Mom’s Chicken Soup


Check out the delicious homemade soup I made from my chicken pot pie scraps and stock!!

After defrosting my stock and chicken scraps, I simply boiled some soup veggies, and simmered everything together in a pot for twenty minutes! So comforting, light and yummy! It hit the spot!!

Try yours with chopped carrot, celery, onion, fennel, potatoes and some fresh herbs. Then grab a hunk of your favorite bread, and simply add some salt, pepper and oil to garnish. I also like making crotons with stale bread.

My Salty Pimp

Photo: Courtesy of Kaylin Berry

Last week my sister and I went an hour out of our way– downtown to Union Square– so that we could try the ever popular Big Gay Ice Cream Truck’s wonderful frozen confections. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. The Big Gay Ice-Cream Man must be some sort of ice-cream genius. He has taken a simple idea– a soft serve ice-cream truck with run of the mill flavors– and simply recreated them. From double-dipped cones, to sundaes and even fig balsamic glaze covered vanilla ice-cream cones, this guy has thought of it all.

Upon entering the long outside the truck, I immediately became  smitten with the Big Gay Salty Pimp. The Salty Pimp– which is vanilla soft-serve, lined with stripes of dulce de leche, covered in freshly cracked sea salt, and then smothered in chocolate shell– is out of this world. If I had to describe this dream-0f-an-ice-cream-cone in one sentence, I would say it is something like consuming a vanilla ice-cream stuffed, chocolate covered pretzel. Does it get any better than that?! Simple, but crazy right?

Coming to the truck is something of an experience in and of itself. While waiting online right before closing (8:15 pm and he closes at 8:30pm) I was able to witness The Big Gay Ice-Cream Man hand out a reflective vest to the last person online, giving them explicit instructions to turn away any new visitors. In return, he would give them a free ice-cream. While this task seemed  simple enough to an onlooker, it was actually quite an affair. I saw everyone from angry couples, to crying small children get shooed away from the truck! Every once in a while our Big Gay Ice Creamer would yell out to the vest wearing scolder– “Keep GOING!”– all the while laughing jovially. In truth, I don’t think anyone could be mad at him because he was such a character, but man was he tough!

So, here’s a warning to everyone out there searching for a yummy frozen treat after dinner– by god get there before 8:15 pm because as the sign states on the truck “There are NO exceptions” to closing at 8:30 pm. Who can really blame him actually, the guy was single-handedly handing out about 5 ice-creams a minute!

Hammond Dairy Farm– Farmer’s Market at Rockefeller Center

First of all, I must admit that I did not attend the Farmer’s Market Thursday or Friday last week, so I didn’t meet any new vendors. But, this morning on my way through the marketplace I did get to stop and sample some delicious yogurt from Hammond Dairy Farm. The farm located not so far away in Duchess County, definitely has my approval and utmost support!

The owner of the farm is a veterinarian– not only does this give him a much better understanding of his cattle, but it also means that he has love and respect towards his livestock. Just that little fact alone made me trust the farm more than other organic companies!

Also, the philosophy behind Dr. David Hammond’s farm is truly inspiring. This farm is exactly what our country is lacking right now, and proves how much hard work, determination, and a solid ethical and humane outlook on food and animal protection can make anything possible (no matter the size of the budget). In fact, here is a little quote from the site describing the treatment of their beloved livestock

              “We have a herd of 200 Holstein cows (those beautiful black and white cows), and treat them like family. Each cow has her own name, her own place on the farm, and is treated in the best of conditions. Our cows are fed all natural grass, and range contentedly on our beautiful green pastures. As Dr. Hammond is also a practicing veterinarian, we guarantee the excellent care of our animals.”

Dr. David is the exact sort of man who I want to multiply and set up all around the country. With clean, honest food, not only do we protect ourselves, but we also protect our livestock and our land and Earth– what I call farming with integrity. Although this sort of farming still exists in parts of the country, and usually on a very small-scale, it is also dying (right along with our own countries economy). Farmers need to stand together, and more importantly, consumers need to stand by their farmers and support them!

This brings me to my next point. Hammond Farm’s dairy products are affordable… and damn good. Just this morning, I was given two generous servings of yogurt to taste before purchasing a regular 6 oz cup for $2. That is less than I pay for Brown Cow and Fage yogurt– and they are not authentic farm raised organic brands! Not to mention, they had a deal today -buy 2 f0r $3– how awesome!

More importantly though I would like to point out that I usually find that at Farmer’s Markets, especially in the city, sellers try to raise their prices. This happens  for a variety of reasons: it is a long commute for the farmer so the produce price is raised to meet the needs of the owner; sellers try to raise the prices to match the target allowance of their consumers; or sometimes they are just big old jerks who like to rip off innocent people whose eyes are glazed over gazing upon the bounty before them. Either way, Hammond Dairy Farm does anything but rip you off. Dr. David’s yogurt was some of the best I have ever had in my life. I would have gladly shelled out a few more dollars just for the taste! Never mind that it is much fresher and purer than most of the things that I eat!

Moreover, how about we all decide to start supporting our wonderful, honest, hardworking farmers and shell out a few dollars a week extra to keep their farms safe, sound, and healthy.

Please stop by and support these wonderful people who help to keep our land, our bodies and minds, and our economy strong.

3 Variations of Classic Pizza Recipes That Will Revamp Your Summer Routine

Classic Marinara

Marinara: Cutting the basil into this ribbons and spreading it over the dough before the cheese really helps to give the pizza a wonderful summer flavor, while also adding tons of color!

4 cheese pizza with prosciutto and dried dates
Prosciutto & Dried Date: The combination of sweet and salty in this dish makes for a really intense, fun and unique experience.
4 Cheese with Arugula

4 Cheese & Arugula: This is my favorite of the 3 variations, it is packed with delicate flavors and chewy textures and leaves a subtle hint of pepper in it's wake. Great for the summer!

Check back tomorrow for the recipes!

Fig & Olive– to be continued Saturday

My oh my has it been a while. I apologize to all of my readers whole heartedly for ignoring my responsibilities for so long. I must admit that I got caught up with my life back in NY. Although I haven’t been writing I can promise that I will slowly recount all of my latest Manhattan adventures that have occurred over the last few weeks.

First off, I would like to address the location of my building– the Time & Life Building. Coming to work here every day is both  enticing to my senses as a foodie, and admittedly utterly inconvenient.  While this area of Manhattan is teeming with restaurants, most of them are either chains packed with executives on break, or tourist engorged, over-priced rendezvous spots. I have ventured out on rare occasion to find hidden gems nestled in the Midtown scene, and I know there are many out there, but must admit I have not been the least bit lucky so far… perhaps my usual food-bound compass is turned around after being away at school so long. Either way, I am still on the hunt for a miracle to inspire me.

Until that time I have been lucky enough to be experimenting with my mother’s amazingly capable Kitchen Aid– my latest accomplishment is a lemon zest, vanilla bean-glazed cranberry zucchini bread.  This basic recipe is incredible, and I have already begun altering it to my own specifications. In the next week I will be sure to post my recipe for a zucchini walnut bread with a crushed cranberry honey glaze.

Last Thursday I tried Fig & Olive  on Fifth, and was sourly disappointed. Having tried a series of crostini, a tartlet, a carpaccio dish, and two glasses of wine, I was unsatisfied and nauseous. It takes a lot to make me feel this way. If you are at all interested in hearing the sad details of this experience please check in again over the weekend.

Good to be back!


Arugula and Steak Salad

Steak and arugula are two are my favorite things, so naturally, combining the two is sublime in my opinion. This is a great recipe for a light lunch or dinner; it is fast, filling, and crisp. I usually make this with small steak filets, maybe 2-5 oz at most, and a big pile of salad to balance out the lack of meat portion. Also, I don’t use fatty steak like hanger or strip; rather I buy center cut pieces for a nice fresh lean piece of meat.

I really enjoy this dish because I don’t feel guilty after eating it, and I can buy the steak in packages of 3 thus leaving two more pieces for another night. Arugula also usually lasts about a week in the fridge, so buying a big bag every week if you enjoy it is a great way to save because you can either eat it alone or add it your regular salad for a peppery taste.

Also, I usually have all of the filler ingredients in this dish in my fridge and pantry so all I need to buy is the steak and the salad. So, if you buy the steak in bulk and then freeze the extra pieces, and also buy arugula every week, this meal could be an easy fix that is always available if you want it!

Lastly, if the steak that you plan on using is frozen, make sure you take it out the night before you want the steak to ensure that it is defrosted. Also, it is alright to add the marinade to the frozen steak so that it marinates while it defrosts.

-Ingredients for marinade-

1 filet steak

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice


Marinate steak for 24 hours. When ready to cook, put a small fry pan on medium high and let it heat up for about 3-5 minutes until scorching hot. Spray pan with Pam, and place steak on for about 2 minutes per side. Repeat once for an overall time of about 8 minutes; this makes steak about medium rare. If you want a more well-done steak add one more turn making it 10 minutes total. After steak is cooked, let rest for about 5 minutes and then slice it thinly.

-Ingredients for arugula salad-

2-3 cups arugula

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsps olive oil

shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese

salt and pepper to taste

-Preparation of salad-

Place arugula on plate and drizzle with lemon and oil. Then, add shaved cheese and salt and pepper. Place sliced steak alongside salad on plate and serve!


The Appalachian Brewing Co., Gettysburg PA

Last Sunday was my second chance to try the Appalachian Brewing Co. in Gettysburg. On my first trip, I was really impressed by the originality of dishes and the great selection of home-brewed beers. While the second trip was indeed a success, I was less impressed by the restaurant since they had run out of tuna and burger meat completely. I should mention that there is almost an entire page dedicated to burgers, and two dishes for tuna… so this was disappointing.

The Appalachian Brewing Co. has three locations in Pennsylvania: Harrisburg, Gettysburg, and Camp Hill. With new twists on classic dishes like their Mile High Meatloaf, and mustard encrusted Stromboli, this restaurant offers some potential. On my first trip, I tried the Mixed Grilled Skewers from the appetizer menu. This dish was a meat lover’s heaven, featuring shrimp, chicken and Italian sausage, all covered in a chimichurri sauce. I loved it, and it was plenty for a meal.

The second time I went to the Brew Pub, I tried the Grilled Caesar Salad, which is made with ” half of a romaine head, tossed quickly on the grill for flavor, and served it intact with croutons, parmesan cheese, and signature Caesar dressing.” This salad was incredible! It was filling, it was fun, and it had incredible flavor. Between the charred texture of the lettuce, the garlicky, cheesy, dressing and the crunch of the crouton, I was in heaven.

Also, their appetizers like Artie’s Spin Dip, “Craisy” Baked Brie, and the PA Pretzel Logs, are served in small portions but are great for sharing and combining. This place is a lot of fun with a crowd who you can share a bunch of dishes with.

Although I myself have not tried the beers, I have heard great things about the originality, complexity and variety that the brewery offers. At the Brewery it is possible to go for a tour, go to an event, try their Specialty or Flagship beers, and even get Beer to go in Kegs, bottles, or Growlers.

Overall, I think ABC is a great place to go for a causal meal or a few beers and appetizers. However, I do think it is important to note that when I went on Sunday night they were out of some of their dishes. Therefore, one might want to go before the weekend rush, or maybe call ahead of time to ensure that they will be offering the full menu.

If you’re interested in reading more about the company check out:

If you are interested in emailing the author, contact Joanna Berry at

Appalachian Brewing Co.

Now Open 7 Days a Week!
Sunday through Monday
Friday and Saturday 11:30-11:00




401 Buford Avenue, Gettysburg, PA

Spring Fest Daquiri

 So, now that the Spring Fest festivities have finally begun why not try some yummy daquiris with your friends.This recipe is super yummy both with or without alcohol. I recommend pairing these daiquiris with some chips and salsa or guacamole since the sweet and tangy flavors mix so well with some salty and crisp.


1 cup frozen strawberries

1 banana, chopped

handful fresh raspberries

1/4 orange juice

splash pineapple juice

2 tbsp. greek yogurt (optional)

1 tbsp. honey

2 cups ice cubes

*** If adding alcohol, this makes about 2 drinks so add 1-2 shots rum

Cool whip


Place the ice cubes and strawberries in blender with juices and turn on high until all of the ice is crushed and blended with the fruit. Add the banana and turn on medium until blended. Lastly, add the honey, raspberries, yogurt and rum and blend on low-speed. Serve with a dollop of cool whip and enjoy!

Simple, Crisp, Spring Arugula Salad

With spring creeping up around us (very slowly I might add) and Easter just around the corner, I begin to think of lighter foods again in hopes of fitting into last year’s bikini. However, with Easter coming up this weekend, my hopes wait in fear of overdosing on Chocolate Bunnies or Peeps. Knowing full well that I will indeed be giving in to my cravings on Sunday morning… afternoon… and evening, I have created a delicious, simple and cheap recipe to help prepare my body for the impending sugar shock.

Try making this recipe for a group of people; it’s a fun dish to share as an appetizer or light meal. One bag of arugula could feed two big eaters or provide four smaller portions.

This recipe uses the full bag.


1 bag, arugula

1/4 lemon, juiced

3 tbsp. shaved parmiggian-reggiano cheese

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Rinse and dry the arugula, and place in a flat dish or shallow bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the arugula, and follow with a light drizzle of the oil. Then, add the salt and pepper and toss lightly. Finally, add the shaved cheese as a garnish.

This dish is supposed to be very light, so do not overwork the arugula or overdress with oil or lemon.

It also goes very well with crisp white wine or prosecco, especially ones with citrus notes.

Finally, as I said earlier this is a very light salad and to be honest I usually eat it as a snack or with a meal. I often eat it with cheese and meat, such as prosciutto and mozzarella, or with grilled shrimp.

Look out for my grilled shrimp over arugula salad recipe on Thursday!

“Good Stuff Eatery” Has Some Great Stuff

Over the weekend I ventured over to DC to check on the famous Cherry Blossom Festival. In between all the festivities I decided to try out “Good Stuff Eatery” a burger and shake joint that was featured on the Food Network which piqued my interest.

The owner of “Good Stuff Eatery,” Chef Spike, has been on Top Chef and has recently been on “Top Chef Tour Bus.”  Chef Spike is a recognized up and coming Chef both in DC with his successful restaurant and on an international scale thanks to his formal training from The Culinary Institute of America.

“Good Stuff Eatery,” located two blocks from the Library of Congress, is an old-fashioned style hamburger and shake joint that features all hand-made, hand-cut, and hand-spun products of the best quality. I’ll admit, the “stuff” is delicious. When I went for lunch I had the COLLETTI’S SMOKEHOUSE, with Sunny’s Handcut Fries and a chocolate hand-spun milkshake with house made ice-cream.  The smokehouse burger was made with Applewood smoked bacon, chipolte bbq sauce, Vermont cheddar, and fried Vidalia onion rings; the ice cream was home-made ice-cream and straight from the machine. Everything was remarkably delicious and succulent, not to mention filling and dense.

My favorite part though was the “Sauce Station,” where a customer could fill plastic cups to their heart’s content. Chef Spike’s homemade sauces featured chipotle  mayo, mango mayo, Old Bay mayo, and sriracha mayo. I was in heaven.

The only catch to going to this little shop is that it is very busy. At 3:30 pm on a Saturday afternoon, I waited for an hour for my hamburger. This wait will certainly deter me from going again anytime soon, but it was a great experience especially for those sauces. So, if you have some extra time to kill on a beautiful day in DC, I highly recommend trying it once.