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Chicken, Kale & Carrot Soup Recipe

Chicken-Kale-Carrot-Soup

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, tasty recipe for all that kale you’ve got in your crisper then this is the one for you! Thanks to our share in a local food co-op (and if you have those near you, support local farmers and join up!) I was the recipient of two decent heads of kale – while one went yellow and therefore bad, the other was put to good use in this recipe for Chicken, Kale and Carrot Soup before it had the chance to do the same.
Kale-Carrot-Soup-Recipe
I make quite a lot of soup at my house – mostly because it makes a comforting and delicious meal when paired with insanely good bagels that we get from a local place. What gives this soup it’s more than typical “umami” flavor is the use of soy sauce and spices. Seriously, it is so so good!

Chicken, Kale, & Carrot Soup
Serves 5
Warm comfort food - the sort of soup that's welcome on a cool fall day!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  2. 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  3. 2 chicken breasts, diced into small pieces
  4. 3 carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  5. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  6. 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  7. 1/2 tablespoon chili pepper
  8. 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  9. 1 head of kale, stalks removed and chopped into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Once you’ve prepared your ingredients, in a large pot heat up your olive oil and saute your diced onion until it is translucent. Then, add your diced chicken and and heat for 4-5 minutes or until cooked.
  2. Once the chicken looks cooked (no longer pink) add your chopped carrots, soy sauce, cumin, chili pepper and chicken stock. Stir and bring to a boil.
  3. One the soup reaches a boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. After simmering, add your chopped kale (make sure those stalks are gone!) and stir in. Put a lid on your pot and allow to simmer on low for an additional 15-20 minutes until the kale has significantly softened.
  5. Serve & enjoy!
The NYC Talon http://nyctalon.com/
Chicken Kale and Carrot Soup Recipe

#100FootJourney Gratin Dauphinois (Scalloped Potatoes) Recipe!

Food has the singular ability to bring people together, which is one reason why I’m gearing up to see The Hundred-Foot Journey this August. Starring Helen Mirren, The Hundred Foot Journey tells the tale of two cultures and people learning to live and grow together.

100FootJourney5355486178a0f
If you’re like me and can’t wait to see the movie – especially those gratuitous food shots, here’s a great Gratin Dauphinois recipe (otherwise known as scalloped potatoes) courtesy of The Hundred-Foot Journey and Le Cordon Blue Cuisine Foundations, so it’s sure to make your mouth water!

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P.S. Here’s the trailer as well, if you haven’t had a chance to see it!

XO Almond Berry Trifle Recipe!

I love trifle, the mixture of pudding, cake, whipped cream and berries totally does it for me. It’s fun, it’s decadent, it combines my favorite kinds of dessert, and you can get really creative with it. I want to say that this XO Almond Berry Trifle is perfect for Valentine’s Day – and it is – but really, it’s great for anytime you want something wonderfully fantastic! The flavors of the almond vanilla pudding, mixed berries, and chocolate and vanilla cake make this trifle one of my favorites.Trifle with BlackberriesEasy Almond Berry Trifle

You can be real fancy and make both the cakes, pudding, and whipped cream from scratch. Personally, I’m not above a good store bought cake – although for the chocolate cake I used a doctored cake mix. Also, I use just a smidge less milk for the Jell-O instant pudding mix because it makes the mix a bit thicker and works better with the trifle. And feel free to change the berries up to suit your preference!

Easy XO Almond Berry Trifle
I used a 6 inch glass dish for my trifle – it’s enough to serve six.

XO Almond Berry Trifle
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Package Each of Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, & Cherries
  2. 1 Large Box of Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
  3. 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Almond Extract
  4. 1 2/3rd Cups of Milk (for the Jell-O Mix)
  5. 1/2 a Loaf Entemann’s Pound Cake
  6. Chocolate Cake (You can make this before hand, or just buy premade from the store)
  7. Whipped Cream – I use the canned kind, or you can easily make it from scratch
Instructions
  1. Make one box of Jello-O Vanilla Instant Pudding, add the almond extract and mix thoroughly and set aside. Prepare your berries by washing, and in the case of the cherries, pitting.
  2. Cube both the vanilla and chocolate cake – keep seperate, as you’ll want to layer them in seperately.
  3. Layer, in this order, chocolate cake, whipped cream, pitted cherries, blackberries, 1/2 of the vanilla almond pudding, pound cake, remaining pudding, raspberries & blueberries.
  4. Serve with whipped cream. It’s a little messy, but boy is it delicious! Enjoy!
The NYC Talon http://nyctalon.com/

 

Lemon Basil Bow Tie Pasta Recipe!

This recipe is one of my favorites, it’s creamy and tasty and just generally amazing! What’s really great is that it’s actually a very versatile recipe, for example you can change out asparagus for sauteed spinach if you prefer, or add more lemon zest and grape tomatoes for a more bright spring-like flavor. I just love it – the flavor of the lemon and the basil play wonderfully together. It’s a simple pasta that’s filling and flavorful, what more could you ask for?

Lemon Basil Bow Tie Pasta

Lemon Basil Recipe

12oz of Farfalle (Bow Tie) Pasta (about 3/4 box)
3 Garlic Cloves – minced
1 lb Asparagus Spears – cut into 1 inch segments
1 Small Onion – finely chopped
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
Zest of 2 Lemons
Juice of 1 Lemon
8 oz of Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
Bunch of Basil, about 21 leaves – chopped finely into strips
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Boil the pasta until al dente, drain and let cool in a bowl. Add zest to the pasta and set aside to cool.

Farfalle

2. Chop up garlic, onion, and asparagus. Pour olive oil into a small pan at medium to low heat. Saute onions until they are translucent. Add garlic and chopped asparagus. Place lid on pan and let the mixture sweat until the asparagus looks bright green. Remove from heat.

3. Add asparagus mixture to the pasta and mix well. Allow to cool.

4. Once pasta is cool add the juice of one lemon, the Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. Mix in chopped basil and add salt and pepper to taste.

Oikos Yogurt RecipeBasilPasta Recipe

Drop me a comment and let me know if you try this recipe out and what ways you make it your own!

 

 

Spring Has Sprung! Birdy’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe

I love spring- who doesn’t? Not only is the weather great, but so is the food. Like most family’s, mine has a tradition of spring barbequing, picnicking, and park-going. But one tradition that holds a special place in my heart is spring pie-baking. Me and my older sister learned pie-making at the elbow of my mother when she used to make pies for holidays like Christmas, and since then we’ve taken up the torch (or roll of dough) and picked up where she left off- she’s not dead, she just doesn’t have to bake them with us around anymore (my sister thought I should add that because it she felt it sounded like a eulogy). Anyways, my most favorite pie is the one my sister makes every spring- Birdy’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. The buttery crust for this pie is a perfect cradle for the tart-sweet interior, enjoy with a heap of vanilla ice cream. So I thought I’d bamboozle her into letting me use her recipe here on my blog- thanks sis!

Birdy’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

*Simple Flaky Crust

2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup Crisco
1/3 cup water

note: use a large sized bowl otherwise it’ll get all over you!

1.Dump the flour into a bowl, and run your fingers through it to work out any clumps (you can use a sifter if you have one).
2. Add the Crisco, and start pressing into the flour with a fork or knife until it is distributed all through the flour in small pea sized pieces. DON’T make them too small. Those clumps of Crisco make the crust flaky!
3. Add in the water around the edge of the mixture, and rake it in with a fork until it is completely absorbed into the flour and Crisco. It will still look dry, which is GOOD.
4. Remove ANY jewelery at this point. Take your hands and starts pushing into the dough mixture until it starts to stick together and you can hold it in your hands. you should get a ball of dough the size of a softball. If you see some remnants of flour in the bowl its okay.

At this point you can either take pieces of the dough and press it into a pie pan, or…

5. Take some plastic wrap or a gallon sized baggy and flour lightly. Put half the dough in between the floured plastic layers. Using a heavy rolling pin (or even a bottle of wine or olive oil) press down on the dough in circular motions until you have a round-ish shape.
6a. If for the inside of the pie, put in the pan and use your fingers to pinch off the excess around the rim.
6b. If for the top, you can cut it into strips (still on the plastic, and carefully lay them one by one in a criss-cross design.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie

1 batch of *Simple Flaky Crust
filling:
2- 1in wide rhubarb stalks (halved down the middle and cut into 1/2 in pieces)
2 containers of strawberries (cut into quarters)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1tbs lemon juice

note: you can prepare filling first so it can sit while you make the crust!

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out half of the pie dough and put in pan. Roll out other half and cut into strips and set aside.
2. Mix together the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour, and lemon juice. set aside for a half hour.
3. Pour filling into crust and create lattice with dough strips on top.
4. Slide into the lower middle rack and bake for 20 minutes at 400, than turn the oven down to 350. cook until you see the filling starts to bubble and leave a thick red syrup on the crust.
5. Take out and rest until it fully cools. if you don’t, the filling will fall out when you cut it.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and dig in!!

Ditch Food Prep Woes with Healthy Choice Power Bowls

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Healthy Choice.

When it comes to healthy eating, I have the best intentions. I have an excel sheet dedicated to meal planning, a Pinterest board for healthy recipes, and a brand new 32oz plastic water bottle in the prettiest blue and pink so I can drink those recommended 8 glasses a day. See? The best intentions. But then life gets in the way, and when something has to give, it’s usually those good intentions. Healthy Choice has just released their new Power Bowls, tasty meals that feed my body with exactly what I needs to keep going. With flavors inspired by Cuban, Korean, and Latin cuisines, I’m newly obsessed with these easy meal options.

Healthy Choice Power Bowls Review

All the planning in the world can’t save me from hectic days and last minute demands, and since we’re being honest, if I must choose between an extra hour of sleep or making lunch for the next day? I’ll usually pick sleep. Healthy Choice’s Power Bowls are perfect for anyone with an active lifestyle, who is short on time (or maybe not thrilled with the prospect of daily meal prep *ahem*), and a craving for good food. I tried the Adobo Chicken Bowl, which featured all natural chicken breast, vegetables served on top of brown & red rice, red quinoa, and black barley with a guajillo chili sauce and roasted pepitas. I loved that the chicken used in the bowl was raised without antibiotics, and that the lunch not only featured lean protein, but also whole grains, and plenty of veggies. If you’re still clinging to your new year’s resolution to eat better – this will definitely help.

Healthy Choice Adobo Chicken Power BowlHealthy Choice Adobo Chicken BowlHealthy Choice Meal review

If you like a little heat (who doesn’t), the Korean-Inspired Beef Bowl will be right up your block. This bowl featured all natural beef, shitake mushrooms, and vegetables served on top of brown rice, red rice, red quinoa, and black barley with a spicy gochujang and soy sauce topped with black and white sesame seeds. The other day I was running around the city all morning, and barely had time for a quick lunch before I had to head back downtown for an evening event. Usually I would be tempted by fast food options that promised little nutrition, but a fast meal. Instead I popped this in the microwave for around 4 minutes and had a delicious and balanced meal that I did not feel guilty about.

Healthy Choice Korean Review

That’s what I love most about these frozen meals – they taste like something that I would actually cook for myself at home. The flavors are present and they taste real. It’s so easy to fall off the wagon when you’re pursuing a healthy, active lifestyle because there are so many factors that go into how your day turns out. I know from my experience that having a stressful morning will often mean that I look for ways to “cheat” for lunch, I’ll negotiate myself into treats especially if they are easy to obtain. Stocking my freezer with Healthy Choice Power Bowls means that making the right decision for myself is so much easier.

Healthy Choice Bowl review

In case you aren’t yet tantalized with the appealing option of Adobo Chicken Power Bowl or a Korean-Inspired Beef Bowl, Healthy Choice also offers a Cuban-Inspired Pork Bowl and a Chicken Sausage & Barley Bowl. I know I can’t wait to try them! Because every bowl contains over 16g of protein and 6-8g of fiber, it really is easy to make a Healthy Choice for lunch (see what I did there? ;)).

Happy Women’s Health month! How do you stay health & stick to your health goals?

You’re Invited: The Gilt City Sample Sale on April 7-9th!

The legendary Gilt City Warehouse Sale is getting a complete makeover! The Gilt Sample Sale, taking place on April 7-9th in NYC will be featuring a new design and exciting lifestyle offerings, such as:

  • Onsite styling
  • On-demand tailoring
  • Luxurious pop-up shops
  • Gilt City concierge

gilt city sample salesGilt City Shopping Party

The Gilt Sample Sale will offer stylish apparel, shoes, handbags, jewelry and home decor from coveted designers like Balenciaga, Prada, Valentino, John Varvatos and Paul Smith—all at up to 80 percent off retail. Look forward to a revamped layout and shopping experience, complete with the ability to browse by price point, trend and more. 

Gilt Shopping Partysample sales nyc

Each ticket includes:                             

  • Admission for one to the Gilt Sample Sale at Center415 on Friday, April 7, 2017 from 9 PM -11 PM
  • Up to 80% off designer brands like Chloé, Valentino, Tibi, Sandro, Maje, The Kooples, Derek Lam, Helmut Lang, Jimmy Choo, Tom Ford, Paul Smith and John Varvatos
  • Complimentary Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé
  • Mount Gay Rum will be serving unique craft cocktails, including stirred Old Fashioned cocktails and refreshing Rum Punch, from recipes developed by NYC’s best mixologists
  • Personal styling advice from celebrity stylist, Catherine Peridis
  • On-demand alterations and tailoring from Air Tailor
  • ROYCE New York pop-up shop with leather accessories and complimentary onsite monogramming
  • Lifestyle concierge services from Gilt City
  • Luna and Cliff Whole Nutrition bars
  • Sounds by DJ Rosé
  • Complimentary coat check (guests must check all coats and bags/purses larger than 5″x7″ before entering the sale)
  • FastPass line for those with bags smaller than 5″x7″ and no coats
  • Complimentary Coco Community coconut water to help you keep your strength up as you shop
  • Free mini facials & makeup application from The Ritualist and APTO Skincare (or enjoy a 30-minute service at extra charge)
  • Retromarine pop-up shop with handmade trunks for men
  • Onsite Miansai accessories sample sale
  • Wala Swim pop-up, a curated collection of the best fitting suits

Get your tickets on Gilt City before they sell out, click here!

Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Debut New Coconut & Almond Milk Creamers at Tasting Table Event

This past week I was invited to join Coffee-Mate & Natural Bliss at Tasting Table in Soho to get a closer look at their new plant-based creamers in action. If you don’t know, Tasting Table is basically a test kitchen and dining room – it’s where all the cool culinary action takes place, from video shoots to invite-only dinner parties. I’ve heard so much about it, that I was so glad that it lived my expectations. It is such a dreamy space and their team is amazing.

Tasting Table CocktailTasting Table NYC

Tasting Table & Natural Bliss put together a ‘Breakfast for Dinner’ menu that blew my socks off. There was a fun Acai Berry Bowl station, where Coffee-Mate’s Natural Bliss Coconut Milk Creamer was put to the test. I’d never actually had an acai bowl before and if they’re anything like the one I had at Tasting Table, then I can see why they’re so popular.

Acai bowl station at Tasting Table

We also had Citrus and Beet Salad, Mushroom and Soba Salad, Vanilla Almond Chia Pudding with Fresh Fruit, and my all-time favorite item of the evening – Almond French Toast.

French ToastChia Cups

Because I was in a breakfast sort of mood, coffee was a must. Made with no GMO ingredients, natural bliss Almond Milk and Coconut Milk plant-based, non-dairy, creamers are deliciously smooth and creamy. My pick? Caramel Almond Milk Creamer. I’m a sucker for caramel anything, so this with my standard coffee is pure gold. There’s also Hazelnut Almond Milk Creamer, Vanilla Almond Milk Creamer, and Sweet Crème Coconut Milk Creamer (which made my acai bowl extra special).

Natural Bliss Almond Milk CreamerCoffee Mate Creamer

Avacado toasts, Carrot Apple Kombu Shooters, and Chickpea Panisse rounded out my evening of fun. And I can’t forget the Caramel Tres Leches Cake as dessert, which was perfectly done.

Tasting Table Avocado ToastAvocado Toast

Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Almond Milk and Coconut Milk Creamers are now available at retailers nationwide – with the Hazelnut flavored Almond Milk creamer being sold exclusively at Target stores. For recipes and more information on the new natural bliss products, click here.

Rethink Sweet with Buddy Valastro & Whole Earth Sweetener Co.

Buddy Valastro has recently partnered with Whole Earth Sweetener Co. in a campaign to Rethink Sweet, featuring new and exciting ways to make tasty treats using Whole Earth’s line of sweetener – and if the Cake Boss says it’s good then you know it’s good! Whole Earth Sweetener Co. offers a line of lower calorie, non-GMO sweeteners that have 50% fewer calories per serving than their traditional counterparts. Fortunately for me, I was able to see the sweetener put to the test firsthand when I was invited out to the Lackawanna Cake Factory & Filming Studio out in Hoboken a few weeks ago. I don’t often find myself in that neck of the woods, but I don’t think twice about crossing state lines when cake is involved.

whole-earth-agave-50carlos-bakery-canolislobstertails2

First off, the inside of the factory/filming studio smells insane! Like butter and sugar and everything good and lovely to eat. If you don’t know (I didn’t!) the factory is where all of the Cake Boss cakes are made. This means not just the wedding cakes, but the store-bought Cake Boss cakes that you see at other bakeries and places like BJ’s. Basically they bake up all the pieces of the cakes and pastries and send them off to be assembled closer to the location of where you would buy them.

cake-boss-factory-tour

We were given a tour of much of the factory, which was super exciting. There were giant mixers, a room where we saw employees rolling out innumerable pastries, and so much more – but my favorite had to be the decorating room.

lackawanna-cake-factory-and-film-studiothe-cake-boss-factory

I actually tried my hand at cake decorating a few years ago and it is hard work, and I for one do not have the knack for it. While I’ve resigned myself to the life of a mere cake-eater, I have such an appreciation for the decorating team at Lackawanna Cake Factory –  if you’ve seen the show, or have been on their website, then you know that their work is beautiful.

Buddy also stopped by to tell us a little about why his partnership with Whole Earth Sweetener Co. –

“As a fourth-generation baker, quality and taste are a top priority, and Whole Earth Sweetener Co. uses ingredients sourced from nature, like stevia and monk fruit, which are crafted and manufactured into a great tasting line of lower calorie sweeteners that you can’t find anywhere else. Not only do Whole Earth Sweetener Co. products taste great, they also let you indulge in the sweet foods you crave and love, but with fewer calories.” – Buddy Valastro, Cake Boss

He also spoke about working with Whole Earth’s Sweetener and how he went through a testing process of using the sweetener and altering some recipes to accommodate any changes in the final product. He really stressed how that was most important to him – that what you bake tastes good, which is why he really loves Whole Earth’s sweeteners because it is a lower calorie sweetener that was still an excellent tool for him as a baker to make great treats.

buddy-valastro-rethink-sweet-eventbuddy-valastro-rethink-sweet

After having a couple of slices (yes, it was that good and I have no control over what happens when me and cake are in a room together) of cake made with the sweetener, I was completely sold! We also decorated these cute gingerbread men that were also made with Whole Earth Sweetener Co. – I put my, albeit limited, decorating skills to the test and created this little gingerbread man who is clearly ready for colder weather.

rethink-sweet-eventcarlos-bakery-gingerbread-man

Whole Earth Sweetener Co.’s range of products feature a Baking Blend, Turbinado Raw Cane 50, Whole Earth Sweetener Honey 50 and Whole Earth Sweetener Agave 50 – which are now available in 45 states from more than 60 select retailers as well as on amazon.com. To find out more about Whole Earth Sweetner Co. click here.

A Better Snack: Olives From Spain

This post is sponsored by Olives From Spain

Every year, Spain’s top wineries get together to celebrate their latest and greatest offerings with both wine novices, connoisseurs, and industry professionals. Hosted by the Trade Commission of Spain, Spain’s Great Match was packed this year. Thanks to Olives From Spain, I was able to attend and not only get a peek at popular vinters, but also dine on the country’s other favorite – olives!

Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.comOlives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com 

I’m actually a hardcore olive eater – if you’ve been following me on twitter or Instagram you might know this already. Not only do they rate as one of my favorite snacks, but they are a strict requirement for my cheese plates. I mean, really, a cheese plate is not a cheese plate unless there’s a decent Manzanilla olive somewhere on it. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually know too much about olives, aside from my preference for the Spanish Olives mix at the grocery store. Luckily, the Olives From Spain team was on hand to school me on some interesting facts:

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

Did you know that most olives are used solely for oil extraction? I had no idea! And while the time it takes for every olive to go through the process required to get them ready for eating may vary, only a select few are deemed suitable for consumption. I love that – it makes my snacking olives feel that much more special. Speaking of special, the olives served at Spain’s Great Match by Olives From Spain were something extra – just look at these Olives with Marcona Almonds (another Spanish specialty), diced piquillos, and Carables cheese. So, so good.

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

But my favorite was the Queen Olives stuffed with goat cheese, and served with a slice of apple, honey, and extra virgin olive oil. Queen Olives are named for their size, which the Olives From Spain folks informed me correlates to their price. The larger the olive, the more expensive it is. I’m familiar with stuffed olives – I’ve had them with piquillos, lemon, and almonds, but up until this event, I’ve never had them with goat cheese. I expected the cheese to come across as sharp and bitter, but the combination of the olive with the cheese, apple, and honey struck such an ideal balance that I had to restrain myself from snapping them all up and eating them myself.

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

Spain’s olives not only deliver great flavor and make a great low calorie snacking food, they also pack in a surprising amount of iron and fiber! There are currently more than 300 million olive trees in Spain, so there’s plenty to go around (or at least enough for my snacking habits). Which is a good thing, seeing as how Spain produces about half of the 145,000 tons of olives we import every year. Suffice it to say, the US is a massive fan of Spanish olives.

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

How do you enjoy your olives? Do you serve them as a table snack? Or do you use them in marinades, salads, or stews? Olives from Spain are so versatile, but if you’re looking for a creative way to serve some look no further than http://olivesfromspain.us/ for more recipes and to learn more about your favorite Spanish olives!