Constance Cooks Up Some Competition

Constance Cooks is a web show about a web cooking show.

This is a project that is near and dear to me; it's about food AND it includes a cast and crew of people I truly adore. So it's a combo of food and Art. Themes that really, truly belong together.

What I find even more impressive is that my thespian friends are not just doing a same-ol' basic Kickstarter or Seed & Spark campaign to raise money for their production. Nope! They are going right to the heart -rather, the stomach of the matter, by putting together a delicious Lasagna Bake Off!

Check this vid for a "taste" - (see what I did there?!)

You can enter as a competitor, be a judge or.... be like me: a MASTER JUDGE - (which gets you some extra perks AND is a tax deductible contribution!). 

Tickets help support the Arts AND your feed your hunger all at once. 

The competition is being compared to the Lasagna Olympics. With Booze! Hello? What's not to love?

Read all the deets here and get those tickets:

P.S. I will also be interviewing the star of the show very soon for NYCFG... stay tuned and hungry my friends!

Learn About BonBons and Why You Need Some RIGHT Now

Consistently delicious.

This is an expression to accurately describe Neuhaus Chocolates.

For someone that has been accused of "sitting on the couch eating bonbons"- I feel like this is something near and dear to my heart! I love chocolates! Interestingly enough, most people don't actually know what a bonbon is!

The name “bonbon” steams from the French word "bon", which means "good”, like the expression, Bon Appétit. Put a "bon" and a "bon" together and you've got something doubly delicious! Bonbons are sweet confections that can stand alone, but instead get dipped in chocolate at the very end of the candy making process. This creates a thin layer of chocolate around the candy instead of the thicker shell; therefore, bonbons have less chocolate and more filling.

I was pretty excited to find out that Neuhaus introduced an amazing BONBON COLLECTION. (It's like it called my name!) Using only all-natural ingredients, Neuhaus’s imported BonBons come in 5 handcrafted flavors, all enrobed in rich dark or milk chocolate: Moelleux, Salted Caramel, Cookies, Crunchy Nut and Gianduja Nougat.

Each BonBon comes wrapped in a different vibrantly-colored foil, which I'm not going to lie: they are gorgeous and absolutely delectable. Each little, individually wrapped bonbon is perfectly portable, and brings sweetness to any moment, any place.

And pro-tip:
It's a perfect gift when you're thinking of what to bring a party host -or let's face it, it's nice to just to treat yourself, too!

Of course, you might want to pair the BonBons with a with sparkling wine or Champagne, a rare dessert wine, brandy, liqueur, Prosecco, port, sherry, and whisky and you have the perfect decadent treat.

I know I enjoyed living the true life of sitting on the couch eating bonbons all day, but doing it for a purpose: to encourage all of you to try some consistently delicious chocolates! You NEED some of these in your life right now.

In NYC, you can find a few locations. Check out their website for one near you!

Interesting facts about Neuhaus:
In 1875 Jean Neuhaus settled in Brussels and opens a pharmacy in the prestigious Galerie de la Reine. He made a name for himself by innovatively covering his medicines in a layer of chocolate to make them more palatable. 142 years later, Neuhaus is the market leader in the luxury chocolate sector in Belgium. The company currently has over 1,000 sales outlets in 50 countries, and six stores in New York alone. It is one of the few chocolate companies still manufacturing in Belgium.

Tea Tasting: An Adagio Experience

Firstly, I **LOVE** tea. Hot, cold, iced, room temperature - - all of it.

With my mom being a southerner, I literally had sweet tea in a baby bottle, practically from day one. Without question, tea is a part of me and my DNA.

As an adult, I've learned to love unsweetened tea, but it's really a matter of preference. Sometimes, just a touch of honey during those allergy or cold season months is all it takes to make me feel better.

Again, because I love tea so much, it can be green, black, herbal, chai - you name it! I will try it!

And that's exactly the opportunity that came my way via Adagio Teas. I was asked to give them a try.

To tea, I can't say no.

I tried. I tried many. And I will try many more, I promise!

For the record, the teas I sampled from Adagio included:

For what it's worth, the best part of the Adagio website is that they offer samples of all of their teas at a very reasonable price point, not to mention, there is a coupon you can get when you hop on the website, too. Right now, it's $5 - which would cover the cost of at least 1 sample, and partial of another!

However, what I like MOST about their offerings, is the idea of a "starter set". The iced tea had my attention from the get-go, being that it's summer and all right now! Classic Ceylon is your typical black tea - yet the two times that I made it, ZERO bitterness. Which is a HUGE plus whenever making a black tea of any kind. If it is brewed too long, usually, there's that "you let the tea steep too long" taste.

None of the teas that I made - hot or iced, ever had an "over-steeped" taste.

At one point, I made a Ooooh Darjelling hot tea and lost track of time... It should have steeped no more than 5 minutes. That cup steeped for at LEAST 15 minutes... and you know what? It was perfect. It didn't have the bitterness that I expected after being so careless.

Granted, Darjeeling, usually is very forgiving... it was simply delicious, in spite of my forgetting about my tea in the kitchen while I did other things.

But that name! Ooooh Darjeeling? Love it. And love the tea.

Tea should be served in Fine Bone English China
My other favorite was the Pu-Erh Spice, which I am sure I misprounounce. I don't really care how to say it correctly, because it's all about the taste. If you like a spiced tea, like a chai, this takes it another level UP. I think it's perfect in the morning with toast or a bagel with jam. It's like having a cup of autumn in your hand. It's more intense than the Masala Chai, too. When you open the pouch and smell the spices, it transports you to cozy sweaters and gorgeous fall foilage. The picture to the left (if you're reading from your computer), it's the darker tea on the right. Note that there is a splash of milk in the tea, too, and it still had a very rich, dark color -not to mention a hearty flavor. The tea on the left is Masala Chai. By comparison, the Pu-Erh was a lot more robust in flavor. The chai was classic in the sense that it had all the right notes and aromas that one expects in a proper chai. In retrospect, I wouldn't sample the two together, since they are both spice-based. It seemed to be an unfair comparison.

I'll just have to re-sample all over again - you know, to be fair. One must be FAIR in judging/sampling tea. 😋

If you can't tell already, I actually enjoyed my experience sampling all of the teas. While I'm not a fan of decaffinated teas in general, I can still give ALL the teas that I tried from Adagio a BIG seal of approval.

The ONLY drawback was not being able to go into a physical store. I do enjoy browsing and sampling teas in person. I'm hoping that they will branch out (as there are stores in Chicago area) and find themselves in NYC sometime soon. (Hint! Hint!) BUT! Good news is that, according to their website, there is no NYS tax on your Adagio purchases!

There is also a LoyalTEA program and an abundance of resources on their site. Most definetly, check the health benefits of tea and before long, your shopping cart might look a bit like mine did!

Reviews of the teas and the descriptions are also helpful, but really trying it out for yourself is the best way to go.

Of course, I welcome any comments or questions here or send me a tweet
I look forward to hearing from you!

The Myth of the Mermaid in NYC

How is it possible that a publication, such as Cosmopolitan, allows a video to be created and go viral without the least bit of fact checking?

In this era of so-called "fake news" - this was TRULY the epitome of just that...

I am referring specifically to a video that was created regarding a mermaid mega drink, created and supposedly AVAILABLE at a local NYC bar on Pier 15 at South Street Seaport.

Because of said video -that was PROMOTED and went viral thanks to Cosmopolitan, my friend's birthday was PLANNED around going to the Watermark Bar, hoping for an amazing adult beverage that we could share and laugh and post photos about on her special day...

But no. Here's the bullsh!t that I speak of:

Much like the myth of the mermaid, there is no specialty mermaid drink at this bar. To be even more disappointed, the ability to have a frozen beverage was also unavailable because apparently, the frozen drink machine had broken the night before due to extreme usage.

And for what it's worth, they don't even use real glasses or anything other than disposable cups and plates at Watermark.

The visit was almost an epic fail all because of BAD reporting. The saving grace may have been the Watermelon Spiced Margarita. It's like a spicy, liquid version of a watermelon Jolly Rancher candy. Yeah. That was delicious.

Plus, the service at Watermark was thankfully good.... but guess what? Having a table to drink and dine al fresco with disposable, lightweight drinking cups on a windy day, ENSURES SOMEONE WILL WEAR THEIR BEVERAGE at one point.

Thanks for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, Danielle OMG FAKER THAN FAKE Tullo at Cosmopolitan. You are NOT an expert... at anything and can officially BITE the big mermaid tail.

Getting Dirty on the LES

I have a new place that has become my favorite go-to right now. It's so good, I need to make another reservation for brunch this weekend. Thank you for the reminder!

So if you HAVEN'T heard of Dirty French: now you have.
The menu includes items that seem like they might be something you've heard of before - but believe me, they have their own special signature.

This restaurant has actually encouraged this review -which, if you've read any of my posts in the past, you know it's been awhile since I've updated.

The menu is interesting, the decor is quirky and the service has been spot on.

Now, I have heard from others, that it was hit or miss with service... I, personally, have not experienced anything negative. If anything, service was particularly exceptional - and I want to openly admit, I did not receive an invite as a food blogger to dine here and write a favorable review. I merely enjoyed a date night with my husband and we couldn't stop raving about it... and we ended up going to brunch just a few days later (and now we'll go again!). So this is a 100% unbiased review....

I'll post a few photos and encourage anyone who reads this to just try it out.

It's a place for locals. Tourists. Really anyone that enjoys food... but extra bonus points for the appreciation of food. Dirty French is where this place really hits hard.

Go with friends. Do a date night. Take yo' self out for a night on the town... but TRY it. Make that reservation and enjoy the decadence and the scene.

Oh - and if wine and cocktails are your thing? This is an excellent venue for that.

While dining, I've seen celebrity chefs and well-known Hollywood actors make their way to this location, too. I'm not exactly a star searcher but, I love to see how others react when they see a very familiar face in the room.
NYCFG with the hubs on Date Night
I should also mention this is a great date location. Dirty French is a place to meet with your friends... your gal pals, your bros, whatever is your scene, it's here. It has a great vibe overall.

Beignets and Gelato for Dessert, Yes Please!
And on the weekends, it's a perfectly suited spot to take the family for brunch. They have pancakes, duck hash and inverted egg sandwiches on the menu, among others.The outdoor area that they have is gorgeous - at least take a peek at the space if you stop in. Because you should do JUST that: stop in... order some delicious food and see what makes NYC such a delicious culinary destination.

Check out Dirty French on the Lower East Side

180 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002


7 Must-Make St. Patrick’s Day Desserts

It’s time for St. Patrick’s Day, when all things Irish and green reign supreme!
A St. Patrick’s Day celebration isn’t complete without something sweet. These seven St. Patrick’s Day desserts range from super easy to ultra impressive, and there’s something on the list for everyone. Whether you’re a Baileys Irish Cream fan or looking for some green desserts that will delight the kids, you’re sure to find something decadent to enjoy on this fun and festive holiday.
Ready to get started? Check out this slideshow of my favorite Irish-inspired, Baileys-filled, green desserts!

·         1. Luck of the Irish Cake Balls

Cake balls are the perfect bite-sized dessert, you won’t be able to stop at just one! Best of all, they’re super easy to make with simple ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. They’re a super fun project to do with the kids too! These Luck of the Irish Cake Balls feature a surprise emerald green center for the ultimate festive treat.
Makes 36 cake balls
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour + chilling time
• 1 box white cake mix
• Eggs and oil in amounts directed on cake mix box
• 1 ounce green food coloring
• 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons white frosting
• 1 pound white candy melts or almond bark
• Optional: Green sprinkles
Stir in some savings and grab a coupon for Pillsbury.
1. Prepare cake mix with the amount of oil, water, and eggs directed on the box. Stir in the green food coloring.
2. Bake in a 9×13-inch pan according to package directions.
3. Let cake cool completely, then break apart and crumble until fine crumbs form.
4. Stir in the frosting until a dough forms. If the dough seems dry, you can add additional frosting, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
5. Roll the cake mixture into Tablespoon-sized balls. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour.
6. Melt the white candy in a bowl in the microwave, heating for 30-second increments or until completely smooth.
7. Place each cake ball on a fork and use a spoon to pour the candy melts over the cake ball. Tap against the side of the bowl to remove excess candy melt.
8. Place the ball on a parchment-lined sheet pan and top with sprinkles if desired.
9. Repeat with remaining cake balls and candy melts.
10. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

2. Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake

This beautiful Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake is creamy, decadent, and full of chocolate flavor! The Baileys whipped cream topping is the perfect finishing touch.
Grab a coupon from Hershey’s for some sweet savings!

3. Frosted Shamrock Cookies

These adorable Frosted Shamrock Cookies will make both children and adults smile. They’re perfect for classroom celebrations or even as party favors!

4. Irish Whiskey Lava Cakes

These Irish Whiskey Lava Cakes are loaded with chocolate for a fabulous end to your St. Patrick’s Day meal. Best of all, they only contain five ingredients and take five minutes to put together!
Stock up on chocolate and save with Ghirardelli coupons.

5. Rainbow Cupcakes with Vanilla Cloud Frosting

These beautiful rainbow cupcakes are a colorful and fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! A must-make for the children in your life.

6. Coffee & Baileys Layer Cake

This show-stopping dessert is a tantalizing combination of coffee, Baileys Irish Cream and dark chocolate. It tastes as good as it looks!

7. Boozy Shamrock Shake Cupcakes

These Shamrock Shake Cupcakes are made with peppermint schnapps for a fun twist on the classic shake.

Thank you to Sara Welch of for all these delicious recipes and sharing them with NYC Foodie Girl!

Happy New Year and #Whole30

Happy New Year, everyone!

I tried to post a few times today, but I've been distracted and technologically challenged. I understand the premise of Mercury retrograde, so I'm going to blame that for the moment.

However, it is technically still January 1st as I am writing this, so I am meeting my goal for sharing my Whole 30 journey here on my blog.

I should preface this blog post with the fact that I've been reading up on Whole 30, what it is, how I can best approach it and even with a major life changing decision of WHEN to commit to this healthy journey.

It's not about what I'm NOT going to eat, but what I WILL be eating. I'm not going to lie (or die!!): It's effing exciting and terrifying as hell to do this. But let me also tell you, this is NOT a trend. It's also not a diet.

It's easy: see the photo -- and you know what? I can do this! It's just 30 days. Plus...It's not in my nature to be a cheater, so I think I'll be good... no matter how much I might miss some things in the beginning. I'm a big picture kinda' person.

Yet, I had to get in a mindset to even consider this program, so I chose today to start.

I didn't choose January 1st because of the new year or any kind of resolution, I came up with that number based on the fact that I don't have anything major planned going on during this time. I won't have temptations of holiday parties or family gatherings. I can always put off going out drinking with my friends... or I can still go, of course, I'll just be the one with sparkling water and interesting conversations that don't involve rum or wine... I'm also not traveling in the month of January, so that makes doing Whole 30 that much easier.

What I can say is that over the past 6 to 9 months I've had issues with food, my weight, sleeping disorders and a general feeling of "meh".

So I'm giving Whole 30 a real try.

In the book, it says that this will be hard, but to just give them the 30 days.

They also say that it's NOT hard - because cancer, THAT is hard. Birthing a baby: THAT is hard. Losing a parent: oh so HARD.

So drinking my coffee without cream and sugar doesn't seem all that hard afterall...

However, I also have to consider that I'm facing challenges in the kitchen. My husband is the chef in our house and does 99.99 percent of the cooking. It's the only area in my life where I'm the .01 percent! Yay me...!!! Not.

I will have to re-learn some cooking foundations if I am to keep this food and health journey a successful one.

I'll post daily and share some photos and I hope to do some vlogging over the next 30-days as well.

If you're interested in Whole 30, take a look at the program here:

I look forward to sharing with you and wish you all a wonderful year full of health, happiness and deliciousness!

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