Friday Loves

1. Fresh Day, 38 W 48th St (between 5th Ave & Rockefeller Plz), New York City. I am a tad bit addicted to this Manhattan deli that I came across the other week.  It’s your typical run of the mill kind of deli…unless you’ve discovered its secret.

To the back of the deli, on the right, there’s a Korean food station.  Who will you find there?  REGULAR customers that seem to come by almost every single day.  They order something different off of the menu every single day, and they are all addicts…just like me.

My office has dubbed their udon soup with fresh vegetables with your choice of meat as the ‘Barrel of Soup.’  For $7, you’re getting a huge barrel of soup filled with fresh ingredients.  What makes the soup so addictive?  The broth.  The broth is what has every single one of us coming back again and again and again. 

Even if you don’t get the soup, everything else on the menu is superb.  If you get an entree, they give you a small container of the broth with fresh green onions floating at the top.  It’s that broth…that’s the addiction.

Everything on the menu that I’ve tried so far is AMAZING!  It’s not so often you make a discovery this incredible.  To walk in at the spur of the moment, walk all the way to the back and discover something this good?  That rarely happens. 

The Korean counter has the same group of luncheoners every single day.  We’re all addicts, sharing with each other what we had the day before and what we thought of it…really, it is a cult following.  No place else in Manhattan have I ever seen a group huddled around a food station talking about this dish or that dish or the “What are you having?” to complete strangers.

The two Hispanic guys that cook up the meals for us…they just laugh every single time they see another regular.  The food is really the best Korean food I’ve ever had in my life…and I’ve been to Korea!

If you’ve never had Korean food before, and you’re going to try it out for the first time…see Fresh Day and the Mexican guy in the back.  He’ll whip something amazing up for you!

2. KOMBUCHA! You can first blame Winter Adams and then Georges Laraque for my new obsession.  Winter texted me and told me to try Kombucha because it made her feel better.  Of course, I asked, “What in the hell is Kombucha?”  She replied back that it was a tea…to just try it, I’ll understand.

Well, while I was at Fresh Day, I wandered over to their drink case and noticed that they had Kombucha.  I thought…well, Winter has never done me wrong before, so I bought a bottle.  It was $5! 

I made the mistake of picking up the ginger one.  I should have gone with a flavorful one, because that was the nastiest tea I had ever tasted in my life! 

Georges Laraque followed up by telling me that one of his companies distributes Kombucha.  He told me to give it another try…there were better flavors.

Take Two.  I got the cranberry one…and then because the deli keeps changing the flavors on me when the other flavor runs out, I tried the citrus and then the three-flavored trinity or something flavor from Synergy over the course of the next couple of weeks. 

Guess what? Ends up that was the wiser choice.  It actually tastes better.

What is the importance of Kombucha? 

From Wiki:  “Proponents claim it aids cancer recovery, increases energy, sharpens eyesight, aids joint recovery, improves skin elasticity, aids digestion, and improves experience with foods that ‘stick’ going down, such as rice or pasta.”

So for those of us that are sick…have a history of cancer, etc. this detox fermented tea actually assists the body, especially the liver and digestion.

For me, it just gives me hot flashes a lot like HCG drops do.  {HCG drops are a homeopathic detox cleanser that helps eliminate fat from the body.}  I think there is a possibility that Kombucha does attack fat cells (at least that’s how it feels to me).  The most important thing is that it does give those with ailments an added vitality that makes them feel a whole heck of a lot better.

For those a little scared of Kombucha, it’s been around for 2,000 years, made more popular by the Russians in the 1900s.  It’s a lot like vinegar in a way…and my grandpa was a believer that apple-cider vinegar was a cure-all for what ails you.  So going along the same lines of ‘vinegar’, Kombucha would have similar benefits.

If you see it, try it out.  It can be rather expensive, but the health benefits are fantastic!  But like all crazes to cure-alls…read the fine print and drink in moderation.  Here’s MSNBC’s take on the Kombucha craze.

3. Glass Jars.  Pretty soon it will be that time of year again to start canning the summer bounty.  It’s a great economical way to keep the summer bounty going well into the winter months when fruit/veggie prices skyrocket.

Canning is actually easier than it looks.  One of my favorite recipes is a corn relish from Food & Wine.  I usually buy corn for two weeks straight just to make this recipe and can it.  I eat the corn relish with almost everything because this recipe is so divine.

But let’s talk about JARS.  The jars pictured here are from The Container Store.  I saw them in Martha Stewart Living recently with a really cool recipe attached.  I thought…what a brilliant idea for bringing lunch to work.  I love the flip top and that it seals in liquids tightly.

I don’t use plastic containers to bring my lunch or to store food in the fridge.  I use only glass containers.  I’ve made huge batches of my favorite tortilla soup and put them in jars I saved from Archer Farms (Target’s generic brand), various salsa and spaghetti jars, etc. and have taken the soup into the office, just because there’s enough for two lunches in each jar.

The thing I like most about giving jars a second life is that it makes it easier to store big batches of soup.  It’s easy to just grab and go. 

I like these French hermetic jars because I’ve used the glass bowls with plastic lids and guess what?  Forget about carrying around anything liquid.  But truthfully…I’m just a huge fan of these jars with flip tops.  Not only are they perfect for canning the summer bounty, but spillage is less likely. 

There are tons of creative uses to jars beyond canning.  You could pack your salad in a jar (make sure dressing/liquidy parts are at the bottom then add other veggies, etc. put the lettuce at the top so it won’t get soggy), oatmeal, cake, you name it…it can be put in a jar which makes it much easier to grab and go.

Salad in a jar.

Cake in a Jar.


Oatmeal in a Jar can be prepared the night before.

A lot of people use plastic containers to store food and take it to go.  To me, glass is the more eco-friendly alternative.  It can be reused again and again.  Not all plastics are recyclable.  Glass is always recyclable.  Besides, I think it just looks cooler to have glass around rather than plastic.

4. PEONIES!  I have a new favorite flower.

I actually can’t wait to have a house of my own so I can plant peonies all over.  In Martha Stewart Living, she described the methods to having a successful crop of peonies…they live on neglect.  The more you neglect them, the more abundant the flowers will be.  It’s like a no-nonsense plant that you don’t have to worry about at all and it thrives!  

When you put peonies in vases around the house, they are so fragrant and just burst right open, lasting for several days.  

I think Blaire from Gossip Girl is making peonies even more popular, because that’s her favorite flower.  Can you blame her?  Look how HUGE the blooms are!  

Tis the peony season!   . . . that’s right now!

5.  The Glamourai.  Look who’s in Marrakech, Morocco!  The Glamourai is currently visiting and you should see her fashion shoot and photos!

Like always, I like to share what blogs and sites I’m currently stalking, and The Glamourai is the latest.  Her photos are so glamourous!  I wish I had thought of doing a fashion shoot while I was in Morocco. 

It’s kind of fun looking at her photos, because she’s visited all of the spots I visited.  But what makes her site even more fun…it’s like seeing a glamourous fashion take of the same spots I visited.  It’s soo cool. 

Check out the site.  You’ll love the colors and photos.  Just beautiful. As the Moroccan men would say…”LALA!”

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