Food Porn

It’s been a busy busy past few weeks, with many visitors. Having guests in town means eating a LOT.  We mostly spend our time getting one from one restaurant to the next. It’s also a great excuse to get to those restaurants I’ve been wanting to try out. Like Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem. I’ve been to its’ fancier (and slightly pretentious) neighbor, Red Rooster, which has an Ethiopian/Swedish flare on American comfort food, but wanted to try the simpler version. Even though I’m from the south, our dinner table never had collard greens, fried chicken, or okra.

Just perusing the menu, I wanted to try EVERYTHING. So, naturally, being me, I made sure our table covered all bases and ordered almost one of everything (two of some dishes).

Once the food arrived, our conversation was solely on what we were eating. I might not have seen these friends in months, but I did not give two cornbreads worth what they had been up to once that food was on the table.

This is what we sounded like:

Me: Holy %$@#^ $^%#@ #$*&% this is soooo good! 

Friend 1: Yes, this is delicious. 

Friend 2: Ugh, try this one, it’s amazing! 

Friend 3: This is the best corn bread I’ve ever had. 

Me: bltrjsisue gskjhgSeu (me trying to say how good something was with a mouthful).

Friend 4: %$# &^! &!%* @$% Foooooooooooddddd!!!!

(An hour later)

Friend 5: I think is the only meal I’ve ever had where all we did was talk about the food.

Friend 1, 2, 3, 4, 5: I could not possibly eat another bite.

Me (to waitress): We’ll take one of each dessert, please.

Sylvias Soul Food Harlem

Our Before Picture

Unlimited Corn Bread

Unlimited Corn Bread

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

Grilled Atlantic Bar-B-Que Salmon, Vegetarian Collard Greens, Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Grilled Atlantic Bar-B-Que Salmon, Vegetarian Collard Greens, Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sylvia's Down Home Smothered Chicken

Sylvia’s Down Home Smothered Pork Chops

Sylvias Soul Food Harlem

Baked Mac n Cheese and more Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sylvias Soul Food Harlem

After dinner, our clothes all a little tighter.

After dinner, our clothes all a little tighter.

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

Southern Style Banana Pudding

Southern Style Banana Pudding

There were also two orders of Peach Cobbler that were eaten before I could get a picture.

I’m drooling all over the computer while writing this, that’s how delicious Sylvia’s is. I wasn’t even a fan of collard greens, salmon, or corn bread before coming here, now it’s all I can think about. I can’t wait until the next visitors so I’ll have a good excuse to binge on mac n cheese again.

I guess I could mention about something other than the food. It’s a no-fuss, down to earth place. Though constantly busy, the wait isn’t very long. Very southern hospitality in the middle of a ‘not always hospitable’ city. The chef walked around often and was more than happy to refill our drinks. And our waitress, Tweety, was as sweet as her name.

I can’t wait to go again for the Sunday Gospel Brunch.

Hallelujah – ZZ

Advertisements

Weekend in Chicago

My brilliantly hilarious, soon-to-be-famous friend, Rich Alfonso is graduating from Second City Conservatory in Chicago. In the 3.5 years he has been there, and the numerous shows, my Floridian girls and I have never seen him on a stage. We had private performances of his characters and jokes in our living rooms for years, so I couldn’t wait to see him performing where the jokes weren’t at my own expense (though there was a song and dance about crazy cat ladies, so I guess things never change). What better first time than his graduating sketch show that he and his class write, produce and act in.

Sitting in the front row we laughed and we cried (from laughter). This is probably the last time I’ll pay $5 to see him, he’ll probably be on the new Whose Line Is It Anyways? or starring in a Rom-Com soon, and movie tickets are expensive these days!

Second City Chicago

Second City Chicago

Basketball Wives

Basketball Wives

Second City Chicago

Bucket List

IMG_5890

IMG_5898

The other three days in Chicago, we spent seeing Book of Mormon, iceskating, eating deep dish pizza and popcorn, going to the Art Institute of Chicago and having a bit of a staycation in the hotel room – doing each others hair, enjoying the free wine hour, and having girl talk (and of course pillow fights in our panties, duh).

It's hard to take a bad picture in front of the Bean.

It’s hard to take a bad picture in front of the Bean.

IMG_5762

…but we managed to get one.

What more do you need for a Staycation?

Staycation essentials.

Cincinnati friends, be jealous, I got to see 'Best Friend'. I know, Kewl Story.

Cincinnati friends, be jealous, I got to see ‘Best Friend’. I know, Kewl Story.

IMG_5870

Yup, I've still got it.

Yup, I’ve still got it.

Miniature rooms at AIC

Miniature rooms at AIC

photo-1

Front Row at Book of Mormon.

Front Row at Book of Mormon.

IMG_5860

I miss you all already! Can’t wait to see you on the Big Screen, Rich!

xo ZZ

Thairapy365 Tri-Curl Clipless Curling Iron + Giveaway

You know how I’m obsessed with Thairapy365 products… Oh, you hadn’t heard? Well, here – check these out first then.

Original Curling Iron.  An Almost Hair Tutorial.  Blowdryer.   World’s Fastest Flat Iron.

I didn’t think I could love anything more than my original Thairapy Clipless Iron, until I found out they made a new and improved one! Seriously, they made an already perfect tool even better. (Like if my cat could clean her own litter box. That would really be the life… )

Instead of the one size barrel, it comes with THREE interchangeable barrels. So now I can make tiny curls or big soft ones. Blah, Blah, Blah, I won’t go on and on about the technology and all of its features, all I care about is that it works.

New pictures using all three barrels.

NYW T365

My friend Allyson has super curly hair, so I love using Thairapy’s tools to see it transform.

Thairapy365 Thairapy365

Thairapy365Thairapy365

Update: Thairapy365 wants to give one of YOU a Tri-Curl Clipless Curling Iron! Aren’t they the best?? To enter, leave a comment below about your worst haircut. (Mine was when my mom had the hairdresser give me a bowl-cut…I’m still mad about it).

Random winner will be picked March 20th at midnight.

Update 2: Giveaway Over!

xo ZZ

Everpurse – The Purse That Charges Your Smartphone

That sinking feeling when your phone pops up and tells you you only have 20% battery life left. Your stomach drops, your heart starts beating quickly. Deadphonaphobia. I just made that word up, but the illness is real.

everpursecity

My phone dies a lot. As a new New Yorker, I use it to find what train to get on. Where the restaurant is. Or what restaurant to go to. To call up to your friend instead of buzzing so as not to alarm the dog. Taking pictures of a girl reading a ‘How to Train Your Pet Mice’ book. These are all very real scenarios to me.

How am I going to get to that store, that I don’t even know the name of? Or entertain myself with a game while on the train. Or check the weather, while I’m standing outside, because I just need to know that it’s as cold as my toes are telling me. Or using Google to win an arguement with my brother. Or figure out what my boss was telling me because I wasn’t listening. Or pretend text while waiting somewhere awkwardly. Or for gods sake know what the exact time is!

And then I found the solution. The Everpurse. It’s a beautiful clutch that has a built-in phone charger.  I am not kidding. You heard me right. You can leave your house in the morning, use your phone all day at work, and then throw it into the clutch to go out for drinks afterward. No worries that when that creepy guy starts talking to you at the bar, your phone might be dead, and how will you take a faux phone call? Practical and chic.

everpurse4

When you arrive home, just lay the purse on the charging mat overnight to ‘recharge’ your bag. Men the world over are going to be jealous, or really hoping Joey Tribbiani will bring back the man’s bag.

Liz Ormesher Salcedo (with the help of her handy husband) originally created the bag for herself. But when it caught on quickly with friends they decided to start a Kickstarter – the original goal of $100,000 was doubled within a week. Order your bag now, and you’ll have it in time for those long summer nights.  The Everpurse ranges from $189-319, but it’s well worth it.  I spent a week with the Persimmon leather clutch, and got many compliments on my cute bag, as well as always having a charged phone. It comes in many other fabrics and colors as well.

everpurse 5

everpurse 1

Excuse me, I have to take this call.

everpurse 3

Outerwear by ‘Volcano Icelandic Design’

xo ZZ

Kale Salad Recipe

I’ve been getting a little tired of having the same (delicious) Pad Thai delivered daily, so I’ve been making this kale salad. It originated during our Thanksgiving dinner, because what’s more Thanksgivingy than a healthy, kale salad. I have a dislike of most Turkey Day food (I’d prefer to eat Mac N Cheese with Chandler) so this salad was perfect for me.

It just takes a couple ingredients and most of them you have in your house already (the best kind of recipe).

1/3 c lemon juice

1/3 c olive oil

1/3 c tamari

spoonful of grey poupon mustard

1 purple onion

sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds

lots of kale (1 pound)

optional: tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms

photo

Chop up your onion and marinate in the O.O., lemon juice, mustard, and tamari.

photo-1

 

Next, de-stem your kale. Rip into bite size pieces or cut into ribbons.

Now for the fun part. Pour the onion/dressing onto the kale and give it a nice massage. It can be whatever kind you think the kale will prefer – swedish, deep tissue, or thai – are all approved methods. Once it’s thoroughly relaxed, throw in the veggies and top with seeds, nuts and S&P.

photo-2

Sidenote: Don’t eat this if you’re going to be around people within 24 hours. The onion mixed with mustard and eating all that raw kale can be an interesting combination. Throw in some garlic and you’re guaranteed to be alone forever.

Other than that, it’s a delicious salad with many different combinations. You could even sauté the kale a little beforehand.

Enjoy! Let me know what you added or took out to improve it!

xo ZZ

 

Calvin Klein RTW Fall 2013 NYFW

Reason’s why I love being at Calvin Klein’s show:

1. They can afford the best models. See: the seasoned, Carolyn Murphy and fresh faced, 17 year old, Dauphine McKee. Also, Victoria’s Secret Angel, Karlie Kloss.

models

2. They dress the models in luxury robes and cheap flip flops backstage and for rehearsal.

IMG_5634

3. Catering is the BEST. The sushi is as fresh as the sushi I ate in Japan. The mac and cheese triangles are delicious. Because it was on Valentine’s Day, the desserts were adorable.

5. They paint this room completely white every year. I helped paint the floor this year. I also helped mess it up…

IMG_5461

IMG_5458

but I didn’t get a drop of paint on my clothes.

4. The runway, viewable from every angle, gave practically everyone a front row seat, myself included.

5. Celebrity sitings. Who doesn’t love bumping elbows with Jessica Chastain, Olivia Wilde and Andre Leon Talley.

161707241_10

6. And of course the collection. The Grand Finale, held on the last day of Fashion Week, never fails to impress. Designer Francisco Costa strayed slightly from his normal minimalistic look and amped it up with a military take. There were stiff leather skirts paired with cross-backed bandeau tops. Bulky overcoats, touches of dark plaid, and pieces held together by scraps of metal. My favorite – a navy leather dress which showed peeks of skin as Murphy walked by.

IMG_4057IMG_4103

IMG_4099IMG_4070

IMG_4071

IMG_4094

IMG_4066

IMG_4062

IMG_4059

IMG_4052

IMG_4054

IMG_4046

IMG_4045

IMG_4043

 

Now I’m off to watch the Oscars!

 

 

Trina Turk, Rachel Zoe, and Newbark NYFW 2013

I spent a couple days at Trina Turk’s showroom – seeing the stylist work her magic to put together looks, models coming in for castings, and to help pack the whole thing up to move it to Lincoln Center. It was great to be backstage for this show, steaming the clothes, helping dressers, making sure everything was in it’s place. It made it that much more special to see the models during the presentation, knowing that I had a part, though tiny, in getting in there.

IMG_5429

Dancing to Micheal Jackson while waiting

IMG_5406 IMG_5408 IMG_5410 IMG_5413

The lighting, combined with the hats, made my poor iPhone struggle to get a good shot.

IMG_5434 IMG_5435IMG_5439IMG_5449

IMG_5440

Next up: Rachel Zoe. It’s always a whirlwind there. The paparazzi was extra heavy this day for two of Rachel’s guests – Miley Cyrus and model Erin Wasson. I only managed to grab a few pics.

IMG_5540 IMG_5552 IMG_5554

Last but not least, Newbark. They chose a gallery underneath the Highline to show off their new line of accessories. I wanted to slip my feet into most of these shoes and wander away.

379360_10151448199419489_789668090_n IMG_5514 IMG_5515 IMG_5519 IMG_5522

Two more days to enter to win the Thairapy365 Flat Iron! Enter here.

xo ZZ