Do You Enjoy Grocery Shopping?


I have always enjoyed grocery shopping. When I was little, my mom would stop at the deli counter and hand me a slice of American cheese, oh so thin, to eat while she was waiting for her number to be called. I loved it. As an adult, I view grocery shopping as a sort of adventure. What am I going to make this week? Will organic apples be on sale? What tasty samples await me? (It’s the simple things, people.)

Apparently, this is not the case for everyone. So many people I know don’t cook at home because they don’t like the act of shopping for food, mostly because they don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed or too busy. Shopping for and cooking your own food is rewarding for all the senses. It’s fun, colorful and good for you.

If you enjoy grocery shopping then cool, we have that in common. If you don’t, follow any or all of the below and let’s get cookin’.

  1. Make a list. This seems like such a cliché thing to do but you’ll leave with what you came for.
  2. Don’t go when you are hungry. Even if you have a small snack, like a piece of fruit, your body will thank you later when you aren’t shoving fistfuls of cheez-its in your mouth on the way home.
  3. Have an idea of the sort of menu you want for the week. If you make a big pan of lasagna, you better feel like eating lasagna for a few days.
  4. Buy frozen foods. No, totino’s pizza rolls do not count. Stock up on frozen fruit for smoothies, veggie burgers for easy lunches and frozen vegetables like peas and corn for salads and soup.
  5. Look for deals on items that are usually on the costly side. If coffee is on sale, buy in bulk. Trust.
  6. Get a store card or ask the cashier to swipe one at the register. Saving money is cool, even if you feel like a total grandma.
  7. Bring your reusable grocery bags. If you’re like me, you only think of these buggers when you are in line so you end up buying more (or have plastic guilt trip). Keep one bag packed with couple others somewhere by the door so you don’t forget.
  8. If you have the funds, pick up a small bouquet. It’s a simple act but flowers really add life and happiness to a home.
  9. Stock up on canned beans. Garbanzo, pinto, navy, kidney…any are handy to store in your pantry (or teensy NYC cabinet) and use for salads and side dishes.
  10. Before leaving, ask yourself this. Do we have toilet paper?

What are your tips for a successful shopping trip?

Image: maira kalman for ‘food rules’ by michael pollan

Superb Herbs

herbs2I absolutely love having fresh herbs in the house. Not only do they look and smell delightful, fresh herbs liven up any dish. The possibilities are endless – throw a sprig of rosemary in cocktails & poultry dishes, add mint to seltzer & fruit salad and toss basil in pasta & tomato-based dishes.

It’s very easy to start your own indoor herb garden. I recommend using baby herb plants which have already sprouted, as opposed to trying to grow plants from seeds. Follow the below steps to get growin’ in your own space.

1. Choose your planter. I went with rectangular plastic window boxes from Home Depot. They are inexpensive and fit nicely against walls or on window ledges, if you have the room. If you want to add some flare, you can always spray paint the potters something fun, like gold, or sponge paint on polka dots.

2. Pick up some soil. Really any brand will do, but I think it’s best to use more of a premium option.

3. Decide on your herbs. As I said above, I recommend mint, basil and rosemary to start. They are hearty and extremely versatile. Other great options are chives, parsley, sage, oregano, thyme, dill and cilantro. You can purchase starter plants  at any garden center.

4. Plant those babies! Make sure to space them 2-3 inches apart, so if you are using a rectangular planter, you’ll be able to fit about three plants.

5. Water and place in a sunny spot. That’s it! You’re ready to go.

Now sit back and admire your hard work and green thumb.

Also, you should listen to this while doing your planting:

Image via

Yearning for Spring


With this warm & rainy weather in NYC today, it really feels like spring is right around the corner. Personally, I am looking forward to the colorful Farmer’s Markets in Union Square and Prospect Park.

Here are some other fun ideas for spring:

  • Eat everything in sight at Smorgasburg.
  • Have a picnic in one of the city’s many parks.
  • Experience the magic of Sakura Matsuri, the annual cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
  • Explore Redhook. Attend a tasting at The Redhook Winery then head over to Alma for the tastiest mexican food  and gorgeous view.
  • Rent a citibike and spend the day riding around the city. You never know what you’ll discover when you ditch the agenda and just ride.
  • Pick up food at Chelsea Market and stroll along the High Line.
  • Take a flower arranging class at NYC Flower Girl and then fill your apartment with beautiful blooms.
  • Gather your friends and have a down coat and tights burning ceremony. Just kidding.

What are you looking forward to?

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5 Items to Always Have in Your Kitchen

1. Lemons. Buy these in bulk when you go to your grocery store. Squeeze a wedge on salads, poultry, veggies, potatoes, water/seltzer. These bright babies look best when stored in a colorful bowl on the counter. It will remind you to use them and also act as effortless decor.

2. Peanut Butter. Rich, nutritious, and full o’ protein, this spread can be schmeared on fresh produce like apples and celery, served with Thai dishes, and offer comfort in the form of a classic PB&J.

3. Sriracha. DUH. Who hates speeding up their metabolism? Not me. Add a bit of this fiery condiment to (bland, there I said it) veggie dishes and get ready for a spice party in your mouth.

4. Eggs. These little guys are extremely versatile and can add protein to many dishes. Crack one in boiling vegetable broth for a healthy egg drop soup, hard boil a dozen at a time and store in the fridge for a morning or post-workout snack, or whip up a little scramble and serve “breakfast for dinner.”

5. Garlic. Add to salad dressings and marinades, use to saute veggies in place of salt, or bake bulbs whole and serve as a tasty spread with bread and olives. This staple has adds fat-free flavor to many dishes and has a seemingly infinite endless shelf life. I love that moment of placing sliced garlic into a pan with olive oil. It instantly fills our apartment with that amazing “I’m cooking” aroma and our neighbors think we are having the Italian feast of our lives.