· December 5, 2013
,Things to do in NYC
After becoming so obsessed with Organic Avenue’s probiotic coconut yogurt, I decided I should try making it myself. Organic Avenue isn’t that close to my office or my apartment, so it was becoming increasingly inconvenient to make a trip to Organic Avenue to pick up the probiotic yogurt. I tried looking up some recipes online but most were for paleo dieters and used coconut manna instead of coconut meat. Coconut manna *is* coconut meat, but it also includes a lot of the coconut cream and is much thicker and has a very different consistency than the coconut yogurt from Organic Avenue. So, here’s my recipe that is very close to Organic Avenue’s:
- 1 container coconut meat, defrosted (Exotic Superfoods is the only brand that has the young coconut meat that you need to make this yogurt)
- 1/2 container raw coconut water (you don’t have to buy raw coconut water, but Harmless Harvest’s raw coconut water is so good that it’s kind of difficult not to buy this in bulk)
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (any kind of sugar is fine)
- 4 probiotic pills; the probiotic pills I bought were 14 billion good bacteria/pill
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder (this can be found online or in a health food store)
All you have to do is defrost the coconut meat and place into a blender:
Blend with the juices in the coconut meat container and also add 1/2 the container of raw coconut water. The consistency should be pretty smooth:
Next, add the probiotic pills (break the pills and just use the probiotic powder), sugar and the vanilla powder, blend until smooth and place into a glass bowl:
This mixture needs to become yogurt by letting the probiotics activate. You can do this in two ways: 1. place in the oven and turn the oven light on or 2. place in the warming drawer and turn the warmer onto medium. You want the drawer to be around 100 degrees so the probiotics can do their work; too cold and the probiotic won’t do anything, too hot and the probiotics will die. I tried doing one batch with my oven light but the thermometer I placed into the oven only read about 90 degrees, so I find working in the warming drawer works better.
After 8 hours (yes, you have to let it sit for 8 hours), the mixture will have a dried layer on top and the sides might look a little bubbly:
You’ll want to place this in the blender one more time (so you don’t have to discard the dried layer), and then it’s ready to be refrigerated and eaten!
My version of coconut yogurt is on the left and a new container of Organic Avenue’s coconut yogurt is on the right:
The yogurt I made tastes just like Organic Avenue’s; now I don’t have to trek all the way uptown to get my probiotic coconut yogurt snack! One container of coconut meat makes about 3.5 Organic Avenue containers of yogurt. The cheapest I’ve found the coconut meat is online, directly from Exotic Superfoods; it’s $9 for one pound (but you have to buy in bulk!)
· December 4, 2013
Earlier in November, my trainer, friend and overall superstar, Anna Kaiser, opened up her flagship AKTinMotion studio on the upper east side! Anna and I met last year when I was trying to lose weight for my wedding; we became fast friends and I not only lost 20 pounds while working out with her, I’ve also become friends with her and a great group of women. I always tell my friends and coworkers to take a class with me; some people even think I have equity in AKTinMotion because of how often I talk about the classes! The studio is gorgeous; it’s on the fourth floor on 84th street (between Second and Third) and has three workout rooms, a private massage and accupuncture room, and office, and there’s a seating area so you can come in a little early and read magazines, grab a coconut water, or just talk to the friendly receptionists and account coordinators. The main room is large, has great floors that don’t make your feet or knees hurt, and even has a disco ball!
The program is addictive; once I started going, I saw the results right away (I mean, 20 pounds off my frame is quite a change). I continue to go because it doesn’t feel like a workout but I’m still sweating a ton and challenging my body on a daily basis. I’d love for my readers to try the classes sometime – if you do, please let me know when you’re going to class because I will most likely be in the class!
· December 3, 2013
Occasionally, I get super hungry around the mid-afternoon – usually around 4pm. Most days, I’ll get a piece of dark chocolate or some almonds, but I had a doctor’s appointment the other day and I was walking back to my office but passed by an Organic Avenue. I love the smell of wheatgrass and freshly pressed juice and stopped in for a quick snack, the probiotic coconut yogurt:
This small container of yogurt cost me $6. SIX DOLLARS! I asked if the yogurt was really worth the hefty price tag and everyone in the store said it’s their favorite product. I got back to my office and tried it – it was definitely worth the $6; it’s tangy and tart but doesn’t have any milk in it; it’s just coconut meat, coconut water, probiotics, coconut sugar, and vanilla:
It’s creamy and tangy and tastes just like yogurt! I definitely recommend trying it – tell me what you think!
A few weeks ago, Ken and I had dinner together with a group of wonderful people in the food and beverage world. We were celebrating Ceretto Wines of Piedmont and Alba truffles and Circo was the restaurant kind enough to host the event. I’ve never been to Circo, but a few years ago, I was lucky enough to have dinner at Le Cirque (Circo is also owned by Sirio Maccioni and family). The restaurant is so popular that they opened an outpost in Las Vegas at the Bellagio hotel! The restaurant is very whimsical and has a fun decor:
We started the meal with passed canapes and Ceretto, Lange DOC Arneis “Blange”, a 2012 wine:
The bacala, a lightly fried codfish, was delicate and paired with a tomato chutney:
For our first course, we had Quaglia in pasta sfoglia, fegato d’Anatra, Cipolla Carammellata, insalatina al Tartufo:
The quail, foie gras, caramelized onion frisee salad and Perigourdine sauce was paired with a Ceretto wine; Barbaresco DOCG “Asij”, a 2009 wine that brought out the beautiful creaminess of the foie gras and was very crisp.
For our pasta course, we had the housemade procini mushroom tortelli, butternut squash, chestnut and white truffle:
My favorite course from the event; the tortelli was handmade in the kitchen by the very talented chef, Chef Alfio Longo, and was blessed with lots of truffles:
The white truffles was shipped directly from Italy THAT MORNING and the purveyor was actually at the restaurant – here he is showing us the fragrant white truffles:
The truffles that Circo uses are picked by beagles instead of pigs because the dogs don’t eat the truffles the way the pigs do. The purveyor was telling us how cutthroat it is in the truffle business; some people even poison the beagles to put companies out of business.
One of my favorite indulgences – the bread basket:
My favorite was the long breadstick that was homemade and had a rosemary flavor. We dipped it in olive oil that was very fragrant!
For our main course, we had the braised Wagyu beef cheek, shaved white truffle, mashed potato, Tuscan kale, and smoked ham:
All of the Ceretto wines were delicious – here’s all of the bottles from our dinner:
For the pasta course, we had the Ceretto Bricco Asili, Barbaresco DOCG “Bernardot” 2008 and for the beef cheek course, we had the Ceretto Bricco Rocche, Barolo DOCG “Brunate” 2007. The “Bernardot” was the female version of the wine and the “Brunate” was the male version; much more full-bodied and a response to the female version that we had with the lighter dish.
For dessert, we were all incredibly stuffed but I found a little space for their dessert, a chocolate sphere with hazelnut cream, vanilla and mixed berries:
More chocolate to open the sphere:
Hazelnut cream inside:
After dinner, we had the house made biscotti and petit fours:
The meal at Circo was entertaining, delicious, and a wonderful way to start the holiday season. The restaurant is very close to our offices and the food was so good that Ken wants to return for a work lunch soon!
· November 18, 2013
Under: My Life
This year, our annual Friendsgiving party was a little earlier than usual; the first weekend in November was the only weekend we had free! We decided to throw a big party this year at David’s school instead of having a smaller party at our apartment and ended up inviting about 30 people to the dinner. Charlotte, David’s office manager, and I put on the dinner with lots of help from my friend Stephane (he was a lifesaver and let us cook turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and a turducken at his place), my cousin and his girlfriend, who picked up a ton of food in New Jersey, and Dig Inn, who delivered the additional food that we had catered. Ken also helped by buying a ping pong table and delivered it to David’s for the party (it was a huge success!). He also went to every store in the New York area looking for Christmas lights (he found them at the Target in Harlem in case you’re looking for similar Christmas lights). Some photos:
Charlotte and I made one long table instead of separating it into multiple smaller tables. She brought leaves from the park for color, we had lots of candles surrounding the leaves (in glass containers so nothing was going to light on fire), cinnamon-scented pine cones, and small gourds and pumpkins. Another shot:
Since we had so much food, we did a big buffet and even had everything heated with small ethanol containers – this was super helpful and kept the food warm the entire time! I’ll definitely buy them again (at Party City) for our next Stacksgiving party:
Charlotte even made really cute plates (you can kind of see it in this photo):
After our big dinner, we played ping pong, Apples to Apples, and ate lots of dessert that Stephane made (he made a chocolate mousse that I didn’t want to share with anyone!) This year’s Friendsgiving was definitely the biggest we’ve ever done – I don’t know how we’re going to top it next year!
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