Nice Cream

If you’re like me, you constantly stalk food blogs for inspiration (mostly for what meal will garner the most Instagram hits, but occasionally to actually find stuff to feed myself with). If this is the case, you might have happened upon a vegan favorite called nice cream…the sweet treat without the cream! And, if you’re like me, you get super anxious and overwhelmed by the shear number of versions this delicious dessert can make. However, do not be afraid! I have complied a recipe that is straight in the “no fear zone” of cooking handbooks everywhere. Put this guide in your arsenal because you will use it all the time.

There are lots of ways to make nice cream, from the different bases to the flavor concoctions, but the same is true for every nice cream recipe…it’s essentially blended frozen fruit. Simple. You can choose to be all classy and whatnot and add cacao nibs or matcha to the mixture or you can literally buy frozen fruit and blend it. Either way, you’re on trend, healthy, and most importantly Instagram will love you. Now, all you need is a Pinterest-y mason jar set up and you’re good to go!

There is one trick only to a successful nice cream. Add more frozen fruit than liquid. The liquid should be any non-dairy milk (lactose free milk also works if you’re not a fan of soy/almond or vegan products). If you want a more steady, smooth base, add a banana or a half cup of any nut butter to the mix. Those ingredients will give you the creamy texture of ice cream without the lactose component. And voi la! Nice cream!

What you will need:
1) A blender
2) Frozen fruit of your choice
3) non lactose milk of your choice
4) Bananas AND/OR
5) Nut butter of your choice

Here’s what I did:

2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup almond milk
1 banana (chopped)

Blend until smooth. Serve. Post a picture to Instagram. Feel relevant.

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Bob’s Red Mill

For three decades, the Founder of Bob’s Red Mill, Bob Moore, has been producing the nation’s most sought after oats generated in stone mills. Bob prides his business on trust, honesty, and integrity, using clear packaging so consumers can see the contents of each product and trust its quality. Best of all, years ago, Bob saw the importance of catering to consumers with all dietary restrictions and preferences, and took drastic measures to ensure gluten-free consumers would be able to enjoy his product as well!

All products marked with a gluten-free symbol are produced in a dedicated facility and batch tested for gluten content. Some products, however, are wheat free, but ultimately NOT gluten-free as they are produced in a facility with grains containing gluten. Some of Bob’s 100% gluten-free items include gluten-free thick rolled oats, gluten-free muesli, gluten-free mixes, and gluten-free seeds! Bob’s gluten-free flours come in a variety from brown rice to white rice, to hazelnut to cornmeal flour.

I’m a HUGE fan of the gluten-free brownie mix flour. Simply add butter (or a dairy free alternative), egg, a little vanilla extract and wah-lah! Delicious brownies created in just minutes!

Buy your Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free products here! 

Langham Place

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Langham Place, located on 5th Avenue, is the quintessential Midtown New York City Hotel. The hotel is popular for out-of-town business folks who come to the area for a quick meeting or two and need a place to crash, as well as for families and tourists looking to set up home-base for a few days and enjoy all NYC has to offer.

Given its proximity to Midtown, Times Square, Bryant Park, Union Square, Penn Station, and Herald Square, you may say that Langham Place is located in the center of the city! The hotel is perfect for tourists, or locals like myself looking for a weekend getaway, and you will not be disappointed by your Langham Place stay. From the service and amenities, to the cuisine, everything about Langham Place is high-class. Oh, and the rooms are incredible, not to mention they have spacious, classy, beautiful, and remarkable views!

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

What To Do in The Area:

  • You’re on 5th Ave! Shop! 16th Street- 24th Street on 5th Avenue is my favorite shopping in the City.
  •  Empire State Building- Located on 33rd and 5th, just blocks from the hotel!
Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Where To Dine:

  • Ai Fiori- Langham Place is home to the Altamarea Group’s Michelin Star winning restaurant, Ai Fiori! The food is absolutely delicious, and you are in for a wonderful New York City dining experience! Check out all gluten free options and our thoughts on the restaurant in our review! 
  • Measure Lounge- Also attached to the hotel. Follow an amazing dinner at Ai Fiori with cocktails from Measure Lounge. American & British comfort food, seasonal cocktails, and live jazz!
Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector


  • Spa- Chuan Body & Soul- Currently under renovation but will be back and better than ever in Fall 2015!
  • Fitness Center- Cardio and strength machines, personal trainers, and a sauna!
Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Langham Place lives up to its motto of “Luxury at its Best,” and it is the perfect NYC hotel. Thank you, Langham Place, for treating me like royalty… It was hard to leave! Check out The Staycationers for more of our stay!

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector



I’m happy to announce that you can beat the heat with this new summer treat: Watermelon Water! Unlike many fruit juices that use artificial sweeteners or extra sugar, Watermelon Water is all natural and uses watermelon flesh, watermelon rind, and organic lemon. It is literally like drinking a watermelon- not even water is added!

Better yet, each melon is non-GMO, hand skinned, and cold-pressed, and not to mention, the drink is completely gluten free! With 6x the electrolytes as sports drinks, Watermelon Water makes the perfect workout beverage. But hey, who said hydrating was solely reserved for athletes? Craving something deliciously hydrating that was more flavorful than lemon-water, yet relatively low in calories, I decided to give Watermelon Water a try, and I am so happy I did.

With one sip of the freshly cold-pressed juiced watermelon, I was immediately transported to the white sands of a beautiful beach, without a worry in the world. The taste was so crisp, with just the perfect amount of sweetness and a refreshing boost. There are only 90 calories per bottle and the drink is packed with vitamin C, making Watermelon Water the perfect treat to quench your thirst, while also leaving you feeling rejuvenated and healthy.

Watermelon Water is only in a few select stores, but you can order from their online website and have it shipped straight to your door. Watermelon Water definitely tastes like “summer in a bottle” and ensures that you’ll be hydrated and healthy!

Soma x Intelligentsia Coffee

Raise your cup to better coffee
Soma has teamed up with the experts at Intelligentsia Coffee to create this limited edition gift, just in time for Father’s Day. It features the two most critical ingredients to elevate your coffee experience: a Soma Carafe for pure, filtered water, and a custom coffee blend created just for Soma. Plus, a limited edition mug and erasable marker for endless customization.
Coffee is 98% water. So if your water doesn’t taste good, odds are your coffee won’t either. This Soma gift set gives you the best of both. Soma filtration. Intelligentsia coffee.
somaxintelligentsia(Nathan Michael)

Halo Top Creamery

Thanks to Halo Top Creamery, you no longer have to choose between a healthy snack or a treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth! All ice cream is rich in protein and low in sugar, and not to mention, it is the first ever low-calorie ice cream the that’s 100% all-natural and non-gmo! Oh, and before I forget, all flavors of Halo Top are gluten free! With only 60 calories per serving (70 cal for Strawberry flavor), Halo Top Creamery lets you indulge without feeling guilty. Who knew ice cream could be both decadent and healthy?

Halo comes in four flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Lemon cake. I was skeptical at first—how could ice cream taste good if it is only 240 calories per pint? With each bite, I could taste the ingredients of authentic Belgian chocolate, pure Madagascar vanilla, and real California strawberries in the respective flavors. My favorite was the Lemon Cake—it was just the perfect amount of zesty freshness and sweet richness!

Since Halo Top doesn’t use artificial softeners and is low in fat and sugar, they recommend that you give the cartons a couple minutes on the counter to let the ice cream soften up a bit before digging in. Both the Vanilla and Chocolate flavors were extremely creamy and rich.

Halo Top Creamery has a “Where to Buy” tab on their website which enables you to type in your address/zip code to find their products that are closest to you. For those of you who can’t find a local store on the map, simply drop off a product request form at customer service the next time you shop and hopefully discover Halo Top in your ice cream aisle soon!

Save the extra calories of your generic ice cream brand and try Halo Top Creamery. The name says it all: with one bite of this indulgent treat, you’ll be transported to ice cream heaven.

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La Nuit en Rose

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Greater New York-area pink fanatics rejoice! After the overwhelming sold-out success that welcomed 2,000 rosé wine lovers to the inaugural La Nuit en Rosé in 2014, the world’s first festival dedicated entirely to rosé wines and champagne announces its return to New York, June 25-27, on the Hornblower Infinity Yacht (353 West Street, Pier 40, New York City), sailing the Hudson River. In addition, La Nuit en Rosé announces a line-up of stellar New York restaurant talent, who will serve perfect rosé pairings in the VIP lounge.

Among them: Chef Andrew Kitko of STK, the culinary team from The Lambs Club, The National, The Todd English Food Hall and The Palm Court, the culinary team at Fig & Olive and Le District, Chef Laurent Kalkotour of Atrium Dumbo, Chefs Jaime and Felipe Torres from Raymi, Chef Philippe Corbet from Le Pif, Chefs Keavy Blueher and Allison Kave of Butter & Scotch, and Chef Natacha Supplice of I Can Cook. With an international lineup of wineries such as Château D’Esclans, Vie Vité, Château Coussin, Château La Gordonne, Champagne Nicolas Feuillate, Ferrari, Gérard Bertrand, Domaine Montrose, Wines of Greece, Wines of Navarra, Sud de France Wines, Tavel, Loire Valley Wines, Bordeaux Rosé and more, La Nuit en Rosé in New York will bring to life the stylish ethos that rosé wines embody.

La Nuit en Rosé New York will offer a variety of ways to celebrate pink wine: Start with the Opening Night gala dinner where a four-course feast, presented by Wine Enthusiast, will be paired with the wines of Château d’Esclans; or choose that evening’s wine tasting event featuring a two-hour cruise, light buffet and entertainment while sipping a selection of over 100 rosé wines. Throughout Friday and Saturday, audiences of can further enjoy sailing the Hudson River, while sipping on a selection of over 100 rosé wines, and enjoying musical entertainment, light buffets and a Pink Cocktail Lounge featuring pink cocktails to sip while enjoying views of the lit-up Manhattan skyline.

A VIP lounge will feature an Oyster Bar and a Bubble & Truffle Bar presented by Ferrari and Urbani Truffles. Renowned sommeliers will guide you through the different pairing experiences, and seating will be available in the VIP lounge.

Thursday, June 25:
Opening Night 8-10pm: Four-Course Rosé Wine Pairing Dinner, hosted on the third deck, presented by The Wine Enthusiast and featuring a two-hour cruise, an exclusive menu designed by Geoffrey Zakarian of The Lambs Club and four rosé wines from Provencal winery Château d’Esclans presented by sommelier AJ Ojeda-Pons
 $250 per person (priority boarding from 6pm; cruise from 8-10pm) 7-10pm: Wine tasting event with light buffet, two-hour cruise, entertainment and wine
 $75 per person

Friday, June 26 6pm-10pm: Wine Tasting open to the public
 VIP tickets provide early entry and access to VIP Lounge $125 per person
 General Admission tickets include wine tasting, light buffet, two-hour cruise, entertainment and wine; $75 per person

Saturday, June 27 6pm-10pm: Wine Tasting open to the public
 VIP tickets provide early entry and access to VIP Lounge $125 per person
 General Admission tickets include wine tasting, light buffet, two-hour cruise, entertainment and wine; $75 per person

Throughout La Nuit en Rosé New York, the vibrant lifestyle that these wines embody will be reflected in the musical offerings of top DJs to create a range of atmospheres throughout the experience. Guests are encouraged to wear a dash of pink.

To purchase tickets, go to:

Each La Nuit en Rosé event will feature up to 100 wines, themed food stations, a pink cocktail bar, indoor and outdoor lounge areas, a photo booth and entertainment activities including dancing and more. Attendees will be able to buy their favorite wines right on the spot thanks to Bottlerocket Wine & Spirits retailer and the Mini Bar app. Altogether, La Nuit en Rosé will leave rosé wine lovers tickled pink!

LDV Summer Specials!

Now that summer is finally here, New Yorkers are anxious to find the best deals in the city… and we can help! We wanted to share some exciting seasonal initiatives from LDV Hospitality’s restaurants:
Head over to Barchetta and American Cut all season long during the restaurants’ Happy Hour to get $1 oysters and rosé/wine specials:
·         BARCHETTA: $1 oysters and clams + $7 for select sparkling, white, red, or rosé glasses of wine; available Monday-Friday, 5-7pm.
·         AMERICAN CUT: $1 oysters at the bar + select glasses of rosé – Fabrice Gasnier “La Cravantine” NV, Sparkling Cabernet Franc Rose, Loire Valley, France ($15); or Villa Creek Cellars 2013, Grenache Blend Rose, Paso Robles, California  ($12); available Monday-Friday, 5-7:30pm.


Munchery makes munching easy! The food is not only affordable, accessible, yummy, and fresh, but also serves another in need; for every meal you order, one meal is delivered to a local food bank. So now, you can feel even better about snacking on straight-from-the-farm-stand strawberries.

Munchery’s service is one-of-a-kind. Instead of businesses like Fresh Direct and that deliver your groceries to your door unprepared and unplated, Munchery brings colorfully packaged and properly proportioned cooked meals to your door. All you have to do is pop the entrée or dessert into the microwave or oven, and in a few minutes, you have a healthy, hot meal waiting for you.

The service is also wonderfully priced, with most dishes ranging from $10-$11. Who said eating healthy foods was uber expensive? People who have never heard of Munchery!

Perhaps the best part of the service, besides the welcoming deliverymen/women, choices of flexible delivery times, and the wonderfully packaged plates all labeled with caloric and allergy information, is the food. From the crème fresh and berries to the tofu stir-fry, every meal is 1000x better than Stouffers or Lean Cuisine can ever be, and with half the calories!

First, I started with the Creole-style peel and eat shrimp. Yes, the shrimp still had their skin on them, but they were so easy to peel that the skin flew off in a matter of seconds.  The Creole dipping sauce was perfect. I then moved onto the spinach salad. It was the perfect summer lunch. I just tossed the spinach with olive oil and lemon juice dressing, blue cheese, golden raisins and pine nuts, and I had myself a filling and fresh lunch.

Next was the brined and seared chicken breast served with a side of cannellini beans mixed with escarole, bacon, shallots, and whole grain mustard. There were two cooking instructions on the back of this package, one for the oven and one for the microwave, but being impatient to sink my teeth into the chicken, I opted for the microwave. Even though the dish had been sitting in my fridge for two days waiting to be consumed, the meat was just as succulent and juicy as I had imagined it would be on the first day it was cooked. I really could not believe that this meal was heated 100% in the microwave without leaving my taste buds depressed.

The vegan black pepper tofu stir-fry was the surprise of the day. It was awesome- I don’t know what Munchery did, but the black pepper rub on the tofu made the once-dull meat substitute seem like the shiny first option. It was honestly a must have.

Finally, for dessert, I tossed up the forest berry bowl. All in all, for dishes that were cooked, chilled, delivered, then reheated, Munchery beat most of the food delivery systems in my neighborhood price wise and taste wise. And then, when you’re done munching, recycle your Munchery containers properly. The company makes sure that each tray is made of “renewable bamboo, and sugarcane fiber, and is 100% compostable & biodegradable.” Slam dunk!

Tofu, Berries
Shrimp, Spinach Salad
Spinach Salad, Chicken

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