Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nuela Nueva-Latin Restaurant Review

I discovered this nuevo Latin restaurant, Nuela, through my current addiction, the sales site, Bloomspot.  I checked it out online and the menu looked like it had potential, and the photos of the space looked chic, modern and fun, so I took a chance and went for it.  I was a little nervous when I went online to read the reviews the day I had scheduled my reservations, because people were saying the portions were very small, and that it was very overpriced.  I already bought the voucher, so I was stuck. Too late now, so off to Nuela I went. I don't know what they were talking about!  Those reviewers must be the same people who are used to super sizing fast, fat, overfed Americans.  I thought the prices were reasonable and the portions were perfect.  I was actually able to eat my entire meal and not feel like an overstuffed turkey the day before Thanksgiving. The food was also amazing!  First, they brought out this delicious bread with honey butter...a nice twist.  I'm not a bread lover.  I usually take a bite, just for the sake of trying it and then leave the rest, but this bread I kept on eating and even accepted a second basket! 
For my entree, I ordered the Churrasco, since I was in quite a carnivorous mood, and have been in a passionate affair with chimichurri sauce for the last three years when we were first introduced. If I wasn't already convinced that this dish was meant for me, all I needed to see is that it came with a side of yucca hash browns.  Hash browns.....yes! Mmmmmmm...... When my food came, I expected it to be good, but it was better than that.  It was exceptional!  My steak was cooked perfectly, and "perfect" is the highest compliment I can give.  There was absolutely nothing I would've changed about this entire meal. 
I couldn't tweak it in any way if I tried.  I loved it!  Loved!  The decor was as it looked on the website, too. It was fun, modern,energetic, it had a good vibe, not cheesy and not too formal...very nicely done.  I even started looking at the way they draped the orange cloth they used in their design and wondered " can I incorporate this into my Manhattan apartment?" 
The bar looked comfy and time, (yes, I'm going back), I'm going to sit there.  Even the bathrooms are cool...downstairs, dimly lit and sexy, coed with no you catch my drift? can be naughty.  Anyway....I recommend checking out Nuela....great place for a date!

Appetizers- $$
Entrees- $$
Dessert- $

Location: 43 W. 24th St. N.Y,N.Y
Number: 212-929-1200

By Jennifer 

Photos from yelp

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Breakfast Cookie

Breakfast Cookie

1 ¼ cups Quick cooked oatmeal
¼ cup Flour
1 ½ cups Dry milk powder
1 cup applesauce
1 ½ tsp. each –Cinnamon, baking powder, vanilla
½ cup Splenda (for baking)
1 Apple - chopped

1.Preheat oven to 350.  
2. Mix all ingredients
3. Drop 4 rounds on sheet pan lined with non-stick foil or non-stick spray.  
4. Bake 15 – 20 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan. 
Makes 4 big cookies or several smaller depending on your preference.

By Ryan

Photo Credit: Google images (forgot to take original pics)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Q & A with Mixologist Elizabeth Dodwell and Cupcake Extraodinaire Kimi

Elizabeth Dodwell is a Mixologist that hails from England the home of alleged bland food and drink. Her first introduction to the unique American creation, the cocktail, was in a bar in Athens (Greece). She was just 17 years old and tasted a Whisky Sour. It was love at first sip. As the years have passed her tastes have broadened and she began to experiment with her own libations. Searching for inspiration on the internet was frustrating. There was information about bartending, which was generally geared towards memorizing a bunch of recipes and learning a few techniques that would qualify you to work in the bar industry. Pretty much everything else she found seemed to be rather highbrow, with people telling her she wasn’t good enough if she didn’t make a drink just like they did.

She wanted information and encouragement that would help her blend flavors to build bold new drinks and go where no man (or woman) has gone before. So she decided she had to do it herself and so she started Mix ‘n Sip. We’re still in our “infancy” stage, but growing strong. Her primary focus now is creating personalized cocktails for clients, from wedding couples to special events, businesses and individuals. Also, her first e-book will be out soon: Skinny Jean Cocktails. (Original and old favorites, all 150 calories or less).

Elizabeth and her husband and business partner, Alex, have a host of other booze-related ideas, all embracing the concept that anyone can create a great cocktail and that imbibing is as much about enjoyment of the blend of flavors as the camaraderie of sharing your creation with others.  

Kimi's Cupcake Creations came about as a result of her passion for baking cupcakes. She loves to try new flavors-especially those of the "adult flavor variety". She loves to create cocktail inspired cupcakes!

I was able to interview these 2 wonderful ladies for our first 2012 Q & A. Check out what they had to say:

How do you convert a cocktail into a cupcake?
Kimi: I review the liquor and other ingredients used in a particular cocktail and combine the liquor and other flavors (juice, chocolate, etc) into the batter, filling, and/or frosting.  If I am creating one of my own creations, I mix liquors and cake flavors that sound good together (ie:  khalua, coffee, and chocolate)
Champagne Cupcake
How many boozy cupcakes do you have to eat to feel a slight buzz…or to possibly get drunk? 
Kimi: I do not think you can get a buzz from these cupcakes.  If it is in the cake, most of the alcohol gets burned off.  If I use it in the filling or frosting, I usually only use 1to2 tablespoons in the filling (to be divided into 12-24 cupcakes) or 3 to 4 tablespoons in the frosting, again to be divided into 12-24 cupcakes.
Elizabeth: I don’t know, but I’m willing to try and find out.

What is your favorite boozy cupcake? 
Kimi: It is hard to answer this one – I really love my chocolate coffee decadence (khalua), the crème de menthe, or the Bambam.  These have amaretto, Malibu rum, and Irish crème.  The Bambams have probably been my most popular order.
Elizabeth: I think it’s going to be the eggnog ones that Kim is making for me.

Where do you start when creating a new drink? 
Elizabeth: Inspiration can come from almost anywhere – the flavor combinations in food, a drink based on color, a passing aroma. When creating for clients I need to know their likes and dislikes. Should the cocktail reflect their personalities, business, favorite place, an event, a holiday…..? For instance, the Life is a Bitchintini, created for the book launch of Shedding the Corporate Bitch, by Bernadette Boas, which was designed to illustrate taming the inner bitch and harnessing that energy to create riches. (more here: As for building the cocktail, for me it begins as quite an intuitive process, first imagining how the ingredients will taste when blended together. From then on it’s (sometimes a lot of) trial and error to balance out the ingredients.
Skinny Margarita
Do you cook as well as you make cocktails? 
Elizabeth: I consider myself a foodie. It was my happy fortune to be born into a family for whom food, a little libation, friends and some frivolity were a major part of good living. So I learned to cook as a kid; the cocktails came later.

What is one full meal that can be made with alcohol in each portion? 
Elizabeth:Ooh! Start with amberjack ceviche, using grapefruit as well as lime and add silver tequila. Mixed greens with bourbon vinaigrette. Grilled filet mignon with a Jamaican rum glaze (Bobby Flay has a great recipe). For dessert, just give me 3 oz of icewine. (Well, maybe I could take a bit of smoked rombol cheese with it).

How do you deal with “uneducated” drinkers? 
Elizabeth: First, suggest they watch some of the Mix ‘n Sip videos for tips, techniques and recipes. To train your palate, start small: if your usual tipple is gin and tonic, try it with a little muddled cucumber and/ or mint, or just add a dash of bitters (angostura or orange bitters, for instance). It will give you a feel for how even a slight change can also “change up” your cocktail. Have a “mix ‘n sip” party. Invite some friends over and set up a bar with a few basic liquors, mixers and garnishes (eg, vodka, rum, orange liqueur, juices and sodas, mint, cucumber, strawberries), throw in a bit of a wild card liquor such as VeeV Acai spirit or Domaine de Canton Ginger liqueur. Let everybody “get in the mix” and you’ll soon be sampling flavor combinations you never before imagined and finding that you really like some of them.
What is the booziest cupcake you have ever made?  
Kimi: The booziest cupcake I have made is either the Guiness Stout cupcake with Irish cream frosting or the Bambam, which has three different kinds of liquor – amaretto, Malibu rum, and Irish cream. The recent eggnog creations had quite a bit of the dark rum in the filling and in the frosting.

What is the key to making a cocktail that is alcohol heavy, but does not taste like alcohol? 
Elizabeth: OK, we’re on slightly uncomfortable ground here. If someone wants a boozy beverage that doesn’t taste like booze then perhaps they shouldn’t be drinking at all. When your stiff lemonade tastes like your kid’s lemonade it can be all too easy to over-imbibe and that can be dangerous. That said, I understand there are folk for whom just a couple of cocktails now and then is a way to relax and have fun, but they don’t care for the strong taste of the alcoholic component. For them, there are two ways to go. Either “overpower” the liquor with something equally strong or stronger – sweet, sour, herbal or bitter (amaretto sour is a good example) – or find a liquor that better suits your tastes. There are umpteen new flavored products on the market today. Some are sweet but many are not and they have the same alcoholic content as the basic booze.

Have you ever used any of flavored vodkas such as Cotton Candy, Cake, and Butterscotch etc.?  
Kimi: I have used cotton candy vodka, but not the others yet.  I would love to do so, though!
Elizabeth: Mostly I infuse my own alcohol when I want to add flavor. However, I have tried a few flavored vodkas and think they’re a great addition to the market, and I love that they’re introducing people to a whole new cocktail culture.
Cotton Candy Cupcakes
What are some of your signature cocktails? What is your favorite drink to make?
Elizabeth: Hmm. Though I’ve created many cocktails, I don’t actually have a signature drink. I’ll have to rectify that. Some of my favorite creations are the Lavender Green ( , the Mistletoe for something seasonal ( and for my dog, the Dirty Muttini (

What was the last cocktail you made? What’s in it?
Elizabeth: Recently I put together three drinks for Bob and Holly Sawyer and their kids. I created Bob (scotch, ruby port, redcurrant jelly, sambuca and rosemary), Rum Lady (strawberry honey puree, golden rum, Blackbeard spiced rum, pecan liqueur and light cream) and the Pina Kid-lada (vanilla ice cream, pineapple juice, chocolate coconut water and a garnish of  Sour Patch Kids with a cocktail umbrella.

What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to the "Mixology world"?
Elizabeth:Actually, the thing that really ticks me off is the attitude that a drink must be made a certain way and, if you differ from that, it’s wrong (or worse, there’s something wrong with you). The most glaring example of this is the martini. There are some who insist that a martini is only made with gin and the name should not be applied to any other adult beverage. I say “Bollocks!”  What about meatloaf? There are thousands of variations of meatloaf recipes but they’re all still meatloaf. Point being, it’s only a name.

If you could have a drink with one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Elizabeth:Winston Churchill. The man enjoyed his drink and a good cigar and had one of the greatest minds of the previous century.

Do you use any Molecular Gastronomy techniques?
Elizabeth: Occasionally, by default rather than design. I do infuse liquors but my interest is in the resultant flavor, not the molecular changes they may undergo during the process. I still create foam the old-fashioned way – hand-beating. And I don’t own any fancy gizmos or gadgets; not even a soda siphon (though that I would like to have).

What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
Elizabeth: There’s a growing interest in low-calorie (skinny) drinks and the use of more organic ingredients. The number and use of flavored liquors continues to increase. On a lesser level I see more home bartenders and professional mixologists creating their own bitters, syrups and infusing alcohol. Also, a small faction of enthusiasts are making barrel-aged cocktails; intriguing but certainly not mainstream.
Have you ever competed in any Mixology competitions?
Elizabeth: I keep saying I should but always seem to be too busy creating cocktails for clients. The only contest I have entered was the one I mentioned earlier, when I created the Life Is A Bitchintini and won.

If you could invite 3 people to dinner, who would they be and what drinks would you mix?
Elizabeth:Winston Churchill (again), Dinah Washington (love that lady’s voice), my dad (one of the smartest, funniest and sweetest guys you could ever know). We’d have a simple Pernod cocktail as an aperitif (Pernod, sugar syrup and angostura bitters), wines with appetizer and entrée, a little homemade limoncello to cleanse the palate before dessert. With dessert I always love bubbly (actually, I love champagne just about any time), perhaps Gloria Ferrer brut, which is within my budget. A tawny port and a selection of cheese to follow and rounding out the repast with Janneau VSOP armagnac.

Do you have any hangover advice?
Elizabeth: I’ve done extensive research on this over the years!!! Nowadays, I simply don’t drink too much but I used to go for protein, carbs and grease.  Here’s an article on MixnSip that might help you more -

What advice do you have for amateur Mixologists? 
Elizabeth: Be bold. There’s no such thing as a mistake; you’re just taking the recipe in a new direction.

Be sure to check out Elizabeth's website Mix n sip for recipes and more information!
Follow her on twitter @mixnsip

Check out Kimi's Cupcake Creations to place your orders (GA area) 
Like her facebook page

Don't we think Elizabeth should enter a few competitions and Kimi should enter cupcake wars? I think so! 

Conducted by Celeste

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

*Updated Oxo Cookie Spatula Giveaway!

We teamed up with Oxo to help raise awareness for pediatric cancer. 

Please remember our first post was dedicated to a very special little girl named Layla who was diagnosed with cancer. Click here

 Cookies for Kids' Cancer was founded by two OXOnians (OXO employees), Gretchen and Larry Witt who were inspired by their son Liam's battle with pediatric cancer. All forms of pediatric cancer combined claim the lives of more children in the United States than any other disease - more than asthma, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and AIDS combined. 

Gretchen and Larry founded Cookies for Kids' Cancer to provide inspiration and support for individuals, communities and businesses to help fight pediatric cancer through the concept of local bake sales. Over the past four years, thousands of bake sales have been held, raising over $2.5 Million to fund pediatric cancer research. 

You can help. Purchase a limited edition "Good Cookie" Spatula, send a weekly virtual cookie to all of your online friends, share your stories with the Cookie Community or host a local bake sale. 

Bake a difference, one cookie at a time. Together we can make the letter "C" stand for Cookies.

Oxo was kind enough to provide "Flava in ya ear" with a free good cookie spatula to giveaway.

To enter you must send a virtual cookie through the Oxo Good Cookie website to help spread the word. It is free of charge and takes about 30 seconds. 

You must also like our facebook page 
*You have to do both
Participants must live in the U.S

Please be sure to leave a valid email in the comments section of this post, so I can contact the winner. If you do not get back to me within 48 hours, I will choose another winner. The winner will be chosen with a random number generator. The giveaway has been extended will end on Thursday (1/12) at midnight (est).


Compiled by Celeste

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!!

Myspace Graphics