Holiday Gifts 2012

Well here we are… The holiday season is upon us and that means it’s time to buy gifts. I am pretty lucky because my mother and sister are easy to shop for. My mother is a cookbook and kitchen gadget freak, and my sister loves jewelry, art, movies and a million other easily bought products. SCORE! On the other hand my father is an impossibility  My mother once got him what he asked for and the next week he sold it on Ebay. Smooth, dad, real smooth.

Anyway, here is a list of great gifts for the people in your family for the Holidays and some of my favorite new products.

Kitchen/Cooking

Salad Dressing Mixer
emulstir-salad-dressing-mixer

Williams-Sonoma
$14.95 plus shipping

Heb Mill
95701560803046177_k3oHl8Ng_cWilliam-Sonoma
$19.95

Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook
thepioneerwomancooks500Amazon
$15.92

Avocado Cuber
Avocado_Cuber_3-sixhundredWilliams-Sonoma
$16.95

Espresso Cup Set
109916047126934787_nI9WGa8ZPier 1
$15.95

Teenager

Phone Cases from Etsy
109916047126934774_2SDeVRGP_cEtsy
$15.99

il_570xN.382520356_sqzu

Etsy
$19.99

Love Bracelet
braceletStella & Dot
$19

Glow in the Dark Nail Polish
american-apparel-glow-in-the-dark-nail-polishAmerican Apparel
$6 each


Gifts for Dad

Bottle of His Favorite Liqour
grand-marnier-290x290

14

Hot Sauce
5editedagainMad Foodz
$25.95

These are my ideas for my mom, dad and sister. I think they will go over well. I can’t wait for Christmas! It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

What are your favorite holiday gifts for this year?

Pop Tarts

So not only was I offline because of Hurricane Sandy, my computer now has a virus and I need a new one. That’s why I have has such a lack of posts lately. Well, I’ve hijacked my sisters computer for the night so I can stay connected and I figured it was time to talk about these AMAZING new Pop Tart flavors.

I must say, I haven’t eaten a Pop Tart in about 10 years but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember how good they were. And now they have come out with holiday Pop Tarts… Drool! My favorite part is that you can eat them for any meal. They sound and look amazing and I felt like now was the time to share them with the world!

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts


Gingerbread Pop Tarts

Sugar Cookie Pop Tarts


Marshmallow Hot Chocolate

Yum!

Trader Joe’s

I was just on the lovely blog Delighted Momma and I was inspired to make a post about my two new favorite Trader Joe’s products.

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter

I’ve been putting it on everything lately. It’s really good with peanut butter!

Trader Joe’s Cream Cheese

I love all things pumpkin and I love all things cream cheese so it was natural that I would love this product 🙂

*Disclaimer: None of the photos in this post are mine.

Coconut Banana Bread

This bread is so good and so easy! I made it as a dessert but it turned out to be a really great breakfast item. I spread a little Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese on top and it was fabulous! And the best part is that it’s healthy. YAY!

What you’ll need:

1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sweetened coconut, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil (I used olive)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp skim milk, if needed
1/4 cup fat free Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, brown sugar and vanilla. Add in the egg whites and mix together until the dough is smooth. Then, add the oil. Slowly, add in the flour and combine.

Next add the greek yogurt and orange juice. If the dough is too thick to work with, add the 2 tablespoons of milk (I didn’t have to with mine. It depends on how yours comes out). The thicker the dough, the denser the bread will be. It depends on your preference.

Then fold in the coconut to the batter. Pour the dough into a well greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the extra coconut on top of the bread and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and the edges are golden brown.

OPTIONAL: If you want to be a little more health conscious, you can use whole wheat flour instead of white.

Recipe from: Ambitious Kitchen

My NYC Favorites

I have the luxury of living 20 minutes outside of Manhattan and I plan on living there sometime in the near future. So I thought I would dedicate a post on my favorite restaurants/things to do in The Big Apple.

Restaurants:

Tartine
253 West 11th Street

I have been coming to Tartine with my family for at least 10 years and it is just as good as day one, if not better. The food is great and the service is consistently friendly and upbeat. The best part: Tartine is a BYO with NO CORKING FEE. That’s almost unheard of in NYC!

Barbone
186 Avenue B

The food at Barbone is incredible. They serve an Italian cuisine with a new American twist. My favorite part of this place is the back garden eating area. I’m usually against eating outside but this outside area was so serene and beautiful that I didn’t care. If you go here and the weather is nice, sitting in the back is key!

Kuma Inn
113 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor

From the outside, Kuma Inn is very deceiving. It’s a little hole in the wall, but once you walk up the stairs to the restaurant, it is a cute little place. The food is mouth-watering. The cuisine is Filipino (It’s a lot like Japanese) and I come here often for the amazing food. Enjoy!

Other Restaurants to try:

Tortilla Flats – 767 Washington Street
Vero – 1004 2nd Avenue
Magnolia Bakery – 401 Bleecker Street

Things to Do:

Shopping in the Village

Whether it’s the East or the West Village, the shopping is amazing, a little pricy, but amazing. If you find yourself with some extra cash and need a place to spend it, The Village is the best. Even if you are short on cash and just want to have fun, this place is great for that too. They have high end stores like Marc JacobsCynthia Rowley, and Juicy Couture. But they have cheaper stores as well.

Go to a Mets Game

Unfortunately, I am the daughter of a DIE HARD Mets fan. It wouldn’t be so bad if the Mets were actually good, but we all know they suck. The bright side? Tickets are super cheap to the games. Towards the end of the season (when there is no hop whatsoever for the Mets to make the playoffs) tickets on Stubhub drop down to mere pennies, literally. I’ve gotten tickets for $.25 each in the past. You read that right, TWENTY-FIVE CENTS.

Walk the Highline
519 West 23rd Street

The Highline walkway was just finished and it is beautiful. It is a mile and a half of amazing views and sights. It is hard to explain without seeing it with your own eyes. Go for a stroll and see for yourself.

Other things:

Bar hopping – you can bar hop anywhere in NYC
Museum Row – MoMA, The Met, Museum of Natural History

There are so many more amazing things in NYC but these were the ones that come to mind right now. If I think of anymore, I will keep you posted!

Favorites

Here’s a round up of my favorite things for the week:

Delighted Momma

Great recipes, skin tips and tons of DIY activites.

Buzz Feed

This site has some of the funniest pics, lists, memes and articles. To be honest, I wish I came up woth half of the stuff they post. Check it out!

Save the Ta-Tas

For October (Break Cancer Awareness Month) go and buy a shirt and support a great cause!

Cake Batter Rice Krispy Bars

This was my first shot at homemade rice krispies and I’m so glad I tried it. It was the easiest recipe to follow and only took about 15 minutes. And they are so delicious. Everyone loves a rice krispy treat… It certainly brings me back to elementary school with that shiny blue wrapper!

The cake flavor adds a whole new element and makes them even better!

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. of butter
1 (10 oz.) bag of marshmallows
1/3 – 2/3 cup yellow cake mix
6 cups rice krispy cereal
1 (1.75 oz) container of sprinkles

What to do:

In a large saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter and then add in the bag of marshmallows. Stir until they begin to melt. Add in the cake mix one spoonful at a time so it’s combined. Taste the mixture to get the desired cake flavor. Stir in the cereal so it is completely coated with the marshmallow mixture. Pour in half the sprinkle container and stir. Press into a baking dish (any size depending on how thick you wants your treats) and let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

I love the color that the sprinkles add. It makes them more fun!