Monthly Archives: September 2014

Dessert - FOOD - "The Delicious"

All the delicious things at Bee’s Knees Baking Company new spot

September 12, 2014

Inside Bee's Knees

Bee’s Knees Baking Company, known for their delicious cake cups, just opened the doors to its new location in Kips Bay. The space is a sultry addition to the block and I’m predicting, a new favorite date spot for many. Which is why I asked my friend Mahvesh to join me and check it out before she moved back to Ohio (side note: comebackalreadyplease).

Inside Bee's Knees in Kips Bay


I was excited to check out their new expanded menu from their flagship store in the West Village. It’s still going to be a spot for dessert and drinks, but they’re expanding their menu to include light, savory bites. I quickly got comfortable in the cozy space — I felt it could easily transition from a communal dinner to a more intimate setting. When I got there, there was an older couple on a date, a group of friends gabbing away, and even a few people were even working on their laptops in different corners (free WiFi is so key in this city…it almost made me wish I was a student again. Wait, blogger. Duh.).

Decor


Founder Billy Mayer — easily one of THE nicest people I’ve ever met — was working behind the counter and gave us a sampling of their menu which was every bit as delicious as I’d hoped for, starting with their maple siracha spiced nuts.

Maple Siracha Spiced Nuts

We moved on to coffee made with Counter Culture coffee beans (amazing), black toasted coconut tea, and a gluten-free blueberry lemon muffin. The muffin was not overly sweet, super soft, and you could taste hints of both the blueberry and lemon:

Latte with Counter Culture coffee


Black toasted coconut tea -- must try


Gluten-free blueberry lemon muffin

We moved on to a cheese plate, which included two step goat cheese (soft, and crumbly like brie), sheepsmilk cheese from Vermont, Danish blue cheese, and a side of housemade olive oil, herb crackers, and spicy mustard. Later, Billy brought out a white bean and sundried tomato spread with focacia bread. The variety was on point for savory bites.

Cheese plate


Spread with bread

Just when we thought we couldn’t have any more, we are offered dessert. We get little cake balls, but not the usual kind — these are red velvet with toasted pecan, chocolate, and graham crackers.

Red velvet/pecan treats


We’re then treated to salted caramel brownies (perfect for chocolate lovers), chocolate cherry oat bar (which tastes like a luxe granola bar), and a peanut butter and jelly brownie bar (I’m not a big peanut butter consumer, but if you are, this one should be your pick). The extra chocolatey salted caramel took my heart.

Dessert bars

Billy threw in their famous cake cups in a to go box. Their espresso mousse with white chocolate is like eating delicious clouds made of coffee. If you’re a java lover and going to try one dessert, it’s this one!

espresso white chocolate dessert

Can’t wait to go back. I was wanting to find more coffee places with WiFi and a nice ambiance to get work done, and the opening of Bee’s Knees gives me one more option. Thanks so much to Billy for his hospitality!

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REPORT CARD
Meal: After work bites

Occasion: Last meal with my Mahvvvvy!
Price: $$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ***
Food: ***
Service: ***
Would I go back?: Yes!


Restaurant Info:
Bee’s Knees Baking Company

27 3rd Ave
between 25th and 26th street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 989-6400
Murray Hill

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Shy
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FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy

FiberChoice Get Picky Challenge Final post

September 8, 2014

Last post on fiber, I swear (although by now you’re probably all experts on the subject — if you’ve been reading!). So I’ve done 30 days of taking FiberChoice’s Chewable Calcium Tablets and as you can read here and here, it’s now a lifestyle change for me. This one specifically gives me 50% of my daily recommended calcium in each serving, and added vitamin D. Now it’s your turn :). I’m challenging you to take FiberChoice’s Consumer Challenge. Because you’ll not only get the fiber you need throughout the day, but you can win things too 😀

Click to enter!

Join today and each week in September, five winners will be selected at random to win high-value coupons. At the end of the month, one participant will win a $500 gift card! Good luck!! :)


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Dessert - Fashion - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Recipes

Magnum ice cream partners up with chef Andrew Carmellini & fashion designer Christian Siriano

September 6, 2014

Fashionable dessert? It’s a real thing that and MAGNUM just made happen. NYC-based James Beard-Award Winning Chef Andrew Carmellini and fashion designer Christian Siriano to create what they’re calling, “America’s Most Fashionable Chocolate Dessert.”

MAGNUM Double Caramel Cool Down

They used fashion trends (like color blocking and the Pantone Color of the Year) to come up with the little details of the dessert. And the best part is they made it super easy to make at home too. I caught up with Chef Andrew Carmellini to talk about how he came up with the recipe and what it was like working with Siriano:

Beauty and the Feast: How did you come up with this dessert recipe? What trends specifically were you inspired by?
Chef Andrew Carmellini:
Christian Siriano and I worked together to explore this summer’s top fashion and culinary trends to create a fashion-forward, indulgent dessert featuring a MAGNUM Double Caramel Ice Cream bar. We utilized the MAGNUM Ice Cream signature dark and milk chocolate drizzled in a lattice effect to mimic trending design textures such as modern embroidered lace and tribal textiles. The dessert also features the trending tropical fruits coconut, lime, bruleed champagne mango and pickled pineapple all artfully displayed to highlight this season’s color blocking trend. We were also inspired by the pantone color of the year – Radiant Orchid. So, we created edible flowers to showcase their glowing color and vibrant tone.

Christian Siriano and Chef Carmellini in the kitchen



BATF: What was it like coming up with the recipe with a fashion designer? Did Christian Siriano have a lot of input in how it turned out? If so, what exactly were they?
Chef Carmellini:
We collaborated really well together, from the initial brainstorming process, to the final product. His fashion expertise (demonstrated through his mood board) was particularly helpful and helped bring the dessert to life. Quality, seasonal ingredients are the foundation of my menus. I enjoy the creative process of creating an innovative dish and what better way than through a fashion/food partnership. It was a definite first for me; I’ve never crafted a dish using trends from the world of fashion.

Chef Andrew Carmellini and Christian Siriano



BATF: What surprised you the most about working with Siriano?
Chef Carmellini:
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to work with Christian. He was open to my ideas about incorporating flavor with fashion!

BATF: What has been the feedback so far on the dessert from people who have tried it that you’ve heard from directly?
Chef Carmellini:
They were very pleased and felt it was a true fashion-forward and indulgent experience. We also created a consumer-friendly version that people can make at home called the “MAGNUM Double Caramel Cool Down”. It’s something that everyone can create and feel like they are elevating the traditional MAGNUM ice cream dessert experience.

BATF: What’s the best way to prep this dessert ahead of time if you’re expecting guests?
Chef Carmellini:
If you are planning to serve the “MAGNUM Double Caramel Cool Down” at a dinner party, I recommend making the coconut sauce ahead of time. The sauce can be created up to two days in advance and can be kept in the refrigerator. Also, feel free to slice the pineapples and mangos the day-of to save time before serving to guests later in the evening. Also, I would dress the MAGNUM bar a couple hours before guests arrive with the white chocolate and keep in the freezer. Just remember to remove the bar about 5 minutes before so it tempers a bit.

BATF: What for you is the best part about coming up with new recipes like this one?
Chef Carmellini:
For me, the best part was that this was something different from any collaboration I had done before….and the leftovers tasted great.

Thank you MAGNUM and Chef Carmellini for the interview! Recipe below!


MAGNUM DOUBLE CARAMEL COOL DOWN

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Recipe created by award-winning Chef Andrew Carmellini
SERVES: 2
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
CHILL TIME: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS
:
2 MAGNUM® Double Caramel Ice Cream Bars
½ can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 teaspoon sugar
Grated peel and juice from 1 lime
1 ounce white chocolate
2 tablespoons toasted flaked coconut (unsweetened)
½ ripe mango
¼ ripe pineapple
¼ cup raspberries
Fresh basil leaves
MAGNUM Double Caramel Bar · Coconut Cream Lime Sauce · Fresh Fruit & Basil

DIRECTIONS
:
Coconut Sauce: Carefully open can of coconut milk and spoon about half of the thick coconut cream from the top into a bowl and set aside. Pour half of the remaining thin coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Combine the reduced coconut milk, coconut cream, lime juice and peel from ½ lime. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. (This sauce can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator up to 2 days.)

To Decorate MAGNUM Bars
: Unwrap MAGNUM® Double Caramel Ice Cream Bars and place on large parchment or waxed paper lined plate. Melt white chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl in microwave. Drizzle melted chocolate over ice cream bars, then sprinkle with coconut. Freeze until set, about 10 minutes.

Fruit Preparation & Dessert Assembly
: Peel the mango and cut the flesh from the pit. Cut into ¼-inch thick slices. Peel the pineapple and cut into similar slices as the mango.
To serve, spoon about ¼ cup of the coconut sauce onto the middle of each of 2 serving plates. Place a decorated ice cream in center of each plate. Arrange sliced mango, pineapple and raspberries around ice cream bars. Grate lime peel from ½ lime over the top of each plate and garnish each plate with a few basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information 1 serving:
Calories: 750, Calories from Fat: 440, Total Fat: 49g, Saturated Fat: 38g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 115mg, Total Carbs: 79g, Dietary Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 63g, Protein: 8g, Vitamin A: 25%, Vitamin C: 170%, Calcium: 20%, Iron: 30%


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FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy

FiberChoice Get Picky Challenge update 2!

September 4, 2014

So now it’s been about three weeks since I started the FiberChoice Get Picky Challenge. I don’t know if I’d call it so much a challenge since taking two chewable tablets of their Prebiotic Fiber Chewable Tablets plus Calcium + D a day easily became a habit I couldn’t end the day without. Taking the supplements starting making me more mindful of where I can find fiber in my foods. I started implementing chia seeds and flaxseeds in my smoothies, incorporating more kale and brussels sprouts in my breakfasts and dinners. I started to realize it’s a whole lifestyle change. I’ve been more aware of what I’m eating and gone back to the gym to not rely only on my nutrition to stay healthy.

FiberChoice Prebiotic Fiber plus Calcium + D

I’ve had no stomach issues and my metabolism has been more consistent than it has been in months…months. Also something I mentioned in my first post is something I found about the tablets are they actually taste good so taking them everyday was a treat. Plus I love that I’m getting the added calcium benefit to keep my bones strong and healthy. The only thing is I wish I started it sooner! I definitely think this is going to go beyond 30 days for me.

What sources of fiber do you take? Have you tried FiberChoice? Share your thoughts! I’m going to have one last post to wrap up the challenge and show how you can get involved and win some $$!


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