Food and the City

September 21, 2017

Soft Vanilla M&M Sugar Cookies

I'm one of those super weird people that likes to reverse-calendarize things. Definition: even after I complete a task, go to an event, or, for once, remember to do the dishes before attempting to cook dinner, I still write it down as if it hasn't been done yet. Got through a 1-hour workout this morning? Let's write that down as a reminder that you got off your ass today. Went to a friends birthday happy hour last night? PUT IT IN DA CALENDAR.

Or - even events that I know I won't forget, and I wouldn't need any sort of Google calendar reminder at all, I still plug it in. For instance, my family does a huge tailgate for the Jets home-opener every year. We've been talking about it and planning for it for months, yet the other day I opened my app, scrolled right over to September 24th, and typed in: Jets Game, 8:00AM.

I wasn't going to forget about the Jets game. My boyfriend, who shares the calendar with me, wasn't going to forget the Jets game. But sure enough, it still needed to be plugged in as if we would.

Maybe it's a nervous habit? Maybe I'm just f*cking insane. I don't know.

*Side note: yes, we are those sick individuals who arrive at the stadium to set up shop the moment the gates open. Hello 8AM beers. 

And, like I said, I do it reverse style also. Constantly adding things that already happened almost as if I need it in writing to believe that it actually happened. Not my most efficient habit, but I could also be addicted to drugs so life's not so bad when you look at it from that perspective.

None of this has anything to do with todays post at all, but I woke up feeling particularly nuts this morning, so I figured I'd fill you in on what actually goes on (or doesn't go on) in my brain on a day-to-day basis.


Anyway, what I'm really trying to tell you is that I've been meaning to make these cookies for quite some time. I bake up a batch of my chocolate chip M&M cookies pretty often, and have always wanted to stray off a bit and explore different flavors & textures. The thing is that my boyfriend is a create of habit, and he loves the original version. Seeing as I mainly make them for him, I never really wanted to mess with the recipe.

If it ain't broken, don't fix it, cha feel?

Well, the other day I was given the task honor to cook up some stuff for a Giants tailgate he was heading to with his buddies, and figured nows the perfect opportunity to test a new recipe out on a bunch of different faces. The result? These big and soft vanilla sugar babes. 

Cakey in texture, with almost a funfetti-like taste, these cookies remind me of the ones you buy in the bakery section of Stop & Shop that are covered in buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles.

I know you know the ones. We all know the ones

I added red, white, & blue M&M's to stay on theme with the Giants colors, but any bag of M&M's will do. The fun part about cookie recipes like this is that they are totally customizable, since you can switch out the colors of the candies based around what you're making them for. And if the event you're making them for just so happens to be "it's thursday and I'll do whatever the f*ck I want", I advise you to go and buy the biggest bag of M&M's that you can find, no matter the color, and fold those babies into the dough as if your life depended on it.

Because you're life does depend on it.

Soft Vanilla Sugar M&M Cookies

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 small-ish eggs 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt 
  • 3 cups flour
  • flour for surface
  1. Cream together butter and sugar in a mixer until incorporated. Beat in eggs, sour cream, + vanilla extract. Add baking soda, baking powder, and 3 cups of flour. Mix until a soft dough forms. Finally, fold in your M&M's using a spatula.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 3-5 hours.
  3. Roll dough into balls and lay them out on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 6-8 minutes, or longer depending on the size of your cookies. You'll know they're done when the edges start to brown up a bit. Keep a close eye, as they can burn easily.

September 19, 2017

Lazy Girl's Guide To A Simple Wine + Snack Board

One thing I realized when I got older was how much I enjoy staying in. Don't get me wrong, this wild spirit will never fully be tamed. However, these days, all it takes is big bowl of food (I've been obsessed with this place), a good show on Netflix, my bae(s), and some ratty old pajamas to make this gal very happy. So much to the point that my friends already know my attendance to any given event is as promising as a coin toss. Staying in is where it's at, y’all. I don't know, I never really saw myself as becoming the homebody type, but I guess a lot changes the older you get.  

It’s kind of like hangovers: the older you get, the harder they are to overcome, and I bet you never thought you'd see a day when you're incapable of moving after a night of drinking. And by drinking, I mean one or two glasses of wine, because you know damn well you're not drinking six vodka sodas like you used to. 

That being said, I find myself staying in a lot more often, and because of that, I've gotten quite savvy with ways to entertain at home. 

Enter: the cheese board, or as I like to call it, the snack board. Every introverts best friend. Put out a snack board, and you don't even have to say a word. Why? Because everyone loves a snack board. They are like, the Rachel to “Friends.” Everyone loved Rachel. Make your snack board a Rachel.

I prefer snack boards as opposed to cheese boards because why should any party food ever be limited to one specific item? It shouldn't, and with Wholey Cheese!, it doesn't have to be.

OK, so clearly Wholey Cheese! is one of Food and the City's new and fantastic sponsors, but that's only because I've been a fan of the brand for a long time. I fangirled when they emailed me, but that's beside the point. The point is that they truly do make for the best addition to your ~*hip & chic*~ party snack boards. 

Out of the entire line, my favorite variety to use is the Smoked Gouda. I feel it's the most universal, which plays in your favor when hosting different people. Not only is it delicious, it's also gluten-free and contains 28 percent less fat than other cracker brands. Also, did I mention they are calorific-friendly if you're trying to keep tabs on your waistline? You get a whopping 28 crackers for just 130 calories. 

Win-win, y’all. 

So, we have our go-to snack, but now how about some wine to go with it? Here's an infographic of nine wines to serve along side your snack board, no matter what it includes ;) 

This post was sponsored by Wholey Cheese! through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated to write a post about Wholey Cheese!, all opinions are my own.

September 14, 2017

This Unicorn Cocktail Is Perfect For Girl's Night In

In all honesty, where would we be without social media these days? We love to hate the platforms for consuming our brains 24/7 and forever altering the way we communicate with our peers, but why take the old school route and actually talk to your friend at dinner when you can be nose deep on Instagram instead? Your friend won't mind. They're doing the same thing.

It's no secret that social media definitely influences our foodie choices, and the latest unicorn craze is no exception to the rule. Much like avocado toast, massive milkshakes, and matcha tea everything -- anybody and everybody has jumped on the backside of a fictional horse to flood our feeds with edible pastel colors. Which by the way, I'm totally okay with. It's like Lisa Frank threw up all over the place and that's kind of magical. My 7-year old self gets to feel nostalgic while thinking about my old glitter pens and sticker pads from the 90's and if it takes a food trend to do that, so be it. I will oblige.

Which lands us here. This unicorn cocktail freaking screams *obnoxiously basic*, but whatever -- it's the perfect drink to serve up during girls night in. It's aesthetically pleasing AF, and I guarantee you'll get, like, at least 57 Instagram likes on your photo of it. 

Let's booze it up unicorn style my friends.

Makes 1:

1oz light rum
1/4 cup grape juice
1/4 cup blueberry juice
1/2 tsp fine sugar
sprinkles for rim

In a measuring cup, add in your rum, grape juice and sugar, and stir until well combined/sugar is dissolved. Dip the rim of one side of a cocktail glass in water then gently press on your sprinkles. Add ice, then pour in the rum and juice mixture. Carefully top each cocktail with blueberry juice, keeping a layer between the two. After about a minute, the colors will start to combine to create a beautiful ombre effect! 

Serve immediately (but obvs after taking a picture).

September 12, 2017

Asian Salad Nicoise

Everyone likes good food. However, sometimes good food goes beyond just good taste. A good food is one that is rich in nutrients that our bodies need to be FIT and strong. This Asiatic recipe, much like the traditional French Salad Nicoise, retains the green beans, tuna, boiled eggs, while swapping the usual white potatoes for sweet potatoes, making this dish both tasty AND healthy! 
This slight but immensely rich invention further enriches our beloved salad. Sweet potatoes contain more vitamins and minerals than the generic white potatoes; and all this for a similar amount of calories too. Hence, they are tremendously (and of course, deliciously) helpful in losing weight, and but also for feeling healthy as well.
There are many people out there who want to be fit and look dope but don’t know how. Just very few are actually mindful of what they eat; and are somewhat ignorant of the fact that eating is much of an art as it is a delight. Losing weight or gaining it goes beyond food rationing: it has more to do with eating right. The aim of this piece is to shed fresher green leaves on eating the right food. But before we go into the delectable methodology of how to prepare this enriching delicacy—yes, you’re excited already!—it is nutritious to know that this Asian salad deserves our sweet serenade. And if you consider the Omega-3 in the tuna, the proteinaceous eggs, and the fibre-packed beans, you’ll agree that our dear Asian awesome salad should be praised.

Ok, lets eat.

Related Posts:
§  Serves
§  Prep
15 mins
§  Cook
25 mins
§  Total Time
40 mins
§  Dietary
§  250g/8.75oz saku bar (sashimi-grade tuna)
§  30g/1oz sesame seeds
§  ¼ tsp. salt
§  15ml/0.5fl oz olive oil
§  200g/7oz sweet potatoes
§  200g/7oz green beans
§  2 eggs

For the Asian Dressing:
25ml/1fl oz olive oil
§  25ml/1fl oz sesame oil
§  7g/0.25oz sesame seeds
§  15ml/0.5fl oz lemon juice
§  5g/0.25oz coriander/cilantro, rough-chopped
§  10g/0.33oz shallots, rough-chopped
§  ½ tsp. black peppercorns
§  25ml/1fl oz honey
§  10ml/0.33fl oz soy sauce

1.    Boil the sweet potatoes until fork tender. Peel and cut into bite-sized pieces. About 20 minutes.(Depends on size)
2.    Blanch the green beans until al dente. Drain and set aside.(About 3 minutes)
3.    Boil the eggs.(8 minutes for wax-stage/10 minutes for hard-boiled). Cut into wedges.
4.    Blend all ingredients for the dressing in a blender.
5.    Season tuna with salt on both sides.
6.    Crust the tuna with sesame seeds on all sides.
7.    Heat olive oil in a skillet.
8.    Sear the tuna for 30 seconds per side.
9.    Slice the tuna into ¼” pieces.
10. Arrange sweet potatoes, eggs, green beans, tuna slices, and dressing on a platter.

Hover over this image to pin it for later!

j*original recipe found here