Gelato and Beer: So wrong, yet oh so right

Beer-infused gelato? I'm not complaining.

What better way to ring in every Irishman’s favorite holiday than a post about booze. Or in this case, boozy gelato. In the spirit of St. Patty’s Day, I’ve decided to start a bit early this year, and have refused to consume anything that does not contain alcohol. Just kidding. I simply went out for ice cream with my parents and stumbled upon the holy grail of ice cream flavors: Caramel Stout. Now, I know what you are thinking. In no way shape or form does the thought of beer-flavored gelato sound even remotely appetizing. It’s not. But do you know what is delicious? Guinness-infused caramel gelato from Scooped! in West Chester, PA. It is this great organic homemade gelato place on High Street. They have really unique flavors like my new favorite Stout Caramel (made with Guinness brewed from Iron Hill Brewery right down the block!), Bailey’s (are you sensing a theme here?) and coconut macaroon. The gelato itself was as creamy as every gelato should be. The caramel flavor was sweet yet not over-the-top as some caramel-flavored foods can be, and the Guinness  complimented the caramel beautifully. Alright that’s enough with my pathetic attempt at a food review. Let’s just cut to the chase and get to the pictures already!

I had the Caramel Stout while my mom went with the equally delicious Chocolate with Salted Caramel. My dad couldn't decide so he got both!

Scooped! itself is an adorable ice cream parlor complete with an old-fashioned ice cream counter, glass candy jars and adorable seating. They were voted Best of the Main Line for 2010 AND 2011! And even better? For three smalls (small being a relative term) our bill came to only $8.25 or $2.75 per person!

These are only half of the homemade flavors. I love how they display the flavor names!

You had me at Caramel-Stout

A West Chester MUST if you are in town!

What is the craziest gelato/ice cream flavor you’ve ever tried? Let’s hear it!

Breakfast on the Go

My Current Breakfast Obsession

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. The omelettes, homefries, parfaits, french toast, fruit salads, I could go on forever. Unfortunately, for the last month I have barely had time to grab breakfast to go, let alone make it. I work downtown two days a week, and I one of my favorite quick  breakfast spots is Pret A Manger. The other day I grabbed the Honey and Banana yogurt pot. Creamy vanilla yogurt, perfectly ripened bananas, crunchy almonds and sweet honey were the perfect combination for a light breakfast. For the next few days I was CRAVING it constantly. Unfortunately there are no Pret A Mangers even relatively close to Fordham, so I had to improvise. And I’m glad I did, because mine is even more delicious (and healthier) than the original (Pret, don’t fret, I still love you). And the best part? It takes about 2 minutes to prepare! Throw it in some Tupperware and you’re good to go! Here is the recipe:

-1 Serving of Fat-free plain greek yogurt (I love Chobani 0%)

-1/2-1 full, ripe banana

-Small handful of sliced, raw almonds

-Spoonful of Chia seeds for fiber and omega-3 fatty acids (I used ground just because it was on sale)

-Drizzle honey on top

Enjoy 🙂

Holy Guacamole Wrap

AND its Gluten-Free!

On my quest to live a totally gluten-free life, I’m actually pretty proud of how strong my willpower is.I’ve done a fairly good job at keeping on the gluten-free straight and narrow. But, I have to admit something. I have a vice. A gluten-laden, carbtastic vice also known as the sandwich. I said peace to pasta and bid adieu to bread by itself, but for some reason I keep finding myself craving paninis, hoagies, wraps, sandwiches, grinders, you name it. If there is  lunch meat and bread involved, I’m a gluten-glutton. Luckily, I am not corn-intolerant and there is a wide variety of corn-based tortilla wraps when I’m jonesing for a sammy. Tonight for dinner I made my Dad and I what I like to call the Holy Guacamole Wrap. It was a big success!

Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 corn tortilla or gluten-free wrap

-Gluten-free, sliced roast beef (some cold cut brands have additives that contain gluten)

-Sprinkling of part-skim mozzarella cheese

-1/4 avocado

-Pico de Gallo or fresh salsa

-Small handful of arugula

-Cole slaw cabbage for crunch

Directions:

Top tortilla with roast beef and cheese. Microwave for twenty seconds or until cheese melts and tortilla is warm.

What is better than a delicious 60 second meal?

Top with avocado, salsa, arugula and cabbage.

Tip: Usually, the more (natural) colors in a meal the healthier it is!

Enjoy 🙂

This salad is life changing

This is what I had for dinner last night. And breakfast this morning. And I’ll probably have it for lunch today. Why you ask? Because this salad is so freaking good. I might as well call it crack salad because if you make it I’m warning you you’ll be a full blown addict after one bite.
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I got the idea for this salad when I bought fennel at the Arthur ave market and the owner gave me free arugula! If you’ve never had fennel with arugula, it’s a match made in heaven. Here’s the recipe:

Crack salad or Arugula goat cheese and fennel salad with citrusy Dijon dressing

For salad:
-Handfull(s) of arugula
-1/4 cup of sliced fennel
-1 Goat cheese medallion
-few slices of vidalia onion (not too much)

For dressing:
-Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
-Two capfuls of olive or canola oil
-Fresh lemon juice to taste

Enjoy!

Frugal Food: Potluck Dinners

Potluck dinners are a great alternative to dining out

One of my favorite things to do in college is making dinner with friends. Frugal and fun cooking with friends is the perfect way to spend a weeknight in or to ring in the newest episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (yeah, I’ll admit it). But dinner parties can go downhill if people don’t pony up the cash to pay back the cook, or don’t help cleaning up. That is why I’m a huge fan of the potluck dinner. With potlucks, everyone is responsible for bringing a dish, preventing anyone from feeling like they’ve made more effort than others, and it’s a great way to show off your culinary skills. With that said, there are some guidelines you need to set to ensure a positively perfect potluck.

Potluck Rule #1: Unless cat haz cheezburger, leave him off the diner list

1. BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET: Before anything, establish a per-dish budget for the potluck, and make sure everyone is comfortable with it. Usually I find $8-10/dish is a good price point for the college student.

2. Assign courses: Remember in elementary school at Christmas parties when somehow everyone brought 400 plates of cupcakes or 5,000 bags of chips and salsa? Well, at potlucks it completely defeats the purpose of a potluck if everyone brings the same item. To avoid this, assign different courses to friends, and stick to it.

3. Create a theme: How about Mexican Mondays, Southern Saturdays or Thai Tuesdays? Themes are a great way to experiment in the kitchen and ensure that all the dishes work perfectly together.

4. Make sure it is a team effort: This applies mostly for after the meal. Make sure everyone pitches in a cleans up. Not only will it cut down on cleanup time, but it prevents any one friend from being stuck with a pile of dishes at the end of the night.

5. Keep it small: More people complicates everything. So just keep it simple, and small (about 4-5 people)

Guest Post: Friday Night Dilemma? SOLVED!

Friday nights and I have a very tumultuous relationship. On one hand, I desperately want to go out, paint the town and celebrate the end of the work week. On the other hand, my bank account desperately wants me to stay in, watch basic cable (yay Fordham Cablevision), and keep the spending to a minimum. Friday nights in the city are a blast, but are much more expensive than going out almost every other night of the week (except Saturday). Luckily, my classmate (and fellow blogger) Shaina has found a wonderfully entertaining and economical solution to the Friday Night Dilemma. Here is what she had to say about it!

Every student needs a night off to just relax and have a great time. But, sometimes the difference between having a fabulous night and just having another night on campus is money. I found a solution to that problem: burgers and karaoke! Don’t worry, this night will only cost you about $25.

The Burgers: Mark

What: A place where the burgers are heaven and the ambiance is perfection.

Where: 33 Saint Marks Place btw 2nd and 3rd Aves

Price: $21.75 total!

Marks Burgers: Where the caloric content is the only number you need to worry about

I first stumbled upon this place when my boyfriend and I were down in the village just hanging out and walking around. We were looking for something fun to do but we didn’t want to spend a bunch of money. So we went in and out of different restaurants on Saint Marks Place and most of them were over what we wanted to spend. We finally got to Mark and the place was pretty small but it looked expensive too. But, when we looked at the price of the burgers, we were pleased. We each had two burgers and French fries and our bill came up to $21.75.

Karaoke is a great and affordable entertainment solution for the college student

Karaoke: U2 Karaoke

What: A place where the music is loud and the fun is abundant.

Where: 6 Saint Marks Place btw 2nd and 3rd Aves

Price: $8/hour per person

There must be a law that requires all Karaoke bars to have LED lighting...now if we could only get a mandatory smoke machine law on the books

Experience: Since my boyfriend and I had extra money left over for dinner, we decided that we should do something else. I always loved karaoke and when we were walking around to find a restaurant, we passed a place called U2. I had never been there before. We decided to go and it turns out, that it was only $8 per person. That was another great bargain for the night. We had so much fun. They have private rooms and performance lighting. It was the finish to a great AND affordable night!

**A BIG thanks to Shaina for the great post and recommendations!

Mid-Term Munchies

My apologies for not posting for a week (or two). I have been in the throes of mid-terms and unfortunately the blog took a backseat when it came to studying. But now I’m back and raring to write a bunch of posts I wanted to do this past week, but didn’t have time for.

The Most Interesting Man in the World studies through osmosis...unfortunately, I am not The Most Interesting Man in the World

So let me tell you about my week. About 80% of my time was spent at Club Lib and the rest of it was spent sleeping or eating everything frozen, fried or delivered. Once mid-terms and finals hit my eating habits take a nasty turn for the worse and I become Countess of Carbtown. This is a problem not only because A. it’s unhealthy, but B. My body is not a big fan of gluten. I know this may seem shocking as all of my food posts have been gluten heaven, but hey a girl has to indulge sometimes. My diet is usually as gluten-free as a college student’s diet can be  as I find that I have much more energy when I don’t eat wheat and processed foods.

Ronald McDonald and I are BFFLS during mid-term week

I don’t know about you, but after a few days of pizza, low mein and $3 subs (suck it Subway), my body screams for fresh fruits and vegetables. So that’s why the other night I packed up my things, bid adieu to my designated study desk and said hello to my neglected kitchen. I had recently gone to the Arthur Avenue Market and picked up some fresh peppers, onions, a carrot and kale. My pantry was in rough shape consisting of tuna fish cans, olive oil, cocoa powder (for smoothies) and quinoa. What is a girl to do? Make quinoa-stuffed peppers!

Here is what you’ll need:

-one large bell pepper, de-seeded and decap(itat)ed

-about 1/4-1/3 cup of quinoa, cooked

-Chopped vegetables (I used kale, carrots and onions but you can use anything left in your fridge)

-Spices for seasoning (I used salt, pepper, chicken buillon, and paprika)

-shredded parmesan or cheddar cheese (optional)

Fresh ingredients > fast food

Directions:

-Preheat over to 375 degrees

-Cut off top of bell pepper, de-seed

-Cook quinoa as directed on packaging

-Dice vegetables and saute in oil or butter until tender

-Combine quinoa with veggies

-Stuff quinoa mixture into bell pepper

-Place pepper standing up on well-oiled baking sheet and leave in over for about twenty minutes or until the skin starts to blister

-Top with shredded cheese

ENJOY!

Not only is this meal healthier, but it is much less expensive than ordering out! My total for this meal? Less than $2.00!