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Hilarious Hostess Gift: The Wine Condom

Looking for something that will make your hostess smile? Tuck a Wine Concom into your note that accompanies your gift. I promise a laugh. At least that was the reaction each time I've done so. Having seen an article in Drink Me that wine condoms topped $1 million in sales, we reached out to the company for info and a sample so that I could share that with you. Unlike corks or pourer caps, wine condoms — as you'd expect from their name — fit flush against the bottle, preventing spills and allowing the bottle to fit in the fridge. You can buy this on-the-go protection in packages of six for $15, [...]

By |2018-10-15T09:15:14+00:00October 15th, 2018|Just For Fun, Products|0 Comments

Bubble Tea at Ten Ren Tea, Chinatown, NYC

While waiting in the seemingly interminable line outside a restaurant on Elizabeth Street, we decided to quench our thirst with some bubble tea around the corner on Mott Street. Ten Ren named one of the best Bubble Tea places in NYC in Time Out, The Gothamist and Yelp. I had tried it a few years ago and wasn't wild about it. Thought I'd give the Taiwanese drink invented in the 1980s another chance. Don't go if you have trouble making decisions. After picking the type of tea and flavor, you select both your sweetness and ice levels. One friend chose 100 percent sweetness for his black milk tea ($5.05 large), the other 50 for her [...]

By |2018-10-06T08:16:31+00:00October 5th, 2018|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

TrüCup low acid coffee

To say I'm skeptical about food claims is an understatement, especially after reviewing products for most of my life. Trücup's claim is that their coffee is a stomach-friendly alternative to traditional coffee. Java for Americans who either avoid coffee or cannot drink as much as they like, due to stomach irritation (GERD or acid reflux) caused by acid. The company says, "trücup Born To Be Mild (Light Roast) clocked in at an impressive 5.74 pH level – making it up to 4.6 times less acidic than roasts from leading national coffee brands." The coffee is made using South American Arabica beans using a proprietary steam process to remove the acids that can irritate your stomach [...]

By |2018-09-15T15:24:30+00:00September 17th, 2018|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Manhattan’s Only Distillery – Our/New York and Bar

I recently joined Untapped Cities, as some friends and I wanted to do one of their events. We figured for $10 a month, we'd try it out. Through them, I attended a tour and vodka tasting at Our/New York, which opened in May. This small-batch, micro-distillery Manhattan’s first since Prohibition. It is part of Pernod Ricard, the French-based wine and spirits company. Before the tour, we tried their too sweet for me Excelsior '64 cocktail made from their vodka, lavender, elderflower and sparkling wine. I was happier with the straight vodka we tried after learning how it was made. OUR/New York is not only a distillery, it's also a bar [...]

By |2018-08-13T17:52:11+00:00September 13th, 2018|City Bites, Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Acme Fish Fridays, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

If you — like me — are catatonic over the high price of smoked fish in Manhattan, you need to know about Acme Fish's Fridays. Zabar's website offers hand-sliced Nova salmon for $32 - $64 a pound. On Friday's from 8 am to 1 pm, you can buy the same smoked salmon, pre-sliced for $9 a pound. That's not a typo! Zabar's whole whitefish is $64, at Acme a 2-pound whole one is $16 ($8 a pound). Acme probably supplies the smoked fish to most places you shop. Every Friday morning, they open their factory located at 30 Gem Street, just off North 15th N Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and sell [...]

By |2018-06-11T09:30:09+00:00May 25th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products, Recommended|0 Comments

Breads Bakery, Union Square, NYC — Chocolate Babka

One of the stops I need to make before heading to visit one of my sons is Breads Bakery (on 16th just off Union Square) for their incredibly decadent chocolate babka ($14.95 or 2 for $22). Theirs has rightfully been voted the best in New York City. Babka — the braided, chocolate-veined interior — was made mainstream by Seinfeld in the '90s, babka. It's a half-yeasted-bread, half-cake irresistible treat to eat anytime. Breads makes theirs using butter and spreads the dough with a blend of Nutella and dark chocolate chips. They bake it several times a day, so it's always fresh. If you've never tried this crisp crust, moist babka, [...]

Terra Chips made with Avocado Oil

Those who like Terra's real vegetable chips would be interested to know they just introduced two varieties cooked in avocado oil, a healthy fat. These new sweet potato chips come in two flavors — sweet chipotle and a sweets medley with batata (Cuban sweet potato ), sweet potato and purple sweet potato chips seasoned with Sel Gris (a French sea salt). A 5-ounce bag costs $3.49-3.79. A one-ounce serving of these two new chips contains 140 calories, 6 to 7 grams a fat (of which 0.5 to 1 gram is saturated), 2 grams fiber and 105 to 140 milligrams sodium. I wouldn't buy these, as when I indulge in chips, it's [...]

By |2018-04-07T08:15:09+00:00May 15th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Of Interest, Products|0 Comments

City Bakery’s Pretzel Croissant, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

An out of town friend emailed to meet at City Bakery. She wrote, "Gotta have one pretzel croissant per visit." I was looking forward to both seeing her and also trying my first pretzel croissant ($4.50). It has a crisp, salty slightly crunchy crust sprinkled with sesame seeds — the inside is pure flaky croissant. An absolute treat. If you've never had one, be sure to stop in on 18th Street when in the hood. City Bakery Gramercy-Flatiron 3 W 18th Street New York, NY 10011 (212) 366-1414

The Donut Pub, Chelsea, NYC

I go to The Donut Pub but don't eat donuts. Instead, I stop by this 14th Street establishment only for their Black & White cookies ($3.25 each) served with a smile. When I moved to the city, I learned theirs are the best; as I learned Breads Bakery has the best chocolate babka. I stop in at The Donut Pub when I'm running around the city picking up bagels, whitefish salad, chocolate babka and black & white cookies to pack when I'm boarding a plane to bring these goodies to family. When I'm heading to Paris, I purchase one all white (Yup! they make all whites, but not all blacks!), for [...]

By |2018-04-26T06:20:11+00:00April 26th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products|1 Comment

Bono Organic Blood Orange Marmalade

Returning to Sicily this month, I had a special interest in tasting Bono's organic Blood Orange Marmalade made from only fresh Sicilian blood oranges. It's not too sweet with the flavor of the eponymous citrus fruit. One tablespoon of this Sicilian blood orange marmalade with rind contains 30 calories; a 12.4-ounce jar sells for $4.99 to $5.99. To find a store near you that sells it, click here for a product locator.

By |2018-04-04T09:10:05+00:00April 6th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products|0 Comments

Loi Dips

My friend and fellow Dame — a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier — Chef Maria Loi has created a line of four fresh ready-to-serve dips, ones that she serves as starters at Loi Estiatorio (her NYC restaurant NYC on west 58th) and that follow the principals of her book, The Greek Diet. I put these out at a brunch recently with veggies for dipping and asked my guests to choose their favorite. The top choice was the pougi with feta, a dip made with Greek yogurt, feta, olive oil, and a little bit of spice. A 2-tablespoon serving contains 70 calories, 7 grams fat (of which 3 are saturated) and 170 mg sodium. Tied [...]

By |2018-03-14T10:45:54+00:00March 16th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products|0 Comments

Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog Dill Remix

I've always been a fan of Cypress Grove's signature soft, surface-ripened, award-winning buttermilk and fresh cream Humboldt Fog cheese. I was thrilled when a publicist emailed me about this new Dill Remix limited edition (only available through April), offering a sample. This is  not to be missed. It's filled with a distinctive ribbon of dill, ash and hand-harvested dill pollen giving a citrus finish to this creamy goat cheese. Uncut, it has a white cake-like appearance; once cut, you’ll notice the ribbon in the center. One ounce contains about 100 calories, 7 grams of fat (of which 4 are saturated) and 200 milligrams sodium A three-pound wheel is available for $70 on their site, while cheese [...]

By |2018-03-01T13:48:48+00:00March 2nd, 2018|Food & Drinks, Recommended|1 Comment

Li-Lac Chocolates

A publicist asked if he could send me some Li-Lac Chocolates from Manhattan's oldest chocolate house. How could I say no? He mentioned that for nearly 100 years, the company has been handcrafting gourmet, small-batch chocolate and confections using the same old-world cooking methods and time-honored recipes. I luckily had friend visiting when the chocolate arrived  - otherwise would have been a disaster for my waistline. The bark ($36 per pound) had freshly roasted almonds enrobed in white, milk — and my favorite — dark chocolate.   The butter crunch are addictive squares of almond toffee coated in milk chocolate and sprinkled with almond dust ($36 per pound). I sliced the almost [...]

By |2018-02-05T15:43:49+00:00February 14th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products, Recommended|0 Comments

Moët Impérial Golden Sparkle Bottle: Holiday Gifts

For an always perfect hostess gift, bring a bottle of bubbly as it's always a welcome addition to any holiday get together. Consider Moët Impérial dressed up in a golden sparkly bottle (SRP $39.99). This Moët & Chandon champagne — in a gold bottle —adds a touch of glamour to all holiday celebrations.The bubbly  has bright fruitiness and elegant maturity with a seductive palate.

By |2017-11-26T18:10:45+00:00December 4th, 2017|Food & Drinks, Products, Recommended|0 Comments

Hutzler Cheese Saver

What should you do with leftover cheese? Wrap in plastic? Wax paper? Aluminum foil?  Cloth? I generally use waxed paper -- as it breathes a bit more than the others. The inexpensive ($10) yellow-plastic Hutzler Cheese Saver is worth a try, especially if you're a cheese lover, like me. I found that for the most part, my cheeses stayed fresh longer, as it also allows them to breathe. To use it,  place a moist paper towel beneath the perforated plastic shelf and put the cheese on it. The cheese does stay fresh longer, whether hard or soft.    

Dole Organic Salad Mixes

Dole expanded its Organic Salad Mixes to six different varieties including baby spinach, spring mix, 50/50 salad mix, kale, super spinach, and baby spinach and arugula. All mixes are available in 5-ounce containers serving two - the baby spinach and spring mix are also available in 16-ounce containers serving five. Save Save

By |2017-10-02T16:20:55+00:00September 19th, 2017|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups

Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups come in a ready-to-eat snack cup with cheesecake on one side and one of four toppings on the other side. The cheesecake cups are free of artificial flavors or dyes. Each 3.25-ounce serving contains 170 to 220 calories, 6 to 7 grams saturated fat (of 10 to 12 grams total), 190 to 310 milligrams sodium and 2 to 3 grams protein. Kristine James, intern at Bite of the Best: My kids love these and they make a great addition to their lunch box for a special treat. They are about 40% lower in total fat than a regular piece of cheesecake with 10 to 12 grams per [...]

By |2017-09-04T21:41:05+00:00September 4th, 2017|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Planet Fuel Organic Juices

Planet Fuel Organic Juices, available with Cherry Lemonade, Apple Grape or Pear Lime flavors, are made without refined sugars, preservatives and artificial flavors. The juices are mixed with water to lower the sugar content and are offered in 10-ounce aluminum cans, which are bigger than usual juice boxes/pouches. Each 10-ounce serving contains 80 to 100 calories and 17 to 24 grams sugar. Kristine James, intern at Bite of the Best: My kids really enjoyed the juices. They are bigger than usual juice boxes/pouches, 10 ounces compared to 6 ounces, which makes them just the right size for my 7- and 10-year-old and they do not contain any high fructose corn [...]

By |2017-09-02T14:48:35+00:00August 25th, 2017|Food & Drinks, Of Interest|0 Comments

Sabatier Edgekeeper Forged Knives with Self-Sharpening Sheaths

Sabatier Edgekeeper Forged Knives come with Self-Sharpening Sheaths, offering a solution to the top consumer complaint about cutlery: dull knives. Each knife features a built-in sharpener that, not only protects the blade during storage, but also  hones the blade’s edge every time it's used. Save Save

By |2017-08-31T15:41:19+00:00August 2nd, 2017|Kitchen Counter, Drawer and More|1 Comment

Dave’s Killer Bread Bagels

Dave’s Killer Bread introduced a new line of organic bagels that are vegan, Non-GMO verified and available in three varieties: Plain Awesome, Epic Everything and Cinnamon Raisin Remix. Each bagel contains 260 to 270 calories, 0 to 0.5 grams saturated fat (of 2.5 to 6 grams total), 380 to 400 milligrams sodium and 11 grams protein. The Epic Everything is a good source of fiber with 3 grams a serving and together with the Plain Awesome a good source of iron with 10%. - bonnie: Sorry Dave, these are not bagels, other than their shape, at least not to anyone who's had a New York bagel. As breadstuff, these are [...]

By |2017-09-01T17:07:01+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Food & Drinks|0 Comments