Summer Loving - Had me a blast !

Feeling HOT

I am aware that my blog sometimes falls behind, but then I realize it's because I am trying to pack so many things into my day, and have traveled like a maniac. My most recent destinations included London, Bahamas and then back to NYC.

Despite my whirlwind schedule, there are three things that never change – my friends get cuter, my family gets more loving and I continue to be surprised and excited by food and all the great things that come along with sharing a meal with someone I love.

New York

Let’s start with new and exciting things in New York City! This weekend I nearly had a coffee orgasm (if those exist). You know in the movies when you see a housewife on top of a washing machine... Well somewhere along those lines, but in this case I had a cup of coffee in my hand. I documented evidence above - . Their purpose "We want great coffee to be revered, yet democratic, approachable and accessible. By illuminating what is possible with coffee, we hope to change forever how you think about it. And that would be something." I can honestly say it was the best coffee I have drunk in a long time. Check out Intelligentsia Café at the Highline Hotel !

I have a confession to make – before Sandy happened (for those not in NYC, Sandy is the hurricane that removed me from my apartment for nearly a month) I really didn’t explore South Street Sea Port as I ignorantly assumed it was a tourist trap. Months later, it’s now one of my new favorite places to hang out. Firstly I nearly had a heart attack because it’s not just in Williamsburg, it’s live and loud in Manhattan. Endless stalls of great food and adult beverages. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The other new place for brunch is called Tiny's - they have to be the sweetest little family and do a mean Kale Salad. Check out Fika also for great coffee on stone street, and amazing chocolate !

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Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE black, so this summer I have tried to add some color to my wardrobe. This was spurred by an insane bet at work I have going which I have named GYM CHALLENGE. I am lucky as my close friends have coached me, and I have not been letting my evil knee recovery get in the way. I have to train every day and  the winner with the biggest % weight lost is the winner. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so competitive but the truth of the matter is I am :) and honestly doing a food journal really has opened my eyes to the types of things I eat and what my body loves and doesn't love. The coaches recommend only protein and greens in the morning as they believe that is what sets your metabolism until noon. So yes that’s right.... I am eating chicken salad, omelet (NO CHEESE or anything other than greens) and nuts, strange but I love it. Noon-3pm - Go wild if you want to eat carbs, rice etc and at night-time it’s fish/salad etc. Not rocket science but it’s a habit changing challenge. Try a food journal for a week, it will really shock and surprise you!

 Regarding adding color my new Newton running shoes and Bike helmet were a good step in the right direction. A great site to get cool exercise clothes is called Running warehouse and if you search for coupons you can get up to 20% off your first buy - Enjoy !

"I'd rather stay inside, just sipping coffee...Yuna - Coffee" is the song that matches my mood this afternoon. After a busy morning, I decided to spend a day in my apartment, and it’s amazing how organizing, buying flowers, planning recipes and throwing out old items - really makes you feel re energized.

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The pictures above involves a sleepy little town called Woodstock! I hit up this place with a few close friends for a weekend filled of Gatsby, relaxing and wine. I decided to own the kitchen and with my best friend we designed a menu for everyone, not that we were control freaks or anything...ok maybe we were BUT we wanted to make sure our country adventure had some culinary flair. If you ever want to test how strong your friendship is, buy a game called Mexican Train, it has the ability to turn the best of friends into mortal enemies lol It looks like dominos, gives you the feel of a friendly innocent game and then due to all the rules and regulations will cause a Mexican standoff. Thank God for sunlight and coffee because the day after everyone emerged back to our former non competitive selves. I believe my ability to cook the perfect steak saved me from having no best friend the next day. (Thank you Gordon Ramsey for teaching me that life skill.)

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London was mostly work and helping a friend, but I managed to get some fun times in with all my best friends and their mini me's. It's pretty crazy watching your friends kids grow up into little people, I think the biggest thing I learnt from this trip is that once you have a kid there is no sacred time anymore. While staying with my best friend, his son would just walk into the bathroom while I was showering SCREAMING Auntie Jeanette hurry up we need to build, and a kid of 3 doesn't recognize or care that you are showering or that you want some ME time, they just care about you getting your ass out of the shower to complete a building operation. My little god-daughter Amaya is well advanced in the art of high-fiving now which makes me extremely happy and Isaac who is 4 months old loves me the most as he always saves the most awesome nappies for me and even mastered the art of peeing so big he hit me right in eye. I had to give him street cred for his aim and determination. Finlay has to be my trendiest friend mini me, he is always dressed to kill and is probably the most chilled little boy I have ever met. I am worried my mini me is going to bounce of the walls.

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If you are in the Bahama's and want a memorable eating experience you MUST go to Dune.  It is described as a "Christian Liaigre wenge version of a British colonial dining room."  It is Jean-Georges Vongerichten's first Caribbean restaurant, and walking in you see a blue glass wall into the kitchen and an open-air terrace overlooking the ocean and pristine beach. The food and the service was better than I had experienced in a while. The menu featured many fresh fish and seafood dishes such as spice-crusted snapper with sweet-and-sour jus, local tomatoes, and oregano, and a lobster sandwich spiced with Bahamian goat pepper. The cocktail menu was also extensive. I tried the crab salad and Lobster tacos – something I really want to try to recreate. The lobster taco had coriander, salsa and a spicy guacamole, but felt light and really delicate. Vongerichten's second restaurant is Café Martinique, which was tucked away in the middle of chaos, nasty chain restaurants and a casino but worth hunting down.

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We are getting to the age where everyone is starting to settle down and tie the knot! What I love about my friends is none of them will ever make me endure a traditional hen or bachelorette party and I know it’s going to be something with food and beverages that will be amazing. Addie's friends organized a great event run by The Artful Bachelorette. The event was sponsored by Verve C Champagne of course and had a great find - Prohibition CupCakes. 2 great things unite to make an amazing treat. Hard Liquor in a CUPCAKE? I may have eaten a few too many of these. Some folks would think that drawing a fully butt naked amazingly handsome man would be distracting, but given how competitive my friends were we quickly averted our eyes from what was a very well endowed package to make sure we had THE BEST pictures of any group. You can see from above that we didn't mess around, and considering I never took much drawing, I picked it up pretty quickly. I wonder if while at University I had been followed around by an attractive naked man, if my grades would have improved. Hrm, I would love to hope so?

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The last place I have fallen in love with is a place called "All Good Things". The whole concept is local companies coming together under one roof in a form of a market.  You can have brunch and they have an amazing restaurant called "Le Restaurant" downstairs in a hidden cave, giving a speakeasy feel. I normally head there on Sunday to have some blue-bottle coffee and have developed a slight crush on the chef purely on the basis that he makes the BEST omelets I have ever tasted in my life. Check it out!

My last thought is around free education, one area in food that has exploded understanding Food Chemistry and the approach to new and inventive ways to cook food based on the chemical processes and interactions of all biological and non-biological components of foods. If you are interested in this topic, MIT are offering amazing free lectures online and it is not just short snippets but the real lectures from full-time chemistry majors.

Next time will all be about new juice recipes. My new juicer has landed and I am pretty excited to throw heaps of veg randomly in the machine that is bigger than a space craft and see what happens !!!

Enjoy the Sun, Enjoy Food, Enjoy Friendship and Enjoy life ! Kisses Jeanette