Tag Archives: food

Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple

As we all know, New York City is home to many television networks such as ABC and NBC. Yesterday I had an amazing opportunity to be apart of the live studio audience in a recording of ABC’s top daytime television show The Chew! Aside from being a huge fan of the show, I was interested to see what really happens behind scenes, and how the cast and crew collaborate to create it.


The experience was AWESOME. The show was on how to make “Breakfast for Less” which as a broke college student I thought was very helpful! Guests included American celebrity chef, restaurateur, and reality television personality Bobby Flay and actor Kevin Bacon. During the breaks, American chef and one of the hosts of The Chew – Carla Hall, ran up to the audience to dance with people (including myself) which I thought was very sweet and humbling of her.


My ticket!

As a gift, we were given Bobby Flay’s new brunch cookbook. To bring in the Fall spirit, I thought I’d share a delicious and inexpensive Mini Pumpkin Churro with a chocolate-orange dipping sauce recipe from the book!


Brunch @ Bobby’s by Bobby Flay


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, plus more for finishing
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
  • 3/4 cup pure cane granulated sugar, for rolling


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Zest of one orange
  • teaspoon grated orange zest


For the dipping sauce: Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Add the hot cream to the bowl with the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. Gently whisk until smooth. Stir in the orange zest. Keep warm.

For the churros: Whisk together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, the cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, the nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Bring 1 1/2 cups water, the pumpkin puree, butter and vanilla to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking constantly.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined; it will be thick. Continue mixing and add in your eggs, one at a time, until well combined. The dough should be thick and smooth. Place the dough into a pastry bag with a large star tip.

Heat 2 inches of canola oil in a high-sided saute pan until it reaches 350 degrees F on a candy or fry thermometer.

Pipe the dough directly into the pan in 3-inch pieces, cutting off the pieces with a scissor. Fry until golden and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir together the sugar and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in a medium shallow bowl. Transfer the churros to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet or plate to drain the oil and immediately toss in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Dip in the chocolate-orange dipping sauce to serve.


Besides being starstruck, I noticed how much effort it takes into making a television production. From lighting, to audio, cameramen/women and so forth. FIT’s Advertising and Marketing Communications and Film and Media programs are definitely ones you would want to pursue in order to be in the studio everyday as I saw first-hand!

In the studio!

In the studio!

If you are currently in the city – take advantage of the big apple and take a bite! There are so many things to do and people to see in the city that never sleeps! If you aren’t, I encourage to pursue your education in the city and school that gives to endless opportunities that you will benefit from.

Until next time… xoxo – M

Girls (and Guys) Gotta Eat!

Although there are ample places to get food around FIT, we do have dining plans for anyone who wishes to have one. In fact, for anyone living in the Coed or Nagler residence halls, a dining plan is required (because those dorms do not have kitchens).

There are different types of meal plans offered. Each one includes a certain amount of declining balance money. This can be used for items that are not “meals” like candy bars, bottled drinks, Starbucks items, etc.  Meals include an entree, drink, side salad, fruit or cookies. The different plans include varying amounts of declining balance dollars and meals per week. (ex: 14 meals a week with $110 declining balance for the semester) However, money can always be added to the declining balance if you run out. Declining balance money carries over from Fall to Spring semesters, but not when a new academic year starts.

For more information on Dining Plans click here. And for FAQs click here.

The dining hall entrance

The dining hall entrance

There are several different places you can get food on your meal plan. First is the main dining hall in the Dubinsky Center. There is a grill station (you’ve got your standard hamburger selection, quesadillas, fish fillets, etc.), sandwich station, salad and soup bar, pizza, sushi and breakfast bar.

Breakfast cereals and coffee

Breakfast cereals and coffee

The Salad Bar

The Salad Bar

The dining hall

The dining hall

The dining hall itself is pretty basic, although FITSA and Student Life do hold different activities there throughout the week. Last week there was breakfast for dinner where scrambled eggs, hash browns, pancakes, etc. were given to students for free after 9pm. Also, a movie is screened every Wednesday night at 8 (save on those vastly over priced movie tickets and popcorn!)

FIT's Starbucks

FIT’s Starbucks

We also have a Starbucks on campus where, as I mentioned earlier, you can use your declining balance, which is nice because if you come during a break in class you don’t have to bring your wallet down, just your id.

FIT Express dining

FIT Express dining

"Grab and Go" salad and sandwich options

“Grab and Go” salad and sandwich options

There is also the “FIT Express Cafe” in the lobby of the Feldman building. You can’t have food made for you here, but there are “grab and go” options like sandwiches, salads, snacks, candy, coffee, fruit, bottled drinks, etc. I use this more than the main dining hall now because I don’t live on campus or have a dining plan, and almost all my classes are in the Feldman building. It is extremely convenient.

If you are living off campus or in Alumni or Kaufman, a dining plan is not required. There are many grocery stores and food options along Seventh and Eighth Avenues, so no need to worry. I had a dining plan for my freshman year but did not get it after that. Personally, I used the declining balance a lot, but never used up all my meals each week. It really depends on each person and their preferred diet though.


Notes From The 6 Train: Veggie Heavenly!

So I’m not sure if you all know but I am a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat in four years. I know it can be a challenge for anyone, esp. vegetarians to get all the nutrients we need. This problem is increased in the winter we are unable to bask in he summer sun because our skin is unable to eat up all if that vitamin (double check the vitamin) that makes us happy. We also need the strongest immune system we can have in this crazy weather AND being super close corners with people (which happens much more often in the winter months) so our systems can fight any germs folks on the train pass along to us.

So I’ve created a brief list of vegan/vegetarian restaurants to check out if you’re in a time crunch and want some tasty vegan/ vegetarian dishes. Carnivores are welcome to experiment as well!

how cute!

how cute!

So my absolute most favorite vegan place in the city is Seasoned Vegan. Not only do they have vegan food, but also raw food (food that hasn’t been cooked as to retain all of it’s nutrients that it loses when it cooked), family owned and best of all, it’s affordable! This is a huge plus when it comes to food in NYC, ESPECIALLY vegan food. Plus, it’s Harlem, and is a good reason to go exploring outside of 27th St.


The next place is much closer by. Terri’s is a great quick and fast vegetarian sandwich shop located on 23rd St. This place is also quite affordable (with a sandwich costing around $7-$8),they also vegan cupcakes, detox shakes a host of other quick foods if you’re running off (or late) to class.



This last place may seem a bit obvious… WHOLE FOODS! So, it’s definitely not the cheapest, but you can grab a quick a lunch (I usually head straight to the salad bar and grab some veggie sushi) and run back to campus since it’s only a 5 minute walk. What about you? Where do you go for your veggie delights?

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

It’s Happening!

I have some exciting news, but first read this post from a few months ago.

Done? Okay cool. Well guess what? I did it! I’m an adult!! Not really. Actually I just got my act together and learned to cook a few meals…but whatever, same thing right? And I did it without even taking a cooking class! (Which, to be fair, is one of my biggest complaints about this study abroad experience. Most kids here only take about four classes and those will include “Italian Style Cooking” and “Pairing Food & Wine”. WHAT?! I’m taking six classes and none of them have anything to do with food. Ugh.) But like the proverbial baby turtle crawling its way back to the ocean, I persevered. Just look:

Parmesan zucchini - Healthy AND delicious

Parmesan zucchini – Healthy AND delicious

Roasted potatoes, zucchini and pasta with shaved provolone

Roasted potatoes, zucchini and pasta with shaved provolone

family burrito night!

family burrito night!

Just makin' risotto

Just makin’ risotto

I am now the fried rice QUEEN

I am now the fried rice QUEEN

Spinach and ricotta tortellini with chicken, fresh cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan

Spinach and ricotta tortellini with chicken, fresh cherry tomatoes and shaved Parmesan

the classic pesto pasta with fresh cherry tomatoes and melted mozzarella

the classic pesto pasta with fresh cherry tomatoes and melted mozzarella

I mean come on, that’s pretty impressive considering the first post, no? Alright fine, they’re pretty much all pasta dishes, but what can I say? I’m in Italy! (Also we thought our stove was broken for like, two months. Turns out we had one of the knobs turned wrong….oops!) Pinterest and Epicurious are two fantastic websites (who are we kidding, just download the apps) for cooking inspiration. If I can do it, you can do it! (Unless you live in CoEd or Nagler. Then you won’t have a kitchen, so you can’t do it, soz mate.)


Como se dice “yum” in italiano?

emily on the duomo

I’m sorry if I have been a little quiet the past week or two, I’ve been busy getting settled into my apartment in Florence. Yup, Florence as in Florence, Italy. I have officially started the second leg of my amazing semester abroad. I have already had some interesting experiences here, but I’ll save that for another post. This subject is much more pressing: the food.

Obviously Italy is known for its food, and for good reason. I have been here for exactly thirteen days and I have already had the best gelato, sandwich, and duck that I have ever tasted. Let’s start with the Italian classic: the gelato. The first gelato i had was dark chocolate and it was the creamiest, most chocolate-y thing I have ever eaten! However, that feat was quickly defeated by an amazing hot chocolate I tried that was more chocolate than liquid. (And that was from McDonald’s! Try finding such an amazing cup of hot chocolate anywhere in America, let alone any McDonald’s in America. Actually don’t try, you won’t) Then I realized that there is a great gelato place literally next to my building that has one euro gelato. Yup, one euro! I don’t know if you can tell by my use of italics but this is all very exciting for me.

italy restaurant

For my birthday, my roommates and I went to a restaurant owned by a father and son duo that makes traditional Tuscan food. I asked the waiter (who was hilarious as a side note) what the best thing on the menu was and said “yeah that. I want that.” I didn’t know what it was but it smelled amazing when it came to the table (it turned out to be duck with really wide homemade noodles). I highly suggest this technique to anyone who finds themselves at a restaurant where you can’t read the menu. Or any restaurant for that matter – live a little!

best sandwich in the entire world period

Now, onto the best part. (Yeah, it’s getting better) I have had the official best sandwich in the world. I don’t care what you or anyone else has to say about some sandwich you ate who knows where that was “awesome”. No, I’m stopping you right there. This sandwich was the most delicious thing I have ever had the pleasure of eating. The bread was buttery and flaky and the prosciutto was salty but not too fatty and there was vegetables and this amazing buttery cheese spread thing that I don’t even know what it is but oh my goodness I couldn’t even find the words to describe it if I did. Plus it was HUGE and only five euros!! This place is also conveniently located right down the street from me (who knew I’d have such a prime location?) so I’ll definitely be eating more of their heart-stopping amazing bread and meats.

This post is getting a little long, and very self-indulgent. I’ll end with our greatest accomplishment – finding the secret bakery. It opens at 12 am and everything is fresh and…you know what we shouldn’t even be talking about this. It’s a secret! You will just have to come to Florence and ask for the secret bakery and see (I mean taste)  for yourself.