Category Archives: Banter

Summertime To Get Living

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Happy Summer – official Summer! Summer, summer, summer. Man I just want to shout it from the rooftops! I love New York, but I really love New York in the summer. People are nicer, people are happier and that makes me happier. And happiness, well, that’s what life is all about.

Feeling inspired by Cupcakes and Cashmere, I have constructed a Summer To Do List. Some to-dos, well, they’re edible, and others are not. Regardless, there will be food – oh yes, there will be food. So, without further ado, I present to you the Bite-Sized Summer 2013 To Do List…

10. Eat my heart out at John Brown Smokehouse in Long Island City.
Their website is http://www.johnbrownseriousbbq.com. So let me be serious when I say, I plan on eating a serious amount of BBQ here – while enjoying the summer heat and the musical talents of whoever or whatever is playing.

9. Enjoy a Mediterranean dinner on my patio.
I’m thinking babaganoush, grilled pita with za’atar, cauliflower, and salads. Under the dim lights of lanterns from Turkey, surrounded by ceramics from Israel and plants, well, from the nursery at Home Depot. It’s my paradise.

8. Go to a movie in the park night.
There’s just something romantic about this. Even without the romance. I love the idea of grabbing a blanket, a cold bottle of rose, or a really delicious imported 6 pack, or both, whatever. A few snacks and some good company. All the makings of a great night.

7. Eat something I have never tried before.
This might otherwise be hard, but I’ll be in Spain and Morocco in a few short weeks. So watch out world, here I come with my anything but Bite-Sized appetite.

6. Purposely get lost in a neighborhood I’m not familiar with.
To know me is to know I do not thrive on the unknown. I am a planner through and through. One of my most serious talents is list making – especially packing lists. Oh, and I’m dead serious about this. So, in an effort to break out of my comfort zone, my oh so familiar comfort zone, I want to spend some time without a plan, without a map, without a care. Who knows, maybe by not having a plan in place, I’ll find something I never knew I was looking for.

5. Try a CitiBike.
I’m only slightly terrified to ride a bike in Manhattan. After the Rollerblading Incident of 2009, I’m a little wary of wheels. But, if Fat Jew can do it, I can too. (Does it count if I don’t actually move the bike from the docking station?)

4. Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
It still baffles me that I haven’t been here yet. Enough is enough. I’m putting my foot down. This is the summer I will finally go to Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

3. Host a big, and I mean really big, dinner party at my apartment.
I have been trying to figure out how to get 20 people into my apartment for a seated dinner party for a while now. And yes, 20 people is a really big dinner party for my apartment. But, I am determined to figure this out. The menu has already been designed – now it’s all about the logistics.

2. Nap on the beach.
I am a firm believer that the most peaceful time to be on the beach is at dusk. The crowd is gone – and with it, the noise of the day. And while the sun slowly lowers itself out of the sky, I like to lower myself out of consciousness, into a deep, deep nap.

1. Get back into blogging.
A somewhat obvious ending to my list. But I hope that’s a good thing.

Now, tell me…what’s on your Summer To Do List?

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It’s Crunch Time…

So, its crunch time, and I’m not referring to the Captain, although I wish I was.   I mean it’s almost V-Day.  4 Days and counting.  Whether you have a new love, old love, or last minute love, you need to plan something.   Unless of course you are unattached this holiday, and in that case, you can stop reading now.

If you are looking to impress your Valentine, or at least not piss them off, I have a few suggestions for you.  Nothing says “I want to spend time with you like dinner.”  Hey, there’s a reason most people go for drinks on a first date.  But dinner isn’t just dinner on Valentine’s Day. So make sure to pick a restaurant that shows you put a little thought into this.

Here are a couple Bite- Sized Valentine’s Day picks…

Bobo.  This French restaurant in the West Village is the perfect quaint and quiet backdrop for a romantic night.  The food will impress.  Just make sure you will too.

In Vino.  This Italian restaurant in the East Village is warm and cozy.  A nice bottle of vino at In Vino is sure to set the mood.

Marc Forgione.  This rustic American bistro in Tribecca is known for their exceptional food and killer cocktails.  What more could you ask for?

Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day can be uber-annoying, especially if there is a pre-fixe involved.  Pre-fixe has me predisposed to think overrated.  Pre-fixe? More like please fix this ASAP, and get me a real menu.   So, if the kitchen is more your scene than Kittichai, then you know what you have to do.  Love is in the air, literally, if you cook at home.  You’re entire apartment can smell like love, or short ribs, which is the same thing really.

Valentine’s day is a Tuesday this year, and it’s hard to prepare a whole meal after work.  So, my suggestion, start early.  Make things this weekend you can refrigerate, or freeze, until you are ready to serve them.  Like soup, click here, here and here to see a few soup recipes.  Another recipe you can make in advance? Gnocchi!  Make the dough this weekend, precut the gnocchi and freeze them.  On Tuesday, take them out of the freezer right before you want to cook them. They will just need a few minutes in the boiling water, and voila! You will have a meal sure to impress!!

Craving a little more spontaneity? How about breakfast? This oh so important meal can be a totally unexpected Valentine’s surprise.  Start your morning with pancake hearts or a heart shaped egg in a hole.

Looking to heat things up, but not in the kitchen?  Check out Shag Brooklyn.  This unique adult store, art gallery, event space hybrid is hosting a Valentine’s event for the books.  Aphrodisiacs and Amor is a blindfolded tasting meant to tease, tantalize and tickle your taste buds.  Their words, not mine.

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen sex store, and head to Nitehawk Cinemas.  This movie theater takes the idea of dinner and a movie to a whole new level.  The theater has a full restaurant that delivers your food to your seats during the show!

Great, dinner down, but one gift to go…Check out Tasting Table’s Valentine’s Shop.   Of course, this will only work if your Valentine is a foodie.  Otherwise, best of luck to you!

What are you planning this Valentine’s Day?

Souper Bowl

This Bite-Sized Blonde knows a thing or two about basketball, but football? Forget about it.  So, on the most important football day of the whole year, I’m more concerned with the snacks than the sports.   But if you ask me, the real question today isn’t Manning versus Brady, it’s Manhattan Clam Chowder versus New England Clam Chowder.  Super Bowl? More like Souper Bowl!

No matter your preference, I have a recipe for you…

Manhattan Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

So, what’s your tummy rooting for today?  Mine wants a GIANT bowl of Manhattan Clam Chowder!!!

Dreidles to Play With and Latkes to Eat

Chanukah is my favorite holiday, well really second favorite.  Obviously because Halloween is my first.  But I guess if we are only talking holidays in terms of religion, Chanukah is my number 1.  Wait, who am I kidding? Candy is a religion. Halloween is still my number 1.  But I really do love Chanukah.  Now, I know what you are thinking; Chanukah is my favorite because I get eight presents.  Well both my parents can attest to the fact that that’s just not true anymore.  So what makes this holiday so special? Everything, that’s what.  But, if I had to narrow it down I could choose 3 choice words to describe this holiday: champagne, caviar and chocolate.

I bet that’s not what you were expecting me to say.  But since when is this Bite-Sized Blonde predictable? While predictable I’m not, I am traditional.  And I mean that in the sense that I create traditions and then follow them.  So, for me, Chanukah tradition is all about the three C’s.

Champagne is somewhat obvious.  I told you once, a party just ain’t a party without a little of the bubbly stuff.  And Chanukah is one hell of a party.  You certainly cannot celebrate, especially a miracle, without champagne.  I think that’s considered sacrilegious.

Caviar – also a celebratory food, but that’s not the reason you’ll find it at my Chanukah table.  Caviar is salty, which offsets the greasy latkes perfectly.  With just a hint of sour cream, it’s really the perfect pairing.  If this tasty treat sounds awfully familiar, it’s because it’s kind of like a blini, but better.  And in case it didn’t sound familiar at all, and know you’re wondering what a blini is, I’ll tell you.  A blini is a pancake typically topped with crème fraiche and caviar.  What makes my Chanukah blinis great, is a great latke as a base.

Now chocolate.  Chocolate is as much a part of Chanukah as dreidles.  Hello…gelt.  But, if you’re anything like this Bite-Sized Chocoholic, gelt isn’t enough to calm your cravings.  So, we end our Chanukah celebration with even more chocolate.

I hope your mouth is watering.  I know mine is.  But what I really also hope is that you have a wonderful Chanukah!

Stay tuned this week for recipes, and of course, a photo recap!

The Proof is in the Pudding

I am blown away by the amazing support I received yesterday.  I am truly one lucky Bite-Sized Blonde.  With your help, and the generous support of an anonymous donor, $1,175 dollars is being donated to Feeding America today.  But the proof is really in the pudding, because that money is going to supply 9,400 meals to people in need!

A simple thank you doesn’t seem like enough…so here goes nothing.  Thank you. Muchas gracias. Merci beaucoup. Toda raba.  Grazie.  Arigato. I may run out of languages I know, but my gratitude is eternal.

Feeding America

When I made a list of all the things I am thankful for, I forgot to mention one very obvious thing.  Food.  I am thankful for food.  It seems like a strange thing to be thankful for to those who don’t worry about where their next meal is coming from.  But for 1 out of every 6 Americans, it’s a sad reality.

Many of the Americans that are struggling with hunger are hardworking people.  Despite what you may think, hunger doesn’t just affect those that are homeless or out of work, nor does it only affect adults.  Children across the country are feeling the hardships of not having enough to eat.  More than 17 million children live in homes that are food-insecure.  This is not just a moral issue.  Without proper nutrition, a young person’s ability to learn and grow is hampered.  In fact, children who suffer from hunger are more likely to experience behavior and cognitive problems.

One organization fighting to end hunger across the country is Feeding America.   Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.  They provide nutritious foods to Americans struggling with hunger through the assistance of 200 local and national programs.

There are so many ways to get involved, and there are so many ways to give.  Today, I have chosen to make a donation.  For every $1 donated, Feeding America is able to provide 8 meals to people in need.  But I need your help to make an impact.  For every hit I get on my blog today, I will donate $1 towards Feeding America.  So, get out there and pass this post along!

To learn more about Feeding America, check out this video

Foto Friday

Ughh, that’s the only sound I can make right now.  Probably because I am still so full.  Oh, the beauty of stuffing your face for 3 straight hours.  Well, one more thing I’m thankful for this year, is that this feast only happens but once a year.

I have been promising you photos all week, and boy do I have a lot of them! I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as  I did.  And if you are still hungry for more, I have serious leftovers.

Thanksgiving Photo Recap…it’s right about now I wish this was a slideshow…

Baked Brie 

Autumnal Salad

Turkey Breast 

Drunken Cranberry Sauce

Coconut Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Apple Pie

Brownie S’mores Pie