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

June 22, 2016

The best part of waking up...


Is coffee in my face. That's the best part of waking up.

I would be lying if I pretended like I was able to function as a normal human being before having a cup of coffee in the morning. I wake up, wash my face, and the first thing I do is head to my coffee machine to hit the brew button. I often set it up the night before, that way while I'm doing other zombie-like morning things, my cup of coffee streams into its mug and sends aromas of pure happiness through the air of my apartment. Point blank: there's no time to be wasted when you're a #LadyBoss and have to get stuff done. 

Coffee helps me achieve this. Coffee will be the person (?) I thank while I'm accepting my first day-time Emmy award, or more realistically, my first Oscar. Preferably while my date, Leonardo DiCaprio, looks on from his seat with a face as smitten as ever. I'll forget every producers name, but I'll remember to hail k-cups and Organic Valley creamers. 

The love is real, you guys.


And quite honestly, this news shouldn't take you by surprise too much, considering my Instagram is flooded with photos of coffee, and I've spoken about the good stuff on here at least 25 times. I should probably change the name of this blog to Coffee and the City, which come to think of it, is not a bad name or concept at all. Pictures of coffee and the Manhattan skyline? Sign me up.

*checks to see if the domain is already in use* It is. Dammit.


The love is so real that, in fact, I've teamed up with Organic Valley to bring you a little contest! You'll be able to create the World's Best Cup of Coffee with the prize pack above, which includes some Organic Valley Half & Half, Flavored Half & Half (I'm obsessed with their french vanilla), a bag of Marley Coffee, 1 Bodum French Press, an OV Travel Mug, and a bunch of free product coupons to pick up some more of your favorite varieties!

What I love the most about Organic Valley is that their new flavored half & half's are the only organic option on the market. I'm someone who won't use a creamer that contains a ton of junk, so having an option that's ultra-pasteurized, and made with REAL organic milk, is something I appreciate very, very much. I love using them in my coffee, in my tea, and I often use the half & half while baking! The french vanilla always makes for a great addition to any whipping cream! 


To enter, all you have to do is head to my Twitter or Facebook page, and comment what makes YOUR best cup of coffee? Is it a little creamer or a little half & half? Do you like grinding your own coffee beans or are you a k-cup snob? I want to know everything! 1 winner will be chosen on June 30th, 2016, and will be contacted via the social platform that you entered on.

Cheers to the greatest liquid on the planet!

June 17, 2016

How To Throw A Dope Summer Party


You guys - summer is here. Well, it's like 5 minutes away, but that means it's pretty much here, right? I can already taste the sand in my beach sandwich and smell the pounds of aloe vera that I'll be slathering all over my body. It's going to be a great time, if it hasn't already started to be. Out here on the mean streets of NYC, it's basically been summer since last October. With the exception of super storm #Jonas, we had a pretty warm winter, that turned into a pretty warm spring, which is now transitioning into what I believe will be a pretty HOT summer. And with pretty hot summers comes pretty dope summer parties, ammiright?

The weather last weekend was absolute perfection. It was 75 degrees, sunny, no humidity, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky for almost 48 hours straight. I immediately knew what I had to do, and that was to call up a bunch of friends and invite them to my rooftop for an impromptu friday night party. It was going to be our official start to "Summer Friday's", which is phrase coined back in the 1960's when employees at ad agencies would dip out early to get their weekends started. It has since become a big staple across offices and industries here in NYC, so, why not celebrate this un-official holiday?



We claimed a space on my rooftop, bought a bunch of snacks, and cracked open some crisp, refreshing Heineken Lights. We socialized under the darkening sky, and caught one of the most beautiful sunsets that looked nothing short of straight out of a movie. It truly was a quintessential, NYC Summer Friday. Which got me thinking: I should probs post up some tips on how you can throw yourself and your friends a dope summer party. Follow some of the steps below, and you'll basically become the Beyonce of your friend group. And everybody wants to be the Beyonce of their friend group.  

  • The Setting: Do you have balcony? A backyard? A rooftop? A 2x4 front lawn? Whatever space you're working with, you want to keep the setting as chill and relaxed as possible. Lay out a blanket, set up a table, light some candles, or make yourself one of those cool Pinterest-esque lantern things that I cannot make for the life of me. Summer Fridays are all about unwinding from the long work week that you just endured, so a relaxed vibe is what we're going for.
  • The Company, obvi: You're only as good as the company you keep, and if we're going for chill vibes, maybe pass on inviting your friend Brad who just graduated college and lives in Murray Hill. Go for a group of friends that you know you can just kick back with, especially if you haven't hung out in a while. Life gets in the way, and being able to catch up over some ice cold Heineken Lights and snacks vs. at a crowded bar just can't be beat these days. 
  • Master The Music: Maybe it's just me, but the closer it gets to summer, I start creating playlists for all different types of situations. Road trips, sunday morning runs, tuesday night happy hour, and of course - Summer Friday parties. I love using Spotify for this, since they have a really good variety of artists and songs, plus they make it easy to create and add to playlists. And as millennials, we need easy. We're the generation of lazy, remember? Also, because I like you, I'm sharing my own personal Summer Friday playlist with you here. Save it, rave it, party to it. It has a pretty good lineup, if I do say so myself.
  • The Necessities: Okay, so you have a great group of friends and some wicked tunes to get this party started. Now all you need are the key components that create the perfect party elixir. A variety of snacks such as chips, pretzels, hummus, something vegan for that one annoying friend, burgers and dogs if you're lucky enough to have a grill, and a cooler packed with ice to keep your Heineken Lights nice and cold. Spread em' out, let your guests feel free to help themselves, and unfold that beach chair that your mom made you buy. Speaking of which, with only 99 calories, Heineken Light is beach body-friendly! Cheers to that!

Congratulations, you now have the recipe to throw an epic, summer party. You've got the setting, the homies, the music, the snacks, and the beer. What else could you possibly need?

Oh right, Ryan Gosling.. but whatever.

I teamed up with my friends at Heineken Light to bring this story to life.

June 14, 2016

WE GET IT ~ off-the-shoulder tops are v. important


As the great Donna Karan once said, "I've never seen a fat shoulder." True that, DK, because come to think of it - neither have I.

While we prepare to Rose´ stumble into #AllSummerSixteen, off-the-shoulder shirts seem to be making their rounds as thee blouse to be rocking in all of our Instagram-worthy activities. Going to the park? Off-the-shoulder top. Hamptons? Off-the-shoulder top. Date with the guy you’re only seeing for free food? Off-the-shoulder top. It’s to the point where I have seen the exact same outfit at least 46 times in the last week, which entails a ~denim~ top paired with white jeans, and some sort of nude flat. Why do we all have this outfit? Why do we all keep wearing this outfit? Is there a forum somewhere on the Internet that we can all discuss our outfits for the day so this mishap can be prevented going forward?? I thought it was 2016, people. Where is the unity?

June 13, 2016

LOW CALORIE "TACOS"


If you poke your face around my Instagram for a few minutes, you'll soon learn that I have a deep addiction to tacos. The obsession started about two years ago, when I used to live down in the Financial District here in Manhattan, and conveniently had a taco truck parked down the block from my apartment in which I shamelessly visited 3 or 4 times a week. A chicken taco a day keeps the doctor away, was my mantra at the time.

With summer upon us, I'm really trying to kick it into high gear and get my diet in check. Granted, I already eat pretty well for myself, but there's always room for improvement. I started going down the line of things I love to shove in my face, and started thinking of ways to make them more low-cal.

Enter.. these tacos.


They are meat-less, carb-less, basically food-less (?), and probably work out to be under 40 calories a piece. All of the components are filling and satisfying, so you're treating your body to something both delicious and good for your waistline. Ever since coming up with these, I've made them at least 20 times, so I'm surprised it's taken me as long as it has to get them up here.

Eat some low-cal tacos today, okay?


LOW CALORIE TACOS

makes 8-10
1 12oz steamer bag of frozen broccoli & cauliflower 
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 tbs garlic powder 
2-3 tbs of hot sauce depending on heat preference
8-10 butter lettuce leaves

Preheat your oven to 475, and follow the cooking instructions on the back of your frozen vegetables package. I usually just shoot the steamer bag in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, just to defrost them without fully cooking them.

Transfer veggies, along with the chopped onion, to a bowl and sprinkle on your garlic powder. Add in your hot sauce, and toss everything to coat. In a single layer, lay out the vegetables on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove, flip, and place back in the oven for an additional few minutes if you prefer them more brown.

Remove from the oven and spoon the vegetables onto your washed butter lettuce leaves. Roll them up as if they were tacos (or even wraps) and enjoy! It's also delicious to dollop on some fat-free greek yogurt, or a drizzle of sriracha. Yum.


June 10, 2016

Yesterday was a walk in the park..

Disclosure. This post was sponsored by GOOD THiNS through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select.  While I was compensated to write a post about GOOD THiNS, all opinions are my own.

For the past week, it has finally started to feel like spring in New York City. We had a spring-like winter, but when it came time on the calendar for the season to officially begin, it was almost as if spring decided to call out of work. We were having cold, rainy days, with temperatures even dropping as low as the 20's (!!!!). It was enough to postpone Yankees opening day, and enough to make us all weep into our brand new Rihanna puma creepers that we've been dying to pull out since last fall.

Being as weather is very unpredictable in this city, I decided to #SeizeDaDay, and spend an afternoon in the park. I packed up some essentials and set out for a relaxing few hours, Carrie Bradshaw style.


In the bag, went: 1) my water canister: because humans need to be watered like the precious, delicate flower that you are. 2) My favorite go-to snack, GOOD THiNS (!), because sometimes I want to feel like I'm eating dirty, when actually, I'm eating pretty wholesome. These sweet potato chips are baked (not fried!!) with real ingredients, so they help keep my (almost ready) bikini bod in check. 3) Headphones: because New Yorkers don't like to talk to people. 4) And finally, sunglasses, because New Yorkers also don't like to look people in the eyes.

Okay, I made those last two up (sort of), but they are still essential for my afternoon oasis.


Before heading over to the park to indulge in my sweet, much needed isolation alone time, I stopped by one of my favorite places on this planet, Strands bookstore. Call me basic, call me a hipster, call me a free spirit with an open mind that probably eats avocado toast every morning... but I really, really, really love reading an actual book. Not an e-book, not an audio file. The feel and smell of an actual pen-to-paper novel or informative read is something I find much joy in. 

I was looking for a quick and quirky read to accompany me during my little afternoon in the park. I stumbled upon Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Ways. Umm..... yes. You all need to pick this book up immediately. It's funny, well written, and describes what life in a millennial body/mind is all about. A good book and a good snack was all I needed to make my day complete.


The location: Washington Square Park.
The temperature: 65 degree & sunny. So basically, perfect.

One thing that I love about Washington Square Park is that there are always such a mixed variety of people in it. Don't get me wrong, anywhere you go in NYC there will most certainly be people from all walks of life, but it's something about this park that feels very New York. Sure, you can go to Central Park and stroll past the horse and buggies and feel as if you're reliving one of your favorite 90's rom coms, but Washington Square Park has it all. Locals, tourists, students studying at NYU close by, street musicians, businessmen waiting for their next meeting to start, burnouts, kids skipping school - you name it. It's the perfect spot to people watch.


So, water and sweet potato GOOD THiNS in hand, that's exactly what I did for a few hours yesterday. And you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. There's something about this city that makes even the smallest thing that you do feel like the most rewarding. I don't know what it is, but you got spunk, New York.

P.S: this little park adventure of mine had me thinking about all of the upcoming summer days I’ll have to trick my friends into coming and working out with me in the sun.  And by working out with me, I mean watching them do burpees while I sit off to the side and eat my GOOD THiNS.


Ciao for now. - M. xx

*this post was sponored by GOOD THINS through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about GOOD THINS, all opinions are my own.