New #SCBD Jersey Bites Post– The #SCBDExclusive Interview with Chef Robert Irvine of #RestaurantImpossible!


A Chat with Chef Robert Irvine Live in Red Bank 10/5 (via Jersey Bites)

If you are an avid Jersey Bites reader you saw this event in our “Foodie Things to Do This Weekend & Beyond” — Robert Irvine Live in Red Bank, NJ on October 5th at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank at 8 PM. As a huge fan of Restaurant Impossible and a major foodie, I made it my goal to not…

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Upcoming Fall & Fun Food Events: The #SCBD Edition

It’s official– food event season has begun and is going strong at least until November. I already had the pleasure of attending the Vendy Awards & Food Truck Rally. So in honor of the event season, check out this line-up of upcoming food events, starting with Bergenfest tomorrow night:

Bergen Health & Life Bergenfest 2012:

BERGEN COUNTY’S BIGGEST CELEBRATION!
No one knows the best go-to destinations in Bergen County better than the people who live here. You voted for your favorites and now we are bringing them all together for the 5th annual Bergenfest Party & Expo. at a New and Bigger Venue–with Great Parking.

Where: Sheraton Mahwah, 5-9 PM
The 411:
VIP Ticket Admittance – Don’t miss a thing! Enjoy EARLY admission and the chance to win great prizes, and special gifts. 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. | $50 | $65 at the door
General Ticket Admittance – 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. | $35 | $50 at the door
*VIP tote bag will be given to the first 500 attendees!Order tickets here: http://www.bergenhealthandlife.com/Bergenfest2012/Sponsors:
Bergen Health & Life, Sheraton Mahwah Hotel, The Fountain Spa, Devon Fine Jewelry, Atlas, & Montvale Health Associates.

NYC Wingfest 2012:

The 411: WingFest returns, with some new challengers to try and de-throne back to back champion, Dukes NYC’s title. Join us for all you can drink drafts, and all you can eat wings from the city’s best BBQ joints.

All you can eat wings from:

When: Saturday, September 29th

Time: Noon to 7 PM (divided into two sessions)

Session 1: Noon to 3 PM

Session 2: 4 PM to 7 PM

Where: Center 548- 548 West 22nd Street, NY, NY

Robert Irvine Live:

When: Friday, October 5th 2012

Time: 8-11 PM

Where: Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ

The 411: Robert Irvine Live 2012” is Irvine’s first theatrical tour and he’s not taking the show lightly. “This is not just me cooking on stage for two hours because that has been done before. I wanted to do something totally different that makes cooking a vehicle for being able to create a theatrical event,” says Irvine. If his premiere performances in Florida are any indication, Irvine has truly taken the idea of theatrics to heart. Those performances found him rappelling down balconies and being challenged to feed members of the audience with no knowledge of the ingredients while a timer counted down. Of course, these challenges are nothing new to Irvine, whose Food Network shows “Dinner: Impossible” and “Restaurant: Impossible” often find him challenged both physically and creatively with deadlines that often seem nothing short of insurmountable let alone impossible.

Look out for my pre-show interview with Chef Robert Irvine on Jersey Bites & post show coverage coming up soon!

Fairway Foodie Programs:

FOODIE FRIENDS HALLOWEEN THEMED COOKING CLASS FOR KIDS

WHEN:   WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2012
TIME: 4-5 PM (AGES 4-6), 5-6PM (AGES 7-11)
WHERE: FAIRWAY MARKET WOODLAND PARK, 1570 US 46 WEST
THE 411: Hannah Netter, Children’s Culinary Instructor at Fairway Woodland Park, has over a decade of experience working in childcare and currently manages and teaches children’s cookingclasses as partof a NYC-based company.  The Fairway “Foodie Friends Class” will inspire kids to be independent with their food choices and with small responsibilities like preparing their own simple meals. Each participant will take home a Fairway lunch box that they will have time to decorate during the class; a coupon for their guardians to come back and shop; the food they prepared during the class; a Fairway grocery pad and pen; and a fun recap of what they accomplished for the day. Tickets are $5 per class and parents are welcomed but not required to attend as each class will be supervised. For more information, call or inquire within the store or email info@fairwaymarket.com. Purchase tickets at the Woodland Park store or online at www.fairwaymarket.com/foodie-friends-class.

6th Annual NYC Food  Film Festival: 

What: Where Guests Taste What They See on the Screen

When: October 17 – 21, 2012

Venues:

The 411: Returning to New York City for its 6th consecutive year offering a unique series of events where food and film lovers return to taste what they see on the screen, the NYC Food Film Festival is the only festival in the world that serves the food that is seen in the films. Produced in association with the James Beard Foundation and benefiting the Food Bank For New York City, the 2012 NYC Food Film Festival runs from October 17 through October 21 in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The NYC Food Film Festival has grown from an intimate food-nerd date-night destination to one of New York City’s most beloved festivals, and the largest of its kind in the world. Last year, the Food Film Festival made its 2nd trip to Chicago, where it will return this year from November 15th – 17th for the Chicago Food Film Festival. The NYC Food Film Festival was created by George Motz, the documentary filmmaker behind the award-winning Hamburger America film, book, and mobile app, and host of Travel Channel’s Burger Land, along with Harry Hawk. Through documentaries, features and short films, the Festival presents the best, and the most memorable, of the world’s favorite and exotic foods on the big screen…and then serves them to the guests. The NYC Food Film Festival is co-produced by Grease Bomb LLC and Food Films America.

TICKETS ARE FOR ON-SALE ONLINE AT:  www.thefoodfilmfestival.com

Hope to see some of you readers at these events! Let me know if you plan on coming! Look out for another event round up in the works closer to November. Comment me if you plan on coming out!

‘Til next time, happy Eating! :D

Join the Fight for the Food Trucks!

About two weekends ago, post Vendy Awards I had the pleasure of attending the New York Food Truck Association Food Truck Rally in Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park in Brooklyn. It was beautiful day, the sun was shining & the smell of delicious food filled the park! This time the rally had about 17 food trucks all in one place. Can you say foodie heaven?

Unfortunately I was still digesting & recovering from the Vendy Awards so I couldn’t go as hard as I would have otherwise. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t try some awesome street food and meet some awesome bloggers. I also got to find out the story behind the NYCFTA along the way.

I was hungry on my way to the rally so I know I needed to eat right away and that I did. My first stop was Bongo Brothers. I got the Ropa Vieja & Chicken Sliders with a Cuban root beer. It was delicious!!!

Sliders, potato sticks, & Cuban root beer from Bongo Brothers

Since it was beautiful out I walked around the park for a bit until I met up with Laci, the community manager of NYCFTA, Ariam (a journalist & Intern Queen ambassador), Alex of Alex Eats Green, and Steve from Street Grub Steve Everyday. Alex is a vegetarian & shares her vegetarian food journeys. Steve is a street grub guru & has tried food trucks all over the country! It was great to meet with other bloggers again and see our similarities. We are all passionate about food and huge supporters of food trucks. It was great to learn what the association does for the trucks and how they are trying to help them and the community work together.

Alex, Steve, Laci, & I at the rally.
Photo Credit: Alex of Alex Eats Green

I learned being a food truck vendor is not as easy as it looks. “They have constant battles with other businesses and choosing where they should park. But all the trucks that are part of the association are respectful and are taught where they should park and where is off limits.”, Laci explained. “Its great that we can have these rallies once a month where the trucks are welcomed. They can serve their food without problems, that’s all we want.”

Now if you know me, I had to try a few of the trucks that I have not tried yet before I leave. I had seen Kelvin Slush at the Vendy’s but knew I had to have a whole authentic slush. It was a great idea indeed. Kelvin is not just any slush, they are natural and healthy. You have a choice of slush mix, usually 2. I chose citrus & then they have  a variety of fruit purees you can choose from, I chose lychee. One sip and I was knocked off my feet. If you see their truck around town, I’d highly recommend it. Their is nothing is like it!

Kelvin Slush

I ended my weekend food truck with Red Hook Lobster and they were selling out quick!  I had one of the lobster rolls and it was truly delicious. I can see why everyone loves it so much. I can’t even put into words how great it was, I’m pretty sure the picture below says enough.

Red Hook Lobster Roll

I really enjoyed the rally and seeing all the food trucks together in one place and in their element. I feel that food trucks are such an important part to the city. I love the hospitality of the owners of the trucks. You can find out about future rallies on their website: NYCFTA.

Sweet food dreams :)

*Disclaimer: The PR team paid for my meal. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*

The leaves are FALLing and the Drinks Are Flowing!

Fall is here! Apple picking is in full spin and pumpkin picking has begun as October is quickly approaching. In honor of the new season, here are a few cocktail recipes to celebrate with:

PUMPKIN PATCH

Stone Rose Lounge, Lilium, Whiskey Blue, Whiskey Park, Living Room

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

1 teaspoon honey

3 dashes of pumpkin spice seasoning

¾ ounces fresh lime juice

1 egg white of medium size egg

1 ¾ ounces 100% apple cider

1 ½ ounces Avion Silver Tequila

Instructions: In a shaker glass add light brown sugar, honey, pumpkin spice seasoning, fresh lime juice, and egg white. Shake vigorously until dissolved and add apple cider and Avion Silver Tequila; garnish with pumpkin spice seasoning.

CALABAZA-TINI

Havana Central

Ingredients:

1 ounce Bols pumpkin smash liqueur

½ ounce hazelnut liqueur

½ ounce high proof rum

½ ounce gold rum

2 ounces ice cream base

Pinch of cinnamon sugar

Instructions: Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice.  Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with cinnamon and sugar.

DISARONNO APPLE COBBLER

DISARONNO

Ingredients:

2 parts DISARONNO

1 part cranberry juice

1 part apple juice

¼ part fresh lemon juice

Instructions: In a rocks glass, mix ingredients over ice. Garnish with an apple slice.

HOLIDAY DELIGHT

DISARONNO

Ingredients:

1 ounce aged rum/ whiskey/ cognac

1 ounce DISARONNO

1 heaping bar spoon of pumpkin pie mix

½ ounce heavy cream

1 whole egg

Instructions: Place all ingredients into a mixing glass. Dry Shake (shake without ice so as to ‘whip’ the ingredients together). Then shake again with ice. Strain into a rocks glass without any ice. Top with freshly grated Cinnamon.
CINNAMON OLD FASHION

KOI Bryant Park

Ingredients:

½ ounce cinnamon simple syrup

1 dash bitters

2 ounces Overholt Rye Whiskey

Orange pieces

2 cherries

Instructions: Muddle orange pieces and cherries with cinnamon simple syrup. Add bitters, Overholt Rye Whiksey, and shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice; garnish with a cherry and cinnamon stick.

 

AUTUMN CRISP

KOI Bryant Park

Ingredients:

1 ounce lavender scented cucumber purée

1/2 ounce simple syrup

2 squeezed lemon segments

2 ½ oz bull dog gin

Instructions: Shaken and strained into a martini glass.

 I don’t know about you but I love the Fall– here’s to a wonderful season! If you know of more Fall cocktails please comment below! I love trying new cocktail recipes! Who knows I may just post it on the Small Chick Big Deals Facebook page too!

Cheers! :D

#SCBD take on the 8th Annual Vendy Awards

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending The 8th Annual Vendy Awards on Governor’s Island. It was a perfect, beautiful day too! It was also my first & hopefully not last year attending the Vendy’s. The entire subway ride to Governor’s Island Station I was preparing myself for how much food I’d be eating.

Just in case you didn’t know already, The Vendy Awards are an annual event organized by Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, a membership-based organization ofmore than 1,500 vendors. SVP’s famed Vendy Awards have determined New York City’s top street chef for 8 years, and have become one of the most beloved and widely-anticipated food events in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

If you’ve seen my previous posts, you know I am a huge supporter of street vendors! I also constantly see their tweets so it was great to see some of the vendors I always read about in their zone and serving up their best dishes. It was a constant debate– sweet or savory? I had to have a little bit of both. It was a rough 5-6 hours of eating & I started my day with Uncle Gussy’s.  See some of my food pictures below:

It was great to be there on behalf of Small Chick Big Deals & New Fork City & meet more foodies including OMG Foodie, NYC Foodie Finder, & more! I have never been so overwhelmed by so much great food in my life! I have so much respect for food truck vendors because you can always see their passion in the food they make & how they approach their customers. I feel like bloggers, they are the underdog of the food industry but love what they do and may even do it better than people expect! I was really happy that I was able to try the Vendy cup winner before the awards started, I loved their dish!

Before I announce who the winners were, I want to share some pics my foodie friend, NYC Foodie Finder took, you can also follow her @nycfoodiefinder, see more, here:

Now without further a due, here are the winners of the Vendy awards:

The Vendy Cup: Piaztlan Authentic Mexican

Best Dessert: Melt Bakery

Best Market Vendor: Lumpia Shack

Rookie of the Year: Phil’s Steaks

People’s Taste Award: Cinnamon Snail

The Most Heroic Vendor award went  to Bay Ridge halal vendor Sammy Kassem, who was honored for withstanding immense opposition from anti-vendor business owners in his community.

It was the perfect day & event filled with food, meeting new friends, & of course quenching our thirst with some wine & GuS Soda! It was great to meet & see the vendors in action! Congrats to all the winners & nominees — keep it up!

I’ll be back with my coverage on the post Vendy’s NYCFTA Food Truck Rally soon enough!! These events were just the beginning!

TTFN– Happy Eating!!! :D

 

Once In a Blue Moon…#SCBD post on Jersey Bites!


Once in a Blue Moon… (via http://www.jerseybites.com)

  Budget Bites, by Sara Monica Gaona If you are a lover of Mexican food and delicious cocktails like I am, you are most certainly going to love Blue Moon Mexican Cafe. They have three locations in North Jersey: Woodcliff Lake, Wyckoff, and the one closest to me, Englewood. They also have a location…

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5 Reasons #SCBD loves Fairway!

So last month, I moved again & this time I’m the furthest North I’ve ever resided in New Jersey. No complaints– I love it, especially since I am that much closer to NYC now. But that also meant adjusting where I get my groceries. The selection up here is awesome there is the typical Stop & Shop and Pathmark. But there is also a Trader Joe’s (I blogged about them in May) which I love and a new addition to my grocer selection is Fairway. Unlike Trader Joe’s which only sells their own products — which is great & works for them, Fairway sells name brand groceries for cheaper prices & they also have their own coffee, which is amazing! That’s only a few reasons why my new favorite place to grocery shop is Fairway Market, here’s a few more:

1.  Big variety of name brands for less: One time I came in and they 2/$5 jars of Nutella! They have great affordable deals on name brand food and beat Pathmark, etc out of the park! The prices are so reasonable and the selection is huge so you have tons of options!

2. In-store events: They have weekly in-store events and cooking demonstrations at their locations. I’m considering going to one near me soon.

3. Liquor Store: Some of their locations, including the one in Woodland Park, NJ have a liquor store department. I don’t know what could be better than that– you can kill two birds with one stone!

4. Fresh deli, produce & more: I love getting my fish from Fairway, it’s great priced and always fresh. They also have an excellent deli selection and a salad bar when you walk in.

5. Delicious coffee: Fairway has delicious coffee and you have the option of getting your own beans if you prefer to get your coffee that way. They also have it packaged and ready for you too! Yum!

Just an FYI — my two favorite places to get my groceries, which are #foodie accommodating are Trader Joe’s & Fairway Market!

Look out for more posts on the way– on upcoming food events & more!

’til then… happy eating! :D

#SCBD Exclusive Interview with Lauren Berger, “The Intern Queen”

Lauren Berger is CEO of InternQueen.com, an online internship destination that helps students find and apply for internships while also educating them on how to make the most of their experiences. Berger grew up in Clearwater, Florida and participated in 15 internships during her 4 years of college, hence the title “Intern Queen”. Berger earned a degree in Organizational Business Communications at the University of Central Florida and interned for top-notch companies across the country such as MTV, FOX, BWR Public Relations, and NBC. Lauren applied her knowledge of the industry to her first job post-college at Creative Artists Agency in Beverly Hills, California. She told everyone at the company of her business ambitions and it caught the eye of Hollywood Producer, Marshall Herskovitz (The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, Defiance). Berger worked with Herskovitz in 2008, as he helped her get the business off the ground. In 2009, she went off on her own and formed,www.internqueen.com. Today, Berger is an author, international speaker, spokesperson, and runs www.internqueen.com. Berger works with over 1,000 employers worldwide, connecting them with some of the most ambitious high school and college interns on the planet. Berger’s website reaches over 80,000 different students, parents, and employers each month. She has connected thousands of students with the internships of their dreams. Berger has spoken to thousands of high school & college students at over 50 colleges & universities in 20 different states. Berger’s book, ALL WORK NO PAY, was released January 3, 2012 worldwide. She was recently featured on The Today Show, Fox & Friends, and Bloomberg.com. In her spare time, Lauren loves traveling, spending time with friends & family, and catching up on her DVR! -InternQueen.com

If you know the story behind Small Chick Big Deals, you know it wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her influence on me while I was a campus ambassador, read the story behind SCBD, here.

I had the opportunity to interview her the other day and asked her advice on life, internships, and of course food.

SCBD: Why and when did you to start the Intern Queen website?

LB: I came up with the idea in 2006, after completing 15 internships, as I was graduating college and saw that there was a lack of resources for students. I began working on the site full-time in 2009.

SCBD: When did you start interning and what was your first internship?

LB: I started interning in 2003 at an advertising and pr firm, The Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee, Florida.

SCBD: What advice do you have for post-grads in regards to careers and life?

LB: Once you graduate work on finding a balance between finding a job and taking it seriously. You also want to balance in having enough time for some fun with friends, family, etc.

SCBD: I used to be a Campus Ambassador for the site, what do you look for in your ambassadors?

LB: I look for the most influential students that take a initiative and are proactive to be ambassadors. Most of the time they are first follow through and continue the process to get accepted. Most of the time they’ve heard about the program already as well.

SCBD: What is your stand on blogging and how can it be a benefit?

LB: It can be great as long as it is appropriate in regards to your job search. It can also be a huge benefit because you can gain more knowledge on the topic you are blogging about.

SCBD: Since this is a food blog, what is your favorite recipe?

LB: I’m currently loving hot Italian Sausage with peppers and onions, because it’s quick and easy and healthy.

SCBD: You’ve been all around the world, what’s the best thing you ever ate and your favorite city?

LB: My favorite city is Vienna, Austria. I went with the MTV Europe Travel Guide and it was a great experience. The best thing I ever ate was the  turkey bolognese pasta from The Pink Door in Seattle, it’s amazing

SCBD: What is your all time favorite food?

LB: I love chicken noodle soup!

SCBD: What’s your favorite restaurant? Why?

LB: For great Italian food in LA, I love  Dan Tana’s and for sushi I love Kabuki.

SCBD:  Would you rather have a night in with a homemade meal and great friends or night out?

LB: I like a  little bit of both. An ideal night in for me is good Chinese food and television.

SCBD: Since I cover deals, any budget advice you have for post-grads?

It’s all about the planning, the last day of the month or first day of the month make sure you figure out your budget. Prepare before you go out because it’s important to budget and go have fun. I believe money should never hold you back from having a good time. There are also so many great free things to do in most places now so be aware of them and go out and have a good time.

SCBD: Last question, if you had to pick one motto you live by?

LB: Never take no for an answer, decide what you want to and go out and make it happen. 

Thank you Lauren for letting me interview, it was  a great experience to be a campus ambassador and greatly influenced the start of Small Chick Big Deals! Thank you for being a constant inspiration for me! If you are in high school or college and want to know more about the site & Lauren make sure you go to InternQueen.com!

Lauren, the Intern Queen with some of the other Campus Ambassadors & I at the Today Show!

My friend Steph of Doe & Bear photography & I taking a pic with the Intern Queen at a book signing!

This the third interview in my #SCBDExclusive interview series, more to come!

As always, signing off until next time…happy eating! :D

In case you missed the Unveiling of the #SCBD, Sarah Smile cupcake…

This past Friday was the unveiling of the #SCBD, Sarah Smile cupcake at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes in Totowa, NJ. If you are an avid #SCBD follower you know I wrote about them this past March, see here. It was a great experience to team up with Maureen Jaret, the owner of Stuffed Cupcakes on my perfect cupcake. The Sarah Smile cupcake has vanilla & chocolate cake, caramel fondant inside, and is topped with vanilla frosting & a piece of caramel. It’s heaven, here are some pictures from the event:

For more pictures see the album on the Small Chick Big Deals Facebook, here.  All the photos were taken by Ayasha Roberson of Jerz Hot Spots!

As always, happy eating! :D

Here’s to having a sweet tooth!

On the set of the Okadaman Eat Street Shoot…

On August 25th I had the pleasure of being part of the Eat Street shoot at the Okadaman Food Truck. Eat Street is a show on the Food Network in Canada and on the Cooking Channel in the US. It’s about the best, inventive street food found in North America & Okadaman is just that. Here are a few pictures from the set, if you didn’t see them on the Small Chick Big Deals Facebook yet:

It was a great experience and I am so blessed to be part of it!

For more pictures, click here!

Happy Eating!

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