One of my downfalls is that if I go in to a gourmet grocery store searching for one specific item, I leave with a huge bag. Especially if I am hungry. So the other day when I was on the way to my daughter’s school pick up and I went in to a get a watermelon lime juice (yes very specific), I walked out with every new sweet item I could find. My favorite was edible cookie dough, Do! I had heard about this phenomenon, and actually seen the lines at their downtown location, but I had never tried it. And of course, once I tried it, I fell madly in love, and have since returned to buy various flavors. The most recent purchase was their seasonal flavors of Pumpkin and Apple Pie.
A couple weeks ago on a beautiful Fall day, I got off at the wrong subway stop (to go to Trader Joe’s) and ran into a dear old friend, Christine, whom I had not seen in a decade. (A decade!) It was one of those powerful encounters that both brought us to tears as we were SO happy to see each other and be reconnected. She is magic — and everything around her is positive, joyful, and magical. Long story short, turns out Christine is now a full time bad a$$ actress as well as a baker (a good friend to have). She makes the most incredible cookies and granola (my favorite food group) and you can’t stop eating her creations. And she sells them!!!!! Savouries! Get them!
Savouries! Rosemary Cookies and granola.
I blinked, and here we are in mid October. I know that as you get older, the time starts to fly by, but really, in the past year, it feels like a month ago was yesterday! And it literally feels like school JUST started, but here we are almost Halloween (gulp, my least favorite holiday). Here is what I am loving this month!
1. The Night She Disappeared (on audible)
Almost 3/4 of the way done with this book (listening to it) and I am now a huge fan of audible books and this story! A must read (or listen to!)
Last Winter, on our “best pizza” of NYC, we wound up deep in Brooklyn at Di Fara. It truly was the most amazing pizza I have ever had, even with the hour long drive. So as soon as I found out that Di Fara had a pop up for 3 weeks in Manhattan, I jumped at the opportunity for us to go. Definitely worth it as still the best pizza I have ever had.
Located in the Lower East Side, this pop up, is basically an office building with a security guard who has someone come take our order. You can also get pizza from Roberta’s (but Di Fara is way better).
I love it when things just work out and you don’t expect it! Yesterday, I was ordering a cake for my son’s birthday from a Gluten-Free Local Bakery (that I posted about in May 2020) and then decided to take the subway down to Trader Joe’s (yes second visit this week), but got off at the wrong train stop. As I emerged from the train, I realized that the Union Square Green Market was taking place and that Knead Love (where I was in the process of ordering Cruz’s 12th birthday cake) had a booth!
I mean — gluten free carbs and hot pink? Everything about Knead Love, I love (and yes I need love!)
During graduate school the only place I grocery shopped was at Trader Joe’s– it is where I got EVERYTHING. Vegetables, pre packaged food (I lived on their burritos and enchiladas), muffins, granola, everything. And yet since then, I rarely go as there is not one close by and I like things where I pick the quantity myself. That said, I was reintroduced to Trader Joe’s and it inspired me to try it again. I have gone twice in the past two weeks and I love it — not for everyday grocery shopping, but for random snacks and food to hoard in my house (I hoard food).
Huge bag of goodies — and SO inexpensive — less than 50 dollars!!!! UNBELIEVABLE!
OK, so I have written about these sauces before, but I have to write a full post about it because they are just that good. They are SOOOOO good. Back in June, I bought the “Husband Sauce” and the “Caesar Sauce,” and they were delicious, but it wasn’t until this month that I purchased The Full Batch. The full batch includes: 1 8oz. Husband Sauce, 1 8oz. The Heat, 1 8oz. Soft Caesar, 1 8oz. That Good Grainy Mustard, 1 4oz. Garlic Confit, and 1 4oz. Garlic Rillette. Literally you can make the most scrumptious meal with any of these sauces.
Even the jars are colorful and make my fridge bright and happy.
Here we are in mid September and here is what I am currently loving!
1. Harriman State Park
Last week, we had a day off from school and a parent organized a hike to Harriman State Park — which is about an hour away from NYC. It was a great day filled with beautiful nature. It made me miss the ease of Oregon nature and hikes, but I am thankful to have been introduced to Harriman State Park and can’t wait to return.
At the very start of the summer, I was at a friend’s house where she served a plate of the most delicious cookies I had ever eaten. The cookies were all broken in to pieces which made it very easy to eat and sample all the different flavors. Each cookie was better than the last and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Or eating them. They were BEYOND. Thankfully, these cookies, Synful Eats, can be bought in NYC / Hamptons — and hopefully soon nationally. They are the next Levain Cookies — top quality, incredible combinations, the best ingredients. I can’t wait to see what this company does next — and until then, I will continue to support (and eat!) these unbelievably tasty cookies.
Since it is local delivery, the cookies arrive in the most beautiful pink box and bag. Even the box is perfection.
One of my favorite parts of spending the summer in Oregon is being surrounded by all the local, organic, small-batch, hippie foods. I have my all time favorites that have been around forever (Toby’s Tofu Pate), but each summer, I fall in love with some new favorites. This summer, I am head over heels with this spinach hummus by King Harvest. BEYOND DELICIOUS, TASTY, UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. It is die for — and you must find it and buy it….and even if it is not sold in your grocery store, try to replicate it and make it home.
I realize that Monday’s post was on a drink (hibiscus tea) but now I have to tell you all about water kefir — my newest obsession! And yes, apparently I am on a drink kick! And makes sense because it has been over 100 degrees the past week in Oregon….yes, I have been melting! In any case, I have always had a love hate relationship with kombucha. I love it, but it has made me (violently) sick and so I had to quit for a decade. I have successfully only had good batches in the past year, but I still am weary about it. That said, I always love looking at the drink aisle in the hippy dippy grocery stores because they always have the best products. And lo and behold, that is how I first found out about water kefir — a probiotic water. It is similar to kombucha, as they are both fermented and probiotic rich. But they taste slightly different and as of now, I am preferring water kefir.
This was one of the brands that I love — made in Oregon, great flavor of ginger and lime. Fizzy, delicious, and hydrating.
As many of you know, my mother is from Mexico., and because of this, most of her cooking is influenced by her heritage. The main drink that we always have in our house is Hibiscus Tea. She goes to the local Mexican tienda and buys pounds and pounds of dried hibiscus flowers to make the juice / tea throughout the year. Unfortunately, I am both lazy and unfamiliar with a Mexican tienda in NYC, so I have yet to recreate this drink. However, recently, at the local grocery store, I came across, sachets of hibiscus tea! Yes, more expensive than bulk leaves — but so convenient and easy! I can’t wait to try all the different flavors and make it in NYC!
Not only does my mom loves hibiscus tea made from scratch, but she also loves tea. She is a tea snob and knows more about tea than anyone. And apparently, this tea company, Steven Smith Tea Company, is wonderful and she loves it.
Mid July, here we are. Second half of the year, here, too! Here is what I am currently loving this month:
1. Martha Stewart’s Blueberry Crisp Recipe
We went blueberry picking this week and picked over 12 pounds of blueberry. So I decided to make a blueberry crisp (and follow a recipe!) I made two of these crisps (used 6 pounds of blueberries) and found this recipe perfect — not too sweet, but light and refreshing.
Ridiculously delicious nut butter. After eating half a bottle (no exaggeration) in 5 days, I knew that I had a new obsession – JEM Organics Nut Butter. JEM But butters are the most decadent and unique nut mixtures — so good that I am determined to try each and every one of them this summer (summer #goals). They are good with just a spoon, on a banana, with some chocolate chips, or spread on bread. However you choose to eat it, you cannot go wrong.
This was the first one I bought (and the one that I ate half a jar in 5 days(. Salted caramel almond butter. YEP. Rich. Gluttonous. And oh so delicious. JEM — Just Eat Me — yes, JUST EAT ME. You can’t not eat.
Can’t stop, won’t stop. Seriously tastes like salted caramel in almond butter.
And look at the ingredients — all healthy and organic.
Proof that I devoured this in less than one week. Not in a sitting. But I could do that.
The grocery store (yes, in Oregon, the grocery stores are my favorite place to visit). And yes, JEM is an Oregon product, produced and made in Bemd.
Some more of their selection.
I just bought the chocolate hazelnut and it is a great substitute to Nutella — with cleaner, organic and natural ingredients. You can buy a variety pack, single size, of any size, on their website. Check it out. I promise you, that if you are a nut butter lover like I am (who is not?), than you will love these and fall head over heels in love.
Through a random rabbit hole instagram search (via Mandy Moore, who hiked Mount Kilimanjaro together in a group), I started following Chase Weideman — a dude Influencer. He and his husband created some sauces during quarantine, and what started out as some jars for some friends has turned in to a legitimate business, Batchworthy. Intrigued (and a lover of sauces), I bought two of the six flavors — the Husband Sauce and the Soft Caesar, and am THOROUGHLY HOOKED to both. They deliver locally and ship nationally, and you need to try them out! They are beyond delicious.
These sauces go on everything and anything!
WHAT THE — here we are half way through 2021. I have no idea how that happened, but it has been a wild ride! Right now, this is what I am loving! And please share with me what you are loving as I so love to hear any and all!
1. Coast by Augustine
Indie band (from Brooklyn) Augustine’s song, Coast, is so peppy and fun. It puts everyone in a good mood, and EVERYONE will love this song. Listen!
Recently, some friends raved so much about their daily mushroom coffee, that they dropped a bag off at our house. These friends claim that this mushroom coffee changed their life — that they are more focused, energized, and don’t have any mid-day crash or over caffeinated jitters. A little skeptical, I have been drinking this mushroom coffee, Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane, the past couple mornings. It is true — a little bit of this coffee goes a long way.
Mushroom coffee — coffee with mushroom but doesn’t TASTE like mushroom! THINK!
I was first introduced to this Roasted Carrot Salad at one of my favorite NYC restaurants, ABC Kitchen. Although it has been years since I have last eaten there, I distinctively remember the salad — the rainbow colors, the mixture of elements, and most of all how delicious it is. Ever since I found the recipe (Thank you, NY Times!), I have made this salad 5 times (in 2 weeks). It is SOOOOOO GOOD! A perfect salad for summer (or winter) and alone (or for guests).
The perfect salad!
Hands down my favorite dessert is key lime pie –(remember last year when I ordered 13 pounds of key lime pies by accident). And so I decided to start off the week on a sweet note by making key lime pie — but not just any key lime pie, but FROZEN key lime pie. The recipe is from Barefoot Contessa and is so stinking easy that I hope I dont start making it every week just to have in the kitchen…..
(Pre frozen — I couldn’t stop myself, it is that good)
OH MY GOD, stop whatever you are doing, and run and get these cauliflower bites. They are like cheetos or pirate bootie, but cauliflower. So even better. I tried them and couldn’t stop thinking about them, so had to go to every Juice Press in the city (or what felt like every store), and get them. The store clerks told me that they can never keep them in stock because everyone loves them so much. And sure enough, when I found them, I bought every package they had, because they are THAT good. Yes, would love to try to dehydrate cauliflower myself and make them even more healthy, but until then, I will eat these packages. Check them out!
Cauliflower bites white cheddar.
Last Thursday, May 6th, 2021, three friends and I set out to run the Rim to Rim to Rim – a trail run in the Grand Canyon from one side of the canyon (South Rim) to the other (North Rim) and back again. It was over 42 miles and a huge obstacle to undertake. After months of training and planning, we successfully completed the journey. It was a one of a kind experience and I am still in disbelief that we actually did it! Unlike other marathons, this was a self assisted ultramarathon, meaning it was only us on the trail (although we ran in to two groups of 2 guys doing the same thing that we were doing). It was also more risky than a marathon, not just because of the heat and the longer distance, but because once you go in to the canyon, you cannot be rescued. Our half way point – the North Kaibab trailhead is closed in Winter months – which means that once we got there, the only way back was to do the full 21 miles all over again.
A map of the Grand Canyon. The route that we took was from South Kaibab Trailhead to the North Kaibab and back the same route. Other people opt to go down or up the Bright Angel Trail as it is more gradual, shady, and has more water sources — but it is also 4 miles longer.
Last week, I wrote about virtual cooking chef / teacher, Kate, and the classes she offers online. I love her so much and her background is so fascinating that I wanted to share more about her with you! (And don’t you just love reading and finding out more about people — people are so fascinating!) Read below to find out the questions and answer session with Kate! And thank you, Kate!!! (Please note: all pictures are taken from Kate’s instagram page).
Kate! Don’t you love her already?
What a year! I still think it is January 2021……but I guess not. Here is what I am currently loving this month.
1. Empire of Pain
Best pick me up present. Minute I got it, couldn’t stop thinking about it! Not very far along in it yet, but such a good read. Thick, but fascinating.
2. Emmit Fenn’s Moving On
For the past several months, I have been taking virtual private cooking classes and they have changed. my. life. Through a kids’ cooking program, I became acquainted with Kate and loved her so much that I poached her from the program, and hired her to teach me how to cook. It has been absolutely incredible. Not only do I work with her on a weekly basis, but she does classes with both my kids — for special occasions here and there and in the past on a weekly basis. Kate offers cooking classes and baking classes and they are ABSOLUTELY incredible.
This is Kate. SHE IS AMAZING. Personable, super friendly, knowledgeable, patient, funny. I love her. If she lived in NYC, she would be my friend.
Adapted from the NYTimes recipe, here is an egg salad. It is SO delicious — yes, decadent; not vegan: yes rich — and OH SO GOOD! You must try!
* 4 hard boiled eggs
* 1 crispy slice of bacon
* 1 minced shallot
* sprouts or parsley
* mayonnaise (very personal how much)
* salt and pepper