Donna Bell’s Bake Shop!

 

Attention NCIS fans – did you know that Pauley Perrette – aka Abby Sciuto on CBS’ NCIS owns a Southern style bakery in the middle of midtown Manhattan? And it’s amazing? The treats are fabulous, and prices are very reasonable for New York City. I What I love the most about the little shop is they do not brag about their famous proprietor and only have a few photos of her in the store.  It feels much less like a celebrity owned tourist trap in NYC, and more like a hometown bakery a few blocks from Time Square. Take a look at how the store got started, it’s pretty cool!  
 

the shadow-y window sign photo attempt

Adam and I stopped by there for a quick snack last week, but I decided to post about it today in honor of a new NCIS episode (I’m a dork, I know) – It’s also No-Eat-Outober so if we stopped here together, we’d be  breaking our own rule!

 

ginormous cookies and candy filled brownie bars! You can see a corner of Adam's favorite lemon bars in the corner of the photo 🙂

He had the lemon bar, which he loved. I tried it, and while I’m not normally a lemon fan, this bar provided a perfect mix of tart and sweet. I tried the jalapeno corn bread, which was also amazing, but came in a GIANT piece. I ended up only eating part of it. While it was that good, I didn’t want to eat my day’s calories in corn bread (although, I totally could have – so yummy!) I didn’t get the best photos of our treats, but I promise, next timeto get some good ones.

One of my favorite foods that I’ve tried from Donna Bell’s is their Bacon, Bleu Cheese and Parsley biscuit. I’m not usually a huge biscuit fan,  but these things are amazing!

 

how much is that bac-on in the window?

 

Donna Bell’s is close enough to my office that I sometimes stop by for a cup of coffee – which is also tasty, and not too strong. If you’re in the area stop by Donna Bell’s – it’s so much better than Starbucks and Magnolia combined 🙂

Alice’s Tea Cup + Fall Oatmeal Variations

With Yom Kippur, Friday – Saturday, there really is not that much food or fitness related talk. Rather, there was a more of a lack of food and fitness and despite the deficiency in the edible part of the weekend; it was great to spend time with my sister, my grandmother, and my aunt.  

However one meal did stand out.  Traditionally, Jews break their fast with a meal called a break fast, and eat (surprise!) breakfast foods. It’s much easier on the tummy to introduce low key breakfast foods than a greasy pizza or heavy steak. And we did just that. I can’t tell you how good a bagel, some cream cheese, and a glass of water tastes after not eating or drinking for 24 hours.  My aunt and grandmother prepared a beautiful break fast with bagels, cream cheese, smoked fishes, juice, cakes, cookies – wow SO good!

 

must.eat.bagel.

 

On Sunday we celebrated my good friend Reba’s birthday with brunch at one of my favorite breakfast hot spots in the city – Alice’s Tea Cup. Funnily enough, Reba and I became good friends working out together – friends that are active together, stay together.

 

I'm a little tea pot short ans stout ...

 

Alice’s is little girl (and big girl)’s dream. It’s decorated in pinks, purples and perfect for either a four year old’s tea party birthday or a 30 year old’s baby shower. The Alice in Wonderland theme is not overdone and I love the added fairy tale ambiance. They serve amazing scones, decadent desserts, and lovely tea sandwiches. And it wouldn’t be Alice’s if you didn’t try their tea, they have a tea menu that is the size of half a phone book.

 But, beware. It can be over a two hour wait on weekends. We waited two and a half hours on Sunday. Their rule for reservations are that you need a group of six, and everyone needs to order a $30 pre-fix menu – which we decided to veto and chose to wait instead of secure an advanced booking.

What I love about this place, is that you can easily make healthy tasty choices – or if you want to indulge, they have incredible options as well.

 I chose the oatmeal – which was a perfect fall treat. They make it very light and fluffy, but only use water and for a couple of extra bucks, you can add berries on top.

pretty, tasty AND healthy!

 

A friend tried the scones benedict, where you get to chose a savory scone to top with a poached egg and hollaindise sauce. The chicken and potato hash that is served on the side was a big hit at the table.

 

what a treat!

The biggest sellers at Alice’s are their scones, and the pumpkin scone is a perfect fall treat.

 

the perfect fall treat 🙂

 

 

Speaking of fall breakfast treats – Check out my article in Resident Magazine on tips for fun twists on Oatmeal from some of my favorite healthy living bloggers, Julie from PB Fingers, Kelly from Eat-Yourself-Skinny, Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point, Katy Widrick from katywidrick.com and Tina from Carrots N’ Cake.

 

Beef and Barley Soup

In the spirit of No-Eat-Outober, I made soup last night instead of ordering it in. I consider it a win! I seem to have caught the ridiculous bug going around our office and have something between a cold, the flu and allergies. Yuck! And the first thing I wanted to do was thrown in the towel and order in buckets of Matzah Ball soup.  But, I stuck it out and made a healthy version of beef and barley soup. I’m not talented enough to whip up fresh matzah ball soup in a 40 minute peiod, but this  was cheap, and easy!

YUM YUM YUM

Check out the recipe – It was delicious!

Ingredients

¾ a pound of extra lean ground beef

3 cups of water

1 clove of garlic

1 cup barley

5 cups beef broth

1 onions, chopped

1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn and green beans)

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 (10 ounce) packages sliced mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon of black pepper

Couple sprays of Pam

simmering on the stove

Directions

Tip: Brown the beef, and cook the Barley at the same time for a quicker soup

Brown the garlic and beef, stir in the onions, mixed vegetables and celery; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes more.  Bring the barley and water to a boil in a saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until tender.  Pour in beef broth, and bring soup to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering 15 minutes. Stir in barley, and season with salt and pepper before serving

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite soup to eat when you’re sick?

Yankee Post Season Game

This weekend we had a great time

We made stuffed peppers. I used lean ground beef and barley instead of ground turkey and brown rice. They were delicious. We had a little date night watching Harry Potter 2 rented off of itunes. Adam just started reading the books, and we’ve been watching the movies as he finishes the books up.

Barley and Lean Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers

We went to the Yankee’s second ALDS game against Detroit. It was so much fun (Even if they lost, and played like the Mets – Sorry Adam, they were not on their A game)!

Silly face, for silly plays

For all you people visiting the city, or not huge sports fans here are my clift notes on getting on making it through a game.

Hip - Hip - Jorge!

How to Survive a Yankee’s Game

  1. Take the 4 or 5 subway to Yankee Stadium (Avoid eye contact with all the crazy fans. They do bite).
  2.  Look for healthy salad options at the stadium. If you’re looking to splurge, the Nachos are said to be less than 800 calories and are quite tasty!
  3. Suppress any urge to cheer for the other team. Yankee fans will start an “Assss-hoooollleee” cheer throughout the stadium, and you feel like an idiot.
  4. Talk to the people sitting around you. Drunk Yankee’s fans love to make conversation.
  5. Don’t be afraid to sing YMCA with the grounds crew during the fifth inning.
  6. Hip-Hip-Jorge, is one of the most fun cheers around – Do it!

How do you survive Yankee Stadium?

No Eat Out-tober

New month – new healthy living goals!

1. No cabs – I waste a ton of money taking $10 cab rides everywhere, and since I have two feet, and a metro card, this needs to stop.

2. No eating out  – We’ve been eating out SO much, that it doesn’t feel exciting any more. Adam and I are taking the month of October, and per the fiancé calling it “No Eat Out-tober”  – we’ll be cooking (or semi-homemade-esque) cooking everything! Hopefully, this will help keep my choices healthier as well. Keep an eye out for some more tasty recipes!

3. Be more active!  – I’m guilty of falling behind on my workouts. This past weekend I kicked it up a notch and started working out with one of my favorites (and the person who first kicked my butt in gear) Sean Wright. Gotta get my body back in peak condition!

4. Save more! Since we’re hosting (almost) our wedding by ourselves, we’ve been planning out how to reach our financial goals to plan our dream wedding. We’re making lots of little changes to keep our finances low

– Getting rid of cable. Writing/Reading will come first – and we’ll save some money along the way! No more couch potato Saturdays of NCIS marathons.

 – Spending date night in, and watching Harry Potter movies. Adam just started the series, so we’ve been watching the movies as he finishes the books. We just watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this Weekend!

– See goal number two.

 Here’s to October! Bring on the fall!