A High Calorie Post

Besides refining our taste for fine art this weekend, we also refine our palettes. We did lots of walking and exploring, and I decided it would be wise to stop in any interesting restaurants we see. It’s so hard to decide on a place to eat in this city. There are just too many choices. Ordering take-out is often so overwhelming that we end up eating Kraft macaroni and cheese to avoid a fight.

After our escapes with Art Saturday, we stopped for a snack at our favorite chocolate shop. Vosges Haut-Chocolat is the BEST place to buy chocolate! They are always super friendly and happy to hand out samples of anything you’d like to try. Every few months they come up with some new crazy flavors, and this weekend happened to be one of these times.

 

We bought the Crispy Carrot Chocolate bar, which is 100% better than it sounds.

After dessert, we went downtown for dinner at Arturo’s. Arturo’s is an old and famous pizzeria known for it’s never-changing setting and it’s nightly live jazz music. We devoured our Caesar salad and large pizza within minutes! I’m sure it was delicious, but we were so hungry that I barely tasted it.

 

Sunday, we took one of our  “Great Walks of New York”. This walk that was supposed to last 45 minutes, ended up taking about 4 hours. We are easily distracted.

The first distraction was an adorable little restaurant name The Little Owl. It is in the middle of Greenwich Village, and directly across from a cute wood-framed house built by William Hyde. The atmosphere here reminded me so much of our favorite teahouse in Venice. It only had room for a handful of tables, the waiters acted like old friends, and the food…. The food was phenomenal!!! It was only 5pm when we decided to try The Little Owl so we just shared a few things. We will be going back for sure!

See the adorable home right across the street??

 

Arugula, peach, and fig Salad with Champagne Dijon dressing
don’t judge, but we were craving french fries ALL day…and these may just be the best fries I’ve ever had
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Not too long after leaving our new favorite restaurant, we came across Milk and Cookies Bakery. The smell of fresh baked cookies wafting out onto the sidewalk lured us in, and forced us to order MORE dessert.

 

 

The weather is sadly starting to get chilly so I ordered hot cocoa, but Husband got the Bacon Smack. The Bacon Smack consist of maple syrup, candied Neuskes cherry wood smoked bacon, dried cranberries, 72% dark chocolate chunks, toffee, and graham cracker pieces. I’ll probably be ostracized by fellow vegetarians for admitting this, but I tasted it. Holy Hell, that cookie is good! (In full disclosure, I haven’t had real bacon in years, so just the hint of bacon flavor in a cookie was pure heaven.)

 

11,885 calories later, we are stuffed and happy. Maybe the rest of the weekend should be spent at the gym?

Or maybe that should wait until Monday…woops Tuesday.

Cheers!

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You like me! You really like me!

I’ve been writing a blog for a few months now (plus a year if you count Adventures of a Teacher). I am 99% sure that my biggest followers are related to me, or soon-to-be related to me, which has always been fine. It just feels good, therapeutic even, to come here each day (although I skipped yesterday…) and rant about a terrible flight,  or describe my panicky life, or just talk about a sunny day in the park.

It’s not so important to me to have lots of followers, or so I thought…

Yesterday, another great blogger, More Than Greens, sent me a blog award nomination!  Turns out I love having followers! It felt almost as good as what I imagine winning the mirror ball trophy feels like. The official name of the award is Food Stories Award for Excellent Storytelling.

I know what your thinking…food stories? Aside from my ability to have a wide variety of food delivered at the press of a button (Thanks seamless.com!), and my talent to coerce Fiance into cooking for me, I do not have a lot of “food stories.” I do eat out a lot, maybe that counts?

More Than Greens, explained this by simply saying she just really likes reading my blog, food-related or not! Well, that is the nicest thing anyone has said about my blog (anyone who isn’t related…)!

I don’t know if I am actually qualified to follow all the rules and regulations of Food Stories, so I won’t even bother. But, in lieu of nominating 5 more blogs, I will just tell you about 5 super awesome blogs that I follow.

Obviously, I follow New York Whimsy, not just because the amazing Zoey writes it, but because it’s funny, full of stupid cats, a few DIY projects, and some pretty cool stuff to do in NYC.

Next, I am absolutely obsessed with Momastery. If you are not a monkee or haven’t heard of Gretchen “G”, and her famous blog, and recent book deal, then you are seriously missing out. This lady says everything I’m thinking and feeling with such hilarity, wit, and compassion, it’s almost unbelievable. I laugh, cry, and feel inspired by so many of her posts. I would guarantee you’ll love her, but her “brutiful” openness will rub some of you the wrong way… which is too bad.

Another blog I love is Artful Anxiety. AA and I are share a special trait, and I can very often relate to her blogs about fear and panic. She is a strong person and writer, and I appreciate her honesty.

Fourthly, is Le Zoe Musings. This blog is written by a Mother who I am completely jealous of. She is BEAUTIFUL and so talented. Her blog is full of the most ridiculous pictures of her house, kid, family, clothes, plants, purses, you name it! She is a phenomenal decorator and photographer, and owns more designer bags than a Kardashian. She’s fabulous.

And, finally, I love Hella Sydney. This American girl living in Australia is hella funny, hella candid, and hella adventurous… a girl after my own heart!

I feel sad now for all the blogs that I didn’t post about… There’s just too many good writers out there! You all rock.

K, that’s all I can handle today. I am caffeine-free at the moment, and my eyelids are unable to hold themselves open any longer.

Thanks for reading!

Cheers!

Mom and Dad

My parents are here! My parents are here! I am so excited that they’re really here! This is the first time that BOTH have them have come to visit me in two years. I have BIG plans to take NYC by storm. They are here until Monday, and I’ve made a full detailed itinerary for every second of each day. Hope they weren’t planning to relax!

They arrived the exact same time that Peter arrived from his bachelor party, so luckily they could all take a cab together from the airport. I was excited for Belle to see her grandparents, and excited for my Dad to finally see where I live, and excited to have an apartment full of people I love again. Dad was actually really “impressed” with the place…or at least pretended to be. (I’ve been heavily exaggerating the size and stability of the place to prepare them, so it was probably better than he expected.)

After settling in, we had a really nice Italian dine at Uva, a cute little place that reminds of Albanian restaurants right near our apartment. Then we had dessert at Fresh Fruit Co. (My favorite dessert place…it’s all Vegan ice cream! And, it’s fabulous and crazy delicious.) We always try to fatten up our guests from the moment they arrive.

We just talked and caught up on each other’s lives in our teeny apartment the rest of the night. I am so glad that both of my parents are here to spend time with me and Fiance (and Zoey!). It’s going to be a great weekend, I am even off of work Saturday AND Sunday (for the first time ever!) but I cannot promise I’ll keep up with my blog (especially since this one is already being posted a day late!).

So, if you do not here from me much this weekend, just know I am spending quality time with the family, and preparing to tell you all about it.

I have a feeling the phrase “You can take the parents out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the parents,” may come up.

Have a great weekend!

Cheers!

Adios Amigos

All of our visitors have gone home, and our teeny 400 square foot apartment feels a lot bigger now. We were in cozy quarters, but it was so great to spend time with so much family! Here’s a little photo diary of some things I missed in the previous blogs.

Visiting St. Thomas church on 5th Avenue
Vegetable pizza with soy cheese (per moi!)
View of Grand Central Station from a secret-workers-only walkway that we flirted our way into
Gelato at Chelsea Market
Mimosas for breakfast!
One of our many trips to Time Square

It’s so hard to say good-bye, but we won’t be alone for too long! We have two more friends coming to stay with us in just 3 days! Woohoo!

More NYC blogs to come.

Cheers!

Vegan = Yummy

Vegan food can be delicious. There is an FANTASTIC vegan restaurant right around the corner from us that serves up some really incredible dishes that do not have meat or dairy. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m pretty sure it’s magic. I am lucky enough to know the owners (I teach their grandchildren), and they are the nicest, most down to earth, most generous people, and the most loving grandparents, which just makes me love their restaurant that much more.

I am not a vegan, just wish I was. I am a vegetarian, and I am also (unfortunately) lactose-intolerant, so I am pretty dang close to vegan. And when I eat vegan food I feel super healthy, like I am somehow beating all of the terrible diseases I fear I may have. Stuffing my face with animal-free food will somehow fend off all illnesses right?

I think so.

Anyways, I am happy that NYC offers us some delicious vegan options. It tastes way less healthy than it is, which is a plus in my book. Just take a look at some of the great dishes we ate over the weekend.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Lemonade strawberries, rhubarb, lemon, agave, ice
MOROCCAN SPICED CHICKPEA CAKE
seasonal vegetables, red pepper-coconut curry, date-apricot-ginger chutney, toasted almonds
MOROCCAN SPICED CHICKPEA CAKE
seasonal vegetables, red pepper-coconut curry, date-apricot-ginger chutney, toasted almonds
SPAGHETTI & WHEAT BALLS
truffled tomato sauce, roasted garlic, spinach, cashew parmesan
TEMPEH VEGETABLE TAMALE
quinoa pilaf, sautéed spinach, pumpkin seeds, chocolate mole sauce, guacamole, sour cream, mango salsa
GRILLED KALE
haricots verts, beluga lentils, red onions, turnips, avocado,sunflowerseeds,speltberries, chive vinaigrette
STUFFED AVOCADO
baby greens, quinoa, zucchini, spring peas,
cucumber, radishes, toasted pumpkin seeds, grape tomatoes, chipotle-avocado dressing
GUACAMOLE TIMBALE
chipotle black beans, caramelized onions, cucumber-mango salsa, tortilla chips, ranchero sauce

And that was only a fourth of what was on the table. It was way too much, but we ate it all and are healthier for it I am sure. I am pretty positive that Vegan food burns calories while you eat it.

Has anyone else tried a vegan diet? Anyone know of any easy vegan recipes? If so, please share! Until then, I’ll be eating some vegan chocolate bars and ordering some delivery vegan pizza. Gotta love NY!

Cheers!

The Dive You’ve Been Looking For

I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite restaurants in the city is Tacombi, but I haven’t had the chance to tell you exactly why this place is so marvelous that it’s a MUST for anytime you find yourself in NYC.

Tacombi is a little dive in Soho that serves up the best Mexican food I’ve had (so far) in Manhattan. It is made to look like a dingy little cantina that you may find in Mexico. I can very easily imagine myself sitting at a local restaurant in Puerto Vallarta each time I eat here.

The floors and walls are stained concrete with various Mexican themed paintings. The tables are foldable, the chairs are plastic, and the dishes and utensils are disposable. There is an open kitchen where some of the food is made and a vintage Volkswagen van where the rest is made. The lighting is low, the music is fun, and the palm trees are the perfect touch.

Now let’s talk food. First, you order from a menu with check boxes. You simply look down the list of items (mostly tacos) and descriptions, check what you want, and hand it to the lady at the drink counter, (or your waiter if your lucky).

One of my favorite things about Tacombi is that they have several vegetarian options and they mark them with capital, green, letter V’s so they’re easy to spot.

My most favorite dish is the made-to-order fresh guacamole. It’s unbelievable. Actually, everything we have tried on the menu had been great. I can’t describe the carnivore options well, but I’ll try to do the vegetarian dishes some justice.

One dish includes roasted corn- fresh from the cob, chipotle mayonnaise, cojita cheese, and some sort of spicy seasoning, all served together in a paper cup with a lime on top! Sounds appetizing right? I know it’s weird, but we couldn’t get enough of this weird concoction.

Some tacos I have had are topped with avocado, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Another has roasted corn, poblano peppers, green sauce, and cheese. And one has roasted veggies with cheese and salsa. And there is so so so much more!

My only complaint would be that they do not serve salsa and chips like most Mexican joints I frequent. Tacombi is so great though, that the idea of chips and salsa escapes me, I am completely content with my guacamole and tacos… And juice!

Woah, how could I almost leave out the juice?! They offer a variety of freshly squeezed juices and drinks…. But the only one I can review is the watermelon and lime. It’s so great that’s it’s the only thing I will ever order. It’s the most refreshing and summery drink, just perfect for an afternoon in a cantina.

We’ve been here often and plan on returning each time we have a visitor, and several times in between I’m sure.

Adios!

Hil

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All I Do is Eat

It’s late, I’m writing thank you cards, Fiance leaves again in the morning, and my brain is refusing to be creative. So here goes an ode to food I’ve ate recently in NYC.

Bocca Di Bacco is a really cute little Italian restaurant on the corner of my block with a yummy breakfast menu. They say they are famous for having lots of celebrity clients, assuming they don’t mean me, I have yet to see anyone recognizable.

Prime Burger is an award winning burger joint that has been around since 1938. We just stumbled in one day on accident with a desperate need for a salty snack.

Wasabi Lobby is a Japanese restaurant a few block away from home…not too shabby, but not my favorite either.

Peter and I celebrated me being able to eat chips again by having a date night at Pepe Patron. The tacos were 2 for $5, the salsa was delicious, but weirdly orange, and the ambiance was perfect! We were surrounded by palm trees, candles, and wine bottles.

 

 

 

Tonight we ate falafels at Mamoun’s Falafel, a tiny hole in the wall, and another award winning restaurant.

Then we had dessert at PopBar, an amazing “gelato on a stick” place, and don’t you dare call it a popsicle!...

But, let’s be real, it’s just a fancy popsicle. They have crazy flavors from kiwi to peanut butter, that can be dipped in chocolates and nuts, and served up a stick. It was also recently featured on the Food Network’s Unique Sweets. I think it’s worth all the hype.

Cheers!