Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pie Week: Buttercup Bake Shop

The following is an exact transcription from note's taken live, on site, during pie consumption:

Buttercup Bake Shop
Midtown East

6 train has a three hour delay
The shop closes in an hour. 
Not enough time to walk.
I guess I'll take a cab.

This might be the worst cabbie I've had all summer.
That's saying a lot.
I hope I live to eat this pie.

$11 cab ride.
This pie better be worth it.

Ok. Now, this is a bakery. No fuss. No muss. Just sugar. And frosting.
This place isn't trendy at all which makes it unknowingly super trendy.

They only sell they're pies whole.
It seems I may have to buy a whole pie.
Oh! A Loop hole! A 6 inch pie! wonderful! I mean, still-- a lot of pie-- but who's complaining?

I'm going with the peach pandowdy.
They seal it in a white box.
I guess this means I'm taking it to-go.

Walking out, the girl behind the counter says she likes my hair. 
Does she know there is a competition going on? 
Good move. 
5 points.

Walking home now, it sinks in that I have just allowed myself to buy a whole pie. For the sake of experience. And pie week. A week that I invented that ultimately has no affect on anything.
I feel no Remorse.

Ok. I'm home. Let's crack this baby open.

Crust. Outstanding. Crunchy with a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar on top.

Peach filling is not up to par with last nights peaches. They are cut into little cubes- which doesn't prove anything, but it also implies that they aren't fresh.

Definitely more syrupy. This is a quality I was trying to avoid.

This pie is good. This pie is not great. This is pie that you make after googling "worlds best pie recipe" and trying to make it for the first time. When I close my eyes, I see nothing. I don't see grandma pulling it out of the oven or fireworks or kittens. I see nothing.  Just a pie.

Ultimately, I feel bad for the guys. The bar was set so high by last nights pie, how could this compare?

But let me stress again-- crust: outstanding.

Overall Pie Week Grade: 83%

Update: it's 20 minutes later. I just ate, like, all the crust off the pie.

Monday, July 30, 2012


It's back, ya'll. And better than ever.

Take me there.

Pie Week: Bubby's

The following is an exact transcription from note's taken live, on site, during pie consumption:

Bubby's Pies 

Welcoming atmosphere
Very comfortable
I want to live and die in TriBeCa

Apple pie:
very apple-y... in a good way 
apples not overcooked
still maintain apple-like properties
crust could have been flakier
it seemed over worked, perhaps?

Peach Crumble:
 sweet, but not too sweet
very little peachy syrupy business going on
what I mean is that it's being sweetened by the peaches and not by goop 
could have used more crumble
...then again, can you ever have too much crumble? 
This remains to be seen in the following week. 

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream: 
so so so fresh
I feel like I'm drinking cream straight from a cow's utters... in a good way

Pie not served hot
tisk tisk

Tastes home made
Showcases the fruit
Overall Pie Week Grade: 94%

Sunday, July 29, 2012

This is officially Pie Week.

Walking around the Union Square Farmer's market with the Pages yesterday, I felt the tug of familiar, but temporarily shelved emotions: the need to cook. While the piles and piles of colorful vegetables, fresh baked loaves of hearty nutted breads and buckets upon buckets of pink and yellow summer flowers made my heart sing with glee, I felt like a dog with a carrot being dangled just out of my reach.

Usually, a majority of my summers are spent with some serious quality time in the kitchen. I have time, energy and the beautifully fresh produce of California's prosperous agriculture at my finger tips to play with for hours and hours multiple times a week in a kitchen well stocked with every tool from apple corer to zest peeler. This summer, the closest I've gotten to a kitchen is the 20 minutes it takes to bake my frozen Trader Joe's Veggie Nests at 450. This doesn't cut it.

But alas, this summer's kitchen space is quite limited and terribly uninspiring leaving me no room or to create. Besides all that, my roommates are DISGUSTINGLY dirty. I mean. Like. You would not believe. Crazy dirty. I can't stress enough. Really dirty. Do you understand how dirty? I don't think you do. They are really dirty. Dishes in the sink. For over 3 weeks. Same dish. 3 weeks. Gross. And basically, the piles of their old chinese takeout makes the idea of any culinary endeavor a little less appealing.

So, I have given up hope of a Sunday afternoon with flour on my arms up to my elbows and a simmering pot of anything.

Until today.

This week I am revolting.

No, I may not be able to enjoy the fruits of my own labor and the pride and satisfaction of pulling your own hard earned dish out of a scorching oven, but that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy someone else's!

I declare this week official Pie Week.

I recently found this list of NYC's greatest pie restaurants and over the next 7 days, I intend on sampling each one. Tonight, I am starting with Bubby's in Tribeca and I can't wait.

I'll definitely be taking pictures and at the end of the week, we will hopefully have a clear winner. This will hopefully be enough to tide over my kitchen cravings until I have access to an oven of my very own.

(By the way-- is anyone else looking forward to fall and winter foods as much as I am? In case you aren't quite there with me yet, I dare you to read this post and not want 50 degree temperatures and a bowl of pumpkin soup afterwards.)

Friday, July 27, 2012


I absolutely love the Olympics and I'm having a small anxiety attack over the fact that I don't have a TV to keep up with all the games with.

In the meantime, here are some awesome pics from past Olympics Games. I am so obsessed with the female archer's uniforms. They should seriously consider bringing back the petticoats and hats in the name of nostalgia. 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Leo Greenfield

I'm loving these illustrations by Leo Greenfield and his blog 'dedicated to the documentation of street style and culture.'

Maybe I'll run around NYC in a cape and maybe he'll draw me too.

Cape Initiative 2012: Starting today.

How in the world is it July 26th?

Today's post is called "How in the world is it July 26th?"

We will be going deeper into asking the question that is currently on everyone's minds: How in the world is it July 26th?

July is the 4th of July.
July is record breaking temperatures.
July is long, warm evenings.
July is homemade peach cobbler.
July is Iced coffee and lawn chairs.

But, July 26th is, like... the end of July!! July 26th is not supposed to be here yet!

This summer, I have been in an intense love/hate relationship with New York City. There are days that I hate every smelly street-meat stand that seeps into my clothes, every long avenue block that I walk down and every concrete building I see. And I want to run, not walk, but RUN out of this place to anywhere that is green.

But then! When I think that I have finally given up on the city and it's commitment-phobic tendencies, I walk past a community garden that I hadn't noticed the day before, or I see a woman with a face that has so much character, you can literally hear the pages of her autobiography when she walks past you or I discover a street that, even though I don't live on, feels like home. And all of a sudden, it's back. My love for this place. New York City notices me.

And I've tried. I've tried, I've tried, I've tried to take in every ounce of this summer both when I knew exactly why I was here but also even more when I would feel lonelier than I'd ever experienced and I couldn't see September if you gave me the world's strongest microscope. I wanted to eat up every bite of every emotion. But it's July 26th and I don't feel like I've done enough. There are restaurants I haven't seen and museums I haven't eaten up. I'm not convinced that I've done enough.

And now, it's started happening. The walk to work feels shorter. The contractors that take their bagel break on the corner of 3rd and Stuy finally smile at me in the morning when I walk by. And I've learned to sway when the subway sways like we're dancing.

I'm finally getting it.

So, I ask again: HOW IN THE WORLD IS IT JULY 26TH!?

I need more time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


This lady is in New York Cittaaayyyyy. With me. And her amazing family. Who I also sort of think of as my amazing family. 

I am so very happy this week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Perfectly Cooked Steak

Sometimes you have a meal that makes you realize how crappy most of the food you've been eating really is. And makes you realize the talent of a good chef. And the importance of a perfectly cooked steak. Let me stress this: Perfectly cooked.

I have been oh so lucky to experience a handful of meals like this in my life. The ones that at the end, leave you so full and content, but sad that you can't start the whole thing over again. Last night, I had one of those meals.

My roommate Claire's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Barnhardt, and sister, Mary Rives, happen to be in New York for the next couple of days and graciously offered to take poor Ramen and street meat budgeted me out to dinner at the River Cafe in DUMBO, Brooklyn (which, thanks to a mid-dinner google search, we discovered, stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

When we arrived at the restaurant, there were hundreds and hundreds and flowers covering the front door and entering the lobby, the flowers didn't stop. The fragrance of fresh roses and lilies couldn't help but stop me in my tracks. Mary Rives filled me in that the River Cafe was voted the number 1 most romantic restaurant in the City.

Mrs. Barnhardt and Mary Rives are both wearing beautiful necklaces created by Mary Rives who is a ridiculously talented jeweler. I think I will definitely have to showcase some more of her pieces on the blog another day. Each table was set with it's own, completely different, centerpiece. Let me tell ya, these people do a good centerpiece.

Ok, people. Let's talk food. I started off with this perfectly cooked shrimp over mushroom risotto and creamed corn. The shrimp were sort of spicy, but perfectly offset by the creamy and flavor packed mushroom risotto. People. Mushroom risotto. THIS WAS JUST MY APPETIZER. I mean, I could've stopped there and been happy, but it was just the beginning! 

I am typically not a huge steak orderer, but after not having a good piece of red meat for the last oh, I don't know, 6 months, my body was craving beef like nobodies business.  And I knew that if I was ever going to have a good steak in my life, it would be at this restaurant, so I decided to go for it. 

Sidenote: "You'll eat this bloody to feed your blood." 
If you know what this is a reference to, I will love you forever. 

Not only was the steak THE. MOST. AMAZING. STEAK. EVER. but then, they just pushed it way too far over the edge and served it with a mushroom and shallot wine reduction AND a little piece of magic they called "blue cheese fondue." Basically, melted blue cheese baked around gratin potatoes. I mean...

I have no clue how to express the amazingness. No, seriously. Like, I don't know what to type right now. I am literally, literally at a loss for words. 

The view to the city over the river was crazy crazy crazy beautiful. 

And as if I needed to eat anything else for the rest of my life, I got the most ooey gooey toffee cake my little heart could ever imagine served with, what else, more toffee and the fluffiest whip cream in the existence. 

If this whole post sounds like I'm bragging, it's because I am. If you are angry at me for dropping this here without any real payoff for you, I understand. I'll take the heat. This is just like watching the Top Chef finale sitting on the couch with a bowl of cereal. It just doesn't seem fair. Well, my loves, life's not fair, but really really amazing meals with really special people make you forget about the unjustness of life for a little bit and marvel at the wonder of something as simplistically breathtaking as a perfectly cooked steak. 

Thank you again, Barnhardts!!! Our meal at the River Cafe is a meal I will not soon forget. 

Monday, July 23, 2012


My best friend is coming to New York today today today todayyyyyy!!!!!


So EXCITED. I can't even explain.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I never get hit on, but when I do, it's always by men over fifty.


It happened. Again.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Holy, Smokes.

This wedding.

The bride is gorgeous. The flowers are beautiful. This farm looks amazing. AND THERE ARE ALPACAS!

They done good, folks, they done good.

And while you're at it, check out the bride's illustrations. They're great too.

What are you doing this weekend?

It's restaurant week in the city and a lot of really great places are serving their delicious food for awesome prices. My friend Jesse and I are going to try City Hall in Tribeca. I can't wait to wear a dress and get a big juicy steak.

...And then inevitably spill said steak on said dress.

What are you up to?

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Can someone teach me how to grill things? I want to be a girl who knows how to grill things. But not even just like, how to turn on a grill. I want to be a girl who kicks ass on a grill.


"Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My god, do you learn."

C. S. Lewis 

But, Daaaaad...

Guys, I'm in the need of some sort of change. And I'm not really in the mood to start doing hard drugs or anything as of yet, so I'm thinking either dying my hair ooooor getting a tattoo. Huh? Huh? What do we think?

As of right now, I already have 3 votes pro tattoo and although this has yet to be verbally confirmed, I'm pretty sure I can count on at least 1 vote of anti tattoo from one Don Patton.

Maybe the fact that he has threatened to completely cut me off should deter me from the idea at such a financially precarious time in my life (full disclosure: I have $163.89 in my bank account right now-- AND an amazing pair of new red boots!!), but is it weird that his very real threats only really make me want to get one more? Am I finally going through my teen angst years? This is so exciting! If this is true and I'm going to start playing the black eyeliner, sneaking out at night, motor cycle boyfriend card, maybe the notion of 'what you don't know can't hurt you' is applicable in this context.

Who am I kidding. Motorcycles hurt my sensitive ears.

And I know what you're thinking, Grandma-- a tattoo will cheapen my generally pristine look, but don't worry-- I'd definitely stick to something classy like barbed wire around my bicep, an ironic old-timey mustache on my finger, or a tribute black and white portrait of Kaitlin and I as children on my upper shoulder or lower declotauge. Or hey- maybe I'll even do something religious and get a cross rosary around my ankle like Nicole Richie and Britney Spears!

How about this, Dad; I'll make you a deal. The tattoo threats will stop as soon as mom gets the convertible that she's been wanting since her 16th birthday. Do you see the common obstacle in these two situations? At least one of us get what we want this year.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Playlist: Walk to Work

Good morning, my sweets! We find ourselves in the middle of yet another week! The question that Wednesday always brings is what have you done with and what will you do with this week of burgeoning potential?! (Can you tell I got a good nights sleep?)

Whether you are catching my proverbial vibes and sitting passenger on the sunshine train or you're sludging through perhaps a less than pleasant hump day, I hope that I am about to share something that will brighten the mood either way.

A playlist! Yes, my deers (not a typo), I have once again hand crafted the string of tunes that will suit the mood of a day of errands, the drive home from a dinner with friends, or specifically in my situation, the 1.4 mile walk to Marc Headquarters and the 1.4 mile walk back.

Sidenote: Did I just use the word 'proverbial' right? I'm not sure if I've ever quite gotten that one.


The handy dandy little embedded player that I used to use for such posts as these no longer exists. Such a pity. That was so helpful, wasn't it? Now, I have to give you a less impressive presentation and introduce my master mix with a far less glamorous link.



There it is.


In spite of it's pitiful, gray smize (Tyra reference), I promise that if you click on the link and listen to the songs, you will at least for 1 second smile.

And isn't that thought so much more pleasant than not smiling at all this morning?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This is what I need:

Bras. I accidentally just dropped all of mine off at the laundromat.
I was wearing my bathing suit, if your wondering about the logistics.
I was wearing my bathing suit because all of my bras were dirty.
Was this story an over-share?
Lightbulbs. The second out of three lightbulbs just quit on me. This small room is feeling extra moody right now.
Scratch that.
I'd prefer natural light. In my room. In the kitchen. In the living room. In the hallway. This small room is feeling extra depressing right now.
Food to prepare dinner.
Money to buy food. Do you see where I'm going with this?
That dress that I didn't buy at the flea market this Sunday.
I had already started regretting it an hour after I said goodbye to it.
Why didn't I go back? Drat.
That's right. I didn't go back because I was saving money for my fictitious dinner. Double drat.
To stop buying clothes.
To write my bio for this blog. It's on the New Bushka To-Do List.
Yes, this list exists and is constantly growing with wonderful new ideas.
Get someone to write my bio for this blog.
I want a bio as good as Kaitlin Patton's Facebook bio. But more factually based.
To watch the Bachelorette.
But I have to watch it on Hulu. More like BOOOOlu.
To wake up early enough in the morning to watch the two hours of the Bachelorette while also giving myself more than 2 minutes to get ready before I need to leave. Cough cough. This morning. Cough.
To stop watching The West Wing until 2 minutes before I need to leave in the morning.
To stop watching The West Wing.
No, but seriously though, I need to figure out this bra situation. I have work in the morning. 
On the other hand: YOLO.  
Move to Scranton.
Move to Palo Alto
Stop buying books and actually start reading books.
Call Tamara.
Call Dionna.
Google to find out if I can call someone in the UK.
Call Maggie.
Move to England.
Find a way to come to terms with the fact that I have a negative reaction to caffeinated coffee.
Convince myself it's not embarrassing to order decaf.
Convince myself that this does not make me a weaker person.
Burn the paper I wrote last quarter about how cool drinking adult coffee makes me feel.
A little excitement.
A little regret.
A little perspective.
Someone to take at least one cool picture of me this summer. Sorry, mom and Kait's. You tried.
A pet butterfly. Name it Margery. {See what I did there}
Only use {these} from now on and never use (these) again.
To make something.
To make a pie.
To make eggs.
To make lasagna.
To eat an avocado.
To eat dinner.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Can we please take a moment to talk about how freaking cool Spencer Malinski is? I mean. What? 

She's such a big shot on the West Coast this summer. Two internships. Modeling errywherr. Eating Cheez-Its with my dad and hanging out with my Grandma. Again: What? 

While we're at it, let's check in with the other inhabitants of the now uninhabited Fantasy Suite:

Claire and Frances are taking on Europe and doing it in style. These kids don't mess around. Classy as always, ladies. Classy. As. Always. 

And back in the heartland, Oli is changing everything you thought you knew about the high school graduation portrait. This player is reinventing the game and throwing it back in your face at the same time. Wa-wa-wa-watch out.