Rock the Casa

cute stuff, fresh ideas, and style inspirations on the daily

Archive for August, 2009

House envy

Posted by Beth on August 7, 2009

Living in New York City, you don’t see too many houses on a daily basis. Sure, they exist, but generally out in the far reaches of Queens, and certain Brooklyn neighborhoods that I rarely visit. So, every time I do see an actual frame house, it’s always a little bit of a shock. That’s why I was so floored when I made the trek to Governor’s Island this past weekend. The island, a former base for the Coast Guard and the Army, was abandoned in 1996 but reopened to the public a few years ago. (It’s just a short ferry ride from Manhattan and Brooklyn on the weekends.) The homes originally built for the officers—many of them Victorian style with sweeping front porches—were amazing. Here are some photos I took:

There’s a variety of art exhibits being hosted in some of the homes, so we actually got an inside peek at some of the interiors. They’re full of beautiful period details—coffered ceilings, picture moldings, pocket doors—but most are in a state of disrepair. I was kind of bummed to see these wonderful old houses sitting empty, but apparently the island’s deed doesn’t allow permanent housing. With it’s quaint village feel and open green spaces, I would totally live here! What do you think should be done with Governor’s Island?

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On my plate

Posted by Beth on August 7, 2009

In my small apartment kitchen, counterspace is practically nonexistant, which makes whipping up major meals a bit of a challenge. So, when I do cook, I tend to make enough for an army, and then eat the leftovers for the rest of the week (or until my tastebuds cry uncle). In the fall and winter months, I’m a major soup-aholic. But come summer, in an apt. without central air, hot liquids are out, and grilled chicken is in. Last night I seasoned up an entire package of thin chicken cutlets with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a spritz of olive oil, threw them on my grill pan, and finished them off with a squeeze of lemon. I also cooked up a cup of quinoa—my favorite grain. It’s like a nutty-flavored, more healthful version of couscous. I first cooked this grain last year after I bought Martha Stewart’s amazing cookbook Everyday Food and was tempted by this yummy quinoa, spinach, and shiitake salad with feta cheese. It’s a bit of work, but soooo good. Now I regularly make my own variations on the salad, subbing in different vegetables and dressings depending on what’s in season. Since zucchini and corn were plentiful at my veggie market, I sauteed them up in a bit of olive oil (I steamed the corn first and cut the kernels off the cob), threw in some fresh basil, and then added about half of the cooked quinoa. I tossed it all with a bit of lemon parmesan vinaigrette—another Martha favorite. I also steamed up some fresh broccoli in the microwave. Here’s what my dinner looked like:

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The best part? Leftovers. I made a broccoli and cheese omelet for breakfast this morning, and have plenty of extra chicken that I plan to throw on top of a salad for lunch. Dinner might be a stir fry over a bed of the plain quinoa I have waiting in my fridge.

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