A batch of broth at Brodo

posted on: March 30, 2015

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Girl pays $5 for what is essentially bone-soup water with flavors added!

DELICIOUS bone-soup water with flavors added, that is.

IMG_2388

When I was planning my trip to New York, the first thing I told my friends I wanted to do was go get broth at Brodo. Hipster wannabe label be damned, I was going to partake of this most recent trend if I had to go it alone. Luckily, my friends are great, so they succumbed to my touristy whims with hardly any begging.

IMG_2387

Brodo (the orange awning) is an offshoot of Hearth (the black awnings), a restaurant in the East Village known for its American-Italian influenced food and its emphasis on comfort and hospitality during the dining experience.

I have to say, I don’t know if Brodo was aiming for the same goals, but regardless, mission accomplished! This little cup of broth was one of the most comforting things I took part in during my trip – especially on a twenty-something-degree day.

IMG_2392

You go up to the little window, make your broth choice and select any additions, and then pay the nice lady with your money firmly in hand. I chose the small Hearth broth with ginger added.

IMG_2397

Then, if you’re not entirely sure how this broth thing is going to go, and your friends don’t want any, you hold the tiniest cup in the world in your chilly hands and evaluate your purchase.

IMG_2404
IMG_2405
IMG_2406
IMG_2408
IMG_2410

It also helps to have your friend paparazzi you right in front of the window, so you get weird looks from strangers. What buzzkills! Don’t they know I’ve been waiting months for this moment?

IMG_2412

Watch out folks, it’s piping hot. And…gingery? And INCREDIBLE.

IMG_2416
IMG_2417

I was one satisfied customer, you guys. Even my friends who, admittedly, were skeptical of this trend tried it and said it was delicious! Especially traipsing around on a cold day (we weren’t going to waste any New York time we had together), it was almost a better comfort to our frozen bones than a cup of coffee might be. Sorry coffee.

IMG_2418
IMG_2419Then Freyan and I stood and evaluated the other patrons while Kate took care of the photos for this blog post. Can never have too many photos of Maddy in hats, amirite?

For those who are giving a perpetual side-eye to the broth trend, I say, just try it once. If you hate it, you never have to go back – but you won’t hate it. You’ll love it, and you’ll get sucked into the movement sweeping the nation and forgo coffee forever.

Hey Brodo, can you come set up shop in San Francisco please? It gets cold here too! I swear.

 

—–

Brodo
1st Avenue at 12th Street
New York, NY
Open daily 12-7:30pm

Attention! Attention!

posted on: March 30, 2015

Just like Spring cleaning comes around about once a year, so does a name change! At least, here at (the old) madeleine blogs, it does.

Hey, a blog’s gotta laugh at itself once in a while, right?

DSC_8780_2We’ve spruced up (and cutes-ed up), and are moving the party over to Ginger & the Fizz. Update your RSS feeds and join us (me?) there!

Homemade pasta & Braised Onion Sauce

posted on: March 24, 2015

Who wants to get their cook on with me today? If you follow me through this incredibly winding and wandering thought stream, I promise the end result will be akin to a food-based Oprah episode. You get a pasta! And you get a pasta! And you all get pastasssss!

Or, something like that.

UntitledNeither half of this tutorial is particularly difficult, they’re both just time consuming and patience-requiring. But I swear to you, this was one of the most satisfying meals I’ve ever made, simply because I created all of it out of a few basic ingredients and a lot of time to spare.

For the pasta:

– four eggs
– 3.5 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
– either a pasta making machine, or a tagliatelle roller like I have, or a ruler and a knife

For the sauce:

– 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1.5 pounds white onions, halved and sliced 1/4″ thick
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– salt
– 1/4 cup Madeira (found at Whole Foods though I’m sure any grocery store will have some)
– 3/4 lb hot, cooked pasta (the original recipe uses papardelle, but I don’t have a papardelle roller.)

When Debbie wanted to come over and help me cook this, I said YES PLEASE! But first, we started with wine and cheese. Because who doesn’t love wine and cheese? And, also, rhyming… Read More

I left my heart in…Seattle? | WEARABLES

posted on: March 23, 2015

Good morning friends, family, internet strangers! How was your weekend? My Monday is starting off with a bang – I missed my regular bus, and everyone on this bus has the sniffles. I want to hand them all Kleenex and send them home, but sadly, I’m not in charge of team health. I should be, right?

(Says the girl who only got 8+ hours of sleep a night last week because she was sick.)

The next few posts might slightly bend the time-space continuum, since today’s outfit post is from my trip to Seattle (and I have tons of great pictures and restaurants to share from that trip), but I still have another post or two coming from my past trip to New York. You guys are smart though, you’ll figure it out! Just a heads up.

First, let’s just stop and marvel at these gorgeous cherry blossoms for a minute. These were in late February! Spring has truly sprung in Seattle. Sorry, everywhere else.

IMG_3309

Our foliage doesn’t even look like that in San Francisco.

You know what else we don’t have in SF? The Space Needle! Built in 1962 for the World’s Fair, it was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi (a title that now goes to the Wilshire Grand in downtown Los Angeles once its construction is complete in 2017), and can withstand winds up to 200mph and up to a 9.1 magnitude earthquake. That puppy ain’t goin nowhere.

See if you can spot it in some of these shots! This is like the easiest “Where’s Waldo?” you’ll ever play.

IMG_3316
IMG_3320
IMG_3335
IMG_3337

We started taking shots at an adorable park near Carly’s apartment (all of the parks are adorable, let’s get real) and then moved to another outlook spot overlooking the entire sound (I think) and letting us see as far as Mt. Rainier in the distance! We could see almost all the way to Canada!

I’m going to be honest, sometimes Carly tells me which mountains are which and I just can’t keep them straight. I barely have the neighborhoods in San Francisco down pat. So, hopefully, this post is geographically accurate; apologies if it’s not.

IMG_3348

(That’s not Canada, Canada is to the left a little more, eh?)

This is when the outtakes started happening.

IMG_3359
IMG_3360
IMG_3361You know me, just a regular California ham!

Have I mentioned how obsessed I am with these boots? These Corso Como boots are a dream – so comfortable to walk around in, they hug my calves perfectly, and they can dress up or down any outfit. I am a huge, huge fan of Corso Como as a brand, so if you’re looking for new boots I couldn’t recommend them more highly. They’re also usually on sale on Gilt so check there first!

After this little detour, we went to Pike Place Market and grabbed brunch at a restaurant overlooking the water that had bloody mary’s with oysters in them. Trés Seattle.

 

—–

sweater | West & Lou (similar)
jacket | Everlane Swing Trench in Tan
jeans | Gap 1969 Denim Always Skinny
boots | Corso Como Rena Boot
bag | Miu Miu Vitello Lux Large Bow bag from eBay
necklace | Gorjana from Rocksbox
sunnies | Carrera (similar)

A visit to Mast Brothers Chocolate

posted on: March 20, 2015

I’ll bet you didn’t know that just over the Williamsburg Bridge, a ten minute walk from the G train, lies a magical wonderland full of sights and smells the likes of which have never been seen before in our time!

That’s right, I’m talking about the Mast Brothers Chocolate factory and brew bar.

Actually, that’s a total lie – you’ve probably seen these sights and smelled these smells at your local Whole Foods, at the corner market, or even at a boutique in Truckee, Tahoe (where I once saw bars of Mast Brothers Chocolate for sale alongside handcrafted gold jewelry and letterpress stationery.)

IMG_2494

A couple of years ago, Freyan got me some Mast Brothers chocolate bars for Christmas as a sweet New York homage – and now, I can walk down the block to the Whole Foods near my apartment and pick up fifteen of them in a heartbeat. I will admit, it feels a bit like cheating the system to get this piece of New York craftsmanship in my own neighborhood, but seeing as I love the product, I wouldn’t want to stunt their growth just to fulfill my own NYC fantasies.

Besides, that’s probably how my New York friends feel about Blue Bottle – it’s supposed to be a San Francisco thing, but sometimes they’re probably really flippin happy that they don’t have to get on a plane to have a sip.

IMG_2495

If you’re like me, then spending even ten minutes in a whole room full of chocolate bars without taking a crateload home is a bit of a challenge. The only thing holding me off was the brunch we had just consumed at Reynard, and our stop at Blue Bottle down the block prior to our continued exploration of Williamsburg. So, note to all: if you’re going to Mast Brothers and don’t want to buy up the lot, just stuff yourself silly with duck and coffee beforehand. Easy peasy.

IMG_2496

While we hadn’t been able to buy tickets to their factory tour (they sell out quickly, and we were still shoring up our itinerary), you should note that they don’t allow photos anyway…so just pretend that I went and then told you all about it!

I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats!

But really, I’ve heard great things – so if you’re in the market for a fun little daytime activity in Williamsburg (or they do after work tours too, I believe) or something to do with the family, I’d highly suggest buying tickets to that. And let me know how it goes! I’d love to go sometime. Maybe when I move to New York.

IMG_2497

A look at their goodies for sale was enough for us for the time being. Look at these pristine packages full of colorful whimsy and fun! Who wouldn’t want to eat a chocolate bar decorated in rainbow attire?

IMG_2498

Even New York locals have to snap a shot or two sometimes. Glad this won’t have to change when I eventually make my move!

IMG_2500
IMG_2502
IMG_2504
IMG_2507

I’m not entirely sure what’s happening here, but I can only assume my friends are so excited about accompanying me on this tour of Brooklyn that they couldn’t contain their energy for the shot. Obviously.

Sorry guys, it was too cute – had to post it!

IMG_2508

When we were done marveling at the stacks of gold (ok, chocolate) bars, we hopped into line at their brew bar for a couple of nibbles. The girls split a giant cookie, and I treated myself to a Sea Salt Truffle.

If you want to get on my good side, send me truffles. Nom nom nom.

IMG_2510
IMG_2512
IMG_2514

While we weren’t able to go backstage for the factory tour, they do have kind of an “open front” to their factory, where you can see mounds of cane sugar and cocoa powder waiting to be formed into perfect, mouth-watering plates of chocolate. You can also see the stacks of thick, artisan paper yet to be wrapped around the finished bars, and the machines that wrap them all up!

So, we still walked away feeling like we got a bit of a sense of the process. Just a taste, if you will. Har har.

 

Are you a chocolate fan? I’m partial to dark chocolate varieties, like Mast Brothers’s Brooklyn Blend or Sea Salt Chocolate. 

—–

Mast Brothers Chocolate
111 North 3rd Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

10 – 7 Mon – Sat
10 – 5 Sun

The Best Brunch in Brooklyn: Reynard | HOT SPOT

posted on: March 19, 2015

When your friends say they’re going to take you to an industrial-chic brunch spot housed in one of the coolest refurbished-warehouse hotels in Williamsburg, you should believe their praises. And when you get there and the decor (and the food) live up to their tales, you should be grateful for having such cool friends.

Then again, it doesn’t take more than a minute to recognize the Wythe Hotel (opened in May 2012) and its in-house restaurant, Reynard, as one of Brooklyn’s next iconic spots. Originally constructed in 1901, it has since been converted into a seventy room hotel on the waterfront, featuring spectacular views of Manhattan from its rooftop bar while maintaining some of the gritty feeling that defined Brooklyn for so many years.

wytheoutsidephoto credit

But the rooftop views aren’t all this place has going for it – one step through the revolving door downstairs, and you’re immediately transported into a warehouse fit for a king. The interior of Reynard is full of metalwork fixtures and exposed brick, with a humongous vintage mirror affixed behind the bar (with real dirt showing its age!)

reynardinteriorphoto credit

As stunned as I was by the decor, I was even more impressed by the meal offerings. Usually when I have trouble deciding what to get it’s because I have a hankering for something, but something else sounds just interesting enough that I feel like I should order it.

Here, the problem was magnified: not only did I have a craving for breakfast food (eggs, eggs, eggs!) but the various brunch combinations were each so inventive and original that I had a hard time even coming up with a food compromise.

IMG_2420
IMG_2423
IMG_2434
IMG_2436
IMG_2425

I ended up surprising even myself and getting the french toast with duck confit – and, of course, a cheddar scallion biscuit on the side for us all to split.

IMG_2437

Those little white things are a citrus fruit similar to grapefruit (I can’t for the life of me remember exactly what it is but I think it’s a Pomelo) and there were toasted hazelnuts garnishing the plate. You guys, this dish was so delicious that I almost didn’t mind the frisée! You know that means big things coming from me.

Kate opted for a delicious egg and sausage sandwich…

IMG_2439

…and Freyan said Yes! to the mushroom omelette of the day.

IMG_2442

Listen, I have to say something else about the food. Not only were the main plates we ordered delicious, but the salad was undeniably one of the winning parts of the meal. I usually prefer my salad to be an even ratio of leaves-to-other-things (cheese, egg, nuts, avocado, etc.) so for me to rave about this simple salad with vinaigrette and watermelon radish means it had to be top notch.

IMG_2443

Oh, you wanted another look at the duck-toast? Who am I to deny you!

IMG_2440

After breakfast we made a valiant attempt to go upstairs and see the view of the Manhattan Skyline (even in sub-freezing temperatures), but the bar wasn’t open yet so we were promptly stopped by a very attractive security guard. At least that gives me an excuse to go back! Not that I need an excuse.

wytherooftopphoto credit

Lest you feel mislead by the springtime picture of the rooftop, I just wanted to let you know what it really looked like when we were there:

wythesnowdayphoto credit

Yeah. It was a bit chilly.

Luckily, we scooted our little bundled selves down the block to Blue Bottle Coffee for some warming post-brunch bevvies (yes, there’s always time for coffee) and a trip to Mast Brothers Chocolate! But more on that in another post…

What’s your favorite brunch spot?

Mostly Healthy Lentil Stew | FORK IT OVER

posted on: March 17, 2015

You’re probably wondering right now how something with lentils in it can be “mostly” healthy, since lentils are known to be one of the first crops humans cultivated and ate (dating back to before Neolithic, or pottery, times!) They also are the third-highest legume in terms of protein (after soybeans and hemp seeds) and have over half of a person’s daily iron allowance in a one cup serving.

How can something so of-the-earth be only “mostly healthy”?

Well, I’ll tell ya – we ain’t eating these puppies alone. It all depends on what you put in it!

Untitled

This version calls for some spices, a few vegetables, and some chicken stock. You could really go to town with this recipe, though – potatoes, bacon, a dollop of creme fraîche? Anything is on the table! That’s why this “recipe” is so great: you can change it to include or exclude anything you want.

First, I will admit that this recipe is pretty time intensive. There’s a lot of chopping that goes down, and then a fair amount of stirring and waiting as well. But in the end, this soup/stew combo will last you at least 5-6 meals if you’re eating solo, and for a couple of days if you’re serving more than one. Who can argue with organization like that?

Ingredients: 

1 cup lentils of your choice (make sure to note the cooking time on the bag, the ones I used took about 30 minutes to mush up); about 1 cup each of vegetables of your choice (I used carrots, celery, garlic, onion, fennel, and mushrooms); spices of your choice (I used turmeric, curry powder, and ground cumin – you can get more ideas for spices here); 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or coconut milk if desired; lemon juice, salt, pepper, parmesan.

Come on inside the rest of the post to see food pictures and read more instructions! Unless you’re a pro chef already, in which case, feel free to wing it. Who am I to tell you how to sopa?  Read More

Sunshine in San Juan | WEARABLES

posted on: March 16, 2015

Y’all, I am beat. I just spent four days and four nights in a gorgeous little place called Puerto Rico, and the girls I went with are no joke. They know how to live it up! If you’ve followed my blog for more than a minute you know my idea of a big night out is drinks, dinner, and maybe a 9pm showing of a movie.

These girls turned my homebody status on its head, and for good reason – we didn’t want to waste a minute of our trip when we could be taking in the local culture, eating regional delicacies, and drinking our faces off with spring breakers (note to self: the month of March is off limits to anywhere tropical from now on.)

Most of the time, my blogger tendencies were capped at snapshots of buildings as we walked by, without stopping the entire troupe to take more extensive photos. But when you visit the historic Old San Juan area and get a glimpse of these magnificently colorful houses, you try and resist the urge to photobomb every building you see.

DSC_8248

Nope, it’s impossible.

DSC_8245
DSC_8329
DSC_8335
DSC_8338
DSC_8340
DSC_8341

Though this outfit definitely isn’t the most flattering on me, it made me feel very tropical and less gringa-like (though, to be fair, I don’t know if my wide-eyed-at-every-beautiful-sight appearance helped my anti-tourist cause.)

These outfit photos were snapped by Dhruvi from Stilettos & Sequins (the birthday girl, and the reason we all ventured across land and sea to the isle of PR) on our last full day in San Juan, after we all downed some carbs and coconut water at a small spot on the edge of Old San Juan. Did you know that if you order a coco in Puerto Rico, they bring you a real coconut with a straw in it? A whole coconut! Island life is the best.

We had a jam-packed itinerary, and we were on a mission to see some of Old San Juan during the daylight hours while en route to pick up a rental car for our trip to Culebra the next day, so after D and I took photos of each other’s vacation style we wandered through the streets of San Juan to meet up with our friends and pick up the car. Our friends had tired of our photo antics and moseyed on to our final location ahead of us. Sí claro.

I, obviously, had to paparazzi everything in sight:

DSC_8353
DSC_8363
DSC_8364
DSC_8370
DSC_8376
DSC_8382
DSC_8380We made a small pit stop at Cafeteria Mallorca for some cafés con leche after one of Dhruvi’s readers had told her it was the place to go. The diner-feel of the cafe was the perfect vibe to end our little tourist walk – it felt authentic and welcoming, rather than glitzy and hokey.

D was really proud of herself for conducting the entire affair en Español – and I was super impressed too! All four of the ladies I traveled with were basically fluent in Spanish, and I can only speak about eight words of it. One of those words being taco, this wasn’t incredibly helpful to them. Hopefully I contributed some slight comic relief?

We eventually met up with our group and, after some frantic in-hotel-lobby planning, departed for our next adventure. And I vowed to learn Spanish.

 

What are your thoughts on visiting the historic, but usually more touristy, areas of different cities? Sí o no? 

—–

hibiscus top | Therapy on Valencia (similar)
jeans | Gap 1969 Denim Always Skinny
sandals | Madewell, old (similar)
bag | Cruciani from Poshmark (similar)
gold cuff bracelet | Gorjana Aldridge cuff from Rocksbox
earrings | Old Navy (similar)
sunglasses | Carrera (similar)

Beauty on the Go | TRAVEL

posted on: March 11, 2015

*By the time you read this post, I’ll be en route to Puerto Rico for the rest of the week! I hope this fun post will hold you over until Monday, but if it doesn’t satisfy your Maddy-needs (that sounds weird) fully, there’s always Instagram. I’m sure it’ll be full of fruity drinks and beaches so check at your own risk.

There comes a time in every gal’s life where she has to learn the true meaning of sacrifice. No, not relinquishing her prized pony to a young boy from the wrong side of the tracks. No, not withstanding the slightly lecherous gaze of her father’s most trusted advisor. Not even giving up a Saturday at the mall with friends to discuss sociology and ethics with her peers is at the level of sacrifice to which I refer now.

No, Bloggees. I mean that moment when you realize you’re going on a trip, and you can’t (nay, shan’t) take your whole makeup bag with you.

UntitledShock is streaking across your faces now, I imagine. Going somewhere and having to limit your beauty routine? The horror!

You’re in luck, y’all. I have mastered the art of the mini-makeup-routine, and I’m here to share it with you.

Ok, maybe mastered is a bit of a strong word, and I don’t want to oversell myself here – I still bring a carry-on sized bag of beauty goodies on most trips that don’t involve hiking through high altitudes or sleeping in a tent. But I have found a few tricks and products I love for shortening your routine when you really don’t need a full face of makeup and would rather be running out the door to maximize your time at…wherever you are that isn’t home.

The Basics
1. Lip balm
2. Waterproof mascara
3. Dry shampoo
4. Sunscreen
5. Makeup wipes

Let’s get real – the last thing you need when you’re traveling is to spend 30 minutes or more of your valuable time slapping on foundation and eyeliner, especially if you’re going to some tropical location where it’ll just come off after five minutes in the water. What you really need is a great lip balm (this one can double as a hand salve in a pinch); waterproof mascara for those long days running around in either cold OR sweltering heat; dry shampoo for the mornings you just don’t want to go through the whole wash/dry/straighten routine; sunscreen (obviously) that will leave a great matte finish; and finally, makeup wipes to take it all off at night.

Not pictured but well-loved by me is also my Boscia BB cream (in “light,” because, I’m pale) that gives me a nice basic skin tone without looking too made-up.

—–

The Extras
1. Hair product
2. Perfume sample
3. Nail polish
4. Face mask sample
5. Makeup bag

Let’s get even realer for a minute – just because you can survive with just the basics doesn’t mean you should have to! These extra tidbits make you feel a little more pulled together even as you’re minimalizing your overall look for travel. Sample sizes are key here: I always bring a hair product sampler for those days I don’t want to do my hair, a little facial treatment to rectify any airplane air damage, and a mini perfume to finish off my prep process. Bringing the same nailpolish as you’re wearing is a great idea too to fix any little chips or dings.

What are your beauty must-haves when you’re traveling?

Hamming it up on Yamstreet | WEARABLES

posted on: March 10, 2015

Have you ever met one of those people who is just so passionate about what he’s doing, so enthusiastic about taking his company in a new direction, so excited to explain to you his creative process, that you can’t help but be excited too?

Have you ever had that person give you a pair of pants?

DSC_8080

Jeffrey Betcher is the founder and creator of Yamstreet Urban Pajama Pants. His goal is to create street pajama pants that can go straight from comfortable to cool – and can take you from lounging on your couch to a dinner with friends, a night at the movies, or just running errands around our crazy little city.

To top it off, he has them made by local makers (supporting the Bayview neighborhood specifically) with regular pant stitching (so they’re more durable than normal PJs) and the fabric is all sourced from “small batch” remnants, so nothing goes to waste. That said, a small batch is like 500 pairs of pants – so if you wanted to buy a whole matching set for your family, that’s doable too!

I don’t know if y’all have noticed, but the plaids are making a huge comeback this year… so when Jeffrey asked Julia and me to try these on for size (and style), we gladly accepted the challenge!

DSC_8016
DSC_8102
DSC_8112
DSC_8125
DSC_8129
DSC_8180
DSC_8193
DSC_8196Since the goal of Yamstreet is to make pajama pants that you could wear out to dinner with friends, Julia and I both approached them from the angle of dressing them up. We paired them with some neutral heels (I am obsessed with these French Connection d’orsay heels I just got on super sale at Piperlime) and I thought this brightly colored statement pendant necklace my mom made me would kick the top half up a notch.

The Cambridge “Batchel” reminds me a bit of Catholic school (not that I ever went to one, but I’ve seen them on the television) so I thought it was a perfect adornment for the plaid pants!

Both Julia and I were pretty honest with Jeffrey about the pants after this challenge: we thought women would want a bit of a tighter fit (she’s wearing a Small, and I’m wearing a Medium, and they’re both men’s sizing), and definitely some more feminine colors. I said a blue plaid would make my day, while Julia wanted solid colors to make it easier to pair tops with them. Either way, the fabric and the quality were spot on – I can’t wait to see what the next installment of Yamstreet pants looks like!

If you want to get your very own pair, the Kickstarter is still going on through March 17th. Not a fan of the orange tones? Don’t worry! There will be more patterns and colors available, and you’ll get to select yours before your pair is made if you support the Kickstarter.

 

Be honest – would you wear these out and about? How would you style them?

—–

pants | c/o Yamstreet
top | Old Navy (similar)
heels | French Connection from Piperlime (on sale!)
necklace | Maripat Designs (similar)
sunglasses | Carrera (similar)
bag | Cambridge Satchel Co. “Batchel”

 

*all opinions are my own regardless of complimentary items.