mom-lasagna

Ham, Hollandaise And Hard-Boiled Eggs — Foods That Are Typically Consumed On Easter

There’s one thing that stays constant from holiday to holiday, no matter what religion you practice or diet you abide by: the food is always the star of the show. I’ve been preparing to celebrate Easter with my family tomorrow, as my mom and I have been making some foods in advance for our dinner (which is more like a lunch because we eat at 2 p.m.).

Sometimes I forget that not everyone understands what goes into a true Easter meal. While it may vary from family to family, there are always the same game players in some shape or form. Here’s my unofficial list of foods that make Easter such a joyous occasion.

  1.  Spiral Glazed Ham
    hamA proper Easter dinner is nothing without a seriously awesome ham. Also, make sure you have mustard handy.
  2. Scalloped Potatoes
    skinny-scalloped-potatoes-gratin
    My mother’s specialty. Also known as Potatoes Au Gratin, this dish accompanies the ham very well. Because potatoes.
  3. Green Beans
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    Not everyone’s favorite, but my family seasons them very well. A little sea salt goes a long way.
  4. Asparagus
    asparagus
    Again, not always a crowd pleaser. But slap some Hollandaise sauce on those babies and now you’re talking!
  5. Apple Lasagna
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    A Healy family staple, apple lasagna is the perfect hybrid of apple pie and lasagna. Plus. it’s super easy to make. Don’t hate on it before you try it!
  6. Hard Boiled Eggs
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    Obviously they are meant to be dyed and such, but I will never forget when my grandpa ate my favorite egg on me. After all, they are edible.
  7. Jellybeans
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    Easter is nothing without jellybeans, let’s be serious. You eat them all day pretty much and many days after. Thanks, Easter Bunny, for the cavities.
  8. Peeps
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    Peeps are not my favorite. Some people go crazy over them, others just like to blow them up in the microwave (see above).
  9. Carrot Cake
    Marniecake
    Carrot cake gets a bad rap, but when done right it can be pretty darn delicious. Give it a chance this holiday … or just stick to the bunny cake your aunt showed up with.

Images: Imgur, Giphy, Skinny Taste, Photobucket, Mr. Food, Gif Soup

friedchicken

Fried Chicken Has Been Taking Over The Internet, And Here’s Why

Sometimes there is nothing quite like a quality piece of fried chicken. As it usually identifies with the United States, more specifically the South, American restaurants and patrons alike go crazy for the crispy drumsticks. But when does this obsession become just too much?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. As May approaches, high school students are all in a tizzy about one thing, and it’s not finals. Nope, I’m talking about prom. For the girls, the dress is the top priority — as they have been looking for one since probably February. For the boys, it’s about matching their tux to their date’s dress (or tux). But the most important accessory, by far, is the corsage.chicken+corsage+kfc+web

Now, high schoolers and Kentucky Fried Chicken fans alike can wear their favorite food to prom with the new Chicken Corsage. Selling for $20 each, KFC launched the crispy corsage this month through Nanz & Kraft Florists. Unfortunately, the select 100 Chicken Corsages sold out.

But wait, that’s not all! Dominos, known for their stuffed crust pizza among other delectable munchies, recently came out with a new menu item featuring, you guessed it, fried chicken. While many people thought this meant the well-known pizza chain was coming out with a pizza with fried chicken as the crust. Wrong.

The Huffington Post debunked these rumors by showing that, in fact, Dominos is just coming out with Specialty Chicken — fried chicken topped with signature Dominos pizza toppings, zero dough involved. Sorry to burst your bubbles, but that pizza monstrosity just isn’t happening.412198__blenderss-innovations-sorry-domino-s-pizza-crust-made-out-of-chicken-isn-t-an-innovation

But this shouldn’t shy you away from trying all of the chicken concoctions Dominos has to offer, featuring flavors such as Crispy Bacon & Tomato, Spicy Jalapeno-Pineapple, Classic Hot Buffalo and Sweet BBQ Bacon. Sounds like a chicken party in your mouth to me! The Specialty Chicken is a part of the $5.99 mix-and-match menu at Dominos.

Keep calm and chicken on, my friends.

Images: Mike DelGaudio/Flickr, KFC, Dominos

second floor

Ithaca Area Bars See Rise In Crime, Dangerous Behavior

Ithaca College senior Melissa Pezzello stood at the bar on April 5 at 2nd Floor Bar in The Commons. She continued talking with her friends, when the DJ began to play “Shout” by The Isley Brothers. In that moment, Pezzello noticed things were getting out of hand.

“People began spraying their drinks,” she said. “There was beer everywhere. And then the bottles began to fly.”

Pezzello was one of two people that night who were hit by a thrown beer bottle. Pezzello sustained a laceration on the back of her head. The impact of the glass bottle also caused a minor concussion.

“I didn’t immediately realize I was bleeding,” Pezzello said. “But then the blood began to flow, and the bartenders helped me out.”

After the situation escalated, patrons were required to leave 2nd Floor. The Ithaca Police Department arrived on the scene, but Pezzello said she did not have to speak with authorities.

“It was so crowded that I couldn’t see who threw the bottle,” she said. “There was no way I could accuse or press charges.”

In light of recent events

While the incident in 2nd Floor bar was unexpected, more dangerous cases at Ithaca area bars occurred this past week.

The Cornell Daily Sun reported a male patron was stabbed on April 10 while at Level B, a bar located on Eddy Street in Collegetown. Police official arrived at the scene at 1:06 a.m., according to the crime alert.

The victim was immediately transported to an area hospital. The crime alert continues to report that the suspect continues to be at-large, and a police investigation will be ongoing. The Cornell Daily Sun reported the suspect is possibly 22 years old and stand at 5’ 10” with “black shoulder length wavy hair” and a complexion of “medium color.”

Additional information on the situation is yet to be released.

Social media aids investigation, communication for Ithaca Police and bar employees

While the stabbing at Level B continues to be investigated, Ithaca Police are utilizing Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about crime in the area. Regarding the Level B incident specifically, Ithaca Police posted on their Facebook page a crime report for both public and media use.

Ithaca Police also provided contact information, in case anyone connected to the department on social media has information on the case. Likewise, Ithaca Police continue to tweet out information on continuing cases, in hopes to gather further information on the situation.

Likewise, employees of Level B are using Facebook to express their opinion on the incident that occurred this past Thursday. A post on their page reads, “…we will further be increasing security measures at the entry and inside the bar for the foreseeable future.”

2nd Floor Bar has not posted on Facebook regarding the April 5 incident.

More aware of their surroundings

Ithaca College senior Nicole Milad was also injured on April 5 at 2nd Floor Bar, sustaining a concussion after being hit with a glass bottle above her left eye. Milad said she was questioned by Ithaca Police after the bar was cleared out, but was not involved in any other action.

Both Pezzello and Milad returned to the bar this weekend, as they viewed the situation as “a rare occurrence” and did not blame the bar for this unlikely happening.

“It was definitely a bad situation but it could’ve happened anywhere,” Milad said. “I’ll definitely be more careful towards the end of the night however when things get rowdy.”

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Ithaca Farmers Market

Ithaca Farmers Market Opens Steamboat Landing Location For The Season

It’s that time of year again! The sun is setting later, the temperature is (slightly) warmer and the Steamboat Landing location of the Ithaca Farmers Market has opened for the season. Locals — like myself, of course — readily await this time of year. And when it come, boy is it a treat.

The Ithaca Farmers Market is a cooperative that houses more than 150 vendors interchangeably until its closing in December. The market pavilion is open on Saturdays from April to December and Sundays from May to October. The hours vary from week to week, and can be found on their website. Both agricultural, food and art vendors come to the market, allowing patrons to check out handcrafted jewelry while they munch on a freshly made breakfast burrito.

Out of all the vendors at the market my favorite one, by far, is the Khmer Angkor Cambodian stand. Here you can find purely delicious dishes with handmade rice noodles smothered sweet chili sauce. They also have a Cambodian pancake, that resembles an omelet, and other foods involving fresh veggies and delectable flavors. There is always a long line for this stand, but the wait is completely worth it.

Many Ithaca-centric Twitter accounts took to social media to notify followers of the market’s opening day.

 

One new vendor tweeted out their excitement, as their first appearance in the market was today.

 

If possible, check out the market one weekend and prepare to be wonderfully overwhelmed with temptation to eat everything in sight. Take my word for it!

Image: Petrr/Flickr

IMG_1963

Ithaca Hummus Company Expands Business With New Flavors, Fresh Ingredients

Chris Kirby, owner of the Ithaca Hummus Company, pops the lid off of a large plastic bucket. Inside, thousands of small, dried chickpeas wait to be poured into an industrial-sized pot. Hoisting the bucket above the scale, Kirby pours the beans in until the pot weighs roughly 18 pounds. Kirby then transports the pot to the stove top and lights the burner.

Kirby, a 27-year-old Cornell University student studying Hotel Administration, runs his hummus company in a small kitchen at Long Creek Road in Ithaca. Usually a one-man operation, Kirby launched his hummus company in September 2013. Since then, Kirby has created two new flavors of hummus — spicy chipotle and lemon and dill — in addition to his original lemon and garlic recipe.

The Ithaca Hummus Company also recently received their first restaurant account with Corks & More, a local wine and tapas bar. Kirby’s hummus is featured on Corks & More’s mediterranean plate. Additionally, Kirby participated in the Cornell University Hospitality Business Plan competition on March 22 and was awarded second place.

Finding the right match

Kirby said he has been approached by several investors, however he has yet to partner with someone. He explained that the issue with expanding his company outside of Ithaca is the shelf-life of his hummus.

“Because the ingredients are fresh and contain no preservatives, the shelf life is much shorter than other hummuses like Sabra or Tribe,” Kirby said, lifting up a container and showing that particular tub will expire on April 12.

While he remains open to investors, Kirby continues to sell and promote his hummus around many Ithaca area locations. Kirby said the new hummus flavors are very popular among Cornell students, especially those involved in Greek life.

“Fraternities at Cornell University really enjoy the chipotle hummus because they can eat it with tortilla chips and other foods,” he said. “We aren’t a slave to the pita chip anymore.”

A hummus unlike any other

Ithaca College sophomore Marianna Dunbrook agrees in that Kirby’s hummus is a versatile product and can accompany many different meals and snacks.

“I would dip green and red peppers in the hummus, but I would also really enjoy it on a sandwich,” she said. “The lemon and garlic hummus has a subtle yet delicious flavor. I really love it.”

 Ithaca College sophomore Tucker Mitchell has tried Kirby’s hummus and found the recipe to be pleasantly surprising.

“At first it tastes like any other hummus, but then I realized it’s like something you would make with your family,” Mitchell said. “It’s fresh so it doesn’t taste like other store-bought hummuses.”

Though Ithaca Hummus is available at many locations around the Ithaca area, such as GreenStar Natural Foods Market, P&C Fresh, Collegetown Bagels and Ithaca Bakery, the product is yet to be available at larger grocery chains like Tops and Wegmans.

“I would buy the hummus more often, especially if it was available at Wegmans,” Mitchell said.

As the chickpeas continue to boil and electronic dance music echoes off the kitchen’s walls, Kirby continues to weigh out the raw chickpeas to make more hummus for his hungry local customers.

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vegan-food

I Lived To Tell The Tale Of My First All-Vegan Meal (It Wasn’t That Bad)

As a die-hard meat and cheese lover, I tend to judge those who choose to practice veganism. But when I learned about Priscilla Timberlake and Lewis Freedman’s weekly vegan, gluten-free dinners, I took it as a calling — it was time to momentarily give up my favorite food groups.

My first vegan and gluten-free dinner.

My first vegan and gluten-free dinner.

Vegan is defined as a diet that is free of animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, etc. As I read on their website, Timberlake and Freedman have been hosting these dinners in their house on Coddington Road in Ithaca, N.Y., for more than 18 years now. If they continuously bring in a crowd, the food they were serving up had to be nothing short of delicious.

I attended my first dinner about a month ago, and I was pleasantly surprised. We were served carrot ginger soup as the appetizer; sweet and sour beans, brown rice, kale and broccoli in balsamic, sweet potato fries, cabbage and celery slaw, and carrot, beet and hiziki salad topped with peanut sauce for the main course; and an apple crumble with almond sauce for dessert. Though these were not my favorite foods, I found myself enjoying the meal — and I didn’t feel too full afterwards.

The lesson here? Veganism may surprise you. The meal gave me energy and made me feel good about what I put into my body (though I usually feel awesome when I eat cheese and the like). There are plenty of other reasons why eating vegan may be a viable dietary option for you, but giving it a try for a day like I did is relatively harmless. Like a good friend once said, “You shouldn’t yuck someone’s yum.” I sure, reluctantly, learned this later in life, but happy to have had the experience regardless.

If you’re curious and want to try some vegan dishes, check out the Pinterest board below!

Image: BinaryApe/Flickr

kale-up-close

Understanding Kale: Why You Should Eat And Love This Trendy Veggie

It’s green, it’s leafy and it’s stocked in your local grocer’s produce section: kale is currently one of the most trendy foods out there. Photos of this vegetable litter Pinterest and Instagram with it’s green allure. Health nuts and everyday foodies alike gawk over this veggie because of it’s high vitamin content, low calorie count and distinct taste.

An omelette made with kale by Kristina King. Follow her Instagrams @alltheloveinyou.

An omelette made with kale by Kristina King. Follow her Instagrams @alltheloveinyou.

Kale is a member of the Brassica family, that includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards and Brussels sprouts. According to WebMD, one cup of kale is only 33 calories and contains 9 percent of the daily value of calcium, 206 percent of vitamin A, 134 percent of vitamin C, and a surprising 684 percent of vitamin K. WebMD also raves about kale because of it’s cancer-preventing and cholesterol-lowering powers. In short, everyone should begin eating more kale — it’s a vegetable from the gods.

Recently, Kale has been so popular that Costco will be selling “giant bags of kale” to match competition from Amazon Prime’s new “pantry” and target young customers. If you haven’t thought about it by now, it’s time to begin thinking about how you can incorporate kale into your diet.

The simplest way to prepare it is to sauteé the leafy greens with olive oil and sea salt. However, there are plenty inventive, and delicious, recipes on the Internet that makes the vegetable look too good to not grab off the produce shelf.

Take this kale pesto and goat cheese pizza for instance. The recipe calls for minimal ingredients, yet the result looks nothing short of mouth-watering. Not in the mood for a healthy pizza? Try one of the many salads pinner Mylene Pollock displays on her seriously awesome board dedicated to the superfood. Kale can be incorporated into everyday dishes, such as soups, baked potatoes and quesadillas, for a vitamin and flavor boost. The possibilities are quite endless.

Images: Family O’Abé/Flickr, Kristina King/Instagram