And I am back…

Hey everyone! ( waving hand emoji)

so the semester has started and we are currently in week 3.  I am pretty excited about the semester lots of fun classes, and of course lots and lots of work to be done. yes there will probably be a breakdown towards week 8 but Ill over come that when we get there.


This semester I have Professor Shapiro for Research Seminar. At first it was a bit nerve wrecking because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to research. Over the break I had come across Blue Zones and became very interested in it because its all about long living and how they do it. I knew I wanted to incorporate Blue zones into my research but how? After long thoughts and some research and talks with my professor and friends I have decided my topic.

Topic. Mediterranean diets and restaurants in NYC

Problem: How can a restaurant promote a healthy meal around a table of loved ones?

Solution: Create a tasting menu for a group of friends and offer suggestive topics for the table to talk about. Educate staff on why this is important and explain blue zones.

I have yet to find a perfect thesis because I still have to narrow and tweak my topic, but it’ll be somewhere around there…

Until next time friends.

Closer to the giving

Well hello, hello

I love this time of year because there are so many causes and events and celebrations going on. And with the hectic world we live in today we need some relief somewhere and November is the month for it.

Thanksgiving to me is one of the best holidays, not because of all the food, but what comes with it; Family, Friends and Love. Sappy I know!

But also…. Great events to share!

tonight at the King’s theatre in Brooklyn the So You Think You Can Dance finalist will be performing

also tonight there will be a “Taste the City Best” event ¬†at the New York Taste, this will be some top chefs and top mixologists in the city/country all under one roof

Tonight The New York Comedy Festival starts  and will be until the 15th of this month.

and the list of events goes on. For a full list of events for the month send me an email.


School and work are pretty hectic and stressful, and the meltdown I was talking about in the first semester has occurred and subsided. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and the end of the semester.

Till we meet again

 

 

Sweet November…

 

Halloween was this past weekend and the city was in costume. There were bar crawls, trick-o-treaters, zombies and ghouls everywhere.  I am not big on Halloween, but a good friend of mine threw a party in my neighborhood so I dressed up and went to the ball. But thats over now and it is the month of giving! Here is a list of some fun events that will be coming up this month. If you are interested in any of them please shoot me an email so we can get you there!

Pumpkin smash in a boroughs for charity until 11.7

Food and Design Event on 11.5 @ Taste T

Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival 11.5 – 11.8

Radio City Christmas Spectacular starts 11.13

If there is something that you are interested in and do not see anything here for you, shoot me an email I probably know somewhere for you to go. Think Of me as your personal concierge.

Until next time!

 

 

NYCWFF

Hello Hello everyone…

This weekend was especially fun for me. The New York City Wine and Food Festival was in town.¬† The NYCWFF is in associations with the Food Bank of New York and the No Child Hungry association. Basically, a whole lot of events were going on this past weekend to fundraise for these charities. My best friend and I decided to volunteer and it was a great experience. Due to our schedules we were only able to volunteer for one of the events unfortunately. The event we signed up for was called “The Grand Tasting,” but when we got there the event didn’t need us. We were placed in the “Art of Tiki, A cocktail showdown with Emeril Laggasse.” I must say, the organization was bit unorganized but it all worked out in the end. It was exciting helping out, we set up the event and then were placed on the app squad. We took a ten minute crash course for the app and then had to get people to download it on to their smart phones. We were perfect for the job since we are both bubbly sales people. All in all, the experience was one for the books, and I will be participating in more events as a volunteer.nywff

Sunday

bluecitytech2.jpg anastasiakaramouzisHello hello!

Growing up my favorite day of the week was Sundays because it was family day. Family day was always important in my house because other than holidays that was the only day my dad stayed home from work.¬† Sunday dinners were always the best dinners of the week (sorry mom)¬† and I’m not sure if it was because my mom cooked better on Sunday or if it was because my whole family was together. We would sit around the table talking, laughing, sometimes crying and always drinking wine ( when we were old enough.)

Over the years with my growing interest in cooking I would start helping my mom with cooking also because that would mean I didn’t have to do dishes when we were done eating. I learned so many family recipes¬† and always enjoyed some healthy criticism from my picky eating sisters and dad.

Last week I was sitting in my fathers office, writing bills, when I was telling him what I wanted for dinner on Sunday. I was telling him I wanted beef stew with mashed potatoes and he suggested short ribs with the homemade hilopites he brought from Greece. [Hilopites is a Greek egg noodle cut into small squares, usually used in traditional Greek cooking for stews.]  I was ecstatic because I knew I could accomplish that dinner on my own and because short ribs are delicious.  All excited, I called my mom and told her  that on Sunday I was going to cook dinner to which she replied I thought we were going out to celebrate. Naturally I was confused, she told me that her and my father in the morning had made plans for the family to go out on Sunday to celebrate their anniversary, and my mother and my sisters birthday. So I gave her the choice and she decided dinner at home was probably best.


Sunday morning I woke up bright and early and headed out to get what I needed for dinner. I went to my favorite in town butcher shop and bought 6.5 pounds of short ribs. $50.  I then went to the Green market and got some tomatoes, butternut squash, Spanish onions, carrots, and some  beef broth. The rest of the ingredients needed I already had at home. $22.  Next up my favorite wine shop for some red wine.  I already had the red wine I was going to cook with, I needed a wine for the table.  Two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina.$20. Total spent on dinner $92. Not bad, considering 7 were going to eat. Roughly,  $13 dollars a plate.


Cooking time! I seasoned my meat with salt, pepper, garlic powder and some oregano ( traditional Greek seasoning) and seared it all. While searing I prepped my veggies, sliced the onions and diced the carrots and shredded the tomatoes (almost like sauce). Once all the meat was seared and put into the baking pan next up I sweated my¬†onions and carrots with some chapped garlic and bay leaves. Next I deglazed the pan with 2 cups of red burgundy wine. Once¬†the wine reduced a bit and the alcohol was cooked out I ¬†added¬† the tomatoes, a few tablespoons of tomato paste and the beef broth. Once the liquid came to a boil I poured it over the meat, covered with aluminum and placed it in a 350 degree oven for 2.5 hours and then raised the heat to 400 degrees for another 45 minutes. Result, fall off the bone, melt in your mouth meat. But I wasn’t done.

While my meat was in the oven I diced up my butternut squash added some olive oil salt pepper and garlic tossed it all together and put it on a baking sheet. When I changed the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees the butternut squash went in.


I removed and placed the meat on a platter. Next up hilopites. I strained the juice/ liquid into a soup pot and skimmed off the oil. The veggies went into a blender and then back into the skimmed broth. I added a cup of water and let it come to a boil. Once boiling I added about a cup and half of hilopites and let that cook for about 20 minutes, (They cook the same way rice does.) Stirring constantly I don’t want any sticking to the pot.¬† I put my finished hilopites in a bowl, the butternut squash in a different bowl, set the table opened the wine, Its time for dinner.


I was very proud of my dinner on Sunday. I think this is the first time my dad completely complimented my food and it was extremely rewarding. My sisters and soon to be brother in law also really enjoyed the food. And no food was left over, SCORE! Even though my life is hectic working full time and going to school full time I must say I live for my Sunday dinners with my family.akaramouzs

 

Blogging? Well, my version of it.

I am in no way a writer nor a blogger and yet here I am writing for this blog. Thanks Professor Shapiro! ¬†The Fall ’15 semester just started and I am fairly excited about it. Typically I enjoy school and ¬†enjoy doing interesting projects and learning whatever I can. I enjoy a good challenge with the meltdown that comes with it and then the success. ¬† ( I hope you’re not judging my grammar, I just don’t know if I should follow standard APA guidelines, or Anastasia’s blog guidelines. Clearly, I am going with the latter.) ¬†I hope and pray this semester is insightful and helps me grow professionally.


On another note, right before school started ¬†I decided to change my lifestyle into a healthy one. ¬†So now, I am a “runner” more like jog a half mile die for 5 minutes and then push myself until I pretty much get too dizzy to stand. After the first night, I felt extremely defeated and upset that at a young age I can’t even run a mile. After the run, a friend of mine ¬†showed me this inspirational video ¬†that really hit home. As I was listening to Eric Thomas’¬†How bad do you want it, I¬†¬†was instantly moved by ¬†two quotes, and the whole speech in general. After hearing the speech, ¬†I realized I have heard this before, the year before when I was driving my older sister to her BAR exam. It must’ve moved her too, because she passed her BAR on the first try, through hard work, and studying.


 

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†“After pain is SUCCESS.” -Eric Thomas

Well, with those two quotes in mind, a few days later I hit a mile. It was not easy, but it was true; after the pain was the success. I just kept chanting to myself ¬†“after pain is success!”

Everyday I constantly repeat those quotes to myself, because I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

 

 

Stay humble people!