#avaeats 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

#avaeats 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Hello December! The Christmas countdown has started for me: I have 24 days left to get a handful of gifts Chéo, my tribe, my office Secret Santa and my mom. While I have tunnel vision to buy gifts for my loved ones, I always make a note of anything I see that I may like for myself. Here are 12 of my favorite food-ish finds, in case anyone wants to bless me this Christmas.

Please note: I’m not receiving any type of compensation for posting these gifts, all items were found out of pure internet-surfing boredom.

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Two of a Kind Less/More Jigger – Kate Spade
Did someone say jigger shot? This Less/More jigger from Kate Spade is the perfect way to glam up your bar!

 

 

BFFs: Chicken and Waffle Hard Enamel Lapel Pins – Minimalust Studio
Chicken and Waffles has become one of those random cravings for me. I wear my heart on my sleeve; with this, I can wear my craving on my lapel! Or I can give one to my BFF. Sorry Christina, I’m cutting you out of this one!

 

 

 

Bitches Get Stuff Done Oven Mitt – alwaysfits.com
This Is Fucking Delicious Oven Mitt – alwaysfits.com
I’m convinced I’ve inherited a tongue that cusses like I sailor from my daddy—I use the term “get shit done” almost daily. I literally lost my shit when I saw these oven mitts floating around Facebook.

 

 

Unicorn Tea Set – Angioletti Designs
I wouldn’t be me without a sprinkle of unicorn somewhere on my list. This gorgeous tea set includes a 23oz teapot, 2 cups with saucers, a creamer and a sugar bowl. What I love about the Angioletti Designs shop is their flexibility—if you’re not a unicorn lover but you love the style of the set, they can customize the decal for you! And they have payment plans! It gets no better!
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Peace, Love & Good Food (thanksmas edition) – Gabrielle McBay
This is the one thing on the list that I’m not asking for—because I already have it! I’ve been following Gabrielle on twitter for a while, so once she started dropping these cookbook tweets, I stalked her a bit until she released it. She even included some hacks and prep tips that I greatly appreciate!

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Wake & Bake Spoon Set – SSEngraving
Imagine eating brownie batter off of these!

 

 

Porcelain Popcorn Pin – Monochromatiques
I’m not the biggest popcorn fan—I hate having things stuck in my teeth—but how can you not love the realism of this pin?

8 michael aram sp

Pomegranate Salt & Pepper Shakers – Michael Aram
Everyone needs gold-tone salt and pepper shakers, because yes. Each Michael Aram piece is handmade, so no two items are exactly alike—talk about lavishly unique.

9 cheeseboardVienna Transforming Bamboo Cheese Board Set – A Picnic at Ascot
I love a charcuterie platter, it really is the simplest way to make sure your guests—and even you—have something to nibble on. With levels and a hidden drawer for the tools, this is how you elevate your bad & boujee.

 

 

Eco Resin Platter – Nanna Woo Handmade
I found this shop on Instagram a few months ago and instantly fell in love with this Eco Resin collection. I saw a video of the process to make a plate from start to finish and I was mesmerized. I just love gold flakes!

11 mackenziechilds cookiejar

Courtly Check Cookie Jar – MacKenzie-Childs
Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite movies and this cookie jar just screams Tim Burton’s rendition.

12 munchies pillow

Munchies – Plusheez
Because you really can’t have one without the other.

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Happy Hella Late Thanksgiving!

My phone has been on the fritz lately—you know how iPhones get once a new one is released—so I’ve been a bit unplugged from my phone and glued to my iPad on WiFi. I couldn’t take a decent photo for almost three weeks! But I’m back in business!

Happy hella late Thanksgiving!

Simone and her family opened their Atlanta home and table to Chéo and I, and we instantly felt like we’ve been down with the crew since forever. I finally met her Chéo’s doppelganger/her husband, Carlos, and their adorable baby girl, Aria. Sim’s mom and her wife, Hilda and T, are definitely couple and family goals—so warm, loving, hospitable, and hilarious!

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This was my first American* Thanksgiving so visions of mac & cheese and sweet potatoes danced in my head on the hour-long drive as I balanced a pan of pumpkin cheesecake brownies and a Baileys cheesecake/chocolate cake on my lap. The other sumptuousness: mashed potatoes, brisket, green beans, cranberry sauce, gumbo and rice, cornbread stuffing and the juiciest fried turkey I’ve ever had! I never show up to anyone’s home empty-handed, so that pan of brownies and cake I balanced on the way over was my dessert contribution. I tried something new with both recipes and got rave reviews!

We left at the end of the night with leftovers, a new family, and a little something extra.

 

*I had to explain to Christina what I mean by an American thanksgiving. Thanksgiving isn’t really celebrated in the West Indies, so it’s just another cook-up day to be with family. While my American friends would have mac & cheese and sweet potatoes and turkey, we’d have a few of those dishes along with roti, curry and callaloo.

Eating For Work: When There’s Smoke.

Maybe four months ago, my office building had their scheduled fire drill.

Fast forward to October.

I’m in the bathroom and the fire alarm goes off. I run into the office to find El Jefe and his crew have left the office for their usual Friday lunch. Great. My survival instinct kicks in since the girls in the office were panicking, and I followed the procedure to safely evacuate the building. *

Our designated meeting spot is Gabby O’Hara’s on 39th Street, which is also their usual lunch spot, so it was only right that we crashed the party!

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*So, you’re supposed to pick up the Fire Warden phone in the hallway and wait for instructions. While the majority of the girls took flight, I had Eman pick up the phone. Juan, the lobby security, said it was smoke in the freight elevator and it was nothing. Excuse me? No thanks—I’m out!

Budget Brunch for 3 Under $33

Budget Brunch for 3 Under $33

We go out to eat a lot, and that cost can add up, so I decided to host a brunch at home for my tribe! A budget brunch for 3 for under $33—challenge accepted.

These were my guidelines:

  • I needed to come up with a cocktail, two different entrees with a potato side, and a dessert.
  • Angie doesn’t eat meat—so shrimp is always a go-to—but Christina doesn’t eat shrimp.
  • Anything already in my refrigerator, cabinets and pantry were free game.
  • I can’t go over the $33 budget.

I started my shopping with a pound of shrimp, a bag of slider buns, a carton of arugula, chewy chocolate chip cookies, a bunch of scallion and a bottle of tabasco sauce. I got to the register and the next thing I knew, I was paying $22. Uh-oh. I knew I already had eggs and bacon, so all hope wasn’t lost. I also had mayo, a bottle of rosé, peppers, onions, and grape tomatoes, baby russet potatoes and that horseradish cheddar from Eman. These were all staples I could work with, so I just needed to get ice cream, lemons, and a juice to pair with the rosé.

I was out and about in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn—I’ll go into detail on that in another post—so I was able to stop at the West Indian market to grab a few things for the low. @JourdanChaTaun responded to my bat-call via twitter and suggested passion fruit juice. Goya juices were priced at 2 for $5 and I grabbed 3 lemons for $1. $28 spent and plenty of wiggle room for ice cream! Mission accomplished after spending $31!

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Our brunch menu consisted of shrimp cake sliders with arugula and spicy mayo, baked omelet cups with bacon, horseradish cheddar, peppers, scallions and grape tomatoes, baked home fries tossed in extra virgin olive oil, and I also made a quick lemon and oil dressing for the extra arugula. We sipped on passion fruit rosé mimosas and had little chocolate chip ice cream cookie sammiches* for dessert.

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Remember I said Christina doesn’t eat shrimp, right? She’ll eat crab, but not shrimp—she gave me some explanation about sea spiders vs. sea roaches once. Well after watching me fry half of the shrimp cakes in bacon fat, she gave in!

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Good food, better company, and Christina learned a new make-ahead breakfast—she even left with the last two baked omelet cups for breakfast the following day!

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*When referring to dessert, it’s not sandwiches, it’s sammiches for me!

Lunch Date at Sergimmo Salumeria.

I started following Aarum of @LesBIntheKitchen a while back when I made my twitter handle. We’re constantly tweeting, so when she had plans to come up to NYC, we had to meet in person.

We made plans for lunch before boarding her bus back to DC. Aarum and I have similar tastes: give us fried chicken, champagne, cured meats, whiskey, edibles—we’re happy campers! I got a hankering for a prosciutto sandwich El Jefe introduced me to, so that made deciding on a spot super easy!

But first, mimosas! Yes, we made mimosas on the street. Everyone’s aware of the open container laws* in NYC, so the main objective was not to get caught pouring, and then sipping from, a regular sized champagne bottle in Midtown. Grab an ice cup and a 16oz bottle of orange juice, I promise everything will be okay. Operation: Don’t Get Arrested was an obvious success!

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We sipped our mimosas as we walked to Sergimmo Salumeria. Sergimmo is an Italian deli on 9th Ave, very similar to the local salumi stores throughout Italy, selling imported meats and cheeses, house-made mozzarella and antipasti, fresh sandwiches, salads and pastas, and so much more! If you want to have lunch and shop for ingredients to make a fine Italian dinner, Sergimmo is your spot!

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I already knew I wanted the Emilia-Romagna panini: prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, arcadian mix and pesto. Aarum looked over the menu and chose the Venezia panini with speck, provolone, sweet peppers and arcadian mix.

Their sandwiches have turned me into a bit of a bread snob: if your ciabatta isn’t like theirs, I don’t want it. Perfectly crusty on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside, sorry to say I don’t think I’d enjoy their sandwiches as much on any other bread! I love their bread so much, I ordered a meat and cheese selection just to eat more of it! More prosciutto and more mozzarella with olives and fig spread, a selection of two meats and/or cheese for $9.99 is a damn good deal!

Now the cheesecake: as a typical New Yorker, Junior’s is the standard. I like my cheesecake dense, so the light and airy ricotta cheesecake isn’t really my thing. Aarum ordered a slice, but changed her mind and wanted a cannoli after it was already sliced, so I bought it instead. It wasn’t as airy as I expected. In fact, I really enjoyed it!

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This is officially my usual order whenever I go to Sergimmo: an Emilia, a prosciutto & mozzarella plate and a slice of cheesecake. I was there the other day, ordering the same three things before hopping on a bus down the east coast. I’m convinced I was talking to one of the brothers, Sergio and Massimo Badalamenti, who own the shop. There was something about the way he spoke about their cheesecake that tipped me off—made by Italians with love.

I’m sure I’ll be back in the next week or so, I’m dying to try their pasta dishes!

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*Under the laws of the state of New York, it is against the law to possess or consume an open bottle of alcohol in a public area. But I’m from BK, the thoroughest borough…