Family BBQ

Our first weekend in California happened to coincide with Petra’s 9 months so a celebration was definitely in order.  When I was younger, my house was the party house and when I say party, I mean BBQ and that usually meant some kind of tacos.  So naturally, I expected no less than that and my parents delivered.  Saturday was a huge celebration for our baby girl where some of my side of the family would meet her for the first time.  My parents even got a taco guy because when in Southern California, if you’re not eating tacos then you’re doing it wrong. Petra and I wore matching shoes.  I picked out a sweater for Lukasz.  My family is basically adorable.

But let’s talk about the little lady of the hour…  Petra is actually 10 months old now so I’m really late on this but I feel like I still needed to post this and talk about it so I never forget how tiny Petra once was and every little milestone that happened and how much I love her right now, right this minute.  Petra is officially nine months old.  A week before turning nine months, she got her first bottom tooth.  It was a couple of bad teething days where all she wanted was just to be held by me at all times and maybe chew on something cold a few times. She would get her second bottom tooth a couple of weeks later.  Little P has the best appetite.  She eats three actual meals a day with a few purses mixed in as a snack.  She is literally game to try anything, I love it so much.  She used to hate sweet foods but now her favorite foods are probably blueberries and oranges (carefully peeled, of course).  She smiles and laughs while she eats, its too cute to handle. She smiles and shows me her teeth right before she stuffs food into her mouth.  She LOVES her papa.  SO. MUCH.  Those two melt my heart, the way they play, the way he speaks Polish to her all day, everyday.  Lukasz once texted me and told me that Petra answered him back in Polish by saying “tak”.  He was so excited!  Petra is also becoming good friends with Pierrot.  She loves chasing him even though he’s always faster because shes crawling. Sometimes when Pierrot gets into his silly moods and begins chasing his tail, she stares at him and starts cracking up.  It’s the sweetest thing.  In addition to crawling, she stands herself to standing position and cruises the furniture which means she cant be left alone, not even for a minute.  She’s always on the go!  Petra loves being outside more than anything, but that’s the beauty of New York.  The whole city is a playground for us and I love being outside with her.  It’s been a bit of a rough winter but I see Spring and summer on the horizon and time spent on the swings for Little P.

As you can see, there was much to celebrate in California… ❤

The picture below is one of my favorites of Petra and her grandpa!  This was also Petra’s first time playing with balloons and she loved every second of it!  I’m already in the process of brainstorming for her first birthday and balloons are definitely on the list.  They make her so happy!

Gosh, what a pretty family!

Xo,

Karen

Brooklyn Review: Mabel’s BBQ

When I was pregnant, I used to take the dog out for a walk to McCarren Park at night.  I used to walk down Berry and right around North 11th, I’d catch a whiff of barbecue.  The scent was amazing but I never cared to investigate where it was coming from.  Flash forward a few months, Petra is 6 months old and we’re on a family walk on a chilly weekend morning both Lukasz and I happened to have off together. We were about to head towards our usual to grab lunch, (Teddy’s on North 8th) but I remember the barbecue.

Walking into Mabel’s is like walking into a cozy barn right in the middle of Brooklyn. It was a Sunday morning and actually quite empty.  It’s also really big which is something I’ve come to appreciate more and more due to us traveling with a stroller more often than not.  Petra has only recently started to sit more comfortable in her high chair so I still like to keep her seated in the stroller which is more supportive than restaurant booster seats and high chairs. For the record though, they do have booster seats available. 

Lukasz and I both ordered hot mugs of mulled wine, the perfect drink for basically the entire winter. The menu is full of delicious southern classics! I’m not a big meat eater si ordered the crawfish etouffee with cheesy grits and Lukasz ordered the seeet and savory corn cake, both perfect brunch options. Petra, who is still trying new things little by little had some of my grits and she really loved them! How can she not, it’s corn and cheese.  For the most part, she kept herself busy playing with a menu or sitting on our laps and tasting some of our food.  It’s getting more and more fun to take her out knowing she can partake in whatever it is we’re doing or eating.

If you’re in the Williamsburg area and looking for some yummy southern comfort food, Mabel’s is a great choice.

Xo,

Karen

Thanksgiving

Super late Thanksgiving post alert! But better late than never. I simply had post about it and show all of our pretty pictures because it was Petra’s first Thanksgiving and I was wanted us to remember it forever.  Sometimes I can’t believe that she’s six months old and time is flying and now when we do things like celebrate Thanksgiving with a big dinner, Petra is right there, eating and celebrating with us.  This time, last year, she was still in my tummy…  HOW IS TIME MOVING SO FAST?

This Thanksgiving was a little different in that I can honestly say I prepared for it, like, the day before but, weirdly, felt extremely calm about the whole thing.  I picked out some recipes while Petra was taking a nap the day before, did some grocery shopping via Instacart, packed Petra up and went to the buy a roasting pan and that was that! 

On actual Thanksgiving Day, first things first, the parade had to go up on the screen. As in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade!  On previous Thanksgivings spent in California, I would always have the parade up the second I woke up. Who knew one day I would be living in that city…yet watching the parade in my living room on a TV? Haha, does this make me a real New Yorker yet? Crowds are definitely not my thing.  After watching the parade and getting ready, Lukasz’ took Petra and the dog to have a “Dad’s Day” while me and my other lady, Tatiana basically spent the entire day drinking wine and cooking up a feast. I don’t really know why this Thanksgiving wasn’t as stressful as precious years but it really was just fun to hang out and cook all day and then enjoy the fruits of our labor with my adorable family.  Petra even ate some of our candied yams! 

In addition to the Turkey (duh) we have a green bean casserole, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce, stuffing, glazed shallots, and gravy.  For desßrt, there was two pies, pumpkin and chocolate pecan and ice cream. We also had Mai Toddianas which were Tatiana and Todd’s delicious drink recipe! 

All in all though, I don’t need a holiday to remind me to be thankful for what I have. I’m reminded every single day that I wake up and look around. I have an amazing boyfriend who is also an amazing father.  And I have one beautiful and adorably sweet daughter that I can never get enough of.  These two are my whole life and I don’t know how I got so lucky. #Thankful.

Xo,

Karen

Recipe: Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins

I’ve never been much of a sweets person.  Especially bread.  Or croissants, or muffins or parties in general.  I would say I take after my mom in that perspective, she was more of a savory lover…or sour? Her favorite dish is probably ceviche, like the real kind from Peru.  None of this “tomatoes in diluted lime juice stuff”.  My dad on the other hand, he’s all about the carbs.  When I was younger he kept the house well stocked with all kinds of delicious pastries and his ideal dessert was probably a good pie.  Me, my idea of sweets is a handful of Skittles.  I don’t even do Milk Chocolate!  So you can imagine how weird it has been for me that during this last trimester, I have been desperate to eat pastries.  I’ve done everything to put off the craving from eating fresh fruit to fruit popsicles which usually satisfy whatever sweetness I’m after but I couldn’t get a good muffin out of my mind.

The thought has been haunting me for weeks until I was Pinteresting the other day (yeah, I made it a verb) and came across a recipe from Sugar and Soul for Strawberry muffins.  I would normally read through and pin it to my baking folder that I never really touch because baking is for special occasions but I realized I had all the ingredients EXCEPT STRAWBERRIES.  And when that happens, I read through the comments and try to find somebody else who was desperate for a muffin and used “insert random fruit” and the flavors went well.  Luckily, a muffin is a muffin so while I didn’t find anyone to justify my replacements, I used blueberries instead BECAUSE LIFE IS SHORT. I had blueberries in my fridge.

A few notes: For the blueberries, the recipe calls to have them folded into the batter, which I did after having lightly floured them.  I was told they would suspend better after cooking instead of sinking to the bottom of the muffin.  Also, the blueberries I used were frozen, and I left them on the counter to soften them up which created a lot of liquid.  I would probably use fresh next time.  I also used a standard muffin pan not a giant muffin pan.  Or how I like to think about it, standard cupcake size. Cheers.

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Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins

Adapted from Sugar and Soul

Bakes 12 Muffins

For Muffins:

  • ¼ cup of Butter, softened
  • ¾ cup of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups of flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup of Milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 ½ cups of blueberries (I used frozen!)

For Crumble:

  • ¼ cup of butter
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of white sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Slowly add the milk and the flour mix to the butter and sugar and mix until well combined.
  6. Lightly flour HALF of the blueberries and fold them in to the batter mix.
  7. Pour about 2 tbsp of batter into each muffin liner.
  8. Top with the remaining blueberries. (These don’t have to be floured)
  9. In a separate mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the crumble.  This one took me a while and I ended up using my hands to get a good crumble texture going.
  10. Top the muffins with the crumble mix.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Eat for lunch like I did! 🙂