Sojourn: A Sweet New Restaurant

While I was in New York City this weekend my boyfriend and I couldn’t resist trying out a few new restaurants. We were staying at a friend’s place on 79th st between Park Ave and Lexington Ave. When we woke up after a long night of concerts, we didn’t want to go far for breakfast, but we needed something hearty and delicious. We found that at Sojourn- a new American restaurant with “globally influenced dishes.” The restaurant is located at 244 E79th street.

The Hangover Cure

The Hangover Cure

Their brunch menu was fantastic and pretty unique, which can be hard to find when it comes to breakfast foods. My boyfriend ordered the “Hangover Cure” which consisted of chorizo hash, spinach, three eggs over easy, and hollandaise tomatillo jalapeno sauce. According to him it was, “f*#@%&# phenomenal.”

I ordered the “Creamy Truffle Polenta” and oh my god. It’s exactly what it sounds like, but with a sunny side up egg on top. I took one bite and practically melted. I love truffle and I love polenta, so I knew it would be to my liking, but this was something else. It was so pleasing to my taste buds. The only downside was that it was really rich, so I had to order some bread to neutralize it a bit.

Creamy Truffle Polenta

Creamy Truffle Polenta

The interior of the restaurant was sophisticated, but cozy. They have a nice wooden bar at the entrance and the rest of the restaurant had dark wood and red tones. It sounds pretty dull, but it was actually really pleasant. Their drink menu looked awesome too, but we didn’t try any so I can’t comment on that.

Overall, Sojourn is a great addition to the New York City restaurant scene and is located in a great neighborhood. I’m sure they’ll see some pretty loyal customers over the years. Fantastic food!

Check out there website: CLICK HERE

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A Sweet, Quick, Complete Breakfast

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image from hackthelife.net

We’ve all heard again and again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gets your metabolism going, gives you energy to start the day, helps keep you awake, etc. We all know the facts, but none of that changes that when it comes to the mornings all you want to do is keep sleeping. Very few of us wake up early enough to pull together a complete breakfast.

Well, I found 25 great breakfast ideas that are quick and easy. Here are my top 5 favorites:

  1. 60 Second Chocolate Chip Muffin in the Microwave (CLICK HERE)
  2. Make Crispy Hashbrowns in a waffle maker! Literally just put the shredded potatoes in the waffle maker.
  3. Apple Rings Dipped in Pancake Batter (CLICK HERE)
  4. 2 Minute Scrambled Eggs in the Microwave (CLICK HERE)
  5. Make French Toast in a crock pot (CLICK HERE)

The rest of the list is available HERE

Not all the recipes are exactly healthy, but a slightly not-so-healthy breakfast is still better than no breakfast. Some of the suggestions are so clever (like keeping prepared pancake batter in a ketchup bottle). Also keeping frozen fruits already portioned and bagged in your freezer can help you make a 30 second smoothie in the morning. Everyone loves smoothies! Believe me, I make them at work…I make A LOT of them at work.

So be healthy and eat your breakfast!

A Sweet Baking Success

So usually when I bake I like to make the sweetest, sometimes chocolate-iest, sugariest creation I can come up with. However, as we all know, that unfortunately leads to less than satisfying health conditions. I’ve been telling myself over and over again to make muffins, but they just seem so boring to me compared to my caramel-filled-white-chocolate-brownie-cake (yes, that’s a real thing and it’s addicting and sickeningly delicious).

 

I was going to my boyfriend’s sister’s family graduation party last week. I wanted to bring a nice treat for everyone, but his family stays on the healthier side usually. Finally, I had real incentive to make muffins. I wasn’t going to bring just any ordinary batch of muffins though. I decided to go with white-chocolate-raspberry-muffins. And boy did I make the

My White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins

My White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins

right decision.

 

The are surprisingly healthier than you would think. Less sugary than blueberry muffins I’ve made in the past (when you exclude the fact that there are chunks [yes I said chunks] of white chocolate in them). I’m happy to say that these muffins were devoured at the party even after the mass of food served by everyone else was finished. Their family is Italian, so as you can imagine, there was a lot of incredible food served that night. I’m so glad my muffins were a part of it.

 

Healthy baking is possible when we want it to be. I got the recipe from the Golden Book of Baking. Yeah, that’s the actual name of the recipe book haha. So have fun with your baking and even when making the less-fun healthy stuff, it can still be incredibly delicious! 

 

 

I love that recipe book. To get it for yourself: CLICK HERE

Also, for the recipe for the insane brownie cake I mentioned earlier: CLICK HERE

***It’s actually a brownie recipe, but I did it in a cake pan to make it a cake 🙂 Either way, it’s delicious.

The Sweetest Restaurant Yet

Upstairs On The Square Menu

Upstairs On The Square Menu

Last night my boyfriend took me to Upstairs On The Square. It’s a fascinating restaurant in Harvard Square (in Cambridge, MA). All I can say is…phenomenal. We scraped our plates clean and didn’t leave a single drop of sauce. Our waitress showed our plates to the chef. Really, she did.

The theme of the restaurant is “party in a box”. The windows in the room we ate in were round, the walls were pink plaid, the booths were crazy shapes. The floors were cheetah print carpet and the stairs were pink and purple. It was Alice in Wonderland-esque. But then, there was the food.

 

My Honey Ravioli

My Honey Ravioli

I ordered Honey Ravioli as my entrée and my boyfriend ordered the steak. Both were out of this world. Honey ravioli is something I would never think to order, but I’m so glad I did. A deliciously sweet dish that was just one giant ravioli! I’m craving it as I type this.

 

We ended the meal with their ice cream– vanilla, malted chocolate, and dulce de leche. Also, amazingly delicious. The servers were so kind, the food was SWEEEEET, and the atmosphere was so different. All in all the entire experience was perfect. I highly recommend checking this place out if you are ever in Boston.

 

Check out their website: CLICK HERE

 

We were in the upstairs Soiree Dining Room, but for a less expensive, more relaxed atmosphere, they have a downstairs area called the Monday Club Bar. The menu is different, but I’m sure just as incredible.

Sweet Starbucks Secrets

White Mocha Frappuccino

White Mocha Frappuccino

I’m completely addicted to Starbucks. I know it costs a little too much and I know how to make many of the drinks from my job, but there’s something about holding a lovely Starbucks cup that just makes it worth it. However, after going almost every day (sometimes twice) I get tired of my same old drinks.

 

Starbucks claims to have over 80,000 different drink combinations…I want to try them all, but what are they? When you look up at the menu there are only maybe 30 options that you can change up, but this Starbucks addict wants a bit more. WELL, there is a secret menu filled with other drinks just waiting to be ordered!!

 

I first heard about this when my friend ordered a “Zebra Hot Chocolate” which has white and dark chocolate. I asked her how she could order that and she explained. I forgot about it for a while until I found some of the secret drink options online and now I’m going to share some of them with you! (I’m a chocolate lover, so many of these will be the deliciously chocolatey options)

 

  • Chocolate Cream Frappuccino
  • Red Eye (espresso in regular drip coffee)
  • Biscotti Frappuccino
  • Chocolate Dalmation (white chocolate mocha with java chips and chocolate chip)
  • Zebra Mocha (similar to the zebra hot chocolate, but mocha)
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frappuccino
  • Raspberry Caramel Macchiato
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Mocha Coconut Frappuccino

 

There are a whole bunch of other Starbucks secrets (including secret sizes, secret ways for cheaper drinks, etc.) Also keep in mind, Starbucks caters to whatever customers want. You can customize your drinks as much as you want, so never limit your orders to just what’s on the menu (like I’ve been doing). Writing this blog has given me so many new drink ideas!

 

To see more secret menu recipes: CLICK HERE

For ideas on how to custom create great frappuccinos: CLICK HERE

***I’m sure there are some Starbucks stores and baristas who won’t always know what you’re talking about when you order a secret drink…but don’t feel stupid, these things are real.

(images from frappuccino.com)

Eating Sweet Food the Right Way

image from ehow.com

image from ehow.com

Why is it that the foods we love most are always the foods that we should be avoiding? We all know how many chemicals are poured into our favorite snacks, but we can’t help ourselves. Well, we don’t have to completely cut these foods from our diets. We can just make our own! Sure it takes up more time, but it’s your health, so it’s worth the extra effort. I found some pretty easy recipes to healthily replicate your favorite junk foods. As long as you use

all natural ingredients, these recipes will help clean up your diet a bit. Let’s admit it, we could all use some healthy snacks…summer is just around the corner!

For a healthier version of everyone’s favorite snack that smiles back try this recipe. In fact you can replace all those highly addictive cheesy cracker snacks with this healthier, more natural recipe.

Gold Fish: click here

A great way to curb dessert cravings is with a deliciously fruity Fig Newton. Make them yourself with this recipe:

Fig Newtons: click here

I’ve never met a person who doesn’t just love Oreos. I don’t think we really want to know what that amazing cream filling is actually made of though. Avoid finding out the ugly truth and make your own!

Oreos: click here

While Poptarts will never be a healthy breakfast, they are certainly a tasty way to start your day. Make your own and avoid all those nasty preservatives with this recipe:

Poptarts: click here

A Sweet Idea for Portion Control

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Coffee Cup Chilaquiles

I don’t know about everyone else, but on the rare occasion that I cook I tend to end up eating too much. The same goes for when I bake…I make 2 dozen cookies and then end up eating them all. Well, I’ve been telling myself my summer diet would start March 1st and well I’m having a tough time so far. I’m eating healthy foods, but I’m eating too much of them.

I discovered a whole list of microwave in a mug snacks. Creating just a mug full of food is a great way to make sure you don’t eat too much! Instead of trying to size down massive recipes and then ultimately messing up the measurements, try these recipes! I’m definitely doing the quiche first.

To see the list of recipes: CLICK HERE

Sweet Cookies for a Rainy Day

I’m home in Connecticut for spring break. None of my friends are home this week, I’m a little bored, and today it just rained and rained and rained. So what better cure for a rainy day than some delicious…and I mean delicious….baking.

At the request of one of my roommates I’ve been meaning to make chocolate chip cookies with Reese’s cups baked in the center. Normally I would have made the cookie dough from scratch, but my mom recently bought a tub of Tollhouse reeses chocolate chip cookies. JPEGchocolate chip cookie dough, so I figured I’d use that. It was a super easy, super quick, super AMAZING bake.

All you have to do is flatten cookie dough in your hand and place a Reese’s cup in the center of the flattened dough. Then wrap the dough around it and form a ball. Just a suggestion though: use less chocolate chips than you usually would for a regular batch of cookies. The chocolate from the Reese’s cup combined with all the chocolate chips can be a little too sweet (if that’s possible).

A great rainy day treat that is easy, fun, and different!

Try it with Oreos as well! Experiment!

Mix Up Sweet Simple Recipes

Baking a nice simple batch of anything is always satisfying. It’s quick and delicious. However, you should have fun with simple recipes. Mix it up! You can make something so simple into something so delicious with just a couple extra steps.

Shortbread is always super easy. It’s just 3 ingredients and doesn’t take very much effort. So, with that extra time you now have…do something fun with it!

I coated my shortbread with chocolate. Some milk chocolate and some dark. Then, I drizzled white chocolate onto them before the first layer of chocolate hardened. It made them so look pretty and as simple as the recipe was…this was no simple flavor.  I sent this batch to my grandma and grandpa (so wholesome) as a little birthday gift. They love their shortbread and they said, “That was by far the best shortbread I have ever tasted.” So, I think it worked 🙂

I used Lindt chocolate bars for the chocolate. I find that they melt really well and obviously Lindt is amazing (any chocolate lover knows this).

If you need a great shortbread recipe this one has had some good reviews: CLICK HERE

Enjoy!

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My chocolate coated shortbread!

The Cookie Recipe Nobody Can Resist

When you want to make a simply wonderful batch of chocolate chip cookies I’m gonna go ahead and assume you buy a bag of Tollhouse chocolate chips and follow their recipe on the back of the bag. Now, I’m not saying that’s bad. I love Tollhouse. Their baking recipe book is practically my bible. However, I’m gonna go ahead and say: it’s time to mix it up.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips. Just do it. There is a recipe for Reese’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies on the back of the bag. I have never seen anyone eat less than 3 at once. Seriously.

My personal spin on the recipe is to add just a little bit of vegetable oil to make the batter nice and moist. Then again, I’m one of those people who eats half the batter before it makes it into the oven. But, still I think it helps give the cookies the perfect texture.

Happy baking! RECIPE HERE

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My reese’s chewy chocolate cookies from last week.