Kelley Gaston

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virgina Woolf

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 2)

NEW INSTAGRAM

I’ve finally become one of “them.” You know, those people who take pictures of every meal they order/make/look at/buy…etc. Yes, I am guilty of this, so-called “habit” why don’t you, but instead of storing all of these scrumptious photos on my iPhone (I wouldn’t have a problem with doing so, but my damn phone keeps bugging me saying I have zero storage left) I have decided to move these photos to Instagram, the wonderful social media platform that makes food look even more delicious through unrealistic filters. Anyways, I recently moved to NYC, so I’ve basically taken every meal I’ve ever eaten since I moved and uploaded it on Instagram. CHECK IT OUT: Ny.Lunchbox …. Goodbye Lehigh Lunchbox hello New York Lunchbox!

Apollo Grill

A common conversation between two students at Lehigh is:

Student 1: “Hey, my parents are coming this weekend, where should I take them to dinner?”

Student 2: “Oh, that’s easy, I always take my parents to Apollo.”

So, there’s the answer. Apollo Grill across the bridge (as in the North Side of Bethlehem). Their menu includes a variety of cuisine from Italian and Spanish, to American. Not only is it a sophisticated place, but the restaurant offers outdoor seating so you can enjoy people watching, because come on, we all enjoy people watching at times. Apollo is a great time and definitely worth the wait (yes the line to be seated is often long). But, if you’re smart you should make a reservation beforehand.

So, my experience with Apollo was great. What did I order? Well, besides a nice glass of red wine, me and my mother ordered an appetizer of crab stuffed tacos, and for dinner some nice short ribs. If you don’t believe me when I say they were probably the best ones I’ve had in my life, and the grits underneath the ribs really topped it off. Just look at the picture I’ve posted. Doesn’t need much explaining, right?

short ribs

Summer Health-Kick

Summer is almost here, and if you’re like me and the rest of my friends you’re probably trying to find a way to eat healthy for the next couple of weeks so you can fit into that bikini hanging in your closet. Lucky for you, I found a couple of websites which include plans to start that health-kick you desire. Although we all know being healthy includes exercising and what-not, a health-kick really begins with what you put inside of your body and what you eat. No, I’m not saying you need to be on a special diet to be healthy, but eating right goes a long way.

1. Eating Well 

A pretty self-explanatory website, Eating Well includes a number of healthy summer recipes. From low-cholestral meals to recipes for a flat stomach, Eating Well has it all. Their website even has videos that you can watch to make your life a lot simpler when it comes to cooking.

2. Self

Self Magazine rewards their readers with a 1,600 calorie bikini body meal plan. The plan includes three daily meals, a snack and a treat. Yep, you get to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner get to indulge in a snack and you even get dessert. Sounds pretty good if you ask me.

3. Women’s Health 

Women’s Health wrote an article called “The 30-Day Bikini Body Meal Plan.” Although it is quite similar to the Self diet, this meal plan is only 1,500 calories. Although that seems like very little, the article guarantees that you will feel satisfied and quite full after each daily meal. They even say that if you’re feeling hungry throughout the day you can chomp on any fruit or vegetable. They give you day-by-day meals to create and most of them aren’t too complicated. From chicken-wraps to Skinny Cow ice-cream sandwiches, the meals are quick and affordable. Which is what every college kid wants to hear.

Thai Chicken Salad

When I go to Panera Bread  I’m the type of person who gets the same thing every time I go. It doesn’t matter whether I’m in a different state or location, I always get the same thing. A you pick two with the chicken cobb salad and a side of broccoli cheddar soup. It’s always been my favorite and I’m honestly not willing to try anything new at the chain restaurant. Well, today was a bit different than my usual trips to Panera. Today I tried something new. I had the thai chicken salad for the first time, and let me tell you, it was bangin’. If you hesitate while you’re in line at Panera, don’t question it, get the thai chicken salad. To be honest, it outdid the chicken cobb salad 110 percent, and I’ve obviously always been loyal to the classic cobb.

So, what makes this thai chicken salad so great? Could it be that it’s less than 250 calories for a you pick two size portion of the dish? Or could it be that it includes the perfect amount of thai chili vinaigrette and peanut sauce? Besides being both these things there’s more. The salad is made up of romaine lettuce, antibiotic-free slices of chicken, fire roasted edamame, red peppers, cilantro, carrots and wantons. If you don’t know what wontons are they are those little crispy noodle like things often given out at Asian restaurants. The salad is not only fresh and delicious but it tastes authentic. If you were to serve me the exact salad at a traditional Thai restaurant I probably would never guessed it came from Panera Bread. All I can really say is well done Panera, well done. I tried something new for the first time and was more than satisfied. It makes me think, maybe I should step away from my usual Panera meal and try something new more often.

salad

Thai chicken salad from Panera Bread

 

Spring Break Eats Listicle

Spring break has finally arrived for us Lehigh students. For those of you going to any of the three top spring break destinations (according to U.S. News Travel) I thought I’d help you out by listing a few of the best restaurants (for college students) in these areas.

1. Miami Beach

I recently came across  South Beach Magazine which mentions some of the best places for college kids to check out while vacationing. Sidewalk cafes on Lincoln Road are very popular for spring breakers in Miami. Nexxt Cafe is located at 700 Lincoln Road and offers a variety of dishes that are reasonably priced, which is ideal for the typical college student during spring break. Segafredo at 1040 Lincoln Road and Puerto Sagua are two other restaurants that South Beach Magazine highly recommends for college students. Although the cafes themselves aren’t too expensive, they’re located in a very ritzy and popular area. Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue are often called the “Fifth Avenue of the South.” Wining and dining in warm weather at these restaurants doesn’t sound the worst.

2. Cancun 

Thousands of college students each year travel to Cancun for Spring Break. It is one of the most popular destinations. Although Cancun has a number of restaurants, the area is most popular for their Mexican cuisine. Some of the best Mexican Restaurants in Cancun, according to Travel and Leisure is La Destileria, La Habichuela Sunset and Julia Mia. All three of these Mexican restaurants are authentic and architecturally pleasing to the eye. They don’t only offer Mexican cuisine, but seafood as well. With great food and a lively location, they are definitely three restaurants tourists should plan to eat at during their time in Mexico.

3. Puerto Vallarta  

Known for their nightlife, bar/ club scene and sandy beaches, Puerto Vallarta (often known as “PV”) is a top spring break destination for Lehigh students. I actually know many people who will be spending the next week in PV. In terms of eating, Ocean Grill Vallarta is one of the best restaurants in PV. They won the Travelers’ Choice in 2014. The Ocean Grill provides a variety of cuisine including barbecue, Mexican, Seafood and more. Vista Grill is also a four star restaurant and is known for their great breakfast service. Layla’s Restaraunte has five stars and is famous for their Mexican dishes. Their reviews include comments such as, “great people and great food.”

 

http://www.pcbeach.org/graphics/uploadedimages/Springbreak2015.jpg

http://www.pcbeach.org/graphics/uploadedimages/Springbreak2015.jpg

Let’s Talk About Ice

Well, the unthinkable happened, had all my classes cancelled today. Actually, it was pretty predictable considering the vast amount of ice balls falling from the sky all night. Since we (in the Northeast) have been seeing so much of this snow and ice lately, I figured why just see it when you could be eating it. Since we are on the topic of “ice,” right away the word ice cream popped into my head. So, if you have as much free time as I do today and want to be a bit creative, why not try and make your own homemade ice cream? You’re going to need approximately 4 hours total, but I swear it will be so worth it in the end. Or, with spring break coming up, find a time then!

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream - because mint chocolate chip dominates all ice cream flavors.

I highly recommend clicking on the link above if you’re interested. But, just to get a feel, here are the ingredients you will need.

Ingredients

1. 2 cups of loosely packed mint leaves
2. 2 cups and 2 tablespoons of whole milk
3. 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream
4. 2/3 cups of sugar
5. 4 tablespoons of cornstarch
6. 3 tablespoons of cream cheese at room temperature
7. Kosher salt
8. 1 3.5 ounce chocolate bar.
So, if you have these ingredients just sitting around and are satisfied with the idea of ice cream, click the link above for the full recipe. Why not do something on this cold and “icy” day?
http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/mint-chocolate-ice-cream

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/mint-chocolate-ice-cream

Homemade Pita n Guac

On Tuesday night I thought it would be a good idea to make guacamole. So, I grabbed some avocados, red onions, limes, salt and tomatoes. For me, less ingredients is key. As I started to chop the tomatoes and blend the ingredients together, I couldn’t help but think of what I wanted to eat the guac with. I mean, there were so many options. Did I want toast, tortilla chips or any other carb? But then, the unthinkable happened. As I opened the cabinet of my house that should have a variety of chips resting on top of each other, I realized there were no chips. Nothing. The cabinet was completely empty. What was I going to do? You can’t eat guac by itself. You need something to eat it with. I realized I needed to be creative. As I looked through a number of cabinets and drawers in the kitchen I came across a package of tortillas. I’m not sure what sparked the thought, but I decided I would cut these tortillas into little triangles, fry and salt them to create homemade pita chips. The only oil we had in the house was canola oil, so I figured this is what I would fry the tortillas in. Since our house doesn’t have a fryer, I took a large pot and began to heat the oil. Although many people told me these pita chips would be a fail, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try. I was also desperate at this point. I cut seven tortillas into triangles and placed them in the pot of oil. After 3 minutes they began to sizzle and fry. It was working. After I crisped them to perfection, I placed them on a plate and sprinkled a good amount of salt on each. They were ready, and although my friends were skeptical of the idea, the pita chips ended up being a hit. Everyone started to make them, so I would like to congratulate myself for creating a new food trend in our house.

 

pita

Homemade pita chips and guac.

 

“Did You Know” Listicle

I thought it would be fun to write a listicle post on things one may not know about well-known food businesses. I’ve found links on three international chains: Ben & Jerry’s for you ice cream lovers, Mcdonald’s for fast food fanatics and Dunkin Donuts for those obsessed with coffee. Although I don’t want to give away all of the facts for each company, I thought I’d share some of my favorites for each.

1.18 Things You Never Knew About Ben and Jerry’s  

While some of these facts about Ben & Jerry’s may not seem that interesting, I found most of them pretty surprising. The list starts off  saying that Ben & Jerry wanted to open a bagel company (ice cream was out of the picture). Ben also wanted to call the company “Josephine’s Flying Machine.” Why? I have no clue. I think one of the most entertaining facts I read was that there is an actual “flavor graveyard” where discontinued ice cream flavors “go to die.” Check out the link above to see the rest of the fun facts!

2. 17 Things You Didn’t Know About McDonald’s 

Going to McDonald’s as a kid almost once a week, I thought I knew everything about the fast food chain. After reading this article, I was proven wrong. This article lists 17 things about McDonald’s that even a fast food craver like me wouldn’t know! Did you know that McDonald’s originally sold hot dogs and not hamburgers? Or that the company’s golden arches are recognized by more people than the Christian cross? Although I love food, I do enjoy celebrities and social media. So, you can only imagine how shocked I was to learn that Rachel McAdams, Jay Leno and Shania Twain have all worked at McDonalds at some point in their lives. These couple of facts aren’t even the most fascinating. McDonald’s sells more than 75 hamburgers per second and feeds more than 68 million people each day. Read the other 12 facts by clicking on the link above!

3. 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Dunkin’ Donuts 

Dunkin’ Donuts has been around since 1950, but I bet you didn’t know that the company’s name was originally called “Open Kettle.” The name later changed, and by 2012 10,500 Dunkin’ Donuts stores opened up worldwide. When you walk into a Dunkin’ Donuts you can order anything from donuts and munchkins to turkey/breakfast sandwiches. Before this, when Dunkin’ Donuts had first opened, the company only sold four varieties of donuts. Currently, there are 52 different kinds. Although the Huffington Post article talks about the history of Dunkin’ Donuts, there are definitely eye-opening facts included, which makes this article worth reading.

The Oscars 2015 Food Listicle

If you’re up to date on social media and entertainment, then you probably know the 2015 Oscars are coming up. Feb. 22 to be exact. Although I eagerly watch the Oscars each year to see who is named best or worst dressed on the Red Carpet and to see which actor/actress goes home with an Academy Award, this year is a bit different. I’ve come across a number of websites talking not only about which actors and actresses should be nominated for an award or which movie dominated the screens, but there’s been a lot of talk about what the stars will be eating during and after the event.

If you don’t already know, Sunday’s Governors Ball is a party which is held after the Academy Awards ceremony. Each year, the notable Chef Wolfgang Puck and his team prepare the food for the Ball. For those of you who are interested in what types of A-list eats these A-list celebrities are devouring, I have found a couple of links that are quite worthy.

1. 2014 Governors Ball eats

Last year, Chef Puck had a variety of appetizers, entrées, desserts and drinks for celebrities to drink and munch on. From mini kobe beef burgers to huckleberry macaroons, there’s no doubt that guests were satisfied.

mini kobe beef burgers at the 2014 Governors Ball

mini kobe beef burgers at the 2014 Governors Ball

2. 2015 Governors Ball eats

This year’s Governors Ball food has not officially been released, but there is an idea of what Chef Wolfgang Puck and his team will be serving this coming Sunday. One thing, according to Chef Puck, is that lobster BLTs will be a new addition to this year’s menu. The 300 chefs and 600 waiters catering this year’s Ball will also be making and serving spicy tuna tartare, matzo with smoked salmon, caviar-topped baked potatoes and even pizza. A sushi and shellfish bar will also be present. Guests will finish off the night with crème brûlée, hot fudge sundaes and “annual Oscar lollipops.”

lobster BLTs for the 2015 Governors Ball

lobster BLTs for the 2015 Governors Ball

In the end, I’m sure each guest and every celebrity that has spent months of working out and dieting to fit into their designer dress or tux for the Red Carpet cannot wait to taste Chef Puck’s creations at the Governors Ball.

Live Blog: Chopped Season 23 Episode 5 *NEW*

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