Balthazar, Dim Sum and Hot Toddies

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The first 16 days of 2014 have included the usual frenzied food experiments in various too-small kitchens, but also an unusually high percentage of meals out. This food lover is all too pleased, and can only imagine what new adventures are yet to unfold. A few highlights: Balthazar is an institution as far as brunch and baked goods go in NYC. A hot item on my bucket list for over a year, I finally got to experience a lively Saturday brunch a couple weeks ago. My latte ...

And Ode to Mint Tea

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A melted earthen jewel, Steaming The aroma rolls from surface to nose I sip A bright nectar on the tongue That dances infinitely Neck hairs rise as I swallow Senses awaken Eyes focus Soul opens Toes feel the ground beneath them Even more With every sip of hot mint tea

Kombucha = Happiness

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Are you a kombucha virgin? Do you even know what kombucha is? If not, rest assured, you are about to be educated about one of the tastiest, healthiest beverages of all time. Kombucha: a fermented, effervescent, slightly sweet tea. A refreshing drink full of probiotics that can be bought or home-brewed in many flavors. The natural product of a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), or a "mother" culture. I first became aware of the beverage in high school when I witnessed a circle of semi-hippie adults sipping what appeared to ...

A Montage of Cold Edibles

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Summer is not my season. I am not built for heat. I become noticeably grumpier and find no guilt in lazing around in air conditioned climates (a rare spectacle for this ever-adventurer). I spent some time compiling a list of things I love about New York City in the summer. It's not very long. At all. It goes like this: 1.) The fact that fall is around the corner 2.) Iced beverages become readily available. Number Two is in fact my best defense against the heat. Smoothies, iced coffee, throw in ...

A Saintly Green Smoothie

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You've probably realized by now that I'm a little obsessed with blended beverages. Though I left smoothies by the wayside during the colder months,  the blender made its official spring debut in my kitchen this past week. And with the selection of a new pope yesterday, and the celebration of a saint named Patrick in three days, I give you a very green, very saintly smoothie. I love green smoothies because I feel like a ninja any time I'm able to eat a serving of vegetables ...

How to Make Your Own Frappuccino

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Remember life before Starbucks Frappuccinos existed? (Remember life before Starbucks existed?) If I rewind my memory track to about 3rd grade, I come to a moment in which my mom and I are gazing at the coffee menu in a small town coffee shop, attempting to dissect the words on its menu that was no doubt trying to imitate the rising Starbucks. "Frappu...Frappicci...can you tell us what that is?" my mom politely asked the barista (or, the coffeeshop worker, as they were probably called in those days). Sweetened, ...

Holiday Eggnog

Up until about a week ago, the only eggnog I had ever tasted came from a grocery store. Conventional, organic, soynog--my family has worked the gamut of store-bought nogs over the years. But last week, a foodie friend graduated from college and made eggnog to celebrate. I was a convert at first sip...it was a creamy, frothy, bourbony bliss. After making my first-ever batch for the family this Christmas, I remain devoted. Welcome to the family, homemade eggnog. Stay jolly, all. Eggnog Recipe Ingredients 4 egg yolks 1/3 cup sugar, ...