A walk through Brooklyn based artist Mimms Cross’ apartment might include graffiti on her living room wall, floor or even on mirrors. And it’d be some of the most beautiful handwriting you’ve ever seen.
Mimms recently completed the new menu board at our One Girl Cookies Cobble Hill location, and her work has been earning raves from customers and staff alike. Even the occasional stomach grumble.
Born into a family of artists, Mimms has loved lettering ever since she was a kid, letting her brother judge her writing in reality show inspired contests and wondering later in school - as she was having a blast simply writing an assignment - whether she could ever make a living at doing just that. It turns out she can.
“Letters are all about shapes and thinking about the whole word and how the shapes interact,” says Mimms. “It’s about balance.”
Mimms first met OGC owner Dawn Casale while lettering for graphic design firm Regas Studio where she was encouraged by founder Meredith Kurosko to pursue her love for calligraphy. With Dawn, their conversation quickly turned to shared passions of shapes, precision and beauty. Not long after, they began discussing the new menu board.
“So many people asked me if I was painting it with chocolate,” she says of the menu which honestly, really does look like chocolate, and I see it every day as manager of the shop. The gold lettering she created is one of her favorite hands, which she meticulously drew freehand using only a yard stick and level as her guide after laying it out for proofing with an assist from Lindsay Calhoun.
Drop by One Girl Cookies 68 Dean Street to check out Mimms’ work, and head over to her site at www.mimmscross.com to see more of what she’s up to.
It was a fun filled week with much of the excitement centered around Camille’s Christening. Anyone that knows me knows that I love to host a party. And even though this one did not take place at home (but at this fabulous restaurant in Westchester… www.fortinapizza.com) there were lots of details to attend to. I mean, what’s a party without the details….
~I tried my hand at heat embossing and created these camillia flower note card favors for adults
~Personalized sugar cookies are my new favorite takeaway gift for kids (bye bye party bags)
~I searched on Etsy for some milk glass containers for these pretty purple pansies that I used as centerpieces then took home and planted in the garden
~ And every single party needs a knock out dessert table!
But of course, the real key to a great party is a stunning guest of honor…wearing sequined bloomers!
As we plan the summer wine selection at One Girl Cookies DUMBO, Winebow invited us to their Pink Up! event at Corkbuzz to sample their Rose selection this year. As someone who usually veers away from Rose, I was eager to join in on the tasting to see what the fuss is all about! I can definitely say now I feel differently about the wine!
Joel and I were lucky to be accompanied by our Winebow rep Chris Roberts, otherwise we would not have known where to begin! Since we are neighbors to the Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, we tend to get a lot of customers craving a crisp and refreshing drink during the hotter seasons after spending a day outside and having a nice glass of rosé seems to remedy that quite well!
At One Girl, we try to stick to a certain light & tasty flavor that tends to stem from Italy or France. Although we were given an abundance of choices, Joel and I were able to single out a few of the tastiest. Since the sun is coming out more and more, come by and have a glass with some cheese and crackers!
Sparkling rosé is always a treat for the warmer, summer months. Perfectly paired with cheese, nuts, and some crackers, it will maintain balance between the salty, tangy cheese while keeping your taste-buds entertained. We thought our rosemary spiced nuts and the Cabot Clothbound cheddar would pair beautifully with most of these. Of the sparkling rose samples available, we tasted:
Zardetto Rose, from Italy, with crisp aromas of cherry and red currant, light acidity and a velvety-smooth finish. The color of this rose resembled a raspberry, which automatically takes you to summer.
Fleury Rose Brut, from France, a delightful combination of strawberries and forest air; small, smooth bubbles with great texture.
Lanson Brut Rose, from France, this was a pleasant mixture of Pinot Noir (53%), Chardonnay (32%), and Pinot Meunier (15%); initial taste is gentle and filled with berries leading to a long-lasting finish.
And finally, for still rose, another great wine to pair with our cheese plate and spicy nuts; or if you want to follow in Dawn's footsteps, a great wine to pair with chocolate (example: our Juliette cookie, or a chocolate whoopie pie).
Les Pallieres Gigondas Au Petit Bonheur, a Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Clairett blend that hails from France; these grapes are pressed straight after picking and matured in wood. This process yields a crisp wine with a brilliant appearance.
Les Vignobles Gueissard Cotes de Provence Rosé "Les Papilles", a blend of Mourvedre, Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Rolle; this wine is also from France and has rich, aromatic hints of wild strawberries and raspberries.
Vitiano Rosato, a blend of Merlot, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Aleatico; this wine is from the Umbrai region in Italy; it is dry, medium-bodied, with clean aromas of strawberries, plums and cranberries.
I never imagined there were so many different flavors, textures, and colors of Rose. It is such a simple wine, which pairs so well with a summer picnic or barbeque, and yet the wine itself is quite complex and versatile. Probably a wine I would usually skip over, now I'm more eager to test more bottles this summer!
The final birthday celebration of the month happened last Sunday. It was for my brother in law, Dax, who embraced 40 with open arms…well, sort of. We had a family gathering which, as always consisted of all the nieces and nephews assisting in blowing out the candles. Not at all chaotic! Since it was a first for Camille, she even got in on the action.
The start of April caused the flick of a switch which brought new ideas, trials in the kitchen (stay tuned for new breakfast items, donut day and plenty of other surprises), and a revived team ready to put winter behind them and focus on a new season. These lovely “Little Shop of Cakes” were just one result. “What’s Up Doc?” pairs chai spiced carrot cake with white chocolate buttercream and “Ebony & Ivory” features marble cake with hazelnut ganache and mocha Swiss buttercream. If these cakes are any indication, spring is going to be one fantastic season.
A new and long overdue menu board at our Dean St shop continues with the fresh and new theme. For months we have been trying to come up just the right way to display a menu of our offerings. We were looking for something sort of modern that fit into our vintage-y jewel box of a store. But, it also had to be easy to read and have a handmade feel, just like the sweets we sell. We found the answer in Mimms Cross who painstakingly hand painted the most lovely menu for us. I find myself stepping into the café just to admire it. Here’s a photo but come in and see it in person. I assure you, it will make you want to order one of everything!
The signs of spring are abundant. Whether it’s those first crocuses bursting through the leaves, the buds on a tree struggling to open, or eating an ice cream cone in the sun, they never fail to generate lots of excitement. It happens every year, but somehow it never gets old.
Our neighborhood is so awesome. Having a BID would make it that much better for residents, visitors and business owners alike. Please support One Girl Cookies and our neighbors in an effort to bring a BID to Smith and Court Streets. Both small (and large!) donations as well as the completion of the survey are greatly appreciated.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
There is a group of Court Street & Smith Street merchants working with property owners to put forth a BID (Business Improvement District) for both Court Street & Smith Street! A BID will strengthen the very core of our shopping/dining district along both Court & Smith Streets as well as provide an enormous amount of services and programs to support our community. It will also help preserve the mom-and-pop, individually-owned, small-business-model backdrop that has helped make this area so popular to live in... or even to open that small business you have long dreamt about. We don’t want these types of shops to be a thing of the past. Isn't it time we had a BID?!
This was a rough winter for many of us and with rents soaring overnight our district of mom and pops needs stability in order to survive. When our leases come up, wouldn’t you like us to renew?
We are asking for you support in two ways. First, please fill out this survey. The more information we have about the needs of merchants and residents the more quickly we can prioritize and address them. Your voice matters!
Second, be vocal with your support of this BID through all social media channels. Get your friends and family on board and help spread the word in support of this BID. Once a BID is approved by the City Council, commercial property owners from Court & Smith Streets will fund it through a simple annual easement, but in the meantime we could also benefit from your help now to cover campaign costs including mailings, flyers, meeting notifications, etc. One dollar is the requested contribution but feel free to give up to $5 or more! You can throw down here. Your contribution shows your commitment to your community, THANK YOU!!
The history of New York is one of change that we see and feel every day right here in Brooklyn. Let’s make a difference by strengthening the very core of our district of business and provide future generations the ability to walk into a unified and sustainable shopping area.
Currently Trending: Liquor-Loaded Desserts
If you remember our "Happy Hour Holiday Collection" from December, it may not surprise you that some of us at One Girl love a cocktail in our desserts.
That is why our first "Dessert Trend" blog post is dedicated to some great boozy desserts out there, and two even include my personal favorite aperitif: Fernet Branca. I love the black liquorice flavor of the liquor and it's power to soothe even the fullest of stomachs!
I'm not sure when I first noticed this trend of incorporating a drink into a dessert, but I think it's something that's going to stick around. Maybe, as inexhaustibly busy New Yorkers, we enjoy food that combines our needs into one delicious bite: a drink, something sweet, and something satisfying. The food scene in New York City is ever-changing, always seeking the Next Big Thing, and the ingredients are always daring and inventive. There are so many food trends, advances, and experiments; boozy desserts are certainly one of my favorites.
Clockwise from top left:
1. All'onda (22 E 13th St, New York, NY): Fernet Branca semifreddo topped with fennel moustarda.
2. Pearl and Ash (220 Bower, New York, NY): Fernet Branca ice cream sandwich.
3. The Gander (15 W 18th St, New York, NY): Creme brulee semifreddo with anise milk chocolate, walnuts, bacon, and whiskey. Who needs a cocktail and first course when you can have this dessert?
4. Battersby (225 Smith St, Brooklyn): Black and Tan souffle.
Sources: one, two, three, four.
Week of March 23
The month of March was filled with birthday celebrations galore! The week began with a 40th birthday celebration for my cousin Lisa. A traditional homespun carrot cake, replete with multi-color spiral candles, is so nostalgic. From our cookbook, of course!
Birthday celebration #2 was another four decade celebration with four friends. Dinner at Dover was stellar. Cheesecake mousse with pear sorbet was the proverbial icing on the cake.
It may not appear so, but amidst all of the celebrating and feasting, I did actually get some work done! Check out these photos of a potential new home for the One Girl Cookies kitchen. Top secret for now but I’ll let the cat out of the bag soon…pretty exciting stuff! We brought our dream team in (designer, general contractor, kitchen consultants and mechanical engineer) to start the brainstorming process.
Lunch with my oldest (like, since kindergarten) friend was a lucky surprise. We went to one of my favorite neighborhood spots (and not just because it’s a stone’s throw from my house). The food at Rucola is always as beautiful to look at as it is to eat. This roasted carrot salad with Beluga lentils and goat cheese is my go to for lunch.
The week ended as I wish every week could…with lots and lots of cooking. On Friday we hosted a birthday cocktail party for another friend (I was not lying about the month being full of birthday celebrations!) which consisted of all manner of small bites and some late night revelry (for us that means midnight!). Amongst other things I served pea pancakes with herbed yogurt which were hollering spring and smoked fish toasts featuring Bering Cisco…a smoked fish even more delicious and earthy than trout, introduced to me by Peter at Shelsky’s (a real deal appetizing shop on Smith St.)
That was followed by an afternoon of turning the crank on my pasta machine (such a Zen process, in my opinion) for dinner for Dave’s cousin and sister. Tossed it with shrimp, roasted tomatoes and mixed greens plus a simple salad and we called it a meal.
I am hoping that next week’s “Lately” will be filled with many tales of outdoor adventures as it is finally warming up here in the Northeast. At least that is what the little dove who built a nest in the cherry tree outside our window tells me.
I grew up in Alabama, and in the South, by March, Spring has definitely sprung. It's already warm there and the flowers are blooming. But here in Brooklyn, the long, cold, gray Winter doesn't seem to want to end, no matter how much I still expect it to. So, it is nice to have a bright and cheery project to work on this time of year. When we got a call asking if we could create a particularly fun and colorful cake for a book launch party, it was, to my mind, the cake equivalent of that first mild, sunshine-y day when you can leave the coat at home. The perfect project for early March!
The Nathan Durfee's illustration on the cover of Natalie Standiford's new book, Switched at Birthday, features a brightly-colored, three-tiered, polka-dotted cake and the folks at The Gernert Company wanted to surprise the author by serving the real life version at the party. What do you think? I loved how this Joyful Cake turned out and was glad to hear that the client did, too!
"The cake was a hit! Everyone loved it, the author was beyond surprised, and once we finally gave in and cut it, it was totally delicious. We really appreciate the beautiful (and tasty!) work." - Logan Garrison, The Gernert Company
Happy (almost) Spring, everybody!
A quick shout out to Regas Studio! Thanks so much for a year of great collaborations! From making our logo canvas overlay (that we've used at several events now) to beautiful custom paper bands for a client's bat mitzvah whoopie pie favors... you always do beautiful work!
There are many people out there who believe Valentine’s Day is just another “Hallmark Holiday.” Spoiled by cheesy cards, red roses, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, Valentine’s Day has become a holiday people avoid.
I have sweet childhood memories of making hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies with my mom, reading note cards from my classmates, and eating those super-sweet, chalky candy hearts. I loved the colors, flavors, and scents of the holiday. It’s just a short, sweet reminder of the simple pleasures in life, and to eat your chocolate.
As an adult, Valentine’s Day is still a holiday I enjoy with my mother and girlfriends, even more so than with any significant other. We still send each other Valentine’s and I still bake a plethora of gooey, buttery, scrumptious goods coated in chocolate. It seems, to me, like the perfect holiday to tell all those around you what they mean to you. It isn't a day to resent what you don't have, but better to enjoy who is around you. And maybe, it's a girly holiday because we just love pink and red.
However you like to spend the holiday, I highly encourage you to roll up your sleeves and get messy with some chocolate. If anything, the smell alone will fill your heart, and your home, with some sweet memories.
My absolute favorite thing to make on Valentine’s Day is hot chocolate. There’s something about the cold, snowy atmosphere that makes sipping on a warm, rich cup of creamy hot chocolate so comforting and rewarding. There is no way that my hot chocolate will be sipped in the absence of marshmallows, either. They add a sweet, sticky texture to your cup.
Here at One Girl, we have a very delicious cup of hot chocolate we like to create. It’s so simple, you can make it at home for your loved ones. Or just for yourself! Give it a shot, but don’t forget the marshmallows (which are even better when you make them yourself)!
Instant rich Hot Cocoa & Homemade Marshmallows
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Homemade Marshmallow (recipe follows)
- In a small saucepan, heat 2/3 cup of water to a simmer. Pour the water into a heat resistant bowl and add the chocolate chips and cinnamon. Stir thoroughly until all of the chocolate is melted. Let the ganache cool for 20 minutes.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of ganache into individual size disposable paper cups. Transfer the cups into an airtight container, and put into the refrigerator. Let cool completely. Sealed in an airtight container these ganache cups will stay fresh for 2 weeks.
- When you are ready for a cup of hot chocolate, fill your favorite mug half way with hot milk and unwrap a ganache serving into the mug. Stir thoroughly until the ganache has melted.
Note: You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Coat a 9 x 13-inch rectangular baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment ½ cup of cold water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and let it sit as you prepare the other ingredients. The gelatin will absorb the water.
- In a heavy bottomed pot set over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and ½ cup of water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture up to a boil, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and do not stir the syrup any more as it is heating.
- Being careful to agitate the pot as little as possible, attach the candy thermometer to the pot and continue to boil the syrup until it reaches 240°F. Be attentive towards the end because you do not want to overheat the syrup.
- When the syrup reaches 240°F carefully remove the pot from the heat. Turn the mixer on low speed, and carefully pour the hot syrup into the bowl of gelatin. Increase the speed to high and beat for 8 minutes. With the machine still running on high, add the vanilla. Continue whipping as the marshmallow becomes light and fluffy. After 5 to 7 minutes, the mixture will be stiff and luke warm. Stop the mixer and carefully scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan. Using a spatula that has been sprayed with cooking spray, smooth the top of the marshmallow. Let cool for at least 5 hours, uncovered.
- To cut the marshmallows, sprinkle a generous amount of confectioners’ sugar on a cutting board. Turn the marshmallows out of the pan onto the cutting board. Sprinkle the top and sides with more confectioners’ sugar. Spray a large chef’s knife with cooking spray and carefully cut the marshmallows into cubes. This is very sticky business. Use plenty of confectioners’ sugar on your hands and on the marshmallows to help you fight the stickiness.
The marshmallows will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 to 6 days.