Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided to take on New York City's obesity battle by banning sugary drinks from the city's schools, streets, theaters, food carts and delis. Bloomberg recently signed a far-reaching municipal ban on sugary beverages that contain 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces and less than 51% milk or milk substitute by volume as an ingredient.

Mayor Bloomberg's other efforts to increase health and wellness within New York City include a campaign to cut down on salt, trans fat and an reveal calorie counts at all NYC restaurants. Mayor Bloomberg has also been responsible for banning smoking in all New York restaurants over the last 10 years.

Our Yumologists are BIG fans of Red Velvet. We've made red velvet cakes, red velvet cupcakes, red velvet fudge and now we've found an excellent recipe for red velvet cookies!

1 box of red velvet cake mix
1 stick of butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 large egg

  • Melt the butter and allow it to cool.
  • Add the cake mix, vanilla, egg and cooled butter to a bowl and mix by hand.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and roll into a log.
  • Refridgerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
  • Remove chilled dough, slice and bake at 350 for 12-15 mins.

Cream cheese icing is an excellent add on to these cookies:

1 box of cream cheese
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • Let the cream cheese warm up to room temperature so it will mix easily.
  • Add the sugar and vanilla and beat together until smooth.

Spread the icing on each cookie and sprinkle red candied pieces on top for a nice, festive touch.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Not "Pancakes with the President," not "Meals with Mr. President," not "Fois Gras with the Leader of the Free World" or "Culinary Adventures with the Commander-in-Chief," nope just plain ol' "Dinner with Barack."

When it comes to thinking outside the typical campaign trail box Barack Obama's staff certainly aren't afraid to push the limits. Their latest endeavor of raffling off "Dinner with Barack" is an inspired way of raising funds while making the President of the United States available to his citizens through the everyday tradition of bonding over the evening meal.

Many families mandate that dinner time be an opportunity to reconnect with one another after a long day apart. Family dinner has become a way of people getting to know ourselves, parents getting to know their children and bonds being forged over passing the biscuits. To share this precious time with someone as influential as your nation's President is an intimate and vulnerable opportunity to be heard.

We salute President Obama and his staff for making dinner a forum for liberty, justice and the pursuit of an everyday American perspective.

Sometimes food can be found in the most unlikely places, for instance, the finish line at the Indianapolis 500. For years now champions of this iconic race have been rewarded with flowers, trophies and the ceremonial chugging of a bottle of milk. Why milk?

It all began in the 1933 when Louis Meyer requested a glass of buttermilk after his second Indy 500 win. After his thrid win in 1936 he requested a bottle and was caught on camera holding up three fingers to signify his third win.  Upon seeing the picture in the local paper, dairy executives decided to capitalize on this huge marketing opportunity and made a bottle of milk the official celebratory drink greeting winners of the Indy 500 at the finish line.

From what we understand the tradition has evolved to allow champions to request the milk of their choice: whole, 2%, skim or buttermilk.  No word on whether or not non-dairy options like soy, almond or coconut are available.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jeremiah Weed, best known for their Sweet Tea Vodka, has taken Summer sippin' one step further with their line of pre-mixed canned beverages.

Perfect for Memorial Day BBQs, the 23.5 oz. cans contain 5.8% ABV and come in the following flavors:


Pop these tops this weekend and give your holiday some good ol' fashioned American flavorful fun.

An earthquake struck the Italian flatlands of Bologna last week, killing seven people and injuring numerous others. While the structural damage to the area is of major concern, there is a unique, unexpected victim in the region's Parmesan cheese producers.

Over 300,000 wheels of ageing cheese toppled over during the quake. The damaged wheels represent roughly 10% of the region's annual Parmesan cheese production, a major source of industry and revenue for the area. Three million wheels of Parmesan cheese are sold each year, totaling around two billion Euro.

The wheels need to age in delicate environmental conditions before they can be sold for consumption. If the wheels are cracked they have a greater possibility to house mold and are then considered inedible and must be destroyed.

The Italian government has declared the quake-struck region a state of emergency and is currently determining the best way to offer aid to farmers and local businesses in the area.

Photo credit AP

It's hard to imagine a brand as popular as Starbucks would ever want to step away from their world renown marketing, but in some cases the coffee mogul prefers to trade in its signature green and white mermaid for a more local, neighborhood vibe.

Two "Stealth Starbucks" locations are currently open in the company's hometown of Seattle: Roy Street Coffee & Tea, and 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea.  Each store is striped of Starbucks original branding, offering wine and beer selections much like a bistro, and focus on showcasing local artists and employing a more rustic decor.

When asked what the inspiration behind the "Stealth Starbucks" stores was, Starbucks officials said that they often use these Seattle locations as "learning labs" for new drink recipes before they become part of the mainstream menu.

Will "Stealth Starbucks" locations become a trend and show up in your hometown one day? Perhaps. A new location is currently under construction at New York City's Macy's department store. This third "Stealth Starbucks" will be nothing like its Seattle counterparts. The Macy's store will offer exotic coffee flavors, chocolates and Champagne to enhance the shopping and dining experience for Macy's customers.

So the next time you see a coffee shop under construction keep an eye out for the "Inspired by Starbucks" stealthy disclaimer and order your favorite drink incognito!

(Pictures from the Roy Street Coffee & Tea and 15th Ave Coffee & Tea Facebook pages)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Have you ever had the urge to quench your workout induced thirst with a cool, crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc? Or wipe away your yogi glow with a decanter of rich, velvety Shiraz? While it may seem that exercise and aperitifs are counterproductive there is a growing trend in many New York City fitness studios to encourage feminine camaraderie through ladies only wine and workouts.

The idea came to pass as the female counterpart for boys, balls and brewskis. It's a well-known fact that many men build strong bonds and friendships through beers at the local bar after a tough workout on the basketball court. Women wanted this same opportunity but took it one-step further by bringing the bar to them and creating an event-like atmosphere within their workout regimen.

A shining example of how this latest trend is being organized is the "Raising the Bar" class at Uplift Studios (pictured above) in New York City:

You know that there's room for both fitness and fun in your life. And sometimes, there is room for both in your night! After 45 minutes of intense strength/cardio training, these classes are followed by wine, cocktail, beer, or coffee tasting sessions at our Flatiron studio, a favorite New York City restaurant, bars or cafe. Get to know your fellow Uplifters better as you unwind together! $40 per class (unless otherwise noted).

So go ahead girls, grab your yoga mats, stemware and best pals and give your body and your taste buds the workout they deserve.  CHEERS!

We've all suffered from that annoying ketchup bottle that just refuses to give up the goods, right? Your fries arrive and by the time you get the ketchup out of the bottle the fries have gone cold and mushy - ick!

While everyone has their own approach to katching their ketchup - using a knife to coax it out, tapping the neck of the bottle, butting the butt of the bottle- some clever, up-and-coming Yumologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new, non-toxic bottle coating that allows those stubborn condiments to slide right on out of the bottle.

Time will only tell whether or not this new food technology will be adopted by the large food corporations but for now it's back to the bottle-butting grind.

If the name of this post hasn't already sent you into sugar shock, then you must read on and attempt this creamy, dreamy, sweet and sinful dessert.

1 large round cake pan
1 box of brownie mix
2 pints of coffee ice cream
1 bag of Heath bar bits
Caramel Topping

  • Prepare the brownie mix as directed and bake in the cake tin. NOTE: You may only want to use half of the brownie mix to create a thinner crust.
  • Let the ice cream soften and mix it together with the Heath bar bits.
  • Top the brownie crust with the ice cream mixture and let set in the cake pan in the freezer for 1 hour.
  • Remove from freezer, cut and serve with drizzled caramel topping.

While this may not be the traditional way to make a chai tea latte, it's a quick and simple variation on the recipe that our Yumologists use morning, noon and night.

1 Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea Bag
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1/2 cup of vanilla almond milk

  • Add the brown sugar and vanilla almond milk to a mug and mix together.
  • Add tea bag and hot water and steep for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's a nasty fact of life that pizza, no matter how thin or fat, is not a part of any diet plan. However, in an effort to redeem our deep dish friend we are taking a look at the ways in which thin crust pizza is in fact a healthier option than hand tossed.

Yumology researched the nutrition facts associated with two slices of Dominos Delux thin crust pizza v. two slices of Dominos Delux hand tossed pizza, the following results were shown:


Calories:  310
Fat:  7g
Saturated Fat:  4g
Cholesterol:  15mg
Protein:  6g
Carbohydrates:  16g
Fiber:  1g
Sugars:  3g
Sodium:  340mg


Calories:  420
Fat:  17g
Saturated Fat:  7g
Cholesterol:  30mg
Protein: 18g
Carbohydrates: 50g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars:  4g
Sodium:  1000mg

So while pizza is arguably a black listed diet dish, they don't call it thin crust for nothing! Keep in mind you can also cut calories by asking for no cheese and trading greasy, high fat, meaty options for high fiber veggies.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Breakfast in bed, bubble baths, shopping sprees and spa treatments are all wonderful ways to show mom how much you love her, but... an even better way to ensure she's relaxin to the max is to pair one of these gifts with one of our delicious Mother's Day cocktails that's sure to take the edge off all those chores and worries that often plague mom's mind.

Breakfast in Bed Bellinis

1 small peach sliced, skinned and pureed (save a skinned slice for garnish)
5 oz of Prosecco

Add peach and 1 oz of Prosecco to a blender and puree.
Fill the bottom of a champagne glass with the puree and add the remaining 4 oz of Prosecco to the top.
Garnish with the remaining peach slice on the side of the glass

Shopping Spree Stiletto

1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz cognac
4 oz champagne
3 drops of orange bitters
Spiral orange zest for garnish

Add the Grand Marnier and cognac to the bottom of a champagne flute.
Top with champagne, then bitters.
Add the orange zest to the rim as garish. (You can boil and sugar the orange zest for added flare)

Crown Princess for a Day

1 oz blueberry juice (1/2 cup blueberries)
3 blueberries as garnish
1 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz Chambord
1/2 oz dry gin
4 oz rose' sparkling wine
1 raspberry for garish

Puree the 1/2 cup of blueberries in a blender and strain the juice into a tall glass.
Add pineapple juice, Chambord and gin.
Fill the remainder of the glass with crushed ice.
Top with rose' sparkling wine.
Garnish with blueberries and raspberry on bamboo stick.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

This is one of our favorite healthy recipes. It so easy to cook and the flavors are incredible!

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of chopped green chilies
1 cup of tinned, diced tomatoes
1 lime
2 tbsp tequila
1/2 tsp salt, pepper, garlic, powder and cumin
2 tbsp margarine

Clean and dry each chicken breast then pound with a tenderizer.

Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket within each chicken breast for stuffing.

Mix the green chilie and tomatoes together and stuff each chicken breast with the mixture.

Place the chicken breasts into a greased baking dish and add the tequila to the pan.
Sprinkle the spices on top of each chicken breast and add a pad of margarine to each chicken breast.

Slice the lime and add the slices to border the baking dish.

Bake covered in foil at 400 for 20 minutes then bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
Best when served over black beans and with a jalapeno!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tonight is the season finale of one of our Yumologists' favorite shows: The Voice. It's been a while since we've paired reality personalities with foods and drinks we think embody their flavors, so we thought we'd bring back our culinary match making for this special occasion.

Each Voice contestant will be represented by a brand of liquor and their coach by a mixer, thereby creating a drink representative of each team.  Let's get started...

Team Adam

Tony Lucca
Jack Daniels
Tony has a down-home vibe with an edge which is why Jack Daniels suits him so well. It's familiar comfortable and can go multiple directions.

Adam Levine
Cherry Coke
Adam consistently pushes his artists to go the extra mile and break with convention which is why we could imagine him adding a twist to the traditional Jack & Coke with a splash of unexpected cherry to take drinkers for a spin.

Team CeeLo

Juilet Simms
Absolut Vodka
No funny flavors here, Juliet came to play. She hard-core and sticks to what she knows best. Juliet's raspy, powerful voice will have viewers spinning before they know they've had too much.

CeeLo Green
Not only is CeeLo a spokesperson for the bubbly citrus drink, but his personality embodies the refreshing flavor.  CeeLo is a positive upbeat coach and mentor to every contestant on the show. Never overly-critical, CeeLo knows how to add just enough flavor to every performance and lighten the mood when it needs it.

Team Christina

Chris Mann
Grey Goose Vodka
Not as rough and tumble as the previously mentioned Absolut Vodka, Grey Goose comes with an air of sophistication, experience and luxury.  Chris Mann's rich and silky voice offers a aire of finesse to the show.

Christina Aguilera
Olive Juice
You either love it or you hate it, but when used properly it can make or break a drink. Christina has made it abundantly clear she plans to play dirty this year.

Team Blake

Jermaine Paul
Makers Mark Bourbon
Jermaine's voice is full of rich and powerful notes and tones that are comfortable, forgiving and enticing all in the same breath.

Blake Shelton
Ginger Ale
Blake offers Jermaine an unexpected pairing. Unlike a typical, assumed cola accompaniment, ginger ale brings out the best in Makers just like Blake's unexpected country background does with Jermaine's soulful sounds.

So raise a glass and cheer on your favorites while enjoying their specialty drink this evening. CHEERS!

Monday, May 7, 2012

It's tough being a new momma. Not only have you just sacrificed 9 months of alcohol and sushi only to think you've arrived at the finish line, if you're breastfeeding the alcohol ban extends to the duration of your nursing...or does it?

Many new mothers worry that a beer at a BBQ will in some way transfer to their baby during feedings and in turn cause significant damage. We're here to tell you that's not necessarily true. While it is advised that nursing mother's avoid hard liquor, there can be exceptions, advantages even to drinking beer.

The polysaccharides for in the barley in beer stimulate milk production. That doesn't mean you should pull up a chair and drink straight from the keg! But it does mean that one or two beers every so often won't hurt. Keep in mind the alcohol in the beer actually works against milk production so the increase in supply cannot translate to other alcoholic drinks like it does beer.

Another tip is to be sure to wait two hours after drinking before feeding your baby. This gives your body time to cleanse the alcohol from your system before nursing. If your baby feeds often we recommend nursing just prior to drinking and offering pre-pumped milk until the two hours has passed.

Be sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water as well. The more water you drink as an accompaniment to your beer the quicker your system will cleanse and the more milk you'll produce.

We've all been there, that 2:30 PM wall that can only be broken down with something sweet, sugary and caffeinated.  We've already had our morning cup of coffee, we're avoiding sweets in an effort to lose weight, and chips and savory snacks just won't do. What's left? How about an icy, afternoon variation on that original morning cup o' Joe?

International Delights, the makers of many decadently flavored coffee creamers has brought afternoon iced coffees into your reach with their latest line of this pre-made beverage. No longer do you need to find an excuse to make a run to the local coffee shop. Just add a quart of this to your fridge and you'll be set for a week on a sweet, icy, afternoon pick me up!

Be sure to put your name on it! We don't want anyone else stealing your secret to the 2:30 PM doldrums.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, one of our Yumologists' favorite holidays. There are so many amazing Latin spices, flavors and recipes to take advantage of with friends. One of our favorite things to do is set up a taco bar with corn tortillas, grilled chicken, shredded beef, and all the fixins like chopped green chilies, red chilie sauce, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, sour cream, guacamole and shredded cheese. This way everyone is able to create their own variations on this handheld party fave while enjoying one of our amazing margarita concoctions.

Yumology's Traditional Margarita Pitcher

2 cups of Simply Limeade
1 cup of orange juice
1 cup of 1800 Silver Tequila
1 pinch of margarita salt
3 cups of ice
Lime wedges
Margarita salt

Combine everything but the lime wedges and margarita salt in a blender and serve in a margarita glass. Garnished with a lime wedge and rim with salt.

Christy Vega's Coconut Margarita

1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz. Coco Lopez
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. Anejo tequila
1/2 cup of ice
1 tbsp toasted coconut
1/2 tsp granulated sugar

Add all ingredients in blender and rim with toasted coconut and sugar.

Strawberry Margarita Bites from Liv Life on Pinterest

1 basket of large strawberries
1 packet of strawberry Jello
4 oz. of tequila (we recommend silver)
2 oz. Grand Marnier
Small lime wedges to garnish

Hull each strawberry individually making sure not to poke holes in the bottom. Mix the Jello as directed but add the tequila and Grand Marnier to the mix. Squirt a healthy portion of the mixture into each strawberry and garnish with a small lime wedge. Let the gelatin set, the eat and enjoy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Would be a Newton! That's right, those ever popular sophisticated bites of fruit and cake are dropping the "Fig" and shall from here on be known as Newtons.

The change in name was decided by food mogul Nabisco after the dessert adapted to offer different flavors over the years such as raspberry or apple. Calling the product "Fig Newtons" just wasn't as accurate a portrayal of the product as the company would have liked and therefore this rebranding was born.

But this change has not come without a price, seems many American's are quite fond of the "Fig" and are arguing to keep it in the cookie's moniker. Despite deissending voices, Nabisco plans to move forward with their Newtons and encourage a new generation of fruit and cake lovers.
(Kutcher as himself, Kutcher as Raj, Kutcher as Nigel, Kutcher as Darl, Kutcher as Swordfish)

If you've been watching the news lately you've probably heard of the Pop Chips ad campaign starring Ashton Kutcher as four different, single, men participating in a matchmaking service. Each of the characters has their own over-the-top, stereotypical characteristics that make them comedic, but one of the characters, Raj, has raised more than a few eyebrows, and has many in the Indian community screaming racism at Pop Chips and even Kutch himself.

While we do admit that the ad's comedy seeks to encourage laughs from cultural accents, costumes, and tendencies we also believe that the campaign was created with nothing but good intentions. It's high time we were all able to laugh at ourselves and embrace what makes us unique. We don't hear people from the Deep South complaining about the character of Swordfish who is a seemingly unsophisticated biker with a thick drawl and tattooed stomach. We also don't hear homosexuals, or the fashion community screaming in outrage about Darl, the puppy-toting, pale-faced, high maintenance design icon. And then there's Nigel, the flighty, British poet/hippie who is seeking "Higher" planes of consciousness, and still no rumblings of discontent from our brethren across the pond.

Why then is Raj met with such animosity? We're curious. In a day and age when the promotion of globalization and a diverse community tolerance is so strongly promoted, why are so many communities still so sensitive, and why is it okay to make fun of some and not others?

Perhaps Pop Chips will have the answer in their next advertising attempt...for now we ask you Yumologists for your input on this Pop Chips problem.