November 2017

Yummy and Organic

While Labor Day marks the end of summer, we all like to try and continue our healthy lifestyle for the Fall! In honor of  national organic month, we have listed some our favorite edibles that happen to be certified organic AND delicious:

Keen-Wah Decadence Coconut Almond (Box of 12), $34.95
This yummy protein bar was created to help you power through your day! Whether you’re working out or on-the-go, you will feel good eating these because you’re fueling your body with nothing but the best all-natural ingredients.  The bar is made from quinoa, which is nature’s answer to vegan and gluten-free protein.  And the taste?  Imagine the Almond Joy you loved as a kid made with healthy, organic ingredients.  We promise…the same nostalgic taste is still there. Also comes in other great flavors!

Lapostolle Chilean Wines

From the same liquor company that brought us Grand Marnier, comes the Lapostolle winery, a completely organic operation producing wines that are as delicious as they are environmentally friendly. Their grapes are raised 100% organically and even the packaging is environmentally conscious with the bottles being made from recycled glass and the labels and boxes coming from sustainable forests. It also makes the perfect eco-chic hostess gift.

Cascadian Farm Granola, $6.49
Once you have tried this granola, it’s easier leaving those breakfast pastries and calorie-rich bagels behind! Cascadian Farm’s pride themselves on being organic before organic was even trendy. Their mission is to keep your body healthy while also keeping the environment healthy. They have seven different yummy granola flavors that also make a delicious topper for your Greek yogurt in the morning.

Pom Acai Bar, $9.25
Satisfy your chocolate craving without the guilt! Gnosis offers an organic line of raw vegan chocolates that are not only tasty, but they have a holistic purpose behind them as well. The yummy Pomegrante Acai flavor featured here helps your body detox. These hand made chocolates are free of refined sugar, cholesterol, gluten, dairy and soy, making them a healthy option.

A Recipe for Seduction: Tea-infused Chocolate Truffles

We heart the idea of seducing your loved one this Valentine’s Day with the sensuous pairing of warm tea served with sweet tea-infused chocolate truffles, made with Tracy Stern Salontea, The Lover, a Chocolate Chai tea. This tea blend is a natural aphrodisiac, not to mention that the art of pouring tea is incredibly sensual! Tea has been a drink of seduction throughout history: many love affairs began over meeting for tea and ended as the greatest love stories of all time. We’re pretty confident that you will love this delicious V-Day treat!

Ingredients:           

  • 2/3 heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (cut into pieces and softened)
  •  2 tablespoons of The Lover tea-chocolate Chai tea leaves
  • 6 oz finest bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  •  1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Recipe:

Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Stir in the tealeaves. Remove from heat and let steep for 3-5 minutes.

Put chocolate in a bowl and strain the cream mixture through a sieve over the chocolate: discard the tealeaves. Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture together until smooth, chill for approximately 2 hours until mixture is firm.

Dust your hands with a bit of cocoa (or cinnamon) then use your hands to roll the chilled chocolate mixture into balls (Tracy likes to use a melon scooper).

Use 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of chocolate mixture for each truffle. Drop the truffles into the cocoa, turn them until they’re lightly coated, and then place them in an airtight container. Store them in layers separated by wax paper.

Serve in edible rose petals…enjoy!

 

Best Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him and Her

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a fabulous gift for that special someone! Be creative this year…there’s no need to rely on old standbys. These hand-picked gifts for him and her are sure to delight any of the loves in your life.

T. Anthony Kent Slim Messenger, BUY NOW, $450
The T. Anthony Kent Slim Messenger bag is a perfect gift for the guy on the move. The super slim and stylish messenger is lightweight and made from scratch resistant pebble grain leather that will keep during the most rugged of wear. I bought one for my husband recently and he loves it for every day and for travel. You can also have the bag gold stamped with your man’s initials–love a personalized gift! T. Anthony bags have been featured in O Magazine, Allure and Bazaar.

Michael Kors Men’s Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch, BUY NOW, $225
A signature timepiece is an important part of every man’s wardrobe. This sleek design by Michael Kors is impeccably chic, and offers a lot of look for the price. Oversized chronograph styles are my favorite…this one looks hip and cool without trying too hard.

Johnnie Walker Engraved Blue Label Whisky, BUY NOW, $225
Personalization makes a gift extra special. The whisky aficionado will relish in owning an engraved bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label! The 200 year old brewer is known for their consistency and flavor quality, perfect for the man who has everything.

Molton Brown Echo Bath and Body Gift Set, BUY NOW, $109
If your Valentine could use a little rest and relaxation (can’t we all?), indulge them with the Molton Brown Echo yuan zhi Gift Set, complete with bath and shower gel, body cream, and medio candela. Molton Brown has been a leader in the best quality body, skin, hair and home products since the 70’s. All of their materials are sourced from natural and sustainable ingredients and the blend of yuan zhi root, ylang ylang and vanilla makes a great scent for both sexes. Fans include Leighton Meester and Kristen Chenoweth.

Brookstone Bluetooth Keyboard for Ipad 2 Tablet, BUY NOW, $99
Every iPad2 tablet owner will be delighted with the Brookstone Bluetooth Keyboard. The sleek portfolio case is made out of a rubberized material with a built in wireless keyboard that lets you type with ease at laptop speed and has full access to the device’s camera and port capabilities. It’s available in fun shades like pink, orange and green as well as basic colors so it makes a great gift for anyone with an iPad2. This is the nicest one I have seen–it’s not bulky and the keyboard is super comfortable and easy to use.

Jacks & Jokers “King’s Head” Graphic Tee, BUY NOW, $60
These ultra hip t-shirts are incredibly soft and detailed with authentic graphics and logos from decks of playing cards. A totally fresh take on a tee, the fun designs are great for the King of your Heart. It’s a perfect present for the downtown guy, and the uptown one who needs to revamp his preppy collared shirt look. Jacks and Jokers tees have been spotted on celebs Adrian Grenier and Kevin Dillon, New York Yankee Nick Swisher and were featured in Hamptons Magazine.

Buy Calcium bites Chocolate Covered Caramels, $16.39

Buy Calcium bites Chocolate Covered Caramels, $16.39

  • Taste like Rolos
  • Each piece is 30 calories, contains 500 mg of calcium, and has 6 grams of fiber

Shop the Full Story: Ask Melissa: Healthy Snacks

Buy TCHO Nibs, $9

Buy TCHO Nibs, $9

  • Cacao beans drenched in dark chocolate
  • Bite-sized accessibility and richness

Shop the Full Story: Ask Melissa: Healthy Snacks

6 Yummy Summer Smoothies

Some people enjoy smoothies as a breakfast on the go, while others use them for an afternoon snack or after-workout pick me up. They are not only delicious, but are often packed with nutrients, vitamins, and more. Need more protein in your diet or trying to get in shape? Add a scoop of your favorite whey protein powder to give your smoothie a healthy kick. These sweet (and not too sugary) smoothies are sure to be a hit even if you have a picky eater in your home. Here are our favorites to try this summer:

The Melissa Smoothie
Our Founding Editor Melissa Meyers makes a delicious smoothie for herself and family several times a week. If you are not a fan of bananas, feel free to replace with raspberries or blackberries for a yummy mixed berry smoothie.

• 1 cup cut-up fresh strawberries
• I ripe banana
• 1 Stoneyfield Farm fat free vanilla yogurt
• Organic Fat free Milk- 1/2 cup
• 8-10 ice cubes

Mix all ingredients in a blender for 2 minutes.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe
Sometimes you’re in the mood from something sweet and savory, rather than a fruity drink. Instead of grabbing a cookie or slice of cake, try blending up this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie. If you’re a vegan, or just enjoy the taste of soymilk, forget the chocolate syrup and just use Silk chocolate soymilk.

• 1 banana
• 2 Tbs. Peanut Butter (chunky or smooth… whatever you prefer!)
• 1-2 squirts of Hershey’s reduced calorie chocolate syrup
• 1 Tbs. wheat germ
• 6 oz. soy milk

Put all ingredients into blender. Blend until smoothie consistency is reached!

 

Mango Green Tea Smoothie
This antioxidant-packed smoothie not only tastes great, but gives you that caffeine kick you might need. Blended with mango and fresh lime juice, you’ll feel as though you’re on a carribean island. Plus, you can always replace a regular green tea bag with decaf if you want to enjoy this smoothie in the evening.

• 1 green or white tea bag
• 2/3 cup water
• 1/2 cup mango, cubed
• 1 wedge fresh lime juice
• 2 cups crushed ice

Heat water and brew tea. Let cool. Place cooled tea, mango, lime juice, and crushed ice in a blender and blend until thick and smooth.

Creamy Peach Smoothie
Peaches are my favorite fruit to have in the summertime. This combination of peaches, reduced-calorie (and delicious) vanilla ice cream, OJ and soy milk will end up tasting like a frozen creamsicle!

• 1 (15 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained
• 4 scoops Edie’s slow-churned vanilla ice cream (lower in calories & tastes great!)
• 2 cups vanilla soy milk
• 1/4 cup orange juice

In a blender, combine peaches, ice cream, soy milk and orange juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

 

Coconut water seems to be the latest craze, and we completely agree! ZICO coconut water is not only tasty, but has great health benefits as well (Gisele Bündchen is a huge fan). It contains five essential electrolytes to help your body perform at its best while staying hydrated.

Zinnamon Apple Smoothie
Apples & cinnamon are already a great combination, so by adding the ZICO coconut water, almonds and vanilla extract, you’ll be getting nutrients without sacrificing the flavor. Plus this recipe calls for protein powder and flax seed, which builds lean muscle and aids digestion.

• 1 cup (8oz) Coconut water natural flavor (ZICO)
• 4 raw Almonds
• 1 tsp Vanilla extract no alcohol
• 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
• 1 cup chopped apple (firm type such as empire, granny smith)
• ½ scoop Natural unsweetened protein powder (Biochem)
• 1 TBSP flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed)

In a blender combine all ingredients and 3 ice cubes.
Pulse for approximately 10-15 seconds.

Chocolate Banana Berry Zmoothie
With cocoa powder, blueberries, banana, protein powder and more, this smoothie tastes amazing and is great for your body too! The rolled oats add additional consistency, similar to a milkshake.

• 8 oz ZICO Natural
• 1 scoop choc protein powder
• 1 tsp cocoa powder
• 1/2 cup rolled oats
• 1 cup blueberries
• 1 ripe banana
• 8 oz lowfat milk
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon

In a blender combine all ingredients and 3 ice cubes.
Pulse for approximately 10-15 seconds

Ask Melissa: Healthy Snacks

I’m always out on the run and sometimes I’m tempted to pick up a candy bar or a bag of chips. What are your suggestions for healthy snacks while on the run?

There’s no need to ignore your sweet and salty cravings if you know your (healthy) options! I’m loving Marcona Almonds –a sweeter take on the classic nut, these Spanish imports are a softer variety, roasted in olive oil topped with sea salt. Ten nuts should hold you over between meals. Calbee’s Snapea Crisps are unbelievably delicious and have the crunch of potato chips without the grease! They are made from fresh peas that are grinded and baked. Another favorite of mine are the Wonderful Pistachios’ 100-calorie packs of pistachios—perfect for tucking in your purse while out on the go. Snooki’s already a fan!

If you’re looking for a chocolate fix, I like TCHO Nibs (cacao beans drenched in dark chocolate) for their bite-sized accessibility and richness. Another great way to satisfy your sweet tooth is with Calcium bites Chocolate Covered Caramels. Celebrity nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot turned me on to them, and I promise they taste like Rolos. Each piece is 30 calories, contains 500 mg of calcium, and has 6 grams of fiber. I eat one after lunch and dinner every day!

Buy Now, Marcona Almonds, $11.95

Buy Now, Calbee’s Snapea Crisps, $15.39

Buy Now, TCHO Nibs, $9

Buy Now, Calcium bites Chocolate Covered Caramels, $16.39

Buy Fondue for Two Mug, $22.95

secret-santa-fondue-for-two-250

Buy Fondue for Two Mug, $22.95, at catchingfireflies.com

  • For sweet treats with your sweetheart
  • Porcelain mug with well for chocolate or cheese
  • Includes 2 forks for dipping and candle
  • Opening for a tea light candle to heat fondue

Shop the Full Story:
25 Gifts under $25: Let Your Inner Secret Santa Loose
By Daniela Apeloig & Lindsay Hahn

Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookie: Mmmmm . . . Momofuku

compost-cookie

I found heaven—and it’s in a cookie. Walking down the streets of my favorite neighborhood in NYC (the East Village), I stumbled upon one of the longest lines I’ve ever seen. Being the type of person who needs to be in the know, I walked closer and found Momofuku Milk Bar, the trendy little shop selling unique sweet and savory creations. This place was right up my alley! After scanning the menu, I chose their Compost Cookie—a mix of pretzels, chocolate chips, coffee oats, butterscotch, and potato chips. And let me tell you, every bit was amazing—soft, chewy, and just delicious! I have to admit, I’ve been back more than once. Watch out—they’re addictive!—Lindsay Leff

Momofuku Milk Bar
207 2nd Ave (between 12th St & 13th St)
New York, NY 10003
212.254.3500

Intemperantia Vegan Chocolates, $15.60-$27.30

eco-chic-chocolates

Intemperantia Vegan Chocolates

We were intrigued with the idea of vegan chocolate—100% dairy free and all natural. We were in love after just one soft dark-chocolate square, incredibly rich and creamy. And the Thick Organic French/African hot chocolate is just as divine.

Price: $15.60–$27.30

Purchase Intemperantia Vegan Chocolates

Special: Get 10% off with promo code askmelissa. Through May 7.

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