Carvoeiro, Portugal

I've been soooo busy catching up after our trip to Portugal!
As soon as a I can, I'll write all about it!
In the meantime, check out these awesome pictures :) 

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Anejo Tequileria

Top Chef star Angelo Sosa recently opened up this new tequileria in the heart of Hell's Kitchen which snagged the Village Voice's vote for NYC's "Best Margarita"!

We took my husbands Dad here for Father's Day Brunch. We stumbled upon it while heading to our Circle Line Tour and enjoyed a wonderful brunch together! 

We all went with the Prix Fixe menu which offers one brunch dish with a cup of coffee and 3 drinkies (margarita, bloody maria, sangria, or mimosa) for $29.

We each tried something different and everything was excellent...especially the margaritas!!

These are the dishes that we tried:











Next visit I'd like to try thier small plates menu for dinner. I've heard that although everything is quite pricy, Angelo has come up with a unique menu that compliments the harsh flavors of tequila. I'm not a big tequila drinker but could certianly be convinced to try one of thier tequila flights alongside my meal!

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Blue Moon & Corona Cupcakes

 I made these for my husband's birthday! 

I used boxed cupcake mix and simply replaced the water with beer.
I made two different kinds...Corona and Blue Moon, next time I’d like to try Woodchuck Cider Beer!

You Will Need:

1 Box of Cupcake Mix
1/2 Cup Beer
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Large Eggs
1 Jar of Vanilla Frosting
1 Lime or 1 Orange (depending on which flavor you make) 

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line your cupcake tin with baking cups.

Blend the dry cake mix, beer, oil and eggs in large bowl.  Pour the batter into the cupcake cups, filling them 2/3 full.

Bake according to the directions on the box…I think it’s about 15 – 20  mins depending on your oven! To test if they are done…insert a toothpick into the center of one…if it comes out clean, they’re done!

Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting I just bought regular vanilla and doctored it up with a couple teaspoons of lime juice and lime zest for the Corona cupcakes, and a of couple teaspoons of organge juice and zest for the Blue Moon! 

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Panko Chicken Tenders

Panko bread crumbs make the crispiest lightest chicken tenders…I love using them! 

You’ll Need –

¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 cup panko crispy bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 package chicken breast tenders

Heat your oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Spread the flour on a small plate.  Next place the egg and water in a small bowl and beat the egg. Lastly on a separate plate or in a bowl, mix the bread crumbs and cheese.  For each chicken tender, start by rolling in the  flour, then dipping into egg mixture, and finally rolling and fully coating each with the bread crumb mixture. Place them on the baking sheet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until the inside of the chicken is no longer pink and the coating is golden brown.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauces! 

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While walking around with my in-laws we found L'Allegria...
a cute little Italian spot with yummy personal pizzas! 

L'Allegria is located on 44th & 9th and serves up Northern Italian cuisine. Their menu is pretty standard but their great prix fix lunch and dinner menus make them a little unique. They also have a great happy hour wine special, offering a few bottles at only $25! 

We just popped in for a light snack and shared some salad and pizza. 

Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Pesto 

Small Italian Brick Oven Pizza

Everything was great - it was a perfect place to refuel and continue the NYC tour with our family! 

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Dijon Tortellini

These are an amazing little appetizer...
every time I make them they are a hit! 

You'll Need - 

2 12-13 oz packages of cheese tortellini 
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup parmesan cheese 

Start by cooking the cheese tortellini, following the directions on the package. 

While you are waiting on the tortellini, add the remaining ingredients above into a large mixing bowl. I like to use fresh parm and chop it finely, but the stuff in the can in fine too!

When the pasta is done cooking, strain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. 

Next add the pasta into the bowl and mix well. Let all ingredients sit, refrigerate, and get to know each other for a while before served at room temperature!

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Baked Pork Chops

This is a simple healthy recipe and it's perfect for a busy work week...
it's also very comforting on a cold rainy day!

You'll Need -

Boneless Pork Chops
Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper

Start by seasoning your pork chops. Sprinkle both sides with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Place them in a greased baking dish and top with the cream of chicken soup.


Bake at 350. Cook time will depend on how thick your chops are but it should be between 30 - 45 minutes. The internal temp will be 145 when they are done!

The chicken soup turns into a guilt free gravy that's wonderful on roasted potatoes or a baked potato. If you want to make this comforting dish even lighter, serve the pork with a side of peas or broccoli.

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Zokos City Harvest Potluck

This past weekend I participated in the Zokos City Harvest Potluck...

Zokos, a new online party planning site, teamed up with local food bloggers and beverage sponsors to throw a potluck benefit for New York's City Harvest...

City Harvest is an awesome organization here in NYC that's mission is to end hunger in communities throughout New York City. This year, City Harvest will collect more than 38 million pounds of excess food from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms. This food is then delivered free of charge to some 600 community food programs throughout New York City by a fleet of trucks and bikes. City Harvest helps feed the more than one million New Yorkers that face hunger each year. 

For a $20 donation guests enjoyed delicious treats from food bloggers...RendezfoodsJustcook NYC, My Big Fat MouthThe Gay Gourmet, Dorm Room Dinner , Chip Chip Hooray, The Feisty Foodie, and many others! Oh...and me...I made Dijon Tortellini!

The food offerings were washed down with liquid refreshments provided by Vinport, Brooklyn Brewery, and RedJacket Juice! 

There was even a vote for best dish, the winner receiving a set of Anolon Nouvelle Copper Skillets! 

Congratulations to....

Although I didn't take home the bragging rights, or the Anolon Cookware, I did get an awesome gift bag filled with goodies from Kerrygold Cheese, Sustainable Sourcing/HimalaSalt, Peanut Butter & Company, Roland Foods, Fairytale Brownies, Anolon Cookware, Red Jacket Juice, Tipping Point Partners, the GRACE Foundation, Built NY, and Earnest Eats...

Over 70 people were in attendance and we collectively raised more than a $1,000 dollars for City Harvest! It was an evening filled with great food and great people for a great cause...Thanks to Zokos and their sponsors for all of the fun! It was a pleasure cooking for you all! 

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Southwest Stuffed Peppers

You'll Need - 

1 package of ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
2 – 4 bell peppers
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1.5 cups of salsa
1 cup of frozen corn
1 tablespoon of cumin (can vary depending how smoky you want it)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
hot sauce (to taste)
salt & pepper (to taste)
light shredded cheese

Start by washing the peppers and then cutting off the top with the stem. Spoon out the insides and set them aside.


Next, brown the ground turkey in a sauté pan and season with garlic powder, cumin, pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Add in the beans, salsa and corn and warm through. 

Season with hot sauce and sprinkle with a little bit of cheese to bind everything together. 

Stuff each pepper full of the turkey mix and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. 

Top each pepper with cheese and pop back in the oven until cheese is melted.

I made two peppers packed FULL and still and had a lot of the filling left over. You could definitely  stretch it to 4 peppers! If you’re running a little short just add in a little extra corn and salsa! 

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Five Lamps Tavern

Five Lamps Tavern is a new addition to the upper west side and a good addition it is.
Not only do they have amazing burgers, they have a 75 seat beer garden in the back - yay!  

The first night we visited, it was packed but we managed to find seats at the bar (it was a little chilly for outdoor seating). We ordered a couple of beers and looked over the menu, which is pretty small but also understandable for a brand new restaurant. Hopefully they'll expand the menu as they mature. 

My husband ordered the classic burger...and loved it. The fries were awesome too! 

Brooklyn Blend, soft lettuce, tomato, red onion, house rémoulade.  
Served with IPA Fries

The first thing on the menu that caught my eye was the grilled salmon BLT...grilled salmon fillet, bacon, romaine, tomato, toasted fennel rémoulade, country bread, served with IPA fries. I must not have been alone, because by the time we put our order in they were sold out of the salmon. 

In a spur of the moment decision I went with the 5LT ended up being an excellent choice! 

12 oz cajun-crusted, house blend with 
slab bacon & Roquefort, lettuce, tomato, red onion. 
Served with IPA Fries

I LOVED this burger!  It's right up there with my all time favorites. 

Still in first place is Rocky's in San Diego... 

Rocky's Burger

The 5LT burger is definitely a stand out and one of the best burgers I've had in a long time! The bacon and roquefort are mixed into the patty and they add such an amazing difference to the burger. I like my burgers looks pretty pink in the picture but it was done perfectly and so juicy that the bottom bun didn't hold up to the challenge. 

Last weekend we went back to Five Lamps for brunch and everyone had the classic burger (unfortunately the 5LT isn't on the brunch menu, and they wouldn't make the We had a great time and the food was excellent, again. 

We'll certainly be back for many more enjoyable experiences at Five Lamps, and maybe next time I'll try something other than a burger! 

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