Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Events: Unexpected Pairings with Chef Claire Robinson & Pinnacle Vodka

*Photo Credit to Russ Rowland*

I'm obsessed with the Food Network and Cooking Channel so I was beyond thrilled to attend Pinnacle's Unexpected pairings with Chef Claire Robinson! If you're not familiar with Claire she has her own show, 5 Ingredient Fix and she also hosts other challenge shows on the Food Network channel. Last week she conducted a live cooking demo of 3 dishes that we were able to taste in a sit down dinner later that evening. Each dish was paired with a cocktail by celebrity mixologist Niccole Trzaska. After the cooking demo were we split up along two tables for a 4th of July inspired cocktail demo. The drink was red white and blue with whatever garnishes your heart desired. Surprisingly mine turned out pretty awesome (you can see it below in my instagram collage)! After that, we all sat down to a delicious dinner featuring the below listed 3 dishes made during the cooking demo. Everything was so good! I don't even like peas, but I got seconds of the snappy ginger garlic peas; lol.  

  • Snappy Ginger Garlic Peas paired with Pinnacle® Unflavored Vodka in the Sage Vice cocktail
  • Mojo  Pork Tenderloin paired with Pinnacle® Raspberry Vodka in the Red, White & Blue cocktail
  • Sugar & Spicebox Cake paired with Pinnacle® Cinnabon® Vodka in the Cinnabon® Splash cocktail


Left: Niccole Trzaska                    Right: Sage Vice

1 part Pinnacle® Unflavored Vodka
1 part Pineapple Juice
1 quarter part Lemon Juice
1 quarter part Dry Vermouth 

Mix ingredients over ice shake and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a sage leaf (make sure to tap the sage leaf between palms or snap in the fingers to release its essence).

Cute tablescapes 
Snapshot from the live cooking demo with Chef Claire Robinson

In Claire's words "BYOC" meaning be your own chef. Don't be afraid to make a recipe your own and enjoy the experience of cooking be comfortable and have fun! 

Here's the recipe for the peas that I'm obsessed with:

Snappy Ginger Garlic Peas

1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Prepare a bowl with icy water and set aside.  Cook peas in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of icy water to stop the cooking. Drain peas and pat dry.

Whisk together ginger, vinegar, and oil.  Add peas and sesame seeds and mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Apron swag with a couple of my friends :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fashion: All American Style by Guess


I can't be the only one still trying to figure out my outfits for the weekend! I've been on the hunt trying to find something cute, comfortable and weather appropriate. It's been stifling in NYC the past few days and the humidity has been something fierce; I can only wear up-dos to look presentable. Since the holiday falls on a weekend this year everyone is planning for a 3 day celebration and the anticipation for the short work week to end is only putting more emphasis on festivities. 

Back to my personal struggle, finding something cute to wear… This winter was so long and soooooo cold that I've noticed my fall/winter gear greatly outnumbers my spring/summer attire. Its no secret that Guess always has great collections and the quality to match it; plus with their clothes I never have to worry about how they're going to fit me. I found some awesome potential ensembles to celebrate the 4th and the rest of the summer in Guess' All American lookbook (see more here). 





Monday, June 30, 2014

Cocktails: Be Holiday Ready w/ Pinnacle Vodka 4th of July Cocktail Recipes


Is everyone ready for the holiday weekend?! The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays it gives us the chance to celebrate with BBQ, fireworks and good times with friends and family. But what is a party without delicious cocktails? This year in anticipation, I've been on the lookout for some independence day themed specialty cocktails. Pinnacle Vodka is one of my favorite brands, they have a ton of flavors making mixology simple for anyone to make their dream concoctions and impress their crowd. So I asked them if they had some recipes that I could use for the weekend and wanted to share with all of you! Below are four cocktails to help get your party started this weekend or whenever you have a taste for them. Piña Coladas instantly make me feel like I'm on a vacation, definitely making one of those; Cheers!



Friday, June 27, 2014

Fashion: Rihanna Stuns in Harper's Bazaar Arabia


I woke up this morning going through my usual routine of trying my best to delay the reality that I need to get ready for work by scrolling through my instagram & twitter. While scrolling I happened to cross a link to an article for Rihanna's new spread in Harper's Bazaar Arabia. I know most had the first thought of how covered up would she really be? But as always, Rihanna is stunning and the photos look like an art showcase, so beautifully done. There's definitely something about her that is so captivating whether you like her are not its rare to finds those that are indifferent. I believe its due to her confidence and her true to herself attitude that makes her so intriguing.

Looking through the spread I found myself being transported back to the time I lived in Morocco for a year and how awe inspiring the clothing, culture, food and the people were. It has been one of the most memorable parts of my life. Being covered doesn't mean not sexy and it actually draws the attention to other forgotten features and styling that is shadowed by revealing skin. Although this is ultra glam and probably tighter fitting than the women there I see the elements of their style. The chic scarves and head wraps to the captivating eyes and the beautiful hues of the clothing. It reminds me of the few weddings I had the pleasure of attending. Dressing up in exquisite kaftans, gold jewels and wearing far too much makeup hahaha. I was having the time of my life!





Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fashion: Dsquared2 Spring/Summer 2015 | Menswear | MILAN


Dsquared2 has it going on for next year's spring/summer line! As soon as I saw this collection I felt happy; the colors, prints and all the details styled for each piece instantly put you in a cheerful mood. Above and below are some of my top looks from the collection. Some people might be over it, but I'm still loving the neon. In fact, I have a faux yellow leather jacket and at first I felt like maybe this is too obnoxious, but every time I wear it I get tons of compliments and where did you get that questions.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fashion: Tom Ford Spring/Summer 2015 | Menswear | London


Impecable tailoring and an effortless look of suave is exactly what you get in Tom Ford's Spring/Summer 2015 collection. Personally I'm infatuated with the jackets (no surprise), in particular the goldenrod above, the popped collar below in the center and the flashy yet sophisticated blazer on the bottom left. I know I already mentioned the tailoring, but you can't deny that these pants were done right. Not too tight and the right length. And the shoes! The shoes pull together the different looks entirely, nothing can kill an outfit faster than a pair of busted shoes. Menswear like this is sure to get you noticed in the right way and its bound to get you more dates.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fashion Week: Burberry Prorsum - Men Spring/Summer 2015


Burberry Prorsum once again leads us into a poetic and colourful atmosphere for its latest men’s collection. The almost magnetic presence, style and particularly the powerful vocals of Benjamin Clementine, who plays the piano at the back of the stage, are all worth the journey. For this summer 2015 wardrobe, chief executive and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey, invites us into the world of literature. From hand-painted illustrations and typography inspired by vintage British book jackets appear on t-shirts, silk and cashmere scarves, and even on overcoats. The look is svelte across belted jackets and denim shirts worn beneath a light coat or a trench. Faces are shielded by trilby hats and trainers replace conventional footwear. Different shades of blue, green and even pink makes up next summer’s masculine colour palette. Travel bags come to emphasise this idea of romantic escape that Burberry never fails to deliver.



What do you guys think about the collection? Overall I do believe the color palette works and the layering looks good. Not crazy about the floppy hats though, looks a little too feminine to me. Also for spring/summer looks a bit warm, but the accessories are lovely (the bags especially) and I like the idea of these colorful sneakers for the casual styles.

Events: Summer Time Recipes with Captain Morgan & Chef Hugh Acheson


Yesterday, I went to the adorable Haven's Kitchen to watch Chef Hugh Acheson partner with Captain Morgan to make new summer inspired dishes and cocktails. Who doesn't enjoy a tasty rum cocktails paired with equally delicious bites. Some of you may already be familiar with Chef Hugh Acheson through my previous post for Thanksgiving dishes here or from he's appearances as a judge on Top Chef! Hugh's passion is making southern food with a twist, being a Canadian native he finds the cuisine of the southern awe-inspiring. During this round table demo at Haven's Kitchen we were able to sample two food items and two cocktails from the dynamic duo Hugh & Captain Morgan Rum. I must say each concoction and recipe was delightful, but I guess if I had to choose….it would be the skirt steak sandwich because I love a good sandwich with perfectly cooked meat and the Mint Mutiny cocktail, it was light and refreshing and I enjoy smelling fresh mint with each sip. 

Each of the options are perfect for this summer's upcoming gatherings with friends and family because fun, food and cocktails go hand in hand for summer! Check out the recipes below to start making them in your home!

Skirt Steak Captain Morgan Spiced Black Rum Banh Mi

·         Skirt Steak
·         Captain Morgan Spiced Black Rum
·         Pickled Carrots
·         Pickled Radish
·         *Made with Peanut Oil*

Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum Glazed Wings

·         Chicken wings
·         Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
·         Garlic Buttermilk Dressing
·         Scallions
·         *Made with Peanut Oil*


Captain’s Agua Fresca

·         1 1/2 ounces Captain Morgan White Rum
·         2 ounces Strawberry and Mint Agua Fresca (recipe follows)
·         3 Cucumber Dials

Directions: In a rocks glass, combine the Captain Morgan White Rum and Strawberry and Mint Agua Fresca with cracked ice. Slide the 3 cucumber dials down the sides of the glass.

Strawberry and Mint Agua Fresca
(Makes approximately 2 cups)

·         ¾ cup water
·         2 cups of strawberries tops cut off and hulled
·         2 tablespoons sugar
·         3 ounces lime juice
·         2 tablespoons of fresh mint leaves

Directions: Puree all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Chill and set aside until ready to use.


Mint Mutiny

·         Crushed ice
·         1 teaspoon fresh mint, torn into pieces
·         1½ ounces Captain Morgan White Rum
·         ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
·         ½ ounce Rose Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
·         Club soda
·         1 cucumber spear
·         1 mint spring

Directions: Fill a julep cup with crushed ice. Stir in the torn mint. Add the Captain Morgan White Rum, lemon juice, Rose Simple Syrup, and then fill with club soda until the cup is almost full. Top the cup with a mound of more crushed ice and garnish with a cucumber spear. Rub the mint sprig between your palms to express the natural oil and garnish with the cucumber. Serve with a straw.

Rose Simple Syrup

·         1 cup sugar
·         1 teaspoon of rose water

Directions: Add 1 cup of hot water to the sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the rose water, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate the syrup until ready to use.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fashion: Let's Talk Swimwear with River Island Summer 2014


There's only a few days till June 21st, the official start of summer! I'm sure I'm not alone in my last minute efforts with workout plans and healthy eating tips before I purchase some new swimwear. Now that I'm almost to my goal, I've started my quest on finding some fun and new styles for swimwear and cover ups for the soon to come beach days I've been daydreaming about. I found some styles from River Island's Summer 2014 collection that were pretty fly and more importantly affordable (suits are between $40 -$60). See more styles on their website here.



Thursday, June 5, 2014

Events: Cooking with Friends ~ Lexus Culinary Masters at Roberta's with Chef Carlo Mirarchi


The Lexus Culinary Masters are an esteemed roster of chefs that partner with Lexus on customer appreciation programs, charitable outreach and more. At this Cooking with Friends event, visiting Lexus Culinary Masters Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (L.A.’s Animal, Son of a Gun) helped announce their good friend, Carlo Mirarchi, as the newest addition. An inventive and passionate chef, Carlo epitomizes the Lexus attitude and brings a fresh and exciting energy to the epicurean team. Lexus has announced Chef Carlo Mirarchi as the 10th Lexus Culinary Master. Nearly 200 attendees gathered at Roberta’s restaurant in Brooklyn for the latest installation of “Cooking with Friends: Lexus Culinary Masters,” a unique dinner series. 

As you can see from the pictures, it was an amazing event on a perfect spring evening. This was my first time to Roberta's so of course I was waiting with great anticipation for their famous fresh brick oven pizza! Instead of celebrating Chef Carlo's induction inside the restaurant they created a spectacular spread of food stations in their urban garden under tents with color string lights. The food was absolutely amazing, I basically rolled myself home after the event! They had a pizza station, raw bar, roasted pig, roasted veggies and passed for d'oeuvres. The night Ended on the best note, I received a signed copy of the Roberta's cookbook! I love cookbooks, they're the only books I buy in print instead of tablet version. Still figuring out the perfect spot to showcase it….






Friday, May 30, 2014

Food Review: Get Yer 'Shine On with Ole Smoky Moonshine & Outback Steakhouse


Not to brag….but Ole Smoky Moonshine Master Distiller Justin King and Outback Steakhouse invited me to their exclusive first taste of Outback's new Moonshine BBQ menu and cocktails earlier this month! Everyone knows I love testing out new menu dishes and the fact that it was barbecue made it that much better! Living in NYC its hard to have access or the space to grill, so why not let Outback do all the hard work. This press preview included 4 new dishes and 1 dessert. Each item was so delicious, if I had to pick a favorite it would have to be the Moonshine BBQ Ribs! The meat was so tender and juicy, the best part was that it practically fell off the bone! The runner up for food would have to be the Moonshine BBQ Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, I still daydream about both of them! And the Skillet Apple Pie was scrumptious due to the ample crunch from the crust and the topping! As for my favorite of the 3 cocktails, I loved the Just Peachee! Its made with Georgia Moon Peach Mooneshine, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and peach puree mixed with apple and orange juices with a cinnamon sugar rim (Yum)!


The "Just Peachee"
 Moonshine BBQ Fire Grilled Wings
 Moonshine BBQ Ribs
Moonshine BBQ Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
Moonshine BBQ Cobb Salad
Skillet Apple Pie