#SCBDEventRecap: .@HavanaCentral Empanadas for Nat’l Empanada Day



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When I walked into Havana Central on West 46th street in New York, the atmosphere was loud, chaotic and busy. Well, I guess National Empanada Day had something to do with it, right? Probably. Regardless, I was assigned to try these wonderful empanadas and reveal just how fabulous they tasted.

I was greeted by Ashley, the lovely Social Media and Marketing Manager, who took me under his wing and sat with me as I tried three empanadas. Since I cannot have cheese,(Yes it’s a total buzzkill, don’t you think I know?) I chose Chicken Sofrito, Shrimp Sofrito and Beef Picadillo. All of them crunchy, had a nice texture and yummy in the tummy. I requested dipping sauce and Ashley proudly provided mojo, a garlic dipping sauce and chimichurri, a green pesto sauce. Both of them were delicious!


My one-on-one with Ashley consisted of speaking about the multiple restaurants in New York, there are four total. They might soon open up in Jersey as well. He confessed that some people are skeptical of trying cuban food because they believe it’s spicy. Guess what? The empanadas I consumed weren’t spicy one bit, instead, they were scrumptious and crispy.


If you asked me which was my absolute favorite, I’d have to go with the Shrimp Sofrito Empanada, which was filled with chunks of shrimp! I ate that puppy by cutting off the pieces with knife and fork to enjoy the taste.

Along with the empanadas, Ashley and I drank mojitos, which consisted of white rum, sugar, usually sugar cane lime juice, sparkling water, and mint. Since I’m such a light weight, I sort of felt in without the first few sips. It was my first mojito and I felt privileged to drink it in the company of Ashley.

When I searched Havana Central’s website, I found some fun and interesting facts. Did you know over 700,000 mojitos and over one million empanadas have been sold? This goes to show you how delectable and delicious this restaurant is!


Every weekday they offer happy hour from 3-7pm. Times Square location is from 4-7pm

$6 Classic Mojitos and Margaritas • $4 Beers • $5 House Wine • $7 Sangria
for Times Square and Yonkers locations

Havana Central Upper West Side Offers $6 Well Drinks During Happy Hour

$1 Empanadas every Tuesday at Times Square and Yonkers locations and Wednesdays at Upper West Side locations

Happy Eating!

*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.*

#SCBDExclusive: Order your copy of .@CookingLight’s Dinnertime & Recipe Survival Guide by .@RMNutrition!




Cooking Light, the nation’s leading epicurean brand, has teamed up with author, mother of two boys and registered dietitian Sally Kuzemchak to publish a celebration of the family meal with tips and tricks on solving your toughest dinner dilemmas with Dinnertime Survival Guide. ($24.95) that came out this Tuesday, April 22, 2014!!

These days, parents are juggling more roles, time shortages and responsibilities than ever before. But somehow, some way, dinner still has to get on the table. Cooking Light’s Dinnertime Survival Guide is the perfect handbook to help moms and dads navigate mealtime by arming them with strategies, tips and over 150 easy and healthy recipes. Whether the struggle is trying to feed a picky eater, needing time saving tricks, working with what you have on hand or adjusting to a tight budget, Dinnertime Survival Guide highlights numerous solutions for you and your family which will guarantee easier mealtimes.

Dinnertime Survival Guide was written to assure you that you’re not alone when sometimes making dinner is a pain or your least favorite part of the day,” says author Sally Kuzemchak. “Its goal is to arm you – a parent with your heart in the right place – with a game plan for dealing with the very real obstacles that make it a challenge to pull off – like crazy schedules, a tight budget, lackluster skills in the kitchen, or kids who are tugging at your pant leg while you’re trying to cook. For every challenge, there are strategies from my own playbook, plus input from experts on how to better deal with each one.”

Highlights include:

  • Seriously Smart Advice: Hard-won kitchen wisdom from Sally and other moms around the country.
  • Crazy Mealtime Tricks: If you usually plate food in the kitchen, start serving meals family-style. You’ll find it a simple change but one that will empower your family and make them receptive to new things. Another trick? Serve dessert with dinner. This type of outside-the-box thinking may be just what you need at the dinner table.
  • Tasty Recipes: 150 recipes that are doable no matter what predicament you’re in and that your whole family will eat.
  • Solutions for the Top 10 Challenges: Hectic schedules, picky eaters, stuck in a food rut? Sally has these and many more covered.

The recipes and stories shared in Dinnertime Survival Guide are sure to inspire busy moms, dads, and families everywhere. As a young, amateur home cook, these recipes are budget friendly, easy to follow, and fun! Of course some are easier than others but everything tastes delicious!

To order your own copy of this fabulous cookbook, click here!

Photo credit: Dinnertime Survival Guide

Photo credit: Dinnertime Survival Guide

Last week, when I was cooking at my dad’s house I decided to take a whip at the Salmon Packet recipe. It’s a super easy recipe that takes only about 20-30 minutes to cook. I wanted to share this great recipe with all of you to try it yourself!


Salmon Packets
Hands-on time: 15 min. Total time: 30 min.

Place squares of foil on the countertop, and set up an assembly line with veggies so everyone can add their own. Top each square with a salmon fillet, seal, and bake. Let the kids peer through the oven window toward the end of the baking time to see the packets puff up. When time’s up, you can either remove the baked fish and veggies from the packets to plates or let everyone eat right from the foil.


  • 1 ¾ cups sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup red bell pepper strips
  • 8 lemon slices
  • 5 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 equal pieces
  • 4 dill sprigs
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400°

2. Cut 4 (14-inch) squares of foil. Place zucchini, red bell pepper, and lemon slices in center of foil squares. Top each with a salmon fillet, butter, and a dill sprig; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold foil over fish and vegetables. Tightly seal edges.

3. Place foil packets on a jell-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 15-2o minutes or until fish flakes easily when with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from oven; cut open packets and serve.

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 packet)

Calories 345; Fat 18.3g (sat 5.6g, poly 5.2g); Protein 39.5g; Carb 3.7g; Fiber 1 g; Chol 123mg; Iron 1.9mg; Calc 38mg


Here’s to eating well with great friends & family!


#SCBDEventRecap: .@NeimanMarcus #SpringSoiree hosted by .@DanaPrigge

Photo credit: Lora Warnick
The better weather has finally sprung with warmer temperatures in New Jersey. Dana Prigge’ of DailyFashionista.com and Bella NYC magazine recently held a fashion event at Neiman Marcus Last Call in Paramus, NJ.
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Small Chick Big Deals is always on the hunt for the best deals in fashion, food and lifestyle so I was looking forward to hearing about Dana’s picks of the season. Some of the looks featured was this great faux leather moto jacket in white, a gorgeous maxi dress by Diane Von Furstenberg accented with a stunning clutch bag, Steve Madden gladiator sandals (all on sale)! I have to say that the shoe department at Neiman Marcus Last Call is one that you certainly don’t want to miss! Sorbet tones were definitely the colors of the night. I felt very inspired by the colorful store and helpful sales associates.

NM Last call 2                                Popchips1 Batter and cream

Guests snacked on delicious crispy treats by Treat House, Pretzel Crisps. Popchips, Batter and Cream whoopie pies and these adorable lollipops. The Nivea lip balm bowl was great too! It was also nice to see my other fashion friends.  One lucky guest won a $100 giftcard during the event! I left with some really incredible styling ideas, a great top and a smile from the fun night!


#SCBDEvent: Save the Dates… .@MontclairFW 2014 kicks off May 31st!



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We here at SCBD are happy to announce that we will be attending the Montclair Food + Wine Festival 2014! Founder and Executive Director Melody Kettle is pleased to announce that acclaimed Chef Floyd Cardoz of Battery Park City’s North End Grill will be a participating chef.

“New Jersey has wonderfully talented chefs,” notes Chef Cardoz. “I am honored to live in New Jersey and thrilled to contribute to this significant culinary event.”

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Photos courtesy of MFWF


Save the Date! Saturday, May 31st with a Grand Tasting at the Montclair Art Museum. Event tickets are $95 (general admission) from 7-9 pm. VIP tickets are offered at $120 (6 pm early admission). The museum’s stunning galleries will be open to attendees for viewing. Approximately 30 restaurants from Montclair (and beyond) will be sampling choice bites. Gary’s Wine & Marketplace (w/locations in Wayne, Madison, Bernardsville) will coordinate wines.

“There’s so much to look forward to this year! Many of our favorite local restaurants have returned and we’re pleased to have select out-of-town participants, including Floyd Cardoz, D’Artagnan, The Ryland Inn and 100 Steps,” enthuses Montclair Food + Wine founder Melody Kettle. “The Festival has curated a diverse cross-section of gastronomy; there’s something for everyone. Whether it’s oysters on a half shell, local BBQ, vegan, wines, craft beers and spirits, fine dining, grazing, or educational opportunities, we’re very pleased with the growth of the program in year #2.”  



The dynamic Ariane Daguin (D’Artagnan) will discuss the controversial subject of foie gras and Top Chef Ariane Duarte (CulinAriane) will create a custom D’Artagnan foie gras dish for guests to enjoy;
Moderated by New Jersey Monthly magazine Senior Editor Eric Levin
Four Oysters + Four Wines + One Clam + 3 Experts = A Schukin’ Good Time!
With panelists Gef Flimlin (Marine Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension); Matt Gregg (Forty North Oyster Farm); renowned restaurateur Chris Cannon of the soon-to-open Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen (Morristown);
Laura Schenone
, James Beard award-winning author of “The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken” and “A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove,” teams up with “Gastomechanic” culinary mentor Lou Palma;
Latin Vegan Tapas demo and party will feature Sally Owen from SO Tasty Vegan while new sponsor LEAF Organic Vodka serves up custom craft cocktails. Hosted by Local Sponsor Designer Appliances (Upper Montclair).

For seminar tickets, click HERE.


The third and final day will feature a six-course Gala Dinner (6-9:30pm, $165 per person) at The Manor in West Orange. Sharon Sevrens, sommelier and proprietor of Amanti Vino in Montclair, will pair wines. “I’m thrilled to be involved once again,” adds Sharon Sevrens. “Last year’s event was a success on every level — all events sold out and attendees overwhelmingly loved the food & wine pairings we created.”
Participating chefs include: Mitchell Altholz (Highlawn Pavilion); Michael Carrino (Pig & Prince Gastrolounge & Restaurant); Ryan DePersio (Fascino); Ariane Duarte (CulinAriane); Francesco Palmieri (The Orange Squirrel) and Chef Cardoz. Plus a special dessert cocktail provided and created by Busted Barrel Rum and Blue J Syrups.
Silver Sponsor: LEAF Organic Vodka


THE CHEFS’ TABLE is a new, super-exclusive, in-kitchen experience for eight!


Minimum offers, beginning at $5,000.00, will be considered.

Montclair Food & Wine Festival, Inc. will close the auction at 10:00pm on May 15th.

Winning bidder will receive one voucher for a table of eight

More information can be found on the website: www.montclairfoodandwinefestival.org

#SCBDBeauty: Get the Most Out of Your Cosmetics with .@nakedcosmetics and @cailyncosmetic



If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you that I am a full blown girly-girl. I’ve always had an affinity for clothes, makeup, and anything that sparkles. As you can imagine, being a girly-girl can be very demanding and pretty expensive. Luckily, I’ve recently discovered some tried and true products that are worth every cent of my girly-girl budget.


I recently attended the International Makeup Artists Trade Show, (IMATS) a convention where makeup artists, vendors, and enthusiasts gather to share their knowledge and love of all things makeup! Along with awesome deals, workshops, and guest speakers, there were a ton of great vendors promoting their products at excellent prices.

IMATS - DAY 1 - 013

The first stand I went to was for Naked Cosmetics. Launched in Florida back in 2005, Naked is known for their all natural makeup products, including their 100% natural Mica Pigments. These rich, beautifully colored pigments can be used as an eyeshadow, dipped into water to create an eyeliner, dabbed over lip balm to make lipstick, or painted on with clear polish onto your nails. Their website offers a set of six pigments for $60, which is a bit pricier than most, but with Naked, you’re paying for quality. Because the pigments are all natural and extremely versatile, the set was worth every penny! You can buy your very own set of Mica pigments on their website or at one of these locations:

New York City-
Alcone Company
322 West 49th Street
Between 8th and 9th Avenues
Times Square, NYC

Los Angeles-
Nigel’s Beauty Emporium
11252 Magnolia Boulevard


The other stand I visited was for Cailyn Cosmetics. I was instantly drawn to their Linefix Gel Eyeliner, which the representative explained to me was totally water and smudge proof! They had a wide selection of colors, but I went with Mermaid, which is a dark green different from any eyeliner I’ve ever had. Another great product they offered was their Tinted Lip Balm. Similar to their eyeliner, the balm was water and smudge proof, and unlike a lot of other long lasting lipsticks, the balm didn’t make my lips feel dry or sticky. Their balm is made with a special conditioning formula that leaves your lips feeling smooth throughout the day. Not to mention, the smudge-proof technology makes this balm perfect for any date night/make-out session! Because I love dark, sultry colors, I bought their balm in Cherry Chocolate. Whether you like dark colors like me or prefer something more neutral, Cailyn offers a tint for every preference!


If you need to refresh your makeup bag with some fabulous and long lasting products, check out these brands and let me know what you think!

#SCBDExclusive: .@KingsFoodMkts and @earthboundfarm Team Up for Earth Day





In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, Kings Food Market and Earthbound Farm are partnering up to encourage Earth-friendly shopping through their exclusive “Make Everyday Earth Day” promotion.

“Kings is excited to continue this partnership with Earthbound Farm in 2014,” said Paul Kneeland, Vice President of Produce, Floral, Meat and Seafood for Kings Food Markets. “Our customers enjoyed it so much last year that we wanted to bring it back again this year, encouraging sustainability awareness all year long. Many of our stores offer the largest selection of organic produce, grocery products, meats and responsibly sourced seafood in their communities, and giving our shoppers the chance to win their entire grocery bill for taking advantage of these selections, is the perfect way for us to help to protect our environment and reward those who are doing their part.”


Throughout this week, Earthbound Farm will have representatives on-site at select Kings locations to look for a total of 30 lucky shoppers with sustainable products, specifically Earthbound organic or other Earth-friendly items, in their carts. Not only will each winner receive all of the groceries in his or her cart for free but winners will also be asked to select a hunger-relief charity of their choice to receive a $50 Kings gift card, compliments of Earthbound Farm, to continue the effort by “paying it forward.”

Starting on Monday, April 21, Earthbound Farm representatives will be surprising five shoppers in each of the following stores with the chance to win their entire grocery carts from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.:
· Tuesday, April 22 (Earth Day): Kings Bedminster (450 Route 206N)
· Wednesday, April 23: Kings Gillette (977 Valley Road)
· Thursday, April 24: Kings Morristown (191 South Street)
· Friday, April 25: Kings Cresskill (70 Union Ave, Cresskill)
· Saturday, April 26: Kings Montclair (650 Valley Rd)
· Sunday, April 27: Kings Hoboken North (1212 Shipyard Lane)

Additionally, shoppers can enter to win the Every Cart Counts contest online via virtual cart buys using the #EBFcartsearch on the Earthbound Farm Facebook Page (facebook.com/earthboundfarm). For updates on the in-store activities and for additional resources and Earth Week meal plans, customers can connect with Kings through Facebook (facebook.com/kingsfoodmarkets) and Twitter (@KingsFoodMkts) or visit Earthbound Farm’s website (www.ebfarm.com).

#SCBDFashion: Affordable Easter Outfit Options




Easter is the perfect opportunity to spend time with family, eat a delicious meal, and most importantly, show off your spring wardrobe! Whether you’re dining out for Easter brunch or staying in for a traditional Sunday dinner, there are plenty of fun and affordable ways to dress to impress!

Despite the fact that we’re halfway through April, the weather still can’t decide whether it wants to be warm for spring or stay cold for winter. You’ll most likely be indoors for dinner, however, traveling may call for you to bundle up. Fashion over function is tempting for all of us, but when it comes to dressing to impress, comfort is key!



Dress: Tillys.com, $39.99 Regular Price, $24.99 On Sale

A dress is always a go-to option for Easter. You can dress it up for brunch at a swanky restaurant or dress it down for dinner at the dining room table. Obvious choices for spring dresses are anything floral or pastel, but if you want to switch it up, go for something with a funky pattern in a bold color. I got this dress on sale from Tilly’s and wear it ALL THE TIME. The pattern and colors are beautiful, the chiffon material is super light and comfortable, and the best part is I didn’t even pay full price for it! After spending too much money on my (ex) boyfriend’s Christmas gifts, they offered me three coupons that knocked 30% off of my next purchase. They recently sent me another 20% off coupon that I can’t wait to use! If this dress isn’t your cup of tea, they have a thousand other gorgeous dresses in store and online.



Dress: Forever 21, On Sale for $8


Animal print has been around since the caveman days and, despite almost being deemed unwearable thanks to the cast of the Jersey Shore, can be appropriate for any occasion. When I found this hi-low dress in the sale section, I nearly collapsed. I thought I was going to need CPR when I found out it was an additional 50% sale items.

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Shirt: H&M, Regular Price $29.90, On Sale for $10

Despite these sweet deals, dresses aren’t for everyone. Luckily, there are a thousand and one ways to dress up a pair of your favorite jeans. I got this top way back in high school during one of H&M’s end-of-season blowout sales. I recently came across it again in my sister’s closet and remembered how much I loved it. The peacock feathers create a fun and interesting pattern, while the comfortable chiffon material can be dressed up or dressed down.



Shirt: Garage, Regular Price $29.90, On Sale for $5.00

Scarf: Garage, Regular Price $14.90, On Sale for $8.00

When you’re attempting to dress up some jeans, pairing and accessorizing are key! A nice, flowy blouse like this one along with a few bracelets or a statement necklace can spice up an otherwise drab Easter outfit. I wouldn’t recommend wearing all black for Easter, but if you’re sarcastic and edgy like me, this outfit would be a good choice. Throwing on a light scarf like this one is another fool proof way to accessorize.

Now that you have an arsenal of Easter outfit inspiration, you can celebrate the right way. There’s still some time left to snag these excellent wardrobe pieces before the Easter Bunny comes!


#SCBDFavorite: Fresh, made to order #donuts .@DoCoCompany in Farmingdale!



Lately I’ve been trying to eat healthier but I always have a huge sweet tooth. One of the perks of living in the Jersey Shore area for me lately is that there are a few places where I can get fresh doughnuts. In case you missed it, I wrote a post on Ob-Co’s in Toms River when I started SCBD. Well readers, I have good news… DoCo, The Donut & Coffee Company in Farmingdale is making a name for itself and its delish!


Every time I come in to DoCo to get my donuts I leave with a smile on my face. Each donut is made to order so you can have whatever you want on it. If you are like me and can’t decide they have a menu of suggested flavors. My two favorite flavors are the Asbury Rainbow and the Peanut Butter Chocolate. They also carry their own version of the Kronut if you feel like being adventurous.


If you go I highly recommend you grab coffee, hot or iced because they serve TM Ward coffee which is based out of Newark. The coffee is strong and pairs perfectly with the donuts!


Planning on taking a trip down to the Jersey Shore this summer? Grab some donuts & coffee at DoCo on your way there, it’s so worth it!!!

#SCBDEvent: .@LiveStockNJ comes to Howell on May 10th!



Calling all my Howell & Jersey Shore area natives, this event is for you & SCBD is one of the media sponsors so we will be there…

Chris Rockwell and Eric McGrath are proud to present LiveStock, an event for all ages, free to enter, inspired by the local talent and small businesses in the Jersey Shore region. The event will include local bands, vendors, sponsors and artists of all mediums. The whole ranch will be fully functional that day as well, providing the opportunity  to interact with the petting zoo, horse and pony rides, and more. Zebro, a zebra at Legacy Ranch and the LiveStock mascot, will also be available to interact with the public.


LiveStock was created to give local talent in the area an outlet to be showcased. The goal of  LiveStock is to foster the talent and provide an opportunity for their fan base to grow. “The point of it being free is that in recent years, promoters charged people exorbitant amounts of money to get into festivals and concerts that are clearly only there to generate profits. We care  about the local scene and its growth,” says Rockwell in regards to how the idea of LiveStock came into existence.

Rockwell and McGrath decided to create LiveStock after McGrath attended an open mic in the area and was amazed at the talent. McGrath, Operator at Legacy Ranch, knew these artists needed a bigger venue. “My goal is a simple one,” said McGrath, “to display and celebrate the  exceptional culture in our own backyard.”

Concert sound and lighting is provided by Ugly Door Studio of Toms River.

Featured bands include:

  • Accidental Seabirds
  • Amy Malkoff & The Moonshines
  • The Battery Electric
  • Bog Iron Bloom
  • Chris Rockwell & The Stickball Social Club
  • Deff-Ray
  • Harper’s Fellow
  • Jim Mill
  • Joe Miller & Kuf-Knotz
  • John Gilman
  • The May Darlings
  • Moon Motel
  • Nathan Dickinson
  • Prehistoric Forest
  • Puppy Grease


For continuous updates on the event please visit www.facebook.com/LiveStockLegacy

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