¡Olé, Olé!

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Just because Labor Day is the “official” end of summer, it doesn’t mean you have to put away the grill. These recipes were inspired by one of my favorite NYC taco spots Tacombi, which you last saw in this post. I was craving their tacos and decided to whip up my own version along with their famous Corn in a Cup.

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Corn in a Cup

  • 4 ears of corn
  • Queso Fresco
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Throw the corn on the grill following this recipe. Cut the corn off the cobs, add the mayo and sour cream, and mix together in a bowl. Add some lime juice and scoop into the cups. Add a dollop of the sour cream/mayo mixture on top, squeeze some more lime juice, and sprinkle with chili powder. Crumble the Queso Fresco to top it off.

*If you want to make the Mexican Street Corn version, leave the corn on the cob when you’re done grilling. Mix the mayo with chili powder (eliminate the sour cream for this version) and spread onto the cob with a brush. Throw back on the grill for a few minutes. Add a bit more chili powder and roll in Queso Fresco before serving.

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Pineapple Pork Tacos

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 bag of cole slaw mix
  • 2 limes
  • Corn tortillas
  • Queso Fresco
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Teriyaki sauce

Marinate the pork in teriyaki sauce for a few hours before you cook. Saute the pork on the stove or throw on the grill. Slice up the pineapple and grill. I love cabbage on tacos but instead of buying a full head of cabbage, I use a bag of cole slaw mix that has a combination of white and red cabbage. To build the tacos, add the pork, grilled pineapple, cabbage, crumbled Queso Fresco, a few pieces of cilantro, and squeeze a lime over the top. Drizzle with the sour cream sauce (recipe below).

Cilantro Sour Cream Sauce

I don’t like to measure a whole lot when making a sauce. I think it’s more fun to taste as you go. For this sauce, I throw everything in the food processor. Small container of sour cream, fresh garlic, cilantro, green onions, a dash of milk (to thin the sauce), and salt & pepper.

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Chai Latte

I first tried chai tea in a little cafe in Mexico. Maybe that wasn’t the best place for my first taste because I was not overly thrilled with the flavor. While living in NYC, I had a friend reintroduce me to the drink, guaranteeing I would like it. Although I was sure I would hate it once again, I ended up loving it. It even become a weekly ritual to stop by my local coffee shop for a chai latte.

Since the end of the year is right around the corner and the “cooler” weather has joined, I want to spend most of my time with a warm drink, bundled up in flannels watching movie marathons all afternoon. But considering it’s still 80° and I’m currently in shorts, I figured I could at least pretend it’s chilly out if only for a bit. This Chai Latte has a bit of a kick to it. The creaminess of the condensed milk combined with the cinnamon makes it the perfect morning treat.

Caramel Corn

Caramel corn is one of those traditional snacks that I usually only pick up at a carnival or farmers’ market. Since I’ve never made it at home, I figured it would be the perfect rainy day snack. This recipe doesn’t require any fancy ingredients and were all things I had in my pantry. The bubbling caramel on the stove top and the popcorn baking in the oven filled my kitchen with the sweetest aroma.

I Have Found That If You Love Life, Life Will Love You Back

As most of you know, I’m not exactly the most avid sports fan but when I had the chance to root on my home team, I jumped at it. A few weeks ago I went to a Yankees game when the Tampa Bay Rays were in town. Although it ended up raining about 75% of the game, we had a great time cheering on the team and enjoying some of the finest food Yankee Stadium had to offer.

There was a food stand called “fried dough.” It consisted of every type of food thrown into a deep fryer and coming out with an additional 1000 calories added. We saw one guy ordering a cheeseburger that was served in between two glazed doughnuts! I decided to stick with my (somewhat) lower calorie meal of a hot dog and garlic fries…

Once a book has hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List or when friends can’t stop talking about a certain story is when I decide to pick up the book. I read the Twilight series, the three Hunger Games books, and recently decided to test out Fifty Shades of Grey. I’ve heard many “interesting” things about it so I thought I would see what all the hype was about. Since this is easily an “R” rated story, this is no place for a book review but I thoroughly enjoyed all three books and might have fallen in love with the main character Christian Grey…

Last week, I attended my first book club meeting. Some friends were gathering to discuss the book so I decided it would make for a fun Friday night. We sat around giggling about the storyline, sharing our opinion on the book, and drinking wine. Not to mention, the view from the apartment where we were was absolutely breathtaking.

I always love when I have a celebrity sighting in the city. I was at a bar with friends the other night and recognized the guy walking in. It was one of those instances where the person’s face was familiar but I just couldn’t place him. Courtney recognized him as a doctor on Criminal Minds and after some Googling, we realized it was Matthew Grey Gubler from 500 Days of Summer. I dragged Courtney over to say hi as my friends back at the table watched us and laughed. Although it was a brief conversation, I never give up the chance to speak to a celebrity.

Last weekend hosted the most beautiful weather we’ve had all year. I would finally consider winter to be completely gone and summer making its way in. A few girlfriends and I went out to Central Park for an afternoon of laying on blankets under the sun, listening to Frank Sinatra, and snacking on berries and wine. It was one of the most relaxing afternoons I’ve had in a while.

Over the last few years, I’ve really learned to appreciate the styling and quality of food. I’ve always been a big Food Network fan and love getting the chance to eat at the various chef’s restaurants around the city.

On Sunday, I went with Courtney and Flo to Chris Santos’ restaurant Stanton Social on the Lower East Side for brunch. All of the dishes are served as tapas and you order a few plates to share at the table. We agreed that our favorite dish was the huevos rancheros mini tacos. The mixture of bacon, eggs, avocado, and various spices was absolutely delicious. We also enjoyed the “upscale” chicken taquitos, potato latkes, brie and apple quesadilla, and French onion soup dumplings.

Glamour, Glitter, and Gold

Last weekend I was lucky enough to have a second birthday party with my friends in New York. Alyssa came over from New Jersey to help me celebrate. We spent the afternoon catching up and then met friends for dinner. I always love trying out new places and Courtney recommended an amazing spot! We had the most delicious meal at Ditch Plains in the West Village. Food Network chef Marc Murphy owns the restaurant and the food was unbelievable. We spent the rest of the night barhopping in the Village and I was so happy to be surrounded by so many wonderful friends!

As most of you know, I love the TV show “Pretty Little Liars.” This past Monday was “A” Day where a big secret on the show was revealed. A few of my friends up here love the show (almost) as much as I do so we decided to have a finale party. Of course, the night wasn’t complete without homemade “A” shaped cookies and suspect lists for us to discuss the outcome of the show!

That morning, the girls of “Pretty Little Liars” were at Good Morning America being interviewed live on air. I woke up at the crack of dawn and made my way down to the Times Square studio. I was front row to see the girls and even got to meet some of them after the show. I love letting my inner 15 year old girl out when I meet some of my favorite stars.

My friend Justin was in town this week from Florida. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to go see the new Freedom Tower and the 9/11 Memorial fountains. After going through strict airport-type security, we got the chance to see the beautiful fountains up close. There’s the north fountain and the south fountain in the exact spots where the Twin Towers once stood. Around each of the fountains, almost 3,000 victims names are inscribed into a steel wall. What a stunning tribute to all of the victims and a reminder of how proud we should be to live in this country.

As the temperatures hit almost 80 degrees this week, spring has joined us much earlier than usual. I’m looking forward to April- flowers blooming, wearing sandals and dresses, trips to Philadelphia and Atlantic City, and one of my favorite holidays, Easter! What better excuse to eat jelly beans, chocolate eggs, and peeps?

Cheers To One Year

This has been one of the craziest weeks since I’ve moved to NYC. On Tuesday afternoon, I was sitting in my room when I felt my bed begin to shake. All of a sudden, pictures on my walls started to move and it felt like the entire apartment began to tremble. I was on the phone with my friend Laura (who lives about 50 blocks away) and she claimed that her entire apartment was shaking too. It only took us a few seconds to realize what was going on..EARTHQUAKE! I didn’t even think earthquakes could happen on the east coast!

After the excitement of the earthquake, we were warned that Hurricane Irene was making her way to the North. We are now under a “State of Emergency” and a large part of the city has to evacuate this weekend. Heading out tomorrow to stock up on food and water. I leave Florida yet all of the crazy weather follows me…

A few weeks ago my friend Melinda came from DC to visit Courtney and I in the city. We met Melinda when we went to visit our friend Steven in DC a few months ago. We ended up becoming quick friends and invited her to come stay with us for a weekend!

Her first afternoon here, we made our way over to The Met to see the Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty” exhibit. We waited in line for close to 2 hours but it was totally worth it. It was unlike any exhibit I had ever seen. Every item of clothing was a piece of artwork. The dim lighting and eerie music really set the fantastic atmosphere for the exhibit. By the time the exhibit closed in August, close to 600,000 people had seen McQueen’s beautiful creations.

“There is no way back for me now. I am going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed were possible.” -Alexander McQueen

Despite the weekend being the hottest temperatures the city has seen in 20 years, we made the most out of Melinda’s visit. Since it was Restaurant Week, we took full advantage of eating at a fabulous five star restaurant. Ever since I fell in love with Gossip Girl a few years ago, I’ve wanted to eat at Butter, just like Blair Waldorf. I also found out the executive chef at the restaurant is Alex Guarnaschelli, one of the judges from the Food Network show “Chopped.” We had a fantastic three course meal complete with a bottle of white wine. Our dinner lasted well past midnight and it was one of those meals I will never forget.

We spent the next day walking around the Lower East Side, exploring little boutiques, indulging in gelato, and having lunch at a fantastic Greek restaurant that made you feel like you were truly dining on a Greek island. To conclude our fabulous weekend, we had Sunday brunch on the rooftop of 230 Fifth. It’s a popular celebrity hotspot but I think we fit in just perfectly.

I’ve become involved with the NYC Pi Phi Alumni Club up here. I found that it’s a great way to meet girls from all over the country and go on some fun outings! Since I hadn’t been to the beach all summer, except when I was home in Florida, I decided to go on the day trip to Fire Island. It took us 2 hours to get there..train, bus ride, and ferry to the island. Nothing like Florida where we would drive 15 minutes and be on the sand! The island was beautiful though. Reminded me of something out of a Nicholas Spark’s novel. I was walking around the island and a deer just appeared in front of me on the path. Quaint little beach houses were scattered all over the island, it looked like a postcard.

Steven popped into the city two weeks ago! I only got to see him briefly so we spent our time together exploring the High Line, drinking apple pie milkshakes from the milk bar at Chelsea Market, and at my favorite bar in the East Village, Angels & Kings. It’s always so fun to have my old friends from home come to visit.

That week, Alyssa also came to visit me for an evening. It was her friend’s birthday and they took a limo into the city so of course they invited me to tag along for a fun night out!

I made a quick trip to the West Village one afternoon with some friends to see Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop from Sex & the City! The apartment is now a private residence but it’s one of the hottest tourist attractions in the city..well for females at least!

Last Thursday night was a dream come true for me. After being a fan of Lady Gaga for almost 4 years now, I finally had the chance to meet her…all thanks to MTV! I was selected to be featured on another Lady Gaga MTV special. After waiting in line for an hour with 100 other people dressed as Gaga, they finally let us into the old TRL studio.

Within a few minutes, Gaga herself appeared behind shimmering gold curtains. She looked absolutely stunning, obnoxiously large hat and all. This MTV special was to premiere Gaga’s new music video for her song “Yoü And I.” While the video premiered on MTV, we watched Gaga sing and dance to the song, only a few feet away. She was then interviewed by MTV’s Sway for the next half hour before she departed for the night. Everything about being in her presence seemed surreal and it was a truly magical night.


On August 15, I celebrated my one year anniversary with New York City. It has been one of the most incredible years of my life. I’ve made new friends, adjusted to city life, spent time traveling around the north, and made some memories that will last a lifetime.

Cheers to one year and many more to come!