@Bytorib’s Guide to the Soho/Nolita Area

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”

My Journey

A Video Blog Telling my Story

Hello everyone! For those of you that have been following for awhile, or for those of you who are new to Freckled Foodie, I hope you all enjoy my video blog: My Journey! I have received a lot of DMs lately asking what I studied in college, what I specifically did in the corporate world, how I decided to transition into this world, and what it is like to work for myself. While I could talk about this for hours (seriously, somebody give me a mic), I tried to keep it as concise as possible… while still coming in at almost an hour. Whoops! This video obviously does not contain everything, but it focuses on a lot of topics that people have asked me about. I hope this story and advice resonates with you and gives you more insight into my journey of how I’ve gotten to where I am, but remember, I cannot make your life decisions for you. Common questions I receive such as “how do I know when it is time to leave my job” or “how much should I save before quitting” are unfortunately not ones I can answer for you. All I can do is provide you with my story and hope that it in some way helps shine light on your own. I hope you enjoy!

Meal Plan on a Budget

Averaging Out to Just $5 Per Meal

The most common misconception regarding eating a healthy and balanced diet: it is too expensive. Yes, buying organic vegetables is more often than not more pricey than the non-organic option, and certain health focused grocery stores have some pretty ridiculously inflated prices, but that does not mean it is impossible to eat healthy (and also delicious) meals on a budget. In order to prove this point, I am providing you with a meal plan for the week that will average out to just $5 per meal. Yes, that is the real number. Complete with a 4-day meal plan, organized grocery list, and corresponding recipes.

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Shrimp Tacos

Close your eyes and pretend you’re in California for a second

As part of my ode to Taco Tuesday and the promise of switching things up each week, I recently tossed a new combo into the ring: these shrimp tacos. Boy, they did not disappoint. If you’re like most New Yorkers and intimidated by the act of cooking shrimp for the fear it will stink up your apartment, I promise, it’s not that bad! Plus, this avocado crema makes it all worth it. The perfect creaminess on top of a perfectly charred tortilla with some juicy shrimp. For a second, you can close your eyes and convince yourself you’re actually in California and not this muggy still feels summer when will it ever be fall city. We can dream, right??

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F The Wedding Diet

And all my other thoughts on the wedding process

“So, what are you doing for your wedding diet? And when are you starting?” If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this question, I could pay for the wedding itself. Okay, that’s wishful thinking, but you get the point. People and their need to comment on this topic have honestly blown my mind. Let’s lay down the framework of why I find this question, that I’m sure most people are asking without thinking first and in a non-malicious way, so offensive. I am doing this for two main reasons: to support all the other brides to be out there that are sick and tired of being asked this question and to encourage anyone reading this who has asked this question to stop from doing it again in the future. The main four reasons I despise this question:

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I’ve always wondered what this “bikini body” is that everyone speaks of come summer months. The focus on getting, and staying, thin and super fit before stepping into a bikini not only seems like an ill way to spend your summer, but also a task that seems nearly impossible. For me, and I believe majority of other people out there, my summer goes a little like this: the gorgeous weather encourages more frequent drinking than usual, there are BBQs galore with all the chips, dips, and sides you can dream of, ice cream becomes a no brainer after dinner, and a ton of traveling to enjoy these glorious weekends with friends leads to minimal at home cooking.

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Coconut Cacao Energy Balls

To beat that afternoon hanger

Looking for a quick and easy snack to grab on the go while still eating something healthy and delicious? Aren’t we all! Energy balls are one of my favorite things to make in mass and then store in my freezer for afternoons when that hanger strikes (we’ve all been there). This version includes a ton of protein packed ingredients and a nice sweetness from the cacao powder and the coconut; not only are they a great snack option but they also can be a perfect 2-bite dessert. The best part about them though? When you make these on your own they cost you about 1/10th of the price you see in those fancy coffee shops. Anyone else have a moral dilemma paying $4 for a small ball made of majority peanut butter and oats!? No way I’m alone in that.

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Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

The perfect night-cap

Once the sun begins to shine and it is officially summer, it is as if my body has a trigger response to immediately crave every dessert in site. So, in an attempt to not eat twenty pints of ice cream or store-bought cookies, I make an effort to personally cook the desserts I’m eating to try and fill them with healthier options than many purchased baked goods. These double chocolate chip muffins not only fill that post-dinner craving, but they free of a lot of ingredients that make up most of our desserts (i.e. gluten, dairy, and processed sugar). Behold, my new best friend. And also, my freezer’s newest tenant, because you better believe I have a couple batches of these in there for future night caps!

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Grilled Vegetable & Steak Summer Salad

The perfect summertime meal

The grill and I have an extremely long and historic love affair. From a very young age, I remember my dad grilling every single thing possible. The scent of the smoke and that char on whatever he was cooking is one of my favorite memories of childhood. Once I became old enough to cook, I was infatuated with the grill and mastering its ability to make every single ingredient produce more flavor than any other available cooking method. Seriously – why does everything taste better when cooked on a grill!? So, after many of nights watching my dad master the method, I one day decided it was my time to try; and the rest was history. While it may seem intimidating at first, I promise it is probably one of the easiest cooking gadgets out there. It does all the work for you! Although grilling is definitely not exclusive to summertime, this is one of my favorite quick and easy meals to throw together for a summer lunch or dinner. Say goodbye to lame salads and hello to flavor!

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Roasted Carrots and Chicken with a Kale Greek Salad

A fully farmer’s market dinner

This week I found myself in the Union Square farmer’s market doing some research for an upcoming piece (stay tuned!) and I began questioning why I ever purchase groceries anywhere other than a farmer’s market. I get they can be extremely busy at times, and you have to plan your shopping around when they are open, but gosh if you go at the right time, they are extremely pleasant. What is better than picking from a massive selection of produce, protein, and dairy all from local farms and all while enjoying the outdoors? (Get back to me if you think of anything). As I was perusing around and scoping out every single tent, I decided this was going to be the source of all my ingredients for my date night in with Joe. Grabbing the veggies from the organic farm stand, the chicken from the pasture raised organic protein man, and the cheese from the goat milk stand, I was ready to rock. Along with this recipe below, go check out the corresponding IGTV episode on my Instagram so you can feel like we’re in the kitchen cooking together!

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