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  • 6/20-6/23: Milwaukee
  • 6/28-7/7: Turkey & Greece
  • 7/17: Lionel Richie concert
  • 7/20: Rockaway Soiree
  • 8/10-8/19: LA & San Diego
  • 8/31-9/2: Nantucket

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Entries in Schmoozing with famous people (52)


Sunday night with 'Pauly D,' plus a couple of recipes

Dear readers,

Happy pre-Labor Day weekend!  Here's hoping that, wherever you are and/or plan to go, the weather forecast is in your favor.  Tomorrow, I'm headed to Atlantic City, NJ for my very first time and, I have to be honest, I can hardly wait!  My fingers are crossed for a 48-hour span filled with lots of sun, relaxation, saltwater taffy, greasy boardwalk bites, and an abundance of summery frozen beverages.  On Sunday night, my girlfriends and I, all Jersey Shore-aholics, are headed to The Pool After Dark to see DJ Pauly D spin.  Honestly, I don't think I've been this excited about anything since finding out that Laduree was NYC- bound.     

Photo: MTVWhat are your plans for the weekend?  Do any of them involve bringing a "potluck" dish over to a friend's Labor Day BBQ, by chance?  If so, I've got a great recipe that I'd like to share with you, which utilizes fresh figs (which are in season right now).  Oh, and I should also mention that it only contains three ingredients and takes virtually no time to prepare.  Your host will think you're so fancy!  Enjoy.

Fresh figs with blue cheese and candied pecans 

Ingredients  serves approximately 15, assuming that each guests eats 3 pieces

  • 10 fresh figs: remove bottom/navel and top/stem, then slice remainder of each fruit in to 5 equal slices
  • 1/2 lb. blue cheese (I used Bleu d'Auvergne), left out of fridge for 15-minutes
  • 8oz. chopped candied pecans - I buy mine at Trader Joe's (if you cannot locate "candied" pecans, regular chopped pecans will do)

On a large serving plate/tray of choice, arrange figs side by side.  Top each fig with a 5-finger pinch of blue cheese (approximately 1/2 tablespoon).  Finally, crown each fig with a sprinkle of chopped candied pecans.  Serve immediately and enjoy! 


Other recipe ideas for Labor Day weekend BBQ's and gatherings

Enjoy your final weekend of summer!  Be safe - wear sunscreen - and, most importantly, eat well!


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


My Lunch Date with Joy Bauer, plus a Summer Slim-Down Challenge

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining author-extraordinaire and nutritionist for the Today Show, Joy Bauer, for lunch.  A handful of her website's partners and other health/food bloggers were invited to Nios, a restaurant that's located within The Muse (a Kimpton Hotel property), to celebrate the launch of her completely revised and updated book, Joy Bauer's Food Cures

In her latest edition of Food Cures, Joy brings readers up to date on the most current science regarding nutrition and diet, and how everyday foods can help prevent, treat, and sometimes even cure common health concerns.  Joy goes the extra mile by providing menus, grocery lists, and recipes for nearly twenty popular conditions, including the most delicious remedies for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, combating migraines and insomnia, boosting memory, enhancing mood, and much more!

Since Joy was responsible for creating the deliciously light choices behind Kimpton Hotels' In Room Dining menus, it was only fitting that she select the array of dishes, specifically designed to beautify skin and hair - boost mood and energy, for our luncheon:

  • Cocktail: Pomegranate Prosecco
  • Appetizer: Clams "Casino" & Mussels "Rockefeller"  almonds, spinach, cantaloupe and bell pepper relish, guava cubes
  • Entree: Green Tea and Rosemary Spiced Arctic Char  lentil and carrot puree, broccolini, cherry tomato confit, leek coulis
  • Dessert: Espresso and Chocolate Mousse  berries, cocoa nibs

Throughout every course, Joy addressed the audience and explained nearly every ingredient's key nutritional role in each dish.  Although I was only able to stay for the appetizer course, I was thrilled to have learned that my beautifully re-constructed plate of Clams "Casino" and Mussels "Rockefeller" was rich in vitamins, nutrients and, most importantly, flavor.

Even though I had to scoot out on the earlier side of the luncheon, I was able to walk away having met the incredible woman and mentor that I'm proud to say I have the honor of working with (I'm pinching myself as I'm typing this.  No joke.).

Joy Bauer and yours trulyAnd, speaking of health, I wanted to share an exciting challenge to kick off the final two-weeks of summer: I Heart Summer Slim Down.  This two-week plan begins TODAY and includes a combination of exercise and eating tips.  Just think: by Labor Day, you could be a couple of inches and pounds smaller!  Hey, I just signed up, why don't you?


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


New Taste of the Upper Westside's "Best of the West"

"Hiiiiiiiii!"  The two employees standing behind the Magnolia Bakery table seemed a bit startled by my enthusiasm.  As was I.  And before they even had the chance to respond, I asked, "Is one of you 'Bobbie Lloyd,' by chance?"  The woman with the blonde hair smiled, shook her head, and politely pointed to my right.  "That's Bobbie," she said.

New Taste of the UWS: Magnolia Bakery's famous banana pudding"Hi Bobbie!"  I gushed, "I just had to come over and say hello!"  I swear, I must have been talking at 1,000 miles/hour.  "I'm the girl who eats her cupcake with a spoon!"  Oh god - I panicked - what if she didn't remember me?  After all, it had been a couple of weeks since our phone interview.  And then...a grin.  Which gave way to a chuckle.  "Of course!"  Bobbie exclaimed, "It is so nice to meet you!"  Phew!  We spent the next 5-minutes chit-chatting about Magnolia's new red-velvet cheesecake, Kate Spade, and the "secret" behind those delectable lemon cupcakes: they delicately inject sweet 'n sour lemon curd in to the center of each 'cake.  Genius.

New Taste of the UWS: Magnolia's "leaning (cupcake) tower of heaven"Bobbie and her team were busy.  And it's not like I was at the New Taste of the UWS's Best of the West event to hang out with Magnolia Bakery for the entire evening although I very well could have

With what seemed like hundreds of restaurant/bakery/gourmet grocery/beverage/wine stations under one white tent, I had some serious ground to cover - and if I spent as much time at each as I spent at Magnolia, then I wasn't going about this properly.  I decided to regroup - gather my thoughts, if you will - over a glass of wine, closer to the event's entrance.

It was there that I decided to "start from the beginning."  Instead of bolting to one particular table and making my way from there - in circles, no doubt - I would move from restaurant to restaurant, winery to winery, bakery to bakery, etc. in somewhat of a more orderly fashion.  Probably just as the event planners had envisioned. 

New Taste of the UWS: guests arrive and receive "wine glass" necklaces, used to sample wines in the eventNew Taste of the UWS: guests enter the eventNew Taste of the UWS: a chef from the Atlantic Grill creates this beautifully plated crudoNew Taste of the UWS: hands down, my favorite "adult drink" of the night - rum + strawberry lemonadeNew Taste of the UWS: Fishtag's tilefish crudo w/ piquillo peppers, almond, muscat grapes, shishito aioliNew Taste of the UWS: Kefi's lamb slider w/ spicy whipped feta sauceNew Taste of the UWS: Graffit's manchego cheese toast in "four bites." This was, by far, the most creative and well-executed tastings of the evening.New Taste of the UWS: Calle Ocho's cevicheNew Taste of the UWS: the Valrhona Chocolate dessert barNew Taste of the UWS: Landmarc's shrimp toastNew Taste of the UWS: Alice's Tea Cup's assortment of scones, cupcakes, and peanut-butter fudgiesNew Taste of the UWS: Telepan's potato pierogi w/ scallions & chivesNew Taste of the UWS: A Voce/Missy Robbins' chilled spring pea soup w/ whipped mascarponeNew Taste of the UWS: Salumeria RosiNew Taste of the UWS: Euphoria Greek Olive Oil's chocolate dessertNew Taste of the UWS: Rosa Mexicano's famous margarita, chips, salsas, and guacamoleNew Taste of the UWS: Jacques Torres' bomboloni (top), chocolate chip cookies & homemade ice creamNew Taste of the UWS: Wine & Roses' tuna tartareWinners of the evening

Losers of the evening


Westside 'til I die,

The Lunch Belle


Tom Colicchio & friends "Toast" to the Children of Bellevue (Hospital)

Gorgeous sunset views of the East River courtesy of Riverpark - live music - a silent auction strewn with the world's most delicious and luxurious items - Dana Cowin - Tom Colicchio - Gail Simmons - Top Chef "cheftestants" - a Zyr Vodka bar - wine and beer tastings - heavy hors d'oeuvres provided by a slew of NYC's most famous restaurants: Barbuto, Blue Smoke, Colicchio & Sons, Hearth, Frankies Spuntino, The Hurricane Club, Lincoln, Pearl Oyster Bar, Perilla, Porterhouse NY, Public, Riverpark, & Jacques Torres Chocolate ...

Last night, the 15th Annual Children of Bellevue's "Toast to the Children" gala was held at honorary chair, Tom Colicchio's, gorgeous waterside restaurant, Riverpark.  Vital funds were raised on behalf of the Children of Bellevue, an organization which "...delivers critical growth and development programs and services to ensure that children and their families, most of whom come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, have access to resources and knowledge deemed vital to raising happy, strong, and healthy children." 

The Children of Bellevue's five core programs are: 

  • Reach Out and Read, which promotes literacy
  • The Video Interaction Project, helping parents play "smarter" with their kids
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, helping hospitalized pediatric psychiatric patients participate in important, normalizing experiences during their stay
  • Child Life Developmental Services, helping children in the hospital overcome their fear and pain
  • The Frances L. Loeb Child Protection and Development Center, helping attend to the unique needs of physically and sexually abused children

Please enjoy some of my favorite snapshots from what, truly, was a magical evening - all in the name of charity. 

Riverpark's outdoor terrace diningZyr Vodka's "Vodka Luge"Inside RiverparkSilent auction tablePol Roger Champagne, VIP roomPublic Restaurant's Brad Farmerie presented these yummy venison slidersBarbuto's Jonathan Waxman & team construct swordfish tostadosRiverpark: beef brisketThe Hurricane Club: spicy hamachi-topped crispy rice cakesColicchio & Sons: rhubarb & marscapone tartJacques Torres ends the evening on a "sweet" note~~~

Until next year!

The Lunch Belle

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