Two Hands + Insomnia Cookies

Last week was my friend Hannah’s birthday, and I promised her that we would go to a fancy breakfast establishment sometime this semester (fancy breakfast establishments are our weak spots). After browsing Instagram a few weeks back, I found Two Hands in NYC, which happens to be a doable halfway point for us. This past Saturday, we met at Penn Station to begin her birthday celebration and much-needed hangout.

We took the subway to Chinatown and found Two Hands after a five minute walk. A cool wind was blowing, but there weren’t any clouds in the sky and the sun was warm. The exterior was rustic and charming. We could see through the large windows to a space not much bigger than my kitchen, but nonetheless cozy and fun.

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After a ten minute wait, we sat down inside next to the window, which let in lots of natural light. The inside brick walls were painted white, but distressed, and there were Christmas lights strung from wall to wall. Ten feet away, we could see the chefs making food, and our waiter immediately brought over a carafe of water for us to start with.

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We could barely decide what to order off the menu because everything sounded amazing. We ended up getting (keep in mind, it was 10am and we hadn’t eaten since waking up at 6) a croissant, avocado toast with a sunny side up egg for me, a fruit bowl, banana bread, and hot chocolate for Hannah and a cappuccino for me.

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The avocado toast was hot with the red pepper flaked, but the banana bread was sweet. The portions were a good size, and we ended up feeling satisfied, but not overly full, when we finished. Would I go back? Absolutely. The prices were reasonable for the quality and amount of food, the food was great, and it was the perfect start to our day.

IMG_2259  We walked a few blocks over to Soho to do some window shopping and enjoy the warmth that had begun to cling to the cobblestones. For a few hours, we created dream brownstones in Crate and Barrel, dressed ourselves in Anthropologie, and paid a visit to my favorite store, Aerie. We were surprised Two Hands wasn’t situated several streets over because it would have fit in perfectly with the vibes of Soho.

It was also on the bucket list to find an Insomnia Cookies (I was breaking so many rules that day), and the nearest one was a twenty minute walk. We walk inside and the entire place is about the size of my bathroom, but it smells amazing. We ended up purchasing six cookies, but the man at the counter gave us two extra cookies because he thought we were funny for cracking so many “broke college girl” jokes. I think he was also a broke college student and figured two cookies wouldn’t hurt. He also took a really cute photo of Hannah and I holding our cookies, but the photo was lost in the depths of memory and is nowhere to be found.

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We got the white chocolate macadamia nut, snickerdoodle, peanut butter, chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin, and sugar cookies. Then our free cookies of choice were M & M and s’mores. We ate them on our way uptown and every single one was delicious. 10/10 would recommend.

After some wandering aimlessly and wasting some time, I walked Hannah to Penn Station to send her on her way. We hugged goodbye and I made my way to Port Authority. Three more weeks until we’re reunited for almost a week!

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Apple Picking + G’s Restaurant

  Our weekends have been pretty low-key since school started, and we were trying to think of what to do today when I suggested apple picking last night. We’ve gone every September since I was born (kudos to my parents for pushing a stroller through rows of trees and a pumpkin patch). So today we headed to Soons Orchards in New Hampton, our favorite spot of recent years. It’s small compared to the farm we went to when we were younger. There was a petting zoo and hayrides there, and that’s nice if you want to make a day trip out of it. But this place is perfect for a morning, especially since it’s still so hot this late in September (which I am not unhappy about, trust me).

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  We decided to go with half a bushel, since that’s enough apples to last us a month or so anyway. Apple picking has gotten expensive, and forget about the places that charge you to park or even to access the orchards. Soons has free parking and a pretty large bag for $25, which is a pretty good price if you’re thinking ratios (You can do the actual math). After glancing at the reference for apple types, we decided to go with gala, lady jean, and golden delicious apples. We actually picked too many of the other two and never got a chance to grab some lady jeans.

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  The gala rows were picked almost bare, and it seemed like there were more apples on the ground than in the trees.  Somehow, we found a bunch in the back few trees and filled half the bag (and ate a few too). IMG_7952IMG_7946    Once we finished up, we headed down the street to the Orchard’s Market. It’s like the inside of a barn-turned-country-store, and it’s adorable. They sell all sorts of produce from peppers to zucchini, and of course, apples! They make their own salsas and peanut butters, which I had to sample. The stone fruit salsa was the best.

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  They also have a wide variety of baked goods and ciders. We always get at least half a dozen of the apple cider donuts and a gallon of cider. And I just had a donut now. Reheated in the oven. And drizzled with honey. (Because this whole thing is about my happiness, too, right?) Along with the donuts, we make sure to grab a jar of honey, which the farm sells for an apiary in Westtown. For some reason, my sister grabbed the largest jar available, on the bottom shelf, which is the size of my head. Eighty ounces of honey. Hopefully it lasts us a long time.

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  After the sampling and the buying and the lugging things back to the car, we headed into Warwick to get lunch. The town is adorable and if we had more time to window shop, I could have spent a few hours there.

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  We ended up at G’s Restaurant, which had beautifully painted windows for fall (which I poorly captured in the photo). There was a sign outside advertising pumpkin spice coffee, and I was tempted. I decided to forgo after some miserable attempts with Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte. I’m just not a big fan of nutmeg in hot beverages.

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  The restaurant inside was nice and airy, and we sat in a booth. I ordered a house salad with lemon pepper chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. My mom got sweet potato soup and a mesclun salad with balsamic. My dad got a grilled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries and Carly got a burger with fries. The sandwich came with normal fries, so the waitress brought out a plate of sweet potato fries for us for free, which happened to be in the center of the table… Very close to my hands…

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 After lunch, we headed back to Rockland. The Season 9 premiere of Doctor Who airs tonight and tomorrow, we’re heading into the city to see Les Misérables on Broadway. This is my last week with a vacation day before we head into two straight months of five-day weeks, and i’m putting my energy into enjoying myself while I can.