A Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress
As discussed in my Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget recipe, I’m not one for dining out on this “holiday”. Don’t get me wrong, I love restaurants and I love love, but I definitely do not love spending an outrageous amount of money for an overcharged set menu just because it happens to be a specific day in the middle of February. As a person who likes to peruse a menu, try a few things, make a shit-ton of substitutions, and split as much as possible, prefix and I don’t work to well. However, even in the walls of our own dining room (who am I kidding, we live in NY, it’s all one room), sometimes you want to ball out like you’re at a restaurant. That my friends, is why I’ve created this recipe. This Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress will have your date (or friend, or family member, or, hell, yourself) feeling like you’ve stepped into the fine dining of one of your favorite NY restaurants. The best part? You don’t need the culinary background those chefs have. Win, win!
Roundup of my favorite crowd-pleasing recipes for the big day
Sure, I love me a good Sunday meal prep to set myself up for a healthy and efficient week ahead, but there is nothing I love more about Sundays than eating delicious food with friends and family while watching football (preferably an Eagles win). That is why the Super Bowl is my Mecca of Sundays. Obviously, no Super Bowl will compare to last year’s, when Joe and I were in the stands crying as we watched the Eagles win their first ever championship live, but that’s neither here nor there. The thing I don’t love about Super Bowl Sunday (besides the fact that it should be a 4:20 start time)? Waking up on Monday and feeling like absolute shit. Why is it that majority of football food (aka bar food) is loaded with crap? Who says you can’t eat well and still cheer for your favorite team? Not I. That is why I’m here to roundup some of my favorite football Sunday recipes to make sure you have the best lineup for your party this weekend. Enjoy all the food without the stomachaches. I wish I could promise no hangover either, but that’s on you boo.
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By now you all know I love supporting the concept of a side gig and people (especially females) that are pursuing their passion. However, I love this all even more when the person is someone I used to work with in the corporate world and is putting in that hustle of starting something on her own while also working what I know is an insanely demanding job. So, let me introduce you to Tori from ByToriB, who is the queen of all things NYC food and beverage scene. Think of her as a more personalized, organized, and useful version of The Infatuation (dreams, right!?). Lucky for us, she gave us an inside look to some of her favorite places in the Soho and Nolita area. It’s safe to say she knows what she’s talking about, so save this tab, get out there, and explore! Continue reading “@Bytorib’s Guide to the Soho/Nolita Area”
Hands down, the most memorable and remarkable college course I took was “Women in the US Criminal Justice System” my senior year. The class took place in the recreational center of the local prison in our college town. Yes, you read that correctly; the course met once a week for 3 hours in the women’s minimum-security section of the correctional facility. No, we were not teaching the inmates, we were all, in fact, students. When we entered the so-called “classroom”, we were all equals; the college students referred to as “outside students” and the women living in the jail referred to as “inside students”, never once using the word “inmate” or “prisoner”. (I know you’re probably wondering right now why the heck I am telling you about this class in a blog post promised to discuss quitting my job on Wall Street to pursue my passion in the kitchen, but stick with me here.) At the end of the semester we were required to write a paper reflecting on what we learned from this experience. As incredibly moving this course was for me, and as much as I learned about the criminal justice system, I walked away from our last session with the realization that the inside and outside students all shared one thing: the fear of the unknown.
Your guide to tackling a gluten free lifestyle!
Everyone loves bread; pizza is notoriously one of the tastiest foods out there. However, some of us, unfortunately, have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or have been tasked with an elimination diet. Cutting out gluten can at first be pretty depressing. How the hell am I going to attack and eliminate this beast that is such a staple in the American diet!? Fortunately, as this “lifestyle” has become more prevalent, there are a ton of great options out there in both restaurant and grocery stores. Also, that is why I am here to help; providing you with a 5-day plan of gluten free meals with corresponding recipes and a master grocery list.
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If you follow me on Instagram (which I hope all of you do!!), then you know that whenever I am in Florida it is an absolute must that I have my favorite meal: sweet potato crusted salmon from the Food Shack. I don’t know why I never thought of doing something so brilliant, but ever since I had it a few years ago I can never get it off my mind. Finally, after 3 years of claiming I would do so, I have officially created a recipe in my kitchen for my own version and I can safely say it is BOMB. With a few extra steps, you too can be enjoying this incredibly crunchy exterior yet perfectly cooked salmon.
A list of Whole 30 approved dishes around NYC
For all of those reading this partaking in Whole30 – way to go! Whether you are on your first day or last, congratulations. It is an accomplishment just to commit to beginning this venture! As I discussed in length over on Mindbodygreen, the number one mistake people make on Whole30 is not being prepared. It can be an incredibly overwhelming and daunting experience and always being prepared is essential to successfully finishing the thirty days. This concept of preparation includes meal prepping and batch cooking, always having snacks on hand, and calling restaurants beforehand to discuss menu ingredients and ordering options. To focus on the latter, I have created a list of restaurants where I have been able to enjoy Whole30 approved meals. This by no means that these are the only restaurants in NYC where you can do this, or that every item on their menu is approved, but hopefully it can be a resource for anyone on Whole30 who is looking to dine out. Let’s face it, cooking all your meals for thirty straight days is basically impossible and every once and awhile it’s nice to put on pants and eat dinner somewhere other than your couch. I will be continuously adding to this list, but for now here are some of my finds.
If you have any restaurants you are looking to try while on Whole30 but unsure what you’d be able to order, please send me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment on this post and I will report back with approved dishes!
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If there is ever a part of NYC that is so overlooked by the people of Manhattan, it is the South Street Seaport district. Coming from someone who, after living here for five years, has only visited it once, I find myself consistently daydreaming of that one perfect fall day I spent drinking and eating my way down the cobblestone streets. Why haven’t I been back since? Great freaking question. When I met my insta-turn-real-friend Emma of @lets.eat.yall (the ultimate #foodporn account behind a girl who is always in the know of the NYC restaurant scene) and she told me she was moving to this area, I immediately knew she had to be featured on Freckled Foodie & Friend’s Favorites. Not only will I now have a checklist of restaurants to go to in this dreamy secluded spot within our busy city that I have so carelessly ignored, but it will hopefully encourage all of you to also make your way alllll the way downtown. Check out all of Emma’s favorite picks below!