Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of the Year Eats! December 31st

It's so hard to believe that 2009 is almost over! And more incredibly, that it will be TEN years since the year 2000! (Am I the only one starting to feel REALLY old?!) I am not going to front... I am VERY depressed this New Year's Eve for a variety of reasons. I was going to do a nice "year in review" post, but I'm going to take the easy route and just tell you all to take a look in my blog archive! lol There are SO many cute pictures of Peanut as a baby there. Speaking of which... THIS is THE BEST thing to happen to me in 2009!

Born ~ March 13th 2009
Adopted ~ April 29th 2009

And here are some of my eats from the past few days...

Yesterday at the Westside Market I got this bowtie pasta dish... with mushrooms, peas, and parmesan cheese. It was very good!

Also from the Westside Market, I got a piece of chocolate hazelnut cake... yummy!!

I found these gems at the Whole Foods Market the other day... I was going to save them for New Year's Eve h'orderves, but instead I ended up eating them during the week! These delicious mini quiches come in 3 flavors... spinach, mushroom, and cheese!

This morning I woke up to this...

More snow! It wasn't a big storm by any means, but Peanut really enjoyed watching the flakes come down. :)

For breakfast I finished the last of the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies my Grandma made for me! These are actually very good for breakfast because they're mainly just oatmeal with a few pieces of chocolate thrown in! They are my FAVORITE.

And tonight for dinner Mom and I ordered a pizza from Famous Ray's Pizza in Greenwich Village. They have locations all over the city, but this is the closest one to us. Plus I tried their pizza for the first time the other day and it was excellent!

Tonight I'll be staying home and watching the ball drop on television. Personally I think you'd have to be some sort of nut to go to Times Square, but I guess it's just not my thing! I'm praying that 2010 is a better year for me and of course, all of you!!! I'm not going to bother making any resolutions, as nobody actually sticks to them anyway. All I'll say is that I try each and every day, and when I compare my life to a couple of years ago, that in itself is an accomplishment, as I'm far better off than I used to be!

Tomorrow I've got the big blog lunch in Soho at Spring Street Natural, so please check back for that! I hope that I'll be able to stagger to the lunch by noon, as I'm not planning on getting much sleep tonight with our noisy neighbors (and yes, I plan on drowning my sorrows too-- don't judge me! lol).

And one last note... if you've noticed with my last few posts, I've been responding to your questions/comments in the posts, so please check back after you post a comment, because I do read each and every one, and I like to hear what my readers have to say!!

Finally, from Peanut & I...

Happy New Year and God Bless!! :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

After Christmas fun... December 28th

I've been so down about everything lately... not feeling well, the up-coming move, the boyfriend drama, etc. So I decided to treat myself... Today I was uptown for a salon appointment anyway, so for lunch I went to check out a restaurant I've heard a lot about. It's called TAO (on East 58th St. & Park Ave.), and it's supposed to be the most popular asian restaurant in Manhattan (not to mention, one of the most expensive!). The atmosphere is what you are paying for, not to mention the fancy food presentation! But I must say, I was impressed!

The restaurant is VERY dark, so it's not particularly picture friendly. However, this is the main attraction of the restaurant... big buddha! (Look close and you'll see it... hopefully!)

I started with the bamboo steamed vegetable dumplings... These were good, although I've had better (YES, at Wild Ginger, lol). And they are overpriced for what you get.

Then I got their imperial vegetable egg roll. Now I know $10 seems outrageous for an egg roll, but this was a HUGE portion. Literally 2 or 3 times the amount of egg roll that you get at other restaurants, so it was actually more of a main course. Plus it was really delicious, so I can definitely justify the high price tag! (I also really liked the duck sauce that came with it. I didn't even touch the spicy mustard sauce on the other side, because I didn't even need or want to!)

But the real star of this show are their desserts... particularly their GIANT fortune cookie. And GIANT is the operative word because this thing is huge. They stuff it with white and dark chocolate mousse and serve it with berries. I have one word to describe this masterpiece... incredible!

Is this restaurant overpriced? Yes. But the food is good and it's a fun experience. Apparently a big scene between Big and Carrie from Sex and the City was filmed here, and I can see why! ;)

After lunch I had an appointment at the hair salon. I've been going to the Roy Teeluck salon for quite a while now. They do a fabulous job and I have been to some of the best salons in the city... but they always give you freebies (like today I got a free conditioning treatment!), and the colorists, stylists, etc. are wonderful! Here are some pictures I took of myself on the cab ride home! (Again the lighting is not great, sorry!)

I also got one last photo of the tree when I passed by it in the cab!

When I got home Peanut was just waking up from his nap...

And later on my Aunt and Uncle stopped by to drop off some Christmas goodies from Upstate (since we couldn't make it this year). Grandma really knows how to bake!

This week I'm going to busy with apartment hunting, and this Friday I'm attending a blog lunch in Soho, so definitely check back for that! That's all for now, my lovelies!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! December 25th

Merry Christmas everybody! This year Mom and I are staying home. We usually go Upstate and stay with my Grandparents, but this year we felt like it was too much with the up-coming move (plus we have no one to watch little Peanut and I didn't want to leave him for his first Christmas!). As you know, I also got sick this year too. Last night I really didn't feel well and slept poorly... I had a headache, fever, body aches... But this morning I'm much better, so that's the good news. And I still don't know what is even wrong with me either, considering doctors never tell you nowadays! Anyways, I felt ok during the day yesterday at least... Here are some pics from Christmas Eve...

Mom's rum cake. This is a family tradition, as my Grandma always makes this for Christmas too.

Some appetizers... these Pillsbury "Savorings" are great. I get the vegetarian ones (cheese & spinach).

Christmas Eve dinner was shrimp marinara. While I'm not wild about any form of meat, shrimp is about the only thing I tolerate. Still, my Mom makes the BEST marinara sauce!

Santa came early for Peanut! I gave him one of his toys yesterday, and one today. They are these Petstages Cat Nip Infused Ring Toys (and I - I mean, *Santa* got them at Petco. lol).

Peanut with one on Christmas Eve day...

And on Christmas morning...

Peanut had a nice first Christmas (as he was conceived over the holidays last year, when his mother, Pearl, was accidentally let out by the landlord!), and he seems to love his new toys!

For dinner tonight, Mom made stuffed artichokes. (Plus I'll be having more rum cake later! :)

I think a quiet Christmas at home is what we needed, although it is a bit dull and uneventful. I watched my two favorite Christmas movies last night though-- White Christmas and The Muppet Christmas Carol!

So how are you all spending Christmas this year?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A tour of Italy... December 23rd

Well, not really, but let me explain! I am not on death's door by any means, but I am not feeling well, so I figured that I should break down and go to the doctor. However, finding a doctor that accepts my health insurance is about as easy as finding a needle in a haystack. But lo and behold, I managed to do it after spending a long time on the phone yesterday. And the doctor's location was all the way downtown between Little Italy and Chinatown. I am familiar with the area however because Wild Ginger is just a block or so away. So the upshot is I'm okay, and will just be taking antibiotics for a few days. But I decided to make the most of my crappy day by going downtown early and having lunch in Little Italy! This Italian girl was right at home. :) And I noticed that Little Italy was one of the only areas of Manhattan this year that got decked out for Christmas. I decided to go to Florio's (on Grand St. b/w Mott & Mulberry), because they had two of my favorite things on their menu-- mozzarella sticks and pasta with vodka sauce! :)

I was thrilled to see actual Italian bread on the table. The good kind. I just had one piece though, to save room!

Then I had 3 out of the 4 mozzarella sticks. These were very good, but I've had better.

For my main course I had rigatoni alla vodka. This was good, but I was already pretty full, so I couldn't eat that much of it.

Florio's was a good restaurant, the service was excellent, and they even gave me a free refill on my coke. They knew how to take care of an Italian girl... the owner was a little too touchy feely with me though! lol They also had the most beautiful Christmas decorations... the picture doesn't do it justice!! (This was just from where I was sitting, but the whole restaurant and basically all of Little Italy was covered in lights!)

There's a product that I've been wanting to do a review of for a while... It's Cascadian Farm's chocolate chip granola bars. These are THE BEST granola bars I've ever had. They're hardly a health food, but not bad for you either... all organic ingredients. They are just so delicious... I love the fiber dark chocolate almond ones too, so look out for those as well! Ok, not much of a review, but I don't know what else to say about them except to try them! :)

And there's always room for Peanuts! :) His winter coat has grown in... notice how he's fluffier?

More to come in the next few days with Christmas and all. Mom is making rum cake, so look out! lol

Monday, December 21, 2009

A visit to Brooklyn... December 21st

Despite waking up feeling "under the weather," and the cold and the snow, I went to Brooklyn today as planned. I was eager to try Brooklyn's Wild Ginger (my favorite veggie restaurant), because I love the one in Manhattan so much. And to make matters more confusing, apparently there are 2 Wild Ginger's in Brooklyn. One is on Smith St. in the Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill area (this is the one I went to today). The other one is in Williamsburg on Bedford Ave. (just for reference). They had all the same culinary delights at the original one that I go to on Broome St. in Soho. Here are the photos...

Spring rolls... delicious as always! Same amazing sauce!

Steamed veggie dumplings... great, but the sauce may have been *slightly* different. Still good though! (Wild Ginger's sauces are incredibly unique... not your run-of-the-mill duck or soy sauces!)

And finally, the star of the show, pineapple fried rice! It was just as how I'd remembered, although they may have put some sort of red pepper or another red thing in it... Still, this is amazing fried rice, and I hesitate to even use the word "fried" because it is the least greasy fried rice I've ever come across. In fact, the rice almost looked steamed... don't ask me how they do it!

Ok, this Wild Ginger had the same great food, but one thing that shocked me is that the pineapple fried rice was actually MORE expensive! Go figure! This restaurant was much bigger than the one in Manhattan, but the service was not as good, despite me being the only person in the restaurant. The only thing I still can't decide is whether or not Wild Ginger is my favorite still, or if Qi Asian Eatery has taken it's place! I took my friend here last week, the one I was telling you about that came in from Boston (see here), and she was BLOWN AWAY by this place. :)

After lunch I viewed an apartment. It was beautiful, a bit too expensive, and despite it being in a nice area, it seemed so out of the way from everything. Maybe it's because I don't feel well, maybe it's because I hate all the horrible antics on the subway, or maybe it's something else, but after today I don't know if Brooklyn is for me... My Mom doesn't really want to move out of the city either, being that her job is so close by, so right now we may end up staying in Manhattan, but live in the Gramercy area instead (we used to live in this area, although it was closer to Murray Hill). So that's where I'm going to be apartment hunting towards the end of the month.

I really feel like I'm coming down with something, as my throat hurts and my body aches... just in time for Christmas! :( But we are staying home this year anyway, so it doesn't really matter I suppose. It's just been so miserably and unusually cold here, that I think it's finally starting to catch up with me! I still have so much to do it isn't even funny, so sick or not, I must press on. I only wish sometimes that I could trade places with little Peanut. The busiest thing on his schedule is chasing his tail on the toilet! lol

That's all for today my lovelies!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

White Christmas?! December 20th

As you're all probably well aware by now, NYC (and most of the north east) got hit with a HUGE blizzard yesterday into this morning. We have about a foot of snow where we are now and unfortunately it's incredibly cold out, so it's not going anywhere (I think it'll still be "white" for Christmas too)! Yesterday before the blizzard hit, I went to Quantum Leap for brunch. I felt like taking a long walk before the storm hit, because I knew I'd be snowed in today! Just as I was sitting there in the restaurant, waiting for my food, the first few snowflakes fell. By the time I was walking home, the snow had really picked up! Anyways, here's what I had at the restaurant, along with some of my other daily eats...

I got one of their specials... multi-grain waffles (that I topped with butter & syrup :), scrambled eggs, and 3 soy links. I also got a glass of OJ to go with it.

Later on I had the my other half of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake from The Olive Garden the following night. (That's raspberry sauce on the side!)

Last night's dinner... Morningstar Farms chik'n strips (these were terrific btw!) with mac & cheese and peas! (Sorry I forgot to take the pic until I had already eaten some! lol)

This morning I woke up early, so I decided to make breakfast... good old Pillsbury cinnamon buns! Yum! :)

And here was the view out my window this morning...

Peanut has been busy with the usual... chasing his tail on top of the toilet seat! I swear, he uses the bathroom as his own personal playground! lol

Notice in the first pic that he's squinting... he was playing in the dark last night, and I turned the light on and caught him. haha

Tomorrow I'm going to Brooklyn to check out an apartment... I'm also going to be stopping by Brooklyn's Wild Ginger for lunch! It's supposedly the same Wild Ginger that's in Manhattan (you can see my many reviews of this place here!), so we'll see how it goes! Check back tomorrow for another update. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up (December 13th)

I had a busy weekend... one of my best friends came in from Boston for a photo shoot. She had asked me weeks in advance to do her makeup, and of course I was happy to do it. I hadn't seen her in SO long (we used to see each other a lot more when we had modeling stuff to do in NYC together). So I got up very early Saturday morning and she came to my apartment bright and early. She loved the job I did, and apparently so did the photographer, so I may be getting more work after all. :) I walked her to the correct subway station afterwards, and on my way home (in the FREEZING cold, might I add), I stopped into a Dunkin' Doughnuts and got my favorite... a chocolate covered doughnut with sprinkles (sorry, no pic, it was early and I was tired and hungry!). Then later on I had a healthy brunch at one of my favorite spots, Sacred Chow (on Sullivan St. in Greenwich Village). Here's what I had...

Banana bread french toast with blueberry sauce! I also got their hot chocolate "to go." Everything they make is vegan, and their hot chocolate has the most unique taste... almost like it's base is coconut milk... I don't know their secret, but it's great!

Sacred Chow is the first vegetarian restaurant I ever fell in love with (you can see more about it here, along with baby pictures of Peanut!). And I swear, the "word of mouth" I have given this place over the years must've caught on. lol The place was PACKED by around 2 in the afternoon on Saturday! I was lucky that I got one of the small tables that I did, because there were people literally waiting in line to get a table. It's a very small restaurant, and back when I started going in 2007, it was empty most of the time. I guess vegan restaurants are starting to catch on! Their food really is amazing!!

Later on Mom and I got pizza for dinner... from Pomodoro's. We both preferred their regular pizza to their vodka pizza that we tried last time.

Peanut, who turns 9 months old today(!!) still loves to wave his arms around his head (aka "the duddy")... this is something we thought he may outgrow, but as you can see, he hasn't (thank goodness! ;). Look at how lovely he poses!

And he's been spending a lot of time cuddling in warm laundry lately (and who could blame him with this weather?!).

As for me, I mostly spent the day indoors, as it was POURING rain all day. It was SO nice to sleep in, because yesterday I not only had to get up early to do my friend's makeup, but we got next to NO sleep with our upstairs neighbor's shenanigans... which brings me to my next point, we're trying to find a HOUSE to rent in either Brooklyn or Queens, but hopefully Brooklyn. Over the past 3 years apartment living is really starting to wear on us! :( So I've been spending my time looking for places to live... these next few weeks, and especially next month is going to be crazy, but I'm looking forward to moving out of here!! Take my words of wisdom... NYC is a WONDERFUL place to live, but it's a HORRIBLE place to sleep! The end!