Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend Getaway: Red Hook, NY

Sometimes you just need to get out of the city for the weekend, enjoy some fresh air and take in everything nature has to offer. Matt and I did just that this past weekend, heading to a lake house with our good friends Tommy and Julie. We headed two hours north of the city to the town of Red Hook, NY, where we made our way to the Painted Turtle Cottage, our home for the weekend.

The charming red house was exactly what we were hoping for - a rustic, yet modern cabin feel on the inside and a large sunroom to enjoy many meals and great views of the lake. There was a path down to the lake, where there were two balconies, the higher being ideal for enjoying lunch and the lower where you can find canoes and kayaks to enjoy. There was even a floating dock!

After loading up with food and drinks, we enjoyed everything the house had to offer for the weekend. While Friday was rainy, we had a great meal and made some s'mores once the rain died down. The house also had a basement with a ping pong table, which we took full advantage of throughout Friday and Saturday. One of the most relaxing features of the house was the outdoor hot tub!

On Saturday, we made a delicious breakfast before canoeing and kayaking in the lake, playing frisbee in the front yard, riding bikes, grilling burgers for lunch, swimming in the lake, playing lots of ping pong, hanging out in the hot tub, and having steaks and corn on the cob for dinner. We packed in all we could on Saturday!

Sadly, Sunday was our last day so we made breakfast, enjoying one last meal in the sunroom before cleaning up and taking a final walk around the property. We even saw some chickens as we were packing up the car!

I would have loved to have another day at the lake, but we definitely did everything we could while we were there. Hopefully we'll have another weekend getaway this summer, especially once it really starts warming up!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


I can now say that I've tried a cronut. You're probably wondering if the wait was worth it, and I'm here to tell you that it was! I don't think I'll be doing it every month to try each new flavor, but the experience itself was a lot of fun.

Matt and I met up with two of our friends nice and early at 6:20am on Saturday, went for a run from the New York Public Library down to Dominique Ansel Bakery, and got in line around 6:45am. The one hour 15 minute wait went pretty quickly, especially when we were given a lemon madeleine to enjoy halfway through. We were informed that the flavor for June is a strawberry balsamic and mascarpone filled cronut, rolled in basil sugar, and topped with strawberry glaze. My mouth was already watering.

Once the clock struck 8, we started moving forward! They only let in a certain number of people at one time, so we had to wait for the first group to clear out before making our way inside. Once we were in, we were able to witness the cronut assembly as the line slowly moved forward. 

You're allowed two cronuts per person, so of course we went for this option. In addition to our cronuts, we also got a DKA, which stands for Dominique’s Kouign Amann. The bakery website describes it as a tender, flaky, croissant-like dough with a caramelized crunchy crust.

We found a table on the back outdoor patio, and settled in to enjoy our tasty treats. The cronut had a good balance between flaky and doughy, without being too dense. The strawberry jam and mascarpone filling were sweet and creamy. All in all, the cronut was a very satisfying treat!

Let me know in the comments section if you get the chance to go to Dominique Ansel bakery and try the cronut yourself! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day Trip: Cold Spring and Beacon, NY

Over the long Memorial Day weekend, Matt and I decided to get out of the city for a day for some fresh air and a change of pace. We decided to head north about an hour to Cold Spring and Beacon, two towns adjacent to one another on Metro North.

An awesome yellow building right by the Cold Spring train station

One of two inns in Cold Spring

We started in Cold Spring, walking along Main Street, where there is a plethora of antique shops, coffee shops and restaurants. After walking the length of the street, we decided to have lunch at Hudson Hils, which seemed to be the popular choice based on the crowd of people waiting for a table. Our lunch didn't disappoint - I had a delicious grilled cheese with Gouda cheese, thinly sliced apples, fig paste and of course, bacon. It was crispy and full of flavor.

After we were full of food and coffee, we stopped in at some antique shops to see what they had to offer. We found some interesting items, like moustache tea cups that appear to protect men's moustaches while sipping such a delicate beverage - who knew? Every shop had tons of books, and it was nice seeing a mix of both old and new cookbooks. 

Cookbooks, galore!

We got some ice cream - I really have to put this on my resume as a skill I have in always locating my favorite sweet treat - and took in the views of the Hudson River. It was a beautiful day and the views were gorgeous. 

Look at all the greenery and puffy clouds

After getting of fill of vitamin D, we took the train one stop north to Beacon. Our main purpose for checking out this town was to go to the modern art museum, Dia: Beacon. Typically I can get a little restless at museums when I don't feel engaged, but these exhibits were so unique that it was exciting to continue from room to room. Sadly, no pictures were allowed inside so you'll just have to visit the museum for yourself! The outdoor areas were really beautiful too.

We were ready to eat after enjoying some art, so we asked a woman at the museum for a recommendation. Since we love good food and good beer, we headed to The Hop, which just happened to be at the very far end of their Main Street. We made the trek and were rewarded with some good eats and drinks. I went for the beer flight while Matt tried a few individual beers. Our meals were especially great - I had the steak sandwich with one of their local cheeses and pesto, while Matt had their fennel sausage and mashed potatoes, topped with an egg.

The long walk back to the train station was much needed after filling up with a full day of yummy food. I would highly recommend checking out both towns, although I believe Beacon has more to offer with the museum and stores, restaurants and bars. Here's to more exploring outside the city throughout the summer!