Tag Archives: food

Restaurant Round-Up

23 Sep

I am struggling to find the desire/time/inspiration to cook in my kitchen. Lately, I’ve had a lot of salads on the go, more dinners of tomato soup than I care to share, and a few too many vanilla-strawberry-banana smoothies… but that is a post for another time ๐Ÿ˜€

Because the school year isn’t really into full swing yet, my friends and I have had more time on our hands than we usually get to have together. Combine that with the fact that our dining halls are… err, not the best… and it makes perfect sense why the following restaurants received our patronage over the last few weeks.


Restaurant #1: Alice’s Tea Cup. Blueberry cornmeal scone and pumpkin scone (straight from heaven!). The menu says you must order at least two scones per person… so this meal became dinner that night as well as breakfast the next morning. Hey, I wasn’t complaining ๐Ÿ˜€

Woops, I almost forgot about the tea (and the adorable tea kettles)!

Restaurant #2: Massawa. This was my first experience with Ethiopian food and I ordered the Ful (๏ปฟ๏ปฟfava beans simmered with berbere, tomatoes, peppers, yogurt, and toasted bread). Sounds like it might be tastey, right? Wrong. On a side note, the salmon tebsi was DELISH ๐Ÿ˜€

Restaurant #3: Spice. Yes, this restaurant has multiple locations around Manhattan, but let me just say, there is a reason for that ๐Ÿ˜€ I went appetizer-crazy and skipped an entree in favor ofย  lemongrass tom yum with shrimp and salmon tartar. Definitely worth repeating ๐Ÿ˜€

Restaurant #4: Veselka. Ukranian soul food was another “first” for me recently. It was pretty darn good, even considering that I had no idea what to expect. If you happen to be in the East Village sometime, you should stop by this restaurant. I ordered the roasted beet and goat cheese salad with toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Whenever I see pumpkin seeds on a menu, I order that item without fail. I have to get my zinc somehow ๐Ÿ˜€

Restaurant #5: Terrace in the Sky. Ok, so actually this was a work event and I had to be talking, not eating, but nevertheless, I still have 3 things to say about this restaurant:

i. It’s way too fancy-schmancy for a normal dinner.

ii. Its location on the roof of a tall building offers the most beautiful views of the city at night.

iii. There was a harpist playing during dinner. Like I said, fancy-schmancy….

Restaurant #6: Deluxe. Brunch is my favorite meal of the day, so I can be a tough critic when it comes to french toast ๐Ÿ˜€ Fortunately, Deluxe’s raspberry and blueberry stuffed french toast passed my taste test. Unfortunately, I am now craving that french toast…

Yesterday, I finished the last take-out box in my fridge. This means I need to start remembering (ok, learning) how to cook my own food… You know what that means: many kitchen adventures are on the way ๐Ÿ˜€

Smile out loud,


Failure of a Yogini

12 Sep

This past week, I’ve spent a lot in time in classes– math classes, latin classes, and music classes, but no yoga classes! I’m trying to fit more yoga into my schedule, but school comes first. Sometimes I dream of transferring to yoga school ๐Ÿ˜€ Doesn’t that sound amazing…

Luckily, I got things done today and had enough time to do candlelit yoga downtown tonight. Thank goodness! Lately, I’ve spent more time on the treadmill (boring) than on the yoga mat (interesting). I really need to fix that…

After candlelit yoga, friends and I grabbed dinner at Caracas Arepa Bar, a Venezuelan restaurant in the East Village. One of my friends, Sam, who has eaten at far more ethnic (if you will?) restaurants than I have, holds this restaurant among her top 3 favorite restaurants in Manhattan. After tonight’s dinner, I think I have to agree with her. I got an avocado and plaintain arepa, which is a cornmeal flatbread, and it was amazing.

Note to self: Get the cocada, a coconut-cinnamon-milkshake, when you next eat at Caracas. You will not be disappointed ๐Ÿ˜€

Huh… I just realized that I intended to write more about yoga in this post, but, well, sometimes it’s simply all about the food ๐Ÿ˜€ Tomorrow, I will share a couple of my other favorite meals from this weekend. Hope you had a delicious weekend, too.

Smile out loud,


Figs, Mangoes, and Mussels

6 Sep

Last night, I went to Pisticci, an Italian restaurant in Manhattan (125th St. and La Salle St.).

This is not your average Italian restaurant. Pisticci’s makes its own pasta and mozzarella daily. Yes, that is as good as it sounds ๐Ÿ˜€

We started off the meal with…

Fig, Mango, and Warm Goat Cheese Salad

Can you see one of the figs on the right, sliced open with goat cheese in its middle? You know I am a killer for fresh figs

After the salad, I had steamed mussels in tomato basil sauce. It tasted so amazing that I forgot to stop and take a picture by the time it was gone ๐Ÿ˜€ It looked something like this…

Tiramisu arrived on our table after dinner, but I was far too full to enjoy it! The entire experience was mouth-watering ๐Ÿ˜€ If you have a chance to go to Pisticci soon, you will love it. If you don’t, make a mango/fig salad and mussels for yourself sometime. It is a meal you will not soon forget!

Smile out loud,


Back in Business

5 Sep

Smile Out Loud is officially back in business ๐Ÿ˜€ While the bad news is that I took a ridiculously long time to get settled on campus and finish RA training, the good news is that I’m done with dining hall food and back to cooking for myself. All I can say about that is: THANK GOODNESS!

Naturally, I celebrated the end of dining hall boredom by bookin’ it to Whole Foods at Columbus Circle (59th street and Broadway) to buy real food ๐Ÿ˜€

Columbus Circle is actually kind of beautiful, even for a shopping center ๐Ÿ˜€ Whole Foods is in the middle of the building, right down the escalator…

Food shopping is a lot less stressful if you don’t go when the store is closing–who knew? I felt like I had all the time in the world, for the first time in a long time! I am so excited to tell you about my 3 steals of the day…

1. Hunza Mulberries: Awesome for snacking and for salad toppings, and of course, as a secret ingredient in vegan overnight oats (one of my all-time favorite breakfast options :D).

Have you a fan of mulberries? If not, you have got to try them! They have loads of antioxidants, 4 grams of protein per serving, and are on sale at Whole Foods in NYC right now ๐Ÿ˜€

2. Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds by Kathie’s Kitchen: These guys are DELISH. You would never guess by their taste that 1/4 of a cup gives you the following minerals: 46.1% of the daily value for magnesium, 28.7% of the DV for iron, 52.0% of the DV for manganese, 24.0% of the DV for copper, 16.9% of the DV for protein, and 17.1% of the DV for zinc. Oh, did I mention they were half-price yesterday?! $2.99 for a 6 ounce package… SCORE ๐Ÿ˜€

3. Acorn Squash and Mango Soup: It’s no secret that I’m clinically obsessed with every Imagine soup I’ve ever tried, so this next sentence may be slightly biased, but there’s no stopping me… Acorn squash and mango is THE BEST SOUP ON THE SHELVES. Don’t believe me? You must not have tasted it yet ๐Ÿ˜€ Don’t worry, it’s really good for you, too!

So, now I’m a happy camper with fresh food and gorgeous weather outside. If only classes didn’t start in 2 days… I can’t believe that today is my last day of summer! Hope you’re enjoying the last bit of the long weekend ๐Ÿ˜€

Smile out loud,


Read, Baby, Read

31 Aug

1. First off,ย Marissa’s response to the question, “What does health mean to you?” for the healthy living blog community is fabulous.

2. My guesses for theย 29 healthiest foods on the planet were WRONG (not even bananas, blueberries, or acai berries?!). Here’s to shifting my perspective ๐Ÿ˜€

3. Leonardo Da Vinci’s tips are worth reading.ย If anyone is qualified to offer advice on how to get things done, Leo most certainly is ๐Ÿ˜€

4. Speaking of getting things done… read this manifesto and you will never procrastinate again!

5. 20 Ways to Detox Your Home is important! Let’s just say my apartment could use a few improvements in the detox arena… since when are wrinkle-free shirts toxic?!

And now, for the food…

Vegan Spinach Dip

Adapted fromย Vegan College Cookbook

5 oz. frozen chopped spinach
15 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
Pepper, sea salt, cashews, or red pepper flakes (!) to taste

  • Blend all until smooth. Easy enough, right ๐Ÿ˜€

I loved this spread as a veggie dip. Hope you do, too!

Smile out loud,


NYC Restaurant Edition

22 Aug

Thursday: Of all the pizza places in Manhattan, I have to say that POSTO (18th street & 2nd ave.) is the best, hands down. When you taste the spicy, garlic, veggie pizza, you will see what I mean ๐Ÿ˜€ Quite simply, the pizza is delivered straight from heaven!

Friday: Speaking of heaven… The eggplant parmesan at Angelo’s (53rd street & Broadway) is to die for. ย I didn’t take a photo of my plate this time, becauseย I was enjoying time with family from home. Don’t worry, though, you’re in luck–Madonna ate at Angelo’s recently, so there’s plenty of photos from her dinner! If it’s good enough for Madonna, it’s good enough for me ๐Ÿ˜€

Saturday: After filling the car with my life in boxes, my parents and I strapped furniture to the roof (quite the scene!) and drove uptown to my dorm apartment. By dinnertime, we were starving… moving is a lot of work!

Thank goodnessย Campo came to the rescue ๐Ÿ˜€ I ordered a thin crust pumpkin pizza. I’ve never thought of pumpkin as a pizza topping before, but I do now! SO DELISH.

Meanwhile, my mother ordered gazpacho with shrimp and raved about it, but I was too busy eating my pumpkin pizza to take a picture of it… ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway, it looked something like this:

So, now you know how I’ve been spoiled rotten while eating over the last few days ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope you’ve had some awesome eats recently, too!

Smile out loud,


Movin’ On Out

17 Aug

Moving 3 miles uptown may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I’m packing up my apartment and moving back to the Upper West Side before classes begin. Yikes, my room looks like a tornado swept through… too much stuff, too little boxes!

I need to be fully moved in uptown by Saturday, so I’m cleaning out the closets– and theย refrigerator. With a freezer full of bananas and cinnamon raisin bread, I decided to haveย vegan french toast for dinner ๐Ÿ˜€

For dessert, I chopped up some mangoes. They were just 75 cents each on the Upper East Side tonight! ย Who says Park Avenue is only for the rich ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, I must get back to packing. It seemed like a good idea earlier to pack now and not stress about doing it later…but, it’s getting late, so procrastination (in the form of sleep) might become the new game plan ๐Ÿ˜€

Hope you’re having a productive night!

Smile out loud,


Make this Salad Now!

17 Aug

At 1:00 PM today, my boss announced she was going to Spoon, my beloved restaurant, for lunch. At 1:01 PM, I promptly invited myself to come along. You gotta do what you gotta do, right ๐Ÿ˜€ Above is my Spoon spinach salad, complete with figs, blueberries, blue cheese, and walnuts. I was starving, but I took a quick (blurry) picture with my phone, before devouring ๐Ÿ˜€

I simply adored this salad. If you’re looking for something DELISH, you must make this salad for yourself right now ๐Ÿ˜€

Smile out loud,


My Doubleheader and Asparagus “Sausages”

12 Aug

This is how I felt tonight, after I finished my doubleheader (of yoga classes, not baseball :D):

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? ‘Nuff said ๐Ÿ˜€

On to the food!

First, here’s a quick background story for you: On the first day of my internship this summer, I handed my college I.D. to the office building’sย security guardย for identification. Then, the person behind me also handed over her college I.D., at which point we realized we both go to the same college! We’d never met before that day, but we got to know each other over this summer and she is a very cool person! Coincidentally, she looks exactly like one of my cousins and it still surprises me every time I see her…

Anyway, today was the last day of her summer internship (at a firm 12 floors below mine) and tomorrow is her birthday. If this situation doesn’t qualify for a celebratory lunch, I don’t know what does ๐Ÿ˜€

She chose a restaurant for us called Dogmatic that specializes in sausage dogs. However, we are not talking about your average dogs. These sausages are free of hormones, antibiotics, and nitrates, and naturally low in fat?! That sounds like some sort of scientific breakthrough to me, but I wasn’t sure my stomach was quite up to the challenge of a sausage for lunch. Instead, I opted for “the sausage of vegetables.”

I loved it, and I don’t even like asparagus very much! So, if you’re looking for something different to have at your next backyard barbeque, stick a couple of asparagus spears in a hot dog bun. A vegetarian will thank you ๐Ÿ˜€

That’s all I got tonight! See you tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜€

Chipotle Hummus: It’s What’s For Dinner

11 Aug

Today I’m giving my body a rest from yoga. That means I have two yoga classes in a row to look forward to tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜€

In the meantime, I’m about to eat dinner: miso soup (thank you, Trader Joe’s :D) and spicy, zesty hummus on a pita…

Chipotle Hummus

2 cups of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
ยฝ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon (or more :D) red chili flakes
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

Puree all of the above in a blender (or a food processor, if your kitchen is more decked out than mine :D) to desired consistency. Add a few drops of water to make your hummus as creamy as you want ๐Ÿ˜€ *Note: this recipe yields a ton of hummus, so grab your tupperware!

My hummus wasn’t ready for a glamour shotย tonight, but these gorgeous summer flowers certainly were:

Wednesday night… that’s pretty close to the weekend, right ๐Ÿ˜€ Almost there!