Category Archives: Food & Recipes

The best of all kitchen related good-ness!

CityBrunch Launches new Bottomless Brunch App in NYC

How many weekend hours do you spend trying to find the perfect bottomless brunch place for you and your friends?

What if there was a way to find the hottest and best deals all in one place? CityBrunch offers you just that.

The app just completed beta testing and has now launched in one of the biggest brunch meccas in the world, NYC.  Soon, it will look to expand to other major cities. But for now, only those in NYC will be able to reap its benefits.

Here’s what CityBrunch offers via its description in the Apple iTunes store:

CityBrunch connects you to the best bottomless brunches in your city and offers special promotions for brunch.

CityBrunch allows you to see the details of the bottomless deal, cuisine type, location, phone number, and menu of your favorite bottomless brunch restaurants in your city.

Use CityBrunch to plan your weekend and finally enjoy boozy brunch, your way.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be a beta tester on the product and I have to say, it certainly does offer a lot at only $.99. In the app you can search by cuisine type, bottomless brunch deal and even neighborhood so that you don’t have to wander too far from your bed. It’s a handy little app that could very easily serve all your brunch needs.

Click to enlarge.

In the future, the app will likely continue to build on its easy to use interface and offer more features as time goes on. Additionally, I’ve talked with its creator and they hope to launch an app soon for Android devices.

To download the app, via the App Store. Additionally, you may follow CityBrunch on Facebook as well.

Happy eating and maybe I’ll see you at brunch! 😉

 

It’s Grilling Season Baby! Tips So You Don’t Get Burned Buying Your New Grill

It’s almost summer which means many of us are going to be spending a lot more time outdoors and hopefully grilling up some tasty food!

One often overlooked part of the experience is finding the right grill. Here are some tips from the folks a Napoleon Gourmet Grills to help you choose the best grill for your needs:

You get what you pay for $$$ – in most cases, BBQ’s are priced according to quality. Do your research, but if you want a quality grill that’s going to last a while, be prepared to pay for it.

Buy local! – When possible, search and buy local brands as that may cut down on costs and enable you to more readily get replacements parts in the future, should you need them.

Consider size, accessories and BTU’s – Don’t go into buying blind, think about what you will be cooking, how many people you will be cooking for and the space it will be sitting in. Going into a buy without planning can result in you getting the “ol’ car salesman” and buying something you don’t actually need.

Check the warranty – be sure to ask your dealer about what is/isn’t included in the warranty. A good warranty for grills will cover 10 years for burners, sear plates and castings, which are the heart of your grill.

Stick to your budget and take care! – Think about what you can afford, and what you need. Take care of the unit you purchase, and you won’t need to buy another one until technology changes again and you want the latest innovation!

 

About Napoleon

It all began in 1976 when a small steel fabrication business launched by Wolfgang Schroeter started manufacturing steel railings in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. At that time, no one could imagine the incredible future that lay ahead for Wolf Steel Ltd. and eventually Napoleon® Fireplaces and Napoleon® Gourmet Grills.

Where’s the Beef? NOT HERE!

I’m always looking for fun and creative ways to change up my nutrition. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have friends who are super knowledgeable about the stuff either.  As a self-proclaimed foodie I try pretty much everything.  Avocado brownies anyone? Trust me, they’re way better than they sound!

Anyway! Now that the sun is shining again and Spring weather is upon us I’ve already starting thinking about the opportunities I will have to grill this year. And right now, in front of you all, I’m going to make an effort to cut out even more beef!  While I don’t eat much of it as is, grilling season often gets a little out of control with all the burgers and hot dogs. This year I’m making a concerted effort to try some different recipes and I’ve found some good recipes to try, so I made a collection of them.

In my collection below, 10 Bold Beef Burger Alternatives, you can find some of my favorite picks for grilling season. From sweet potato to salmon to falafel burgers, I’ve got plenty of variety to choose from. After all, variety is the spice of life right? No bored taste buds for me.

Some of my favorites recipes included in the collection are:

  • Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
  • Fabulous Un-fried Falafel Burgers
  • Paleo Jalapeno Chicken Burgers
  • Lamb Burger!

Check out 10 Bold Beef Burger Alternatives

by Jor-El at Mode

Check out the full story for more beef burger alternative options. Who knows, maybe some will take over your #MeatlessMondays for the Summer too.

Enjoy!

THE Super Bowl 50 Recipe Guide

2.7.16 is the big day! Almost everyone in America will be glued to their tv screens watching the biggest game of the year, Super Bowl 50!

Who’s going to take that trophy home in the big game? The Carolina Panthers who have had an amazing season (GO NC!) or the perennial favorite the New England Patriots? Probably neither if Arizona or the Denver Broncos have anything to say about it.  For more on predictions you can read more here.

No matter who is ending up at the big game in a few weeks, you can’t wait to plan your party menu. Your friends will be counting on you to deliver some of the best, game day food ever. This means you’ve got to get ready!

Luckily for you I’m obsessed with all things food and have done a little bit of research on your behalf. From kitchen novice to expert chef, you’re definitely going to appreciate some of the delicious recipes I’ve put together in The Ultimate Super Bowl Sunday Recipe Guide.

Get your shopping lists ready, this one’s going to be a blow out! Some of my personal favorites in the collection are:

  • Sticky Asian BBQ Boneless Oven Baked Wings
  • Homemade Black Pepper Potato Chips
  • Slow-cooked Shredded Pork
  • Beer can chicken (grilled)
  • Pimento Cheese and Bacon Crostini
Check out the full collection below!

Check out The Ultimate Super Bowl Recipe Guide

by Jor-El at Mode

A Sweet Throwback with Coffee-mate

Compensation was provided by Nestlé Coffee-mate® via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Coffee-mate®.

coffee mate choc chip

In my previous post, The Sweet Life with Coffee-mate, I reminisced a bit on my childhood and teenage years and the ways in which Coffee-mate helped me revisit some of those great memories.  This past week, I decided to take a little time to recreate those old memories with friends and we had a great time!

I first developed a love for coffee back as a kid with my parents on slow Sunday mornings.  Unfortunately my folks are hundreds of miles away in NC so having Dad whip up an especially strong pot of coffee, French toast and bacon wasn’t exactly in the cards. I’ve lost touch with a lot of high school friends too.  But luckily, some local friends were all too happy to help me enjoy Coffee-mate with some chocolate chip cookies courtesy of yours truly.

Back in my high school days, one of the things that me and my friends most enjoyed doing was going out to dinner (and a movie) and spending hours talking about all the interesting facets of life over cups of coffee, chocolate chip cookies and a variety of other pastries.  I guess we weren’t too careful about our calorie intake back then, but who was in high school?

When I discovered Coffee-mate Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie creamer it took me back to those times when the only cares in the world I had were someone else’s.  As a teenager I was very idealistic and my friends and I would try and think of ways, in our all-knowing teenage wisdom, how to solve the worlds’ problems.  Unfortunately, adulthood has graciously taken over my life, and I’ve lost touch with many of my high school friends. Like most of us, many, many miles now separate us. But, that didn’t stop me from bringing a little bit of my North Carolina practice to NYC when I re-created some of these memories with my friends in the Big Apple.

With Coffee-mate Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie creamer in tow, we indulged on chocolate chip cookies, some coffee, and board & card games, a lot of conversation about the issues — both personal and political.

Despite our ongoing battle with Peter Pan syndrome, I’ve grown up and noticed that many of my late night coffee conversations now include a lot of talk about who’s running for the presidency in 2016 (and who probably shouldn’t be!) and how work can be just as stressful whether you’re actually in the office or not.  And, does anyone really understand Roth IRAs? Ah, grown up problems!

But no matter what, I know that whenever I need to vent or just enjoy some good times with friends, a pot of coffee and some Coffee-mate will always get the job done.

This summer, Nestlé Coffee-mate® is celebrating the sweetest form of nostalgia with their exclusive range of fun, exciting flavors that evoke delicious memories and emotions of the past. These sweet throwback flavors include Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookie, Caramel Macchiato and Classic Vanilla.

coffe-mate logo

Sounds of Summer with Wild Turkey American Honey®

Compensation was provided by Wild Turkey American Honey® via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Wild Turkey American Honey®.

This past Thursday, summer was in full effect as I attended a Hudson RiverRocks concert at Pier 84 in NYC while I enjoyed some good tunes and delicious Wild Turkey American Honey® cocktails!

After a long day at work, there’s not much better than live music, new friends and a cocktail or two to relax. And that’s exactly what I got to do this past Thursday right along the Hudson River in NYC.

Hudson RiverRocks is celebrating its 17th season of live entertainment in New York City this year. The series has been hosting free concerts for NYC workers and commuters on Thursday evenings. And as I learned, not only do these events offer up some live music and cocktails, but food stands and trucks are all around to make sure that no one goes home with an empty stomach.

AHoney collage

When I arrived at the event, the scheduled bands Waxahatchee and Speedy Ortiz weren’t on stage yet so I headed back to the VIP lounge where I got to enjoy an adult version of Wild Turkey Jenga while sipping on a delicious cocktail of Wild Turkey American Honey® Lemonade. That was where I ran into Nadia of nacstyles.com and talked shop about all things blogging, NYC and bourbon.

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Soon thereafter, the bands Waxahatchee and Speedy Ortiz took their respective turns on stage to a pretty decent sized crowd. If you’d like to join in on some of the fun with Wild Turkey you can join them at further Hudson RiverRocks concerts on 7/23 and 8/6.

Once there was a short break, I had to start making my way home. Luckily I made it into a cab just as the rain started to pour. Lucky me! All in all, I had a pretty good time with my blogger pals and Wild Turkey American Honey Lemonade. I’ll definitely be looking to recreate that drink for my next summer barbecue!

American Honey is the original honey bourbon, made with real honey and real bourbon. Serve up your summer with American Honey! Follow American Honey at Facebook.com/AmericanHoney.

AH LOGO

 

The Sweet Life with Coffee-mate

Compensation was provided by Nestlé Coffee-mate® via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Coffee-mate.  

coffe-mate chocolate chip

As a young boy I was someone who really liked to emulate my parents and one of the things that I enjoyed most was drinking coffee with them. I don’t know why I liked it so much as a young person; it was just something that I enjoyed doing and I think that in some way it helped me feel more like an adult.  And truth be told, I was always too big for my britches.

My love for coffee started pretty young. I actually don’t remember the exact age I tried it because it was always a part of my upbringing. There were plenty of times that I was concerned that it would stunt my growth as the rumors suggested, but I got over that pretty quickly.  Luckily, in high school, I had good friends who enjoyed watching a lot of movies and we would often head to a strip mall to get coffee and cookies or pastries before or after. The Coffee-mate Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie creamer reminds me of those times spent with friends as we threw caution to the wind and absorbed an enormous amount of late night calories of chocolate chip cookies, coffee and pretty much any other pastry we could get on our hands on.

There was something about the bitter and sweet taste of coffee that always felt so comforting to me, and I think that’s one of the reasons why I still drink it today. There’s not much better than a tasty cup of hot coffee.  While I have had some times where I cut back, coffee is still one of my favorite drinks in part because it largely reminds me of the mornings I spent with my parents and those late nights with friends that often included coffee and some pretty deep conversations about life, love and what we wanted to be when we grew up.

I remember watching my father make coffee religiously. I used to watch him with this sort of Zen-like focus because he was the only one who was allowed to make coffee in our house. My mom always complained that she couldn’t ever brew it strong enough, so my dad was always responsible for making the coffee every morning.

Out of all the times that we enjoyed coffee, one of the most vivid memories I have with my family was of Sunday mornings. Everyone slept in a little late, and waking up to the fresh smell of coffee was always really great for me. In addition to that, I knew that the smell of coffee also came with the lovely smell of buttery French toast and crackling bacon. You can imagine that Sunday breakfast quickly became one of my favorite things.

So as I would get up for breakfast, even as a young kid, one of the things I would do was engage in this ritual of making my own cup of coffee. We were a house that always drank it with sugar and creamer and one of my favorite creamers was the Coffee-mate Classic Vanilla. For me, Coffee-mate offered that extra touch of silky creaminess that always goes with the perfect cup of Joe. And while there’s nothing like enjoying a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning, I can’t help but also remember the friends that I’ve lost touch with and the many hours we spent embroiled in teenage angst contemplating life.

As I think about my long love affair with coffee, I can’t help but think about the meaningful times I’ve spent with loved ones either over bacon or chocolate chip cookies or other tasty treats. Maybe I should re-create some of those times pretty soon with Coffee-mate.

This summer, Nestlé Coffee-mate® is celebrating the sweetest form of nostalgia with their exclusive range of fun, exciting flavors that evoke delicious memories and emotions of the past These sweet throwback flavors include Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookie, Caramel Macchiato and Classic Vanilla.

coffe-mate logo

A Little Taste of Manhattan Moonshine

One of the great (and fun) pleasures of being an adult (read: grown ass man) is cocktails!  Once you hit the ripe age of 21 you can enjoy them freely, and legally, but I’m a firm believer that it’s not until you past the quarter of a century mark do you really appreciate a well made drink.

Spirits, libations, cocktails.  All are variations of some liquor infused drink but they’re not created equal and depending on your exposure you may find yourself into a bit of a comfort-zone with certain drinks or spirits depending on your friend group at different life stages. Vodka has been a well documented spirit in many of my late nights exploits, but I’ve tried to branch out from time to time to see what other tasty cocktails await.  That’s why I was more than happy, albeit a little concerned, to try out Manhattan Moonshine, a “prohibition-style whiskey”.

Again, I’m not a whiskey guy so my main focus in bringing this review to you was to try out a mixed beverage that I thought I could actually handle/like and that some of you might want to try too.  I ended up making my own twist on a “Bessie Smash”.  Here’s the altered recipe I tried:

  • 1 1/2 oz of Manhattan Moonshine
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Liber & Co spiced tonic syrup

It ended up looking a little something like this!

Manhattan Moonshine
Not too shabby, eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It turned out so good I might have had more than one!  Manhattan Moonshine is a pretty clean spirit so it lends itself to mixing well with a variety of cocktails.  The term “moonshine” is a bit misleading as people often think of moonshine as a harsh spirit but I think this whiskey is smoother and cleaner than even I expected.  It’s a great substitute for vodka or gin which is why I think I have the curiosity to dabble again in the whiskey end of the liquor spectrum.

To find out more about Manhattan Moonshine check out the website at manhattan-moonshine.com.

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Manhattan Moonshine.  All opinions listed herein are mine and mine alone.

Brrr! Cold Weather Drinks for Those Who Like It Hot

Check out Brrr! Cold Weather Drinks for Those Who Like it Hot

by Jor-El at Foodie.com

There’s nothing more comfortable than a warm drink on a cold winter day, right?  Well today, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite winter drink favorites in the hopes they’ll hope you make it through this winter with your sanity firmly intact.

It seems like almost every winter I struggle with at least one horrible cold and/or sore throat which makes me reconsider my love affair with all things winter and layered clothing.  It’s incredibly frustrating and what I would consider in the depths of my cold-ridden days as a personal tragedy.  You know, I’m just a little dramatic at times.  I’m not alone in this, I’m sure, but it was those days with sore throats as a kid that I really hated because my parents’ remedy used to be patience and hot tea.  Ain’t nobody got time for that! Especially, not a 9-year-old, but I digress.  And I don’t know about you, but as a kid, I hated hot tea. Thankfully, my grown up taste buds have saved me from myself and I’ve enjoyed some pretty tasty hot tea since.

These days it’s not only a simple hot tea with honey that gets me through these brisk days, but also a super Hot Toddy or an extra hot Chai Latte from Starbucks.  If you’re looking to get a bit creative this winter and want to try your hand at making some new beverages, then you may want to explore my collection on Foodie.com, “Brrr! Cold Weather Beverages for Those Who Like it Hot.”  The recipes included are as follows:

  • Almond Tea Latte
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate
  • Homemade Chai Tea Latte
  • Classic Hot Toddy
  • Hot Buttered Rum
  • Tequila Mint Hot Chocolate
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate
  • Traditional Mulled Wine Recipe
  • Hoppin’ Hot Scotch Cocktail Recipe
  • Warm Mulled Cider
  • Spiced Irish Coffee
  • Earl Grey Tea Latte
  • Kentucky Hot Toddy
  • Green Tea Latte
  • Hot Pumpkin Buttered Rum Cocktail
  • Hot NoChado

So, the question remains, which one(s) are you making this winter?

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Foodie.com. The collection is of my own creation and represents some of my favorite hot drinks for the winter months.  Give them a try for yourself!

YUM! Delectable Cookies & Bars

Check out Delectable Cookies and Bars

by Jor-El at Foodie.com

In my spare time one of the things that I enjoy most is cooking. Preparing food and making things for friends is a really fun way for me to experiment in the kitchen with a willing group of guinea pigs.

In all seriousness, food has always been a big part of my life and that’s why I love being able to share with you my collections of recipes on Foodie.com.  I routinely use the website to discover new recipes and get inspiration for ideas to bring to my own kitchen, so it’s definitely a treat to share with you all some of the things that have piqued my interest.

This month, I’m sharing with you a collection of cookies and bars, which are among my favorite things to share with my family and loved ones.  I have to highlight one of the recipes on this list because it inspired me to make a revamped version of it earlier in the summer for a cookout with my friends.

brown butter sea salt caramel bars - mane man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Brown Butter Sea Salt Caramel Bars were a BIG hit.  I’ve basically been told that I won’t be invited to any potlucks unless I bring these to every occasion!  These bars are based on the below recipe of Sea Salt Brown Butter Snickerdoodles.  I only have one big warning though, the smell of these things in progress is HEAVENLY.  If you love salty-sweet desserts these are basically perfection and I’m pretty sure I’d want them at my last meal.

Other recipes in this collection include:

  1. *Brown Butter Salted Caramel Cookies
  2. Piece of Cake-Mix Cookie Bars
  3. Snickers Blondies
  4. Salted Caramel Apple Bars
  5. Pecan-Pie Bars
  6. Triple Chocolate Pretzel Brownies
  7. Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies
  8. Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  9. Homemade Luna Bars
  10. Funfetti Gooey Cake Bars
  11. Date Pecan Bars
  12. Ginger Cheesecake Bars
  13. Muddy Buddies Bars
  14. Superhero Cheerio Bars
  15. Lemon Bars
  16. Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
  17. M&M Shortbread Cookies
  18. Apple Cider Snickerdoodles
  19. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  20. Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Bon appétit!

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Foodie.com. The collection is of my own creation and represents some of my favorite desserts to eat and prepare.  Give them a try for yourself!