Can you tell me how to get to Chef Street?

It’s a new year and there are so many things to eat and explore and celebrate. One of the first events of 2016 that I am looking forward to attending is the Macy’s Chef Street grand opening on Thursday January 21st at 6pM.

Macy’s Chef Street is an array of pop-up restaurants located in the Lower Level of Macy’s. Its food court style of dining and has new concepts for food trucks owned by Macy’s Culinary Council Chefs including the amazing Michelle Bernstein, Takashi Yagihashi, and Marc Forgione.

Chefs Takashi Yagihashi & Marc Forgione will be there on Thursday to kick off the grand opening with complimentary samples, cocktails, party favors, music and photo ops. Celebrate with Macy’s, and bring your appetite. I’ll be there to and hope you can join me! I love the idea of this food court style dining so that delicious food can be made accessible ton so many at a place so many people visit.

 

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Here are all the delicious details:

WHAT: Grand opening of Chef Street

WHO: Chefs Marc Forgone, Takashi Yagihashi, ME & YOU! Seriously- let’s hang out.

WHEN:  Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 6:00 PM

WHERE: Macy’s Herald Square- 151 West 34th Street (at Macy’s Chef Street in One Below)

WHY: Food + fun + FREE = that’s why!

 

For more information on this event head here

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I’m genuinely excited to be attending and covering this event!

 

Joy To The Whisky

Blood, sweat, and tears will take you there – but the joy will take you further. A powerful concept and new campaign from Johnnie Walker that recently launched, showing us that achieving joy is easier than one may think.

Earlier this month, notable names from entertainment, sports, and business met at The Explorer’s Club in NYC and shared their favorite stories of how joy has fueled their personal success and progress during a unique panel discussion hosted by Johnnie Walker. The panel included Michael Strahan, pro football Hall of Famer and Live! With Kelly and Michael co-host, Doug Ellin, screenwriter and creator of the HBO television series and feature film Entourage, Eva Håkansson, inventor and world’s fastest female motorcyclist, and Dr. Matt Killingsworth, leading psychologist and happiness expert.

Panelists revealed personal anecdotes and proven research about how happiness makes success more likely, and celebrated Johnnie Walker’s “Joy Will Take You Further” global campaign launch.

 

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 PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Craig Barritt

Dr. Matt Killingsworth shared: “When a lot of us climb that ladder to success, what we find at the end is another ladder. Happiness isn’t just an outcome. It can actually be an input and there’s a large and growing body of evidence that the happier you are, the more likely you are to be successful in the first place.”

The Joy Will Take You Further event also saw the premiere of a new experiment developed in partnership with Dr. Killingsworth called “Can Joy Improve Performance?” which showed how golfers could boost the accuracy of their shots when positively rather than negatively primed by their coach. The results? 100% of participants showed increased accuracy when positively primed, the accuracy increasing by 45% on average.  Check out the video here.

Michael Strahan championed the impact that happiness has had on his progress: If your starting point is happiness, there is no limit to what you can achieve. The turning point in my career was adopting a more positive outlook and reconnecting with the enjoyment of genuinely ‘playing’ the game. Making that decision gave me a new impetus and new energy.”

Eva Håkansson, focused on how failure or setbacks can push you ahead: “The path to success is never straight. It never has been it never will be. But you have to realize if you don’t make any mistakes, if you never fall you’re probably not doing anything at all. You’re certainly not doing anything new and you’re certainly not doing anything creative. But out of every mistake you make you learn something which is satisfying in itself.”

Doug Ellin referenced an early, negative experience on one of his sets. He recalls “I didn’t feel a real passion for it or a real love for it and going to set every day was a real chore. When you find something like Entourage that’s really great it’s a whole different experience.”

 

 

THE GANGS ALL HERE

The gang’s all here: cocktails created using the many amazing labels from Johnnie Walker

 

One of my favorite cocktails from the night was the Johnnie Walker Select Casks Old Fashioned:

Johnnie Walker Select Casks - Rye Cask Finish Old Fashioned

 PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Craig Barritt

Ingredients:

1.5 oz Johnnie Walker™ Select Casks – Rye Cask Finish

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

1 sugar cube

1 orange Twist

Preparation:

  1. Place sugar cube in a rocks glass and soak with a few dashes of Angostura Bitters
  2. Using a muddler, press down the sugar cube and dissolve in the bitters
  3. Pour Johnnie Walker Select Casks – Rye Cask Finish into the glass with ice.
  4. Garnish with an orange twist

 

Keep walking The Joy will take you further

Joy will take you further: Keep Walking

 

 

The Explorers Club

Standing in the doorway where so many great explorers stood we must keep walking to pursue adventure and joy of the journey!

 

 

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Scotch. Adventure. Joy. More scotch. All these things found at The Explorers Club.

 

 

Follow along on the adventure and create your joy:  #joynomics #JoyWillTakeYouFurther

Fall Into National Vodka Day

Things to be happy about this week:
Fall is in full effect now that October is here with crisp weather {and cocktails}
Sunday is National Vodka Day -YAY! The perfect reason to celebrate both? This fall-inspired Moscow Mule using Smirnoff vodka!

Now before you get drinking, here’s a little drinking history about the delicious drink the Moscow Mule.

It all began, in 1941 as John Martin of Heubelin (now the Smirnoff Co.) searched for the right mixer that would give vodka a chance to stand out in a whiskey and bourbon dominated industry. That’s when he met a man with a ginger beer brand with similar challenges.

Together, they found a delicious combination of Smirnoff vodka, ginger beer and a spritz of lime and dubbed it the Moscow Mule. Soon popularity spread and by 1943 the Moscow Mule was one of the most popular cocktails nationwide opening up the chance for bartenders to experiment with other vodka cocktails and creations.

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Fall Fun Mule
2 ounces apple cinnamon vodka (use the infused recipe below using Smirnoff vodka)
6 ounces of ginger beer
Splash of ginger syrup (I love Lieber & Co.)
3 ounces of apple cider
Squeeze of fresh orange juice
Diced and cubed apples to garnish
Crushed ice
Moscow Mule mug

To make:
In your Moscow Mule mug: add the vodka, ginger beer, ginger syrup, apple cider, orange juice, and apple cubes. Crush ice.
Foodie Finder Tip: I love this Lewis bag from Cocktail Kingdom – you can put the ice in the canvas bag, and use the mallet to crush ice easily and mess-free.
Add the crushed ice to your mug, stir, sip, put on a cozy sweater and enjoy!

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Apple Cinnamon Vodka
Ingredients
1/2 bottle of Smirnoff Vodka
2 apples cored & cubed
2 cinnamon sticks
Quart-size Mason jar
Add the apples, vodka, and cinnamon sticks to the mason jar and top with vodka. Seal the lid, and let sit in a cool dark place for 2 days. When ready to use or serve, strain out the marinated fruit and cinnamon sticks, then strain the vodka through a cheese cloth before returning to the jar and mixing into your cocktails.

My Friend the Monday Dieter: Free Yourself From Facebook Comparisons

One of my favorite quotes and reminders is “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s so hard not to compare to others on a daily basis but with social media it’s impossible. A lot of time I’m able to pull inspiration from others but totally relate to this week’s Monday Dieter post on how other people’s successes and posts can make you question your own. The words are literally taken right out of my mouth (yet again). Check out her blog for weekly inspiration! 

heart emoticon  Free Yourself From Facebook Comparisons.

Your wedding forecast: sunny skies and bottles of bourbon

Wedding season is well under way, and whether you’re getting married or attending a wedding, there are two things everyone can agree on that they want for the big day – beautiful weather and a well stocked bar.

Something that ensures both is Burying the Bourbon, an old Southern tradition known to keep the rain away. The couple getting married actually buries a bottle of bourbon at their wedding venue one month to the exact date, and the rest is history (and sunny skies). According to custom, the bourbon must be sealed (so no sips to ease those wedding day jitters), and the bottle must be buried upside down. After the ceremony is over, the couple getting married digs up the bottle and bottoms up!

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To celebrate, I’ve created a pair of cocktails perfect for a wedding celebration or even just for summer sipping.

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Peach smash & new twist, old fashioned

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PEACH SMASH

Makes 1 cocktail

You will need: 

1 peach, pitted and sliced in half

1/2 lime

Handful of mint

2 oz. Bulleit bourbon

Additional peach slices and mint leaves to garnish

To make: 

In a cocktail shaker muddle the peach, lime and mint leaves

Add two ounces bourbon and ice and shake it up.

Strain and pour into an ice filled glass. Garish with mint leaves and peach slice.

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NEW TWIST, OLD FASHIONED

All the ingredients of an Old Fashioned but in ice cube form, so your bourbon drink doesn’t get watered down and stays cold at the same time. To achieve this, I suggest using a jumbo silicone ice cube tray, or get festive with shapes like a diamond mold (see below), which I used. (Using standard ice cube trays won’t have the same effect or flavor.)

Each drink will require 2 ounces of Bulleit bourbon and one “new fashioned” ice cube.

Makes 1 ice cube 

You will need:

1 ounce simple syrup

3 dashes bitters

1 cherry

1 slice of orange rind

To make: 

Add ingredients into ice cube mold, fill the remaining space with water and freeze overnight.

Right before serving, remove the ice cube from the mold and place it in a glass of bourbon.

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As the ice cube melts it keeps your drink cool while adding all the flavors of a traditional old fashioned.

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Sourcing: All glassware & vases from Pottery Barn

This post is a collaboration for thebar.com featuring Bulleit bourbon and Pottery Barn products. The products featured in this post were given to me but all opinions on them are my own.

Kind of a big dill: beer-brined pickles

‘Tis the season to grill, chill, drink & BBQ! I’m currently working on a few fun recipes for your next summer soiree with dishes that pair up nicely with a few cold ones. Guinness has a new Blonde American Lager which is the perfect blonde brew to match up with these summer favorites.

That post will be coming soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe you can make ahead that will be the perfect complement to your next BBQ or picnic – beer-brined pickles!

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Beer-brined pickles

Makes 2 large mason jars (24 ounces each)

2 pounds cucumbers (I use Parisian pickles sliced in half lengthwise)

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups beer (I used Guinness American Lager)

2 bunches fresh dill

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon seasoning blend (I love Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute)

1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper (If you prefer more heat, you can always add more to taste)

8 cloves of garlic – smashed and skin removed

 

Start with clean jars. 

Wash and slice cucumbers into either slices or spears. When using Parisian cucumber I prefer spears. Tip: make sure to cut off the ends of the cucumbers. There are enzymes in them that will make your pickles soggy. 

Pack the sliced cucumbers into the jars while leaving some room in the middle of each jar for spices and herbs. Divide the spices noted above between the two jars and then add them to the middle of each jar with the dill and garlic.  

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, beer and sugar. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat, and stir until the sugar is melted. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the hot liquid into each jar, filling it to the top but leaving 1/2 inch head space. Put on the lids to seal and let the pickles cool before putting them in the refrigerator. Let the pickles hang out in the fridge for two days in order to maximize their marination and full flavor. They will keep in the fridge for a month (but I don’t think they’ll last that long). 

How do you like to eat your pickles? Straight out of the jar like me? Or on an actual burger or sandwich? 

This post is a part of the Guinness Blonde BBQ Challenge to use their new Blonde American Lager in BBQ-inspired recipes. I’m just getting started, as there will be another post with more summer fun recipes coming up soon!

 

1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, MORE….

I can’t stop drinking, I mean sharing drink recipes with you! As if you need another reason to drink a margarita on a summer Friday.  Ok, just in case – It’s #NationalTequilaDay! Adding some Patrón Citronge Mango to a classic adds some fruity fun to this summer necessity!

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Mango Margarita

2 oz Patrón Silver

1 oz Patrón Citronge Mango

1 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Spoonful of simple syrup

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker and shake vigorously with ice to chill. Strain onto fresh ice in a rocks or Collins glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve with a straw.

 

What’s your favorite way to serve a margarita? Frozen? Fruity? On the rocks?