insights and help.. Reminded that taking time to send thanks is always a classy gesture.

 

 The twins and I have enjoyed making basil pesto with the harvest from one small plant I put in the ground in May. I LOVE pesto as a snack with tortilla chips or for sauces on pasta. We also love it spread on a thick slice of toast topped with chopped tomatoes drizzled with a bit of balsamic glaze.  Here’s my easy recipe adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook for the last 20 years.

Fill a mini food processor with basil leaves, add 3/4 cup walnuts, 2 cloves garlic finely chopped or pressed, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 t. Salt, ground black pepper. Pulse chop this mixture til it’s like bread crumb consistency. Add about 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese and pulse more til well-blended but not too smooth. Freeze in ice cube trays for use all winter in sauces.

Have a wonderful fall weekend!

 

 

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Who knew?  A national day honoring my favorite flavor of ice cream.  Of course I had to celebrate, which we spontaneously did last night via a ride in the convertible and a let’s-make-it-a-date jaunt to Goodberries for mint chocolate chip custard, so yum.

Which reminded me that I’ve never shared with you all my super scrumptuous recipe for homemade mint ice cream using mint from the garden, which is thriving right now in our neck of the woods.

I feel a little proud of myself for concocting this recipe, to many rave reviews from our clan.  It’s easy and oh-so-refreshing.

Enjoy and let the chips fall where they may!

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My homemade version, craving some now!

Homemade Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Combine 1 c. whole milk, 2 cups heavy cream, and 3/4 c. granulated sugar in a saucepan.  Heat to almost boiling.  Add 2 cups fresh mint leaves (washed and cleaned).  Remove from heat and let steep for several hours.  Pour through a sieve or strainer and chill this milk mixture overnight.  Stir in a pinch of salt and 3 beaten egg yolks.  (If you’re bothered by uncooked eggs then omit the yolks.)  Pour into an ice cream maker and chill as directed.  During the last 5 min. of mixing stir in mini chocolate chips or chop your favorite 4-oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate bar into tiny uneven pieces.  Makes ten 1/2 c. servings.  Enjoy!

 


iloveNYC

I’m often asked for advice and tips on favorite spots in New York City.  So here’s my list and while it doesn’t capture everything, it does include many must-see spots.

Restaurants:

There are so many, but here are a few of my favorites (and favorites of so many whom I’ve sent to visit these places!)

Breakfast

Sarabeth’s (4 locations around the city), very cozy, a ladies’ place, serves brunch all day, amazing pumpkin waffles, wonderful muffins and yummy egg dishes.  The Lemon Ricotta pancakes are truly memorable!

Norma’s – the best b’fast in town, pricey but a real experience, located in the Parker Meridien Hotel on 57th between 5th and 6th Avenues, love the breakfast quesadillas and the brioche French toast.  Can never go wrong at Norma’s!

Lunch

My very favorite is BG the restaurant on the 7th floor of Bergdorf Goodman at corner of 57th and 5th Avenue. It is Hollywood Glamour style all the way thanks to designer Kelly Wearstler, very pricey but very worth it. Make reservations and get there early for the best seats which overlook The Plaza Hotel and Central Park.

Saks Fifth Avenue has a great café with wonderful views overlooking Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue, yummy salads and sandwiches, good coffee, good prices.

The Mangia small lunch spots are great, locations all over the city

Diners — Any of the diners are good, menus are vast and prices are reasonable

John’s Pizzeria or Patsy’s Pizzeria – these are true NYC style pizza spots, very reasonable prices and locations all over the city, including one near Bloomingdales (right across from Serendipity.)

Serendipity – fun for lunch or dinner, lines get really long so go at odd hours if you can, they’re famous for their Frozen Hot Chocolate, vast menu, prices are medium range

Dinner (or lunches too)

Balthazar – very hip and famous, located in Soho, wonderful meals, medium-priced, great french fries, my favorite is the trout, can’t go wrong with this place, lots of other great restaurants in Soho, can’t go wrong at most!

Ruby Foo’s – several locations, one in Times Square, great asian, fun atmosphere, medium priced

Tony’s Di Napoli – 43rd and 7th Avenue (near Times Square), family style Italian, Mayor Giuliani’s favorite restaurant in town, wonderful food and reasonable prices, we go here every week on Sunday nights after church!

Rue 57 – corner of 6th avenue and 57th Street, great food, variety of choices, medium-priced

 

Shopping

There are some great shopping options, my favorites include:

Vintage & Consignment —  Very fave vintage shop is Shareen Vintage, check out her website for the hours of operation as they are open unusual times. It’s located in a brownstone in the heart of Chelsea, you know she’s open when there’s a red dress hanging out of the window. Prices are fabulous and selection varies. Take your creative eye and go for it.  Fave consignment shops are on the upper east side. Imagine all the very well-off ladies who buy many wonderful treasures but never get around to wearing them so they consign for you and I all over the upper east side! Michael’s is my fave, 79th and Madison upstairs and next to the J.Crew. Lots of Chanel, and I’ve snagged several never-worn Louboutins at this little treasure-of-a-shop. Several others in this neighborhood, google for specifics.

ZARA – these are my favorite of all the fashion spots in the city, they copy all the European designers but at very good prices, locations all over including 5th Avenue and one right across from Bloomingdales (59th and Lexington)

Bergdorf Goodman — corner of 57th and 5th Ave., best restrooms in town on the lower level, love their restaurant on 8th floor, it’s my current favorite lunch spot, a bit pricey but super fun with amazing views of the Park.  Their clothes are great, several floors are high designer but a couple are mid-range.  Great shoe dept.

Saks 5th Ave.  — 50th and 5th Ave., best Saks in the nation, check out their amazing shoe floor on 8th floor (where I’ve done many book signing and speaking events), also great restaurant overlooking Rockefeller Center

New York Look — there are several of these around town, one on 5th Ave. at 45th, very cute clothes, shoes and accessories

D&D Building — if you love decorating check out this building at 3rd Avenue and 57th) where all the furniture and decorating designers have showrooms, you can only buy if you’re a designer but it is an INCREDIBLE experience looking at these showrooms, I only found this recently, always thought it was only open to designers but I go crazy in here seeing every fabric, furniture, accessories that all the high-end designer magazines feature, it’s quite the experience!

ABC Carpet and Home — this is my fave store in the entire city, 8 floors of the most incredible home furnishings, rugs, pillows, it is an experience all its own, at Broadway and 18th St., very famous store and women love this place.

Soho — this is a fantastic destination area of town for several hours of shopping, is also on the edge of Canal Street if you want any knock-off bags, etc.  So many cute shops and boutiques plus excellent restaurants our favorite of which is Balthazar.

Century 21 — across from Ground Zero downtown and one on the upper west side near Lincoln Center, this is famous too, large store full of off-price designer stuff, it’s all about timing at this store and you have to scrounge through a lot to find the treasures but it can be fun.

Other Spots and Things To Do:

Empire State Building – very fun at night, go only if it’s very clear and not cloudy outside

Ground Zero – Admission is free to the 9/11 Memorial but visitor passes are required so visit www.911Memorial.org

Rockefeller Center – best to see at Christmas but fun all the time, good shops inside the plaza area (downstairs), and the observation deck is awesome, a great alternative to the Empire State Bldg.

Central Park – wonderful to go through near Central Park South (the horse-drawn carriages line up along there near The Plaza at 59th and 5th Avenue).  Fun to walk through at 72nd Street, you’ll see many famous landmarks that you’ve seen in movies!

Grand Central Station – this is truly a WONDER, the architecture of this landmark inside the main passageway is awesome!

Lincoln Center – if you go the NYC Ballet or the Vivian Beaumont Theatre (for Broadway shows) at Lincoln Center there are plenty of fun restaurants across the street, including Josephina’s, and some places where you can sit outside if it’s nice, all are good along that area.

The Today Show – fun to go to in the morning if you don’t mind fighting the crowd.  Go into the Dean and Deluca right there (at Rockefeller Center) and warm up or get a good cup of coffee and a snack!

Columbus Circle – The Time Warner Center here (where CNN is located) is a new mall with great shops and a HUGE Whole Foods downstairs, fun to see this area of town, very close to Lincoln Center

Broadway Shows – you can stand in line and buy discount tickets (typically 50% off) for the same day showings, at the TKTS booth in Times Square or downtown near Ground Zero, ask at your hotel for more details, or buy tickets online at www.playbill.com.

Have fun and enjoy the greatest city in the world!!!