A Delicious Deliverable Discovery

Dinner, dinner, dinner.  It’s always quite a dilemma of what to make, mostly because I rarely keep the fridge stocked with ingredients and end up making mixed veggies and some sort of chicken or fish.  Sure, that’s healthy but can get a bit boring at times.  This is a total cop-out since there are thousands upon thousands of recipes out there.  My friend Alex has even started her own blog called Burke’s Bites and has been documenting some wonderful recipes that I must try out.

But, I know myself and I know that even when I leave work right on time, it’s not entirely plausible to work out, whip up a gourmet meal, relax, and go to bed by 10pm.  Even after shuffling my schedule so that I work out in the mornings, my energy level and creativity usually has diminished by the time I walk in the door.

It’s also safe to say a large percentage of New York City residents rely on Seamless.  Knowing the take-out options – one is bound to get in the habit of ordering burgers and fries and pizzas (oh my).  Yes, w all have days to chill out with Ben & Jerry, but I live by the idea of “eat good feel good” and definitely feel the effects of eating too much on the not-so-healthy side.  So, in a city filled with free fitness, Soul Cycle, and green juice enthusiasts, there should be a better or healthier option, right?

what is munchery~ home ~ menu ~ gifts ~

Based in San Francisco and New York, this relatively new food service plans to make eating better easier, which seems to be a national trend.  The food is made by top of the line chefs and delivered to you by some of the best drivers.  Talk about quality service!

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Have a food allergy or particular eating or dietary habit?  Have no fear, they have a variety of filters to add to your order so you can select the perfect meal.

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Talk about the plethora of options.  Some of these meals I could only dream of making on my own.  Part of this reason is that I’m not a huge fan of leftovers and most delectable recipes make recipes in bulk (note 4 to 6 to 8 people).  Unless I’m cooking for the apartment or for friends, I end up being a short order cook and sticking to the basics.

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~ GIVE FOOD FEEL GOOD ~

Gift cards to Target or Starbucks are so old school (but still appreciated).  Here’s yet another way that you can 1) show someone you love them 2) send a thank you 3) just be nice

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Not only can you give the gift of food to friends and family, but it’s also a charitable company as well!  I bet it you’ll feel 2x as good knowing that you’ve eaten a tasty and healthy meal AND helped give back.

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So now that you know about this booming business, maybe, just maybe Munchery can be the new solution to your dining dilemmas.

Just to note, this post was not sponsored or requested by any Munchery employee or advocate.  It’s purely my own discovery and desire to share the wealth 🙂

What’s your go-to weeknight meal?

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Brunching at Hundred Acres

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There’s never a better time to brunch than when you are living or visiting New York.  While “brunch” menus are available at pretty much every restaurant, we have soon learned places to put on our list and others (mostly tourist traps) to avoid.

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Hundred Acres was a spot we  actually discovered through a mini high school reunion.  It turns out there are quite a number of us here from the sunny west coast and by golly, we all happened to be free on one chilly Sunday morning.   What I absolutely love about this restaurant is that the menu is based upon local foods and as a result changes by the season and changes oh so frequently.

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Finding a table for quite a large group can be somewhat of a problem, but if you are willing to get up early (*10:30 cough, cough, not early) then you are in luck!

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While the menu does happen to change, the classics are usually available year round.  Lucky for us, this included the gooey cinnamon rolls.  A bit like a Pillsbury pack warmed up on a skillet and maybe not as ooey and gooey as I had imagined, but just enough to sweeten up the palate.

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soft scrambled eggs,
fall squash, leeks, gruyère cheese,
crème fraîche, chives, cornbread 14

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poached eggs,
cannellini bean & fall squash succotash,
braised mustard greens 14

Watch out for those red buggers as they are hot hot hot!  I mistakenly threw a couple in my mouth and was soon holding back tears.  If you are into spice, I do recommend pairing it with the roasted vegetables.  If that really isn’t your thing, do take head and slide ’em to the side.

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goat cheese-sage bread pudding,
poached eggs, wilted spinach, lemon butter 15

As you might notice below, the doors are filled with glass panels, letting all the sunlight into the room.  If you are lucky enough to find a spot during the spring and summer months, you may even get to dine with the doors wide open; an opportune time for people watching.

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Hundred Acres
38 MacDougal Street New York 10012 · 212.475.7500

Monday – Friday
Breakfast: 8am – 11am
Lunch: 12 noon – 4pm
Dinner: 5:30 pm-11pm
Happy Hour is from 4pm-7pm

Weekend
Brunch 10:30am – 3pm
Dinner 5:30 pm – 11pm (Sunday 10pm)

Rhode Island Travels

I feel as though I have experienced a modern version or planes, trains, and automobiles – jet-setting around the NE.  Seeing as my ultimate goal is to explore every state and locale around the country (even if it’s for a mere hot-second, quick snapshot, or postcard), I seem to be making a pretty solid effort.

Last weekend I was lucky to be invited to Rhode Island to stay with some family.  Funny enough, this family is from Southern California, but happened to be out on the east coast for a few weeks while my cousins were involved in lacrosse camps.  The sport has somewhat made its way westward, but there’s no comparison in terms of the level of play.

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I arrived in Providence on Friday evening and was able to catch up with Sarah over some much anticipated ice cream.  She was a complete doll and agreed to pick me up from the train station and drive me to where my cousins were staying.  Even though we communicate weekly via text, it’s always nice to catch up in person, don’t you agree?

Cooked Goose

After sleeping in on Saturday morning, we headed out for a midday meal at the Cooked Goose; a homey favorite for the locals of Westerly, R.I.  I’m always a sucker for neatly designed t-shirts and funky-named entrees

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A quaint little setting with cookies the size of your face and filling homestyle breakfasts.  As you can see we were all over the menu from breakfast burritos to chocolate chip pancakes to spinach/feta omelets.

The Cooked Goose
~ Menu ~
92 Watch Hill Road
Westerly, Rhode Island 02891
*Breakfast, lunch + take-out

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I’ve been fortunate to have traveled to many places over my 23 years of life and I’d like to think of myself as somewhat cultured.  However, I can’t help think that the east coast is just a different place.  I’m certain I spent a majority of the trip just gawking and soaking it all in (hopefully not in a rude way, just as a baffled and quite interested manner).  From the people to the architecture to the beaches to the style of clothing.  I can’t even begin to describe it besides “so east coast.”  Maybe it’s the fact that California has been so engrained in my mind as home, everything we do as “normal” that makes me try to comprehend the lifestyle out here.

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After breakfast (or really more of lunch) we drove up the coast to Newport for some time on the beach and obviously some Del’s Frozen Lemonade.  Originally started in Rhode Island, Del’s has now expanded to 20 different states, even California!!

IMG_5414  One sip and I fell in love.  It had a fresh and fruity flavor with actual chunks of lemon rather than the syrupy mess that Minute-Maid sells at sporting events and theme parks.  No, no, this was quite a treat.

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~ NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND ~

Newport - 3~ A trip to the wharf to people watch ~
~ Indulge in some ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s for Katherine, gelato for Katie, and self-serve Pinkberry for me) ~
~ A visit to the Alex & Ani flagship store ~

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~ Sunday Funday ~

I started with endless cups of coffee and reading off my kindle.  From there it was time for breakfast at the local sandwich joint – a bagel w/ egg + arugula for her and a spinach/blueberry/banana/granola smoothie for me

10 Sandwiches 
98 Bay Street, Watch Hill, R.I.
(Selling Dave’s Coffee coldbrew)

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We walked along the beach, spotted Taylor Swift’s house from a far (bottom left), got caught up in some of the local shops, and enjoyed our afternoon with a fruity drink and crudite platter at the Ocean House.  I do have to say, our drinks were some of the finest I have every tasted (probably because I couldn’t taste the alcohol) and am totally willing to mix one up for anyone willing to be my guinea pig 😉

Ocean House Colada ~ Ciroc Coconut Vodka, Coconut Water, Mint

The Low Tide Painkiller ~ Mount Gray Silver Rum, Pineapple Juice, Creme de Coco, Midori, Grapefruit Juice, Creme de Strawberry

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The Ocean House was built in 1868 and known as the last remaining water front Victorian Era hotel on mainland Rhode Island.   It originally did not have any heating, cooling, or ventilation, as most homes in this area didn’t.  Seeing as they were all “summer homes”, they were only open 3-4 months out of the year.  It was demolished in 2005 and reopened in 2010, built brick by brick to mirror the original building.

I definitely recommend either getting dressed up to have a cocktail inside or even stopping by to have one along the water.

The Ocean House
1 Bluff Avenue, Watch Hill, R.I. 02891

I believe there’s an element of old school living that shines through – the fact that people have been settled here in these towns for ages.  They vacation in the same spots year after year, while our families were exploring the mountains and lakes on the west coast.  The slow mornings, the fact that everyone knows each other, the east coast prep style (from Lily Pulitzer to Sperry’s to folks dressed in all white and playing croquette), and the distinct difference between the seasons.  It’s just plain ‘ol different and for now that’s all I have to describe it.

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All in all it was a lovely escape from the city and I was oh-so-happy to spend time with my family.

Have you ever been to Rhode Island?

Time to Play Ball

It’s America’s favorite past-time and synonymous with spring and summer.  Sure, we’ve been focused on the World Cup (and oh Brazil’s poor performance the other day) but there’s always room for some baseball.

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Memories (actual or fantasized) of peanuts, hot dogs, beers for those who indulge and soft-serve with sprinkles for the rest of us.  Many like to say it’s as American as apple pie, although I’m not much of a pie fan, so I’ll let that statement go.

Ever since I was born, I was a Dodger’s fan.  It has to do with the fact that I spent my entire life in Los Angeles and well, there’s nothing like a trip to the Ravine.  Even the days I spent up in the SF Bay, I remained true and true to my boys in blue.

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Now I’ve found myself on the East Coast and while I can’t pop on a plane back to L.A., there is still the possibility of catching a game or two out here in the city.

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NEW YORK YANKEES
~ YANKEE STADIUM ~
1 E 161st St – Bronx, NY 10451

~ Transit ~
 #4 train (East Side) and the D train (Sixth Ave) stops at the 161st Street/Yankee Stadium subway stations, located on East 161st Street and River Avenue. B train (Sixth Ave) only on weekdays ~

IMG_0148The New York man A.Rod

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~ EATS ~

Parm – known for turkey & chicken Parmesan (duh) sandwiches – Great Hall between Gates 4 & 6
Zeppole – Fried Dough – Section 127A
Brother Jimmy’s – Sections 133, 201, 214 or 320A
Lobel’s of NY – A butcher institution with hand carved steak sandwiches made to order  – Sections 134, 322
Fresh Produce – Gates 4 & 6
For more foodie fun, check here!
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NEW YORK METS
~ CITI FIELD ~
123-01 Roosevelt Ave – New York, NY 11368

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~ TRANSIT ~
Take the 7 line from Grand Central until Mets/Willets Point Station

~ EATS ~
The Mets have an amazing array of food options on the ground level.

Mama’s of Corona (Italian subs, Mets-themed cannolis, and other desserts) – Section 105*
Blue Smoke – Part of famed Manhattan barbecue joint serving Kansas City spare ribs, a smoked bologna sandwich, a pulled pork sandwich, beer and dessert – Section 140
Shake Shack – Serving up the classic ShackBurger & Shack-Cago Dog, cheese fries, frozen custards, and shakes. – Section 139

(source)

El Verano Taqueria, Section 139: Launched by Danny Meyer chefFloyd Cardoz, El Verano sells chicken mole Pipian, carnitas, vegetarian tacos, chile-marinated skirt steak, Barbacoa quesadillas, and more.
Catch of the Day –  Dave Pasternack’s Catch of the Day offers grilled shrimp po’boys, Long Island corn and clam chowder, lobster rolls, and flash fried beer battered shrimp skewers. – Section 102
Kozy Shack Gluten Free Selection
Daruma of Tokyo – Located in the World’s Fare Market, they offer edamame, sushi, Asian salads. – Section 105
Cholula Hot Sauce – Serving up a crispy chicken sandwich w/ Cholula chipotle aioli, fresh guacamole, sliced jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, and bacon.

For more foodie information, check here!

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I’m all about experiences and souvenirs but had to hold back from buying a Met’s hat.  After all, they are in the National League and I would never betray my Dodgers.  So, I’ll settle for a plastic cup to hold my frozen yogurt 🙂

So, until I get back to the ball park, I’ll pick up some skills on my own.  Just a casual (ok actually semi-serious weekly league) game in Central Park.  Enjoying the little things in life.

IMG_4065“No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.” ~Tommy Lasorda

Take Back Lunch and “Dig Inn”

Lunchtime has become a forgotten time.  Not too long ago it was the best part of the day.  Heck, I even used it as an answer for my Tournament of Roses Parade Court interview.  If I really wanted the position, I should have used some answer like “my peer counseling class”.  But, I guess I didn’t think that through and honestly, the best part of my days were lunch because I could hang out with my friends. Needless to say they did not ask me back.

All through elementary school, junior high, and high school were had at least 30 mandatory minutes where we were supposed to eat, catch, up and play without the stress of homework or studies.  Often times people (cough cough this teacher’s pet.  That’s right, I admit it) would use the break to cram for a test or finish up homework, but most of the time, it was a welcome escape from the stress of school.

Through experience, I’ve realized the lunch hour has disappeared from the workforce. People no longer socialize but rather grab takeout or a quick salad and hustle back up to their desks where they stare at computer screens.  Sure, I’ve been guilty of this, especially during March Madness when I felt overwhelmed by reporting and clients demanding this and that.

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What I came to realize is that I was actually less productive because I had skipped out on time away from the computer screen, skipped out on much needed social interaction, and skipped out on the ability to breath and take a break.  We can’t always be moving like the energizer bunny (although I try really hard to).  I also end up wondering what I ate for lunch since sitting in front of my computer distracts me from the food itself.

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So in a moment of spontaneity I left the confines of the office and ventured into the humid air of New York. Even if I didn’t get the chance to sit down and eat outside, a brisk walk would do the body and mind good and I was on a hunt for some quality chow.

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Enter Dig Inn, a higher end healthy salad bar that reminded me of something I would find in Santa Monica, California.

~ Their Mission ~

We believe everyone deserves to eat well, even on a budget. So we’re democratizing the farm-to-table movement by offering ridiculously good food at a reasonable price.

That means sourcing local, seasonal ingredients – not just because they are ‘local’ – but because fresh, healthy ingredients taste best. That means you’ll find grills, flames, and all the other good stuff people use to cook real food behind our counters. If there’s a steak on your salad, we’re grilling it ourselves, on the spot.

We’re here to change the way people eat, and things are off to a great start.

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 “Apple Green” – Apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, romaine, parsley

Here we are with a lovely green beverage.  Honestly I was a little taken aback at the price, but then put it in perspective as this is NYC.  Also, with that much produce, $8.50 made more sense.

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I guess you could say it’s a fresh take on the Subway station.  As you enter the store, you are presented with a large blackboard menu listing the day’s options.  Since it is a hotspot during the workweek, I suggest selecting your meal quickly.  Maybe bring a friend and as they stand in line, you can survey your options.

IMG_4945_FotorI ended up selecting a salmon salad over spinach, kale + apple salad, and smashed sweet potatoes.  All for about $7.35, leaving me full, focused, and ready for the rest of the day.

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 The only downside to venturing into the streets of New York is that I’m usually on my own.  It’s tough to gather up my coworkers when all of our schedules differ.  But for now, I’ll balance our cafeteria lunches with my quick jaunts outside the confines of work to stretch my legs and expand my horizon in the big city.

Dig Inn
Locations ~ Food ~ Juice 

Everyone Loves a Farmer’s Market

Garden fresh produce, gourmet granola, and delicious poultry, fish, and meat right in your backyard. I remember the first time a farmer’s market was established in our little town back in California.  It must have been around the time I started high school and unless we were out of town, I made sure to visit each and every Saturday.  I even made friends with the berry man and he would help me practice my Spanish, even if it was only for 10 minutes every week.

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Turns out there are more than enough markets to choose from in and around the island of Manhattan.  I like to treat myself once in awhile to a trip to Union Square spot, a hub for all the funny characters from the city.  You have your yogis, fresh produce snobs, and oh so many college students (after all, it’s near NYU).

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I tend to arrive with $20-$40 in hopes of not spending any more than that. Otherwise I would end up with oodles of produce that I couldn’t consume and end up broke.  I also like to balance out my shopping between the local grocery store, Trader Joe’s (if I can find the time and patience), and the weekly market.

IMG_5061I love the seasonal products such as apple cider and pumpkin doughnuts, fresh figs, and summer berry scones. 

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More often than not, I take a trip to the market just to people watch.  To be honest I have trouble picking from the stalls, unsure which apple looks more delicious or which head of lettuce is more reasonable in price.  One has to accept the fact that some vendors will be more expensive due to the local of their products and the methods in which it was grown.  The whole food debate of cost vs. health and how both can be obtained in a reasonable manner.

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There was one time where I finally decided to purchase a bag of mixed greens, only to arrive at the register and be told it was $30 for only two handfuls of lettuce.  Um, I’m sorry, did I hear that properly?  Yeah, that was quickly disposed of back into their respective bins and I was on my way.

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Manhattan Farmer’s Markets

Union Square Greenmarket
E 17th St & Broadway 10003
Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat – 8am-6pm – year round

Tribeca Greenmarket
Greenwich St. & Chambers St. 10007
Wed & Sat – 8am-3pm, year round

Tompkins Square Greenmarket
E 7th St & Ave A 10009
Sun – 9am-6pm – year round

Tucker Square Greenmarket
W 66th St & Columbus Ave 10023
Thu, Sat – 8am-5pm – year round

Columbia University Greenmarket
Broadway between W 114th St & W 115th St 10025
Thu, Sun – 8am-5pm – year round

Grassroots Farmer’s Market
145 St (between Edgecombe & Bradhurst) 10031
Tue, Sat – 9am-4pm (Jul 13-Nov 23)

West 42nd St Greenmarket
42 St between 11th and 12th Ave 10036
Wed 8am-6pm (Jul 10-Nov 27)

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