Tag Archives: New York City

Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

5 Nov

 

You may have been able to watch Homeland last night or are back to work today but there are still thousands of people who are in need of help due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy[i]. Below are some ways you can help those in need.

Give Money

The Red Cross has made it very easy to donate to Hurricane Sandy victims.

 You can donate by:

–      Visiting the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org,

–      Calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

–      Texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation

–      Mailing a contribution to:

 The American Red Cross

P.O. Box 37243

Washington, D.C.

20013

 Volunteer

To volunteer in New Jersey, call the emergency response hotline 

1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397) or email Rowena Madden, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism at  Rowena.Madden@sos.state.nj.us.

 To volunteer in New York, check out New York City public advocate Bill de Blasio’s volunteer program, hosted on his website advocate.nyc.gov.

 

Buy a T-Shirt

GREY AREA is selling two t-shirts designed by Sebastian Errazuriz to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief victims. These shirts will be sold on their website (https://www.shopgreyarea.com) and at their SoHo showroom with 100% of the profit going to Hurricane Sandy relief programs.

Donate Blood

Hurricane Sandy has made a negative impact in blood supply so the Red Cross is  asking for immediate blood and platelet donations to support the needs of those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Go to http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation to make an appointment.

House a student

Fairfield University is asking for help housing about 300 students who lived along Fairfield beach. For information, visit www.fairfield.edu to sign up to host a student.

Want more information?

The Huffington Post is maintaining a live blog on how to help storm victims, which includes donation drop-off locations in New York and New Jersey.

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Project Candy

31 Jul

 

This week the show Project Runway mixed two of my favorite things, candy and fashion. The contestants went to Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York where they could spend $500 to buy anything in the store to then make their garments.  The results are amazing. Here are some of my favorites:

Contestant: Ven

Materials Black licorice and crushed rock candy

Contestant: Buffy

Materials: Sour strips, cotton candy and an umbrella

Contestant: Gunner

Materials: Licorice and Candy Foil

 

Contestant: Sonja

Materials: Gummy sharks, gumballs and jelly beans

 

Contestant: Melissa

Materials: Black licorice and silver twist ties

 

Contestant: Nathan

Materials: Foil chocolate  and candy boxes

Contestant: Elena

Materials: Pina colada licorice

 

Dmitry

Materials: Sour balls and a black t-shirt

 

Christopher

Materials: Licorice and rock candy

 

Chocolate Day

14 Feb

HAPPY CHOCOLATE DAY! Yes, I know it is called Valentine’s Day but according to Nielsen, Americans will purchase around 58 million pounds of chocolate during the days leading up to February 14th[i].

Chocolate Day came a day early for me this year as my husband surprised me on the 13th with a delicious box of chocolates from The Chocolate Bar in New York City http://www.chocolatebarnyc.com/blog1/ 

Gimmie S’mores

This is S’MORES in a candy bar! Hand piped marshmallow and graham covered in rich milk chocolate.

Rang Dangs

Cream filled chocolate cake. This is a little like a Ring Ding but it’s a small cake.

 Scooter Bar

Homemade marshmallow, caramel and flourless chocolate cake . This wasn’t my favorite, yet it must not have been so bad since I finished it in two bites.

 Milk Chocolate Bar

This is 4 ounces of creamy milk chocolate that melts in your mouth. It is definitely a step above my usual Hershey’s milk chocolate bar.

 And to top it all off, my favorite:

 Pretzels dipped in chocolate

Pretzel rods dipped in milk chocolate. The perfect combination of sweet  and savory!

 Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!

Cookie Chaos

11 Jan

Some people ponder how the show Jersey Shore can still be on television. Others wonder how Kim Kardashian’s marriage actually lasted a whole 72 days. But me, I find myself brooding over this important question; where can I get the best chocolate chip cookie? In order to help quench my thirst for knowledge of baked goods I assembled a team of experts and devised a good old blind taste test.

 The Contenders

 Magnolia Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

 Profile: Magnolia Bakery is notorious for their cupcakes which have been featured on television shows such as Sex and The City and Saturday Night Live. Magnolia’s vanilla cupcake was a winner in Cancer and Candy’s Cupcake Challenge (https://cancerandcandy.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/let-them-eat-cupcakes/) so I know these kids can bake but can the hype hold up when there is no frosting?

  Junior’s

 Profile: Junior’s is a New York Institution. Their cheesecake is famous and is actually the sole topic of the homepage on their website (http://www.juniorscheesecake.com/). Their website boasts that “Junior’s has the most Fabulous Cheesecake and Desserts”. The cookie looks good but is it really that fabulous? Should I have gone for the cheesecake? Stay tuned…

 Zaro’s New York Bakery

Profile: Zaro’s New York Bakery, more commonly known as Zaro’s is, according their website (www.zaro.com) “a family-owned and operated business which began in 1927 when Joseph Zaro arrived at Ellis Island from Eastern Europe”. I can confirm that the store is still run by the Zaro family, as Brian Zaro (fourth generation) is an alumnus of the college I attended (Go DUTCHMEN!) and can often be spotted helping hungry New Yorkers at their Grand Central store. Serving homemade bread, Zaro’s is a carbohydrate lover’s (me) dream but how will their cookies fair?

Starbucks

Profile: This coffee giant really needs no introduction. If currently there isn’t a Starbucks on your block, there will be one in the next week. The set up in most Starbucks is that while you wait to pay $10 for your coffee, hot chocolate or warm apple juice (shout out Katie B!) you have to stare at their delicious baked goods with  mouth watering names like brownie cake pot and marshmallow dream bar. Do the cookies taste as good as they sound? Let’s find out!

  Panel of Experts (in alphabetical order)

 Aiqi, Allison (me), Ashley, Carmela, Patrick and Scott

 Results

 Magnolia (Sample “A”)

This cupcake giant’s cookie was only given adequate reviews. The panel reported that the cookie was “a little bittersweet, too crunchy and unremarkable.” One panelist did report that this was his/her favorite cookie because it was “oatmealy”. I am not sure what that means but I am happy someone liked it.

 Junior’s (Sample “B”)

One panelist described the cookie as “lovely light brown looking”. This cookie really looked too good to be true and unfortunately, it was. The clear loser in our cookie taste test, the cookie was reported as “overcooked”, “too buttery” and “gross”. I actually couldn’t even finish mine and that is truly saying something.

  Zaro’s (Sample “C”)

 Zaro’s was the clear winner in our very scientific study. Their cookie was described as “soft”, “chocolatey goodness” and “having the perfect chip to dough ratio”. Four out of the six panelists voted this to be their favorite.

 Starbucks (Sample “D”)

To my surprise the Starbucks cookies aren’t half bad. One panelist stated that they “loved this cookie” as they felt it was filling and had a good amount of chocolate chips without being too sweet.  Another described the chocolate as “rich and smoky”. One panelist did point out the chips were more of the chunky variety so they were a bit different than the others and may not be liked by all.  Overall, my biggest problem with this cookie is that Starbucks has to post the calorie count on all products (New York City Law) and so I have the unfortunate pleasure of knowing that when I am buying and inhaling this cookie, I will be consuming 380 calories. Not Awesome. 

  Final Thoughts

It seems like there really isn’t anything like a homemade cookie and the Zaro family knows how to bake them to perfection! This is good news for you because they now ship all over the United States. Living in France? Hit up the local Starbucks for the next best thing. A special thanks goes out to my panel of experts!

  Stay tuned for our next challenge, Hot Chocolate!

 

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