When Alyssa and I started this site, we cooked and photographed alone. It was the two of us, an insane amount of groceries ordered online, and a sometimes charged camera blogging in a true frenzy in my bedroom (it had the best light; welcome to New York apartments). Except for an occasional visit from a roommate to taste test or hand model, we were on our own.

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New York is a serendipitous place, isn't it? I'm pretty sure there's some god-awful 90's rom-com about just that, but isn't there always some kind of truth even in the cheesiest of things? 

After nearly two years of living mere blocks apart and never running into each other, an old friend and I have bumped into each other two weeks in a row - same time, same place. Living in New York, the hustle and bustle certainly gets to you and we so rarely take a breath and slow things down. Running into him and stopping to chat was almost like taking a deep breath of fresh air in this overcrowded city. It gave me the chance to stop and think, clear my head and remind myself how sometimes life bumps you in weird directions with, what seems like a bullying attitude, but really is just a friendly nudge.

And that's exactly what sangria does. Slows you down (in more ways than one, might I add.)

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When I was still in rabbinical school I took a summer course on feminist literary references to Eve (as in, first woman ever Eve). It was an amazing class that incidentally-but-not-surprisingly was all-women, taught by a badass woman. We learned all about Eve and what had been written about her - the good and the bad but usually the bad - as well as stories about the actual first woman, Lillith, who was banished by God because she wanted to be equal to Adam and quite literally wanted to be on top. So yeah, God in this story is super into smashing the patriarchy.

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Sometimes, I wonder if Rina and I should write a Gateau | Gato children's book.

Sure, sure, we drop a lot of f-bombs and highly encourage adding alcohol to any and all of our recipes, but the lessons we learn in the kitchen are life lessons. Take this milkshake, for example. Or, as Rina calls it, this extra milkshake (I still don't really understand what extra is either, don't worry). This milkshake started off as a quest to bake an unbelievably delectable homemade bumpy cake, which apparently, is something of a Detroit delicacy, as I've come to learn. 

Without naming names, or body parts, somehow the oven knob got turned up way too high and the cake dried out before we could even realize it. Talk about a bummer. Turns out, it was for the best, as the cake was pretty flavorless in and of itself. Lesson 1: Everything happens for a reason.

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After a certain point, living in New York becomes almost natural. I  say almost because mysterious subway stenches will never be considered natural, but after a bit of adjustment, the big city mellows enough to make any transplant feel at home. Or at least, said transplant finds the mellow among the chaos. 

I've been here for over three years now, and while I've never considered myself a New Yorker, I feel I have the city down pretty well. I know how to outsmart the closing doors, maneuver reckless bikers and eat delectably while on a budget. Despite this, I still find myself surprised by the small things this city quietly offers. Like the tiny corner farmers market just outside Morningside Park. Rina and I went with the intention of meeting Susie's Senior Dogs (more on that, later, we promise), and left with a bottle of the most understated alcohol I've ever encountered: apple brandy. 

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