Daily Photo

Shot from the last night of the play.

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Must Have iPhone Apps: Immaculate Infatuation

So you want a place to eat but your best friend with all of the good recommendations is nowhere to be found. This would stump even the best of us, especially around the more touristy parts of NYC. Instead of settling for some crappy place that serve “authentic” this or “New York style” that, I would download the iPhone app from the guys over at Immaculate Infatuation.

Immaculate Infatuation is a food and restaurant blog run by Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal (from Scarsdale, hometown represent). What began as the two visiting restaurants before concerts has become a carefully curated and honest representation of establishments all around NYC and beyond. I have to admit I kind of teared up over their review of the Candlelight Inn. The night before I left for college there was nothing I wanted more than dozens of their perfect hot wings and waffle fries to soak up all of that sauce. Did the same this year too.

I have been to a couple of the restaurants on their list, some at their recommendation. I find that my tastes align with theirs often, so there hasn’t been a miss yet. The app is awesome because you have all of the features of the website in an intuitive mobile form. You can read up on recent reviews, look up restaurants they have reviewed in the past and even call up those restaurants that very night for a reservation. You can filter your choices through locations, proximity to different venues, types of cuisine, price, their rating, and other characteristics such as “good for big groups”, “adventurous eating” and “serious take-out operations” for example. The coolest feature is how the app is integrated into a map which shows you the restaurants nearby to your current location. They spit the truth, and they do it well. If you are interested in the restaurant scene in NYC in any manner (especially those who are just visiting for a couple days) I would suggest you take a look at this app. Sample images below, but just go ahead and download. Do it.

Transition to Spring: Cranberry Lemon Muffins

My effort on this part of my blog has been, let’s say…lackluster?

Living at college for months at a time means too much work and no access to a kitchen. It’s really unfortunate, and I would do anything for my own stove top even. (and for better laundry access, but hey you can dream). When I do find some free time in my schedule, trust me this is rarer and rarer, I think up some ideas for this blog. This summer I hope to be posting semi regularly here.

But for now enjoy a quick recipe that caters to our shifting season. Warm and fluffy muffins which feature the fruit of the fall and winter months (cranberries!) and that which I associate with the spring and summer months (lemons!). These are only slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe which she adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. Recipes are a bit like history in that way.

Cranberry Lemon Muffins

(Makes not quite a baker’s dozen aka 11 muffins)

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 oz. container of plain greek yogurt
  • Splash of half and half
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cranberries (I used fresh which were then frozen, no need to defrost)
  1. Preheat the over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with 11 paper liners and spray with some nonstick spray
  2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and beat well, then yogurt, lemon juice and zest.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the rest of the batter and mix until combined.
  5. Fold in the cranberries.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop fill the liners up until 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean. Let cool for a bit but eat warm!

Songs on Repeat: Fun.’s Stars

Alert: I am not dead yet.

Back at school after two awesome weeks. I spent one week at home checking out three Broadway shows and catching up on my sleep. I spent the other week in Montreal with a couple friends from school and a couple new friends. We toured the city and ate so much food-once I have more time I will be writing some food posts inspired from Montreal. Like an Americanized European city there is a lot for Montreal to offer.

But now I’m back at school. After two midterms and two essays this week, I am fried. Keeping up with rehearsals for my dance group as well as rehearsals for a play I am stage managing (I know, maybe I’m crazy) has been another important priority. I want it all, can’t have it all. But after one disappointing summer plan fell through another one emerged. Finally looking forward to the summer as something that will be productive!

And now it’s Sunday, a break from one rehearsal until the other and I thought I should post something. Anything just to keep me writing and mulling over my interests. So here is a song I can’t get enough of right now. Yes my last music post was another Fun. song but this is from their new album.

Fun.’s new album (Some Nights–check it out!) is growing on me. I typically enjoy listening to albums–but for pop music the single can certainly pack its own punch. The album has some songs I am listening to on repeat, and others I ignore. Overall it is a great album with some surprising touches. “Stars”, an almost seven minute long doozy of a song, has those touches. The song begins with clapping and cheers mimicking a live album. Obviously the song is quite polished, but slips into a heavily auto tuned ending. This takes some time to get used to but is a unique choice if any. The song is dreamy and deserves a spot in anyone’s music library. Listen to the song above and check out the rest of the album–find your own favorites.