Food and the City | a millennials guide to food, fashion, and life.

July 21, 2016

WHERE TO EAT IN NYC #3


Coming in strong with our 3rd edition of the where to eat in NYC series, prepare yourself for an intense sugar rush. I'm probably one of the only people that seriously indulges in sweets during the summer time, because, well, #summerbody. But to me, if I haven't already gotten my desired summer bod by July, it ain't happening, so why deprive myself? Also, what exactly is a summer body? Is is just like, a body that's placed in a summer setting? How does that work? WHY DO WE CARE SO MUCH ABOUT SUMMER BODIES? Sorry for yelling.

But alas, as I mentioned above, if you're look for some awesome sweets to indulge in over the weekend, DEFINITELY stop into 1 or 2 or 5 of the places listed below. I promise your tasty-buds will thank ya.


1) Doughnut Plant: I first discovered Doughnut Plant a couple of months ago while ordering my groceries via Max Delivery. Max Delivery is a service here in Manhattan that delivers your food within ONE HOUR. I'm legit one of the laziest people that you'll ever meet when it comes to food shopping, so when a flyer for this company was tossed under my door by my mailman, I knew it was meant to be. Actually, I probably shop on there way too often because it's so easy and convenient. ANYWAY - back to donuts - there's a section on Max Delivery's website that allows you to order from the "best of NY." Being as I am who I am (v important food critic obvi), I had to see for myself if these were indeed the best doughnuts in New York City.

Well, let me tell you. They just might fucking be. I have never had a doughnut literally melt in my mouth before. Like, actually disintegrate into my salvia. I ordered the chocolate and the glaze, and both were so soft, so fresh, and so god damn delicious that I'm actually about to order another dozen right now. I have yet to go to their actual storefront, but if their delivery is this good, I can't imagine how incredible they are the second they leave the shop. 

Also to note, they're currently riding the coattails of Pokemon Go right now, and came out with a limited edition Pokemon donut. So, there's that.

(ps to get $20 off your first Max Delivery order, use code: MPoncedeleon7587)


2) Emack & Bolio's: I have a lot to say about this ice cream shop, so please sit back, relax, and enjoy. As you know, last weekend was National Ice Cream Day. As you also know, I'm a huge sucker for national food holidays, and must always embark on celebrations of that particular food. Being that ice cream is hands down one of my favorite things on this planet, National Ice Cream Day is basically Christmas for me. Seriously, give me all of the ice cream any day, but especially on National Ice Cream Day.

With NYC having some of the best ice cream shops in the country, it was a task in and of itself to decide where to celebrate. I happened to stumble upon Emack & Bolio's via Instagram (because seriously how else do we find places these days), and knew this was the spot to go. I mean, before even getting into the details, if the picture above hasn't convinced you enough to get your ass there NOW, well then you are a tough sell my friend. 

They offer cones that are wrapped in CRISPY FUCKING MARSHMALLOW CEREAL THINGS, and the options of ice cream are endless. So endless, that in fact, when it was my turn to order, I kind of panicked and just went with the first one that I saw. That ended up being their S'moreo flavor. Vanilla ice cream with CHUCKS of Oreo cookies with marshmallows and a chocolate swirl. All neatly nestled between a sugar cone that was hugged by a fruity pebble crispy treat. I'm actually having a foodgasm right now just thinking about it.

Amongst the other types of cones that they offer are fruit loops, cookie crunch, rice crispy, and like, every other cereal you could possibly imagine. If it's one spot on this list that you need to hit up, it's this one.


3) B Bar & Grill: It was 3PM on a Sunday afternoon, and me & one of my girlfriends were galavanting through the Lower East Side looking for something to do. It was hot, we were hungover, and we needed to find a chill spot to relax and enjoy some good eats. We walked passed B Bar in an attempt to wonder why it looked so familiar, and then we remembered, "Oh yea, we got drunk here once." I'll be honest when I say I had previously only ever been to B Bar for the nightlife. Their outdoor spaces gets flooded with young professionals on the weekends, and I found myself their on numerous occasions taking fireball shots in the corner. But that's another story for another time. 

Today I want to talk about their Mezze Plate, because their Mezze Plate now holds a pieces of my heart in its garlic pita bread hands. We ordered this to split, and I am so happy that we did. The portion is huge, and my photo truly doesn't do its size any justice. You get an array of 4 different types of hummus/spreads, plus all the garlicy pita that your little heart can desire. To be honest, though, the pita bread taste more like straight PIZZA DOUGH, and that made it even better. By the end of the spreads, I still ordered some extra pita because it was that damn good and also because I have no self control.


4) Sweetgreen: I hate featuring chains in this series, because I like to keep it NYC based, but I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't talk about Sweetgreen. Sweetgreen isn't exclusive to New York City, but it's becoming quite the staple amongst the locals here. On any given day, you'll see a line out the door for their locations from a mile away. Everything they use is local, fresh, and in season. You won't be able to go in May and get that same cauliflower bowl that you fell in love with back in December, and I kind of love that about this place. Their menu truly changes with the season.

They have a bunch of options already made up for you, their harvest bowl being one of my favorites, however I always love to build my own. Lately, my go-to order has been: quinoa + spicy broccoli + bell pepper + onion + asparagus + arugula + roasted chicken + spicy cashew dressing. It's amazing, and I won't at all be upset if you stole it for yourself.


5) Prohibition Bakery: Infused booze infused sweets are your thing, than Prohibition Bakery is about to become your new spot. They are New York City's original alcohol-infused bakery, and have been serving up boozy cupcakes since 2011. My favorite is the the Basic Bitch, because it has White Girl Rose in it and that makes me happy. #RoseAllDay


6) Sweet Revenge: Speaking of alcohol and cupcakes, I would be doing you the ultimate disservice if I didn't tell you about Sweet Revenge. If you're looking for a spot to grab a causal glass of wine with one of your girlfriends, you have to hit this place up for happy hour. The vibe is very much like a regular bakeshop, so you get much bar-action here, but what you will get is a glass of wine and a gigantic cupcake for $10. The cupcakes are baked fresh each day, and the sangria is mixed to absolute perfection. And besides, there's nothing on this planet that goes better together than wine and chocolate.

July 20, 2016

DISCOVERING THE HAMPTONS WITH MICHAEL CLINTON


It's Friday. 12PM. New York City. The most overheard conversation whispered through the offices of young professionals alike involve weekend plans, catching the train, and picking up enough beer to last them until Sunday. Scrunched faces from those who have yet to pack, or those who won't be participating in such weekend plans can be seen from a mile away. 

The destination? The Hamptons. 

Every summer, New York City locals flock to their beach homes and vacation rentals situated along the coveted Long Island oasis. Friends start gathering a group as early as February to put down money on a place, while others (guilty!) ride on the coat tails of their more fortunate friends whose family owns a house or two in the neighborhood. 

What makes this place so desirable? I had the chance to get some answers from Michael Clinton, president and publishing director of Hearst Magazines, who recently came out with a new book entitled The Snap Series: The Hamptons.

Michael brings us on a journey of the beach town through a series of images he captured during his time in The Hamptons. This would make for the ultimate coffee table book for anyone who loves The Hamptons, art, or photography.


1) As New York has a ton of beautiful landscape to capture, what made you choose the Hamptons?
I HAVE HAD A HOME THERE FOR 25 YEARS SO KNOW IT WELL AND INSPIRED BY IT'S HISTORY AND BEAUTY.


2) Your photos are exquisite. Do you ever plan what photos you're going to take? For instance, you know what time the sun will be setting, so do you set forth to capture that exact moment? Or do you prefer taking your camera out and capturing life as if happens?

SOMETIMES I HAVE A SETTING IN MIND AND GO THERE WHEN THE LIGHT IS RIGHT... BUT THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN DISCOVERING A PLACE OR SUBJECT THAT WAS UNEXPECTED.


3) Have you added any "Hampton memories" to your mini-adventure lodge on the Upper East Side? If so, can you tell us a bit about why you chose that item(s)?

ONE WALL IS DEDICATED TO PHOTOS FROM THE EAST END OF LONG ISLAND... JUST A CONSTANT REMINDER THAT PARADISE IS NOT THAT FAR AWAY.

4) What would you say is the biggest difference between The Hamptons "then" and The Hamptons "now?"

MORE BUILDING AND MORE CROWDS.  BUT PEOPLE SAID THAT 20 YEARS AGO AND PROBABLY 20 YEARS BEFORE THAT!

5) I noticed a bounty of food photos in this book. Are you at foodie at heart? What are some of your favorite Hamptons eats?

NOTHING LIKE FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FROM LOCAL FARMSTANDS IN THE HAMPTONS. WE PREFER TO HAVE OUR OWN PRIVATE FARM TO TABLE EXPERIENCE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS AT HOME.

You can pick up your own copy of The Hamptons here


July 15, 2016

NYC MOVIE NIGHTS + WHITE CHEDDAR POPCORN RECIPE


Growing up in New York City, I always wondered what it would be like to throw one of those backyard movie night. The type of party where you set up a big projection screen, lay out lots of oversized pillows below perfectly strung lantern lights, and have enough snacks to get you through watching Clueless 3 times over. While I did have a backyard growing up (Bronx, represent), this sort of thing was nearly impossible to achieve without your neighbor Diane looking on from her bedroom window, or your neighbor John making noise at his own party with his buddies after work. Houses are so close together, and therefore, so are your backyards. I guess that's one of the downfalls of living in the city, but one we've all grown so accustom to living with.

Because unlike suburban areas where such party is achievable, we city folks have to get a little ~*crafty*~. I remember sitting around my patio set with my friends all hunched over 1 tiny little DVD player, (REMEMBER THOSE?) just so we can feeeeel like we were at one of those parties. We would all wear our "outdoor" pajamas, eat tons of candy, and then get yelled at by my Grandmother because we were being too loud. I miss those parties, even though they weren't as Pinterest-esque as I would have liked them to be.

Having moved to Manhattan (1 borough over) has made that dream even more unattainable. Backyards pretty much don't exist here, and with no backyard, comes no backyard movie party. However, I still have my crafty party skills embedded in my brain, and decided to get a little nostalgic with one of my girlfriends last weekend. I'm blessed to have a balcony in my apartment, so that was going to be the setting for our Clueless binge in honor of the 25 year anniversary.

First thing we needed? Snacks.

July 13, 2016

5 MINUTE ZUCCHINI NOODLES


Remember when pasta was a thing? I kind of miss it. Nobody really cared about the calories or the carbs or the fact that it basically sits in your stomach and does nothing. People would devour bowls of it and not blink an eye, all while breaking off a big hunk of bread and drowning it in their leftover spaghetti sauce. What a simpler time.

Now a days, pasta is so 2009, and zoodles are the hot shot on the streets of this food world. Not too long ago, though, people would of have shrieked if you ever spoke of this new invention. Zucchini instead of spaghetti? Cucumber instead of rigatonis? CARROTS INSTEAD OF CAVATELLI????

I just said cavatelli in my best Godfather voice so I hope the text really verbalized that for you.

In all seriousness, zoodles (or vegetable noodles in general) have been a game changer for dieters who are still looking to get their noodle fix. I know I'm one of them, and their ain't no shame in my game to admit that. In terms of dieting, I'll take a 40 calorie bowl of cucumber noodles over a 350 calorie bowl of spaghetti any day, but that could just be my brainwashed mind talking. Don't tell my Italian grandfather.

July 05, 2016

50 CALORIE CHOCOLATE FUDGE MUG CAKE


After sharing my 5 calorie apple pie detox drink with you all last week, I got a ton of requests to start spilling the beans on some of my other favorite low-cal recipes. Truthfully, IDK why I've never posted them on here before. I think it's because they typically aren't as esthetically pleasing to the eye as say, a pizza would be, but looks aren't everything, okay?

And in terms of today's recipe, what is more beautiful than a fork full of FUDGEY ASS CAKE? Nothing. Literally, nothing.


I have a huge sweet tooth, and it's always been my biggest fault when it came to dieting. I've tried sugar free candies, low-cal yogurts, you name it. Nothing ever satisfied me the way a slice of chocolate cake, or a spoonful of pistachio ice cream, would. 

I began to experiment with different things that I had in my pantry, and through lots of trial and error, came up with this 50 CALORIE chocolate fudge cake that is done in all of 2 minutes. 1 minute for measuring everything out, and 1 minute bake time. That's IT. 

Cake in your face in 120 seconds or less.


Also, I would like to note, this is in no way a large portion, but it's the perfect thing to kick that chocolate craving and satisfy your sweet tooth! Will it taste exactly like the 300 calorie stuff? No, but it gets the job done for a fraction of the cals. Here's the recipe:

2 tsp flour
1 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp brown sugar 
1 pinch of baking soda
2 drops of vanilla extract
enough water to create a batter like consistency

Mix everything up in your mug and then microwave for 40-60 seconds depending on how powerful your wave is. 

THAT'S IT!


July 01, 2016

5 CALORIE APPLE PIE DETOX DRINK


We need to talk about something, and we need to talk about it NOW.  Quick question for ya - do you like apple pie? Of course you like apple pie. EVERYONE FUCKING LOVES APPLE PIE. 

You're about to love me forever, and by forever, I mean - start saving up for a ring because you're going to want to marry me. Let me lay down some cold hard facts:

- I love to calorie count. Whatever, I just do. It's the nature of loving food so much, but also loving to still fit inside my clothing. I watch what I eat, and I try to make healthy choices 95% of the time. The other 5% is spent on well deserved pizza and tacos, but that's neither here nor there.

- I'm obsessed with consuming apple cider vinegar, as if you've been a reader of mine for sometime, you already know. 

- Apple cider vinegar is DISGUSTING. Like, disgusting. Worse than your ex.


So, with combining a few of my favorite things ~* APPLE PIE, healthy choices, & apple cider vinegar *~ I bring to you this 5 calorie detox drink that will have your taste buds singing and your bikini falling off.

ACV is widely known as helping to, ahem, push things along, while cinnamon is also widely known for some awesome health benefits like lowering cholesterol, and boosting that m'fucking metabolism. Basically, this is a power drink that you need to incorporate into your diet asap. Here's the recipe:

- 16oz water
- 1 tablespoon raw/organic ACV (I use Braggs)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or more if you're nuts, but the cals will go out)
- zero calorie sweetener to taste (I use Stevia)
- ice to top it off

Combined everything and blend it up! I've tried blending this in both my bullet and also by hand in one of my protein powder mixer bottles. Both work great, but I do prefer mixing it in my bullet.

Literally, that's it. NOW GO ENJOY YOUR 5 CALORIE LIQUID APPLE PIE, YOU SEXY BEAST!