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The Better Chia Seed Pudding

September 23, 2013

To say I have a minor obsession with chia seeds, is a bit of an understatement. I put them in everything: smoothies, fruit juice, oatmeal, yogurt. You name it, chia seeds are in it. I so desperately hate jumping on food trend bandwagons because I like to think I'm above that. But apparently I'm not. Here is one new creation I have added to my repertoire: coconut chia seed pudding. 
coconut chia seed pudding
I love all my readers dearly, so I have to be honest with you: this recipe really isn't for everyone. I couldn't even get my loyal taste tester to give it one bite. He said it looked like alien food. I'm well aware that this is not a glowing review one hopes to find on a blog that frequently discusses food. However, that less than stellar opinion is just the thought of my father. And let's be honest-- you don't come here to read about his thoughts; you come here to read about mine! My whole hearted opinion is that you should at least give it a try. God forbid you hate it too, then you can just give it to the nearest dog. 
pouring chia seeds chia and truvia
I chose to use Truvia for my sweetener, but you can use a myriad of things like agave, sugar, or honey.
Nielsen-Massey Vainlla
Same goes for the flavoring. I kept it simple with vanilla extract, but there are so many options out there. If you're feeling super crazy toss in a little cocoa powder!
Almond Breeze Coconut pouring milk
I've found that the best ratio is about 3 tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of liquid
chia seed pudding spoon

¾ cup cup chia seeds
4 cups of coconut almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
Scant ¼ cup of Truvia (or sweetener of your choice)
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract (or flavoring of your choice)

1. Thoroughly mix milk, sweetener, and extract 
2. Stir in chia seeds
3. Refrigerate for 5 hours stirring twice (at the 1 hour point and 3 hour point)

Styled With Lauren: A Better Fashion Post

September 15, 2013

The thing about being friends with me is that eventually, at some point, you will be roped into helping me with my blog. Some positions are coveted (taste tester), and some jobs are detested (prop holder). Either way, the result is me slyly luring people away from their day's plans so that I can boss them around. Today was no different, except for the unusual amount of compliance I received from my new friend, Lauren. 
Laruen & tree
Lauren, like me, is a transfer student. And get this: we are from the same town, have mutual friends, and went to schools that are only a few minutes away from each other! I guess it makes sense that we became friends; after all we both were insane enough to leave the perfect California weather for the adventure of The City.

I go to school with a lot of well dressed women, but Lauren's style particularly stuck out because of her love of distressed vintage items (like her tee and jeans) paired with touches of feminine sophistication (her necklace). 
Arrows on LaurenLauren's NecklaceLauren's BootsLauren's Bangs
She is the only person I know who has bangs like this, and looks chic (and not like a 12 year-old who just had an unfortunate appointment at Super Cuts). 
Lauren on steps
Coach bag purchased on eBay
I am seriously obsessed with everything Lauren wears, and I desperately feel that she should be the face of Madewell, JCrew, or some other equally cool brand... and not just because I would hope to snag some free swag (not that I'd object).
Lauren was such a great sport and so much fun to shoot with. Hopefully she will be making some reapperances (Lauren if you're reading this: *cough cough hint hint nudge nudge*).


The Better Maraschino Cherries (a.k.a Drunken Cherries)

September 10, 2013

   Drunken cherries
When I was younger the best thing about going out to family dinners was ordering my signature cocktail (a Shirley Temple) with extra cherries. What? Did you expect me to say the best part was quality time with my parents? My parents were always home, but maraschino cherries weren't. In my 8 year old mind, cherries trumped parents. 
I don't have a tool to pit cherries so I have to do it the good ol' fashion way
I came up with this recipe as I was in the kitchen trying to make a sophisticated cherry ice cream from scratch, and I can hardly keep my fingers out the jar long enough to type a few coherent sentences. It's too delicious. I already plan on straining the cherries and putting them into ice cream, but I could also use the syrup as a topping. Also, the syrup is delicious mixed with ginger ale or sparkling water. 
cherriespandrunken cherries overhead
Why yes, indeed, that is a Gucci advertisement as the backdrop. 

Happy Birthday, Dad!

September 09, 2013

Today's post is about something I love more than a freshly baked cake or a Mod Podge project--my dad! It is a testament to his strength that he has made it this far with a child as mischievous as me. Not only is he my father, but he is my loyal taste tester, and shameless blog promoter. He carries stacks of my business card with him at all times, and has perfected the art of casually mentioning my website to anyone encounters be it patients, friends or strangers. Happy birthday, Dad! I wish I was home to bake you your favorite

The Better Restaurant: Fiat Cafe in SoHo (NY)

September 05, 2013

I live uptown, so enduring the 40 minute subway ride to SoHo takes a bit of magic or the promise of an amazing restaurant experience. My friend Jolie convinced me to make the trek, and although she is one of the most darling people I have ever met, she is no magician. However, I think the chefs of Fiat Cafe might possess some great powers. Anyone that can make vegetables taste this good has probably gotten their acceptance letter from Hogwarts already (after all, it is September). 
Cafe Fiat 1
{Vegetable panini with goat cheese}
{Iced latte}
cafe 1
image via google
cafe 2
image via google
The restaurant is oh so charming. I mean any place with a chalkboard menu automatically puts me in a good mood. If that isn't cute enough to impress you, then I promise the darling little toy cars displayed on the wall will charm your pants off! 
Although I came with a friend, Fiat Cafe is the perfect place to go if you are by yourself and looking for a quick lunch. With plenty of magazines, the small cafe doesn't make you feel like a complete loser when you request a table for one. Yummy and well within my price range, this will be my go to place for a light lunch. Do note that this is a cash only restaurant and the ATM around the corner will charge you $3.00. 
Fiat Cafe
203 Mott St, New York, NY 10012
(212) 969-1809
Monday-Sunday 8am-11pm

Plenty more restaurant reviews to come as I take New York by storm!


The Better Dorm Room Grocery Shopping

September 02, 2013

Though I now live in NYC, a city that never sleeps and is willing to deliver anything to your doorstep, I understand the importance of stocking my dorm with great snacks. Any New Yorker knows dining out or ordering delivery is the fastest way to rack up a credit card bill, therefore grocery shopping is a must. 
I hate venturing to the nearest Trader Joe's because the store is always packed with customers, and it is no fun playing the game of Avoid Running Over Toddlers with the Grocery Cart. But when push comes to shove, the trip does save me quite a bit of money in the long run.

1. Grapefruit/ 2. Almond milk/ 3. Greek yogurt/ 4. Kashi Heart to Heart/ 5. Cantaloupe/ 6. Nectarines/ 7. Granny Smith apples/ 8. Trail mix (cashews, almonds and cranberries)/ 9. Cherry tomatoes/ 10. Baby carrots/ 11. Golden raisins/ 12. Chia seeds/ 13. Blueberries/ 14. Peanut butter/ 15. Bananas/ 16. Hummus/ 17. Mini chocolate bars/ 18. Granola (totally stolen from my sisters pantry)/ 19. Luna bars
a little closer fruit
I make sure to wash the apples and nectarines and separate the carrots, trail mix and cherry tomatoes into single sized serving bags. Perfect for a busy student on the go. When the melon ripens, I'll slice it up and keep it in little take out containers that I reuse (because it is cheaper than tupperware and does the same job).