Category Archives: Coffee and Tea

A Camera-less Day

This morning Mom and I capitalized on the insanely beautiful weather and went for a walk down Tryon Street… my old high school crew team stomping grounds.  Apparently it was take-your-tractor-to-work day because we were nearly mauled by a few.  We also ran into some dogs (Mom ran away) and a horse just casually straddling the yellow line.

Then I met one of my very best friends in the world for an iced latte at So. G., a fun little coffee shop in South Glastonbury that I’ve been meaning to try.  We were lucky it was warm enough to sit outside!  I will absolutely be back again.

And a friend from high school served me up my latte which made it even better.

Tonight we went to Fairfield for dinner at our family friends’ house where I finally snagged a taste of Morgan and Dave’s snack chicks.

Check out their website:

I tried the herb-an chicks and loved them on my salad. Super crunchy and a great stand in for croutons.  They also come in naked chicks, hot chicks and sweet chicks (sounds like a tasty ice-cream topper).

They’re all natural, baked, low-fat, gluten free, cholesterol free and boast 6g of protein per serving.

Here’s the latest CNY Signature I forgot to post.  Love to see all the nice comments for restaurants…Friends Diner

Since I’m on stuffing duty for Thanksgiving this year, I’d love some help!

Standard Stuffing: celery, carrots, onion, bread and seasoning … as simple as you can get.

Sweet Cornbread Stuffing: apple, cranberry, nutmeg, homemade cornbread

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing: Standard + Sausage + Cornbread

Orrrrrrrr… some sort of combo.  Suggestions welcome!





Just Dandy

Woops, I slept through my alarm this morning.

After a slightly longer than expected sleep, I had toast with jam and pumpkin seeds then apple slices with almond butter sandwiched in between and a mug of earl grey.

For dinner, I used Pellicano’s Dandelion pasta sauce.  I’m not lying when I say I bought it because the label is pretty.

The ingredients list is slim… also a bonus: Tomato puree, dandelion greens, olive oil, salt, sugar, garlic, onion, citric acide, black pepper, basil, parsley.

The label has a cute little write up too: “When I was a kid, my grandmother used to pick dandelion and use it in her cooking.  Legend has said that it helps indigestion and keeps the plumbing running smooth, if you know what I mean.”  I’ll uhhh… let you know how it goes.

I cooked up some lentils and whole wheat shells.  Then mixed diced red pepper in a bowl with tuna.  Then I layered the two, threw some cheese on top and heated it up under the broiler.  It looks ugly.  Sorry.

And for dessert I made cookie dough dip (that beany dessert that’s blowing up the internet).


It consists of beans, baking powder, oats, milk, chocolate, sweetener of choice, nut butter of choice (I used almond), salt and vanilla extract.

Weird that it’s a bean base but its super versatile.  There are a bunch of pumpkin versions online too.

Meanwhile, Miss Susie Homemaker (Liz) is whipping up some peanut butter thumbprint cookies.

Royally Blown Scones

When my parents stay in hotels up here, they like to smuggle out individual tea bags, bananas, oatmeal packets and individual peanut butters for me.  So with my insane amount of massive hotel bananas (for some reason they look more like plantains), yesterday morning I had an almond butter and banana sandwich for breakfast.  On the side I had one of the smuggled yogurts with more banana and chia seeds.

Before dinner I did an interview about a death by chocolate cake at a “dessert and wine bar” downtown called Bittersweet.  It’s starting to become a little comical asking an extensive amount of questions about a singular food item like it’s a celebrity and I’m speaking with their PR person, but I don’t hate it.

I’d love to go back to Bittersweet after dinner downtown sometime… If we’re really feeling classy.

Check out their menu: Bittersweet Eats

Since the interview ran pretty short, I met up with a friend for tea at Recess.  They were out of my go-to lemon ginger, but I had some sort of fruity-something that was still great.  Plus we were there for coffee bean roasting time (which oddly smelled a little bit like popcorn).

Before I left to go downtown, I marinated some salmon in a mango-coconut sauce that I just bought.  Sooooo goooood.   On the side a salad topped with pepper, apple and carrot.

Post dinner I had some Greek yogurt with pumpkin puree, pumpkin butter, cinnamon and graham bumpers (and some chocolate too, duh).  Speaking of the Greek stuff, last night I interviewed Michael Sansolo, a retail food industry consultant, about Greek yogurt.  He essentially solidified the fact that Greek yogurt isn’t just a fad, and that even though it’s pricier than standard yogurt, consumers buy it for it’s more “vibrant taste” and health attributes.  Interesting.

And later last night, in true senioritis style, I chose to bake instead of do work.  My kind of productivity.

Here’s the lovely mess I created.

So I had some problems.  Here’s where I admit to my sister that I do in fact screw up when I don’t use recipes.

Let me tell you about my scone woes.

The first speed bump I hit was my “fresh” cranberries.  Admittedly, I don’t even remember when I bought them.  When I took them out of the bag, they didn’t feel, smell or taste right.  I think they fermented.  Gross.

So much for pumpkin cranberry scones.  Fine.  Instead I chopped up an apple.

May I also inform you that I have never made scones.

Second speed bump, okay so it’s no secret that I try to “healthitize” recipes.  Sometimes this works beautifully, other times it fails miserably.

Here’s a rough estimate of what went in that giant glass mixing bowl:

-a scant amount of almond milk

-an egg white

-1/2 cup pumpkin puree

-1 diced apple

-dash of salt

teaspoon of baking powder

-teaspoon pumpkin butter

-1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

-2 teaspoons coconut oil

-some greek yogurt (see I don’t even know how much)


-some lemon zest and juice

-pumpkin pie spice

Sidenote: This ingredients list also shows my haphazard kitchen approach in that normal recipes list ingredients with dry first and then wet.  I just threw things together.  It failed.

My pumpkin apple “scones” baked into bland pumpkin apple bread.  Ooops.  I had a triangle last night, trying to convince myself with each bite that the taste was growing on me.  Nope.

This morning I saw the dopey circle sadly residing on the stove top and attempted to reinvent a section.  One last attempt.

Faux Scone French Toast:

Better, but dammit… still pretty sucky.  I ate it anyway so it wouldn’t feel bad.

Next time: Sugar! Real sugar! more salt and real butter.

My Parents Make Friends at Bars.

Mom and Dad busted in for the weekend, and while I worked on Friday, they went to Skaneateles and did fun things (without me).  I made them go to Patisserie just to take a whiff of the outrageously good smell inside the little bakery.  My Dad grabbed a muffin and allegedly loved it.  Then, with the suggestion of my editor at the P-S, we went to Riley’s for dinner.  What a fun little restaurant.

It’s situated in the middle of a residential area and looks like a blown up version of a store front in a Christmas Village with Christmas lights strung around the windows’ perimeters and dark wood lining the walls and ceilings.  We sat at the bar for a good forty minutes until we were seated, but it’s okay because my Mom obviously made friends with a local couple and picked their brains for other new restaurants to try.  And at the same time my Dad asked a white-haired man (who looked like he just got off the boat from Ireland) where he purchased his cable-knit wool sweater because, “my daughter wants it.”

Saturday morning we decided to pop by Freedom of Espresso in Fayetteville before we drove to Cazenovia for the day.

Chai Latte

Dad said, I’ll have what you’re having.  So I ordered us up some chai lattes.  I asked for mine with skim, and since Phil thinks skim is just yellow water, I kept his as is.  When the barista called out a skinny chai and a chai latte, he inquired if his was a chubby chai.  I have a feeling that wouldn’t be all that marketable.

In Cazenovia we went to the farmers market and checked out the overpriced boutiques.  Then we stopped at Dave’s Diner for lunch which really isn’t much of a diner but good nonetheless.

On the way back we walked around the lake.

And took some horrendous self-timer photos.




And after taking a few wrong turns, we found this!

For dinner we went to Pascal’s (a suggestion from Mom’s new friends at the bar) to celebrate my roommates’ birthdays.

It. Was. So. Good.

Salmon B-day

I had the maple-soy glazed salmon and here’s one of the birthday treats — flourless chocolate cake.

Glad my parents could get away from the snow and I could spend some time with them (and avoid going to the grocery store).


Oooookay… I just filed for my diploma.  WHAT?!?!?!?!

I kind of wanted to change my name during the name verification part… ya know like a graduation pen name, but my mom would kill me.

So yesterday and today consisted of a double whammy of CNY signatures.  Last night I interviewed Michele at Siena in Camillus about their chicken riggies … yummmmm.  I easily would have wolfed down the entire massive plate, but I had a dinner date with the birthday girl.

Then this morning I interviewed Denise at Friends Diner in Syracuse.  I made my first notable boo-boo at the paper when I screwed up the photo request and put down the address for the Diner’s old location.  The photog wasn’t thrilled, but luckily it was only five minutes away.  Yet another lesson in checking things a billion times over.

For dinner I had roasted turnips, carrots, potatoes and asparagus and a veggie burg with mango salsa and shredded ched.

And there goes my last apple from when Jillian and I went apple picking.  Topped with oats, almond milk and cinnamon.

And an ample amount of m&ms from our ice cream sundaes last night.

Aaaaand pumpkin tea with lots of milk.

Pumpkin Falsities

This morning, when I woke up bright and early for my 8am class, I found the latest CNY Signature I wrote for the paper:

Bohemian Beans Full Story

Later with breakfast, I appropriately cracked open my bag of pumpkin spice coffee I bought from Donna at Bohemian Beans.

I bought this mug at a thrift store last year…. I couldn’t resist.  Why are these pandas on roller skates?

For breakfast I mixed some vanilla hemp powder into plain yogurt.

The color is clearly not appealing, so I topped it with some fun stuff.

Some of this:

Dad bought Jillian and me a jar of pumpkin butter (to go with the pumpkin beer he bought us?).  Jillian likes it in yogurt and I love it with cream cheese on an english muffin.

I also added a banana, some chopped cashews and cinnamon.  The perfectly ripe banana and the dollop of pumpkin butter sweetened everything up plenty.

Since I have a clear problem obsession with pumpkin, my Uncle grabbed me this ^

He actually sells pumpkins  (the ones you carve, not eat), and informed us that most canned pumpkin is simply squash because its more economical and efficient considering pumpkins have more seedy goo than say, a butternut squash.  Jillian said she checked the labels of a few pumpkin purees which did in fact prove his point.  My cans say 100% pure pumpkin, but check out this article for the truth: Canned Pumpkin on Apartment Therapy

Aaaand… stay tuned for some crochet business.  I think.  If time permits, I’m about to get hooky for Halloween.

Some Signatures

Yesterday I checked out Bohemian Beans Cafe in the Regional Market Commons in Syracuse for my section at the paper.

I tried Donna’s Cubano – lean turkey, Virginia baked ham, swiss, light garlic mayo and pickle all on an herb-infused oil brushed ciabatta… aaaand heated up on a panin press.

I’m not a huge ham fan, but this sandwich was great.  And Donna gave the photog and I a pumpkin spice latte, too. Yum.

I also asked Donna to coarse-grind some pumpkin spice coffee (from Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters) so I could french press it at home.  Kind of tastes like a coffee version of rooibos tea.

Here are my last two Signature pieces that I’ve yet to post:

Patisserie’s Apple Stix

Limestone Grille’s Scallops

My thoughts are with everyone at home.

Miss you, G.

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